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02 Jul 21. Turkey to make its own maritime missile-launching system after sanctions interrupt Lockheed plans. Turkish defense company Roketsan is to develop a vertical launching system for the country’s first locally made frigate, after American sanctions disrupted original procurement plans, said naval platforms acquisition official Alper Kose.
The future MDAS, which stands for Milli Dikey Atis Sistemi (or in English, National Vertical Launch System), is to equip the TCG Istanbul, the lead ship of Turkey’s I-class frigates. Turkey’s top defense procurement official, Ismail Demir, had announced Jan. 23 at the warship’s launch ceremony that the vessel would be fitted with an indigenous VLS. Until now it was unclear who would manufacture the national missile launching system and what would be its specifications.
The government initially planned to install the Mk 41 VLS, made by American firm Lockheed Martin. However, sanctions imposed on Turkey through the U.S. Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act prevented the sale of the MK 41 VLS. The U.S brought about the sanctions after Turkey bought the Russian S-400 air defense system.
Kose, who leads the naval platforms unit at the defense procurement agency Presidency of Defence Industries, or SSB, said the government hired missile-manufacturer Roketsan to develop MDAS.
“The FMS was not approved for using the U.S.-made Mk 41 as a vertical launch system for the Milgem [naval project’s] fifth ship. Thus, we inked an agreement with Roketsan and rearranged the contract so that Roketsan will develop the VLS,” Kose told Turkish media.
A source with a subcontractor working on the project told Defense News that the MDAS will be similar to the Mk 41. “However, it has some structural differences, like its height. MDAS will be 8 meters long — 30 centimeters longer than Mk 41,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
“The system will be capable of embarking and launching indigenous missiles, including HİSAR surface-to-air missile family … and ATMACA anti-ship missiles,” the source added. “Turkey has gained enough know-how experience to develop an indigenous missile-launching system in the last decade. We have been working on the MDAS project and aim to make it ready before the acceptance trials of TCG Istanbul.”
The source declined to give information about the cost of the project.
MDAS was initially planned to equip the future TF2000-class air warfare destroyer, scheduled to enter service with the Turkish Navy by 2027. However, the plans changed as a result of the sanctions, and the SSB accelerated the project. According to the SSB’s agenda, the first I-class frigate is expected to be commissioned in 2023.
MDAS variants are expected to launch two Turkish weapons currently undergoing tests: the long-range air defense missile Siper, or Hisar-U; and the cruise missile Gezgin meant for tactical land-attack missions. (Source: Defense News)
02 Jul 21. Rafael combines AI and automatic target recognition in new Sea Breaker missile. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems unveiled its new Sea Breaker maritime and land-based long-range missile that combines artificial intelligence and decision-making algorithms to create a fifth-generation weapon system.
“Sea Breaker provides surgical, pin-point precision strikes from stand-off ranges of up to 300 km. It features an advanced IIR (Imaging Infra-Red) seeker, ideal for engagement of maritime and land targets, stationary or moving, in advanced Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) arenas, and in littoral or brown water, including archipelago, as well as for engagements in which previous generation RF-seeker-based missiles are not effective,” Rafael said in a statement June 30.
At an event showcasing the missile, which is several meters long and has swept wings that flip out after it is launched, Rafael executives and project managers for the system traced the missile back to Rafael precision-guided missiles and bombs, such as the Spice 250 and Spike NLOS.
Sea Breaker is intended for naval ships, such as frigates, and also land-based launchers. Rafael said it fits in its Spyder launchers, enabling a plug-and-play format that means air defense missiles can be stacked with Sea Breaker in the same battery. This kind of open architecture and plug-and-play model has been seen before with Rafael’s SkyCeptor, which can be used in a Patriot battery. Spyder is usually equipped with I-Derby and Python-5 missiles.
The new system includes a 250 lb (113kg) “penetration, blast and fragmentation warhead, making a single hit effective enough to neutralize a frigate-sized ship,” Rafael says. The 250-lb warhead size is similar to the Mark 81 bomb. “The missile’s datalink supports real-time man-in-the-loop decision-making and tactical updates. It also features a mid-flight abort capability and Battle Damage Assessment (BDA).” Eli, whose last name was not provided under Israeli custom for security reasons, the head of Rafael’s Naval Missile Systems, said the system’s unique capabilities include its computer vision and artificial intelligence, as well as its mission planning system. With evasive flight maneuvers and a large warhead for its less than 400kg size, it is “quite unique in those dimensions … it’s compact and compatible and I think the computer, the AI and ATR and computer vision is a novelty of the company combining it with man-in-the-loop, mission planning and agile flight profile.” It also performs “deep learning” that it combines with its AI capabilities.
