10 Apr 14. On 8th April 2014, the French DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) successfully carried out the second qualification firing of the naval cruise missile (MdCN or Missile de Croisière Naval) currently under development by MBDA. The firing, which took place at the DGA’s Biscarrosse missile test centre (situated in the department of Landes in South West France) , was representative of a firing from a frigate and demonstrated the missile’s flight capabilities at high altitude.
This success, which once more confirms the advanced technical nature of the missile, is the result of intense activity and the coordinated efforts of a number of state bodies (notably, the DGA’s Quality Control Department and its Test and Evaluation Centres as well as the French Navy) and industry (MBDA France). Towards the end of 2014, MdCN will equip the French Navy’s multi-mission frigates (FREMM) and, in around the 2018 timeframe, its Barracuda submarines. Featuring a range of several hundred kilometers, MdCN is intended for strikes against targets deep within enemy territory. It complements the SCALP air-launched cruise missile from which it is derived. Carried on combat vessels positioned for lengthy periods at a safe distance in international waters, either overtly (on frigates) or discretely (on submarines), MdCN is designed to carry out missions calling for the destruction of high value strategic targets. The MdCN contract was notified to MBDA by the DGA at the end of 2006.
09 Apr 14. Netherlands seeks new mortar. The Netherlands has launched a tender for a new 60 mm lightweight mortar plus 15,000 rounds of ammunition in different types. Under the programme, the Defensie Materieel Organisatie is seeking a total of 75 new mortars, plus 9,315 high-explosive point detonating; 2,115 high-explosive proximity fuse; 1,539 illumination; 659 infrared illumination; and 1,974 smoke red phosphorus visible and infrared protection rounds. Delivery is expected for 2015-16 according to the tender announced on 2 April.
The new mortars will replace the Royal Netherlands Army’s 51 British Royal Ordnance 81 mm L16 mortars, purchased in 1994. The L16s will be withdrawn between 2017 and 2020. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 Apr 14. MG Industries, manufacturers of the MARCK 15 “Hydra” platform, a base system which the user can configure to any mission-specific rifle, announces that the .300 Blackout Hydra configuration in complete weapon system or as a conversion package is now shipping. This rifle features the complete modularity and interchangeability of the Hydra Modular Rifle System. The .300 Blackout Hydra weapon system comes standard with the Modular Lower Receiver with an AR Magazine Well, the QCB-D Upper Receiver and a 16″ barrel with low profile gas block, bolt and MGI’s modified bolt carrier. This system can easily accommodate other calibers by simply changing the bolt, barrel and mag well without tools. With caliber conversions already available, and many more coming into production, this weapon system continues to grow and become the most versatile Black Rifle platform the industry has ever seen.
08 Apr 14. US Navy plans at-sea demonstration of EM Railgun in 2016. The US Navy has outlined plans to deploy and test a prototype electromagnetic railgun (EM railgun) on-board a joint high-speed vessel (JHSV) in the fiscal year 2016. The test, which is the first at-sea demonstration of an EM railgun, marks a significant advance in naval combat for the US Navy, as well as the latest in a series of technical maturation efforts intended to provide an operational railgun to the fleet. Using an electromagnetic force known as the Lorenz Force, the EM railgun technology can rapidly accelerate and launch a projectile between two conductive rails. Launched at high velocities to achieve greater ranges than conventional guns, the guided projectile maintains enough kinetic energy, while eliminating the need of a high explosive payload when it reaches its t