Qioptiq logo Raytheon


Sponsored by Arnold Defense www.arnolddefense.com


07 Nov 19. Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 Interceptor Test Proves Reliability. Two Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) interceptors successfully intercepted two tactical ballistic missile targets today in a test at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The PAC-3 CRI intercepts support the U.S. Army’s Field Surveillance Program (FSP) ensuring the reliability and readiness of fielded PAC-3 missiles. The test also marked the twelfth and thirteenth successful PAC-3 CRI FSP intercepts in seven years.

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 CRI’s ability to detect, track and intercept incoming missiles while meeting fielded reliability requirements. The test was observed by representatives from the U.S. Army and current and potential Foreign Military Sales PAC-3 customers.

“PAC-3 continues its long history of reliability and readiness in the field and remains the only combat proven Hit-to-Kill interceptor in the world,” 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 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. Fourteen nations have procured the PAC-3 missile defense interceptor: the U.S., Germany, Kuwait, Japan, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Poland, Sweden and Bahrain.

07 Nov 19. India, Russia agree to further expand bilateral defence co-operation. New Delhi and Moscow have agreed to imminently upgrade after-sales service facilities for Russian materiel in service with the Indian military and advance an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) on reciprocal logistics support between the two countries’ militaries. During a 6 November meeting of the 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-M&MTC) in Moscow, the two sides also agreed to allow India’s state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) to imminently start licence-building 750,000 Kalashnikov AK-203 7.62 mm assault rifles. The Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited joint venture, which was formed in March to manufacture the rifles, has been awaiting a formal agreement before starting production at the OFB unit in Korwa, about 680km southeast of New Delhi. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

06 Nov 19. Russian corvette Gremyashchiy to be armed with Tsirkon hypersonic missiles. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Yantar Shipyard, a subsidiary of United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), in St Petersburg on 31 October, and boarded the Project 20385 guided missile corvette Gremyashchiy now completing factory sea trials, the Kremlin’s website announced. The Kremlin reported on 31 October that Gremyashchiy commander Captain Roman Dovgaylov said the ship is 94.5% built and will be delivered to the Russian Navy (VMF) on 26 December. Its state trials will be conducted at Northern Fleet ranges.

Unlike Project 20380 corvettes, the Project 20385 ship is armed with Kalibr missiles that can engage coastal and surface targets at ranges of 1,500 km and 450 km, respectively. The modernised corvette has a new bridge with automated commander and operators’ workseats and the Sigma combat management system developed by Morinformsistema-Agat.

The Project 20385 guided missile corvette has a displacement of 2,200 tonnes and is 104 m long and 13 m wide. It is powered by two Kolomna 1DDA-12000 diesel powerplants producing a speed of up to 27 kt, a cruising range of 3,500 n miles, and an endurance of 15 days. The corvette has a 99-strong crew.

The ship’s 3S-14 vertical launch system can fire three types of missiles: the 3M-14 against land targets, 3M-54 against surface targets, and 91R against submerged targets. In future it will be armed with the Tsirkon hypersonic missile.

The corvette’s nose-mounted A-190-01 100 mm unmanned automatic naval gun with 332 rounds of ammunition has a range of 21 km and a rate of fire of up to 80 rounds per minute. It also has two AK-630M close-in weapon systems, Redut surface-to-air missile system, Paket anti-submarine warfare (ASW) unit, and a Kamov Ka-27 ASW helicopter embarked. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

05 Nov 19. Pakistan Navy tests Zarb coastal defence system. The Pakistan Navy (PN) announced on 5 November that it conducted a test-firing of its Zarb land-based anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) system (also known as the Zarb Weapon System) during a training exercise.

“The [Zarb] missile successfully followed its pre-planned trajectory and accurately engaged the target at sea,” the PN said in a statement on its Facebook page, adding that Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, was among those who witnessed the exercise.

No images or additional details of the test-firing were provided, but Adm Abbasi was quoted as saying that the “operationalisation of the Zarb Weapon System is depictive of Pakistan’s strong resolve and high level of preparedness”, adding that the PN “is fully capable of thwarting any aggression with an iron fist”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

05 Nov 19. SecDef: China Is Exporting Killer Robots to the Mideast. For the first time, a senior Defense official has called our Beijing for selling lethal autonomy. China is exporting drones that it advertises as having lethal autonomy to the Middle East, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday. It’s the first time that a senior Defense official has acknowledged that China is selling drones capable of taking life with little or no human oversight.

