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07 Sep 18. US Army close to greenlighting extra lethal Stinger missiles. The U.S. Army is getting close to greenlighting Stinger missiles that are more lethal against enemy drones following a string of successful tests last month. The Cruise Missile Defense Systems Project Office, or CMDS, demonstrated a new proximity warhead capability on a Stinger missile during flight testing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, over a three-week period in August. The first two weeks of the test event were focused on characterizing the capability of the proximity warhead against static drone targets. In the final week, the proximity fuze-equipped Stingers went up against nine free-flying unmanned aircraft systems ranging from small to roughly 1,000-pound variants — about the size of a Shadow UAS — according to Wayne Leonard, the product lead for Stinger-based systems at CMDS. The Stinger missiles were fired from man-portable air-defense systems and Avenger launcher systems to show they can be safely fired from both. The two systems are being used as a temporary capability-gap filler for short-range air defense in Europe as the Army works to bring on an interim SHORAD capability that can keep up with the maneuver force. Stinger missiles will be a part of that interim SHORAD solution, too.
Previous versions of the Stinger missile use a hit-to-kill capability to take out targets, which requires extreme accuracy. Drone targets, with unpredictable flight paths, make it even harder for a Stinger missile to make contact. A proximity warhead capability allows for a Stinger to get within close range of a target, then detonate an explosive to neutralize targets that are within close range of the missile. Now that the critical testing has wrapped up for the Stinger missile with the proximity fuze warhead, the Army will make a determination on an urgent materiel release. That decision is expected in February 2019 after Army Test and Evaluation Command releases its report, according to Leonard. Getting more lethal Stingers approved for urgent fielding was no small feat, but it was done in just a year following receipt of a new surge of funds to move forward on the project, Col. Chuck Worshim, project manager for CMDS with the Army’s Program Executive Office Missiles and Space, told Defense News in a Sept. 7 interview. Just a year ago, there was no long-term plan to improve the Stinger missile, he said. In 2014, the Army received some funding to broadly find ways to make the missile better, but the money only covered some of the initial development of a proximity fuze capability, Worshim said. Then when the funding ran out, the effort stopped.
But with a new set of urgent modernization priorities outlined by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley last year where SHORAD and counter-UAS — among other efforts — have risen to the top, the project office received enough funding in July 2017 to finally make the proximity fuze Stinger missile a reality.
The new Stinger missile “will bring an increased lethality,” Worshim said, and that will get “after those small UAS, drones, that are being proliferated across the world right now and wreaking havoc.”
The Army’s fast-paced effort to finish development and qualify the new more-lethal Stinger missile was made possible through the other transaction authority process, which helped the service bypass part of the initial drawn-out contracting timeline to rapidly prototype and move forward, Worshim said.
Once the Army approves the Stinger missile for urgent materiel release, that will trigger a five-year Service Life Extension Program, or SLEP, where the service will take 5,000 existing Stinger missiles in its inventory over a five-year period and add the proximity warhead as well as replace an older flight motor and a gas generator cartridge to address obsolescence issues, Leonard said.
The budget to upgrade the 5,000 missiles across five years is roughly $270m. This will not just increase the Stinger’s lethality, Worshim said, but also inject another 10 years of life into the missiles. The SLEP program will be carried out at McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in Oklahoma. The service expects that within three months of the approval of the urgent materiel release, it will have roughly 500 missiles to deploy wherever the Army deems necessary, according to Worshim. (Source: Defense News)
07 Sep 18. Lockheed Martin partners with Deakin to expand industry applications of FORTIS exoskeleton. Lockheed Martin Australia and Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI) have kicked off a 12-month research partnership, which has extended the capability of Lockheed Martin’s FORTIS exoskeleton. The FORTIS is an unpowered, lightweight exoskeleton designed by Lockheed Martin that makes tools weighing up to 16.3 kilograms feel weightless – reducing user fatigue and improving worker safety. Using motion capture obtained from sensors on the arms and shoulders of exoskeleton operators and analysed by signal processing techniques, the team at Deakin’s IISRI used biomechanics to test the ergonomic effects of using power tools on the human body.
