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Falco EVO UAV used to monitor illegal migration in Mediterranean

Cars defenceWeb

The European Union’s Frontex Maritime Aerial Surveillance project has been successfully using Falco EVO unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean Sea.
'The European Union’s Frontex Maritime Aerial Surveillance project has been successfully using Falco EVO unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean Sea.The aircraft’s manufacturer Leonardo said that the Falco EVO on 20 June played a key role in monitoring a case involving irregular migrants in the Mediterranean as part of monitoring activities of Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.In an operation launched from the Italian island of Lampedusa, the Falco EVO worked with other Frontex assets to identify a “mothership” trawler as 81 illegal migrants were transferred to smaller boats, a technique increasingly used by criminal organisations.Following the transfer, the Falco EVO’s surveillance payloads kept a close eye on the trawler until an enforcement operation was launched by Italian authorities to seize the boat.The Falco EVO system deployed at Lampedusa Airport has already flown for more than 280 hours on behalf of Frontex, with one mission on the 26th of June clocking in at 17 hours and 21 minutes.This extra-long mission came about when Frontex received a request from the Italian Authorities to help monitor two boats in the Lampedusa area, Leonardo said.Close collaboration between ENAV (Italian air navigation service provider), ENAC (Italian civil aviation authority), AST Lampedusa, the Italian Guardia di Finanza (customs police) and Leonardo allowed the mission finish time to be extended by two hours to 24:00 so that the Falco EVO could support the interception.The Falco EVO has been deployed at Lampedusa Airport since December 2018 as part of multipurpose aerial surveillance provided by Frontex.Flights are planned in coordination with the Guardia di Finanza and the Italian Ministry of the Interior and carried out by Leonardo, which owns and operates the Falco EVO under a service arrangement.ENAC, Italy’s national agency for civil aviation, ENAV, the company managing Italy’s civil air traffic, and Lampedusa Airport operator AST Aeroservizi also support the operations.In its configuration for the Frontex mission, the Falco EVO is equipped with a suite of sensors that includes the company’s Gabbiano TS Ultra-Light radar, which is suitable for long range missions during the day and at night.The Falco EVO is operated and maintained by Leonardo crews. . The post Falco EVO UAV used to monitor illegal migration in Mediterranean appeared first on defenceWeb .'

Chad orders Ara 2 armoured vehicles from Proforce

Cars defenceWeb

Nigeria’s Proforce has secured its first export order for its Ara 2 armoured personnel carriers, from Chad.Interest in the vehicles was sparked during a visit by Chad’s President Idriss Deby in 2018, with the contract for 20 vehicles finalised in
'Nigeria’s Proforce has secured its first export order for its Ara 2 armoured personnel carriers, from Chad.Interest in the vehicles was sparked during a visit by Chad’s President Idriss Deby in 2018, with the contract for 20 vehicles finalised in June this year, according to Jane’s Defence Weekly.An undisclosed source told Jane’s that deliveries will start before the end of this year in batches of five vehicles at a time.The Ara 2 is a major boost to Chad’s military, which has not received many new vehicles over the last five years with the delivery of 11 Israeli RAM armoured vehicles in 2015 being its only major acquisition.Chad relies on BMP-1, WZ-523, VAB-VTT, Bastion Patsas and BTR-60/80 vehicles to meet its armoured personnel carrier requirements.The Ara 2 is currently being delivered to the Nigerian Army, which received five at the beginning of March this year, three several weeks ago and another five at the beginning of July.These have been deployed them to the country’s northeast to fight Boko Haram insurgents.Proforce delivered eight earlier model Aras to the Nigerian Army in 2018.The latest version of the Ara was displayed during the Nigerian Army Day celebrations on 6 July.It features a fully monocoque hull (the previous Ara used a Tatra 2.30 TRK 4×4 truck chassis). Development of the improved version began in January 2018 after feedback from the Nigerian military.The latest Ara 2 is built to STANAG level 4569 protection standards with double skin protection of Level 3A and 3B, and an underbelly of 4A and 4B.This protection level ensures an underbelly with a V-shaped hull design that can withstand a 100 kg mine.The higher ground clearance of 442 mm and the central tyre inflation system enhances the vehicle’s off-road capabilities and can take this vehicle to urban, mountainous and challenging rural terrains, Proforce said.With the capacity to carry up to 12 personnel plus equipment, the 15 ton Ara 2 can be configured into multiple variants including recovery, command and control, ambulance, field kitchen and reconnaissance.A 12.7 mm machinegun can be mounted on a 360 degree roof turret which can be open or fully enclosed.Also during the 6 July celebrations, the Nigerian Army commissioned into service several new locally designed and built vehicles produced by the Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company (NAVMC). On display at the Ikeja Military Cantonment in Lagos state on 6 July were a new version of the Infantry Patrol Vehicle (IPV) fitted with a mounted heavy machinegun; a Tactical Patrol Vehicle with seating for eight personnel, and a Light Tactical Vehicle armoured personnel carrier.NAVMC, officially established at the beginning of this year, is developing several armoured vehicles, for the Nigerian military. . The post Chad orders Ara 2 armoured vehicles from Proforce appeared first on defenceWeb .'

