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09 Oct 20. HDA shows concept images of AS9 SPH and AS10 AARV for Australian Army. After being selected as the preferred supplier to the Australian Army (AA) of 30 155 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) and 15 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles (AARVs), Hanwha Defense Australia (HDA) has shown concept images of the Huntsman AS9 and AS10 systems it plans to supply to the service.
The images show the vehicles, which appear to be almost identical to the K9 Thunder SPH and K10 AARV they are based on, in Australian Defence Force (ADF) camouflage, although no details were provided by the company about the Australia-specific modifications.
That said, the AS9 SPH was shown fitted with a remote weapon station (RWS) mounting what appears to be a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun (HMG). The K9 Thunder is normally fitted with a manually operated 12.7 HMG. Moreover, it seems the AS9 features additional armour.
Janes obtained the images on 8 October, the same day Canberra issued a request for tender to HDA – a wholly owned subsidiary of South Korea’s Hanwha Group – to build and maintain the vehicles and their supporting systems and progress the AA’s Protected Mobile Fires programme under Project Land 8116 Phase 1.
More than a month earlier, on 3 September, Australian Minister of Defence Linda Reynolds had announced that the future SPHs and AARVs are expected to be produced and maintained at Geelong near Melbourne, creating up to 350 jobs to deliver “this critical capability” to the ADF.
According to Australia’s 2020 Force Structure Plan, which was released in July, the cost of the initial phase of the project is estimated at between AUD900–1.3bn (USD658–950m). (Source: Jane’s)
09 Oct 20. France to arm future OPVs with RAPIDFire Naval CIWS. The 10 offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) to be acquired for the French Navy under the Patrouilleurs Océanique (PO) programme will be armed with the Thales/Nexter RAPIDFire Naval multirole close-in weapon system (CIWS), Commander Ghislain Deleplanque, head of the French Navy’s Protection & Safeguarding Office, Future Naval Programs, revealed during the Defence iQ’s OPV International online conference.
The PO programme was formally launched in June by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces, with design activity currently being carried out by Naval Group. An acquisition and construction contract has yet to be placed.
The RAPIDFire Naval CIWS developed by Thales and Nexter comprises a non-penetrating gun mount fitted with the CTA International 40CTAS (40 mm Cased Telescoped Ammunition System) and an optronic fire-control system, an ammunition magazine for around 140 ready-to-fire rounds, gun control equipment and an automatic ammunition handling system. It can function either in an integrated or autonomous mode.
The gyrostabilised gun has a firing rate up to 200 rds/min with a typical burst against air threats of up to 10 anti-aerial air burst rounds, and an effective range up to 4,000 m and up to 2,500 m against surface threats using point detonating, air burst, and armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot rounds.
The 10 OPVs are scheduled to be commissioned between 2025 and 2029. They will have an overall length of around 90m, a displacement of around 2,000 tonnes, and will carry a crew complement of 40. (Source: Jane’s)
08 Oct 20. Another cause of concern for CT40. A source told BATTLESPACE after our story last week on the problems of CT40 that one of the reasons for the ‘wobble’ of the Ajax turret was weight distribution problems. As the ammunition is sued the weight distribution is seriously compromised due to the weight of the EO/IR surveillance system on the other side of the turret. It is not known if this has been fixed, but any fix will add more weight to an already heavy turret. The source said it is more likely that the Northrop Buch master 30 would be the solution for any retrofit as the Bush 44 was too large for the current turrets. He also said that to rely on a Boxer, Challenger 2 combination for the Strike Brigades would degrade performance of these Brigades during winter months and heavy rain and mud. He expected Warrior to remain in the fleet in some form albeit possibly with the existing Rarden 30mm turret until 2025.
06 Oct 20. India advances BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile development. The Indian government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) announced on 30 September that the country has successfully flight-tested a land-attack version of the BRAHMOS supersonic cruise missile featuring an indigenously made airframe section and booster.
The achievement is a major milestone in the country’s efforts to increase the content of locally made components in defence equipment used by the Indian military. The PIB noted that the missile was launched from the Integrated Test Range in Balasore in the eastern state of Odisha, reaching a cruising speed of Mach 2.8. The test missile also featured “many other ‘Made in India’ sub-systems”, which are expected to eventually enter production to meet the government’s long-standing goal of enhancing defence equipment self-reliance as opposed to foreign imports.
