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23 Aug 18. Russia unveils Sosna SHORAD system production version. Russia for the first time publicly unveiled a serial production example of the Sosna short-range air-defence (SHORAD) system mounted on the MTLB chassis at the Army 2018 exhibition being held in Kubinka, near Moscow, on 21-26 August. The Sosna is a point defence turret developed by Nudelmann Design Bureau, which has also been shown mounted on the BMD-4 chassis. On the MTLB chassis the complete system is known as Sosna, but on the BMD-4 chassis the complete system is known as the Ptitselov. The manufacturer has stated that the turret and the complete system are called Sosna, but also added that Sosna is the export variant and the variant in Russian service is called Bagul’nik. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Aug 18. Russian military upgrades 122mm MRLs. The Russian armed forces will replace the BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher (MRL) with the 9K51M Tornado-G, a military source told Jane’s at the Army 2018 defence show being held close to Moscow on 21-26 August.
“The Western Military District and the Southern Military District [SMD] have already received the Tornado-G,” the source said. “The troops are also receiving the 1V198 C2 [command and control] post that is coupled to the Tornado-G, with an SMD artillery unit having received the first C2 vehicle of this type in early March,” he added. The 2B17M Tornado-G MRL system is mounted on a Ural 4320 utility truck. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
22 Aug 18. Indian MoD issues RFI for 30,000 light machine guns. India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has invited responses from local manufacturers by 17 September to a request for information (RFI) regarding the supply of 30,000 7.62 × 51 (7.62mm NATO) light machine guns (LMGs) to the Indian Army (IA) for an estimated INR30bn (USD429.4m). Issued on 21 August, the document, which supplements an RFI issued in October 2017, expands on the previously stated LMG acquisition parameters under the ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ category of the MoD’s Defence Procurement Procedure-2016 (DPP-2016), as well as on the weapon’s operational requirements. The recently published RFI specifies that the ‘Buy’ component under the DPP, which entails India importing a limited number of weapon systems and licence-building the rest, would be ‘nil’. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
22 Aug 18. Indian Army successfully flight tests helicopter-launched ATGM Helina. The Indian Army has successfully flight tested the indigenously built, helicopter launched, anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) Helina in the desert areas of Pokhran, Rajasthan. Launched from an Indian Army helicopter, the Helina weapon system has been tested for its full range. During the trial, the weapon system was released smoothly from the launch platform, following which the missile successfully tracked the target all through its course before hitting it with high precision. All parameters of the flight test have been monitored by the telemetry stations, tracking systems and the helicopters deployed by the Indian Army. In a statement, an army official was quoted by The Times of India as saying: “This is path-breaking. Today, were able to hit the target which was 5km away.
“This is path-breaking. Today, were able to hit the target which was 5km away.”
“We are next going to try 7km. This is the first time that it has been done in the country.
“It’s extremely efficient in combat situations.”
Developed by Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Helina helicopter launched ATGM is claimed to be one of the most advanced anti-tank weapons in the world. The missile is guided by an Infrared Imaging Seeker (IIR) operating in the Lock on Before Launch mode and helps in further strengthening the defence capabilities of the country. The Helina system is the helicopter-launched version of India’s NAG missile and has a hit range of 7km to 8km. The development and induction of the Helina missile is expected to be carried out next year, reported The Hindu Business Line. (Source: army-technology.com)
22 Aug 18. India tests SAAW precision-guided bomb from IAF’s Jaguar aircraft. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has successfully carried out flight tests of its new Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) precision-guided glide bomb. Launched from the IAF’s Jaguar aircraft at the Chandan range in Rajasthan, the weapon system was integrated with a live warhead and was successfully destroyed simulated targets with exact precision. During the event, a total of three flight tests with varied release conditions were carried out by the airforce.
“The precision-guided glide bomb has been specifically designed to be launched from the Russian-built Sukhoi Su-30 twin-engine fighter jet and the SEPECAT Jaguar aircraft.”
