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24 Jan 19. Germany approves export of weapons systems to Qatar. The German government has approved the export to Qatar of four RAM naval missile systems developed by Germany and the United States, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told lawmakers in a letter seen by Reuters. The Jan. 23 letter did not provide the value of the deal, citing a 2014 court ruling that exempts such disclosures if it could harm companies’ ability to compete. Approval of the sale comes amid a halt in all weapons sales to Qatar’s rival Saudi Arabia imposed by Berlin after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. RAM is a ship-based rolling airframe missile that protects naval vessels against missiles, aircraft, helicopters and other ships. The sale also includes 85 dual-mode radar and infrared seekers that guide the missile into its target.
The RAM system is manufactured and marketed by RAM-System GmBH, a joint venture of Germany’s Diehl and European missile maker MBDA, and U.S. arms maker Raytheon Co. MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus, Britain’s BAE Systems and Italy’s Leonardo. The missile system will be exported to Qatar via Italy, while the seekers will be exported through the United States, Altmaier said in his letter.
Klaus Ernst, a member of the radical Left opposition party, blasted the German government’s decision, given continued concerns about security and human rights in the Gulf region.
“It is irresponsible of the German government to continue to approve arms sales to crisis regions,” Ernst said.
Germany last year announced plans to expand ties with Qatar, which pledged to invest 10bn euros in the German economy. The RND newspaper chain, which first reported the latest arms sale to Qatar, said the RAM system had previously been sold by Germany to Egypt, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. (Source: Reuters)
24 Jan 19. Brimstone missile to be integrated onto RAF’s Protector RG Mk1 aircraft. MBDA has received a contract for the integration of its Brimstone high-precision strike missile onto the Royal Air Force’s Protector RG Mk1 remotely piloted aircraft developed and manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. Brimstone and Protector RG Mk1 will provide key new capabilities to the Royal Air Force’s ISTAR force, enabling them to engage high-speed moving and manoeuvring targets (including maritime fast attack craft for the first time). The Protector RG Mk1 can carry three lightweight Brimstones per weapon station, and so offers a much higher loadout than the Reaper platform it will replace.
Integration of Brimstone onto Protector RG Mk1 (which is the weaponised version of MQ-9B SkyGuardian) follows a series of successful firing trials of Brimstone from the Reaper/Predator B aircraft in the United States that demonstrated the advancement in performance that Brimstone offers. Brimstone integration will be completed in time for the entry to service of the aircraft with the RAF.
James Allibone, MBDA’s UK Sales Director, said: “Protector RG Mk1 is the third UK air platform to benefit from the unmatched capabilities of the Brimstone missile, providing UK Armed Forces with vital operational advantages and sovereign defence capabilities. Brimstone is unique in its ability to be carried by platforms in all domains, land, sea and air, providing a common weapon that delivers both operational and cost benefits. Commonality is a key part of all MBDA’s latest systems, and is a major contributor to the £1.7 billion in savings that the partnership approach between the UK MoD and MBDA has generated.”
Earlier in 2018, the UK MoD announced a £400 million contract with MBDA for the capability sustainment programme (CSP) of Brimstone missile, to build new missiles and extend this missile’s service life beyond 2030.
24 Jan 19. India’s OFB hands over indigenous assault rifles to paramilitary BSF. India’s state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) handed over its indigenously developed Tiruchi Assault Rifle (TAR) to the country’s paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) on 20 January.
Officials said that the TAR, which is chambered for the 7.62×39 mm round, has cyclic rate of fire of up to 600 rounds a minute, and is effective to a range of 300m, can also be fitted with a 40mm UBGL-M6 under-barrel grenade launcher. However, for production of the TAR to be financially viable, OFB officials said the weapon also needs to be procured by the Indian Army (IA) in large numbers. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Jan 19. Here’s how many billions the US will spend on nuclear weapons over the next decade. If the U.S. carries out all of its plans for modernizing and maintaining the nuclear arsenal, it will cost $494bn over the next decade, an average of just less than $50 bn per year, a new government estimate has found. The number, part of a biannual estimate put out by the Congressional Budget Office, is 23 percent over the previous estimate of $400bn released in 2017. That 2017 figure was a 15 percent increase over the 2015 number. The number will likely grab attention in Congress, especially on the House Armed Services Committee, where new Chairman Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., has made it clear he’s looking for ways to save money by cutting nuclear costs. Told of the new estimate, ranking member Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, acknowledged the topic as a possible partisan friction point and defended nuclear modernization as worth the cost.
