25 Sep 14. ATK offers solid-rocket motors for USAF’s RD-180 engine replacement. ATK has offered a commercial solid rocket solution in response to a US Air Force’s (USAF) request for a replacement for the Russian-made RD-180 engines that power the first-stage of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V launch vehicle. The new solid rocket motor combines new technologies developed over the last six years, and led to higher performance and increased reliability and affordability. The technology is capable of providing a smooth lift for payloads, which is critical when launching critical payloads, sensitive satellites and crews. Having led to successful launches within the government and commercial industries over the past decades, the solid rocket motors are optimal for first-stage performance due to their ability to provide high lift-off thrust, enabling more payload margin. In addition to this, the motors require less ground and launch infrastructure, resulting in fewer launch scrubs. Manufacturing and testing of ATK’s RD-180 replacement solution is scheduled to be carried out within the US using tooling and infrastructure already in place across the country. Designed and developed by NPO Energomash, the RD-180 is a derivative of the RD-170/RD-171 line of rocket engines, and features a dual-combustion chamber and dual-nozzle design. On 21 August, the USAF made an official request for information to the industry for a new “booster propulsion and/or launch system materiel options that could deliver cost-effective, commercially-viable solutions for current and future National Security Space (NSS) launch requirements. In May, Russia announced plans to ban the US from using Russian-made rocket engines for military launches in response to escalation in tensions between the two countries over the Ukrainian crisis. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
26 Sep 14. Saab’s latest Carl-Gustaf M4 system impresses customers in live fire demonstration. Defence and security company Saab newly-developed and much sought-after Carl-Gustaf M4 saw the debut. During a successful ground combat systems demonstration at the Saab Bofors Test Center the M4 was the clear highlight for everyone present. Intelligent, lightweight and flexible; the Carl-Gustaf M4 is the latest man-portable shoulder-launched multi-role weapon system from Saab. Weighing less than 7 kg the Carl-Gustaf M4 is a future-proof design that provides users with flexible capability and helps troops to remain agile in any scenario.
Since the introduction of the M1 model in 1948, the dependable Carl-Gustaf has become one of the most prestigious and battle-proven weapon systems in modern military history. It is now in service with over 40 countries around the world. Over the years, continuous evolution by Saab has ensured that the Carl-Gustaf remains effective and relevant across all operational environments. The M4 is a further development of today’s widely deployed Carl-Gustaf M3. Although it looks reassuringly familiar to anyone acquainted with the earlier versions, the M4 is a completely new experience. To showcase the M4’s many design and capability enhancements a ground combat systems demonstration was held in Sweden on 24-25 September 2014. This customer-focused event was attended by about 120 guests from more than 20 nations. It was the first time the M4’s unmatched capabilities were revealed in front of an audience. Existing users and potential new customers could see for themselves how the Carl-Gustaf M4 gives soldiers a true multi-role capability with a wide range of ammunition types. The demonstration included a comprehensive series of successful firings with a range of ammunition types against moving and static targets. The demonstration also featured other renowned products from Saab including the AT4, NLAW anti-tank system and MAPAM mortar ammunition. Recently Saab unveiled the development of significant new capabilities for the AT4 family of disposable shoulder-launched weapons. Th