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31 Dec 19. Leonardo’s M-40 Target Drone Used to Prove Latest Mistral Missiles.
- A number of M-40 drones simulating enemy aircraft were flown by Leonardo, enabling the realistic demonstration of MBDA’s latest Mistral missile
- The M-40 can mimic a variety of threats ranging from missiles to aircraft, allowing manufacturers and operators to test and train in operationally-accurate conditions
- Leonardo’s target drones have been employed by international Armed Forces for more than 20 years. The M-40 continues that proud tradition by offering medium-to-high performance at a very competitive price
Leonardo has concluded a series of flights with its M-40 target drone as part of a trials campaign in Italy. This saw the drones simulating modern airborne threats, allowing for the realistic demonstration of MBDA’s latest surface-to-air Mistral missile.
The M-40 is Leonardo’s latest entry in its Mirach target drone family and is able to mimic a variety of aircraft and missiles, including radar, infrared (IR) and visual threats. During the Mistral demonstration, the M-40 simulated enemy airborne platforms for the missile to target.
15 international delegations witnessed the trials, the centerpiece of which was the live firing of a Mistral missile at an M-40 drone. The missile intercepted the target, proving its capabilities and allowing MBDA to collect valuable data on the missile’s performance. In total, the M-40 drones carried out 6 flights between October the 28th and November the 6th.
A fleet of M-40 drones is in-service with the Italian Armed Forces, with Leonardo operating the targets on behalf of the Armed Forces on a managed service basis, providing trained crew and all necessary support. Other nations, including some of those attending the trial, have registered interest in a similar service model and the M-40 is also available for purchase as a standalone product.
Leonardo offers the M-40 alongside its Mirach 100/5 target drone, which has been used for over 20 years by a range of Armed Forces: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, UK, Algeria, Argentina and Israel have all used Mirach family drones to train. Today, that experience, coupled with modern technology, has allowed Leonardo to develop the M-40, which delivers medium-to-high performance at a price comparable with competitors’ entry-level drones. It is inexpensive to fly and offers 60 minutes of endurance, making it a cost-effective option for a wide range of training and proving requirements. Meanwhile, the Company continues to offer the twin-engine Mirach 100/5 for occasions when customers need to simulate the highest-performance threat systems. (Source: ASD Network)
02 Jan 20. Netherlands seeks designated marksman rifle. The Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation announced a contract notice on 24 December for semi-automatic designated marksman rifles chambered in .260 Remington/6.5 x 51 mm, plus ammunition, additional rifle equipment, spare parts, training, and documentation. The deadline for requests to participate is 21 February, followed by evaluation, with the award phase to be started in April 2020 with selected suppliers. The US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) adopted the 6.5 mm Creedmoor/6.5 x 49 mm calibre in March 2018 to replace existing 7.62 x 51 mm/.308 Winchester semi-automatic sniper rifles. SOCOM in October 2019 announced plans to upgrade existing M110 semi-automatic sniper rifles to the M110K1 variant chambered to the round. (Source: Jane’s)
02 Jan 20. Indian Navy equips landing platform dock with indigenous combat systems. The Indian Navy has equipped its amphibious warfare ship, INS Jalashwa, with indigenously developed combat systems. Recent images of the warship indicate that it has been installed with the Bharat Electronics Revathi radar in place of the legacy SPS-40 air search radar. The vessel has also received the locally developed Kavach naval decoy launchers, and Indian-made electro-optical (EO) fire control directors for its AK-630M gun mounts. The ship’s Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS) turrets, which were included during its transfer from the US, have been removed. (Source: Jane’s)
30 Dec 19. CIA Devised Way to Restrict Missiles Given to Allies, Researcher Says. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has devised technology to restrict the use of anti-aircraft missiles after they leave American hands, a researcher said, a move that experts say could persuade the United States that it would be safe to disseminate powerful weapons more frequently.
The new technology is intended for use with shoulder-fired missiles called Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems (MANPADS), Dutch researcher Jos Wetzels told a cybersecurity conference in Leipzig, Germany on Saturday. Wetzels said the system was laid out in a batch of CIA documents published by WikiLeaks in 2017 but that the files were mislabeled and attracted little public attention until now.
