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23 Dec 19. Two consecutive launches of BrahMos from Land & Air platform validates the weapon’s lethality. On the 17th of December 2019 two launches of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles were carried out from Land and Air platforms.
The first launch took place from a Land based mobile launcher where maximum components were of Indian origin, primarily the missile airframe, fuel management system and DRDO designed seeker. This launch has enthused a fresh impetus in the ambitious “Make in India” programme of Govt. of India.
The second launch was carried out by the Indian Air force from its prime fighter aircraft SU-30MKI against a sea target. The test, conducted in user configuration, revalidated the ship attack capability of the advanced air-launched cruise missile. During the launch, the missile was gravity dropped from the air combat platform’s fuselage and the two-stage weapon’s engine fired up and straightaway propelled towards the intended target positioned at the sea piercing the same with pin point accuracy.
With this test the IAF now has a World record of direct hits on targets in all its launches from air against sea and land targets establishing itself as the prime user of the world’s most powerful conventional airborne weapon to attack targets on sea and land. The Indian Air Force, on 22 May 2019, had successfully tested the missile against a land-based target in the Car Nicobar Islands region. The first launch from SU-30 MKI was carried out on the 22 Nov 2017 against a sea target which made the Indian Air force the first in the World to have fired a supersonic cruise missile
The formidable BRAHMOS ALCM promises to immensely bolster the IAF’s air combat capability from long distance stand-off ranges and become the ultimate “game changer” for the IAF in the 21st century.
Dr Satheesh Reddy, Secretary DRDO congratulated Team BrahMos & DRDO for the successful launch which was spearheaded on ground by Dr Sudhir Mishra, Director General BrahMos, Dr Dashrath Ram, Director DRDL & Dr Binoy Kumar Das, Director ITR. (Source: AMR)
27 Dec 19. U.S. Military to Test New Hypersonic Weapons. The U.S. Military braces up to accommodate flight testing of hypersonic weapon system flight test automobiles, in response to a Federal Business Opportunities notice issued earlier this month.
The Army Contracting Command (ACC) has released a request for information on testing support for hypersonic weapons, particularly “the current, new, and evolving Hypersonic Test Engineering, Mission Planning and Systems (HyTEMPS) standards.”
The U.S. Military needs information on potential sources that may provide the mandatory technical skills, amenities, and personnel to support the current, new, and evolving HyTEMPS standards, according to a Federal Business Opportunities notice.
This RFI aims to obtain knowledge of the capabilities, capacity, and expertise of potential distributors regarding approaches to accommodate flight testing of flight test autos, in addition to recommended contractual criteria. At the moment, the Federal Government is contemplating completing a contract award no later than June 2020 with an acquisition strategy of an overall four-year contract valued below $100M.
The contractor must possess a top-secret facility clearance and secret safeguarding capability at the time of the contract award. Moreover, as determined by the cognizant Government authority, all contractor personnel that performs contractor duties in support of the ensuing contract at a Government site requiring access to categorized data should be U.S. residents and have a secret clearance at the time of the contract.
In keeping with open sources, Hypersonic strike weapons, capable of flying speeds above Mach 5, are a crucial aspect of the long-range precision fire modernization effort for the Military and the national safety strategy to fight with and oust potential threats. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/https://aerospacedefencetalks.com/)
24 Dec 19. Putin says Russia is leading world in hypersonic weapons. President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia has got a strong edge in designing new weapons and that it has become the only country in the world to deploy hypersonic weapons.
Speaking at a meeting with top military brass, Putin said that for the first time in history Russia is now leading the world in developing an entire new class of weapons unlike in the past when it was catching up with the United States.
The Russian leader noted that during Cold War times, the Soviet Union was behind the United States in designing the atomic bomb and building strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
“Now we have a situation that is unique in modern history when they are trying to catch up to us,” he said. “Not a single country has hypersonic weapons, let alone hypersonic weapons of intercontinental range.”
The Pentagon and the U.S. military services have been working on the development of hypersonic weapons in recent years, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in August that he believes “it’s probably a matter of a couple of years” before the U.S. has one. He has called it a priority as the military works to develop new long-range fire capabilities.
The U.S. also has repeatedly warned Congress about hypersonic missiles being developed by Russia and China that will be harder to track and defeat. U.S. officials have talked about putting a layer of sensors in space to more quickly detect enemy missiles, particularly the more advanced hypersonic threats. The administration also plans to study the idea of basing interceptors in space, so the U.S. can strike incoming enemy missiles during the first minutes of flight when the booster engines are still burning.
Putin said that the first unit equipped with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is set to go on duty this month, while the air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missiles already have entered service.
The Russian leader first mentioned the Avangard and the Kinzhal among other prospective weapons systems in his state-of-the-nation address in March 2018.
