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21 Feb 19. Teber-30 remote turret trials set for late this year. FNSS Savunma Sistemleri has almost completed the first example of its latest version the Teber-30 remote-controlled turret (RCT) and this is expected to start firing trials in Turkey later this year, according to Gokhan Ozyurt, the company’s weapon systems unit manager. Initial trials are to be from a static position and later the Teber-30 RCT will be installed on a wheeled platform to initially engage static targets while the platform is moving. It is to then progress through a series of trials that culminate in engaging moving targets from a moving platform.
Teber is Turkish for “Battleaxe”, and 30 is for the calibre of the main armament. Teber-30, like the company’s other turrets, was developed using internal research and development funding.
Ozyurt said the Teber-30 RCT is of all-welded aluminium armour with an additional layer of applique armour. The company is quoting a weight of around 2,600 kg.
The turret is currently armed with a stabilised Northrop Grumman Armament Systems 30 mm MK44 dual feed cannon and a 7.62 mm MK52 co-axial machine gun (MG). A total of 250 rounds of 30 mm ready-use ammunition are carried, with the mix depending on the role.
The 7.62 mm co-axial MG is mounted to the right and has 750 rounds of ready-use ammunition – the empty 30 mm and 7.62 mm cartridge cases are ejected outside of the turret. An advantage of the 7.62 mm MK52 electrically operated MG is that a misfield round can be extracted by the electrical drive, and the weapon can continue to be fired without crew-served action. Smoke grenade launchers would depend on the customer, but typically would be two banks each of 76 mm covering the frontal arc. There is flexibility in the type and position of the sighting system, but the first example has the gunner’s sight on the left and the commander’s 360° panoramic sight on the roof, enabling hunter/killer target engagements. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Feb 19. India’s Nirbhay cruise missile to make final developmental flight in April. The Nirbhay cruise missile developed by India’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) is set to make its final developmental trial in April, more than a year after the weapon successfully completed its previous flight test, an ADE official told Jane’s during the 20–24 February Aero India 2019 exhibition in Bangalore. The official said that all issues related to the missile’s control hardware and software have been resolved, and that preparations are under way for a low-altitude flight test, which is expected to be its final developmental trial. The official declined to provide specific details on the rectified issues. The 6m-long, nuclear-capable, land-attack Nirbhay has a diameter of 0.52m and is fitted with two tapering-chord fold-out (backwards) wings with a span of 2.7m. The one-tonne missile is brought up to the takeover speed of its turbofan engine by a jettisonable solid propellant booster. The missile cruises at a speed of 270–305m/s, and its maximum strike range is claimed to be 1,000km.
The ADE official said that the missile programme is on track and expressed optimism that the weapon will soon be moving into the production-standard configuration, followed by the operational testing phase. He added that once the technology behind the missile is certified, there is a proposal to develop an air-launched variant of the Nirbhay within two to three years.
The intended air-launched variant would be developed to be fired from Su-30MKI multirole fighter aircraft, each of which would carry a maximum of two missiles. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Feb 19. BCB International Ltd have confirmed that elite French police tactical unit, the GIGN, have selected the FRAMM® modular stock for their H&K G36 and HK-UMP rifles. Riot and ballistic face shields are essential for law enforcement officers in active shooter and riot control scenarios. The problem with these face shields is that once fully lowered they interfere with the assault rifles and/or less-lethal baton round guns that armed officers are equipped with. 164 year old survival equipment manufacturers, BCB International Ltd, have brought to market the FRAMM®; an adjustable and foldable stock that allows firearms officers to comfortably shoulder, aim and discharge their firearms in all firing positions while wearing a ballistic helmet with the visor fully lowered.
BCB International’s FRAMM® Project Manager, Philippe Minchin, said: “Since production was launched in late 2018, orders have been received from elite tactical units like the GIGN whose officers use ballistic helmets with face shields. We offer multiple variants of the stock to fit onto most in service firearms.
“The FRAMM® is not your typical helmet rifle butt stock. It removes the need for both non-visored and visored officers to have to alternate between butt stocks to fit the situation they are faced with. At a press of a button, the FRAMM® enables an officer to switch from a classic straight alignment to a lowered setting of their choosing thereby eliminating the risk of their helmet visors or respirator masks interfering with the shouldering, aiming and firing of their weapon. The FRAMM® is the modular stock to suit all their mission requirements.”
Production has been launched for the H&K G36, B&T 40×46 and HK-UMP variants of the stock. Production of FRAMM variants for the following firearms is planned in the near future: FN HERSTAL-SCAR, HK-MP5 A2, BERETTA-ARX 160, HK-MP5K-PDW, REMINGTON-ACR, CZ-805 A1 BREN, SIG SAUER-550/551.., SIG SAUER MCX, B&T-APC556.
