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11 Aug 16. Denel integrates new iNkunzi Strike with SDROW weapon station. The Mechatronics division of Denel Vehicle Systems has integrated its new iNkunzi Strike with its Self Defence Remotely Operated Weapon station (SDROW), a company source has told IHS Jane’s. The iNkunzi Strike is a belt-fed, fully automatic support weapon that uses the same 20×42 mm ammunition as the semi-automatic iNkunzi Personal Area Weapon (PAW). It can fire high explosive (HE) and semi-armour-piercing ammunition, making it an alternative to 40×53 mm automatic grenade launchers but has a higher velocity and flatter trajectory. Denel says it can fire between 350 and 400 rounds a minute with an effective range of 600 m and suppressive fire capability out to 800 m or 1,000 m against area targets. The kill zone of the 20x42mm HE round is about 2 m, making the weapon more useable in some situations than 40mm HE grenades. The SDROW was designed to be fitted with a 5.56mm or 7.62mm machine gun to provide close-in self-defence for armoured vehicles. The integration of the iNkunzi Strike gives it significantly more firepower, meaning it could serve as the primary weapon station for armoured personnel carriers and similar vehicles. Denel will offer the SDROW-Strike combination with an integral thermal night sight and laser range-finder as well as a day camera. A shot-detection system could be integrated as an option. The SDROW’s operator panel is a clip-on unit with a 1024×768 colour LCD screen that the front passenger can pass to the driver so he can provide fire support and protect the vehicle when all other crew members are debussed. It performs ballistic calculations using manual inputs or inputs from the laser range-finder and has a rapid target designation function. The SDROW has a typical elevation of -20 o to +70 o and, depending on how it is mounted on the vehicle, 360 o traverse with provision for mechanical or software-controlled prohibited fire zones and sensors to detect when hatches are open. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 Aug 16. USAF opens up JDAM options amid high demand for weapons; its insatiable need for all-weather, smart munitions, even as the service has called its primary joint direct attack munition supplier, Boeing, to produce more of the weapons.
The service is surveying the market to determine whether another source could provide the JDAMs for the US Air Force, Navy and foreign military customers, according to a 5 August sources sought notice for JDAM production lots 23 posted on the US Federal Business Opportunities website.
The survey keeps the USAF’s options open and the service will make the final call on JDAM competition following the market research, US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told Pentagon reporters today.
Earlier this spring, Boeing and the USAF’s programme executive officer weapons examined increasing the weapon’s production using existing JDAM facilities.
“We are working with Boeing actively on that,” James says. “We are working with other industry partners that are involved with ammunition and precision weapons as well, but that’s not to say that more couldn’t also be helpful. So that’s why we’re at least exploring these options.”
Air Force Materiel Command maintains that section of the sources is required by the Competition in Contracting Act, which requires the US government to research the marketplace to determine if two or more offers can satisfy a specific acquisition need, AFMC spokeswoman Sharon Branick tells FlightGlobal. The market research determines whether or not the competition will be sole-sourced, she says.
But while Boeing has long held a lock on the JDAM competition, another competitor could emerge with a new laser guided bomb offering. Recently, Lockheed Martin tested its developmental “Dual Mode Plus” configuration of the Paveway II la