Sponsored by Control Solutions LLC.
30 May 19. India to conclude user trials of first locally developed howitzer. The Indian Army (IA) is expected to successfully complete user trials of the 155mm/52 calibre Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) within the next two months: a move that would pave the way to start series production of India’s first locally designed howitzer.
Industry sources told Jane’s that two different prototypes of the ATAGS, which was jointly developed by the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and private-sector companies Tata Power SED, Bharat Forge and Kalyani Strategic Systems, have been undergoing trials with the IA since 24 May at Pokhran in India’s north-western desert region. They said that once these trials are completed around July, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will issue a request for proposals to both Tata Power, which provided the ‘G1’ prototype, and Bharat Forge, which provided the ‘G2’ prototype, for the supply of 150 guns for the IA for an estimated INR36.65bn (USD524m). The MoD’s Defence Acquisition Council had approved the ATAGS procurement in August 2018. Thereafter, one of two howitzer prototypes, either Tata Power’s G1 or Bharat Forge’s G2, is expected to be shortlisted for procurement based on performance and commercial bids. Officials said the lowest bidder, or L1, will be awarded a contract to build 100 of the 150 ATAGSs while the runner-up will be allowed to manufacture the remaining 50 guns (of the same model) in what will be India’s first-ever public-private partnership (PPP) project in the defence sector.
The ATAGS programme was launched in 2013 by the DRDO’s Armament Research & Development Establishment to boost the IA’s depreciated artillery profile. In September 2017 the gun set a local record by firing three shells, reportedly undisclosed model high-explosive base bleed (HE-BB) projectiles, to a distance of 47.2km at Pokhran. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 May 19. Pentagon hits pause on redesign of critical homeland missile defense component. The Pentagon has hit the pause button on a troubled effort to redesign the kill vehicle on the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system’s interceptors after reporting a two-year delay in its development earlier this year.
The GMD system is designed to defend against possible ballistic missile attacks from North Korea and Iran.
Dr. Michael Griffin, the under secretary of defense for research and engineering, has decided to issue a stop-work order to Boeing on the development of the Redesigned Kill Vehicle — or RKV — which was first reported by Inside Defense last week.
Boeing was directed to stop work on the RKV on May 24, a company spokesman confirmed to Defense News.
The RKV is meant to replace the current Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicles on all current and future GMD interceptors — a total of 64 ultimately. The EKV, designed to destroy targets in high-speed collisions after separating from a booster rocket, has struggled in testing but has performed reliably in major test events in recent years including a complex salvo test earlier this year.
There are 44 GBIs in place at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, with plans to add 22 additional missile silos at Fort Greely to support 20 more GBIs.
The RKV was due out for a critical design review in 2018 but that CDR was delayed by two years in the Missile Defense Agency’s fiscal year 2020 budget request released in March. The agency requested $412.4m in FY20 to develop the RKV. The plan was to conduct the first controlled flight test of the RKV in FY22 with an intercept flight test in FY23 and a second test in 2024. As a result of the delay of the RKV CDR, the plan was to finish up the installation of the 20 new GBIs at Greely in 2025.
“We came through a preliminary design review as we approached the critical design review at the end of last year,” Rear Adm. Jon Hill, the MDA deputy director, said during a March Pentagon briefing. “We did not believe as a government team that we were ready to take that step into that critical design review, and so, through coordination in the department, all the way up to the undersecretary for research and engineering, we determined that the best thing to do was to go back and assess that design and take the time to do it right.”
Hill added, alluding to the previous struggles with the GMD exoatmospheric kill vehicle: “We could do what some programs do and what the Missile Defense Agency did years ago, which was to go ahead and produce what we’ve got and then deal with reliability issues within the fleet and then erode the confidence of the war fighter. We know that is the wrong step.”
The Pentagon “recently encountered a technical issue in Missile Defense Agency’s redesigned kill vehicle development program,” Heather Babb, Defense Department spokeswoman, told Defense News in a May 28 statement. “The RKV team has been assessing and testing as needed, suspect components.”