“What I believe all the previous estimates have been is that at no point does it take more than 7 percent of the defense budget — and from my standpoint, it’s upon which most of our defense efforts are based,” Thornberry said. “I have no doubt it will be a topic we discuss this year.”
Just more than half of that increase, however, is based on a technicality, driven by the fact that this projection covers two years later than the 2017 projection did, and a number of modernization programs will be further along — and hence costlier. Overall, the $494bn figure represents roughly 6 percent of overall projected defense spending during that time period.
Three notable changes featured in the Nuclear Posture Review — the development of a low-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile, development of a new sea-launched cruise missile and increased plutonium pit production — result in an estimated $17bn increase over the time period above what the number would have been without them. That number could increase should the administration follow through on plans in the NPR to keep the B83 nuclear bomb in service longer than intended, or if it develops a land-based nuclear cruise missile following an expected U.S. exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
However, it is unclear whether those programs will move forward and at what levels, leaving that estimate “very uncertain.”
Overall, the Pentagon and the Department of Energy are preparing to spend the money in the following way:
- $234bn on strategic nuclear delivery systems and weapons, including submarines (an estimated $107 bn over this time period), intercontinental ballistic missiles ($61 bn) and long-range bombers ($49 bn, less than the full projected cost of the dual-use bomber fleet); the nuclear warheads for use from those systems; and DOE’s funding of nuclear reactors for the submarine fleet.
- $15bn on tactical nuclear delivery systems and weapons, including tactical aircraft for delivering weapons; management of the warheads for those tactical aircraft; and funding for the new submarine-launched cruise missile.
- $106bn for DOE’s nuclear weapons laboratories and production facilities, where America’s stockpile of nuclear warheads are maintained and developed. The department has a longstanding backlog on maintenance and upgrades for its locations.
- $77bn on nuclear command, control, commutations and early warning systems, used to coordinate any nuclear-related issues. While not as flashy as the weapons themselves, Pentagon officials over the last two years have sounded the alarm that nuclear command and control is at risk of being outdated without major investments.
The remaining $62bn in projected costs come from “CBO’s estimate of additional costs that would be incurred over the 2019–2028 period if the costs of nuclear programs exceeded planned amounts at roughly the same rates at which costs for similar programs have grown in the past.”
When all that is factored in, CBO’s estimated annual cost rises from $33.6bn in 2019 to about $63bn in 2028, a roughly 90 percent increase over that period. (Source: Defense News)
24 Jan 19. Australian Government to enter talks for NIOA munitions plant tenancy. The Australian Government is set to enter talks with firearms and ammunition specialist NIOA over long-term tenancy arrangements at the state-owned munitions facility in Benalla, Victoria. Collaborative negotiations with NIOA for a second long-term tenancy alongside Thales Australia will take place early this year. The government will take on a ‘new approach’ towards the NIOA tenancy arrangements and expects the initiative will create up to 100 advanced manufacturing jobs in the region over the next decade.
Australia Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said: “This will be the first time since the facility was established in the early 1990s that other munitions manufacturers will operate at Benalla, bringing the facility into line with international best practice, creating jobs in regional Victoria, delivering better utilisation of the facilities and launching a new era for ammunition manufacture for the ADF and for export opportunities. The expected long-term tenancy at Benalla from 1 July 2020 will be further discussed in parallel with negotiations already underway between the Commonwealth and Thales to continue their current responsibilities at Benalla munitions facility.”
