18 Nov 22. Rafael’s C-Dome Being Presented at NEDS 2022 After Successful Test Aboard Saar 6 Corvette.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., with the Israeli Navy, and the Israel Ministry of Defense IMDO completed an advanced interception test of the C-DOME Naval Iron Dome System. The C-DOME is an advanced naval configuration of RAFAEL’s IRON DOME aerial defense system and is operated from the Missile Ship (INS) ‘Oz’ from the Sa’ar 6 ‘Magen’ Class Corvette.
As part of the interception test, the system was installed on the INS ‘Oz’ corvette, the second of four advanced missile corvettes received by the Israeli Navy in the last two years. Operationalizing the system constitutes a significant milestone in enhancing the capabilities of the corvettes.
The test simulated real threats and included the system’s successful detection and interception of targets in challenging scenarios. The C-DOME System constitutes a significant addition to the Israeli Navy’s defense capabilities in a wide array of missions, including the guarding of strategic assets, the Exclusive Economic Zone, and maintaining the regional maritime superiority of the State of Israel.
The test’s success is a product of the joint technological and engineering efforts of the Israeli Navy, the Ministry of Defense Directorate for Defense R&D (DDR&D), Rafael Advanced Defense Systems as the prime contractor and developer, the Israel Aerospace Industries’ Elta as the radar manufacturer, and mPrest as the C2 manufacturer. The operational system was created through the integration of multiple different systems, utilizing full operational capabilities that will be used by the female and male sailors of the Israeli Navy.
The C-DOME constitutes an additional layer of the State of Israel’s multi-tiered missile and air defense array, based on four operational defense tiers: IRON DOME, DAVID’S SLING, Arrow 2, and Arrow 3. The Israel Ministry of Defense Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) within the DDR&D led the systems’ development.
Defense Minister, Benny Gantz: “The operationalization of the C-DOME system is a significant milestone for the State of Israel’s naval defense capabilities. I would like to congratulate the Israeli Navy, the Ministry of Defense’s IMDO, and Rafael, for this groundbreaking technological process and for their cooperation and determination that led to this great success. Israel is continuing to build and strengthen its defense and attack capabilities – and will continue to keep its defensive edge in the area, protect its assets, its infrastructure and first and foremost – the lives and safety of the citizens of Israel.
Head of the Israel Ministry of Defense IMDO, Moshe Patel: “The C-DOME system expertly identified threats and successfully intercepted them by launching IRON DOME interceptors towards them from the sea. C-DOME, the naval configuration of the IRON DOME, promotes further operational flexibility and has become a part of the State of Israel’s multi-tiered missile and air defense array. The IRON DOME interception system completed a tremendously successful series of tests this past year, both in Israel and in the United States, as part of the interception tests conducted by the Marine Corps and the United States Army. The IRON DOME has met our operational objectives, including during Operation Breaking Dawn earlier this year.”
Deputy Commander in Chief & Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Guy Goldfarb: “The Israeli Navy is at the height of the advanced operationalization of the Sa’ar 6 corvettes, currently taking place at record speed. The successful interception tests are a result of the C-DOME system’s implementation onboard the INS ‘Oz’ corvette. We recently acknowledged the initial operationalization of the INS ‘Magen’ corvette, the first to join the Sa’ar 6 series and complete its first operational activity – the patrol of the State of Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone and the protection of our economic and strategic assets. The maritime arena has changed, thus leading to wider responsibilities and more extensive operational tasks for the Israeli Navy. The Sa’ar 6 corvettes will be a central means of protecting the Exclusive Economic Zone and ensuring the State of Israel’s maritime superiority.”
Executive Vice President Dr. Ran Gozali, Head of the Land and Naval Systems Directorate, RAFAEL:
“The C-DOME is the first operational naval defense solution of its kind and the test on the Saar 6 corvette of the Israeli Navy serves as a monumental achievement in the development of the system. We are proud to see the C-DOME being operated by the Israeli Navy and its protection of Israel’s strategic assets.” (Source: ASD Network)
17 Nov 22. Indonesia’s Future Assault Rifle? Indonesia’s PT Republik Armamen recently debuted its new IFAR22 shoulder-fired assault rifle at Indo Defence. The IFAR, Indonesian Future Assault Rifle, is Bullpup configuration in 5.56×45 NATO calibre. The Bullpup features the receiver and magazine to the rear of the trigger. This approach allows for a longer barrel without an increase in the overall length of the weapon. The IFAR is available with both a 508 mm (20 inch) and 406mm (16 inch) barrels. This still provides for a compact size of only 780 mm and 698 mm respectively and weights of 3.7 and 3.6 kg.
