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25 Aug 15. Iran unveils extended range Fateh ballistic missile. Iran has made significant progress in its ballistic missile programme if its new Fateh-313 ballistic missile has a range of 500 km as claimed.
The missile was unveiled during a 22 August Defence Industry Day ceremony attended by President Hassan Rouhani. The Iranian media reported that it has a range of 500 km, is highly accurate, has been successfully tested, and would enter mass production.
Despite the new designation, the Fateh-313 is a continuation of the Fateh-110 series. The early versions of the Fateh-110 had a range of 200 km, but this was extended to 250 km and then supposedly 300 km for the third-generation model that was unveiled in August 2010. The fourth-generation Fateh-110-D1 unveiled in August 2012 was said to have a more accurate guidance system, but the same range.
A 67% increase in range from 200 km to 500 km would be a major step forward for Iran’s missile programme. It would allow Iran to target more military facilities in the Arab Gulf states with solid-fuel short-range ballistic missiles, allow targets to be attacked from different angles, and/or increase the amount of Iranian territory from where the missiles could be launched, making their transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicles harder to locate and destroy.
Given that Iran claims to have developed an anti-ship missile variant of the Fateh-110, the unveiling of the Fateh-313 raises the possibility that it will be able to field an anti-ship ballistic missile with a range of 500km.
The limited amount of imagery of the Fateh-313 suggests it is the same size as the Fateh-110. If this is the case, the additional range must have been achieved by improving the missile’s flight characteristics so it benefits from more aerodynamic lift; using a more powerful and efficient propulsion system; and/or reducing its weight, with the most obvious savings coming from decreasing the size of its warhead and constructing its airframe from a lighter material.
The available photographs of the Fateh-313 displayed on 22 August shows the missile is different in several aspects to previously displayed Fateh-110s. The rear fins are shorter and the finlets in front of them are a different shape.
The guidance unit appears to be larger, but this has come at the expense of the nose section that carries the warhead, not the propulsion section. This would suggest the Fateh-313’s payload is less than that of Fateh-110, which is generally said to be 500 kg.
In one of the photographs the Fateh-313’s nose cone appears to be made of a composite material that is different from the metallic material used for the rest of the missile’s body, but that could be attributable to the use of a dummy warhead section for the ceremony. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Aug 15. New Zealand selects LMT rifle for Steyr replacement. US small arms manufacturer Lewis Machine & Tool Co (LMT) has been named the preferred tenderer in the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) Individual Weapon Replacement programme. IHS Jane’s understands that LMT’s AR-15-derived CQB16 has been selected to replace the Steyr AUG A1 assault rifle in NZDF service. A New Zealand Ministry of Defence (MoD) notification released in mid-August only said that LMT had been downselected.
The New Zealand MoD was authorised in May 2014 to undertake a tender to purchase 8,800 ‘off-the-shelf’ replacement rifles and associated accessories. A key requirement is that the new weapon with suitable sights should be able to detect, identify, and engage adversaries at both close quarters and at distances of up to 500m in daylight.
A request for proposals closed on 12 November 2014, and following an evaluation eight companies were selected for trials that were undertaken between 2 March and 1 June 2015. The trials tested rifles provide