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15 Nov 19. Queensland Uni launches upgraded wind tunnel to support hypersonics research. University of Queensland has upgraded its wind tunnel, which will allow improved testing of larger scale models of hypersonic aircraft and space vehicles at up to seven times the speed of sound. Hypersonics – ultra high speed flight – is an area where Australia has significant advantage, thanks to the work of pioneers such as the late Professor Ray Stalker.
Centre for Hypersonics researcher Dr David Gildfind said UQ’s large expansion tube facility X3, developed by Professor Richard Morgan, can now be reconfigured into a reflected shock tunnel with test time duration in excess of 10 milliseconds.
Dr Gildfind said that might not sound like a long time, but at these speeds, it more than tripled what was now possible within Australia.
“This new addition to our facility will allow us to test the type of vehicles that could one day travel from Australia to Europe in two hours,” he said.
The reflected shock tunnel operating mode of X3 is known as X3R.
At its heart is a device called a free-piston driver, a concept invented by Professor Stalker.
Within that driver, a half-metre diameter piston weighing more than half a tonne is accelerated down a 14-metre tube to nearly 500 kilometres per hour.
Dr Gildfind said the original X3 configuration was optimised for the most extreme flight speeds imaginable, simulating planetary entry conditions well beyond 40,000 kilometres per hour for about one millisecond.
“With X3R, we operate the machine in a different way, which can extend the test time to over 10 milliseconds,” he said.
“While this restricts the maximum speed to around 8,000 kilometres an hour, it’s this lower speed that will allow us to make big advancements in terrestrial hypersonic flight.”
Dr Gildfind said the exploration of space relied on the ground testing of hypersonic vehicles through facilities like X3 and X3R.
“X3R is a transformational capability improvement for Australia, which makes it possible for researchers to investigate fundamental studies of hypersonic phenomena, of which we historically have a great legacy, at a larger scale,” he said.
“This has only been made possible by combining the expertise and resources of both UQ and the Department of Defence, Science and Technology.”
This development is the latest outcome of long-term collaboration in hypersonics between UQ and DST. That’s covered hypersonic ground and flight testing and the development of transformational flight technologies.
The X3R facility will be relocated to a new DST laboratory at Eagle Farm, Brisbane, in 2019-20, becoming the focal point for national and international research partnerships in Hypersonic Technologies.
“This could lead to significant breakthroughs in hypersonic technologies in Australia, and will provide the vital infrastructure Australia needs to support our burgeoning space industry,” said Dr Gildfind. (Source: Space Connect)
14 Nov 19. Cyalume presents CyPouch, its new tactical Cyalume holder at MILIPOL 2019. At the Mipilol 2019 show in Paris from 19th to 22nd November 2019, Cyalume will present its new accessory for Cyalume lightsticks : the CYPOUCH tactical Cyalume holder.
Used by military forces, law enforcement agencies and first responders (police, firefighters…) around the world, Cyalume lighting solutions allow you to mark, signal and identify in the most hazardous situations, including combat operations or natural disasters. As a key player in the tactical light market for military forces, Cyalume® offers a wide range of lighting products in various colours, shapes and sizes. With a simple press or bend to activate, the Cyalume® ChemLight® light sticks provide instant light from 5 minutes to 24 hours duration, dependant on the product form. The Cyalume® ChemLight® lightstick line is complemented by our retro-reflective and photoluminescent products.
Cyalume lightsticks are photosensitive : an extended exposure to ultraviolet light will affect the performance and decrease the lightstick’s effectiveness when activated. To respond to the operational need of marking with lightsticks while maintaining their performance before being activated by the user, Cyalume designed the CyPouch tactical pouch.
In tactical environments the users of Cyalume lightsticks need to prepare their equipment before commencing their mission. Now thanks to CyPouch, the individual foils protecting the 6’’ and 4’’ lightsticks can be removed in advance to save those precious seconds for when it matters. They can be stored within the CyPouch as an easy to reach, protected, accessible marker separated by colour or size by simply using the metal loading rings and/or the internal and external elastic loops. The CyPouch can be configured in a bundle format by attaching it vertically, or as a holster, by attaching it horizontally with its MOLLE fasteners.
CyPouch is a compact and ambidextrous pouch that is easy and quick to reload. It has been designed for use while wearing gloves.
Its fitted with a MOLLE fastener allowing attachment to a belt for example. Its addition is easy and discrete and ensures the preservation and protection of the Cyalume lightsticks performance.
Available in 5 colors : Coyote / Multicam / NATO Green / Black / Dark Blue, CyPouch is opened with 2 double YKK® zipper Gauge 10 and a metal eyelet for water flow.
The Cyalume Holder is also designed with 3 reusable metal rings allowing attachment of the chosen Cyalume Lightsticks in a bundle as well as internal and external elastic loops to take extra lightsticks.
With a capacity of +/- 20 lightsticks* CyPouch can contain 6’’ (15cm) and 4’’ (10cm) lightsticks. (*according to size of lightsticks chosen, Arrangement example : Internal: 5×6’’ lightsticks + 9×4’’ lightsticks; External: 6 lightsticks).
CyPouch operation principle is simple and efficient and is ideal for the user ! This tactical pouch can also be used in “Cyalume Bundle” configuration as well as in “Cyalume Holster” configuration.
In « Bundle » configuration, To prepare the bundle, the operator customizes the pouch contents by choosing which size and colors of lightsticks (visible/IR) they need and then threads them onto the metal rings and elastic loops.
In operation, the pouch is fully deployed by pulling the upper tag of CyPouch which opens the double zipper: the bundle is now available to the user. To release a lightstick from its attachment, firmly grasp the lightstick and pull down. Then just simply activate it manually. Please note that all these operations can be made by one gloved hand.
