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23 Jul 20. DOD on ‘Aggressive’ Track with Hypersonic Weapons Development. One of the Defense Department’s top priorities is developing hypersonic weapons capability, a particularly important goal, considering recent developments in this area by near-peer competitors China and Russia, the assistant director for hypersonics from the office of the undersecretary for research and engineering said.
Mike White, who spoke at the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement Counter Hypersonic Weapons Summit today, said the department has taken a fast-track, four-phase approach.
The first phase consisted of concept demonstrations, test and evaluation and weapons system prototype, he said. The next phase was in transitioning promising technology development to concept demonstration.
Phase three will be in accelerated fielding of capability and weapons system prototypes to warfighters, White said, and phase four, starting with the fiscal year 2022 budget cycle, will be buying hypersonic weapons in numbers and delivering prototypes to the warfighter for future production buys in programs of record.
It’s an all-hands on deck effort, he said, with NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Space Development Agency, the Missile Defense Agency and national laboratories partnering in the effort to move this along expediently and effectively.
The Defense Department also recently stood up the Joint Hypersonic Transition Office to focus on creating a university consortium to aid in key science and technology aspects and to train the best and brightest for the next generation workforce. In addition to academia, industry partners will play the key role in delivering these weapons to the warfighters, White noted.
Much of the current focus is on offensive hypersonic weapons systems. The bulk of the investment is going to provide theater commanders with lethal, medium- and intermediate-range systems that will counter adversary efforts to deny access to U.S. forces in the air, land, sea and space domains, he said.
White said that the defensive side is much more difficult to predict and prepare for because hypersonic vehicles travel with unpredictable maneuverability at over five times the speed of sound at near space levels.
White said that the challenge is tracking and targeting those systems in the upper reaches of the atmosphere — 100,000 to 150,000 feet above the earth because new sensors and intercept vehicles and the associated architecture will need to be developed. (Source: US DoD)
22 Jul 20. UK DIO to redevelop Glen Mallan jetty for Royal Navy’s surface fleet. UK’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has announced a £64m ($81m) investment for the redevelopment of the Northern Ammunition Jetty in Glen Mallan. Once refurbished, the jetty will support the Royal Navy’s surface fleet to load and unload ammunition.
Last upgraded in 1970, the original jetty has reached the end of its service life. The upgrade will allow its usage for existing Royal Navy vessels and new aircraft carriers.
Contractor VolkerStevin will perform the construction work. The infrastructure works are expected to provide a design life of up to 50 years.
The original jetty has already been demolished and is ready for replacement. Waste from the demolition has been transported to recycling facilities to minimise disruption.
DIO project manager Craig Macdonald said: “The demolition of the existing jetty is an important step in preparing the site for vital infrastructure works to support the Royal Navy’s surface fleet in loading and unloading ammunition.
“Glen Mallan benefits from supplies of ammunition from Defence Munitions Glen Douglas, the largest weapons storage facility in western Europe, and can handle the high volume of ammunition needed for the surface fleets.
“Infrastructure works are progressing as planned and we look forward to continuing to work in collaboration with VolkerStevin, Jacobs, local contractors, and other partners to complete this crucial project.”
Work under the project includes the installation of five mooring dolphins, connected to the jetty by a pedestrian access bridge. Two of the piles have been installed.
The new jetty’s concrete deck has been reinforced by fitting 97 jetty head piles into the seabed.
Two modular fender spacer units in front of the new fender panel will avoid the colliding of aircraft carriers’ overhanging flight decks with the jetty.
The scope of the project also includes the installation of two modern pedestal cranes, fire-fighting equipment, stores, back-up generators, and prefabricated modular buildings for offices.
The site will also receive new fencing and a CCTV system.
Under the project, 14 mooring points will be deployed on the dolphins for aircraft carriers’ safety. The project is expected to conclude in 2021. (Source: naval-technology.com)
22 Jul 20. Images emerge of new Chinese vehicle-mounted point protection system. Chinese state-owned media has released images of what it described as an “integrated protection system” in service with a brigade of the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF).
The images, which were released by the PLA-sponsored China Military Online website on 18 July, show the vehicle-mounted countermeasures system launching a jamming projectile during an exercise held on 12 July in the Gobi Desert in northwestern China.
