02 June 22. Elbit Systems and Rheinmetall Canada Team Up for Canada’s Joint Fire Modernization Project. Elbit Systems and Rheinmetall Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation on proposing a solution for Canada’s Joint Fire Modernization (JFM) project. The JFM project intends to enable a near real-time sharing of tactical, operational and strategic fires and effects information through a digital network allowing instantaneous sharing of the Common Operating Picture (COP) including targets, friendly locations and Command and Control information.
With Rheinmetall Canada’s strong local presence and leadership of the Canadian Integrated Soldier System (ISS) project, and Elbit Systems UK leadership of the British Dismounted Joint Fires Integrators (D-JFI) program and involvement in Canada’s Airspace Coordination Centre Modernization (ASCCM) project, the two companies are well positioned to offer a superior solution for the JFM project.
Haim Delmar, General Manager of Elbit Systems C4I and Cyber, said: “We are pleased to team up with Rheinmetall Canada on pursuing this opportunity. I believe that developing a joint fires solution for Canada that draws on the experience that both companies acquire in Canada and in the UK will enable us to offer a higher level of technological maturity, clear growth path and robust Five Eyes compatability.”
Stéphane Oehrli, president and CEO of Rheinmetall Canada, commented: “Rheinmetall Canada is pleased to partner with Elbit Systems. With their combined expertise in command, control, communications, and tactical equipment, Rheinmetall and Elbit are ready to deliver dismounted and mounted digital joint fire solutions enabling the Department of National Defence to deliver responsive and accurate joint fire support. Rheinmetall Canada has been successful in winning major contracts due to its agility, capability and drive to innovate. Working with Elbit Systems to develop a flexible, robust, and responsive digital joint fire solution would effectively and comprehensively protect the men and women of the Canadian Army.”
01 June 22. Former Pentagon official touts key role for Australia’s GWEO.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict underscores the importance of Australia’s sovereign guided weapons program in supporting the production of key strike capabilities, according to a former Pentagon official.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict underscores the importance of Australia’s sovereign guided weapons program in supporting the production of key strike capabilities, according to a former Pentagon official.
In April, the Commonwealth government appointed Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia as strategic partners for its $1 bn sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) Enterprise.
The global prime contractors will be supported by a number of Australia-based industry co-operatives, including the Sovereign Missile Alliance (SMA) – a joint venture between Nova Systems and Electro Optic Systems (EOS) – and the Australian Missile Corporation (AMC) – a group led by Queensland-based munitions company NIOA.
Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia will now be tasked with addressing gaps outlined in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update by working with local SMEs to create opportunities in advanced manufacturing.
The enterprise ecosystem is expected to support Defence’s inventory of guided weapons and explosive ordnance, while also including:
- education and training;
- test and evaluation;
- maintenance and repair;
- storage and distribution; and
But according to Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s former chief of weapons acquisition, the GWEO program would also help replenish the stocks of Australia’s key strategic partners.
Lord, who serves as a strategic adviser to the Australian Missile Corporation and NIOA, noted the impact of the ongoing war in Ukraine on the United States’ supplies, amid estimates stocks have reduced by 20 per cent in some areas.
This, she said, is particularly pertinent given the demonstrated effectiveness of shoulder-fired missiles such as the surface-to-air Stinger and anti-tank Javelin.
“The conflict in Ukraine has really been a wake-up call,” Lord told a business forum in Brisbane.
“The US has provided the Ukraine with quite a few (weapons) systems. We were not as full in our inventories as some would have liked in terms of guided weapons before this.
“Now there is a perception ‘how do we build those inventories back up?’ There is not the capacity to do that quickly, so we have to look elsewhere.”
Lord said the AUKUS partnership and the US’ National Technology Industrial Base (NTIB) could help facilitate technology sharing to shore-up the defences of member nations.
“It’s logical to look back to Australia especially given the top cover of AUKUS. The greatest tool of diplomacy we have in the US is technology and acquisition, so we are looking to our closest allies,” she added.
Lord served in the former Trump administration, overseeing more than US$400 bn ($557.7 m) in weapons procurement for the US Department of Defense. (Source: Defence Connect)
31 May 22. FN Herstal Releases its New 9x19mm FN HiPer Pistol.
- The next world benchmark for military and law enforcement
Belgium-based designer and manufacturer of small calibre weapons, associated weapon systems and ammunition FN Herstal proudly announces the introduction of its brand-new 9x19mm handgun dedicated to both armed forces and law enforcement: FN HiPer®.
Fully designed, developed and manufactured in Belgium, the FN HiPer® combines the best globally proven solutions with a large number of innovative patented FN features to deliver an ergonomic, reliable and safe weapon dedicated to both armed forces and law enforcement.