A tactical missile designed to be deployed in salvos like an artillery battery with a low-flight ability and its automatic target recognition enables it to be “complete autonomous,” Rafael’s Naval Missile Systems head said. The need for better target recognition is important in environments with moving targets, such as a port where civilian and military ships might be in close quarters. This means a missile that has been fired from hundreds of kilometers away may need to quickly discriminate against a recognizable target, such as striking a gunboat and not hitting a similar-looking trawler. Rafael says the missile can also shift to a different target at the homing stage. The missile is designed for maritime targets and those near the shore, as well as headquarters and airports or other hardened targets. Eli says that given the constraints on board ships in terms of weight and displacement, having a dual purpose weapon is important.
Recent conflicts have shown that the ability to find high-quality targets is important. Radar-based seekers also alert an enemy and having a missile that can avoid electronic warfare measures and engage in a GPS-denied environment is a “solution that is better than everything else.” Recent conflicts also illustrated how major conventional wars with clear delimitations between opposing forces are no longer the norm. Instead, wars take place near civilians, and precision to avoid casualties is imperative. Rafael says it is already seeing interest from countries.
The developers emphasize that the future battlefield involves more GPS-denied environments and a greater need for missiles like this to be immune to electronic countermeasures with a 300-km range and for compact flexibility in how they can be put on trucks or ships. Rafael says that including AI, scene matching and automatic target recognition with electro-optics is what makes it a fifth-generation system. (Source: Defense News)
02 Jul 21. Mercury Systems to support Australia’s sovereign guided munitions capability. Global technology company Mercury Systems has confirmed that it will collaborate with defence businesses to support Australia’s sovereign guided munitions capability.
Mercury Systems has confirmed this week that the company will collaborate to support Australia’s sovereign guided munitions industry, committing to use the company’s expertise and work with leading Australian defence businesses.
Paul Tanner, vice president of Mercury Systems, welcomed the opportunity to support Australia’s sovereign guided munitions industry and hoped that Mercury System’s leading global expertise in the industry will benefit Australia’s missile manufacturing program.
“Mercury’s broad range of solutions are embedded in more than 300 aerospace and defence programs and deployed on more than 4,000 systems in the US and allied countries,” Tanner said.
The announcement comes following Mercury’s bumper delivery of over 1,000 NanoSWITCH network switches to US-based Oshkosh Defense.
Scott Orton, Mercury’s vice president and general manager, Edge, confirmed that the sale demonstrates Mercury’s commitment to technology.
“We’re proud to support our customer on this key program by providing the only fielded VICTORY-compliant switch that eliminates redundancy in Army ground vehicles with a common data bus-centric approach,” Orton concluded.
“This major milestone delivery reflects our commitment to delivering compact, lightweight and reliable mission-critical solutions to sustain long-term programs.”
(Source: Google/ Defence Connect)
02 Jul 21. USMC receives explosive rocket launcher. Marine Corps Systems Command began fielding the recoilless rocket system MAAWS in May. US Marine Corps (USMC) has announced that it has received a new, explosive rocket launcher that provides additional protection in urban environments. In May, Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) began fielding the M3A1 Multi-Role Anti-Armor Anti-Personnel Weapons System (MAAWS) to infantry Marines in Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
The MAAWS is a reloadable, recoilless rocket system designed to supplement existing shoulder-launched rocket capabilities.
MAAWS MCSC project officer captain Christopher Adsit said: “The MAAWS is a reusable, long-range weapon that provides the capability to destroy armoured vehicles, structures and fortifications, which will be useful for infantry marines.”
MAAWS system comprises M3A1 Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle, which is a fire-control system, and a backup reflex sight that marines can use if the primary optic fails to function.
It includes munitions that provide obscuration, anti-personnel, armour penetration, bunker, and hardened-facility penetration, illumination, as well as other destruction capabilities.
MCSC infantry weapons officer chief warrant officer 4 David Tomlinson said: “It has the ability to fire (illumination), smoke, and airburst-style rounds.
“The capability will allow the warfighter to engage the enemy in defilade, reinforced bunkers and buildings.”
USMC noted that the MAAWS system is augmenting the Mk153 shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon (SMAW).
Mk153 is a rocket system initially fielded to USMC in 1984 before it underwent many modifications in the 2000s.
The USMC has used the SMAW to destroy armoured vehicles, bunkers, and other fortifications.
01 Jul 21. £3.5m investment for smarter missile systems. The Defence Science Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has been awarded £3.5m to develop innovative new missile systems. Known as the Co-operative Strike Weapons Technology Demonstrator (CSWTD), the Dstl-led project will explore how inter-missile communication can enable the weapons systems to work together and also improve the performance of current systems.
The project aims to increase the flexibility of missiles, ensuring that they can react to a changing threat or situation as it emerges, and improve their responsiveness. It will change the way missiles operate together with an upgrade to the software system that allows this co-operative behaviour.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin said, “Drawing on the vital expertise of our Dstl scientists, innovative new missile systems will enhance our current capabilities as Defence adapts to meet future threats. With an investment into research and development, this project highlights the central role science and technology plays in informing how our assets operate.”