The images do not show most of the vehicle, which is covered with a camouflage netting, but a rail launcher mounted on the load tray at the rear of the vehicle is visible. The rail can carry up to 12 launchers, each of which fire four countermeasures rockets.
The vehicle has also been fitted with wind and meteorological sensors, which are visible in the images through the netting. (Source: Jane’s)
21 Jul 20. Aerojet Rocketdyne Achieves Another Milestone on DARPA OpFires Program. Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a second series of propulsion system tests in support of the Operational Fires (OpFires) program, a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) effort to develop a ground-launched hypersonic missile for tactical use.
“We’re pleased to be a part of developing this vital defense technology, applying our decades of experience in hypersonic and missile defense technologies,” said Eileen Drake, Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president.
During the propulsion tests, called cold gas testing, the test articles operated successfully with all components providing critical data to the operation of the OpFires propulsion system. The test series followed last year’s successful subscale propulsion test firings .
DARPA’s OpFires program aims to develop a two-stage missile capable of engaging high-value, time-sensitive targets from standoff range in contested environments. The effort to date has advanced the technology for an upper stage featuring a tunable propulsion system, according to DARPA.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has been supporting the program through a Phase 1 contract to design propulsion concepts and technologies for OpFires. The contract continued with an $8.8m option for Phase 2 of the program, which is expected to culminate in late 2020 following multiple test firings.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has long been a leader in hypersonic propulsion technology, with a breadth of capabilities to include scramjets, solid rocket motor boosters, warheads and missile defense technologies.(Source: ASD Network)
22 Jul 20. INDOPACOM head wants Aegis Ashore in Guam by 2026. The head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command hopes to have an active Aegis Ashore system in Guam by 2026 as part of a concept he calls “Homeland Defense System Guam.”
Adm. Phil Davidson told reporters Tuesday that his “No. 1 priority” is getting that system installed in Guam as soon as possible, stating that “the most important action we can take to rapidly and fully implement the National Defense Strategy, as a first step, is a 360-degree, persistent, integrated air-defense capability in Guam.”
In early April, Defense News revealed details of a report submitted by Davidson to Congress in which he requested $20bn in new investments between fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2026 to bolster capabilities in INDOPACOM’s area of responsibility.
It’s likely Davidson will get at least some of what he is seeking. Since the arrival of the 1253 report — named after the section of legislation that required the report — both chambers of Congress have embraced the idea of creating a Pacific Deterrence Initiative — a pot of money inside the Pentagon’s budget that would be targeted at deterring Chinese actions in the Pacific. The move is based on the counter-Russian fund in the department’s European Deterrence Initiative.
The centerpiece of Davidson’s funding request was described as a 360-degree persistent and integrated air defense capability in Guam, with an estimated $1.67bn price tag over six years. In the unclassified 1253 report, Davidson did not spell out exactly what that would entail, but his comments on Tuesday clearly laid out that he wants the Lockheed Martin-developed missile defense system.
“The backbone of Homeland Defense System Guam would be the Baseline 10 Aegis Ashore system,” Davidson told reporters at an event hosted by the Defense Writers Group. “The reason I’m a key advocate for that is, first, it is technology that is available to us now and could be delivered by 2026, when I believe that the threat will require us to have a much more robust capability than the combination of THAAD [the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense system], which is deployed there now, and an Aegis ship in response can provide.”
Fundamentally, Davidson said, the THAAD and sea-based Aegis combo is meant to protect against a North Korean missile launch targeting Guam. But with China now seen as the leading threat in the region, a more robust, permanent capability on Guam is needed to protect against both land-based ballistic missiles and air- or sea-launched cruise missiles. In addition, he said, the command-and-control capabilities that come from an Aegis Ashore enables other capabilities to be added and linked together, such as shorter-range Patriot systems.
To be able to set up the system by 2026, Davidson said, funding “has to get delivered in ’21.”
Another priority for Davidson is an updated and expanded focus on training and multidomain experimentation, which could incorporate partners and allies in the region. In the 1253 report, Davidson requested $2.87bn over the six-year period; on Tuesday, he said he has already begun “engaging” with Pentagon budget planners about lining up funding for FY22.
That money, if approved, would be used to find new ways to use America’s collection of test ranges, which includes locations in Alaska, California, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam. Those could be combined with space around Japan and Australia to experiment and test new weapons and concepts around fifth-generation fighters and integrated air and missile defense systems.