14 Nov 19. Libya – Al-Khadim & Jufra: UAE deploys US-made HAWK air-defence systems to military bases. Commercial satellite imagery from late October confirms that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has deployed US-made HAWK conventional surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems to its military installations in Al-Khadim (Cyrenaica Region) and Jufra (Fezzan Region). The HAWK is capable of engaging aerial targets at altitudes up to FL650 and at ranges out to 30 miles (48 km). Previously, UAE provision of Russian-made Pantsir-S1 (SA-22 GREYHOUND) conventional SAM systems to the Libyan National Army (LNA) has been publicly documented since June in areas near Jufra and Gharyan (Tripolitania Region). The SA-22 is capable of engaging targets at altitudes up to FL490 and at ranges out to 12.4 miles (20 km). The Tripoli-based UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) along with its aligned militias have been embroiled in armed conflict with the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) aligned LNA within a wide area of western and central Libya since April. However, in the past 120 days the armed clashes between the factions have spread to areas of southern Libya and the Sirte Oil Basin to the east of the capital Tripoli. EASA along with the US, UK and French civil aviation authorities also continue to prohibit civil aviation operators from carrying out all forms of flight operations over Libya (EASA CZIB-2017-02R5, UK NOTAM EGTT V0018/19, US NOTAM KICZ A0026/19, AIC France A 03/19). However, while a restriction issued by Germany for Libyan airspace prohibits their registered civilian operators from conducting flights over northwest Libya within a specific geographic area, the NOTAM allows German aviation entities to continue to conduct overflight of the remainder of FIR Tripoli (HLLL) at altitudes above FL260 (EDGG B0872/19).
In addition to the above confirmed UAE proliferation and deployment of high altitude air-defence systems, we assess a limited inventory of older Soviet-era Russian-made SAM systems operated by the LNA and GNA-aligned militia forces pose a significant threat to aircraft operating well above FL260 over or near the Libyan cities of Benghazi and Misratah, respectively. Both the LNA and militia forces aligned with the GNA in Misratah have combat aircraft within their inventories capable of conducting air-to-air engagements at altitudes above FL260. GNA-aligned militias, LNA forces and specific violent non-state actor groups in Libya are assessed to be in possession of man-portable air-defence systems (MANPADS). According to the US FAA, the most capable variants of MANPADS can pose a threat to aircraft at altitudes up to 25,000 feet AGL. In addition, over 35 surface-to-air fire attacks targeting military-grade air assets in-flight over Libya have occurred since April, with the majority taking place in the Tripolitania Region. Unsafe military air and air-defence activity, which has been a daily occurrence since April, is likely to occur routinely in the airspace over the country through the remainder of 2019 in areas near the coastal cities of Tripoli and Misratah or the Sirte Oil Basin. We do not assess the factions in Libya will reach a peaceful reconciliation within the next six months. In the absence of a codified ceasefire or reconciliation pact agreed upon by the key factions in Libya, or the unilateral handover of high-altitude air and air-defence weapons by the factions to UN control, we assess the country to be an EXTREME risk airspace environment at all altitudes.
Airport recommendation: Comprehensive risk mitigation measures
- Overnight schedules require significant support; operations possible via the below measures
- Dedicated on the ground security support for air assets and personnel
- Use of asset anti-tamper measures supplemented by locally sourced threat intelligence
- Reliable and redundant communications supplemented by asset and personnel tracking
- Fully-coordinated and robust communications and emergency response plan
- 24/7 life support access (lodging – medical – transport) with 96 hour stand-fast resources
Approvals: As a precaution, conduct operational risk-based identification of divert and alternate airports for flight schedules with planned stops at aerodromes in the country or with overflight of the airspace. Operators are advised to ensure flight plans are correctly filed, attain proper special approvals for flight operations to sensitive locations and obtain relevant overflight permits prior to departure. In addition, ensure crews scheduled to operate to or over the country in the near term are fully aware of the latest security situation.
Military Air Activity: Increased military air operations have the potential to cause airspace congestion and impact the safety of civil aviation flights. Any significant increase in the amount of air operations over the country may impact the availability of airports along with access to the airspace. Aviation operators should monitor airport/airspace-specific airspace-specific notices, bulletins, circulars, advisories, prohibitions and restrictions prior to departure to avoid flight schedule disruption.
Shoot-down Policy: The country has an aggressive air intercept and shoot-down policy which allows air and air defence forces to intercept and disable aerial targets violating airspace regulations. Military air and air defence assets may be employed to down aerial targets under the auspice of the policy. While legal civil aviation flights are unlikely to be directly targeted, there remains a latent but credible risk of misidentification and interception by military air and air defence assets. (Source: Osprey)
12 Nov 19. MBDA ready to meet the challenge of Europe’s missile defence. The Council of the European Union gave the green light to the TWISTER (Timely Warning and Interception with Space-based TheatER surveillance) capability project for implementation within the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework. This international missile defence project which already includes five European countries, seeks to develop with support from the European Defence Fund a European multi-role interceptor to address emerging threats and be brought into service by 2030.
In addressing this capability gap, the interceptor component of the TWISTER project will ultimately become a key element in the contribution made by European countries to NATO’s territorial, population and armed forces defence mission while meeting the European Union’s level of ambition in the field of missile defence. By rationalising and pooling capabilities, the PESCO Member States will benefit from an operational capability in a class of its own and guarantee their strategic autonomy and freedom of action.
This new endo-atmospheric interceptor will address a wide range of threats including, manoeuvring ballistic missiles with intermediate ranges, hypersonic or high-supersonic cruise missiles, hypersonic gliders, and more conventional targets such as next-generation fighter aircraft. This Interceptor will integrate existing and future land and naval systems.
MBDA is committed to meeting this need through next generation technologies and architectures building on national and company funded studies which have been conducted over the past five years. MBDA will also draw on its experience of industrial cooperation at European level, its long heritage of leading complex air defence programmes and its solid industrial relationships across the wider European landscape to establish a skills and capability led team.
“MBDA enthusiastically welcomes the Council’s decision,” says MBDA CEO Éric Béranger, “and will commit all its energy and extensive missile defence experience in future collaborative and cross-border R&T and R&D activities. This next generation interceptor project provides a unique opportunity for Europeans to converge their efforts in the field of missile defence and to secure sovereignty in an area vital to their strategic autonomy. These high-end interceptors are technologically demanding and their development will represent a qualitative leap forward for Europe’s entire missile sector. Our industrial model as a European champion gives us the critical mass necessary to deliver this challenging project through cooperation with our European industrial partners.”
