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02 Nov 21. South Korea to develop new lightweight torpedoes. According to South Korean arms procurement agency DAPA, the project is worth nearly $135m. South Korea’s Defense Project Promotion Committee has reportedly approved a new project to develop lightweight torpedoes.
State arms procurement agency Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) was cited by Yonhap News Agency as saying that the new lightweight torpedoes will bolster the Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN) anti-submarine capabilities.
The project has a target time period of up to 2028 and the torpedo will be designed, developed and built domestically. It is worth nearly $135m (KRW160bn), reported the news agency. In 2017, local defence firm LIG Nex1 unveiled its Tiger Shark Heavyweight Torpedo System concept during the MADEX exhibition. The Tiger Shark was expected to be deployed on the RoKN’s submarines last year. The company has also developed the K745 Blue Shark torpedo for the country’s naval platforms. It is a light anti-submarine torpedo with an operational range of 19km.
In addition, DAPA officials said that the committee also approved another project valued at $400m (KRW470bn) to supply global positioning system (GPS) guided bombs for Air Force operations by 2027. The GPS-guided bombs package project includes separate contracts with four international firms. The project endorsements follow confirmation reports by North Korea of the test-firing of a new, smaller submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) last month. In September 2021, the South Korean Navy is said to have test-fired an SLBM from a locally developed submarine. (Source: naval-technology.com)
02 Nov 21. Lockheed Martin and Rafael to develop SPICE-250 missiles for sale in US. SPICE 250, pictured on the left wing station of an F-16, increases range, lethality and precision without the need for GPS. Credit: Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Lockheed Martin has signed an expanded teaming agreement with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for the smart, precise impact and cost-effective (SPICE) 250 weapon system.
Under the agreement, the two companies will jointly develop and market the missiles for sale in Poland and the US.
Lockheed Martin programme director Dave Pantano said: “Lockheed Martin’s deep expertise in weapon system integration will help us adapt SPICE 250 to meet US standards.
“We’re excited to leverage this experience and offer this unique, proven weapon system to aircraft operators for additional mission flexibility where it’s needed most.”
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2018 to market SPICE air-to-surface missile kits.
In 2019, they reached a teaming agreement to market SPICE 1000 and SPICE 2000 guidance kits for sale to the US.
The SPICE product family comprises two guidance kits, SPICE 1000 and SPICE 2000, and SPICE 250 all-up round.
SPICE is designed to destroy targets with pinpoint precision in a global positioning system (GPS)-denied environment.
Rafael Air to Surface Directorate vice-president Alon Shlomi said: “GPS is not required to operate any of the products within the SPICE family, allowing for operations in a variety of locations and adverse environments.
“By expanding our teaming agreement with Lockheed Martin, we’re able to offer the entire product portfolio to the US military, providing warfighters with the opportunity to enhance mission flexibility.”
The weapon systems are in service with the Israeli Air Force and several other international customers.(Source: airforce-technology.com)
03 Nov 21. AeroVironment Demonstrates First-Ever Switchblade Loitering Missile Integration for Air Launched Effects from JUMP 20 Medium Unmanned Aircraft System.
- Initial proof-of-concept demonstration conducted in August 2021
- Leverages an AeroVironment end-to-end solution with combat-proven systems for increased mission autonomy and efficacy
AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in intelligent, multi-domain robotic systems, today announced the successful demonstration of integrating Switchblade® 300 loitering missiles and JUMP® 20 medium unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for increased mission autonomy and efficacy. This Air Launched Effects (ALE) proof-of-concept demonstration took place in August 2021 with the goal of launching an inert Switchblade 300 from the JUMP 20 and successfully recovering both air vehicles.
The systems were integrated by fixing the inert Switchblade 300 tube-launch system to the existing JUMP 20 platform’s vertical lift boom with a custom-made bolt-on mount and firing solution. Switchblade 300 was remotely fired using the JUMP 20 ground control solution with in-flight control taken by a separate Switchblade ground element. Both vehicles were successfully recovered, proving the demonstration event to be the first-ever Switchblade 300 integration and air launch from a JUMP 20 Group 3 vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) platform.
“This end-to-end integrated solution enables customers with greater time on station than if they were to deploy a Switchblade on its own, resulting in the ability to conduct persistent real-time surveillance to increase the chance of identifying the correct target and minimizing collateral damage,” said Brett Hush, AeroVironment vice president and product line general manager of tactical missile systems. “It combines the combat-proven Switchblade loitering missile’s lethality, reach and precision strike capabilities with low collateral effects and the VTOL, fixed-wing JUMP 20’s advanced multi-sensor ISR services and 14-hour endurance.”