Deakin researchers also designed and 3D printed new attachments to expand the functionality of the FORTIS exoskeleton, allowing it to accommodate external loads usually mounted on the back of the human body.
Speaking at Land Forces 2018 in Adelaide, Lockheed Martin Australia’s strategic engagement director, Scott Thompson, said the partnership had delivered tangible outcomes for industry and further reinforced the status of Australian researchers as world class.
“Lockheed Martin invests in partnerships with Australia’s research and industry communities to support our global supply chains, providing opportunities for technology transfer, innovation, local skilled jobs and sustainable business growth. The innovative work done by Dr Mohammed Hossny and his team at IISRI extends the technological foundation for the FORTIS exoskeleton with the potential for a broad range of applications across the defence, automotive and mining industries.”
James Heading, business development senior manager at Lockheed Martin Australia, commended the Deakin research team and outlined the inherent challenges associated with exoskeleton research.
“Lockheed Martin has a proud history of successfully developing and demonstrating exoskeleton applications that take the work out of many demanding, repetitive tasks,” Heading said.
“Originating from Lockheed Martin’s exoskeleton research to assist soldiers to carry heavy equipment over long distances, the same principles of how the body works and expends energy were applied to exoskeleton development for use in industrial settings.”
The FORTIS exoskeleton transfers loads through the exoskeleton to the ground in standing or kneeling positions and allows operators to use heavy tools as if they were weightless. An advanced ergonomic design moves naturally with the body and adapts to different body types and heights. Using the FORTIS tool arm, operators can effortlessly hold heavy hand tools, increasing productivity by reducing muscle fatigue.
Dr Hossny, senior research fellow, IISRI at Deakin University, commended the research project, led by Darius Nahavandi as part of his PhD research, for identifying the importance of biomechanic analysis of assistive devices.
“The project has accelerated the design-testing loop for designing and tuning exoskeletons,” Dr Hossny said. “There is often a trade-off to be considered when adopting assistive devices in the workplace. While assistive devices help channel the load through the skeletal structure of the exoskeleton, our work optimises the operator’s movement so they are able to cope with increased repetition and indirect loads during motions.” (Source: Defence Connect)
05 Sep 18. US Wants UAV Laser Weapons to Down Ballistic Missiles. Officials of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) in Albuquerque, N.M., announced contract modifications Friday to General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems in San Diego, and to the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Huntsville, Ala., to push forward with the Low Power Laser Demonstrator (LPLD) project. LPLD seeks to develop enabling technologies in preparation for building a future high-energy laser weapon for a high-altitude UAV able to destroy enemy ballistic missiles in boost phase. General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems on Friday won a $23.4m contract extension, and Boeing won a $20.5m extension for follow-on work to the first phase of the LPLD project. In late 2017 General Atomics, Boeing, and the Lockheed Martin Corp. Space Systems segment in Sunnyvale, Calif., won LPLD phase-one contracts to build low-power laser prototypes to help establish beam stability at long range and the ability to dwell on one spot of a ballistic missile-sized target. In LPLD phase one, the companies addressed laser power and aperture size by integrating and testing a low-power laser on a UAV.
Now General Atomics and Boeing move to the next step of the LPLD project, which is to complete their tailored concept design review for the LPLD post-preliminary design review risk reduction effort.
General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems specializes in high-voltage capacitors for direct current, pulsed power, high-frequency alternating current, and pulsed power systems powerful enough to support future railgun applications and all-electric aircraft carrier catapults. The company also specializes in power-management and energy-storage technologies. Another segment of the company, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in Poway, Calif., also designs UAVs such as the Predator, Reaper, Gray Eagle, and Avenger UAVs. Boeing’s expertise in high-energy weapons include the company’s truck-mounted High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD) for use against air and ground targets. The company also developed the YAL-1 Airborne Laser Testbed, which was a megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL) mounted inside a modified Boeing 747-400F jetliner. The ability to destroy enemy ballistic missiles in boost phase is particularly important because with one shot it could destroy several independently targeted missile warheads, as well as decoys designed to foil missile defenses. General Atomics and Boeing may move on to a technology demonstration in the LPLD program’s second phase.
