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04 Jul 19. Serbia to get new Malyutka 2 missiles. The Serbian Military Technical Institute (MTI) has confirmed to Jane’s that development of two new versions of the Malyutka anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) has been completed and will enter service with the Serbian Army later this year.
The first one to enter service will be the Malyutka 2F, which is fitted with a thermobaric warhead that is said by MIT to be equivalent to 8 kg of TNT and highly effective against dug-in infantry. The second will be the Malyutka 2T, which is fitted with a tandem high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead that is claimed to be able to penetrate 800 mm of conventional steel armour protected by explosive reactive armour (ERA).
Both of these Malyutka ATGWs have a maximum range of up to 3,000 m. Guidance can be via the older, manual command to line-of sight (MCLOS) method or via the more recent semi-automatic command to line-of sight (SACLOS) mode, with commands to the missile from the launcher being made through a radio frequency channel rather than the weapon being wire-guided.
In addition to being deployed in a conventional ground-based configuration, Serbia has deployed earlier versions of these ATGWs, which are based on a Russian design, on a dedicated BOV 4×4 armoured personnel carrier (APC) and BVP M80 series infantry fighting vehicles (IFV).
MIT has also confirmed that development of the Malyutka 2T5 ATGW, which features a more powerful HEAT warhead, is still under way. MIT claims this weapon, which is much longer and needs a longer launch rail, will penetrate up to 1,000 mm of armour protected by ERA and can reach targets out to a range of 5,000 m. Using its SACLOS guidance system, all the operator has to do is keep the system’s sight on the target until missile impact. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
04 Jul 19. GMRLS Missiles From Diehl And Roxel. Diehl Defence and Roxel France signed a cooperation agreement for artillery rockets at the Paris Airshow. Diehl can refer to experience in the development of guided and unguided artillery rockets and know-how in innovative warhead technology, while Roxel develops and manufactures modern rocket engines. The partners support efforts in Europe to re-establish a production line for artillery rockets of US origin for the GMLRS (Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System), which is in use in many European countries, including Germany and France. At the end of the 1980s, Diehl had already produced large quantities of the MLRS rockets developed in USA for the British, German, French and Italian armed forces under licence; later, the company implemented a GMLRS warhead solution with intelligent submunition for the Bundeswehr. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
04 Jul 19. At a festive ceremony held on Tuesday, the President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benjamin Netanyahu, and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, awarded the Israel Defense Prize to projects and operations that contributed to the security of Israel and to its qualitative military edge and technological superiority.
The Israel Defense Prize for 2019 was awarded to the men and women involved in the following projects: RAFAEL’s SPICE 1000TM weapon system, the campaign to expose Hezbollah tunnels in the north, the Mossad operation in an Iranian nuclear archive, and a technological development project of the Israel Security Agency (ISA).
SPICE 1000TM is part of RAFAEL’s wider air-to-surface SPICE Family (250, 1000, 2000) of stand-off, autonomous, air-to-ground weapon systems that attack targets with pinpoint accuracy and at high attack volumes, without depending on GPS navigation in GPS-denied environments. SPICE is combat-proven with the Israeli Air Force and is in operational service with a number of international users. To date, RAFAEL has received the prestigious prize 52 times, for breakthroughs such as the IRON DOMETM, DAVID’s SLINGTM, TROPHYTM, POPEYETM and many more.
President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin: “The role of the defense establishment and the civilian industries that accompany it is to be the invisible defensive wall that pushes conflict behind enemy lines, and allow us citizens to continue to go about our daily lives. This is the reason we invest so heavily in creative and ground-breaking technological development. I want to thank you and your families for the exhausting and dedicated work, and for the endless effort you have invested and continue to invest.”
Israel’s Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Benjamin Netanyahu: “We will always defend ourselves. And our true force is in the minds and hearts that are present here. You, the winners of the Israel Defense Prize, have made a fundamental contribution to our defense and deterrence. You have all done an excellent job. Go forth and succeed in ensuring the eternity of our nation.”
04 Jul 19. US Army to launch ten SHORAD battalions. The US Army is working on rebuilding a short-range air defence (SHORAD) capability to defend manoeuvre units against aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) and cruise missiles. Air Defense Artillery School commandant colonel Mark Holler said that the service deactivated most of the SHORAD battalions a decade ago in view of the need for manoeuvre brigade combat teams for counter-insurgency operations. The renewed focus on SHORAD units is due to the need for significant capability and capacity to stand up to the might of adversaries. Holler added that the army realised this during the conflict in Ukraine. Efforts to re-establish the units will be driven by bringing back the Avenger, which was developed in the 1980s and first entered service with the army in 1990. Avenger features a modified HMMWV with a turret on top and two pods of Stinger missiles. In recent years, the systems have been assigned to the National Guard or stored in depots. Last year, the army reactivated 72 Avengers from Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania.
The service aims to re-establish ten SHORAD battalions to protect critical assets within each of its divisions. The first four of these ten units are planned to be opened by 2024.
The plan is to eventually upgrade these battalions from Avengers to the new Manoeuvre SHORAD (M-SHORAD) on a Stryker platform.
M-SHORAD system consists of two hellfire missiles, a 30mm chain gun, a 7.62 machine gun and four Stinger missiles.
