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09 Jan 20. US Army to field Israeli-made long-range missile on helicopters. The U.S. Army has decided to field an Israeli-made, long-range precision munition on attack helicopters as an interim solution to get after greater stand-off and long-range engagements.

An Army Requirements Oversight Council decision has authorized the service to field a certain number of Rafael’s Spike Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) missiles ahead of a bigger decision on a plan for acquiring long-range precision munitions for the service’s current and future aviation fleets, Brig. Gen. Wally Rugen, who is in charge of Army aviation modernization, said at a Bell demonstration of its V-280 Valor tiltrotor helicopter on Jan. 8.

That bigger decision has yet to go before the AROC, Rugen said, but after successful tests of the Spike system in 2019, the Army is moving forward to address a much-desired capability, particularly when considering how the service will fight in the future where greater stand-off to go up against enemy targets is paramount to successful operations.

The service fired the Spike NLOS missile from AH-64 Apache attack helicopters both in Israel and at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, last year. Defense News was present for one of six multidomain operations-relevant shots fired from an E-model Apache at Yuma in August 2019.

Multidomain operations is the Army’s future warfighting concept that addresses the expectation that the service will be fighting not only on land but also in the maritime, air, space and cyber domains. And the Army won’t be fighting alone, as the concept is focused on integration of the joint force and with allies and partners.

The test shots were performed in challenging terrain. The AH-64 hid behind 1,600 feet of craggy mountain and took take aim at a target representing a Russian Pantsir medium-range, surface-to-air missile system on the opposite slope. In the shot witnessed by Defense News, the Apache flew just a couple of hundred feet above the highest obstacle in the desert when the missiles were fired.

The missiles hit every target across nine total shots used to evaluate the system. The last missile firing resulted in the weapon hitting a moving target in the dark.

While the evaluation of the Spike missile led to the Army’s decision to acquire some of them for an interim system, it also helped the service define requirements for long-range precision munitions in terms of what it buys and how many it might need. Rugen would not detail how many Spike missiles the service will buy or when it plans to field those systems because briefings on Capitol Hill regarding its plans are ongoing.

The one-star general told Defense News in a previous interview, “When we look at what our critical path is, right now we’ve focused our critical path on the penetration phase of multidomain operations,” he said, referring to the Army’s war-fighting concept designed to go up against adversaries with strong defenses.

“We think that the quantities of these capabilities to conduct a penetration are going to be lower than, let’s say, our munitions requirement for Hellfire or Joint Air-to-Ground Munitions,” Rugen said. That latter weapon, JAGM, is the replacement for the Hellfire missile currently fired from manned and unmanned platforms in the Army’s fleet.

“At the end of the day, once we penetrate and start dis-integrating, we can bring forth those current capabilities to conduct more dis-integration and exploitation,” he said. “There is a layered aspect to this, and when we look at our munitions strategy, where we do need some great sophistication, greater capability, we don’t think we need the quantities” like Hellfire, JAGM or rockets. (Source: Defense News)

08 Jan 20. Lifting the Veil of Israel’s Classified Laser Weapon Program. Israel’s Ministry of Defense revealed today a major achievement in a high energy laser program undergoing with the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D). Investments in laser technology made by the department have led to the ability to precisely focus laser beams on long-range targets, overcoming atmospheric disturbances.

The new technology is key for the delivery of laser effects on target within a short time. It will enable the development of laser weapons capable of intercepting a variety of threats.

“The new technology will prompt a strategic change in Israel’s defense capabilities.” The IMOD press release said. “Throughout the year 2020, we will conduct a demo of our capabilities.”

Israel’s Ministry of Defense today unveiled a breakthrough in developing a powerful laser for intercepting high-trajectory threats. The new technology will bring strategic change in Israel’s air defense capability. (IL MoD photo)

Israel Head of the Directorate of Research and Development in the DDR&D, Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem said We are entering a new age of energy warfare in the air, land, and sea.” According to Rotem, investments in R&D made in the last years have placed the State of Israel among the leading countries in the field of high-energy laser systems.

Encouraged with the new technology breakthrough DDR&D embarked on three parallel high energy laser weapon systems demonstrator programs with Elbit Systems and Rafael, designed to demonstrate new laser weapon capabilities.  (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Defense Update)

08 Jan 20. USAF issues RFI for F-35A SiAW missile. The US Air Force (USAF) has issued a request for information (RFI) to develop the Stand In Attack Weapon (SiAW) to equip the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The sources sought solicitation issued on 8 January calls for potential vendors ahead of the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the SiAW that is geared at affording the USAF’s F-35As with an internally-carried anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capability.