In the yearlong first phase General Atomics and Boeing performed system design, and in the second phase will build, integrate, and test a functional low-power laser for beam control and stability. MDA officials anticipate a low-power flight test by 2020 and beam stability testing by 2021.
Lessons learned from the LPLD project are expected to help government and industry experts develop solid-state lasers strong enough to destroy enemy ballistic missiles in boost phase from UAVs operating at high altitudes. The LPLD project’s low-power laser demonstrator should help military and defense industry experts understand how to use high-altitude UAVs to destroy missiles in boost phase with lasers, and ways to aim the laser, keep it steady on target, and focus the laser sufficiently to destroy the missile at it leaves the launch pad. On this contract General Atomics will do the work in San Diego, while Boeing will do its work in Huntsville, Ala.; Huntington Beach, Calif.; and Albuquerque, N.M. Both companies should be finished by July 2019. (Source: UAS VISION/Miltary Aerospace)
06 Sep 18. USAF cancels ‘bunker-buster’ contract with foreign-owned recipient. The US Air Force (USAF) has cancelled one of two contracts recently awarded to manufacture BLU-137/B penetrator warheads because the recipient is foreign-owned and so ineligible, Jane’s has learnt. Documents seen by Jane’s on 6 September show that the USAF has rescinded a USD419.6m deal for 300 BLU-137/B ‘bunker buster’ bodies (with the potential for up to 3,500 bodies) awarded to Finkl & Sons Company on 27 June, as the Chicago-based steel manufacturer is owned by Swiss group Schmolz + Bickenbach. On 30 August the USAF informed the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) that it was upholding a protest into the award to Finkl filed on 16 July by losing competitor Ellwood National Forge Company. While the protest highlighted a number of perceived errors in the contract award, it was specifically the point of the recipient being under foreign ownership, control, or influence (FOCI) that the service upheld.
“The Air Force … has determined that Finkl is a US company that is under FOCI. Therefore, Finkl is non-responsible and ineligible for award. For this reason, on 30 August 2018, the Air Force sent a notice of termination to Finkl,” the USAF said in its letter to the GAO. Schmolz + Bickenbach had not responded to a request by Jane’s for comment by the time of publication. While Finkl’s production contract has been cancelled, a separate award remains in place for US-owned Superior Forge and Steel Corporation – that was granted at the same time – for the same quantities and to the same approximate value. Rather than award production entirely to Superior Forge and Steel Corporation, the USAF is now likely to re-run the cancelled portion of the award. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
06 Sep 18. Thales and Wedgetail join forces on small arms exports to India. Thales Australia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Wedgetail Industries for the design, development and manufacture of the LA106 Longreach .338 Sniper Rifle chassis to support potential export opportunities to India. Thales’ relationship with Wedgetail Industries began in 2017 for the design, development and manufacture of small arms for export. The MoU between the companies reinforces their strong partnership as they again join forces to pursue and upcoming export opportunity for the design and manufacture of sniper rifles to the Indian Army.
Graham Evenden, director of Thales Australia’s integrated weapons and sensors business said, “Thales is delighted to consolidate our relationship with Wedgetail Industries through the MoU. This agreement further demonstrates Thales Australia’s commitment to continued engagement and development of Australian SMEs in the strengthening and sustainment of Australia’s sovereign industrial capability in munitions and small arms research, design, development and manufacture.”
The MoU between the companies reinforces their strong partnership as they again join forces to pursue an upcoming export opportunity for the design and manufacture of sniper rifles to the Indian Army.