The TWISTER project is the second missile systems project to be supported under the new European defence agenda following the Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS) capability programme which became part of PESCO in November 2018 and for which MBDA has put forward its 5th generation ground combat system., the only solution under European design authority that gives front-line combat units the ability to fire beyond the direct line of sight while maintaining man-in-the-loop decision-making.
14 Nov 19. China unveils new 5.8mm assault rifle. Troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were carrying a new type of assault rifle at the recent massive military parade in Beijing on 1 October, with expectations that it will replace the incumbent QBZ-95 bullpup that was introduced in 1997. No firm official nomenclature has been forthcoming to date, though some are tentatively calling it the Type 19 (which could result in the appellation QBZ-19). ‘QBZ’ denotes Qing-Bing-Qi, Bu-Chiang, Zi-Dong, which translates as ‘Small Arms, Infantry Rifle, Automatic’.
State commentators at the parade merely said in vague terms, ‘This new assault rifle has a comfortable layout and the concept of modular design, which possesses the advantages of high power, high reliability and versatility.’
Glimpses of the new rifle actually began as far back as 2014, and it is believed to emanate from the 208th Small Arms Research Institute located near Beijing.
Somewhat akin to a Heckler & Koch HK416 in form and function, the new rifle nonetheless continues the PLA’s preference for 5.8x42mm rounds, but it moves from the QBZ-95’s bullpup design to a conventional assault rifle configuration. The 5.8mm calibre is said to possess more energy than NATO’s 5.56mm round, and the rifle is using new rounds with better medium- and long-range performance.
The weapon possesses a modular design and optical sights are fitted as standard. It uses a gas-operated short-stroke piston, a buffer tube system similar to the M4, and a collapsible buttstock with around four positions. A thumb-operated fire mode selector allows shooters to switch between semiautomatic and fully automatic fire, with the three-burst option apparently deleted.
Modularity is guaranteed by a full-length Picatinny rail, so soldiers can add sights, flashlights, grips and red-dot lasers as desired. Prominent in the parade was a reticle sight (perhaps of 3x or 4x magnification) illuminated by fibre optic, which seems to be the rifle’s standard sight. A flip-up iron sight is also mounted on the barrel.
At least three versions of the new rifle are apparent: a standard rifle, carbine and designated marksman rifle.
The standard rifle has a barrel that is approximately 14.5 inches long. Its effective range is estimated at 400m, with some commentators listing a 750-round-per-minute rate of fire. The weapon features a free-floating polymer handguard.
The carbine variant – with a barrel estimated at 10.5 inches long – is probably destined for crewmen in armoured vehicles, and it likely has an effective range of 300m.
The designated marksman rifle possesses a longer and heavier barrel in the order of 18-20 inches. Online images show this weapon fitted with a 4-16x50mm scope as used on QBU-14 sniper rifles. It is also rumoured that a 6x prism sight is in development. This weapon could eventually replace the QBU-88 bullpup currently used by the PLA.
Not seen so far, but possible in the future is a heavier version that could act as a light machine gun.
The QBZ-95 was introduced more than 20 years ago, and the improved QBZ-95-1 appeared in about 2012. More than 3 million QBZ-95s are said to have been manufactured.
The QBZ-95 also spawned the conventional QBZ-03 rifle, which was issued to lower-tier units such as reserve, paramilitary and garrison units. Its advantage was that troops needed less time to become familiar with its conventional design compared to having to transition to a bullpup design.
At the same time as the new rifle debuted in the parade, the PLA also introduced a new uniform that comes in five camouflage patterns. News of the uniform was disseminated by Snr Col Wu Qian, Director General of the Information Office of the Ministry of National Defense, on 31 October.
He noted that the new uniform will be rolled out across units gradually. It is based on the existing Type 07 uniform, but features new colours, patterns, fabrics and accessories. There are five patterns that match different environments: woodland, wilderness, jungle, urban and desert. These should match terrain within China and also on overseas missions, and uniforms are no longer issued according to the type of unit or service.
The new pattern features small dots or star shapes that are smaller than the pixels on the previous digital pattern. The tunic, helmet, gloves, tactical vest and boots all bear the same camouflage pattern.
Wu claimed the uniform’s stand collar is ‘more windproof and dustproof’. Furthermore, the top fly of the jacket is sealed with a quick-opening zipper, and the chest pocket has an oblique opening to facilitate access to items in the field.
Another noticeable feature is that rank and name badges are now placed on the chest, which makes identification easier in peacetime, but boosts concealment when soldiers are prostrate. Interestingly, soldiers participating in the 1 October parade were also seen with QR codes on their uniforms.
The new rifle and uniform are part of an individual soldier ensemble that includes thermal imaging/night vision sights, modular body armour, helmet, personal radio system and wearable digital battlefield management system. (Source: Shephard)
13 Nov 19. Is the US about to test a new ballistic missile? The U.S. may be set to test a new ground-launched ballistic missile in the coming weeks, the first test of that particular weapon since the country withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty earlier this year.
In March, Pentagon officials told reporters that they intend to test an intermediate range ballistic missile in the November time frame. At the annual Defense News Conference in September, Robert Soofer, deputy assistant secretary of defense for policy for nuclear and missile defense, confirmed that the Pentagon is roughly on track for that test.
“I do believe it is still the plan to conduct a ballistic missile test before the end of the year,” he said then.
Asked about Soofer’s comments and whether those tests are still planned, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Robert Carver could not “confirm or deny a test will take place in November. I am unable to provide any details on testing dates, times or locations.”
The test, should it happen as planned, is expected to involve a ballistic missile with a potential range of roughly 3,000-4,000 kilometers. Pentagon officials previously speculated that any deployment of such a weapon, potentially to Guam, would not be likely for at least five years.
The United States exited the INF Treaty on Aug. 2, following through on a decision made late last year that the agreement no longer benefited American interests. The INF Treaty was a 1987 pact with the former Soviet Union that banned ground-launched nuclear and conventional ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,000 kilometers. However, the United States and NATO allies have for years declared Russia in violation of the agreement. Russia has denied those accusations.
American officials have stressed they do not plan to build nuclear-capable systems that would have busted the INF Treaty’s limits, but Defense Secretary Mark Esper said his department will “fully pursue the development of these ground-launched conventional missiles as a prudent response to Russia’s actions and as part of the joint force’s broader portfolio of conventional strike options.”
