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19 Sep 18. Meggitt Training Systems to Highlight Small-Arms Trainers and Live-Fire Products at AUSA 2018. Meggitt Training Systems, the leading provider of integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training products and services for armed forces and law enforcement, will promote its full range of solutions at the Association of the US Army Annual Meeting & Exposition (AUSA). The military industry event will be held October 8–10, 2018 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.
“The FATS® 100MIL is the foundation for the U.S. Army’s Engagement Skills Trainer II program of record, while the new, 300-degree FATS 300MIL delivers unequalled realism through a fully immersive experience,” said Jeff Murphy, president of Meggitt Training Systems. “Both products, combined with decades of live-fire experience, position Meggitt as the ideal, single source for American and allied military forces that demand the best training assets for evolving threats.”
The FATS 100MIL is a major expansion in weapons training capability, introducing revolutionary features such as advanced game engine 3D marksmanship, enhanced diagnostics with intelligent automatic coaching and collective training. The system provides an impressive array of functionality for both instructor and trainee, delivering solid weapon-handling and shot-placement analytics, coaching tools that automatically highlight trainee results for reinforcement or correction, and enhanced graphic capabilities for an all-encompassing immersive training platform. Meggitt was first awarded the EST II contract in 2014 and installed the last of 895 systems based on the FATS 100MIL at Ft. Bragg, N.C., on April 14, 2018.
The immersive FATS 300MIL is one of Meggitt’s newest offerings. Immersion is provided via five 150”x84” flat screens arranged in a hexagonal format, 5.1 audio, plus sounds in any direction added by the operator for increased realism. The system also has ultra-short-throw projectors that allow the trainee unprecedented distance to the entity being engaged, all while maintaining a smaller footprint than rear-projection systems. In recent months, Meggitt has created three domestic regional hubs featuring the FATS 300LE for law enforcement applications.
Both the FATS 100MIL and 300MIL interface with a variety of firearms, including Meggitt’s wireless BlueFire® weapons. A variety of these weapons will be demonstrated with the FATS 100MIL at AUSA.
Meggitt’s live-fire offerings include infantry and armor targets, outdoor and indoor range solutions, target retrieval and training systems, shooting stalls, bullet traps, range control systems, as well as range planning and design. The company has won numerous orders in recent years via the Army Targetry Systems III indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity five-year contract.
Finally, the company will emphasize is SHOTT™ House and Road Range™. The former stands for Shoot House Optimized for Tactical Training and provides warfighters the opportunity to practice securing a structure using live weapons. The latter is a ballistically secure mobile trailer, fully equipped to produce a three-position, state-of-the-art, live-fire range for training anywhere. Both the SHOTT House and Road Range can be equipped with a FATS virtual training system to provide a comprehensive solution for marksmanship, sustainment and judgmental training, including force escalation and de-escalation.
To experience the FATS 100MIL with BlueFire weapons for marksmanship, judgmental and collective training, plus speak with a Meggitt Training Systems representative at the event, please visit https://meggitttrainingsystems.com/about-meggitt-training-systems/request-a-meeting-with-meggitt-training-systems/. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
20 Sep 18. Proximity Fuze Anti-UAS Warhead for the Stinger. The Cruise Missile Defense Systems Project Office, in conjunction with the Armament Research and Development Engineering Center, has completed testing on a new Proximity Fuze warhead for the Stinger missile, which will lead to fielding under an urgent materiel release.
With the test flights completed, the new configuration will be authorized for fielding to selected units under the urgent release directive to support the warfighter against existing and emerging aerial threats on the battlefield. The Army team, with the support of Lockheed Martin Sippican, demonstrated the proximity warhead capability on the Stinger missile during testing conducted at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, from Aug. 7-24.
The new proximity capability was demonstrated by engaging nine free-flight Unmanned Aircraft Systems targets, consisting of different variants during the Soldier-fired events. The Stinger missiles were fired from the Avenger Weapon System and in the Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems configuration.
The legacy Stinger Block I missile contains a hit-to-kill fuze which is effective against enemy fixed and rotary wing aircraft. The emergence of low observable UAS, increasingly being deployed by adversarial nations and terrorist groups, is a threat to the warfighter and a challenge for the legacy Stinger missile due to the very small UAS size and low heat signature. This can often result in a close miss against a UAS target. The new proximity fuze senses a near-miss situation and detonates the warhead, causing a proximity kill. This added capability allows the Stinger missile to maintain the hit-to-kill performance while improving effectiveness against varying classes of UAS. The Stinger FIM-92J missile, fitted with LMS’ Proximity Fuze warhead, is produced by Raytheon Missile Systems.
