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14 Jul 21. Female Body Armor Secures Hanscom AFB Defenders. Airmen assigned to the 66th Security Forces Squadron at Hanscom Air Force Base recently received the newest issue of body armor designed specifically for female Airmen. The recently-developed armor is a lighter weight than previous editions and features a curved chest plate and shorter torso size. An adjustable corset tightens to fit the wearer, distinguishing it from a one-size-fits-all piece of equipment.
“It’s exciting to feel represented as a female, and it’s welcoming to know that we have equipment that was made with us in mind,” said Airman Madalyn Duke, 66th SFS entry controller.
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Female Fitment Program Office began work on the armor design in 2020 as part of the Air Force chief of staff’s initiative to optimize uniforms for female Airmen.
Mobility managers from the 66th Logistics Readiness Squadron worked directly with Air Force logistic officials to secure 30 sets of armor for Hanscom AFB Airmen and reservists throughout New England in early June.
“A fighting force is only as good as the equipment it’s given, and fitting the right equipment to the right person is definitely the right move,” said Lt. Col. Yonca Nice, 66th SFS commander. “The new armor will make our female fighting force safer and more efficient with higher morale.”
During initial training with the new armor June 29, Hanscom security forces members said they noticed a difference in the equipment compared to the standard male-fit predecessor.
Airman 1st Class Brittany Senft, 66th SFS entry controller, said the lightweight material kept the armor in place, preventing the vest from hanging and exposing vital organs.
“Everything felt very secure and it fit to my body,” she said. “I felt confident it was doing its job to protect me.”
The defenders’ male counterparts are also glad to see the new armor in play.
“It’s reassuring to know our wingmen have equipment that fits them correctly,” said Senior Airman Jayson Page, 66th SFS desk sergeant. “Body armor, specifically, is critical to our mission and it can save your life.”
Duke said she will continue to break in the new equipment and looks forward to accelerated change toward a more inclusive force.
“It’s inspiring to know that there’s a whole new generation of female Airmen who will have the option to use equipment made for us,” she said. (Source: ASD Network/ USAF)
15 Jul 21. US Marines Test Flying, Remote-Controlled Grenades. With hands held overhead, the Marine waits for the grenade to spin up, and then releases it into the air. With a drone and its four rotors attached to the top of its body, the grenade takes off, a gentle flight for the typically hand-tossed munition. Later in those same exercises, the grenade, still unexploded in this exercise, flies back for a landing, and the Marine catches it by a tether. This scene took place July 7 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, as part of a training exercise. The flying grenade is a Drone 40 modular quadcopter from Australian manufacturer DefendTex. It can be either a scout or a loitering grenade.
What sets the Drone 40 apart from a host of other small drone designs is the long, vertical fuselage. Unlike most quadcopters, which are wider than they are all, the Drone 40 is alien in appearance. The shape of its body, and the name, both refer to the 40mm grenade launcher, a standardized way to hurl an explosive in battle. The Drone 40 can be both hand-tossed, as in the video above, or it can be fired as a grenade from a launcher.
At Camp Lejeune, the grunts of an experimental infantry battalion tested gear, including the Drone 40, to see what the Corps could learn, and if the Corps could adapt it for use in the future.
The origins of the Drone 40 trace back to a specific problem facing the Australian military. As Drone 40 maker DefendTex explained it in 2019, Australian soldiers had rifles accurate to 1,600 feet, but were fighting against foes in places like Iraq and Afghanistan with weapons deadly at over 2,600 feet. Launching a grenade is one way to close that gap. Another way would be to fly a grenade immediately to where the enemy is positioned, detonating it on contact. When used this way, the drone becomes an expendable weapon, destroyed in the blast.
Yet Drone 40 can also swap out the explosive payload for a handful of other options. An ISR payload, which stands for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, consists of a camera that can stream video to the control tablet of its remote human pilot. Using the drone to find an enemy position, and then returning to send it as a grenade, is one way having the Drone 40 could facilitate battle.
Every Drone 40 is battery-powered, and depending on weight and flight time, can be airborne for something between 30 and 60 minutes. At its fastest, the drone can travel nearly 45 mph, and DefendTex claims it can operate at a range of up to 12 miles, far eclipsing the gap in rifle ranges. (Source: UAS VISION/ Popular Science)
16 Jul 21. Rheinmetall presents first full concept for the next generation of the Bundeswehr’s Future Soldier – Expanded System. Rheinmetall has presented the German Bundeswehr with a first complete concept for the third generation of the Future Soldier – Expanded System, or IdZ-ES. The presentation was the initial outcome of a comprehensive study contract awarded to Rheinmetall in March 2021. The purpose of the study is to examine and evaluate potential improvements in the version of the IdZ-ES already in service with the Bundeswehr, with the objective of producing a complete concept for a 3rd generation IdZ-ES soldier system.
