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28 Jan 21. US Army restructured Stryker CROW-J upgrade due to software problems, FUE set for 2022. Software reliability issues associated with outfitting Stryker vehicles with the upgraded Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station – Javelin (CROWS-J) forced the US Army to delay the effort and postpone fielding, the service told Janes. After re-baselining the programme, though, the army plans to re-enter developmental testing in February and outfit the first unit with the capability in 2022.
In recent weeks, the vehicle upgrade plan incurred increased scrutiny after lawmakers stripped USD39m from the effort in their fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021) spending bill citing delays, and a newly released Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) report pointed to numerous problems including “poor system reliability during pre-test events”.
On the latter, the office cited the army’s decision to downgrade a planned operational assessment of the CROWS-J Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) to an early user assessment (EUA) in late 2019.
“The CROWS-J operational assessment in the first quarter of FY 2020 revealed software reliability issues not discovered in earlier developmental testing,” Ashley John, director for public and congressional affairs for the Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS), wrote in a 27 January email.
DOT&E noted that in addition to “significant software reliability deficiencies”, there were also system integration issues that slowed Javelin engagement times, and forward-looking infrared sight problems that led to “poor crew target identification performance”. The office also noted that a preliminary vulnerability assessment of CROWS-J against kinetic threats identified a crew vulnerability related to the vehicle’s hatches but said these details would be discussed in a classified survivability assessment. (Source: Jane’s)
28 Jan 21. Rafael’s SPIKE SR Missile Evaluated by U.S. Army. Live Fire Demonstration as part of Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment 2021. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Rafael Systems Global Sustainment (RSGS), a U.S. subsidiary of Rafael, demonstrated the SPIKE SR (Short Range) missile at the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) 2021 earlier this month. AEWE 2021 is assessing advanced technologies in support of U.S. Army modernization efforts, including the Army’s six modernization priorities. As a portable, electro-optical guided missile, designed for today’s modern infantry, SPIKE SR is especially well-suited to enhance soldier lethality, one of the six priorities. SPIKE SR, which is part of the Spike Family of anti-tank guided weapons, provides a light weight (10 kg), shoulder-fired munition, with an enhanced range of 2000 meters, increasing lethality at the individual squad level. SPIKE SR’s features, including its ease of use, allow lower echelon infantry to rapidly qualify and sustain a high level of operation with minimal training. AEWE assessed SPIKE SR as a precision munition system for infantry squads, for which portability and simplicity of operation is essential.
AEWE also assessed the system for its ability to allow close-combat formations to dominate the operational environment and handle new threats in a near-peer conflict. During the assessment, live SPIKE SR missiles hit both static and moving targets in day (EO) and IR modes. Challenges included overcoming battlefield obscurants that effectively eliminated the target from the field of view. During the assessment, soldiers received instruction on the operation of the weapon, including indoor and outdoor training. US Army evaluators provided positive feedback on the system’s light weight, lethality and ease of use compared to what is currently in use by the US Army. RSGS, supported by Rafael, organized the demonstration for the assessment. The experiment was managed by the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Battle Lab and U.S. combat veterans from the 1st Battalion, and 29th Infantry Regiment, also known as the EXFOR, participated in the assessment. The event was well attended by senior US Army officials, including from Army Futures Command: the Maneuver Center of Excellence, and the acquisition community. This assessment was the first live-fire demonstration of SPIKE SR on US soil.
“We were greatly honored to present the advanced SPIKE SR missile system for assessment by the AEWE team. This light-weight system can greatly enhance squad-level soldier lethality, a core capability of the Army,” said LTG. (Ret.) Joe Anderson, President and CEO of Rafael Systems Global Sustainment, “AEWE was an important opportunity to demonstrate SPIKE and multiple other Rafael systems. This included Fire Weaver, our sensor-to-shooter system, and BNET, our broadband IP SDR (Software Defined Radio). These systems, combined with SPIKE SR, can provide tactical overmatch by enabling high maneuverability and lethality. The live fire further demonstrated the effectiveness of SPIKE and provided a good opportunity for first-hand soldier feedback.”