The trial demonstrated that the SAAW weapon system could successfully attain all of the required mission objectives and is capable of destroying a wide range of ground targets using precision navigation. Designed and developed by the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the SAAW guided bombs have undergone eight developmental trials. In addition, the weapon demonstrated the performance capability of the system for different ranges under a number of launch conditions. Weighing approximately 120kg, SAAW weapon system has a range of around 100km. It has been reportedly developed to ensure high precision, which is claimed to be difficult to attain operationally using simple gravity bombs. The precision-guided glide bomb has been specifically designed to be launched from the Russian-built Sukhoi Su-30 twin-engine fighter jet and the SEPECAT Jaguar aircraft, reported Zee News. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
22 Aug 18. Azerbaijan shows off kamikaze drone in military exercises. In recent military exercises along the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan demonstrated its inventory of Harop loitering munitions. This drone-adjacent category, think of it as of “unpeopled flying machines armed with sensors,” fits somewhere between cruise missile and landmine. It is often launched into an area to find a target and then collides with that target in an explosive end. While the nation remains vague about its actually utility on the battlefield, the prominence of the Harop in both military exercises and promotional videos suggests that this loitering munition is one way for the country to show off the technological sophistication and power of its military. In the next decade, we can expect both the number of loitering munition models, and the countries seeking to acquire them, to expand greatly. It’s possible that the Caspian exercises are not the first time Azerbaijan has used the Israeli-made Harop loitering munitions, notes Defense Blog. These instances include a sighting in April 2016over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area. Armenia alleged at the time that the Harop caused casualties, though Azerbaijan denies that the weapon was used in combat. Still, the country’s hardly been shy when it comes to showing off the flying loitering munition. The Harop is featured in a music video for Azerbaijan’s border guard, and there are the newly released photos of the terminal drone in exercises. Only a handful of countries use the Harop, which has the option to land after a scouting mission if it doesn’t detect any targets in its six-hour flight. The cameras and radar-detecting sensors make it useful primarily for destroying hostile radio sites, though the payload is certainly adaptable to other targets. It is something of a prestige item, inasmuch as there is any prestige in the high-end of flying robots that go boom. The most recent pictures released show the loitering munition launched from one of nine canisters on the back of a truck, its wings folded at ignition and unfolded in the sky. The demonstration show includes the Harop flying into a target at a sharp 45 degree angle before shattering the cinderblock building.
While the Harop remains the top-end of loitering munitions, it’s hardly the only entry. New contenders are smaller, infantry-portable weapons which aim to add reach and punch to smaller formations. Another Israeli design, the HERO-30, can be carried in a backpack, and features a small payload. Slovakia is developing an infantry-usable loitering munition named the Predator AX-1, and the United States uses the Switchblade drone for a similar purpose. A 2017 survey by the Center for the Study of the Drone found over 31 loitering munition programs and designs, with at least six more in development.
Loitering munitions stand out as an edge case in debates around the autonomy of weapons. When piloted by a human from launch until impact, they are simple guided weapons. When launched towards a known target and then flown autonomously until impact, they are little more than sensor-rich cruise missiles. It is in the seeking of targets, the autonomous detection and then execution of objects that match a given profile that loitering munitions get closest to a lethal autonomy on their own. Landmines and naval mines, too, are built to detonate at certain threshold, like pressure from above, but landmines and naval mines do not move after targets, or move into an area and then select from the viable objects in that area which do destroy. The autonomy of the systems may be up for debate, but the use of high-end loitering munitions as a prestige weapon, and one with direct battlefield applicability, will likely further drive their development, and a greater proliferation of styles. Arms races sometimes develop a mine of their own. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
22 Aug 18. The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Defence Industry, today announced the selection of Rafael Advanced Defence System’s SPIKE LR2 as the Anti-Tank Guided Weapon (ATGW) for the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV). The SPIKE LR2 will be delivered by Varley Rafael Australia (VRA Systems), the joint venture between Rafael and the Varley Group.
