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MISSILE, HYPERSONICS, ALLISTICS AND SOLDIER SYSTEMS UPDATE

Sponsored by Arnold Defense www.arnolddefense.com

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01 Dec 20. Diehl Defence unveils IRIS-T-SLS Mk III mobile SHORAD system. Driven by burgeoning global requirements for more versatile short-range air-defence (SHORAD) solutions, Diehl Defence is finalising development of a new, fully-integrated modular evolution of its IRIS-T-SLS ground-based air-defence system.

The new IRIS-T-SLS Mk III design incorporates all the components of an integrated air-defence system on a single wheeled armoured platform, including a compact multimission 3D surveillance radar with an integrated identification friend-or-foe (IFF) system on telescopic mast, a command-and-control (C2) system, and a configuration of four IRIS-T infrared-guided interceptors. The current selected carrier platform is the General Dynamics European Land Systems Eagle V 6×6 variant wheeled armoured vehicle. “The solution enables a detect, track, and engage on the move capability, as well as faster and more efficient reload in the field, with minimum personnel,” a Diehl Defence spokesperson told Janes.

The current selected carrier platform for the IRIS-T-SLS Mk III is the General Dynamics European Land Systems Eagle V 6×6 variant wheeled armoured vehicle (shown here in a computer generated image). (Diehl Defence)

“For the C2 and radar/IFF solutions we are adopting the same flexible, modular system architecture approach that we implemented with the development of our IRIS-T SLM [medium-range air-defence system],” the spokesperson said.

“For the current [IRIS-T-SLS] Mk III demonstrator we have identified two radar solutions: the Saab Giraffe 1X lightweight multifunction radar and a version of the Hensoldt Spexer lightweight, low power, X-band radar. For the C2 system, we envisage a variant of the Airbus Fortion Integrated Battle Management Software (IBMS) system.

“The IRIS-T interceptor is launched from a fixed slanted position but still provides 360° engagement capability enabled by the high agility of the interceptor. Interceptors are launched in a lock-on-after-launch mode; in a specific sector, lock-on-before-launch is also possible,” he added. (Source: Jane’s)

02 Dec 20. SIG SAUER Introduces New Modular MOD-X9 Pistol Suppressor. SIG SAUER, Inc. is pleased to introduce the MOD-X9 Pistol Suppressor.  The MOD-X9 is the first release of SIG SAUER’s modular line of pistol suppressors made of titanium baffles for the ultimate in lightweight strength and performance that allows the user to personalize their suppressor for overall length, weight, and sound.

“SIG SAUER was the first to innovate and design the first truly modular pistol with the P320, and we’re now excited to bring new, innovative modularity to our line of suppressors with the MOD-X series of suppressors,” began Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer and ExecutiveVice President, Commercial Sales, SIG SAUER, Inc.  “The MOD-X9 is designed for 9mm pistols and rifles, is easily configurable allowing the user to choose the amount of baffles to optimize sound, length, and weight.”

The SIG SAUER MOD-X9 Suppressor is comprised of seven, 3D-printed titanium baffles and an encapsulator with 21-points of impact adjustment.  The length is adjustable from 3.25 inches to 7.5 inches, the weight is adjustable from 5 ounces to 8 ounces, and the sound is adjustable from 127.4dB to 145.3dB.  The suppressor is easily, user-configurable and comes with two pistons, disassembly tools, ½ x 28 and 13.1 pistons, and a fixed-barrel spacer and includes the most popular inch and metric position for its given caliber.

“This is an exciting addition to our line of suppressors because it’s the first product launch of brand-new innovation in suppressors and moves past the traditional baffle design currently in the market.  Once again SIG has raised the bar with the groundbreaking technology we engineer into our designs, and you can expect to see a full line of suppressors from SIG with this new technology in 2021 for all calibers,” concluded Taylor.

MOD-X9 Suppressor Specs:

Overall Weight: 8oz.

Overall Length: 7.5in.

Overall Width: 1.35in.

dB Average: 129dB (147gr 9mm)

Caliber: 9mm

Finish: Black DLC

Baffle Material: Titanium

Mount: 1/2×28 and m13x1xLH Pistons

The SIG SAUER MOD-X9 Suppressor is now available for purchase at retail stores.  For more information about the SIG SAUER MODX-9 Suppressor or the full line of SIG SAUER Suppressors visit sigsauer.com.

