11 Oct 13. Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM): Additional Order. The MoD and Thales announced (11 Oct 13) contract signature for 200 extra HVM, due to be delivered by June 2014. The order has been placed to increase Starstreak stocks, as part of the “transformation agenda” for the Armed Forces. The contract sustains 475 jobs at Thales’ factories in Northern Ireland.
Comment: The value of the contract was not released other than it is “a multi-million-pound deal”. HVM is a close air defence system which can be launched from the shoulder, from a multiple launcher or from the
Stormer armoured vehicle. HVM is expected to remain in service until 31 Dec 20. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/40, 14 Oct 13)
07 Oct 13. Sea Ceptor: Selected by New Zealand. MBDA announced (7 Oct 13) that the Sea Ceptor air defence system has been selected for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s frigate upgrade. Sea Ceptor is to equip HMNZ TE KAHA and HMNZ TE MANA.
Comment: On 9 Sep 13, the Defence Secretary contracted with MBDA for the manufacture of the Sea Ceptor system for the RN frigate fleet. Sea Ceptor is to replace the Seawolf system in Type 23 frigates before being transferred to new-build Type 26 frigates. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 13/40, 14 Oct 13)
16 Oct 13. BAE System’s APKWS fixed wing variant completes JCTD. The Direct & Time Sensitive Strike Weapons Program Office (PMA-242) has successfully demonstrated the BAE System-built advanced precision kill weapons system (APKWS) fixed wing variant’s robust design, marking the completion of the joint capability technology demonstration (JCTD). Recently, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) has released a military utility assessment (MUA) report, an official document of the fixed wing (FW) tests’ results, validating the weapon’s performance and reducing safety of flight concerns. During the guidance section tests, the weapon system validated its design robustness and helped reduce risk in subsequent live-fire tests. Ground launches and two different aerial launches, performance and MUA shots were involved in the APKWS rocket testing. PMA-242 programme manager navy captain, Al Mousseau, said the JCTD phase completion marks a step ahead in demonstrating the operational effectiveness for an affordable, fixed wing, forward-firing, air-to-ground, low collateral weapon in support of the close air support mission. The APKWS weapon underwent JCT trials on the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt, General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 aircraft. APKWS is a guided 2.75in rocket and features semi-active laser guidance technology to destroy soft and lightly armoured targets in built-up and confined areas. The JCTD technical manager Bill Hammersley said the team evaluated the weapons systems’ build up, loading and delivery during the variety of tests, as well as demonstrated its performance, as designed, to hit stationary and moving targets. (Source: naval-technology.com)