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02 Oct 19. Poland orders more rifles and pistols. Poland ordered more 5.56mm Grot C16 assault rifles and 9mm Vis 100 semi-automatic pistols from manufacturer Fabryka Broni-Łucznik Radom on 30 September.
“By 2022, every third soldier of the Polish Armed Forces will be equipped with the modern Grot rifle manufactured by Fabryka Broni in Radom”, said Polish Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak at a signing ceremony for the order.
In September 2017, a contract worth PLN290m (USD72.43m) was signed for 32,000 MSBS Grot rifles chambered in 5.56×45 mm to be delivered by March 2020. This deal has now been extended with the ordering of 18,000 more rifles worth PLN162m over the 2020–2022 period. Most of the 26,645 Grot rifles so far delivered are used by the soldiers of the newly formed Territorial Defence Forces (Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej: WOT). Meanwhile, a December 2018 contract for Vis 100 9x19mm pistols has been extended to a total of 19,900 pistols worth PLN49 million. According to the contract, the first 3,178 pistols are to be delivered by 15 December this year. Last month, the WOT handed over 1,412 Grot rifles to the first Polish Land Forces units to receive them: the 6th Airborne Brigade and the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade. The new firearms are replacing those units’ 5.56mm WZ.96 Beryl rifles. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Oct 19. Brazil set to finalise MTC-300 cruise missile development. Avibras Indústria Aeroespacial is scheduled to complete development of the Míssil Tático de Cruzeiro (MTC-300) surface-launched tactical long-range cruise missile for the Brazilian Army in December 2020, General José Júlio Dias Barreto, project manager of the ASTROS (Artillery Saturation Rocket System) 2020 programme, has confirmed to Jane’s . A production batch of the missile – commercially designated AV-MTC – is scheduled to be acquired in 2021, Gen Barreto added.
Avibras is developing the MTC-300 missile in co-operation with the Army Technological Centre under a 2012 contract awarded by the Manufacturing Directorate of Brazilian Army’s Department of Science and Technology. An acquisition contract was placed in 2016. MTC-300 is being developed as part of the Army Procurement Office’s ASTROS 2020 project, which also provides for the acquisition of new multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRSs) and simulators and the creation of new artillery units in the Brazilian Army.
The missile will equip the Brazilian Army’s ASTROS II MK3M and MK6 propelled MLRSs, which are mounted on the Avibras 6×6 AV-LMU platform. The AV-LMU vehicle can mount two missile containers, each armed with one MTC-300 missile.
The exact specifications of MTC-300, as well as information on system subcontractors, remain largely unknown. However, Jane’s understands that the missile weighs approximately 1,100 kg, is 450 mm in diameter, 5.430 mm in length, has a cruise speed of 1,044 km/h, a range in excess of 300 km, and circular error of probability (CEP) of 30 m. Since development was initiated in 2012, the missile design has evolved, with the mid-body fixed-wing assembly replaced with fold-out wings, although the two sets of aft-positioned cruciform tail surfaces are retained.
The missile is furnished with a two-stage solid rocket motor booster, an Avibras-developed subsonic motor, GPS/INS guidance, and a 200kg high-explosive (HE) or anti-personnel/anti-armour submunition warhead. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Oct 19. Russia ready to test extended-range Oniks missile variant. NPO Mashinostroyenia, part of Russia’s Tactical Missiles Corporation, is developing an extended-range version of the P-800 Oniks (3M55) supersonic naval cruise missile.
The new variant, designated Oniks-M, will have a range of up to 800 km and will feature an improved guidance system and enhanced ECCM, according to Russian industry sources. The original version has a published range of 300 km.
Capable of engaging land and sea targets, Oniks-M is likely to be tested “in the next month or two”, said the sources. Tests were originally scheduled to take place in the Barents Sea in the first 10 days of September but were postponed for “additional checks on the product’s experimental models”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Oct 19. Brazil and South Africa conclude development of A-Darter AAM. The Brazilian Air Force has accepted the data package and type certificate of Denel Dynamics’ A-Darter air-to-air missile (AAM), signaling the closure of the project’s development cycle.
