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26 Aug 21. Retired Global Hawks to be Repurposed for Hypersonic Testing. Lea Greene, chief of public affairs at Grand Forks Air Force Base, and Bruce Gjovig said the line of retired unmanned aircraft, called “Block 20” Global Hawks, will be used to conduct hypersonic testing over the Pacific Ocean.
Gjovig serves on the Grand Forks Base Retention Impact Committee (BRIC), and has played a key role on initiatives such as the Grand Sky unmanned aerial systems research park and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flight.
Four decommissioned Global Hawk drones will make the short trip from Grand Forks Air Force Base to Northrop Grumman’s Grand Sky location, where they will be repurposed into a testing platform for new hypersonic technology, and will again take to the sky.
Lea Greene, chief of public affairs at Grand Forks Air Force Base, and Bruce Gjovig said the line of retired unmanned aircraft, called “Block 20” Global Hawks, will be used to conduct hypersonic testing over the Pacific Ocean. Gjovig serves on the Grand Forks Base Retention Impact Committee (BRIC), and has played a key role on initiatives such as the Grand Sky unmanned aerial systems research park and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flight.
“It’s very exciting,” Gjovig said. “Hypersonics is a whole new division of capability that the military is developing. It’s just terrific to have our base, and in this case Grand Sky, really involved in hypersonics testing.”
Northrop officials issued a brief statement on the retired Block 20s, citing the need to reach a formal agreement with a government customer. Company officials said they will discuss the plan at a later date.
“The Global Hawk Block 20s have performed extremely well protecting the interests of the United States and its allies for more than a decade,” said Ariele Sparks, Global Hawk program manager for Northrop Grumman. “Northrop Grumman has received a request for proposal to modify the Block 20 aircraft in support of a new government customer to accomplish a critical role that takes advantage of the inherent strengths of the Global Hawk family: range, endurance, altitude, autonomy and unmatched payload. Northrop Grumman looks forward to responding to the RFP.”
On July 29, Airmen at GFAFB broke out bacon and firehoses to take part in a unique celebration to retire the unmanned aircraft. Base officials can’t disclose where the aircraft were operating before coming to Grand Forks, but they have been through a lot. After spending 10,000 hours in the air every year since 2011, they are battered to the point where some are covered in tape.
“It was an emotional coming home,” said Greene. “We gave it the traditional ‘fini-flight’ hosedown. … We actually do the same thing to our pilots when it’s their last mission.”
“Fini-flight,” Greene explained, means “final flight.” To celebrate, airmen of the 348th Reconnaissance Squadron performed what’s called a water salute — air base fire trucks drove onto the runway and crews hosed the aircraft down, a ceremonial gesture of congratulations for completing a mission.
In an ode to their unit as well as the aircraft’s mission, airmen then grilled 34.8 pounds of bacon, in what they called a “BACN-Off.” BACN refers to the communications node used on Block 20 Global Hawks, the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node. Greene said Block 20 Global Hawks are “basically like a cell phone tower or a wireless router in the sky.”
While the U.S. Air Force is retiring its fleet of Block 20s, activity with other Global Hawks will continue at GFAFB, which is home to the 319th Reconnaissance Wing. Pilots there remotely operate Block 30 Global Hawks, in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions across the world. At any given time there are eight or nine Block 40 Global Hawks, what Greene called “the high end model, the luxury model” operating out of GFAFB. Block 40 aircraft carry advanced sensor equipment for intelligence missions.
According to information supplied by Greene, the 319th Reconnaissance Wing has three Global Hawk aircraft in flight, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The mission has generated 26,570 flying hours across 1,304 flights, from June 1, 2020 to May 31, across the world. (Source: UAS VISION/Grand Forks Herald)
26 Aug 21. US Navy tests second-stage rocket motor for hypersonic weapon. The U.S. Navy has conducted a second-stage solid rocket motor test for a hypersonic weapon in development, the service announced Aug. 26.
The Navy deemed the Aug. 25 test in Promontory, Utah, a success, which included firing the first-stage rocket motor. The event also put the thrust vector control system on the missile booster to the test.
The event is another step toward the fielding of a Navy and Army co-designed common hypersonic missile. The Navy and Army will each take the missile’s glide body and tailor it for sea-launched and ground-launched use.
The Army plans to field its ground-launched Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon by the end of fiscal 2023, and the Navy wants its ship-launched capability fielded in 2023 followed by a submarine-launched missile in 2024. The Air Force wants to field an air-launched version in 2022.
While the Navy is leading the design effort for the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body, the Army is leading the production effort.
The Navy previously tested the first-stage motor on May 27, with its industry partners Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Moog.