30 Nov 20. Russia to Complete Work on S-500 Air Defense Missile System in 2021. Russia will complete its work on the most advanced S-500 anti-aircraft missile system in 2021, Aerospace Force Deputy Commander-in-Chief Lieutenant-General Andrei Yudin said in an interview with the Defense Ministry’s Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper on Friday, TASS news agency reported.

“It should be noted that the work on developing the S-500 mobile air defense and anti-ballistic missile system is scheduled to be completed in 2021,” the General said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said at the Army-2020 international arms show that the S-500 system was already undergoing state trials and work was underway to purchase parts for its serial production.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said in February that military specialists had held the trials of the world’s unrivaled surface-to-air missiles for the latest S-500 air defense system last year.

The Deputy Defense Minister said in December 2019 that the preliminary tests of the S-500 anti-aircraft missile system would begin in 2020 and the commencement of its serial deliveries to the troops was scheduled for 2025.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier said that the deliveries of the latest S-500 surface-to-air missile systems to the troops would begin in 2020. Russia has been training specialists to learn to operate the new system at the Military Academy of the Aerospace Force in Tver since 2017.

Russia is developing the S-500 with a view of its operation in the next 25 years. As the Western media reported, the new Russian missile system struck the target at a range of 481.2 km or 80 km more compared to any existing missile system. (Source: Al Defaiya)

01 Dec 20. NP Aerospace, has extended its Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) portfolio with the launch of a next generation Bomb Disposal Suit targeting North America and other strategic global markets. The new 4030 ELITE Bomb Disposal Suit and Helmet System is the result of extensive collaboration with EOD operators and uses cutting edge technology to meet the requirements of NIJ 0117.01*, the US National Institute of Justice Public Safety Bomb Suit standard. It introduces a new approach to EOD protection, delivering superior survivability and enhanced ergonomics at a reduced weight. The 4030 ELITE Suit provides a scalable platform where communication and cooling systems can be integrated within the base suit without full scale upgrades – a cost efficiency benefit for defence and security organisations.

NP Aerospace entered the EOD market in 2004 with a bomb disposal suit designed for British Forces in Northern Ireland and has expanded its presence with multiple global customers.

Key enhancements to the 4030 ELITE include:

* New suit and frontal armour plate design, delivering 360° protection, with seamless coverage of critical areas

* Enhanced fit and mobility enabling extended wear and access in confined spaces

* Advanced EOD helmet design for enhanced optical performance and impact protection

* Increased size range to fit 5th percentile female to 99th percentile male operators

* Additional safety features for fast, emergency suit removal (less than 30 seconds)

* User configurable with full system integration (communications, cooling, CBRN)

James Kempston, CEO, NP Aerospace, comments: “NP Aerospace has an extensive EOD heritage designing and manufacturing bomb suits for global customers. Our new 4030 ELITE continues that heritage and allows us to target customers requiring NIJ compliance with a cost effective, high performance solution. Operators and procurement teams are looking for the high levels of blast protection and enhanced mobility which NP Aerospace suits provide while ticking the boxes on budget.

“The 4030 ELITE offers a highly modular and scalable system with the option to build and accessorize the suit around the user’s requirements. It also provides excellent ergonomics and dexterity due to our patents in flexible armour construction. This has been a major development and we are looking forward to the next phase in our EOD growth.”

EOD and Tactical Search suits are part of the NP Aerospace high-performance defence systems range which includes Ballistic Helmets and Shields, Body Armour Plates and Composite Armour for vehicles, vessels or aircraft.

30 Nov 20. Germany joins nascent European push to shoot down hypersonic missiles. Germany has joined a European Union-endorsed project aimed at intercepting a new generation of hypersonic missiles too fast for existing defensive systems.

Nudged by France, Berlin changed its status from an observer nation to a participant country in the so-called TWISTER effort on Oct. 24, a Defence Ministry spokesman confirmed to Defense News. The acronym is short for Timely Warning and Interception with Space-Based Theater Surveillance. EU officials included the effort in the November 2019 roster of projects under the bloc’s Permanent Structure Cooperation, or PESCO, scheme.

The project aims to field a space-based, early-warning sensor network and an interceptor moving at a velocity of more than Mach 5 at an altitude up to 100 kilometers sometime around 2030. That’s according to missile-maker MBDA, which has claimed the interceptor portion of the plan as a pet project.

The objectives of TWISTER “align with German interests,” the Defence Ministry spokesman said. Officials hope that a complementary research effort under the auspices of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme could help boost the project, he added. The spokesman declined to provide details.

