Sponsored by Control Solutions LLC.
14 Mar 19. India successfully test fires guided Pinaka. India’s Defence Research and Defence Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired the guided Pinaka rocket at the Pokhran test ranges in Rajasthan, the Indian MoD announced on 11 March. In both firings the weapon systems impacted the intended targets with high precision and achieved desired accuracies. Telemetry systems tracked and monitored the vehicle all through the flightpath. Developed indigenously by the DRDO, the guided Pinaka met all the mission objectives during firings. (Source: Shephard)
13 Mar 19. Northrop Grumman Awarded $713m for Poland Next-Generation Air and Missile Defense. IBCS to provide leap-ahead capabilities for Poland’s national air and missile defense program while increasing NATO security efforts. The U.S. Army has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) a $713m contract for the production of Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) for the first phase of Poland’s WISŁA air and missile defense program.
“Poland is taking a leadership role in today’s complex threat environment by selecting IBCS over legacy stove-piped systems that were designed decades ago for a much different threat profile. IBCS is the future of multidomain operations and with it, Poland will have a state-of-the-art system to modernize its integrated air and missile defense capabilities,” said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. “Through the acquisition of IBCS, Poland will be in line with the U.S. Army’s future direction. Poland will have the flexibility to consider any radar and any interceptor, optimize sensor and effector integration and keep pace with an evolving threat.”
Under this foreign military sales contract for WISŁA, Northrop Grumman will manufacture IBCS engagement operations centers and integrated fire control network relays and deliver IBCS net-enabled command and control for four firing units. The IBCS engagement operations centers will be integrated with IBCS battle management software that maximizes the combat potential of sensors and weapon systems. IBCS engagement operations centers and network relays will be transported by Polish Jelcz vehicles.
“Northrop Grumman continues to work closely with the Polish Ministry of National Defense and Polish industry toward a comprehensive offset program that meets the program goals and requirements. We look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with PGZ and its consortium of companies on this and future phases of the WISŁA program,” said Tarik Reyes, vice president, business development, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. “We are pleased with the opportunity to deliver cutting-edge, net-centric IBCS technology to Poland and support the Ministry of National Defense’s modernization priorities.”
IBCS is the air and missile defense command-and-control solution of choice for Poland. In March 2018, Poland signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance with the U.S. government to purchase IBCS and became the first international partner country to acquire this advanced capability. By implementing IBCS, Poland will transform its IAMD capabilities in a manner consistent with the U.S. Army.
IBCS creates a paradigm shift for IAMD by replacing legacy stove-piped systems with a next-generation, net-centric approach to better address the evolving complex threat. The system integrates disparate radars and weapons to construct a far more effective IAMD enterprise. IBCS delivers a single integrated air picture with unprecedented accuracy and broadens surveillance and protection areas. With its truly open systems architecture, IBCS allows incorporation of current and future sensors and weapon systems and interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defense system.
IBCS is managed by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
13 Mar 19. Pentagon’s New Ballistic Missile Interceptor Doesn’t Work, Suffers Years-Long Delay. The Pentagon’s next-generation interceptor warhead to kill ballistic missiles, the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (KV), is at least two years away from working out its issues, despite years of development. That pushes back the fielding of the last pieces of a $40bn dollar missile defense system that has struggled since the late 1990s.
The RKV delay won’t effect the overall expansion of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system from 44 to 64 interceptors based in California and Alaska — meant to protect the United States from North Korean missiles — but it does ensure that the existing interceptor, the Exoastmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV), s will stay in service even longer, despite a spotty track record.
Both the fledgling RKV and the current EKV are built by Raytheon. Both go on the same booster rocket, the Ground-Based Interceptor. The GBI soars above the atmosphere into space, where the kill vehicle detaches and collides with the incoming ICBM, destroying it (hence the name “kill vehicle”).
The delay, which was outlined in the Missile Defense Agency’s 2020 budget request released Tuesday, pushes back the new system’s first potential test intercept until fiscal year 2023 (which begins Oct. 1 2022). The Redesigned Kill Vehicle will not be placed on missiles until around 2025 at the soonest.
“We’ve got to take a look at the whole design,” Rear Adm. Jon Hill, deputy director of the Missile Defense Agency told reporters. “We’re reassessing the whole program.” Neither Hill nor the budget documents
The current EVK has logged only 10 successful tests out of 18 tries since 1999. The new RKV has not performed up to expectation in initial tests, Missile Defense Agency officials said Tuesday, leading them to push back its fielding while they take a harder look at its shortcomings.