The data package that contained the material that included all the knowledge that was produced was handed over by the Armaments Corporation of South Africa (ARMSCOR) to the Brazilian Air Force’s Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA) at the end of September.
The certificate issued by DCTA’s Institute for Industrial Development and Coordination (IFI) and the Directorate System Integrity (DSI) of the South African Air Force (SAAF) to Denel Dynamics acknowledges that the technical, operational, logistical, industrial and safety requirements were met.
The end of development is expected to lead to the first production orders of the missile for Brazilian F-39E/F Gripen and SAAF’s Gripen C/D fighter jets.
The A-Darter project began in October 2006, through a contract between the Brazilian Air Force and ARMSCOR, with work carried out by Denel Dynamics, was for the development of a state-of-the-art ITAR-free wingtip 5-generation short-range air-to-air missile with lock-on after launch (LOAL) and memory tracking capabilities. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Oct 19. USAF awards next-gen area-attack weapon contracts. The US Air Force (USAF) has contracted two manufacturers to deliver 15,000 warhead cases for the BLU-136/B next-generation area-attack weapon. The contracts, announced by the Department of Defense (DoD) on 1 October, are for USD600 million each and include delivery of the cases by Faxon Machining and Major Tool & Machine by 30 September 2026.
The USAF issued its initial request for information (RFI) for the development of the BLU-136/B in February 2018. The BLU-136/B is one of a family of Next-Generation Area-Attack Weapons (NGAAWs) being designed to meet the DoD’s policy on cluster munitions.
As noted by the USAF, the family comprises the BLU-134/B and BLU-136/B warheads with a height of burst sensor. The BLU-134/B Improved Lethality Warhead (ILW), also known as NGAAW Increment I, is a 500 lb warhead for improved anti-personnel and anti-material (APAM) capabilities. The BLU-136/B, also known as NGAAW Increment II, is a 2,000 lb high-fragmentation area-attack warhead to augment the BLU-134/B for significant improvement against APAM targets.
While cluster munitions spread live bomblets across a wide field, the NGAAW-series weapons achieve a similar effect by showering metal fragments across a wide area to destroy large formations of enemy forces in the open. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Oct 19. Commtact Showcases a Complete, End-to-End Data Link Solution for Loitering Munitions Platforms. The system includes a ground station, aerial station, and antennas. Commtact Ltd. a leading provider of advanced wireless communications solutions for manned and unmanned platforms on the ground, in the air or at sea ‒ showcases a complete, end-to-end data link solution for loitering munitions platforms at AUSA. The system includes a ground station, aerial station, and antennas.
Loitering munitions is a term covering all tactical unmanned flying weapon systems capable of loitering above a designated target area, providing portable precision munition capability to ground forces. Loitering munitions identify targets and directly engage these targets, reducing response times with a high level of accuracy. These are particularly beneficial against concealed or hidden targets that emerge and remain exposed for a short period of time. To ensure success, it is critical that these platforms provide operational reliability and high quality real-time video ‒ making an undependable, specially tailored data link essential.
Commtact’s EMDLS (Enhanced Mini Data Link Solution) was developed precisely for these platforms. The transceiver of the small-footprint tactical solution ‒ which includes a 6-antenna array ‒ enables automatic optimal switching between antennas. This facilitates flexible and immediate transitions between different polarizations in order to maintain optimal data link connectivity throughout the different stages of the mission ‒ flying to the targeted zone, loitering, identifying and engaging the target.
According to Mr. Asaf Choshniak, the VP Marketing & Sales, “Commtact is dedicated to adapting its solutions to customer requirements. The EMDLS was developed in response to the critical need for reliable data links for loitering munitions platforms. The company has leveraged its proven expertise to provide a full solution that delivers dependable, ultra-fast connectivity and high-quality, secured real-time video during all mission stages.”