The complete concept will reveal potential implementation risks, cost drivers and the degree of maturity of a mission-oriented system. It will serve the Bundeswehr as a basis for preparing solution proposals for procure¬ment of a 3rd generation IdZ-ES. The study is to be complete by 30 May 2022. Depending on the outcome of the study, it could result in another significant contract for Rheinmetall, as the Bundeswehr has a continuing need for advanced digital soldier systems.
The study encompasses seven work packages, which together comprise the complete IdZ-ES system, i.e., the core system and the periphery. These of course include the command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) functions, which, among other things, are being examined regarding planned conformity with the Digitized Land-Based Operations (D-LBO) programme. Also being taken into account are the subsystems clothing, protection and load-bearing equipment; optics and optronics; and the links to ground vehicles and aircraft as well as weapons and aiming devices. Intermediate reports on the individual topics are to be submitted on 22 November 2021 and 30 May 2022. A final report on all activities covered in the study is also due on 30 May 2022.
During the contract study, test and trial samples will be fabricated. Rheinmetall Electronics is serving as general contractor in the project, with numerous companies participating as subcontractors.
The study contract is based on two design statuses: the IdZ-ES 68 platoon systems and the System Panzergrenadier. Consisting of the IdZ-ES VJTF and the new, enhanced version of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle, the System Panzergrenadier will be deployed by NATO’s spearhead formation, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force VJTF 2023, which will be furnished by the Bundeswehr. In March 2021 the supreme commander of the German Army declared the System Panzergrenadier “ready for action”.
15 Jul 21. Portuguese Army seeks to modernise ground-based air defences. The Portuguese Army expects to receive its first platoon of four vehicle-mounted Very Short Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) systems between 2024 and 2025, Major Ricardo Jorge Parcelas Araújo e Silva, area co-ordinator at the army’s Forces Planning Division, told Janes. A second platoon of four VSHORAD systems is scheduled to be received after 2026. A request for proposal (RFP) is scheduled to be issued by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) by September, another army source told Janes. Interested competitors will have three months to deliver bids. A sales agreement between the Portuguese Army and the NSPA in 2017 sought to buy, for EUR32m (plus EUR9m added in November 2020), a total of eight systems consisting of eight missile launchers, ammunition, eight 4×4 armoured tactical vehicles or eight 6×6 high-mobility trucks with armoured cabin, and two vehicle-mounted or trailer-mounted short-range 3D local warning radars. Either vehicle type would have mounts for a 7.62 mm and 12.7 mm machine gun, or 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. The VSHORAD systems are to arm the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battery of the Mechanized Brigade and the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion of the Intervention Brigade, and will be integrated with the SICCA3 anti-aircraft artillery command-and-control system. Both were equipped with the legacy M48A2E1/A3 Chaparral. The RFP also includes eight weapon terminals to integrate legacy Stinger manportable air defense systems (MANPADS) with the SICCA3 system. The SICCA3 received by the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion in September 2016 consists of a sheltered Teknel Fire Detection Center (FDC) and Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and Arquus Kerax 4×4 trucks. (Source: Jane’s)
14 Jul 21. Final assembly under way of four US Army ERCA platforms. The US Army is assembling its first four Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) prototypes at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, and anticipates using at least one of the weapons during the upcoming ‘Project Convergence 2021′ exercise. Brigadier General John Rafferty, the head of the Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team, told Janes on 9 July about the ongoing effort to field an incremental upgrade to BAE Systems’ Paladin M109A7 self-propelled howitzer, which includes a 58-calibre, 30 ft (9.1 m) gun tube that is designed to launch 155mm rounds out to 70km. To date the service has been test firing an early version of the weapon that it dubs the XM1299 prototype zero. Different army deports have delivered various platform parts to Picatinny Arsenal for final assembly, the Brig Gen Rafferty explained. Once assembly is complete the army intends to use at least one of these ERCA prototypes at its Project Convergence exercise at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in November. This will be the second time the service has hosted the event, which this year will include its sister services in a bid to showcase ways to help commanders make quicker decisions via the use of joint, multidomain capabilities. Meanwhile, the service is moving forward with the design and testing of future ERCA capabilities including a 23-round autoloader and looking for alternative ways to increase the weapon’s rate of fire. (Source: Jane’s)
15 Jul 21. USAF conducts first warhead arena test for AGM-183A ARRW. The US Air Force (USAF) 780th Test Squadron, based at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Florida has successfully conducted the first arena test of the warhead intended to equip the Lockheed Martin AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) prototype conventional hypersonic glide weapon system. The AGM-183A ARRW is a rapid prototyping middle-tier acquisition (MTA) programme for the USAF that leverages performance data from the separate Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)/USAF Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) programme. The ARRW programme plans to develop an operational prototype, with a solid-fuel booster and conventional ordnance package, which will be carried on the B-52H strategic bomber. The USAF’s Global Strike Command is also evaluating integration of the AGM-183A on the external weapons stores of the B-1 Lancer strategic bomber.
