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MISSILE, BALLISTICS AND SOLDIER SYSTEMS UPDATE

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11 Jul 19. Joint Israeli, Indian venture to make missiles kits for Barak-8 weapon. Israeli firm Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has awarded Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems a $100m contract to supply missile kits for Barak-8 medium-range surface-to-air missiles for the Indian Air Force and the Army. This is first contract awarded by an overseas original equipment manufacturer to a private Indian defense company to manufacture kits for such a complex missile. KRAS is a joint venture between Rafael and India’s Kalyani Group. Under this deal, KRAS will supply about 1,000 missile kits. Rafael designs the Barak-8, and KRAS serves as a subcontractor for the integration of missile electronics hardware and software.

KRAS will be responsible for assembly, integration and testing of the Barak-8 missile kits expected to be delivered in the next four years.

“This order is a testimony to the capabilities that exist in the country and how they can be utilized to truly achieve the aim of ‘Make in India.’ We are confident of executing many more such orders,” said Baba Kalyani, chairman of Kalyani Group.

Kalyani said KRAS aims to leverage the technologies developed by Rafael and offer state-of-the-art systems to Indian defense forces while exploring the export market for similar systems and products.

The Barak-8 is jointly developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organization, Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Under a $2.5bn program launched in 2017, the Air Force will induct 18 firing units and 450 missiles while the Army will induct 14 firing units and 500 missiles. (Source: Defense News)

11 Jul 19. Qatar to become first AMRAAM-ER user. Raytheon will carry out the final certification of the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile-Extended Range (AMRAAM-ER) for Qatar, making it the first country to procure the new missile, the US company announced on 10 July.

It was providing more detail on an announcement made the previous day when Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar’s emir, visited the White House. A joint statement listed the Qatari Ministry of Defence’s “commitment to acquire Raytheon’s NASAM [sic] and Patriot systems” as one of several transactions that had been discussed. Raytheon said AMRAAM-ER certification was part of two direct commercial sales worth USD2.2bn that also included the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) and an “unspecified quantity of additional Patriot fire units”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

10 Jul 19. EDA research group to explore new 3D printed weapons propellants. The European Defence Agency (EDA) is sponsoring a seven-state project to research using additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, to structure and shape propellant grains in new ways to boost the range and velocity of ammunition and other ordnance.

The EUR3.5m (USD3.9m) Additive Manufacturing Techniques for Energetic Materials (AMTEM) project aims to identify “which kinds of propellant lend themselves to 3D techniques and which don’t, and then how to shape those that do for the best results,” an EDA source told Jane’s on 5 July. Among the biggest challenges facing the group are safety issues. For example, all electro-static energy will have to be captured and diverted away from the printer head where there must be no friction. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

10 Jul 19. MOD to Develop Cutting-edge Laser and Radio Frequency Weapons. The Ministry of Defence is developing cutting-edge laser and radio frequency weapons which have the potential to revolutionise the battlefield. The state-of-the-art weapons systems, known as Directed Energy Weapons (DEW), are powered solely by electricity and operate without ammunition. The systems could be fuelled by a vehicle’s engine or a generator, significantly reducing their operating costs and providing unprecedented flexibility on the frontline.

In a Prior Information Notice (PIN) published this week, the MOD announced it is seeking to develop three new DEW demonstrators to explore the potential of the technology and accelerate its introduction onto the battlefield.

The laser weapons systems deploy high energy light beams to target and destroy enemy drones and missiles. Radio Frequency weapons are designed to disrupt and disable enemy computers and electronics.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

“Laser and Radio Frequency technologies have the potential to revolutionise the battlefield by offering powerful and cost-effective weapons systems to our Armed Forces.”

“This significant investment demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our Armed Forces operate at the forefront of military technology.”

The new systems are expected to be trialled in 2023 on Royal Navy ships and Army vehicles but, once developed, both technologies could be operated by all three services. The Armed Forces will use these exercises to get a better understanding of DEW, test the systems to their limits and assess how they could be integrated with existing platforms.

The MOD aims to invest up to £130m in this package of Directed Energy Weapons, including the construction of the demonstrators, the creation of a new Joint Programme Office and the recruitment of personnel to manage the programme.

These demonstrators are part of the MOD’s “Novel Weapons Programme” which is responsible for the trial and implementation of innovative weapons systems to ensure the UK remains a world leader in military technology. They are expected to reach the frontline within 10 years.

