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20 Feb 20. US Army researchers and industry partners create new helmet padding. The US Army has announced the development of helmet padding to offer greater performance for future soldiers. The product has been developed by the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory and its HRL Laboratories partners.
The team has used advanced 3D printing manufacturing process and open-cell lattice structures for the creation of the new helmet padding.
According to the army, the protective padding helps reduce head injury in combat while offering comfort to the soldier.
A study on the improved, higher-performing helmet padding has also been published by army researchers and industry partners.
Lab project lead Dr Thomas Plaisted said: “Careful control of the lattice design imparts novel compression characteristics to the padding that reduce peak head acceleration during blunt impact events compared to existing state-of-the-art foam padding.
“Testing demonstrated a 27% increase in energy attenuation efficiency when inserted into a combat helmet compared to current best-performing foam pads.”
The new padding was designed to optimise impact protection while minimising the helmet’s weight and interior space.
Plaisted added: “Typical multi-impact attenuating materials include expanded polypropylene and vinyl nitrile closed-cell foams, which absorb impact energy through the collapse of internal pores when compressed.
“The material is carefully tuned to yield at a threshold force, or acceleration, specific to the tolerance of the head, thereby mitigating injury.”
The new technology is being moved Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, where it will be put through additional testing. (Source: army-technology.com)
19 Feb 20. For Belarus, two rockets on a drone are better than one. Sometimes two barrels are better than one. When it comes to hunting tanks or other armored vehicles from the sky, a second anti-tank round could be the difference between an enemy destroyed or an enemy merely deterred.
A new drone by Belarus mounts a pair of rocket-launching tubes on a massive quadcopter, creating quite the tank-hunting robot. Its name, seemingly ripped straight from the draft notes of an Xtreme ’90s comic, is “Quadro-1400.”
“Belarus inherited the third-largest military-industrial sector following the collapse of Soviet union — after Russian and Ukrainian,” said Samuel Bendett, an adviser at the Center for Naval Analyses. “In the past decade, Belarus invested in its factories and design bureaus, in the hope of exporting their mil tech to willing customers — including Russia.”
Innovating around drones is part of that. The Quadro-1400 is made by the Display Design Bureau, a Belarusian leader in small drones for the military.
Notably, it builds on earlier anti-tank drone designs, like the quadcopter rocket-launcher that used the launch tube as a frame for mounting rotors and controls. Besides adding a second barrel, the new design puts the weapons on a swivel, allowing the drone to stay relatively on target after firing.
For militaries looking to gain an advantage over heavy armored vehicles, the ability to fly an anti-tank drone is likely an attractive proposition. For militaries that might drive armored vehicles, the prospect of small drones in the sky is just one of a growing number of threats to navigate. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
19 Feb 20. RAN to roll out unmanned MCM capability. The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is introducing deployable mine counter-measures (MCM) capabilities under Project Sea 1778. Under Project 1778 Phase 1, Australian Mine Warfare Team 16 (MWT 16) will take up the role of operating a suite of AUVs, USVs, expendable mine neutralisation systems and MCM support craft. The first equipment to be rolled out will be the man-portable Bluefin-9 AUV. MWT 16 is currently undergoing pilot training for the system on at Sydney’s Pittwater area. MWT 16 will officially begin receiving its new technology suite later this year which will include four Bluefin-9 AUVs, three Bluefin-12 AUVs, two USVs for remote influence minesweeping, three MCM support boats, and the Seafox expendable mine neutralisation system.
The new MCM capability aims to provide tactical capabilities to reduce the hazard of mines in the littoral maritime domain for the RAN’s deployed fleet, allowing the navy to search for, classify, identify and dispose of sea mines more safely and efficiently and limit the danger factor presented when personnel are directly involved in mine removal and destruction. Lessons learned from the introduction and use of the Project 1778 Phase 1 equipment will help inform development of future Australian Defence Force MCM capabilities (Source: Shephard)
17 Feb 20. China testing hypersonic weapon with intercontinental range, says USNORTHCOM commander. China is testing an intercontinental-range hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), according to written testimony submitted to the US Senate Armed Services Committee on 13 February 2020 by US Air Force General Terrence J O’Shaughnessy, commander of US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
Although Gen O’Shaughnessy did not identify any specific weapon programme – saying only that the weapon “is designed to fly at high speeds and low altitudes, thus “complicating” the US ability to provide “precise warning” – he was likely referring to a weapon different from the DF-17 HGV-carrying ballistic missile that was exhibited at China’s National Day Parade on 1st October 2019 in Beijing. (Source: Jane’s)
17 Feb 20. BWXT wins contract to manufacture nuclear components for US Navy. BWX Technologies’ subsidiary BWXT Nuclear Operations Group has secured new contracts with options totalling $1bn to manufacture naval nuclear reactor components for the US Navy.
