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26 Jan 17. Austria to field common remote weapon system. The Austrian Army will field a common remote weapon station (RWS) across a significant part of its fleet of armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs). Details of this and other Austrian Army AFV upgrades were revealed by Brigadier General Norbert Huber, director of armament and procurement at the Austrian Ministry of Defence, at the IQPC International Armoured Vehicles 2017 conference held in London. It has not been confirmed which system will be installed. However, IHS Jane’s understands that a batch of Elbit Systems RWSs were delivered to Austria for its Iveco Defence Vehicles Light Multirole Vehicle (LMV) fleet, and a decision was subsequently made to further develop that system and roll the capability out across additional Austrian Army platforms. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Jan 17. Dstl set to award Icarus technology demonstration programme contract. The United Kingdom’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) will award a technology demonstration programme (TDP) contract for its Icarus modular active protection system (APS) development programme next month, IHS Jane’s understands. Intended to provide the UK with a modular integrated APS capability that has pan-fleet applicability, Icarus is one of two parallel APS programmes in development by Dstl. An Invitation to Tender (ITT) was released in June 2016 for the development and demonstration of an APS architecture standard at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 or above, meaning the technology can be demonstrated in a simulated environment. Known as the Icarus Technology Demonstration Programme (TDP), Dstl intended to award this contract before the end of 2016, but will now make the award in February, ahead of its commencement in April. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Jan 17. Islamic State showcases attack drones. The Islamic State released a video on 24 January that for the first time displayed the group’s use of commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to carry out attacks. The UAV segment of the video began with two militants launching a fixed-wing Skywalker X7/8 UAV carrying an improvised explosive device (IED) under each wing that were then seen being released. The video then showed 19 attacks filmed by UAVs as they dropped IEDs on groups of Iraqi security forces and their vehicles in the streets of Mosul. The devices appeared to inflict casualties on the soldiers. While the video implied the first attack was carried out using the Skywalker, all the IEDs were released from directly above the target by unseen hovering UAVs. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Jan 17. The Pentagon agency responsible for awarding a major contract to Leidos to produce the next iteration of the Army’s Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) is walking back on the decision following protests from two companies that lost the recent competition. The Defense Information Systems Agency, which provides information technology combat support to the services, filed a Notice of Corrective Action and Request for Dismissal with the Government Accountability Office on Wednesday, Defense News has learned. The notice contains proprietary and source selection information and is subject to the GAO’s protective order, according to a DISA spokesman. Therefore, whether the “corrective action” entails a re-evaluation of the decision or an outright cancellation of the award is under wraps, along with the agency’s reasons for filing such a notice. Once GAO lawyers approve] the notice and request for dismissal, a public version of the notice will be made available, the spokesman said. AFATDS is a joint and coalition command and control fires support system. Leidos, Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman were all in the running to be selected as the next maker of the system. Leidos won the co