21 Feb 19. Russia unveils upgraded Pantsyr-S1M. Russia unveiled an upgraded variant of the Pantsyr-S1 air defence system at the IDEX show held in Abu Dhabi on 17–21 February. A source from the Instrument Design Bureau (KBP) told Jane’s that the Pantsir-S1M can use the new 57E6M-E surface-to-air missile (SAM), which can intercept targets flying at speeds of up to 1,000m/s. It can engage targets at altitudes of 15–18,000m and has a slant range of 1,200–30,000m compared to the 57E6-E missile’s 15–15,000m altitude and 1,200–20,000m range. The reduction in the length of the missile has enabled a larger booster to be fitted that increases its speed from 1,300m/s to 1,700m/s. Nevertheless, the weight of the warhead, which is designed to destroy a target using fragmentation rods and missile debris, has grown from 20kg to 25kg. The overall weight of the new SAM has increased from 98kg to 115kg. The upgraded Pantsir-S1M has a multifunctional fire-control radar and an upgraded search radar, both fitted with phased antenna arrays. The L-band search radar detects and tracks up to 40 targets simultaneously, while the EHF fire-control radar can engage four targets simultaneously. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Feb 19. Singapore’s ST Engineering launches SRAMS 120 mm Mk II. Singapore’s ST Engineering Land Systems has completed the development and testing of new version of its 120mm Super Rapid Advanced Mortar System (SRAMS), called the Mk II, and new ammunition for it traverse. The original 120 m SRAMS featured hydraulic elevation and traverse, but the latest SRAMS Mk II has all-electric elevation and traverse with the latter increased to 180o left and right, according to James Soon of ST Engineering Land Systems. This is laid onto the target using a computerised fire control system (FCS) by the operator, via a flat panel display and associated controls. It can fire 10 rounds a minute.
The latest suite of ST Engineering 120mm ammunition includes the PM120 precision guided mortar bomb (PG MB), Extended Range High Explosive (ER HE), ER Infra-Red Red Phosphorous (IR RP) and ER Illuminating. These are all designed for use with smoothbore mortar systems. The 120mm PM120 is GPS guided and the company quoted a maximum range of up to 8.5km and a circular error probable (CEP) of 10m. The HE warhead contains 2.8kg of TNT. ER HE also contains 2.8kg of TNT but this can be insensitive munition (IM) compliant if requested by the customer and is fitted with a DM111A4/A5 nose mounted fuze. Maximum muzzle velocity was being quoted as 408m/s and maximum range of up to 9km. The ER RP contains three smoke canisters and is fitted with a MTSQ DM93 fuze, with a maximum muzzle velocity of 408m/s and a maximum range of up to 9km, ST Engineering said. The ER illuminating round has the same fuze, muzzle velocity, and range as the ER RP and has an illuminating intensity of 1.25m cd. There is also the option of IR Illuminating. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Feb 19. Grenade drones progress from improvised to industry. The first grenades dropped from drones were an improvised experiment. Like the haphazard scouts of the 1910s who first chucked bombs out of cockpits onto foes below, the quadcopter grenade bombers were hardly a standardized tool or mass-produced weapon. And like those early aeronaut grenadiers, hobbyist quadcopters dropping shuttlecock-stabilized grenades were more potential hazard than precision threat. It took time, but turning quadcopters into grenade-lobbing bombers is now no longer the sole domain of insurgent forces and improvised weapons.
One new way to weaponize smaller drones is a dedicated grenade launcher. The grenade launchers were part of the International Defence Exhibition & Conference currently happening in the United Arab Emirates. Created as part of a collaboration between UAE’s International Golden Group and South Africa’s Rippel Effect Systems, the DLP3 and DLP6 are 40mm grenade launchers designed to be mounted on drones, with three and six barrels, respectively. These launcher models can carry as many rounds of lethal or less-lethal ammunition as each has barrels.
This is hardly the first attempt to arm smaller drones. The Velvet Wasp, for example, is a specially designed missile-toting octocopter that debuted at the Dubai airshow in 2017, marketed to special forces and priced to match. (Vaguely in the same category is the Belarusian drone design that essentially puts rotors on an existing rocket launcher.)
There’s also the recent and elaborate history of turning everything from hobbyist dronesto scratch-built drones into explosive weapons by insurgent forces and would-be assassins, though improvised weapons lack the accuracy desired in such a tool and come with a whole host of vulnerabilities. And there’s the entire field of “kamikaze drones,” or infantry-portable light munitions that fly like drones and strike like missiles.
What makes the DLP3 & DLP6 different is that the scale is both less and more than a drone custom-designed as a weapon. It’s a payload that can go on existing drones, however IGG and Rippel Effect Systems define “light UAV.” That flexibility means militaries (and, potentially, law enforcement) can figure out which of their existing craft could be adapted to a grenade-launching role. The launchers have already caught the eye of some skeptical human rights organizations, and the ability to add even less-lethal munitions to what was previously just a surveillance platform can easily change the way smaller drones are deployed.
It also opens the possibility, however slim, that drones could be outfitted with 40mm grenade launchers so that they may carry anti-drone net grenades. Like the pistols and grenades of those early 19th-century pilots a century ago, the tools of air-to-ground attack may end up as air-to-air weapons. (Source: Defense News)
19 Feb 19. OFB to begin bulk production of Indian Army’s Dhanush artillery gun. India’s state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is set to begin bulk production of the Indian Army’s long-range artillery gun, Dhanush. The development follows after the organisation received clearance from the Indian Army and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to go ahead with the manufacture of 114 indigenous Dhanush systems. Dhanush is a 155mm × 45mm calibre artillery gun that features inertial navigation-based sighting system, auto-laying facility, on-board ballistic computation and an advanced day and night direct firing system. The gun can fire standard Nato 155mm ammunition and can accommodate both boll bags and the bi-modular charge system (BMCS). It can be easily deployed in mountainous terrains and is compatible with different types of ammo. The system has been mechanically and electronically upgraded to increase range, firing accuracies and laying speeds.