When talking “about long-range precision fires, the fires from the sea, from the air, from the land, you need a wider network of ranges,” Davidson said.
“And by the way, that network of ranges has got to be able to simulate, you know, a higher capacity and capability of potential opposing forces to you. And then allow you to space the geography, and the networks to exercise and all that going forward.” (Source: Defense News)
21 Jul 20. Israel to Continue Laser Development. Israel will continue to develop laser weapons to counter the threat of rockets despite severe budget problems caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. This is because the economic situation in Lebanon may cause attacks against Israel by Hezbollah, with Israeli sources saying the organisation controls Lebanon.
In the last 18 months, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has carried out over 300 air strikes against Iranian targets in Syria and other countries in a major effort to thwart the Iranian programme to turn the 140,000 rockets it transferred to Hezbollah in Lebanon into precise weapons. The IAF has slowed down the process but Israel still faces salvos of rockets launched from Lebanon and Gaza. Israel has a four tiered defence system against rockets and missiles, but what was sufficient until recently now appears less capable of protecting the Israeli population.
More protection needed
The IRON DOME and DAVID’S SLING rocket interceptors, alongside the ARROW 2 and 3 systems are operational with IRON DOME combat proven and averaging 88 per cent successful intercepts. However, this is not enough and will be even less capable in the future so the IAF is looking for other layers, such as lasers to shoot down rockets.
In recent months, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael have been working hard to accelerate the development of a laser system. According to IAI, a prototype laser cannon for intercepting mortar shells and similar short-range threats is in a very advanced stage of development and successful experiments have already been carried out.
A few years ago, Rafael presented the first model of a laser gun called an “IRON BEAM”, designed to respond to shells fired from a range of up to five miles from the border, with which IRON DOME has difficulty coping because of the short time that passes from the moment the launch is detected until it hits. According to IAI, the main advantage of the laser is a fast reaction time and therefore such a system is good for dealing with short-range munitions such as mortars. The U.S Army and the IDF understand that this system has additional advantages over missile-based defence systems, since its arsenal of ammunition never ends and the cost of firing a laser beam is very low compared with an IRON DOME interception missile that is estimated to cost tens of thousands of dollars.
The issue became particularly urgent after last year when Hamas launched 460 rockets into Israel from Gaza, some in big salvos of 30- 40 rockets. In 2014, IRON DOME became a “star”, mainly because of its high kill rate with it, and DAVID’S SLING systems, now deployed on both borders. However, sources say that in case of massive rocket attacks where there is a need to launch more than one interceptor, the situation will be stretched to a critical point. According to some estimates, in order to intercept such a large number of rockets, the IDF will have to fire a huge number of more than 30,000 interceptors from the IRON DOME.
In the past, Israel and the U.S cooperated for the development of the NAUTILUS, a laser “cannon” that could kill rockets. This was a Tactical High-Energy Laser, or THEL, that the U.S and Israel agreed to cooperate on in 1996. In 2000, the demonstrator managed to shoot down 28 Katyusha artillery rockets and five artillery shells. The prototype weapon was very big and heavy, and could not be reduced in size, mainly because of the specifications of the Laser generator, meaning the programme was discontinued in 2005.
A very senior source Israeli source, said that it was a mistake to stop the development of a laser based rocket interceptor “now there is a growing number of experts that understand the mistake that was made and ready to re start the development, with the more advanced building blocks available today”. It can be assumed that in early 2021 the first tests with an electrical laser will be conducted in Israel, with U.S officials following the process and results. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
17 Jul 20. Operational Success for TOR SHORAD. Russian TOR short-range surface-to-air missile systems (SHORADs) have shot down dozens Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) during their deployment in Syria, Lieutenant General Alexander Leonov, commander of the Russian Ground Forces’ (Army) air defence troops has claimed. The General was quoted by the local National Defence magazine saying that the TOR system had successfully fulfilled the tasks of protecting the Russian troops in Syria, where they were used together with the S-400 and PANTSIR-S systems to cover the Russian Khmeimim and Tartuss bases.
“Since the beginning of combat duty, over 45 terrorist-made UAVs have been hit by the crews of the combat systems”, added General Leonov.
