05 Jan 22. Japan considers submarine-launched cruise missiles. Japan is exploring the possibility of equipping its submarines with cruise missiles that can be launched from underwater — but it has never done this before. Tokyo is considering equipping its submarines with a new underwater-launched cruise missile useful for both island defence and attacking enemy bases, according to the Yomiuri newspaper.
The latest Taigei-class submarines of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) are equipped with lithium-ion batteries for stealthy operation and underwater mobility, so they could be ideal platforms for launching missiles. The new cruise missile will be based on the 200km-range Type 12 anti-ship missile. Its initial maximum range will be 900km, ultimately developing to 1,500km. (Source: Shephard)
06 Jan 22. New Thales 2.75-inch Rocket (FZ275) certified for firing from Arnold Defense LAND-LGR4 “FLETCHER” launcher. Arnold Defense, the St. Louis based manufacturer of 70mm/2.75-inch rocket launchers, together with Thales, have achieved formal certification to fire the new Thales FZ275 70mm/2.75-inch Laser Guided Rocket (LGR) from the Arnold Defense LAND-LGR4 “FLETCHER” rocket launcher, during recent testing in Sweden.
This new certification of the FZ275 LGR, extends the range of Thales rockets that are compatible and certified to be launched from Arnold Defense rocket launchers and in particular, the LAND-LGR 4 “FLETCHER” launcher. The combination of the “FLETCHER” ground-based launcher and the FZ275 LGR (lightest and longest range 70mm/2.75-inch LGR in its class), delivers precision guided accuracy against fixed and mobile targets, with minimal collateral damage, to dismounted rapid reaction forces. This type of capability has typically been limited to aviation-mounted platforms.
Thanks to features such as lightweight design, state of art propellant grain and reduced FOD, Thales 70mm/2.75-ich rockets are used worldwide by more than 75 armed forces across more than 50 countries. The rockets have also been officially adopted by many major platform Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) where their performance and reliability are clearly recognized and the ability to deliver a single rocket solution for air, vehicle and ground based platforms provides the ultimate battlefield utility.
Arnold Defense’s launchers are versatile and allow the user to select from a range of certified rocket systems to suit their specific needs, or their own in-service inventory. Adding the new Thales FZ275 70mm/2.75-inch rockets to the Arnold Defense certified rocket portfolio significantly extends their global capability offering.
Stéphane Bianchi, Director of the Airborne Armament business segment at Thales said: “This is the second test firing and certification project in partnership with Arnold Defense and extends both companies’ portfolios and offering to regular and Special Forces. Thales 70mm/2.75-inch rocket systems now provide a one stop shop to deliver precision guided accuracy against fixed and mobile targets across the full spectrum of delivery platforms now including ground troops.”
Frank Ferrante, Vice President of Programs and Business Development at Arnold Defense said: “Arnold Defense is excited to have achieved this additional certification following a highly successful series of live firing tests. We can now add the FZ275 Thales 70mm/2.75-inch rockets to the wide range of rockets that can be fired from Arnold Defense launchers, thus increasing the flexibility of our offer to the global user.” He added, “Arnold Defense works hard to meet the future needs of our customers and this project, in partnership with Thales, delivers a significant capability enhancement to ground troops operating remotely and unsupported, increasing the range and precision of their strike without relying on air or aviation platforms.”
