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21 Nov 18. MMP Missile Endorsed by EU. The EU BLOS project aims at developing a family of BLOS missiles with back image and man in the loop capabilities. EU Defence ministers have endorsed on 19 November the EU BLOS (Beyond Line Of Sight) project amongst a list of 17 defence projects aiming at being implemented in the frame of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). Proposed by France and supported by Belgium and Cyprus, the EU BLOS project is the first missile system project to benefit from this new cooperation framework. Promoting a differentiating operational capability for military operations, this project will contribute to a consistent and autonomous European approach in the land combat domain whilst enhancing the qualitative contribution of European nations to the achievement of NATO’s level of ambition. The land combat domain has been recognized since June 2018 as one of the 11 European capability priorities. The EU BLOS project aims at developing a family of BLOS missiles with back image and man in the loop capabilities. Based on the MMP missile system, this family of products will be fully mastered by European industry, which provides full autonomy of use, security of supply and future evolutions, to the benefit of the 25 PESCO member nations. One of the first priorities of this project will focus on defining a European doctrine of use and its associated concepts of operation. This project will pave the way for the creation of a European users club which will develop the growth potential of the MMP missile system in terms of missile evolutions as well as in terms of integration to a wide range of land and air platforms. The EU BLOS project will also benefit from the CAMO (Capacité Motorisée) bilateral strategic partnership between France and Belgium, helping build operational and capability synergies across the armies of both nations.
19 Nov 18. UK MOD Identifies APS Requirements. Addressing delegates at the Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability conference in London on 13 November, Colonel Nick Cowey, assistant head of Ground Manoeuvre for Combat Capabilities, British Army, described ground force perspectives for APS technology to support current and future operations.
Cowey explained that these include the investigation of next-generation APS technology and mission suites on board “legacy and future UK armoured vehicle platforms” in order to satisfy the MoD’s broader survivability strategy to enhance the operational effectiveness of tactical units.
Cowey called for ‘de-risking’ of APS technology to equip the British Army’s existing inventory of armoured vehicles as well as future platforms including the General Dynamics’ Ajax armoured fighting vehicle (AFV).
Similar sentiments were shared by Tom Newbery with the Active Protection Research Technical Authority, Platform Survivability Group, at the UK MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL). Discussing the research and procurement of “active integrated protection systems” for the British Army’s AFV fleet, Newbery highlighted ongoing efforts currently being conducted by DSTL including the Modular Integrated Protection System (MIPS).
DSTL is working with an industry consortium led by Leonardo to develop the Icarus Technology Demonstrator in support of MIPS electronic architecture to enable ‘best of breed’ APS sensors and countermeasures to defeat a wide range of current and future battlefield weapon threats.
Any solution, Newbery highlighted, must feature a “hybridised and modularised” capability with open architecture to facilitate a variety of plug-and-play sensors and effectors to protect AFVs across the battlefield.
The Icarus programme is due to run through to November 2020, featuring additional industry participation from Roke Manor Research; SCISYS; BAE Systems; Lockheed Martin; Ultra Electronics; and Vetronics Research Centre, Abstract Solutions. (Source: Armada)
21 Nov 18. Philippines Navy test-fires Spike-ER missile from MPAC Mark III vessel. The Philippines Navy has conducted test firing of its newly installed Spike-extended range (ER) surface-to-surface missile system off Lamao Point in Limay, Bataan, the country’s defence secretary Delfin Lorenzana has confirmed. Missiles were fired from a multi-purpose assault craft (MPAC) Mark III vessel. A translation of what said Lorenzana was quoted by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) as saying: “The message to our people is that our navy is also improving, at par with what’s happening in the neighbourhood. If we are to be compared with our neighbours, we are lagging behind.
“The message to Filipino people, is that your navy is improving, acquiring more equipment and other assets so that we will have the capability to control our maritime territory.”
