03 Feb 22. Readout of Round Table Meeting with Hypersonics Industry Executives. Pentagon Spokesman Eric Pahon provided the following readout:
Since 2021, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III and Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks have engaged with more than 170 industry leaders as a part of a persistent, open communication strategy to advance the Department’s understanding of industry priorities and challenges.
These engagements have been focused across the Department’s set of 14 critical technology development areas to ensure our continued dominance on the highly-contested battlefields of the future, including artificial intelligence; microelectronics; biotechnology; integrated sensing and cyber; and hypersonics.
Today, Deputy Secretary Hicks chaired an industry round-table meeting with hypersonics industry executives virtually via teleconference from the Pentagon. The meeting, included a question-and-answer session with CEOs, was moderated by Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering Heidi Shyu.
Secretary Austin joined the call briefly to hear perspectives from industry leaders, and noted the need for persistent dialogue in order to meet the department’s current and future capabilities requirements for defensive and offensive capabilities.
Executives from more than a dozen companies of varying scale attended the round table and discussed supply chain and production capacity constraints across markets; the challenges posed by continuing resolutions; access to test facilities; workforce needs; and government acquisition barriers.
Participants identified a need to expand access to modeling capabilities and testing facilities in order to adopt a “test often, fail fast, and learn” approach which will accelerate the fielding of hypersonic and counter-hypersonic systems.
These meetings with executives in key areas of innovation and modernization also help to strengthen relationships and employ a collaborative disruption approach to accelerate the development of cutting-edge capabilities and new operational concepts. (Source: US DoD)
02 Feb 22. General Atomics AFTUs Successfully Demod During Navy/Army Hypersonic Rocket Test Flight. General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that its Autonomous Flight Termination Units (AFTUs) carried onboard two sounding rockets were successfully demonstrated and performed as expected during a High Operational Tempo for Hypersonics test flight campaign sponsored by the Navy Strategic Systems Programs and Army Hypersonic Program Office on October 20, 2021, at Wallops Island, VA. The AFTUs help assure missile flight safety and were part of a test campaign to demonstrate technologies to advance the development of the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) and the Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) offensive hypersonic strike capability.
“GA-EMS’ long-established cooperative relationship with the Army, Navy and Sandia National Labs has been key to the design and advancement of hypersonic weapons technologies,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “Test flight demonstrations such as this are a critical part of the process toward verifying and inserting this technology into future hypersonic weapon systems. We are pleased the AFTUs performed successfully, advancing the readiness of the AFTU technology. This represents a major step in proving the AFTU’s capability to successfully operate in the hypersonic environment for which they were designed.”
GA-EMS’ state-of-the-art AFTU offers greater flexibility to assure flight safety for missiles launched for space applications or military weapons testing. Integrated aboard a missile, the AFTU takes a pre-launch defined mission profile and compares it with what the launched missile experiences as it flies. If the flight profile rules or boundaries are violated during flight, the AFTU will command the vehicle to destruct. The AFTU’s compact, lightweight design
“The missile and space flight industry must provide a means of preventing a launch or aeronautical vehicle and its hazards, including any payload hazards, from reaching any populated or other protected area in the event of a vehicle failure,” continued Forney. “Our AFTUs provide the flexibility to operate independently or can be paired to operate together to share data, with the ability to continue the flight should one fail, thus increasing mission assurance.” (Source: ASD Network)
03 Feb 22. Hanwha Defense signs largest deal to export K9 Self-Propelled Howitzers to Egypt. The contract is valued around $1.7bn, marking the biggest deal in history over the export of the K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzer. Hanwha Defense is to supply the ‘K9A1 EGY’ variant for the Egyptian Army and Navy, along with the K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicle and K11 Fire Direction Control Vehicle. Most of the K9A1 EGY family vehicles are to be produced locally through tech transfer and logistics support programs. The K9 SPH dominates the global self-propelled howitzer market, with some 1,700 units in service with eight countries as of 2022, with the K9 User Community expanding to nine countries, including Egypt
Hanwha Defense signed a contract on February 1 to provide a package of self-propelled howitzers and its support vehicles to the Egyptian Armed Forces.
The contract is valued around $1.7bn for hundreds of the K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer (SPH), K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicles, and K11 Fire Direction Control Vehicle. The deal is the largest in scale over the export of the K9 artillery solution, which has already been adopted by eight countries around the globe.