06 Jan 22. Turkey’s Sarp RWS adapted to fire Atom 40mm airburst munition. Aselsan has been adapting the Sarp remote weapon station (RWS) with the capability to fire the Atom 40mm high-velocity airburst munition, the company reported in its January 2022 bulletin. Atom Sarp was test-fired in June 2021 against dummies representing dispersed insurgents under cover, inside buildings, and in the field. The adaptation of Sarp and an integration kit will allow the RWS to fire the Atom 40mm munition from vehicles in Turkey’s inventory, Aselsan said. The exact time Atom 40mm will detonate is programmed as the munition leaves the barrel, according to an Aselsan brochure. Once fired, the programmable fuze begins the countdown to detonation over an intended target with a pre-fragmented shell optimised for the target set, ensuring a high hit probability, the company said. Together with a counter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system and RWS, Atom 40mm offers a kinetic attack capability against mini/micro UAVs, Aselsan added. (Source: Janes)
06 Jan 22. Serbia demonstrates its new Kornet-EM ATGM. The Serbian Armed Forces (SAF) fired one of their new Kornet-EM manportable anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) during a demonstration of the capabilities of the 72nd Special Operations Brigade at Rastko Nemanjić barracks in Pančevo on 3 January, the Ministry of Defence reported on its website the same day.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić attended the event, which included static displays of special forces weapons and, for the first time, Kornet-EM sets received from Russia on 24 December: 9P163M-2 launchers, 1PN79M-3 thermal imaging sights, and 9M133M-2 ATGMs. The Kornet-EMs will arm the 72nd Special Operations Brigade in Pančevo, the 63rd Parachute Brigade in Niš, and other Serbian Army units. Serbian soldiers have already trained with the ATGM in Russia. Serbian Defence Minister Nebojša Stefanović told Serbian national TV station RTS on 28 December that some of the Kornet-EMs would be installed on the 72nd Special Operations Brigade BOV M16 Miloš 4×4 multi-purpose armoured vehicles (MPAVs). (Source: Janes)
05 Jan 22. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) successfully completed a static test of its Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) rocket motor as part of its motor qualification effort. The test supports the necessary requirements to validate the company’s motor design for production.
“With another successful rocket motor test complete, we are one step closer to providing the U.S. Army with a next-generation, long range fires capability,” said Rebecca Torzone, vice president, missile products, Northrop Grumman. “Our new motor delivers enhanced performance that translates to increased weapon load out and standoff for our warfighter.”
The test validated that the motor met all performance requirements after being conditioned to extreme cold temperatures. The rocket motor will undergo a series of additional qualification tests before initial fielding in 2023.
PrSM will replace the Army’s Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), significantly extending range and doubling the load out by providing two missiles per launch pod versus ATACMS’ single missile. This upgrade is made possible by the new Northrop Grumman PrSM rocket motor, which incorporates the latest high performance solid propulsion technologies as well as enhanced soldier-safety features.
Northrop Grumman will produce the PrSM propulsion system at its manufacturing facility at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center. The company’s investments in digital technologies drive affordability in one of the world’s most modern and efficient tactical solid rocket motor production facilities.
These advancements allow for the quick turnaround of a production ready PrSM system to support the U.S. Army’s request for an early operational capability. The efficiency achieved from digital transformation ensures the warfighter is equipped quicker than ever before.
Northrop Grumman is a technology company, focused on global security and human discovery. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with capabilities they need to connect, advance and protect the U.S. and its allies. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our 90,000 employees define possible every day.
04 Jan 22. Japan set to develop railguns to counter hypersonic missiles. Defense Ministry expects to have a bolstered intercept system by late 2020s. The Japanese Defense Ministry will develop a means to intercept hostile missiles using magnetically powered projectiles, sources told Nikkei Asia, as the nation scurries to respond to the hypersonic weapons being developed by China, North Korea and Russia. The ministry is focusing on railgun technology that can launch projectiles with power generated when an electric current is applied to a magnetic field. The projectiles are faster than those shot from conventional intercept systems and can be fired continuously. Together with long-range missiles, the next-generation system will provide Japan with multilayered intercept capabilities. Hypersonic weapons, which travel faster than five times the speed of sound, are thought to be close to coming into practical use. In November, the Financial Times reported that four months earlier China was able to fire a missile from a glide vehicle traveling at hypersonic speeds over the South China Sea.
The speed of sound is about 343 meters per second.
Other countries apparently have similar technology. North Korea has claimed that a missile it launched into the Sea of Japan in September was a hypersonic device, and Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to deploy hypersonic cruise missiles this year.
Japanese policymakers see hypersonic weapons as the next generation of military weaponry and believe the country must urgently strengthen its deterrence, especially in regard to China.
Japan is developing a railgun system not to intercept missiles but to deter any from being shot in the first place, a policymaker told Nikkei.
Hypersonic missiles fly along irregular trajectories, so conventional intercept systems, which attack ballistic missiles flying on parabolic paths, cannot stop them.
The new system will reinforce Japan’s missile response capabilities, which have been described by some experts as the “hole in Japan’s defense.” In addition to adding railgun interceptors to its existing missile defense system, Japan is considering long-range missiles that would allow it to return volleys from a distance. Together, the systems would create a three-tiered deterrent.