IFAR incorporates a number of innovations that address some concerns on early Bullpup weapons. It provides for ambidextrous operation by both right-handed and left-handed shooters. Weapon controls including safety and selector are located on both sides of the weapon and the spent cartridge ejection can be changed to right or left depending on the user preference.
A three-position also allows the shooter to easily adjust the gas level in the recoil system as needed. The weapon is equipped with a full-length Picatinny accessory rail above the receiver. This will accommodate various sights like red-dots, magnified optics or night-vision. Forward on both sides have KeyMod slots. These provide for attachment of lights, laser pointers, or grips or even short Picatinnys. The IFAR uses a standard 30-round STANAG 4179 compatible magazine.
Although the weapon is still pre-production it has been evaluated by the Indonesian Army with its research and development branch having conducted extensive live field firing tests. Presently the Army utilizes the SS1 Senapan Serbu manufactured by PT Pindad which is an under-license adaption of the FN FNC rifle and was first introduced in 1991. It began to be replaced by the SS2, an improved SS1, in 2205. The later has a length of 985mm although it does have a folding stock. Still an adoption of the IFAR would offer an interesting option for elements of the Indonesian Forces. (Source: AMR)
18 Nov 22. Indonesia and UAE sign deal to boost explosive production.
Indonesia’s PT Dahana has in early November signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Edge Group subsidiary Lahab Defence Systems for a possible joint venture in the construction of a TNT plant at the Dahana Energetic Material Center (EMC) area in Subang.
The MoU also calls for co-operation in the production of several types of explosives, leveraging on the existing capabilities of both companies.
“Lahab’s agreement with Dahana is a perfect example of two highly specialised companies coming together to explore joint synergies and opportunities which will allow us to grow our individual and sovereign capabilities through partnership,” said Lahab CEO Arafat Al Yafei.
“By utilising these unique strengths, we are able to play a strategic role in strengthening the economic and security relationships between our countries, while pushing the boundaries of technology, and ultimately the superior services and solutions we offer our customers in both the defence and commercial sectors, while minimising potential disruption,” he added.
According to Lahab, both companies will also establish a joint technical team to develop a roadmap and determine means to advance existing infrastructure in Indonesia, as well as potential joint production of propellant and RDX. Indonesia’s domestic requirements for these energetic materials – which are essential for the manufacture of weapons and ammunition – are presently served by imports, which are vulnerable to foreign embargoes and other disruptions.
TNT, RDX and propellants can also be used as raw materials for the manufacture of explosives in the commercial sector, such as mining.
“Current world geopolitical developments are causing disruptions in the supply chain where energetic materials are becoming scarce, this of course can disrupt defense and security,” explained Al Yafei. “Therefore, efforts to create self-sufficiency have a very important and strategic value.”
PT Dahana previously inked agreements in 2014 with European companies Roxel and Eurenco to develop and build a propellant plant in Subang, which now produces propellants for a range of small-, medium- and large-calibre weapons. (Source: AMR)
16 Nov 22. Production of Dutch CV90s with new turret to begin in December. Production of Dutch CV90 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) with a new turret will begin in December, it was revealed at SAE Media Group’s Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability 2022 active protection system (APS) Focus Day held in London on 15 November. Tarkan Turkan, CV90 platform director at BAE Systems Hägglunds (BSH), said at the event that production would be launched in parallel with trials of the IFV.
The first-of-type (FOT) upgraded Dutch CV90 IFV left the BSH plant in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, on 26 September. Turkan said another FOT vehicle had been built since and that two more were under construction. Delivery of the first FOT vehicle was followed by the launch of trials, leading up to the test readiness review and ending with a final design review in December 2023. The first delivery of the upgraded CV9035NL is scheduled for January 2024, according to Turkan. Production and the project itself are to be completed in 2026. (Source: Janes)
15 Nov 22. China unveils air-defence missile systems. China has unveiled various surface-to-air missile (SAM) weapon systems for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at the Airshow China 2022 exhibition held in Zhuhai from 8 to 13 November.