Renault Megane Trophy-R is the definitive hot hatch of 2019

Cars The South African

Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R is a very limited edition hot hatch
'Renault has an enviable reputation for building some of thebest front-wheel drive performance cars around and its latest Mégane RSTrophy-R reinforces the point. Although Renault engineers have not added any addition powerto the Mégane RS’s 1.8-litre engine, there are a host of very impressivetechnical upgrades which gift this new Trophy-R its status. Whereas Renault’s German hot hatch rivals might be morepowerful, and use all-wheel drive to guide the driving experience, the Frenchapproach is slightly different. For the team of engineers tasked with developing the new Renault Mégane RS Trophy-R, their aim was to deliver a uniquely rewarding driving experience – instead of merely boosting more power and trimming time from the car’s acceleration statistics. Distinguished by its mother of pearl paint finish and bold red graphics, the Trophy-R is lighter and features more sophisticated suspension and brake components than any other Renault Mégane. Performance by virtue of lightness The bonnet is carbon-fibre, which saves 8kg over a metalone, and features an aero cut-out. A redesigned rear-axle, unique to theTrophy-R, saves 32kg, and the car’s battery is also much smaller than aconventional Megane’s. Around the rear there’s a carbon-fibre diffusor and thewheels are also composite. Windows are thinner and there isn’t a rear wiper –or even rear seats, for that matter. Total weight savings equal 130kg, whichmean that at 1306kg, this Trophy-R is one of the lightest of all hot hatches. Due to the extreme weight saving regime applied by Renault’stechnical people, there was no requirement to boost engine power. The 1.8-litreengine is good for 220kW and 400Nm, exactly the same numbers that it producesin a standard Mégane RS. A six-speed manual transmission means this Trophy-R runs0-100kph in 5.4 seconds and registers a  top speed of 262kph. But those statistics donot capture the intricate driver appeal of this ultra-lightweight Renault. The Trophy-R’s ability to find traction and glide over bumpsis improved with Ohlins adjustable dampers, sourced from Sweden, and thesuspension geometry has been altered to allow for more negative camber. Rideheight can be adjusted 16mm lower, too, to reduce the car’s centre of gravity. Ensuring superlative traction are Bridgestone S007 tyres and a limited-slipfront differential. Brakes are supplied by Italian specialist, Brembo, andmeasure 390mm in diameter. For the committed hot hatch enthusiast, these new Mégane RS Trophy-R cars will be the definition of purist front-wheel drive motoring. Don’t expect to see many around, though, as global production has been limited to a mere 500 units, with deliveries starting this October.'

NPA forced to withdraw some speeding charges in FS

Cars The South African

People caught for speeding in Free State province may get off scot-free though the NPA wouldn't reveal the exact number.
'The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in the Free State have been forced to withdraw all charges of speeding where the accused were recorded with a ProLaser 4 speed gun. The state failed to prove that the ProLaser 4 speed gun underwent all the necessary tests and received approval from an independent lab to be legally used in the country as revealed by Rapport . The software and hardware versions were unknown and there was no evidence that the devices were sealed after calibration by the manufacturer. A spokesperson for the NPA in the Free State, Phaladi Shuping, confirmed that cases had been withdrawn but couldn’t set the exact figure. What are your rights when stopped for speeding? Motorists who are pulled over for speeding may ask to see the calibration and operator’s certificate for the SME being used by law enforcement officials. The same way those who are subjected to a breathalyser test can. Motorists may also ask to see the appointment certificate of the officer operating the equipment. If law enforcement fail to produce the correct documentation motorists are urged not to become confrontational but to note that for their legal defence. The person operating the SME must be a traffic officer appointed in terms of the road traffic legislation and be in possession of an operator’s certificate for the specific type of Speed Measuring Equipment. According to official guidelines , if the 12 month calibration period has expired, equipment must be re-calibrated before it may be used for prosecution purposes. No prosecution may be instituted where the speed measurement was taken within 300 metres of the commencement of a speed limit zone. The driver should be afforded the opportunity to view the speed measuring equipment if stopped by a traffic officer. To determine if the device is in a visible state of disrepair. Finally your vehicle must be clearly identifiable as the offending vehicle.'

New BMW X6 will be in SA before the end of 2019

Cars The South African

BMW shows new X6, with illuminated grille details.
'BMW has revealed its third-generation X6 and confirmed itwill become available for South African customers later this year. The X6 is even larger than before, with vehicle width now beyond 2m across. It is also 26mm longer bumper-to-bumper, but BMW’s engineers have made it 6mm lower. Despite the slightly larger exterior dimensions, the new X6 does not have any additional stowage space, with luggage capacity rated at 580-litres, as before. Dominating the new X6’s design is an enormous set of BMW’scharacteristic grille kidneys, which feature illumination strips. The largeluxury SUV’s side profile is also complemented by a selection of large alloywheel options, with 21-inch rims as standard fitment – and the option of22-inch wheels. Inside new X6 customers can option the following comfort and convenience features: massaging front seats, a panoramic glass roof, ambient air interior fragrancing package and a Bowers & Wilkins 3D sound system. Two powerful engines for SA South African customers will have the choice of two versions when the X6 arrives locally later this year. The M50i is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8, boosting 390kW and 750Nm. Those customers who would like their third-generation X6 with superior long-distance driving range can choose an M50d version, which features BMW’s triple-turbocharged 3-litre in-line six engines, good for 294kW and 760Nm. Both the X6 derivatives drive all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, although BMW’s engineers have configured torque distribution to mimic rear-wheel-drive characteristics. Performance numbers are impressive, with the M50i running abenchmark 0-100kph time of only 4.3 seconds. The diesel-powered M50d is justunder a second slower, accelerating from 0-100kph in 5.2 seconds. Top speed islimited to 250kph for both models. All new X6s sport two-stage adaptive dampers, roll stabilisation and active steering as a standard feature, which means that despite their size and weight (in excess of 2000kg), driver feedback should be relatively intuitive and agile. Air-suspension is optional, and it allows 80mm of total rideheight adjustment – which should allow an X6 equipped with it to effortlesslyadapt from high-speed cruising ability (with a lower centre of gravity) torelatively accomplished off-road ability, when the highest ride setting isselected. BMW South Africa says that it expects the first consignment of new X6s to arrive in the country by November.'