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25 Jul 18. Saab to Provide RAF’s Typhoons With New Smart Self-Protection System. Saab has received an order from BAE Systems for development of a new pyrotechnic smart self-protection system for the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to defeat radar- and IR-guided threats. The order is part of a framework agreement with BAE Systems consisting of development, production, support and future sales of the Smart Dispenser System (SDS), a pyrotechnic smart self-protection system for the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Typhoons and future Eurofighter opportunities. SDS is the latest generation in Saab´s BOP family of pyrotechnic countermeasure dispensers. BOP is in-service on fighters and other combat aircraft types, and has been proven over several decades including on active operations.
“This new smart dispenser system provides a significant increase in self-protection capability to defeat modern threats by dispensing optimised countermeasure sequences and directions. SDS will significantly enhance the combat survivability of the Eurofighter Typhoon”, says Anders Carp, head of Saab business area Surveillance. “Saab´s electromechanical self-protection system BOL has been in use on Eurofighter since its inception, and we are now looking forward to strengthening the platform’s countermeasure capability through SDS.”
Saab has been a close partner to the RAF for nearly forty years, providing products and services across the air power spectrum. Counter-measure dispensing technologies have been provided by Saab to the RAF, alongside leading edge radars and sensors, for decades to protect aircraft such as Harrier, Tornado and Typhoon. The development and integration work of SDS will be carried out at the Saab site in Järfälla, Sweden and will be finished in the 2020 timeframe. (Source: ASD Network)
26 Jul 18. Raytheon wants to drive Boeing’s Harpoon anti-ship missile into extinction. Buoyed by the recent contract award to provide the littoral combat ship and future frigate with a new over-the-horizon anti-ship missile, Raytheon is now setting its sights on the rest of the anti-ship missile market. Raytheon’s top executive, Thomas Kennedy, sees potentially billions in new contracts over the coming years for the company’s Naval Strike Missile, a joint venture with the Norwegian firm Kongsberg.
“NSM is a new missile franchise for Raytheon, and our goal is to replace the existing domestic and international inventory of Harpoon and other international surface-to-surface missiles, making NSM a multibillion-dollar franchise opportunity,” Kennedy said.
In June, Kongsberg missile systems executive Oeyvind Kolset said the U.S. Navy’s selection of Naval Strike Missile for LCS and FFG(X) positions the missile well, as the market for surface-to-surface missiles is expected to increase in the coming years. Many of the world’s anti-ship missiles are coming to the end of their service lives, and the selection of the missile by the U.S. Navy bodes well for future sales, Kolset said. The Naval Strike Missile has a range of more than 100 nautical miles and has target-recognition capabilities that limit the need for another ship or aircraft to hold a track on the target. And its not just the U.S. Navy that is eyeing the NSM. The U.S. Army has been flirting with the capability as it explores ways to make itself relevant in a largely maritime Pacific theater with China on the rise. On July 12, the U.S. Army shot the NSM from a truck at the former landing ship tank Racine during a sinking exercise. Its use dovetails with a concept that the Army and the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force have been developing, known in some circles as “archipelagic defense,” which in essence calls for the use of ground forces to deny Chinese forces free movement through the theater by deploying anti-ship and anti-air missiles throughout the island chains that pepper the Asia-Pacific region. But Boeing, which makes the Harpoon, isn’t taking the competition lying down, and the missile has been on a roll recently. The U.S. and partner nations successfully fired six Harpoons at the Rim of the Pacific exercise, including a Harpoon from the attack submarine Olympia, which marks the first time the missile has been fired from a sub in more than 20 years, according to a Boeing news release. Both Australian and American P-8 aircraft also fired Harpoons. Boeing is currently marketing Harpoon Block II+, which includes a data link that allows operators to re-target the missile during its flight. The U.S. Navy expects to declare initial operational capability on Harpoon Block II+ this year, according to the Boeing release, and said it continues to develop an extended range Harpoon. (Source: Defense News)
26 Jul 18. A Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptor successfully intercepted an Air-Breathing Threat (ABT) in a test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The test marked the furthest distance a PAC-3 MSE missile has intercepted an ABT, which represents fixed-wing aircraft or cruise missiles. The U.S. Army-led missile defense flight test demonstrated the unique Hit-to-Kill capability of the PAC-3 family of missiles, which defends against threats through body-to-body contact. The test also reconfirmed PAC-3 MSE’s ability to detect, track and intercept incoming ABTs or missiles. The test was observed by representatives from the U.S. Army and a current Foreign Military Sales PAC-3 MSE customer.