Alexander Knott, Director of Wedgetail Industries said, “The signing of the MOU strengthens the relationship between Wedgetail Industries and Thales. This agreement confirms both parties’ commitment to collaboration, innovation and Australian manufacturing jobs.”
Employing around 3,600 people, Thales in Australia recorded revenues of more than $1.2bn in 2017 and export revenue of over $1.6bn in the past 10 years.
Thales Australia has a history of patient investment to build advanced in-country capability across manufacturing, critical systems and services. Close collaborative relationships with local customers, Australian SME suppliers and research institutions combined with technology transfer from our global business enables Thales to tailor high quality solutions for Australian and export markets. The Wedgetail Industries product development team is a diverse line-up of product designers, engineers, machinists, recreational and professional shooters. Its products are designed and made in Australia utilising modern production technologies allowing Wedgetail Industries to be flexible and agile and respond rapidly to market demand. (Source: Defence Connect)
04 Sep 18. Lockheed Martin, General Atomics, Boeing compete for laser-armed drone. Lockheed Martin, General Atomics and Boeing have received contract modifications for drone-mounted Low Power Laser Demonstrator system missile defense testing. Lockheed Martin’s contract has increased to a total value of $37.7m, while General Atomics and Boeing’s have been increased to $34m and $29.4m respectively, the Department of Defense announced on Friday. Work for all three companies will take place in various locations across the United States. The contract modifications come from the Missile Defense Agency and can extend as far as July 2019.
Specifications listed include a flight altitude of at least 63,000 feet, the endurance to stay on station for at least 36 hours after a transit of 1,900 miles, and a cruising speed of up to Mach .46 while patrolling its station. The aircraft needs to be able to carry a payload between 5,000 and 12,500 pounds and sufficient power generation to operate a 140 kilowatt laser, with the possibility of up to 280 kw or more. The system must also be able to operate the laser for at least 30 minutes without affecting flight performance, and be capable of carrying a one- to two-meter optical system for the laser. The Missile Defense Agency is responsible for the defense of U.S. territory and its allies from ballistic missile threats. It coordinates a network of land-based and ship-based missile interceptors, along with radars and satellites to detect and destroy enemy ballistic missiles. ICBMs are at their most vulnerable during their boost phase. A UAV capable of targeting them before they exit the atmosphere would greatly increase the possibility of intercept, the Pentagon said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/UPI)
04 Sep 18. Rafael targets Spike anti-tank missile sales in Germany, Poland. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems hopes its Spike extended-range anti-tank missile will be a good fit for the German and Polish armed forces. Unveiled at the International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO in Kielce, Poland, the new missile has a range of 10 kilometers (6 miles), but is said to be able to go as far as 16 kilometers when launched from a helicopter. The precision missile weights less than 35 kilograms (77 pounds), includes a non-line-of-sight capability with a new radio frequency data link, as well as an advanced seeker with a high-resolution infrared sensor that enables multispectral target-tracking. The Israeli company says this makes it ideal for seeking out camouflaged targets or targets in smoky environments.
“Its Tandem HEAT warhead has armor-penetration capabilities of all known main battle tanks and embedded anti-structure capabilities,” according to Rafael. The missile has an option for a blast and fragmentation warhead for targeting fortifications or ships.
The company is designating the Spike ER2 for the German Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters, hoping to continue the success it found fitting the missile on Spanish Tigers. Rafael hopes the Polish Army will choose the Spike ER2 as a surface-to-surface, precision-guided missile, building on past sales of the Spike LR. It will also offer the Spike ER2 to Poland for its Mi-24 and Sokol helicopters. The new Spike ER2 can be launched from existing launchers, making for smooth integration. About 30,000 missiles from the Spike family have been exported to more than 30 countries, particularly in eastern Europe and South America. India is expected to ink a $500m deal for 4,500 anti-tank Spike missiles, while Australia chose the fifth-generation Spike LR2 earlier this year. (Source: Defense News)
04 Sep 18. Thales, Chemring team up for Australian munitions. The Australian subsidiaries of Thales and Chemring have signed an agreement to collaborate on meeting the grenade requirements of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and regional export customers. Under the memorandum of understanding (MOU) – signed in Adelaide on 4 September – the two companies will co-operate on the “design, development, and manufacture of a future range of grenades”, according to a joint statement. It added that the range of grenades will be designed and manufactured at government-owned facilities at Benalla, in Victoria, and Mulwala, in New South Wales, and also Chemring’s production facility at Lara in Victoria.