Ergonomics pushed to its limits
Ergonomics was one of the most considered and improved aspects during preliminary studies and the design stage at FN Herstal as it is a vital feature for any pistol and a determining factor for any armed forces and law enforcement operator.
The hand grip has been intensively studied to find the best compromise between static and dynamic comfort. The optimised grip angle, the balance of the pistol and low bore axis give the FN HiPer® perfect controllability, especially for fast follow-up shots.
With its retention grooves, three interchangeable ergonomic grip covers and numerous non-slip grip surfaces, the pistol has been designed to best suit the shape of any user’s hand while an optional tactical locking plate is available for even easier cocking.
The ambidextrous slide catch is uniquely located and prevents any accidental activation by the user. Also, the design of the ambidextrous, rotary operating magazine catch is revolutionary. The shooter can reliably change magazines in seconds without shifting grip while staying aligned on the target. The two levers act independently. When one lever is activated the other remains static, so it will not be blocked by the user’s hand.
The FN HiPer® comes standard with a new trigger mechanism, the pressure and travel of which can be adjusted by an armourer. These adjustments allow the pistol to be adapted to the shooter, and contribute to the perfect ergonomics of the pistol and exceptional comfort for the shooter.
Choosing the FN HiPer® is opting for a handgun that offers optimum ergonomics, great comfort and easy handling, including for people with small hands.
Reliability and safety were not ignored
Alongside a rigid metal chassis and a completely new firing mechanism, the FN HiPer® also features unequalled sealing against ingress of dust and dirt, with all subassemblies perfectly assembled, with no gap between them. This makes the pistol extremely reliable in both normal and adverse conditions.
FN Herstal designed a fully polymer magazine using new, highly resistant materials for extreme reliability and durability compared to a traditional metal magazine. The magazine indicates the remaining number of rounds.
Thanks to its inherent innovative overall design, the FN HiPer® offers increased safety as it includes all the standard safety systems, such as trigger safety, firing pin safety, and out-of-battery safety, and can be disassembled without pulling the trigger.
Finally, the FN HiPer® pistol, in its MRD (mini red dot sight) version, features an FN patented interface which makes the pistol compatible with the most commonly used red dot sights for pistols.
FN HiPer® is the pistol that will definitely make a difference for both armed forces and law enforcement. (Source: ASD Network)
01 June 22. Indian MoD signs contract with BDL to procure ASTRA MK-I BVR AAM. The transfer of technology from DRDO to BDL has completed, and production of Astra at BDL is underway. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a contract with Bharat Dynamics (BDL) to procure Astra MK-I beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile (AAM).
The estimated value of the contract is approximately $382.96m (Rs2,971cr) and includes the supply of associated equipment.
The Astra MK-I missile will be used by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Navy.
The contract falls under the Buy Indian Designed, Developed and Manufactured (Indian-IDDM) category.
The Astra MK-I BVR is an indigenous air-to-air missile designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
DRDO developed Astra based on the staff requirements issued by the IAF, to cater to the BVR and close combat engagement needs and cut down the reliance on foreign sources.
Additionally, DRDO has developed the missile’s related equipment for ground handling, launching and testing in coordination with the IAF.
The integration of the Astra missile with the IAF’s Su-30 MKI multi-role fighter jet is complete.
According to the MoD, the missile’s integration with the IAF’s other fighter jets, including light combat aircraft Tejas, will be carried out in a phased manner.
Apart from the IAF, the Indian Navy will integrate the Astra missile on its MiG-29K fighter jets.
In a statement, the MoD said: “The transfer of technology from DRDO to BDL for production of ASTRA MK-I missile and all associated systems has been completed and production at BDL is in progress.”
The new contract will further support the development of infrastructure and testing facilities at BDL.
Furthermore, the project is expected to create opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in aerospace technology for at least 25 years. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
31 May 22. Russian Okhotnik UCAV conducts first PGM launches. Russia’s Sukhoi S-70B Okhotnik (Hunter) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) has conducted its first test launch of precision-guided munitions (PGMs) against ground targets, state media reported on 28 May. Citing an unnamed source, RIA Novosti said that air-to-surface missiles developed for the manned Sukhoi Su-57 (NATO reporting name ‘Felon‘) fifth-generation combat aircraft were fired by the S-70B during the trial. Although not identified in the report, it is likely that the missile was the Kh-59MK2 standoff cruise missile, which is a development of the Kh-59-series heavy tactical missile that entered service in the early 1980s. (Source: Janes)
31 May 22. Hypersonix Awarded A$8m MMI Defence Grant for the Manufacture and Launch of 3d Printed DART AE Technology Demonstrator. On the 21st of April 2022, the Australian Federal Government announced the successful applicants of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) Defence Translation stream. Hypersonix Launch Systems was granted A$8M for the DART AE Multi-mission Hypersonic Drone Technology Demonstrator using Additive Engineering.