The Missile Defense Agency said in 2016 that the first flight test of the RKV was expected in 2019, with fielding in 2020.
Hill added that the RKV is still in the Pentagon’s plans, but “we’re going back to assess that design, do the proper testing, do the analysis, then we’ll go to the critical design review when we’re ready.”
The US is building 20 more missile interceptors to install at Fort Greeley, Alaska, adding to the 44 already in place there and in California. All these interceptors will have their current Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) replaced with the RKV when it’s ready.
Overall, the MDA saw its 2020 budget cut by $1bn to $9.4bn, after several years of funding increases as North Korea continued to conduct missile tests. Both Pentagon comptroller Elaine McCusker and MDA acting comptroller Michelle Atkinson told reporters (in two separate briefings) that the decline was really just a return to more normal but still robust funding levels as the agency wraps up programs boosted over the past few years. But the recently concluded Missile Defense Review proposes a wide range of new and costly programs. The current Pentagon budget includes about $1.3bn in MDR-related technologies, but these are outside the Missile Defense Agency. When the initial studies lead to actual weapons programs, however, MDA will probably pay a large part of the bill — somehow. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Breaking Defense)
13 Mar 19. BEL-led team unveils new airborne weapon prototypes. A collaborative Indian industry team led by Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has unveiled an array of new air-launched precision-guided weapons and lightweight cruise missiles. The team disclosed the development of a family of three prototype airborne weapon systems, respectively designated Waghnak, Khagantak, and Vel, all of which are envisioned as low-cost, state-of-the-art, penetration weapons for domestic and export customers. However, the weapons can be fitted with different payloads or seekers as per customer requirement.
The development is part of an effort led by BEL with industry partners, including Nagpur-based start-up JSR Dynamics, to develop universal advanced guided weapons that provide an improved air-to-surface attack capability for combat aircraft operating in contested airspace. BEL will supply all electronics and guidance subsystems, while the body and control systems are supplied by JSR Dynamics. The team claims that the weapons will have only 10% imported subsystems, but declined to disclose further details.
The Waghnak is a 450 kg-class precision stand-off glide munition, similar in appearance to the US-built AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) but with a different design approach. The weapon has a streamlined lightweight carbon composite body with fold-out mid-body glide wings and five aft control surfaces to deliver a range of 154 km at a launch altitude of 12,000 m, with a maximum engagement speed of 272 m/s. BEL claims that the composite material helps reduce the Waghnak’s radar cross section (RCS) signature and improves operational range.
BEL is offering a basic option of Waghnak featuring a multiband passive RF seeker (1-3, 3-6, 6-12 GHz) with an inertial navigation system (INS)/GPS with long-wave infrared (IR) sensor for terminal guidance, and a tandem warhead (primary: 225 kg penetration warhead; secondary: 45 kg shaped charge) for hard-surface attack. The munition can be configured with only an INS/GPS, semi-active laser (SAL), or medium-wave IR seeker as required. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
13 Mar 19. Shoigu details Russian rearmament. The proportion of modern equipment in service with the Russian military has reached 61.5%, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told the Duma defence committee on 11 March.
“Since 2012, the armed forces have received 109 Yars intercontinental-ballistic missiles [ICBMs], 108 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, three Project 955 Dolgorukiy-class SSBNs [nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines] and seven other underwater combatants, 57 space vehicles, 17 Bastion and Bal mobile coastal defence missile systems [MCDMSs], 3,712 tanks and armoured fighting vehicles, more than 1,000 fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and 161 naval vessels,” said Shoigu.
He reported that 12 missile regiments have been rearmed with Yars ICBMs, 10 missile brigades with Iskander tactical ballistic missile systems, 13 aviation regiments with MiG-31BM, Su-35S, Su-30SM, and Su-34 combat aircraft, three army aviation brigades and six helicopter regiments with Mi-28N and Ka-52 combat helicopters, 20 surface-to-air missile (SAM) regiments with S-400 Triumf SAM systems, 23 batteries with Pantsir-S self-propelled anti-aircraft gun-missile systems, and 17 batteries with Bal and Bastion MCDMSs. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
13 Mar 19. Where are the laser-armed drones? Missile Defense Review wish list missing from MDA’s budget. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s $9.4bn budget request for fiscal 2020 — while slightly smaller than last year’s budget of $9.9bn — maintains many efforts from previous years to defend the homeland and counter regional threats, but it does not reflect some of the major ambitions laid out in the recently released Missile Defense Review. The two-year delayed Missile Defense Review, released in January, lists space-based missile defense sensors and laser-armed drones as part of a wish list for missile defense capabilities, but these new desires are not highlighted in the agency’s FY20 summary of its budget request released March 12.