Germany was absent from the initial partner countries in the French-led effort, which also includes Finland, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Only in recent weeks did the German flag appear alongside those of the other partners on the PESCO repository website.

MBDA envisions developing a new “endo-atmospheric interceptor [that] will address a wide range of threats including maneuvering ballistic missiles with intermediate ranges, hypersonic or high-supersonic cruise missiles, hypersonic gliders, anti-ship missiles and more conventional targets such as next-generation fighter aircraft,” the company website states. “This interceptor will integrate existing and future land and naval systems.”

News that Germany is joining plans on the air defense project comes at a time when the fate of the another supposed next-generation weapon, dubbed TLVS, hangs in the balance. According to a spokeswoman, Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is expected to decide by the end of the year whether to proceed with the project or drop it.

The demise of TLVS would mean a heavy blow to the German defense procurement bureaucracy, as officials for years have held it up as a marquee trans-Atlantic project too important to fail. Boasting a 360-degree sensing and shooting capability, the system is meant to replace Germany’s aging Patriot fleet, made by Raytheon.

But after a year of negotiations and several offers by vendors Lockheed Martin and MBDA Deutschland, cost has emerged as a key obstacle, with the newspaper Handelsblatt recently citing an estimate as high as €13bn (U.S. $16bn) by 2030. In addition, some officials in Germany are irked by what they view as an overreliance on America’s technology transfer rules related to U.S. components in the TLVS suite, including the Lockheed-made PAC-3 MSE interceptor.

In a recent speech at the Bundeswehr University in Hamburg, Kramp-Karrenbauer built a case for terminating high-ticket projects eating into Germany’s defense budget. “I will not agree to the financing of major projects at the expense of basic equipment and resources for routine operations,” she said.

At the same time, she stressed the need for Germany to have a capability against hypersonic missiles, which the TLVS program is slated to offer at a later stage.

Retired Lt. Gen. Heinrich Brauß, a former NATO force planner and now an analyst with the Berlin-based German Council on Foreign Relations, argued the program is needed to quickly close a capability gap for protecting European airspace. In particular, the requirement for a more capable weapon flows from NATO’s pledge last year to respond to Russia’s fielding of intermediate-range missiles capable of reaching Europe, he argued. The alliance only bolstered conventional defenses on the continent.

“Given the TLVS performance characteristics compared with the Patriot system, there should be no hesitation to approve the acquisition,” Brauß said.

Whatever Kramp-Karrenbauer may decide in December, Germany’s participation in the TWISTER project shows that the subject of missile defense remains on the minds of many nations in Europe, said Douglas Barrie, an analyst at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“I think — putting aside the repeated delays on the TLVS decision-making — that what this reflects is the argument that within Europe’s main military nations there needs to be yet greater focus on layered ground-based air defense capable of being used to engage targets throughout the emerging threat spectrum,” he wrote in an email.

“TLVS and Twister are obviously at different stages of development and could be seen as providing complementary capabilities,” he added. (Source: Defense News)

30 Nov 20. Department of Defense Announces New Allied Prototyping Initiative Effort With Australia to Continue Partnership in Developing Air Breathing Hypersonic Vehicles.

Today, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Australian Department of Defence announced a bilateral effort to advance the development of air-breathing hypersonic technologies.  The Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE) is an Allied Prototyping Initiative (API) under the Directorate for Advanced Capabilities within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.  The Department of the Air Force, under the direction of the Weapons Program Executive Officer, is responsible for the execution of the program.

“SCIFiRE is a true testament to the enduring friendship and strong partnership between the United States and Australia,” said Michael Kratsios, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “This initiative will be essential to the future of hypersonic research and development, ensuring the U.S. and our allies lead the world in the advancement of this transformational warfighting capability.”

The SCIFiRE effort aims to cooperatively advance air-breathing hypersonic technologies into full-size prototypes that are affordable and provide a flexible, long range capability, culminating in flight demonstrations in operationally relevant conditions.  The effort will also pursue potential co-production opportunities between the two countries, and leverages U.S. and Australian collaborative hypersonic activities over the last 15 years, namely the Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) program.  SCIFiRE continues collaborative research efforts involving the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force Headquarters, and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group.

“The SCIFiRE initiative is another opportunity to advance the capabilities in our Air Combat Capability Program to support joint force effects to advance Australia’s security and prosperity,” Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld AO, DSC, Chief of Air Force said.  “Working with our Defence scientists here in Australia and our partners in the U.S. Air Force and across the U.S. Department of Defense on leading edge capabilities brings out the best in our Air Force team.”