“The integrated product range will include fragmentation, offensive, smoke, and training products,” said the statement. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
04 Sep 18. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. announces SPIKE ER2, a 5th Generation Extended Range missile, designed to enable Joint 5th generation tactical overmatch for ground maneuver, Rotary dominance & naval deterrence. The new missile, which will be unveiled at MSPO 2018 in Kielce, Poland, features a number of new capabilities, and a combination of greater standoff range of up to 10 km for surface launch, and 16 km when fired from a helicopter, NLOS engagement capabilities (launch to grid coordinate), while retaining the SPIKE legacy of relatively light weight (less than 34kg) and high lethality. All these constitute significant differentiating factors for the market of precision-guided missiles. The SPIKE ER2 is part of the legacy of the wider SPIKE Missile family, which has evolved into one of the most combat-proven missiles, integrated to more than 45 platforms, in use by 30 nations, with over 30,000 missiles already supplied and 5000 missiles fired. The SPIKE ER (Extended Range) variant, which has now been upgraded to SPIKE ER2, is the middle member of the family, with a range of 8 km, and a vast platform portfolio, including the Spanish Army aviation Tiger helicopter, the Colombian Air Force Blackhawk, the Italian AW129 Mangusta, the Romanian Super Puma helicopter, the Super Cobra, and many different types of ground vehicles and naval vessels.
The SPIKE ER2 includes a new RF datalink variant to maximize the missile’s energetic range for enhanced stand-off launch from rotary platforms, enabling its 16km range. It also contains a modern advanced seeker with high resolution IR and day sensors for extended range target acquisition, and a multispectral target tracker, enabling sensory data fusion – an important feature in the smoky environments of today’s battlefields. The missile also has a special maritime target tracker which can sustain target lock-on in the maritime environment.
The SPIKE ER2 seeker was designed for the modern battle arena enabling “hotswap” capabilities of sensory swap between IR to day midflight (ideal for detection of camouflaged targets). In addition, SPIKE ER2 has network connectivity and Non-Line-Of-Sight (NLOS) engagement capabilities, including an embedded IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) for missions of third party target allocation, allowing the firing of the missile to NLOS grid target coordinates. The missile’s enhanced lethality consists of a combination of very high precision (regardless of the range), a very high angle of attack and advanced warheads, making the lethality of the SPIKE ER2 unmatched. Its advanced Tandem HEAT warhead has armor penetration capabilities of all known MBT’s and embedded anti-structure capabilities. A Penetration, Blast and Fragmentation (PBF) Warhead (anti-fortification/anti-ship) option is also available.
SPIKE ER2 has built-in, risk-free integration and compatibility to all SPIKE missile family legacy launchers, requiring only software update, for rapid fielding. Rafael is designating the SPIKE ER2 for the German Tiger Program, leveraging the integration of the SPIKE ER to the Spanish Tiger. The built-in compatibility of the SPIKE ER2 to the existing launcher will essentially enable a plug-and-play solution with no risk of integration, at a low cost. The SPIKE ER2 will also be offered to Polish Army as both a surface-to-surface vehicle-mounted standoff precision guided missile (PGM), as well as rotary PGM for the upgraded MI24 and Sokol helicopters.