The Pentagon had a successful test of the Common-Hypersonic Glide Body on March 20, 2020. While a second test is expected this year, it has been delayed from its original date in the third quarter of fiscal 2021 to the first quarter of fiscal 2022.
The weapon will be capable of flying five times the speed of sound — Mach 5 — and can maneuver at a variety of altitudes, making it difficult to detect with terrestrial-based radars.
“In a matter of minutes, Navy and Army warfighters can defeat high-value targets hundreds or even thousands of miles away,” the Navy statement noted. “Delivering hypersonic weapons is one of the [Defense Department’s] highest priorities.”
(Source: Defense News)
26 Aug 21. The Netherlands Looks Toward The Future With Procurement Of Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 MSE. U.S. and Dutch officials recently formalized an agreement for the Netherlands to purchase Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) interceptors and related support equipment. With the signing, the Netherlands becomes the 12th customer of PAC-3 MSE and advances its missile defense technology from the PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) the country acquired in 2004.
“We’re honored to continue to partner with the Netherlands, our first PAC-3 international customer, for their missile defense capabilities,” said Brenda Davidson, vice president of PAC-3 Programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “PAC-3 MSE is known around the world for its reliability and performance using Hit-to-Kill technology to ensure our customers remain ready to defend in 21st century warfare.”
An evolution of the battle-proven PAC-3 Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI), the PAC-3 MSE boasts a dual-pulse solid rocket motor, providing increased performance in altitude and range to defend against incoming threats, including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft.
As the world leader in systems integration and proven Hit-to-Kill technology, Lockheed Martin has fielded and successfully integrated air and missile defense assets in every domain, providing the highest level of integrated fire control across multiple platforms.
(Source: News Now/Lockheed Martin)
25 Aug 21. Lockheed: New missile defense system upgrades will produce more comprehensive battlefield picture.
The next round of upgrades for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s battle command system is expected to deliver a more comprehensive battlefield picture, according to the system’s developer, Lockheed Martin.
MDA earlier this month awarded Lockheed a $157 m contract to upgrade the Command Control Battle Management and Communications, or C2BMC, system.
This spiral of upgrades will give the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense, or GMD, system a single, composite, real-time picture of threats by tying into and fusing data from a broader set of sensors to include satellites and ground- and ship-based radars, according to the company.
The GMD system is a U.S.-based capability designed to defend the homeland against intercontinental ballistic missile threats, particularly from North Korea and Iran. The system is made up of interceptors buried in the ground at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Space Force base in California.
The upgrades “really focus on enhancing the [GMD] system, so almost a global view, like what we would see in the U.S. combatant commands when before their picture might have been a little more focused,” Paul Pfahler, Lockheed’s C4ISR missile defense business lead, told Defense News in an interview at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium this month.
Lockheed has been the prime contractor for C2BMC since 2002. The system, first fielded in 2004, has gone through numerous upgrades, which are spiraled in to adapt to threats.
C2BMC has been designed to focus from a strategic level down to an operational level, Pfahler said. Because the last round of upgrades linked it to the Army’s Integrated Battle Command System, the system can provide threat pictures down to the tactical level as well. IBCS is the C2 system in development for the service’s air and missile defense architecture.
The next round of upgrades will allow the C2BMC system to pass data back and forth with IBCS and other sensors, including space sensors.
“You’re really seeing the ability of that C2 to [be integrated] through the entire kill chain,” Pfahler said.
The previous round of upgrades, which is nearly complete, integrated the Long-Range Discrimination Radar, or LRDR, into C2BMC, improved the system’s overall space domain awareness capability, hardened it against cyber attacks and integrated the Army’s IBCS into the missile defense architecture.
With the new upgrades coming online in the next several years, the system is closer to providing advanced joint-all domain command-and-control (JADC2) capabilities.
JADC2 is the Pentagon’s warfighting strategy focused on building an overarching network to fight highly capable adversaries like China and Russia. This would require high-bandwidth, resilient communications and the ability to share massive amounts of data to help commanders make fast decisions.
While C2BMC started out as a way to connect homeland defense, Vice Adm. Jon Hill, MDA director, told Defense News in an interview at the SMD Symposium, the system is really becoming a hardened network on a global scale.
“When you think about a ship or Patriot [air-and-missile defense] battery, [Terminal High Altitude Area Defense] battery, you’ll have the sensor and the command-and-control and the missile launchers all co-located,” Hill explained.
“But when you look at the global intercontinental ballistic missile threat, you’re going to want to have sensors that are way forward and that come back and you’re going to have your missile fields in another area, your command-and-control someplace else in the nation,” he said. “So how do you connect all that together with the right latencies, the amount of data that you need to pipe through so that you can seamlessly detect, do the [C2] and then engage?”
The system also now connects to regional systems such as Aegis ships, THAAD and Patriot, Hill said.