The system’s integrated real-time video encoder ensures high quality, low latency video broadcasts throughout the entire mission. Advanced algorithms enable secured, reliable communications ‒ even in the most challenging operational scenarios, such as those found in maritime or urban environments. Equipped with a small MIL STD IP67 tactical ground station and an airborne transceiver, the EMDLS delivers a complete, end-to-end data link solution that can be tailored to each customer’s needs.
AUSA, Washington, D.C., October 14-16, Hall D, Stand 7057
01 Oct 19. Algeria tests land-attack sub-launched missile. Algeria has acquired land-attack missiles for its two new Project 636.1 ‘Improved Kilo’-class submarines, its Ministry of National Defence (MDN) revealed on 29 September, when it said both had fired missiles against land targets during a visit by Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaïd Salah to the Mers el-Kabir naval base.
“The purpose of this exercise is to ensure the operational effectiveness of these two submarines,” it said. “The firing was carried out successfully by destroying the terrestrial targets with great precision, which constitutes a new success.”
Algerian television showed Lt Gen Salah and other senior officers watching from the coast as the submarines launched missiles from below the surface and then viewing a television screen showing impacts inside a circle that had been marked out on flat terrain. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
30 Sep 19. Nammo discloses advanced solid-fuel rocket motor development. Nammo Raufoss has disclosed development of an advanced solid-fuel ramjet (SFRJ) engine designed to deliver augmented speed up to hypersonic level and range for missiles and artillery shells. An internally funded initiative, the new engine technology is being developed in co-operation with the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt – FFI) and US Navy research laboratories.
Ramjet propulsion uses a missile’s forward motion to compress incoming atmospheric oxygen, drawn through an integrated air intake, instead of the oxidiser used in solid-propellant motors. “In a traditional rocket motor, the oxidiser accounts for 80% of the fuel weight,” Frank Møller, vice-president of strategy and business development, aerospace propulsion at Nammo Raufoss explained to Jane’s. “But if you are flying in the atmosphere, why not use the oxygen from outside and save that 80%? This means you can have a much smaller missile, but with great range because the weight of the oxydiser is removed from the equation.”
“When the missile reaches the right velocity – approximately Mach 2.5 – the oxygen pressure and temperature is high enough and the air intake functions as a compressor and auto-ignites the propellant,” said Møller. “So, the ‘booster’ is built into the missile itself, and during flight it transitions from a traditional solid-fuelled rocket to an air-breathing system. In air-breathing mode the missile is capable of reaching between Mach 3.5 to Mach 5,” he added, noting that a SFRJ missile can have a burn time of up to 300 seconds and be throttled up and down.
Møller said the company has conducted more than 200 tests with the SFRJ technology at its centre in Raufoss, Norway, simulating speeds from Mach 3 to Mach 5 from sea level up to 50,000ft. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
01 Oct 19. A-Darter missile issued type certificate. A type certificate for the South African/Brazilian A-Darter infrared short-range air-to-air missile has been granted, marking the completion of development of the system. The certification acknowledges that A-Darter meets the technical, operational, logistical, industrial and safety requirements of both the Brazilian and South African air forces, who will respectively use it to arm a range of combat aircraft types.
‘This partnership with South Africa [for] project A-Darter has achieved all of its goals,’ Lt Brig Luiz Fernando de Aguiar, director general of Brazil’s department of aerospace science and technology, said.
‘The missile will be an important item incorporated into the Brazilian Gripen, and will allow Brazil to absorb technology from this device.’
Brazil and South Africa signed an agreement to jointly develop the missile in 2006, which has been carried out by the former’s SIATT, Avibras and Opto Eletrônica, and the latter’s Denel.
The missile can autonomously identify a lock on after launch target, as well as engage electronic countermeasures.