“PAC-3 MSE continues to be successful against today’s evolving threats, and this most recent test validates its effectiveness at extreme distances,” said Jay Pitman, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Today’s global security environment demands reliable solutions. We expect PAC-3 Hit-to-Kill interceptors to continue serving as an essential element in integrated, layered defense systems.”
The PAC-3 CRI and MSE are high-velocity interceptors that defend against incoming threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. Twelve nations have procured the PAC-3 missile defense interceptor: the U.S., Germany, Kuwait, Japan, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Romania, Poland, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates. A world leader in systems integration and development of air and missile defense systems and technologies, Lockheed Martin’s experience spans missile design and production, infrared seekers, command and control/battle management, as well as communications, precision pointing and tracking optics, radar and signal processing, and threat-representative targets for missile defense tests.
25 Jul 18. Poland takes direct route to HIMARS. Poland will acquire Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) directly from the US government, rather than obtaining the same capability through a consortium of local companies, the country’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) announced on 20 July. The consortium led by the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) that was previously tasked with delivering a system for Poland’s Homar (lobster) programme announced in July 2017 that Lockheed Martin’s bid was the preferred option. Israel Military Industries (IMI) was also considered. In November 2017, the US government approved the sale to Poland of 25 Guided Multiple-Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rounds and 61 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) rounds, as well as 1,642 GMLRS guidance assemblies, saying it would support a direct commercial sale between Lockheed Martin and PGZ. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Jul 18. US Army MDTF participates in first live-fire sinking at RIMPAC. The US Army’s Multi Domain Task Force (MDTF) Tactical Command Post (TAC) has participated in a joint live-fire sinking exercise for the first time during the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. The exercise was carried out by the 17th Field Artillery Brigade, a subordinate unit under America’s I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, together with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF). Following the launch of the naval strike missile as a land-based asset, the Apache AH-64E helicopters assigned to the US Army’s 25th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) and 16th CAB fired a decommissioned US Navy ship ex-USS Racine. In addition, the JGSDF launched two surface-to-ship missiles (SSMs) in conjunction with the 17th Field Artillery Brigade’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) system.
17th Field Artillery Brigade and MDTF commander US Army colonel Chris Wendland said: “We are here to support the Navy and our other services, to show them what the US Army’s MDTF can provide to the fight. We are here to support the Navy and our other services, to show them what the US Army’s MDTF can provide to the fight. We are an asset the Navy and our joint services can utilise, What our maritime adversaries conducting this exercise are looking for are other ships or submarines as threats. What they are not looking for is the Multi Domain Task Force, our ground forces, who can acquire the target and fire upon it using land-based surface-to-ship missiles, then be able to move freely.”
The US Army Pacific designated the 17th Field Artillery Brigade as the pilot programme for the MDTF concept. It is the first time that the brigade has worked under a naval commander instead of providing long-range artillery for I Corps during a military exercise.
23 Jul 18. Tactical nuclear weapon launches into development with Pentagon policy bill. The Trump administration is poised to get congressional authorization to start building a controversial new submarine-launched low-yield, nuclear weapon. The Senate and House came together Monday on a $716bn defense authorization report that authorizes $65m to develop the weapon, aimed at deterring Russia, according to the bicameral compromise conference report. The requirement for the weapon — likely to be a submarine-launched Trident II D5 with a W76-2 warhead — is part of the administration’s Nuclear Posture Review. The report for the sweeping 2019 National Defense Authorization Act is expected to come to a vote in the House this week and the Senate next week. The annual must-pass bill covers military hardware, personnel and a wide swath of hot-button national security issues. In a win for opponents of the new weapon, Congress would retain a requirement for an act of Congress to develop or modify nuclear warheads going forward, per the Senate version of the NDAA. That language bars the secretary of energy from starting the engineering and development phase, or any subsequent phase, of a low-yield nuclear weapon unless specifically authorized by Congress. House negotiators backed off their chamber’s language, which would have nullified the requirement, enshrined in the 2004 NDAA. It’s the latest move in a mostly partisan battle that saw the Senate Appropriations Committee approve a Pentagon spending bill with language to order more study before the weapon can be developed. The fate of the larger bill was unclear as of Tuesday. Congressional Republicans and the Pentagon are advocating for the systems to deter Russia from using its own arsenal of low-yield nuclear weapons. Still, many Democrats and nonproliferation advocates see it as lowering the threshold for a nuclear war. More broadly, the compromise conference report includes a sense of Congress that expresses support for the administration’s Nuclear Posture Review—and meets the president’s budget with $142.2m for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nuclear weapons activities and defense nuclear nonproliferation program, according to a House Republican summary. The bill would also increased authorized funding to accelerate two key Air Force nuclear modernization programs: the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent and the Long Range Standoff cruise missile. (Source: Defense News)
24 Jul 18. RAAF P-8A Poseidon fires first Harpoon missile. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has successfully fired its first Harpoon medium-range anti-ship/land-attack missile from one of its Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime multimission aircraft: a move that brings the platform closer to reaching full operational capability (FOC). A ATM-84J Harpoon training missile was launched from the aircraft at the Pacific Missile Range Facility, off the coast of Hawaii, during this year’s multinational ‘Rim of the Pacific’ (‘RIMPAC’) maritime exercise taking place from 27 June to 2 August, the Department of Defence (DoD) in Canberra announced on 22 July. It added that the weapon “successfully struck its target”: the former USS Racine , a decommissioned US Navy (USN) Newport-class tank landing ship (LST).
