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03 Aug 23. Pakistani defense conglomerate unveils new drone, missiles at IDEF. A Pakistani defense conglomerate has unveiled new missiles and a drone during Turkey’s IDEF defense conference.
During the event, which ran July 25-28, Global Industrial and Defence Solutions showed off its Faaz-RF and Faaz-IIR medium-range, air-to-air missiles, as well as the Shahpar III medium-altitude, long-endurance combat drone.
The Faaz missiles and the unmanned system on display were mockups, GIDS chief executive Asad Kamal told Defense News.
The Faaz-RF is active radar-guided missile, while the Faaz-IIR has an imaging infrared seeker. (Courtesy of Global Industrial and Defence Solutions)
The Faaz-RF is an active radar-guided missile, while the Faaz-IIR features an imaging infrared seeker. Both have a range exceeding 100 kilometers (62 miles), can reach a speech of Mach 3.5 and can fly 6,000 feet above sea level, according to GIDS.
The Faaz-RF seeker has a 25-kilometer detection range, and the Faaz-IIR a 40-kilometer range.
The Faaz design appears to have been partly inspired by the Chinese SD-10/PL-12 weapon, which is produced under license by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. GIDS said its products are locally developed and owns the intellectual property rights.
Shahpar III is a Group 4+ drone able to carry weapons, meaning it weighs more than 1,320 pounds.It has six hardpoints for up to 530 kilograms (1,168 pounds) of disposable stores; a 1,650-kilogram maximum takeoff weight; the option for an internal payload; indigenously developed avionics; anti-icing/deicing system; a 1553 architecture dual-redundant flight control computer; and multiple sensor options, including electro-optical/infrared, synthetic aperture radar, communications intelligence and signals intelligence.
Engine configurations of 140 horsepower and 170 horsepower are available, both with a 300-kilometer line-of-sight and 3,000-kilometer beyond line-of-sight range. However, the 140-horsepower option has a 30,000-foot ceiling when rigged for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and a 24-hour endurance, and a 28,000-foot ceiling and 17-hour endurance when armed.
The figures for the 170-horsepower variant are 41,000 feet and 40 hours, and 35,000 feet and 35 hours, respectively.
The engines are foreign, but GIDS did not disclose the origin.
Shahpar III will be available for export next year after in-house trials, the organization said. (Source: Defense News)
03 Aug 23. RTX, Rafael eye Arkansas site to make air defense missiles. U.S. Marine Corps officials have met with defense industry representatives in Arkansas to discuss a potential facility to build air defense missiles pivotal to the service’s modernization plans.
The Corps’ Program Executive Office Land Systems has worked since 2018 to combine existing technology to create a short- to medium-range air defense system to defend Marines against cruise missiles and other airborne threats. This effort for a so-called Medium Range Intercept Capability incorporates two systems already in the service’s inventory: the Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar, and the Common Aviation Command and Control System.
It also relies on a piece of Israeli gear: the Tamir intercept missile built by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems that’s part of the Iron Dome homeland defense system.
Rafael is partnering with the American firm RTX (formerly Raytheon Technologies) to build these missiles in the U.S. under the collaborative name Raytheon Rafael Systems, or R2S. Company representatives met with program officials in Camden, Arkansas, on July 19 to discuss their concept for a production facility and to tour the potential site, the Marine Corps announced this week.
“This will be a great thing for the Medium Range Intercept Capability program and for the USMC, if this occurs,” Don Kelley, the program manager for ground-based air defense at PEO Land Systems, said in a service statement. The statement noted the location would not only provide a U.S. production line for the American version of the missile, dubbed SkyHunter, but could also serve as a second source of Tamir missiles for the Israel Missile Defense Organization.
Marines put the intercept capability through a series of successful live-fire tests in September. In December, the service decided to move forward and prepare a first platoon for a deployment in fiscal 2025. In a later decision, the service determined it would buy Medium Range Intercept Capability systems for up to three batteries from FY25 to FY27.
“We’re excited that MRIC testing has gone well and by all accounts the [U.S. Marine Corps] is moving forward with this important air defense program. It’s premature, at the moment, to confirm details related to the status or the location of our planned U.S. production facility. When established, it will be the first production facility in the U.S. to help support the [Defense Department] and allies across the globe with this highly-capable, medium-range air defense weapon system,” RTX told Defense News in a written statement.
The two businesses announced in 2020 they would establish an “all-up-round” Iron Dome production facility in the U.S. They had already partnered on the program, following a 2014 agreement for RTX to supply major components of the Tamir missile to support Rafael as the prime contractor.
“While a significant portion of Iron Dome is already built in the U.S., Rafael is cooperating and coordinating with our U.S. partner, Raytheon, regarding increasing U.S. production for our U.S. customers. This is part of our broader commitment to fully Americanize the system and meet U.S. requirements for technology transfer,” Rafael told Defense News in a statement.