Putin said then that the Avangard has an intercontinental range and can fly in the atmosphere at a speed 20 times the speed of sound. He noted that the weapon’s ability to change both its course and its altitude en route to a target makes it immune to interception by the the enemy.
“It’s a weapon of the future, capable of penetrating both existing and prospective missile defense systems,” Putin said Tuesday.
The Kinzhal, which is carried by MiG-31 fighter jets, entered service with the Russian air force last year. Putin has said that the missile flies 10 times faster than the speed of sound, has a range of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and can carry a nuclear or a conventional warhead. The military said it’s capable of hitting both land targets and navy ships.
The United States and other countries also have worked on designing hypersonic weapons, but they haven’t entered service yet.
The Kremlin has made military modernization its top priority amid tensions with the West that followed the 2014 Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.
Putin on Tuesday described a buildup of NATO’s forces near Russia’s western borders and the U.S. withdrawal earlier this year from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty among top security threats.
He argued that Russia must have the best weapons in the world.
“It’s not a chess game where it’s OK to play to a draw,” he said. “Our technology must be better. We can achieve that in key areas and we will.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported Tuesday that the military this year has received 143 warplanes and helicopters, 624 armored vehicles, a submarine and eight surface warships. He said that the modernization of Russia’s arsenals will continue at the same rapid pace next year, with 22 intercontinental ballistic missiles, 106 new aircraft, 565 armored vehicles, three submarines and 14 surface ships to enter duty.
Putin noted that the work to develop other prospective weapons, including the Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, the Poseidon nuclear-powered underwater drone and the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile was going according to plan.
The Burevestnik has stoked particular controversy. The U.S. and the Soviet Union worked on nuclear-powered rocket engines during the Cold War, but they eventually spiked those projects considering them to be too hazardous.
The Burevestnik reportedly suffered an explosion in August during tests at a Russian navy range on the White Sea, killing five nuclear engineers and two servicemen and resulting in a brief spike in radioactivity that fueled radiation fears in a nearby city. Russian officials never named the weapon involved in the incident, but the U.S. said it was the Burevestnik. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/https://www.militarytimes.com/)
26 Dec 19. Ukraine to buy more U.S. Javelin anti-tank missile systems. Ukraine will purchase a second consignment of U.S. Javelin anti-tank missiles and launch units, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
The United States has been one of Kiev’s strongest supporters since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the outbreak of fighting in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region that has killed more than 13,000 people.
Contracts for the deal were signed in the fourth quarter of 2019, the defense ministry in a statement, without giving further details.
A first shipment of Javelin systems worth around $47m arrived in Ukraine in April 2018 after the U.S. State Department gave the green light for the deal.
Kiev and Washington believe the system will improve Ukraine’s long-term defense capacity.
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill that envisages providing $300m in military aid to Ukraine in 2020.
(Source: Defense News Early Bird/Reuters)
23 Dec 19. F-16 Shoots Down Drone in Test for New Cruise Missile Defense. An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet has taken out a drone using an AGR-20A Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rocket in a first-of-its-kind test. The weapon could prove to be an alternative for cruise missile defense, according to the Air Force’s 53rd Wing.
The 85th Test and Evaluation Squadron shot down a BQM-167 subscale drone over Eglin Air Force Base’s Gulf of Mexico water range on Dec. 19, said 1st Lt. Savanah Bray, a spokeswoman for the 53rd.
The F-16, capable of carrying 14 APKWS munitions, used just one precision-guided rocket for the test, resulting in a direct hit, Bray told Military.com on Monday.
The test showed that using the smaller, 2.75-inch rocket queued from an F-16 targeting pod is a viable munitions alternative to platforms that perform cruise missile defense, such as the pricier AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, or AMRAAM, officials said.
“The test was unprecedented and will shape the future of how the Air Force executes [cruise missile defense],” said Col. Ryan Messer, commander of the 53rd Wing, in the release. “This is a prime example of how the 53d Wing is using resources readily available to establish innovative ways that enhance combat capabilities for our combat units.”
BQM-167s, housed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, are used as aerial targets.
The APKWS, originally developed “as a low cost, low collateral damage air-to-ground weapon for use in Afghanistan and Iraq,” according to the service, is much less expensive than an AMRAAM, which “is commonly used for cruise missile defense,” the release states.
The BAE Systems-made APKWS costs about $30,000 while the AIM-120 ranges between $600,000 and $850,000, depending on the variant, Bray said. Because of their size, an aircraft can load “two-to-three times the number” of APKWS versus the maximum of six AMRAAMs an F-16 can carry dependent on weapon configuration, the release adds.
Bray said finding a cheaper alternative was a top priority that came out of the January 2019 Weapons and Tactics Conference (WEPTAC).
“This proof of concept can have implications for homeland defense missions, combined defense of the Arabian Gulf, and beyond,” Messer said. “I am exceptionally proud of the efforts of the 85th TES and the units across the 53d Wing that made this possible.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Military.com)
24 Dec 19. Armenia receives Tor-M2KM SAM systems. The Armenian military has received a batch of Russian-made Tor-M2KM wheeled short-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems, the country’s prime minister Nikol Pashinyan announced on 21 December.