Hill said going forward, the plan is to eventually integrate C2BMC with JADC2. “Where we are today, if you look at what JADC2 is doing in the long term, C2BMC is the JADC2 for MDA,” he added.
An important aspect of growing C2BMC’s capability, Hill noted, is everything connected through the system has to be “seamless to the warfighter,” he said, “and there’s a lot of work to be done to make sure that’s the case.” (Source: Defense News)
24 Aug 21. India to purchase 70,000 AK-203 assault rifles from Russia. The deliveries of AK-203 assault rifles are expected to begin within three months from the first payment. India has reportedly finalised a deal to purchase around 70,000 AK-203 assault rifles from Russia.
The assault rifles will be procured off-the-shelf in a bid to meet the immediate requirements of the armed forces.
Indian and Russian officials have confirmed the signing of the deal to local publication The Hindu. The deliveries are expected to begin within three months from the first payment and will be completed in six months.
Notably, the deal comes as a larger rifle procurement programme is facing repeated delays.
The Indian Army has a requirement of around 770,000 AK-203 rifles. These rifles are expected to replace the existing Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) 5.56mm × 45mm assault rifle.
In 2019, India and Russia signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) to manufacture the rifles. Subsequently, a joint venture called Indo-Russia Rifles (IRPL) was formed with India’s Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) holding a 50.5% stake in the company.
Kalashnikov Concern and Russian state agency for military exports Rosoboronexport own the remaining stake.
The Indian Ministry of Defence has already issued a request for proposal (RFP) for around 671,000 rifles. However, according to the publication, the final deal is being held due to the high costs quoted. (Source: army-technology.com)
24 Aug 21. French Reaper Block 5 UAV conducts first airstrike. France has conducted its first airstrike from a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper Block 5 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the Ministére des Armées announced on 24 August. The airstrike on 17 August involved a French Air and Space Force (l’Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace [AAE]) Reaper dropping a GBU-12 laser-guided bomb as part of Operation ‘Barkhane’ in the Sahel region of northern Africa.
“Today, it is done, the armed Reaper Block 5 is used in operations in the Sahelo-Saharan Band,” the ministry said. “The AAE thus has a drone offering better video and radar quality, improved connectivity, as well as a more versatile weapon capacity,” it added
France currently has six Reaper Block 1 and six Reaper Block 5 UAVs, and is in the process of acquiring a further six Block 5 vehicles for a total fleet of 12 (two of these additional vehicles were contracted earlier in 2021). These Block 5 aircraft will be armed with GBU-12 Paveway precision-guided bombs and AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, and will also be equipped with a Foreign Military Sales (FMS)-acquired pod for electronic intelligence gathering. As noted by the Ministére des Armées in its announcement of the first GBU-12 drop, the next milestone will validate the Reaper Block 5 to carry the GBU-49 bomb and the Hellfire missile. (Source: Jane’s)
24 Aug 21. EOS Defense to test-fire R600MC prototype. EOS Defense Systems is outfitting an Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) with a prototype of its R600 Missile Carrier (R600MC) and plans to conduct a live-fire demonstration in December at the US Army’s Redstone Test Center in Alabama.
Based on the R600S, this medium-calibre cannon remote weapon station (RWS) adds four Javelin missiles, two in each missile pod, to a station that includes a 30×113 mm cannon and a M240B 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.
“This prototype system, in development with the co-operation of the Javelin Joint Venture, aims to provide mechanised elements with the firepower to engage multiple armoured threats,” according to EOS Defense.
Chad Lemond, the company’s US director of business development, recently told Janes that the company is working with the army to obtain three or four end-of-shelf-life Javelin missiles. If all goes as planned, by the end of the year it will use the AMPV outfitted with the R600MC to launch these missiles.
“For test purposes, and first fire, we’re going to make sure that there’s no real possibility of any safety issues and want to learn all we can; but we are pretty confident that we can put this on a lighter vehicle,” he added.
Development of the R600MC and its upcoming demonstration are not being driven by a current army requirement. Instead, Lemond said the company is interested in showing the army potential options for its M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle replacement effort, dubbed the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) line, or for a future AMPV ‘missile carrier type’ variant. (Source: Jane’s)
25 Aug 21. Indian Army receives first batch of locally made MMHG. Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG) can be used in both defensive (fragmentation) and offensive (stun) modes. The Indian Army has received the first batch of locally manufactured Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG).
These hand grenades were made by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL) following the transfer of technology from Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO)’s Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory.
Indian Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh lauded the handover and termed it a big step towards self-reliance in defence manufacturing. He also congratulated DRDO and EEL for ensuring quick delivery amid restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
MMHG feature a distinctive design and can be used in both defensive (fragmentation) and offensive (stun) modes.