The contract awarded by the US Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program is in addition to the submarine reactor component and fuel manufacturing and long-lead materials contracts announced last year.
BWXT noted that the first contract award booked in the fourth quarter of last year constitutes two-thirds of the anticipated total value.
The remaining contract option award is subject to annual Congressional appropriations and is expected later this year.
BWXT president and CEO Rex Geveden said: “We are proud to provide nuclear propulsion systems that enable US Navy sailors and aviators to protect freedom around the globe.
“We appreciate the US Navy’s continued trust in our employees and our capability to perform this important work.”
Over the terms of the latest contract, BWXT will carry out activities related to various naval nuclear reactor component manufacturing and material procurement to support Ford-class carrier construction. (Source: naval-technology.com)
18 Feb 20. UVision Air Ltd. a global leader in Loitering Munitions Systems of all sizes for a variety of missions- announces a successful demo of its Hero-120 system for a strategic NATO customer. All of the strict criteria demanded by the Customer were met, including loitering time, accuracy and radius. This is the first time the new Hero-120 platform has been demonstrated, following its recent public release at the Paris Airshow and AUSA.
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Avi Mizrachi, CEO of UVision, commented, “We are very pleased with the results of the recent Demo and the strong and positive reaction from the customer ‒ for whom the new Hero-120 proved to be an ideal solution for their needs. As pioneers in the field, our globally-recognized loitering system house provides the global defense market with precision, cost-effective Loitering Munitions Systems. Through state-of-the-art development, production and implementation processes, the company quickly responds to evolving needs from the field, and rapidly optimizes its solutions, delivering today’s most advanced capabilities to suit the realities of the complex missions required by modern warfare for a wide range of platforms, applications and scenarios. These systems with their unique characteristics are becoming a core required capability of leading armies worldwide.”
The New Hero-120
This portable, modular, customizable loitering weapon system can be fitted with a range of powerful multi-purpose warheads and variety of payloads. The versatile, precision, multi-operational system with a unique aerodynamic structure can carry out pinpoint lethal strikes against mid-range hard targets ‒ vehicles, tanks, concrete fortifications and personnel ‒ in populated urban areas or remote locations with minimal collateral damage. Its high-speed transit flight and low-speed loitering, BLOS capability, and rapid reaction in response to time-sensitive targets deliver a critical advantage in confined and populated battlefields.
The lightweight, compact, highly maneuverable man-pack configuration, with extended endurance of over an hour and a loitering range of40 km and more, can be independently operated by frontline forces, precisely striking time-sensitive targets from a wide variety of angles. Featuring low acoustic and low visual and thermal signatures and fully gimbaled, stabilized day/night tracking, the Hero-120 delivers critical situational awareness with its advanced data link and real-time intelligence. Providing cutting-edge abort and target re-engagement capabilities, it provides a whole new range of operational possibilities. Despite being a highly sophisticated weapon system, the Hero-120 is affordable and cost-effective due to its recoverable option, using a parachute, while securing the warhead.
17 Feb 20. USAF Gunsmith Shop completes rifle delivery for aircrew. The Air Force Gunsmith Shop has completed the delivery of a new rifle developed for the US Air Force (USAF) aircrew. The rifle is used in ejection seat aircraft and was designed by Gunsmith Shop, which is a part of the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s (AFLCMC) Armament Directorate.
The 5.56mm calibre rifle weighs 7lb and is based on M4 Carbine. It is known as the Aircrew Self Defense Weapon (GAU-5A).
Under the $2.6m deal, 2,700 rifles have been delivered over two years from February 2018 to January 2020.