The Corps is refining and beginning to execute operational concepts that rely on spreading out small groups of Marines across an operating area that’s within range of enemy weapons. The Medium Range Intercept Capability would be an “imperative” organic air defense capability for these Marines, according to the service, keeping them safe so they can focus on other missions like surveillance, setting up refueling and replenishment hubs, and firing on enemy targets.
The capability would detect, track, identify and defeat incoming cruise missiles and other manned and unmanned aerial threats.
The system was established as a middle-tier acquisition rapid prototyping effort and went from concept to live-fire testing in less than five years.
“Force Design 2030 [the service’s modernization effort] and updates emphasize experimentation and a strong air defense for the Marine Corps,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Beck, product manager for the envisioned capability. “Middle tier acquisition, with rapid prototyping, aligns with these goals. By integrating high technology readiness level components and seeking Marine feedback through small-scale deployments, we can refine and scale the Medium-Range Intercept Capability and get it to the fleet in a timely manner.”
“The real challenge lies in introducing this unprecedented system to the Marines who have no prior analogous equipment,” he added, but training and logistics teams are already working to build skill sets for those who would operate this system.
Even as the service works toward a first platoon deployment with a prototype in 2025, the program office is moving toward beginning formal procurement of the Medium-Range Intercept Capability system.
A quick-reaction assessment under the middle-tier acquisition rapid prototyping framework would take place in September 2024, the Corps reported, and the program could enter production in FY25. (Source: Defense News)
03 Aug 23. Eyeing China in the Pacific, US studies explosives to make missiles fly farther. U.S. officials want to tinker with the mix of chemicals fueling missiles and rockets to gain an advantage in the Pacific by increasing the range of its frontline munitions so U.S. forces can operate farther away from China.
The Pentagon and Congress are looking at a retrofit that could extend ranges for some current weapons as much as 20% by using more powerful propellants and lighter warheads, two congressional aides and two U.S. officials said who spoke to Reuters under the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Last week, the Senate revealed bill language earmarking at least $13 million to plan, expand and manufacture chemical compounds that can be used to propel missiles, or replace the explosive material in warheads, known as “energetics”.
Although a fraction of the $886 billion defense bill making its way through Congress, the funding starts a process that could ultimately lead to billions of dollars of new spending on munitions.
The Democrat-controlled Senate and Republican-held House of Representatives still need to negotiate final funding levels for the concept, but there is general agreement on the bipartisan effort to deter China.
The “distance in the Indo-Pacific and sheer size of (China’s) Navy means the U.S. needs more ship-killing missiles that can reach distant targets,” Representative Mike Gallagher told Reuters. China views the U.S. in the Pacific as a threat, ramping up its own military presence in response.
“Unfortunately, the Pentagon has grown complacent using 1940s-era energetics and neglected advanced energetics like CL-20 that are necessary to increasing the range and lethality of our force. Every foot farther a missile can travel is a foot farther an American service member is from danger.”
Pending final approval in Congress, the bill would set in motion a Pentagon program to try to add more range to existing weapons using chemicals such as China Lake Compound #20, also known as CL-20, aides and people familiar with the plan told Reuters.
Developed by a government laboratory in California back in the 1980s, CL-20 is one of the most discussed chemical compounds under consideration, one senior defense official said. Congress has gravitated to studies, like one published in 2021, that said repowering a rocket with CL-20 – along with other changes – could extend its range by about 20%.
A paper by the Energetics Technology Center said new energetic materials give a 400-pound bomb “the same lethality as a current 1000-pound bomb,” adding China makes “CL-20 on an industrial scale and built it into weapons systems.”
Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) is one of the main makers of CL-20 in the United States. The other main rocket motor maker is Aerojet Rocketdyne which was purchased last week by L3Harris Technologies (LHX.N).
The Senate earmarked funds would be used to establish an office for energetic materials within the Department of Defense answering to the Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, according to the legislation.
The office would be a coordinating body across the Army, Navy and Air Force to cut through institutional red tape.
“This relatively modest investment for energetics is a meaningful and important initiative,” said Tom Karako, a weapons expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Karako said the cost of re-powering or using new explosive chemicals in weapons in the U.S. inventory could be in the billions of dollars, adding that the figure was heavily dependent on which weapons were re-powered, and how many were modified or purchased.
Iain Overton, executive director with the nonprofit Action on Armed Violence, said the race to tweak already lethal weapons was not progress.
“History is said to repeat itself, and in the sense that arms races always end badly,” he said. “Does bigger, more deadly weapons make us safer? The answer is a resounding: no. In the last decade, when explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 90% of those reported killed or injured globally were civilians.”
The House version of the annual defense bill requires the Pentagon to run a CL-20 pilot program that switches out either the explosive or propellant in three existing weapons.
