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25 Sep 19. Asia second largest market for AAD systems in next decade. In the next 10 years the Asia-Pacific region will be a highly dynamic market for artillery and air defence systems, according to Defence Insight’s soon to be released market forecast on the sector.
There are currently 84 major acquisition programmes across the region and cumulatively the market is estimated to be worth $48 billion between 2019 and 2029, making it the second largest globally after Europe. The full report, titled The Artillery and Air Defence Market Report and Forecast 2019-2029, will be released next week.
India, Japan and South Korea are expected to be the three largest markets in Asia-Pacific, but while India has very ambitious targets it is far from certain that they will come to fruition.
Short and medium range air defence systems make up over half of the total forecast expenditure. This is primarily due to advances in long-range missile technology and the growing numbers of advanced fighter aircraft being introduced.
‘China’s rapidly developing fighter fleet in particular is a spur to investment, with new J-16, J-20 and potentially FC-31 platforms now entering its air force,’ says Matt Smith, Director of Analysis for Defence Insight. ‘These aircraft are significantly more capable than previous generations and have eroded the quality advantage that has previously been enjoyed by countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan,’ he added.
Both South Korea and Japan have boosted spending on programmes to protect against North Korean ballistic missiles and this is unlikely to become less of a concern following Pyongyang’s resumption of ballistic missile tests in May 2019.
The pressing nature of these threats means that there is major push expected over the next few years to procure new capabilities, with spending forecast to peak in 2023 before dropping away as major programmes currently being procured come to a close.
In Japan, for example, a $2.3bn investment is being made in Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Ashore, a land-based complement to its existing naval Aegis capability. There is also on-going development of Japan’s indigenous missile systems, with the Type 03 and Type 11 surface to air missiles being funded in the 2019 budget.
South Korea has multiple programmes including the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system for lower-tier defence against hostile missiles, the KM-SAM which is intended to replace the medium-range MIM-23 Improved-HAWK system as the mid-tier of South Korea’s air and missile defence system; and L-SAM, which will meet the long-range requirement when it is deployed in the mid-2020s.
In India there is a recognition that its air defence capabilities are aging and no longer realistically capable of defeating the kind of modern air-based threats likely to be field by Pakistan or China in the event of a conflict, the forecast states. As a result, there is substantial effort going into re-capitalising across the spectrum of effects.
In 2018 Russia’s Igla-S was selected for a USD1.5 billion requirement for a Very-Short-Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) man-portable missile system to replace the current Igla-M system.
Both the Indian army and air force are seeking to acquire short-range anti-aircraft guns to replace Bofors L/70 and ZU-23-2B guns. An RfI for 938 gun systems for the army was issued in 2019, following an air force tender for 244 guns in December 2017.
The upgraded version of the K30 BIHO has been selected for the Indian army’s mobile air defence requirement, although Russia contested the award in in January 2019. Assuming that the decision is upheld, deliveries under the $2.5 billion contract are expected to begin in 2020. Longer range requirements are being met with NASAMS II from the US, Bharat’s Akash truck-mounted missile and the S-400 Triumf from Russia. (Source: Shephard)
25 Sep 19. Evolved Mortar System Capabilities. EXPAL Systems launched the electronic devices E-COMPAX and M-COUNTER at DSEI. Those two new technologies might enhance mortar systems’ operational capabilities.
E-COMPAX is an electronic aiming device envisioned to provide firing aiming data to mortars, covering metrics such as orientation and elevation even in a denied or degraded GPS environment (Northfinder). According to the company the system reduces the time to firing to only 30 seconds and the after-firing adjustment to less than 5 seconds. The easy interface and the software implement all necessary functionalities to perform aiming, either in a stand alone mode (on its own tablet) or integrated into a FCS computer.
EXPAL also presented M-COUNTER, an electronic system designed to increase the safety and ease the maintenance tasks of mortar systems. The system records automatically the number, date and time of the shots performed, checks the last maintenance operations, and receives manufacturer recommendations for spare parts or shelf-life of different elements, among other functions. This information is crucial to adequate the maintenance plan for each mortar through its life cycle.