After receiving recent test results, Griffin, “has determined that the current plan is not viable and has initiated an analysis of alternative courses of action,” Babb said. “To avoid unnecessary expenditures, USD(R&E) has directed the Missile Defense Agency to issue a stop work on the RKV activity within the current Boeing contract until a viable path forward is identified.”
The Pentagon did not say how long the analysis of alternatives might take to complete. In the case of the current RKV program, Boeing was executing the MDA’s design plans.
“The government has indicated that they have initiated an analysis of alternative courses of action and we will support them in this effort as requested,” the company said in its statement. “Boeing will continue to support requirements for our customers and national decision makers set forth for effective missile defense, as we have for more than two decades.”
The Missile Defense Agency Director Gen. Samuel Greaves said, during a Senate Armed Services Committee missile defense hearing earlier this spring, that the issue was not contractor-related but a technical one, but he would not provide details because they are classified.
At the April hearing, MDA appeared to still be focused on proceeding with the RKV program with only the schedule in question. Greaves said the agency was testing components and the timeline for the program might be adjusted over the next few months. He said he believed once the component testing wrapped up the timeline could be shortened, but added, “it could go the other way.”
It’s unclear what alternative paths might be assessed during the strategic pause, but some options could be tweaking the design for the RKV to get it back on track or MDA could look at an alternate path that isn’t just outfitting all present and future GBIs with the current EKV or jumping straight to the development of a Multi-Object Kill Vehicle (MOKV), but one that addresses taking out multiple targets — or volume kills — with one vehicle. The MOKV is to follow the RKV effort, but preliminary work on its development has been ongoing for several years.
And the Pentagon could use this as an opportunity to restructure contracts or recompete the entire GMD program, suggested Tom Karako, a missile defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The decision could “represent an inflection point” for homeland missile defense in its entirety, Karako told Defense News.
It’s clear, he said, capability over and above the current kill vehicle is needed — the Defense Department has already spent a fair amount of money on the RKV program — but the Pentagon also has a chance to look at the overall balance of funding to address the North Korea threat and investments to deal with very different missile threats from Russia and China. (Source: Defense News)
30 May 19. Eyes on the prize. A number of companies are exhibiting air defence solutions that could inform the Canadian Army’s future ground-based air defence (GBAD) requirement. An updated GBAD Defence Capabilities Blueprint, released in January this year, outlines a requirement for tactical air defence protection to friendly forces and vital installations during expeditionary and domestic operations. The majority of items to be acquired by this project will be fielded commercial-off-the- shelf technology to defend against rocket, artillery and mortar munitions, air-to-surface missiles and bombs, and remotely piloted aircraft system threats. According to the blueprint, “The Project will deliver an air defence system that will include the effector platform(s) (either guns, missiles, Directed Energy Weapon Systems, EW or a combination thereof), munitions, a sensor suite, fire control software and an integrated networked C4ISR system. It will also be equipped with a training and simulation system that leverages modelling and simulation to provide realistic and immersive training.”
The funding range for the GBAD programme is C$250-499m. Currently in the options analysis phase, the anticipated timeline for the GBAD acquisition includes a definition phase in 2020/21, an implementation phase beginning in 2023/24 and initial system deliveries starting in 2026/27. Final deliveries of the selected system are due in 2029/30.
Saab Canada (Booth 1521) is exhibiting an integrated networked mobile short-range air defence system (MSHORAD) solution that features an RBS70 NG remote weapon station, the Giraffe 1X short-range air defence radar and a Saab Tactical Command and Control System (TaCCS) shown on a General Dynamics Land Systems- Canada LAV 6.0 platform, although the MSHORAD platform has not yet been officially confirmed.
Rheinmetall Canada (Booth 1121) is exhibiting the Oerlikon Skynex networked future air defence system. The core element of Skynex is the Oerlikon Skymaster C2 system, which stays in contact with the other subsystems via a tactical communications network. This enables Rheinmetall to integrate assets such as Skyshield or Skyguard fire units, guided missile launchers or even high-energy laser effectors into the system. At CANSEC, Rheinmetall is presenting the 35mm Oerlikon Revolver Gun Mk3 turret and the Cheetah guided missile launcher.