The House version does not name any weapons, but Bob Kavetsky with the Energetics Technology Center said candidates for the new chemicals include the Lockheed Martin-made (LMT.N) long range anti-ship missiles and extended range air-to-surface missiles. Other candidates include Harpoon anti-ship missile made by Boeing (BA.N) and Javelin anti-tank weapons made by Lockheed and RTX (RTX.N). (Source: Reuters)
01 Aug 23. Poland to establish HIMARS academy and rocket brigade. Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak approved the establishment of a High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) academy and the 1st Rocket Brigade, Błaszczak’s ministry announced on its website on 27 July. The brigade will be based in Toruń in north-central Poland and Orzysz, 120 km from the Belarusian border.
Modelled on the Abrams Tank Training Academy in Biedrusko, the HIMARS academy will provide training and logistics for the system. The training will take place at the Toruń training area, according to Błaszczak. The academy would also be used for co-operation with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which are also procuring HIMARS, he said.
Poland signed a USD414 million Foreign Military Sales agreement with the United States in February 2019 for 20 M142 HIMARS launchers, including two for training; Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) and Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) ammunition; Low Cost Reduced Range (LCRR) Practice Rockets; command vehicles, ammunition carriers, and trucks; and logistics, training, and technical support.
The Polish army received its first five HIMARSs on 15 May. (Source: Janes)
03 Aug 23. BRAZILIAN ARMY -RFP / “request for proposal.” It was published today, August 3, 2023, on the website of the Brazilian Army Commission in Washington (CEBW), the launch of the request for proposal / request for bidding (“request for proposal” – RFP / “request for tender” – RFT ) No. 01/2023 to obtain the 155mm self-propelled howitzer combat armored vehicle on wheels (VBCOAP 155mm SR) from the Brazilian Army (EB), through the Chief of Material (CMat, ex-DMat), body of the Logistic Command (COLOG ).
CAESAR from KNDS
The project aims at 36 vehicles, through two contracts (as was the case with the VBC Cav): two initial ones, for a prototype lot for evaluation, and the 34 after homologation, with deliveries taking place over eight years, in a manner compatible with the availability of resources and operational needs of the armored units of the EB. The final objective is to equip three divisional Artillery groups or mechanized brigades, with twelve vehicles each.
***The documentation regarding the process and guidelines for participation will be available for download from August 17, 2023.
Interested industries contact us to receive the complete documentation (RFP). (Source: LinkedIN)
03 Aug 23. Poland and US achieve artillery command-and-control system interoperability. Poland has proven the interoperability of its army’s Topaz integrated combat management system (ICMS) with US artillery command-and-control systems. During trials at Poland’s War Studies University in Rembertów from 7 to 21 July, Topaz was successfully plugged into the Artillery Systems Cooperation Activities (ASCA) interface.
To join ASCA, Poland must prove the interoperability of its national ICMS with other members of the programme by providing real-time links and command transfers using the ASCA interface. Sponsored to join ASCA by the United States, Poland tested the interoperability of Topaz with the US Army’s Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS). During the trials, more than 200 tests and 160 simulated joint fire missions were successfully performed. The certification of Topaz will allow the US-made International Field Artillery Tactical Data System – Poland (IFATDS-PL), delivered with Poland’s first High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) divisional fire module, to be plugged into the Polish Army’s artillery automated command-and-control systems. (Source: Janes)
03 Aug 23. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has opened a Hypersonics Capability Center (HCC) in Elkton, Maryland to produce advanced propulsion solutions that can power hypersonic missiles beyond Mach 5.
- A factory-of-the-future, the HCC establishes the infrastructure and capacity necessary to cost-effectively produce hypersonic propulsion at scale supporting the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) growing demands for long range, rapid response weapons.
- The HCC is the first U.S. facility designed specifically for large-scale manufacturing of air-breathing propulsion which includes ramjet and scramjet propulsion.
- The facility will support the U.S. Air Force’s Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile development and production and has capacity to support future hypersonic systems work from across DoD.
- The HCC features state-of-the-art production technology, implements digital engineering and consolidates engine manufacturing processes, supporting cost reduction and increased production.
Jim Kalberer, vice president, missile products, Northrop Grumman: “This is a pivotal moment for hypersonics weapons; we have moved beyond building and demonstrating propulsion prototypes to large-scale manufacturing. Our proactive investment in this facility establishes the supply chain and optimizes manufacturing processes to produce hypersonic systems affordably at scale.”
Kevin Anderson, Maryland Commerce Secretary: “Having Northrop Grumman expand its footprint in Maryland is a testament to our state’s thriving aerospace and defense industry. With the addition of this new facility, Cecil County is gaining a first-of-its-kind manufacturing center, as well as a significant number of new jobs. We are incredibly grateful to Northrop Grumman for its continued investment in Maryland.”
Details on Northrop Grumman’s Hypersonics Capability Center:
Northrop Grumman is a leader in hypersonic propulsion, which is part of the company’s broad offerings in advanced weapons, including armaments, components, missiles, electronics and interceptors.
