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02 Dec 13. Indian DRDO plans first Prithvi Defence Vehicle launch next month. The Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is considering the first test launch of the newly-developed interceptor missile from a defence base off the Odisha coast in January 2014. Called as Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV), the interceptor is capable of destroying enemy missile with a strike range of 2,500km outside the Earth’s atmosphere, at an altitude of more than 150km, The New Indian Express reports. Carried out as part of India’s Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme, the launch will feature the interceptor and enemy missiles, programmed at separate locations in Chandipur and Wheeler Island, India. An unnamed source was quoted by the newspaper as saying that the enemy missile would be launched from a naval warship in the Bay of Bengal, while the interceptor would be fired from the launch complex-IV at Wheeler Island. Powered by solid propellants, the two-stage PDV interceptor is fitted to an innovative system for controlling the vehicle at an altitude of over 150km, and is anticipated to replace the programme air defence (PAD) interceptor. DRDO has to date carried out seven interceptor missile tests, in both exo- and endo-atmospheric regions, of which six have been successful. An unnamed defence scientist said that the PAD and advanced air defence interceptor missiles have already demonstrated their killing capability at an altitude of 50km to 80km and 15km to 30km, respectively. (Source: army-technology.com)

01 Dec 13. Brazilian Army to upgrade ASTROS II Mk 3. The Brazilian Army’s upgrade of its ASTROS II Mk 3 will bring some commonality with the service’s ASTROS Mk 6. The Brazilian Army is set to award Avibras Indústria Aeroespacial a contract to upgrade the service’s Artillery SaTuration ROcket System (ASTROS) II Mk3 multiple launch rocket systems (MLRSs). The deal with the system’s original equipment manufacturer is being finalised and a contract will soon be announced, a Brazilian Army spokesperson told IHS Jane’s. The ASTROS II Mk 3s are operated by the 6th Multiple Rocket Launcher Group (Grupo de Lançadores Múltiplos de Foguetes or 6º GLMF) based in Formosa, State of Goiás – the unit is set to be renamed as the 6th Missiles and Rockets Group. The upgrade programme is being established as part of the service’s ASTROS 2020 MLRS strategic project, which also includes the incorporation between 2014-18 of three batteries of the ASTROS Mk 6 system to arm a new Missiles and Rockets Group that is to be based in Formosa. The modernised system will be designated ASTROS II Mk 3M and will incorporate several of the ASTROS Mk 6 system’s features, including a new improved armoured cabin, digital communication and navigation systems, a new tracking radar that replaces the Contraves Fieldguard system, plus the ability to fire the AV-TM 300 tactical cruise missile and AV-SS-40G guided rocket systems being developed by Avibras, and the in-service AV-SS-30, AV-SS-40 and AV-SS-60 unguided rockets. The original 6×6 Mercedes Benz 2028A chassis utilised by the ASTROS II Mk 3 will be maintained. Along with improving the weapon system, the modernisation is intended to maximise operational and logistics commonality with the ASTROS Mk 6, however, the latter is based on Tatra Trucks’ T815-790R39 6×6 and T815-7A0R59 4×4 high-mobility heavy duty vehicles. Each battery is composed of universal multiple launcher (AV-LMU), re-supply (AV-RMD), fire control (AV-UCF) and workshop vehicles (AV-OFVE). The weather station vehicle (AV-MET) is based on a 4×4 unarmored light utility truck, while the battery-level command and control system (AV-PCC) is based on an armoured 4×4 vehicle. One battalion-level command and control vehicle (AV-VCC) was acquired to coordinate the full MLRS group. The AV-PCC and AV-VCC vehicles are based on Tatra Truck’s T815-7A0R59 chassis and were procured in late 2010 to enhance ASTROS II Mk 3 capability. With the exception o

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