The announcement was made by Minister Pyne at the official launch of VRA Systems in a ceremony today at Parliament House in Canberra. Following Minister Pyne’s comments, Mr Jeff Phillips, Managing Director of the Varley Group, and Major General (Ret’d) Yoav Har-Even, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rafael, formally signed the VRA joint venture agreement. They were joined by His Excellency Mark Sofer, Israeli Ambassador to Australia, and guests from the Australian Government, ADF and defence industry.
Mr Phillips said: “The 5th Generation SPIKE LR2 is the first of what we hope will be many opportunities for VRA to deliver Australian sovereign capabilities, drive innovation and jobs, and create export opportunities.” He noted the significance of the decision for Australian defence industry, “This undertaking will be an Australian first. VRA Systems combines a world leader of defence technology in Rafael, with Australia’s oldest and most respected defence enterprise in Varley. We will now deliver the world’s premier Anti-Tank Guided Weapon for use by the Australian Defence Force.”
General Har-Even noted the decision builds on Rafael’s 20-plus years in the Australian market, and follows a long line of similar partnerships around the world. “Rafael’s strategy is to join with local partners that allow us to establish capability in the local market. We are extremely proud to have established the relationship with Varley, and we look forward to working with them to deliver the SPIKE LR2 system to the Australian Defence Force”.
In addition to the SPIKE LR2, VRA will deliver a range of Rafael products for the Australian market including the TROPHY Active Protection System (APS) for armoured vehicles; the TAMIR Counter-Rocket, Artillery & Missile (CRAM) interceptor for short-range Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD); and the TORBUSTER Torpedo Counter-Measure (TCM) for submarines.
VRA’s inaugural CEO, Mr Jacob Blitman, said: “VRA aims to maximise the proportion of SPIKE LR2 componentry produced in Australia and deliver through-life in service support, making use of our reach-back to Rafael’s research and development network in Israel. We will employ up to 70 Australians in our local facilities with potentially hundreds more across our Australian supply chain. Australian suppliers now have the opportunity to enter Rafael’s global supply chain for the SPIKE family and a range of Rafael products and systems, servicing more than 30 customer nations.”
22 Aug 18. Saudi Patriot PAC-3 capability confirmed. The Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces (RSADF) have deployed a Patriot battery with new Lockheed Martin PAC-3 missiles to Mecca, a photograph posted on social media has confirmed. Published by the unofficial Saudi Armed Forces News Twitter account on 20 August, the photograph is the first to be released showing an RSADF Patriot battery with PAC-3 missiles. The launcher was fitted with four canisters each containing four missiles instead of single-missile PAC-2 canisters. Mecca’s Royal Clock Tower could be seen in the background, enabling the site of the launcher to be located in the western outskirts of the city. DigitalGlobe satellite imagery shows the battery had been deployed by 17 August but was not present on 27 May, indicating it is there to protect the Hajj pilgrimage that began on 20 August. The launchers were oriented towards the Yemeni border 570 km to the southeast to defend against ballistic missiles launched by the rebel group Ansar Allah (the Houthis). Riyadh accused Ansar Allah of endangering Islam’s most sacred site by launching a ballistic missile at Mecca on 9 October 2016. The Saudi military said the missile was intercepted about 69 km from the holy city. The rebels said the missile hit Jiddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, 70 km northwest of Mecca.
Saudi Arabia’s plan to upgrade its Patriot batteries was announced by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in October 2014, when it notified Congress that the kingdom had requested 202 PAC-3 missiles and the associated modification kits for 36 of its launchers. The DSCA released a second notification in July 2015 that Saudi Arabia had requested another 600 PAC-3 missiles. It said the estimated combined cost of the two proposed sales was USD7.15bn. A senior Lockheed Martin official confirmed the company had received a contract to produce PAC-3 missiles for Saudi Arabia in October 2015, when he said Riyadh was expected to order another 320 missiles, without revealing how many it previously ordered. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Aug 18. Almaz-Antey and Kupol unveil air-defence target system. Almaz-Antey and Kupol JSC have unveiled a multipurpose air-defence target training system at the Army International Military-Technical Forum being held in Kubinka near Moscow from 21 to 26 August. The 9F6021E Versatile Training Target System (VTTS) consists of four target types: missile air target propelled by a turbojet engine; fixed-wing propeller aircraft target; fixed-wing aircraft with a small jet engine; and a rotary-wing air target. These are operated by a mobile ground control post (GCP) that can control up to six targets simultaneously. Each target type weighs less than 50kg with enough fuel capacity for a 30-minute flight time for the missile and turbojet aircraft target. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Aug 18. Oleksandr Turchynov After Test of Cruise Missile: Our Missiles Are Capable of Providing Reliable Defence of Black Sea and Azov Coast. In the south of the Odesa region, the regular stage of tests of the Ukrainian cruise missile took place; Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov attended the tests.