03 Nov 21. Israel & German MOD Announce Successful Live Fire Test of Rafael’s TROPHY System on German LEOPARD Tank. Rafael officials: “we are dedicated to the success of our customers.” Last week, the government procurement office of Germany, in cooperation with Israel Ministry of Defense, and supported by Rafael and KMW completed a series of challenging live firing tests of the TROPHY on the LEOPARD 2 tank, which was integrated into the German services after a government-to-government agreement was reached in February. The agreement was led by the Directorate of Defense R&D in the Ministry of Defense and Rafael.
Dr. Ran Gozali, Executive Vice President, GM Land & Naval Division at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems: “TROPHY APS proves once again its outstanding capabilities. We are looking forward to the expansion of this successful cooperation with our partners at KMW, and are confident that this achievement will make its impact on the APS market. We at Rafael are dedicated to the success of our customers, and are ready to integrate TROPHY on any platform, anywhere.”
Developed by Rafael in response to successful anti-armor attacks, TROPHY APS provides mature, combat-proven protection against rocket and missile threats and simultaneously locates the origin of the hostile fire for immediate response. TROPHY is the only fully-integrated, combat-proven APS in the world and has been installed on Israel Defense Forces’ Merkava tanks since 2010, and has also been installed on the Namer APCs. TROPHY has also been supplied to four US Army Abrams MBT brigades, and has now recorded an overwhelmingly successful test on the German Leopard 2 Tank. Trophy has accrued over 1,000,000 operating hours, including over 5,400 successful field tests, and is now under contract for serial production of over 1,800 systems.
02 Nov 21. Royal Navy looking to ‘increase lethality’ of Type 31 Frigates. In welcome news, First Sea Lord Tony Radakin has stated that the Type 31 Frigates will be ‘fitted for but not with’ the MK41 VLS missile launcher should the warships be required to operate the new surface-to-surface missile system. During a session of the Defence Committee today, the First Sea Lord said: “Part of the debate that we’re having is that it’s going to be ‘fitted for’ MK41 launchers but not ‘with’ at the moment. That starts to become part of our lethality debate, particularly around a surface-to-surface weapon and do we extend that programme to include the Type 31.” (Source: https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/)
01 Nov 21. Embry-Riddle Works to Reduce Collateral Damage in Air Force Study of Warhead Shrapnel. A professor and a graduate student from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University are working on developing better methods to predict where fragments from a warhead strike will fly, reducing the chance of collateral damage. Currently, predictions of how warhead fragmentation will occur are determined using static tests in which trial warheads are detonated in the desert with no flight involved. Although some numerical simulations have also been used as predictors of warhead fragmentation, they often don’t take into account such factors as gravity and aerodynamic forces.
Thanks to a $442,508 grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Aerospace Engineering professor Riccardo Bevilacqua and graduate student Katharine Larsen will merge data from static tests with advanced simulation capabilities, taking into account such factors as the speed and orientation of a warhead and using artificial neural networks and other machine learning tools to provide better estimates.
“Being able to predict how these systems behave is a way to save money and be more precise,” Bevilacqua said. “Having a better model of where the fragments will go will add safety for innocent people.”
Bevilacqua said the technology being developed could also eventually be applied in the case of collisions or explosions in space that shoot off fragments of space debris. Being able to predict where that debris will go could protect active satellites from being damaged.
Tasos Lyrintzis, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, said the grant represents the largest single-investigator Air Force award received by the department.
“It demonstrates how much the Air Force values the research,” Lyrintzis said.
Larsen, who is earning a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, will be helping to create models from data provided by the U.S. Air Force and from simulations provided by the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center. Having recently decided to pursue a doctoral degree, Larsen would like to work for the Department of Defense and would someday like to be in involved in the design and manufacturing of satellites, and their control systems, for scientific research.
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01 Nov 21. SMART SHOOTER, a world-class designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative fire control systems that significantly increase the accuracy and lethality of small arms, will present its SMASH family of fire control systems at the FEINDEF exhibition in Madrid, Spain, in a joint stand with its local partner – Blanch Internacional & Asociados.
SMASH is a combat-proven Fire Control solution that ensures each round finds its target. With a unique “One Shot – One Hit” capability, SMASH allows the operator to quickly and effectively neutralize any ground or airborne target, manned or unmanned. It is a cost-effective solution that can be integrated onto any type of assault rifle to increase force lethality while keeping friendly forces safe and reducing collateral damage.
