06 Nov 13. The Oct. 5 test of Pakistan’s Hatf-IX/Vengeance-IX missile, otherwise known as ‘Nasr,’ shows its development has been completed and the command-and-control systems are in place, allowing it to be deployed, say analysts. A press release by the military’s Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) media branch stated the successful test was “conducted with successive launches of 4 x missiles (salvo) from a state of the art multi tube launcher.” Nasr is a mobile, quick-reaction, four-round weapon system capable of delivering its nuclear-armed, short-range ballistic missiles up to 60 kilometers. The test was witnessed by the Chief of the Army Staff, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani; the director general of the Strategic Plans Division (which handles all aspects of the non-conventional program) Lt. Gen Khalid Ahmad Kidwai; and the chairman of the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (which designed the Nasr missile system), Muhammad Irfan Burney. Mansoor Ahmed from Quaid-e-Azam University’s Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, who specializes in Pakistan’s national deterrent and delivery program, says the test signified the commitment to enhancing the Nasr’s effectiveness, but that two aspects stand out. (Source: Defense News)
31 Oct 13. Raytheon Company and its Japanese partner, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, have completed the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA guided missile Critical Design Review (CDR). The CDR verified that the missile’s design will meet the stringent, specific operational performance requirements necessary to defeat the projected threats. The SM-3 Block IIA will defeat incoming ballistic missile threats by colliding with them in space, and the program is on track to begin flight testing in 2015. In a precedent-setting co-development effort between allies, the U.S. and Japan have determined an equitable workshare agreement that defines by missile section the development responsibility between each country. The SM-3 Block IIA program plan included building hardware early, supporting completion of critical subsystem testing prior to CDR. This “hardware rich” approach coupled with the design commonality with previous versions of SM-3 reduces integration risk. Over the course of 18 months, the Raytheon-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries team, along with various subcontractors, successfully completed more than 80 rigorous subsystem reviews leading up to the final “system” CDR.
06 Nov 13. Boeing will continue to increase the B-52 bomber’s effectiveness and versatility under a new U.S. Air Force contract that calls for the aircraft’s smart weapons capacity to expand by 50 percent. Under the $24.6m agreement, Boeing will develop a modification to existing weapon launchers so the aircraft can carry smart weapons in the bomb bay, allowing aircrews to use the B-52’s entire weapons capacity. Boeing will produce three prototype launchers for test and evaluation. Initial capability is expected in March 2016, and potential follow-on efforts could add additional weapons and allow a mixed load of different types of weapons. Following the upgrade’s first phase, the B-52s will be able to carry 24 500-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) or 20 2,000-pound JDAMs. Later phases will add the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) and its extended range variant (JASSM-ER), as well as the Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD) and its jammer variant (MALD/J). The bomb bay upgrade will also enable the B-52 to carry weapons internally only, increasing fuel efficiency in flight. The modernization work will use parts from existing Air Force rotary launchers repurposed for conventional missions, as well as hardware and software already developed for the wing pylons.
04 Nov 13. Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Navy and the Missile Defense Agency celebrated the official “light off” of the Aegis Ashore system for Romania on Oct. 24., representing the system’s operational readiness. This system, along with its re-locatable