Developed under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, Dhanush has also received support from the Indian Army, the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the Directorate General of Quality Assurance, and defence public sector undertakings such as Bharat Electronics Limited, as well as public sector undertakings such as SAIL and many private companies.
According to the Indian MoD, the gun was put through several rigorous evaluation phases to test its performance.
In a statement, the Indian MoD said: “The guns travelled extensively in a towed and self-propelled mode in all terrains viz desert and high altitude with each gun clocking over 1,600km. Such an extensive exercise was carried out by the user for the first time for any gun system under the process of induction.”
The system has been designed based on the Swedish Bofors 155mm × 39mm calibre gun. The Transfer of Technology (ToT) documents were provided to OFB, which successfully converted the vision parameters to 155mm × 45mm calibre.
The Dhanush project was launched in 2011 and the first prototype was manufactured in 2014. It will be produced at OFB’s Jabalpur Gun Carriage Factory in India. (Source: army-technology.com)
20 Feb 19. EOS and Milrem Robotics demonstrate unmanned warfare system with 30mm RWS. The Australian technology company Electro Optic Systems and the European unmanned warfare systems developer Milrem Robotics are cooperating to bring lightweight 30mm lethality to the UGV market. The system concept is exhibited at IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi.
The weaponized warfare system features the THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle equipped with the R400S – Mk2-HD (dual) RWS mounting 30mm ATK M230 LF cannon and a coaxial 7.62mm GPMG. An optional ATGW missile integration is available. This remotely operated vehicle enhances a land force’s firepower; situational awareness due to advanced sensors; increases stand-off distance, and is especially effective against light armored vehicles. The vehicle can also be equipped with autonomous functions used for area or perimeter patrolling.
The system will always be under the control of a human (man-in-the-loop).
”Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS is a UGV with outstanding terrain navigating performance, and with the extremely well stabilized EOS R400S-MK2-HD (dual) remote weapon system in combination we have created a large caliber warfare system that can efficiently provide both superior fire support for dismounted troops and be used as a robotic weaponized unit on its own,” explained Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.
“Due to the system’s light weight and size, our joint product can be rapidly deployed with mounted and/or dismounted units, requiring less logistical effort,” he added.
“We look forward to working with the Milrem Robotics team at IDEX and into the future. The integration of the R400S – Mk2 – HD onto the the THeMIS further demonstrates EOS’ commitment to providing flexible firepower solutions,” said AbdulRahman AlBlooshi CEO of EOS Advanced Technologies, UAE. This is the first integration project for the two companies and the largest caliber cannon fitted to the THeMIS platform.
EOS and Milrem Robotics are planning to test fire the system as soon as possible. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
20 Feb 19. Slow and steady for Patria-Leonardo combo. It could be some time before we hear any more on the Patria AMV XP-Leonardo Hitfact turret combination as trials of the vehicle configuration are likely to have to wait until the end of 2019. A company spokesperson estimated that trials of the new vehicle-weapon combination would not start until the end of 2019, citing one of the reasons as the lengthy travel period from Abu Dhabi to Finland, Patria’s home country. IDEX 2019 was the first time the company showcased the Patria AMV XP 8×8 with the Leonardo Hitfact 120mm turret.
Olli Dahl, senior specialist, military systems at Patria said that the company had ‘not got as far as live trials’.
In addition, although the combination of the AMP and Hitfact is new, the 8×8 vehicle was not fitted with the latest generation of the turret, instead it was showcased with the Hitfact I 2nd Generation.
A model of the Hitfact II, the latest variant of the Hitfact, was displayed by Leonardo at the Abu Dhabi exhibition.
Having said this, the Hitfact I 2nd Generation has been in use with the Royal Guard of Oman on its Italian-made Centauro vehicles.
Speaking to Shephard, Gabriele Colombo, senior VP, land platforms and weapon systems at Leonardo said that the Patria 8×8-hitfact combination represents ‘the only 120mm turret on a 8×8’.
Currently the Hitfact II is in qualification with the company and the Italian Army as the country looks to replace the legacy Centauro I mobile gun system (MGS) with the Centauro II MGS which features the Hitfact II.
Previously Patria has tested a CMI 105mm turret on the AMV, the Hitfact also comes in a 105mm variant. In 2015 Patria showcased its AMV with the then Oto Melara, now Leonardo, Hitfist 30 turret.
Both Colombo and Dahl emphasised that the addition of the Hitfact 120mm gives the 8×8 the same capability as a main battle tank.
Dahl said that the weapon combination adds heavy fire power and is ‘planned to be part of a multi-vehicle group’. The AMV would hold up to 12 rounds in the turret with room for an additional 20 within the cabin of the vehicle.
The Hitfact I system consists of 120mm smoothbore L/45 calibre low-recoil cannon capable of firing all NATO 120mm standard ammunition and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. The fire control system includes commander’s independent observation day/thermal sight and gunners primary stabilised day/thermal sight with a full hunter-killer capability.