03 Sep 18. Indian MoD issues RFI for 650,000 assault rifles. India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has invited responses from local manufacturers by 20 September to a request for information (RFI) regarding the supply of 650,000 7.62×39mm assault rifles for the Indian Army (IA) for an estimated INR120bn (USD1.69bn). Issued on 31 August, this is the fourth alteration made by the IA since 2011 to the qualitative requirements for the rifles, which are set to be procured under the ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ category of the MoD’s Defence Procurement Procedure 2016. The latest RFI lists revised requirements that supersede those stipulated by the IA when the MoD approved the local manufacture of 740,000 7.62×51 mm assault rifles in January 2017 for all three services, including 550,000 for the IA. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Sep 18. Russia enhances unmanned MCM capabilities. The Russian Navy is set to benefit from an expanding range of unmanned mine-countermeasures (MCM) systems that will augment its next-generation Alexandrit (Project 12700)-class mine-countermeasures vessels (MCMVs), industry sources have revealed to Jane’s. Present efforts include the integration of ECA Group’s Inspector Mk 2 unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) to the first Project 12700 MCMV, Alexander Obukhov , which was handed over to the service in December 2016. The delivery of the second ship, the future Ivan Antonov, is scheduled for late 2018. The service is expected to operate six of these vessels.
“The Russian Navy has acquired three Inspector Mk 2 USVs for its Project 12700 MCM vessels,” an industry source confirmed. “The first system was delivered in Autumn 2015, the second in 2016, and the third in July 2017,” the source added, noting that the USVs are equipped with two Seascan Mk 2 remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), the TOWCA side-mounted sonar, and the ISSS nose-mounted retractable sonar. The system is named Diamant (Diamond) in Russian Navy service.
The Inspector Mk 2 features an 8.4 m rigid hull constructed from aluminium. The vehicle has a draught of 0.5 m, a displacement of up to 4,700 kg, and payload capacity of 1,000 kg. The USV is powered by two diesel waterjets, which produce a speed of up to 25 kt with an endurance of up to 12 hours. The USV – which can operate in conditions of up to Sea State 4 and detect mine-like objects at depths between 10 m and 100 m – can also be optionally manned by four personnel depending on mission requirements. It was reported that the first three Project 12700 MCMVs will be outfitted with the Inspector Mk 2 USVs. An official from ECA Group told Jane’s at the International Maritime Defence Show in Saint Petersburg in 2017 that the company is planning to establish the licensed manufacture of the Inspector Mk 2 USVs and Seascan Mk 2 ROVs in Russia by 2019. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Sep 18. British Army expands UK-funded counter-IED training facility in Africa. The British Army is expanding the UK-funded counter improvised explosive device (IED) training facility in Africa. Located at the Humanitarian Peace Support School (HPSS) in Nairobi, the training facility is being expanded and upgraded into a regional centre of excellence. The British Army is currently working in close cooperation with its Kenyan partners to combat terrorism and safeguard the lives of the residents of East Africa. The expanded facility will help train the Kenyan security forces and other African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troop-contributing countries in the region to identify and effectively destroy the IEDs. The UK will continue to offer support to Africa with a funding of £2.3m each year from the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) and mentoring from the British Army.
UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “From supporting counter-terrorist operations in Mali to improvised explosive device disposal training in Kenya, our Armed Forces are helping to build a more secure Africa.
“By tackling the terrorist threat abroad we are helping to keep our streets safe at home.”
