Innovations

at HENSOLDT

HENSOLDT Ventures

HENSOLDT Cyber

Cross-Divisional innovation solutions

HENSOLDT Ventures

HENSOLDT Ventures

HENSOLDT Ventures

The leading edge of innovation

Innovativeness has always been a part of HENSOLDT’s DNA. This has always been the mainspring of our business success across all departments. But how can we also permanently embed the startup mentality and the urge to look “above and beyond” within our enterprise? The answer: HENSOLDT Ventures.

Founded in 2018, HENSOLDT’s in-house innovation incubator focuses especially on ideas and topics in the cyber, artificial intelligence and robotics areas, as well as data analytics. As a prototypical incubator and technology scout, this unit additionally concentrates on innovations that can eventually lead to spinoffs or strategic technology investments. The necessary prerequisites were created in the fiscal year under review. HENSOLDT Ventures also plays a decisive role in supporting innovation across all divisions of our enterprise. The consistent growth and success of our projects to date affirm the course set here, which will continue and intensify over the next fiscal year with an expanded focus on HENSOLDT Ventures as an investor.

Cyber Security – IT security from a single source

Within an incredibly short time, HENSOLDT Cyber (see 4.2) has achieved what many thought impossible: the development of our own, highly secure operating system including the matching processor. Our efforts to make HENSOLDT products more secure have resulted in the creation of a secure IT basis that stops hackers cold, is drawing broad attention from IT experts outside of HENSOLDT circles and has the potential to form the nucleus for a holistic, secure cyber-ecosystem in Germany.

Analytics – making pictures talk

With the acquisition of a globally leading supplier of open source intelligence systems (OSINT) in 2020, HENSOLDT Ventures laid the groundwork for further AI applications and took the first step toward realising its vision of a “virtual” sensor, and continues to invest in scalable software products. The aim is to develop expanded, combined AI capabilities that leverage speech, image and data analyses, for instance the ability to automatically analyse moving images and summarise important or unusual occurrences in up to 30 different languages. This will enable comprehensive data analysis that delivers information in fractions of a second that can be decisive for targeted situational assessments – a capability of interest both for military and civilian applications (such as event security). Such software-based platforms are also becoming ever more important in the face of increasing attacks based on media manipulation. Alongside conventional signals intelligence, such a capability contributes greatly to resolving the situational picture in the face of future hybrid threats and protecting own forces so as to assure dominance across the entire spectrum.

Further current projects include revolutionary innovations to make 3D printing of printed circuit boards practical in production environments, developing novel infrared jammers and optimizing internal processes to increase added value, and all projects continued uninterrupted throughout the pandemic. Thus, innovations beget new business ideas and models that will contribute significantly to future success at HENSOLDT or in new subsidiaries.

Robotics – artificial intelligence for the win

To cite just one typical example for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in a robotics application, HENSOLDT Ventures has developed the interceptor drone solution “Versatile Autonomous Drone Response” (VADR) for the Xpeller family in collaboration with EUROAVIONICS. As part of the modular drone defence system, VADR can be used as a platform for a wide range of applications and is also able to assume fully or partially automated tasks when unknown drones approach, and capture them with a net. Particularly for Xpeller deployments at airports endangered by drones, this offers a decisive advantage, as jammers are of only limited use here given that they can interfere with other electronic devices. The system is already a part of the Falke drone-defence project of the German Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, and other European nations have now also expressed interest.

HENSOLDT Cyber

HENSOLDT Cyber

HENSOLDT Cyber

"Made in Germany"

In our era of global digitalization, data security and protection against unauthorised access play an ever greater role – in both the military and civilian sectors. HENSOLDT Cyber offers a highly secure solution with its proprietary hardware and software.

The threat of hacker incursions is growing daily, and regularly keeps IT managers and administrators awake at night. Besides the highly publicised attacks on government and corporate networks in recent years, the number of criminal attacks has been multiplying every year, while the attackers’ professional skills have steadily increased. In the area of malware alone – programs that infiltrate IT systems to spy on or disrupt them – over a billion malware families have been identified to date, with 100 million more new variants appearing every year. To combat this threat, HENSOLDT Cyber developed its own proprietary processor and an extremely secure operating system to series readiness within a very short time. This allows IT specialists to sleep well again at night, while their enterprises can concentrate on their core business without a care.

