29 Oct 13. AgustaWestland is pressing the South Korean government to issue a new requirement of capabilities (RoC) document for its stalled airborne mine-countermeasures (AMCM) programme, a company official told IHS Jane’s on 29 October. Speaking at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (ADEX) in South Korea, Andrew Symonds, Vice President North-East Asia Sales and Marketing, said that the Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) must come up with a revised solution if the Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN) is not to lose the capability with the scaling back of the US Navy’s (USN’s) Sikorsky MH-53 AMCM assets in the region.
“The [MH-X AMCM] competition stalled about two years ago, as the specifications were unachievable,” Symonds explained. “The US Navy thought it could offer [Korea] five bespoke systems, but two of them couldn’t be fitted to the UH-60 [Seahawk helicopter operated by the RoKN].”
According to Symonds, towing the AMCM out of the UH-60’s side door (on the MH-53 it is towed out of the rear ramp) resulted in cables snapping, and put the twin-engined helicopter in a precarious position at just 50ft and a few hundred feet above the sea. Further compounding the RoKN’s predicament is that this setback coincided with a readjustment in the USN of its AMCM capabilities, with a swing away from airborne systems with the phasing out of service of the MH-53 and a greater emphasis on developing underwater methods of mine detection and disposal.
“The Koreans are a bit nervous right now [at the MH-53s being withdrawn and the MH-X effort stalling],” Symonds noted. With the RoKN looking for a single-platform solution to its AMCM requirement, it might well look to the AW101 Merlin-based system developed by Japan. The Japanese and US governments, along with Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI), have integrated an AMCM system that comprises an operator’s console; winch assembly; carriage, deployment and recovery apparatus; and a towed submersible unit. Although AgustaWestland provided platform advice, it did not fund or participate in developing the Japanese AMCM solution. (Source: Jane’s)
29 Oct 13. USAF conducts high-speed sled testing of kinetic energy projectile warhead. The US Air Force’s (USAF) 846th Test Squadron has successfully completed high-speed sled testing of an advanced conventional precision effects warhead at the Holloman High Speed Test Track, which is located on Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, US. Designed and developed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the kinetic energy projectile warhead forms a critical part of a national initiative to establish a conventional prompt global strike (CPGS) capability, which will enable the US to defend its interests with precision weapons at hypersonic speeds. US strategic warfare director’s special assistant Susan Hurd said during an interview with the American Forces Press Service that the successful execution of the warhead’s high-speed sled test marks a necessary step in the progression to a CPGS capability. During testing, the sled train, designed by the Holloman High Speed Test Track to push the warhead down the track to extremely high velocity, exceeded 3,500 ft/sec, which is greater than Mach 3 or three times the speed of sound, according to Hurd. The sled test subjected the warhead to the dynamic environment it is likely to encounter during a flight and target engagement. In addition to designing the sled train, the Holloman High Speed Test Track also deployed a range of diagnostics and instrumentation to collect data, which is expected to apply to all CPGS concepts under consideration, according to the Department of Defense (DoD). (Source: airforce-technology.com)
23 Oct 13. FLIR announced the new HISS S150 XLR thermal sniper scope during AUSA. This is a considerable advance on the existing HISS sight which is in service with the US SOCOM and other armed forces. The XLR has been tested to up to 1500 yards and score