Among arms control advocates, the idea of post-INF weapons are worrisome. Kingston Reif, of the Arms Control Association, said the pursuit of conventional ground-launched intermediate-range missiles is “militarily unnecessary, would force difficult and contentious conversations with and among allies, and likely would prompt Russia and China to take steps that would increase the threat to the United States and its allies.”
“A 3,000- to 4,000-kilometer-range ballistic missile would pose a much more direct threat to the Russian and Chinese homelands,” Reif said. “It seems highly unlikely U.S. allies in Europe or Asia would host a missile that could strike deep into Russia and China in a matter of minutes. We could deploy such a missile in Guam, but their survivability wouldn’t be assured there, thereby increasing crisis stability.”
Tom Karako, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, countered that the focus shouldn’t be on the delivery system itself, nor if it could be done by an air- or sea-based system instead of by land.
“The better question is what posture and what cost-effective mix of capabilities can impose on our adversaries the most vexing set of problems, especially for their surveillance and targeting,” he said. “Up against Russia and China, the benefits of ground-based strike systems need to be part of the conversation for answering that question.”
The Pentagon is investing in several alternative ground-based systems, such a heavy focus on hypersonic weapons, including the Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon program. Investing in several options for that force posture mix is important, Karako said, so that the United States can avoid getting locked into one solution which, if countered, would leave the country vulnerable.
“We can’t afford a force structure composed of a small number of silver bullets. It makes good sense to pursue a variety of delivery systems, trajectories, ranges, velocities, propulsion types and basing domains to support broad defense and deterrence goals,” he said. “The future form of future strike will almost surely include a mix of UAVs, cruise missiles, ballistics and hypersonic glide vehicles. An IRBM for ourselves and our friends may well have a place in that mix.”
Just what the test might look like is unknown at this time. Something like a land-based version of the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA, usually launched from a ship or during the first stage of an ICBM, would fit the rough range target. Another potential option might be modifying and launching a ground-based interceptor, part of the missile defense network; going down that path, Reif warned, would “raise all sorts of complications,” as that system was meant to solely serve a defensive purpose.
A cruise missile test in August involved a variant of the Tomahawk land-attack weapon launched from a Mark 41 Vertical Launch System. While the Mark 41 is the same launcher used in the Aegis Ashore missile defense system, the Pentagon said at the time that this was a different variation on the Mark 41 and does not mean that Aegis Ashore could be turned into an offensive capability — something Russia has long claimed in objecting to Aegis basing in Europe. (Source: Defense News)
12 Nov 19. US MCM systems eyed for international forces. The countermine systems being developed by the US Navy (USN), especially for the USN Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) mission module (MM), are being sought by other international naval forces as the USN continues to successfully test and employ those systems, industry officials say.
Recent operational deployments and system upgrades have attracted the interest of allied and partner naval forces, who face growing mine warfare threats, those officials say.
“There are hundreds of thousands of mines in the inventories of our adversaries around the globe,” Andy Wilde, Raytheon director of Strategy and Business Development for Undersea Warfare Systems, told Jane’s. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Nov 19. How a new Air Force unit could help beat Russian air defense systems. A new Air Force unit is expected to generate “unmatched” capabilities for commanders at “a speed and scale that we’ve never seen before,” Gen. David Goldfein, the service’s chief of staff, said recently.
Leaders say the creation of 16th Air Force in October is transforming the way the service fights. The unit is the service’s first information warfare numbered Air Force integrating global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber, electronic warfare and information operations under a single commander. Prior to its creation, these disciplines were spread out among different organizations, a setup that officials said slowed down operations against sophisticated powers, such as Russia and China.
Another Air Force leader, Gen. James Holmes, head of Air Combat Command, said the new combination will make the service’s cyber teams more capable.
“Cyber teams are dependent on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance,” Holmes said. “We think we can present more robust teams [to Cyber Command] with better intelligence support behind them and present some information ops options … [at] a larger scale.”
But perhaps the best way to understand the advantage the new unit brings is to consider a typical Air Force challenge: how to defeat Russian integrated air defense systems. Wing commanders who report to the 16th Air Force described how they would help in an Oct. 11 briefing.
The 70th ISR Wing — which, alongside Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, gathers global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data in air, space and cyber — would know how the Russian defense systems communicate, how they’re used and where they’re located This information would create targets, as well as “Swiss cheese” like holes within the air defense space that could allow planes to fly through.
The 363rd ISR Wing is responsible for gathering and analyzing multi-intelligence sources. This team would learn how to exploit the Russian systems and how those systems can harm friendly forces.
The 9th Reconnaissance Wing — responsible for high-altitude ISR with platforms such as the U-2 spy plane — is developing a new electronic warfare suite that would provide stand off and stand in capabilities against the systems.
Another group, the 480th ISR Wing, which provides capabilities for the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) — a global intelligence dissemination platform — has a team dedicated solely to IADS.
Then there’s the 55th Wing, which is responsible for airborne ISR and electronic warfare, as well as signals intelligence. Air Force leaders have said offensive, defensive and sensing capabilities have atrophied over the years and, on the electronic support side, the service will need help from the NSA. The 55th will help rebuild these capabilities.
In the case of the Russian defense systems, the wing’s role would be to gain insights along with tactics, techniques and procedures about the systems. It would also provide a non-kinetic way to defeat the system and passing location data to shooters.
What Air Force leaders wanted to show through the briefing was the power of having these wings under one commander. In addition, by integrating these capabilities into information warfare cells at combatant commands they could offer better options to Air Force leaders and do it faster.
“16th Air Force is designed to lead in the age of information warfare. By combining the disciplines of cyber and ISR and electronic warfare and information operations, 16th Air Force will be the thought leaders to ensure every chief can state with confidence we will collaborate where we can and compete where we must and if we must fight, we will win,” Goldfein said during the activation ceremony.
Later, he told reporters, “If you think about … what 16th Air Force brings together — cyber, ISR, electronic warfare, information operations — you can see where you’re now talking about far more options you can bring against the adversary across the spectrum of competing, deterring and winning.”