As part of the plans to establish SHORAD battalions, the army is offering a five-week pilot course on Stinger air defence missiles for soldiers in manoeuvre units.
The five-week class involves teaching infantry and armour soldiers about the man-portable air defence system (MANPADS). It will serve as a stop-gap arrangement to protect manoeuvre units from threats.
The training course certifies soldiers to operate the Stinger MANPADS missile launcher in two-man teams. (Source: army-technology.com)
03 Jul 19. DST research to mitigate brain injury from under vehicle blasts. DST scientists have conducted a range of research to limit the impact of concussive brain injuries on soldiers travelling in armoured vehicles. Soldiers in vehicles subjected to underbelly blasts can sustain serious head and neck injuries caused by their head impacting the interior roof of the vehicle.
DST’s Dr Melanie Franklyn, an expert in the biomechanics of injury, wanted to determine if retrofitting foam padding to the upper interior of the cabin could help mitigate the risk of serious injury.
“When an IED detonates beneath a vehicle, the blast doesn’t always breach the vehicle’s hull. Instead, the force of the blast can deform the structure of the vehicle, propelling the occupants upwards and into the roof with considerable force,” Dr Franklyn explains.
Brain injury acquired through military service is a concern for Australia and its allies, with a number of returned service men and women suffering some form of traumatic brain injury, typically caused by a motor vehicle accident, gunshot wound, fall or improvised explosive device. Such injuries can result in short or long-term memory loss, changes in behaviour, poor balance, dizziness and confusion; or in the most severe cases, death.
Aware that very few military vehicles have interior padding on the roof, Dr Franklyn wanted to determine if this relatively straightforward measure could make an impact on the risk of serious injury.
“We found that foam padding actually had negligible effect on the potential for head injury, however wearing [a] helmet was critical in preventing a serious injury or fatality. Our aim was to determine if retrofitting energy absorbing foam to the interior of the roof could mitigate serious head and neck injury, and what effect wearing a military helmet would have,” Dr Franklyn added.
Using test equipment provided by Holden Australia modified to accurately replicate the unique ‘underbelly’ blast effects, Dr Franklyn and her team tested three foams at five different velocities, conducting the tests with a headform both wearing and not wearing a military helmet.
Through their research, Dr Franklyn and her team were able to determine the impact velocities that are likely to result in serious head injury and identify how many impacts a helmet (either the helmet shell or the padding) could be subjected to before it loses its protective qualities.
Dr Franklyn explained, “This data gives us a good indication of what blast magnitudes are significant in terms of causing serious traumatic brain injury, which helps in the development of protective measures such as the optimisation of helmet design for blunt impacts.”
Knowledge of the thresholds also enables new vehicle standards to be developed to prevent serious brain injury. (Source: Defence Connect)
03 Jul 19. Diehl, Safran team for Hussar glide munition development. Diehl Defence of Germany and Safran Electronics & Defense of France have signed an co-operative agreement for the development of a lightweight tactical air-to-surface guided glide munition.
The munition, designated Hussar is, in the first instance, intended to equip fighter aircraft platforms – such as the current generation of Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon multirole combat aircraft – and tactical and medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft systems (UASs). The weapon system will also be offered for next-generation air combat platforms such the French/German/Spanish New-Generation Fighter/Système de Combat Aérien du Futur (NGF/SCAF) and the UK-led Tempest system. The Hussar initiative is designed to address a requirement identified by the French Air Force in recent combat operations, and will also be offered to the German Air Force as a force multiplier for its air-to-surface munitions inventory. Still in the concept development phase, Hussar is envisaged as an ITAR-free 20 kg-class low-collateral damage precision-guided tactical air-to-surface weapon system, 1,000mm long, with semi-active laser terminal (SAL) guidance and a 2.5kg scalable effects warhead. While the design has not been finalised, released graphics and models show cruciform rear actuator assembly and a mid-body single folding wing. The munition will have an engagement range, depending on a release altitude of about 20 km, with a circular error probable (CEP) of 1m. The missile will be optimised for the engagement of time sensitive, lightly armoured moving and stationary targets.
“The basic concept is for an unpowered glide munition, although future developments could see the addition of a propulsion system,” a Diehl company spokesperson told Jane’s. “While the baseline version will have a SAL seeker, other seeker options systems could be considered,” the spokesperson added. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 19. Serbia’s MTI develops improved anti-tank mine. The Military Technical Institute (MTI), part of the Serbian Ministry of Defence (MoD), has confirmed that it is developing a modernised version of the TMRP-6 anti-tank mine (ATM), known as the TMRP-6E.
ATMs typically use a high-explosive (HE) blast effect charge to disable an armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) but the TMRP-6 uses an explosively formed penetrator (EFP)-type warhead that is claimed to be able to penetrate between 40 mm and 80 mm of steel.
The original TMRP-6 ATM had a mechanical fuze but the TMRP-6E has an electronic fuze on top of the mine, with the actual casing constructed of plastic so it is more difficult to detect.
According to MTI, the electronic fuze enables reliable target identification using magnetic and vibration sensors, with mine settings being controlled via encrypted communications with an external device.
According to Sasa Savic, who works in MTI’s armament and vehicle sector, “The TMRP-6E is expected to be qualified in the next 12 months.”