By November 2020, the training facility is expected to have developed into a fully functioning, independent centre of excellence where instructors from East Africa will deliver specialised IED disposal training. The current project is part of a new security agreement between the UK and Kenya, which enables both countries to address the ever-emerging threats, in addition to reinforcing their cooperation on counter-terrorism, child protection and regional security.(Source: army-technology.com)
31 Aug 18. Chinese Hypersonic Stealth Drone in Service? Recent satellite photos seem to show the ultra-high-speed reconnaissance drone project developed by the 611 Chengdu Institute, and suggest that the machine would have already entered service at within the Chinese armed forces. Most of these drones remain more or less recognizable, for example we identify the MALE Wing Loong II (or CH-5) drone with its long-range wing that has sold a hundred copies to customers in the Middle East , the EA-03 used by the Navy and the Chinese Air Force for strategic reconnaissance that is easily distinguished by its rhomboid wings, the supposed CH-3 with a pair of ducks in the front, or the ASN-301 anti-radiation drone derived from the Israeli Harpy. But one of them, a black triangular drone, is totally unrecognizable and has apparently never appeared publicly until now. A quick comparison with the other drones alongside shows that the craft is about 12.1 meters long for a wingspan of 5.6 meters. The physical aspect of this mysterious drone thus suggests that it is rather designed for a high flight speed. The image analysis also suggests that it is powered, possibly with a RBCC or TBCC type motor. These first elements converge towards the project of a hypersonic drone revealed three years ago by an article in the newspaper China Aviation News, a daily newspaper of the Chinese manufacturer AVIC. Several elements of this hypersonic project have already been studied in our file ”The Chinese hypersonic drone finally revealed? And recent clues also suggest that small-scale production of this drone may have already begun. Of course we have to wait for other institutional elements to confirm the link between this drone appeared in early June in the satellite images and the so-called project of the 611 Chengdu Institute, but it is virtually certain that no matter the true nature of the the fact that it is located in the Air Base Unit 95835, which is responsible for training and transforming pilots and drone operators for the Chinese Air Force , means that the project has at least has reached a certain technical maturity and has either already entered active service or is in the process of becoming active. (Translation by Google) (Source: UAS VISION/East Pendulum)
31 Aug 18. Russian anti-ballistic test missile launched in Kazakhstan. The Russian military has successfully conducted the launch of an anti-ballistic test missile at the Sary-Shagan test ground in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The combat team from the Russian Aerospace Forces’ Air Defence and Missile Defence Forces unit carried out the flight test using the new interceptor missile with an aim to upgrade the country’s missile defence system. In a statement, the Russian Defense Ministry was quoted by TASS as saying: “At the test site of Sary-Shagan (Republic of Kazakhstan), a unit of the air and missile defense of the aerospace forces has conducted another test launch of a new missile interceptor for Russia’s missile defence system.”
“The new anti-missile defence system has been specifically designed with the capability to repel aerospace weapons attacks, in addition to alerting operators of missile attacks.”
According to the Russian Aerospace Forces air and missile defence deputy commander colonel Andrey Prikhodko, the series of tests carried out have demonstrated the reliability of the anti-ballistic missile system. Furthermore, the test launch accomplished its determined task after the missile could successfully engage the simulated target. Prikhodko was quoted as saying: “After a series of trials, it was confirmed that the interceptor missile’s specifications correspond to its design parameters; it successfully performed its task and hit the simulated target with the specified precision.” The new anti-missile defence system has been specifically designed with the capability to repel aerospace weapons attacks, in addition to alerting operators of missile attacks and controlling outer space. In April, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that an advanced anti-ballistic missile was successfully tested in Kazakhstan, reported Sputnik News. The missile system was reportedly designed by the country to safeguard Moscow against threats from air and space attacks. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
03 Sep 18. Russian CBRN protection troops receive 30 TOS-1A MRLs. The Russian chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection troops (RKhBZ) have received 30 TOS-1A Solntsepyok (Sunburn) 220 mm multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) in 2018, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a Ministry of Defence (MoD) board meeting on 31 August.
He added that the RKhBZ would begin receiving a new generation of improved incendiary weapons. He reported that the TOS-1A had performed well in Syria, destroying 1,200 targets in support of attacks by Syrian troops.
The share of modern equipment in service with the RKhBZ has reached 62% and will increase to 72% by 2020. In recent years, 11 CBRN protection regiments have been established. Rostec’s NPO Splav company is designing an updated variant of the TOS-1A system, which is designated Tosochka. “Unlike the baseline model, Tosochka will be mounted on a wheeled chassis. State trials of the new launcher are scheduled for 2019, and operational evaluation and tests will start in 2020,” Splav told Jane’s. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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