The MOD already has plans for initial trials of laser weapons systems, with the Dragonfire demonstrator commissioned by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory to be tested later this year.

The Dragonfire represents a world-first in laser weapons technology, combining multiple laser beams to produce a weapons system that is more powerful than its predecessors and resistant to the most challenging environmental conditions.

The MOD also has over 30 years’ experience in Radio Frequency DEW, during which time the UK has become a world leader in developing new power generation technologies and a global hub for the performance testing and evaluation of these systems. (Source: ASD Network)

 

10 Jul 19. Indian MoD scraps RFP for sniper rifles. India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to scrap its September 2018 request for proposal (RFP) to foreign manufacturers for 5,719 8.6 mm sniper rifles and 10.2 million rounds of ammunition for the Indian Army (IA) and the Indian Air Force (IAF). Official sources told Jane’s on 10 July that the RFP was withdrawn in late June after bids submitted in February by four vendors had failed to meet the tender’s qualitative requirements concerning the supply of .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition rounds.

The four bidders included Indonesia’s PT Pindad, Rosoboronexport from Russia and US firms Barrett and MSA Global.

Brigadier Rahul Bhonsle (retd), the director of Security Risks Asia – a New Delhi-based defence management consultancy – criticised the RFP, saying that it had been “badly conceived, particularly with regard to the ammunition component, leaving the MoD no choice but to withdraw it”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

09 Jul 19. SIG SAUER, Inc. in conjunction with Winchester Ammunition, announced the SIG SAUER Modular Handgun System (MHS) has officially received notification of Full-Material Release (FMR) from the U.S. Army Program Executive Office Soldier, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. MHS is collectively comprised of the SIG SAUER M17 Full-Size, and M18 Compact handguns, and Winchester Ammunition M1152 Ball, M1153 Special Purpose, and M1156 Drilled Dummy Inert.

Full-Material Release is a significant milestone for the MHS program and is the official determination that the U.S. Army has rigorously tested and evaluated the M17 and M18 handguns, and associated ammunition, to determine it as safe for use when operated within its stated parameters. The official FMR notification received by SIG SAUER on June 27, 2019 states that MHS has been fully tested, meets all operational performance requirements, and is logistically supportable within the environment it is intended to operate.

Ron Cohen, President & CEO, SIG SAUER, Inc. began, “the Army’s announcement of Full Material Release is the final stamp of approval for the MHS Program, and a true testament to the successful collaboration of the U.S. Army, SIG SAUER, and Winchester Ammunition to deliver the highest quality MHS program to our soldiers in the field. The FMR notification really highlights the safety and quality of the M17 and M18 handguns, and the success of the MHS program in its entirety.”

To date, over 59,000 Modular Handguns have been delivered by SIG SAUER, and over 44,000,000 rounds of ammunition delivered by Winchester Ammunition to the Government for MHS; in the next 5-7 years an additional 350,000 handguns and 100,000,000 rounds of ammunition are scheduled for delivery.

“We are enthused by this announcement, and honored to have all the branches of the U.S. Military participating in the MHS program. These are both important and significant steps to ensuring that MHS, the M17 and M18 handguns, and Winchester Ammunition will serve the U.S. Military well into the future,” concluded Cohen.

The M17 and M18 handguns are 9mm, striker-fired handguns featuring coyote-tan PVD coated stainless steel slides with black controls and utilize both 17-round and 21-round magazines. The handguns are equipped with SIGLITE front night sights, removable night sight rear plates, and manual safeties.

09 Jul 19. Belgium, Netherlands sign joint MCMV contract. Belgian Defence Minister Didier Reynders and Dutch Secretary of State for Defence Barbara Visser signed the contract with Naval Group and ECA Robotics on 5 July in Brussels to supply their countries with six mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs), their ministries announced.

The 2,800-tonne vessels will be equipped with a package of unmanned surface and underwater vehicles from ECA Robotics: A18-M autonomous underwater vehicles, T18-M towed sonars, and mine identification/destruction systems comprising Seascan and K-ster C remotely operated vehicles operated autonomously from the Inspector 125 unmanned surface vessel, which can be launched and recovered by the MCMVs. The package also includes 10 unmanned aerial and mine sweeping vehicles. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

08 Jul 19. Royal Marines tests LMM against Banshee. The Royal Marines has tested Thales’ Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) against aerial targets during an exercise in south Wales. Air Defence Troop of Plymouth-based 30 Commando IX Group was the first sub unit to use the new LMM, testing it against a Qinetiq Target Systems Banshee aerial target at the Air Defence Range Manorbier in southwest Wales. From a platform looking out to sea, the commandos used the laser-guided missiles to accurately hone in on their targets. The missiles are fired from a small shoulder launcher, and the operator guides them using a joystick which controls a laser beam on which the projectile flies, travelling over distances of some 6km if required.