“[The USAF] is seeking to integrate advanced technologies into SiAW. SiAW is an air force air-to-ground weapon designed to hold at risk surface elements of the A2/AD environment”, the RFI said.

As noted by the USAF, the SiAW will heavily leverage the US Navy’s Northrop Grumman AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) programme, currently in the early stages of development by PMA-242. The SiAW modifications will make the weapon relevant for fifth-generation aircraft, and include the development and integration of a warhead and fuze capable of prosecuting an expanded target set, an Active Radar Homing (ARH) guidance system, and a Universal Armament Interface (UAI) message set for the SiAW missile and F-35A aircraft. The SiAW will also seek development of future advanced capabilities to keep it relevant for evolving threats, the USAF noted.(Source: Jane’s)

08 Jan 20. China aiming to procure airborne laser-based weapon pod. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has issued an invitation to tender for the procurement of a laser-based weapon pod, as reflected in an entry on the Chinese military and weapon procurement website: weain.mil.cn. The website, which lists a “tender announcement for a laser strike pod procurement project”, indicates that further information about the planned acquisition is confidential. However, the announcement was picked up by the state-owned Global Times newspaper, which focused on the likelihood that the project is aimed at delivering an airborne laser-based weapon, with the terminology “laser strike pod” suggesting that this is the capability expected to be delivered. (Source: Jane’s)

08 Jan 20. Iranian navy upgrades Alborz frigate with new combat systems. The Islamic Republic of Iran Navy has equipped one of its ageing Alvand-class (Vosper Mk 5) frigates with new indigenously developed combat systems.

Imagery of IRIS Alborz (72) from the recently concluded Iranian joint naval exercise with the navies of China and Russia held in late December 2019, shows that an AK-630M-based Kamand close in weapon system (CIWS) and what appears to be an associated fire control system (FCS) have been installed amidships behind the funnel.

The FCS equipment includes a ball-shaped electro-optical (EO) fire control director, a smaller EO system with two apertures similar to the Seraj-1 EO FCS associated with Iranian air defence systems, and a manually operated optical director for the Kamand CIWS. (Source: Jane’s)

07 Jan 20. CV90 tested with Spike LR. BAE Systems has successfully fired an integrated, long-range anti-tank guided missile from the CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle in a recent series of tests.

This advancement further diversifies the CV90’s operational capabilities on the battlefield by enabling indirect fire at long distances or at air targets, boosting the vehicle’s lethality while increasing crew safety.
The testing, which took place in difficult arctic conditions, used a Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Spike-LR (long range) missile mounted on a BAE Systems Hägglunds’ CV90 to defeat a target at more than 2,000 metres. The exercise marks the first time an integrated version of an anti-tank guided missile has been launched from the CV90. It also demonstrates the platform’s versatility to perform a wide range of missions, and shows the CV90 can easily adapt to new technologies for meeting current and future customer needs.
“This integrated anti-tank capability confirms that the CV90 is a true benchmark when it comes to expanding a family of multi-mission armoured fighting vehicles,” said Dan Lindell, CV90 platform director at BAE Systems Hägglunds. “This new capability can alter the battlefield dynamic and is yet another example of how the CV90’s already superior mobility and survivability allows the warfighter to pack an even heavier punch in any terrain or weather conditions, and at any time on any battlefield.”
The December testing took place in northern Sweden in below freezing temperatures with heavy snowfall and low visibility.
“We fully appreciate Rafael and their Spike team for working with us to demonstrate this important capability and look forward to continuing our collaboration to provide present and future customers with this powerful addition to the CV90’s lethality suite,” Lindell said.
The long-range missile testing is yet another recent example of improved lethality on the CV90. BAE Systems is currently executing a Swedish government contract to provide a mortar variant of the CV90 called Mjölner that adds greater mobility to close indirect fire support.
More than 1,200 CV90s of numerous variants are in service with Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The vehicle has a combat-proven track record and is designed to accommodate future growth to meet evolving missions.

31 Dec 19. Russian Gibka-S VSHORAD system completes state trials. Russia’s new Gibka-S self-propelled very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) system has completed its state trials, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced in a press release on 25 December.

“State trials of the [Gibka-S] system were successfully completed earlier this month. The declared specifications of the prototypes of the battery commander’s reconnaissance-and-control vehicle and the air defence squadron combat vehicle armed with manportable air defence system [MANPADS] firing units were confirmed,” the MoD said.