Additionally, the grenades are said to have highly accurate delay time, as well as being more lethal and safer compared to their predecessors.
MMHG will replace Grenade No 36 of First World War vintage design, which had been in use to date.
Last year, EEL signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence to deliver one m modern hand grenades for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force. The deliveries would be spread over two years.
Notably, EEL received the grenade manufacturing technology from DRDO in 2016.
In 2017-18, the Indian Army and Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) carried out extensive trials in plains, deserts and in high altitudes to assess the effectiveness of the grenades. Last month, DRDO conducted the flight tests of Man-Portable Antitank Guided Missile (MPATGM) and the New Generation Akash Missile (Akash-NG). Both the tests were successful. (Source: army-technology.com)
23 Aug 21. US Army to deploy four laser-equipped Stryker prototypes in FY22. DE M-SHORAD is a 50kW-class laser designed to safeguard divisions and brigade combat teams against uncrewed drones. The US Army has said it is on track to field its Directed Energy-Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) system, which will be equipped onto Stryker infantry carrier vehicles. The service recently conducted a test of a new DE M-SHORAD capability. With this, the service plans to deploy a platoon of four laser-equipped Stryker combat vehicle prototypes by FY22.
During testing, DE M-SHORAD capability was evaluated on board a Stryker in a combat shoot-off at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
According to US Army hypersonics, directed energy, space and rapid acquisition deputy director Marcia Holmes, DE M-SHORAD is a 50kW-class laser that is designed to safeguard divisions and brigade combat teams against uncrewed aircraft systems (UASs), rotary and fixed-wing threats.
Holmes said: “Our goal is to deliver prototypes that soldiers can use as the mission requires and that the army can leverage as a baseline for a programme of record.
“A soldier-cantered design is a key part to reduce risk and to ensure an operationally effective weapon system.”
DE M-SHORAD’s design used Stryker’s gas-powered engine to power its batteries, cooling system, and laser.
Programme manager colonel Scott McLeod said the US Army plans to showcase the DE M-SHORAD capabilities during Project Convergence 21, where it would participate in a joint coalition exercise later this year.
23 Aug 21. Wind tunnel gives China advantage in hypersonic weapons. Machine can simulate warhead launch at Mach 30. China has developed the world’s most advanced wind tunnel, capable of simulating 30 times the speed of sound and handing Beijing an edge in the race for hypersonic weapons. The JF-22 facility in Beijing could replicate speeds of up to 23,000mph, far outstripping its rivals in the United States. It is due for completion this year. Han Guilai, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, estimated that it would place China 20 to 30 years ahead of the West. The US and Russia are developing hypersonic missiles that can be launched into space carrying nuclear payloads. To do so they must first build wind tunnels to simulate conditions that the hypersonic weapons will experience in flight.
The new wind tunnel is said to use chemical explosions to generate high-speed air flow instead of mechanical compressors. This in turn creates shockwaves, temperatures and pressures similar to those experienced by high-velocity aircraft and weapons.
In contrast the most advanced wind tunnel in America, the Lens II in Buffalo, New York, is used by Nasa to recreate conditions of up to Mach 9 for a shorter time than the Chinese facility. There are wind tunnels using similar technology in Japan and Germany.
Russia has advanced testing facilities in St Petersburg. Its hypersonic weapons chief, Professor Alexander Kuranov, 73, was arrested by FSB agents this month on suspicion of handing classified information to a foreign state. “Representatives of the US and China showed interest,” sources told state media after his arrest.
The Chinese breakthrough could fuel fears of a new nuclear arms race in space. Writing in The Times in June, Lord Hague of Richmond, the former foreign secretary, warned that hypersonic weapons represented a growing threat to the West. “If you think . . . that your hardened silo will be taken out by a hypersonic missile . . . then you have to decide at an earlier stage of a crisis whether to launch,” he wrote.
Announcing the development on state media on Monday, Chinese officials stressed its non-military capabilities. “The basic thought for this JF-22 wind tunnel is for our country’s space aircraft system,” Jiang Zonglin, head of the project, told China Central Television. “If we are successful we can reduce the costs of the satellite launches and spacecraft launches by 90 per cent.”
Jiang said that a hypersonic aircraft could easily reach anywhere in the world within two hours. “From now on, we will be testing, and problems are most likely to surface during this phase,” he said. “We will be very, very careful . . . to ensure safety.”
Western powers view China’s reach into space with concern. President Biden’s latest budget realigned defence spending priorities in favour of modernising the US’s nuclear arsenal with money set aside to research and develop hypersonic weapons and “next generation” systems. “We must modernise if deterrence is to endure and I would seek to increase the speed and scale of innovation,” Kathleen Hicks, the deputy defence secretary, said in February.
