16 May 14. Royal Navy’s HMS Defender fires Sea Viper missile. The UK Royal Navy’s Type 45, Daring-class anti-air warfare destroyer, HMS Defender, has successfully fired the Sea Viper weapon system for the first time. After being launched, the 683lb anti-air missile system hurtled through the Atlantic skies at about four times the speed of sound, and successfully smashed the target, a 13ft remote-controlled Mirach drone, which was travelling at 600mph. The successful missile firing, which is the final act in two years of rigorous training by the ship’s crew, means the destroyer is now ready to deploy on global operations, joining the already active sister ships HMS Daring, Dauntless, Diamond and Dragon. HMS Defender commanding officer commander Phil Nash said that the destroyer had proven her worth as the navy’s ultimate air defender. Capable of intercepting incoming targets at ranges up to 20 and 75 miles, depending on the versions used, the Sea Viper system is an enhanced version of the Sea Dart missile, which is currently deployed on the decommissioned Type 42 destroyers and Type 45 warships. The Sampson radar system, integrated on the crest of the ship’s main mast, is capable of tracking hundreds of contacts up to 250 miles away. Combining the capabilities of the radar and missile, Defender will be able to engage several targets simultaneously, and provides all-round protection to aircraft carriers or task groups. Commissioned on 21 March 2013, the vessel is currently on its way to Portsmouth to embark on a short period of maintenance, prior to departing the UK on its maiden operational deployment. (Source: naval-technology.com)
19 May 14. Elbit Systems showcased its latest autonomous Recoil Mortar System (RMS) for lightweight 4×4 combat vehicles at the 3rd International Fire Conference, held May 10-22, 2014, at ”Home of the Gunners” in Zikron Ya’akov, Israel. Introducing a revolutionary technology, the advanced 2nd generation RMS reduces 120mm gun barrel firing recoil loads from 30 to less than 10 tons, enabling adaptability with previously non-installable Light Combat Vehicles (LCVs), such as (Humvees), jeeps and more. This capability significantly improves the maneuverability and operational performance of infantry forces, as it delivers immediate indirect artillery support for effectively engaging a wide range of targets. SOLTAM SPEAR’s lightweight, modular design enables high-speed, all-terrain vehicle mobility, as well as helicopter and cargo aircraft transportability – allowing rapid deployment in both close range and Special Forces counterinsurgency operations. SOLTAM SPEAR is equipped with cutting-edge fire control, navigation, automatic aiming and propulsion systems, which facilitate a fully-autonomous operation and provide increased fire power and accuracy (within 30 meters of the Circular Error Probability (CEP) radius. In addition, the RMS’’ advanced target data collection and identification capabilities enhance situational awareness and increase crew survivability. SOLTAM SPEAR is offered both independently as a standalone installation or as an integral part of a larger artillery unit or formation. It is compatible with all types of 120mm smooth bore mortar systems and munitions.
21 May 14. Raytheon demos JSOW against cave targets, milestones for MALD. Raytheon has successfully demonstrated its AGM-154C-1 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) glide weapon against cave targets, a company official told IHS Jane’s on 21 May. Speaking at the ILA Airshow in Berlin, Jim ‘Longo’ Long, business development manager said that the demonstration, which was carried out at the behest of the US Navy (USN) opens up yet another target set for the 1,000 lb class, medium-range, air-to-surface, precision-guided weapon. “We have already shown how the JSOW can engage land-based and moving maritime targets, and now we are going after cave targets,” he said. According to Long, this demonstration that saw two JSOWs dropped from a pai