The lack of new efforts to get after MDR ambitions could partly be due to the fact that the review called for a significant number of studies over the next six months to gain clarity on the way forward for a variety of potential missile defense efforts, such as the development and fielding of a space-based missile intercept layer capable of boost-phase defense as well as other tracking and discrimination technologies.
With so much up in the air, the FY20 budget looks familiar. This budget, just like last year’s, aims to increase reliability and the robustness of the current system, while building on capacity and capability and developing technology to counter advanced missile threats.
The MDA is requesting $1.2bn in FY20 to continue the expansion of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, or GMD, designed to counter a rapidly developing intercontinental ballistic missile threat from North Korea.
The MDA received funding last year to expand the fleet of GMD interceptors, or GBI, from 44 to 64 in silos at two missile fields in Fort Greely, Alaska, requesting $926.4m in FY19 to expand the system.
According to the MDA’s request, the agency plans to equip 20 GBIs with its Redesigned Kill Vehicle. The agency is requesting $412.4m in FY20 to develop the RKV.
The RKV will increase the performance of the current exoatmospheric kill vehicle, which has struggled in testing.
The MDA is also planning a major test of the GMD system in FY20 that should build off the expected FY19 salvo test of the system, where two GBIs will be fired (which is more operationally realistic) against an ICBM threat. That test will focus on proving the effectiveness of an upgrade to the GBI’s booster, Michelle Atkinson, the MDA acting director for operations, told reporters at the Pentagon on March 12.
The MDA is asking for $98.1m for the test program as well as $9.5m to mitigate GBI obsolescence-driven redesign and testing, and another $153.2m for maintenance and sustainment.
Additionally the MDA will continue to fund the Sea-based X-band radar, asking for $128.2m in FY20. Atkinson said the radar spent 500 days without a port visit. The radar is expected to log 305 days at sea and 60 days in port for maintenance in FY20. It’s expected a replacement dome will be fielded in 2021.
The MDA is also planning the initial fielding of its Long Range Discrimination Radar at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska, in FY20, and the agency is requesting $136.4m for the project. It’s expected the radar will be fully operational in 2022.
The MDA is moving forward on its plan to establish a homeland defense radar in Hawaii and is asking for $247.7m in FY20 to improve threat discrimination capability and increase the ability of the GMD system to defend the island state. Its initial fielding is expected in 2023.
The agency is also proceeding with plans to add a Pacific discriminating radar to its web of layered defense in the Pacific region. The MDA is requesting $6.7m in FY20 to develop the program and field it in the 2026 time frame, but has yet to determine a location for the radar.
The Pentagon continues to focus on the Aegis ballistic missile defense system and Aegis Ashore systems in Romania and Poland, as well as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system and the Patriot air and missile defense system for regional defense and to have a variety of strategically positioned radars.
The agency is asking for $727.5m in Aegis BMD efforts including the integration of the SM-3 Block IIA missile into the Aegis BMD weapon system.
Funding is also requested to conduct a flight test of the SM-3 Block IIA capability in FY20 against an ICBM following test failures. The entire Aegis BMD test program requires $169.8m, according to the request.
The agency also plans to spend $697.8m in FY20 for SM-3 procurement.
The MDA would like to spend $302.8m for THAAD development in FY20 to include efforts to tie together Patriot and THAAD capabilities, also funded last year, as part of an emerging operational need out of South Korea. The agency also wants $425.9m to procure 37 more THAAD interceptors after a large plus-up last year.
Another $99.8m is requested in FY20 to maintain THAAD operations including the two forward-deployed batteries in Guam and South Korea. Delays The MDA budget request acknowledges several delays in key programs. (Source: Defense News)
12 Mar 19. The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said that it is reinforcing its land forces’ very short-range air defence (VSHORAD).
“State trials of the Derivatsiya-PVO 57mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun [SPAAG] system are set to be completed this November,” the MoD announced on 8 March, adding that the SPAAG’s ammunition consisted of five types of rounds, including air-burst multipurpose. “The system is designed to engage aircraft, drones, high-precision weapons, and single rockets of multiple rocket launch systems.”
In 2019, the MoD will also test the Gibka-S VSHORAD system developed by Rostec’s High-Precision Weapons’ KBM design bureau. “The Gibka-S vehicle that can fire all Russian-made man-portable surface-to-air missiles [SAMs] will enter state trials in early summer. The Gibka-S is integrated with the YeSU TZ combat-management system, while its command and control vehicle carries a compact radar and automation unit,” the MoD said on 9 March. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Mar 19. Despite push for future tech, munitions remain major wedge in budget. The Pentagon’s fiscal 2020 budget is being billed as the bridge to the future, moving the department away from years of conflict in the Middle East and toward great power competition with Russia and China.