The processor: logic lock-out

As the core protection element, HENSOLDT Cyber developed the first German high-security multi-purpose processor. The MiG-V – MiG stands for “Made in Germany” – is a RISC-V processor based on a globally unique process that makes it one of the most secure chips of this type. In simple terms, its circuitry is configured during production so that it is encrypted. As an understanding of the circuit logic is a fundamental prerequisite for manipulating it, the circuitry is invulnerable. The processor can only be used by means of an individual key that restores the original intended function. This effectively prevents manipulation – in particular from the design of the subsequent production until its subsequent use – and HENSOLDT Cyber now offers the world’s first approach for securing the hardware supply chain.

This process developed by HENSOLDT Cyber offers enormous potential because it can be applied universally to any processors and provided as a service to third parties.

The operating system: the first unhackable software

The primary target of every hacker is the computer’s operating system. Originally initiated with the aim of protecting our own products even better, HENSOLDT Cyber developed the “TRusted ENTity Operation System” – TRENTOS for short. Its architecture makes it possible to operate multiple components of the operating system modularly, separated and isolated from each other. This feature, combined with mathematical verification of individual components and the operating system core, makes it the most secure of its type. A corresponding development environment additionally permits third-party developers and users around the world to develop their own operating system modules and applications simply and rapidly on this platform.

The services: getting started made easy

To make adoption of this system as easy as possible for prospective users, HENSOLDT Cyber has put together a “getting started” evaluation kit. Interest has been keen across industries and countries. The separate Service Department that has since been organised additionally offers all services needed to ensure a smooth transition to secure IT.

With this vision of creating a holistic IT ecosystem for the defence and security industry, HENSOLDT Cyber wants to herald a new era of cybersecurity in Germany and also in Europe. At the same time, this opens up the door for commercial applications, as Industry 4.0 and other applications such as autonomous vehicles also increasingly demand highly secure IT.

Cross-Divisional innovation solutions

Innovation management within Optronics

Innovation management within Optronics

Success through new ideas

Through systematic innovation management, HENSOLDT supports its employees in creating a culture of “constructive disruption”: one that motivates them to focus constantly on our customers and look beyond the obvious.

“An invention by itself is not an innovation, it must also be successfully implemented and brought to market,” believes Dr Stefanie Schrader, Optronics’ Innovation Manager. And she is following through by implementing a new innovation management system to bring the “HENSOLDT Way of Innovation” to everyone across all departments. Because there are a lot of good ideas. But they can only be realised and brought to market in a team.

Five steps to new business

Experimentation and invention may be a part of HENSOLDT’s DNA, but it takes courage to envision and test what is often initially a very rough basic idea. A five-step concept supports employees in becoming innovative: In the first step, they are encouraged to think more creatively and generate new ideas. In the second step, Dr Schrader supports her colleagues in compiling the information they need to flesh out their idea. Once the idea has been passed by the Optronics Idea Board, it is implemented as an innovation project. The idea takes on further contours as a business model concept or minimum viable product (MVP), is modified or is released back into the ideas pool. It is only when an idea has acquired concrete form that it finally advances to become a successful new product or business model – often in collaboration with other business units and customers – in the fifth and final step.

In the process, employees also learn how to use the preferred innovative working and development methods of start-ups, including lean start-up, design thinking, Scrum and kanban boards, and are actively inducted into innovation project teams. The mostly interdisciplinary innovation items give rise to new networks and utilise HENSOLDT’s swarm intelligence. Existing solutions are jointly enhanced, new solutions and application areas are discovered, or innovations serve emerging customer and user needs.

Innovation Expedition

The first successes were not long in coming. More and more employees are utilising the newly created opportunities to activate the rich latent innovation potential inherent in our enterprise. And in summer 2020, a HENSOLDT team even embarked on its first-ever Innovation Expedition. On account of the pandemic, HENSOLDT employees from a wide range of Divisions met virtually with representatives of companies from other industries, exchanging experiences and obtaining insights into how innovations are developed there.

The most important insight: working innovatively requires the courage to jointly embark on an innovation journey and generate new momentum. Thanks to this new innovation concept, HENSOLDT Optronics is taking new paths in order to establish an innovation ecosystem to successfully implement new ideas.