“Today, during an important stage of the flight tests, a cruise missile of Ukrainian production has fully completed the planned program”, Mr Turchynov said adding that the maritime target was precisely hit at a 100km distance.
Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine stressed that missiles of this class are powerful high-precision weapons “capable of destroying any sea and land targets”.
“Ukrainian cruise missiles are capable of providing reliable defence of the Black Sea and Azov coast, affecting enemy vessels at distances up to 300 kilometres, if necessary, even in the ports they are based”, he noticed.
According to Mr Turchynov, military and infrastructure facilities, in particular, “strategic bridges and ferry crossings in case of their use by the enemy for aggression against our state” may also be destroyed with the help of cruise missiles. (Source: ASD Network)
22 Aug 18. SIG and Aquaterro announce landmark agreement for Australia. SIG Sauer and Victoria-based Aquaterro have agreed to manufacture, assemble, upgrade and support small arms platforms and capability systems for the duration of the capability life cycle. This landmark agreement is a demonstration of commitment by both SIG Sauer and Aquaterro to the Australian Defence Force. The ADF will be able to access modular, integrated firearms solutions quickly, delivering small arms overmatch to Australia’s future soldiers, sailors, and airmen. In 2017, SIG Sauer was chosen for the highly coveted US Army’s Modular Handgun System with the P320-based M17. This contract, worth US$580m ($800m) was awarded to the P320-M17 for its modularity, capability and quality. In 2018, the P320 X-Carry was selected by the Danish Ministry of Defence as their standard service pistol covering the Army, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations Command, as it outperformed the competition throughout their rigorous and stringent testing process. In July 2018, the SIG MCX Virtus Rifle System was awarded the Suppressed Upper Receiver Group (SURG) award by the US Department of Defense for the existing M4A1 Carbine. The MCX SURG System will upgrade, and optimize military weapons for continuous, suppressed use on the battlefield. SIG is currently competing for the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle program, which is intended to replace the M249 Minimi. Aquaterro is a leading provider of operational, tactical and safety equipment to government, military and commercial end users in Australia and the Australasian region. Aquaterro is a current contract holder and provider to LAND 125 and LAND 53, and the exclusive provider of systems and life cycle support for SIG small arms integrated weapons to all Australian agencies.
The strategic partnership between SIG and Aquaterro will be further enhanced by Aquaterro’s new purpose-built facility (due to open in Q1 2019) and expanded workforce in south-eastern Melbourne. This expansion enables Aquaterro to offer turn-key, vertically integrated capability solutions for the capability streams sought by LAND159, LAND 4108, and LAND 1508. (Source: Defence Connect)
21 Aug 18. Multinational Snipers Strengthen Desert Capabilities in Spain. Snipers from Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain attended the International Special Training Centre’s Desert Sniper Course last month at the Chinchilla Training Area here. ISTC is a multinational education and training facility for tactical-level, advanced and specialized training of multinational special operations forces and similar units, employing the skills of multinational instructors and subject matter experts. The Desert Sniper Course is designed to teach experienced sniper teams skills for operating in desert environments.
“The students that come to this course all have prior experience,” said a U.S. Army sniper instructor assigned to ISTC. “We help them build upon what they already know in order to operate in a desert environment. During the course we teach them concealment techniques and stalking in desert terrain. This culminates with students conducting missions where they put their newly learned skills to the test.”