Intended to collect lethality data on developmental AGM-183A weapon, the detonation test was designed and conducted “to ensure the customer’s data requirements were met using new and improved test tools, technologies, and techniques”, according to a USAF statement released on 7 July.
“The unique nature and shape of the warhead required a lot of firsts for everyone involved,” said 780th Test Squadron’s David Spiker, who managed the test. “Some of the firsts were the new and unorthodox design and construction of the test arena, the test procedures and equipment, the warhead’s fragmentation data collecting, and the post-test data processing to ensure the warhead’s effects have been accurately characterised,” the USAF said. The air force did not disclose where or when the test was conducted. Further tests are expected this year.
The prototype warhead arena test announcement marks another milestone in the accelerated development of the AGM-183A ARRW programme, and precedes an anticipated second booster vehicle flight test attempt for the weapon system later this month. (Source: Jane’s)
15 Jul 21. During a multi-day demonstration at Fort Benning, Georgia, KONGSBERG Defence and Aerospace used four different remote weapon systems to demonstrate future lethality and cutting-edge capabilities which can be leveraged by the more than 17,000 systems already fielded in the U.S. military’s current inventory. This also was the first ever demonstration where multiple targets were engaged using multiple unmanned platforms simultaneously. The ground-breaking demonstration was held at the U.S. Army Maneuver Center for Excellence and spanned July 14-15, 2021. Two light combat vehicles and two unmanned ground vehicles were each equipped with different configurations of the KONGSBERG CROWS-Javelin (CROWS-J) and Protector RS6 Remote Weapon Station (RWS), all while networked to one another through the Common Protector Interface (CPI), the standard in remote lethality architecture for U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps remote weapon systems.
“KONGSBERG remote weapon systems are powerful force multipliers, especially with the addition of Multi-User, Multi Station (MUMS) capabilities and network advancements that bring incredible value to the U.S. military and allied forces as we continue to earn and prove our position as the remote weapon system of choice for deployment across a broad range of platforms,” said Scott Burk, vice president of Business Development 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. We wanted to demonstrate new capabilities – rather than competencies we’ve long ago qualified for the Department of Defense – and we are pleased the engagements were flawless.”
QinetiQ North America’s Robotic Combat Vehicle-Light (RCV-L) unmanned vehicle was among the platforms used, demonstrating advanced network lethality capabilities and innovations that meet the needs of the Army and other customers well beyond the next decade. The CROWS systems also simultaneously demonstrated Tech Refresh’s backwards compatibility with legacy CROWS systems.
Further, KONGSBERG continued to showcase its PROTECTOR RS6 platform by successfully firing XM914 (30x113mm) from a lightweight, Flyer Defense 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 firing followed immediately after the successful firing of Javelin anti-tank missiles from the same systems for the US Army at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama in May. This further validates the inherent flexibility of the RS6 design, which allows 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.
KONGSBERG Defence & Aerospace
KONGSBERG Defence & Aerospace, a subsidiary of KONGSBERG, is Norway’s premier supplier of defence and aerospace-related systems and solutions. The company’s portfolio comprises products and systems for command and control, information, data handling and surveillance, communications solutions, space technology, missiles and remotely controlled systems. KONGSBERG Defence & Aerospace also has extensive capabilities within advanced composite manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul within the aircraft and helicopter market.