Minister for Defence Marise Payne described the Harpoon as being “integral to the P-8A reaching full operational capability”, adding that Australia’s partnership with the USN “has allowed us access to the Range Facility, a long standing agreement which has seen the successful testing of many Australian Defence Force weapons systems across both Air Force and Navy”.
The move comes after the RAAF declared in March the initial operating capability (IOC) for its P-8A Poseidon aircraft: five months ahead of schedule. The milestone, which was announced by the service on 20 March, came with 6 of the 12 aircraft currently under contract now at the type’s home base of RAAF Edinburgh in South Australia. A further 3 aircraft are currently going through the approval process for a final fleet of 15. Australia acquired the P-8A to replace the 18 Lockheed AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Jul 18. Iran announces mass production of Fakour air-to-air missile. The Fakour radar-guided air-to-air missile is now being mass produced, the Iranian military announced on 23 July. A ceremony attended by Iranian defence minister Amir Hatami was held to mark the announcement, during which at least six missiles were displayed as well as the front ends of another five. Hatami said the missile could be used with a variety of aircraft. When it was unveiled as the Fakour-90 in February 2013, the missile was said to have been developed for Iran’s F-14 fighter jets. The Iranian media reported that it has a range of 150 km, a speed of Mach 5, and a guidance system that enables it to hit a target independently of the launch aircraft’s radar. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Jul 18. This new antenna networks UAVs to expand battlefield comms. Persistent Systems, a New York City-based global communications technology company, has introduced a portable antenna system to incorporate unmanned aerial vehicles into a networked battlefield. The auto-tracking antenna system is an easily collapsible ground-to-air antenna that operates on the Wave Relay mobile ad hoc network (MANET), which Persistent Systems manufactures, a news release said. Persistent Systems hopes the antenna could be used in Special Operations Command’s Mid-Endurance Unmanned Aircraft Systems III program. The 5-foot parabolic dish is designed to be deployed within 15 minutes and can track and rotate to follow MANET-connected technology in the air, expanding the network bubble. Persistent Systems predicts this will reduce costs by decreasing dependence on satellite communications.
“The antenna helps connect far-flung forces, acting like a cheaper, locally controlled low-Earth satellite with a greater data rate,” Erik Schechter, a Persistent Systems spokesperson, said in an email.
The IP67-rated antenna system, designed for any weather environment, has interchangeable S-Band, L-Band and C-Band MIMO feeds and supports high data rates, video and voice communications up to 130 miles, yet can be stored compactly and fit into a standard-sized SUV, according to the Persistent Systems press release.
Schechter also said that the antenna can also be used for longer-range chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives command missions, like ones in Syria.
The auto-tracking antenna system is expected to improve full-motion video and sensor data transmission from drones and is automatically calibrated to reduce user error.
“The idea is for the Army, Navy, [Special Operations Command] and foreign customers to use it for better communications relays,” Schechter said.
SOCOM announced in May that UTC Aerospace Systems had been selected for its MEUAS III program and would provide SOCOM with flight management and imaging systems. Previously, SOCOM had selected Insitu, a company owned by Boeing and Textron Systems, to provide technology for intelligence and surveillance. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
23 Jul 18. France makes progress on refitting submarine for M51 missiles. The ballistic missile submarine Téméraire has been taken to Ile Longue, the French naval base for nuclear boats, marking a key step in a major refit of the sub, shipbuilder Naval Group said in a July 23 statement.
That move, which comes “after 20 months of work,” marked “a significant step in the the last modernization and adaptation of nuclear ballistic submarines for the M51 missile,” the company said.
