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18 Mar 15. Brazil inducts locally developed 30 mm ammunition. The Brazilian Army is scheduled on 20 March to officially induct 30×173 mm ammunition developed by local company Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos (CBC), intended for the ATK Mk44 Bushmaster automatic cannon that arm the AEL Sistemas UT30BR remote weapon station. A batch of 30,000 rounds comprised of target practice – tracer (TP-T) and high-explosive incendiary (HEI) ammunition was ordered in December 2012 from CBC and is now entering service, the army told IHS Jane’s on 18 March. Several remote weapon stations were acquired for the army’s Iveco Latin America VBTP-MR Guarani 6×6 amphibious armoured vehicle and these stations’ cannon will fire the new ammunition. The UT30BR also fits a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, grenade launchers, fire control system, laser warning system, and ballistic armor. CBC is among the largest ammunition producers in the world. The company also owns Magtech, Sellier & Bellot, and MEN brands. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
18 Mar 15. India defers Astra air-to-air missile trial due to technical glitch. India’s domestically built Astra beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAM) failed to launch during a latest trial conducted off the Odisha coast on 16 March. An undisclosed Indian Defence official was quoted by The New Indian Express as saying that the missile failed to fire due to technical problem in the system, even though the pilotless target aircraft (PTA) flew as per schedule. The failure prompted the missile manufacture, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), to defer the trial. The test was conducted to check the control system and stability of the missile, allowing for its quick induction into the Indian Armed Forces. A part of the final round induction phase, the trial was originally scheduled to be carried out in collaboration with the Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odhisa, on 12 March, but was postponed for unknown reasons. Meanwhile, ITR director MVKV Prasad told the news agency that the trial would likely be conducted over the next two days. The missile had already failed twice due to weapon systems malfunctions in 2011, but successfully completed a series of developmental tests, captive flights, and trials from Su-30MKI fighter aircraft between 2012 and 2014. The Astra is designed and developed by DRDO. It is an all-aspect, all-weather missile with active radar terminal guidance, excellent electronic counter-countermeasures features, smokeless propulsion, and a high single shot kill probability. Power for the missile comes from a solid fuel propellant. The missile carries a 15kg high-explosive warhead, and can engage both short-range aerial targets located at up to 20km and long-range targets at a distance of up to 80km using alternative propulsion modes. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
18 Mar 15. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency plans to launch a competition for a new warhead or “kill vehicle” for its ground-based homeland missile defense system in 2018, the agency’s director told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday. Navy Vice Admiral James Syring said he expected to launch the competition after the completion of design work now underway by three companies, Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co and Raytheon to redesign the existing warhead, which was built by Raytheon. Syring spoke during a hearing of the defense subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. (Source: Reuters)
18 Mar 15. US Army wants upgrades to improve M4A1 carbine’s performance, accuracy. The U.S. Army is considering several upgrades to the M4A1 Carbine that could improve its accuracy and performance and change the weapon’s appearance. Army weapons and contracting officials recently launched a market survey to see what the small-arms industry has