BRAHMOS cruise missile portfolio
The latest success follows several other notable achievements for the BRAHMOS cruise missile portfolio. In December 2019 the Indian Air Force announced that it has completed the integration of the air-launched variant – BRAHMOS-A (Air) – onto the Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighter after the service successfully launched the weapon from the aircraft off the coast of Odisha against a sea-based target and achieved a direct hit.
In September 2019 a BRAHMOS missile featuring an indigenously developed propulsion system, airframe, power supply and other major components was successfully test fired from the ITR. A missile with an indigenously developed seeker from the government-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was also earlier tested in March 2018.
The BrahMos is a medium-range, two-stage missile with a solid-propellant booster and ramjet sustainer. It is designed to be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, and land-based platforms.
The company was established on 12 February 1998 as part of an inter-government joint venture signed between New Delhi and Moscow with an initial capital of US$250m with India owning 50.5 percent of equity and Russia the remaining 49.5 percent. The joint venture also includes the participation of India’s DRDO and Russia’s JSC MIC NPO Mashinostroyeniya (NPOM). The company is also developing a lighter variant of the air-launched BRAHMOS called BRAHMOS NG for the Tejas Mk 1A Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and the hypersonic BRAHMOS II. (Source: AMR)
09 Oct 20. India’s DRDO tests first indigenous anti-radiation missile RUDRAM. The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced the flight test of the new generation anti-radiation missile. Called RUDRAM, it is the first locally developed anti-radiation missile of the country.
Being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the missile will be used by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The test was carried out from Wheeler Island located off the coast of the Indian state of Odisha. During the test, RUDRAM was launched from a SU-30 MKI fighter aircraft to hit a radiation target. Following its release, the missile hit the radiation target with high accuracy.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted: “The New Generation Anti-Radiation Missile (Rudram-1) which is India’s first indigenous anti-radiation missile developed by @DRDO_India for Indian Air Force was tested successfully today at ITR, Balasore.
“Congratulations to DRDO and other stakeholders for this remarkable achievement.”
The missile features INS-GPS navigation capability and a Passive Homing Head. The Passive Homing Head tracks targets over different frequencies as programmed. This is said to be a capable weapon for the IAF for the Suppression of Enemy Air Defence from large stand-off ranges.
It is also considered to be an important step towards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.
The IAF has also formally inducted the first five Rafale multirole aircraft at Ambala Air Force Station, India.
The Rafale multirole jets will be part of the ‘Golden Arrows’ 17 Squadron. Last month, DRDO announced that it tested Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV). In May last year, DRDO performed the flight test of a locally developed high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT), known as Abhyas. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
07 Oct 20. US Army Pursues New Mid-Range Missile to Fill Gap in Precision Fires. The US Army is seeking a new mid-range missile system that can hit targets between 500 to 1,500 kilometers, or 310 to 930 miles, to help fill a gap in its fires portfolio by 2023. Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, director of the Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team, said the surface-to-surface launch capability could prove beneficial if positioned in strategic areas such as the Pacific island chains.
“What a dilemma that would create for our adversary,” he said Sept. 29, referring to China, which the National Defense Strategy states as a near-peer threat along with Russia. “How we would change the calculus in a second, if we could deliver this kind of capability out there.”
The endeavor is currently being researched by his team in a partnership with the Field Artillery School, Fires Capability Development Integration Directorate, and Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office.
Precision fires is currently the Army’s No. 1 modernization priority, since they can allow formations to penetrate through enemy anti-access/area denial capabilities, Rafferty said.
“It enables access at the strategic level and it enables combined arms maneuver at the tactical level,” he said during the 2020 Army Fires Conference.
Extended Range Cannon Artillery
The fires portfolio also includes the Extended Range Cannon Artillery, a self-propelled system built onto a Paladin Integrated Management howitzer chassis. But ERCA has more firepower with its 58-caliber, 30-foot cannon tube compared to the Paladin’s 39-caliber, 20-foot tube.
The longer tube and a different chamber, along with improved projectiles and propellant, allow it to shoot artillery shells out to 70 kilometers, or over 40 miles, he said.
After several successful tests, the Army recently sought Soldier feedback of the system during 1st Infantry Division’s rotation at the National Training Center in California. The Army expects to deliver a set of prototypes to a division artillery battalion in 2023, which will then evaluate the operational concept of the system, he said.
