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03 Aug 16. Pentagon buys WMD detection system. Decision Sciences has been awarded a Pentagon contract to provide equipment to detect weapons of mass destruction.
The contract, valued at up to $5.3m, is for Decision Sciences’ Multi-Mode Passive Detection System Generation 3 (MMPDS GEN3), which uses cosmic ray tomography to detect shielded and unshielded nuclear and radiological threats, as well as explosives, narcotics, cigarettes and other contraband. The contract was awarded by the Defense Department’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office.
The system scans in 3-D “all types of vehicles, cargo containers and other conveyances,” according to a Decision Sciences news release.
“In addition to being able to detect and identify radiological threats and known contraband, unlike other systems on the market the MMPDS GEN3 is also ‘trainable’ and incorporates advanced machine learning algorithms. As the nature of the threat or contraband type changes, MMPDS GEN3’s system library can therefore be updated to identify and pinpoint the location of illicit materials or unusual contraband,” the company said. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
03 Aug 16. BAE Systems develops improved small-calibre ammunition for UK military. The UK armed forces have begun the process of acquiring new types of 5.56mm and 7.62mm calibre ammunition to improve the effectiveness of their rifles and machine guns, after decades of employing NATO standard rounds with only minor modifications.
The development of the ammunition is being led by BAE Systems Munitions, whose Radway Green site has the last surviving British mass-production small-arms ammunition plant. The factory was refurbished a few years ago after the government signed a 15-year Munitions Acquisition Supply Solution (MASS) contract guaranteeing a minimum level of orders to make the investment worthwhile.
The first small arms to benefit are those in 7.62 mm calibre, principally the L7A2 general purpose machine gun (GPMG) and the L129A1 sharpshooter rifle. The standard L44A1 ball round and the more precisely-made L42A1 sniper ammunition have become the primary types of ammunition used in these weapons and typically comprise a full metal jacket (FMJ) with a lead core.
BAE Systems Munitions has developed a new round designated L59A1, also referred to as High Performance (HP), in which the front half of the core is replaced by hardened steel. It is similar in design to the bullet used in the NATO 5.56 mm standard ball round, known internationally as the SS109. The L59A1 bullet is slightly heavier – 10 g compared with 9.33 g for the L44A1 – and longer, so there is less room for propellant. As a result a more powerful propellant is required to match the ballistics of the L44A1. This increases cost and is therefore currently only being used “in more specialist areas”.
A variation of the L59A1 design known as the IB (Improved Ball), which has a shorter and lighter bullet so that the standard propellant can be used, is currently being assessed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for its suitability for general use. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Aug 16. North Korea launches medium-range missile. North Korea has yet again launched a ballistic missile off its east coast peninsula, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs Of Staff (JCS) have said.
The JCS said that the missile, launched from South Hwanghae province on Wednesday, landed in Japan’s economic exclusion zone, heightening tensions in the region.
The medium-range missile, which flew roughly 1,000km before landing into Japanese waters, was believed to be a Rodong-type missile. South Korean Defense Ministry official was quoted by CNN as saying: “North Korea, by firing of ballistic missile which can equip nuclear warhead, is openly showing its direct and obvious intention of provocation and ambition that it can targ