SCIFiRE is the second effort announced under the Allied Prototyping Initiative, which was launched in 2019 by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering through its Advanced Capabilities directorate.  API leverages new and existing frameworks for international cooperation in research and development, so that the U.S. and its closest Allies can co-develop high impact operational prototypes and capitalize on the use of the industrial base within both countries.

ABOUT OUSD (R&E)

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) is responsible for research, development, and prototyping activities across DOD. OUSD(R&E) fosters technological advancement across DOD to ensure the long-term superiority of the American joint force. (Source: US DoD)

30 Nov 20. Projectile concept shows potential to extend munition range to more than 100km. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) successfully completed multiple rounds of tests on its Solid Fuel Ramjet (SFRJ) tactical engine configuration – a technology to enable long range precision fires, one of the U.S. Army’s key priorities.

Conducted as part of phase one of the U.S. Army’s XM1155 Extended-Range Artillery Projectile (ERAP) program, the SFRJ tests validated gun-launched survivability and performance predictions, and demonstrated the potential of extending projectile range to more than 100 kilometers, which is a significant increase compared to current fielded artillery projectiles.

The XM1155 ERAP program will provide an extended range, guided 155mm artillery round capable of defeating moving and stationary targets in all terrain and weather conditions. The munition system is being designed to provide multi-domain battlespace dominance against high level targets.

“Successful completion of the rigorous tests of the Solid Fuel Ramjet demonstrates maturation of the technology to survive the very challenging gun-launch environment and significantly extend the range of the U.S. military’s current field artillery with a high level of confidence,” said Pat Nolan, vice president, missile products, Northrop Grumman.

Work under the contract will be completed at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center, West Virginia, Ronkonkoma, New York; Plymouth, Minnesota; and in partnership with SPARC Research based out of Warrenton, Virginia.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

30 Nov 20. BAE Systems Wins Huge UK Munitions Deal. £2.4bn munitions deal secures thousands of UK jobs. A new £2.4bn contract to equip UK Armed Forces with essential fire power will sustain 4,000 jobs around the UK over 15 years, Defence Minister Jeremy Quin today announced. The Next Generation Munitions Solution (NGMS) will see BAE Systems manufacture 39 different munitions for the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Strategic Command to use on the front line, including small arms ammunition, mortars, medium-calibre gun rounds and large-calibre artillery and tank shells.

An estimated 1,260 people will work on NGMS in engineering, operations and supporting roles across five BAE Systems UK sites, including:

  • 555 jobs – Glascoed, South Wales
  • 320 jobs – Radway Green, Cheshire
  • 340 jobs – Washington, Tyne & Wear
  • 30 jobs – Bishopton near Glasgow
  • 15 jobs – Ridsdale, Northumberland

A further 1,500 roles will be supported along the supply chain alongside 1,300 jobs as a result of consumer spending in local economies.

Today’s announcement follows the substantial £16.5bn settlement for defence over four years that will modernise the armed forces and bring jobs and prosperity to every part of the UK.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said, “This vital multi-billion-pound contract will provide our service men and women with fire power on the front line for years to come whilst investing in British industry, British jobs and British infrastructure. Defence underpins hundreds of thousands of jobs across all four corners of the nation, and ongoing investment is crucial as we work together to build back better and stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Replacing the current MASS (Munitions Acquisition, the Supply Solution) single-source contract from January 2023, the NGMS will deliver about 50 per cent, by value, of the MOD’s total general munitions (GM) portfolio and will maximise military capability and reduce cost.

Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive, BAE Systems, said, “This contract secures the future of a highly technical and critical industry which supports thousands of manufacturing jobs in several areas throughout the UK. By investing in new technology and skills to further develop our expertise, we can continue to deliver essential sovereign capability to the Armed Forces at competitive prices. The new contract will offer better value for money as it includes incentives for BAE Systems to make savings over the life of the contract.”

In its bid, BAE Systems identified about £400m of savings and efficiency opportunities to be pursued up to 2038 to meet this challenge. The contract also includes flexibility to vary the volume of orders and allow GM products to be added or removed, depending on front-line requirements.

Ed Cutts, DE&S Director Weapons, said, “This new, improved contract with BAE Systems secures the supply of cutting-edge key munitions for the front line while delivering even greater value for money for the taxpayer. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with BAE Systems to deliver on the opportunities this partnership and agreement present.”