But the realities on the ground remain, and so does an ever-present need for munitions. Overall, missiles and munitions made up 9 percent of the investment budget request, at $21.6bn. The total is a 10-year high, with rapid growth happening in the last five years after the account bottomed out at $9bn in FY15.
Click here for more coverage of the FY20 budget request.
That category covers everything from basic ammunition, mortars and artillery projectiles, as well as air-to-air, air-to-surface, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air weapons. It also covers nuclear delivery systems such as the Trident II missile and the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent.
Removing the strategic missiles portion of the budget still leaves $10.9bn for tactical missiles and $7.2 bn for conventional ammo — $18.1bn total to help bolster stockpiles of weapons used nearly everyday by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly as the Trump administration embraced a position in the last two years that encouraged greater military force in the fight against the Islamic State group.
Speaking ahead of the budget release, a senior defense official said the munitions buy is also driven by years of combat. “We’re still replenishing munitions that were expended during the period of time earlier in the decade where we weren’t buying a lot but we were expending a lot of those kinds of munitions overseas,” the official said.
Among the request for key munitions procured in large quantities:
- Joint Direct Attack Munition: 40,388 requested for $1.148bn
- Hellfire missiles: 9,000 requested for $730.8m
- Small Diameter Bomb 1: 7,078 requested for $275.4m
- Small Diameter Bomb 2: 1,925 requested at $412.2m
- Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile: 430 requested at $581.9m
- Air Intercept Missile 9X: 647 requested at $309.7m
- Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile: 389 requested at $651.2m
- Joint Air-to-Ground Missile: 1,651 requested at $367.3m
Notably, the JDAM, Hellfire, SDB-1, SDB-2 and JASSM would be produced at maximum capacity in their facilities.
The Army is a major driver of Hellfire procurement. It has plans to buy 5,112 of the weapons after procuring only 2,309 in FY19. Asked about that change, Ryan McCarthy, undersecretary of the Army, pointed to the need to replenish stocks, saying he believes that by FY21 or FY22 the stocks will be back to “max capacity.”
“Much of it was also extensive utilization in the Middle East,” McCarthy added. “Our rates were pretty high, so we had to make an adjustment to restore those stocks.” (Source: Defense News)
13 Mar 19. Northrop Grumman, MBDA demonstrate integration of missile and next-gen battle management system. Northrop Grumman and European missile specialist MBDA have successfully completed a joint, company-funded effort to incorporate the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) family into the Northrop Grumman-designed multi-domain Integrated Air and Missile Defence Battle Command System (IBCS). As Australia continues to explore options for its own integrated air and missile defence (IAMD) and multi-domain joint battle management system as part of the $1 bn-plus AIR 6500 program, the successful joint-integration by Northrop Grumman and MBDA marks a major milestone for both companies while also establishing the integration and interoperability credentials of Northrop’s offering, as CAMM became non-US missile system to be successfully integrated with the IBCS system.
Bill Lamb, director of international battle management at Northrop Grumman, described the importance of the integration milestone: “This is another demonstration of the ‘any-sensor, any-shooter’ IBCS design that integrates weapons in a short time and at a small fraction of traditional costs. With IBCS as the enabler for next-generation IAMD in the multi-domain battlespace, warfighters gain the advantage of leveraging any available sensors and effectors to counter evolving and emerging threats.”
Following approval by both the US Department of Defence and UK Ministry of Defence, Northrop Grumman and MBDA invested internal company funds to demonstrate the integration of the Northrop Grumman-developed IBCS with the MBDA CAMM family of missiles in an affordable and rapid manner.
As part of the successful integration, the companies completed functional integration of the end-to-end firing chain for an integrated fire control and fire direction configurations between CAMM and IBCS, the effort accomplished all research and development goals identified at the onset of the program for integrating CAMM into the IBCS and served to reduce risk and costs for full systems integration.
“This integration further demonstrates how the CAMM family and its associated systems have been designed from the outset for integration into IAMD networks, including with third-party battle management command and control and sensors, allowing the most complex engagement scenarios to be achieved with lower demands on the network and a lower integration burden,” said Michael Mew, ground based air defence program head, MBDA.
The CAMM family is the next generation of air defence missiles for multi-domain applications. Designed to defeat the most challenging of modern and future threats, including saturation attacks by precision-guided munitions and manoeuvring high-speed missiles attacking simultaneously from multiple directions, the CAMM family of missiles feature a solid-state active radar seeker, two way data-link, low-signature rocket motor and a 360-degree soft-vertical launch system.
