Sponsored by Arnold Defense www.arnolddefense.com
10 Sep 21. Arnold Defense announces next generation FLETCHER development program. Arnold Defense, the St. Louis based manufacturer of 2.75-inch rocket launchers, is announcing the launch of a capability development program for their unique FLETCHER Land Based, Laser Guided Rocket Launcher that aims to deliver a future ‘next generation’ suite of systems. The FLETCHER precision guided 2.75-inch/70mm weapon system was first unveiled in 2017 at DSEi in London and a number of major orders were announced in October 2020. This announcement coincides with DSEi 2021 that is taking place 14-17 September. At the show, Arnold Defense FLETCHER launchers can be seen displayed on the Level Peaks Associates (H4-648) and ISTEC (H2-702) stands.
Following the receipt of some direct operational feedback from current users of the FLETCHER system, Arnold Defense is launching this capability development program to investigate the potential to take the next generation of FLETCHER systems in a number of key directions. Specifically, the program will include the development, integration and testing of optical pointing, for use when laser designation is not an option and digital fire control systems to increase the operability, functionality and operational capability. As well, the program includes the development of a system to enable multiple “clustered” launcher configurations and notably, man-pack portable units for use by dismounted troops. Once developed and successfully tested, this will allow FLETCHER to be used by small teams working on foot giving the dismounted user the ability to accurately engage targets from the ground at a range of over 5km. Running concurrently with this future development program, Arnold Defense are already working on some other revolutionary development projects for FLETCHER including a boat-mounted marine variant and further development of their 23-round MLHS ground-based system, first unveiled at DSEi in 2019.
With FLETCHER, Arnold Defense has made a bold departure from the traditional concept of use for 2.75-inch rocket systems; that of an area suppression weapon delivered by aviation assets. Arnold’s innovative approach to FLETCHER using advanced rocket-guidance technology to utilize ground-based launch platforms, meets the demands of modern, vehicle-mounted and dismounted asymmetric warfare.
FLETCHER’s unique design allows for ease of operation, maintenance and sustainment. It employs an existing suite of guidance modules, rockets and warheads, already used in well-known programs and readily available to global forces. As a result, the FLETCHER system is ‘rocket agnostic’ allowing the user to fire their existing in-service 2.75-inch rockets of choice with rockets from both BAe and Thales having been tested and certified for use.
Doug Wallace, President at Arnold Defense said, “We’ve listened very carefully to the feedback we’ve received from the operational use of the first generation FLETCHER system and we’re now developing a suite of possible future solutions to improve the operational capability and flexibility.” He added, “Arnold Defense is committed to protecting the warfighter. FLETCHER has generated huge interest globally with its unique capability to deliver organic, long-range precision firepower to even the smallest unsupported tactical element. What we’re now developing will add even more to the firepower toolset on offer to the users.”
21 Jul 21. Meggitt Defense Systems to Provide Thermal Management & Ammunition Handling Systems for Next-Generation Platforms at DSEI. When it comes to world-leading platforms, Meggitt Defense Systems is the #1 choice for the design, development, integration, production and support of thermal management systems, aerospace fans and pumps, and ammunition handling systems. At DSEI 2021, Meggitt Defense will be displaying products ideal for the next-generation platforms. Visitors to the booth will be able to learn about Meggitt’s military thermal capabilities including the 270 Volt fan and our Auxiliary Cooling and Power System (ACPS).
Ammunition Handling Systems
From 20mm through 120mm, we have developed and fielded lightweight, safe and reliable automatic ammunition handling systems for attack helicopters, ground vehicles and gunships.
- Linkless feed design eliminates jamming issues associated with round handling
- Greater operational efficiency and lighter weight than linked system
- Compact, Fast, and Reliable
- We are developing lethality technology today that will enhance products to support the Warfighter for several years to come
Environmental Cooling Systems – ACPS
Designed to provide cooling and power for crew comfort and electronics. The ACPS is a rugged, self-contained system ready for today’s modern fighting vehicles.