Broadly, the 16th Air Force will help in the information warfare sphere by looking to remove the option of plausible deniability for enemies. In other words, the service would use a multi-disciplinary approach to expose enemies’ actions that undermine international norms. One of the early emphases for the command will be producing unclassified intelligence, such as declassifying ISR imagery to document how adversaries are massing troops or military assets.
Ultimately, Goldfein said the 16th Air Force might be a de-escalation mechanism that can help prevent a conflict.
“We’re prepared to fight if called upon, but we prefer not to fight. If there’s a way for de-escalation, absolutely,” he told reporters. “I don’t think President Putin and President Xi are going to live forever, so we’re at the back end of this timeframe and taking a long look at this — what do we want our relationship with these countries to be and do we want to still find areas where we can have good communication going forward?” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
13 Nov 19. Could The Latest Threat To America’s Aircraft Carriers Be From A Russian Anti-Tank Missile? New analysis sheds some light. Using limited analysis of the capabilities of the Kornet and the carrier’s defensive capabilities, Mark Langfan, the Chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel, has come to the conclusion that Kornets were a serious threat to the carrier. However, Langfan’s research misrepresents many aspects of the Kornet and displays a large oversight of many aspects of naval warfare.
First, he analyzes the attack on the carrier in a vacuum. In a deployment around the shores of Iran would be backed up by a litany of smaller destroyers and patrol ships. In particular, the Cyclone-class patrol ships are assigned to the waters in the Persian Gulf. These ships are optimized to take on the small boats that could mount Kornets, with dual 25-millimeter autocannons. Cyclones are also equipped with Griffin missiles, which are optimized for use against small boats and can take them out from as far as eight kilometers away. The carrier also has its own air wing, which could be used to strike small ships before they even entered engagement range.
Even if we look at the Kornet versus carrier engagement in a vacuum, the Kornet faces major problems. Langfan says the Kornet is “fire-and-forget,” which is incorrect as no variant of the missile mounts a seeker that can be used to track the target independently. All are reliant on a laser beam from the launching post for guidance to the target. Some launching posts, such as Kornet mounts on armored vehicles, have the capability to automatically track the target with the launching post, but such launching posts are heavy. Installing one on a wooden-hulled small boat is highly impractical.
Assuming a regular tripod firing post is used, a Kornet attack is still impractical. The regular Kornet tripod is unstabilized, as it is meant to be used on stable dry land. Mounting it on a boat’s deck would make it bob and weave with the motion of the boat, making an accurate missile shot impossible at any significant range.
So what if a missile is launched, and somehow tracks properly? Still, probably not much.
Carriers are armed with a multitude of self-defense missiles and systems, such as the Phalanx CIWS or RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile. The sensors on these devices, while optimized to track larger anti-ship missiles likely would have no problem tracking the smaller Kornet. The relatively slow speed of the Kornet would give these systems a generous window of engagement before the missile hit the carrier.
But what if the Kornet actually hit? Again, not much.
The article discusses the Kornet’s ability to pierce through steel. While the Kornet’s warhead is easily capable of defeating the hull of an aircraft carrier, the thin jet of molten metal created by its HEAT warhead is unlikely to do much damage. ATGMs rely on this jet of metal hitting a crew member or critical flammable component in a tank to take it out of action. The crew, ammunition, and fuel are all relatively compactly packed together in a tank. Not so in a ship. A Kornet hit would likely only kill people within a very small radius of the impact, if anyone is there at all. After penetrating, it would leave only a small hole (generally smaller than the diameter of the missile itself) in the hull. Damage control teams on ships are trained to deal with far more devastating damage, and patching the hole a Kornet would create is likely child’s play for them. Most anti-ship missiles feature a massive warhead that’s meant to crash through the hull and embed itself meters deep into a ship before detonating for massive damage. Kornets detonating on the hull itself would likely deal very little damage to vital areas of the ship.
Langfan does mention the thermobaric version of the Kornet as having massive explosive potential. While this is true, the thermobaric version has very little penetrative capabilities. It’s unlikely that a thermobaric Kornet would make its way through the hull, though it probably would leave a significant dent or create spalling on the other side.
Aircraft carriers face a litany of threats in the modern age, but the U.S. Navy has spent the last half-century thinking of ways to defeat threats to them. Kornets mounted on dhows is the least of a carrier’s worries. (Source: News Now/https://nationalinterest.org)
12 Nov 19. Seven companies receive US Air Force Hypersonics Pitch Day contracts. Seven of the nine companies invited to propose at the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) inaugural Hypersonics Pitch Day (HPD) on 1 November earned contracts with some able to potentially earn USD1m.
Powdermet, Advanced Silicon Group (ASG), and Spectral Energies all confirmed to Jane’s that they won contracts. Goodman Technologies was not awarded a contract. GoHypersonic, UES, Ursa Major Technologies, Fourth State Communications, LLC, and FAAC Inc.; the other HPD participants; and the USAF did not return requests for comment prior to publication.
These companies were 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.
The USAF said prior to the HPD that all invited companies were eligible to win contracts worth up to USD750,000, including same-day initial payments of USD50,000. But a pair of winners, Spectral Energies and Advanced Silicon Group, told Jane’s that their companies can earn as much as USD1m.
Sivaram Gogineni, Spectral Energies president and senior research engineer, said on 11 November that his company was awarded USD50,000 for the up-front payment and a USD650,000 12-month contract. Spectral Energies can make another USD300,000 by reaching USAF approved milestones, which Gogineni did not elaborate on. Spectral Energies proposed developing a high-fidelity optical tracking tool for hypersonic free-flight model testing in wind tunnels. Gogineni said a user would be able to get high-accuracy data that would be useful for modelers and design engineers for designing and building future hypersonic weapon and flight systems using this tool. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Nov 19. Patria demos Nemo 120 mm mortar in United States. Finland’s Patria said its120 mm Nemo (New Mortar) turret, integrated onto its Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV) 8×8, has conducted a firepower demonstration in the United States.
These trials were done at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, and Fort Benning, Georgia, and included indirect and direct target engagements as well as Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) fire missions, Kari Reunamäki, Patria’s senior vice-president for Weapon Systems Land, told Jane’s . The latest demonstration was at Fort Benning in September.