Announced by the Prime Minister last November, Defence has received an uplift in funding of £24bn over the next four years and, aided by commitments outlined in the recent Defence Command Paper, the MOD will invest £6.6-billion into Research & Development, enabling the Armed Forces to benefit from science and innovation.
The investment into the CSWTD project will deliver the foundations for future co-operative missiles, including hardware and software, and also provide a number of systems studies to understand how co-operative missiles could be used in real operational scenarios.
Dstl Scientist Charlie said:
Currently missiles can communicate with the launch platform but not each other.
The aim of this programme is to investigate how inter-missile communication and cooperative behaviours can be technically achieved to solve UK military challenges.
Work began on the programme in April this year and is expected to last just over 2 years. The current stage of the programme sees Dstl scientists assessing different military tactics and scenarios in close collaboration with industry partner MBDA.
A demonstration will take place throughout the project, and if successful, UK platforms could be exploiting the benefits of a smarter integrated network of missiles within 5 years.
Dstl has just announced its biggest recruitment campaign in recent years and will also celebrate its 20th anniversary of service this weekend. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
02 Jul 21. Thailand pursues new tactical-class UAV, based on a Chinese design. Thailand’s Defence Technology Institute (DTI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Royal Thai Army to develop a medium-range tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the service’s Army Aviation Centre.
The new UAV – called D-Eyes 04 – is expected to replace the army’s Searcher Mk II UAVs made by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which have been in operation since the early 2000s.
According to its 29 June announcement, DTI will partner with the army to develop and test UAV prototypes, with production outsourced to private manufacturers when completed.
The proposed D-Eyes 04 design will be based on Chinese firm Beihang UAS’ CY-9 platform, which features a 7-metre-long twin-boom airframe with the engine positioned in the rear in a pusher-propulsion configuration, slightly swept-back wings that are about 14 metres in span, and a chin-mounted electro-optical sensor turret. Endurance is claimed to be up to 20 hours, although this will depend on whether the air vehicle is carrying its full payload capacity of 150 kg.
AMR was the first to report that Beihang entered into an agreement with DTI in November 2018 aimed at co-operation in areas such UAV research and development, production, and flight training. Representing DTI at the signing ceremony were top officials including General Maneerin, Chairman of DTI Board of Directors, Preecha Pradabmook, General Manager of DTI, Fu Junhui, General Manager of Beihang UAS, and Xiao Jiangyang, Deputy General Manager of Beihang UAS.
The D-Eyes 04 UAV is expected to be used by army artillery regiments as airborne battlefield surveillance and targeting assets, a role presently filled by the Searcher Mk II platforms.
DTI previously delivered the D-Eyes 02 mini-UAV to the Royal Thai Marine Corps for trials in December 2020. The institute also signed a separate MoU with the army for counter-UAV research and development in the same month. A prototype system was trialled in May 2021. (Source: AMR)
01 Jul 21. US Navy ditches futuristic railgun, eyes hypersonic missiles. The U.S. Navy has pulled the plug, for now, on a futuristic weapon that fires projectiles at up to seven times the speed of sound using electricity.
The Navy spent more than a decade developing the electromagnetic railgun and once considered putting them on the new, stealthy Zumwalt-class destroyers built at Maine’s Bath Iron Works.
But the Defense Department is turning its attention to hypersonic missiles to keep up with China and Russia, and the Navy cut funding for railgun research from its latest budget proposal.
“The railgun is, for the moment, dead,” said Matthew Caris, a defense analyst at consultancy Avascent Group.
The removal of funding suggests the Navy saw both challenges in implementing the technology as well as shortcomings in the projectiles’ range compared to hypersonic missiles, he said.
The Navy’s decision to pause research at year’s end frees up resources for hypersonic missiles, directed-energy systems (like lasers) and electronic warfare systems, said Lt. Courtney Callaghan, a Navy spokesperson. Information gleaned during testing will be retained in the event the Office of Naval Research wants to pick up where it left off in the future, she added.
All told, the Navy spent about $500m on research and development, according to Bryan Clark, an analyst at the Hudson Institute.
The technology was close to making the leap from science fiction to reality in the 21st century with the testing of prototypes. The concept held the possibility of providing an effective weapon at pennies on the dollars compared to smart bombs and missiles. That’s because railguns use electricity instead of gunpowder, or jet or rocket engines, to accelerate a projectile at six or seven times the speed of sound. That creates enough kinetic energy to destroy targets.
railgun prototype launcher at a test facility in Dahlgren, Va. (John F. Williams/U.S. Navy via AP)
But there were a number of problems. Those included the range of about 110 miles in testing. A Navy vessel could not employ the gun without putting itself within range of a barrage of enemy missiles. And its usefulness for missile defense was also limited by range and rate of fire, Clark said.
The idea dates back to the 1940s. But there have always been major hurdles because the parallel rails, or conductors, are subjected to massive electric current and magnetic forces that can cause damage after a few shots, said defense analyst Norman Friedman. A big question was always whether the gun could stay together during continuous firing, Friedman added.