“These new technologies complete EXPAL’s global solution for mortar systems consisting of 60, 81 and 120mm mortar systems, the entire portfolio of ammunition and EIMOS, the 60/81mm mortar system integrated into a high mobility vehicle,” the company announced. “This proposal includes as well technological applications such as the Fire Control System TECHFIRE, the mini UAV used as Unmanned Forward Observer SHEPHERD-MIL, the simulator eSIMOX to train mortar units and eTRAIDS to make easier maintenance and training works.” (Source: ESD Spotlight)
25 Sep 19. Explosive Ordnance Robots at DSEI. Irish company Reamda showed their range of military robots – especially explosive ordnance robots – at DSEI. One quite new addition to this is Reacher, a bomb disposal robot with a payload bay, which is a quite unique feature in this area. Customers are Ireland, of course, and Switzerland, with 19 robots being in operation with the Irish Defence Forces already.
The payload bay might be used for most different add-ons.
One of them shown at the show is the Remote Disruptor Platform (RDP) that might therefore easily be deployed when observation or disruptor capabilities are needed in low clearance situations, for example looking under a car. The Reacher can use the RDP to get a 3rd person perspective view on itself.
Reacher has both skid steer and Ackerman steering via the rear axle. This allows the robot to save battery power and tyre wear when making long trips to incidents. It also allows Reacher to get out of trouble if it sinks in very soft ground. The robot is able to drive at a maximum speed of 10 km/h. The arm has a 200 kg lift capability. The communication system is also made by Reamda and might therefore be adjusted to customer needs. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
24 Sep 19. Swedish Army receives first Mjölner self-propelled mortars. The Swedish Armed Forces received their first four series production Granatkastarpansarbandvagn 90 (Grkpbv 90) self-propelled mortars on 19 September, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has announced. The FMV said on its website on 19 September that it had handed over the Grkpbv 90s, which are based on the CV90 armoured vehicle, to the Swedish Army’s armour regiment in Skövde. It added that it would continue to work with industry during the production and delivery of the remaining 36 vehicles.
Swedish Army chief Major General Karl L E Engelbrektson said his service’s capabilities would be greatly increased with the introduction of the Grkpbv 90. The FMV added that instructors considered the system easy and quick to operate, taking even currently still inexperienced crews less than five minutes to deploy it, twice as quickly as towed mortars, which will be reduced to less than two minutes after they are trained.
Brigadier General Mikael Frisell, director land systems in the FMV, said the project had gone from contract to delivery in two-and-a-half years, which he attributed to the close co-operation between the FMV, Swedish Armed Forces, and industry. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Sep 19. Brazilian Marine Metalúrgica develops armoured RHIB for domestic market. Looking to secure domestic military and homeland security rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) contracts, Brazilian shipbuilder Marine Metalúrgica has designed a range of armoured fast multi-mission armed RHIBs meeting Brazilian Army and navy requirements for such craft.
The Brazilian Army and navy, as well as several police forces, have purchased several protected and unprotected armed fast craft in previous years to more effectively counter illegal activities and surveil coastal and riverine areas. However, the country’s budget constraints have limited the number of needed boats purchased.
The Marine Metalúrgica RHIB family, featuring MM7000, MM9000, and MM12000 designs, offers rigid hull fully built of welded naval-grade aluminium.
They can accommodate a payload of equipment including up to two four-stroke outboard motors, an electro-optical sensor, a public address system, a searchlight, navigation radar, communications, a GPS, an automatic identification system (AIS), ballistic protection, and 7.6 mm and 12.7mm machine guns.
Both the MM9000 and MM12000 configurations include a fully enclosed ballistic protected pilot cabin with air conditioning. The MM9000, weighing 1,150 kg, measures 9m in length and 3.2m in width for a crew of two and space for 15 personnel. The MM12000, weighing 1,600kg, measures 12m in length and 3.2m in width for a crew of two and space for 21 passengers. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Sep 19. Israel’s IWI adds polymer Masada side arm, updates legacy Jericho. IWI’s new 9X19 mm Masada pistol adds a striker-fired weapon to complement IWI’s legacy Jericho pistol, which is also being upgraded.