It will equip the South African air force’s Saab Gripen C/D fighters and BAE Hawk trainers, as well as the Brazilian air force’s AMX A-1M ground-attack aircraft, Northrop F-5 fighters, and its new Gripen E fleet. (Source: Shephard)
01 Oct 19. India Successfully Test-Fired BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile. India successfully test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the coast of Odisha along the Bay of Bengal on Monday. Defence officials said that the missile was launched from the Interim Test Range in Chandipur at 10.20 a.m. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh extended his congratulations to scientists of the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) and BrahMos Aerospace following the successful testing of the weapon. Featuring an Indian propulsion system, airframe, power supply, and other major indigenous components, the missile was successfully test-fired for its full range of 290 km during the launch that was jointly conducted by the DRDO and BrahMos Aerospace. A defence official said the indigenous content in the formidable weapon has reached a high value with the successful mission thus bolstering India’s defence indigenization and the flagship ‘Make in India’ programme of the Central government. The BrahMos, which derives its name from the rivers Brahmaputra of India and Moskva of Russia, has been jointly developed by India and Russia. (IANS). (Source: Google/https://www.sentinelassam.com)
30 Sep 19. Taiwan plans to buy US Paladin howitzers. Taiwan is planning to boost its defensive capabilities by acquiring long-range artillery pieces from the US, the country’s defence minister has confirmed.
Yen Teh-fa told the country’s defence committee that the armed forces would look to purchase the BAE Systems M109A6 Paladin howitzer from the US. The purchase would build on a series of arms deals with the US, including the acquisition of Javelin missiles, 66 F-16V fighter jets and 108 M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks. Weapons sales from the US to Taiwan have repeatedly sparked anger in Beijing, with the China placing sanctions on US defence contractors involved in earlier sales of tanks and anti-tank missiles.
The Taipei Times reported that Taiwan could be looking to purchase as many as 100 howitzers; however, the minister did not confirm any numbers.
Taiwan says it needs the howitzers from the US to maintain its defensive capabilities in response to China developing rocket artillery which could strike the Island.
The People’s Republic of China does not recognise Taiwan – officially the Republic of China – as a separate state but views it as breakaway province. China’s recent national defence white paper reasserted claims of sovereignty and the country has refused to rule out the use of force to reunify the countries.
According Defense News Taiwan’s Armed Forces already operate a range of artillery including M109A2 and M109A5, older variants of the Paladin, along with M110A2 self-propelled howitzers and towed M114 howitzers. Taiwan’s most modern artillery piece, the M109A5, entered service over 20 years ago.
Despite the range of equipment, the M109A6 will deliver advanced capabilities to Taiwan with its increased armour and faster rate of fire. The M109A6 can fire one round a minute while moving with a range of around 30km. As part of its relationship with Taiwan, the US is mandated to assist the country by supplying defence and military equipment.
The confirmation of the request comes as China gears up to showcase its military power tomorrow as part of the country’s 70th National Day Parade on 1 October. During the parade, China is expected to unveil new military equipment including the Dongfeng-41 (DF-41) intercontinental ballistic missile and the J-20 stealth fighter aircraft. (Source: army-technology.com)
27 Sep 19. General Dynamics integrates NMS on board USS Gabrielle Giffords LCS. General Dynamics Mission Systems has integrated a new anti-ship and land-attack cruise missile system on board the US Navy’s USS Gabrielle Giffords littoral combat ship (LCS) (LCS 10).
The installation of the MK 87 Mod 0 over-the-horizon Naval Strike Missile (NSM) onto the Independence-variant LCS is expected to increase the ship’s lethality and survivability.
The new missile system will deliver improved mission readiness and defensive capabilities. In a statement, General Dynamics Mission Systems said: “General Dynamics was able to integrate the NSM system by determining equipment placement, adapting the ship’s navigation system to provide unique signals to the missile system, designing the operational station in the integrated command centre, designing the system for providing specialised power to the MK 87 and conducting all of the analyses necessary for a safe and effective system.”
The company worked with Austal USA and industry partners to design structures and foundations and complete the integration in San Diego.
General Dynamics Mission Systems maritime and strategic systems vice-president and general manager Carlo Zaffanella said: “The open-architecture design of the ship’s computing environment and electronic systems made the design and integration of the new NSM system feasible in an accelerated timeline.”