The Patria AMV XP is a 8.4m long 8×8, with a maximum speed of 100km/h and a maximum combat weight of 32t. The abbreviation XP stands for extra payload, extra performance and extra protection, according to the company. (Source: Shephard)
21 Feb 19. ALIT displays small MANPADS for UAVs. China Aerospace Long-March International (ALIT) displayed what was labelled as the FN-M Multi-role Missile System at the IDEX show held in Abu Dhabi on 17-21 February. An ALIT official said it is primarily designed for shooting down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), making it a manportable air-defence system (MANPADS). The launcher has an optical sight for acquiring targets, at which point the missile seeker can be locked on before launch. The seeker uses a CCD camera rather than infrared to make it cheaper, the ALIT official said. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Feb 19. Raytheon predicts more sales as missile deliveries to UAE continue apace. Raytheon has completed delivery and integration of launchers for eight United Arab Emirates ships, the company announced, and is closing in on delivering all the Block 1A and Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles. The UAE contracted with Raytheon for RAM Block 2 in 2016, and the company has delivered four out of the five tranches of missiles ordered, said Jeff Meyer, who does business development for Raytheon. Meyer was attending the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi. The Block 2 Rolling Airframe missile is an upgrade that installed a larger rocket motor, better guidance and transmitters in the missile to counter ever-faster and trickier anti-ship missiles.
Meyer said the UAE is continuing to build ships, and he expects the company will continue providing RAM Block 2 to those vessels in the next two years.
In the larger Middle East, the SeaRAM, a combination of RAM and the Phalanx system, also has prospects in the region.
“[The UAE] is interested, it would be a good option for them, but so far they have not gone that direction,” Meyer said. “There are two countries in the region that are interested. We’re working on trying to make that work. … On the SeaRAM you are going to need to have the government interested as well as a [Foreign Military Sales] case. Just adds another layer of complications.”
In 2015, U.S. 6th Fleet rushed to install SeaRAM on its four Rota, Spain-based destroyers in response to what the U.S. Navy described as a specific threat, without going into details.
Russia has been increasing it’s anti-access capabilities, including shore-based anti-ship missiles, in the eastern Mediterranean and in the Black Sea, which was likely the impetus for the “speed-to-fleet” program. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
20 Feb 19. Manufacture du Haut Rhin SAS, “MHR”, formerly Manurhin, celebrates 100 years since its establishment at the opening of IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. MHR, located in Mulhouse, France, specialises in the design, development and manufacture of small to medium calibre ammunition lines and has become the industry gold standard for quality and reliability.
MHR has delivered in excess of 13,000 machines in its 100-year history in over 60 countries, with 5,000 of these in-service today, some dating back to the 1920s with continued maintenance and support from MHR. Emirates Defence Industries Company (EDIC) acquired the assets of Manurhin in August of 2018 as a strategic move to grow EDIC’s already, impressive, portfolio of subsidiaries. The investment will enable MHR to expand on its capabilities and ensure this unique capability is retained within France.
This capital injection, combined with a solid order book, will ensure MHR’s position as a global leader in ammunition line production, capable of delivering green-field turnkey facilities through to individual machines, conversions and MRO services. MHR machines can be found in all major ammunition produces throughout the world and are considered the benchmark in production rate, quality, reliability and manufacturing process.
With an aggressive growth strategy over the next 5 years, MHR looks to future developments, expansion of its solution offerings and building on a legacy of delivering the best-in-market.
Visit MHR on the EDIC stand (05-A05) to see MHR’s impressive range of capability and meet our dynamic team.
20 Feb 19. Rafael unveils “Rocks” – a long range stand-off air-to-surface missile. Rafael is unveiling a new long range stand-off air-to-surface missile at the Aero India Air Show in Bengaluru, India, this week.
“Rocks” is an advanced, extended stand-off range air-to-surface missile, which may be used against high value targets, stationary and re-locatable, even in theaters where the enemy employs effective GPS countermeasures.
Equipped with either a penetration or blast fragmentation warhead, the missile can destroy above-ground or well-defended underground targets in heavily surface-to-air-defended areas.
“Rocks” is launched at a very significant standoff range, well outside of the enemy’s air-defence coverage area, and performs a high velocity trajectory towards the target. This minimizes the launch aircraft exposure to threats, as well as improves the strike success rate.
“Rocks” uses its INS/GPS for midcourse navigation, while homing on to the target is performed by using its EO seeker and advanced image processing algorithms, which ensures hitting targets with great precision, overcoming GPS jamming or denial.
“Rocks” provides a cutting edge and cost-effective solution that combines several combat-proven technologies inherited from our latest generation SPICE system. Rocks effectively answers a growing demand for long range, GPS-independent Air-to-Ground precision strike capability”, Said Yuval Miller, Executive Vice-President and General-Manager of Rafael’s Air & C4ISR Systems Division. “Aero India is an excellent opportunity to present this new system, and we can proudly say that as of today, Rafael is well-situated in India with a broad industrial base, Joint-Ventures, indigenous companies and a substantial Indian supply-chain, as part of our commitment to the “MAKE-IN-INDIA” policy”, Miller added.
19 Feb 19. China to Test Magnetized Plasma Artillery. The Chinese military is looking to procure test systems for magnetized plasma artillery, according to a notice on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) weapon and equipment procurement website weain.mil.cn last week. Released on Wednesday and due expire on Thursday, the notice invites tenders for a theory-testing and a launch system for magnetized plasma artillery. Although the weapon sounds as if it comes from a sci-fi movie, it will probably not shoot high-energy plasma but ultra-high velocity cannon shells. The notice did not elaborate on the nature of magnetized plasma artillery. However, the PLA Academy of Armored Forces Engineering filed a patent with the same name in 2015 to the National Intellectual Property Administration, according to the administration’s website.