The development is being hailed in China as a landmark moment in its burgeoning space programme, which has sent land rovers to the Moon and Mars. “A wind tunnel is like the cradle of the spacecraft,” Jiang said. “ Only with a wind tunnel can we build engines and build spacecraft. It’s been the goal of our team for the past five or six decades.”
The first wind tunnel built by Jiang and his team was the JF-12 in Beijing in 2012. “A lot of people said it was not feasible and that you would waste money, but after ten years of experiments we came to believe this technology would be usable,” he said.
The Chinese military has successfully tested two new missiles. According to the state broadcaster they “precisely hit the target with multiple protections several hundred kilometres away” and “effectively paralysed the crucial information point of the enemy’s defence system”.
The report did not reveal the types of the missiles, but observers believe that they are probably from the DF-16 family, which has a range of 500 to 900 miles. The missiles are most likely to be used in an armed attack against Taiwan, a self-governed island that Beijing wants to seize, according to observers. (Source: The Times)
23 Aug 21. MBDA outlines Indian missile investment plan. MBDA has confirmed plans to invest in a joint missile manufacturing facility with India’s state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). An MBDA spokesperson told Janes that the proposed ‘final assembly, integration, and test’ (FAIT) facility will be established within BDL’s existing manufacturing complex in Hyderabad. The spokesperson did not disclose the value of the investment but said it is “significant”.
A licencing agreement to support the setting up of the joint FAIT was signed by the companies on 17 August following a memorandum of understanding announced in September 2019. The FAIT is scheduled to start operating in fiscal year 2022–23 to meet both Indian and export market opportunities.
Under the new agreement, the spokesperson said MBDA will transfer “equipment, knowledge, and training” to establish the new facility, which will be focused initially on MBDA’s Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM).
The ASRAAM was selected by India under a USD250m contract announced in 2014. Under the deal, the ASRAAM will equip the Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) upgraded SEPECAT Jaguar fighter aircraft fleet. In service with the IAF, the ASRAAM is known as the New Generation Close Combat Missile (NGCCM).
The MBDA spokesperson said the FAIT has the potential to also provide maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for the ASRAAM. In the future, the facility could also carry out FAIT services in support of MBDA’s Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM).
The CAMM is integrated into the company’s Sea Ceptor air-defence system, which the spokesperson confirmed MBDA is offering to the Indian Navy to meet its Short Range Surface to Air Missile requirement. (Source: Jane’s)
20 Aug 21. Manila selects torpedo, countermeasures suppliers for PN’s José Rizal-class frigates. The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) disclosed on 10 August that it has selected suppliers for the torpedo and countermeasure systems meant for use by the Philippine Navy’s (PN’s) two José Rizal-class guided-missile frigates. The DND issued a ‘Notice of Award’ (NoA) to South Korean company LIG Nex1 for the planned procurement of an undisclosed number of torpedoes for PHP766.3m (USD15.9m). The move is meant to provide the multirole frigates with an additional anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability alongside that provided by the Leonardo AW159 Lynx Wildcat helicopters set to operate from the vessels.
While the selected torpedo type was not disclosed, a company official told Janes on 20 August that the proposed deal is for K745 Cheong Sangeo (Blue Shark) lightweight, anti‐submarine torpedoes. This is the same torpedo type that is set to be deployed with the Lynx Wildcat helicopters.
Each of the two frigates is equipped with two triple 324mm torpedo launchers.
The department also issued two more NoAs, both of which involved the procurement of countermeasure systems. One of the notices states that the Rheinmetall Denel Munition joint venture was selected to provide PHP348 m worth of chaffs, while the other pointed to the selection Naval Group to provide acoustic decoys worth EUR6.3m (USD7.4m).
No further details were provided about the countermeasure systems.
The PN commissioned its first frigate of the class, BRP José Rizal (FF 150), in July 2020, while the second, BRP Antonio Luna. (Source: Jane’s)
20 Aug 21. Rheinmetall unveils remote-controlled vehicle station. Rheinmetall has unveiled the newest member of its remote-controlled vehicle-mounted weapon station family, Natter 7.62. Army Technology understands that the new modular concept enables the integration of different mounting kits to accommodate weapons ranging from 5.56 x 45mm to 7.62 x 51mm. The 100kg self-protection system is designed to be installed on tracked and wheeled vehicles, even under difficult conditions. Pipe axis movements caused by ballistics can be compensated using advanced image processing algorithms allowing coaxial assembly on a two-axis stabilised platform, the platform’s datasheet states.
The system also supports automatic target tracking in addition to manual tracking.
The carbon-based mount technology reduces weight and vibration, which complements the design and shape of the platform, resulting in a significant signature reduction.
