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02 Sep 15. DF-26 IRBM may have ASM variant, China reveals at 3 September parade. One of the surprising revelations from Chinese television announcers during the 3 September military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War was that the newly revealed DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) may have an anti-ship variant.
In addition to conducting “nuclear counterattack” missions, the DF-26 could also attack “medium-size ships at sea” as part of “conventional long-range precision strike”, said the announcer.
As the DF-26’s estimated range is 3,000-4,000 km, this missile might enable the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to target US Navy formations in the “Second Island Chain” or out to Guam.
The parade announcer’s indication that it could target “medium-size ships” may mean the missile is accurate enough to attack destroyer-size ships in addition to aircraft carriers.
The DF-26 could therefore be regarded as a second-generation anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) in addition to the DF-21D, which was also revealed on 3 September for the first time. The DF-21D has an estimated range of 1,700 km.
The DF-26’s appearance in the 3 September parade indicates that it is a deployed system. The television announcer’s mention of an anti-ship version could mean this variant is also deployed. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Sep 15. The U.S. Navy cleared Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) to begin full-rate production on the AIM-9X® Sidewinder Block II infrared air-to-air missile. The program completed operational test and evaluation earlier this year and Raytheon is now approved to produce missiles at full factory capacity.
“We’ve proven the increased capabilities of the AIM-9X Block II, and are confident Raytheon can produce missiles at full rate,” said U.S. Navy Program Manager Captain Jim Stoneman, PMA-259. “We look forward to getting them into the hands of our warfighters as quickly as possible.”
The U.S. Navy and Air Force, along with several international partners who have purchased the AIM-9X Block II, are receiving Sidewinder deliveries.
“An updated electronics package gives the missile features significant enhancements, like the ability to lock on after launch using a new datalink that supports beyond-visual-range engagements,” said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. “Sidewinder remains the warfighter’s weapon of choice for short-range air-to-air missiles.”
01 Sep 15. IMI looking for foreign buyers for MPR-500 bomb. Israel Military Industries (IMI) has announced that it is now marketing its MPR-500 bomb internationally. The weapon is already in service with the Israeli Air Force, which used it during Operation ‘Protective Edge’ against militants in the Gaza Strip in 2014. The MPR-500 has the same form as a standard 500 lb-class MK 82 general purpose bomb, but with a revised warhead that is designed to reduce collateral damage and risk to nearby non-combatants, especially when used with a guidance kit such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM).
“Matched with JDAM GPS- or laser-guidance kits, the new weapon constitutes a breakthrough in airstrike capabilities,” IMI said. “The new bombs are uniquely designed to hit targets hidden inside buildings by penetrating through multiple floor levels and detonating its fragmenting high-explosive warhead inside structures, thus enabling planners to target a specific floor, while leaving the rest of a building relatively safe,” the company underlined.
IMI states that the MPR-500 can also penetrate over one metre of “monolithic double-reinforced concrete” and does not break up or ‘jitter’ during its path to the target, an issue that has surfaced with the MK 82 and heavier general purpose bombs. “Operating against such hard targets, MPR-500 offers over 90% reliability,” IMI said.