Wetzels said the CIA had come up with a “smart arms control solution” that would restrict the use of missiles “to a particular time and a particular place.” The technique, referred to as “geofencing,” blocks the use of a device outside a specific geographic area.
Weapons that are disabled when they leave the battlefield could be an attractive feature. Supplied to U.S. allies, the highly portable missiles can help win wars, but they have often been lost, sold, or passed to extremists.
For example, Stinger MANPADS supplied by the United States are credited with helping mujahedeen rebels drive Soviet forces out of Afghanistan in a conflict that spanned the 1980s and 1990s. But U.S. officials have since spent billions of dollars to clear the missiles from the country — and from other conflict zones around the world
Wetzels said it was unclear whether the CIA’s design ever left the drawing board or where it was meant to have been deployed, but he noted that the apparent period of development in the documents’ metadata — 2014 to 2015 — roughly coincided with media reports about the deployment of MANPADS to rebels in Syria. Geofencing might have been seen as a way of ensuring the missiles were used on the Syrian battlefield and nowhere else, he said.
The CIA declined to comment.
Outside experts who reviewed Wetzels’ analysis said they found it plausible.
N.R. Jenzen-Jones, who directs the British-based ARES intelligence consultancy, said geofencing has long been discussed as a safeguard to allow powerful weapons “into the hands of friendly forces operating in high-risk environments.”
Wetzels said geofencing was no panacea, running through a list of security vulnerabilities that could be used by insurgents to bypass the restrictions. “It’s not a watertight solution,” he said. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Voice of America News)
27 Dec 19. New Russian Weapon Can Travel 27 Times the Speed of Sound. A new intercontinental weapon that can fly 27 times the speed of sound became operational Friday, Russia’s defense minister reported to President Vladimir Putin, bolstering the country’s nuclear strike capability. Putin has described the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle as a technological breakthrough comparable to the 1957 Soviet launch of the first satellite. The new Russian weapon and a similar system being developed by China have troubled the United States, which has pondered defense strategies. The Avangard is launched atop an intercontinental ballistic missile, but unlike a regular missile warhead that follows a predictable path after separation it can make sharp maneuvers in the atmosphere on its way to the target, making it much harder to intercept.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu informed Putin that the first missile unit equipped with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle entered combat duty.
“I congratulate you on this landmark event for the military and the entire nation,” Shoigu said later during a conference call with top military leaders.
The Strategic Missile Forces chief, Gen. Sergei Karakayev, said during the call that the Avangard was put on duty with a unit in the Orenburg region in the southern Ural Mountains.
Unveiled in March 2018
Putin unveiled the Avangard among other prospective weapons systems in his state-of-the-nation address in March 2018, noting that its ability to make sharp maneuvers on its way to a target will render missile defense useless.
“It heads to target like a meteorite, like a fireball,” he said at the time.
The Russian leader noted that Avangard is designed using new composite materials to withstand temperatures of up to 2,000 Celsius resulting from a flight through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds. The military said the Avangard is capable of flying 27 times faster than the speed of sound. It carries a nuclear weapon of up to 2 megatons. Putin has said Russia had to develop the Avangard and other prospective weapons systems because of U.S. efforts to develop a missile defense system that he claimed could erode Russia’s nuclear deterrent. Moscow has scoffed at U.S. claims that its missile shield isn’t intended to counter Russia’s massive missile arsenals.
Putin: Russia leads world
Earlier this week, Putin emphasized that Russia is the only country armed with hypersonic weapons. He noted that for the first time Russia is leading the world in developing an entire new class of weapons, unlike in the past when it was catching up with the U.S.
In December 2018, the Avangard was launched from the Dombarovskiy missile base in the southern Urals and successfully hit a practice target on the Kura shooting range on Kamchatka, 6,000 kilometers away. Russian media reports indicated that the Avangard will first be mounted on Soviet-built RS-18B intercontinental ballistic missiles, code-named SS-19 by NATO. It is expected to be fitted to the prospective Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile after it becomes operational.
The Defense Ministry said last month it demonstrated the Avangard to a team of U.S. inspectors as part of transparency measures under the New Start nuclear arms treaty with the U.S.