Produced by Kongsberg, the NSM is a long-range, precision-strike weapon designed to fly at sea-skimming altitude and find and destroy enemy ships. The weapon has a range of up to 100nm and emits low observable signals to avoid detection by radars. General Dynamics is the prime contractor for the integration and installation of the NSM weapon on board USS Gabrielle Giffords.
The company will also integrate the capability on all US Navy Independence-variant LCS ships already in service.
As the systems integrator for the Independence-variant LCSs, General Dynamics handles the design, integration and testing of systems such as navigation, command, control, computing and aviation systems. (Source: naval-technology.com)
27 Sep 19. Taiwan looks to boost artillery forces to counter China. Taiwan is seeking to modernize and lengthen the reach of its artillery with the decision to purchase self-propelled howitzers, even as it weighs acquiring or developing its own long-range artillery rockets.
During a hearing of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, Taiwanese Defense Minister Yen Teh-fa confirmed to legislators that Taiwan will seek to acquire the BAE Systems M109A6 Paladin self-propeller howitzer from the United States.
Yen did not reveal how many howitzers would be sought, although local media reports in July stated that Taiwan was looking at acquiring 100 howitzers. The Taiwanese army’s artillery units are already operating the older M109A2 and M109A5 variants, as well as the M110A2 self-propelled howitzer and the towed M114 howitzers. The M109A6 features improved armor and survivability over older variants of the M109, which allows howitzer batteries to fire from dispersed locations as well as reduce the time required to set up and fire its 155 mm (6 inch) howitzer.
Taiwan is also reportedly looking to increase the range of its artillery rockets up to 190 miles, and was said to be weighing between acquiring the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System or developing a longer-ranged rocket for its Thunderbolt-2000 truck-mounted multiple rocket launcher.
The National Changshan Institute of Science and Technology, which developed and manufactured the Thunderbolt 2000, has successfully developed a rocket with a range of 63 miles and is confident it can develop an even longer range rocket.
This requirement is in response to China fielding artillery rockets capable of attaining such ranges, which would put Taiwan’s west coast within range from mainland China. China sees Taiwan as a renegade province and has not ruled out the use of force to take back the island.
The Trump administration has ramped up arms sales to Taiwan in recent months, with the State Department clearing the sale of tanks, fighter jets and surface to air missiles. Under the Taiwan Relations Act passed by Congress in 1979, the U.S. is committed to providing self-defense weapons to the self-governing island off China’s coast. (Source: Defense News)
26 Sep 19. Are air defense systems ready to confront drone swarms? The attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities on Sept. 14 served as a reality check for countries struggling to define the level of the threat posed by drone swarms and low-altitude cruise missiles.
Now, in a region where that threat is particularly acute, countries are left to reexamine existing air defense technology. According to the Saudi Defense Ministry, 18 drones and seven cruise missiles were fired at the kingdom in the early hours the day in mid-September. The drones struck Abqaiq, a facility that the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank had warned the month before was a potential critical infrastructure target. Several cruise missiles fell short and did not hit the facility. Four cruise missiles struck Khurais. Saudi and U.S. official blame on Iran, but the government there denies involvement.
What is clear is the failure of existing air defense systems to stop the attack.
The Abqaiq facility’s air defenses reportedly included the American-made Patriot system, Oerlikon GDF 35mm cannons equipped with the Skyguard radar and a version of France’s Crotale called Shahine. Satellite images posted by Michael Duitsman, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, shows the setup: Impeded by radar ranges and the facility itself, as well as the speed and angle of the drones and missiles, Saudi air defense apparently did not engage the drones.
“If U.S.-supplied air defenses were not oriented to defend against an attack from Iran, that’s incomprehensible. If they were, but they were not engaged, that’s incompetent. If they simply weren’t up to the task of preventing such precision attacks, that’s concerning,” said Daniel Shapiro, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and a visiting fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies. “And it would seem to validate Israeli concerns that even effective air and missile defense systems, as Israel has, could be overwhelmed by a sufficient quantity of precision-guidance missiles.”