A normal gun can be fired about 600 times before the barrel must be refurbished, but the barrel on the railgun prototype had to be replaced after about a dozen or two dozen shots were fired, Clark said.
A few years ago, the Navy was talking about putting the gun on the future warship Lyndon B. Johnson, the last of three stealthy destroyers. It’s nearing completion and builder trials at Bath Iron Works.
The 600-foot-long warship uses marine turbines similar to those that propel the Boeing 777 aircraft to help produce up to 78 megawatts of electricity for use in propulsion, weapons and sensors. That’s more than enough electricity for the railgun, and the ship has space following the cancellation of the advanced gun system, leaving the ship with no conventional cannon-based weapon.
Instead, the Navy is pursuing an offshoot of the railgun, a hypervelocity projectile, that can be fired from existing gun systems. (Source: Defense News)
30 Jun 21. Hornet presents its Remote-Controlled Weapon Stations for the first time in France at SOFINS 2021. The 2021 edition of SOFINS is the opportunity for Hornet to present its range of Hornet remote-controlled weapon stations, already chosen by the French Army to equip its new generation of combat vehicles, the Griffon, Jaguar and Serval.
Within the framework of the exhibition, Hornet wishes to contribute in its own way to the reflection on the evolution of the equipment of Special Forces vehicles. This reflection is done today by inviting discussion on the relevance of modern tools such as remotely operated turrets for Special Forces units, both in France and abroad.
The remote-controlled weapon stations of the Hornet range are very versatile products, combining an effector and latest generation sensors. This makes them the tool of choice for observation, reconnaissance and intelligence, but also for information sharing, blue/red force tracking, designation of enemy targets and indirect fire guidance. It can be a tool of choice for search patrols or deep attack groups, complementing traditional Special Forces skills.
In the configuration presented at SOFINS, the Hornet turret offers unique performance in a very limited space, with a weight of only 260 kg for the turret without its options. This weight limitation makes it possible to consider using it for long-range, autonomous missions with limited equipment and ammunition. The Hornet turrets are also incomparably more accurate than a circular-mounted weapon, particularly in movement. They are gyro-stabilised from the optronic unit, which gives them exceptional stability and accuracy. The probability of hitting on the first shot is enhanced by a sophisticated ballistic solution calculation system that takes into account various parameters such as weapon, ammunition type, range, target movement and vehicle behaviour. These different capabilities allow for the reduction of ammunition carriage where necessary, while still allowing for superior tactical effects.
Designed for conventional forces as part of the Scorpion programme, the Hornet RCWS can be adapted to the very specific employment framework of Special Forces, respecting the essence of Special Forces: using equipment in a different way to carry out their own missions.
Building on the experience of the Scorpion programme RCWS, Hornet now offers high-end remotely operated weapons systems with the most advanced technologies and capabilities. The current offering includes the Hornet, the flagship product of the new range, and the Hornet Lite, a lighter version with the same optronic systems. These RCWS fully enhance the capabilities of the vehicles equipped with them, taking them to fully new operational levels. All Hornet RCWS users will benefit from the feedback and possible upgrades to the range.
Hornet RCWS have been serving on the Army’s Griffon vehicles since 2019 and will be deployed on all new combat vehicles, starting with the Jaguar and Serval. The Hornets are at the heart of the collaborative combat capabilities offered by the Scorpion programme, with each of the RCWS equipping a unit’s vehicles being capable of reacting to a threat detected by another vehicle and engaging it. The Hornet RCWS will thus be at the heart of the Army’s operational deployments in the decades to come. Hornet was officially launched at IDEX 2021 in Abu Dhabi.
30 Jun 21. Rafael unveils: Sea Breaker. 5th Generation, Maritime & Land-based Long-Range Attack Weapon System. Sea Breaker utilizes Rafael’s technological innovations such as electro-optics, computer vision, Artificial Intelligence and decision-making algorithms for full operational capability in GNSS-denied environments for maritime superiority missions. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. unveils Sea BreakerTM, a 5th generation long range, autonomous, precision-guided missile system, enabling significant attack performance against a variety of high-value maritime and land targets.
Sea Breaker is a naval and artillery unit force-multiplier, designed to overcome the modern warfare arena challenges, using Rafael’s legacy of high-end precision-guided solutions.
Sea Breaker provides surgical, pin-point precision strikes from stand-off ranges of up to 300 km. It features an advanced IIR (Imaging Infra-Red) seeker, ideal for engagement of maritime and land targets, stationary or moving, in advanced Anti Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) arenas, and in littoral or brown water, including archipelago, as well as for engagements in which previous generation RF-seeker-based missiles are not effective.
Sea Breaker can be launched from naval platforms, varying in size, from fast attack missile boats, to corvettes and frigates. The land version is a central part of the shore defense, based on Rafael’s highly-mobile SPYDER launchers. The battery architecture supports standalone launchers, or operation as an integrated solution, with a command and control Unit (CCU) and various sensors, based on customer requirements.