“Our troops and allies need increased capability to defeat UAS of all classes, right now,” Col. Chuck Worshim, Cruise Missile Defense Systems project manager, said. “The Stinger missile with the Proximity Fuze clearly provides that additional capability to defeat multiple classes of UAS. This additional capability contributes to the modernization of Air and Missile Defense for the Army.” (Source: UAS VISION/The Redstone Rocket)
19 Sep 18. MQ-9 Gets First Air-to-Air Kill in Training Exercise, Air Force Official Says. An MQ-9 Reaper drone has bagged its first air-to-air kill of another small, aerial vehicle in a controlled simulation, an official revealed to Military.com this week. The successful test late last year showed the U.S. Air Force that an unmanned vehicle like the MQ-9 has the ability to conduct air-to-air combat, much like its manned fighter brethren such as an F-15 Eagle or F-22 Raptor, according to Col. Julian Cheater, commander of the 432nd Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.
“Something that’s unclassified but not well known, we recently in November … launched an air-to-air missile against a maneuvering target that scored a direct hit,” Cheater said. Military.com sat down with Cheater here at the Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber conference outside Washington, D.C.. “It was an MQ-9 versus a drone with a heat-seeking air-to-air missile, and it was direct hit … during a test,” he said of the first-of-its-kind kill. We develop those tactics, techniques and procedures to make us survivable in those types of environments and, if we do this correctly, we can survive against some serious threats against normal air players out there,” Cheater said Monday. “We will go participate in ‘Red Flag’ exercises, and we will drop weapons in testing environments to make sure that we can fight against those type of adversaries.” (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Military.com)
20 Sep 18. CSOC reveals details of armed USV concept. Officials from Chinese state-owned shipbuilder China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company (CSOC) have revealed technical specifications of a concept for a new 20-tonne armed unmanned surface vessel (USV) it is showcasing at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2018 exhibition in South Africa on 19–23 September.
Called the ‘JARI USV Multipurpose Unmanned Combat Boat’, the 15 m-long platform, which is being developed by the 716 Research Institute of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), is expected to have a top speed of 42kt and a range of 500n miles. According to the officials, the vessel, a prototype of which is currently undergoing testing, is equipped with a phased-array radar, satellite communication systems, and a mid-hull-mounted variable depth sonar, although the USV must stop to be able to use it. According to the officials, the vessel can be armed with a 30 mm cannon combined with small surface-to-air missiles, mid-hull-mounted vertically-launched anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles as well as two side-mounted lightweight anti-submarine torpedoes. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Sep 18. Task Force Looks at Making Infantry Squads More Lethal. The Close Combat Lethality Task Force is gathering information from the services, industry and allies before making recommendations to Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, the senior Army enlisted representative to the task force said here today. Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Army Sgt. Maj. Jason Wilson explained the process for the task force, which Mattis set up in March. The task force seeks to ensure Army, Marine Corps and special operations infantry squads overmatch any potential adversary, he said. Noting that infantry squads need to be more lethal, more resilient and more capable, he said the task force has the mission to look at lethality from every angle, from personnel to equipment to training to doctrine, and make recommendations to the secretary.
The task force members are examining what the services and U.S. Special Operations Command are currently proposing for infantry soldiers. They are looking at weaponry, protective gear and tactics and seeing if those already existing proposals and equipment can be adapted throughout the U.S. infantry world.
Pursuing Promising Leads
“Close combat is an environment characterized by extreme violence within line-of-sight of the enemy, where historically the vast majority of military combat casualties occur – approximately 90 percent,” Wilson said. The [task force] is pursuing promising leads in manpower policy, focusing on recruiting, developing and retaining the individuals with the requisite cognitive capacity, skills and traits to excel within a close-combat environment.”
As part of gathering information upon which they can base their recommendation, the sergeant major said, task force members visited Israel and “gained a different perspective on leader development, equipment and policies, which will potentially enhance our close-combat lethality.”
They also visited the Marine Corps training area at Twentynine Palms, California, where the members observed the Squad X experiment. This effort looks at “distinct sensing capabilities designed to be organic to the close-combat formation,” Wilson said.