Patria said the 120 mm Nemo turret weighs 1.9 tonnes. For trials, the AMV carried 60×120 mm mortar bombs supplied by Belgium’s Mecar (now France’s Nexter Munitions).
Nemo’s main role is indirect fire support, but it can also do direct fire missions against bunkers and other battlefield targets. It is also capable of coming into action within 30 seconds and can come out of action immediately.
In 2018 the US Army began a market survey “to identify capable sources to develop and produce the 120mm Mortar Future Indirect Fire Turret (FIFT)”, according the service’s official notice. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Nov 19. Turkish Naval Forces conduct first ship-launched Atmaca ASM test firing. The Turkish Naval Forces (Türk Deniz Kuvvetleri – TDK) on 3 November conducted the first ship-launched firing of the Atmaca (Hawk) anti-ship missile (ASM) from the TDK Ada-class (MILGEM) corvette TCG Kinaliada (F-514) at an undisclosed location in the Black Sea.
Evolved within the scope of the MILGEM Project, Turkey’s national warship programme, Atmaca is the country’s first indigenously developed dedicated above-water ASM system, and is intended to replace the Boeing RGM-84 Harpoon ASM in TDK surface platform service. Prime contractor Roketsan commenced development of the missile in September 2012, following the completion of a 2009 research and development phase contract with Turkey’s Undersecreteriat For Defence industries (SSM). (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Nov 19. Kalashnikov delivers AK-12 assault rifles to Russian special forces. Kalashnikov Concern has delivered more than 700 latest Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifles for Russian Special Operations Forces. The new rifles entered service with the Southern Military District forces stationed in the Krasnodar Territory.
In a statement, the Russian Ministry of Defence said: “Compared to its predecessors, it has increased ergonomics, increased accuracy of fire, unique survivability of the barrel, for the production of which new technology is used.”
Kalashnikov Concern designed and manufactured the AK-12 rifle within the framework of the Ratnik programme.
Ratnik is a future infantry combat system designed to enhance the connectivity and combat effectiveness of the Russian Army.
The AK-12 assault rifle entered service with the Russian Armed Forces at the end of last year following testing.
The ministry added that special operations personnel will soon conduct gunfire at the training ground of the Southern Military District.
Kalashnikov began deliveries of the rifle in December last year. The 5.45mm AK-12 will eventually replace the Russian military’s AK-74 rifles.
According to a report in news agency TASS, Russian Armed Forces are expected to receive 112,500 AK-12 rifles by 2021.
In July, Kalashnikov delivered 8,000 units of the assault rifle to the military units of the Central Military District.
Kalashnikov Concern is an affiliate of Kalashnikov Group, which manufactures assault automatic and sniper weapons, guided missiles and other products. (Source: army-technology.com)
11 Nov 19. Vietnam modernising its AK-47 assault rifles. Vietnam’s Z111 factory has launched a modernisation of the armed forces’ inventory of AK-47 assault rifles in a move aimed at making the weapons more accurate and user friendly, according to a 5 November report published by the Vietnamese Soha news website.
The upgrade includes the addition of locally made synthetic stocks, pistol grips, and handguards in place of the original wooden furniture, the report stated based on images provided by the Vietnam National Defence television channel (QPVN), adding that the new furniture is meant to reduce the weight of the original 4.3kg weapon. The assault rifles are also being fitted with a rail on the left of the receiver to enable the weapon to be fitted with an optical day or night sight, such as those provided by the country’s Z199 factory, added the report. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
11 Nov 19. UK prepares for ‘Wilton’ peacetime route survey capability. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is moving forward with plans to deliver a new unmanned autonomous capability for peacetime mine countermeasures (MCM) tasks in UK waters under Project ‘Wilton’.
The programme – seen as a trailblazer for the Royal Navy’s (RN’s) exploitation of maritime autonomous systems in MCM – will provide a portable route survey capability for operations north of the Dee-Humber line. Initial operating capability (IOC) is planned for July 2020.
Project ‘Wilton’ is being managed by the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) in conjunction with the RN. Atlas Elektronik UK (AEUK) is providing an 11 m ARCIMS unmanned surface vessel (USV) and a 15 m Vahana workboat, also fitted with an advanced autonomy controller, to support the deployment and recovery of towed sonar, unmanned underwater vehicles and remotely operated vehicles. These craft will be respectively known as RNMB Halcyon and RNMB Hebe in service.
At IOC the ‘Wilton’ capability will be delivered using a suite of equipment including the two autonomous surface craft, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), plus a portable operations centre (POC) and associated communications. The 15 m Vahana workboat, Hebe, can be operated from shore but is also big enough to embark a suitably scaled portable operations centre as a manned asset.
This will provide the option to operate both Halcyon and Hebe from ashore in an unmanned mode. Alternatively, Hebe can be operated as a manned asset and control Halcyon from it to extend the range beyond line of site of the shore-based POC. Hebe, expected to be delivered in time to begin trials on the Clyde in January 2020, will also be fitted for a launch and recovery system to enable the operation of the REMUS 600 AUV. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
11 Nov 19. WeaponLogic (Secubit) ‒ a leader in advanced weapon readiness and maintenance solutions for global military and paramilitary forces as well as law enforcement and HLS agencies ‒ unveils for the first time at Milipol Paris the WeaponLogic™ Eco Systems for the management of large caliber weapon system fleets. Utilizing Artificial Intelligence, the system delivers comprehensive usage data regarding the weapon’s operational status, ensuring optimized performance and a tactical edge. This solution for heavy weaponry is the company’s latest development, expanding its established line of systems for the management of light weaponry that provides precision, preemptive maintenance to customers in countries across Europe, North America and Asia. The systems for both light and heavy weapons will be presented at Milipol.
WeaponLogic’s advanced system, based on artificial intelligence, supplies data for maintenance as well as operational and tactical optimization according to actual use. The solution was already evaluated with outstanding results for several large caliber firearms including mortars, artillery and tank cannons. The system’s sophisticated algorithm collects and records comprehensive weapon firing data in real time and delivers updated status information regarding the current state of the weapon and the potential for future malfunctions, based on the degree of wear and tear exerted on the weapon during usage. This data enables the creation of a relevant, customized maintenance plan for each specific device.