Using Artificial Intelligence, Sea Breaker performs deep-learning and big data-based scene-matching, a unique combat-proven Rafael technology, enabling Automatic Target Acquisition (ATA) and Automatic Target Recognition (ATR). The system has full operational capability in GNSS-denied arenas, in all weather conditions. The missile is ECM immune and jam-resilient. Sea Breaker’s mission profile enables sea-skimming and terrain-following low-level flight above ground.
Flying at high subsonic speeds, Sea Breaker has a multi-directional, synchronized full sphere attack capability, based on predefined attack plans, according to waypoints, azimuth, impact angle and aim point selection, ensuring a high probability of mission success, with a 250 lb. penetration, blast and fragmentation warhead, making a single hit effective enough to neutralize a frigate-sized ship.
The missile’s datalink supports real-time man-in-the-loop decision-making and tactical updates. It also features a mid-flight abort capability and Battle Damage Assessment (BDA). To learn more about Sea Breaker, please click here: https://www.rafael.co.il/sea-breaker/
29 June 21. India-Russia joint venture BrahMos to ink defence deals of worth $1bn in 2021. The BrahMos Aerospace Limited, the joint venture between the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) of India and Russia’s Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPO Mashinostroyenia, plans to sign $1bn worth of new contracts by the end of this year.
Interacting with the media, Spokesperson of BrahMos Aerospace Limited said,“ We plan to sign a number of contracts soon. Thus, our total order portfolio will amount to $6bn by the end of this year.”
In terms of orders, 40 percent orders were placed by land forces followed by 30 percent orders by Navy and Air force each. Presently, the worth of BrahMos’ contracts signed in 2021 is more than $5bn.
Earlier this year, India and the Philippines had inked an agreement for a potential supply of BrahMos missiles. The missile system can be used for coastal defence and ground attack, is expected to boost the Philippine’s military firepower in the face of threats to its maritime territory.
Understanding BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile
A amalgamation of the names of Brahmaputra river and Moskva rivers, BrahMos missiles are designed, developed and produced by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture company set up by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Mashinostroyenia of Russia.
Multiple versions of the supersonic cruise missile, including those which can be fired from land, warships, submarines and Sukhoi-30 fighter jets have already been developed and successfully tested earlier. The ship-launched version of BrahMos and land-based system are in service of the Indian Navy and the Indian Army since 2005 and 2007 respectively.
Later, the air launched version Brahmos was successfully flight-tested for the first time from the IAF frontline fighter aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI against a sea-based target in the Bay of Bengal on November 22, 2017.
The BrahMos is a medium-range supersonic missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land-based platforms. It is considered to be the fastest supersonic missile in the world that can achieve a speed 2.8 times the speed of sound. The land attack version of BrahMos has the capability of cruising at 2.8 Mach speed and with the upgraded capability, the missile can hit targets at a range of up to 400 kilometers with precision. Advanced versions of range above 1,000 kilometers and speed up to 5 Mach are said to be under development.
Established in 1998, BrahMos Aerospace, specializes in producing cruise missiles and supporting equipment, such as launchers and missile guidance systems. (Source: Google/https://newsonair.com/)
29 Jun 21. Moog Australia joins sovereign guided weapons consortium.
The defence technology company has committed to supporting Defence’s push for sovereign guided weapons capability through collaboration with an industry consortium. Moog Australia is the latest defence company to join the Australian Missile Corporation (AMC) — a recently established subsidiary of munitions company NIOA — in a bid to support the Commonwealth government’s endeavour to build a sovereign guided weapons enterprise for the ADF. The consortium aims to foster cross-sector co-operation between industry, academia, state governments and Defence.
Moog joins a host of other industry partners, including:
- aerospace composites business Quickstep;
- propellant and rocket systems manufacturer Black Sky Aerospace;
- manufacturing technologies provider John Hart;
- fabrications solutions provider Allweld Manufacturing;
- automated supplier matching platform BenchOn;
- engineering firm Milspec Manufacturing;
- electronic solutions provider Thomas Global Systems;
- robotics and software developer Skyborne;
- materials technology company Archer Materials;
- flight operations and engineering company Air Affairs Australia; and
- electrical and control systems provider Sage.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has also expressed interest in supporting the AMC.
Robert Nioa, CEO of NIOA and the Australian Missile Corporation, welcomed Moog Australia to the team, noting the potential benefits of the collaboration.
‘’We are looking forward to partnering with Moog,” he said.
“They are a truly innovative company with deep experience in the design, manufacture and integration of high-end guided weapon systems.
“Moog’s commitment to ‘100 per cent quality, 100 per cent on time delivery’ is exactly the same winning mindset the AMC wants to cultivate in the guided weapons enterprise.”