“As we speak, the Chinese government is already exporting some of its most advanced military aerial drones to the Middle East, as it prepares to export its next-generation stealth UAVs when those come oneline,” Esper said today at the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence conference. “In addition, Chinese weapons manufacturers are selling drones advertised as capable of full autonomy, including the ability to conduct lethal targeted strikes.”

The Chinese company Ziyan, for instance, markets the Blowfish A3, essentially a helicopter drone outfitted with a machine gun. Ziyan says it “autonomously performs more complex combat missions, including fixed-point timing detection, fixed-range reconnaissance, and targeted precision strikes.”

As Greg Allen, chief of strategy and communications at the Defense Department’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, points out in this February paper for CNAS, Ziyan is negotiating to sell its Blowfish A2 to the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. “Despite expressing concern on AI arms races, most of China’s leadership sees increased military usage of AI as inevitable and is aggressively pursuing it. China already exports armed autonomous platforms and surveillance AI, ” Allen wrote.

Last year, Zeng Yi, a senior executive at NORINCO, China’s third-largest defense company, forecast that, “In future battlegrounds, there will be no people fighting” —as early as 2025.

Esper also said Chinese surveillance software and hardware networks could help China develop AI. “All signs point to the construction of a 21st-century surveillance state designed to censor speech and deny basic human rights on an unprecedented scale. Look no further than its use of surveillance to systematically repress more than a million Muslim Uighurs,” he said. “Beijing has all the power and tools it needs to coerce Chinese industry and academia into supporting its government-led efforts.”

Last week, the Defense Innovation Board put forward a list of AI principles for the U.S. military, which listed human governability as key, in line with previous policy going back to 2012. Esper called the list comprehensive and applauded it.

He said it was “equally troubling are the outside firms or multinational corporations that are inadvertently or tacitly providing the technology or research behind China’s unethical use of AI.”

One company that has received criticism recently for partnering with Chinese researchers is Google. n Tuesday, Kent Walker, the company’s Senior Vice President for Global Affairs told the crowd at the forum, “We have chosen to scope our operations there very carefully.” Walker added that the partnerships are limited to advertising and work that to support open-source coding initiatives. (Source: Defense One)

06 Nov 19. Chinese air-launched ballistic missile may enter service soon. An article published in the Chinese bi-monthly magazine Modern Ships illustrating how a Xian H-6N strategic bomber would carry an air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) may indicate that this capability is in the final stages of development, or may even have entered service.

The 1 November issue of the magazine shows on its cover a high-quality computer-generated (CG) image of an H-6N, the latest variant of the H-6 bomber, carrying an underslung missile. The cover features the headline ‘Bombers rule the waves’ and more CG images of the ALBM-carrying bomber are included inside the magazine. Modern Ships is published by the Shipbuilding Information Centre, also known as the 714 Institute, under the state-owned shipbuilding conglomerate, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC). (Source: IHS Jane’s)

05 Nov 19. NP Aerospace Body Armor Awarded NIJ 0101.06 Compliance. Global armor manufacturer, NP Aerospace, has been awarded Notification of Compliance from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for two of its Level III+ Lightweight Body Armor Plates. The LASA LWB III+ IC06 Lightweight Buoyant Hard Armour Plate and LASA LWA III+ 109 IC06 Lightweight Hard Armor Plate are both now certified to NIJ 0101.06 by the governing body that oversees performance standards and testing for ballistic armor. Both have been certified in conjunction with soft armor.

James Kempston, CEO, NP Aerospace, comments: “Body armor plates are critical to protecting our military and law enforcement personnel and therefore the way we undertake our ballistic testing is central to our manufacturing processes and something we take very seriously. Having NIJ compliance for our Level III+ plates is part of a bigger strategy to grow our law enforcement business in North America. It allows us to take our well-established military products into a sector which is demanding increased levels of protection.”

The LWB III+ IC06 plate delivers ultra-lightweight multi-hit protection against NIJ Level III and special threats and is positively buoyant. The LWA III+ 109 IC06 plate also stops ‘Green Tip’ SS109 ammunition.

05 Nov 19. FLIR Launches the Fido X4 Premium Handheld Explosives Trace Detector. FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR) today announced the launch of the FLIR Fido® X4, the newest, most advanced version of its premium handheld explosives trace detector. The Fido X4 delivers unmatched sensitivity for a broad range of explosives, so users can easily detect threats at levels other devices cannot. FLIR Systems’ TrueTrace® detection technology features a new five-channel sensor array that delivers expanded threat coverage. TrueTrace can accurately detect a wide range of explosives at nanogram to sub-nanogram levels – including military, commercial, improvised, and homemade explosives – allowing users to gain actionable intelligence through identification of threats in as little as ten seconds.