The country showcased the FK-3000 air-defence missile weapon system, the HQ-16FE mid- to long-range air-defence missile weapon system, and the Red-11 (also called HQ-11) universal terminal defence system at the show.
The FK-3000, manufactured by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), is an anti-cluster and anti-ammunition air-defence weapon system. Janes learnt that the master combat vehicle of the FK-3000 system integrates an anti-ammunition air-defence missile, an anti-cluster mini-missile, and a radio-jamming transmitter. The system can be equipped with two optional unmanned slave ground combat vehicles, called the FK-3000 auxiliary launching vehicles.
The master combat vehicle of the system is a transporter, erector, launcher, and radar (TELAR) based on an SX2220 6×6 platform. The TELAR consists of an unmanned turret with a cannon, a search radar, and a fire-control radar. (Source: Janes)
07 Nov 22. Indo Defence 2022: Rheinmetall offers local production of Skyranger GBAD system for Indonesia. Rheinmetall Air Defence AG has indicated that it will be able to produce units of the Oerlikon Skyranger mobile ground-based air defence (GBAD) system in-country should it be selected for the Indonesian armed forces anti-air requirements.
Stefan Schadler and Gerson Jaklin, who are the vice-president for Sales and vice-president for Marketing and Sales, respectively, at Rheinmetall’s Air Defence and Radar Systems, confirmed to Janes that the company has established a partnership with local company PT OCWSB Pratama Indonesia.
Under the partnership, OCWSB has been appointed as an authorised local partner of Rheinmetall Air Defence, and it is cleared to undertake maintenance, repair, and overhaul work on various weapon systems that have been supplied by the company to Indonesia.
These include the Oerlikon Skyshield Air Defence System, which is in service with the Indonesian Air Force’s rapid action command, and the Oerlikon Millennium Gun, which is found on the Indonesian Navy’s Martadinata class. (Source: Janes)
12 Nov 22. Airshow China 2022: Tsingaero Armament showcased strike-capable JZ-500 UAV. Chinese firm Tsingaero Armament showcased its JZ-500, a strike-capable rotary-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), at the Airshow China 2022 exhibition in Zhuhai, which concluded on 13 November.
According to Tsingaero Armament, the JZ-500 can be operated in harsh weather, including rain and snow and wind conditions of up to 24 m/s. It is able to operate in temperatures between -55°C and +50°C.
Design features of the UAV include its pod fuselage, which houses the powerplant, avionics, and payload; a pair of intermeshing rotors; a tail rotor on the starboard side; a dorsal and a ventral vertical fin; and horizontal tails on the port and starboard side of the tailboom ahead of the vertical fin. The fuselage of the JZ-500 includes skid tracks to assist a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability, a ventral electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) turret at the nose, and two snub wings with two hardpoints to accommodate up to four missiles on each wing. (Source: Janes)
12 Nov 22. Pentagon quietly downsizes US Special Operations fleet of gunships. The Pentagon has quietly cut procurement of its new AC-130J Ghostrider special operations gunships, downsizing the fleet to 30 from 37. U.S. Special Operations Command had planned to buy nearly 40 Ghostriders to replace older gunships: the AC-130H Spectre, AC-130W Stinger II and AC-130U Spooky. Each of those 37 aircraft are now retired.
Rather than swap out the airframes one-for-one as expected, SOCOM wants to end the decade-long AC-130J acquisition seven short of the full program.
SOCOM tucked mentions of the change into its fiscal 2023 budget request, writing that it would maintain a total of 30 AC-130Js. Each airframe costs $165m apiece, according to an Air Force fact sheet.
The military has purchased 31 of the gunships from Lockheed Martin for combat purposes, but will not replace one that was flown too hard during testing and is no longer airworthy. That plane now serves to train airmen on the ground.
“There is no buy planned in [fiscal] 2024,” SOCOM said.
The military opted to pursue a smaller AC-130J fleet as a way to “better position [Air Force Special Operations Command] for the future fight,” spokesperson Lt. Col. Becky Heyse said Thursday.
“The C-130Js were already purchased and it was decided to not modify them to become AC-130J (extensive mods required to add the gun and other capabilities),” Heyse said. “The remaining C-130Js are going to the 193rd [Special Operations Squadron as MC-130Js to recapitalize their fleet.”
The final AC-130J arrived at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, on Nov. 2.