Bryan O’Connor, managing director of Moog Australia, said the firm would leverage its experience delivering precision steering controls and propulsion systems for missiles, designed to travel up to hypersonic speeds.
“Similarly, Moog is excited to partner with the AMC in developing a sovereign guided weapons industrial base in Australia,” O’Connor added.
These latest collaborations come just over two months after Lockheed Martin Australia and Thales Australia finalised a teaming agreement to facilitate co-operation in the design, development and production of Lockheed Martin’s Long Range Anti-Ship Missile – Surface Launch (LRASM SL) variant.
The agreement will specifically focus on booster and rocket motor technologies. (Source: Defence Connect)
28 June 21. Kratos Successfully Completes Engine Testing for an Affordable and High Performance Turbine Engine. Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTOS) announced today that Kratos Turbine Technologies (KTT) Division has successfully completed a core engine test campaign under KTT’s Advanced Turbine Technologies for Affordable Mission (ATTAM) contract. This turbine engine development program is managed by the Turbine Engine Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/RQT). Testing of the engine core supports the development of small, affordable, high-performance jet engines for cruise missiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). During the test campaign, KTT successfully demonstrated key performance and operability targets of the core engine.
Stacey Rock, President of Kratos Turbine Technologies Division, said, “The successful core engine test demonstrates the great working relationship that KTT has with the AFRL Turbine Engine Division, and the desire from both parties to increase capability and lower cost of expendable turbine engine propulsion. We look forward to continuing to support AFRL in the development of transformative and affordable turbine engine technologies. All of Kratos is focused on supporting the United States warfighter and industrial base, including making significant investments in the development and production of next generation engines and supporting STEM opportunities in the USA.” (Source: ASD Network)
29 Jun 21. Airbus trials armed C295 gunship for persistent CAS. Airbus has flown an upgraded version of its armed C295 gunship that has been developed to provide persistent close air support (CAS). The company announced on 20 June that the C295 Armed ISR, as the version is named, recently conducted flight trials with eight laser-guided missiles and two laser-guided bombs dummies, located on four underwing hardpoints. These initial trials were designed to validate the aircraft’s mechanical and aerodynamic characteristics when fitted with such a weapons load.
“With the quality and safety of the modification ensured by Airbus as original equipment manufacturer, the C295 Armed ISR provides persistent surveillance with a diverse set of weapons for defensive and attack capabilities,” the company said, adding that it can carry out special operations missions, support ground troops, and neutralise targets detected during surveillance and patrol missions, and has a long endurance.
As noted by Airbus, the company signed a series of agreements with air-to-surface weapon suppliers at the Dubai Airshow 2017 to equip the C295. These agreements included a memorandum of understanding with Roketsan of Turkey and similar arrangements have been signed with Expal, Escribano and Equipaer of Spain, as well as Rheinmetall of Germany, and the US suppliers Nobles Worldwide and US Ordnance.
“Equipped with the last generation FITS [Fully Integrated Tactical System], the C295 Armed ISR incorporates different weaponry options available in kits that allow the operator to select the most appropriate option for their requirements: from machine guns, 27 mm autocannon, guided and unguided rockets, laser-guided missiles to laser guided bombs,” Airbus said. (Source: Jane’s)
28 Jun 21. South Korea approves development of indigenous C-RAM system. South Korea has formally approved a project to indigenously develop a counter-rocket artillery and mortar (C-RAM) system that is capable of protecting critical national infrastructure from North Korean long-range artillery, the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 28 June. The Defense Project Promotion Committee decided that the project, which is slated to begin in 2022 and be completed by 2035, has been provisionally budgeted at KRW2.89trn (USD2.56bn), according to DAPA. South Korea’s plan to develop its own C-RAM system had been mentioned in the Ministry of National Defense’s (MND’s) 2021–2025 Mid-Term Defense Plan, which was published in August 2020. The ministry said at the time that the indigenous C-RAM would be used to defend the Seoul Metropolitan Area, as well as key government and military facilities and infrastructure. According to the Yonhap News Agency, North Korea currently deploys about 1,000 artillery systems along the Military Demarcation Line, including six battalions of 170 mm self-propelled guns with a 54km range, as well as 10 battalions of 240 mm rocket launchers with a 60km range. In its 28 June announcement DAPA also said that the committee approved a draft strategy for the development and acquisition of a new type of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The project, valued at KRW1.28trn, will see the development of such a UAV between 2022 and 2033 for use on surveillance and reconnaissance missions over the Korean Peninsula. Approximately 70% of the peninsula is mountainous, which precludes the launch and recovery of UAVs requiring runways. (Source: Jane’s)
28 June 21. Iranian Suicide Drones in Kurdistan. Four explosive-laden drones hit locations northeast of Erbil early Saturday morning. The attack caused material damage, but there were no casualties.