26 Jan 21. Australia invests in advanced maritime weapons, minehunters. Australia’s defense minister announced initiatives Monday that will fund early development work on a range of advanced guided weapons and new mine countermeasures/hydrographic ships for the Royal Australian Navy.
The guided weapons program, to be developed under Project Sea 1300, is part of a 20-year, AU$24 bn (U.S. $19 bn) investment in maritime weapons that will deliver long-range anti-ship missiles, extended-range surface-to-air missiles, advanced lightweight torpedoes and maritime land-strike capabilities to the Navy.
Under Project Sea 1300, the Australian government will continue to invest in the international development program for the Evolved Seasparrow Block 2 surface-to-air missile. Funds will also be used to further develop the SM-2 Block IIIC and SM-6 Block I missiles.
The weapons upgrades will be integrated into the Navy’s current and future major surface combatant fleet, beginning with the eight Anzac-class frigates, which are undergoing a series of upgrades via a midlife capability assurance program.
“All of these new weapons will enhance the protection of our maritime resources and also our nation’s border. They will also hold potential adversaries out to much greater distances — up to 1,500 kilometers [932 miles],” Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said.
Reynolds added that the investment is in line with the recent Defence Strategic Update, which noted that “a number of nations” in the Asia-Pacific region are developing maritime capabilities, including sophisticated long-range strike weapons.
“These announcements are not about any one nation in particular. They are about ensuring Australia has the sovereign capability in the maritime, land and air domains to protect our nation from any potential threats,” she said.
Reynolds also announced that the government will acquire eight new, role-adaptable ships for mine countermeasures and hydrographic missions under Project Sea 1905. The new ships will be a variant of the Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels currently under construction for the Navy and will be built at Henderson in Western Australia.
The government previously promised to build three vessels for the mine countermeasure and hydrographic roles; the new commitment for five more ships will attract an additional investment of AU$5 bn.
“[The Department of] Defence has also released an invitation for Australian industry to provide us with a toolbox of robotic and autonomous systems for these eight new vessels,” the minister said. “And I would encourage all Australian companies — and we have many companies who are at the leading edge of autonomous systems, vehicles and vessels — to have a look at this and to work with Navy to develop options,” she said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
27 Jan 21. First firing of MMP from IMPACT Turret. MBDA has fired an MMP missile from a remotely operated turret mounted on a 4×4 land-vehicle for the first time. This demonstration was the third scenario of the MMP firing campaign carried out at the Canjuers military camp in the south of France, and took place with the support of the French army and of the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA – French Procurement Agency).
Carried out in “fire and forget” mode, the firing consisted of engaging a target representing another armoured vehicle located approximately 3,500 meters away. Ending with a direct hit on the target, the firing confirmed the precision of the aiming and ‘locking-on’ for a long-range target from the turret, as well as the quality and robustness of the guidance chain.
This firing complements the development activities carried out by MBDA on MMP and the IMPACT remotely controlled turret for equipping light armoured vehicles. With MMP now the market benchmark for fifth-generation land combat missile systems, IMPACT meets the expectations of various industrial partners wishing to equip their vehicles with its full capabilities. MBDA has developed IMPACT’s modular architecture to aid integration. There is also commonality with the Mistral ATLAS RC turret, with which it shares 80% of its components.
Francis Bordachar, military advisor at MBDA, said: “The development of a family of turrets simplifies integration, support and training activities for our Customers. With this success we are increasingly demonstrating the suitability of the MMP system for the different expectations of the armed forces. MBDA was able to demonstrate the ease of integration of MMP onto a light turret, as it also proved with the integration and qualification of MMP on Jaguar, which will be validated by a firing campaign at the beginning of this year.”