“The airplane and its predecessors have exceeded all our expectations and kept more Americans alive than any other airplane on the battlefield,” Air Force Special Operations Command boss Lt. Gen. Jim Slife said at the delivery ceremony.
The remaining 30 Ghostriders are stationed at Cannon and Hurlburt Field, Florida. The schoolhouse is slated to move from Hurlburt to Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, by October 2023.
AC-130 gunships have been a combat mainstay since the Vietnam War and are constantly deployed for conventional and special operations missions around the world.
Two pilots, one combat systems officer, one weapon system operator, one sensor operator and four special mission aviators comprise the Ghostrider’s crew.
The newest J-model is said to be the most heavily armed gunship in history, with the ability to tout 30mm and 105mm cannons, AGM-176A Griffin missiles, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs. It has also acted as a testbed for an experimental high-energy laser weapon.
“The AC-130J provides ground forces an expeditionary, persistent direct-fire platform that is persistent, ideally suited for urban operations and delivers precision low-yield munitions against ground targets,” according to the Air Force.
Spurred in part by the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, the military is now turning its attention to hardware and software that could give it the upper hand in competition against advanced militaries like China.
That’s led to decisions to divest and downsize aircraft that may be less useful in those scenarios, including the Air Force’s move to shrink its combat search-and-rescue helicopter fleet by about 25 airframes.
AFSOC is likewise exploring what the next chapter could look like for its elite airmen. Slife has indicated the command could venture farther into the space and cyber realms, and figure out how to adapt traditional missions like close air support for a more challenging fight.
“The future is going to be different than what we have experienced for the last 20 years,” Slife said. “One thing I’m certain of is, this airplane will be relevant to whatever the future operating environment brings.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
21 Oct 22. EDA project seeks lighter ballistic armour. Ballistic, or bullet proof, armour is used to protect vehicles against different threats. But it also makes them heavier, especially when seeking to protect against more powerful weapons. Taken together, armour and the vehicle structure constitute more than half of vehicle’s weight, requiring more fuel and potentially making it harder to manoeuvre.
In search of a lighter armour, the European Defence Agency (EDA) launched a project on 20 October 2022 to use new advances in metallic materials for ballistic steels.
Known as the Additive Manufacturing of Metallic Auxetic Structures and Materials for Lightweight Armour, (AMALIA), the project aims to enhance the performance of ballistic and blast protections using auxetic structures, which become thicker when stretched or thinner when compressed. Making use of specific alloys developed for ballistic applications, this material can be tailored for the additive manufacturing process.
In response to a violent impact, the auxetic materials have the advantage of being denser in the strike zone and allow a higher energy absorption, offering more protection.
The AMALIA project, costing slightly less than € 5 m, is funded by seven EDA Member States (Italy, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovenia), led by RINA Consulting – Centro Sviluppo Materiali.
The state-of-the-art structures are still mainly at a theoretical level, involving numerical simulations. Several studies have assessed the positive effect of these structures on energy absorption, suggesting that auxetic structures can be used for protective equipment, including armour for military vehicles. However, due to the manufacturing difficulties of such structures, not many 3D metallic structures have been developed.
Some examples of parts with auxetic structures are made in aluminium, stainless steel and titanium alloys (EBM technology) but are still on a small scale.
The AMALIA project aims to explore technical issues related to the difficulties of manufacturing such auxetic structures using traditional manufacturing methods. Material development will also have an important role in producing alloys specifically developed for the additive manufacturing process by means of thermodynamic, kinetic and solidification tools.
The materials will be investigated to better understand the response of auxetic materials to static and dynamic impact loading conditions at different strains, an aspect not yet sufficiently explored.
The project will rely on extensive simulations, in order to test the ballistic properties of new auxetic structure topologies and fine tune the process parameters for the actual structures production.
The properties of the additive manufactured part will be improved through gas atomisation, a process aiming at synthesizing high-quality metal powders with controlled particle sizes. (Source: EDA)
14 Nov 22. Williamtown set to benefit from $74m Lockheed Martin Australia proposal. Williamtown Airport (above) has been earmarked as the site for Lockheed Martin Australia’s $74m investment in an Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) eco-system in support of the company’s bid for Project AIR6500 (top). Lockheed Martin Australia’s $74m investment in a national Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) ecosystem has been earmarked for development within the Williamtown Special Activation Precinct (SAP).
