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21 Mar 14. Indian Army to receive Dhanush howitzers by year end. India’s new domestically-manufactured 155mm artillery howitzer, Dhanush, is expected to be ready for use by the national Army by the end of the year. A derivative of the Bofors 155 mm gun, Dhanush is scheduled to undergo summer trials in the deserts of Rajasthan, India, to confirm its accuracy, range and rate of fire. Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) chairman MC Bansal said: “We have put together a special project team to look into different aspects of the product, including the cradle, barrel and the hydraulic and electrical systems. The howitzer had recently cleared the winter trials at a military range in Sikkim, India. Following the completion of extensive trials, the 155mm, 45 calibre Dhanush would enter mass production at the Gun Carriage Factory in Jabalpur district of
Madhya Pradesh in central India. Equipped with computerised fire control system, the howitzer can fire eight rounds per minutes up to 38km in the plains, while the original Bofors gun has a maximum effective range of 27km. The Indian Army has placed an order for a total of 114 guns, whose prototype was also displayed at Defexpo 2014 in New Delhi last month. OFB said that the work on the second Dhanush version is also under way. The sub-systems are being developed and, once this gun fires successfully, work on the next-generation Dhanush would gather momentum. (Source: army-technology.com)

21 Mar 14. MBDA presented for the first time ever a new coastal defence system based on the Marte missile family during DIMDEX. This system, the Marte Coastal Defence System (MCDS), guarantees maritime coastal traffic surveillance and interdiction to hostile ships in territorial waters. The system is capable of: monitoring and picturing sea communication lines; detecting and identifying hostile vessels through the use of active surveillance equipment; receiving target data via data-link; neutralising hostile vessels by using a new generation of anti-ship missiles. The MCDS is available with different and flexible configurations depending on customer requirements. This system can operate in either a stand-alone mode or integrated within an existing surveillance radar network. In addition, MBDA can offer two different missile options for MCDS; the Marte MK2/N for the control of brown waters and Marte ER, for the control of a more expansive sea area. The system configuration consists of: a Command and Control (C2) module, comprising an ISO standard 12 foot shelter that can be connected via data-link with the upper level surveillance system. This module includes consoles to manage the local picture provided by its own radar (stand-alone mode) or to track targets provided by the upper level surveillance system (integrated mode), a launcher module, comprising up to four firing units that can be mounted on ISO standard trucks. Each launcher can deploy up to four missiles, a logistics module, comprising a logistic and support vehicle, plus a variable number of reloading vehicles. The all-weather Marte MK2 is a fire-and-forget, medium-range, sea-skimming anti-ship weapon system. It is equipped with mid-course inertial and radar-based terminal guidance and is capable of destroying small craft and seriously damaging larger vessels. The missile weighs 310 kg and is 3.85 metres long. Marte was first developed in the 1980s with the 30km range MK/2 version being deployed on helicopters. Subsequent models followed for integration on different platforms and thus a family of missiles came into being.
The Marte MK-2/S, where “S” stands for “Short” and indicates shorter munitions in order to enable simpler on board integration, has already been integrated on AW101 and NH-90 NFH

24 Mar 14. North Korea test-launches additional short-range rockets. North Korea has test-launched 16 additional Frog short-range rockets into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula on the second consecutive day, South Korea’s join

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