Northrop Grumman’s IBCS creates what the company calls a ‘paradigm shift’ by replacing legacy stove-piped systems with a next-generation, net-centric approach to better address the evolving complex threat. The system integrates disparate radars and weapons to construct a far more effective IAMD enterprise.
IBCS delivers a single integrated air picture with unprecedented accuracy and broadens surveillance and protection areas, IBCS is characterised by its truly open systems architecture, allowing incorporation of current and future sensors and effectors and interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defence system.
The AIR 6500 Project presents an opportunity for Australian industry to participate in an exciting and strategically important program to build and maintain an enduring and regionally superior Australian capability with an opportunity to enter export markets.
The ADF’s existing air defence systems will be upgraded or replaced by Project AIR 6500. This investment will provide the foundation for an enhanced IAMD system for the ADF, ensuring that the delivered system is able to fuse and share information to enhance the accuracy and speed of ADF’s systems response to air and missile threats. The delivered architecture will have the flexibility for further enhancement to handle more complex threats and to integrate new technologies as they emerge.
The ADF will also acquire ground-based active electronically scanned array radars from around 2020 and expand Australia’s access to air and space situational awareness information, including through space-based systems. A solicitation to industry is expected in 2019. Contract signature for the successful prime systems integrator and system deliverer will be in 2020 with an initial capability fielded by 2024.
With more than 90 armed forces customers worldwide, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems. In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development. MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus (37.5 per cent), BAE Systems (37.5 per cent), and Leonardo (25 per cent). (Source: Defence Connect)
11 Mar 19. US Army to delay BAE self-propelled howitzer full production decision. The US Army is reportedly set to delay its approval of the full production contract for BAE Systems’ self-propelled 155mm howitzer. The service had already delayed its decision on a contract for the full-rate production of the howitzer, which was supposed to be announced in July. Bloomberg reported that the decision could be postponed until November.
In an interview, US Army Secretary Mark Esper was quoted by the news agency as saying: “They have made progress, but they’re still not at the point where they’ve convinced us they are prepared to go into full-rate production. There’s some thresholds they have to meet.”
Esper noted that the company is yet to show ‘both a consistent rate and a consistent level of quality’.
BAE Systems’ progress on the $8.1bn programme is currently being monitored by the Defense Contract Management Agency.
Army spokeswoman Ashley John was quoted by the news agency as saying: “BAE failed to consistently deliver vehicles in accordance with scheduled quantities.”
However, Ashley John added that a ‘smaller contract’ could be awarded this month to buy parts.
To date, the US Department of Defense has awarded contracts for the purchase of a total of 162 sets of howitzers and ammunition haulers.
Around 576 howitzers and ammunition carriers are planned to be acquired by the army.
Meanwhile, BAE spokeswoman Kelly Golden told Bloomberg in an email: “We have enhanced the weld and fabrication processes across our entire manufacturing network, to include our suppliers.
“As part of these improvements, we implemented a 100% in-station weld inspection across our facilities and are now delivering defect-free vehicles to the Army at a higher rate.” (Source: army-technology.com)
08 Mar 19. USAF Gets First Upgraded ‘Ghostrider’ Gunship. The Air Force has received an upgraded version of its Ghostrider gunship. The 4th Special Operations Squadron, 1st Special Operations Wing, at Hurlburt Field, Florida, received its first AC-130J Ghostrider Block 30 gunship this week during a ceremony at Bob Sikes Airport in Crestview, Florida, Air Force Special Operations Command said in a news release Thursday. The 4th Special Operations Squadron currently operates and maintains the AC-130U Spooky. The Block 30 model marks “a major improvement in software and avionics technology” over the original Block 20 software AC-130J, the release states.
“The Ghostrider is the newest and most modernized gunship in existence, fulfilling the same mission sets as the Spooky but with upgraded avionics, navigation systems and a precision strike package that includes trainable 30mm and 105mm weapons,” according to the release.
The first Block 30 model will remain in a testing-only status for a year before it can deploy for battlefield operations, officials said.
Along with the 105mm cannon the U-models sport, the AC-130J is equipped with a 30mm cannon “almost like a sniper rifle. … It’s that precise, it can pretty much hit first shot, first kill,” Col. Tom Palenske, then-commander of 1st Special Operations Wing, told Military.com last May at Hurlburt. The model achieved initial operational capability in September 2017. The J-model also has improved turboprop engines, which reduce operational costs with better flight sustainability, the service has said. It has the ability to launch 250-pound, GPS- or laser-guided small-diameter bombs (SDB). The aircraft is expected to carry AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, interchangeable with the SDBs on its wing pylons, AFSOC has said.
