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The People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) Navy will equip its third and fourth Russian-built Gepard 3.9 (Project 11661) light frigates with the Palma close-in weapon system (CIWS), Nudelman Precision Engineering Design Bureau confirmed in a statement issued 22 April. The PAVN is scheduled to take delivery of the vessels, reported to be anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variants, in 2017. The first two ships in class, Dinh Tien Hoang and Ly Thai Ho , were commissioned in March and August 2011 respectively and loaded with a similar CIWS. The Palma CIWS consists of Sosna-R hypersonic surface-to-air missiles, two six-barrel AO-18KD 30 mm automatic cannons and the 3V-89 electro-optical multichannel electronic countermeasures resistant fire-control system. The principal control system is electro-optic with radar back-up. According to company literature, the system can engage six targets at up to 8km simultaneously depending on the number of firing modules installed. The manufacturer indicates a gun kill envelope of 0.2 to 4km to an altitude of 3,000m and a missile kill envelope of 1.6 to 10km to an altitude of 5,000m. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

22 Apr 14. Pakistan conducted a successful test launch of its Hatf
III/Vengeance III Ghaznavi short-range ballistic missile as it continues to strengthen its deterrent capabilities against archrival India. A statement by the Pakistan military’s Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) stated that a “successful training launch” had been carried out of the 290-kilometer-range Ghaznavi, which is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads. Ghaznavi is a solid-fueled, single-stage missile possibly deriving some of its technology from the Chinese M-11/CSS-7. A missile test had been expected since last week by analysts. Though ISPT did not state the location of Tuesday’s test, analysts said it was most likely conducted at the Sonmiani Ranges. According to the ISPR statement, “The successful launch concluded the Field Training Exercise of Strategic Missile Group of Army Strategic Forces Command.” It also stated the test launch had been witnessed by a number of military and civilian officials, including Gen. Rashad Mahmood, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee; Lt. Gen. Zubair Mahmood Hayat, director of the General Strategic Plans Division; Lt. Gen. Obaid Ullah Khan, commander of Army Strategic Forces Command; and the chairman of the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), Muhammad Irfan Burney.(Source: Defense News)

24 Apr 14. India’s DRDO test fires Akash nuclear-capable anti-aircraft missile. India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test-fired the domestically built medium-range anti-aircraft missile, Akash, from launch complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore, in Odisha. Unnamed defence sources were quoted by Press Trust of India as saying that the missile targeted a toe body supported by Lakshya pilotless target aircraft (PTA), and flew a couple of minutes earlier from launch complex-II, at a definite altitude over the sea. “The results are being analysed,” the sources added, stating that the missile is scheduled to undergo additional trials in the next few days. Developed by DRDO and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) as part of the integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP), the nuclear-capable Akash missile is an all-weather missile system capable of engaging aerial threats up to a distance of 25km. The 5.78m-long missile features a launcher, control centre, multi-function fire control radar and supporting ground equipment, and can simultaneously track and attack several targets by using Rajendra, a DRDO-developed multi-target and multi-function phased array fire control radar. Capable of reaching 2.5 Mach speed, the missile can also destroy manoeuvring targets, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, as well as other ballistic missiles launched fro

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