The system consists of a Sensor and Applications.
WeaponLogic Smart Sensor – The sensor is a chip that fully integrates into any type of weapon: pistol, rifle, sniper rifle, crew-served weapon and mortar. It comes in a variety of form factors to accommodate different firearms. The chip records and gathers information in real time regarding the use of the weapon ‒ including the amount and type of ammunition used, rate of fire, single or automatic shots, dry fires and drops, time signature, and type of weapon. WeaponLogic Smart Sensor utilizes AI to distill information regarding the weapon and its operational state. The sensor weighs only 20 grams and has over a million-shot memory.
WeaponLogic Applications – The Reader and Dashboard applications provide a complete weapon and operator profile. A smart algorithm processes a unique signal to define and analyze data gathered from all smart sensors. The applications offer a user-friendly interface and an ability to manage the maintenance of the weapons, including but not limited to: round counts, assigned users, service history, service recommendations, armorer maintenance history, battery status, etc.
Both applications provide usage data and analytics reflecting the weapon’s operational status for preventive and precise maintenance, along with inventory management and tactical features.
WeaponLogic’s Head of Sales, Ruby Shasha, expressed great satisfaction with the company’s recent win, remarking, “We are proud to announce that, following rigorous testing, we have received an order from the customer for the supply of the WeaponLogic system for mortars to a European country, with the system already in operational use. WeaponLogic has been selected and is being used in a number of countries around the world ‒ rapidly gaining popularity due to its ease of operation, its significant impact on resource savings, and its suitability for a wide range of weapons and artillery.”
WeaponLogic is a leader in advanced weapon readiness, operational capability, and maintenance solutions. Using advanced hardware, software and signal processing algorithms, the company’s dedicated, highly trained and experienced engineers, ex-special operations officers and weapon specialists, develop state-of the-art solutions. These systems automatically collect and store comprehensive weapon firing data and provide advanced analytics for optimized maintenance, improved performance and exceptional weapon readiness. The company’s growing list of global customers reflects its strong, competitive, timely, and tailored offerings ‒ as well as exceptional customer service. To learn more, visit www.weaponlogic.ai.
11 Nov 19. BIRD Aerosystems, the leading developer of Airborne Missile Protection Systems (AMPS) and Airborne Surveillance, Information and Observation (ASIO) solutions, will present its MACS (NG) Sensor and the SPREOS DIRCM, at DSEI Japan. The systems will be presented for the first time in Japan together with NTK International in booth number B321.
With an open architecture and an ability to connect to any missile warning system, passive or active, both the MACS (NG) Sensor and the SPREOS DIRCM can be supplied as an add-on solution for any existing airborne protection system and any platform. Easily installed, robust and with virtually zero false alarms, BIRD’s MACS and SPREOS provide the most enhanced protection for military and civilian aircraft against the growing threat of MANPADS.
MACS (Missile Approach Confirmation Sensor) sensor performs unique confirmation of suspected incoming missile threats detected by the main electro-optical passive sensors, and ensures zero false alarms – hence only real missiles will be declared by the system and reacted upon.
SPREOS (Self Protection Radar Electro-Optic System) DIRCM combines a radar-based confirmation sensor and an active laser jammer to ensure optimal protection against different MANPADS threat types. Compact and Lightweight, SPREOS uniquely performs multiple functions, including threat detection and confirmation, tracking and jamming of advanced IR guided missiles.
Ronen Factor, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Founder at BIRD Aerosystems: “We are proud to present our innovative airborne missile protection solutions in Japan for the first time, and believe that both the MACS (NG) sensor and the SPREOS DIRCM are ideal for the Japanese – as they can be provided as an add-on solution for any existing MWS, and ensure enhanced protection against MANPADS, which are a growing threat. With an open architecture, simple installation and a compact size, BIRD’s patented airborne missile protection solutions offer enhanced platform protection with practically zero false alarms.”
08 Nov 19. Pentagon to Modernize Bomb Disposal Technology. Worrisome threats from a resurgent Russia and provocative China have made great power competition the No. 1 topic among military officials and analysts, but it wasn’t so long ago that counterterrorism and improvised explosive devices were the buzzwords du jour in the halls of the Pentagon.
During the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan there was no greater threat than IEDs — low-cost bombs that were deployed on roadsides and other areas frequented by warfighters — that killed or injured thousands of U.S. troops.
Officials working in the explosive ordnance disposal world are warning that the threat persists, and moreover could impact great power competition.
“The improvised threat isn’t going away,” said Lisa Swan, director of counter-improvised threat technologies at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. “I don’t know how nation-states will use improvised threats — obviously no one does — but I don’t know why they wouldn’t.”
Swan defined an IED as a device or system — as well as its associated tactics, techniques and procedures — that is designed, fielded and employed unconventionally to adversely affect U.S. forces and their partners. However, that definition may need to be tweaked in the future depending on how such weapons are deployed by more advanced adversaries, she said.
Nation-states may utilize asymmetric weapons in future fights. Such tactics would slow down the U.S. military’s ability to operate and be a major distraction, she noted.
“Last time around, [the enemy] controlled our freedom of movement,” she said. “They limited what we could do.”
She added: “My hope would be that we’ll take what we’ve learned about how to respond to those threats — including the networks behind them — and apply that as we move forward into great power competition.”
Army Col. Stephen Kavanaugh, deputy director of the NATO Counter-IED
Centre of Excellence, said that despite the high human toll that IEDs took in Iraq and Afghanistan, nowadays not enough attention is being paid to the challenge.
“The United States remains the leader and the litmus test amongst a lot of capabilities within NATO,” he said. “If the United States … [says] that it’s a priority, it’s going to maintain and be a priority within NATO.”
But for years now, with the renewed focus on great power competition, there has been a feeling within the Pentagon and some military circles that IEDs are not a priority, Kavanaugh said.
“COIN, counterinsurgency, are bad words,” he said. “But when you change out … counterinsurgency for hybrid [warfare] it becomes and maintains a relevancy. And that’s something that needs to be reiterated because otherwise we will lose the bubble on that knowledge and expertise that we’ve gained over the last 15-plus years of blood and sweat and loss.”