Nexter Canada (Booth 921) is displaying the 40mm RapidFire compact anti-air gun turret with an integrated Thales 3D GroundMaster radar and ControlMaster C2 system. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 May 19. IAF plans to arm its Su-30MKI fleet with I-Derby ER BVRAAMs. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to arm its fleet of Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighters with the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems I-Derby ER (extended range) beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) once the service phases out its ageing Russian-made Vympel R-77 (AA-12 ‘Adder’) AAMs by 2021–22. Official sources told Jane’s that the IAF is in talks with Rafael to acquire the active radar-guided I-Derby ER, which has a range of 100 km, adding that the procurement process for the missiles could be finalised “imminently”.
The latest developments come after the fire-and-forget I-Derby ER missile, which features a software-defined radar seeker and a dual-pulse solid rocket motor, was selected to be the primary AAM to arm the IAF’s indigenously designed Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) following successful test-firings in July 2018. An earlier version of the Derby, which can be configured as a surface-to-air missile, is also part of the IAF’s 18 Spyder-SR air-defence systems acquired from Rafael in 2008–09 for an estimated USD1bn. Delivery of the Spyder-SR systems, which included 750 Derby missiles, began in 2012 and was completed three years later. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 May 19. India test fires new variant of Akash air defence missile. India has test-fired a medium-range surface to air missile Akash MK1S from the integrated test range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha. The test firing was performed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and follows a test that was completed on 25 May. Akash MK1S is an advanced version of the existing Akash air defence missile and is equipped with a locally developed seeker. It is capable of neutralising advanced aerial targets such as fighter jets, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.
The Akash weapon system features command and active terminal seeker guidance. The Indian Ministry of Defence stated that the missile’s seeker and guidance performance were demonstrated in both missions. Developed by DRDO, the missile can strike targets with high precision.
Akash Mk1S was developed as part of the MoD’s Integrated Guided-Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) in addition to Nag, Agni, Trishul, and Prithvi missiles, reported ANI.
Capable of multi-target engagement, the Akash missile can strike targets up to a range of around 25km and altitude of 18,000m.
DRDO is currently developing several versions of the missile system, including Akash MK1 and MK2. These variants are expected to have improved accuracy and greater ranges.
The Akash missile system joined the Indian Army in May 2015 and the airforce in July 2015.
India is focusing on boosting its air defence capabilities. The country reached a deal with Russia to procure the S-400 air defence system.
In addition, a Unit of Eastern Command, Indian Army test-fired a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile on 22 May from Car Nicobar Islands.
Furthermore, DRDO flight tested a 500kg class inertial guided bomb from a Su-30 MKI combat aircraft. The guided bomb is said to have passed the test, reaching the target with high precision. (Source: army-technology.com)
29 May 19. Hanwha Defence Australia officially launches LAND 400 Phase 3 teaming program. Hanwha Defence Australia (HDA) was formally launched at the Victorian government’s Investment Centre by the CEO of Hanwha Defence Sungsoo Lee – in a major step forward for the company’s bid for LAND 400 Phase 3. Lee presented to HDA’s key industry partners for LAND 400 Phase 3 Mounted Close Combat Capability. The audience included Martin Pakula, the Victorian Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade, and representatives from state government, local council, Australian industry and academia.
The focus of the event was to bring together the LAND 400 Phase 3 Australian industry team to hear directly from the CEO, to meet members of the Hanwha team and to have discussions with Hanwha’s key partners EOS and Elbit. Lee emphasised the team effort required to deliver the Redback infantry fighting vehicle to the Australian Army.
Dr Ben Green, group CEO of EOS, also addressed the audience. While emphasising his support for Hanwha’s leadership in the LAND 400 Phase 3 program; he also highlighted the significance of the high technology contribution of his company and expressed his pride in the development of EOS’s T-2000 Australian turret, arguably the most advanced turret in the world.