According to the specification of the patent, the cannon will have magnetic material covering the gun barrel and a magnetic field generator to create a certain magnetic field inside the barrel. When artillery is fired, gas inside the barrel will be partly ionized into plasma by the high pressure and heat. The plasma will then form about a millimeter sheath on the inner wall of the barrel due to the magnetic field, the patent specification said.
The magnetized plasma layer can greatly reduce the radial force the barrel takes and boost thrust of the cannon shell, making it possible for the initial velocity of shells to exceed Mach 6, the limit for conventional artillery. By comparison, an electromagnetic railgun can in theory accelerate its munitions to Mach 7, US-based media outlet the National Interest reported. But a railgun and its power system are so large that they are not mobile unless installed on large warships, the report said. The patented Chinese technology, however, can be installed on tanks and self-propelled guns, the specification said.
“Thanks to the increased thrust, the range of the artillery can also be extended,” Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military analyst, told the Global Times on Monday.
Wei predicts the new technology would extend the range of a conventional 155-millimeter self-propelled howitzer from 30-50 kilometers to 100 kilometers. The plasma layer might also reduce friction between the barrel and rounds, making the weapon more accurate, he said.
The layer can also provide heat resistance to the barrel, which will prolong its service life. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Global Times)
19 Feb 19. Opportunity knocks for China in any US pullout from Middle East. Poly Technologies brought its Silent Hunter directed energy laser system to Abu Dhabi for IDEX 2019, just as it had done two years previously, in a bid to showcase the system’s capabilities and drum up new interest in the Middle East and Africa. The system has been in service with China’s People’s Liberation Army for the past five years, according to a company spokesperson. The company stated that the system could intercept low-altitude, slow-speed and small aerial targets including UAS using anti-jamming technology. The directed energy capability can also be used by air defence forces on stationary or moving vehicles or naval vessels. It is available in 5kW, 10kW, 20kW and 30kW power levels depending on requirements.
At a 20kW output the beam has an effective range of between 200-3,000m, a pitch from 0-80° and azimuth between 0-360°. The Silent Hunter’s maximum accurate angular tracking sped is 20°/s, with a maximum accurate tracking angular acceleration of 5°/s.
The spokesperson said that a number of delegations had been briefed on the platform’s capabilities during the event, with interest from Africa and Middle East countries, although this did not include the GCC.
As China looks to increase its sales into the Middle East and Africa, so too has its industrial presence at the region’s defence shows increased. Interestingly, the spokesperson told Shephard that the region was undergoing ‘a change’ as the current US administration looks to pull back from its presence in countries such as Syria. While this presented a number of commercial and security challenges, there was also ‘opportunity’ for Chinese companies should this happen. The system is also known to have been showcased in Kazakhstan in 2018, as well as into its domestic market. (Source: Shephard)
19 Feb 19. Patriot GEM-T missile with GaN completes flight tests. Raytheon has completed three flight tests of the Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical Ballistic Missile (GEM-T) with gallium nitride (GaN) in the missile’s transmitter, the company told Jane’s during the IDEX show held in Abu Dhabi on 17–21 February. The first live-fire flight test in December 2018 “consisted of firing one GEM-T missile at a target in a complex environment held at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The system tracked the target, processed the engagement, launched the missile, intercepted and killed the target,” Raytheon said. Joe DeAntona, vice-president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon, said two further successful flight tests were conducted in the week before IDEX. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
15 Feb 19. US Army Picks BAE Jammer To Kill Russian Missiles (Softly.) BAE Systems’ RAVEN jammer has won the Army’s “soft-kill rodeo”: six weeks of shooting live anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) at targets and seeing which of three competing countermeasures made them miss most. Now BAE advances to the next, more challenging round of tests in July, when its jammer will be installed on an actual M2 Bradley alongside the Israeli-made Iron Fist, a “hard kill” system that physically shoots down any incoming missiles that soft-kill systems can’t trick into going off course. Now, the Army hasn’t committed to buy the BAE RAVEN yet. But fielding a new soft-kill system is a big part of the Army’s urgent push to protect American armored vehicles against Russian-made anti-tank missiles – and their many knock-offs – in widespread use with conventional militaries and guerrilla forces around the world.
Getting into the specifics requires serving up some acronym soup (we’re sorry). In the soft-kill tests at Redstone Army Test Center in Alabama, BAE’s RAVEN Multifunction Countermeasure (MFCM) beat Northrop Grumman’s Multifunction Electro-Optical System (MEOS) and the Israeli-made, Lockheed Martin-modified Color Light Operational Unit for Deflection (CLOUD). The next step is to install RAVEN on an actual Bradley for a “layered demonstration” that integrates both hard- and soft-kill systems on the same platform, coordinated by the Army-developed Modular Active Protection System (MAPS).
So far, the focus has been on hard-kill Active Protection Systems (APS), which are basically mini-missile defense systems that fire tiny projectiles or explosives at the incoming threat. After decades of dithering, the Army bought the only combat-proven hard-kill system in the Western world, the Rafael Trophy, in 2017 and began installing it on M1 Abrams heavy tanks. Last year, it picked the IMI Iron Fist to go on the M2 Bradley, a medium-weight, tank-like troop carrier, while starting over in its search for an APS to go on the lightweight wheeled Stryker.