Because of the nature of their work, the snipers’ names are not used in this article.
Snipers operating in dry or barren environments must take extra measures to alleviate the effects of heat that can increase the challenges when constructing concealed positions, known as hide sites.
Unique Camouflage Requirements
“The biggest challenges snipers will encounter during most desert operations are the unique camouflage requirements, the heat and exposure to the harsh environment, and having to engage targets at extreme distances,” the U.S. instructor said.
The first week of the course gave students the opportunity to acclimate to the environment.
“We ease into operations by conducting ranges where they collect data for their rifles and learn about environmental considerations such as heat mirage and strong winds that affect their ability to make long shots,” the instructor said. “From there, they practice building hide sites and stalking to refine the skills they’ll need when conducting missions during week two.”
ISTC’s ability to conduct and train across various countries in Europe provides NATO and partner nations the opportunity to participate in cost effective training close to home.
“Spain is the perfect place to conduct this type of training,” a Spanish sniper instructor. “We have the right kind of climate and terrain to replicate the conditions that a sniper team will encounter when deployed in a desert. We also have the space needed to conduct ranges for long-distance shooting, something that is not easy to find in Europe.”
With snipers from multiple countries, the opportunity to share knowledge helped all those who attended.
“One of the greatest benefits is that our courses bring together knowledge and resources from so many places,” the ISTC operations and plans officer said. “By combining efforts and sharing knowledge, the nations that participate in course like Desert Sniper are able to reinforce alliances and strengthen their capability to work together.” (Source: US DoD)
21 Aug 18. Canada invests in upgraded soft-kill defences for Halifax-class frigates. Key Points:
- Lockheed Martin Canada will upgrade and sustain the RAMSES jammer
- Each Halifax-class frigate will receive a third Rheinmetall MASS decoy launcher
Canada’s Department for National Defence has confirmed two contracts worth more than CAD115m (USD88m) covering the upgrade of soft-kill anti-ship missile defence (ASMD) systems fitted to the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN’s) 12 Halifax-class frigates. Announced on 17 August, the awards cover the sustainment and upgrade of the legacy AN/SLQ-503 Reprogrammable Advance Multimode Shipboard Electronic Countermeasures System (RAMSES) jammer and the introduction of an additional Rheinmetall Multi-Ammunition Soft-kill System (MASS) decoy launcher. Originally supplied by MEL Defence Systems, RAMSES is a multimode I/J-band shipborne jammer designed to counter both search radars and missile radio frequency (RF) seekers. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Aug 18. Russian Helicopters unveils upgraded Mi-28NE helicopter. Rostec’s Russian Helicopters holding has unveiled an upgraded variant of the Mi-28NE Night Hunter combat helicopter at the Army 2018 defence show being held in Kubinka near Moscow on 21-26 August. New anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) have been added to the armament suite of the upgraded helicopter, a Russian aerospace industry source told Jane’s . “The upgraded dual-control Mi-28NE can use 9M123 Khrisantema-V ATGMs that can engage a target at a range of up to 10 km. To this end, the helicopter is equipped with an external radar, which is attached to a hardpoint under the stub wings. The aircraft will be able to fire upgraded 9M123M Khrisantema-VM laser beam-riding missiles,” the source said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Aug 18. Russia to start delivering S-400 defence system to Turkey in 2019 – Ifax. Russia will begin delivering its advanced S-400 missile defence system to Turkey in 2019, the Interfax news agency cited Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport as saying on Tuesday. The United States has expressed concern that NATO member Turkey’s planned deployment of the Russian-made S-400 could risk the security of several U.S.-made weapons used by Turkey, including the F-35 jet. Rosoboronexport also said it would switch to using local currencies in deals with foreign trade partners, instead of using the dollar, the RIA news agency reported. (Source: Reuters)