The HCC is Northrop Grumman’s latest manufacturing infrastructure allies. The HCC leverages state of the art metal manufacturing processes and precision non-destructive test technologies to rapidly produce complex assemblies with unmatched quality. These new offerings will also drive opportunities across the region for additional technically skilled high-wage jobs, engineers and other professional roles at the Elkton facility.
The company is also investing in a new missile integration facility at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in West Virginia for production of advanced defense and strike missiles, as well as expanding and optimizing solid rocket motor production at its facility in Promontory, Utah.
02 Aug 23. HYDIS² consortium project for hypersonic defence interceptor proposed for funding by the European Commission. In May 2023, the HYDIS² consortium, composed of 19 partners and more than 20 subcontractors across 14 European countries, submitted a proposal for a concept architecture and technology maturation study of an endo-atmospheric interceptor against new high-end emerging threats, in the framework of the European Defence Fund 2023 work programme. On the 12th of July 2023, following a positive evaluation, the European Commission proposed the project for funding.
The consortium, coordinated by MBDA, proposed HYDIS² (HYpersonic Defence Interceptor Study), a project that brings together Defence groups, institutions, SMEs, mid-caps and universities. It gathers the best competences in the domains of missiles from across the European Union. France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have already confirmed their support and commitment by signing a Letter of Intent and agreeing on Initial Common Requirements.
The objective of HYDIS² is to study various interceptor concepts and bring to maturity the associated critical technologies to deliver the best counter-hypersonic and anti-ballistic interception solution that fulfils the four Member States needs and addresses the needs of the European PESCO TWISTER capability programme. This is a central element of the contribution of European states to the mission of defence of populations and armed forces, in particular against the emerging hypersonic threats that constitute a radical change from ballistic ones.
The HYDIS² consortium brings together 19 partners and more than 20 subcontractors in 14 European countries. The partners are ArianeGroup, AVIO, Avio Aero, Bayern-Chemie, CIRA, DLR, GKN Fokker, LYNRED, MBDA España, MBDA France, MBDA Germany, MBDA Italia, OHB System AG, ONERA, ROXEL France, THALES LAS France, TDW, THALES Netherlands and TNO.
HYDIS² contributes to the AQUILA interceptor project, proposing the most valuable counter-hypersonic interceptor concepts for European nations, alongside a global area defence portfolio with other MBDA air defence products.
01 Aug 23. US Army readies new artillery strategy spurred by war in Ukraine. The U.S. Army is working on a new conventional fires strategy expected by the end of this year, according to Gen. James Rainey, who leads Army Futures Command.
“We did a very deliberate strategic fires study that underpin the long-range precision fires efforts,” Rainey told Defense News in an exclusive July 27 interview on his way to Fort Liberty, North Carolina, to speak to soldiers at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Warfighter Summit.
“We’re doing that same thing now for conventional fires,” he said, adding that “precision fires are critical, but conventional fires are critical also.”
Rainey said the time has come for analysis that can inform the artillery strategy based on both “what’s happening in Ukraine” as well as what U.S. Army Pacific needs in terms of conventional fires.
Indeed, the Army has sent large amounts of artillery to aid Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion, including at least 198 155mm howitzers, 72 105mm howitzers, several million artillery rounds and 38 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, according to a July 25 Pentagon fact sheet.
The strategy will determine both capability and capacity of what exists and what the Army may need, Rainey said. The strategy will also consider new technology to enhance conventional fires on the battlefield, such as advances in propellant that make it possible for midrange cannons to shoot as far as longer-range systems.
Robotics is another area that will influence the strategy, such as autoloaders for munitions. The Army has experimented with autoloaders for artillery as well as ways to improve howitzer firing rates overall.
“Some of our NATO allies have some really good kit [and] capability that we’re interested in,” Rainey noted.
The Army is currently developing an Extended Range Cannon Artillery system that uses a service-developed 58-caliber gun tube mounted on the chassis of a BAE Systems-made Paladin Integrated Management howitzer.
The Army is building 20 prototypes of the ERCA system: two for destructive testing, and the remaining 18 for a battalion set to receive the weapons by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023. That unit will then run the cannons through a yearlong operational test.
Observations in early testing of prototypes are showing excessive wear on the gun tube after firing a relatively low number of rounds. The Army plans to gather more information throughout operational testing to determine reliability.
The service is already looking at ways to improve the rate of fire before the gun tube requires replacement through adjustments in materials used and the design of the tube, adjustments to propellants, and the design of artillery rounds fired from the cannon.
ERCA’s role in the strategy remains to be seen, but the prototype program is experiencing some delay, according to Doug Bush, the Army’s acquisition chief.
Even so, “the requirement for extended-range fires is absolutely a valid requirement,” Rainey said.
“I think everything we’re seeing in Ukraine [is] about the relevance of precision fires, all the emerging technology, but the big killer on the battlefield is conventional artillery, high-explosive artillery,” he said.
