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11 Nov 15. Chinese dual-use missiles and satellites point to emerging ‘Prompt Global Strike’ capability. The development of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) Kuaizhou/Fei Tian dual-use mobile solid fuel space launch system and the dual-use 138 Jilin surveillance satellite constellation point to the emergence of a capability similar to the United States’ Prompt Global Strike (PGS) programme.
The US PGS programme has been running since 2001 and involves combining intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), advanced non-nuclear hypersonic warheads, and advanced surveillance systems to achieve precision strikes at intercontinental range. While funding for the programme continues, with USD78.8m allocated for fiscal year 2016, the US has not yet developed and deployed a PGS system. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Nov 15. TDW progresses flexible effects technology. Key Points:
• Full development and qualification of the RADIUS scalable warhead technology are anticipated between 2017 and 2020
• ‘Dynamic bomb drops’ with RADIUS-equipped systems are expected within the 2019-20 timeframe.
MBDA Germany’s warhead design house subsidiary, TDW GmbH, has progressed the development of a breakthrough ‘dial-a-yield’ technology designed to allow the user to select the operationally relevant explosive yield of an effector.
The Range Adaptable Device Incorporating Unique Scaling (RADIUS) warhead technology enables the type and magnitude of the intended effects to be concentrated on a selected threat, “thereby minimizing the threat to friendly forces and reducing the chances of collateral damage”, an MBDA spokesperson told IHS Jane’s.
The spokesperson confirmed that the RADIUS system had now attained technical readiness level 6 (TRL 6) on the warhead subsystem level “through significant investments by our German customer and TDW”.
The full development and qualification of the system are anticipated between 2017 and 2020, “depending on the specific product and our customers”, the spokesperson said.
MBDA explains RADIUS as ‘a combined warhead and fuze technology’ that delivers three to five selectable output modes through one compact fuze system for scaled effects between 10% and 100%. The system is designed for use with any blast/fragmentation or penetrator warhead “in a spectrum ranging from scalable mini missiles with 1 kg of explosives to general purpose bombs with approximately 80 kg of high explosives”. MBDA said that while some alternatives might reduce collateral damage, they did not offer operational flexibility. The RADIUS technology allows the “armed forces user to select the desired military effect up until the last moment before firing, thus reducing the number of weapon systems needed to fulfill their missions”.
While MBDA declined to disclose specific details on the technology, it is believed to focus on control of the deflagration phase during the detonation process. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
11 Nov 15. Nammo, a technology driven aerospace company situated in Raufoss, Norway, has successfully completed the long term exposure and compatibility tests of their newly developed aluminum propellant tank for their hydrogen peroxide based propulsion system. With these tests completed, Nammo has now available all necessary components to offer a complete green propulsion subsystem ready for spacecraft integration.
“Currently, most spacecraft thrusters are powered by hydrazine, a toxic and corrosive fuel that is dangerous to handle and store. Nammo’s propulsion system is based on a safe, non-toxic and low cost propellant, which also helps lowering overall cost by eliminating expensive infrastructure needed for the handling of highly toxic fuels. This will reduce launch cost by making it safer and easier to launch the spacecraft,” Frank Moeller, Executive Vice Pre