The Gibka-S VSHORAD system has been integrated into the joint tactical-level command system and can engage aerial targets while moving or stationary. The combat vehicle is fitted with a multichannel electro-optical targeting-and-tracking subsystem, quick power drives, and a surface-to-air missile (SAM) remote control unit. (Source: Jane’s)

07 Jan 20. France ‘Hampers Eurosam Missile System Due to Political Reasons.’ France obstructs progress in the joint anti-air missiles of Eurosam following Turkey’s “Operation Peace Spring,” Turkish Defense Industries Directorate chair İsmail Demir said on Jan. 6.

“France is in a general [negative] attitude. This attitude has impacted the project as well,” Demir told reporters at an annual review meeting with the press.

“We are at the stage of definition study now. France has a negative attitude for the next phase. It creates troubles to go one step further,” he said.

“If this attitude continues, we will proceed with the other partner [Italy],” he said. Asked if France notified a general principle for blocking defense projects with Turkey, Demir said difficulties were seen on project bases, but not a general statement on the issues.

The position of France “has no meaning for us,” Demir said, adding that this situation will not hamper Turkey’s plans.

On Eurosam program, France lays an obstacle on the issue of technology transfer, a source familiar with the talks told Hürriyet Daily News on condition of anonymity.

Ankara made an initial deal with the French-Italian consortium on July 14, 2017 to develop Turkey’s national defense systems and signed an agreement early 2018 for an 18-month-long study to determine the needs and priorities for the potential joint production of an anti-ballistic missile system. The proposed system will be a more developed version of the Eurosam’s current SAMP-T air defense systems. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Hurriyet Daily News)

07 Jan 20. France awards pistol and sniper rifle contracts. The French Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced in a press release on 6 January the award of a EUR44m (USD49m) contract to Glock for the provision of 74,596 semi-automatic pistols. The ministry also confirmed the choice of the FN SCAR H PR as the French Army’s new sniper rifle. The Pistolet Automatique de Nouvelle Génération (New Generation Automatic Pistol, PANG) contract initially called for the provision of 75,000 semi-automatic pistols: 51 million 9×19mm cartridges, including four million marker training rounds and two million subsonic rounds; 15,000 visible and infrared night-time aiming devices (flashlight and laser); and 7,000 sound suppressors. (Source: Jane’s)

07 Jan 20. Indian Army to sign MoU for elite AK-203 assault rifles. The Indian Army is reportedly planning to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to procure more than 750,000 elite AK-203 assault rifles. The Indo-Russian Rifles (IRRPL), an India-Russia joint venture (JV) at Korwa, will manufacture the assault rifles in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP).

Of the total order, 100,000 rifles will be manufactured in Russia. The JV based in Amethi will produce the remaining 650,000 units.

The Hindu quoted a defence official as saying that the MoU should be signed in a month.

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the rifle-manufacturing facility in Korwa. IRRPL is a JV between Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) on the Indian side, and Rosonboron Exports and Concern Kalashnikov on the Russian side.

The Indian Army’s OFB owns a 50.5% stake in the JV and the remaining 49.5% is held by Russian partners.

The JV was formed consequent to the inter-governmental agreement signed between the two countries in February last year.

After that, it secured all requisite licences for production and export. Following the conclusion of the board meeting of the JV, an initial set of officers from the army and OFB joined in it to start its operations.

Later on, close coordination and regular interactions were held with Russian partners for smooth implementation of the project.

In July last year, the Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the operationalisation of the JV IRRPL to manufacture AK-203 assault rifles in UP. Last month, the Indian Army reportedly received the first lot of Sig Sauer assault rifles to boost its counter-terrorism operations. (Source: army-technology.com)

06 Jan 20. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) AQS-24 mine hunting sonar recently completed initial in-water testing of a next-generation Deploy and Retrieval (D&R) payload. Operated from the Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vessel (MCM USV), the AQS-24 D&R demonstrated the unmanned operations needed to perform a mine hunting mission off the MCM Mission Package aboard the littoral combat ship (LCS).

“Achieving this important milestone demonstrated reliable unmanned mine hunting operations, while using operationally representative hardware from the LCS MCM Mission Module,” said Alan Lytle, vice president, undersea systems, Northrop Grumman. “This allows the program to begin preparation for further at-sea testing of the system for extended duration missions in rigorous conditions.”