The TOR SHORAD was developed and serially produced by the Izhevsk Electro-Mechanical Plant (IEMZ) Kupol (the Almaz-Antey Corporation subsidiary) to provide close range air defence for military and civil objects. This is against all type of aerial targets including aircraft, missiles, guided weapons and UAVs at medium, low and extremely low altitudes in the heavy air and electronic countermeasures environment. During the engagement process, all the target detection and identification, lock-on and missile control operations are done automatically with minimum operator participation.
The core of the system is the 9A331ME Combat Vehicle (CV), armed with eight 9M330 SAMs, with a detection range of 32km to track up to 48 targets simultaneously. The system determines up to 10 priority targets to fire at 4 of them simultaneously, and destroy targets at a flight altitude from 10 m to 10 km flying with a speed up to 700 km/h. The vehicle has a crew of three and can move at up to 65 km/h on a highway and negotiate cross-country terrain at speeds of up to 45 km/h. Russia has been marketing the TOR-M2KM modular version which can employ a variety of vehicles as well as a stationary system. The TOR-M2KM’s combat module can be transported by either a fixed-wing aircraft or a heavy helicopter, while the new vehicle employs 16 SAMs.
Earlier this summer, the Russian ITAR-TASS reported that TOR-M2 system had been modified to guard oil and gas facilities which are vulnerable to open fire. The missile launch turns to the so-called “mortar start” when the missile engine starts only at the height of 20-30 m, thus, a launch poses no threat to oil and gas extraction and refinement facilities.
According to the manufacturer’s official information, the system can protect a 700 km2 area against aerodynamic targets and a 150 km2 area against high-precision weapons. When a four-unit Tor-M2KM battery is employed, these figures increase to 1,250 km2 and 450 km2, respectively. Apart of the Russian Army and several CIS nations, TOR SHORADs have been exported to a number of countries including China, Venezuela, the Republic of Cyprus and Iran. Last year the vehicle was displayed at the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi and the latest version took part at the Red Square Parade on 24th June 2020. This month, the Russian MoD spokesman reported that the system had been tested to simulate a ballistic missile. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
21 Jul 20. SMART SHOOTER Launches SMASH HOPPER: a New Light Remote-Controlled Weapon Station (LRCWS). Providing “One Shot – One Hit” capability while controlled from a safe distance, Smart Shooter’s SMASH HOPPER LRCWS dramatically increases accuracy, lethality, and survivability of small arms.
SMART SHOOTER, a world-class designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems that significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of small arms, launches SMASH HOPPER: a new Light Remote-Controlled Weapon Station (LRCWS) that provides a “One Shot – One Hit” capability while controlled by an operator from a safe distance. Compact, lightweight, and rapidly deployable, SMASH HOPPER extends the maximum effective range of the host weapon system to its ballistic limits.
Introduced by the company for the first time, Smart Shooter’s SMASH HOPPER has been optimized to increase the survivability of tactical units through the provision of enhanced and clandestine surveillance, accuracy, and lethality.
Measuring approximately 15 Kg, SMASH HOPPER can be integrated into an existing Command-and-Control system(C2), providing operators with the ability to hand-off or receive targets across existing communications networks. Featuring a safe trigger mechanism, a mounting solution, and a ruggedized Remote-Control Unit (RCU), SMASH HOPPER provides a pan–and–tilt capability for the weapon system and can be controlled via cable or wireless connectivity.
Offering day and night capability with automatic scanning and target detection, SMASH HOPPER is ideal for multiple mission areas including force protection, border security, anti-drone, remote ambush, and offensive action operations at complex environments. It can be mounted utilizing a standalone deployable tripod, a stationary fixed mast or a lightweight vehicle.
Michal Mor, Smart Shooter CEO: “We are honored to present SMASH HOPPER, an innovative portable LRCWS solution that offers precise fire capability against ground, aerial, static, or moving targets. The unique “One shot – One hit” SMASH capability finds its way into the world of RCWS in a soldier friendly truly light configuration. Designed as a modular and rapidly deployable solution, SMASH HOPPER dramatically increases accuracy, lethality, and survivability of small arms.”
About SMART SHOOTER
SMART SHOOTER is a world-class designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems that significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of small arms. With a rich record in designing unique solutions for the warfighter, SMART SHOOTER technology enhances mission effectiveness through the ability to accurately engage and eliminate ground, aerial, static or moving targets during both day and night operations.