KONGSBERG KONGSBERG (OSE-ticker: KOG) is an international, leading global technology corporation delivering mission-critical systems and solutions with extreme performance for customers that operate under extremely challenging conditions. We work with nations, businesses and research environments to push the boundaries of technology development in industries such as space, offshore and energy, merchant marine, defence and aerospace, and more. KONGSBERG has about 11,000 employees located in more than 40 countries, creating a total revenue of NOK 25.6bn in 2020.
14 Jul 21. BAE Systems readies extended range 155 mm ammo for UK. BAE Systems has revealed to Janes that it conducted its first demonstration of its new 155 mm extended range (ER) high-explosive (HE) artillery projectile, which was developed using some UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) funding and some internal funding. The demonstrations occurred in late 2020 but were not revealed until now. The trials were carried at the QinetiQ Eskmeals artillery proving range in the northern United Kingdom with a BAE Systems AS90 155 mm/39 calibre self-propelled (SP) artillery system and a 155 mm/52 calibre firing stand to show compatibility with the UK MoD’s forthcoming Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) acquisition programme. BAE systems said that, when fired from the AS90’s 155 mm/39 calibre ordnance, the 155 mm ER HE projectile has a range greater than 30,000 m, which would provide a step change in capability over the currently deployed 155 mm L15A4 HE projectile. The company added that, when fired from the 155 mm/52 calibre range stand, the projectile proved a maximum range beyond 40 km. The new 155 mm ER HE has a payload of about 10 kg and achieves the increase in range via a base bleed (BB) unit that was designed and manufactured at the company’s Glascoed facility. The 155 mm ER HE trial was done using a European in-service modular charge system (MCS). Demonstration and firing trials of the 155 mm ER HE were completed in 2020, and in November 2020 the company was awarded a contract under the UK’s existing ammunition contract, “a tasking to qualify the 155 ER HE projectile in the UK service environment. This programme started in 2020”, a company spokesperson told Janes. (Source: Jane’s)
14 Jul 21. A landmine-sniffing rat named in honour of a hero deminer and former British soldier is continuing his legacy 25 years after his murder. Howes, the landmine-sniffing rat, has just started her new job clearing the deadly legacy of conflict in Cambodia.
She is named in honour of Christopher Howes, a deminer who was murdered, with his colleague Houen Hourth, by the Khmer Rouge in 1996.
Chris and Houen were working with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning British landmine charity the Mines Advisory Group (MAG).
They were kidnapped along with their team on 26 March 1996. Chris and Houen successfully urged the release of the team, offering to stay with their captors to secure their colleagues’ freedom.
They were both murdered days later by Khmer Rouge guerillas. Chris was just 36, Houen not yet 20.
“Chris and Houen were killed while carrying out their life-saving work freeing communities from the fear of landmines,” says MAG’s Cambodia country director, Alexey Kruk. “They were selfless and brave — we remember them as heroes.”
Christopher, who served with the Royal Engineers for seven years before joining MAG, was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal in 2001.
“He was passionate about the landmine cause,” remembers Pat Phillips, Christopher’s sister. “He always assured us he was careful at his job and wouldn’t be hurt, but murder was another thing.”
Now, 25 years later, Howes, the HeroRAT, is joining a team of landmine-sniffing rats working in Cambodia with MAG.
Pat is pleased to see Christopher’s legacy honoured; “The void left in our lives by my brother’s needless murder is undiminished. He had so much more to give. But to see his name and his
life-saving work continue is a fitting tribute to a loyal, brave and exceptional man.”
Howes was trained by APOPO, a Belgian charity that made international news last year when its landmine-sniffing rat Magawa won a PDSA Gold Medal bravery award. Magawa retired earlier this month.
“She is an African giant pouched rat perfectly suited to sniffing out landmines,” explains Christophe Cox, APOPO’s CEO: “Landmines remain as painful and dangerous reminders of the past. HeroRATs like Howes significantly speed up landmine detection using their amazing sense of smell and excellent memory. Unlike metal detectors, the rats ignore scrap metal and only sniff out explosives making them fast and efficient landmine detectors. Fate has brought Howes back to Chris’ team to continue the good work he began. Only with strong partnerships like these can we hope to keep the promise to declare as many countries as possible landmine free by 2025.”
Howes is following in the footsteps of her award-winning colleague Magawa. She is already active and joined the MAG-APOPO project on June 1st.
It was Magawa who inspired Mark and Cheryl Appleby, old school friends of Christopher’s, to support the charity when they saw APOPO’s work in action during a mission whilst in Cambodia to pay tribute to their friend.
During that visit, Cheryl and Mark also brought Chris’s story to the charity’s attention and persuaded APOPO to name Howes in his honour.