A FLIR PackBot® Hardware Integration Kit will sync the Fido X4 with the company’s unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) widely used for explosive ordnance and bomb disposal. Fido’s multi-platform adaptability will allow users to switch the device from handheld operation to unmanned systems for standoff threat detection.

“Our new Fido X4 is mission-ready for all critical security applications – from high-volume checkpoint and randomized screenings to foot patrols and standoff operations – going wherever it is needed,” said David Ray, president of FLIR Systems’ Government and Defense Business Unit. “FLIR is committed to providing operators with intelligent sensing solutions that keep them out of harm’s way. With thousands of Fido devices already deployed in more than 40 countries, the X4 builds on a legacy of success for military and public safety personnel worldwide.”

Weighing three pounds and ergonomically built to minimize operator fatigue, the Fido X4 is designed for extended operations of up to 16 hours with two 8-hour, hot-swappable batteries. X4’s new simplified user interface features on-board video tutorials, user prompts, and color-coded alarms with strength indicators for quick and decisive operation. Analyzing and reporting results is made easy through multiple connectivity options, so critical data can be shared fast.

FLIR and authorized FLIR channel partners are currently taking pre-orders for the Fido X4 and shipments will begin in December 2019. The PackBot Hardware Integration Kit is being developed in 2020.

04 Nov 19. Gap remains between France and UK on FCASW requirements. France and the United Kingdom remain apart on their respective operational requirements for the projected Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon (FCASW) programme, according to a French parliamentary report.

The two governments plan to agree the next phase of the FCASW programme by the end of next year, but first need to reconcile their requirements, said Jean-Charles Larsonneur, a member of the Assemblée nationale (French house of representatives). The differing priorities of the two partners means that each currently favours a different technical solution.

The FCASW programme aims to develop a new-generation guided missile by 2030 to replace the Exocet and Harpoon anti-ship missiles and the Storm Shadow/SCALP land-attack cruise missiles. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

04 Nov 19. US Army looks to boost Hellfire Romeo, JAGM stocks. The US Army Contracting Command has released a sources sought notice for the production of air-to-ground missiles (AGMs) for the army’s fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and unmanned aircraft system (UAS) assets.

According to the notification, “The [US] Government requires the AGMS in Fiscal Year (FY) 22 through FY 25 with maximum quantities of 11,000 in FY 22, FY 23, FY 24 and FY 25. The Government also requires qualified test assets, test sets, support equipment, and initial spares to support the AGMS.” Issued on 22 October, the notice emphasised that this was not a request for proposals, but for “informational and planning purposes”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

01 Nov 19. Guided, longer-range Carl-Gustafs are on their way. Carl-Gustaf fans will see a new, longer-range and guided version of their favorite recoilless rifle tested in the coming year. The 84mm reloadable weapon system is being upgraded through a partnership between Swedish defense firm Saab and their American partner Raytheon. Test firings were already performed at the Mile High Range in Sierra Blanca, Texas, and at a Saab facility in Karlskoga, Sweden, on Sept. 25 and 26. Three munitions were fired in total. Two were fired against stationary targets and one against a moving target utilizing a semi-active laser for guidance.

Other types of “seeking” technologies, like infrared imaging, were also demonstrated as potential solutions for the final product.

More tests will be done in the spring of 2020, as part of a U.S. Army contract issued last year to demonstrate a guided munition capability.

The guided Carl-Gustaf munitions are the “next step” in the system’s evolution, Görgen Johansson, head of Saab business area dynamics, said in a company press release.

“It will be the most advanced Carl-Gustaf munition yet and will offer greater precision, minimize collateral damage and deliver outstanding performance with pin-point accuracy and multi-target capability,” Johansson said.

Raytheon and Saab advertise that their precision-guided munition will be able to penetrate light armor, bunkers and concrete structures, at extended ranges.

The current rounds have an advertised maximum range of 1,300 meters. But the new rounds will have a range of 2,000 meters — or up to 1.2 miles.

“This lightweight round will overmatch potential adversaries while decreasing collateral damage, making it an ideal weapon when fighting under restricted rules of engagement,” said Sam Deneke, Raytheon’s land warfare systems vice president, in the press release.

Saab has also rolled out confined space rounds for the Carl-Gustaf that allow the 84 mm round to be fired from inside small enclosures — a previously dangerous maneuver given the Carl-Gustaf’s propensity to cause shock wave injuries to both the shooter and assistant gunner.