But in parallel, with much less publicity, the Army has also been pursuing soft-kill systems. Soft-kill is less dramatic than hard, since it electronically blinds or tricks the incoming missile so it misses, rather than physically blowing it up. But the two approaches are complementary. In fact, you want your soft-kill jammer to be your first resort, since it never runs out of ammo, and save your hard-kill projectiles for threats that don’t fall for your electronic tricks.
So it’s crucial to coordinate a vehicle’s hard and soft-kill systems, lest they double up unnecessarily on one threat while letting another through. That coordination, in turn, is the job of the Army’s Modular Active Protection System.
The MAPS program, in its current form, evolved from decades of Army efforts to develop its own comprehensive hard-and-soft-kill defense, initially for the Future Combat System vehicles cancelled in 2009. After Russian forces invaded Ukraine – including tanks with advanced active protection that stymied Ukrainian missile teams – the US Army decided the threat was so urgent it had to buy foreign-made hard-kill systems off the shelf ASAP, even if that meant picking different vendors for different vehicles.
But the service still kept MAPS going in the background. Its goal became developing an open architecture — the Modular APS Framework (MAF) — that could used on any current or future armored vehicle to plug-and-play the best radars, jammers, and hard-kill shooters from different vendors. That way, the Army can easily update vehicle protection with whatever new technology becomes available from any vendor.
The soft-kill rodeo was also the first field test for what’s called the MAPS Base Kit, which uses Lockheed Martin hardware and software to control all three vendors’ systems from the initial detection of the threat to its final defeat. The MAPS base kit, BAE’s RAVEN, and IMI’s Iron Fist will now all be wired together on an actual Bradley for the Layered Active Protection Demonstration, also at Redstone, which is scheduled for July-September this year.
So far, MAPS work has been run by the Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center, known until recently as TARDEC. The Detroit Arsenal-based outfit changed its name alongside its parent command, which went from RDECOM to Combat Capabilities Development Center (CCDC) when it became part of the new Army Futures Command.
But CCDC and the Ground Vehicle center do R&D, not production, which requires very different skills. So actual acquisition of the MAPS Base Kit will be the job of the Army’s Product Manger for Vehicle Protection Systems, (PdM VPS), which will take over the base kit effort by the end of June.
Historically, such handoffs have been hard – the insider slang for the transition is “the valley of death.” But the whole point of the recent reorganization that created Army Futures Command is to have both R&D and acquisition programs reporting (with some legal caveats) to the same four-star commander, which didn’t happen in the old, fragmented bureaucracy.
Keeping the momentum on the Active Protection effort, which began before Army Futures Command stood up, will be one of the new command’s first big tests. But that’ll just be a warm-up for something much more ambitious effort: developing all-new Next Generation Combat Vehicles, both fully robotic and optionally manned, to replace the aging M2 Bradley altogether. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)
19 Feb 19. USAF tests a B-52 Stratofortress and CRL weapons system upgrade. The US Air Force (USAF) has tested an upgrade to the B-52 Stratofortress and the Conventional Rotary Launcher (CRL) to improve the lethality of B-52 in a combat environment. The upgrade was carried out to enhance mission flexibility by addressing limitations of the CRL, a weapons system designed for the bomber with an ability to carry a variety of munitions. Despite providing greater mission flexibility, the CRL can supply power to only four munitions at a time. As a result of the revamp, the number of weapons that can be powered at a time has been doubled.
The move is expected to result in reduced risk in combat environments and an increase in the number of weapons in the theatre of operations. The upgrade will also lower the number of aircraft needed for missions.
49th Test and Evaluation Squadron unit project officer major Jason McCargar said: “The Conventional Rotary Launcher has a high power draw, so an aircrew could only power up four munitions at a time without risking blowing circuit breakers in mid-flight. With this upgrade, it can now have eight ready at once.”
According to 307th Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament superintendent senior master sergeant Michael Pierce, the ability to carry a full power load to all munitions on the CRL is likely to make the jet more lethal in combat.
Pierce said: “Now, a B-52 going into a war zone has the ability to put 20 munitions on a target area very quickly. Before, they would have to drop some of their munitions, power up the CRL again and then make another pass.”
Furthermore, the modified CRL has the ability to carry greater payloads of specific kinds of munitions. During testing, eight AGM-158 joint air-to-surface standoff missiles were loaded on the CRL.
The USAF plans to upgrade the remaining CRLs in its inventory to the specifications of the test launcher. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
19 Feb 19. Serbian artillery boasts extended range. Yugoimport – SDPR (Stand 12- E05) is displaying a wide range of artillery systems, headed by the NORA B52 155mm/52 calibre self-propelled gun-howitzer, which is based on a 8×8 platform. The fully enclosed and armour-protected cab is at the front, with the power-operated turret at the rear. The system normally fires over the rear arc and, to provide a more stable firing platform, two hydraulically operated stabilisers are lowered either side to the ground. The weapon is provided with 12 rounds (projectile and associated charges) in the automatic loader, which can be fired in four minutes. An additional 24 rounds of 155mm ammunition are in reserve.
Maximum range depends on the projectile/charge combination, but firing an extended-range full bore base bleed high-explosive projectile, a maximum range of 42,000m can be achieved. The forward control cab has a roof-mounted 12.7mm machine gun for self-defence purposes, as well as banks of electrically operated smoke grenade launchers.