Gunsmith Shop chief Richard Shelton said: “We were asked to design a stand-off weapon that was capable of hitting a man-size target at 200m.
“It disconnects at the upper receiver, is located inside the seat kit (of ACES 2 ejection seats), and can be put together within 30 seconds if needed.
“The original intent of the office was to improve marksmanship and shooting abilities of airmen, and over time the shop grew into what it is today.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
17 Feb 20. DARPA Gunslinger programme to combine gun with missile. In its FY21 budget request, the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has asked for $13.27m to develop a missile with an attached gun.
Although light on details the programme, called ‘Gunslinger’ aims to develop and demonstrate an air-launched tactical range missile that will feature a built-in gun system ‘capable of scalable effects and engagement of multiple targets’. The budget estimate document reads: “The Gunslinger programme will develop and demonstrate technologies to enable an air-launched tactical range missile system capable of multi-mission support. This system will utilise the high manoeuvrability of a missile system coupled with a gun system capable of scalable effects and engagement of multiple targets.”
According to the document, the missile will address counter-insurgency (COIN) operations, close air support (CAS) and air-to-air engagement missions for use later by the US Air Force (USAF) and US Navy.
It explain the scope of the development effort saying: “The programme will address the system and technology issues required to enable development of a robust missile system considering (1) vehicle concepts possessing the required aerodynamic, propulsion, and payload capacity for a wide operational envelope, (2) the algorithms that support manoeuvring and target recognition to enable expedited command decision making for selecting and engaging targets and (3) approaches to incorporating modularity of design to reduce cost throughout the design and development process.”
For FY21 the programme aims to conduct trade studies including looking for information on propulsion systems, munitions, sensors, GPS and communications capabilities before developing ‘higher fidelity modelling and simulation environment to support program concept of operations’.
DARPA is requesting $230m for the development of advanced aerospace systems, of which the Gunslinger programme is part, along with the Tactical Boost Glide programme, a joint DARPA-US Air Force project to develop hypersonic boost-glide systems.
Other projects under this remit include the ‘Glide Breaker’ project to develop a component of a system to intercept hypersonic threats, and ‘Longshot’ a programme designed to expand the range of missiles by carrying them on a slower, more aerodynamic missile system.
Longshot could be deployed on fighter aircraft or bombers and looks ‘to develop and flight demonstrate a weapon system using multi-mode propulsion that significantly increases engagement range and weapon effectiveness against adversary air threats.’ (Source: airforce-technology.com)
17 Feb 20. Cyprus buys missiles, partners with France for exercises to thwart Turkey. Cyprus, in a bid to upgrade its defense against Turkey, purchased French-designed missiles and partnered with France in military exercises last week.
The deal with European weapons manufacturer MBDA, announced last week, calls for a $262m purchase of Mistral surface-to-air and Exocet anti-ship missiles. It includes contracts to involve France in modernizing the Cypriot air defense system. Cyprus, a Mediterranean Sea island nation and not a member of NATO, has 35,000 Turkish troops stationed in the northern one-third of the island, part of an ongoing conflict over sovereignty. Only Turkey recognizes the independence of a country it calls the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus. Turkey has also claimed potentially vast gas reserves south of the island.
France is an ally of Cyprus and Greece against Turkish provocations in the Aegean and East Mediterranean Sea. The French energy Company Total is also drilling for oil and gas in the region, and Turkey dispatched its warships nearby to protect its research vessels.
The flagship of the French navy, the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, has been stationed near the Cypriot port of Limassol for weeks.
Announcement of the missile purchase last week came prior to weekend military exercises in Cyprus which involved French Rafale fighter planes from the aircraft carrier posing as enemy attackers. Cypriot anti-aircraft units located and locked onto the planes.
Cyprus Defense Minister Savvas Angelides expressed his satisfaction with the joint exercise, adding that future joint exercises with France are planned. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/UPI
17 Feb 20. NATO Chief Rejects Macron Call to Put French Nukes at Center of European Strategy. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg dismissed calls by French President Emmanuel Macron to put France’s nuclear deterrence at the center of European defense strategy, saying the United States and Britain already provide an effective security umbrella.
“We have to remember that we have a European nuclear deterrent today — 28 allies deliver that every day and it’s not only a promise, but it’s something that has been there for decades,” Stoltenberg told reporters at the Munich Security Conference on February 15.