“Three drones hit the house of a citizen near the village of Bragh in Erbil province and another drone landed in an unpopulated area on Mount Tarin,” Kurdistan Region’s counter-terrorism unit said in a statement Saturday afternoon.Two of the drones that hit the house in Bragh exploded and the other did not, the statement added.Security sources and eyewitnesses earlier told Rudaw that three drones had hit two houses in Bragh village, a few kilometres away from where the new US consulate is under construction. One of them did not explode. Another two other drones hit the village of Gomaspan, a senior government source had told Rudaw.
The counter-terrorism unit shared photos of the drones with Arabic phrases written on them: “Peace be upon you, Oh beauty of Iraq,” and “In the name of God, Qasim al-Jabbarin,” and “Owner of time,” and “Oh Zahra.”
Drones are a new weapon of Iranian-backed Iraqi militias who are blamed for rocket attacks on American interests across the country. (Source: UAS VISION/Rudaw)
28 June 21. NIOA, T-Worx sign new distribution agreement. NIOA and T-Worx Holdings have signed a distribution agreement for the supply, integration and support of T-Worx products in Australia and New Zealand.
The agreement is expected to provide end users and technology developers access to the weapon system digitisation and networking technology, designed to enable dismounted weapon systems and ancillary devices to become sensor and effector nodes within the battlefield network.
According to NIOA CEO Robert Nioa, the inclusion of the T-Worx Intelligent Rail within the US Army Next Generation Squad Weapon program is a clear signal of the direction of the small arms evolution.
“NIOA is proud to support T-Worx weapon digitisation products and technologies in support of next generation small arms and ‘Smart Rail’ compatible product developments,” he said.
Founded in regional Queensland in 1973, NIOA is the largest Australian owned weapons and munitions prime contractor. The company is investing $130m in domestic munitions and explosives manufacturing over the next five years.
As part of its commitment to the development of Australian sovereign capability, NIOA’s new partnership is tipped to bring T-Worx Intelligent Rail technology to the Australian and New Zealand defence markets.
According to Rick Sterrett, T-Worx CEO, the partnership with NIOA aimed to support the “digital rifle” efforts in Australia and New Zealand.
“Our team developed the Intelligent Rail (also referred to as the ‘Picatinny Smart Rail’) over the last 13 years for the US defence market, as well as for NATO, and the Smart Rail capability is now a requirement on the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) program,” Sterrett added.
“The power and data capability inherent in the Intelligent Rail makes small arms weapons ‘smart’, and allows these platforms to provide critical data to the soldier, squad and the battlefield commander.”
(Source: Defence Connect)
28 June 21. Russia successfully test launches new intercontinental ballistic missile – TASS cites source. Russia has successfully test launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the country’s northwest, the TASS news agency reported on Monday, citing a source in the defence industry. The launch took place in mid-June, the source said. (Source: Google/Reuters)
25 Jun 21. US Army hosts Javelin live-fire demo. The US Army recently fired four Javelin missiles, including three from different vehicles, during a recent demonstration at Redstone Test Center in Alabama.
During this late-May demo, three types of vehicles each outfitted with a different configuration of either Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace’s Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station-Javelin (CROWS-J) or its Protector RS6 Remote Weapon Station (RWS) each fired a missile, Kongsberg wrote in a 25 June announcement. These vehicles included QinetiQ North America’s Robotic Combat Vehicle-Light (RCV-L) prototype outfitted with CROWS-J, a 4×4 Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) outfitted with the RS6 RWS, and a Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV) with the RS6 RWS.
“Using both top-attack and direct-attack engagement trajectories, Javelin scored direct hits on tank hulk targets, positioned at 700 meters, 2,000 meters, and 3,250 meters away,” Lockheed Martin wrote in a separate announcement. Additionally, one Javelin was fired in its man-portable configuration.
“While Javelin was originally designed for one-man-portable use, this firing demonstrated its versatile platform integration capabilities,” Javelin Joint Venture Vice President Dave Pantano said. “The four-shot demonstration also showed attendees that Javelin maintains its precision and performance, regardless of configuration or platform type.”
Lockheed Martin noted that during one engagement a Javelin F-model was used – a weapon designed to provide “improved performance” against “soft targets”.
This recent demo comes as the army begins shakedown testing with its RCV prototypes including the four light configuration vehicles. The RCV-Ls have now received government-development autonomy software, a new radio, and can be paired up with modified Bradleys that are called Mission Enabler Technologies–Demonstrators (MET-Ds) for manned-unmanned teaming work, Major General Ross Coffman, the director of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team, told Janes on 15 June. (Source: Jane’s)
25 Jun 21. KONGSBERG with Javelin Joint Venture Demonstrate Future Lethality During Flawless Live Fire Exercise. In collaboration with the U.S. Army, KONGSBERG Defence and Aerospace and the Javelin Joint Venture (JJV) conducted a four-shot, multi-platform Javelin demonstration at the U.S. Army Redstone Test Center in Alabama on May 25, 2021. Three different vehicles were each equipped with different configurations of the KONGSBERG Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station-Javelin (CROWS-J) and Protector RS6 Remote Weapon Station (RWS).