New networks and future technologies

One key feature of our new innovation ecosystem at HENSOLDT Optronics is the imperative to look beyond the obvious and into the future. Active, regular idea scouting, involving surveys of various external academic and business networks, as well as active exchanges with start-ups and associations, play an enormous role in this endeavour. In particular, our regular dialogues with start-up entrepreneurs from a range of industries as well as participation in national and international research consortia enable us to identify future trends and discover new ideas. Our close cooperation with a research institute to explore novel laser applications and our collaboration with start-ups on topics such as smart sensoring and mesh networks for creating sensor arrays are initial tangible successes for HENSOLDT Optronics. Additionally, we expect to strengthen our internal know-how for quantum technology and other future technologies through our membership in the innovation network “Optische Technologien – Photonics BW”.

Cross-Divisional AI activities

Cross-Divisional AI activities

Joint learning creates intelligent data

HENSOLDT is already deploying artificial intelligence in many of its products. Our Divisions work together to continually improve and enhance our applications, pooling and sharing the benefits of their diverse experience and perspectives derived from the intelligent use of data – in the spirit of our motto, “One HENSOLDT”.

The term “artificial intelligence” (AI) was first coined back in the 1950s. Today, new methods of data acquisition and analysis offered by machine learning and deep learning are driving AI toward an enormous breakthrough. The system can connect learned knowledge with new information, and, if desired, even keep on learning, thanks to a neural network trained using deep learning technology – in much the same way as a human brain learns. An ideal method for intelligently using the diverse data from the many different HENSOLDT sensors.

Important for every division – successful together

Every HENSOLDT sensor generates data – radar, UV, infrared or visual spectrum, whether terrestrial, marine, air- or spaceborne. And the more advanced the sensors are, the more data they deliver. This wealth of data, often referred to as “big data”, provides the foundation: “There’s no data like more data”. But it is AI-based analysis and evaluation that brings out the true value of these data.

HENSOLDT understood this early on, and responded proactively with cross-divisional AI initiatives. Direct collaboration with experts outside the company and intensive dialogue with research establishments such as the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, RWTH Aachen University, the University of Ulm and various Fraunhofer Institutes have enabled us to create new networks, new knowledge and new solutions. This exceptionally transparent dialogue with the scientific community has led to highly productive synergies that benefit all parties and divisions alike.

Numerous challenges – one perspective

Much as in the Internet of Things (IoT), this entails linking sensors with a newly emerging IT infrastructure. This infrastructure makes it possible to store enormous quantities of data from millions of discrete cases of actual mission scenarios in a structured and reproducible manner and make them usable for machine-driven learning processes under operational conditions. The system can even integrate data on unknown objects of other forces. This shared infrastructure creates two fundamental prerequisites: the creation of a database in which – if desired – HENSOLDT shares in the customer’s data sovereignty and a beachhead to our company’s sensor and data specialists, who, thanks to their sensor expertise, are able to analyse the recorded data and make it available for a new training cycle. In the course of this, the sensors learn to autonomously detect situations and threats using broad-based machine learning techniques.

Once the learning phase is complete, the trained models can be implemented for their missions on the sensor level. In future, such “smart sensors”, integrated in intelligent overall systems, will enable entirely new, partially autonomous applications. The use of AI will make it possible to analyse even complex situations automatically and identify potential threats in real time. HENSOLDT is thus emerging as more than just a vendor of smart sensors: it is becoming a smart systems provider.

AI Optronics

Future projects such as the MGCS (“Main Ground Combat System”) or the FCAS (“Future Combat Air System”) rely entirely on “smart and intelligent” sensors in which the evaluation of photo and video data is supported using AI. On its way to becoming a system supplier, HENSOLDT Optronics is already currently working through various evolutionary stages to settle issues such as which technology to use, how to process vast quantities of data and which software and hardware architectures are required.

However, AI is also already being implemented in existing solutions. In the SETAS (“See Through Armour System”), for example, AI combines all-round 360-degree visibility with additional assistance information and automatically recognises objects and anomalies. With “Wide Area Motion Imagery” (WAMI), a combination of cameras and sensors suspended from a balloon evaluates aerial photos directly in the sensor. This allows a surface area of up to 50 square kilometres to be monitored from the air. At the same time, the system records activities on the ground, which may remain undiscovered by even the most attentive observer since there are so many of them happening at once.

AI Radar

Radar systems provide images of the air or ground even when visibility is compromised by clouds, smoke or rain. The high quality of HENSOLDT radars allows an increasing number of objects to be identified. Without the support of AI, the situational imagery produced in this way rapidly becomes confusing or requires a lot of human intervention. Nowadays, automatic target recognition through radar signatures already provides the operator with important support, helping them to focus directly on drones, for example, without being distracted by birds. The tracks of moving targets can be identified more easily and efficiently and can be distinguished from false tracks (false track recognition).