The MCM USV tests are ahead of planned user-operated evaluation system testing of the AQS-24 on LCSs. The company has multiple versions of the AQS-24 to provide mine hunting capabilities for navies. The AQS-24B is a deployed system which uses side-scan sonar for real-time detection, localization and classification of bottom and moored mines in addition to a laser line scanner for precise optical identification.

Integration of the AQS-24 sonar with USVs allows for the real-time transmission of all AQS-24 data to a remote sonar operator, who can then commence real-time mission analysis (RTMA) of all recorded mission data. RTMA significantly reduces MCM detect to engage timelines, as well as the real-time reacquisition and identification of bottom mines following traditional mine hunting sorties.

06 Jan 20. Rheinmetall and Thales are teaming in Germany within the field of unguided and guided rockets.

  • This agreement aims to support together the future developments, qualification and production of the 70mm (2.75”) rocket systems for the German market
  • Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH will lead the team towards the German customers
  • Together, the two international groups will propose complementary capabilities for the Tiger MK3 program

Rheinmetall and Thales have signed an agreement to support together the future developments, qualification and production of the 70mm (2.75”) guided and unguided rockets solutions for helicopters as well as potentially other new platforms in Germany.

The Thales 70mm (2.75”) rocket systems are currently operated on UHT Tiger and under certification on Airbus Helicopters H145M. As part of the agreement, Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH (RWM) will lead the team towards the German customers and use its wide experience as main supplier to the Bundeswehr to ensure the future requirements are met.

The agreement deepens the existing relationship between Thales and Rheinmetall in this field as other members of Rheinmetall Group are working in collaborative integration programs like on Rheinmetall Canada’s Mission Master UGV.

Together, RWM and Thales propose important complementary capabilities, especially in the frame of the Tiger MK3 program (guided rocket in “Lock-On-Before-Launch” mode, additional communication between the rocket system and the platform, identification, remote control…)

On behalf of RHEINMETALL

“The multi-decade experience and quality of the Thales 70mm rockets fit perfectly to Rheinmetall’s activities to provide the users in Germany with the best products. The Thales portfolio in this domain is complementary to the current Rheinmetall technical portfolio. This gives the opportunity to combine forces, but more important gives the user direct access to products, meeting the highest requirements on effectiveness, accuracy and safety. And that is our mission.” – Torsten Böhm, Senior Vice President ‘Business Development and Sales’, RWM.

03 Jan 20. Serbia begins testing indigenous weapons on new H145M attack helicopters. Serbia began live firing trials of indigenously developed weapons on its new HForce H145M attack helicopters at the Nikinci testing centre on 19 December, the Serbian Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported on its website the same day. Lieutenant Colonel Miroslav Zecevic of the planning and development department of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces reported that an S-8KOM rocket was successfully fired from a honeycomb launcher, adding, “This phase will be followed by detailed analysis of performance, followed by integration of the weapons into the remaining helicopters”.(Source: Jane’s)

02 Jan 20. India test fires Pinaka missile system. India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation has carried out a series of flight trials of the Pinaka missile system. The first firing was carried out on 19 December, at a range of 75km. The second was carried out the following day from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the Odisha coast.

The mission objective of the second firing was to test the low range functioning of the live warhead along with proximity initiation and salvo launch. Two Pinaka missiles were launched in salvo mode with a 60 second interval between the two firings. Both missiles were fired to engage a target at a range of 20km, with the Indian Ministry of Defence reporting high accuracy. The missile was integrated with live warhead with proximity fuse and was tracked by multiple range systems. (Source: Shephard)


Arnold Defense has manufactured more than 1.25 million 2.75-inch rocket launchers since 1961 for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and many NATO customers. They are the world’s largest supplier of rocket launchers for military aircraft, vessels and vehicles. Core products include the 7-round M260 and 19-round M261 commonly used by helicopters; the thermal coated 7-round LAU-68 variants and LAU-61 Digital Rocket Launcher used by the U.S. Navy and Marines; and the 7-round LAU-131 and SUU-25 flare dispenser used by the U.S. Air Force and worldwide.

Today’s rocket launchers now include the ultra-light LWL-12 that weighs just over 60 pounds (27 kg.) empty and the new Fletcher (4) round launcher. Arnold Defense designs and manufactures various rocket launchers that can be customized for any capacity or form factor for platforms in the air, on the ground or even at sea.

Arnold Defense maintains the highest standards of production quality by using extensive testing, calibration and inspection processes.


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