Ideal for defense, HLS, maritime patrol, border control, strategic infrastructure protection and counter-UAS, Smart Shooter’s SMASH fire control solutions are fielded and in operational use by various friendly forces around the world, including the IDF, the US Special Forces, and the Indian Navy. Other friendly forces in worldwide, including forces in Spain, are currently in different stages of evaluating the systems according to their specific operational needs.
The SMASH family includes both handheld operated and remotely controlled fire control solutions. At the exhibition, the company will present the SMASH 2000 Plus: SMASH 2000 Plus includes the SMASH fire control solution’s full feature set, with an additional advanced Counter-UAS mode which provides accurate Hard Kill capability against drones or any static or moving ground targets. Designed to give soldiers and Law Enforcement Professionals a decisive tactical edge in almost every operational scenario, SMASH 2000 Plus is ideal for defense, HLS, border security, strategic facilities protection, police, and paramilitary uses.
29 Oct 21. U.S. successfully tests hypersonic booster motor in Utah. The Pentagon successfully tested a booster rocket motor on Thursday designed to power a launch vehicle carrying a hypersonic weapon aloft, the Navy said. The United States and its global rivals have intensified their drive to build hypersonic weapons – the next generation of arms that rob adversaries of reaction time and traditional defeat mechanisms. Defense contractors hope to capitalize as they make the weapons and develop new detection and defeat mechanisms.
This week, the top U.S. military officer confirmed a Chinese hypersonic weapons test that military experts say appears to show Beijing’s pursuit of an Earth-orbiting system designed to evade American missile defenses. read more
“We are on schedule for the upcoming flight test of the full common hypersonic missile,” said Vice Admiral Johnny Wolfe Jr, Director, Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs, lead designer on the program. That flight test, of the combined boost rocket and hypersonic weapon, is slated to happen before autumn 2022.
Last week in Kodiak, Alaska, the U.S. failed a hypersonic weapon test when the booster failed. read more
U.S. military services will use the common hypersonic missile as a base to develop individual weapon systems and launchers tailored for launch from sea or land.
The common hypersonic missile will consist of the first stage solid rocket motor as part of a new missile booster combined with the Common Hypersonic Glide Body (CHGB).
This static fire test marked the first time the first stage solid rocket motor included a thrust vector control system, the Navy said. Thrust vector control systems allow the rocket motors to be maneuverable in flight.
The U.S. Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs conducted two prior tests of the solid rocket motor used in the development of the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) offensive hypersonic strike capability and the Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW).
Arms makers Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) and Raytheon Technologies Corp (RTX.N) all touted their hypersonic weapons programs at the top of their quarterly earnings calls this week as world focus shifted to the new arms race for an emerging class of weapon. (Source: Reuters)
29 Oct 21. Swiss 120 mm Thor mortar bomb completes development. Saab Bofors Dynamics Switzerland said it has completed a private-venture development of a 120 mm Thor mortar bomb, intended to enhance firepower for smoothbore mortars.
“The development of the Thor 120 mm has been completed and the first qualification batches have been produced; we and our partners are currently focusing on optimising the production process,” the company told Janes . “Meanwhile Thor 120 mm has been presented to various potential customers with the focus on deployment with mobile mortar systems.”
The Thor 120 mm smoothbore mortar bomb uses a multidimensional fragmentation design – a further development of the Mortar Anti-Personnel Anti-Material (MAPAM) design that was originally used on Saab’s 60 mm and 81 mm mortar bombs.
According to the company, a traditional 120 mm mortar bomb fitted with a nose-mounted proximity fuze disperses fragments in nearly every direction, which decreases the lethality as more than 50% of the fragments are scattered upwards.
The design of the Thor 120mm mortar bomb combines different shapes (cubes and spheres), materials (steel, molybdenum, and tungsten), and fragmentation sizes (2.5, 4.5, and 6.5 mm). The pre-fragmentation technology enables users to predict each round’s lethal radius, which in turn is claimed to reduce collateral damage and increases effectiveness.
A key feature of the Thor bomb is that users select different chamber configurations or different fragments depending on the target set.
The bomb is insensitive munition (IM) compliant, weighs 15 kg, and typically contains 1,400 steel balls, 1,700 fragments, and 3.4 kg of PBXN-110 high-explosive (HE), with the option of an additional 1 kg of HE blast explosive. (Source: Janes)
Arnold Defense has manufactured more than 1.25 m 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.