26 Jan 21. BAE Systems wins £230m contract to bolster Royal Navy torpedoes. Cutting-edge Spearfish and Sting Ray torpedoes carried by the Royal Navy are receiving a £230m maintenance uplift. Spearfish torpedoes – which use sonar to home in on targets – are carried by the Royal Navy’s Astute class and Trafalgar class hunter-killer submarines and the nuclear deterrent Vanguard class to neutralise underwater and surface threats.
While Sting Ray torpedoes are deployed on Anti-Submarine Warfare mission, including frigates, Merlin and Wildcat helicopters. They provide a close attack capability which also automatically targets in on enemy threats.
Supporting over 100 skilled jobs at the BAE Systems Broad Oak facility in Portsmouth, the Torpedoes Repair and Maintenance (TRAM) contract will run for six years. TRAM supersedes the Torpedo Capability Contract (TCC) with BAE Systems which ran for 10 years.
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said, “Our Royal Navy submarines require sophisticated defensive and offensive underwater weapons to deter a wide range of surface and subsurface threats.”
This £230m investment is crucial in safeguarding the availability and effectiveness of these highly capable weapon systems whilst supporting skilled British jobs.
The contract will help guarantee the Royal Navy’s inventory of Spearfish Heavyweight and Sting Ray Lightweight torpedoes. A full suite of maintenance activity is also included. This support ranges from technical repair, provision of spares, stock management, logistics and trials support.
Ensuring the torpedoes are safely stored is vital, so the contract also offers safety, environment and engineering advice to support the continued secure use of the weapons.
Dr Brooke Hoskins, Director of Products and Training Services for BAE Systems Maritime Services said:
BAE Systems’ teams have developed, manufactured, and supported the UK’s torpedoes since the 1970s. Torpedoes have a vital role in layered anti-submarine warfare. We are incredibly proud to continue delivering these critical support services to the Royal Navy through a combination of our agile and innovative forward thinking and our heritage and expertise. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
26 Jan 21. Deliveries of K-14 sniper rifles and observation devices to South Korean military completed. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 26 January that deliveries of S&T Motiv K-14 sniper rifles and Hanwha Systems multifunctional observation devices to the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces have been completed. South Korea’s DAPA announced on 26 January that deliveries of K-14 sniper rifles (pictured) and related observation devices to the RoK military have been completed. (DAPA)
The agency said that development of the 7.62mm bolt-action, magazine-fed rifle, which has a claimed accuracy of 1.0 minute of angle (MOA) (about 3 cm at 100m) up to a range of 1km, was completed in 2012, with the first examples being handed over to special forces the following year.
The K-14, which is South Korea’s first indigenously designed and produced sniper rifle, was then distributed to RoK Army (RoKA) infantry battalion units from late 2017.
According to Hanwha Systems, the observation device features a built-in telescope, thermal-imaging camera, laser rangefinder, electronic compass, and GPS. DAPA says the user can spot a person from a distance of up to 2.5km using the device’s daytime telescope.
For night-time operations the device’s thermal-imaging camera enables the user to distinguish a person from a distance of up to 1.5km. The device can also be used in foggy conditions, according to the agency. (Source: Jane’s)
26 Jan 21. Slovenia Becomes 23rd Nation to Order Leonardo’s Man-portable Laser Designators.
- Leonardo’s Type 163 Laser Target Designator (LTD) has captured the market by combining high-power and reliability with high-portability. This has been possible because of Leonardo’s experience in building lasers for aircraft, where space and power are at a premium
- Other customers for the product include the U.K., Italy and the United States. U.S. users include Special Operations Forces, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air National Guard
- More than 700 units have been ordered by 23 nations, making the Type 163 LTD an international best-seller
Leonardo has signed a contract to supply the Slovenian Defence Ministry with its Type 163 Laser Target Designator (LTD) for the Slovenian Armed Forces. The contract makes Slovenia the 23rd nation to order the Type 163 LTD, more than 700 units of which have now been sold in total by Leonardo. The global success of the product reinforces Leonardo’s market leadership in the high-energy military lasers domain, with the company’s site in Edinburgh, U.K., satisfying 70% of global demand for applications on airborne platforms and around 60% of the total market, including for ground-based applications.