Saab also makes the much lighter AT-4 recoilless weapon system, but that’s single-shot. The military found in places like Afghanistan that the heavier but re-loadable Carl-Gustaf was often preferred by troops. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Army Times)

01 Nov 19. US Air Force budgets USD6.75m in prize money for upcoming Hypersonics Pitch Day. The US Air Force (USAF) has budgeted USD6.75m in prize money that could be spread among nine competitors at its first-ever Hypersonics Pitch Day (HPD) on 7 November.

Nine companies have been invited to propose based on how their technology contributes to cracking one of the many challenges associated with hypersonic flight. These include mitigating extreme high temperatures, creating unique aerodynamic configurations, and fashioning propulsion systems able to power a weapon at Mach 5 speed or higher. All nine companies can win contracts worth up to USD750,000. Additionally, winning companies will receive same-day initial payments of USD50,000, USAF spokesperson Ilka Cole said on 1 November. Companies that win contracts will receive a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract award for a 12-month period of performance with potential for a Phase 2 award, Cole said.

GoHypersonic, UES, Powdermet, Ursa Major Technologies, Spectral Energies, Goodman Technologies, Advanced Silicon Group, Fourth State Communications LLC, and FAAC Inc have been selected to present at the HPD in Niceville, Florida.

Bill Goodman, Goodman Technologies president and CEO, told Jane’s on 1 November that his company would offer its GT-nanoSHIELD. This is a 61 sq cm tile that is a hybrid composite of a high temperature thermal protection system on the outside with an underlying shield against electromagnetic interference, electromagnetic pulse, and the effects of a nuclear explosion.

Goodman said his key discriminator is that he has a solution for both high temperatures and survivability against a nuclear threat. Goodman said he has tested his technology against weapons-type effects at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, and at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL’s) Dayton, Ohio, facility. The data from the tests was so good, Goodman said, that he cannot share it with system prime contractors, only the federal government. The invited companies will present to a USAF panel of experts chaired by Lieutenant General Duke Richardson, military deputy to Will Roper, the USAF assistant secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

01 Nov 19. Future soldier ensembles set for German Army. Rheinmetall is preparing to support the German Army’s lead role in the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) deployment in 2023 with a tranche of future soldier ensembles Shephard understands.

The German government is currently in the process of ratifying a contract which will see Rheinmetall providing a total of 400 upgraded variants of the IDZ-ES future soldier ensemble as well as additional battle management systems (BMS) integrated on board Puma infantry fighting vehicles to support C2 requirements.

NATO’s VJTF comprises a multi-national and joint force, including land, air and maritime components as well as special operations forces, which can be tasked to deploy wherever necessary at short notice.

It is understood that a deal to deliver the next-generation capabilities to the army was agreed in August, with solutions expected to be delivered by the Projekt System & Management – Rheinmetall’s joint venture with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.

Upgraded IDZ-ES ensembles will feature Elbit Systems’ PNR-1000 software defined radio as well as Getac’s MX50 end user device or a smartphone device, either of which can be updated with Rheinmetall’s TACNET BMS software. Additional features include a USB hub as well as options for acoustic gunshot detection systems and FLIR’s Black Hornet unmanned aerial vehicle.

Upgraded ensembles will not include Rheinmetall’s ‘Electronic Back’ design which had seen a central power unit integrated into the body armour plate carrier of soldiers. Following further evaluation of this particular design, Rheinmetall selected to discontinue the model following end user feedback concerning its compatibility with backpacks and ease of extraction from armoured vehicles.

The VJTF 2023 roadmap will also include the integration of IDZ-ES ensembles with Rohde & Schwarz communications solutions including Puma SVFUA software defined radios. A Rheinmetall spokesperson confirmed to Shephard that the ‘improved communication between Puma crews and the dismounted infantry section will result in continuously updated and uniform common operational pictures providing a command and control capability that extends from the company commander to the individual rifleman on the ground’.

A technology demonstrator of the upgraded IDZ-ES ensemble was displayed at the RüNet conference in Koblenz on 4 September where Rheinmetall displayed a mock up of the IDZ-Advanced ensemble it will provide to the German Army in support of VJTF 2023. The display featured a pair of ensembles (pictured) in both woodland and desert camouflage patterns with each mock up featuring a chest-mounted EUD, attached to the front of a body armour plate carrier. The desert camouflage mock-up also included a heads-up display attached to combat helmets featuring rail adaptor systems for the addition of tactical accessories.

Today, a total of 68 platoons in the German Army are already equipped with IDZ-ES variants, designed to enhance the survivability, lethality and situational awareness of small unit teams operating at the tactical edge where communications, command and control remain critical to mission effectiveness. (Source: Shephard)


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.


Back to article list