‘It gives us more utility across the battlefield and gives the brigade a different option,’ Capt James O’Rourke, Officer Commanding of Air Defence Troop, said.

The marines say thatLMM travels at half the speed of its predecessor, the High Velocity Missile that is currently used by the marines and Royal Artillery, providing greater accuracy against the targets.

‘It means we can start enabling attacks on targets that won’t be able to see us. It’s got a laser beam system as well and it’s a passive system so we won’t be spotted by the enemy when we pull the trigger,’ O’Rourke added.

Air Defence Royal Marines is the first sub unit to use this missile, and so far, 18 successful shots against the Banshee drone have been carried out.

‘I think in the future we’ll be attached to close combat rifle companies, pushing forward and potentially targeting unmanned aerial systems and unmanned aerial vehicles in the skies as opposed to sticking with fixed-wing rotary targets,’ O’Rourke added. (Source: Shephard)

09 Jul 19. UK shoots for new laser weapons against drones, missiles. Britain is planning to invest up to $162m developing three directed-energy weapon demonstrators, including one aimed at killing drones, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

The MoD said it had notified industry this week, in what is called a Prior Information Notice, of its intention to procure two laser-based demonstrators and a radio-frequency weapon to “explore the potential of the technology and accelerate its introduction onto the battlefield.”

The British look to start the procurement process later this year and hope to have the new systems ready for trials in 2023.

A spokesman for the MoD said it’s too early to talk about any other timelines or exactly how the weapons development work will be procured.

In a statement the MoD said it was forming a new joint program office and is now recruiting personnel to manage the program.

The demonstrators are part of the MoD’s ‘Novel Weapons Programme,’ which is responsible for the trial and implementation of innovative weapon systems. The new arms are expected to reach the frontline within 10 years.

The British already have a laser-based technology development effort underway. A £30m ($37m) technology demonstrator program known as Dragonfire was awarded to an industry consortium in 2017. Missile maker MBDA, Qinetiq, BAE Systems, Leonardo and others are involved in the industrial effort.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory is leading the effort from the MoD side. Initial trials on Dragonfire are scheduled to take place this year.

The spokesman said that while Dragonfire is about “assessing the viability of the technology, the new work will be looking at issues like size, functionality and exactly how they integrate on existing platforms.”

The new program will include two high-energy laser demonstrators. One onboard a ship for air and surface defense applications and a similar laser mounted on a land vehicle for short-range air defense and counter-surveillance applications.

The third program is aimed demonstrating a high-power radio frequency weapon mounted on a land vehicle against aerial drones and to counter enemy movements. The weapon is designed to disrupt and disable an adversary’s computers and electronics.

The MoD statement said Britain already has over 30 years’ experience in radio-frequency and directed- energy weapons “during which time the UK has become a world leader in developing new power generation technologies and a global hub for the performance testing and evaluation of these systems.”

“The new systems are expected to be trialed in 2023 on Royal Navy ships and Army vehicles but, once developed, both technologies could be operated by all three services. The armed forces will use these exercises to get a better understanding of DEW, test the systems to their limits, and assess how they could be integrated with existing platforms,” said the MoD.

The MoD released images of the laser weapons mounted on a Type 26 frigate and a Wildcat naval helicopter.

The new program still leaves the British playing catch-up in the deployment of laser weapons. The U.S. Navy trialed a laser weapon on an operational warship several years ago and is now planning to install a high-energy laser and integrated optical dazzler with surveillance system on the destroyer Preble in 2021.

On the land side, German defense contractor Rheinmetall has been developing a laser weapon for several years and recently undertook comprehensive trials with a weapon station suitable for mounting on a platform like a Boxer armored vehicle. (Source: Defense News)

09 Jul 19. To develop hypersonic missile launcher, Pentagon seeks funding transfer. The Pentagon is looking to transfer $50m within its fiscal 2019 budget to cover the cost of the design and development of a prototype mobile launcher for its Long Range Hypersonic Weapon, or LRHW.