“It’s tried and tested, we exercise it, and it’s institutionalized, and it is the ultimate security guarantee for Europe,” said Stoltenberg, who also called France a “highly valued ally” whose nuclear capabilities contributed to NATO’s overall security.
Macron has been pushing for an overhaul of European Union security and defense matters in response to Brexit — Britain’s departure from the bloc.
Following Brexit, France is the only EU nation with a nuclear arsenal, and Macron has pressed for European “strategic autonomy” — the ability to defend the continent without relying on Washington, although he has stated his commitment to NATO. In a key speech last week, Macron called for dialogue among EU countries about what role the French nuclear deterrent could play as he called for a “surge” in European defense spending. France is a NATO member but does not make its atomic weapons available to the alliance. It has long prided itself on its independent nuclear deterrent. Germany has particularly opposed an increased reliance on France’s stockpile as a deterrence, seeing the U.S. nuclear umbrella as a key to its security.
“The issue is not for Europeans to know whether they must defend themselves with or without Washington,” Macron said during his February 7 speech. “But our security derives also, inevitably, from a greater capacity by Europeans to act autonomously.”
“To build the Europe of tomorrow, our norms can’t be under American control. Our infrastructure, our ports and airports can’t be controlled by Chinese capital, neither can our digital networks be under Russian pressure,” he said.
At the Munich event, Macron reiterated those sentiments, saying, “We need a European strategy that renews us and turns us into a strategic political power.” (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty)
17 Feb 20. Singapore Airshow 2020: ST Engineering pushes updated Adder Micro RWS for UGV integration. Micro remote weapon station (RWS), which has been optimised for unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) applications, at the Singapore Airshow 2020 exhibition held from 11-16 February. According to company specifications, the Adder Micro RWS weighs less than 50kg and is equipped with a servo-driven twin weapon cradle that can accommodate a variety of small arms, although the version showcased at the event is armed with two 5.56mm Ultimax 100 light machine guns (LMGs). Each weapon is fed by a 100rd drum magazine. (Source: Jane’s)
17 Feb 20. Nato’s multinational munitions initiative welcomes two participants. The Czech Republic and Sweden join Nato’s Land Battle Decisive Munitions Initiative. Nato has welcomed two allied countries as participants of ongoing multinational munition projects in the land domain. The project is known as Land Battle Decisive Munitions (LBDM) initiative and the new entrants are the Czech Republic and Sweden.
The new addition takes the total number of participants and partner nations to 23. The LBDM initiative establishes a multinational framework for acquiring and managing munitions.
Under LBDM, the acquisition costs of weaponry can be reduced by the participating nations. It allows the countries to come together and fulfil their purchase requirements.
Additionally, the ability and flexibility to share munition stocks enhance with minimum legal and technical obstacles. This process efficiently boosts the procurement strategy.
The amended memorandum of understanding (MOU) of the initiative was also signed around the same time as Nato defence ministers’ meeting in Brussels.
Nato deputy secretary-general Mircea Geoana said: “This project, by taking full advantage of economies of scale, is enabling us to get the most of every penny, cent or öre from our rising defence budgets.”
Launched in June 2017, the initiative includes self-propelled and non-self-propelled munitions.
Initially, the LBDM project was launched with 11 allies and partner nation Finland at Nato defence ministerial meeting via a letter of intent (LOI).
In June 2018, an MOU was signed by 16 allies and three partners at the Nato Summit in Brussels.
The first delivery of antitank weapons under the LBDM framework was handed over to Denmark, France, and the Netherlands in January last year.
The other countries participating in the initiative are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the UK. (Source: army-technology.com)
17 Feb 20. Is barbed wire a low-tech alternative to landmines? The Trump administration has rolled back the rules on the use of landmines by the US military; however barbed wire is a possible low-tech alternative that has been around for a long time.
Landmines are one of the most effective tools in a military’s arsenal when it comes to area denial and slowing the advance of an adversary. Landmines can also be used to guard static positions, making them a valuable piece of kit in a defending a force’s arsenal.
Despite this, landmines continue to scar battlefields and present a threat long after a conflict is over. However, one low-tech alternative that is almost as effective may have been in use with the military since WWI: barbed wire.