The submarine was towed Friday from dock 8 at Brest to the highly secure base on Ile Longue, a small peninsula in Brittany, northern France, where the French Navy maintains its fleet of four ballistic missile boats. The overhaul and refit required the hull to be split open and new silos installed for the M51 missile, which is longer and wider than the outgoing M45 weapon. Work will continue some three or four months on the Téméraire on Ile Longue, with the boat expected to sail for a further nine years after returning to service.
“The adaptation to the new missiles is of primary importance,” said Maximilian Porter, program director at the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office, regional paper France Ouest Entreprise reported. Combat and navigation systems were also updated.
Téméraire is the third ballistic missile submarine to be refitted for the M51 weapon, following the Vigilant and Triomphant. That program of refits has taken some 10 years. The fourth ballistic missile boat, Terrible, was delivered equipped for the M51. Naval Group was prime contractor on the major overhaul and refit, which takes some two years and four million hours of work on each boat. Airbus Defense & Space is contractor for the M51 missile, which is assembled at its nearby Guenvénez plant and delivered to the Ile Longue base, where the atomic warheads are fitted. The government’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission is assembling and fitting the nuclear warhead on the missile on Ile Longue. Each of the Triomphant-class submarines carry 16 M51 missiles, which can carry up to six independent warheads. Studies are being conducted for a third-generation nuclear ballistic missile submarine and future versions of the M51. The M51.3 version is due to enter service around 2025. Under the newly adopted 2019-2025 defense budget law, the government has earmarked €25bn (U.S. $29bn) for work on the nuclear deterrent, including seaborne and airborne weapons. (Source: Defense News)
20 Jul 18. US Navy’s Independence-class LCS USS Montgomery concludes CSSQT. The US Navy’s Independence-class littoral combat ship USS Montgomery (LCS 8) has successfully completed its combat system ship qualification trials (CSSQT). LCS 8’s combat systems suite was put through several tests during the qualification trials in order to validate its performance. The CSSQT also tested the USS Montgomery’s ability to track and disable high-speed-manoeuvring surface targets. A number of firing exercises and tests were also conducted using the combat ship’s 57mm Bofors gun weapons system against a fast-attack craft. Each of these scenarios was successfully completed, thereby demonstrating the capabilities of the combat systems suite. In addition, the ship’s automatic launching of expendables (ALEX) decoy launching system was also demonstrated during the trial programme. USS Montgomery commanding officer commander Wayne Liebold said: “The entire Montgomery team has put a lot of hard work and dedication into completing all the required inspections and trials. I am proud of their accomplishments and we look forward to bringing Montgomery’s combat power to the fleet as an operational asset.”
USS Montgomery is now set to focus on training and certifying for deployment over the next year, in addition to completing any required missions. The 418ft-long LCS 8 was originally commissioned with the US Navy on 10 September 2016. It has a full load displacement of 2,784t and can travel at top speed of more than 50k. The vessel is homeported in San Diego, where it is undergoing routine maintenance and training before being deployed with the navy. The US Navy’s LCSs are fast, manoeuvrable and networked surface-combatants that can be deployed to carry out focused missions such as surface warfare, mine warfare and anti-submarine warfare. (Source: naval-technology.com)
20 Jul 18. Boeing Reviews New ICBM Design Options with U.S. Air Force. Boeing [NYSE: BA] has presented the U.S. Air Force with design options for America’s next intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD). The review marks the achievement of a key contract milestone.
“We offered the Air Force cost and performance trades for a deterrent that will address emerging and future threats,” said Frank McCall, vice president, Boeing Strategic Deterrence Systems. “By considering the various capabilities and opportunities for cost savings, the Air Force can prioritize system requirements as we progress toward the program’s next phase.”
The Air Force awarded Boeing a $349m contract in August to mature the GBSD weapon system design. Boeing completed a system requirements review in November. A system functional review will occur later this year, and Boeing will present its preliminary design review to the Air Force in 2020. Designed to serve as a reliable deterrent to nuclear threats over the next 50-plus years, the GBSD weapon system will begin to replace the Minuteman III ICBM in the late 2020s.
20 Jul 18. Hungary seeks 81mm mortars. Hungary’s Ministry of Defence has announced a tender for 81mm medium mortars to replace its 50 Soviet-made 82-BM-37 82mm mortars. The tender is for 40 mortars, with an option for 20 more, 24 fire control systems, and a logistic package. The tender also includes 28,000 high explosive (HE), 7,500 illumination, 2,500 smoke, 400 training and 120 exercise rounds, as well as 36 cut-aways. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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