The Russian 130mm M-46 field gun is still used by many countries and Yugoimport has developed and completed trials of an upgraded version fitted with a 155mm/45 calibre ordnance, which gives a significant increase in range.
Firing a locally developed high-explosive extended-range full bore (HE ERFB) 155mm projectile, a maximum range of 30,300m can be achieved, while a base bleed HE ERFB M03 projectile increases range to 39,000m.
Yugoimport can upgrade existing M-46 field guns to the latest 155mm/45 calibre standard, or provide kits to enable the end user to upgrade the weapons in their own facilities. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Feb 19. Survitec has standardised its entire portfolio of battlefield casualty sustainment modules to reduce the number of fatalities sustained from injuries that are generally considered to have been treatable. Adopting an approach implemented by the US military, Survitec has reconfigured its 29 medical modules, including the FC-1, MC-1, FC-2, FC-4, FC-4WP, FC-5WP and CS-2 pre-hospital care systems, to ensure that all personnel, irrespective of the level of training, can administer effective treatment with confidence.
Kevin Wheeler, Group Medical Director, Survitec, said: “Each module has been re-designed by our specialist team of SOF medics and rescue professionals to maximise user interface, speed of care and mobility of equipment.”
The optimised pre-hospital care system delivers modular capabilities for several different trauma scenarios including extraction, field mobility, tactical field care, tactical evacuation care, sustainment care, mass casualty care, far forward environments, CBRN environments and naval operations.
A key development is that all components have been standardised with a comprehensive suite of medical equipment placed in order of the severity of the possible injury sustained.
“Entry level-personnel with limited medical knowledge can quickly administer the care relevant to the injury,” said Wheeler. “This provides all combat personnel with full life saving capability, from in-field patient access to hand-over at the hospital.”
All modules are packed by Survitec following strict guidelines, delivering confidence to end-users that all the equipment they carry is present, within its use by date and working correctly.
Wheeler said: “Supply chains in the military often take a long time and can sometimes result in the armed forces being behind the curve in terms of access to new technologies and equipment. One of the advantages of the Pre-hospital Care System Modules is that forces can get access to standardised up-to-date equipment, which helps bridge the gap between older equipment and newer technologies. With standardised components it is also easier and quicker to replenish spent consumables.”
The principle behind Survitec’s medical modules is in line with the US Special Armed Forces Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) programme introduced the mid-1990s to reduce the amount of preventable deaths on the battlefield.
Wheeler said: “It is about empowering soldiers with training and equipment to do something about casualties on the battlefield.”
Another aspect of Survitec’s care package optimisation has been the introduction of a protective casing for the Philips Lumify handheld ultrasound system, which is included in the Pre-hospital Care System to help diagnosis and treat casuaities.
Responding to requests from the Norwegian military, Survitec and Royal Philips subsidiary Remote Diagnostic Technologies (RDT), a UK-based innovator of advanced pre-hospital health monitoring solutions, pooled their resource to develop a shield capable of protecting the critical equipment in a combat scenario.
The Norwegian armed forces use Tempus Pro patient monitor system as standard across all its forces and invited the companies to develop a case to protect it on the battlefield.
Following the collaboration, all Philips Lumify ultra sound devices are now supplied with a robust casing inside a man packable medical module (a backpack that can be carried by one man). It now features as part of its PCS (Pre-hospital Care Systems) Modules.
Norway currently uses Survitec PCS Modules across all its armed forces and the product is also on trial with special forces in other countries.
18 Feb 19. Russia completes testing of ‘Poseidon’ thermonuclear torpedo. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced at the beginning of February the successful completion of underwater tests of its ‘Poseidon’ unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). Factory trials are expected to begin in the summer of 2019.
First revealed in late 2015, the since named ‘Poseidon’, referred to previously as ‘Status-6’ or ‘Kanyon’, has been conceived as a fast, deep-diving, large-diameter nuclear-powered torpedo able to deliver a 2 MT nuclear strike at intercontinental range.
The 24 m long UUV armed with a nuclear warhead is designed to navigate autonomously with a maximum speed of 107 kt and detonate near an enemy coastal city, generating a tsunami wave, Russian state media reported. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
18 Feb 19. SIG SAUER, Inc. announced that the Orlando Police Department has adopted the SIG Virtus Rifle as part of their standard issue equipment for the departments uniformed officers, detectives, watch commanders, and sergeants. The Orlando Police Department is comprised of over 700 sworn officers protecting over 275,000 citizens in the City of Orlando.
18 Feb 19. Wind tunnel testing moves AMRAAM-ER missile closer to production. New weapon will offer enhanced ground-based air defense. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) successfully completed more than 1,700 rigorous wind tunnel tests on the newest, extended-range variant of the combat-proven AMRAAM® air-to-air missile. Testing is a major step in the missile’s qualification for integration with the NASAMS™ surface-based system. The AMRAAM-ER missile is a ground-launched weapon that will intercept targets at longer distances and higher altitudes. The missile’s bigger rocket motor and smarter flight control algorithms give it a boost in range.
“During these tests, we put AMRAAM-ER through a full range of potential flight conditions to validate the missile’s future performance on the battlefield,” said Kim Ernzen, Raytheon Air Warfare Systems vice president. “Raytheon is developing this missile to enhance ground-based air defense for our customers worldwide.”
