This year's EUROPOLTECH - The international Fair of Technology and Equipment for the Police and National Security Services - hosted the Eighth International Police Conference and the Fifth International Scientific Conference on Crime Scene Forensics, all in close cooperation with Europol and Interpol. Of course, every relevant domestic ministry and department in Poland also gave this expo and conference their blessings.
Organised by AmberExpo, the same body that organises the Balt Military Expo - the only Baltic naval defence and maritime security exposition and conference, EUROPOLTECH 2017 welcomed a record number of visitors and exhibitors from Poland and as far away as the USA.
Exhibitors with solutions for physical security complements cyber and bio security this year, reflecting the focus of themes found in the press around Europe.
There are many compelling new technologies and innovations from the region - mostly from Poland and the Czech and Slovak Republics. Secure communications, drones/counter-drone, telco and IT hard and software, vehicles (air and land) and screening technologies are present along side ammunition, firearms and non-lethal weapons. As a conference and professional expo that engages and involves a very specific, high-level, specialist audience, EUROPOLTECH exceeds expectations.
There are two main competitors for the expected competition for replacing Poland's police fleet of ageing helicopters: PZL-Swidnik (Leonardo) and Bell (Textron). Both have strong historic ties with Poland and have proven track records as suppliers and ability to keep local labour busy. Textron has supplied the mixed police and rescue fleet with Bell 412s and 206s, while Leonardo has been a longtime customer and partner of PZL-Swidnik before it invested in the company and bought a controlling share of PZL-Swidnik and deeply integrating it into the Leonardo helicopter manufacturing process for helicopter sales worldwide.
The questions are many throughout the industry. We watched the Polish MOD start and stop with a host of modernisation schemes. Often, independently-owned companies in Poland presume that much of the defence contracts are awarded "under the table" to the state-owned defence company / group, PGZ. Many, like WB Group suffer as politics plays a dirty hand of poker against all players betting against the house - the MOD and PGZ. (How is that for a sinister analogy?)
The procurement situation in Poland suffers from a "political nepotism" that will continue to cripple the independent Polish defence industry, stifle competition and diminish great strides of innovation. So, we cannot help but to wonder when will the request for tenders happen, what are the requirements to replace the ageing, mixed, outdated fleet, and who will be selected to fulfil this vital requirement? Only the politicians - and the god they pray to - know.
Known across 82 countries worldwide for its physical and virtual / cyber security (access, ID management, authentication, etc.) Comarch is best known for its video analytics, compressing 30- minutes of CCTV recorded activity into 1,5- minutes and tagging everything from colours to cars with unique and searchable IDs...this includes being able apply filters to video surveillance files and cross-reference with a database from historic archive video data and in Real-Time.
It also takes face recognition a step further by being nearly 100 per cent accurate with only a minimal 50 per cent video image to compare with full face video.
Thermal camera and gunsight manufacturer now makes thermal imaging for drones. While Etronika is often found at MSPO in Kielce and perhaps larger regional defence expos, it now provides police and border security with some compelling technologies for drones. Already selling to countries in Europe and the Middle East, this innovation affords their customers to have the same success with handhelds and weapon mounted systems on unmanned aerial vehicles.
Airbus Defence and Security is introducing a unique opportunity for Poland's smartphone-wielding Blue Light services: Tactilon Agnet, combining TETRA and Broadband on one smartphone. Through its own patented software a smartphone in Poland can contact a TETRA phone in China. This is a serious cost-lowering solution for cash-strapped civil services requiring both TETRA and broadband functionality with one unit per person. This also more easily enables capabilities of these services operating during a widespread crises. Airbus also offers a fully-integrated hardware solution as well, Tactilon Dabat, which is a single smartphone handset capable of broadband and TETRA.
Known for its EW and C3 systems, URC is offering the Polish armed and police forces TS Army - turning a decent shooter into an exceptional shooter. The TS Army is a unique sniper scope that integrates a laser range finder, GPS, compass, live-view feed, weather station (heat / cold, wind, humidity, etc.) and a ballistic measurement into one rifle-mounted unit. It calculates environmental conditions and automatically adjusts the sight to virtually ensure 100 per cent accuracy of every shot. Applicable for snipers - obvious - it can also suit the needs of police and green army soldiers in MOUT, border protection and SWAT-style operations. Hence, can be used and automatically adapts from use on a long rifle or a short weapon too. This innovative device is also available as a binocular, without the "weather station."