Hanwha is accelerating its plans to establish a credible self-reliant Australian manufacturing base in Victoria. While the focus of the event was on the Redback and LAND 400, there was significant interest in the recent announcement by the Prime Minister for the revitalisation of the K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer program, LAND 8112.
This essential capability would be manufactured out of the Geelong area; HDA would be seeking to incorporate the K9 and Redback manufacturing line into its planned Regional Geelong facility, ensuring hundreds of additional jobs and years of additional guaranteed work for both domestic and global programs.
The Redback is the newest IFV in the world leveraging the latest technologies for mission effectiveness. There is also significant commonality between both the K9 and the Redback, including the powerful MTU 1000 hp engine and transmission system.
This provides significant cross platform synergies and logistics efficiencies. Should Hanwha be successful in the evaluation process for these programs, both the K9 and the Redback will be built and maintained in Australia from the same manufacturing facility.
These strategic programs would enable Hanwha Defence Australia to manufacture advanced combat vehicles for both Australia’s domestic and broader international markets.
Lee’s key messages included the forging of true partnerships with Australian industry and the national uplift of Australia’s skills base through Hanwha’s transfer of technology to achieve Australian self-reliance in manufacturing, operating and maintaining advanced combat vehicles. His other message was that Hanwha was here to stay and is rapidly building its footprint in Australia to support the domestic Australian programs and be postured to develop export opportunities for Defence from the Victorian manufacturing base. (Source: Defence Connect)
28 May 19. Beyond INF: An Affordable Arsenal Of Long-Range Missiles? With the landmark INF Treaty likely to expire in August, the US will be free to develop new long-range, land-based missiles to counter China’s — and by Pentagon standards, it could do so pretty cheaply, according to a new study from a highly regarded thinktank.
Converting the Navy’s Tomahawk cruise missile to launch from land would cost about $100m, according to the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments. After development, CSBA continued, each individual land-based Tomahawk missile would cost about $1.4m for a variant that could only hit stationary targets like airbases or $2.5m for one capable of tracking moving targets such as ships.
Weapons with longer ranges and more advanced stealth features to avoid being shot down would cost significantly more, of course. But even the most expensive option CSBA studied in its latest report — a hypersonic boost-glide weapon capable of hitting moving targets 4,000 miles away — would cost only $1.3bn to develop and then $23m per missile.
It turns out that land-based missile batteries are a lot cheaper than missile-carrying bombers and warships — which, of course, is precisely why China has built such a massive arsenal of them. In fact, offensive surface-to-surface missiles are much much cheaper than the missile defense interceptors required to shoot them down, because it’s a lot easier to build a weapon that can hit an airfield or even a warship moving 30 knots than it is to build one that can hit a missile moving hundreds of miles per hour.
CSBA estimates it would take two American THAAD interceptors, at $9.4m apiece, to assure the shoot-down of a single Chinese DF-16, at $6m a shot. (And that’s just the cost of the interceptors — not the system that helps make them effective.) At ratios like those, guess who runs out of ammo first? But by building land-based offensive missiles of its own, CSBA has long argued, the US can turn the tables on China and Russia and pursue a “cost imposition” strategy of its own.
Now, land-based weapons are also much less mobile than bombers and warships, which is why the US, with its far-flung interests, has preferred air- and seapower. But with China and Russia investing heavily in anti-aircraft and anti-ship firepower to blunt America’s edge (a strategy known as Anti-Access/Area Denial), ground-launched missiles are starting to look like an attractive back-up option. So the US Army is reentering the long-range missile business — what it calls strategic fires — for the first time since the INF Treaty banned such weapons in 1987.
(Quick background: INF stands for Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces, but since it’s impossible to tell nuclear and conventional warheads apart from a distance, the pact banned all ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 km, about 310 to 3,418 miles. Air- and sea-launched systems are exempt. The US and USSR signed the treaty in 1987 and the Obama Administration accused Russia of developing banned weapons, leading to the Trump Administration’s withdrawal this year. China has never shown interest in any arms control treaty.).