- Powered by Diesel and JP8
- Provides 7 kW+ of cooling
- Provides 6 hours of cooling and auxiliary power without refueling
- Self-sufficient system. Does not require input from vehicle to operate
Military & Aerospace Fans- 270 Volt
Cools electronics and mission critical equipment in any military and aerospace helicopter or fixed wing aircraft
- Optimized to fit the next generation suite of platforms
- Designed with a custom integral AC or DC motor in accordance with MIL-STD-704
- Over 25,000 Meggitt fans are currently in service around the world
03 Aug 21. NP Aerospace Introduces Scimitar Biometric and GPS tracking for Bomb Disposal Operators. NP Aerospace, manufacturer of the 4030 ELITE Bomb Disposal Suit, has joined forces with CRF-I Limited to offer Scimitar technology for real-time EOD operator management and tracking.
The Scimitar system being showcased for the first time at an international tradeshow at DSEI in London, provides EOD teams with a greater understanding of what EOD operators are experiencing in real time via live audio, video, measurement of their physical wellbeing and GPS location.
The technology was driven by a global military requirement and uses the latest mesh radio and sensor data to capture on one screen biometric data including Heart Rate (bpm) Respiratory Rate (rpm), Body Temperature (°c) And Physical Strain Index (PSI), whilst tracking the operator’s GPS location. It has been developed initially for EOD but has application beyond this into tactical / first responder teams and CBRN environments.
NP Aerospace has joined forces with CRFI-Ltd as part of its strategy to expand the range of integrated technologies available with its newly launched 4030 ELITE Bomb Disposal Suit which is certified to the National Institute of Justice NIJ 0117.01 public safety standard.
Grant Findlay, Business Development Manager, CRFI-I said: “The Scimitar Tactical Kit was developed in response to a requirement from a large defence organisation wanting to reduce injuries and loss of life amongst EOD operators. Using technology to measure the operator’s human tolerances and physical stress in a training or live environment enables the EOD base operator to understand any associated mental stress and impact on performance. They can effectively step in and change the course of action and ultimately protect operators from harm. We see this having a significant advantage in both the defence and security space.”
Doug Stewart, Business Director, NP Aerospace, commented: “Since launching our new NIJ certified 4030 ELITE bomb disposal suit, we are seeing an increasing number of requirements for advanced situational awareness. The Scimitar technology is unique in that it measures critical biometric data in real time whilst providing post incident analysis for EOD teams to improve overall safety and performance. As an armour manufacturer our job is to save lives. By integrating our core products with advanced, safety enhancing technologies, we can provide the highest level of protection for defence and security personnel.”
24 Jun 21. MBDA has successfully completed a firing of the CAMM-ER air defence missile against a manoeuvring target, confirming the excellent capability of the CAMM family system.
The trial took place at an Italian firing range. CAMM-ER is the extended range member of the new-generation CAMM air defence family of systems.
All members of the CAMM family share the same cutting-edge active radar seeker and soft-launch system, with CAMM-ER featuring a larger rocket motor designed by AVIO to provide extended range out beyond 40 km.
CAMM-ER was designed to replace the Aspide munition in the Medium Advanced Air Defence System (MAADS) of the Italian Air Force and the GRIFO air defence system of the Italian Army. CAMM-ER is the missile that will be used in the Albatros NG system, which provides an optimized naval based air defence (NBAD) solution to enhance the defence capabilities of naval fleets.
06 Jul 21. MBDA has been awarded a number of contracts to significantly upgrade the air and missile defence capabilities of the Royal Navy’s six Type 45 destroyers.
The work will see CAMM (Common Anti-Air Modular Missile) paired with an upgraded Sea Viper command and control (C2) system for the first time. CAMM offers both world-leading close-in and local-area air defence, and will complement Aster 30, strengthening the anti-air defence capability of the Royal Navy.
Fitting CAMM onto the Type 45s will give the destroyers a 50% increase in the number of its air defence missiles. Installation will be via 24 additional launcher cells, and the Sea Viper C2 will get a technology upgrade, giving it a major increase in processing power.
