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19 Dec 13. The Russian Strategic Missile Force (SMF) will field a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by 2020, its commander lieutenant general Sergei Karakaev has revealed. Karakaev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that the SMF is counting on being equipped with a new missile system with specifications not inferior to its predecessor in a 2018 to 2020 timeframe. The new silo-based Sarmat ICBM will replace the Cold War era R-36M2 missile, Karakaev said. Featuring advanced countermeasures for penetration of enemy missile defences, including a complex command and control (C2) system and a high degree of manoeuvrability, the Sarmat missile represents one of a number that will totally replace Soviet-era missiles by 2021. (Source: army-technology.com)

20 Dec 13. Lithuania’s Ministry of Defense has ordered FN SCAR-H PR semi-automatic rifles for the country’s armed forces. The 7.62 mm rifle is produced by Belgian arms manufacturer FN Herstal. The contract is worth 9.6m litas (US $3.9m), the ministry said in a statement. Deliveries of the weapons are scheduled to begin in 2014. The FN SCAR-H PR rifles will be supplied to the Lithuanian land forces. The weapons are to be fitted with rifle scopes made by German manufacturer Schmidt & Bender. The amount of rifles ordered was not disclosed by the ministry. FN Herstal developed the special operations forces combat assault rifle (SCAR) for the U.S. Special Operations Command. The Lithuanian armed forces will receive a precision rifle (PR) variant of the weapon. The rifle is available in a light (L) and heavy (H) version. Headquartered in Herstal, the manufacturer is owned by the country’s Walloon Region. In addition to its Belgium-based plant, Herstal Group operates production facilities located in the US, Portugal, Japan and Finland. FN Herstal has a workforce of about 2,400, according to data released by the manufacturer. (Source: Defense News)

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