Since the first official announcement by Hypersonix to develop DART AE in November 2021, the global interest in the Australian company has grown.
Management believes key factors for Hypersonix technology being demonstrated by DART AE are scalability of manufacture, reliability, cost effectiveness and high cadence of manufacture, enabling multiple low-cost launches in a short time frame.
With this latest grant award, Hypersonix Launch Systems secured funding for the 3D printed version of DART, DART AE, which is scheduled for launch in 2023.
In addition, the recently announced A$2.95 m Cooperative Research Centres Projects grant from the Australian federal government (awarded to Hypersonix and its partners in late March 2022) for the re-usable high temperature composite version of DART, DART CMP, builds on the successful completion of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy & Resource’s Accelerating Commercialisation Grant for the build of a prototype scramjet engine and fuel system, completed in March 2022.
According to David Waterhouse, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Hypersonix: “With Hypersonix Launch Systems being awarded this major grant, the Hypersonix team is ‘over the moon’ and the MMI grant will provide a catalyst to our growth in Australia and ability to grow Australia’s export market in this key area of Aerospace technology.”
Michael Smart, CTO, Head of R&D and Co-Founder adds: “The team is extremely proud that our MMI grant application for the build and launch of DART AE has been successful. It gives us the necessary funding to quickly progress our core scramjet technology that has been fully developed in Australia.” (Source: ASD Network)
31 May 22. £265m missile upgrade for UK submarines. The UK’s stock of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles will be upgraded on Royal Navy submarines to ensure the weapon is even more effective against future threats.
- UK to make upgrades to current stock of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles
- Enhanced long-range strike capability of up to 1,000 miles
The UK’s stock of Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) will be upgraded on Royal Navy submarines to ensure the weapon is even more effective against future threats.
In a £265m contract with the US Government, with maintenance and technical support at the UK sites of BAE Systems, Babcock International and Lockheed Martin, the Royal Navy’s Astute-Class submarines will be armed with an enhanced Block V standard missile, capable of striking severe threats at a range of up to 1,000 miles.
The upgraded missile will be able to travel further than the previous Block IV iteration, maintaining a precision-strike capability that is unmatched in range and accuracy. The upgrade will also make the weapon less vulnerable to external threats, with modernised in-flight communication and target selection.
At approximately 5.6m long and weighing 2200kg – a similar weight to a 4×4 car – the high sub-sonic Tomahawk was first introduced into UK service in 1998 and can hit in-land targets from the sea within minutes. A weapon of choice since then, it has been successfully deployed during operations in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, said: “This upgrade will equip our Astute-Class attack submarines with the one of the most lethal and precise long-range strike weapons. Enhancing this cutting-edge missile system will ensure the UK can strike severe threats up to 1,000 miles away.”
The Tomahawk missiles will be upgraded as part of a Foreign Military Sale with the US Government, which was negotiated by the MOD’s procurement arm, Defence Equipment and Support and will be active from July.
Making use of existing US research and expertise on the upgraded missile, the contract will mean the UK continues to receive full access to the US Tomahawk programme, support package and upgrades.
DE&S Director Weapons, Ed Cutts, said: “Not only will this FMS sustain and improve a proven, crucial operational capability for any future conflicts, it will continue to ensure interoperability with our US allies and the follow-on support arrangements will sustain jobs for UK industry.”
As Block IV is upgraded to Block V from 2024, it will modernise and improve in-flight communications and navigation, making the missile more effective against future threats around the globe.
The Foreign Military Sale also includes missile maintenance, recertification of existing missiles, spares, operational flight testing, software, hardware and training provisions.
Director Submarines, Rear Admiral Simon Asquith said:
The Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile is a cutting-edge system which provides the UK with real strategic and operational choice. Able to be fired from a stealthy UK nuclear attack submarine, the system’s exceptional range, accuracy and survivability provides the UK, alongside our US Allies, with a world beating precision strike capability.
The announcement builds on commitments made in the Defence Command Paper and Integrated Review, in addition to Royal Navy mission planning and weapon control system upgrades that will improve the performance of legacy Block IV missiles.