Precision Strike Missile
The Precision Strike Missile now has three successful flight tests under its belt. The surface-to-surface missile looks to increase the range of the Army Tactical Missile System, which has been around for nearly four decades. The PrSM is half the size of its predecessor that has a maximum firing range of only 300 km, or 180 miles — nearly half of the PrSM’s 500 km range. Both missiles pack the same explosive punch. The next phase of testing will include four shots, one of them to be fired out into the Pacific Ocean from the Californian coastline.
“We’ll go to Vandenberg Air Force Base and we’ll test it out into the ocean and see how far it will go,” Rafferty said.
At the farthest end of the portfolio includes two complementary systems: a long-range cannon system and hypersonic weapon. The surface-to-surface capabilities will push the Army’s reach to thousands of kilometers, he said.
The Army and Navy successfully tested a common hypersonic glide vehicle across the Pacific in March. An Army unit is slated to start training on the system without the live rounds next year. And after additional tests, the weapon will be fielded to a missile battery by 2023.
To help offset the cost of hypersonic weapons, the Army is also looking at a strategic long-range cannon capable of firing a higher volume of rounds that are less expensive, Rafferty said.
The cannon, which is expected to fire rounds out to 1,000 km, or 620 miles, is currently a science and technology investment led by the Armaments Center at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.
But the project is not without controversy, Rafferty said, adding its feasibility is now being examined by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
“We’re going to get a fair evaluation,” he said. “They appreciate the operation and utility in our approach of a volume of fire with more affordable projectiles.”
Even if the system is not expected to be fielded soon, the general said that science and technology projects such as this one will also help with deterrence.
“It’s not just moving units around and fielding systems,” he said. “It’s also where our research and development is and where our science and technology investment is. So, we’re having an effect with our approach to this.” (Source: defense-aerospace.com/ US Army)
10 Oct 20. Estonia receives first K9 self-propelled howitzers.
Modified date: 2 hours ago. Estonia has received the first two of 18 contracted K9 Kõu (Thunder) self-propelled howitzers, according to a recent Estonian Defense Force news release.
At the end of August, the first two K9 155 mm howitzers arrived from South Korea to Estonia, which, after refinement, will be used in the artillery battalion of the 1st Infantry Brigade. In total, 18 self-propelled howitzers purchased by the Defense Forces will arrive in Estonia over the course of three years.
“The process, which began two years ago, has gone so far that we can start technical tuning of the guns to fully meet our needs. This is one of the most important defense purchases of the Defense Forces in recent years, the purpose of which is to strengthen, above all, the means of firing from closed positions, ”said Defense Minister Jüri Luige.
“Estonia, in cooperation with Finland, simultaneously purchased important weapon systems and vehicles, such as air surveillance radars. We have now purchased the first K9 mobile artillery from South Korea, which is to replace the 155mm artillery of the 1st Infantry Brigade of the Artillery Division, ”said Lieutenant Colonel Kaarel Mäesalu, commander of the Mobile Artillery Procurement Project.
The K9 is now, one of the most popular self-propelled artillery howitzers in the world. The K9 Thunder was designed and developed by the Agency for Defense Development and Samsung Aerospace Industries for the Republic of Korea Armed Forces and is now manufactured by South Korean Company Hanwha Defense.
“The K9 is a well-adapted and modern weapon system suitable for the conditions of Estonia, which was introduced in South Korea back in 1999. This weapon system also fits well into the Estonian climate, because South Korea, like Estonia, has four seasons and large temperature fluctuations,”added Lieutenant Colonel Mäesalu.
The artillery systems, which have already arrived in Estonia and will arrive in South Korea in the next three years, are maintained and ready for use, but upon arrival in Estonia they will first be modified: the Estonian Defense Forces will be painted over, then the vehicles will enter the 1st artillery division infantry brigade, which is transformed into a mobile artillery battalion.
In total, Estonia will purchase 18 mobile units for a total of 83m euros, including training for instructors and maintenance personnel, special tools and spare parts. (Source: Google/https://defence-blog.com/)
07 Oct 20. Putin Hails Successful Launch of Zircon Hypersonic Cruise Missile as ‘Major Event’ for Russia. A Zircon hypersonic cruise missile has successfully hit a target in the Barents Sea, the Russian Ministry of Defence stated. The military stressed that the missile flew around 450 kilometres, reaching Mach 8 speeds.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has hailed the successful test of a Zircon missile, stating it was an important event for the country and contributes to the nation’s security. He also expressed gratitude to all of the people involved in the project, thanking Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov as well.