Dominating the Operational Environment
“These capabilities are directly linked to the find, fix, finish, exploit and analyze, which are designed to allow our close-combat formations to dominate the operational environment,” he added.
Finally, the task force went to Fort Benning, Georgia, where members spoke with the chief of infantry and visited the Maneuver Center of Excellence to understand the latest Army efforts. The task force also visited the 75th Ranger Regiment “to gain an appreciation for the models used in selecting their current soldiers,” Wilson said.
Infantry personnel have to have the physical strength and mental acuity to do the job. Wilson, a 23-year infantry soldier, said he does not want the infantry to be a place “where we send soldiers who don’t have the mental capacity to do other jobs.”
“We want to get away from our close-combat forces … being the place where soldiers who don’t meet the requisite criteria to be an intel analyst or whatever get sent to,” he said.
Advances in technology can be brought into the toolbox of infantry personnel, Wilson said, including new ways of viewing the battlefield, processing information from the battlefield and executing missions upon the battlefield.
Infantry training on its own will change, the sergeant major said. He spoke about bringing simulation technology to the field to allow squads of platoons to practice a mission many times before having to do so for real.
Wilson said the group is shaping its recommendations to the secretary and will present them to him soon. (Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)
18 Sep 18. Fire Scout Completes Sea Mine-Hunting Demonstration. A modified version of Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter has successfully completed an automated sea mine-hunting demonstration. The work saw the rotorcraft coordinate with a small robotic surface ship and unmanned submersible at the US Navy’s Advanced Naval Technology (ANTX) exercise from 29-31 August, according to Northrop. The MQ-8C Fire Scout served as a communications relay and situational awareness platform for the surface ship and submersible, which were hunting and relaying information about the locations of sea mines. Due to Federal Aviation Administration restrictions the Fire Scout was manned and piloted. The pilot flew the helicopter based on waypoint instructions from the aircraft’s automated system. The rest of the aircraft, including mission systems and sensors, where operated completely autonomously.
“The goal is to increase the efficiency between the man and the machine,” said Dan Redman, Northop’s ANTX programme manager, who noted the additional personnel requirements that often come with operating UAVs. “We have the ability to reduce the manpower.”
Another goal of the demonstration was to show that the UAV could help with the dangerous mission of mine sweeping, adds Alan Lytle, Northrop vice-president for undersea systems.
“There are certain missions where you can’t send people and this [UAV] opens up opportunities for the navy,” he says.
The Fire Scout is a Bell 407 commercial helicopter that is stripped down, stuffed with extra fuel tanks and equipped with a phalanx of sensors. The aircraft is larger and has double the endurance of its predecessor, the MQ-8B, which is a converted Schweizer 330 commercial helicopter.
Northrop executives say they do not know when the USN might begin using the Fire Scout for sea mine-hunting missions, noting that the exercise was for demonstration purposes. The service has yet to commit to using the UAV for this application.
In July, the company displayed a model of the MQ-8C at the UK’s Royal International Air Tattoo fitted with an Ultra Electronics sonobuoy mission pod. At the time, Northrop would not comment on the pairing, but the introduction of the pod appeared to indicate that the helicopter’s mission could also expand to anti-submarine warfare. (Source: UAS VISION/FlightGlobal)
18 Sep 18. These six companies have been selected to compete in the Army’s submachine gun program. After some fits and starts, the Army submachine gun program has reached its next phase as officials have selected the six companies they want to provide guns for consideration. The program caught attention when it was first mentioned at the annual National Defense Industrial Association’s Armament Systems forum.
Lt. Col. Steven Power, product manager of Soldier Weapons for Program Executive Office-Soldier noted the then-recent posting of a Request For Information on sub gun options for soldier personal security. Fairly quickly, more than a dozen companies sent their offerings, and the designs ranged from the classic Heckler & Koch MP5-style to the smaller M4-type guns chambered in 9mm.
Sub guns or subcompact guns have been in use in the military for a variety of purposes dating back to the Thompson Submachine gun developed during World War I and put into use in World War II.
That heavy-duty, high-capacity weapon fell out of use in the subsequent decades, while other lighter versions with smaller rounds such as the 9mm came into fashion.
Sub guns have long been used by special operations forces, such as the Navy SEALs, for close-quarters battle shooting scenarios. But they were not in common use among the rank and file for some time.