There is a debate about the level of this threat. Brig. Gen. Pini Yungman, a former air defense commander with the Israeli Air Force and current head of Rafael’s air defense systems division, contrasts the drone swarm with a cruise missile with a range of 1,000 kilometers and equipped with a large warhead. “Drones, even drone swarms, are not a strategic threat, even if you take dozens to attack. They carry a very low weight of bomb or ammunition,” Yungman said.
Uzi Rubin, former director of the state-run Israel Missile Defense Organization, doesn’t think what happened in Saudi Arabia could happen in Israel. “We have a smaller area, and that has an advantage in many respects because it is an advantage in controlling our airspace.”
He said the primary challenge in stopping an attack like that in Saudi Arabia is not the ability to shoot down the threats, but rather to detect the low-flying threats. “When it comes to missiles, missile defense sensors will aim above the horizon because the missile is above it and you don’t want clutter. So when it comes to guarding, the issue is things that can sneak in near the ground,” he explained.
The key, then, is to close the gap that potentially exists near the ground.
“It’s not too difficult to close the gap; the Saudis can do it with local defenses,” he asserted. But he acknowledged that the larger the land area, the more difficult it can be to maintain control.
Rubin said shooting down drone swarms can be accomplished with anti-aircraft guns, noting that Iraq downed several Tomahawk cruise missiles in 1991 after discovering their flight path.
“You don’t need anything fancy,” he said — the Russian SA-22 or Pantsir system, with 30mm cannons, missiles and infrared direction finders would do.
“I think once the surprise of the [Sept. 14] attack wears off, then one should sit back and see it is not a very devastating attack.” Like Yungman, he said a long-range precision missile aimed at a strategic facility like a nuclear reactor in a European country would be a more serious threat.
However, Thomas Karako, a senior fellow at the CSIS think tank, told Defense News that the attack suggests a dramatic escalation. “More broadly speaking, it is what I’ve been talking about: The specter of complex, integrated air and missile attack is not theoretical — it has arrived.”
He argues that the Abqaiq attack draws a “bright red line under the problem set” and that “we need a mix of active and passive measures, kinetic and non-kinetic to counter.”
“It’s not a technological problem, it’s an engineering problem,” he said. “You need to look beyond the horizon and look in every direction.” That would include 360 coverage by radar and elevated sensors.
Israel, the test bed
Yungman considers the Middle East, particularly Israel, to be a proving ground. Since the 1940s, a number of different weapons systems, many made in Western countries or the Soviet Union, were used in regional combat.
“In this region, the asymmetric threat became bigger. So in the north there are almost 200,000 short-range rockets and missiles and accurate missiles as a threat” from Hezbollah, he said. “And in Syria we can see accurate, maneuvering ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. So air defense and air missile defense became, from the asymmetric aspect, bigger and bigger, and the air defense system became an issue we need to invest in and develop as fast as we can.”
With the support of the United States, Israel built and tested the Arrow system in the 1990s, becoming one layer of the country’s multilayered system that eventually included Arrow-2, Iron Dome and David’s Sling.
Short of using preemptive airstrikes against drone manufacturers and launch teams, Israel is upgrading its air defense on a “daily basis,” Yungman noted.
“The main threat is not face-to-face [combat] threats — it is rockets, drones, cruise missiles, maneuvering [theater ballistic missiles] and [short-range ballistic missiles] with big and small warheads. When we are talking about thousands or tens of thousands or more, it is very complicated, but it can be defeated,” he said.
One way to confront drone swarms involves soft-kill measures. Because drones are operated by GPS and radio control, jamming or taking control of the drone is one route.
But Rubin said what stands out about the Abqaiq incident is that the homing by the drones appeared to be optical, not GPS-guided.