A signing ceremony was held at Artillery House in the capital city of Cairo with the attendance of high-profile delegates from both countries. Among the Egyptian participants are Colonel General Mohamed Zaki, Minister of Defense; Major General Mohamed Morsi, Minister of Military Production; Staff Major General Osama Ezzat, Head of the Armament Authority; and Staff Major General Ayman Waafai, Chief of Artillery Department. South Korean delegates include Mr. Son Jae-il, President & CEO of Hanwha Defense; Mr. Kang Eun-ho, head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration; and South Korean Ambassador to Egypt Hong Jin-wook.
Under the contract, Hanwha Defense is scheduled to deliver the first batch of K9A1 EGYs before 2025, with the remainder to be produced at the state-run Military Factory 200 in Egypt through technology transfer. In addition, Hanwha Defense is committed to providing a variety of support programs, including user trainings and organizational/field/depot maintenance.
In particular, the latest K9 deal has marked the first export of a naval K9 variant, proving the tracked artillery’s versatile operational capability. The Egyptian Navy had long sought to acquire the K9 as an anti-access/area denial weapon system, and the K9 successfully proved its access denial capability by hitting targets precisely at sea during tests and evaluations in 2017.
Developed in 1998 by state-run Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and Hanwha Defense, the K9 SPH is South Korea’s flagship weapons systems in a dominant position of the world’s SPH market.
Since 2001, the K9 solution has been adopted by seven nations _ Turkey, Poland, India, Finland, Norway, Estonia and Australia _ through different types of contracts, such as the delivery of finished products, tech transfer, local production, in a way to best meet the requirements of customer nations.
With the Egyptian acquisition of the K9, the K9 User Community will be expanding its membership to nine countries, further solidifying its position as the biggest player in the global SPH market.
“The latest deal with Egypt is significant in that Hanwha Defense has made its way across Africa for the first time with the K9, the world’s most advanced and proven self-propelled howitzer, amid growing partnership between South Korea and Egypt,” said Son Jae-il, CEO and President of Hanwha Defense. “I promise we will do our best to make K9A1 EGY project the best model case of bilateral cooperation.”
“Based on mutual trust and understanding, we will put our utmost efforts not only to contribute to strengthening the defense capabilities of the Egyptian Armed Forces, but also to improving the local industrial base,” Son said, adding the K9A1 EGY would be promoted in other countries.”
The K9 is equipped with the 155mm/52-calibre gun designed to meet the tactical concept of “Shoot & Scoot.” In layman’s terms, Shoot & Scoot means a gun moves to a firing position, completes a mission and then leaves the position before an enemy can counter it.
The 47-ton artillery has a firing range of 40 kilometres and can move as fast as 67 kilometres per hour. Fitted with an automatic fire control system, the howitzer can fire within 30 seconds from a stationary position and 60 seconds while on move, with a maximum rate of fire from six to eight rounds per minute.
The K10 Ammunition Resupply Vehicle is the world’s first automated robotic ammunition carrier operational in conjunction with the K9. The vehicle carries a total of 104 rounds and possesses the same mobility of the K9.
The K11 Fire Direction Control Vehicle is a new vehicle to be developed for the Egyptian military. Using the K9 chassis, the command-post vehicle will be equipped with a range of high-tech sensor and communication equipment in accordance with operational requirements of the Egyptian Army and Navy
02 Feb 22. Russia’s Loitering Ammunition KUB-E Cleared for Export. Russian authorities have granted the Kalashnikov Group permission to export its KUB-E guided munitions complex received export permits, which makes it possible to promote this product abroad.
“The group of companies, together with JSC Rosoboronexport, is ready to start promoting the KUB UAV on the international market, including during intergovernmental commissions and international exhibitions. It should be noted that this drone already has a successful experience of combat use, confirmed in real conditions,”
the press service of the Kalashnikov Group of Companies specified.
Loitering ammunition KUB-E was developed by ZALA Aero (part of the Kalashnikov group of companies), in November 2021 it successfully passed state tests. In 2022, its serial deliveries to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are planned.
“Today, there are practically no drones with similar weight and size indicators on the world market. The dimensions of the KUB are 1210*950*165 mm, while it can carry a payload of up to 3 kg,” Kalashnikov stressed.
