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23 Oct 14. MBDA completes series production testing of Milan ER missile. MBDA has successfully carried out test-firings of its Milan extended-response (ER) anti-tank guided missile from an undisclosed location. Involving four successful firings against fixed and moving targets, the trials confirmed the performance capabilities of the Milan’s firing post, as well as its warhead. The tests, jointly conducted with export customers, validate the series production of the missile and enable the company to finalise the production work and deliver the first units in 2015, as planned. MBDA chief executive officer Antoine Bouvier said: “The Milan ER missile is of particular importance to us, owing to the long performance lineage it clearly embodies, but also because this very attractive system allows MBDA to maintain a business and technical presence in a great number of countries, all of which are prospective customers for higher-end products.” The company completed qualification of the missile earlier this year. A modified variant of the combat-proven Milan anti-tank weapon system with a powerful warhead and a fully digital firing post, Milan ER can be deployed to provide tactical fire support for land combat forces in close combat operations in urban and open terrains. Fired from armoured vehicle platforms using a modified wireless aerial surveillance platform (WASP) turret, the missile can engage and destroy both fixed and stationary targets such as heavily armoured tanks, command posts and fortifications, within a range of 3km. The missile is primarily developed for the French and Indian armies, and has also been chosen by three export customers. The Milan ER is also reportedly attracting growing interest from armed forces that require a highly efficient missile at a highly competitive acquisition and lifecycle cost. (Source: army-technology.com)
23 Oct 14. Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org, coming off a visit to the United Arab Emirates in conjunction with MDAA’s inaugural United Arab Emirates Air and Missile Defender of the Year Award Ceremony held last Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, has released a statement calling for a Phased Adaptive Approach-style missile defense program to be crafted and implemented for the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
“It is essential for the United States, the UAE, and the GCC to pursue a common, long-term strategy to build out the region’s missile defenses. An Arabian Phased Adaptive Approach type model should be adopted, with Phase 1 starting in the UAE, and building out that common architecture in other GCC nations.” Mr. Ellison said.
A “Phased Adaptive Approach” in the Arabian Gulf “would be much more capable and less costly for the United States than the current program in Europe, since all of the GCC countries are already acquiring air and missile defense systems and contributing heavily to the overall architecture.” said Mr. Ellison.
The MDAA Chairman said that enhancing missile defenses in partnership capacity with UAE and the GCC countries is a more reliable solution to deal with the threat of Iranian nuclear breakout than the current negotiations led by the Obama Administration.
“With or without an agreement in place, Iran would still likely retain a nuclear breakout capability, which would lead to strategic imbalance that could ignite a nuclear arms race in the region.” said Mr. Ellison, referring to the Obama Administration’s efforts to get a deal with Iran to slow down its nuclear development in exchange for easing sanctions.
“Based on past experience, any agreement would at most slow down Iran’s development, but not ultimately prevent Iran from acquiring or developing nuclear weapons. It is just too strategically risky for any of the si