The fully inclusive facility, designed to support Australia’s sovereign capability and future defence projects, aims to foster technological collaboration by LMA’s existing supply chain and by new technology partners.
Newcastle Airport CEO Dr Peter Cock welcomed the news: “We’re incredibly excited by Lockheed Martin Australia’s announcement, and we’re wholly supportive of their proposal,” he said.
“Newcastle Airport is committed to being the airport the region deserves. The establishment of the newest Lockheed Martin Australia facility will not only play an important role in our region’s growth, but also enable the airport to continue to deliver on its promise to the community with the continued growth of Astra Aerolab, our 116Ha aerospace and defence focussed development.
“The news is testament to the long-standing and collaborative efforts of Newcastle Airport and the Greater Hunter business community in supporting defence industry prime contractors in their submissions and proposals to the Australian Defence Force (ADF),” Dr Cock added.
Williamtown and the Greater Hunter Region is home to a strong and growing defence industry ecosystem, and Astra Aerolab, located in the heart of the SAP, is being purpose-built to meet the specialised requirements of the defence industry and their people, he said.
“The proposed location of the facility will further establish Astra Aerolab and Williamtown as the State’s premier location for defence, aerospace and innovation. We look forward to engaging with Lockheed Martin Australia to help bring this project to fruition, and working together with them to help grow capabilities that will benefit our region for years to come.” (Source: Rumour Control)
13 Nov 22. Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 Medium Altitude UAV, has gained notoriety in Ukraine for destroying Russian tanks, artillery, and air defences. It even has its own song, apty titled ‘Bayraktar,’ which was penned by Ukrainian forces that have successfully operated the UAV.
Now Turkey is showcasing its emerging capabilities in the area of loitering munitions or ‘kamikaze drones’. In June this year, Turkish company, Lentatek, with the support of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK), debuted its Kargı kamikaze drone, during one of the Turkish Armed Forces’ largest field exercises, EFES 2022.
Gven their widespread use in the war in Ukraine and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, kamikaze drones also dominated the recent SAHA Defence and Aerospace Expo held in Istanbul in October.
At the expso, STM and Roketsan unveiled a smart loitering munition system called “ALPAGUT,” which is designed to provide greater operational flexibility and cost effectiveness than cruise missiles. Roketsan is Turkey’s main missile and rocket manufacturer, and STM has excelled in the last decade with its mini-tactical drones.
According to its manufacturers, ALPAGUT, which can be operated day or night, is effective against mobile or stationary targets on land or at sea, radar and communications systems, lightly armoured land and water vehicles, critical facilities such as command centres, personnel and “targets of opportunity.”
With a range of 60 kilometers, a flight duration of more than 60 minutes and various types of warheads (11 kg Frangible Ammunition, Armour Piercing and Thermobaric options), ALPAGUT can be deployed individually or in swarm configurations. The 45-kilogram drone has a wingspan of 2.5 meters, and can operate at temperature ranges between -35 and +55℃. It has a service altitude of 3,500 m (10,000 ft) while it loiters between 300–1,500 m (1,000–5,000 ft).
In the first phase of the project, ALPAGUT will be launched from air platforms, but further adaptations mean the system will also able to be launched from land and naval platforms in future.
“ALPAGUT was developed primarily to meet the requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and security forces, but we also believe it has important export potential and will reinforce Turkey’s leading role in the global defence sector,” Murat Ikinci, CEO of Roketsan stated.
Another loitering munition system showcased at SAHA EXPO 2022 was Titra Technology’s “Deli.” Titra has produced Turkey’s first unmanned helicopter called “Alpin” and has added the Deli multi-role tactical loitering ammunition to its portfolio of solutions with the support of TUBITAK SAGE, which is Turkey’s version of DARPA. Compared to the ALPAGUT, Deli is smaller, but features a modular system that can be deployed within 15 minutes.
Deli has an operational range of 85 kilometers and can remain airborne for 75 minutes. It has a warhead of 3.1 kilograms and can reach a top speed of 180 km/h. Deli can be launched by catapult or manually.
Titra CEO Davut Yilmaz told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency that the main goal of the project is to produce a low-cost kamikaze drone that can be launched by hand. “Deli has three important features: cost efficiency, a special warhead and a high level of autonomy. We plan to have it operational by the end of this year.”