The Defense Department submitted an omnibus reprogramming request to Capitol Hill on June 25, which congressional defense committees must approve. The department wants the additional funding for the mobile launch capability in order to reach “residual” operational capability by FY23.

Developing hypersonic weapons, capable of flying five times the speed of sound, is a part of the Army’s top modernization priority — Long-Range Precision Fires —because of the added capability it would bring in eliminating enemy systems in contested battlespace. There is also a need in the U.S> to develop an offensive hypersonic capability to stay ahead of similar weapon development underway by Russia and China.

The mobile LRHW will bring online “a new class of ultra-fast, maneuverable, long-range missiles to neutralize enemy defensive weapons with rockets launched from trucks with Transporter Erector Launchers (TELs),” the reprogramming document states.

Follow-on efforts will be funded through the Army’s research, development, test and evaluation account in future budget years, the document adds.

The Army is leading the Pentagon’s effort — Conventional Prompt Strike — but is teamed with the Navy to develop a booster for the hypersonic missile and is building a common glide body internally with both the Navy and Air Force. The service is finishing design work for the prototypes and plans to conduct flight tests focused on range, environmental factors and contested environments.

The plan is to field a battery-sized hypersonic weapon to soldiers by 2023. The service will use the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System and M870 trailers to make the system road-mobile.

The Army still needs to build a transporter-erector-launcher to simultaneously accommodate two hypersonic missiles, which is where the extra $50m comes in. The service plans to spend $1.2bn over the next five years beginning in FY20 on its hypersonic effort. In FY20 alone, the Army has budgeted $228m.

A total of $181m is requested in FY21 to move through the preliminary design review, which will end in the first quarter of FY22.

In FY22, the Army will conduct a critical design review and then begin testing all-up rounds at the end of the fiscal year into FY23. The service has budgeted $137m in FY22 to accomplish those tasks.

The Army will then move into full-system flight tests in FY23 using a $359 m budget.

The service plans to outfit the Multi-Domain Operations Task Force’s strategic fires battalion with the battery to field early combat capability to the force, but to also learn how to use the equipment; to develop possible tactics, techniques and procedures that might be used in combat; and to learn how to train to use the weapons. (Source: Defense News)

08 Jul 19. The Paladin’s howitzer barrel just got a whole lot longer. The head of the Army’s effort to extend ranges of everything from howitzers to strategic missiles said that recent testing showed adding six feet to the howitzer cannon didn’t affect mobility and the piece can still operate in dense urban terrain.

Col. John Rafferty shared that item along with other updates on the Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team’s efforts at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Armament Systems Forum in June.

The current barrel length of the M109 howitzer is about 29 feet. The new 58-caliber barrel that the Army Test and Evaluation Command ran through the urban paces this spring is six feet longer.

“It actually can do just fine in dense urban terrain,” Rafferty said.

He did admit that engineers are still working out transmission questions for the Paladin Improvement Program, which is how the Army is making self-propelled howitzers ready for the modern battlefield.

A longer barrel means that the explosion can have contact with the projectile for more time, increasing the pressure and then velocity of the round, which equals greater distances.

Two videos shown at the event demonstrated 155mm firings at both the 70-kilometer and 62-km range with different munitions. Rafferty called those “great for morale” for the team but noted that they’re still trying to resolve the “precision” part of LRPF.

That’s because it’s more about defining accuracy at those ranges, which is still being worked out, he said.

To that end, the Extended Range Cannon Artillery program has work being done on multiple munitions. One is the XM1113, a rocket assisted projectile, and updated requirements for the M5409, the RAP currently in the Army’s inventory.

And to make those rounds hit on target, they’re also working on the Precision Guidance Kit and autoloader upgrades. The PGK has to work at double the distances it did in the past and the autoloaders, while part of past projects, never had to address fuzing projectiles or fuze settings, Rafferty said.

The team is pressing for a technology demonstration of that improved autoloader by late 2021.

But those artillery pieces, while challenging to develop, are only a small piece of the LRPF’s larger portfolio. And all of it is being driven by the Army’s target of having multi-domain operations a realistic way of warfighting ready by 2028.

Much of that is being driven by what’s being seen on multiple fronts. A 2018 RAND report noted that Russian cannons have 50 to 100 percent greater range than current U.S. cannons.

Those objectives include doubling range to beyond 70km for artillery, double rate of fire to six to 10 rounds per minute for those systems and engaging moving targets with those munitions in GPS-denied environments.