PIAP unveiled its latest generation of TRM tactical throw-bot UGV. Being considered for a Europoltech Innovation Award, it has a host of new, unique throw-bot innovations: silent motor, lighter, smaller control panel, ability to control three PIAP throw-bots at once, increased camera and lights, and - this is cool - a flash-bang grenade "Launcher." OK, it silently deploys the FBG in the opponents vicinity, rolls back 50cm, and - FLASH-BANG! - the FBG goes off without damaging the throw-bot unit. Also new at PIAP are increased CBRN functionality of its popular UGV. Popular throughout Asia, PIAP is expanding its export focus into Latin America (new partner in Chile to be announced) and Africa (much interest in key hot-spots, such as Nigeria).
The Hawk System from Hertz (no, the other Hertz) is a multi-sensor system for detecting and neutralising intrusive UAVs. As these airframes evolve beyond being a nuisance, they also increase in offensive capabilities that can deliver death and destruction from terrorists and criminals. The Hawk System ensures that police, internal security services, critical infrastructure facilities, border guards, et al in government and industry have the ability to successfully detect and destroy threats posed by armed and intrusive UAVs. (See MILITARY TECHNOLOGY issue 5/2017 next week for more on unmanned systems) Unique benefits of the Hawk System include: innovative radar sensor; FMCW radar transceiver at X-band - even operating in the unlicensed 9650 MHz band; individual configuration of surveillance zones and parameters for unwanted objects; and, modular configurability and system extendability.
Unseen outside of Poland before Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów (ZMT, part of the state-owned defence holding company PGZ) presented its containerised shooting range to MONS at Europoltech 2017 in Gdansk. ZMT's Mobile Container Shooting Range accommodates live and simulated (laser) fire training, using a number of different simulated scenarios and target training tools. Because of its configuration, modularity and size, personnel can train in pairs or three-person squads, shooting in different formations and positions. The Range allows trainees to fire live rounds from pistols up to 11,43mm and assault rifles of up to 9mmth single fire and standard JHP, FMJ bullets with soft core ammo fired with initial velocity at a maximum of 1000 m/s, energy up to1000 J and air rifles. Firing line position can start from five to 50 metres. Currently, the police armed services and special operations services use this solution as part of their training regimen. It is worth mentioning that ZMT also produces a range of award-winning sniper rifles in 7,62 (x51mm), .338 (Lapua Magnum), and 12,7 (x99mm) calibres, as well as mortars, heavy and multi-barrel machine guns (upward to 50 cal. BMG) and grenade launchers.
Modułowe Strzelnice Taktyczne (MoST) from Klimawent has a semi-mobile, bespoke, modular, indoor firing range that can accommodate eight simultaneous shooters at a time. The packed rubber granulate walls (resembling breeze blocks) can handle upwards of 1 million rounds before replacement. The range has advanced sound dampening and air filter system to reduce external noise and internal harmful gases associated with live-firing. Trainees can stand directly in front of the granulate block walls and fire directly into them without risk of ricochet or skip-firing. The range can accommodate 5.56, 7.62 and 9mm rounds from pistols and assault rifles. Range distances are scalable from 25 - 100 metres.
Four-year old UAV company DRONY launched two new drones at Europoltech 2017. Ideally sted for police, public order and private security. Model DC1 Ważka (Dragonfly) is a very lightweight, fixed-wing UAV that carries a small payload and is capable of vertical take-offs and landings as well as adjusting from vertical to horizontal flight positions and back again during its 1 hour flight time. Weighing only 1,6 kg it travels at speeds from 12 - 20 m/s in normal weather conditions. It comes with spare parts, and an extra rechargeable battery for under €5000 / unit. Model DC1 Mucha (Housefly) is a four-prop fan-copter that is very useful for police, fire and rescue teams because of its 60-minute flight time - they claim it is one of the longest for this category of fan-copters - and digital message board on the backside of the craft. It also has port and starboard lights to indicate the front-forward direction of the aircraft.
Krypton Polska offers corporations, critical infrastructure facilities, governments, militaries and police extremely cost-effective solutions for protecting classified information in IP networks with next generation confidential level cryptographic security systems. The Krypton Management Centre coordinates and encrypts data, voice and video media through its K2 IP Encryptor, which is moved or stored in a WAN of communication or management tunnels. These tunnels are connected to the management centre via another K2 Encryptor and the Krypton AZK2 Management Software that creates and hosts a dedicated applications and services environment for the K2 system. At the top is the Krypton HSM2, the Hardware Security Module that is certified to protect classified CONFIDENTIAL level information via this dedicated hardware platform that uses cryptographic algorithms and protocols. It also secures storage and restoration of CA keys and sharing of CA keys from electronic cards. The Krypton K2 Cryptographic Security System of Classified Information in IP Networks offer a comprehensive solution for establishing VPN networks for a range of public and private sector customers. As it is easy to integrate with existing soft and hard infrastructures, it has wide configuration capabilities for government, public order, intelligence and military organisations. Its centralised secure management is supported by strong authentication system of components based on dedicated PKI, unique to Krypton Polska.