Raytheon engineers will now analyze data from the wind tunnel test runs to verify and update the AMRAAM-ER missile’s aerodynamic models to maximize its performance.
Manufactured by Raytheon and Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, NASAMS is the most widely used short- and medium-range air defense system in NATO. NASAMS provides a high-firepower, networked and distributed state-of-the-art air defense system that can quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving threat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and emerging cruise missile threats.
18 Feb 19. US Army fields M17 and M18 modular handgun systems to USAMPS. The US Army has started fielding new modular handgun systems (MHS) to the US Army Military Police School (USAMPS) at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Manufactured by Sig Sauer, the new M17 and M18 handgun systems will replace the existing ageing Beretta M9 weapon system. Fielded in the mid-1980s, the M9 systems used at the military school have fired on average about 20,000 to 30,000 rounds and are set to reach serviceability limits.
USAMPS deputy commandant Mark Farley said: “The (Beretta M9s) we currently have are breaking more often, which causes readiness issues.”
Each MHS is put through extensive testing where the gun is required to meet the accuracy level of ten out of ten at 25m in a smaller than 3in group.
USAMPS instructor Gary Homer added: “With these 17 and 18s, you won’t get degradation of the barrel until after 25,000 rounds. The new MHS has an exponentially longer lifespan or life expectancy.”
These modernised 9mm M17 and M18 pistols feature an integrated rail system, a polymer grip module and self-illuminating sights, as well as a consistent trigger.
The weapon’s small, medium and large grips allow modification to suit the needs of the individual shooter.
Farley added: “The military police corps, is about 16% female soldiers, so this is a big deal when you’re talking about soldier lethality and accuracy.
“For all soldiers to be able to hold that weapon with a proper grip and use the right fundamentals of firing, it’s very important in order for them to be able to engage the target and thereafter. One size does not fit all.”
Nearly 1,400 weapon units are expected to be delivered to the military police school, which has already taken delivery of only a few hundred pistols.
Farley noted: “The sooner we can get it fully fielded to the operational units and the full training base then operational readiness will be enhanced.”
Recently, the M18 compact variant pistol completed the Lot Acceptance Test (LAT). (Source: army-technology.com)
19 Feb 19. IAI Unveils New Loitering Munition – Mini Harpy. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has unveiled the Mini Harpy, a newly-developed loitering munition. Based on unique IAI development and technology, the Mini Harpy combines the capabilities of the Company’s two flagship loitering missiles, the Harop and the Harpy, offering detection of broadcast radiation with electro optical capabilities. The Mini Harpy will be on displayed for the first time at Aero India Exhibition in Bangalore, India, from 20-24 February 2019. The Mini Harpy covers a broad area of interest and responds to a broad range of threats and launching scenarios:
- Neutralizing of radiation emitting threats such as radars and additional systems.
- Electro-Optical Threat detection: high quality video footage for the operator.
- Launching from a broad range of mobile land platforms as well as marine platforms.
- Multiple tools per area unit.
The Mini Harpy is a tactical system designed for field or marine units. It can be launched from land, marine and helicopter borne platforms, providing complete independence in intelligence collection for an updated situational picture and closing the attack circle at low cost. The loitering missiles are launched towards the target area. They loiter the sky until the threat is detected. Upon detection, the systems locks in on the threat and attacks it for a quick, lethal closure.
The system was designed to provide operators with control up to the last moment, including cessation of attach at any stage. Electrically powered, it is extremely quiet, carries shaped charge of approx. 8 kg, operates in mission range of 100 km for duration of two house and 45kg in weight.
Boaz Levy, General Manager and Executive VP of IAI Systems, Missiles & Space Group, said, “in an age of asymmetrical warfare and fast moving targets that ‘blink’ for a few seconds at a time, the use of loitering missiles provides strong capabilities for closing the circle of war. Rather than relying on precise reference point, the system we developed loiters the air waiting for the target to appear and then attacks and destroys the hostile threat within seconds. The Mini Harpy is unique in its beam detection and optical capabilities, a combination of two of our loitering missile systems that sold thousands of units in Israel and abroad.” (Source: UAS VISION)
15 Feb 19. French Rafales conduct first Meteor firings. French Air Force (FAF) and navy Rafale combat aircraft conducted the first test firings of the Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile on 13 February, the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the French defence procurement agency, announced on its website on 15 February. The first firing was conducted in daylight and the second at night.
The Rafales were prepared and flown by personnel from the FAF’s Centre d’Expertise Aérienne Militaire (Military Aviation Expertise Centre: CEAM) and the Centre d’Expérimentations Pratiques de l’Aéronautique Navale (Naval Aviation Practical Experimentation Centre: CEPA/10S), in co-operation with the DGA, which prepared the range and instrumentation.
These test firings are the last step before integrating the Meteor into the new F3R standard of the Rafale and its entry into service with the missile. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
15 Feb 19. Eurosam/OCCAr progress key elements of SAMP/T Block 1NT system. The Eurosam consortium, under the auspices of the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement (OCCAr – Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) is expected to complete the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for key elements of the SAMP/T B1 NT (new technology) medium-range surface-to-air missile system in the second quarter of 2019.
The move follows the successful completion of the PDR for the SAMP/T B1NT system of systems at the end 2018 – a key milestone to locking in the technical specifications of the system, including the fire control unit (FCU), launcher, and Aster 30 B1NT munition. The PDR for the B1 NT has already commenced. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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