Like visual aerial or satellite photos, SAR radars allow high-resolution ground imagery to be recorded during daylight hours, regardless of weather conditions. Until now, however, these images had to be interpreted by specially trained personnel. This is where AI comes into play. With the help of real and simulated training data, vast areas of land surface can be automatically scanned for relevant target objects to provide a picture of the current threat situation. In this way, simple sensor data can result in high-resolution annotated radar images, which no longer require analysis by trained personnel and can instead be used by just about anyone.

AI Electronic Warfare

Future fields of application will be characterised by increasingly complex scenarios, in which decisions will need to be made based on large quantities of information within increasingly shorter time frames. Tomorrow’s “smart sensors” will have a crucial role to play in this. In a shared “code camp” with Microsoft, HENSOLDT has already demonstrated what this kind of “smart sensor” might look like.

The fields of application are practically unlimited since the systems learn continuously. For example, airborne reconnaissance platforms can be better protected using various sensors. The mix of LiDAR, radar and electrooptical sensors that is utilised here allows a fused situational image to be created, which is therefore significantly more resistant to disruptive processes. On the basis of overlapping tasks, HENSOLDT clearly benefits here from the rapid developments made in the civilian sector.

AI HENSOLDT Ventures

As a “spearhead of innovation” in the company, the increased use of AI is also at the heart of the range of HENSOLDT Ventures activities (see 4.1). As an integral part of many projects and products, the technology has proven its potential a long time ago. In this way, the use of AI in counter-UAV systems allows a higher level of automation, making the operator’s work easier. A further application can be found in Edge AI applications – for instance for the close-range control of an interceptor drone.

Working closely alongside specialist departments, AI experts at HENSOLDT Ventures also provide targeted support for other group projects with the goal of pioneering ground-breaking new AI applications. HENSOLDT Ventures sees the development of an overlapping centre for big data and AI as one of its core tasks at present. Accordingly, it intends to continue supporting internal group projects, as well as developing new applications, such as open-source intelligence. The focus here is on using deep learning to evaluate large quantities of data in the fields of speech, text and imagery.

Mission management for helicopter upgrades

Mission management for helicopter upgrades

"IQ" for helicopters

HENSOLDT’s mission management system for helicopters is an unqualified success. Over 5,000 such systems have already been integrated in helicopters, because they offer so much that other systems just can’t.

A system is truly intelligent when it can take and process data from a wide range of different sources to create a complete situational picture. A picture that ideally delivers all important information that the user needs at that instant – and not a single bit more. This is HENSOLDT’s objective in developing mission management systems for helicopters. The system can be flexibly customised with a broad range of software modules to precisely meet application requirements. It automatically delivers to each crew member the information that they need. Developed to meet civilian certification standards and platform-independent, it can be used in both military and civilian environments. It can digitally communicate and exchange data with other systems. Helicopter pilots around the world know how important this is.

“Mission possible”

For helicopter crews, the coordinated execution of a mission is exceptionally demanding on account of the wide variety of tasks they must perform. Complex mission scenarios in particular intensify the stress on crews. Yet such complex civilian and military mission scenarios, subject to extensive, mission-specific additional parameters, are the rule rather than the exception.

To ensure that pilots, copilots and other crew members are optimally supported, HENSOLDT’s mission management system pulls together all necessary data in a single system. Video, radar and information from a wide range of flight, surveillance, identification, night vision and other sensors are combined with external data such as weather data or data on other aircraft in the operational area to form a coherent whole. The result is a holistic overall system that can network with other systems on the ground, at sea or in the air.

Each crew member receives the information they need “right now” for their respective task via their head-down display or projected directly in the helmet. Pilots are supported in flying the aircraft, copilots have an overview of all sensors, and a third crew member can, for instance, focus entirely on tasking an escort drone. This makes even the most difficult operations a “mission possible”.

Mission accomplished

HENSOLDT’s mission management system excels not only because of its ability to compile data and information from widely diverse sources. It also offers a flexible link to existing communication systems. Whereas a link to 4G or 5G wireless networks is often sufficient for civilian applications, the current generation of military-grade mission management can communicate via tactical datalinks (TDL) to share data in real time with other mission actors.