Advantages over the previous version include the “possibility of satellite mapping of minefields, top efficiency on the aim, advanced algorithm against magnetic mine actuating systems, [and] complete diagnostics of the status”, MTI added. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 19. China fires anti-ship missile in South China Sea. China has conducted an anti-ship missile test-firing in the South China Sea, a US Department of Defense (DoD) spokesperson told Jane’s in a 2 July statement, confirming parts of an NBC News report published a day earlier stating that the firing had taken place on 30 June.
The spokesperson, who described the event as “disturbing”, said that a missile had been launched from one of China’s “man-made structures in the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands”.
A CNBC report claimed that the weapon fired was an anti-ship ballistic missile, citing “two US officials with knowledge of the matter”. This, however, was not confirmed by the Pentagon, but neither was it dismissed. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
03 Jul 19. Russia unveils 2S42 Lotos amphibious self-propelled mortar. Rostec subsidiary TsNIITochmash presented the 2S42 Lotos air-droppable amphibious self-propelled gun-mortar system at the Army 2019 defence exhibition held in Kubinka, outside Moscow, from 25 to 30 June. The system had previously been displayed as a scale model at the 2017 exhibition.
The 2S42 Lotos is intended for Russia’s Airborne Forces (VDV) as a light artillery vehicle with significant mobility, and is based on the same stretched variant of the BMD-4M chassis as the Sprut-SDM1, with seven roadwheels instead of the five on the BMD-4M. The BMD-4M chassis is in wide use with the VDV – it can be air-dropped with all crew inside, so that the vehicle is ready for combat within moments after landing. According to Veniamin Schastlitsev, the head designer of Lotos, the air-drop capability was required for Lotos too.
The 2S42 weighs 18 tonnes and can likewise be air-dropped with its crew of four from inside Il-76 or larger aircraft. It is amphibious with no preparation and capable of reaching a top speed of 70 km/h on roads, or 40 km/h off-road, a factsheet displayed with the vehicle said.
Lotos’ primary armament appears to be a breech-loaded smoothbore 120 mm gun-mortar, designated 2A80-1, and this is the same armament as that used on the 2S34 Hosta self-propelled artillery system. It is understood to have entered service with the Russian forces in 2011.
The 2A80-1 is capable of firing 6–8 rounds/minute, has a minimum range of 1 km, and a maximum range of 13 km. The turret for the gun-mortar is capable of traversing through 360° and can fire from any traverse position. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 19. This unit’s going airborne with the US Army’s newest sniper rifle. Soldiers with the 82nd Airborne recently conducted tests of the Army’s newest offering for a compact sniper rifle — and they liked it. Earlier this month snipers with the 82nd at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, put the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System through airborne infiltration test trials.
One of the Operational Test Command’s Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate NCOs, Sgt. 1st Class Ross Martin, said in a release that the compact nature of the rifle is appealing to airborne forces who have to maneuver their equipment in cramped planes for jumps.
Typically, the longer-barrel standard rifles can be cumbersome.
“Current sniper systems are equipped with 20-inch barrels, sound suppression systems and full-length stocks that provide accuracy and a stable firing platform required of any precision rifle,” said David Parris, a CSASS trainer with U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command’s Soldier Weapons Support.
As the Army shifts focus to dense urban environments the equipment, such as the sniper rifle, follow suit.
“The CSASS is smaller, lighter, and more ergonomic, as the majority of the changes were requested by the soldiers themselves,” said Victor Yarosh told Army Times in 2018. Yarosh works on the Army’s Soldier Weapons program.
“The rifle is easier to shoot and has less recoil, all while shooting the same round as the M110. [Additionally,] the CSASS has increased accuracy, which equates to higher hit percentages at longer ranges,” Yarosh said.
The newest CSASS not only has a shorter barrel, but also an adjustable stock for easier transport and comfort.
“The CSASS is much shorter and lighter than our current system, which will make long dismounted movements and reaction to contact more efficient,” said Spc. Nicholas Farmer, a sniper in C Troop, 1st Battalion, 73rd Cavalry Regiment.
Most M4s max out at near 300 meters, but the CSASS allows shooters to reach out to 600 meters. The new rifle can fire the M80A1 Enhanced Performance Round and the XM1158 Advanced Armor Piercing Round.
It has a different buttstock and barrel twist than previous CSASS models, comes in just under 10 pounds and uses a Sig Sauer Tango 6 variable 1×6 power scope.
Spc. William Holland, a sniper with 2nd BN, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, said that the rifle is “lightweight and compact, [which] makes for a more manageable load during post drop operations.”
Being airborne, the soldiers rely on maintaining their weapon’s optic zero, given the jostling and sometimes hard impact nature of their jobs.
To measure how well the CSASS maintains that zero, the test team used a mobile weapons bore sight collimator to ensure the “pre-mission” zero was not degraded by parachute infiltration shock.
Once this data was collected, snipers conducted a known distance live fire after static line and military free fall operations.
Military Times reported in January that Special Operations Command snipers will soon use the Sig Sauer TANGO6T 1-6×24 Riflescope for their CSASS.
Sig Sauer also won the optic competition for the Army’s Squad Designated Marksman Rifle with their TANGO6 scope.