“I would like to thank all of you for the work done, for its results and express hope that in the future all of the specialists involved in the rearmament of the Russian military will [continue to] work as efficiently and as persistently as it has done to this point”, the president said during a video meeting with the General Staff.
Putin made the statement after the military confirmed the successful completion of the test.
“Yesterday, the frigate Admiral Gorshkov launched the Zircon cruise missile from the White Sea at a target located in the Barents Sea. The task was completed successfully, a direct hit was registered. The range of the flight reached 450 kilometres [279 miles], maximum altitude totaled 28 kilometres, and the duration of the flight totaled 4.5 minutes. The missile developed a speed of over Mach 8”, General Gerasimov said.
The 3M22 Zircon is a scramjet-powered manoeuvring anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile that is expected to enter service in the coming years.
Testing of the Zircon began in 2015, with nearly a dozen launches completed by 2018. President Putin mentioned the Zircon in his 2018 speech to parliament as one of the main strategic systems capable of evading American missile defences and thus guaranteeing Russia’s response capability. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Sputnik News)
07 Oct 20. Rapid Fire: US Army eyeing revamped ERCA autoloader and alternative solutions. The US Army is on the hunt for alternative ways to increase its new Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) programme’s rate of fire and is looking to small businesses for help. What remains undetermined, though, is if the service will meet its initial 2024 timetable for rolling out that capability to the artillery community.
Brigadier General John Rafferty, the head of the Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team, spoke with Janes on 1 October about ERCA development — an incremental upgrade to BAE Systems’ Paladin M109A7 self-propelled howitzer that includes a 58-calibre, 30 ft gun tube designed to fire munitions beyond 70 km.
“Our approach for ERCA has always been to [first] extend the range, then improve lethality, and then to increase the rate of fire,” Brig Gen Rafferty said.
The service’s phased approach calls for fielding 18 ERCA Increment 1 (Inc 1) weapons in 2023 as division-level assets before tackling the rate of fire challenge with ERCA Inc 2 in 2024. It was in this second iteration that the army wanted to reduce manpower and give troops the ability to fire at a rate of 6–10 rds/min.
To get there, the service was developing its own autoloader that could carry 31 rounds. However, the weight hindered platform mobility and there were also durability issues that forced the service to abandon this larger design.
“You might call it like the son of the 31 round or an updated prototype,” the one-star general explained, adding that a revamped version may only hold 23-24 munitions at a time and will have “fewer integration burdens”. (Source: Jane’s)
07 Oct 20. Rheinmetall confirms Aussie industry opportunities for Millennium Gun manufacture. Rheinmetall has confirmed it would manufacture and sustain its 35mm ‘Millennium Gun’ at the company’s MILVEHCOE facility as part of its offer to the Commonwealth to deliver a single weapon system to meet current needs of the Royal Australian Navy fleet as well as future-proof against emerging self-defence and mission requirements.
Defence Connect understands that while the Millennium Gun system – currently in service with nations including Indonesia and Denmark – is currently designed and manufactured in Switzerland, Rheinmetall has proposed to transfer technology from Europe to its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Redbank Queensland as part of its offer to the Commonwealth.
Millennium is a highly flexible and powerful weapon that is unique in its capability for effective self-defence against threats to ships at close range. In particular, the Millennium Gun has the ability to engage a broad spectrum of air and surface threats from high speed anti-ship missiles to UAVs, fighters, rotary wing aircraft as well as small, highly manoeuvrable fast inshore attack craft.
A proven “multi-tool” like the Millennium will significantly aid in the survivability of the platform in any multi-threat scenario. Millennium’s accuracy and high rate of fire delivers superior fire power, lethality and cost-per-kill ratio compared to others in the 20-40mm calibre bracket.
Rheinmetall’s new facility in Queensland is the cornerstone of the company’s commitment to building Australian industry capability (AIC) and is designed to produce military hardware for the Australian Defence Force and for export. Also known as the Military Vehicle Centre of the Excellence (MILVEHCOE), the facility is purpose built for design manufacturing with test infrastructure including an EMC chamber, small calibre (up to 35mm) firing tunnel and prototyping workshop.