The development follows NIOA’s three-year A$81.6m ($58.56m) contract awarded in December to help the Australian Defence Force to sustain its current mortar capability. The company is also under a contract for the delivery of advanced high-performance 155mm lightweight towed howitzer ammunition to the Australian Army.
Pyne added: “The NIOA tenancy will strengthen and diversify sovereign capability while also ensuring increased use of the government factories at Benalla, providing more munitions supply options for defence. This announcement will provide increased security of employment for the staff at the government factories at Benalla and ensure the facilities’ ongoing financial viability for the next generation.” (Source: army-technology.com)
23 Jan 19. U.S. Air Force tests microwave, laser weapon systems. The U.S. Air Force announced it is planning future experiments involving laser and microwave energy weapons after recent successes in testing sessions. Future experiments in the Directed Energy Experimentation Campaign are planned at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the Air Force said Tuesday in a statement. The tests by the 704th Test Group, essentially the use of microwaves or lasers to bring down aerial targets, come after a first successful experiment in October. The experiments offer better understanding of the capabilities of off-the-shelf high-power microwave and high energy laser systems against targets, according to the Air Force.
“The test scenario was air base defense against small unmanned aerial systems,” said John Cao, director of the Directed Energy Combined Task Force. “Two industry systems, one high power microwave and one high energy laser, were evaluated, with more than 220 vertical-lift and fixed-wing UAS [unmanned aerial systems] sorties flown as threats. Valuable data were collected to address the experiment’s objective. Now we’re in the planning stages of conducting more DE experiments.”
In October, the Air Force contracted with Ball Aerospace and Technologies to provide solid state laser effects and modeling services. Publicly acknowledged tests of laser-style weapons have been conducted at the White Sands Missile Range since at least 2009. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/UPI)
23 Jan 19. Work completed on Navy’s upgraded nuclear warhead. The National Nuclear Security Administration has completed work on an updated nuclear warhead for the Navy, the first in a series of major life-extension programs for America’s arsenal.
The NNSA announced today that as of December, all of the Navy’s W76-0 warheads, introduced in the late 1970s, have been updated to the W76-1 design. The W76-1 warhead is placed on the re-entry vehicle for the submarine-launched Trident II D5 ballistic missile.
Production on the W76-1 started in Sept. 2008; the modernization effort not only extends the service life of the weapons by about 20 years, but comes with added safety features, requiring what NNSA head Lisa Gordon-Hagerty called “significant modifications” to the design.
“Today is a shining example of the crucial role NNSA plays in enhancing our nation’s nuclear security,” Gordon-Hagerty said at a ceremony Wednesday in Texas.
Completing the W76-1 program is indeed a major milestone for the agency, not just because of the capability it will provide, but because it is the first of the major life-extension programs NNSA has underway — something of a proof-of-concept for the agency going forward. Gordon-Hagerty acknowledged at much, saying the program’s completion is a sign the agency can “develop, execute and complete” future life extensions and modifications.
However, there may still be work to do for the W76 going forward, thanks to the Trump administration’s decision to seek a low-yield variant of the weapon, dubbed the W76-2. Production for that design could be done as soon as next year or go through FY24, depending on funding, but its future is unclear; democrats oppose the warhead design, and Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has said he will look to kill the development and use those funds elsewhere.
For now, Gordon-Hagerty said, the NNSA is “track to meet DoD requirements” on the W76-2. The next nuclear warhead program to hit a major milestone should be the B61-12, a new version of America’s nuclear gravity bomb which will replace the B61-3, -4, -7 and -10 variants. That program is slated to deliver its first production unit in FY20 and complete production by FY24. NNSA estimates the program will cost between $7.3 and $9.5bn. (Source: Defense News)
23 Jan 19. Russia takes wraps off new missile to try to save U.S. nuclear pact. Russia showed foreign military attaches on Wednesday a new cruise missile that the United States says breaches a landmark arms control pact, billing it as an exercise in transparency it hoped would persuade Washington to stay in the treaty. Washington has threatened to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), alleging that the new Russian missile, the Novator 9M729 (called SSC-8 by NATO), violates the pact, which bans either side from stationing short and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe.