The exercise has also seen the participation of three Philippine Navy MPACs, which will each be equipped with the Spike-ER missile system, and an AgustaWestland AW-109 multi-purpose attack helicopter armed with 2.75in high-explosive rockets.
MPACs used remote-controlled .50-calibre machinegun fire and two missile rounds to engage three surface targets.
The first test-firing of the weapon system from one of the three MPACs was carried out in the same location by the Philippines Navy on 9 August.
Built by Israeli defence technology company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, the Spike-ER missile serves as the navy’s first weapon system that is capable of penetrating 1,000mm of rolled homogeneous armour and has a range of 8km. (Source: naval-technology.com)
21 Nov 18. Cheetah C-RAM development picks up speed. A series of successful trials of Denel’s Cheetah C-RAM (counter-rocket, artillery, and mortar) effector earlier this year have taken it closer to full integration with Rheinmetall Defence’s Oerlikon Skyshield close aerial protection systems, according to Reinart Moraal, Denel Dynamics’ chief systems engineer for the Cheetah and Mongoose 3 effector systems. The Cheetah, along with the Mongoose 3, is proposed jointly by South Africa’s Denel group and Rheinmetall Defence to complement Skyshield. The system is featured among Rheinmetall Defence’s networked air-defence systems and has been shown internationally as part of its Skynex configuration. According to Moraal, the development of Cheetah is now at intermediate technology readiness level (TRL) of between TRL 3 and 4. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Nov 18. India to Buy Russian Igla-S MANPADS Missiles — Media. India plans to purchase Russia’s man-portable air defense missile system (MANPADS), the Economic Times reported on Tuesday. According to the report, the deal is valued at $1.5bn with the Russian bid considerably undercutting offers by Sweden’s SAAB RBS70 NG and France’s MBDA Mistral. The Financial Express in turn stated that the contract would be to the tune of $3bn. The Indian media further reported that the new missiles should replace the Russian Igla-M systems. The Igla-S system is considered critical for defense against incoming helicopters, UAVs and ground attack aircraft. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/TASS; posted Nov 20, 2018)
20 Nov 18. Nammo pursues C-UAV ammunition development. Ammunition manufacturer Nammo is looking to expand its range of 40 mm grenades to include non-lethal examples optimised for counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) applications in military peacetime operations or in crowded urban environments. Company funded development is under way exploring the integration of non-lethal payloads into a 40 mm grenade, with one particular option being a ‘net’ that is deployed close to a UAV to neutralise it in flight. This is considered a potential option for military or civil customers that may not be able to use kinetic rounds or radio frequency (RF) jamming, especially in urban areas. Gard Ødegårdsstuen, director of ammunition research and development at Nammo Raufoss, told Jane’s that the company has leveraged technology from its 40×53 mm High-Explosive Dual-Purpose Airburst-Radio Frequency (HEDP-RF) round, which is programmable via a fire-control system and provides a fragmentation effect on target out to 500m when fired from an automatic grenade launcher (AGL). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Nov 18. Russia refits Missile Troops and Artillery. The Russian Missile Troops and Artillery (MT&A) are receiving new weapon systems, the chief of the service, Lieutenant General Mikhail Matveevsky, told Russian media on 19 November.