Palenske said last year that airmen have been waiting to see the aircraft in action.
“It’s going to [be] the most lethal, with the most loiter time, probably the most requested weapons system from ground forces in the history of warfare. That’s my prediction,” he said.
The fourth-generation J is slated to replace the AC-130H/U/W models, with delivery of the final J- model sometime in 2021, according to the Air Force. The service plans to buy 32 of the aircraft.
Crews expect the J to be deployed in late 2019 or early 2020.
“It’s our big gun truck,” Palenske said. “It’s going to have more powerful engines, a more efficient fuel rate. … You can keep the sensors on the bad guys longer … [and] it’s also going to have AGM-176 [Griffin] missiles on the back, so you can put 10 missiles on the back of them. “It’s going to be awesome,” he said. (Source: Military.com)
08 Mar 19. Russia’s 6V7M anti-materiel rifle cleared for export. Russia’s newest 6V7M 12.7mm anti-materiel rifle (AMR), a part of the Ratnik soldier modernisation suite, has been cleared for export sales, a source from Rostec’s High-Precision Weapons (HPW) business told Jane’s. “The 6V7M AMR has already entered the small arms market in both its configurations: the baseline, and the shortened 6V7M1. Prior to that the rifle was delivered to the Special Forces, motor rifle units, and the Airborne Troops [VDV] of the Russian military under the Ratnik programme,” the source said. The 6V7M (also designated ASVK-M or Kord-M) is the first Russian AMR with a free-floating barrel that carries a triple-chamber muzzle break. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
11 Mar 19. Aimpoint awarded contract for Fire Control Systems by U.S. Armed Forces. Aimpoint, the leading manufacturer and innovator of red dot sighting technology, has been awarded a USD 24m firm, fixed-price contract for supply of the Aimpoint® FCS13-RE Fire Control System to the U.S. military. The system will be deployed as the primary Fire Control on the new M3-E1 MAAWS lightweight 84mm Carl Gustaf produced by SAAB Dynamics. The contract was awarded through Atlantic Diving Supply (ADS Inc.) via the DLA Tailored Logistics Support program. The FCS13-RE is a direct view, Dynamic Universal Reflex Sight, which utilizes an integrated laser range finder and ballistic computer to give the gunner an aiming point corrected for range, type of munition, terrain angle, and environmental conditions. In addition to the 84mm Carl Gustaf, the system can also be utilized on other crew served weapons including 40 mm high velocity grenade launchers, and 12.7mm (.50 caliber) heavy machine guns. The FCS13-RE provides a very high probability of first-shot hit on both stationary and moving targets at extended ranges and utilizes a very intuitive user control interface. The system can be enhanced with modular magnification and thermal imaging components and is compatible with all generations of military night vision equipment.
The selection of the Aimpoint FCS13-RE for use on the M3-E1 Carl Gustaf followed extensive tests and evaluations conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) headquartered at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.
“Having delivered over one m M68CCO close combat optics to the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force since 1997, Aimpoint has proven to be a highly reliable supplier to the U.S. Armed Forces” said Brian Lisankie, President of Aimpoint Inc. “This latest contract for electronic Fire Control Systems shows that Aimpoint has continued to increase our technical capabilities, and to offer new cutting-edge products for use by our most prestigious military customers.”
“In combination with the new lightweight M3-E1 Carl Gustaf, the FCS13-RE greatly increases the lethality and survivability of troops in the field. The ability to quickly and accurately place the first shot directly on target with a high degree of certainty represents the true value of this system” said Thane Smith, Military Sales Director at Aimpoint Inc.
Deliveries of the Aimpoint FCS13-RE are scheduled for 2019. The system will be fielded by the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Special Operations Command. Aimpoint has now supplied its FCS13-RE Fire Control System system to over 5 countries.
09 Mar 19. Army wants a new remote operating system for its ground combat vehicle cannons. The Army is looking for information on a remote weapons system and an unmanned turret for its 30mm cannon for a few of its ground vehicles. The post on the federal business opportunities website, fbo.gov, is asking industry for information on a system that will need to operate both the 30mm cannon and a 7.62 machine gun aboard a “medium sized combat vehicle platform” such as the Stryker, M113 and the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle.
It must also have a thermal camera with 70 percent identification of targets the size of a NATO vehicle to a range of 4km or more.