According to Titra Technology, Deli can make autonomous decisions and act in a co-ordinated manner within the swarm, sharing tasks, detecting and destroying targets.
Turkey is among just a handful of countries (Iran, US, Israel, Poland, China) that are manufacturing ‘kamikaze drones.The first large-scale use of kamikaze drones was in the Nagorno-Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan where Israeli-made loitering munitions, notably IAI’s Harop, was widely used by Azerbaijan.
The war in Ukraine has also been a testbed for these small drones, which dive bomb their targets, with systems supplied by a number of countries including Iran, Poland, and the US. (Source: Google/https://www.defenceprocurementinternational.com/)
10 Nov 22. China displays air-launched hypersonic missile at air show near Taiwan. China has unveiled air-launched versions of its ship-based hypersonic missile and a standoff cruise missile at the Zhuhai Airshow, going on this week in the southern Guangdong province near Taiwan.
A pair of air-launched hypersonic missiles carried under the wings of a Xi’an H-6K bomber were at the show, which opened Tuesday and runs through Nov. 13.
The mock-ups carried the stenciling “2PZD-21.” Chinese media outlets have referred to them as air-launched versions of the YJ-21 anti-ship hypersonic missile carried onboard China’s Type 055 cruisers.
China’s state media showed a test-launch of the YJ-21 from onboard a cruiser in April. The air-launched version differs from its ship-launched counterpart in that it lacks the booster section needed to accelerate the missile during its shipboard vertical launch sequence.
The other notable weapon on display at the show, held at the Zhuhai Jinwan Airport, was the AKF-98 standoff cruise missile. This appears to be a jet-powered cruise missile in the class of the Lockheed Martin AGM-158 JASSM or European Storm Shadow/SCALP.
The Chinese missile on display was fitted on an ungraded Xi’an JH-7A2 fighter-bomber and features foldout wings that deploy after launch. The shape of the weapon’s body indicates that an effort was made to reduce the radar cross-section of the missile, similar to its Western equivalents.
It is unknown if the weapons are already in service or still in development, although the fact that the H-6K at the air show flew into the airport carrying the missile mock-ups suggests that carriage tests were completed.
Also on display is a laser-guided bomb that was shown at the 2018 Zhuhai air show. The 1,000-kilogram (2,205-pound) bomb, previously displayed as the YL-5, is now designated as the YJ-1000-1, with “YJ” being the abbreviation for YunJian, which translates to “Cloud Sword.”
The weapon is fitted with a high-explosive penetrator warhead and was seen carried on the JH-7A2 at the air show, although the guided bomb can also be carried by the Shenyang J-16 multirole fighter. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
10 Nov 22. BAE Systems’ APKWS® Laser-Guidance Kits Bring The HEAT Against Armored Vehicles. BAE Systems successfully tested its APKWS® laser-guidance kits with High-Explosive Anti-Tank Anti-Personnel Anti-Materiel (HEAT/APAM) warheads from General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems. Guided by APKWS guidance kits, the rockets went three for three against armored targets, demonstrating their versatility to engage a broad set of targets and enable new missions for warfighters. APKWS guidance kits transform unguided rockets into smart munitions for precision strikes on soft targets, equipment, and armored targets.
During the test event, BAE Systems launched rockets with HEAT/APAM warheads and APKWS guidance kits against well-armored targets – including a steel plate and an armored military vehicle. All test shots were direct hits, defeating fortified targets at range. The HEAT/APAM warheads are capable of penetrating thick armor, which improves the versatility of rockets guided by APKWS guidance kits.
“We’re giving our customers more in-mission options for precision strikes against tougher targets,” said Sam Kirsh, APKWS program manager at BAE Systems. “APKWS guidance kits with HEAT/APAM warheads provide a low-cost, lightweight, easy-to-deploy strike capability against armored and unarmored targets.”
The APKWS guidance kits are also compatible with 2.75” (70 millimeter) Hydra rocket components – including new and existing inventories of motors, warheads, fuses, launchers, and laser target designators. They require minimal training to assemble and fire, and can be fired from a variety of launch platforms, including fighter jets, combat helicopters, ground vehicles, and remote weapon stations.
APKWS guidance kits have proven their accuracy in combat with hundreds of successful shots fired with the M151 high-explosive warhead. The guidance kit is available to allied nations via Foreign Military Sales.
(Source: BUSINESS WIRE)