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15 May 15. Germany’s defence ministry has decided to buy MEADS, the successor to the Patriot missile defence system from the firm MBDA, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday. The newspaper, which did not identify its sources, said MBDA, along with U.S. firm Lockheed Martin, would make the MEADS system ready for series production. The report described the project as one of the biggest and most expensive armament projects of the next decade and such a decision would mean Patriot manufacturer Raytheon would lose out after also being in the race with a modernised version of its system. The German defence ministry declined to confirm or deny the report. “The decision will, as we have announced, be made by the end of the second quarter,” a spokesman said. “We continue to be in talks with all manufacturers.” The United States, Italy and Germany spent several billion dollars developing MEADS over the past decade as a successor to the Patriot system, but Washington decided in 2012 to withdraw, citing budget cuts. The decision on the system is considered one of the most important armament choices of this legislative period and the order, for which around 4bn euros are still payable, is the first big independent procurement decision for Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, the newspaper said.
13 May 15. Israel Stocks Up on Bullet-Resistant Grenades. Israel’s Defense Ministry is restocking supplies of locally produced, non-sensitive IM26 hand grenades, proven for the first time in last summer’s Gaza war to withstand a direct hit by enemy fire without exploding. Developed and patented by Israel Military Industries (IMI), the grenade is an upgraded version of standard #26 grenades that separates sensitive activating materials from less sensitive explosive materials, thus igniting only upon removal of the grenade’s safety pin. Used extensively by the Israel Defense Forces during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, the IM26 was credited with saving the life of at least one paratrooper who took an enemy bullet during maneuvers in southern Gaza. The bullet became lodged in the grenade that the paratrooper was carrying in the belt atop his protective vest, IMI executives said.
“This bullet struck the grenade worn in the belt of the paratrooper and would have killed him instantly,” Avi Felder, IMI president and CEO, told Defense News on Wednesday.
“Not only that, it most likely would have killed those operating around him at the time. It’s a real lifesaver,” Felder said.
IMI is producing tens of thousands of these grenades for the IDF and export customers. The product is notionally named Eliraz in honor of Eliraz Peretz, an IDF major killed in an August 2010 counterterror operation when an enemy bullet ignited a grenade he was carrying in his vest. (Source: Defense News)
13 May 15. DSM Dyneema, the inventor and manufacturer of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMwPE) fiber, branded as Dyneema®, finalized the acquisition of Cubic Tech Corporation. This privately owned company, based in Mesa (Arizona, USA), has specialized for more than 23 years in the custom design, development and production of innovative high performance ultra-lightweight flexible laminates and fabrics — most of them based on Dyneema®. Cubic Tech is focused on high-end solutions in applications as diverse as racing yacht sails, equipment and apparel for sportswear, outdoor and future soldier programs as well as emergency medical equipment. Terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed. The acquisition of Cubic Tech reinforces the position of Dyneema® as one of the leading brands of ultra high performance materials. It broadens DSM Dyneema’s product portfolio, provides it with downstream knowledge complementary to its own in the processing of UHMwPE fiber, tape and