In selecting the Type 163 LTD, Slovenia joins the members of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance (UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and NATO members including Italy, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia as operators of the product. The Type 163 LTD is Leonardo’s most compact high energy laser product for ground forces. It was developed in response to the market need for a lightweight and compact laser designator for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) which, while highly-portable, doesn’t sacrifice any of the power and accuracy which these soldiers rely on to call in timely and effective close air support.The development of the Type 163 LTD drew heavily on Leonardo’s experience in providing high-energy targeting lasers for aircraft such as the F-35 and Apache helicopter, where space, weight and power are at a premium. The resulting product provides market-leading laser-designation and rangefinding capabilities in a package weighing just 2.3kg and has been battle-proven on operations in the Middle East. Features include immediate firing from switch-on and a continuous lasing capability, producing a high-energy laser with a narrow beam divergence.
Leonardo’s laser business includes the supply of lasers for the F-35 aircraft, Apache helicopter and for targeting pods including the Lockheed Martin Sniper. The company is currently developing advanced laser-based capabilities for the UK’s Tempest next-generation combat air programme and is a part of the UK Dragonfire consortium which is developing a laser directed-energy weapon with the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL). (Source: ASD Network)
25 Jan 21. Myanmar to acquire Pantsir-S1 SHORAD systems, radar stations, and Orlan-10E UASs from Russia. The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 22 January that it will supply an undisclosed number of radar stations, Pantsir-S1 self-propelled short-range air-defence (SHORAD) systems, and Orlan-10E multirole unmanned aerial systems (UASs) to the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw).
The MoD said in a statement that the move is part of an agreement signed in Naypyidaw between Tatmadaw Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
The Russian MoD announced on 22 January that it signed an agreement with Myanmar for the supply of an undisclosed number of radar stations, Pantsir-S1 SHORAD systems (similar to these ones in Serbian service), and Orlan-10E UASs to the Tatmadaw. (Serbian MoD)
The MoD provided no further details about the deal, including the value of the contracts, the delivery schedules, or the type of radar stations ordered, but pointed to the growing military-technical co-operation between Moscow and Naypyidaw since 2001.
The Pantsir-S1 SHORAD system was developed by Russia’s KBP Instrument Design Bureau as a replacement for the older Tunguska family of anti-aircraft systems. The system’s TELAR (transporter, erector, launcher, and radar) consists of a combat module that is typically mounted on a KamAZ 8×8 wheeled chassis, although the base platform depends on customer requirement.
The TELAR is armed with two sets of 2A38M twin 30mm automatic cannons, and eight ready-to-launch 57Ye6-E missiles. Each of the cannons is provided with 700 rounds of 30×165 mm ammunition and has a rate of fire of 1,950–2,500rds/min. The missiles can engage targets at ranges from 1.2km to 20 km and at altitudes from 15m to 15km. They are radio-command guided and fitted with a 20kg high-explosive/fragmentation warhead with impact and proximity fuzing. (Source: Jane’s)
25 Jan 21. MBDA to arm Hellenic Air Force’s new Rafale fighter jets. Lieutenant General Theodoros Lagios, General Director for Defence Investments and Armaments of the Greek Ministry of Defence and Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, today signed a contract to provide the armaments for 18 Rafale combat aircraft intended for Greece’s air force.
A signing ceremony was held in Athens in the presence of the French Minister for Armed Forces, Florence Parly, and the Greek Minister for Defense, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos.
The new aircrafts’ weapons will benefit from the strong commonality with those from the Mirage 2000s and Mirage 2000-5s currently in service in the Hellenic Air Force. Like these, the Rafales will be armed with SCALP cruise missiles, AM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles and MICA multi-mission air-to-air missiles. Additionally, MBDA will also supply Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missiles.
Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, said: “The signing of this agreement turns a new page in our relationship with Greece, which we have had for more than half a century. The country was the very first customer of the Exocet missile in 1968, showing great confidence in it and in our predecessor companies. This confidence has been renewed over the years and is being renewed again today. It is our duty to do everything we can in order to continue delivering on this confidence into tomorrow.”