The SDMR program has been part of a larger shift for the Army to put sniper-like capabilities inside of the squad, giving the base unit of the formation more range and lethality with its M110 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System, or CSASS.
Tactically, Army leaders see the sniper as a force enhancer because they can conduct a number of missions.
“They provide a surveillance mission where they use their high-powered scope to observe activity downrange,” Yarosh said. “A sniper can pin down an enemy force through sniper concealment and engagement to provide the right shots at the right time. They can also prevent an enemy force from moving out of cover, which allows our maneuver forces to exploit the enemy by moving into a better position and engage.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Army Times)
02 Jul 19. Russian Troops Will Be Getting Tactical Bomb Drones. Having learned from ISIS attacks in Syria, Russia is rushing to put armed drones on the front lines. Following in the footsteps of U.S. Marines and Special Forces, the Russian military is looking to outfit soldiers with small multi-rotor drones armed with explosives, the Russian Defense Ministry told Russian news site Izvestia.
“It is planned that the new flight vehicles will perform not only reconnaissance missions, but also strike targets with miniature bombs” the news site notes. The outlet doesn’t say exactly how big the drones will be, only that they will go to divisions and brigades of the ground and airborne forces as well as special operations forces and marines.
In some ways, Russia is following the footsteps of the U.S.military. In 2015, U.S. Special Forces began experimenting with small insect-like drones for gathering intelligence and surveillance. Last February, the U.S. Marines announced that they would be distributing quadcopters to every brigade. The U.S. Army will also distribute the small “Black Hornet” insect drones from defense contractor FLIR to soldiers with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan (the British Army was the first to use them there in 2011.) But there’s a big difference, the U.S. military has not said that the small drones they are pushing to troops on the front lines will carry bombs or other weapons.
The Russian plan was informed by soldiers’ experience in Syria, according to Izvestia. In January 2018, ISIS attacked a Russian military base with hobbyist quadcopter drones rigged to carry and drop explosives.
The Russian military’s decision to send small bomb drones to the front lines “once again highlights how much the experience in Syria has influenced Russian military operations,” said Sam Bendett, a researcher at the CNA Corporation and a member of CNA’s Center for Autonomy and AI as well as a fellow in Russia studies at the American Foreign Policy Council.
“We are seeing the full-scale adoption by a major national military of technologies that were first used very effectively by a non-state actor,” he said. “While on the receiving end of the [consumer-off-the-shelf] small quadcopter strikes, the Russian defense establishment was able to determine how and why such systems would be used.”
Russia’s adoption of a wide variety of drones, from large unmanned strike aircraft to small quadcopters, could be a “boon for Russian UAV manufacturers,” said Bendett. “Many developers have in fact built, tested and showcased quadric-and multi-rotor copters at events like the recently-concluded Army-2019 expo, with the hope of potential [Ministry of Defense] contracts,” he told Defense One. (Source: Defense One)
02 Jul 19. Serbia showcases modular rocket launcher. Serbia’s Yugoimport SDPR has unveiled a new 267 mm/122 mm multiple rocket launcher system (MRLS), developed for the export market using internal funding.
To provide mobility and rapid deployment after a fire mission, the new system is based on a KAMAZ 6560 8×8 chassis. According to a Yugoimport official, however, there could be other 8×8 platform options.
This 8×8 platform is fitted with powered steering on the front four wheels and a central tyre-inflation system (CTIS) that is operated by the driver from an armoured three-person cab. A machine gun for self-defence is mounted on the right side of the cab’s roof.
A power-operated turntable, which is mounted on the rear, can be fitted two pods each of 24x122mm unguided surface-to-surface rockets or two pods each of six 267mm unguided rockets.
When carrying two pods of 122mm rockets, an additional two pods of 122mm rockets can be carried. Yugoimport is marketing 122mm unguided rockets with ranges of 20.3km, 28km, 40km, and 50km, although the 50 km range weapon has yet to enter production. The 267mm rocket has a stated maximum range of up to 70 km but has yet to be qualified or enter production.
The launcher has powered traverse of 110° left and right, and powered elevation from 3 to 60°. This can be carried out in automatic, semi-automatic, or manual modes. The rockets can be launched from the cab or by remote control from 25 m away, with the operator selecting either single rockets or firing at time intervals of 0.8 to four seconds. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 19. Brazil considers VSHORAD system for Atlantico. The Brazilian Navy is considering installing three of its MBDA SIMBAD (Système Intégré de MISTRAL Bitube d’Auto-Défense) air defence systems on its PHM Atlantico(A140) multi-purpose helicopter carrier, service officials told Jane’s. The SIMBADs were formerly part of aircraft carrier NAe São Paulo (A12), which was officially decommissioned on 22 November 2018.
This potential installation of the SIMBADs will enable the navy to significantly improve the ship’s self-protection capability without acquiring a costly new similar system.
The SIMBAD installation to PHM Atlantico is part of a study being run by Navy Weapon Systems Directorate, which is meant to evaluate adding several improvements to the ship. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 19. Serbia develops 20mm remote-controlled weapon. Serbia has built a first example of a remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS), designated the 20/1 mm Kiklop, that Yugoimport SDPR is offering for export. The RCWS is armed with a single Hispano 20mm (Model M55) single-feed cannon. For most applications a drum magazine holding 60 rounds of 20x110mm ammunition is normally mounted above the weapon, but for this application it is mounted below. The sensor pod is mounted externally on the left side and includes a day camera, thermal imager, and laser rangefinder (it moves in elevation with the 20 mm cannon).