Also noteworthy, evidence indicates that some of the UAVs weren’t carrying warheads, as they didn’t all explode. Alternatively, a hard-kill approach might involve using a 5- to 10-kilowatt laser. Lasers can destroy drones up to 2.5 kilometers away, according to Yungman.
The U.S. has looked at lasers for its Stryker armored vehicles, and Germany, Russia and Turkey are among the nation-states developing the technology. Israel’s Rafael has been working on laser interceptors for years, including the Drone Dome laser-based intercept system.
“I can say that from 2 kilometers I could hit a drone the size of a penny,” Yungman claimed.
Another option could be drone-on-drone combat, though that capability is still under development. While systems like the Iron Dome are combat-proven, questions remain about their ability to confront a drone swarm.
In theory, when using radar and electro-optics, an air defense system should be able to cover the bands necessary to track the drones using several systems and 360-degree phased-array coverage.
“In our research and technology we have the radar and electro-optical and jamming, GPS-denying [capabilities],” Yungman said. “And we have the ability to kill it.”
Rubin described the attack on Saudi Arabia as a kind of “Pearl Harbor,” and it reminded him to an Aug. 17 attack on the Shaybah oil field in Saudi Arabia by Houthi rebels involving 10 drones.
“The surprise was not in the attack, but the audacity,” Rubin recalled, adding that a precision attack by drones doesn’t make the aircraft less vulnerable to air defense systems.
The Stunner interceptor missile of David’s Sling, for instance, has the capability to intercept drones, missiles and other ordnance, including low-flying cruise missiles. But for that to work, there can’t be a gap in the radar coverage, Rubin noted.
Certainly, the recent attack in Saudi Arabia will impact industry and spur development from the key players in this area of defense, according to Karako of CSIS.
“I think you’ll see global demand signal for a variety of means to counter these threats,” he said. “It will spark a lot of solutions.”
26 Sep 19. Wildcat ZZ513 has taken to the air for the first time last month in a twin weapon wing and launcher configuration with Martlet dummy missiles. This was a significant milestone in the Future Anti Surface Guided Weapons (FASGW) programme on it’s journey to delivering the FASGW light missile capability to the Royal Navy. Following full system integration rig testing earlier in the year, flight trials will continue to gather evidence to prove the integration of the missile system (including live firing to demonstrate end-to-end system operation), underpin system certification and provide a clearance for in-service use. Additionally, environmental data is being gathered to support the missile system safety assurance Wildcat missile integration trials and establish air carriage life. The FASGW programme is being primed by DE&S, with integration onto Wildcat by Leonardo Helicopters managed through the Yeovil based Wildcat delivery team, and the Thales supplied Martlet missile system managed by the Lightweight and Medium Attack Systems project team in Abbey Wood. (Source: U.K. MoD desider)
25 Sep 19. Russia upgrades Kalibr cruise missiles. Russia has improved the targeting system of its ship- and submarine-launched 3M14 Kalibr cruise missiles to improve their ability to conduct time sensitive attacks. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu revealed the development, which was initiated as a result of combat experience in Syria, in an interview with the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper on 22 September.
“If we talk about the use of precision weapons, for example, [previously] loading a flight mission into the Kalibr cruise missile took so much time that the target could go [away],” said Shoigu, “and today the loading time for a Kalibr flight mission has decreased, I emphasise, by a multiple, and this work to reduce the time it takes to transmit target designations is ongoing.”
“Based on the results of this work, [President Vladimir Putin] gave direct orders to refine or improve certain characteristics of some weapons,” said Shoigu. “So it was with our Kalibr cruise missiles, the armament of long-range aviation and submarines. As a result of the hostilities in Syria, we naturally had a great debriefing, and not one, not ten. I can tell you that about 300 types of weapons were finalised taking into account the Syrian experience.” (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Sep 19. Russian MoD speeds up acquisition of Tor SAM systems. The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a long-term contract on 19 September with Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol, a subsidiary of the Almaz-Antey concern, for the acquisition of Tor-M2 (9K332) and Tor-M2DT (9K331MDT) short-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems.