25 Jan 21. HENSOLDT and Fraunhofer IOSB in Ettlingen, Germany, have entered into a cooperation agreement with the aim of developing future-proof, robust and powerful lasers for laser-based countermeasures for self-protection systems and reconnaissance purposes.
“We made a very conscious decision to go with the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation (IOSB) in Ettlingen and their Laser Technology Department,” explained Countermeasures Product Manager Harald Knapp, “as their expertise in the laser field and their ambitious laser roadmap are the best fit for our product portfolio. The institute has an excellent reputation in our industry.”
The cooperation between HENSOLDT and the Fraunhofer Institute includes the transfer of laser technology to Oberkochen. The staff in Oberkochen have a unique reputation worldwide in the development of military lasers and will drive miniaturisation forward. At the Taufkirchen site, HENSOLDT is developing demonstrators in the area of self-protection land vehicles for several promising applications in which this laser technology could be used. The integration of the first laser demonstrator in IR countermeasures is planned for this year. Further projects will follow.
“With laser technology, we are advancing into a new wavelength range and higher power classes, which will enable us to develop various applications and novel products in the land, sea and air sectors. Our German customer is showing great interest in these product developments. A concrete selection decision has already been made for a first application, and we are in promising dialogue for two others,” said Dr Oliver Rudow, Programme Area Manager Self-Protection Land Vehicles.
About Fraunhofer IOSB
Fraunhofer IOSB conducts research in the fields of laser technology, image acquisition using optronic systems, real-time image and signal evaluation, architecture of information, simulation and decision support systems, and embodied AI. With its analysis and evaluation capability, in concrete technology projects as well as through contract research and development, it supports the German Federal Ministry of Defence with its subordinate offices and services as well as the defence technology industry. The rapid implementation of current research results for the enablement of the Bundeswehr and the protection of soldiers is a top priority. www.iosb.fraunhofer.de
25 Jan 21. Rafael’s SPIKE missile successfully integrated and fired from RWS Slovenian Oshkosh JLTV. The SPIKE LR missiles firing was performed by the Slovenia Armed Forces. The SAF (Slovenian Armed Forces) has completed a successful firing of Rafael’s SPIKE LR missiles in a demonstration that took place in Slovenia, December 2020, in front of representatives of the Ministry of Defence and members of the Slovenian Armed Forces.
The successful live demo included firings of the 12.7mm gun and SPIKE LR missile from the KONGSBERG PROTECTOR Remote Weapon Station mounted on JLTV platform. The demo displayed the enhanced capabilities of the SPIKE launcher, as a force multiplier for the mobilized land forces, enabling precision strike against armored targets with improved precision at extended ranges and beyond-line-of-sight.
During the demonstration, the Slovenian army also fired SPIKE missiles using the new dismounted digital SPIKE launcher ICLU, as part of ongoing transition in all SPIKE Missile user nations to new digital NCW-ready launchers and to 5th generation SPIKE LR2 missiles.
Similarly to all other SPIKE launchers, the integration of the SPIKE LR missile to the KONGSBERG PROTECTOR Remote Weapon Station includes a provision for SPIKE LR2, a fifth-generation multipurpose missile, equipped with improved engagement ranges of up to 5.5 km, with a reduced weight (13.4 kg), enhanced lethality, advanced target recognition and tracking, and a new third-party target allocation (network-enabled) enhancement with an embedded inertial measurement unit (IMU) assembly.
In October 2018, the Slovenia Ministry of Defense signed an inter-governmental Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) with the U.S. Government for the purchase of 38 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) manufactured by Oshkosh Defense. Slovenia Armed Forces will receive the JLTVs in early 2021. Procurement of the JLTV supports the fulfillment of NATO’s capability goals for the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) and greatly increases SAF interoperability with US and regional allies currently operating JLTV. All 38 JLTV platforms will be equipped with Protector RWS.