Russia denies that. It says the missile’s range puts it outside the treaty and has accused the United States of inventing a false pretext to exit a treaty it wants to leave anyway so as to develop new missiles.
The Russian lobbying effort comes as the clock ticks down towards Feb. 2, the date when Washington has said it will begin the process of pulling out of the pact unless Russia verifiably destroys the new missile system altogether, something it has refused to do. Russia displayed the new missile system at a military theme park outside Moscow to foreign military attaches and journalists. A senior defence ministry official explained the weapon’s characteristics in detail as a soldier highlighted different parts with a laser pointer.
The missile has a maximum range of 480 kilometres (298 miles), which meant it was fully compliant with the INF treaty, Lieutenant-General Mikhail Matveyevsky, head of Russia’s Missile Troops and Artillery, said.
The United States had previously rejected a Russian offer to look at the contested missile, in what is known as a ‘static display’, because it said such an exercise would not allow it to verify the true range of its warheads. The Russian Defence Ministry said diplomats from the United States, Britain, France and Germany had been invited to attend the static display, but declined to attend.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told a news briefing before the display that the United States had made clear through diplomatic channels that its decision to exit the pact was final and that it was not open to dialogue. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova later said that Russia had suggested the two nations hold talks on the issue on the sidelines of a meeting of the P5 nuclear powers in Beijing later this month, but had not received “a concrete reply”.
She said Russia remained open to talks anyway. Western diplomats have played down the chances of the two countries resolving their differences at that meeting if it takes place. (Source: Reuters)
24 Jan 19. Benalla Munitions Facility collaboration to create 100 new jobs. A new approach to the long-term tenancy arrangements at the government-owned munitions facility in Benalla, Victoria, will create up to 100 new jobs, Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne has announced. The refreshed approach will see Defence “enter into collaborative negotiations early this year with Australian company NIOA to establish a second long-term tenancy alongside Thales Australia trading as Australian Munitions”. Once the agreement is put in place, the addition of NIOA is expected to deliver up to 100 “new highly sophisticated, advanced manufacturing jobs” over the next 10 years.
“This will be the first time since the facility was established in the early 1990s that other munitions manufacturers will operate at Benalla, bringing the facility into line with international best practice, creating jobs in regional Victoria, delivering better utilisation of the facilities and launching a new era for ammunition manufacture for the ADF and for export opportunities,” said Minister Pyne.
“The expected long-term tenancy at Benalla from July 1, 2020 will be further discussed in parallel with negotiations already underway between the Commonwealth and Thales to continue their current responsibilities at Benalla munitions facility.”
Defence said the new approach will “deliver better outcomes for Defence and Australian defence industry” and will see NIOA build on its experience in the supply of ammunition to the Australian Defence Force, as well as helping the company develop partnerships with other leading munitions companies.
“The NIOA tenancy will strengthen and diversify sovereign capability while also ensuring increased use of the government factories at Benalla, providing more munitions supply options for Defence,” Minister Pyne said. “I look forward to NIOA producing and exporting munitions from Benalla to our friends and allies. This announcement will provide increased security of employment for the staff at the government factories at Benalla and ensure the facilities’ ongoing financial viability for the next generation.”
Minister Pyne also said that Defence has identified munitions and small arms research, design, development and manufacture as a sovereign industrial capability priority. (Source: Defence Connect)
23 Jan 19. UAE reveals armed Black Hawk. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has revealed a new weaponised variant of the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, developed by Abu Dhabi-based Advanced Military Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Center (AMMROC).
The helicopter was officially unveiled on 22 January during an event attended by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Images of the event show the transport and utility platform as having been upgraded with a nose-mounted electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret; stub-wing pylons with four hardpoints carrying rocket pods and air-to-surface missiles; door-mounted Gatlin guns; as well as engine intake-mounted flare dispensers and modified exhaust outlets.