That seems to be part of the reason that posting caught the attention of military-gun focused readers.
Then, it appeared the program halted when the RFI was canceled after 13 submissions were received.
But, in a few short weeks, a Prototype Opportunity Notice by Army Contracting Command was posted, modifying some of the requirements.
The new notice wants a “highly concealable [Sub Compact Weapon] system capable of engaging threat personnel with a high volume of lethal force while accurately firing at close range with minimal collateral damage.”
The sub gun now had to be optimized specifically to fire a 147-grain 9mm and include 20- and 30-round magazines.
It must fire 60 rounds per minute for five minutes without a cookoff.
The following companies were selected for the next phase:
- Trident Rifles, LLC
- Sig Sauer
- Shield Arms
- Global Ordnance, LLC
- B&T USA
- Angstadt Arms
If selected, the companies could be asked to manufacture up to 350 guns initially, and possibly as many as 1,000 of the sub guns, depending on Army requirements.
First, the companies will have until mid-October to provide 15 weapons for an evaluation.
The six companies selected make for some interesting developments on the design front.
Though details on specific submissions have not been made public, at least two of the companies on the list, Angstadt and Shield Arms, both make M4-style 9mm variants, as reported by Soldier Systems, a military gear-focused website.
The Firearm Blog notes that the original MP5-style designs from Heckler & Koch, Zenith and PTR are now off the list, as are some of the companies typically associated with this type of gun.
That includes Colt, Beretta, CMMG, CZ-USA, LMT and Noveske, the website reported.
Sig Sauer has had recent success, nabbing last year’s contract to replace the common sidearm for all the services in the M17 9mm handgun, part of the Modular Handgun System.
It also garnered attention from Special Operations Command for its work on the MCX Rattler, chambered in .300 Winchester Blackout, this year.
One company not selected, Handl Defense, reportedly told TFB that they planned to file a protest on the selections, alleging they were excluded on a “procedural basis.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Army Times)
19 Sep 18. MBDA unveils Future Land Indirect Fires concepts. MBDA has unveiled a number of land precision effects concept for integration with the ARTEC 8×8 Boxer infantry fighting vehicle to address the British Army’s future land surface-to-surface fire requirements. In April this year, UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that it will re-join the Boxer programme via the OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement/Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) – a move that will allow them to procure the Boxer platform to meet the requirements for Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme. The concepts – part of the company’s Future Land Indirect Fires offerings for the Army – are intended to “provide the ability to flexibly engage difficult targets at range with agile targeting methods and a high degree of discrimination”, according to the company.
One concept provides for an eight-cell land indirect fire mission module incorporating a 178 mm surface-to-surface munition with either radio-frequency (RF)/semi-active laser (SAL) or electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) seeker options. “Boxer is effectively designed to accept different mission modules that can be swapped in or out as required. So we are proposing is a modular mission module equipped to conduct a land indirect fires role,” an MBDA spokesperson told Jane’s . The concept leverages a number of technologies developed for the MBDA missile portfolio, including the 178 mm Brimstone and Spear missiles, along with the development in the 166 mm Common Anti-air Modular Missile family. One of the concept images shows what appears to be a stretched adaptation of the Brimstone missile with an aft actuator array leveraged from the CAMM effector. Another MBDA Future Land Indirect Fires concept appears to show a larger calibre air-breathing concept with an active RF seeker for longer-range effects. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Sep 18. A-Darter completes flight tests. South Africa’s Denel Dynamics has completed qualification testing of its fifth-generation A-Darter short-range air-to-air missile, Denel announced on 17 September. Four guided launches were carried out at the Overberg Test Range, all of them against Skua targets. The first was carried out on 17 November 2017 and involved the missile’s lock-on-after-launch mode, with it acquiring and locking onto the Skua late in its ‘free flight’ phase and then achieving a direct hit. Denel said this demonstrated the missile’s ability to engage a target at ranges beyond the normal detection range of infrared seekers. The second on 29 November 2017 was at close range with the missile performing a 180 degree turn after launch to intercept the target, thereby demonstrating the seeker’s wide look angle, the airframe’s ability to conduct high-G manoeuvres, and the performance of the thrust vector control system. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Sep 18. Lockheed Martin UK has successfully delivered the first production turrets for the Army’s new AJAX vehicles to prime contractor General Dynamics Land Systems. Lockheed Martin UK is under contract to manufacture, test and certify 245 turrets for the reconnaissance variant of the AJAX fleet. With the first eight turrets now successfully delivered, the production rate at the company’s facility in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, will steadily increase, with full rate production being achieved during 2019. Announcing the achievement at DVD2018 in Millbrook today, Alan Lines, Vice President and Managing Director of Lockheed Martin’s Ampthill site, said: “We’ve invested a huge amount in our people, our systems and our site so that we continue to remain a world-leader in armoured fighting vehicle systems, from design and development, through to build, integration, test and in-service support including training and spares.