Mr. Roman Palaria, director of marketing and business development at Rafael’s Precision Tactical Weapon Systems directorate: “We sincerely thank the Slovenian Army, one of our longtime SPIKE users, for their devoted assistance in demonstrating SPIKE’s capabilities, especially in these challenging times.”
EuroSpike’s (a European Joint Venture between Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Diehl Defence and Rheinmettal Defence) SPIKE LR is part of the wider, multi-platform, multi-purpose, multi-range SPIKE family of electro-optical missiles.
20 Jan 21. Pearson Engineering is to supply 1500 Track Width Mine Ploughs to the Indian Army for integration with the T-90 S/SK main battle tank. Pearson Engineering is under contract to supply over 1500 Track Width Mine Ploughs (TWMP) to the Indian Ministry of Defence.
The order, which will see the Pearson plough integrated with the T-90 S/SK tank, will be delivered in partnership with BEML Limited. With previous experience in integrating counter-mine capabilities with the T-72, T-90, Arjun Mk1 Main Battle Tank and BMP-2 Armoured Vehicles, Pearson Engineering is proud to be a current supplier to the Indian Army.
Dr. Deepak Kumar Hota, Chairman and Managing Director of BEML said, “We are proud to be associated with MoD to enhance the combat capabilities of the Indian Army. This is another example of BEML’s capability to meet the specific requirements for our armed forces. BEML signifies the true spirit of Make in India”.
Mr Richard Beatson, Business Development Director at Pearson Engineering said, “We are delighted to have received this important order alongside our partners at BEML. Having been committed to developing capability for India for many years, we look forward to further developing our relationships, both with the end-user and Indian industry.”
The track width mine plough will enable the Indian Army’s T-90 tanks to move through mined areas, whilst remaining highly mobile. Pearson Engineering has a long heritage in the supply and integration of mine ploughs to Armed Forces around the world.
BEML is a leading multi-technology company that plays a pivotal role in serving India’s core sectors of Defence, Rail, Power, Mining and Construction by offering world class products from state-of-the art manufacturing facilities located across India.
Pearson Engineering is based at the Armstrong Works in Newcastle upon Tyne. The site, formerly the home of Vickers Defence, has long historic links with India, having previously supplied Vijayanta Main Battle Tanks for the Indian Armoured Corps. (Source: joint-forces.com)
19 Jan 21. Nexter Group of France has today announced the first successful piloted firings of the 155mm KATANA smart artillery shell. The KATANA smart artillery ammunition successfully demonstrated its flight control capability during a test campaign in Sweden from December 7 to 11, 2020. This success marks a decisive milestone for the KATANA development programme.
These test firings, carried out from a 155mm CAESAR gun on carriage, confirmed the manoeuvrability of the ammunition. All the CAS (Canard Actuation Systems) were deployed in accordance with the simulations. Thus, the shell could be fired along a trajectory that increased the firing range compared to a purely ballistic trajectory. Nexter Munitions confirms the mastery of this shell trajectory control system, in the extreme physical conditions of 155mm artillery fire. The next test campaign, scheduled for 2021, will give rise to the first coordinate-guided and coordinate-controlled firings.
Dominique Guillet, Director of Ammunition of the Nexter Group: “We are very proud to have met our ambitious calendar and financial objectives for the development of KATANA. We are looking to the future with confidence and continue to make exceptional efforts to ensure that this 155mm ammunition – which will be sovereign, intelligent and very accurate – can be marketed as early as 2023”.
About KATANA ammunition: The KATANA ammunition is a 155mm shell that can be fired from all 52-calibre artillery systems, maintaining the traditional qualities of artillery: permanence of fire, all-weather capability and cost effectiveness. Combining long range, decametric accuracy based on hybrid GNSS and inertial guidance and high terminal efficiency thanks to its specific warhead, KATANA allows to treat priority targets on coordinates in complex environments. KATANA is the only European and sovereign full-calibre guided ammunition. With the KATANA ammunition, Nexter has a complete range of 155mm ammunition compatible with current and future artillery systems.