Jericho is manufactured in polymer and steel variants, but IWI had mainly left pistols aside to focus on carbines and rifles, Ronen Hamudot, IWI marketing and sales executive, told reporters on 23 September. Recently, however, the company developed the polymer Masada pistol as part of an effort to penetrate the US market. It was released in 2018 and “thousands” have been purchased by military customers so far, said Hamudot, who declined to name the customers. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Sep 19. Israel’s IWI eyes new markets, expands assault weapons offerings. Israel Weapons Industry (IWI) is working towards an expanded portfolio of automatic rifles to address a wider export market outside of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). For example, IWI US was established in 2013 in Harrisburg, PA, and is 100% owned by IWI. The US business wing has been focused on the commercial/civilian market but the company is hoping to shift into the US government and military market soon, Ronen Hamudot, IWI marketing and sales executive, told reporters on 23 September. In the past IWI has not invested in much marketing in the US or Europe but it is now actively working to enter those markets with new products, and in some cases is seeking joint ventures with local manufacturing. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Sep 19. Iran parades Khorramshahr ballistic missile with new RV. The annual military parade in Tehran on 21 September included a Khorramshahr ballistic missile fitted with a notably smaller re-entry vehicle (RV) that would give it a longer range. Unveiled in the September 2017 parade and widely believed to be based on the North Korean BM-25, the Khorramshahr reportedly has a range of 2,000 km with a warhead weighing 1,800 kg, giving it a far heavier payload capability over that distance than Iran’s Shahab-3 family of missiles. The development of a smaller RV for the Khorramshahr was noted in March, when France, Germany, and the United Kingdom sent a joint letter to the Security Council saying one had been publicly displayed during the Ten Days of Dawn event in Tehran on 4 February. No images showing this variant appear to have been released at that time. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Sep 19. US seeking to update ICBM fleet. Well before rockets launched mankind into space, humans have sought to develop rockets to deliver atomic weapons to obliterate other people – and that development, although less in the spotlight, continues. The US is now moving to update its fleet of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to maintain a capable strategic deterrent out past mid-century. With vast sums involved, around US$80bn, development of the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) has turned into a major commercial contest, with the winner essentially owning GBSD for decades to come.
That winner is increasingly looking like Northrop Grumman, which appears to have scored a very large advantage through its acquisition of Orbital ATK and its solid rocket propellant business.
The US Air Force initially released its request for proposal for GBSD in 2016, outlining that the new missiles would be phased in over a decade, starting in the late 2020s, and remaining in service to around 2075.
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman all put their hands up, and in August 2017, the USAF awarded three-year development contracts to Boeing and Northrop Grumman.
But in July, Boeing announced that it was bowing out because of Northrop Grumman’s overwhelming advantage through its dominance of the solid fuel rocket motor market following acquisition of Orbital ATK in June 2018.
Last week, Northrop Grumman announced its sub-contractor team, which includes Aerojet Rocketdyne, the US’ only solid fuel rocket manufacturer, along with BRPH, Clark Construction, Collins Aerospace, General Dynamics, Honeywell, L3Harris, Lockheed Martin, Parsons and Textron Systems.
However, Boeing hasn’t completely chucked it in. Immediately after announcing it would not bid, Boeing approached Northrop Grumman about presenting a joint bid. No thanks came the polite reply.
Now Boeing has gone to the government, seeking it to intervene to require a teaming arrangement, saying that would produce a better weapon system sooner. The final proposal from Northrop Grumman is due on 13 December.
The current US land-based ICBM force comprises 450 LGM-30 Minuteman 3 missiles located at USAF bases in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota. Through the GBSD program, these will be replaced by some 650 missiles.
The Minuteman missile arose from development in the 1950s, with first-generation missiles entering service in 1962.
Significantly, Minuteman was powered by solid fuel rocket motors, a major advance on earlier liquid fuelled ICBMs, which needed to be fuelled immediately before launch and were at increasing risk of loss in a surprise first strike.
Current generation Minuteman missiles date from the 1970s. They have been steadily upgraded with a range of new systems, including replacement rocket motors, improved guidance and more reliable safety systems.
Rather than the multiple warheads of earlier missiles, each Minuteman now lofts a single W78 or W87 warhead.
“While certain components and sub-systems have been upgraded, most of the fundamental infrastructure in use today is the original equipment supporting more than 50 years of continuous operation,” Northrop Grumman says on its website. (Source: Space Connect)
23 Sep 19. US Navy trials MCM mission package on ESB vessel. The US Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship Mine Countermeasure (MCM) mission package has been trialled on Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, USNS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams. In a three day test programme carried out in the Chesapeake Bay, the vessel used the MCM’s portable control station to manoeuvre MCM equipment and launch and recovery equipment, as well as to test the command and control of unmanned vehicles.
The demonstration proved the ESB class ships’ ability to serve as an MCM-capable platform to embark 12 20ft equivalent units, vehicles, and the support equipment required to operate, launch, and recover one full MCM mission package, including the buried mine hunting and unmanned sweeping mission modules, with flexible ship modifications.