Although it may seem over-simplistic, the main use of landmines is to defence static positions or funnel an adversary into an area to deny approach from alternative directions. In this regard, barbed wire could perform a similar job cheaply.
Although more time-consuming than laying a minefield, if laid correctly barbed wire is an effective means of defending a fixed position and is a tool that most military engineers are already trained to lay. Working similarly to the concrete tank barriers of the WW2 era, barbed wire denies access to an area, not through the threat of explosives but rather by creating a physical barrier between two points.
On another note, the risks of deploying and recovering mines are also far greater for friendly personnel than alternatives such as barbed wire or other fixed barriers like gabions or concrete blocks.
Examples of the use of barbed wire to defend fixed positions are too numerous to count, lining the no man’s land between trenches in WWI to the modern day where it is a common fixture at military checkpoints across the world.
As International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) land warfare research fellow Ben Barry explained, if laid in enough density, barbed wire can be used to stop vehicles, with the wire itself coiling around and stopping tracks or wheels – from moving, achieving the same job as a land mine without the deadly force.
Once in the mechanism of a vehicle like a tank, the wire will wrap around the running gear, leaving the vehicle immobile until it has been removed.
Barry detailed several instances where barbed wire has been used to effectively defend a static position where mines have also created a similar effect, notably in Bosnia where the British Army would set up a box of concertina wire around Warrior infantry fighting vehicles when stopping for the night. The UN peacekeeping mission in Mali where convoys often travel large distances stopping for the night in potentially vulnerable areas could take a similar approach.
Barry said: “If I was if I was a US brigade commander in Korea or indeed a French battalion commander in Mali, I’d be looking to use a lot of barbed wire.”
Barbed wire also has another advantage over landmines when it comes to area denial in that once the defending force has left the wire can be safely removed or simply left behind to be sold for scrap or recycled by the local population. Unlike land mines, which left unremoved present a constant threat to a local population, rows of barbed wire with the right care can be safely removed with no-to-little injuries and reused for farming or other purposes.
However, simply replacing landmines with barbed wire is not all that simple. As one member of the British Army told Army Technology, carrying the quantities of barbed wire needed to deliver the same scale of area denial would become a challenge in of itself and hamper the mobility of a formation.
The British Army has used barbed wire in recent conflicts such as Afghanistan and Iraq to secure fixed positions and defend static areas. However, the British Army source explained that is would be unlikely the army would look to deploy barbed wire to secure overnight positions as was the case in Bosnia.
Faced with a barbed-wire barrier now, the British Army’s main countermeasure is the Trojan combat engineering vehicle which can be used to remove the wire, allowing the rest of the formation to advance. In other cases, a slow-moving tank can be used to flatten to the barbed wire obstacle without getting it jammed in the running gear – although this method can still lead to the vehicle still becoming stuck.
Despite the danger of unexploded ordnance, the most effective means at securing an area remains a combination of both wire and landmines; the concealed nature of mines mean adversaries are wary to enter an area due to the unseen nature of the threat. This combined with barbed wire means an enemy force has two obstacles to cross – with each acting as a redundancy for the other and slowing an advance drastically.
Outside of barbed wire, the UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) in 2018 launched a competition to develop novel passive, autonomous or semi-autonomous counter mobility (CMob) area denial capabilities that can slow or obstruct tanks while minimising collateral damage caused by existing methods such as landmines.
In 2019 the competition entered its second phase with the focus being to disrupt adversaries and slow them down, to divert enemy forces to a desired area, slow an attacker within a specified area, and to block attackers from being able to use specific avenues of approach.
Solutions under consideration from the competition include physical barriers, encompassing anything from novel tank traps to high-strength adhesives, to invisible barriers that could take the form of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) based weapons to acoustic or light-based devices.
High tech or low tech, replacing landmines outright is a difficult task to achieve. Despite the dangers associated with their use, advances in technology and self-destruction mechanisms could make them safer in the long run.
Despite this, Barry made clear: “Having seen civilians blown up on land mines and having had a couple of my own vehicles blown up on landmines, fortunately without any serious casualties, a world without landmines is a safer world. Absolutely no doubt about that at all.” (Source: army-technology.com)
14 Feb 20. Russia’s Tactical Missiles Corporation develops hypersonic weapons. Russia’s Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV) is increasing its activities in the area of hypersonic weapons, company director general Boris Obnosov said at a briefing on KTRV’s 2019 results on 3 February.