The Defense Ministry’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency has been researching the basic technologies behind railguns. An earmark of 6.5bn yen ($56m) has been included in the fiscal 2022 budget for the development of prototypes of military-use railgun equipment. Planners intend for the system to be ready for actual use in the second half of the 2020s.
Existing intercept missiles are limited to speeds of about 1,700 meters per second. Interceptors fired from electromagnetic railguns are expected to reach speeds of over 2,000 meters per second. During the research stage, a prototype achieved a speed of nearly 2,300 meters per second.
Increasing speeds raises the chances of interceptor being able to hit another hypersonic missile before it reaches its target. Being able to fire interceptors in rapid succession also improves the chances of hitting a missile traveling more than five times the speed of sound.
Railguns can also shoot interceptors at different speeds. By manipulating the amount of electrical power they apply, operators can adjust how fast an interceptor travels. Such decisions would depend on the speed of incoming missiles. It is difficult to manipulate the velocity of missiles fired with conventional propellants. The small size of a railgun’s “bullets” also gives them a degree of stealth.
The U.S. and other countries are also working on railguns, but according to the Ministry of Defense, none have yet succeeded in putting the technology into practical use.
Increasing the speed of the bullets requires that they be made from a strong material that can easily conduct electricity. The ministry believes it can use the advanced material technologies of Japanese companies. (Source: https://asia.nikkei.com/)
03 Jan 22. Philippines allocates funds to purchase BrahMos missile system. BrahMos cruise missile can be launched from ships, submarines, aircraft, or land platforms. The Government of the Philippines has reportedly allocated funds for the procurement of BrahMos cruise missile system. Recently, the Philippines’ department of budget management made two special allotment release orders with a combined worth of $55.5m (PHP2.8bn) to meet initial funding requirements for a ‘Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile System Acquisition Project’.
The allocation is for the BrahMos missile system, people familiar with the development told the Hindustan Times.
A team from the Philippine Navy also visited BrahMos Aerospace’s production unit in Hyderabad last month as part of the procurement procedure, the publication added.
If the acquisition proceeds, the Philippines will become the first overseas customer to procure the weapon system that has been jointly developed by the Russia and India.
Currently, Philippines armed forces are executing a revised modernisation programme.
Under this programme, Philippine Navy signed a pact with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) on 28 December for two corvettes.
The country intends to sign contracts for 36 Black Hawk helicopters and six offshore patrol vessels this year.
Philippines’ department of budget management has also assigned the initial funding requirements for the procurement of fast boats for the navy.
In March last year, the Philippines and India entered into an ‘implementing arrangement’ for supporting government-to-government deals on military hardware and equipment, including the BrahMos missile.
BrahMos, a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile, can be launched from vessels, submarines, aircraft, or land platforms.
The Philippines selected BrahMos after carrying out wide-ranging trials and negotiations that centred around the cost of the system.
Currently, India and Russia are jointly working to expand the range of the BrahMos and commence exporting the missile to third nations.
In recent years, India has been in discussions with numerous Southeast Asian nations, such as Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam, for the export of land and sea-based versions of the BrahMos. (Source: naval-technology.com)
30 Dec 21. Dynetics to Develop Thermal Wrap for US Army Hypersonic Prototype Weapons. Dynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, was awarded a contract to develop Hypersonic Thermal Protection System (TPS) prototypes for the U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO). The $478,598,908 cost-plus-fixed fee award is also to support materials research and novel inspection and acceptance criteria. RCCTO estimates Dynetics will complete the program by November 18, 2027. The TPS shields elements of the Long Range Hypersonic Weapon system and the Navy Conventional Prompt Strike system from extreme environments seen during flight. The development of the hypersonic weapon systems is a joint effort between the United States Army and United States Navy.
“The Army has placed a major emphasis on weapon modernization. Hypersonic weapon development takes speed and agility so we can defeat the adversarial threat. Our customer has entrusted us to deliver integrated prototype systems two years ago and now, again, with the thermal protection system. We intend to do so and are pleased to add one more capability to our Hypersonic program portfolio,” said Ronnie Chronister, Dynetics senior vice president of Weapons Technology and Manufacturing.
Dynetics is developing the TPS technology in conjunction with industry partners. This award transfers the TPS supplier base from government to industry and allows for expansion of advanced material development. It also provides room for growth in present applications and future concepts. The TPS system will be developed in Alabama. (Source: ASD Network)