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16 Jul 20. Marshall signs exclusive partnership with QinetiQ for C-130 armour. Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (Marshall ADG) signed an exclusive agreement with QinetiQ to market, sell and install the latest generation of lightweight armour (LAST Armor® LWA) for the C-130 Hercules.
The new armour is half the weight and offers air crew the same threat protection as the previous LAST Armor. It also saves fuel, reduces the impact on the aircraft’s centre of gravity and allows the C-130-30 variant its full cargo carrying capacity.
Marshall ADG will be the first company to certify the new lightweight armour on the C -130 aircraft.
“Being able to offer C-130 operators a lightweight armour solution that provides the same level of threat protection as the current LAST Armor demonstrates our commitment to protecting people in critical situations,” said Marshall ADG’s Sales Director, Matthew Harvey.
“Crew safety is paramount and critical to mission success and we’re pleased to be able to provide this capability to
customers through this partnership with QinetiQ’’.
This increased operational capability allows air forces around the world to operate in hostile environments with the confidence that their crews are protected against small arms fire.
Vice President of QinetiQ Inc., Dan Deguire, said: “Since 1995, LAST Armor has provided critical protection from small arms fire on hundreds of C-130J, C-130E/H, C-5, and C-17s, as well as several other aircraft platforms. We are excited to have this opportunity to partner with Marshall ADG to launch our next generation of improved lightweight armor products worldwide.”
The armour is manufactured from high tenacity polyethylene, making it extremely robust, and approximately 380kg (840lbs) lighter than the current LAST Armor solution specifically on the C -130J.
This, combined with its environmental coatings ensures that the armour remains relatively inert throughout its service life, even when operating within the harshest of environments.
The armour can be quickly and easily installed during scheduled maintenance or as a standalone activity, thus ensuring optimum aircraft mission availability.
16 Jul 20. Australia begins first stage of Lethality System project’s Tranche 1. The Australian Government has started the first stage of the Lethality System project’s (Land 159) Tranche 1.
It is intended to enhance the capabilities and weapon systems used by the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Brisbane-based company NIOA has won the first stage contract worth A$7m ($4.8m) via competitive tender.
Under the contract, the company will test and assess weapon systems and provide suggestions to defence.
The contract is part of the government’s commitment to invest A$270bn ($188bn) in defence industry.
The contract will boost the local economy by generating 23 job opportunities.
Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “This contract reflects this Government’s commitment to Australian industry, as outlined in the release of the Defence Strategic Update 2020.
“It also supports the Munitions and Small Arms Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority in securing domestic capability.
“There are significant opportunities for Australian suppliers to offer weapon systems including ancillaries and munitions, and services across all three tranches of the project, which will create even more Australian jobs over the years to come.”
Recently, NIOA won a ten-year contract for the tenancy at the Benalla munitions factory in Victoria with the Australian Government.
The new contract is expected to create up to 100 jobs openings.
Commenting on the latest contract, Australian Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “This contract is a great outcome for an Australian company which has set a target of 100% Australian industry content for this stage of the project.
“It demonstrates the Morrison government’s commitment to maximising Australian industry involvement across all our projects.”
In February, the Rafael Spike LR2 missile system was selected as Australia’s Long Range Direct Fire Support Weapon capability under the project. (Source: army-technology.com)
15 Jul 20. US Army eyeing ways to enhance soldier lethality portfolio. The US Army is looking for new technologies that will bolster the performance of an array of small arms and associated soldier equipment, and is seeking industry input. In mid-July the service announced that the Project Manager for Soldier Lethality is launching an innovative designs and engineering assessment effort for vendor feedback on “new, innovative, enabling technologies”. Specifically, the army wants technology suggestions on how to improve its portfolio of small and medium calibre weapons, its future 6.8 mm Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSWs), fire control, optics, binoculars, remote weapons stations, suppressors, powered rails, barrel life enhancements, externally powered systems, recoilless rifles, and ammunition.
“These technologies will be used for experimentation, technical evaluation, and/or assessment of operational utility focused on enhancing system performance, sustainment, and/or training,” according to an army announcement. “This information will advise/inform future requirements that would potentially serve as new or replacement systems, complimentary systems or be integrated into existing systems.” (Source: Jane’s)
13 Jul 20. Australian Defence Force to acquire 8,500 additional EF88 Austeyr rifles. The Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra announced on 13 July that it will procure an additional 8,500 Enhanced F88 (EF88) Austeyr 5.56mm rifles to supplement the 30,000 rifles of the same type Thales Australia has been delivering to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) under an August 2015 contract.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said in a statement that the acquisition of the additional EF88s will not only improve the overall capability of the ADF but will also provide a “welcome boost to the workforce in regional Australia”, pointing out that the rifles will be manufactured at the Thales Australia site in Lithgow, New South Wales.
“This acquisition will allow the retirement of older weapons, reducing the cost of sustainment, maintenance and training,” said the minister, adding that, compared with previous rifles, the EF88 “has significantly improved the capability of the soldier through improved range, accuracy, ergonomics and reduced system weight”.
The additional rifles, which are being delivered under the lethality element of the ‘Soldier Modernisation Programme’, will enable increased access to the EF88 across the full and part-time force, particularly the army’s 2nd Division, said the minister.