The M113 Armored Personnel Carrier is still in service after being fielded in the early 1960s. It is being replaced by the AMPV, which received funding for low rate initial production in February. The Army expects to begin fielding two brigades’ worth of AMPVs, or 258 vehicles, by 2020.
Over the past few years the Army has “up gunned” its Strykers for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Europe as a way to meet concerns of overmatch against Russia ground combat formations. To do that the Army added the 30mm cannon to the platform instead of the twin M2 .50 caliber machine guns.
That version is called a Stryker-Dragoon.
The advantage means greater range, out to 9,000 feet, for the 30mm cannon and a variety of other munitions options such as warheads that can achieve point detonation, point detonation delay and airburst effects with different fusing. Once finished, the 81 Stryker-Dragoons will make up half the vehicles in the regiment’s rifle and scout platoons.
The existing turret uses a sensor suite that includes a thermal camera, day camera and laser rangefinder.
Another Stryker version uses the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station to launch the Javelin anti-tank missile, which used to require a soldier dismount the Stryker to target other threats with a shoulder-fired missile.
During testing in Europe last year, crews noted that both the Stryker CROWS-J and the Stryker-Dragoons saw select capabilities degraded by adversaries when operating in a cyber contested environment, according to a report. But, officials noted that the vulnerabilities exploited by adversaries predated the upgrades of the CROWS-J and Dragoon variants. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Army Times)
11 Mar 19. Queensland government to help fund 155mm shell plant in Maryborough. Up to 100 new jobs will be created in the Maryborough region following the Queensland government’s pledge to provide $7.5m to help establish a 155mm shell plant. The $60m greenfield development will be capable of “manufacturing the world’s most sophisticated and technologically advanced artillery shells for both the domestic and export markets”.
Construction of the facility is expected to commence later this year, with the plant to be fully operational by 2022.
“This strong show of support by the state government will help deliver real benefits to the local community in Maryborough for decades to come by creating up to 100 local, highly skilled jobs,” Robert Nioa, managing director of NIOA and director of Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions, said.
“The establishment of this new state-of-the-art facility will help to create a sovereign munitions manufacturing capability and ensure that future munitions supplied to our forces will be Australian made.”
Werner Kraemer, CEO of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition and chairman of Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions, added, “The planned forging facility in Maryborough is an essential cornerstone for supporting the Australian Land Forces’ Land 17 program, and underpins Rheinmetall’s strategy of creating new, highly skilled jobs in Australia. Furthermore, the Maryborough facility will help Rheinmetall establish a long-term sustainable supply chain for ammunition components serving different export markets.”
The funding was approved under the Queensland government’s $150m ‘Jobs and Regional Growth Fund’, which is being used to support projects that will have “significant impact” on a regional community, such as the Fraser Coast region.
“The local member for Maryborough has worked tirelessly to help deliver a positive outcome for the project. It’s great to see the local member advocating so hard for his local community, helping to deliver solid outcomes and real jobs,” said Nioa.
The project remains subject to final approval of the $28.5m application to the federal government’s ‘Regional Growth Fund’, with a final determination expected before the end of March.
08 Mar 19. US AFRL completes critical design review of X-60A programme. The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has completed the critical design review of the X-60A hypersonic flight research vehicle programme. Formerly known as the GOLauncher 1, the X-60A vehicle is being developed under collaboration between AFRL Aerospace Systems Directorate High Speed Systems Division and Generation Orbit Launch Services. It is an affordable air-dropped single-stage rocket-powered test platform expected to serve the hypersonic flight test and suborbital research communities. The vehicle is designed for hypersonic flight research to mature technologies, including scramjet propulsion, high-temperature materials and autonomous control.
Completion of the critical design review represents a major milestone in the X-60A programme, which is moving into the fabrication phase.
AFRL and Generation Orbit plan to undertake the maiden flight of the vehicle in approximately a year from the US Federal Aviation Administration-licensed Cecil Spaceport in Jacksonville, Florida, US.
Cecil Spaceport was chosen for the X-60A programme due to its diversification in hypersonic flight testing compared to traditional Department of Defense flight test ranges.
According to AFRL, the programme is the first US Air Force Small Business Innovative Research programme to secure an experimental ‘X’ designation.
The objective of the X-60A programme is to enhance the frequency of flight testing and reduce the cost of maturing hypersonic technologies in relevant flight conditions.
In a statement, AFRL said: “While hypersonic ground test facilities are vital in technology development, we must also test those technologies with actual hypersonic flight conditions.”
The vehicle’s propulsion system comprises the Hadley liquid rocket engine, which uses liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants.