The Russian military previously had commissioned another hypersonic weapon of a smaller range.
The Kinzhal (Dagger), which is carried by MiG-31 fighter jets, entered service with the Russian air force last year. Putin has said the missile flies 10 times faster than the speed of sound, has a range of more than 2,000 kilometers and can carry a nuclear or a conventional warhead. The military said it is capable of hitting both land targets and navy ships.
China and US
China has tested its own hypersonic glide vehicle, believed to be capable of traveling at least five times the speed of sound. It displayed the weapon called Dong Feng 17, or DF-17, at a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese state.
U.S. officials have talked about putting a layer of sensors in space to more quickly detect enemy missiles, particularly the hypersonic weapons. 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.
The Pentagon also has 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. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Voice of America News)
30 Dec 19. Indonesia commissions shore-based 76mm naval gun.
- The Indonesian Navy has commissioned a shore-based 76 mm naval gun
- It is the first of several weapon types that will be featured at the newly constructed range at Paiton
A screenshot from a video provided to Jane’s, showing the Indonesian Navy’s shore-based 76 mm naval gun at Paiton, East Java, during its test-firing in November 2019. (Source withheld)
The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) has commissioned a shore-based 76 mm naval gun that has been installed at its newly built weapons range in Paiton, East Java.
The gun, which was salvaged from the retired Ahmad Yani-class frigate, Slamet Riyadi, was handed over by Indonesia’s state-owned electronic company, PT Len, to the TNI-AL’s Doctrine, Education, and Training Development Command (KODIKLATAL) on 6 December. (Source: Jane’s)
30 Dec 19. US Army Brings Back Avengers in Face of Russian Aggression. The U.S. Army brings back its Avenger surface-to-air missile systems mounted on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, commonly known as the Humvee.
Last year, the Army re-established an active SHORAD battalion in Germany. The 5th Battalion of the 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment was stood up with Avenger systems that mounted on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, commonly known as the Humvee, modified with a turret on top and two pods of Stinger missiles.
The combined weapon system provides mobile protection against missiles, low-flying aircraft and most recently – unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Avengers were first used by the Army in 1990, but in recent years most had been relegated to the National Guard or stored in depots.
A total of 72 Avengers were pulled out of mothballs last year from Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania, Holler said. Half are now with the 5-4 ADA and the others are ready for the issue at a pre-positioned equipment depot in Germany.
The shift back to the Avengers is based on the Army chief of staff’s initiative to close the gap in short-range air defense capabilities the United States and its NATO allies suffer from on the European continent, according to the Army. The Army was given a “wake-up call” when it observed the conflict in Ukraine.
The U.S. Army has been laying the foundations to conduct large-scale combat operations against a near-peer adversary like Russia.
In addition to the development of logistics systems and the strengthening of the military power of armored formations, the Army is now standing up short-range air defense units, known as SHORAD battalions.
The Army is now reshaping its capability and capacity to conduct large-scale combat operations against a near-peer adversary like Russia, so SHORAD units are once again needed. (Source: UAS VISION/Defence Blog)
30 Dec 19. New weapons are currently being developed for Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jets, Yury Slyusar, the director-general of the Russian aerospace and defence manufacturer United Aircraft Corporation, said on Monday.
“Second-stage engine tests are currently intensively underway on a separate schedule. I would like to remind that the aircraft will be able to use many new means of destruction – some of them have already been created, others are being developed. Tests will continue consistent with the new functions and new goals,” Slyusar said.
On Thursday, Russia’s Rostec State Corporation CEO Sergei Chemezov said that Russia’s aerospace forces would receive large-scale deliveries of Su-57 fighter jets starting from 2020.
According to various reports, the Su-57, which costs roughly $40 to $45m per plane, could also be purchased by many countries including China, India, Myanmar, Algeria, and Turkey – especially after the US and Ankara clashed over the F-35 programme.
The Su-57 (formerly known as PAK FA or T-50) is a single-seat twin-engine jet featuring stealth design, super manoeuvrability, supersonic flight capability, as well as advanced radar and electronics. The aircraft made its maiden flight in 2010. (Source: Google/Sputnik)
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.