Thus, mission management brings previously inconceivable situational awareness to helicopter cockpits in real time – regardless of the helicopter type and its military, paramilitary or civilian deployment profile. This system already plays a mission-critical role in over 5,000 helicopters today, and HENSOLDT is currently developing future platform upgrades e.g. for the H145M and Tiger Mk3: a blueprint for the military mission management of tomorrow. Mission accomplished.

Hydrogen strategy

Hydrogen strategy

The element tomorrow is made of

Hydrogen is considered a key element for a successful energy transition. With the innovative – and in many areas leading – technologies of NEXEYA, HENSOLDT has now secured access to this strategically important market of the future.

Energy transition plays a core role in all international climate protection efforts. However, we can only succeed here by securing energy sources that are at the same time reliable, affordable and environmentally compatible. One major issue is that renewable energy technologies deliver power irregularly. However, innovative hydrogen technologies make it possible to store this energy in a climate-neutral manner so it can be fed into the grid as needed. The end result is sector coupling – of power, heating and mobility.

NEXEYA – an international leader

NEXEYA – a HENSOLDT company since 2019 – is a global leader in the development and production of hydrogen-based energy storage solutions and supply stations. NEXEYA’s “Smart Energy Storage Stations” reliably supply remote locations, radar installations, communications antennas and weather stations with energy or serve as local (interim) storage for solar, wind and hydroelectric power. Intelligently integrated in local-area smart microgrids, they bring carbon-neutral energy to buildings, entire industrial plants, ports, airports and districts. Installed aboard emission-free energy ships and being a part of NEXEYA’s GreenHarbour project they supply ships in ports with CO2-neutral electricity. In the defence sector, they guarantee the autonomous operation of data centres and entire bases.

And that’s just the beginning. As members of the French Association for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (France Hydrogène), HENSOLDT and NEXEYA have their fingers constantly on the pulse of development both nationally in France and Germany, and also at EU level. New regulations and strategies open the doors to new markets and applications. The necessary solutions can be implemented and offered rapidly and targeted precisely.

New products for new markets

Current projects with great potential include the autonomous complete systems for producing, storing and providing energy, which are already in service. With their vast storage capacity, they offer months of independence from external supply grids. They can be modularly integrated in existing networks even under extreme weather conditions and generate “green” hydrogen with virtually no environmental impact. Linked to form hydrogen microgrids, they additionally offer an economical alternative that can be used e.g. to build a high-performance charging infrastructure for the e-mobility of the future. The integration of fuel cells and the formation of whatever logistics infrastructure may be necessary to transport hydrogen can also open up new lines of business.

While presently still on a modest level, the hydrogen business offers numerous expansion opportunities for the future. With the current political encouragement and support, all signs point to growth, as the energy transformation is moving forward at a rapid pace. HENSOLDT and NEXEYA are not only keeping up, but are blazing the trail to tomorrow.

“Green” hydrogen as the key to the energy transition

(Source: “Die Nationale Wasserstoffstrategie – Schlüsselelement der Energiewende” of the German Federal Government)

Hydrogen generated using renewable energy sources is often referred to as “green” hydrogen. It opens up a range of possible applications for a sustainable future:

  • It can store renewably generated energy and thus help to balance supply with demand.
  • “Green” hydrogen can contribute decisively to sector coupling in areas where power from renewable energy sources cannot be used directly.
  • Used in fuel cells, it can enable hydrogen-based mobility and serve as a basis for synthetic fuels.
  • It can replace the conventional hydrogen already essential to numerous chemical and industrial processes and be used as a raw material for future production processes.
  • In the long term, hydrogen will make it possible to decarbonise process-related emissions, e.g. by converting CO2 emissions to valuable precursor substances.
  • Electronic 3D printing

    Electronic 3D printing

    The proof is in the printing

    Major high-tech players around the world are experimenting with 3D printing. At HENSOLDT, we are already deploying it for development and production – as the global innovation leader some applications.

    Already, three-dimensional printing of parts and high-performance electronic components is being recognised as a technological revolution that will reshape the world. Although it plays a largely subordinated role in the general perception, enterprises around the world – including the big names in the consumer electronics, computer, automotive and aerospace industries – are experimenting with the possibilities, processes and materials.

    HENSOLDT recognised this potential early on, and has since integrated 3D printing successfully in a wide range of development and production processes.

