11 Oct 13. Accuracy International will end AE production at the end of 2013. The AE, in .308 calibre, was introduced at the request of the law enforcement community in 2001 with a basic black, fixed stock, fixed cheek-piece and 24 inch barrel. The AE has been popular with Law Enforcement and civilian shooters worldwide. It evolved through two product improvement stages, the AE MkII and AE MkIII featuring an AW style three-position safety, removable trigger group, standard adjustable check-piece and redesigned 5 and 10 round magazines. After 12 years it is time to bring production of this model to an end and the final batch is now in the assembly process in our UK factory. We will continue to support all versions of the AE as we have done with our AW Series, which has had upgrades throughout its life. The new Accuracy International 2014 models will be announced at the Shot Show in Las Vegas on January 14, 2014.
09 Oct 13. Draper develops new capability for Android Terminal Assault Kit. Draper Laboratory-led industry team is currently developing a video
whiteboarding capability for the Android Terminal Assault Kit (ATAK), which enables the ground troops to easily call in air support and reduce friendly and civilian casualties during combat operations. Developed in collaboration with the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Information Directorate, the capability is designed to help soldiers to visualise an area and mark points of interest. In addition, the capability minimises the requirement for discussion over voice channels in theatre or other situations where graphical designation of points of interest can be quickly accomplished. Initially developed by Draper under the informal name ‘TacDroid’ in 2010, ATAK can also be used for battlespace awareness, navigation, de-conflicting airspace, and to control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) fleets, said Draper. With recent addition of survey and Jumpmaster tools, the application also facilitates rapid building of new landing zones and help paratroopers to plan high altitude, low opening jumps, while tracking each other and supplies as they descend. Leveraging the Android operating system, ATAK is a mobile computing solution designed for installation in tablets and other lightweight handheld devices that connect with military radios, and are easier to operate and carry than traditional laptops in the battlefield. The map-based interface also enables ground and airborne troops to share information and maintain constant situational awareness, by allowing addition of context to raw video feeds, such as labelling buildings as schools or hospitals to protect them against strikes, or designation of pickup points for evacuation. (Source: army-technology.com)
07 Oct 13. Denel Dynamics, the guided weapons division of South Africa’s Denel, carried out the first live-fire tests of the land-based version of its Umkhonto naval surface-to-air missile (SAM) between 1 and 3 October. The tests also saw an Umkhonto-IR destroy a target at 20 km for the first time, a feat achieved after recent modifications to the Block 2 variant, and the first use of Reutech Radar Systems’ new RSR-320 dual-band, 3D radar to provide mid-course guidance for the missiles. Observers from nine countries joined South African defence and military officials at Denel’s Overberg Test Range for the shoot. All three war-shot missiles scored kills on Low-Cost Aerial Target Systems (LOCATS), two at 15 km range and one at 20km. The targets were launched from the range and flew out to sea before turning inshore on an elliptical track. They were engaged by the Umkhonto-IR missiles in their lock-on-after-launch mode, with the RSR-320 providing mid-course guidance to get the missiles within acquisition range of their infrared seekers.The ground-based launcher is being developed by Denel Dynamics with an eye on the South African Army’s GBADS Phase 2 project, as is the RSR-320 radar. The Umkhonto Block 2 missiles were provide