20 Aug 18. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Delivers Ballistic Shootpack Panels to U.S. Army. Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (OTCQB: KBLB) (“Company”), the leading developer of spider silk based fibers, announces today that it has delivered ballistic shootpack panels to the U.S. Army made from the Company’s proprietary Dragon Silk™ material. These panels will be evaluated for effectiveness in stopping bullets, in an effort to provide our warfighters with a lighter and more comfortable alternative to conventional protective apparel. Dragon Silk is a genetically engineered spider silk which mimics the strength and toughness found in native spider silk, but which can be produced at large quantities through the Company’s specially developed silkworms. These specially engineered silkworms were developed to be a direct drop-in replacement into the traditional silk production infrastructure which produces more than 150,000 metric tons of silk per year. This approach of adapting the existing production infrastructure is the key differentiator between the Company and others working to produce spider silk materials. Unlike traditional synthetic materials such as Ultra High Molecular Weight (UHMW) polymers or aramids, which are very stiff, spider silk is extremely flexible, making it more comfortable and providing higher mobility and movement for the wearer. Spider silk is also biocompatible, making it ideal for skin contact applications, and biodegradable, reducing the environmental burden of the current synthetic materials
“After years of research and investment, developing this ground breaking technology, we are very excited to now see it in the hands of the U.S. Army,” stated Jon Rice, COO. “For me, personally, and for the Company, the opportunity to help protect the brave men and women who dedicate themselves to our protection is a great honor.”
The Company continues to develop the next generation of high performance recombinant spider silk materials under the exercised contract option period authorized in 2017 and is currently in the process of opening a production facility in Vietnam to significantly expand its production capacity of Dragon Silk and its many other recombinant spider silk offerings. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
20 Aug 18. US Army pursues alternatives for a Stryker-based active protection system. While the U.S. Army has been working to qualify a Virginia-based company’s active protection system for the Stryker combat vehicle, it is also in the process of evaluating several additional APS solutions for the platform beginning in November.
“The Army will be executing a fourth non-developmental APS system evaluation,” Army spokeswoman Ashley Givens told Defense News in a recent statement. The evaluation will be on the Stryker platform, she confirmed, adding that the service has received three responses to a request for information released earlier this year asking for more Stryker-focused APS solutions.
“At this time the Army is still reviewing the proposals of the vendors to confirm viability,” Givens said.
More than a year ago, the Army determined it needed to field an interim APS solution for the Abrams tank as well as the Stryker and Bradley. The service decided to rapidly assess off-the-shelf APS systems to fulfill an urgent operational need after failing — over a 20-year period — to field an APS capability. The Army has since selected three different systems: Israeli company Rafael’s Trophy system, which is deployed in the Israeli army, for Abrams; Iron Fist from IMI, another Israeli company, for the Bradley; and Herndon, Virginia-based Artis’ Iron Curtain for Stryker. While the Army has stayed on track with Abrams, due to a combination of earlier funding availability and qualifying an already fielded system, it has struggled to stay on schedule with the other two configurations. In January, Col. Glenn Dean, the program manager for Stryker, who also manages the service’s effort to install APS on combat vehicles, told Defense News that Iron Curtain’s delay was partly due to a decision to replace the radar originally intended for the APS.
“We’ve had some other issues,” he said. “We have learned that that system probably is not as mature as originally envisioned, so the contractor had some difficulty getting to the point they were ready to start characterization, and then we had some, I will call it, friction on the test range.”
At the time, Iron Curtain had roughly three weeks of testing left to wrap up government characterization. Dean said the program office would be ready to generate final reports and bring it to the Army for a decision in the March time frame.
In April, the Army released a sources-sought notice looking for other APS solutions for Stryker and also received, in fiscal 2018, $25m to qualify a fourth system as part of the interim APS program being called the Expedited Active Protection Systems activity. According to Givens, the program office has completed the installation and characterization phase of the ExAPS activity, but “we are currently awaiting an Army decision on the next phase of activity for Iron Curtain.” The Army’s evaluation process of additional systems is expected to come in the form of a live-fire “rodeo” — for lack of a better term — where the service has invited a small number of the RFI respondents with the most promising potential solutions to have their APS capability put to an initial limited test against a set of threats defined by the Army, according to a source familiar with the effort. The respondents are required to fund the demonstration primarily at their own cost, but some Army funding will be used to conduct the tests. At least two companies have been invited to participate in the rodeo, the source said.