“The troops continue to receive 2S19M2 Msta-SM 152 mm self-propelled howitzers [SPHs] integrated with the joint tactical control system [ESU TZ] and Tornado-G 122 mm automated multiple rocket launcher [MRL] systems. This year, the military launched a programme to rearm the units that operate the Smerch 300 mm MRL system with the Tornado-S MRL, which has a longer range and better accuracy,” the general said. The service is “switching to an automated reconnaissance and engagement system that integrates artillery and MRL systems, command-and-control posts, and reconnaissance systems, including unmanned aerial systems. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Nov 18. CASC expands Tian Lei precision missile family with TL-4 ATGM. China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has expanded its Tian Lei (Sky Thunder) family of precision guided missiles with the ground-based short-range Tian Lei-4 (TL-4) anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). Developed by the 41st Institute of CASC’s 4th Academy – also known as the Academy of Aerospace Solid Propulsion Technology – based in the provincial capital of Xi’an in the northwestern Shaanxi province, the TL-4 missile has a launch weight of 24 kg with an overall diameter and length of 140mm and 1.09 m respectively. The solid-propellant missile is housed in a protective launch canister that is 1.2m long, 174mm wide, and 178mm high for launch and transport, with an all-up weight of 28.5kg. CASC is offering the missile with a range of 4.3kg warheads to suit mission requirements, with currently available options including high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), high explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) and high-explosive squash head (HESH) natures. The TL-4 is designed to engage static and moving targets at ranges between 500 m and 6,000m, and features a dual-mode seeker comprising an inertial measurement unit (IMU) combined with TV guidance using CCD or CMOS optics, as well as an infrared (IR) guidance mode. A company official told Jane’s that the missile can be programmed to perform direct or top attack, and offers lock-on before launch (LOBL) and lock-on after launch (LOAL) firing modes with manual targeting supported by the IMU+TV seeker and a radio frequency (RF) datalink. However, the missile’s IR mode also enables fire-and-forget capability if desired. The missile can be controlled using a 30 kg portable guidance unit, which is attached to the launch canister before an engagement and incorporates daylight and thermal channels with a detection range of 6.5 km and 6 km respectively. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Nov 18. Modernisation Of British SA80. The SA80 assault rifle, introduced to the British armed forces from 1984, will be modernised to ensure its operational capability beyond 2025. The conversion has begun and first SA80 A3s have been in service since February. The newspaper Welt has announced that the order is now to be extended to a total of 44,000 weapons with an order volume of €85m. The modernisation will be carried out at the British Heckler & Koch subsidiary NSAF in Nottingham. The revised weapon is lighter, more durable, easier to handle than its predecessor and camouflaged with a new colour scheme. New processing methods have reduced the weight by 100g. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
19 Nov 18. SMArt 155mm Production To Start Again. The German Ministry of Defence has commissioned GIWS – a joint venture of Rheinmetall and Diehl Defence – to examine the conditions for resuming production of the SMArt (search fuse ammunition for artillery) for the 155 mm self-propelled howitzer 2000. Production is expected to begin in 2024. Between 2000 and 2003, the Bundeswehr procured a total of 9,000 SMArt 155 mm projectiles. Other user nations are Switzerland, Australia, Great Britain and Greece. Alliant TechSystems SMArt has supplied the United Arab Emirates under licence. The total production volume is over 23,000 units. The SMArt contains two sub-munitions that are ejected above the target. Multi-mode sensors direct the respective sub-munition to the target and engage it from above with explosively formed penetrators (EFP). (Source: ESD Spotlight)
16 Nov 18. Bahrain signs $912m deal for attack helicopters. Bahrain’s royal air force inks agreement with Bell Helicopter to buy 12 Viper helicopters. Bahrain has signed a $912m deal with US-based Bell Helicopter to buy 12 AH-1Z Viper helicopters. Bahrain will receive the first batch from the American aerospace manufacturer by the end of 2022, Bahrain News Agency reported. The news came during a news conference held by Air Vice-Marshal Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah bin Al-Khalifa, the commander of Bahrain’s royal air force, at Bahrain International Airshow. The deal came of the same day that the US Senate rejected a long-shot effort to block $300m in arms sales to Bahrain, as the bill’s opponents stressed the island nation was a critical ally hosting an American naval base. The effort, led by Republican Senator Rand Paul, failed as the Senate voted 77 to 21 to table the measure, essentially killing it. Paul is a fervent critic of the war in Yemen. He said Bahrain is a member of the US-backed Saudi-led coalition waging the war, and that Congress ought to block the sales as a way to show its disapproval. (Source: News Now/www.arabianbusiness.com/)
16 Nov 18. China’s Hongda details HD-1 supersonic cruise missile family. China’s Guangdong Hongda Blasting Company (Hongda), a Guangzhou-based company specialising in mining and industrial explosives, has showcased its new indigenously developed and export-oriented HD-1 supersonic cruise missile designed for precision land attack and anti-ship missions. The ground-based HD-1 is a solid-propellant, ramjet-powered supersonic cruise missile that employs a tandem single-stage solid-propellant rocket booster – as opposed to wraparound boosters to reduce drag – for missile launch and acceleration to a forward velocity suitable for efficient operation of the ramjet’s intake system, which comprises four air intakes arranged in an ‘X’ configuration around the missile body. Tapered control surfaces are mounted on the intake housings near the nozzles.