Now, estimating the cost of future weapons is notoriously tricky. CSBA lead author Jacob Cohn, who kindly walked me through their analysis and corrected (hopefully all of) my mistakes, are the first to put some caveats on their figures. All their estimates for both range and cost are approximations, they emphasized, are not exact. The more novel the weapon, the less precise the estimate.
So we can be pretty confident of CSBA’s figures for converting the sea-launched Tomahawk — in both in its longstanding land-attack variant and its new anti-ship mode — to fire from a truck-based launcher, which the US actually already did, back in the 1980s with the Ground-Launched Cruise Missile (GLCM). CSBA is likewise on firm ground with the cost of converting the existing JASSM/LRASM family of missiles, which are significantly stealthier than Tomahawk and thus harder to shoot down, from air- and sea-launch to ground launch. That said, the actual range of the anti-ship LRASM is a matter of debate, and I used a figure from a different source than CSBA.
By contrast, the thinktank had to extrapolate from historical data to model an extended-range version of the Precision Strike Missile (PRSM), since the Army is currently developing a baseline model with an INF-compliant range of 499km. CSBA had to extrapolate even more for new technologies in the early stages of development, notably, the hypersonic options. Likewise, there’s a lot of extrapolation needed for weapons which would use proven technologies but which the US isn’t currently working on, notably the medium-range (MRBMs) and intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs), types the US hasn’t built since the Pershing II of the 1980s.
Nor is it just the cost of the weapons themselves. In many cases, where future weapons were too big to fit on the Army’s existing HIMARS and MLRS launchers, CSBA went so far as to factor in the cost of converting available trucks into mobile missile platforms. Other essential adjuncts were entirely beyond the study, although the US is investing in capabilities like long-range targeting already.
All that said, CSBA’s estimates all derive from three well-founded principles:
- Converting an existing missile to a new launch platform — in this study, Tomahawk and JASSM/LRASM — is cheaper than developing a new one.
- Building a shorter-range missile is cheaper than building a longer-range one, which requires a large booster.
- Building a missile that can hit static targets on land, like supply depots and airbases, is cheaper than building one that can hit moving targets, like tanks or ships, which requires a sophisticated seeker in the warhead.
On the upside, once you’ve developed a missile smart enough to hit moving targets, it can easily hit static ones as well. (Or you can produce a cheaper, dumbed-down version that can strike fixed targets, saving money at the price of flexibility). That means developing any of the anti-ship missiles in the chart would also give you the land-attack version for no additional development cost.
So, while simply adding up the estimated cost of developing every potential weapon that CSBA studied would give you a total of $12.1bn, a lot of that is double-counting. If you add up only the anti-ship versions — which, again, would give you the land-attack capability as well — you get a total of just $6.5bn, spread out over at least five years.
Besides, in practice, you wouldn’t develop every weapon CSBA explored, since some are similar enough to each other to be redundant. In particular, CSBA’s small Medium Range Ballistic Missile (basically a baby Pershing) and the large MRBM (a super Pershing) are two different approaches to almost the same mission. So while the usual program overruns might well push the costs of individual programs above CSBA’s estimates, the total cost for an array of options should stay in the same range. For a Pentagon that’s spending about $12bn to develop the new B-21 stealth bomber, $7 to $12bn seems a reasonable price to develop an array of new land-based missiles as a backup plan. (Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)
28 May 19. ASU delivers helmet prototypes to USAF. Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) has delivered four prototype helmets to the US Air Force, the company announced on 22 May. ASU is one of thee three finalists selected by the AFWERX Fixed Wing Helmet Challenge in November of 2018. ASU’s prototype is designed to address improved comfort, safety, and ease of integration of future technologies. ASU’s Light Aviation Stable Ergonomic Relaxed-Fit (LASER-Fit) helmet concept is a collaborative effort with Paraclete Aviation Life Support. The solution proposed to improve the air force’s current fixed-wing helmet is designed to reduce neck load, improve comfort and stability, reduce neck injury, and seamlessly integrate with current and future technologies and attachments. The helmets were reviewed by a team of experts from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Human System Division and the Advanced Tactical Acquisitions Corps. The final decision is expected to be made in August 2019 on the final design. A production contract is expected to be awarded to the winner in the fiscal year 2021 that could be up to $20m. (Source: Shephard)