One those companies is likely Germany’s Rheinmetall. The company has advocated hard for the Army to also qualify its Active Defense System, and the Army admitted, prior to receiving FY18 dollars, that it would want to qualify ADS if it had the funds.
Rheinmetall is partnered with Michigan-based Unified Business Technologies, Inc. — or UBT — on the ADS design and integration efforts in the states. Former Army acquisition czar Heidi Shyu and Scott Davis, the now-retired program executive officer for theArmy’s ground combat support and combat service support office, serve on UBT’s board of directors.
“ADS would be at the top of the list,” Dean said in January. “It was really close in the design runoff between it and Iron Fist, and we ultimately selected Iron Fist — and there were other competitor systems.”
Meanwhile, Iron Fist live-fire and automotive characterization on the Bradley is still ongoing. “The delays have been attributed to weather delays at the range,” Givens said. “The Iron Fist decision is planned for [the first quarter of FY19].”
And while the service progresses on a decision for an APS for Bradley, it is also attending a demonstration in Israel in two weeks of Rafael’s Trophy VPS — a lighter version of the Trophy system going on the Abrams tank — on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. While Rafael chose Bradley for the demonstration because of its availability as a platform, its Trophy VPS can also be integrated onto Stryker and other lighter combat vehicles, the company has said.
“Army leadership will also attend Rafael’s Trophy Lite demonstration in August and pending the results of the demonstration and U.S. government analysis, it may consider pursuing as an alternative APS solution,” Givens said. (Source: Defense News)
20 Aug 18. Moog tests integrated MML equipment. Moog has successfully completed the second phase of integration and testing on the Engineering Manufacturing Development configuration of the US Army’s Multi-Mission Launcher (MML). The next system level qualification has been scheduled through summer and autumn 2018. The MML is a next-generation air defence launcher built on open-system architecture, designed to defend against mortars, cruise missiles, UAS, artillery and rockets. The platform includes technology from Moog Defense Sector including the Longbow missile fin control actuation system, launcher azimuth and elevation control system, fire control software as well as an electromechanical slip ring, encoder assemblies, and fiber optic components.
Jim Riedel, group vice president, Moog Defense Sector, said: ‘It is Moog’s proven history of successfully supporting US Army initiatives with a wide range of high-quality, high-performance technologies that allows this depth of integration on the MML platform. With this latest success Moog is looking forward to system qualification quickly followed with low rate initial production on the MML programme.’
Moog is supporting the US Army’s MML platform under an agreement with Dynetics. (Source: Shephard)
20 Aug 18. CGI to deliver mid-life upgrade to UK MoD’s Fire Control BISA. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract to Canadian information technology consulting company CGI for a mid-life upgrade to the Fire Control Battlefield Information System Application (FC BISA). Under the four-year contract, the company will replace the existing practice of voice communications and liaison officers with digitised Joint Fires weapon systems.
UK MoD Artillery Systems head colonel Matt Botsford said: “The award of this contract and our close working relationship with CGI will enable the British Army to implement a step change in Joint Fires by achieving highly effective interoperability with our NATO Allies.
“Digitisation of our mission systems is a key enabler for meeting the ever-changing threat environment and through FC BISA’s mid-life upgrade, the UK will be at the forefront of ASCA developments for our Allies.”
Valued at £17m, the major mid-life upgrade of the FC BISA will involve the implementation of the Artillery Systems Cooperation Activities (ASCA) capability by 2020, along with the integration and automation with other Joint Fires weapon systems.
CGI UK Space, Defence and Intelligence senior vice-president Neil Timms said: “Our ongoing relationship will enable the MoD to take advantage of automation technologies that will digitise the Joint Fires capability with our Allies.
“We’re proud to have supported the British Army and Royal Artillery and look forward to continuing to work collaboratively in delivering agile, secure, digital services into the next decade.”