Despite the strategic shift away from counterinsurgency, the military is working to modernize its EOD systems.
For the Army, updating its equipment will be key to executing its multi-domain operations 2028 operating concept that was released last year, said Maj. James Alfaro, EOD capability development chief at the Army’s Capability Development Integration Directorate.
The operating concept focuses on phases of warfare such as compete, penetrate, disintegrate, exploit and recompete, he said.
“The expectation here is that our adversaries are going to multiple layers of standoff [weapons] in all domains to separate U.S. forces and our allies in time, space and distance in order to defeat us,” he said. “To counter that, EOD formations need to be resilient, mobile and unpredictable in a manner that enables the supported formations to engage adversaries from a position of advantage.”
The service is pursuing three robotic programs of record, he noted. “This will be a vast improvement from a multitude of [commercial-off-the-shelf] solutions that are out there,” he added.
These systems will also come with the means to conduct technology refreshes so the Army isn’t stuck with the same platform for years, he noted.
Louis Analure, product manager for unmanned ground vehicles at the project manager office for force protection, said that over the past year the service has made strides in pursuing robotic systems.
The Army is focused on developing three platforms: the man transportable robotic system increment 2, or MTRS inc 2; the common robotic system-individual, or CRS(I); and the common robotic system-heavy, or CRS(H), he said. All three utilize an open architecture platform.
MTRS is a medium-sized platform and weighs 165 pounds. The service anticipates the system — which is being built by FLIR Systems — will be fielded in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020.
A variety of payloads can be swapped onto the system which will allow for new capabilities to come into play quickly, efficiently and in a flexible way as the service faces a changing battlefield in the future, he noted.
The platform will be able to detect, neutralize and clear explosive hazards; detect, identify, sample and quantify chemical agents; and detect, identify and counter improvised explosive devices, according to Analure’s presentation slides.
The common robotic system-individual — which is being manufactured by QinetiQ North America — is a small-sized robot that will be fielded starting in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020, Analure said.
The technology will provide standoff short-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; remote chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detection; remote explosive obstacle countermeasures; remote EOD operations; and remote clearance of dangerous areas, according to his slides.
Meanwhile, the common robotic system-heavy, which will weigh around 700 pounds, is currently in a solicitation period with an award expected in September or October, and fielding slated for fiscal year 2020, he said.
The platform is meant to replace the Army’s robotic ordnance neutralization system and remove warfighters from direct exposure to hazardous threats while also investigating, neutralizing and disposing of explosive ordnance, according to Analure’s slides. Additionally, the system is intended to have a lift capacity of 275 pounds, a speed capability of 6 mph and a battery life of 7 hours.
“We’ve managed to accelerate programs,” Analure said. “We’ve learned from each program and applied that learning to the subsequent program with good success.”
The Army also plans to equip EOD soldiers with unmanned aerial vehicles, Alfaro said. These platforms will give troops improved ISR capabilities and payload delivery.
Additionally, the service plans to make its platforms smarter through the integration of autonomy and automatic threat recognition, he added.
“Enabling EOD robotic platforms with autonomy and artificial intelligence … can assist in reducing the cognitive load on the EOD soldier and increase the standoff [range] that enables us to support … whatever formation we may be supporting,” he said.
The service is also pursuing a next-generation advanced bomb suit, or NGABS, for EOD technicians, said Cary Ferguson, deputy program manager for soldier protective equipment. The system — which is being developed alongside Army Futures Command — will give soldiers an increased range of motion and be modular and scalable.
Over the past year, the program has grown substantially, moving from just a few small efforts to now being in source selection for a developmental contract, he noted.
“We’re definitely moving in the right direction,” he said.
Previously, the service had been utilizing commercial-off-the-shelf technology, but it is now pursuing a program of record.
“We’ve taken the requirements from the ground up and … this is going to be [a] completely enhanced capability,” Ferguson said.
Its modularity means “you don’t have to wear everything,” Ferguson said. “There will be some options for the technician to wear different pieces of the suit based on the mission.”
It will also be lighter, with a 10 percent threshold weight reduction and a 40 percent objective weight reduction, according to his slides.
Additionally, there will be increased protection levels to include 360-degree fragmentation, blast, impact, flame and ballistic coverage.
“We’re going to leverage existing and future personal protective equipment,” Ferguson said. “The suit will integrate with what the EOD soldiers are wearing when they get out to the site, so they won’t be vulnerable when they exit the vehicle to don the suit. They will have that protection on.”
There will also be better integration of lighting technology that will allow technicians to work in nighttime conditions, Ferguson said.
The service is also working on an integrated sensor suite with a heads-up display in the helmet of the suit, he added.
“That’s the really difficult part to do, but we’re moving forward with that,” he said.
Additionally, the Army plans to increase the sizing options available for the suit which are currently limited, Ferguson noted. The target is having the suit fit the fifth to the 95th percentile of EOD techs.
Brig. Gen. Heidi Hoyle, chief of ordnance and commandant of the Army’s Ordnance School, said the service is approaching the modernization of its EOD equipment in a holistic way.
“[We’re] running programs, not purchasing commercial-off-the-shelf without the sustainment trail behind it, without a full lifecycle,” she said. “Commercial-off-the-shelf is a great way to get technology to the battlefield, but then it leaves these company commanders without the sustainment piece behind it.”
The service cannot be at the mercy of contracting terms on the battlefield during ground combat operations, she noted.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s counter-improvised threat technologies office is also pursuing new capabilities, Swan said. For example, it is working on an airborne system that is capable of rendering ammonium nitrate — a vital ingredient in homemade explosives — ineffective from a distance while also minimizing damage to surrounding communities.
Ammonium nitrate has been used in some of the world’s most notorious terrorist attacks, including the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, as well as attacks on U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998. It has also been widely employed by militants in Iraq and Afghanistan and by the Islamic State, according to Swan.
“In the past, we were sweeping the ground … looking for fertilizer or ammonium nitrate,” she said. However, there is now a “demand signal from our forward-deployed warfighters … for a solution to neutralize homemade explosive material from an airborne platform.”
The office has funded research that led to a handful of demonstrations, she said. (Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
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.