This ammunition has a muzzle velocity of 850 m/s and Serbia is quoting a maximum effective range of around 2,000m. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 19. Serbia’s 105mm M56 howitzer back in production. Production of the upgraded Serbian 105mm M56 towed howitzer fitted with a 33-calibre barrel has commenced for an undisclosed export customer, which signed a contract for 36 weapons (two battalions, each with 18 weapons).
The contract, which was placed with Yugoimport SDPR in 2017, covers new M56s, and this is the first time that new M56/33 calibre howitzers have been built in Serbia. The first weapons will be sent in July.
The original M56 was developed for the former Yugoslavia and was exported to countries including Cyprus, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Mexico, and Myanmar, but production was completed. The M56 was fitted with a 105mm, 27.8-calibre barrel with a triple baffle muzzle brake. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 19. Nammo signs record ammo deal with Norway. Nammo has signed a four-year framework agreement with the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organization (NDLO) for ammunition deliveries to the Norwegian armed forces. Worth in excess of NOK 1.7bn, the agreement will support Norway’s efforts to improve its levels of training and operational readiness, and represents the largest ever ammunition contract entered into in Norway.
‘We are honoured by the trust placed in us by such a demanding customer as the Norwegian armed forces,’ Morten Brandtzæg, president and CEO of the Nammo Group, said.
Norwegian defence minister Frank Bakke-Jensen emphasised the importance of the agreement in addressing the longstanding concern regarding ammunition supply.
‘It is absolutely crucial that the armed forces have sufficient ammunition both for day-to-day operations and for its readiness stores,’ he said.
‘This has been a challenge for several years, and I’m very pleased that we will now get this resolved.’
The framework agreement sets the terms for a series of subsequent agreements between Nammoand the NDLO. The first of these was signed during the ceremony that took place in Oslo, and it outlines the expected deliveries to the Norwegian armed forces over the coming four years.
This allows Nammo to plan and deliver more efficiently, as well as secure long-term supplies of critical raw materials and components. Nammo and NDLO also signed a letter of intent to pursue a second agreement within the scope of the framework agreement, which will detail Nammo’s role in preserving Norway’s national security of supply. (Source: Shephard)
03 Jul 19. Canberra-based company lands $1m defence industry capability grant. XTEK is set to establish a composites manufacturing facility for its combat armour products after it earned a $1m Sovereign Industry Capability Priority (SICP) grant.
The Canberra-based company confirmed that the investment will assist XTEK to ensure top quality results for recent contract wins from the US DoD, foreign customer orders and domestic development contracts.
The SICP grant provides funding to local small-to-medium enterprises to supply critical defence capabilities, with a focus on “accelerating the growth of a robust, resilient Australian SME industrial base capable of providing significant contribution to key defence priorities”.
“We are pleased to be a recipient of the SICP, as it represents validation by the Australian Department of Defence of the advanced capabilities of our XTclave technology for producing ballistic protection products,” Philippe Odouard, managing director of XTEK said.
“The funding supports the execution of our broader strategy to commercialise our state-of-the-art technology by enhancing our production and testing capability for our proprietary ballistic helmets and armour plates.”
The new production facility is expected to be finished in the coming months, and “will provide XTEK with a commercial scale manufacturing capability to deliver products by the end of the year”. (Source: Defence Connect)
02 Jul 19. Serbia developing new 120mm mortar bombs. Serbia is developing new 120mm mortar bombs for local use and export sales, all of which are for 120mm smooth bore mortars that are already manufactured in the country. The bombs can be used with the 120mm M74 towed mortar system manufactured by Serbia’s Namenska Special Products Factory and sold externally by Yugoimport-SDPR. The first of these new 120mm mortar bombs is the NMM-120 guided mortar round (GMR), which has a maximum range of up to 9 km, depending on the mortar it is fired from, according to the Facility of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Belgrade, which is developing the mortar.
The complete GMR weighs 15.5kg – of which 2.9 kg is the high-explosive (HE) content (RDX/TNT or TNT) – and it has an overall length of 800 mm. The NMM-120 GMR is claimed to have a 10 m circular error probable (CEP). It has a nose-mounted guidance/fuze module that corrects the path to the target in the final phase of the flight. The nose-mounted fuze can be set for impact or proximity mode.
Serbia is also developing a rocket-assisted (RA) 120mm mortar bomb that would have a maximum range of up to 15km, according to the Facility of Mechanical Engineering. The rocket nozzles are located towards the end of the main body of the mortar bomb. Total weight is quoted as 19.83kg, of which 1.65kg is HE, and the mortar bomb has an overall length of 888mm. It is fitted with a nose-mounted UTU M93 P1 fuze and has a maximum muzzle velocity of 307m/s, according to Yugoimport. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Jul 19. Russian Aerospace Defense Forces Successfully Test New Anti-Ballistic Missile. Russian Aerospace Defense Forces have tested a new anti-ballistic missile at the Sary-Shagan training range in Kazakhstan, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/TASS)
01 Jul 19. Indian Air Force orders Russian-made anti-tank missiles for USD29m. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has signed a INR2bn (USD29m) deal with Russia for the acquisition of an undisclosed number of 9M120 Ataka (AT-9 ‘Spiral-2’) anti-tank missiles to arm its fleet of Mil Mi-25/35 ‘Hind’ twin-engined attack helicopters. Official sources told Jane’s on 1 July that the IAF signed a contract in late June with Russia’s state-owned export agency, Rosoboronexport, to acquire the precision-guided weapons, deliveries of which are scheduled to begin later this year.