The system has the ability to provide access to high dynamic pressure flight conditions between Mach 5 and Mach 8.
Generation Orbit stated on its website that in dash mode, the X-60A can achieve the speeds with a test payload attached. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
07 Mar 19. Reload Swiss RS76 – the new universal powder for rifle ammunition hits the market. Reload Swiss RS is celebrating this year’s IWA&Outdoor Classics with another world first. At Europe’s biggest hunting and sport shooting show, the Nitrochemie Wimmis AG brand is introducing its new RS76 rifle powder. Newly developed, the RS76 is a universal powder for assembling rifle ammunition. It is suitable for multiple calibres, including .338 Lapua Magnum, 7mm Remington Magnum, .338 Norma Magnum and .300 Norma Magnum. America’s Special Operations Command (US SOCOM) is currently evaluating the latter two, for Nitrochemie an encouraging sign of government interest in the new product.
Ever since its market launch five years ago, Nitrochemie Wimmis AG with its top-notch Reload Swiss RS products has focused on becoming a full-spectrum supplier of propellant powder – from small-calibre pistol applications to large magnum assemblies. RS76 is now the thirteenth powder in the company’s product range.
The RS76 bridges the gap between its established, tried-and-tested RS70 and RS80 powders. As developer Reload Swiss RS Dominik Antenen explains, “the RS80 was ideal for the popular .338 Lapua Magnum with 300-grain projectiles. But when it was used with the equally popular 250-grain projectile, the results were no longer quite so good.” After consulting with Reload Swiss RS importers, the company decided to resolve this issue with help of the newly developed RS76. “The objective was to pass on the good genes of the RS70 and RS80 to the RS76.” In recent years the famous shooting competition in Bisley was won with the RS70, resulting in two European championship titles in the F Class, i.e. the rifle class. The RS80 also enjoys a robust reputation among competition shooters at ranges of 600 metres and over. “With this in mind, we endowed the RS76 with a good pressure and velocity ratio, sensible temperature independence and a de-copperizing additive”, continues Antenen, noting that “it goes almost without saying that we included a muzzle flash suppressor in the package as well as the best-possible stabilizer”.
The first batch of RS76 powder is currently being filled, and will reach the shops in the second quarter of 2019. The new powder is available in the accustomed 1-kg can and 10-kg drum.
IWA&Outdoor Classics takes place 8-11 March 2019 in Nuremburg, Germany. Reload Swiss will be on hand in Hall 7 at Stand 204.
About Reload Swiss RS
Whether for sport shooters or hunters, pistols or rifles, no matter what the discipline or specific application – Reload Swiss RS offers the right propellant for every type of individual loading and assembly operation. Consistent quality and even combustion enable precise hits, time after time – even under the most varied weather conditions.
Enjoying an international reputation for high-quality propellants, Nitrochemie Wimmis AG is a joint venture of Rheinmetall and RUAG. A century of experience in the development and production of high-performance propellant powder flow into every Reload Swiss RS product. State-of-the-art production facilities meet the highest standards for safeguarding people and the environment. Continuous quality control throughout the production and packaging process assures consistent quality in line with the most exacting requirements. All of these things result in an excellent price-performance ratio and high accuracy.
An efficient sales network in Europe guaranties dependable availability. Reload Swiss RS products have already won over top numerous international competitive shooters. Among the most prominent users are elite Swiss sportspeople Dominic Meier, Christine Burkhalter, Peter Heller, Sascha Back and Reinhard “Hady” Lang; Nils Nothnagel of Germany; and Austria’s Gerald Reiter. The renowned English long-distance marksman Nigel Cole-Hawkins belongs to the circle of top Reload Swiss RS users, too. Moreover, German corporate teams from Heckler&Koch, the Korth team and Denmark’s ZMA team now count on Reload Swiss RS powder products as well.
Nitrochemie and its sales partners are ready and willing to swap loading data, tips and stories, thus helping to expand and disseminate the Reload Swiss RS knowledge base.
Control Solutions LLC is a turnkey design and manufacturing corporation with over 20 years experience solving tough military motion control problems. We focus on improving the safety, survivability, and mission effectiveness for personnel in tactical vehicles. We will be showcasing our CS5100 Lightweight Motorized Turret System as well as new JLTV-ready gun turrets. We have fielded over 60,000 ITDS and BPMTU motorized turret systems for the HMMWV, MRAP, and other tactical vehicle programs. We will present a family of accessories including weapon-mounted actuators, turret power and spotlight kits, and novel soldier power solutions. Control Solutions is on a mission to help solve your toughest motion control challenges.