“We delivered the first turret in March followed by a further seven turret deliveries in recent months, and two more are now ready to be shipped. The build rate is now ramping up as we move towards full rate production.”
The fully digitised turrets have been designed and developed by Lockheed Martin’s highly skilled engineers at the company’s Bedfordshire facility which is home to a multi-million pound manufacturing capability with a state-of-the-art production line and a highly-skilled team.
The AJAX turret offers soldiers unparalleled situational awareness and includes the new CT40 weapon system. The CT40’s enhanced capabilities make it the most capable medium calibre cannon in the market. It comes with a fully stabilised 40mm cased telescoped cannon that allows rapid selection and firing from a range of ammunition effects and is capable of firing on the move. It engages further away than its equivalent 30mm, it engages faster, and it uses significantly less rounds to achieve the required effect.
Alan Lines continues: “Our technology-leading turret contributes significantly to the intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR), survivability and combat capabilities of AJAX. We’re immensely proud of the team and the work we’re doing to support this essential capability for the British Army.”
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “AJAX is the UK’s biggest order of armoured vehicles in a generation, supporting thousands of jobs across the country and modernising our frontline fleet. Having been expertly produced just a few miles away in the same county, it is apt that this first batch of turrets have been delivered in time for Bedfordshire’s Army showcase, marking another step towards bringing these vehicles onto the battlefield.”
The AJAX turret shares commonality with the upgraded turret developed by Lockheed Martin UK for the Ministry of Defence’s Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP). Lockheed Martin UK is the prime contractor for the WCSP programme, which is currently in its development phase.
19 Sep 18. MBDA unveils Spectre combat UAV concept. MBDA in the United Kingdom has unveiled a new combat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) concept designed to provide on-call, low-cost organic precision effects close air support for forward-deployed land forces. Spectre is a tilt wing, electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) combat air system concept capable of quickly transitioning to forward flight mode for rapid traversal over complex terrain at low altitude. Designed with an integrated modular payload bay capable of incorporating systems up to 25 kg, Spectre can be equipped with either two MBDA Enforcers or a single Missile Moyenne Portee (MMP) multirole weapons system to address light armoured, soft-skinned and unmanned threats, or heavier armoured threats. The Spectre system can ‘find and fix’ beyond line-of-sight threats in complex operational environments to assist deployed ground forces. It also incorporates a ‘watch and wait’ mode with a top attack capability effectively giving the Spectre an overwatch/loitering munition utility. Other mission module options include re-supply payloads, improved sensors, or electronic warfare payloads. The latter payload can be combined with kinetic effects to disrupt adversary operations. Spectre’s various mission modules can be replaced by the operator in-theatre, and the system design provides for the integration of new and upgraded modules and technologies and requirements evolve.
As currently envisaged, Spectre will have a cruise speed of 180km/h, a cruising altitude of less than 100 m, and combat range in excess of 10 km with a flight endurance of more than 60 minutes. The Spectre design provides for two (front and aft) 2 m tilt wings, with four rotor assemblies: one on each wing. The all-up weight of the concept system has not been disclosed. Other features include automatic navigation, operator-over-the-loop command and control (but with firing authority always with the human operator), and anti-jam GPS navigation. Spectre can be used as a single system, or as a scalable co-operative swarming capability. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Sep 18. Hanwha unveils electromagnetic launch system development. South Korea defence prime Hanwha Corporation has unveiled plans to develop an electromagnetic launch system (EMLS) for surface-to-air missiles (SAM) at the 2018 edition of the DX Korea land forces exhibition in Goyang City. According to company officials, the EMLS programme is an internally funded effort that commenced in 2016. It aims to mature the necessary techniques to provide an alternative to conventional hot launch processes, in which the missile combusts its own fuel to propel itself out of its canister and achieve the necessary velocity for aerodynamic flight. Myungguen Song, a research engineer at Hanwha Defense Systems’ Vehicle and Launcher Research and Development Center, told Jane’s on 16 September that hot launching has several disadvantages. For example, additional volume is required within the launcher for exhaust plume control and discharge, and the canister itself must be able to isolate the heat generated by the missile’s motor during launch without igniting other missiles in adjacent canisters.