They said the Ataka missiles are expected to equip two IAF squadrons comprising 20-odd Mi-25/35s, most of which are deployed along India’s northern and western borders with Pakistan. Each of these platforms is capable of carrying up to eight Ataka missiles with a strike range of up to 6km. No details were provided about the Ataka variant(s) that were ordered. Military sources told Jane’s that the deal was signed under the newly enhanced emergency financial powers granted to all three Indian military services in late 2018 to make ‘critical’ materiel purchases of up to INR5bn each time to meet ‘urgent’ operational needs.
In this context they said this new financial provision was invoked by the IAF after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had proven unsuccessful in procuring the missiles, despite years of negotiation.
The order comes as the IAF expects the first four of 22 Boeing ‘AH-64E (I)’ Apache Guardian attack helicopters it ordered in 2015 for INR139.5bn to arrive in India later in July. The Apaches will be transported by a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft to the Pathankot Air Force Station in northern India, close to the Pakistan border, where they will be commissioned into service and supplement the IAF’s Mi-25/35 helicopter squadrons. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 June 19. US Navy eyes new launchers on destroyers for hypersonic weapons. With bigger, faster missiles in development and bound for the fleet, the U.S. Navy’s engineers are considering installing upgraded launchers on the stalwart Arleigh Burke-class destroyers.
The head of Naval Sea Systems Command, Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, told an audience at a conference of naval engineers that the Arleigh Burkes — due to their vertical launch system and Aegis missile capabilities — were easier to keep relevant than other destroyers such as the Adams and Spruance classes. Still, with the service attempting to keep the ships longer, new launchers may be in order to pace the threat from Russia and China, which have been developing their own hypersonic weapons.
“Vertical launch system has been a real game changer for us. We can shoot any number of things out of those launchers,” Moore said. “We’ll probably change those out and upgrade them for prompt strike weapons down the road.”
Putting hypersonic weapons on surface ships would greatly increase the effectiveness of their strike capabilities. The current main strike weapon, the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile, is a subsonic missile that is vulnerable to evermore advanced Russian and Chinese air defenses.
Prompt strike, which refers to a Pentagon-wide effort to field hypersonic weapons to quickly strike anywhere in the world, are most likely coming first to submarines, said Thomas Callender, a retired submarine officer and analyst with the Heritage Foundation. Because subs are stealthy and can sneak in close to land undetected more easily than a surface ship, they make the most sense.
“They’re looking at putting hypersonics on submarines first because where you can get access,” Callender said. “You can potentially then put them on surface ships as an added capability for them, but the submarines would be the priority for access and the ranges you can achieve.”
The Navy is designing a new large surface combatant to replace the cruisers and ultimately the destroyers with larger missiles in mind. As a result, the ship may be fairly large, former Surface Warfare Director Rear Adm. Ron Boxall told Defense News last year.
The benefit of larger vertical launch cells is that you can pack more missiles into each cell, if you are not using the cell for the larger hypersonic missiles, Boxall said.
“We are going to need, we expect, space for longer-range missiles,” he said. They are going to be bigger. So the idea that you could make a bigger cell, even if you don’t use it for one big missile, you could use it for multiple missiles — quad-pack, eight-pack, whatever.”
The missiles that would go into a larger launcher are still very much under development.
The Navy is teamed with the Army to develop a booster for a hypersonic missile, and the Army is leading a team with the Navy and Air Force to internally build a common glide body that is producible on a larger scale.
Naval Sea Systems Command is also examining installation of a scaled-down version of the air and missile defense radar AN/SPY-6, under development for the Flight III DDG. The scope of that project, however, remains to be determined.
“We are looking at a scaled-back version of the air and missile defense radar to back-fit the Flight Is and Flight IIs, similar to how we are looking for a version of the [Enterprise Air Search Radar] developed for [the Ford-class aircraft carriers] to back-fit on some of the old Nimitz class,” Moore said.
“I’m not sure how many ships it is going to go on, we’re still doing the design work. It’s a fairly significant change to the structure of the ship, AMDR versus Spy.”
The purpose of the upgrade would be used to track the faster, more dynamic missiles under development by Russia and China.
The array is a smaller version of the SPY-6 intended for the Flight III DDG, the first of which is now under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries. The SPY-6 destined for DDG-125 will have 37 radar modular assemblies, or RMA, which are 2-foot-by-2-foot-by-2-foot boxes that use gallium nitride technology to direct radar energy on air targets. The Flight IIA version will have 24 RMAs in the array.
A version of the radar planned for the FFG(X) future frigate is a nine-RMA configuration.