“KONGSBERG has solidified its position as the remote weapon station of choice for Javelin deployment across a broad range of platforms. Our remote weapon stations are powerful force multipliers, especially given that we’re delivering a Multi-User Multi-Station (MUMS) capability to facilitate advanced target sharing and cooperative engagement,” said Jason Toepfer, director for Army Business Development (US) at KONGSBERG Defence and Aerospace. “Our continued investments in the architecture and platforms overall maximize the U.S. military’s current inventory, training and provisioning while providing groundbreaking advancements in capability.”
During the demonstration, three different KONGSBERG remote weapon station configurations on three unique ground platforms fired Javelin, successfully engaging targets each time. Using QinetiQ North America’s Robotic Combat Vehicle-Light (RCV-L), KONGSBERG executed a fully remote firing of Javelin using CROWS Tech Refresh control components. This was a first for the Army’s official RCV-L platform and demonstrated Tech Refresh’s backwards compatibility with legacy CROWS systems.
Another firing demonstrated KONGSBERG’s capability to fire Javelin on a 4×4 (JLTV) platform from a previously qualified and fielded system within the inventory on an 8×8 platform – the same KONGSBERG RWS that is currently fielded with Stryker brigades in Germany.
Finally, KONGSBERG continued to showcase its PROTECTOR RS6 (30x113mm) platform by successfully firing javelin from a lightweight, Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV). The RS6 RWS is the system selected by the U.S. Marine Corps for the Marine Air Defense Integrated System (MADIS) program. This Javelin firing is one of several conducted from this station and further demonstrates the inherent flexibility of the RS6 design, allowing users to address a broad range of threats and operational needs – C-UAS, SHORAD, ATGM, Maneuver Support, Manned / Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) – from a single system.
With more than 20,000 systems delivered worldwide and 14 years of CROWS experience, KONGSBERG will continue to support the soldiers with new systems, capabilities and features meeting tomorrow’s requirements while maintaining, supporting and keeping up to date a wide range of CROWS variants and support equipment. All CROWS and RWS systems are produced in the KONGSBERG Johnstown, PA facility. Continuing the execution of this contract secures 3,000+ jobs, both directly and through the KONGSBERG U.S. supply chain. With systems sold to 26 nations, KONGSBERG is the world-leading provider of remote weapon stations.
24 Jun 21. Rostec subsidiary develops new aviation decoy ammunition. Dubbed ‘L376-2 Yagel’, the new trap cartridge will be presented at the MILEX-2021 International Exhibition. Rostec subsidiary Tekhnodinamika Holding has developed a decoy cartridge to protect fighter jets from smart missile systems. Known as ‘L376-2 Yagel’, the new trap cartridge offers enhanced protection to aircraft with an optical guidance system.
It is designed for the airborne defence complex of military aviation and its key feature includes protection of the aircraft from missiles with ‘kinematic target selection’.
The development will be presented at the MILEX-2021 International Exhibition of Arms and Military Equipment, which opened in Minsk on 23 June. It will display more than 300,000 models of equipment and weapons.
A Rostec weapons cluster speaker said: “New trap cartridges in combination with advanced electronic warfare and tactical techniques can significantly reduce the likelihood of hitting combat aircraft by both anti-aircraft and aircraft missiles with an optical guidance system equipped with kinematic target selection.
“The product is twice as good as foreign counterparts in terms of operating time, radiation power and the degree of protection of the aircraft. The cartridge is used at altitudes up to 20,000m, at speeds up to 1,500km/hr.” Tekhnodinamika holding general director Igor Nasenkov said that the cartridge is designed in a 50mm calibre. (Source: army-technology.com)
25 Jun 21. LIG Nex1 opens assembly/inspection facility for South Korea’s L-SAM air-defence system. South Korean company LIG Nex1 announced on 25 June that it has opened a facility that will specialise in the development of components as well as in the assembly and inspection of the Long-range Surface-to-Air Missile (L-SAM) system being developed by Seoul as part of the Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system.
The company said in a statement that the new dedicated facility, which was inaugurated two days earlier and is located in the city of Gimcheon in North Gyeongsang Province, was built over a period of 14 months at a cost of KRW9.2bn (USD8.15m).
LIG Nex1 said that development of the L-SAM, which is being carried out under the auspices of South Korea’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD), is slated for completion in 2024, adding that the system will be equipped with two types of interceptor missiles: a ballistic missile interceptor and an aircraft interceptor.
As Janes reported in September 2020, the aircraft interceptor resembles the interceptor used on the Medium-range Surface-to-Air Missile II (M-SAM II). However, the L-SAM’s missile is larger as it is intended for use against high-flying aircraft out to ranges of 150 km. Computer images of the L-SAM aircraft interceptor released at the time by the ADD revealed that it will be powered by a dual-pulse solid-propellant rocket motor, and feature larger control wings than those on the M-SAM II missile.
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.