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28 Apr 16. North Korea’s Musudan missile launch ends in failure. Key Points:
• North Korea’s launch of the Musudan IRBM on 28 April appears to have failed.
• This is the second apparent launch of the Musudan in its land-based configuration, and it follows the reported failure of the first launch on 15 April.
According to South Korean officials, North Korea’s 28 April missile launch ended in failure. Speaking to the Yonghap News Agency, the officials noted that, “The missile, presumed to be a Musudan, was fired at around 6:40 a.m. from the vicinity of Wonsan, but it appears to have crashed a few seconds later.”
This is the second apparent launch of the Musudan intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) in its land-based configuration: earlier this year on 15 April, the 104th anniversary of founding father Kim Il-sung’s birth, the first Musudan launch is reported to have taken place, which is also believed to have ended in failure. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
28 Apr 16. UK’s Dstl to invite bids for dismounted soldier research contract. The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is planning to invite bids for a dismounted soldier system engine room contract later this year. Valued at around £40m, the four-year contract will play a major role in research to deliver an integrated soldier system. Prior to the bidding process, Dstl will provide requirements for the contract and a prequalification questionnaire for suppliers.
The contract will involve the development of next-generation weaponry, and support the integration of man-worn power and data in the near future. Successful bidders will provide operational analysis, research and systems engineering to support the development of the UK dismounted soldier capability.
Dstl close combat systems programme manager Ross Jones said: “The dismounted soldier systems engine room industry day allowed a huge breadth of industry suppliers and representatives from academia to come together in support of dismounted soldier research.
“Over the coming months we will be setting out the requirements for the contract and look forward to receiving proposals later this year.”
In March, Dstl held an industry day for suppliers to find out more about the contract. Nearly 130 suppliers took part in the event, which provided information about procurement timelines and specific research areas covered by the contract. (Source: army-technology.com)
28 Apr 16. AeroVironment, Inc. has developed a block upgrade, designated Block 10C, to its already fielded Switchblade™ Tactical Missile system. The Digital Data Link (DDL) incorporated into Block 10C provides a stable and secure encrypted communication link that enables more efficient use of existing frequency bands and significantly reduces the likelihood of signal interception. Frequency efficiency and secure communications are critical to warfighters in today’s complex operational environment. The Block 10C upgrade also enables the concurrent operation of multiple Switchblade systems in the same vicinity without signal conflict, provides the opportunity to extend operational ranges significantly using another DDL arbiter, such as AeroVironment’s Puma AE™ unmanned aircraft system, and facilitates the automatic communication of mission plans from one AeroVironment unmanned aircraft system to a Switchblade, also known as sensor to shooter operations.
Bill Nichols of the U.S. Army PEO Missiles and Space Close Combat Weapons Systems (CCWS) Program office, which manages Switchblade, said “Switchblade Block 10C will increase the capabilities of the warfighter in the field through encrypted operation and improved Army-wide frequency de-confliction and management. The new Switchblade Block 10C is the result of close collaboration between our U.S. Army customer and the AeroVironment team,” s