“The Armenian armed forces have been reinforced by modern Russian-made Tor-M2KM air and missile defence systems. These weapons were produced in 2019 and stand among our pivotal defence procurements this year,” said Pashinyan on his official Facebook page, without specifying the number of systems delivered.
The same day the Armenian Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported a visit by Pashinyan to a military unit during which the “newest air and missile defence assets, including Tor-M2KM SAM systems, autonomous training devices, logistic systems, and command-and-control vehicles, were demonstrated to the prime minister”. (Source: Jane’s)
24 Dec 19. Russia has received a new S-350 anti-aircraft missile system. The Russian Ministry of Defense has received a new V-Vityaz S-350 medium-range anti-aircraft missile system, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting Russian media source Channel 24. According to the press service of the Almaz-Antey concern, which actually delivered the Vityaz to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the equipment transfer ceremony took place at the Kapustin Yar training ground in the Astrakhan Region. As part of the transfer, the equipment was brought to the training ground, and then overflights took place, accompanied by real air targets.
Note that the state tests of the new anti-aircraft complex S-350 Vityaz were completed in April 2019. Then it became known that they would launch it into mass production.
What is known about the new Vityaz air defense system.
It is used for air defense and belongs to the new generation of anti-aircraft missile systems. It is a self-propelled launcher. Among the objectives of the complex is the destruction of aerodynamic and ballistic targets at extremely low and high altitudes, in particular cruise missiles. Also, the complex should provide protection against stealth combat aircraft. (Source: News Now/)
19 Dec 19. Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, Hails Success of the Firing Trials to Arm Drones. The French military have successfully carried out firing trials with drones operating from Niamey air base in Niger, as part of Operation Barkhane.
“I would like to salute and congratulate all the personnel of the Ministry of the Armed Forces who were fully involved in the implementation of this new capability, two years after the decision I announced to arm our surveillance drones, following the guidelines set by the President of the Republic.
Armed drones will considerably improve the security of our soldiers on the ground and will strengthen our means in the face of an ever more fleeting enemy. These armed droned are now operational and deployed with Operation Barkhane. Their main missions remain surveillance and intelligence-gathering, which is the primary vocation of drones, but they can also be extended to include airstrikes in compliance with the rules of engagement, if the opportunity arises, as increasing the pressure on armed terrorist groups.
In addition to the constant pressure on the enemy, armed drones have several other advantages, including their discretion, endurance and the ability they give our forces to react and decide more quickly and efficiently. Arming drones is a new capability, and not a change of doctrine. The rules of engagement for armed drones are exactly the same as those for combat aircraft, which they complement. These drones will continue to be operated in the theater of operations, in strict compliance with the law of armed conflict. The arrival of armed drones in the Barkhane theater reflects our constant commitment to build modern and efficient armed forces. (Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com) (Source: defense-aerospace.com/French Armed Forces Ministry)
19 Dec 19. The next-generation Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) achieved early operational capability (EOC) with the F/A-18E/F last month, bringing new capabilities to U.S. naval aviation.
A Naval Air Systems Command public affairs officer told Naval News, “the Navy achieved early operational capability (EOC) for the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) on the F/A-18 in November 2019. LRASM will play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in the Pacific and in the littorals by providing a long-range surface warfare capability.”
The AGM-158C LRASM achieved early operational capability with the U.S Air Force B-1B bomber in December 2018, ahead of schedule. A single B-1B Lancer can carry and deploy up to 24 LRASM.
LRASM was set to achieve its Super Hornet EOC at the end of September, as reported by Naval News, but this was delayed, Inside Defense first reported.
LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by employing advanced technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, network links and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments. LRASM will play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in open ocean and blue water environments, owing to its enhanced ability to discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges.
BAE Systems’ long-range sensor and targeting technology enable LRASM to detect and engage protected ships in all weather conditions, day or night, without relying on external intelligence and navigation data.
The advanced LRASM sensor technology builds on BAE Systems’ expertise in electronic warfare (EW), signal processing and targeting technologies, and demonstrates the company’s ability to apply its world-class EW technology to small platforms.
Armed with a 1,000-pound penetrating blast fragmentation warhead, LRASM is low observable and likely has a range comparable with the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM ER) of around 500 nautical miles.
LRASM is designed to meet the needs of the Navy and Air Force in contested environments. The air-launched variant provides an early operational capability for the Navy’s Offensive Anti-surface Warfare Increment I requirement.
LRASM may soon find its way aboard the Air Force B-52 bomber and maybe, someday, aboard the Navy P-8A Poseidon.
On the international front, Naval News learned recently that Lockheed Martin is promoting LRASM in Australia. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/USNI)
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.