CGI serves as the prime contractor for the upgrade project and will deliver secure software application design, build and training support for FC BISA in version 4.0. This will help develop critical battlefield mission systems for the Royal Artillery. (Source: army-technology.com)
20 Aug 18. Grenade Launching Drone from Ukraine. Ukrainian company. Matrix UAV has developed a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) eqquiped with a grenade launcher, said Yuriy Kasyanov on 17 August. Yuriy Kasyanov announced on his Facebook page that еру Matrix UAV company has developed an attack multi-purpose unmanned vehicle, called the “Demon”. The first prototype of the Demon UAV is fitted with the RPG-26 grenade launcher. It is also possible to install RPG-7 grenade launcher, small arms, carry a bomb load weighing up to 5 kg. The configuration of drone with a grenade launcher is designed to pre-emptive surprise attacks on armored vehicles, firing points, air defense systems, enemy headquarters at distances up to 10 km. The control is manual (will be semi-automatic) by the operator on the video channel with the signal transmission via the air repeater based on the chimera “Chimera” UAV. In the kamikaze version or loitering munition, the new Demon UAV can strike at a distance of up to 20km with a warhead weighing up to 7kg. Or, in a hybrid version, it is to hit a target at a distance of up to 90km. Kyiv-based Matrix UAV research and production company also developing a modern family of multipurpose unmanned aerial vehicles capable to reconnaissance and monitoring of roads, borders, forests, and waterways, detect targets in the battlefield, traffic, state borders. (Source: UAS VISION/Defence Blog)
17 Aug 18. Argentine Army receives first modernised FAL rifles. The Argentine Army has received the first batch of 292 7.62 mm FAL rifles modernised by Fábrica Militar Fray Luis Beltrán. The factory is part of the Dirección General de Fabricaciones Militares: the organisation under the Argentine Defence Ministry that produces weapons and ammunition for the Argentine armed forces. This batch of rifles, which is part of a January 2018 agreement between the factory and the Argentine Army, is the first step in introducing a modernised, locally developed FAL with a new latch for better precision and made from new materials to make it lighter. The upgrade was developed by the General Manuel Savio Technical School of the Army and includes the development of different versions: the FAMA (Fusil Argentino Modelo Asalto) assault rifle, the FAMCA (Fusil Argentino Modelo Carabina) carbine, and the FAMTD (Fusil Argentino Modelo Tirador Destacado) marksman rifle, which comes in light and heavy versions. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Aug 18. Lockheed Martin and MBDA Deutschland Receive Second Request for Proposal to Develop TLVS for Germany. The German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has issued a second Request for Proposal (RFP) to the TLVS bidders consortium – an MBDA and Lockheed Martin joint venture – to develop TLVS, Germany’s future Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) system.
“This second RFP is based on the first RFP. It addresses the results of our negotiations and aligns the TLVS offering with Germany’s new approach to acquisition reform, called Agenda Rüstung, focusing on military capabilities, transparency and risk management to ensure a successful contract,” said Dietmar Thelen, managing director of the TLVS joint venture.
This is a significant milestone toward achieving a contract award and is the culmination of months of close collaboration between the TLVS joint venture and the German customer.
“The comprehensive negotiations phase decisively increased our common understanding regarding risks and possible solutions and will ensure the TLVS tender fully addresses BAAINBw requirements,” said Gregory Kee, managing director of the TLVS joint venture.
The Lockheed Martin and MBDA joint venture, announced in March, is expected to become the prime contractor for the new system and is anticipated to add several hundred high-tech jobs in Germany and the United States. The joint venture remains committed to submitting a proposal in response to the RFP in anticipation of a contract award in 2019. With its netted-distributed capability and open plug and fight interface, TLVS is the most advanced, networked 360° IAMD system in the world, and it is the only system with the ability to flexibly react to changing threats using force that is tailored to the mission. TLVS will transform Germany’s defense capabilities and enable the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Framework Nation to set an important precedent in how neighboring nations address persistent global threats for years to come.
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