Although Haix started supplying the Polish fire brigades with its performance protective footwear over 20-years ago, it has been five-years since the first Haix boots were sold to the Polish MOD. Today, Polish firefighters wear Fire Eagle and Fire Hero, while the Polish Police find the GSG9-S to be the best performing boot for them. To-date, the Haix is hoping to repeat its success in Poland as it achieved with the MODs of Great Britain, France and Germany. The initial individual sales to Polish troops indicate that there is a strong preference for their high-performing footwear in Poland.
Television and cinema police stories always show investigators interrogating suspects and witnesses, using tape recording devices. These are awkward, unsecured, and vulnerable to damage. Whole cases against criminals could fail if tapes are lost. Dales introduced for the first time at Europoltech its 16GB Digital Audio Recorder. This device is used for gathering testimonial evidence by the police, while also serving as a back-up for both police and military encounters with the public. Discreet in its profile, the recorder can provide "CYA" evidence for personnel who are the target of inquiries and court-martials, when unfortunate collateral events result in harmed civilians etc cetera.
In addition to hospitals and banks to which a steady electrical power supply is vital to lives and financial security, emergency services and secure facilities now have access to reliable, seamless back-up power with Comex's USP Cover family of power solutions. These include power management and redundancy for mission critical systems (including data and communications), ranging from rack models to large, industrial-strength, free-standing aggregate power generators. The Comex solutions are exported to more than a dozen countries worldwide, providing increased reliability and power when a catastrophe or natural disaster cripples energy supplies necessary to keep police, emergency services, even defence organisations functioning at optimum levels.
Megal Safety Glass presented several different levels of safety glass protection this week at Europoltech. To-date, most government buildings in Poland, as well as armoured vehicles, have Megal's safety glass and framing installed. Their bulletproof glass is rated from BR2-BR7, break-resistant from P4-P8, and bullet proof in construction in categories from FB3 to FB7.
Their safety glass windows, walls and partitions in buildings are able to withstand explosive blasts, vandalism, and criminal, political and terrorist attacks, including some level of fire. Megal glass for protected vehicles ranges from small arms fire to STANAG 4569 level II. Although Megal rarely exhibits outside Poland, they are licensed to export to undisclosed companies and governments worldwide.
This Slovak-Polish company deploys its bespoke scalable network communications systems (analog and digital) to blue-light and armed services internationally over the past 15-years. Their communication system is the strongest challenger to Saab Group's TactiCal, which relies on touch-screen integrated computers and soft-switch connections between different modes and nodes of communication.
Elvys is able to coordinate and link different communications platforms together through soft switching via their own hard and software solutions that provide redundant, seamless communications between different ministries, agencies and services. With back-ups for power and activity, hardware is hot-swappable and fully operational within five seconds and overall latency between nodes in a system is 30 milliseconds, which is one of the lowest in this category. Elvys also completed a project in Colombia for their army, working in coordination with a partner. All hardware is built in the Slovak Republic, nothing imported from Asia.
The latest generation of the MSBS (Polish acronym for "Modular Small Arms System") family of assault rifle. It was developed and created jointly between FB and the Military Technology University. According to the MSBS Programme (related to the Tytan and regular army modernisation programmes), this 5.56 cal. rifle comes in classic carbine and bull-pup configurations both share the same upper receiver and barrel modules, which automatically affords some operational and maintenance benefits.
The latest MSBS allows for numerous variants that incorporate basic modules - such as the barrel group, upper receiver and bolt-carrier, which are interchangeable between the two main configurations. This means that soldiers and SOFs have the ability to quickly swap rifle elements to orientate their weapon for individual mission requirements and preferences.
Regardless of configuration, the weapon is highly-ergonomic and ambidextrous. In relation to its ambidextrous format, cartridges exit left or right. According to FB, it is "Fully-fitted for current and future battlefield conditions."
The modular interchangeability of the assault rifle is one of its main benefits. The gas block, fire control group and under-barrel (40mm) grenade launcher and stock enable quick conversions to the rifle assembly to fulfil specific personnel mission roles, including fire support. Currently, this weapon is about to go to the Polish Armed Forces for evaluation of its technical requirements fulfilment.