27 May 19. Rob O’Connor of HIPPO Ltd briefed the Chemical Weapons Demilitarisation Conference in London on Project MEPHITIS, part of the DASA “Don’t Blow It!” Competition. The MEPHITIS team aims to safely eliminate chemical weapons in challenging environments. For the project a HIPPO Multipower ATSV has been equipped with a manipulator arm and is operated under remote control by the Digital Concepts Engineering Ltd Marionette system. The remote-controlled arm drills into the chemical weapon using the VALENT APPLICATIONS LIMITED MIDAS system. The chemical agent is then pumped into a decontamination bag where it is neutralised using FAST-ACT, marketed in the UK and Europe by Specialist Response Solutions Ltd. The MEPHITIS system can be deployed into the area of operation by helicopter, towed behind another vehicle or drive under its own power for up to 150 km. A single system can neutralise over 48 chemical shells or up to a tonne of chemical agent while minimising the exposure of human operators. hashtag#cbrn Douglas Broman Gareth Morris Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
27 May 19. INDRA Provides the Sultanate of Oman with An Advanced State-of-the-Art Air Defense System. Indra has completed the deployment of the state-of-the-art AIRDEF air defense system, which is a comprehensive system composed of several components, that protects the interests of the Sultanate of Oman. The system facilitates to the Oman Air Force the planning, execution and monitoring of military missions, as well as the monitoring and identification of cooperative and non-cooperative aircraft in the airspace under its sovereignty, providing a fully integrated approach.
The system merges intelligence data as well as data from other sources to provide an integrated view of the air situation. Its revolutionary interface incorporates data presentation tools that facilitate the functions of each operator. It also has the most advanced functionalities required by the most advanced Armed Forces in the world, and meets the requirements set by higher level organizations, including those for NATO ACCS systems.
Furthermore, the Indra family of radars have proven to be very effective operating in some of the most complex conflict scenarios and adverse environments with strong disturbances.
The company has successfully exported them to countries on five continents and, at this time, they cover air defense throughout Southwest Europe under the command of the Atlantic Alliance. In the last decade, these have been the long-range radars chosen by NATO in all fixed (FADR) and deployable (DADR) configurations tenders that have been made public.
Indra is one of the leading global technology and consulting companies and the technological partner for core business operations of its customers world-wide. It is a world-leader in providing proprietary solutions in specific segments in Transport and Defense markets, and a leading firm in Digital Transformation Consultancy and Information Technologies in Spain and Latin America through its affiliate Minsait. In the 2018 financial year, Indra achieved revenue of €3.104bn, with 43,000 employees, a local presence in 46 countries and business operations in over 140 countries. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Indra)
27 May 19. Rheinmetall and FRAEN Corporation announce joint venture to serve US defense market. By setting up a joint venture in the military fuze sector, the Rheinmetall Group continues to expand its presence in the growing US defense technology market.
Rheinmetall and the FRAEN Corporation have joined forces to establish a joint venture in the United States called Rheinmetall Fraen Fuzes LLC (RFF) which, headed by Rheinmetall, will develop and produce military fuzes. The Düsseldorf, Germany-based technology group will hold a 51 percent share in the new company, with the remaining 49 percent held by FRAEN Corporation. The joint venture will be collocated with FRAEN Corporation headquarters in Reading, Massachusetts.
The combined capabilities of the Rheinmetall Fraen Fuzes joint venture lay the groundwork for establishing a new benchmark in the world of military fuze technology, with intensive research and development poised to create new technical and tactical capabilities.
Rheinmetall brings to the joint venture state-of-the-art technology, innovative drive, unsurpassed quality, and nearly 130 years of experience in developing and producing defense technology systems and products, especially weapon systems, ammunition, and related components. FRAEN Corporation is synonymous with precision fabrication of mechanical and electrical elements, automated production sequences with integrated quality control, and comprehensive production expertise.