While a number of these features have already been seen on unarmed Black Hawks operated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force and Air Defence (AF & AD), the stub-wing weapon pylons are new. Previously released footage showing a Black Hawk firing rockets over Yemen feature a different weapons carriage configuration, with the rocket pods instead being mounted under a modified sponson fitted to the lower forward fuselage.
As seen during its official unveiling, the general configuration of the UAE’s new armed Black Hawk is broadly similar to weaponised Black Hawks in service with other air arms around the world. Lockheed Martin, which owns a 40% stake in AMMROC, recently unveiled its new Armed Black Hawk concept that features all the systems visible on the UAE helicopter. It has not been confirmed whether the AMMROC solution has been developed domestically, or if it is effectively a licence-built version of the Lockheed Martin Armed Black Hawk (the Lockheed Martin solution is fully integrated with the helicopter’s existing flight management system, while it is unclear to what extent AMMROC has done the same). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
22 Jan 19. Israel touts successful test of Arrow-3 missile interceptor. Israel said Tuesday that it has successfully tested the country’s advanced missile defense system capable of defending against long-range ballistic missile threats. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toured an Israeli aerospace facility following the test and leveled a thinly veiled warning at Iran, just days after Israel struck Iranian military targets in neighboring Syria.
“Our enemies who seek to destroy us should know that Israel’s clenched fist will reach all those who wish ill upon us, and we will settle accounts with them,” Netanyahu said.
The Defense Ministry said the successful test of the Arrow-3 interceptor is “a major milestone” in Israel’s ability to defend itself “against current and future threats in the region.” It comes a couple days after Israel thwarted an Iranian missile attack.
The test also came amid mounting tensions between Israel and Iran along its northern border with Syria. Israel is concerned about Iran establishing military bases in neighboring Syria as the eight-year civil war winds down.
On Monday, Israel claimed responsibility for a series of air raids against Iranian military targets near the Syrian capital Damascus, hours after Israel intercepted a missile launched by Iranian forces at the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. The missile launch followed a rare Israeli daytime attack on Syria on Sunday near the Damascus airport.
Arrow-3, which intercepts missiles outside the atmosphere, is part of the multilayered system Israel is developing to defend against both short- and mid-range rockets fired from Gaza and Lebanon, as well as Iran’s long-range missiles. It includes Iron Dome, David’s Sling and the Arrow-2 systems. It was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries and U.S. aviation giant Boeing, and became operational in January 2017. Israel has already deployed Arrow to counter Syrian missiles. (Source: Defense News)
22 Jan 19. India launches first private-sector howitzer facility. India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T) officially launched the country’s first private-sector Armoured Systems Complex (ASC) on 19 January, in which the Indian Army’s (IA’s) K-9 Vajra (Thunderbolt) – a variant of the Hanwha Techwin K-9 Thunder 155 mm/52-calibre tracked self-propelled howitzer (SPH) – is already being built. Spread over 40 acres and located in the western coastal town of Hazira, the ASC, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be used to construct and integrate armoured platforms such as SPHs, future infantry combat vehicles and main battle tanks under the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
The company pointed out in a statement that it has already built 10 of the 100 K-9 SPHs ordered by the IA in mid-2017 for INR45bn (USD630m), which were handed over to the IA in November 2018: several months ahead of schedule. Delivery of the remaining SPHs is expected to be completed within the next 22 months.
According to Ministry of Defence spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand, the first K-9 Vajra regiment is set to become operational by July.
L&T pointed out in its statement that the K-9 Vajra, which was jointly developed by L&T and South Korea’s Hanwha Techwin, is being produced with 50% indigenous content, which involves the local production of more than 13,000 components per gun by about 500 different manufacturers. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
18 Jan 19. USMC, Navy Wrestle With How To Upgun Amphibs. The US Marines want better-armed amphibious warships for high-end combat, but there’s no money in the budget and little room on the ships for their preferred solution, the Vertical Launch System. That leaves them looking at less capable but more affordable upgrades. Those range from bolting small Naval Strike Missile pods onto the deck – as on the Littoral Combat Ship – to parking a HIMARS missile-launcher truck on the back of the ship – as they tested during last year’s Dawn Blitz wargames. Why does this matter? In a major war against Russia or China, or even Iran, amphibious warships — as currently equipped — would have to rely on escorting destroyers both defensively, to shoot down attacking missiles and airplanes, and offensively, sinking enemy ships and bombarding targets ashore.