As it delivers the munitions, BAE Systems forecasts it will spend £350m with UK-based companies on raw materials and machine components.”

It pledges to invest more than £70m refurbishing and upgrading manufacturing lines, including £32m at Glascoed, £27m at Washington and £12m at Radway Green. The company will also invest in the next generation by recruiting over 200 apprentices and graduates during the course of the contract. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)

BATTLESPACE Comment: This is a good deal for BAE Systems and strengthens its munitions business in the UK. One of the reasons for the lengthened discussions over the eventual RBSL deal was believed to be the desire by Rheinmetall to include the BAE munitions business in the deal. BAE and the MoD baulked at this and the munitions business was split away from the Land Bu8isness which became RBSL in 2019.

28 Nov 20. New M240 Machine Gun Suppressor Gets Rave Reviews from Army Maneuver in Test. U.S. Army maneuver officials are testing a new sound suppressor that can quiet the M240 machine gun enough for gunners to easily hear fire commands.

The Maneuver Battle Lab at Fort Benning, Georgia has been live-fire testing the suppressor from Maxim Defense during Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) 2021, which began in late October.

“Suppressors have always had liability in the past,” said Ed Davis, director of the Battle Lab, who has seen suppressors cycle through the AEWE for the past decade.

“This is the first year that I would say most of the Maneuver Center [of Excellence] has gotten excited about a suppressor.”

The Battle Lab is only evaluating the Maxim Defense suppressor during this year’s AEWE. Other suppressors in past tests have not been able to stand up to the heat and roar produced by the 7.62mm M240.

“Some of them, they got way too hot and … would glow red hot,” Davis said. “Some of them wouldn’t last very long; most of them really didn’t dampen the noise of any significance that was worthwhile.”

Battle Lab officials and soldiers have fired “a fair amount of rounds” through M240s equipped with the Maxim Defense suppressor, enough to put it in the “sweet spot” to recommend it for further evaluation, Davis said.

“This may be one that we recommend that a unit buy and do some sort of evaluation long-term,” Davis said. “We do know that with the gun firing, it brings the noise down. … You can fire the M240 and have a conversation right next to it.”

Finding a durable, affordable suppressor that can dampen the sound signature of an M240 would make it more difficult for the enemy to locate and target machine gun teams from a distance, Davis said.

The M240 can engage targets as far as 1,100 meters away, “so if you can suppress the noise to that level, that means the position is relatively concealed during employment,” Davis said.

“It adds a great degree of protection to your machine gun teams, which are priority targets on the battlefield,” he added.

“It also helps you in command and control because now you can give fire commands and so forth without having hearing protection and the voice of the gun causing confusion and things like that.”

When the AEWE concludes in early March, Battle Lab officials will compile a report detailing the performance of equipment tested, which will include recommendations for further study.

“Our evaluations for AEWE are not complete by any means,” Davis said, adding that Maxim Defense suppressor could go to a unit for further evaluation.

“Or it could come back to the Battle Lab as a separate event for a more comprehensive evaluation,” Davis said. “You want to look at barrel wear, you want to look at how long the suppressor is going to last and you want to see how long it takes to gum these systems up.” (Source: Military.com)

25 Nov 20. Finnish Army tests multiple launch rocket system GMLRS ammunition. The Finnish Army has carried out test firing of the multiple launch rocket system ammunition to test its long-range fires readiness.

The Finnish Army has carried out test firing of the multiple launch rocket system ammunition to test its long-range fires readiness.

It was conducted in the Rovajärvi Live Fire and training exercise range from 16 to 17 November.

Last month, the Finnish Defence Forces announced that it will carry out the Army Combined Joint Fires Exercise from 16 to 27 November.

The test firing was conducted to check the precision and effectiveness of the multiple launch rocket system Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Unitary rockets for point effects precision fire.

It also involved the validation of the GMLRS Alternative Warhead (AW) rockets for area effects.

The GLMRS Unitary rocket has a range of around 80km and explodes on target. However, the GMLRS AW are developed to service area targets and explode above the target without the unexploded ordinance effects.

Artillery Inspector colonel Pertti Holma said: “We have now validated the multiple launch rocket system capability by GMLRS rockets.

“We are capable of engaging area and point targets at increasingly long distances. We can be proud of our artillery system’s capability.” (Source: army-technology.com)

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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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