According to company specifications, the HD-1 has a 2,200 kg launch weight and measures 8.3m with a missile body and booster diameter of 375 mm and 650mm respectively. Speed is quoted as 2,716–4,321 km/h depending on the programmed flight profile, with the missile cruising at altitudes of up to 15,000m (49,212 ft) and performing sea-skimming manoeuvres at altitudes between 16 and 32ft. The missile’s maximum range is stated as 290km, although Jane’s believes this could be higher given the propensity of Chinese missile developers to provide conservative figures to satisfy international Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) export controls and widen their potential customer base.
“The [HD-1] has a high-low trajectory combined with a supersonic manoeuvring penetration capability and it can achieve vertical top attack, sea-skimming horizontal attack, or pop-up attack within a short range of targets,” the company stated. The missile can be armed with a range of destructive payloads, including unitary 400kg high-explosive armour-piercing as well as 240kg blast-fragmentation, blast, and cluster warheads. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Nov 18. Roketsan discloses Karaok short-range ATGM development. Roketsan has disclosed initial details of a new 125 mm manportable short-range anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) that is currently in an accelerated phase of development. Designed to equip airborne infantry, amphibious assault units, and special operations forces, Karaok is a single-use, shoulder-launched weapon system with a stated range of 1,000m-plus. Weighing less than 25kg (launcher and effector), Karaok is 110 cm long and features an aligned, cruciform fold-out wing and aft fin assembly. The missile is equipped with a tandem warhead (weight undisclosed) and a new indigenously developed hybrid dual-stage (launch, flight) rocket motor (weight also undisclosed), designed to enable fire from an enclosed space. Launch modes include lock-on before launch, lock-on after launch, and fire-and-forget; engagement modes include top and direct attack. Mid-course navigation is enabled through an integrated inertial measurement unit (IMU), with terminal guidance delivered by an imaging infrared (IIR) seeker solution that exploits earlier Roketsan ATGM developments. “The development of the short-range Karaok follows on from, and leverages, the lessons learnt in the maturing of our Umtas long-range [8km] and Omtas medium-range [4 km] IIR-guided ATGMs,” an official told Jane’s. The official said that the Karaok concept “provides for a new lightweight ATGM solution to meet the requirements of dismounted rapid response units, primarily special forces”. Jane’s understands that Roketsan is currently under contract with the Turkish Ministry of Defence to deliver the new ATGM. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
15 Nov 18. MBDA: Successful first launch for Marte ER missile. MBDA’s Marte ER anti-ship missile has completed its first firing, successfully passing a major phase in its development. The firing trial was carried out on 9 November in an Italian test range. The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km on a planned trajectory that included several waypoints and sea skimming flight, successfully testing all flying phases.
Pasquale Di Bartolomeo, Executive Group Director Sales & Business Development and Managing Director MBDA Italia, commented: “This test is a further confirmation of the robustness of the ER version of the Marte family of multi-platform anti-ship missiles that can be launched by ships, helicopters, coastal batteries and fast jets. The Marte family has a strong and successful history both at domestic and international levels: most recently with Marte ER being ordered earlier in 2018 by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) for their new NH90 helicopters. Marte is a single product family that can cover several missions, offering our customers a high level of operational flexibility in the area of maritime superiority, a domain where MBDA in Italy has been able throughout its long history not only to maintain but also to grow as well as further develop competencies and know-how”.