But those destroyers might not always be available and, even if they are, they might overwhelmed by the sheer volume of incoming fire. So the Marines want better-armed amphibs that can, ideally, operate unescorted or, at minimum, take on some of the burden of their own defense.
To do that, “the naval force must upgrade the C2 (command and control) suites and introduce Vertical Launch Systems,” Lt. Gen. Brian Beaudreault, the Marines’ three-star deputy commandant for plans, policies, & operations, told the Surface Navy Association conference on Wednesday.
But, I asked him during Q&A, is there actually any money in the budget to add VLS to amphibs? “I’m not aware that there’s funding in the program for VLS,” said Beaudreault, who oversees Marine budgeting. “We can’t afford as a Marine Corps to put it in there.”
Even “more concerning,” Beaudreault added, is “whether the future LPDs can accommodate VLS” at all.
The backstory here: The 11 existing ships of the San Antonio-class LPDs (Landing Platform, Dock) actually have space set belowdecks for the bulky Vertical Launch System tubes, though these were never installed. But the Navy and shipbuilder Huntington-Ingalls Industries are now transitioning to a lower-cost LPD Flight II. (Flight I is replacing aging mid-sized amphibs, Flight II will replace smaller LSD-class vessels, so not as much money was allocated).
Will Flight II LPDs still have room for VLS? Beaudreault wasn’t sure. “I’ll defer to the Navy,” he said.
They won’t, the Navy and the shipbuilder both told me when I asked.
Now, it wouldn’t be too hard to rejigger the design to get that space back if the Navy wanted, said Huntington-Ingalls Industries program manager for LPD, Steven Sloan. In fact, Sloan told me in a phone call, “the Navy could make that decision at any time” – although earlier is easier. Amending the current Request For Proposals so the shipyard can change the blueprints before building anything would be much, much cheaper and quicker than going back and retrofitting a ship once it’s already built.
But the Navy’s Program Executive Officer (PEO) for shipbuilding, Rear Adm. William Galinis, sounded pretty firm: No VLS. “There were some cost reductions, (and) spaces forward have been rearranged, so we don’t have the VLS trunk anymore, okay,” Galinis told me Thursday on the sidelines of the Surface Navy conference. “The space is gone.”
But, he went on immediately, the LPD Flight IIs will still have plenty of capacity to take on additional weight, and there’s still room above the deck to install new weaponry. These wouldn’t be as big or versatile as the VLS tubes, which have to go belowdecks because they have to accommodate a wide range of both offensive and defensive missiles, the largest of which boast ranges around a thousand miles. But the amphibs could get a deck launcher for something like the 115-mile-range Naval Strike Missile (NSM) now going on Littoral Combat Ships, Galinis said. “We’re looking at a couple of different options,” the admiral told me. In fact, he said, there’s a formal study underway by N95, the section of the Navy’s Pentagon staff that oversees requirements and funding for amphibious warfare.
Besides, Galinis noted, there’s still the original LPDs that were built with room for VLS: 11 ships in the water and two more under construction. (That said, LPD-27, the Portland, will use that space for a prototype laser weapon, at least for a few years of testing). “On the Flight Is, there’s literally an open space in the ship you can slide a Mark 41 (VLS) launcher into,” he said. And those ships, he said, are overall “a little bit” more capable than the reduced-cost Flight IIs will be.
So if anyone ever finds the funding to put the Vertical Launch System on amphibious warships, the 13 Flight I LPDs are the logical place to start. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)
20 Jan 19. Secubit, a leader in advanced weaponry readiness and maintenance enhancement, will unveil its WeaponLogicTM Ecosystem at Shot Show 2019. This Artificial Intelligence (AI) based system is aimed at eliminating malfunctions in crucial situations, dramatically improving mission success and fighter-survivability. Facilitating data driven maintenance and smart weapon inventory management based on actual usage of data gathered by constantly reviewing each weapon, the system provides tactical optimization of above 99% shot accuracy.