The document was signed in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said the value of the contract is approximately RUB100bn (USD1.53bn) and that the systems ordered will be delivered in 2019-27.
The Tor-M2 all-weather tactical SAM system is armed with 16 9M338K single-stage solid-fuel missiles with an increased target engagement envelope and accuracy and reduced weight and dimensions compared with the earlier 9M331 missile. As a result the system can engage aerial targets flying at a maximum range of 16km, a speed of up to 1,000m/s, and an altitude of 10,000m. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Sep 19. MBDA unveils Team Tempest weapon system concepts. MBDA in the United Kingdom, in collaboration with its partners in Team Tempest, has unveiled a range of advanced weapon system concepts designed to complement and exploit the technologies that will inform the development of a sixth-generation fighter platform under the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative.
Team Tempest is a UK government-industry partnership comprising MoD personnel from the Royal Air Force (RAF) Rapid Capabilities Office, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Defence Equipment & Support and industry partners, BAE Systems, Leonardo, MBDA, and Rolls-Royce.
“We are looking at how future weapons concepts and the future platform can work together,” Chris Allard, group head of surface attack and future systems at MBDA, told Jane’s. “Rather than the more traditional approach, where we integrate weapons after the platform has been designed, we are now looking at how we can design the weapons and the platform together to optimise overall mission effectiveness. Being involved in the development of novel interfaces, bay designs, and integration processes will be a key enabler to the spiral development of complementing effectors in the future,” he added.
Working with Leonardo and BAE Systems, MBDA is advancing a hard-kill defensive aid system (HK-DAS) concept as part of the platform’s integrated defensive system. Designed to track, target, and intercept incoming missiles, HK-DAS is a compact < 1 m length, 10 kg-class imaging infrared (IIR) hit-to-kill missile, released from launchers integrated within the platform airframe. In keeping with its commonality, modularity, and reuse principle, the company is also considering, as part of the same conceptual family, a scalable Ground Attack Micromissile in the same form factor, but furnished with a small explosive payload to enable a close-air support role from the platform.
In the air-to-air domain, leveraging its current in-service 88kg class, 166mm calibre, IR-homing Advanced Short-Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) technologies, MBDA is exploring new within-visual-range air-to-air missile (WVRAAM) concepts. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
25 Sep 19. US Navy’s James E Williams vessel launches SM-2 missiles. The US Navy’s Arleigh-Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS James E Williams (DDG 95) has launched two standard missiles-2 (SM-2) during surface warfare advanced tactical training (SWATT). The missiles were launched at the first series of aerial targets launched from Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia during a missile exercise (MSLEX) as part of SWATT. Led by the Surface and Mine Warfare Development Center (SMWDC), SWATT involved James E Williams and other surface vessels assigned to Carrier Strike Group 10. The exercise was held in the Atlantic Ocean and is intended to maintain readiness, proficiency and lethality of participating units.
USS James E Williams executive officer commander Christopher Norris said: “SWATT is a total-ship evolution, which requires the seamless integration of all ship functions.
“We prepare for this event by training the crew through a myriad of drills and scenarios, writing and revising our warfighting doctrines and challenging our own assumptions in an effort to build not just sailors who can fight the ship, but sailors who can also rapidly apply critical thinking to combat an ever-changing adversary.”
SMWDC senior mentor commander Jason Tumlinson stated that the training event helps in integrating the functions of both the ship and the strike group.
Tumlinson said: “MSLEX scenarios ensure that systems and weapons function as designed, contributing to lethality and proficiency needed for deployment.
“SWATT is the bridge that enables ships to successfully transition from the basic phase of training to the integrated phase, in which multiple units operate together in complex scenarios like MSLEX.”
During the missile exercise, four ships fired supersonic and subsonic missiles at aerial targets.
SWATT provided the platform to support the ‘Live, Virtual, and Constructive’ fleet training concept.
The event also delivered live training in a real environment with live missiles and targets. (Source: naval-technology.com)
Arnold Defense has manufactured more than 1.25 m 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.