MAG has worked in Cambodia since 1992 and has found and destroyed more than 314,000 landmines and unexploded bombs and cleared almost 112 square kilometres of safe land back to communities.
APOPO has worked in Cambodia in partnership with the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) since 2014 and has found and destroyed 17,718 landmines and unexploded bombs and released almost 23 square kilometres of safe land back to communities.
MAG and APOPO have been working in collaboration in Cambodia since 2020.
13 Jul 21. SIG SAUER Introduces M400 SWITCHBLADE Rifle Caliber Pistol. SIG SAUER announced the expansion of the M400 series with the introduction of the SIG SAUER M400 SWITCHBLADE, which brings the performance features of the popular M400 SDI platforms – that were purpose-built for competition shooters – to this rifle caliber pistol.
“The M400 SWITCHBLADE brings an entirely new level of performance to the M400 product family with unmatched flexibility and capability,” said Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales, SIG SAUER, Inc. “The pistol features fully ambidextrous controls to include the charging handle, selector, and unique to the SWITCHBLADE, the bolt catch and release for seamless transitions from hand to hand and rapid deployment of the catch. Additionally, the new MAGPUL™ BSL brace offers improved stability, and the rigid handguard is designed to withstand the weight of maximum accessory installation, truly making the M400 SWITCHBALDE the ultimate performance pistol.”
The SIG SAUER M400 SWITCHBLADE is an aluminum frame rifle caliber pistol featuring a Cerakote Titanium Elite finish, with a telescoping MAGPUL™ BSL Brace, an 11.5” cold hammer-forged carbon steel tapered barrel for easy suppressor installation with a three-prong flash hider, and a rigid free-floating handguard with M-LOK™ accessory rail that installs with a clamp system and designed to eliminate deflection from the added weight of accessory installation. The pistol offers fully ambidextrous controls including the bolt catch, charging handle, and selector switch, has a 2-stage Matchlite Duo Trigger, and comes optics-ready. The pistol is chambered in 5.56 NATO and ships with a thirty-round magazine.
Overall length: 30 inches
Overall height: 7.5 inches
Overall width: 2.5 inches
Barrel length: 11.5 inches
Barrel twist: 1:7
The SIG SAUER M400 SWITCHBLADE pistol is now shipping and available at retailers.
13 Jul 21. India’s BrahMos supersonic cruise missile test-firing reportedly fails. The test firing of India’s BrahMos supersonic cruise missile off the Odisha coast in the country has reportedly resulted in a failure. The test-firing of India’s BrahMos supersonic cruise missile off the Odisha coast in the country has reportedly resulted in a failure.
Indian news agency ANI has reported that the missile fell soon after it took off on 12 July.
Sources familiar with the matter told the news agency that an extended range version of the missile was being tested.
This version of the missile can hit targets up to 450km.
Sources told ANI: “The missile fell off very shortly after the launch this morning.
“The reasons for the failure would be analysed by a joint team of scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation and BrahMos aerospace corporation.”
The exact cause is unknown and will be determined only after a complete test analysis.
BrahMos missile is developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture (JV) between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia (NPOM).
Named after two rivers, the Brahmaputra in India and the Moskva in Russia, the BrahMos missile is designed for launch against ships and land-based targets.
The BrahMos missile strike range has now increased to more than 400km. The original version has a range of around 290km and has already been inducted into the armed forces.
In November last year, the Indian Army carried out the test firing of the land-attack version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.
13 Jul 21. Northrop Grumman Builds Hypersonic Center of Excellence to Support National Security. Facility to support full lifecycle production from design to integration. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has broken ground on a Hypersonics Center of Excellence to support the U.S. military and its allies in the fight against evolving threats. Through its investments in digital engineering and smart infrastructure at its Elkton, Maryland facility, Northrop Grumman will provide full lifecycle production for hypersonic weapons, from design and development to production and integration. Northrop Grumman has broken ground on a new engineering and hypersonic production facility at Elkton that will support full lifecycle production for hypersonic weapons.
“Hypersonic weapons protect our warfighters by offering higher speeds, longer ranges, optimal performance and the ability to combat a threat with as much distance in between them and the threat as possible,” said Rebecca Torzone, vice president, missile products, Northrop Grumman. “Our new hypersonics production facility will optimize our development efficiency, drive affordability, and ultimately deliver weapons to our warfighters faster.”