Due to be operational in the mid-2020s, the upgraded Tomahawk will align with the delivery of the latest Astute submarines. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
30 May 22. Romania considers options for SHORAD and VSHORAD. Romania is preparing to open a tender for the acquisition of short-range air-defence (SHORAD) and very short-range air-defence (VSHORAD) systems, under a programme that was originally launched in 2017 with a total requirement of 21 batteries. MBDA is offering the VL MICA and the Mistral 3 systems for the SHORAD and VSHORAD components, respectively, Julien Watelet, group head of Media at MBDA, told Janes at the BSDA 2022 exhibition in Bucharest. The Mistral configuration shown was the vehicle-based Mistral ATLAS, armed with the Mistral 3 missile. Watelet and other MBDA representatives explained that the company’s proposal was for both systems to be capable of operating as an integrated two-layer air-defence system, or as standalone systems depending on the requirements of the tactical scenario. The MBDA representatives added that the command-and-control (C2) systems of the two – Tactial Operation Centre (TOC) in the case of VL MICA, and Licorne in the case of Mistral – used very similar software to simplify interoperability among crews. (Source: Janes)
30 May 22. Airbus launches Spike ER2 integration for H145M helo. Airbus Helicopters has test-fired the Rafael Spike Extended Range (ER) 2 air-to-surface missile from the H145M rotorcraft as part of the company’s wider effort to expand the scope and capability of the HForce generic weapons system (GWS) package. Speaking to Janes and other defence media in late May, Constance Pinsdorf, senior programme manager H145 governmental business, said that the Spike ER2 version of the Israeli-made missile was launched from the H145M for the first time in January, and integration into the HForce system will be completed later in 2022. (Source: Janes)
30 May 22. Iran unveils cruise missiles in underground UAV base. Two previously unseen types of air-breathing missile were displayed during an event intended to showcase Iran’s unmanned aircraft capabilities on 28 May. The missiles were seen in media coverage of a visit by Major General Mohammad Bagheri, chief of the general staff of the armed forces, to an underground facility identified as Strategic Base 313, which is operated by Iran’s regular military rather than the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), where he inspected dozens of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The missiles were identified as the Heidar-1 and Heidar-2, with the Iranian media reporting that the former is launched from a UAV, has a range of 200 km, and a speed of 1,000 km/h. Two Haider-1s were shown either side of a Fotros UAV and a third attached to the wing of a Kaman-22 UAV. (Source: Janes)
27 May 22. USMC snipers test new Mk22 precision rifle system. The new Mk22 Mod 0 advanced sniper rifle will reduce the USMC’s sniper rifle inventory from four to three. The US Marine Corps (USMC) has tested a new Mk22 Mod 0 advanced sniper rifle that is slated to replace the legacy M40A6 and Mk13 Mod 7 systems. The Mk22 Mod 0 rifle is a bolt action, precision rifle system supporting a ten-round detachable magazine. It incorporates calibre agnostic 7×35 power Precision Day Optic (PDO) along with a calibre-agnostic flash and sound suppressor.
The weapon can be customised according to the mission requirements, including switching barrels and ammunition calibres.
Once equipped, the new rifle will reduce the USMC’s sniper rifle inventory from four to three.
The selection of Mk22 was a joint effort of the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC).
Instructors from three Marine Scout Sniper schools and MARSOC were invited by MCSC to test the new rifle and associated accessories including optics, suppressors and tripods.
The integration assessment was held at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
During the assessment, the participants collected data using chronographs and kept logs of how the rifle handled with each barrel and calibre of ammunition. Chronograph is a tool to measure the round’s velocity as it leaves the barrel.
All the collected data will be used for making necessary changes before the initial fielding of the rifle system, expected to take place in fiscal year (FY) 2023. Additional firing tests will continue throughout the year.
The Mk22 has a greater range and will also provide Marine Corps sniper community with a reduced logistical footprint.
MCSC liaison and Scout Sniper Instructor School marksmanship instructor sergeant Christopher Frazier said: “It’s definitely more efficient. Rather than putting one gun away and getting the next gun out, we can quickly change barrels, and then we only have to carry ammunition and that extra barrel, not an entire extra gun and extra magazines.” (Source: naval-technology.com)
27 May 22. Dearsan USV Salvo conducts first live-firing trial.
The new Salvo armed unmanned surface vessel (AUSV) under development by Turkish shipbuilder Dearsan has successfully conducted its first life-firing trial, the shipbuilder has announced.
During the live-firing test, which was held in the Marmara Sea on 25 May, the Salvo AUSV launched a Cirit missile to successfully engage a moving surface target, Dearsan said.
Launched in January, Salvo is the first of a family of USVs under development by Dearsan for a range of missions, including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
The Salvo has an overall length of 14.79m, with a 3.83m beam, and a 0.75m draft. It has a maximum speed of between 45–60kt depending on the configuration of the diesel engine, and a range of 300n miles.