The Marte ER programme is progressing at full speed in order to meet customers’ requirements. Having completed the 18 months System Definition Phase, the full integration of Marte ER on the Eurofighter Typhoon platform is proceeding at pace in order to implement an anti-ship capability onto the fighter.
15 Nov 18. Royal Navy’s 744 Naval Air Squadron returns to test advanced weaponry. The British Royal Navy has re-commissioned the 744 Naval Air Squadron after 62 years to test advanced weapons and sensors to strengthen the country’s air defences. The squadron will work to introduce the Crowsnest Merlin airborne surveillance and control helicopter to the Royal Navy’s frontline service over the next 18 months. In addition, the new unit will be responsible for bringing the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) upgraded and modernised Chinook Mk5 and Mk6 helicopters to the frontline service. At the end of October 1956, the squadron was disbanded at RAF St Mawgan in Cornwall, where it supported the development of anti-submarine warfare tactics for two years.
Reformed Squadron first commanding officer commander Jonathan Bird said: “744 Squadron brings together the operational experience from the majority of defence’s frontline aircraft types and weaponry, to ensure that new aircraft, weapons and upgrades to existing platforms are safe and as fit for purpose as possible.
“It is an even bigger privilege to be at the helm when the squadron re-commissions, exactly 62 years to the day that the previous commanding officer flew his final squadron sortie before the unit was disbanded at RAF St Mawgan.”
Working under the motto ‘nemo solus satis sapit’, which means no one individual knows enough on their own, 744 Naval Air Squadron is based at Boscombe Down on Salisbury Plain, south-west England. It comprises 15 aircrew and aviation engineers selected from the three UK military services. The Royal Navy is set to receive ten equipment kits with a combined worth of £269m to upgrade some of its 30 Merlin HM2 aircraft under the Crowsnest project. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
15 Nov 18. IDF satisfied with Iron Dome’s performance during latest escalation. Israeli military officials have expressed satisfaction with the performance of the Rafael Iron Dome air defence system during a brief but intense escalation with Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip. Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and other groups fired approximately 460 projectiles into southern Israel on 12/13 November: the most intense barrage ever seen in a 24-hour period. The projectiles were mostly 107mm and 122mm short-range rockets and mortars, according to the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF’s) initial findings. An IDF source said the Iron Dome batteries “performed in an excellent manner” by intercepting more than 100 projectiles heading towards civilian built-up areas in Israel. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
15 Nov 18. AMMO concludes long-range testing on SWK’s projectile technology. Ammunition technology innovator AMMO has successfully concluded the first round of long-range testing on a projectile technology for military applications. The projectile design tested by AMMO has been procured following the company’s acquisition of US-based research and development firm SW Kenetics (SWK) on 27 September.
SWK has designed a portfolio of modular projectiles that is expected to significantly increase force capability for the US military and Nato member nations.
AMMO Defence Division president Kathy Hanrahan said: “The testing was conducted over several days, and upon completion, provided documentation confirming our new line of ammunition exceeds current military performance requirements, as well as leading competitor results.”
Following completion of the acquisition, a project team was assembled to produce and demonstrate the performance capability of the new projectile technology.
During the period, approximately 4,000 rounds were assembled and evaluated by the project team using a wide range of rifle platforms currently in use with the US military forces.
Hanrahan added: “The performance we witnessed in the field further exemplifies our mission to truly innovate the industry by developing and delivering a quality line of reliable ammunition for the US warfighters.
“These rounds surpassed current performance and quality standards for the calibres fired and resulted in groupings that left our shooters in awe.”
The ammunition rounds manufactured and successfully tested by the team included 7.62mm and 50mm calibre cartridges, in addition to a new 0.338mm configuration currently being produced for US military validation in late 2019 and 2020. AMMO is expected to continue testing and marketing the new rounds for strategic buyers throughout this year. The company intends to launch the product line for sale in early next year. (Source: army-technology.com)
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