They also plan to have an advanced lightweight armament system with a technology demonstration planned for the end of this year.

To get ahead of that deadline, Rafferty said that his team is expected to deliver many of the capabilities by 2023.

“For us, there isn’t a moment to lose,” he said.

At the strategic level, the long-range hypersonic weapon and the strategic long-range cannon complement each other in fires planning.

The hypersonic weapon is expected to travel great distances at high speeds to defeat enemy defenses and hit a mix of hard or strategic targets such as radars, communication vehicles or even area targets with an “exquisite munition” that delivers “tremendous kinetic energy,” the colonel said.

In the fires commander’s back pocket, though, will be the strategic cannon with 1,600-km range. That cannon is being built to fire a “volume of more affordable munitions,” Rafferty said.

By using the two together, the Army expects to penetrate and disintegrate the anti-access, area-denial systems in use by China and Russia.

And it’s not just for the Army.

“We’re not entering strategic fires for the first time since the Pershing (missile) for ourselves,” Rafferty said.

The plan is for the Army to have those arrows in their quiver to open entry for the joint force to then get into the fight.

The colonel declined to discuss recent developments with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty, which limited those missile ranges for Russia and the United States.

He said only that the Precision Strike Missile is being engineered to reach the 499-km range and that is planned for fielding in 2023, also.

Once fielded there are three “spirals” or developments that the Army will quickly seek — cross-domain fires, meaning the PSM can hit maritime or land-based targets; enhanced lethality, which would make the missile able to hit multiple targets with one missile; and range, the potential to reach farther distances if needed. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Army Times)

03 Jul 19. S-400 Batteries Planned to Be Deployed in Ankara, Southeastern Turkey. Turkey is prepared to receive the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system in two weeks, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced during his visit to Japan for the G20 Osaka summit. Last week, ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) spokesperson Ömer Çelik also said the places where S-400 will be deployed have been determined without revealing further details.

According to the information obtained from the security sources, the first of the two S-400 batteries Turkey will receive will be located in Akıncı Air Base in the capital province of Ankara. Akıncı was the command base for putschist soldiers during the coup attempt that took place three years ago in July 2016. The second S-400 battery will reportedly be placed in a strategically important location in the eastern and southeastern region of Turkey, yet the reports have not been confirmed.

Turkey’s decision to purchase a Russian-made defense system has been one of the reasons for the strained ties with Turkey’s NATO ally, the U.S., which has argued that the Russian system will compromise the security of NATO systems, particularly the F-35 stealth jet fighter.

However, the air of tension has recently been toned down at a meeting between Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump. The U.S. president pinned the blame for the row between the U.S. and Turkey over the S-400 deal and F-35 jets on former President Barack Obama, saying it was not Erdoğan’s fault. Trump said it was Obama’s administration that did not allow Ankara to buy Patriot missiles.

“They [Obama administration] wouldn’t sell it to him [Erdoğan]; they wouldn’t let him buy the missile he wanted to buy which is the Patriot. And after he buys something else, they tell him we will sell you the Patriot,” Trump said.

Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have reached a fever pitch in recent months with Ankara set to begin receiving the advanced Russian surface-to-air missile system in two months. The U.S. has already suspended deliveries of parts and services related to Turkey’s receipt of the multimillion-dollar jets.

Turkey decided in 2017 to purchase the S-400 system following protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the U.S. with no success.

However, U.S. officials have advised Turkey to buy the Patriot missile system rather than the S-400 system from Moscow, arguing it is incompatible with NATO systems. Turkey has responded that it was the U.S. refusal to sell the Patriots that led it to seek other sellers, adding that Russia offered a better deal, including technology transfers.  (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Daily Sabah; published)

05 Jul 19. KTRV finalises development of Grom air-to-surface munition variants. Russia’s Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV) has finalised development of new guided air-to-surface weapon system variants, designated Grom-E1 and Grom-E2. Grom-E1 is a guided cruise missile and Grom-E2 is a guided glide weapon; both weapons feature a normal aerodynamic configuration and a common cylindrical body with an ogive nose cone, folding swept-back mid-body wing, and an aft actuator assembly. The weapons can be mounted either on external weapons stores or in an internal weapons bay of fourth- and fifth-generation air-combat platforms

The Grom-E1 weighs 594kg, is 4.2m in length, 0.31m in diameter, and has a wingspan of 1.9m. The missile is furnished with a 315kg high-explosive (HE) fragmentation (frag) warhead coupled with an impact fuze. A 161 kg powerplant combines two solid-fuel engines, a booster, and a sustained motor. Inbuilt modularity with other KTRV weapon systems enables the Grom-E1 to integrate the solid-fuel engine from the Kh-38ME family of short-range air-to-surface missiles, a company representative told Jane’s.