The Army previously planned for a Strategic Long-Range Cannon that would achieve artillery ranges of 1,000 nautical miles, but scuttled the science and technology program in 2022.
The service also took a look at readily available 155mm mobile howitzers in 2020 in order to find anything that might offer an improvement in range, rate of fire, and mobility over the artillery systems used within Stryker brigade combat teams. The Army evaluated at least four foreign companies’ offerings in a shoot-off but did not move forward with a new capability. (Source: Defense News)
02 Aug 23. Elbit Systems complete Israeli sea trials of countermeasure dispensing system. Fourth generation EW system exemplifies Elbit Systems’ anti-missile defence capabilities as the Israeli Navy completes successful sea trials. Elbit Systems, a global defence technology company, has concluded a series of sea trials for the DESEAVER MK-4 Counter Measure Dispensing System (CMDS) aboard Israeli Navy vessels.
The maritime Electronic Warfare (EW) system showcased its capability in countering complex missile attacks, solidifying its position as a component within Elbit Systems’ Integrated Electronic Warfare Suite (IEWS).
In collaboration with Elbit Systems, the Israeli Navy has announced the conclusion of a series of sea trials for the DESEAVER MK-4 CMDS, which has been integrated into Israeli Navy vessels.
These trials evaluated the DESEAVER MK-4’s ability to effectively counter complex missile attack scenarios, including deploying decoy rounds from multiple launchers against simultaneous threats. The system is part of Elbit Systems’ Integrated Electronic Warfare Suite (IEWS), and its performance underlined its soft-kill anti-missile defence capabilities.
As the fourth generation of EW dispensing systems, the DESEAVER MK-4 system represents an advancement in maritime Electronic Warfare. It brings various soft-kill anti-missile defence capabilities to the fore, reinforcing the Israeli Navy’s defences against evolving threats. Moreover, the technology’s implementation emphasises its reliability and advanced protection features.
The DESEAVER MK-4 system hosts a multi-directional perimeter protection mechanism, handling concurrent missile threats from varying angles. The system’s agility is derived from its trainable and stabilised launchers, enabling accurate deployment of algorithm-selected decoys. Passive and active decoys work in tandem to mislead incoming threats effectively.
Notably, the DESEAVER MK-4 system is integrated with existing ship combat systems, a feature that has also been a hallmark of its predecessors. This integration ensures a cohesive defence strategy, enhancing the overall protection capabilities of naval assets.
Oren Sabag, General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR & EW, expressed pride in the company’s ongoing collaboration with the Israeli Navy. “We are proud of our ongoing cooperation with and support of the Israeli Navy. The successful completion of these trials provides further proof of the reliability of our technology and the advanced protection capabilities they provide against new and evolving threats.”
With its successful completion of sea trials, the DESEAVER MK-4 system has not only elevated the Israeli Navy’s defence capabilities but also paved the way for potential adoption by international naval forces seeking advanced maritime Electronic Warfare solutions.
Elbit Systems reported an increase of 17% in revenue in their ISTAR and EW business segment, to $294.7m (NIS1bn) in the first quarter of 2023 from $251.5m in the first quarter of 2022, mainly due to Electronic Warfare systems sales. (Source: naval-technology.com)
02 Aug 23. US to build guided weapons in Australia as part of GWEO.
Australia’s Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise (GWEO) will start by manufacturing guided weapons as part of the US supply chain, following an agreement announced at the 33rd AUSMIN (Australia-US Ministerial) talks at the end of July in Brisbane.
The two countries agreed to collaborate on a flexible guided weapons production capability in Australia, with an initial focus on co-production of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) by 2025. This is key to expanding the combined industrial power of the Alliance and to building Australia’s industrial infrastructure and skilled workforce, the two governments said in a joint communique.
Following the Defence Strategic Review the GWEO was allocated $2.5bn in funding; the GWEO has two Strategic Partners, Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia, who manufacture between them most of the guided weapons used by the ADF. GWEO has also named three Enterprise Partners, Aurecon, Australian Missile Corporation (owned by NIOA Group) and the Sovereign Missile Alliance (SMA), a joint venture between EOS Defence and Nova Systems.
They also reaffirmed their commitment to transfer technical data for the M795 155mm artillery shell in support of future production in Australia as well as to progress the maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade of priority munitions in Australia, noting this would enhance supply chain resilience. The initial focus will be on MK-48 heavyweight torpedoes and SM-2 missiles.
This was the first AUSMIN since 2022 and the two governments were represented as always by their respective Ministers or Secretaries for Defence and Foreign Affairs. The communique from this year’s AUSMIN talks included:
- establishing a Combined Intelligence Centre – Australia within Australia’s Defence Intelligence Organisation by 2024. The Centre would further enhance the long-standing intelligence cooperation between the Australian Defence Intelligence Organisation and the US Defense Intelligence Agency, focused on analysing issues of shared strategic concern in the Indo-Pacific
- collaboration on critical technologies and innovation to ensure the Alliance’s asymmetrical capability edge and to explore opportunities for regional co-development, co-production, and co-sustainment aligned to agreed capability priorities
- future collaboration between Australia’s Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator and the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency and Strategic Capabilities Office including on synergies for planned capability programs
- upgrades at key northern Australian bases, including RAAF Bases Darwin, Tindal, Scherger and Curtin.