“More importantly, a missile can expend as much as 60% of its fuel during a hot launch situation to achieve enough velocity for aerodynamic flight, limiting its overall performance and range,” Song said.
More recent SAM systems – such as the indigenous Cheongung (Iron Hawk) KM-SAM system developed by LIG Nex1 and operated by the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) – employ a cold launch system that uses compressed gas to eject a missile out of its canister before its rocket motor ignites.
“The advantage of the cold launch system is safety – a malfunctioning missile can be ejected to reduce the possibility of damage or destruction of the launcher, although the missile still has to expend fuel to attain flight velocity,” he explained. “The gas system is also not reusable.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Sep 18. Detroit Police Department S.W.A.T. Adopts SIG SAUER M400 Rifles. SIG SAUER, Inc. announced that the Detroit Police Department has adopted the SIG SAUER M400 Rifle for their SWAT officers. The Detroit Police Department is a municipal police force comprised of twelve precincts protecting the largest city in the state of Michigan and one of the largest cities in the U.S.
Tom Jankiewicz, Executive Vice President, Law Enforcement Sales, SIG SAUER, Inc. began, “the M400 rifle is designed to exceed military standards to be the most accurate and reliable rifle in its class, which makes it an optimal choice for specialized law enforcement units in extraordinary enforcement situations.”
The SIG SAUER M400 is an AR-platform rifle with a direct impingement gas operating system. The M400 features a full-length free-float M-LOK handguard, enhanced SIG trigger, 6-position telescoping stock, and a rotating lock bolt.
“We are honored that the Detroit Police Department has entrusted SIG SAUER firearms to support the special tactical operations of their SWAT officers, and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with the department,” concluded Jankiewicz. The rifles for the Detroit Police Department will be distributed through Vance Outdoors.
17 Sep 18. US Army weapons and munitions tech development gets congressional cash injection. U.S. Army weapons and munitions technology development is getting a big cash injection in the fiscal 2019 spending bill, which emerged from conference committee late Sept. 13. Research, development, technology and evaluation dollars for weapons and munitions technology saw a $343 m boost in the appropriations bill expected to be voted on by both chambers this week. The Army had requested just $40.44 m in RDT&E funding to improve weapons and munitions, but lawmakers are providing a total $383.44m.
Additionally, the bill adds $139.68m to the Army’s RDT&E budget for weapons and munitions advanced technology. The Army requested just $102m in FY19. A large portion of the funding is targeted at the Army’s top modernization priority — Long Range Precision Fires.
The Army is planning to demonstrate LRPF technology, from a precision-strike missile — with a range of 499 kilometers — to hypersonics and ramjet capabilities within the next couple of years that could allow missiles to reach up to 1,000 nautical miles.
Since the Army’s budget request dropped in February this year, the service has formed cross-functional teams to tackle six top modernization priorities. Those CFTs have come up with more concrete road maps to rapidly modernize the force to go up against peer adversaries like Russia and China.
“There is a real need to modernize our surface-to-surface fires at echelon to be able to guarantee a clear overmatch against any potential adversary both on the modern and future battlefield,” Brig. Gen. Stephen Maranian, the LRPF team lead, told Defense News earlier this year. “To that effort, we are looking at how do we increase our range, how do we increase our lethality and how do we increase our volume of fires, not just in the missile area, but at echelon.”
The new Army Futures Command commander, Gen. Mike Murray, noted during a Sept. 13 House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee hearing that the service is also adding cannon and rocket artillery back into its formations. “It’s very graciously been allowed to grow over the last two to three years, and a large piece of that growth is focused on artillery,” Murray said.