A combat aircraft flying at an altitude between 500 m and 12,000m at a speed of 140-445m/s can release the Grom-E1 at a distance of 10-120km, with a target engagement angle of between -180° and +180°. The missile’s average flight speed under initial launch conditions (height: 12,000 m, speed: 445m/s, range: 120 km) is 300 m/s, with a g-load force on the missile reaching 4g. The weapon is fitted with a combined guidance system that integrates an inertial measurement unit and a GPS/Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) satellite navigation receiver, the representative said. The Grom-E2 glide weapon weighs 598kg, with airframe dimensions equal to those of the Grom-E1. However, the absence of a powerplant enables the Grom-E2 glide munition to be furnished with a larger 480 kg lethality package, with a 315kg and a 165kg HE-frag charge installed respectively fore and aft in the munition. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

05 Jul 19. Yugoimport developing new family of 155mm ammunition. Serbia’s Yugoimport-SDPR is developing four new 155mm artillery projectiles to extend the range of its 155mm/52 calibre NORA series 8×8 self-propelled (SP) artillery system to meet potential home and export customer requirements. The first of these is the 155mm/52 M101, which weighs 44 kg including 6.52kg of the high-explosive (HE) filling. The new projectile uses a locally developed zone 10 modular charge (MC) that enables it to attain a claimed maximum muzzle velocity of 950m/s and a range of 32,200m. This is believed to be the first projectile to enter production but Yugoimport has not released a firm date. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

09 Jul 19. India to buy bulletproof jackets to meet shortage. The Indian Government is planning to procure 186,000 bulletproof jackets for its armed forces to address the shortage of these jackets. The jackets are set to be delivered by April next year. In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Indian Parliament, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated that the procurement would cost around Rs6.39bn ($93.15m), the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported. Singh stated that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) did not place an embargo on the import of raw material from China for bulletproof jackets in the tender for procurement. However, the tender has a clause that mandates the supplier to procure 30% of the content from local sources.

Singh was quoted by the news agency as saying: “In 2009, there was a shortage of 353,755 bulletproof jackets in the country, but the procurement was not done for a long time. A request for proposal (RFP) for procurement of 186,138 bulletproof jackets has been issued in April 2016 and the tender in this regard was allotted on 9 April 2018 to an Indian buyer.”

The MoD has to date procured 10,000 bulletproof jackets following quality checks by the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA).

The ministry expects to receive a total of 37,000 jackets by October this year.

Singh added: “There is no decline in the quality of bulletproof jackets procured for the Indian Army.”

The DGQA performs detailed testing of every lot supplied by the vendor.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army is planning to purchase Excalibur guided long-range artillery rounds that can accurately hit targets more than 50km away, ANI reported. The ammunition is compatible with the new M-777 howitzers bought from the US. (Source: army-technology.com)

09 Jul 19. UK MoD issues bid notice for directed energy weapons demonstration. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a prior information notice (PIN) seeking three directed energy weapons (DEWs) to demonstrate, which will use laser or radio frequency energy to destroy targets. The government said it intends to purchase systems for the project under a GBP130m (USD162.8m) investment, covering the construction of the demonstrators, the establishment of a new Joint Programme Office to support the project, and the recruitment of personnel to work on it. Under the initiative the systems will be trialled on Royal Navy vessels and British Army vehicles in 2023, although it is expected that the systems will evolve to be utilised by the Royal Air Force as well. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

09 Jul 19. India’s DRDO tests Nag anti-tank guided missiles. India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has performed a series of test firings of the Nag anti-tank guided missiles. Three test firings were conducted on 7 July in the Pokhran firing ranges ahead of the induction of the missiles into the Indian Army, ANI reported. The news agency quoted unidentified DRDO officials as saying: “The missiles were test-fired during both day and night on Sunday during the trials. All three tests were successful.”

Sources in the government told ANI that the Nag missile is in the final stages of induction.