Designed to help military and law enforcement professionals swiftly and accurately neutralize their targets, the company’s combat-proven SMASH Family of Fire Control Systems increase assault rifle lethality while keeping friendly forces safe and reducing collateral damage. With a unique technology that makes it possible for every battlefield element to be connected with every other battlefield element, SMASH creates a micro-tactical network that dramatically enhances real-time situational awareness and ensures that the entire platoon shares a common operational picture.
The company’s experienced team of engineers combine electro-optics, computer vision technologies, real-time embedded software, ergonomics, and system engineering to provide cost-effective and easy-to-use solutions for modern conflicts.
Fielded and operational, Smart Shooter SMASH family of solutions provides end-users with a “One Shot – One Hit” capability across multiple mission areas, creating a significant advantage for the infantry soldier and ultimately revolutionizing the world of small arms and optics.
17 Jul 20. Thales tests FR/UK MMCM prototype in operational configuration. Thales has announced the successful testing of a Franco-British Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) prototype in operational configuration. The MMCM programme was launched in 2010 with the aim of developing a prototype autonomous system for the detection and neutralisation of sea mines and underwater improvised explosive devices (UWIEDs). Development of the unmanned mine countermeasures system-of-systems was carried out under a contract awarded in 2015 to Thales in collaboration with BAE Systems and their partners in France and the UK.
The MMCM prototype conducted the one-week minehunting mission off the coast of Brest.
Thales VP Underwater activities Alexis Morel said: “With this latest milestone, the MMCM programme has delivered the only operational system-of-systems of its kind in the world.
“This pioneering mission further consolidates Thales’s world leadership in both conventional mine countermeasures and the new generation of solutions based on a combination of autonomous and remotely operated systems.
“This uniquely complex programme brings major innovations in the service of the safety of the seas, seafarers and citizens.”
During the maiden mission, the prototype used all the subsystems to finish four operational scenarios.
The first two scenarios involved an unmanned surface vessel (USV) and its volume search sonar and towed array sonar.
The third and fourth scenarios saw two unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) equipped with the SAMDIS sonar and the robotic mine neutralisation system.
In all these scenarios, the mission saw the positive detection of threats and the completion of the robotic neutralisation procedure of mines as intended.
FR/UK MMCM OCCAR programme manager Christophe Serrat said: “These operational scenarios at sea were very important to demonstrate interim operational capability performance of the MMCM prototype.
“Their achievement marks important progress towards achieving the start of the production phase, and we look forward to seeing the full operational capability demonstrated in Autumn this year.” (Source: naval-technology.com)
16 Jul 20. Japan Readies Its Ship-Smashing Super-Missile. The Japanese navy has one major mission in wartime: To bottle up the Chinese fleet, preventing Beijing’s warships from reaching the open Pacific Ocean.
Which is why Japanese planners take anti-ship missiles very, very seriously. And why, last year, the Japanese defense ministry took a hard look at its newest anti-ship missile design … and decided to go back to the drawing board. The ASM-3 lacked range, the ministry decided. Rather than field the missile in its current, 100-mile incarnation, officials sent the weapon back to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries with one major note: Make the missile fly twice as far … without making it much bigger.
A year later, the ASM-3 has reappeared. In mid-July, Japan’s state minister for national defense, Tomohiro Yamamoto, posted a photo on social media depicting an F-2 with the redesigned ASM-3 under its wing. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Forbes magazine)
16 Jul 20. Pentagon reveals some details of Trump’s ‘super duper’ hypersonic missile. Defense officials have revealed to CNN details about the hypersonic missile President Donald Trump has long touted as a “super duper” new military weapon — part of a major effort to catch up to Russian and Chinese hypersonic weapons programs.
Pentagon officials acknowledged for the first time some of the capabilities of the hypersonic missile, which Trump has described as traveling 17 times the speed of sound.
A senior defense official has told CNN that Trump has taken a special interest in the missile, revealing that Trump’s oft-cited “17 times” faster figure derives from a test of a “hypersonic glide body” over the Pacific in March, a test that the Pentagon officially described as “successful” while revealing little additional information.
“What he was referring to, really, was the recent flight test that we’ve performed in March where we flew 17 times the speed of sound,” the senior defense official said.
