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20 Sep 17. Rheinmetall demonstrates infantry system concept. Rheinmetall held the first dynamic field demonstration of its infantry system concept at its Unterlüss test centre in northern Germany on 19 September. The system consists of the Infanterist der Zukunft – Erweitertes System (Future Soldier – Expanded System, IdZ-ES), the RS556 assault rifle with which Rheinmetall is bidding to replace the Bundeswehr’s G36 assault rifle, manned, and unmanned vehicles, all networked sharing a common picture of the battlefield.
A Boxer 8×8 armoured vehicle with a Lance turret returned from trials in Australia to take part in the demonstration. During the demonstration, the vehicle transported a pair of soldiers equipped with IdZ-ES equipment to dismount close to a village to check it out for suspicious activities involving improvised explosive devices. Their movements could be followed on displays providing situational awareness and blue force tracking.
The demonstration also involved the ‘Mule’ Unbemanntes Mehrzwecksfahrzeug (Multi Mission Unmanned Vehicle) from Rheinmetall Canada. Already demonstrated at the Bundeswehr’s infantry school at Hammelburg, the ‘Mulie’, as it is affectionately called by Rheinmetall, can reconnoiter and supply areas too dangerous for soldiers to do so, according to Carsten Wawrzetzka, test engineer at Rheinmetall. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Sep 17. Arnold Defense Updates BATTLESPACE on FLETCHER. Arnold Defense, a US St Louis based international manufacturer and supplier of 2.75-inch rocket launchers, unveiled a concept named the FLETCHER 2.75-inch/70mm Weapon System. FLETCHER can be mounted on land-based military vehicles as well as, potentially, marine and littoral platforms. As FLETCHER is the same design as supplied by Arnold on many in-service airborne platforms, it can be easily assimilated into ground force inventories with minimal changes to the logistic chain and training packages. FLETCHER uses the same BAE Systems APKWS missile in use with the US Navy and USAF and overseas forces such as Jordan, Egypt and UAE. The system has been used in anger in Iraq and Afghanistan and is mounted on F-16, Apache, Cobra, Little Bird and the UAE Cessna 208 Caravan
The FLETCHER concept is supported by a team of global defense industry companies working together under Arnold’s leadership to combine their complimentary expertise. The full team composition has yet to be announced however, at this stage, Arnold are able to confirm the involvement of Military Systems Group, Nammo and Supacat. Working together, the team is able to provide a full-system approach to FLETCHER ranging from design and integration through testing, validation and manufacture into ammunition and through-life support.
The FLETCHER System displayed at DSEI used a Rockwell Collins laser targeting system, which has its own GPS, for target acquisition and to guide the missile on to targets up to a range of 8 kilometres. The Rockwell system has a tablet with a range of icons where the user can choose which round to be used from the four-shot canister. The system can also use laser guided systems mounted on aircraft or UAVs. The mid-mounted FLETCHER seeker locks on to target before launch and is guided along the laser at 1500 metres per second.
Traditionally, 2.75-inch rocket systems have been used as an area suppression weapon, ordinarily deployed by aviation assets. The team has turned this concept on its head with the advancement of guided rocket technology to meet the modern demands of land-based, vehicle mounted and dismounted asymmetric warfare, for special and conventional forces.
FLETCHER is a unique design that allows for ease of operation, maintenance and sustainment in support of combat operations. FLETCHER employs an existing suite of guidance modules, motors and warheads whi