The missile is expected to be mounted on the army’s modified armoured vehicles. The fire-and-forget, anti-tank guided missile was designed and developed by DRDO. Last year, India’s Defence Acquisition Council chaired by the then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared a Rs5.24bn ($76.5m) deal to purchase Nag Missile System (NAMIS).

NAMIS comprises the Nag missile and the Missile Carrier Vehicle (NAMICA), which is derived from a BMP-2 tracked infantry combat vehicle.

The third-generation missile is designed to ‘effectively engage and destroy all known enemy tanks during day and night’ and strengthen the army’s capability against enemy armour.

The report further stated that DRDO is expected to conduct additional tests to validate the capabilities of the missile.

Nag was developed under the integrated guided missile development programme (IGMDP). The programme involved the development of four other missiles, including Agni, Akash, Trishul and Prithvi.

Agni, Akash and Prithvi missiles have been inducted into the country’s armed forces. Nag anti-tank guided missiles are available in two variants, the land version and the helicopter-launched configuration.

In February last year, DRDO flight-tested the missiles in desert conditions against two tank targets. (Source: army-technology.com)

05 Jul 19. Uralvagonzavod reveals more details about artillery programmes. Russian company Uralvagonzavod (UVZ), a subsidiary of defence and industrial group Rostec, announced in its 2018 annual report published on 3 July that it would step up its development of artillery systems. In its report the company said that preliminary tests of the tracked and wheeled variants of the 2S35 Koalitsiya-SV 152 mm self-propelled howitzer (SPH) were carried out at several test ranges in 2018, and would be continued in 2019.

Preliminary tests have also been conducted with the Nabrosok family of field artillery systems, which includes the Floks, Magnoliya, and Drok self-propelled mortars. “In 2018 UVZ introduced the Ustanovka-120 test-bed to conduct setting-to work and trials of battalion-level mortar systems,” said the report. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

05 Jul 19. Indonesia to salvage 57mm gun from training ship for firing range. Key Points:

  • The Indonesian Navy is salvaging a 57mm naval gun from a soon-to-be-retired training ship
  • The weapon will be installed at a naval gunfire range under development in East Java

The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) has submitted plans to retire a Yugoslavian-built training ship, and salvage its 57 mm Bofors naval gun, to the country’s defence ministry for approval. The service intends to install the naval gun at a land-based naval gunfire range that will be built in Paiton, East Java, two separate sources close to the matter have confirmed with Jane’s. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

05 Jul 19. MBDA collaboration wins national engineering award for work with artificial intelligence. MBDA, along with its industry and French Government partners, have been awarded the prestigious Ingénieur général Chanson prize for their work combining artificial intelligence (AI) and massively parallel processing to develop new real-time target Detection, Recognition and Identification (DRI) technology. The Association de l’Armement Terrestre (AAT) has presented this year’s award (the 46th) to the 2ACI (Acquisition Automatique de Cibles par Imagerie – automatic target recognition by imaging) programme team, which was made up of employees of MBDA and Kalray and staff from the French defence procurement agency (Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA)) and the French Army’s technical section (Section Technique de l’Armée de Terre). The award was presented by Stéphane Mayer, president of the Groupement des industries françaises de défense et de sécurité terrestres et aéroterrestres (GICAT).

The 2ACI programme has produced technology based on Artificial Intelligence (algorithms and image data bases for deep learning) that enables automatic target recognition by imaging. The 2ACI function thereby allows the detection, recognition and identification of fixed and moving targets through real-time processing of the video stream output from weapon systems imaging sensors. The technology therefore meets a common functional need across the different services of the French armed forces both for active surveillance and for early warning and engagement of threats. It provides a substantial aid to the human operators, giving them more time to confirm a target identification while reducing the overall reaction time of the system. The work of this programme has resulted in the production of two demonstrators. The first was installed on a heavy armoured vehicle and was evaluated in operational conditions on a DGA-Techniques Terrestres (DGA land techniques) test site. The second was delivered to DGA-Maîtrise de l’Information (DGA information management) for a laboratory evaluation. Those demonstrators have proved the operational efficiency of the 2ACI function and that it could be integrated in due course to the French Army combat system Scorpion, as well as to the MMP firing unit. This technology programme has been conducted by MBDA together with the French start-up Kalray – a pioneer of processors for new intelligent systems. It also illustrates the sovereignty strategy established by MBDA within its Open Innovation framework, which aims to reinforce its links with French and European partners. The DGA has contributed its technical expertise and the Section Technique de l’Armée de Terre its experience operational needs.

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