22 Jan 21. Portugal’s Sodarca Defense announced that they have provided the new Portuguese Army Benelli SuperNova shotgun. As part of the modernisation project for the [Portuguese] Army’s Light Weapons, within the scope of the Soldier’s Combat Systems Programme, the Army has received in its entirety, the batch of new Benelli SuperNova Shotguns provided by Sodarca Defense.
The acquisition process was conducted through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), this weapon being part of the family of new light weapons in use in the Portuguese Army. This weapon aims to equip the manoeuvre units, constituting an increase in their combat capacity, since it allows the use of more than one type of ammunition (door breacher, anti-drone, less lethal ammunition, among others).
Benelli SuperNova: The SuperNova shotgun is a robust, practical and highly configurable weapon to ensure sniper comfort and speed in the firing position. The tip and the stock are made of technopolymer and guarantee maximum resistance both at high and low temperatures. All weapons supplied are personalised with the Portuguese Army logo on the barrel. (Source: joint-forces.com)
25 Jan 21. Defence to invest $1bn in new long-range missile capability. Royal Australian Navy vessels are set to be fitted with new advanced anti-ship missiles as part of a $1bn investment announced by Defence Minister Linda Reynolds.
The Commonwealth Government has committed to investing $1bn in the early development of long-range anti-ship missiles, extended range surface-to-air missiles, advanced lightweight torpedoes and land strike capabilities, in a bid to bolster the naval fleet’s defences amid growing regional instability.
The nation’s current and future submarine and surface fleets are set to be fitted with anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles with a range of approximately 370 kilometres, and maritime land strike missiles with a range of approximately 1,500 kilometres.
“These new capabilities will provide a strong, credible deterrent that will ensure stability and security in the region,” Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said.
“The planned acquisitions – when aligned with the ongoing state-of-the-art combat system development and National shipbuilding programs – represent an investment of up to $24bn, which will build a lethal and highly responsive Navy for decades to come.”
Minister Reynolds added that as part of the project, Defence would also seek opportunities to “broaden Australia’s weapons manufacturing base”, which she said would help reinforce the government’s long-term commitment to Australian industry and delivering sovereign industrial capabilities.
“This investment is part of the Morrison government’s $183bn Naval shipbuilding plan, which will see up to 23 classes of vessels built here in Australia, creating thousands of jobs and significant opportunities for Australian industry,” Minister Reynolds said.
Defence also noted that as part of SEA 1300, it would continue its long-term investment and key contribution to the Evolved SEASPARROW Block 2 missile program, and commence investment in developing the Standard Missile 2 Block IIIC and the Standard Missile 6 Block 1, to meet Australia’s surface-to-air missile capability requirements.
This latest announcement comes just months after Defence confirmed it would conduct joint development and testing of hypersonic cruise missile prototypes in conjunction with the US, ahead of the rapid introduction to service.
The collaborative agreement will take place under the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE) to support co-operative flight testing of full-sized prototype hypersonic missiles. (Source: Defence Connect)
22 Jan 21. HAL test fires smart anti-airfield weapon from Hawk-i. India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has successfully test-fired an indigenous stand-off smart anti-airfield weapon (SAAW).
India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has successfully test-fired an indigenous stand-off smart anti-airfield weapon (SAAW).
Conducted off the coast of the Indian state of Odisha, the aircraft-launched precision strike weapon system was fired from the company owned Hawk-i aircraft.
Developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI), SAAW is the first smart weapon to be fired from a Hawk-Mk132 aircraft.
The weapon was launched in a ‘textbook manner’ from the aircraft flown by HAL test pilots and retired wing commanders P Awasthi and M Patel.
All mission events were captured by telemetry and tracking systems and confirmed the trials were successful.
HAL CMD R Madhavan stated: “HAL has been focusing on the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign.
“The company owned Hawk-i platform is being extensively used for certification of systems and weapons developed indigenously by DRDO and CSIR labs.”