- Enhanced Air Cooperation and the rotation of US Navy Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft in Australia
- Enhanced Maritime Cooperation including more regular and longer visits of U.S. SSNs from 2023 to Australia, with a focus on HMAS Stirling. These visits would help build Australia’s capacity in preparation for Submarine Rotational Force-West, an important milestone for the AUKUS Optimal Pathway that would commence as early as 2027
- a regular rotation of US Army Watercraft in Australia, commencing with participation in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE.
- A ‘proof of principle’ prepositioning of US Army stores and materiel in Bandiana, Australia as a precursor to the longer-term establishment of an enduring Logistics Support Area in Queensland
- enhanced trilateral Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) cooperation with Japan
- streamlined defence trade controls and information sharing between the two countries (Source: https://www.ex2.com.au/news/)
28 Jul 23. LM to Scale Its Highest Powered Laser to 500 Kilowatts Power Level.
- The 500 kW-class laser to support military platforms as part of phase two of the Department of Defense’s HELSI effort
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) will scale its laser technology to a new benchmark: a 500 kW-class laser, the most powerful laser Lockheed Martin has produced, topping its 300 kW-class laser power level developed under a contract from the Department of Defense’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering, OUSD (R&E). The 500 kW-class laser, developed under a new contract just awarded by OUSD (R&E), is the second phase of the High Energy Laser Scaling Initiative (HELSI).
This phase of HELSI aims to increase the laser’s power level while achieving excellent beam quality and optimizing efficiency, size, weight, and volume for the continuous-wave high energy laser sources. Proving this capability will reduce risk for the Department of Defense acquisition and fielding of high-powered laser weapon systems for all six military branches.
“OUSD (R&E) has invested to mature high energy lasers in support of America’s warfighters. At the same time, Lockheed Martin has invested in our production infrastructure in anticipation of the Department of Defense’s demand for laser weapons that have additional layers of protection with deep magazines, low cost per engagement, high speed of light delivery and high precision response reducing logistics requirements,” said Rick Cordaro, vice president of Mission Systems & Weapons at Lockheed Martin. “The 500-kW laser will incorporate our successes from the 300-kW system and lessons learned from legacy programs to further prove the capability to defend against a range of threats.”
Lockheed Martin is a proven weapon system integrator and has invested in demonstrating the maturity of its directed energy technology and increasing its production capacity to build laser weapon systems at scale. This OUSD (R&E) HELSI milestone exemplifies Lockheed Martin’s commitment to develop advanced technologies that provide speed and agility to Joint All-Domain Operations.
The 500 kW-class laser will be tactically configured, utilize Lockheed Martin’s proven spectral beam combined architecture to support military platforms, and incorporate Department of Defense Modular Open System Approach standards to ensure the systems interoperability and multi-mission integration.
Lockheed Martin applies more than 40 years of experience in the research, design, development, and capture of electromagnetic energy to elevate its power for innovative 21st Century Security solutions. (Source: ASD Network)
01 Aug 23. VINCORION Provides Power for Switzerland’s new Patriot Missile Defense System by Raytheon. Switzerland has ordered five Patriot™ air and missile defense systems from U.S. manufacturer Raytheon as the Swiss air defense solution under the “Air 2030” program. The power supply for the systems is being provided by the technology company VINCORION, based in Wedel near Hamburg, Germany.
VINCORION is proud to provide the power supply for one of the world’s best air defense systems, as it has again been proven in the Ukraine recently. “This provides the Patriot system with a stable, reliable and battle proven power supply for the radar and fire units”, Stefan Stenzel, CEO of VINCORION, affirms.
Self-Sufficient Radar Operation
The order includes “EPP radarV” (“Electric Power Plants”) units that supply power to the radar system and 15-kilowatt power generators that will be supplied for the Patriot launcher. The order further includes frequency converters rated at 150 kilowatts and converters rated at two times 15 kilowatts each. This allows to power the Patriot System without any CO2 emissions directly from the public grid. In this configuration, the generators remain as back-up power source. “Security and military superiority depend on reliable radar operation that is self-sufficient at all times,” emphasizes Stefan Stenzel. VINCORION manufactures the power supply for Patriot at its site in Altenstadt, Bavaria.
In June of 2021, the Swiss Government announced its intent to purchase the proven Patriot™ system for its ground-based air defence, selected as the preferred solution after evaluation as part of the competitive BODLUV GR Air2030 tender.
Modernizing the Patriot system’s energy supply
Patriot is an air and missile defense system consisting of radars, command and control, and interceptor missiles. It can detect, identify, and engage cruise missiles, drones, advanced fighter aircraft and other airborne threats.