The combat version is armed with an Aselsan 12.7mm remote-controlled weapon station on its front deck and a Roketsan four-barrelled stabilised turret system aft capable of firing Cirit and L-UMTAS missiles.(Source: Janes)
30 May 22. Idaho ANG conducts live-fire training with precision-guided munitions. Manufactured by Northrop Grumman, the M1156 PGK is equipped with GPS receiver and fuse functions. Soldiers of the Idaho Army National Guard’s (ANG) 1st of the 148th Field Artillery Regiment (1-148th FAR) have received training and certification using modernised precision-guided munitions.
This is the first time that the soldiers conducted live-fire missions using the US Army’s modernised M1156 Precision Guidance Kit (PGK).
The live firing was carried out during the battalion’s annual training exercise, which was held at the Orchard Combat Training Center.
The battalion used the M109A6 Paladin and more than 80 high explosive rounds for the training.
Manufactured by Northrop Grumman, the M1156 PGK is equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and fuse functions.
Fixed to 155mm artillery shells, the 3lb PGK transforms the rounds into GPS-guided munitions.
The system can adjust the round’s flight trajectory with the help of aerodynamic fins on the fuse and lead the shell to its target.
This reduces errors in target delivery and cuts the number of projectiles needed to execute a mission.
In a statement, 1-148th FAR commander lieutenant colonel Brady Johnson said: “This enables the 1-148th FAR to deploy munitions within 30m of a target instead of the average 50m of traditional artillery, increasing the battalion’s lethality and decreasing costs.
“The modernised weaponry allows 18 separate targets to be simultaneously targeted and attacked at a third of the cost of conventional missions, with minimal clearance of fire issues.”
In addition, the system’s fail-safe feature helps lower collateral damage.
1-148th FAR master gunner sergeant 1st class Mike Taylor said: “This can prevent the shell from exploding if it falls outside 150m of an intended target, enabling soldiers to call in artillery support and reduce collateral damage.”
The regiment’s M109A6 Paladin is a cannon artillery system that fires 155 mm artillery shells.
The 1-148th FAR offers fire support in close combat and controls land areas through counterfire.
In March 2022, the Idaho Army and Air National Guard units held joint combat search and rescue training throughout the Owyhee Mountains.
25 May 22. FN America unveiled Crye Precision original MultiCam patterned FN SCAR NRCH rifles at the 151st NRA Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas. FN America, LLC unveiled custom MultiCam patterned FN SCAR NRCH rifles at the 151st NRA Annual Meeting held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, May 26–29, 2022. The pattern, Crye Precision’s original MultiCam, has been applied hydro-graphically to the receiver and trigger module frame of the SCAR 16S, 17S and 20S commercial SCAR variants.
The legendary FN SCAR series, having roots in its battle-proven lineage, now features dual, non-reciprocating charging handles that enable users to shoot from any position or use any grip style. The benchmark of reliability and versatility with its three variants, the FN SCAR rifles are capable of consistent accuracy from their cold hammer-forged and chrome-lined barrels and one-piece forged aluminium receiver. They deliver precision fire with aid from their fully adjustable buttstock, low-flash gas regulator and fast-handling characteristics uncommon in similar rifle platforms.
The MultiCam pattern is arguably one of the most popular camouflage patterns currently used by conventional and Special Operations Forces worldwide. According to Crye Precision, the MultiCam pattern was developed to effectively limit the visual and near-IR signature of a person operating across a very wide range of physical environments and seasons. After many successful evaluations, after being proven in combat, and after becoming the officially issued pattern of the US Army for all Afghanistan operations in 2010, MultiCam is the proven multi-environment concealment solution. (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
26 May 22. UK Sky Sabre operational in Poland. A British Army Sky Sabre air-defence system has reached its initial operating capability in Poland as part of a buildup of forces to defend the NATO ally from air and missile attack by Russia, a British Army spokesperson told Janes on 23 May, adding that the full operating capability would be declared in the “next few months”.
The spokesperson declined to provide details of how many launchers had been deployed or their position, citing “operational security” reasons.
The Sky Sabre system in Poland is operated by 11 (Sphinx) Battery Royal Artillery, according to the social media feed of its parent unit, 16 Regiment Royal Artillery, which dubbed the deployment the Medium Range Air Defence Contingency Force.
UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace announced the deployment on 17 March, but it is unclear when 11 Battery first arrived in Poland. On 12 May, 16 Regiment said 11 Battery arrived in Poland “several weeks ago”. (Source: Janes)