The Navy wants to upgrade all of its DDGs to Aegis Baseline 9 or higher with a ballistic missile defense capability and extend the service lives to 45 years as part of an effort to grow the fleet.
But the Navy is going to try to get 50 years out of its Flight IIA ships. The IIAs make up the bulk of the DDG fleet, with 46 total planned for the service — DDG-79 through DDG-124. DDG-127 will also be a Flight IIA.
That upgraded SPY-6 will be far easier to maintain than the current SPY-1D. Raytheon claims the radar can be maintained by simply removing an RMA and switching it out with a new one, with the rest of the work performed offsite. (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)
01 Jul 19. SIG SAUER, Inc. introduced ground-breaking innovation to the P320 pistol, and the expansion of the SIG SAUER Legion Series of pistols with the SIG SAUER P320 XFIVE Legion. The pistol features the exclusive TXG grip module developed by SIG SAUER engineers with a patent-pending process by infusing tungsten into the polymer material providing the weight of steel with the flex of polymer. Additionally, this is the first striker-fired pistol to be introduced to the Legion Series of pistols.
“We are really excited about the introduction of the SIG SAUER P320 XFIVE Legion to the market because it embodies the forward-thinking SIG SAUER mindset when it comes to product development,” said Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales, SIG SAUER, Inc. “The P320 XFIVE Legion is defining innovation and changing the game for competition pistols, and it’s these exclusive features that are designed to enhance the shooting experience that our Legion members have come to expect from us. The grip module is heavier, substantially reducing felt recoil and muzzle flip, and the newly developed trigger reduces pull weight by up to 30% for a crisp, fast shooting experience – and that’s just the start.”
The SIG SAUER P320 XFIVE is a 9mm striker-fired pistol, with the TXG tungsten infused heavy XGrip module, a Legion Gray PVD Slide with lightening cuts, 5” match grade bull barrel, and a lightened and skeletonized trigger. The recoil assembly of the P320 XFIVE Legion has been upgraded to include a one-piece stainless steel guide rod and a 14lb. 1911-style spring, plus an extra 12lb. spring, allowing the end user to easily adjust the recoil spring for a customized shooting experience. The pistol comes optic ready and is compatible with a SIG SAUER Electro-Optics ROMEO1PRO Optic or a standard DeltaPoint Pro Optic, features Dawson Precision® Fiber Optic front and adjustable rear sights, and comes with three 17-round magazines with anodized aluminum Henning Group base pads.
The Legion Series pistols are an exclusive product line developed by SIG SAUER based on input from elite shooting professionals, and designed to exceed the expectations of the serious shooter. The SIG SAUER Legion is an exclusive members-only access program available to owners of the SIG SAUER Legion Series of firearms. Upon registration of any Legion Series firearm, members receive a complimentary case, a challenge coin matched to the firearm, exclusive access to Legion gear and merchandise, and receive exclusive communications from SIG SAUER and the Legion.
01 Jul 19. Nato multinational munition projects attract new participants.
Nato has welcomed four allied countries as participants of two ongoing multinational munition projects in land and air domains.
The projects are Land Battle Decisive Munitions (LBDM) and Air-to-Ground Precision Guided Munition (A2G-PGM). They are intended to make munition acquisition and warehousing simpler and cheaper.
The latest entrants to the LBDM project are Croatia and the UK. Prior to the joining of the two new participants, the project had 16 allies and three partner nations.
The LBDM initiative is designed to establish a cooperation framework for acquisition and management of munitions in the land domain.
It involves aggregating demand in a bid to reduce acquisition cost and aims to enhance the ability of participating nations to share their individual munition stockpiles.
Under the initiative, Denmark, France and the Netherlands received the first shipment of anti-tank weapons in January.
Italy and Slovakia have joined the second project, the A2G-PGM initiative, which has 11 allies and one partner nation.
Nato noted that the expansion of the A2G-PGM project will widen the scope to include all air-launched guided munition.
Participating countries in the project received the first deliveries of munitions in August last year.
The initiative has helped lower the per unit acquisition cost by around 15-20%.
In addition, the A2G-PGM project enabled the transfer of munitions between participants within days, which would have taken months prior to the project.
The approach involved the implementation of a new process to mitigate technical and legal hurdles for the transfer.
Both projects are operating under the leadership of Belgium.
Nato Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller applauded the LBDM and A2G-PGM initiatives for ‘providing an effective framework for munitions acquisition and bringing their participants, as well as the entire Alliance, the benefit of increased interoperability and lower costs’.
Nato Defence Ministers met in Brussels to discuss key security challenges, including Russia’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. (Source: army-technology.com)
01 Jul 19. New addition made to Russian Viking SAM system. The Almaz-Antey Air and Space Defence Corporation presented a new transporter, erector, launcher and radar (TELAR) vehicle designated as the 9A383E at the Army 2019 defence exhibition held in Kubinka close to Moscow on 25–30 June. The 9A383E is being offered to foreign customers as an additional component of the 9A317ME Viking surface-to-air missile (SAM) system.