HAL Engineering and R&D director Arup Chatterjee said that the state-owned firm is working on improving the aircraft’s training and combat capabilities.
The company is also exploring the integration of several weapon systems on Hawk platform and aims to transform Hawk-i into an Advanced Jet Trainer. Weighing about 125kg, SAAW weapon system has a range of around 100km. It is used to attack and destroy enemy airfield assets such as radars, bunkers and taxi tracks within its range. In August 2018, India test-fired SAAW precision-guided bomb from IAF’s Jaguar aircraft. HAL launched the first indigenously upgraded Hawk Mk132 trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force in January 2017. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
22 Jan 21. Australian navy’s unmanned MCM development picks up pace. The Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN’s) efforts to operationalise a rapidly deployable mine-countermeasures (MCM) capability using robotic and autonomous systems under Project SEA 1778 is picking up pace with acceptance testing of key systems under way, an Australian Department of Defence (DoD) spokesperson told Janes on 20 January.
“Thales Australia, the prime systems integrator, [is] in the early stages of acceptance testing of the first of these systems,” the spokesperson said, noting that the current deployable MCM suite comprises the Atlas Elektronik Seafox expendable mine neutralisation system, General Dynamics Mission Systems’ (GDMS’s) Bluefin 9 and 12 autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), and the MAS Zengrange remote detonation system.
Australian glass fibre boat manufacturer Steber International earlier announced that it had won a AUD6m (USD4.63m) contract to supply five 38 ft (12 m)-long vessels. The vessels will have a top speed of 25 kt, a payload capacity in excess of three tonnes, and feature a new naval paint scheme. These will eventually be configured into three MCM support boats and two USVs.
“In addition, the prime systems integrator [is] trialling Steber MCM support boats, which are 12 m vessels used to deploy, operate, and recover combinations of the subsystems and Steber unmanned surface vehicles [USVs],” the spokesperson said. “These will be controlled remotely by an ECA Robotics command, control, and communication [C3] system and sweep track monitor to tow the navy’s extant Influence Mine Sweep System [IMSS].” (Source: Jane’s)
21 Jan 21. US researchers seek continued collaboration on explosion detection research. US researchers have stressed the importance of continued collaboration on explosion detection research efforts as initial experience indicates that no single sensor fits all emplacement scenarios. US researchers have stressed the importance of continued collaboration on explosion detection research efforts as initial experience indicates that no single sensor fits all emplacement scenarios.
The Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and other partners are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency for the Blood Hound Gang Program, which emphasises a system-of-systems approach to standoff explosive hazard detection.
The move comes as the US Army seeks to deliver new technologies that will provide soldiers with explosive hazard indicators from a safe standoff, mitigating threats from roadside explosive hazards.
The programme includes seven external collaborators from across the country.
ARL programme manager Kelly Sherbondy said: “Logically, a system-of-systems approach to standoff explosive hazard detection research is warranted going forwarded.
“Our collaborative methodology affords implementation of state-of-the-art technology and approaches while rapidly progressing the programme with seasoned subject matter experts to meet or exceed military requirements and transition points.”
In the first phase, researchers evaluated mostly high-technology readiness level standoff detection technologies against different explosive hazard emplacements over a fifteen-month period.
A lower-TRL standoff detection sensor designed to detect explosive hazard triggering devices was also developed and evaluated.
The assessment included the probability of detection, false alarm rate and other qualities to down select the number of sensors for the second phase of the programme.
The programme also collected data across the sensor sets to train artificial intelligence / machine learning algorithms.
Subsequently, the algorithms performed autonomous automatic target detection for each sensor. This provided with confidence levels for each suspected target displayed as an augmented reality overlay.
The detection algorithms were further tested with various sensor permutations to aggregate performance results and determine the best course of action moving forward into Phase II.
The project seeks to conduct additional research that will help in achieving real-time automatic target detection displayed with an augmented reality engine. (Source: army-technology.com)
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