In particular, America stands to benefit from the synergy effects arising from the new joint venture, coupled with access to cutting-edge fuze technology – a key component in the production of ammunition – together with an assured source of supply and excellent quality. Based on advanced Rheinmetall technologies and know-how, the creation of research and development capacity in America will be a boon for the US defense industry.
The new company constitutes a key element in the ongoing expansion of Rheinmetall’s Weapon and Ammunition division in the United States, and is an integral part of its strategy of securing existing and future US procurement orders in the weapon and ammunition domain.
As Werner Kraemer, managing director of Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH, put it, “We’re very upbeat about the potential the new company opens up for our customers as well for ourselves. The combined capabilities of FRAEN Corporation and Rheinmetall mean that we’ll be able to offer our American customers the latest fuze technology and highly innovative products: Made in USA.”
“Our goal is to tap into the market for ammunition and grow the company to meet the needs of our customers in the best way possible”, states Nic Scarfo, CEO of FRAEN Corporation. “Combining our capabilities with technologies from Rheinmetall in the United States takes our business to a whole new level. We’ll be able to offer technologies and products that help our armed forces perform their important tasks. We look forward to working together with Rheinmetall!”
Darren Klein, who will lead the joint venture as CEO, stresses that “Rheinmetall Fraen Fuzes is fortunate to be able to build on the robust capabilities, experience, and product portfolios of its parent companies. Thanks to this joint endeavor, we’ll be able to offer our customers the kind of innovative and effective high-quality products they need to carry out their vital mission.”
Rheinmetall Defence is a leading maker of military vehicles and systems. In the USA, the Group is represented by American Rheinmetall Munition and American Rheinmetall Systems. Both subsidiaries are experienced suppliers of the US Department of Defense.
FRAEN Corporation is an innovative, large-volume producer of high-quality, precision metal components and assemblies, specializing in injection casting, punching, and turning.
27 May 19. AerialX “finalising development of counter-UAS armed DroneBullet drone.” Jane’s reports that Canadian counter UAS company AerialX is finalising the development of DroneBullet, “an intuitive, high-speed multi-rotor kinetic energy interceptor solution designed to counter small multirotor and fixed-wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) threats.”
According to the news service: “In development for the past 18 months, DroneBullet is effectively “a hybrid between a missile and a quadcopter”, Noam Kenig, Chief Executive of Vancour, Canada-based AerialX told Jane’s. “It’s more like a missile in terms of its design, flight behaviour, and exceptional approach speed to the target, particularly from above. However, it also has the capability, because it is multi-rotor, to do things that a missile cannot do: stop, land, attack from above, or below, change position, etc; lots of other things that we cannot do in a missile. It doesn’t fly like a normal quadcopter, it flies in a hybrid, high-speed mode,” he added. Designed as a very lightweight man-portable multi-system capability, DroneBullet has a take-off weight of 910 g, is 269 mm in length, and 160 mm in diameter. Housed in a carbon fibre casing, the system is furnished with a nose-mounted day/night camera and a GPS/INS/IMU navigation assembly. Terminal guidance is delivered by an onboard ‘deep learning and machine vision’ system.” https://www.janes.com/article/88754/aerialx-unveils-intuitive-cuas-development (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
23 May 19. RAF Typhoon Jets Trial Miniature Missile Decoy Device. Speaking at the Typhoon Ministerial Meeting in Germany, Defence Minister Stuart Andrew announced the beginning of a series of capability tests of BriteCloud, a drinks-can sized missile decoy to protect combat jets from the latest radar-guided missiles.
BriteCloud uses powerful radar emissions to disrupt the targeting system within air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, drawing them away to a safe distance. The device can be fired from an aircraft flare dispenser without the need for modification to the aircraft.
Designed and manufactured in Luton by Leonardo, the miniature decoy has been tested and released for the first time aboard the RAF’s fleet of Typhoon aircraft. The MOD has been working with Leonardo on the development of BriteCloud since 2012 and has so far invested £27m in the system, with the project sustaining 50 jobs in Luton.
Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said: “Britecloud offers the RAF a powerful and cost-effective way to keep our pilots safer than ever on the frontline. These trials show UK industry is once again at the heart of defence innovation, providing our Armed Forces with state-of-the-art capabilities and creating high-tech jobs across the country.”
The first Britecould trial with Typhoon aircraft took place in the UK in April. Thirty three BriteCloud 55 rounds were dispensed from aircraft flown by the RAF’s 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron against a range of threats designed to mirror those faced on the battlefield.
Further trials are planned to ensure the decoy launches safely from the aircraft and to develop a range of operational uses for the technology on the battlefield, including adding the devices to military helicopters and C-130 Hercules aircraft. The Typhoon trials will also inform how such decoys could be used on the RAF’s Lightning stealth jets.
Should the trials be succesful, the devices will be available for frontline aircrews by the end of 2019.
Sir Simon Bollom, CEO of the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, said:
“Our ongoing partnership with Leonardo continues to drive vital research and development that leads to the kind of innovation demanded by our RAF today. The trials of BriteCloud on Typhoon demonstrates how we are constantly striving to find a technological edge and protect our service personnel.”
Wg Cdr Pete Ward, SO1 Typhoon said: “The initial flight-trial of Bright-cloud from RAF Typhoon aircraft was a key milestone in moving closer towards a viable and extremely valuable capability for the warfighter; trials will now move to operational testing and validation before the initial operating capability is declared, planned at this time for later in 2019”
The MOD invested £4.4bn with industry in in the South-East in 2017/18, sustaining almost 27,000 jobs across the region. (Source: ASD Network/UK MoD)
23 May 19. When it comes to missile-killing lasers, the US Navy is ready to burn its ships. The U.S. Navy’s Director of Surface Warfare is ready to bet the farm on using lasers to shoot down missiles. The outgoing head of the Chief of Naval Operations’ surface warfare directorate Rear Adm. Ron Boxall said the Navy is going to get its High Energy Laser and Integrated Optical-dazzler with Surveillance system on the Hawaii-based destroyer Preble in 2021, a moment that he compared with Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortez ordering his own ships scuttled to motivate his men.
“The key for us is HELOS: A shipboard laser that will take the place of what we have now,” Boxall said, referring to systems such as the Close-in Weapon System and Rolling Airframe Missile, in a May interview with Defense News.
“When Cortez burned his boats it was a message that they were going to win, and they were only going to win by going forward,” he continued. “Similarly, we are making the decision to put the laser on our DDGs. It’s going to start with Preble in 2021, and when we do that, that will now be her close-in weapon that we now continue to upgrade.”
HELIOS, a 60-kilowatt laser with room to grow to 150 kilowatts, is being developed by Lockheed Martin, which also produces to the Aegis combat system on the DDG. The laser is going to be fully integrated into the combat system as well as the power system, Boxall said.
“We’re not only going to [take from] Aegis, we’re going to [talk to] Aegis,” he said. “A lot of people think that lasers are just something that shoots but lasers are also a very good sensor. As you get closer to a radar, your radar gets worse. As you get closer to a laser, it gets better.”
The big hurdle, Boxall said, is getting the laser integrated with Aegis so that its feeding high-fidelity sensor data into the combat system. He’s less focused on increasing the power of the laser at the moment, but added “that’s also going very well.”
As for getting it integrated, Lockheed Martin representatives have said the system is on track for the 2021 date with the Preble, and that the system will be just as much a part of the ship as the vertical launch system.
“You’re going to be able to pass tracks back and forth between the Aegis system and the laser subsystem,” said Brandon Shelton, Lockheed Martin’s HELIOS program director. “It’s also going to be structurally integrated into the ship – it’s not going to be bolted on. And its integrated into the ship’s power system – we’re not going to be bringing extra energy magazines or batteries on to the ship. It fits within the ships power.”
The system went through a design review with the Navy in March, Shelton said, and that by the end of the year Lockheed will start systems integration at their Moorestown, New Jersey, campus. Lockheed expects to have integration done by the middle of 2020. (Source: Defense News)
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.