The announcement comes after the DoD awarded Thales Australia an AUD100m (USD70m) contract in August 2015 for the production of 30,000 units of the F90 bullpup assault rifle – which is known as the EF88 rifle in ADF service – and approximately 2,500 units of the Steyr Mannlicher SL40 integrated grenade launcher, both of which would be supplied over a period of six years. (Source: Jane’s)
14 Jul 20. Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Polish company Mesko, a PGZ company, have agreed to co-produce the shoulder-launched SPIKE SR (Short-Range) ATGM, as part of Poland’s Pustelnik Program. Led by the Polish MOD Armament Inspectorate, the Pustelnik Program is aimed at choosing an anti-tank weapon for Poland’s Territorial Defense Forces (WOT).
The SPIKE SR is an advanced Fire & Forget missile, for ranges exceeding 2000 meters. The missile is simple-to-use and requires very short training. SPIKE SR is man-portable, weighing only (10kg), for day and night use, capable of defeating any type of armored vehicle or MBT. SPIKE SR is totally disposable, a feature that enables the soldier a higher level of mobility and maneuverability after firing.
SPIKE SR is the smallest member of the well-established, globally known and combat-proven SPIKE ATGM Family. SPIKE is in service in 34 countries, including 19 NATO nations, with over 34,000 missiles already supplied and more than 6,000 fired in tests and combat.
The SPIKE LR is the missile variant that has been in use by the Polish Defense Forces for some 15 years now, with local production of the missile parts and final assembly taking place in Poland by Mesko since 2003. This provides the infrastructure for the future Polish production of the SPIKE SR missile.
One of Rafael’s strengths lies in its ability to create partnerships, transfer production, knowledge and technology, to create local employment. Rafael also conducts a wide array of offset activities globally. Rafael has over 15 years of successful experience in production and technology transfer programs, implemented at more than 50 overseas companies located in the U.S, Europe and other countries.
The SPIKE SR missile is designed for different ground combat scenarios, for the tactical maneuvering forces, platoon-level and for special forces. The SPIKE SR has unique operational characteristics that enable a high level of operational readiness. It can be carried easily by a solider without affecting maneuverability, enabling simple, intuitive and quick operation, with only a few seconds from “cold-start” to launch, in a variety of operational and environmental scenarios.
The missile’s lethality is achieved by a tandem HEAT warhead with a precursor charge that defeats Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA), allowing the main warhead to achieve its full penetration of Rolled Homogeneous Armor (RHA). With a high-hit probability in all scenarios and ranges, the missile can operate in severe weather conditions (from -35˚C to 55˚C) and in complex combat scenarios, such as engagement of fast-moving targets.
The missile’s standoff range ensures a higher degree of force survivability, as it does not rely on any means of designation (e.g. laser), enabling the force to stay hidden. Due to the fact that its operation does not require special training, infrastructure, or a designated gunner, SPIKE SR enables operational flexibility. SPIKE SR is an effective, powerful munition which does not require a central command and allows to decentralize and disperse the operators to cover more terrain, a relevant concept of operation for territorial defense forces.
Gal Papier, director of marketing & business development, Precision Tactical Weapon Systems directorate at Rafael: “A future decision to equip the Polish Army with the SPIKE SR offers not only an operational advantage, exceeding the specification requirements of the Pustelnik program, but also an economic benefit to the local economy, as it further deepens industrial cooperation between Mesko and Rafael, making Mesko part of the SPIKE SR global supply chain, as components of the missile will be produced in Poland, not only for the local market, but also for export customers.”
13 Jul 20. Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm, has received the 2020 Institute of Physics (IOP) Business Innovation Award for its JASSO portable shock testing machine. Developed in the firm’s Edinburgh, Scotland, office through a companywide R&D initiative, JASSO allows for the safe and cost-effective testing of individual pieces of equipment and live explosive ordnance of up to 5 tonnes and 6 meters long.
Testing of ship structures and equipment against underwater shocks is a well-established practice. However, it is affected by high costs, low number of facilities and the consequences associated with failed testing. The JASSO portable shock test machine solves these issues. Named after a god of thunder, JASSO uses seismic airguns arranged in an array to simulate the explosive shock wave from an underwater explosion. It provides a realistic, tuneable and environmentally friendly underwater dynamic shock pulse without the use of live explosives. Unlike conventional shock testing facilities, it can also be delivered and used essentially in any location. The machine was primarily developed for use in defence and security sectors, but its capabilities expand to non-standard shock testing, such as in the aerospace, transport and environmental sectors.
The Institute of Physics (IOP) is the professional body and learned society for physics, and the leading body for practising physicists, in the UK and Ireland. With a rich history of supporting business innovation and growth, it is committed to working with ‘physics-based’ businesses, and companies that apply and employ physics and physicists.
Thornton Tomasetti Principal & European Regional Leader Phillip Thompson said: “JASSO was the brainchild of three teams at Thornton Tomasetti: CORE Research and Development, Defence, and Applied Science. The patented technology removes barriers that have historically prevented effective ordnance testing, as the portable functionality offers lower costs, lower risks and higher capacity, unlike any other products on the market.”
Institute of Physics President Jonathan Flint said: “The IOP Business Awards recognise and reward the achievements of physics-based businesses of all sizes; innovative companies that have developed new technologies or repurposed existing ones, and that are at the cutting edge of the UK and Ireland’s scientific research and development. These companies, old and new, large and small, have the power to drive the economy. They use the applications of physics to create positive individual, social, industrial and economic change, both at home and overseas. We must continue to encourage, reward and invest in our researchers. Their commitment, drive and imaginations help to keep us comfortable, healthy and safe.”
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.