The new 60,000-square foot facility will feature state-of-the-art production technology and will implement digital engineering best practices that will result in increased agility and the ability to respond to changes in technology or customer mission needs quickly.
Northrop Grumman plans to automate case preparation and non-destructive inspection (i.e. X-Ray) technology, as well as deploy autonomous guided vehicles to improve safety and reliability. These new offerings will also drive demand for additional technically skilled high-wage jobs, engineers and other professional roles at the Elkton facility. Construction is expected to conclude by 2023.
Northrop Grumman’s heritage in Elkton dates back to 1948. With its aerothermal research and testing facility, our Elkton campus designs and manufactures systems and controls for some of the nation’s most complex defense and space systems.
13 Jul 21. Australia releases RFI for Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise. HMAS Arunta fires an Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile off the coast of Western Australia to test its missile systems after undergoing the Anzac Midlife Capability Assurance Program upgrade. Photo: Defence
The Department of Defence has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise announced by the Prime Minister n 31 March this year. The RFI closes on 2 August.
The purpose of the RFI is to seek feedback from industry and academia to inform subsequent decisions by Defence, including defining the overall strategy for this project, identifying commercial models to support the government’s strategy and identifying potential industry partners to work with the Commonwealth. It identifies three key questions:
- Preferred commercial models and the potential role of an initial strategic industry partner
- Industry readiness
- Acceleration opportunities
The last two represent an opportunity for targeted R&D by industry, academia and DST Group. The RFI also explicitly seeks out feedback from SMEs on their existing and planned capabilities, how they might support the establishment of a sovereign GWEO capability and to identify areas for further Commonwealth focus and investment.
An online briefing will be held to provide further information on the Enterprise and RFI process – details will be published on AusTender when they become available. (Source: Rumour Control)
09 Jul 21. Turkey’s Roketsan develops missile to replace Raytheon weapon. Turkey’s state-controlled missile-maker Roketsan has developed a supersonic, anti-radiation missile for the TF-X, the country’s indigenous fighter jet in the making. The missile, dubbed Akbaba (or “vulture” in English), was included in the ammunitions list of the TF-X at a Turkish Air Force briefing on June 30. The Akbaba program is classified, and Roketsan’s website does not mention the technology.
“We cannot provide any information on the Akbaba project due to secrecy for national security reasons,” Roketsan told Defense News on July 8.
But a company official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Akbaba missiles will replace the batch of about 100 AGM-88 HARM missiles in the Air Force’s inventory.
American firm Raytheon Technologies builds the AGM-88 HARM, which is also a high-speed, anti-radiation missile used to seek and destroy radar-equipped air defense systems.
An Air Force official said the Akbaba will be used by the 151st “Bronze” Squadron — a unit that specializes in using the HARM weapons when operating F-16C/D Fighting Falcons.
A defense procurement source said the contract value for the Akbaba is unknown because quantity has not been determined.
“We have about 100 AGM-88 HARMs, which will be replaced by the Akbaba. That would make a contract of about $50m. But we may have follow-on orders bigger than the original,” he said. “This is an open-ended program.”
The official also said the final quantities and the contract value will depend on the progress of the TF-X program. (Source: Defense News)
08 Jul 21. SmartGunz, LLC Announces Pre-Sales Ordering Availability of 9mm Sentry® Pistol. Tom Holland, president of SmartGunz, LLC, today announced pre-sales ordering availability of the company’s 9mm smart gun Sentry® pistol. An initial 10% discounted retail price is being offered for law enforcement and corrections agencies at $2,695.00 (single item purchase, additional quantity discounts provided) while the regular (civilian) retail price is $2,995.00 per unit. Product deliveries are anticipated to begin sometime during 4th quarter 2021. The 9mm Sentry® pistol is the company’s flagship smart gun technology firearm for use in prisoner transfer / transport as well as civilian home defense applications.
The 9mm Sentry® features SmartGunz’s patent pending lock-out technology that is integrated with an RFID chip contained in a glove worn by the officer / owner. The officer must depress the grip safety on the firearm while wearing an RFID-enabled glove to permit firing. This helps to ensure that each SmartGunz Sentry firearm fires each and every time when it is supposed to AND ONLY when it is supposed to!About SmartGunz, LLC:
SmartGunz, LLC’s sole mission is to save law enforcement and civilian lives. SmartGunz, LLC believes that one way to save lives lost from gunfire is to offer smart gun firearms technology where the firearm can only be operated by its intended user. (Source: PR Newswire)
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.