VINCORION is consistently working on modernizing the energy supply. To this end, the company is developing new hybrid solutions. These can reduce fuel consumption and thus lead to lower operating costs. This is because lower emissions mean lower consumption of resources – and help reduce the number of personnel who have to be deployed for refueling operations, for example. However, there are no compromises in terms of performance.
The Patriot system is the basis for an integrated air and missile defense system for 18 nations. In Europe, the system’s customers include Germany, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Romania. VINCORION has been a supplier to Patriot for 30 years.
VINCORION receives supplier award from Raytheon
The technology company VINCORION has also won the “Raytheon Technologies Premier Award 2022″.
Once again, the award recognizes VINCORION’s achievements in the area of ” Collaboration & Customer Service”. The award is presented by Raytheon on an annual basis in four categories: ‘Cost Competitiveness’, ‘Business Management’, ‘Technology & Innovation’ and ‘Collaboration & Customer Service’. Out of the 7,000 suppliers working with Raytheon, 41 winners were recognized.
VINCORION’s energy-related developments are tailored on the products of Raytheon, where they contribute to the systems’ reliability and performance. “We are honored to receive this prestigious award. We thank Raytheon for recognizing the outstanding efforts of our teams,” responded VINCORION’s CEO Dr. Stefan Stenzel. “We value our partnership and will continue to meet our customers’ needs by providing superior service, innovating and collaborating. We look forward to continuing to succeed in the years to come.”
Raytheon Technologies has recognized Vincorion Power Systems GmbH with the Premier Award for performance in 2022 and overall excellence in Collaboration & Customer Service. The Premier Award is an annual recognition platform under the Raytheon Technologies Performance+ Program to recognize suppliers with superior performance and that have provided exceptional value to Raytheon Technologies in one of the four key categories: Cost Competitiveness, Technology & Innovation, Business Management, and Collaboration & Customer Service.
VINCORION is a technology company that specializes in innovative power systems for safety-critical applications, including generators, electric motors, and drives, gensets, power electronics, and hybrid power systems. As a partner to the civil aviation, security and defense, VINCORION develops and manufactures solutions tailored to its customers’ specific requirements on the basis of an in-depth dialog. A high-performance customer support team provides assistance and service to users of the company’s own products and those from third parties throughout the entire product life cycle. With approximately 700 employees at sites in Germany, and the United States, VINCORION generated revenues of approximately 122,8m euros in 2021.
31 Jul 23. US Army developing LASSO tank-killing drone for infantry.
The U.S. Army kicked off a program to quickly provide soldiers a portable, tank-busting drone, amid ballooning use of similar equipment in the Russia-Ukraine war.
The service’s Program Executive Office Soldier, or PEO Soldier, this month announced the Low Altitude Stalking and Strike Ordnance venture, or LASSO, and a responsibility for lethal unmanned systems, adding that the need for such gear is “urgent.”
LASSO systems can be carried by troops, use a tube for launches and are strapped with a lethal payload, according to the office, which specializes in equipment including uniforms, body armor, night-vision devices and guns. The kit also features an electro-optical and infrared sensor, precision flight controls and the ability to track and engage far-off targets, it said.
The one-way, or “suicide” drone is tailored for infantry brigade combat teams and is expected to be in soldiers’ hands in 2024. Feedback and updates will follow.
“As the Army prepares to engage near peer threats in a conventional conflict, it was evident that our infantry brigade combat teams are in need of additional organic anti-tank capabilities,” Jason Amadi, an office spokesperson, told C4ISRNET July 27. “PEO Soldier’s expertise is supporting the infantry brigade combat teams. No one is better suited to develop and field this capability to IBCT soldiers.”
The Army is still finalizing details related to contracts with defense industry, Amadi said, but the plan is “to focus initial phases of the LASSO program on currently available systems.”
Bomb-laden drones have proven popular in the Russia-Ukraine war, with the clashing militaries attempting to scout, coordinate and attack from deeper and safer distances.
“Both sides are leaning heavily on FPV-type drones — light, portable, kamikaze, expendable systems,” Samuel Bendett, an expert at the Center for Naval Analyses, told C4ISRNET. “There’s a need, right now, for a large number of FPV-type drones. But there’s also a need to advance that development further out, beyond just the immediate line of contact, to where these drones can strike in the rear.”
The U.S. has promised Kyiv hundreds of AEVEX Aerospace Phoenix Ghost and AeroVironment Switchblade loitering munitions. An aid package announced July 25 also included pocket-sized Black Hornet surveillance drones from Teledyne FLIR. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
31 Jul 23. IDEF 2023: Roketsan plans to introduce UAV-230 missile in 2024. Roketsan’s UAV-230 air-to-surface supersonic missile is in its final qualification phase and is scheduled to begin series production by the end of 2023, the company announced at the 16th International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) held from 25 to 28 July in Istanbul, where a prototype of the missile was displayed. According to Roketsan, the UAV-320 will enter service in 2024.