Initial assessments showed positive results and will help inform the feasibility of integration on ESB, as well as other vessels of opportunity. This integration demonstration represents the potential to provide increased agility to US Navy forces as they respond to the growing complexity of sea-mines while shifting to a broad-spectrum cross-domain, expeditionary approach.
Capt David Gray, USNS Hershel Woody Williams officer in charge, said: ‘Considering the contested environments which our ships sail in, counter-mine capabilities are very important because we have to be able to keep the enemy at bay.
‘Mines of today are very inexpensive to make. Our adversaries can produce mines for a few hundred dollars and inflict a tremendous loss of life while causing millions of dollars of damage. So we need the assets out there to detect and destroy these threats ahead of time, and keep the world’s shipping lanes open.’ (Source: Shephard)
20 Sep 19. Aselsan rolls out Alkar 81mm mortar. Turkish company Aselsan has completed development of its latest Alkar 81mm mortar weapon system (MWS) using internal research and development funding. The company said production can begin as soon as orders are placed. The Alkar 81mm MWS leverages on experience gained from the development of the earlier Alkar 120mm rifled MWS, which is already in service with the Turkish Gendarmerie, integrated into the rear of the locally produced 4×4 BMC Vuran mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle.
The mortar system has an overall footprint of 1.85×0.85×1.02 m and can be installed on armoured and soft-skinned platforms. It was integrated onto the rear of an unarmoured long-wheelbase 4×4 Land Rover Defender for trials, although comparable platforms such as the 4×4 Toyota Land Cruiser could also be used.
The system comprises the automatic barrel laying system (ABLS), recoil mechanism, and computerised fire-control system (FCS). It is fitted with an 81mm smoothbore mortar barrel with a length of 1.6 m, with a minimum range of 100m and a maximum range of 6,400 m depending on the projectile/charge combination.
The turntable-mounted 81 mm mortar features an electrically powered traverse of 180° in azimuth with elevation limits from 45° to 85°. It can be traversed manually if power fails.
According to Aselsan, the system can come into action and fire its first 81mm mortar bomb within one minute and can come out of action within 10 seconds to escape counter-battery fire.
The FCS enables it to be rapidly laid onto the target with ballistic calculations being carried out using the NATO Armaments Ballistics Kernel (NABK) software. Its integral recoil system provides enough stability to the host platform that external stabilisers are not required. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Sep 19. Portugal presents weapons purchased from FN Herstal. The Portuguese Army has formally unveiled small arms that it purchased from FN Herstal through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) for EUR42.8m (USD47.3m). The army officially presented and demonstrated the first SCAR-L STD and SCAR-H STD assault rifles, the SCAR-H PR precision rifle, Minimi Mk3 light machine guns, the FN40GL Mk2 grenade launcher, and accessories at its School of Arms in Mafra on 16 September.
The first delivery of significant quantities of small arms is scheduled to take place in December, while the final delivery is to be carried out in 2022, the army’s Forces Planning Division told Jane’s. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Sep 19. Norway receives its first K9 self-propelled howitzer. Norway’s Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) announced on its website on 19 September that it had received its first K9 Thunder 155 mm self-propelled howitzer (SPH) from Hanwha Defense during a ceremony in South Korea.
The first system, comprising the K9 155/L52 SPH and K10 ammunition handling vehicle it operates with, will be delivered to Norway in December for testing, the NDMA said. The formal handover to the Norwegian Army is scheduled for autumn 2020, and a total of 24 K9 howitzers with six supporting K10s will be delivered to Norway upon completion of the contract, which was placed in 2017, according to the NDMA. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
Arnold Defense has manufactured more than 1.25 million 2.75-inch rocket launchers since 1961 for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and many NATO customers. They are the world’s largest supplier of rocket launchers for military aircraft, vessels and vehicles. Core products include the 7-round M260 and 19-round M261 commonly used by helicopters; the thermal coated 7-round LAU-68 variants and LAU-61 Digital Rocket Launcher used by the U.S. Navy and Marines; and the 7-round LAU-131 and SUU-25 flare dispenser used by the U.S. Air Force and worldwide.
Today’s rocket launchers now include the ultra-light LWL-12 that weighs just over 60 pounds (27 kg.) empty and the new Fletcher (4) round launcher. Arnold Defense designs and manufactures various rocket launchers that can be customized for any capacity or form factor for platforms in the air, on the ground or even at sea.
Arnold Defense maintains the highest standards of production quality by using extensive testing, calibration and inspection processes.