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25 Mar 15. Iraq’s Shia militias roll-out heavy rockets for Islamic State offensive. Key Points:
* Iraq’s Shia militias are using improvised heavy rockets rather than equivalent Iranian systems
* The Iraqi rockets prioritise warhead size over range more than their Iranian counterparts
The Iraqi Shia militias who are leading the fight back against the Islamic State militant group appear to be making extensive use of improvised rocket artillery even though they benefit from Iranian support. Iran produces a wide range of artillery rockets and their associated launchers, most notably generic 107mm and 122mm systems, both of which are frequently seen in service with Iraq’s Shia militias. On 16 March, the New York Times cited US officials as saying that Iran had deployed Fateh-110 tactical ballistic missiles and 333 mm Fajr-5 heavy artillery rockets – or slightly different versions – to Iraq and raised concerns that they would cause civilian casualties if used. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
26 Mar 15. In a move designed to collaborate and share advanced defense technologies, Raytheon Company’s Missile Systems business signed a Letter of Intent with MESKO, Poland’s leading missile and ammunition manufacturer. Areas of cooperation focus on Raytheon’s solutions for the KRAB howitzer precision fires and new Polish Attack Helicopter, including offset proposals and opportunities for MESKO.
“This is a tremendous step forward, allowing Raytheon to expand its collaborative relationship with our partners at MESKO and the Polish industrial community, while providing increased capabilities for the Poland land force ” said Michelle Lohmeier, vice president of Raytheon’s Land Warfare Systems product line. “The LOI serves as a tool for both companies to explore cooperation and mutually beneficial business opportunities, as well as potential exports to third country markets.”
The agreement focuses on the production and future capabilities codevelopment of Raytheon’s Excalibur 155 mm precision projectile and the TALON laser guided rocket, which was co-developed with United Arab Emirates industry. Additionally, Raytheon and MESKO will explore the potential for collaboration on a next generation anti-armor weapon and a very short range air defense weapon. Previously, Raytheon signed an LOI with MESKO to cooperate on opportunities related to Poland’s air defense architecture, as well as significant exports to global markets. That agreement calls for the companies to examine areas for partnership in categories such as:
* Patriot GEM-T missile sub-system production and qualification
* Patriot GEM-T missile integration, assembly and production
* System Level Integration and Engineering
26 Mar 15. Airburst Round Extends Lethality Over Wide Range. Airburst round has high kill probability. CTA International, the Nexter/BAE Systems joint venture responsible for the CTA40 gun and its cased, telescoped ammunition, is developing an anti-air airburst round for use against airborne targets. Similar in principle to Rheinmetall’s 35-mm Ahead, the 40-mm airburst round detonates at a calculated range and releases tungsten pellets that form a lethal cone along the flightpath. The round is expected to have “100% kill probability” at a range of 2km. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/AvWeek)
26 Mar 15. US Navy’s Tomahawk missile successfully completes production acceptance test. The US Navy’s Raytheon-built Tomahawk tactical missile has successfully completed a production acceptance test using functional ground test (FGT) capability. The test was conducted at Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head explosive ordnance disposal technology division’s (NSWC IHEODTD) Large Rocket Motor Test Facility in Indian Head, Maryland, US. NSWC IHEODTD FGT software lead Mike Gardner said: “After ‘launch,’ real-t