The 3.4 m-long UAV-230 (domestic name IHA-230) is an air-launched variant of Roketsan’s TRG-230 surface-to-surface missile, which has been converted for use from unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It is envisaged that the aircraft it will include the Baykar Bayraktar Akıncı, Turkish Aerospace’s Aksungur, and the developmental Baykar Kızılelma ‘loyal wingman’, among others.
However, according to company literature, the missile can also be integrated on other platforms such as existing ground vehicles, unmanned ground vehicles, MILGEM-class corvettes, and Marlin SİDA armed unmanned surface vessels. (Source: Janes)
25 Jul 23. HAVELSAN is set to unveil its latest innovation, the ÇAKA S-KUSV (Submersible Kamikaze Unmanned Surface Vehicle), at IDEF23. HAVELSAN, a global leader in naval defence technology, is set to unveil its latest innovation, the ÇAKA S-KUSV (Submersible Kamikaze Unmanned Surface Vehicle), at IDEF23. The ÇAKA S-KUSV is a new breed of naval technology, designed to redefine the rules of engagement in naval warfare.
The ÇAKA S-KUSV, a product of HAVELSAN’s engineering excellence, is a multi-dimensional platform capable of operating both on the surface and underwater. Its unique design allows for stealthy, powerful strikes against surface targets, enhancing naval capabilities in Anti-Access & Area Denial (A2AD) missions.
The ÇAKA S-KUSV is equipped with high-explosive payloads, ensuring a powerful impact on its targets. Its ability to operate underwater adds an element of surprise, allowing it to catch adversaries off-guard and deliver superior strikes. The vehicle also features a mobile/shore control centre, providing a centralised command and control hub for multiple units. This feature enhances operational efficiency and effectiveness.
Compared to existing naval warfare technologies, the ÇAKA S-KUSV offers unique advantages. Its combination of speed, stealth, endurance, and firepower makes it a formidable asset in modern and future naval operations.
“We are excited to present the ÇAKA S-KUSV at IDEF23,” said a Company Representative. “This platform is game changer in naval technology, and we look forward to showing its impact on the field.” (Source: www.joint-forcescom)
28 Jul 23. BAE Teams With Parsons Corporation for Modernization at Holston Army Ammunition Plant. BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Inc. is teaming with Parsons Corporation (NYSE: PSN), a leading national security and global infrastructure company, to execute modernization at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant, as BAE Systems pursues the opportunity to be the operating contractor through 2035.
As the operating contractor, BAE Systems is leveraging its program management and modernization integration expertise with Parsons’ engineering and construction management capabilities.
“Our team is committed to modernizing the Holston Army Ammunition Plant and delivering safe, reliable products for our customers,” said John Swift, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Inc. “BAE Systems’ strong legacy of modernization projects is strengthened by Parsons’ proven past performance, engineering staff depth and breadth, and proven ability to execute simultaneous complex projects.”
Modernizing World War II era ammunition plants into state-of-the-art chemical processing facilities is critical for national security. BAE Systems’ history of modernizing while manufacturing, coupled with Parsons’ engineering ability, will strengthen the site as the U.S. Army looks to expand the capabilities for explosives and propellant manufacturing.
Sustained funding for modernization efforts will help deliver the best possible capabilities to the men and women who wear the uniform, improve safety, and allow for the continuous introduction of new, more environmentally friendly technologies.
“Parsons is committed to delivering innovative solutions to our customers and advancing this project together with BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Inc.,” said Jon Moretta, president, Engineered Systems for Parsons. “Through this partnership, we’re leveraging our engineering and complex delivery capabilities to further the Army’s modernization efforts and benefit the environment.”
In addition to this strategic teaming relationship, Parsons was recently selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deliver a new Explosive Decomposition Chamber facility at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant, and was awarded the contract for the Energetic Waste Incinerator at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, which is also operated by BAE Systems Ordnance Systems Inc. (Source: ASD Network)
Galvion designs, develops, and delivers mission critical head, face, and torso protective solutions as well as intelligent power and data management systems for the world’s most demanding military and tactical teams. Founded in 2002 as Revision Military, a foundational belief in calculated investment and capability expansion led to a strategic refocus, resulting in the divestiture of the protective eyewear business, along with the Revision name, in 2019. Rebranded as Galvion, the company’s products and technology continue to evolve beyond purely passive protection, focusing instead on active systems that enhance performance and survivability, with an eye to the ever-changing demands of the modern battlefield. Through advanced design, keen end-user insight and intelligent integration, Galvion engineers uniquely customized solutions that go beyond what was once thought possible.
Privately owned with ISO 9001:2015 certified facilities in Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire in the US, Montreal in Canada and Bristol in the UK, Galvion’s team of 400+ employees work proactively to solve the problems left unsolved by others.