    Innovation leader in the additive fabrication of electronic 3D structures

    Today, HENSOLDT has risen to become a global leader in the printing of electronic 3D structures. Our collaboration with the Israeli enterprise Nano Dimension – the number-one in additively manufactured electronics (AME) and printed electronics (PE) – that commenced in 2016 means that HENSOLDT has been playing an active role in significantly improving the stability of the processes for use in future products. However, the actual focus is on developing and fabricating three-dimensional structures within circuit carriers.

    Even now, it is apparent that the jointly enhanced technology will enable entirely novel functions and products.

    What sounds like one small step will potentially culminate in one giant leap for HENSOLDT, as military sensor solutions demand extremely high levels of performance and reliability, far beyond the capability of commercial-grade components. The new process not only makes it possible to utilise the available PC board space much more efficiently. The electronic structures themselves can also be fitted to the available space without restrictions. The printed components are more compact, yet their performance and integration density are enhanced.

    3D printing of metals and plastics

    Concurrently, HENSOLDT has for several years been 3D printing plastics to create prototypes. True-to-scale models can be printed simply and rapidly to enable review of design and functionality. This accelerates the entire development process.

    HENSOLDT is also using the extremely cost-intensive and time-consuming 3D metal printing regularly in production today. For example, this technology makes it possible to create aluminium radiator elements for radar transmitters that simply cannot be fabricated by conventional means. With their complex cavity structures, they cool more efficiently while at the same time providing electromagnetic screening.

    Fit for the future

    Thus, HENSOLDT is already deploying 3D printing and additive manufacturing processes in producing parts of its current air surveillance radar (ASR) system, and for its ground-based radar units Spexer, TRML-4D and the Cobra radar. These technologies are also being used successfully to support production, e.g. for fixtures and tools.

    AESA EW antenna

    AESA EW antenna

    Seeing and jamming

    Antennas are usually designed to transmit and receive signals. The new AESA EW from HENSOLDT goes a critical step further. Electronically scanned, it can even jam enemy radar.

    HENSOLDT has been recognised as a global technology leader for radar systems for many years now. On the ground, at sea, in the air and even in space, they perform reliably in innumerable civilian and military surveillance, reconnaissance, defence and air traffic control applications. With its new “Active Electronically Scanned Array Electronic Warfare” (AESA EW) antenna, HENSOLDT is once more proving that ongoing research and continuing development pay off. HENSOLDT has succeeded in designing an antenna as a core element of the Kalætron Attack product family, that can not only transmit and receive signals but can also actively jam when electronically scanned.

    Three functions – one antenna

    Particularly in the military sector, and in aircraft especially, radar antennas are more often “off” than “on”. They transmit and receive only briefly because their signals can be localised. Additionally, a constant transmission power output requires larger device footprints and extensive cooling.

    Problem defined – problem solved. The new HENSOLDT AESA EW is equipped with the necessary radiator elements, fabricated in an innovative metallic 3D printing process. Boasting an environmentally friendly coolant, it is also only marginally larger than conventional antennas.

    Yet its performance spectrum is significantly expanded. It can not only transmit and receive brief signals, as before. It can receive constantly, and thus intercept enemy signals and even deliberately jam them.

    One antenna – diverse applications

    Multiple NATO member states and allies have already expressed keen interest in HENSOLDT’s latest innovation, the product of several years of development backed by decades of experience. Starting with the extremely complex certification process for use aboard aircraft, ship-board and ground deployment are also conceivable.

    In the currently planned Eurofighter update, the AESA EW antenna, installed e.g. in an escort jammer pod, could effectively disrupt enemy radar signals to protect the aircraft itself, but also, for example, to shield other manned or unmanned aircraft and ground units from missile attacks by jamming their detection radar. As a low-cost, fixed-location ground installation, the antenna could also function as a stand-off jammer, disrupting radar and communication signals while remaining out of range of attacks.

    In sum, the AESA EW antenna bundles the three functions of the Kalætron Attack product family (stand-off jammer, escort jammer and self-protection jammer) together with the conventional receiver function in a single antenna.

    Thus, once again, HENSOLDT technology ensures that potential attackers remain truly “blind and deaf”.

    Manta NEO

    Manta NEO

    Enhancing Situational Awareness

    The Manta NEO developed by HENSOLDT UK turns the currently existing philosophy for marine radars on its head. The focus is no longer on displaying as much data as possible, but on concentrating on collision warning. This attracts worldwide attention and is well received.