The Natter 7.62 is equipped with FlexEye, an integrated day and night vision system sensor technology that provides a simultaneous, weather-independent display of multiple targets.
The platform is operated from an onboard infrared-touchscreen monitor and an ergonomic, individually configurable joystick.
Rheinmetall’s remote-controlled weapon product range includes the Snake 12.7, Fieldranger Light, Fieldranger Multi, Fieldranger Dual and Fieldranger 20. Each designed for different land vehicle sizes and weights. (Source: army-technology.com)
18 Aug 21. Kara ATMACA to Add Strength. The Surface-to-Surface Cruise Missile (Kara ATMACA) Project has been signed between Turkish Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) and Roketsan. The ATMACA Anti-Ship Missile developed by Roketsan for naval platforms will take on a new dimension with the advent of Kara ATMACA.
The Kara ATMACA agreement has been signed between SSB and Roketsan, at IDEF’21. SSB President Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, Turkish Armed Forces, Roketsan and industry representatives participated in the signing ceremony.
Developed as a long-range cruise missile that can be launched from tactical wheeled land vehicles to meet the operational needs of Land Forces, Kara ATMACA will have a range of 280 kilometres.
The missile will be one step ahead of its competitors with unique technical and tactical features.
Kara ATMACA, with its 3D mission-planning capability and long-range, is expected to provide Turkish Land Forces superior operational planning capabilities. The missile is expected to enter the inventory as the new strike power in 2025. The first deliveries in the Kara ATMACA project are expected to be made in August 2025. (Source: AMR)
16 Aug 21. Turkish MARINE ASSAULT VEHICLE Gets Stronger With CAKA. CAKA Remote Controlled Turret (RCT) system is designed by FNSS, within the scope of Turkish Navy’s Marine Armoured Amphibious Vehicle Program that was signed between the Turkish Presidency for Defence Industries (SSB) and FNSS on March 7, 2017. The turret will be exhibited on the Marine Assault Vehicle (MAV) during IDEF 2021.
CAKA is developed to be the fire power of MAV, with its ability to carry a maximum load of ready-to-fire rounds and its also ballistic protected. CAKA RCT, which stands out with its corrosion resistance and sealing at the highest level, can be used safely in all weather and sea conditions.
Compared to similar manned turrets in service with US Marine Corps’ Amphibious Vehicles, FNSS CAKA RWS offers grater advantages with its; light weight, better protection for the gunner, target acquisition, reliability, accuracy and occupies less internal volume inside the vehicle.
CAKA RWS is power operated and armed with 12.7mm MG (50 Cal) & 40mm AGL (Automatic Grenade Launcher). The remote turret can be easily integrated to various manned and unmanned ground vehicles as well as naval surface vessels. (Source: AMR)
23 Aug 21. Worldwide Preferred Solution ASELSAN Remote Controlled Weapon Stations. ASELSAN, as one of the main global actors for land and naval weapon stations, continues protecting its clients with advanced Remote Controlled Weapon Stations (RCWS) against asymmetric threats.
ASELSAN, being present in the RCWS market for more than a decade, provides up-to-date and reliable technological solutions through direct sales as well as local production with Transfer of Technology programs.
ASELSAN Remote-Controlled Weapon Stations are in use of the armies and navies in 21 different countries worldwide. As of today, over 3500 stations have been successfully deployed to the 35 different land and naval platforms globally. Being field proven, these weapon stations are in service of armies, security forces, coast guards and navies integrated on wide variety of the platforms ranging from armored personnel carriers to main battle tanks, from fast patrol boats to corvettes and frigates.
Automatic cannons, automatic grenade launchers, machine guns ranging from 7,62mm to 40mm calibers as well as anti-tank missiles are being used in SARP, SARP-DUAL, NEFER and SERDAR for the land platforms. STAMP, STOP and SMASH are being used for the naval platforms.
The standard set of features for the RCWS family covers stabilization, automatic target tracking, ballistic computation, night and day precise surveillance capabilities, maintain the effective utilization of the weapon’s firepower and provides first round hit to the target. These weapon stations are able to operate under all types of weather and sea conditions and provide maximum safety for the operators by enabling them running the full operation under armor. (Source: AMR)
18 Aug 21. A National Addition to Air Defence Systems. The newly developed Close-in Air Defense System (CIADS), LEVENT; by Roketsan represents the first stage in the development of a new system and new missile solutions aimed at meeting the close-in air defence needs of Turkish Navy. The system follows in the footsteps of the SUNGUR System, which was developed to address the needs of land elements. After entering mass production, SUNGUR has performed well and achieved considerable successes in its land vehicle applications.