Capability across the new precinct runs from heavy manufacturing to a clean room for Rheinmetall’s digital and optics systems as well as a sophisticated armour manufacturing shop, featuring a state-of-the-art press that will produce an array of composite ballistic materials; in short, a self-protection production capability for ballistic protection for ships and vehicles.
Millennium’s unique AHEAD air burst ammunition will also be produced in Australia delivering critical sovereign capacity. Precise programming for each individual AHEAD round maximises hit probability and energy on target at extended ranges to enforce a keep out zone around a vessel.
AHEAD sub-projectiles also have a significant destructive effect on electro-optic sensors, which provides for a tertiary anti-submarine warfare capability for Millennium, particularly when submarine optronic mast exposure is likely to be high when operating in littoral waters.
Integrated with a number of combat systems and associated radar and electro-optic sensors, Millennium is proven and in service at sea today. The 35mm Millennium Gun requires no deck penetration. It offers a range of versatile mounting options including the ‘containerised’ ISO Mount option, which allows deployment of Millennium as a mission module on almost any class of ship without any major structural alterations.
Delivering anti-surface and anti-air capabilities in one inner layer self defence system, the Millennium system will directly support the primary surface combatant role and afford superior protection for Amphibious and Afloat Support platforms particularly in light of the increased breadth of the contemporary and evolving threat spectrum. (Source: Defence Connect)
06 Oct 20. UVision Air Ltd. – a global leader in Loitering Munitions Systems of all sizes for a variety of missions, and Milrem Robotics – a world renowned manufacturer of advanced unmanned ground vehicles and robotic warfare solutions, have recently joined forces. The joint solution – two of Milrem Robotics’ Robotic Combat Vehicles (commonly known as Unmanned Ground Vehicles, UGV´s) which are now mounted with Loitering Munition Multi-Canister Launcher, is a new step in the deployment of combat unmanned remotely operated systems.
The new operational concept, presented by the two companies, is designed to offer frontline forces with a new independent ability to locate, track and accurately eliminate heavily armored targets from large distances in challenging battlefield conditions, including GPS denied environment and communication jamming, without the need for a headquarters’ support. It provides small light forces with advanced ISR capabilities combined with highly accurate long-range heavy fire power that were achieved until now only with complex cooperation between several units and echelons.
The Estonian-based Milrem Robotics, which only four months ago announced the integration of the Cockerill Protected Weapons Station Generation II (CPWS II) on to its newly developed Type-X robotic combat vehicle (RCV), again shows its innovation, teaming with the Israeli company UVision, and installing a Multi Canister Launcher for UVision’s Lethal Loitering Munition Systems (LMs) on the RCV. The Launcher can be equipped with two of UVision’s already operational Loitering Munition Systems: The Hero-120, with its anti-tank warhead and up to one hour of flight time, and the Hero-400EC, capable of destroying fortified targets, with up to two operational hours. Milrem’s Type-X will also be equipped with a 40 km range communication antenna, located on a telescopic rising mast, improving the operator’s control of the system.
The second vehicle, Milrem robotics’ UGV flagship, THeMIS, is designed for operation by dismounted infantry and Special Forces. Able to carry up to six of UVision’s Loitering Munition systems, it will provide the forces with long-range ISR and firepower combination that will now be available to them for the first time. The THeMIS recently completed a full 12-month deployment to an international military operation in Mali, and has already been delivered to a several NATO countries (including Norway, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and USA).
“As a leading innovative company that takes pride in advanced and in-depth military understanding, UVision has long been a provider of new operational solutions” says Major General (res) Avi Mizrachi, UVision’s CEO. “With a highly experienced team, all – with military background, and many with actual combat experience, we know first-hand the challenges that are facing operational forces in battle conditions today, and we are committed to provide advanced, yet user-friendly and affordable solutions that meet those challenges. Teaming up with Milrem Robotics, to provide new operational concepts based on the advantages of both companies’ cutting-edge solutions, is another milestone in our unprecedented developments.”