To get after the efforts within that portfolio, the Army’s CFT is focused on extending the range of the service’s cannon artillery capabilities, developing a longer-range missile to replace its current Army Tactical Missile System and developing such capabilities as hypersonics and ramjet that will allow the force to reach more strategic ranges with its weapons systems. Aside from a $25m general program increase in technology development for weapons and munitions, Congress plans to provide an additional $20m to pursue extended-range cannon artillery efforts, and another $67m to enhance the lethality of extended range artillery systems. Congress also wants to add another $10m to develop a long-range hybrid projectile. More funding to develop effectiveness and lethality in weapons systems was added in the conference report, such as $50m for work on a 120mm cannon-fired guided missile; $10m for a medium-caliber, lightweight composite barrel development effort; and another $2.5m for advanced warhead technology. Congress is also providing $15m to develop weapons effectiveness in urban engagements, which is where the Army envisions a future increase in operations as adversaries increasingly hide among civilian populations and as cities around the world continue to boom and grow in complexity. Another $30m will go toward defense against small unmanned aircraft systems, which are difficult to hit because of their maneuverability and size. Another surplus in funding will go toward refining the accuracy of weapons and munitions, like $20m for the development of a sensor-fused munition and another $23m for laser weapons accuracy. Lawmakers also added $20m for advanced processing of insensitive energetic materials, $20m for armament system integration, $20m for armament systems concepts and $13m for novel printed-armaments components. Under the advanced technology development for weapons and munitions, Congress is adding an unspecified program increase of $42m.
One of the bigger increases in the category goes toward LRPF. The Senate had originally added $101.8m in its version of the bill, but conferees compromised at a $35m increase for the LRPF development effort.
Lawmakers are also providing $12m to accelerate the Extended-Range Cannon Artillery gun, which will be a 58-caliber cannon. The effort will follow quickly behind the Army’s initial effort to upgrade its current Paladin howitzer with a new M107A7 chassis. The Army’s CFT for LRPF would like to see the extended-range cannon capability — or at least a first iteration — initially fielded in just a couple of years. The Army would also get another $20m to develop high-energy lasers for weapons systems. Another $5m will go toward advanced development of asset protection technologies. (Source: Defense News)
17 Sep 18. India test-fires locally developed MPATGM. India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently conducted the first test-firings of a locally developed, low-weight ‘Man-Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile’ (MPATGM) system, according to a 16 September statement by the government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB). India’s DRDO successfully conducted the first test-firings of a locally developed MPATGM, 15-16 September. The MPATGM was test-fired out to different ranges at the Ahmednagar range in the western Indian state of Maharashtra on 15 and 16 September, stated the PIB, adding that “all mission objectives” were met. No further details were provided in the statement. The MPATGM system, which is developed by the DRDO in partnership with Indian company VEM Technologies Ltd, is one of several Indian weapons programmes that were endorsed by the DRDO in 2016. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Sep 18. MBDA offers surface-launched Brimstone to Poland. MBDA is proposing a palletised surface-launched salvo-fire adaptation of its Brimstone air-to-surface missile to address a Polish Armaments Inspectorate requirement for a stand-off anti-armour capability. The proposal is part of an evolved MBDA missile package competing for two current Armaments Inspectorate anti-armour acquisition programmes – ‘Pustelnik’ and ‘Karabela’ – to equip the Polish Territorial Defence Forces (Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej – [WOT]) and Polish Army. Pustelnik provides for a 1.4 km minimum range easy-to-use light anti-armour weapon for the WOT; for this requirement MBDA is offering the Enforcer (KFK) disposable shoulder-launched guided weapon system.
Karabela is effectively a two-tier programme to equip both the WOT and regular Polish Army. The ‘lower’ tier provides for the acquisition of a 4 km range anti-tank guided missile weapon – for vehicle-mounted and dismounted applications – to replace/supplement the in-service Spike LR, and for which MBDA is offering the Missile Moyenne Porte (MMP); the ‘upper’ tier stipulates an 8 km–10 km anti-armour weapon to equip multiple platforms, including surface-launched, helicopter-launched ‘Kruk’ platforms, light combat aircraft and fast jets: MBDA is offering a Brimstone solution across all platforms. The specific Brimstone variant for this proposal has not yet been identified, Adrian Monks MBDA sales director in Poland told Jane’s. “Depending on the customer requirement/specification it could be supplied either from the current Brimstone product inventory/line – in which case it could be delivered with 6–12 months from contract – or from the latest Brimstone evolution (Brimstone 3), which is still in development, and therefore would become available further down the line. The bottom line is that the customer is looking for the exact capability that the legacy mmW Brimstone was originally designed for – to engage and neutralise massed armoured threats.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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