WeaponLogicTM Ecosystem is a set of tools that includes an advanced algorithm that gathers and analyses comprehensive weapon usage data in real time. This data provides immediate battlefield indication regarding weapon state and ammunition consumption. The system’s Smart Counter advanced AI driven algorithm learns each specific weapon’s characteristics and provides analysis for tactical optimization. Vital information such as magazine status, muzzle velocity, and barrel temperature, is presented to the weapon operator with a detailed breakdown, offering crucial alerts in real time. The system’s Reader & Dashboard Applications diagnose the data retrieved, elevating preemptive maintenance and smart inventory management. The system maximizes armory efficiency, alerting the armorer which weapons require service, supply status, making an easier life for the operators and a futuristic approach. The collected data is sorted and displayed in an easy to use interface, with customizable features.
“This new product Secubit introduces, is an innovative technological boost to the industry’s approach regarding weapon usage, which will – for the first time and from now on – be on a whole new level”, says Liran Tam, CSO at Secubit. “Secubit’s perspective on the use of Artificial Intelligence in a system such as this, is originated in our striving to ultimately elevate operator’s capabilities, which is achieved via WeaponLogicTM Ecosystem – an accurate, cost efficient game-changing suite of tools”, he adds. Mr. Tam goes on to say, that “Artificial Intelligence is here to enhance each of our capabilities in various fields, by taking experts and crowds knowledge, and making it accessible and simple to comprehend. Our technology is here to bring that unique wisdom to the personnel operating the weapon, bettering all aspects of weapon usage; from operational enhancement to usage-based maintenance and smart inventory.”
WeaponLogicTM Smart Counter is a light-weight, simple to operate device, with an information storage capacity of up to one million shots, a rapid data presentation and a rechargeable battery with up to 10 operation years. The information that is collected in the WeaponLogicTM Smart Counter is transferred via RFID technology to the Reader and provides data on the weapon’s status in 3 seconds. This fully MIL-STD 810G system includes a 5″ outdoor viewable HD screen, a USB 3.0 PC interface, and a rechargeable 4300 mAh Li-lon battery with an operating life of up to ten years.
The Dashboard application provides data analysis and comprehensive representation of weapon’s condition and inventory management. It is compatible with Windows 7 and higher and is integration-ready. Both the Reader and The Dashboard applications provide usage data and analytics reflecting the weapon’s operational status for preventative and precise maintenance, along with inventory management features.
18 Jan 19. Russia to replace legendary Makarov with new pistol. Russia will replace the legendary Soviet-era Makarov pistols used by its police and army with a new model that can work in extreme temperatures and rip through body armour, its maker said Friday. The new pistol called Udav, or boa constrictor, has been successfully tested and will go into mass production in spring, according to Rostec, Russia’s state corporation that acts as an umbrella for its military-industrial complex. The Udav will be ‘one of the most powerful pistols in the world,’ Rostec said in a press release. The weapon will use 9 x 21mm rounds, and will be able to pierce 1.4mm of titanium or 4mm of steel armour from a 100 metre distance.
The pistol works in a range of extreme temperatures from -70 to 50° Celsius and ‘showed excellent performance in a whole complex of tests’ in the Arctic, the desert, and in highly humid environments, Rostec said. The Udav will replace the Makarov, a semi-automatic pistol that has been a ubiquitous sidearm used by various security forces and the military. The Makarov pistol, named after its inventor Nikolai Makarov, has been in production since the 1950s and replaced the TT pistol used during World War II.