    In today’s congested shipping lines, maintaining situational awareness is of utmost importance for the navigator. Manta NEO offers precise mapping of all maritime activities and is the perfect tool to support navigators of large merchant and cruise ships or super yachts. While on previous navigation screens, the radar display required for this purpose was "only" visible as part of numerous other pieces of information and somewhat hidden, HENSOLDT’s Manta NEO focuses primarily on this particular display. Everything else can – if required – be blended in and out as an additional element.

    Simple and clear

    What appears simple at a first glance led to enormous challenges for the developers at HENSOLDT UK. In order to make the current status quo of a “locked” screen display containing a variety of information more flexible, our developers decided to implement a completely new software structure. Based on the Android platform and mobile phone processors, a simplified menu structure has been created. On new multifunctional displays, it provides users quick and easy access to all important information they are accustomed to from using their smartphone displays. More than that, Manta NEO is also suitable for guiding autonomous ships from land.

    The primary focus is on the radar display – taking up the entire screen. Via an app-based, intuitive and easy to learn approach, additional navigation devices and data from other sensors can be integrated, configured and displayed as needed.

    New markets, new target groups

    For HENSOLDT, the Manta NEO opens up access to new markets and target groups in the non-defence sector. In addition to cruise ships, in which the system can also be retrofitted, a first focus is on the booming sector of mega and luxury yachts. With its user-friendly design, Manta NEO meets the wishes of many owners and at the same time satisfies the clients' high security and safety requirements.

    As a next step, the market for merchant ships will be targeted, as the system can be integrated on all ships that meet the requirements of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). As the predecessor of HENSOLDT UK, Kelvin Hughes has very good access to and an excellent, long-standing, reputation in the market: one that offers enormous potential, with around 30,000 ships worldwide.

    Following preliminary presentations at trade fairs and to potential customers and shipyards with a correspondingly positive response, the market launch of Manta NEO is planned for the second quarter of 2021.

    Integrated maritime solutions

    Integrated maritime solutions

    Ocean-going added value

    HENSOLDT is a leading supplier in the areas of radar, identification friend-foe, datalinks, electro-optics and defence electronics. High-performance sensors are a key part of maritime mission systems and thus play a vital role in the success of challenging naval missions. Integrated maritime solutions consisting of highly diverse sensor combinations are a prime example of this.

    The market is changing. Whereas it used to be driven by the demand for individual systems, such as radars, customers today increasingly want complete solutions. Comprising multiple products, such combined overall systems offer decisive added value for customers thanks to the seamless interaction of the individual components together with data analytics and evaluation and connection to tactical datalinks.

    On and beneath the waves

    Here too, HENSOLDT’s segment approach once again proves superior. All departments take a cross-Divisional approach to work and act with their focus firmly on customers and prospects and their needs. Long before individual products are selected, our experts systematically discuss operational requirements with customers before offering a corresponding solution spectrum.

    Particularly in the area of integrated maritime solutions, HENSOLDT’s acquisitions in France (NEXEYA) and the UK (Kelvin Hughes) have opened up new market potential and customer groups. In addition to the major, broad-spectrum system solutions of the future, smaller, innovative integration of various surface and underwater sensors is now also possible.

    Compact solutions for small vessels

    LYNCEA, the flexible mission system from NEXEYA, is a perfect example. Modular in design and expandable in steps, it generates a tactical situational picture on the basis of a broad range of inputs: from radar and optronic devices to sonar and electronic warfare elements, and even permits optional integration in NATO datalinks. With its ergonomic, easy-to-use user interface, it is ideal for an extremely wide range of mission scenarios, such as surveillance of maritime areas, combating human trafficking, rescue missions and much more. Available in a range of base versions, LYNCEA is thus ideal for deployment aboard fast patrol boats, deep sea patrol vessels and surveillance units as well as command centres on shore. This flexibility is paying off, as in 2020, NEXEYA became the chosen vendor in its home market, receiving an order to equip deep sea patrol vessels of the French Navy.

    Rapid and close to customers

    Alongside solutions that can be flexibly and efficiently configured to match customer needs, customer intimacy with potential prospects also plays a decisive role. Because in spite of today’s intense globalisation, it remains an advantage when, for instance, a North African customer can be served directly from France (NEXEYA) and an Irish customer from the UK (HENSOLDT UK).

    Our integrated maritime solutions are already proving what will in future be true for all our products and projects under HENSOLDT’s domain approach: a comprehensive understanding across all domains makes it possible to offer a broad spectrum of options across all divisions. To the benefit of our customers and our enterprise as a whole.