The existing 48 Sylver cells on the Type 45 will now be solely for the longer-range Aster 30 missile, which is also subject to a recently announced mid-life refresh. This will see the missile remain in service throughout the life of the Type 45s.
CAMM has already been delivered to both the British Army and the Royal Navy, where it is the interceptor in both ground-based air defence (GBAD) and naval-based air defence (NBAD) systems, enabling these services to equip missiles from a shared stockpile.
In service on upgraded Royal Navy Type 23 frigates, CAMM will also be fitted to Type 26 and Type 31 in the future. The CAMM family has proven a rapid success with international customers, with Canada and Brazil among the new users ordering the missile this year.
19 Jul 21. MBDA has been awarded a contract by France’s Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) and the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to lead the new Complex Weapons Innovation Technology Partnership (CW ITP).*
The new four-year contract follows on from the work of the Materials and Components for Missiles Innovation Technology Partnership (MCM ITP) over the last 13 years to continue developing generation-after-next missile technology.
The Governments of both France – through its Defence Innovation Agency – and the UK – with the Integrated Review – have shown a commitment to harness the opportunities innovation can present for the benefit of their Defence capabilities. The CW ITP enables both counties to co-operate in that endeavour and solve the challenges future capabilities will need to overcome.
The CW ITP’s new framework will see it focus on five enduring technical areas (ETAs) identified as unique and critical to the field of complex weapons:
- Materials, Structures & Electronics;
- Mission Systems & Algorithms;
- Propulsion; and
The development funding provided by CW ITP in these areas will help sustain France and the UK‘s industrial and scientific base.
A renewed group of French and UK companies, split equally across the two countries, will lead these ETAs.
CW ITP will also introduce greater collaboration across these areas through ‘Dynamic Challenges’ that will look at technologies with applications across them, as well as any new potential technology areas.
It will also look to fund more ‘Disruptive Innovation’ through short, three to six month, technology projects that whilst at the smaller end of funding, carry a high risk of not being successful but high reward if they are.
Additionally, CW ITP has increased the funding to research activities of French and UK SME’s and academia through efficiency savings on costs of managing the projects.
Éric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, said: “I am delighted that a new of era of the Innovation Technology Partnership is beginning with this contract. MCM ITP was an excellent example of Anglo-French co-operation, and the CW ITP will no doubt continue in this endeavour, showcasing that our countries remain committed to working together on future defence technologies.”
Ed Dodwell, the Head of CW ITP, said: “The importance of CW ITP’s cross defence collaboration is its facility to match up the evolution of ideas with their exploitation. Technology on its own, without a concept for use becomes redundant. Concepts that never materialise beyond that are opportunities missed. CW ITP addresses this by having the best experts, working together, linking up the technology push of innovation with the market pull of complex weapons.”
CW ITP will have an annual budget of 12m euros – 50% from Dstl/DGA and 50% from Industry – to fund up to 30 projects every two years. These research activities will focus on developing technologies with a low readiness level (up to TRL 3 or 4).
Arnold Defense has manufactured more than 1.25 million 2.75-inch rocket launchers since 1961 for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and many NATO customers. They are the world’s largest supplier of rocket launchers for military aircraft, vessels and vehicles. Core products include the 7-round M260 and 19-round M261 commonly used by helicopters; the thermal coated 7-round LAU-68 variants and LAU-61 Digital Rocket Launcher used by the U.S. Navy and Marines; and the 7-round LAU-131 and SUU-25 flare dispenser used by the U.S. Air Force and worldwide.
Today’s rocket launchers now include the ultra-light LWL-12 that weighs just over 60 pounds (27 kg.) empty and the new Fletcher (4) round launcher. Arnold Defense designs and manufactures various rocket launchers that can be customized for any capacity or form factor for platforms in the air, on the ground or even at sea.
Arnold Defense maintains the highest standards of production quality by using extensive testing, calibration and inspection processes.