It is a contemporary of the Soviet Kalashnikov rifle and is known for the same degree of reliability and ease of use, with variants produced in several eastern European countries allied with Moscow during the Cold War, as well as China. The Makarov has also been included as a standard part of the cosmonauts’ survival kit in Russian Soyuz space capsules used for landing back on Earth from space, to ward off wild animals in the event of landing in a remote forest area. (Source: Shephard)
18 Jan 19. New armoury opened at Saint-Hubert Garrison. The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) has officially opened a new 8,824 sqm armoury at Saint-Hubert Garrison, Canada. The new and renovated facilities will be used by a number of Reserve Force units including Le Régiment de Maisonneuve, 34 Service Battalion, 41 Military Police Platoon and the 34 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters in the Montreal region. The new facility will house modern administrative spaces, training rooms an advanced weapons simulator, vehicle and equipment storage areas, common mess facilities and a fitness centre. The new armoury will help the DND reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its buildings and non-military vehicles by 40% (from 2005 levels) by 2030, and support the new federal emissions reduction target of 80% by 2050. (Source: Shephard)
18 Jan 19. HAL’s light combat helicopter completes air-to-air missile firing. Indian state-owned company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) has carried out air-to-air missile firing on a moving aerial target. The company achieved the milestone during test-firing conducted in integrated test range at Chandipur in the state of Odisha. Test pilots achieved a direct hit on the aerial target and destroyed it completely.
HAL chief managing director R Madhavan stated that the mission represents the first time in the country that a helicopter has performed air-to-air missile engagement.
Madhavan added: “None of the helicopters with the military services in the country has demonstrated such a capability. With this, LCH has successfully completed all weapon integration tests and is ready for operational induction.”
The LCH is also armed with a 20mm turret gun and 70mm rockets. The firing trials of these weapons have been completed last year. Designed and developed by HAL’s Rotary Wing Research & Design Centre (RWRDC), the helicopter can operate at altitudes as high as Siachen glacier located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas. The helicopter has been developed to meet the operational needs of Indian Armed Forces. The presence of helmet-mounted sight and forward-looking infrared sighting system enables LCH pilots to detect and destroy any ground-based or aerial target without the need to turn the helicopter.
The fire and forget missile is capable of tackling all types of aerial threats, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and microlight aircraft. Furthermore, HAL noted that LCH can operate from dispersed locations and fly at ultra-low levels, offering protection to forces from all aerial threats. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has given the approval for procurement of initial batch of 15 LCHs, including ten for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and a further five for Army. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
17 Jan 19. Pentagon boosts StormBreaker munition Lot 5 quantity. Key Points:
- The Pentagon has boosted the total Lot 5 buy for the StormBreaker munition
- Raytheon will provide 190 more munitions than originally expected
The Pentagon recently increased the quantity of a contract for Raytheon’s StormBreaker GBU-53/B StormBreaker air-to-surface munition, a joint US Air Force (USAF)/US Navy (USN) acquisition programme.
Cristy Stagg, StormBreaker programme director, told Jane’s in mid-January 2019 that the USAF, the awarding service, contracted for 1,260 munitions as part of Lot 5, up from the 1,070 originally expected. Stagg said the Pentagon boosted the Lot 5 buy because it wanted more munitions and that the buy of 1,260 was the maximum possible.
Stagg also said 750 munitions of Lot 5 were funded by the USN while 510 were funded by the USAF. The contract arrived earlier than expected: in December 2018 rather than January 2019.
StormBreaker, formerly known as the Small Diameter Bomb II (SDB II), is a 113kg-class, air-launched, low-cost, all-weather, precision-glide weapon equipped with a deployable wing assembly to achieve stand-off ranges of more than 70km. Raytheon is also under contract for previous StormBreaker lot buys. Stagg said the company is just over 50% complete with Lot 3, a contract for 332 units for the USAF. Raytheon will commence Lot 4 deliveries once Lot 3 deliveries are completed by June 2019. Stagg added that Raytheon is on track to meet this completion date.
Raytheon expects StormBreaker operational test and evaluation (OT&E) on the USN’s Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to be completed by 2020 and the US Marine Corps’ F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to be completed by 2022. The company is in the early stages of StormBreaker integration on both aircraft. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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