The prototype production of Turkish-Type Fast Attack Craft (FAC) will take place in the 30-month period following the completion of design studies carried out over an initial 24-month period, in accordance with a contract signed between the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) of the Republic of Turkey and STM in August 2020. The contract called for a “Close-In Weapon System” weapon configuration for the FAC.
LEVENT will be able to operate autonomously or in integration with the vessel’s sensor systems, and will be developed in line with the FAC schedule in accordance with the requirements of Turkish Naval Forces Command.
The newly developed Close-in Air Defense System (CIADS), LEVENT
The system to be developed will be a product of Roketsan’s accumulated knowledge in air defence missile systems, its technological infrastructure and its acquired subsystem technologies. The system will include the national and indigenous sensor technologies (seeker heads, RF sensors, proximity sensors) that have been developed in earlier air defence projects, and will work at high supersonic speeds and with a high level of effectiveness at long ranges, in particular against surface targets. LEVENT will have the necessary infrastructure for launching SUNGUR missiles, in addition to close-in air defence missiles. The ability to launch a variety of missiles from a single platform will provide a noteworthy boost to the firepower and flexibility of Turkish Naval Forces Command.
LEVENT, developed by Roketsan will offer manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic modes. The integration and usage concept of the system will develop in line with the requirements of Turkish Naval Forces Command, and system solutions developed in this respect will allow for integration with the onboard combat management system, separate launch consoles, or both options simultaneously (Source: AMR)
23 Aug 21. MBDA joins Australian Missile Corporation. Europe’s leading designer and producer of missiles for armed forces around the world, MBDA, has joined the Australian Missile Corporation (AMC) to help it head up a guided weapons enterprise in Australia.
MBDA joins a growing list of Australian and international businesses to sign up to the AMC. Their combined expertise will be critical to support the Australian Government as it accelerates plans for a sovereign guided weapons enterprise equipped and ready to support the ADF.
The AMC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NIOA – the largest Australian-owned supplier of weapons and munitions to the ADF.
MBDA, a joint venture between European aerospace leaders Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%) and Leonardo (25%) is the only European defence group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of ADF.
With a significant presence in five European countries and within the USA, in 2020 MBDA achieved revenue of 3.6bn euros with an order book of 16.6bn euros. In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development.
Robert Nioa, CEO of NIOA and the Australian Missile Corporation, welcomed the support of MBDA Missile Systems: ‘’MBDA has a pedigree of technological and operational success, providing missiles for each branch of the armed forces. They are trusted partners to the defence community and will bring best-in-industry expertise to ensure that in these initial stages the Australian Missile Corporation is harnessing the very best minds, all working together.’’
Lorenzo Mariani, Executive Group Director, Sales and Business Development for MBDA, said: ‘’MBDA has a strong track record of delivering sovereign guided missile capability to Australia through the government’s Defence Science and Technology Group. Our collaboration with AMC shows our commitment to work with the best of Australian industry in supporting the government’s vision to create a sovereign guided missiles industry on home soil.’’
NIOA was founded in regional Queensland in 1973 and is the largest Australian-owned weapons and munitions Prime Contractor. (Source: Rumour Control)
20 Aug 21. Day & Zimmermann joins AMC consortium. The firm is the latest to support AMC’s push to develop sovereign guided missile capability.
Day & Zimmermann (D&Z) has partnered with the Australian Missile Corporation, agreeing to provide manufacturing solutions in support of the consortium’s bid to establish a Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise (GWEOE) for the ADF.
Defence recently published a request for information on AusTender, seeking input from defence industry and academia regarding capacity and interest in supporting the GWEOE.
The initiative aims to address gaps by providing stakeholders, both SMEs and established primes, with opportunities in advanced manufacturing through the establishment of industry partnerships.
Defence is currently in the process of defining key requirements for the enterprise.
“Day & Zimmermann has a proud history of supporting the US Armed Forces and our allied nations,” Mike Yoh, president, munitions and government, said.
“We look forward to embarking on this new venture with AMC in its ambition to back the Australian government’s plan for a sovereign guided weapons facility, ready to support the ADF.”
D&Z is the latest of several defence firms to join AMC, a subsidiary of Queensland-based munitions company NIOA.
These include Austal, Quickstep, Moog Australia, Black Sky Aerospace and Thomas Global Systems.
Robert Nioa, CEO of NIOA, welcomed D&Z to the consortium.
“We are thrilled to have the support of a globally recognized company such as Day & Zimmermann, working together with our many other collaborators on this project,” he said.
“In D&Z, we have a family-owned business that shares AMC’s goal of strengthening the sovereign capability of our respective countries.”
AMC will face competition from Electro Optic Systems (EOS) and Nova Systems, which have also expressed interest in the program, jointly establishing the Sovereign Missile Alliance (SMA).
Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin Australia and Thales Australia also 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 variant. (Source: Defence Connect)
20 Aug 21. Missile Defense Agency director wants less complex, more mobile Aegis Ashore. The Missile Defense Agency director says he’d like to see the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system — which currently requires significant permanent infrastructure — become a less complex and more mobile asset.
The U.S. has had a fully operational Aegis Ashore site in Deveselu, Romania, since 2016, but has struggled to build a second fixed site in Redzikowo, Poland. This location was supposed to be in operation by August 2018, but will likely not be up and running until fiscal 2022 at the earliest.
A fixed Aegis Ashore site looks like the top side of cruiser, essentially a ship built on land that hosts radar arrays and a command-and-control system with launchers nearby.
The contractor in Poland encountered problems that have led to the project sitting for several years at the “last tactical mile,” as Vice Adm. Jon Hill, MDA’s director, has said. The contractor has struggled to configure the auxiliary controls, heating, power and cooling, which feed the combat system and are part of the construction contract.
The Aegis Ashore system is still at roughly 95 percent complete, Hill told Defense News in an update during its SMD Debrief event at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium last week.
At the same time, he said, MDA’s program manager was on the ground in Poland assessing the situation.
“I don’t think I’m ready to make any [schedule] adjustments to the left or to the right until the program manager comes back,” Hill added.
Hill said the agency has learned from the experience of setting up two fixed sites.
For future Aegis Ashore systems, “we have to decide, are we going to have long-term emplacement or are we going to just short-term land it there and pull it out if we need to,” he said.
With a more mobile option, Hill said, “you’re less worried about the ability to survive earthquakes, you’re less worried about surviving through [electromagnetic pulse] attack, if you’re going to be there for a long time.”
The final decision, he added, will influence the complexity of construction.
“I would be an advocate to reduce complexity and maybe even go back to the requirement to be transportable,” Hill said.
He noted Aegis Ashore is already modular because it is built that way in the U.S. and shipped to the sites.
Hill stressed that the way Aegis Ashore is built and deployed is a Pentagon-level decision and not his to make, but said he can see benefits to “the argument that you may want to disaggregate it,” meaning putting the sensor in one place, a command-and-control system somewhere else — possibly in a bunker — and a launcher in another spot.
One thing Hill doesn’t want to repeat is letting “the construction get so complex that when a contractor comes in and bids, then they don’t have the right skill set to go do it.”
The idea of disaggregating missile defense capability is not new. Missile defense analyst Tom Karako of the Center for Strategic and International Studies has spent roughly five years considering it.
“Element distribution, mobility, and other means of deception will be fundamental to adapt the air and missile defense enterprise to the high-end challenge,” against Russia and China, Karako told Defense News.
The 2019 Missile Defense Review and, more broadly, the 2018 National Defense Strategy call for more distributed military assets, but Karako notes, these strategies did not directly apply that principle to active air and missile defense elements.
What’s helping these ideas gain traction are recent calls to defend Guam and establish a robust missile defense architecture there, Karako said, which could serve as a test bed for more mobile, disaggregate capability like a more transportable Aegis Ashore.
MDA has yet to release a plan for the defense of Guam, but Hill said in his recent interview with Defense News that the agency has finished a report due to Congress. It’s now going through a review process within the Pentagon. Hill said the document will inform the FY23 budget request.
A year ago, former INDOPACOM Commander Adm. Phil Davidson called to build an Aegis Ashore facility on Guam by 2026 and renewed that call in testimony before Congress earlier this year. (Source: Defense News)
19 Aug 21. India’s DRDO develops advanced chaff technology for IAF jets. IAF has already started the process of inducting the technology to safeguard fighter jets from hostile radar threats.
Chaff is a critical defence technology that is used to protect fighter aircraft from hostile radar threats. Credit: Ministry of Defence / Government of India.
Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) in India has developed an advanced chaff technology for Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets.
Chaff is a critical defence technology that is used to protect fighter aircraft from hostile radar threats. Fewer chaff materials in the air can serve as a decoy to deflect the enemy’s missiles, safeguarding the jets during missions.
The advanced chaff material and chaff cartridge-118/I was developed by DRDO units Defence Laboratory Jodhpur and High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL).
IAF has already started the process of inducting the technology after it met its qualitative requirements during user trials.
A Ministry of Defence statement said: “The technology has been given to the industry for production in large quantities to meet the annual rolling requirement of the Indian Air Force.”
Following the development, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO, IAF and the industry. DRDO chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy also lauded the team and opined that the adoption of new chaff technology will further strengthen the IAF.
DRDO is a government agency responsible for military research and development.
In July, the agency conducted the second flight test of the New Generation Akash Missile (Akash-NG) from its integrated test range (ITR) in Chandipur in the state of Odisha. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
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