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21 Oct 15. ADEX 2015: LIG Nex1 says K-SAAM on track to enter RoKN service by 2018. The ship-based Korean Surface-to-Air Anti-Missile (K-SAAM, or SAAM) system is halfway through operational test firing and on track to enter surface with the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) in 2018, officials from manufacturer LIG Nex1 said at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX) 2015. The K-SAAM programme began in 2011 with operational test firing starting in 2013, one of the missile’s designers told IHS Jane’s in Seoul. LIG Nex1 has held 22 operational test firings and expects to hold about 10 more before a contract is signed with the Defence Acquisition Programme Agency, which manages all defence acquisitions in South Korea, in late 2016 or early 2017. The medium-range system is intended to protect the RoKN’s surface fleet from anti-ship cruise missiles and aircraft, and will replace the short-range Raytheon Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) in providing close-in ship defence, LIG Nex1 officials said. The 2.07m long K-SAAM employs inertial mid-course guidance and a dual microwave and imaging infrared seeker for terminal guidance. It is housed in a four-cell vertical launch system (VLS), four of which are intended to be fitted to RoKN ships, giving 16 missiles per ship. It can also be retrofitted to existing VLS already in service, the officials said.
Officials declined to disclose its range or speed, but pointed to its jet vane assembly and imaging infrared seeker as major technical accomplishments that they saw as improvements on the RAM.
The RoKN first ordered RAM systems in 1999 under a USD24.9m order covering the supply of three Mk 49 guided missile launching systems (GMLSs) for its initial batch of three KDX-2 destroyers. It is also fitted to the RoKN’s KDX-3 destroyers, Incheon-class frigates, and Dokdo amphibious assault ship. As well as eventually replacing RAM on these ships, K-SAAM will also be fitted to the RoKN’s minehunters, LIG Nex1 officials said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Oct 15. Germany’s G36 cleared by trio of studies. The Bundeswehr’s G36 service rifle and its manufacturer have been cleared by three investigative reports into the subject, providing a new twist to a complex saga. These findings contrast with a solid year of criticism of the rifle, at the highest levels of the German defence establishment, over its accuracy when heated. While the first study criticises the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for responding slowly and inconsistently to reports of issues with the G36, the second clears manufacturer Heckler & Koch (HK) of wrongdoing, and the third finds no German operations were effected or soldiers wounded/killed through any shortcoming of the rifle.
The three studies were initiated by Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen in March after an earlier investigation found the G36 significantly loses accuracy when its barrel becomes hot. Specifically, the composite holding the barrel in place softens when heated, allowing the barrel to move and so reducing accuracy. In April Von der Leyen said that “the G36, [in its current state], has no future in the Bundeswehr”. In September this year, she decided to fully replace the G36 by 2019.
Conducted by Klaus-Peter Müller, chairman of the supervisory board of Commerzbank, the first study examined the MoD’s conduct and processes in the procurement of the G36. It criticises the MoD’s responses to the issue, its control over procurement processes, and its product management. But it notes that measures have been taken to rectify the ministry’s deficiencies, while recommending the establishment of a better compliance system.
The second study, conducted by an internal MoD commission, examined the ministry’s business relationship with HK over the G36 with regard to regulation. It found “no clues for corrupti