But the American effort still lags years behind those of Moscow and Beijing’s already fielded weapons systems, with a US missile unlikely to be fielded until 2023.
Hypersonic missiles are traditionally defined as missiles that travel at least five times the speed of sound, which is more than 3,800 miles per hour, and are considered highly maneuverable and capable of operating at varying altitudes.
Trump has touted the missile being developed by the Pentagon on at least three separate occasions, referring to it as “a super duper” missile capable of traveling 17 times faster than anything currently in the US missile arsenal.
“We have a — I call it the ‘super-duper missile.’ And I heard the other night, 17 times faster than what they have right now,” Trump said in May.
Much harder to defend against
Given their tremendous speed and ability to maneuver in the atmosphere, hypersonic missiles are seen as particularly hard to defend against using conventional missile defense systems, which are designed to counter and intercept traditional ballistic missile threats, the trajectory of which are much more predictable than their hypersonic counterparts.
“Trying to defend against a hypersonic vehicle, that uncertainty in trajectory, becomes very difficult to deal with and defenses become very difficult because you’ve coupled very high speed with uncertainty in flight trajectory,” a senior US defense official told CNN.
The senior defense official revealed that Trump’s oft cited “17 times” faster figure derives from a test of a “hypersonic glide body” over the Pacific in March, a test that the Pentagon described as “successful.”
“What he was referring to, really, was the recent flight test that we’ve performed in March where we flew 17 times the speed of sound,” the senior defense official said.
The official said that Trump “does get briefed” on the details of the hypersonic weapons program, saying “he is aware of and supportive of the progress we’re making.”
“There’s presidential level support and interest in what we’re doing,” the official said.
The US military is still several years away from fielding a hypersonic weapon, however, with a target date of 2023 at the earliest, while America’s adversaries, Russia and China, claim they have already fielded such weapons.
Russia said it placed its nuclear capable hypersonic missile known as “the Avangard” on “combat duty” late last year.
The Russian military has also tested an air launched version of a hypersonic missile known as the Kinzhal and has said it could field it this year.
Chinese missile development
And China recently showcased its hypersonic weapon, the DF-17, during a recent military parade.
The US has acknowledged that it needs to catch-up to Moscow and Beijing and the Pentagon has requested billions for the weapon’s development.
“I have full confidence that we’ll catch up, and we’re investing in hypersonics,” Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities Vic Mercado told CNN, saying that the Russian and Chinese capabilities were a major planning factor for the Pentagon.
The senior official told CNN that the reason the US fell behind China and Russia in the hypersonic arms race is that the US made a conscious decision to avoid adapting hypersonic technology to weapons until relatively recently, a change spurred on by Moscow and Beijing’s embrace of the armaments.
For four or five decades, “the United States has been a world leader in hypersonic technology. But we’ve always shied away from making the decision to transition that technology to war fighting applications,” the senior defense official said.
“What helped us make the decision is that, you know, hey, the adversaries have made that decision to develop their hypersonic systems, and that really creates a potential asymmetry in war-fighting capability that we just can’t allow to stand if we want to make sure we maintain our military dominance,” the official said.
The US hypersonic weapons program is primarily focused on two types of missiles, a “boost glide system” derived from a traditional ballistic missile and a hypersonic cruise missile.
The boost glide system, which was the system tested in March, places a maneuverable glide vehicle atop a ballistic missile, giving the missile much enhanced maneuverability at hypersonic speed.
The weapon is seen as having tremendous range, 1,000 miles or greater, but is more expensive and larger than the cruise missile variant.
The other kind of hypersonic missile the US is working on is a hypersonic cruise missile and is much more like a traditional cruise missile such as the Tomahawk missile, a weapon long used by the military to strike enemy targets.
The hypersonic missiles would travel up to ten times faster than the Tomahawk missile currently in the military’s arsenal.
The senior defense official said a test of the cruise missile would take place later this year.
The official said both weapons could work in concert with one another, with the longer range boost glide missiles taking out an enemy’s air defense systems, allowing US warplanes armed with hypersonic cruise missiles to fly in closer and strike a greater number of enemy targets.
One major difference between the planned US weapons and the Chinese and Russian variants is that the American missiles are not designed to be nuclear capable according to US officials. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/CNN)
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.