Kuldar Väärsi, Milrem Robotics CEO adds “bringing disruptive technologies to the battlefield and enhancing our warfighters’ safety and capabilities are the driving force for Milrem Robotics”. “Our robotic platforms are deployed by different nations and it is our duty to propose new ways on how unmanned systems can benefit to capability building.”
UVision’s Hero-120 and Hero-400EC:
Modular, customizable loitering weapon systems that can be fitted with a range of powerful multi-purpose warheads and variety of payloads. These versatile, precision, multi-operational systems, with a unique aerodynamic structure, can carry out pinpoint lethal strikes against mid-range hard targets ‒ vehicles, tanks, concrete fortifications and personnel ‒ in populated urban areas or remote locations with minimal collateral damage. Their extended endurance of over an hour (Hero-120), and up to 2 Hours (Hero-400EC), and their loitering range of 40km (Hero-120) and up to 150km (Hero-400), allow these systems to be independently operated by frontline forces, precisely striking time-sensitive targets from a wide variety of angles. Featuring low acoustic and low visual and thermal signatures, and fully gimbaled, stabilized day/night tracking, both systems combine real-time intelligence with high-precision attack to allow a whole new range of operational possibilities. Advanced and versatile, these systems are highly affordable and cost-effective due to their recoverable option, using a parachute, while securing the warhead. The Hero-120 was recently purchased by several NATO military forces. The Hero-400EC was already operationally demonstrated and is currently in evaluation stages by several key military forces.
Milrem Robotics Type-X and THeMIS:
The Type-X RCV is a Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) with tactical characteristics of a modern Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). The RCV can be equipped with a main armament of 30 up to 50 mm automatic cannon. It is a rapidly deployable and dependable unit, able to autonomously navigate the battlefield and perform tasks, keeping the operator in the loop with real-time Situational Awareness.
The Type-X concept is based on open architecture that enables it to be integrated with various payloads. The vehicle is designed for operations encompassing the entire spectrum of conflict from permissive to denied environments, fighting effectively in both conventional and non-conventional conflicts.
The THeMIS is the first hybrid fully modular unmanned ground vehicle in the world. The vehicle is intended to provide support for dismounted troops by serving as a transport platform, remote weapon station, IED detection and disposal unit, and much more. The vehicle’s open architecture gives it the multi-missions capability much needed on the modern battlefield.
05 Oct 20. Tokyo plans to develop new vehicle-borne SAM system from FY 2021. Tokyo plans to develop a new vehicle-mounted surface-to-air missile (SAM) system from fiscal year (FY) 2021 for use by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF).
Tokyo plans to develop a new vehicle-mounted SAM system from FY 2021 for use by the JASDF (left) and the JGSDF (right). The missile is expected to be an improved variant of the SAM currently used by the JASDF to defend its airbases as well as the successor of the JGSDF’s Type 93 SAM. (MoD)
A spokesperson for the Japan Ministry of Defense’s (MoD’s) Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) told Janes on 5 October that the wheeled air-defence system will be armed with “an improved version of the SAM currently used for air defence by the JASDF”.
This means that the new missile, which will also replace the Type 93 SAM used by the JGSDF, will enable both services to intercept not only enemy aircraft but also low-flying cruise missiles. The ATLA official did not specify which JASDF SAM would be improved but it is likely to be the Type 11.
While the JASDF is set to deploy the system to defend its airbases, the JGSDF is expected to use it to protect key facilities, most likely ministries or power plants, as well as other locations, including on Japan’s remote islands.
To reduce costs, the spokesperson said the ATLA aims to develop both the missile and launcher as a joint JGSDF/JASDF project. MoD images of the system’s design show that the variant used by the JGSDF will feature two launchers while that operated by the JASDF will be equipped with four. (Source: Jane’s)
05 Oct 20. China Shows New Drone with Two Grenade Launchers. China has shown off a new military drone that carries two grenade launchers. The weapon appeared during a recent combat exercise in southern China, according to state broadcaster CCTV. The rotary-wing aircraft is also capable of firing guided munitions and conducting various missions, including tactical reconnaissance and midair interceptions, it is reported. Beijing’s latest fighting drone was deployed during a drill by a special brigade under the land force of the People’s Liberation Army, CCTV said in a video report released by its social media account. The military exercise is said to have taken place in a rain forest in Yunnan Province.
CCTV’s report suggested that the weapon was produced by Harwar, a Chinese company specialising in the development and manufacture of drones with ‘special equipment’.