He reported that the corporation’s enterprises are implementing dozens of hypersonic weapons projects, together with the Central Aerodynamic Institute and the Central Institute of Aviation Motors. Development of the Tsirkon hypersonic missile is on schedule, Obnosov said. In future, KTRV could host a national centre of hypersonic technologies, he added.
The corporation is to conclude three projects on air-to-air missiles and implement some programmes for air-to-surface weapons and 500 kg and 1,500 kg guided bombs. (Source: Jane’s)
13 Feb 20. DARPA bets big on hypersonic missile interceptors. At its simplest, missile defense is the art of shooting a bullet with another bullet. There is no part of this that is easy, and with the modern advent of hypersonic missiles, both the speeds and the trajectories at which missile interception has to take place to be successful, the already hard problem of missile defense is more daunting than ever. DARPA, the Pentagon’s home of blue-sky projects to turn hard problems into solved problems, is working on creating an interceptor of hypersonic vehicles.
The program is called “Glide Breaker.”
DARPA’s public-facing summary of the Glide Breaker program consists of a single sentence: “The Glide Breaker program began in 2018 to develop and demonstrate technologies to enable defense against hypersonic systems.”
Getting an interceptor to speed to hit a hypersonic weapon will take powerful engines, and on Feb. 10, Aerojet Rocketdyne announced that it had been selected by DARPA to develop the propulsion system for a Glide Breaker interceptor. The contractor is worth up to $19.6m.
Aerojet has experience making both solid-fuel and air-breathing engines for hypersonic flight, and touted its prior experience with Boeing’s X-51A Waverider hypersonic demonstrator. In December 2019, Lockheed Martin named Aerojet Rocketdyne as the producer of the motor for its hypersonic missile. (This week, the Air Force canceled one of its two hypersonic missile programs.)
Before it can become a program of record, Glide Breaker has to demonstrate that the technology can achieve what is promised. Missiles on a ballistic trajectory are difficult to hit, and can release decoys or chaff to throw off possible interceptors. Success in trials is rare and difficult, and only comes under ideal conditions.
Hypersonic missiles can also maneuver in level flight, complicating the problem by multiple degrees of freedom. An interceptor will need to know not just the trajectory, but also be able to adapt to maneuvers in flight and then connect with the missile while at a safe remove from the people or places it is trying to protect. Glide Breaker is a bet placed on the future that, with enough iteration, hypersonic interception can not only be achieved, but will be a vital part of national security for decades to come. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/C4ISR & Networks)
14 Feb 20. Top US Air Force officer sees MQ-9 Reaper UAV as prime candidate for armed overwatch.
- The MQ-9 could provide US Special Operations Command with a quality armed overwatch capability, according to a top US Air Force officer
- USSOCOM is looking to procure about 75 aircraft
A top US Air Force (USAF) officer believes the endurance of the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) could make it a top candidate for US Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM’s) armed overwatch procurement.
“There are very few platforms on the planet that are better than a MQ-9 in terms of duration,” Lieutenant General Mark Kelly, USAF deputy chief of staff for operations, said on 12 February.
Lt Gen Kelly said that the MQ-9’s advantages over piloted aircraft included not having to send a rescue crew if one goes down and that they can fly without a pilot having to use a restroom or go into a base. He framed his remarks in the context of Africa being a huge continent. Africa is also host to many USSOCOM forces.
The Predator B, which is known as the MQ-9 in USAF service, has a 32 hour ‘clean’ endurance, according to Jane’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Targets.
Armed overwatch will provide special operators deployable and sustainable manned aircraft systems fulfilling close air support (CAS); precision strike; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) in austere and permissive environments. It will also fulfil armed reconnaissance, strike co-ordination and reconnaissance, and airborne forward air control.
USSOCOM declined to comment, and a request for comment to GA-ASI was not returned prior to publication. Special operations expects to procure an estimated 75 aircraft with associated support as part of indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract with a base five-year ordering period and a two-year option. (Source: Jane’s)
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.