The Viking is an export name for the 9K317M Buk-M3 medium-range SAM system, which is the latest iteration of the Buk SAM system family. The Buk-M3 has an engagement range of 70 km and a maximum target altitude of 35 km. The 9A383E tracked TELAR carries four 9M83ME missiles, with an engagement range of 100 km against aerial targets and 40 km against ballistic targets, and a maximum target altitude of 30 km and 25 km against aerial and ballistic targets respectively. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 June 19. US approves AARGM for German Tornados. The US government has approved Germany’s plans to integrate the Northrop Grumman AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) onto its fleet of Panavia Tornado combat aircraft, with a Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notification published on 28 June.
The US State Department has given the green light for Germany to acquire 91 AARGM suppression of enemy air-defences (SEAD) missiles and eight training missiles through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA). The total cost is estimated at USD122.86m.
News of the approval came three months after Jane’s first reported in late March a forthcoming US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) contract for Alliant Techsystems Operations LLC (a subsidiary of the AARGM original equipment manufacturer [OEM] Orbital ATK, which is now part of Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems) to develop the Block 1 software for the Luftwaffe Tornado AARGM configuration in support of a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case between the US and Germany.
The Luftwaffe requires the AARGM to replace its current stock of the Raytheon AGM-88B/C High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM), which are used in the SEAD role against ground-based air-defence radar sites. The AARGM is an upgrade to the HARM, with the new missiles being made of a mix of new components and older sections of the HARM missiles, which Germany first acquired in 1988.
While the AARGM acquisition will be done through the FMS process, the integration efforts will be done as a Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) between the Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) and Northrop Grumman. The DSCA did not disclose a programme timeline, but the AARGM integration is being undertaken as part of the Tornado ASSTA-4.2 effort, which could mean that the missile will be available from 2023. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
28 Jun 19. Sasmos, MBDA achieve major milestones on ‘Make in India’ missile programmes. Sasmos Het Technologies, a Bengaluru-based manufacturer of wiring harness, electro-mechanical assemblies and unit integration products, has delivered the 2,000th wiring harness assembly for the MICA programme and the first for the Asraam programme.
Asraam and MICA are air-to-air missiles selected by the Indian Air Force. The Indian company first started work with MBDA (a European developer and manufacturer of missiles) on MICA in 2013 and has since then delivered on time 2,000 wiring harnesses.
Sasmos received an order from MBDA for the Asraam programme and has successfully delivered qualified first article products. The company, through its continuous collaboration with MBDA, has delivered products for these missile systems.
Over a decade, Sasmos has progressed from being a start-up to a preferred partner for OEMs and created a benchmark for mission-critical aerospace and defence harness manufacturing in India.
These two milestones are significant in the ‘Make in India’ initiative and underscore the importance of Indian manufacturers in building the future of aerospace and defence globally. Sasmos has worked continuously with MBDA to bring new technologies to India, and create a talented work force through collaboration in manufacturing.
According to Loïc Piedevache, MBDA country head, India: “This delivery is not just an important milestone for Sasmos, but also for MBDA and the Indian aerospace and defence manufacturing industry.”
“This is also a good example of MBDA’s industrial partnership in India. For many years MBDA has been working closely with Indian Industrial partners on high end technologies with significant quantities and business values over the years,” he added.
Chandra Shekar, Founder and Managing Director, Sasmos, said: “Our collaboration with MBDA has enabled us to create new competencies in India to deliver quality products to mission critical aerospace and defence applications. We are confident to grow with MBDA’s India initiative further and we have crafted a robust plan to take forward this initiative”. (Source: Google/www.thehindubusinessline.com)
28 June 19. US and Ukraine sign MoU for conventional weapons stockpiles management. The US Government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ukraine to enhance the safety and security of the European nation’s conventional weapons stockpiles. The MoU was signed by US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Clarke Cooper and Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate of International Security acting director Ruslan Nimchynskyi.
Under the new agreement, the US will provide funding of $4m to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense to support the construction of six explosive storehouses over the next two years. The objective of these new storehouses is to improve the management of the country’s weapons stockpiles. In addition, the project will help Ukraine in its efforts to comply with Nato and international standards for physical security and stockpile management.
In a release, the Department of State revealed that the US invested more than $40m from 2004 to 2018 under its Conventional Weapons Destruction programme in support of Ukraine. The investment was made towards helping the country to address ‘the legacy of the large quantities of conventional arms and ammunition inherited after the dissolution of the Soviet Union’.
In its capacity as the lead nation for the Nato Partnership for Peace Trust Fund, the US extended financial support last year for the ‘destruction or demilitarisation of over 1,700 metric tonnes of obsolete Soviet-vintage munitions in Ukraine’.
Support from the US in recent years included providing assistance in clearing landmines and other explosive hazards in eastern Ukraine.
This included funding support last year for weapons destruction efforts that cleared more than 227,000m² of land. According to a factsheet released by Nato in November, initiatives under the Trust Fund on the Destruction of Conventional Ammunition, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and Antipersonnel Mines of PfM-1 type in Ukraine destroyed 27,853t of conventional ammunition (CA) and more than two million PfM-1 anti-personnel land mines.
The second phase of the Nato programme aims to carry out the destruction of 366,000 SALW, 46,800t of CA and offer assistance in destroying 5.8 million PfM-1 anti-personnel land mines.
It also includes measures to improve both the safety management and the management of stockpiles. This phase is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2021. (Source: army-technology.com)
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