A military column published by state-run eastday.com claimed that it was the ‘Zhanfu H16-V12’ from Harwar. The model, whose name means ‘War Ax’ in English, was showcased by the company at a drone expo in Shenzhen last month.
According to the Harwar, the manufacturer, the drone can fly as high as 5,834 metres (19,140 feet) and carry a maximum load of 25 kilograms (55 pounds). It is said to be able to withstand high winds of up to 17.1 metres (56 feet) per second and a temperature range from minus 40 degrees to 85 degrees Celsius (minus 104 degrees to 185 degrees Fahrenheit). (Source: UAS VISION/Daily Mail)
01 Oct 20. Parsons Awarded First DoD Ground-Based Directed Energy Contract. Parsons Corporation (NYSE:PSN) has been awarded a $50.6, six-year contract by the U.S. Air Force for the manufacturing, integration and sustainment of 13 Recovery of Airbase Denied by Ordnance (RADBO) systems. RADBO employs the Parsons developed ZEUS™ directed energy system to destroy unexploded ordinance with extreme accuracy in previously denied areas and improves the safety of deployed warfighters.
“This is Parsons innovation: delivering a game changing warfighting product,” said Hector Cuevas, Parsons executive vice president of missile defense and C5ISR. “We’re proud to partner with the Air Force in deploying this critical force protection and mission enabling technology that will greatly increase safe and effective explosive ordnance disposal operations.”
The program is the first Department of Defense (DoD) ground-based laser system placed into production. RADBO is comprised of three main components: the mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle, a ZEUS™ laser, and an interrogation arm assembly. Air Force explosive ordnance disposal personnel can operate the laser and robotic arm from the safety of the MRAP to rapidly clear multiple unexploded ordnance from airfields. Parsons is the original equipment manufacturer of the ZEUS™ laser.
The ZEUS™ laser can hit targets more than 300 meters away from the vehicle and is powerful enough to detonate small submunitions from cluster bombs, land mines, general purposed bombs and thick-cased artillery rounds. (Source: PR Newswire)
28 Sep 20. Taiwan shows off indigenous stand-off ground attack missiles amid Beijing bluster. The Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) took the opportunity to highlight its indigenously developed Wan Chien air-launched land attack cruise missile during an official visit by Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-weng to Makung Air Force Base (AFB) on the Penghu Archipelago on 22 September.
The stand-off weapon was prominently displayed with the RoCAF’s F-CK-1C/D Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDFs) at Makung AFB.
The Wan Chien – which means ‘ten thousand swords’ – entered service in 2018 and is reportedly capable of threatening land-based targets at ranges of between 200 and 250 km using its turbofan propulsion and GPS/INS guidance. It is physically comparable to the US-made AGM-154 Joint Stand Off Weapon (JSOW) and Swedish-German Taurus KEPD 350 (Kinetic Energy Penetration Destroyer), although the Taiwanese weapon is understood to be capable of accommodating a range of warheads including high-explosive, semi-armour piercing, or submunitions.
The weapon is developed and manufactured by the state-owned National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST), and is part of a wide-ranging US$ 587m, two-stage mid-life upgrade for the F-CK-1 IDS fighter fleet, which was launched in 2009.
The development comes amid growing tensions with Beijing, the which opposes the closer ties and military sales between Washington and Taipei and has been gradually increasing both the scope and scale of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) exercises and operations around the island in a show of force aimed at deterring Taiwanese independence. China regards Taiwan as a wayward province and has repeatedly asserted it will be reunited with the mainland whether through peaceful means or otherwise.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) reported that up to 37 PLA aircraft – including J-10, J-11, and J-16 multirole combat aircraft as well as KQ-200 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and H-6 strategic bombers – crossed the “median line” of the Taiwan Strait or entered its southwestern Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) between 18 and 19 September. More KQ-200 ASW aircraft were detected violating Taiwanese airspace in subsequent days.
The incursions prompted the MND to launch RoCAF interceptors and activate its radar and air defence systems as a precaution.
In what appears to be further signalling against Beijing, Taiwan conducted a two-day test firing of surface-to-air missiles off its eastern and southern coasts on 24 September. The type was not disclosed, but is believed to be the latest long-range Tien Kung-3 (Sky Bow 3) system also developed by NCSIST. (Source: AMR)
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