KUBs can be used to strike at infrastructure facilities, enemy manpower, as well as lightly armored targets. KUB operates silently and develops a speed of up to 130km/h thanks to the electric power plant and can spend up to 30 minutes in flight. The fact that KUBs will be in demand on the world market is evidenced by the interest shown to them by foreign customers during the first public demonstration at the international exhibition IDEX-2019 in Abu Dhabi. (Source: UAS VISION)
01 Feb 22. Why did Egypt choose to buy South Korea’s K9 howitzer? Egypt has ordered K9 self-propelled howitzers and other support vehicles from Hanwha Defense, according to a Feb. 1 announcement by South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration.
A source with knowledge of the deal told Defense News that most of the artillery and vehicles are scheduled to be locally produced at Factory 200, a state-run defense manufacturing facility just outside the Egyptian capital, while an initial batch is to be delivered by Hanwha Defense.
South Korean company Hanwha, which makes the K9, showcased the system recently at the Egypt Defence Expo, which ran Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Defense News spoke to several experts during the negotiation process who said the firm was expected to launch production lines in Egypt with local companies to produce subsystems of the howitzer.
Mohamed al-Kenany, who leads the military studies unit at the Cairo-based Arab Forum for Analyzing Iranian Policies, noted that at least two Egyptian companies have experience in this field: “Abu Zaabal Company for Engineering Industries (Factory 100), which originally manufactures howitzer artillery systems for the Egyptian army and 120mm cannon for the Egyptian M1A1 tank,” and “Military Factory 200, which is an armored production and repair facility specializing in armored vehicles and tracked vehicles.”
The two organizations fall under the purview of Egypt’s Ministry of Military Production.
Why choose the K9?
Egypt expressed interest in updating its artillery systems in 2009, but efforts were postponed for nearly a decade as the country underwent a revolt — part of what was dubbed the Arab Spring, a wave of pro-democratic protests, revolutions and civil wars in the region that began in 2011.
“In 2017, there was a strong competition between French Nexter’s Caesar, South Korean K9 Thunder, Russian Koalitsiya-SV, and Chinese PLZ-45 for the Egyptian Armed Forces howitzer,” al-Kenany said.
Egypt hosted testing for the systems, he said, with a final competition between the Caesar and the K9, which the latter won.
Egypt’s land forces currently operate versions A2, A3 and A5 of the American-made M109 howitzer. Abdel Hamid Harfi, a military researcher and author, said the South Korean howitzers will replace Egypt’s aging fleet.
“Some of these [American] howitzers are first-generation systems and are either out of service or used by the Egyptian Ministry of Military Production to manufacture local artillery using Russian 122mm guns, but they don’t meet the field efficiency requirement levels the Armed Forces need. After local upgrade, they have become armored and not self-propelled,” he told Defense News.
But more significant than Egypt’s decision to purchase the K9 howitzer is its securing of a joint production deal, according to Ahmad Eliba, a defense expert at the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies.
“The K9 Thunder howitzer is very [similar] to the American howitzer. The particular choice of this system was made in accordance with the Egyptian armed forces specifications, like the cost and technology transfer,” Eliba told Defense News, adding that the latest deal is a sign of growth in Egyptian and South Korean defense cooperation.
Harfi agreed, emphasizing that the K9 Thunder used a German engine, American ammunition and an American-German gun. “Therefore, if the supply of one of the spare parts stops, the whole system will be out of service. But what the deal gives to Egypt is an example of technology transfer and building local knowledge and expertise to develop Egyptian weapons in the future.”
Locally performed maintenance and production of spare parts play a crucial role in Egypt’s effort to bolster its defense industry, and the K9 deal contributes to this national goal.
“The military doctrine of the Egyptian army is based on diversifying the suppliers of weapons to avoid any risk of [imposed] penalties or [the] embargo of weapons and spare parts supply,” Harfi said.
Added al-Kenany: “In the end, Egypt is moving toward what suits its operational needs, including its conditions, what suits the Egyptian combat environment and what is appropriate for maintenance costs and technical support, [and] the possibility of technology transfer.”
With only aging M109 howitzers in service, he noted, the country needs a new cannon with improved capabilities and a longer range for both its the land and naval forces. “It is expected that the naval forces will operate the howitzer also, as coastal defense is not limited to anti-ship missile systems,” he said.
That would give coastal defense forces a qualitative advantage over the currently operational M46, which is 130mm Soviet-era gun with a range around 30 kilometers.
“The firing range of K9 is up to 40 kilometers, and its extended range is up to 50-60 kilometers. This gives Egypt an unprecedented range, especially [given] the system can be equipped with laser-guided munitions and GPS-guided munitions and rocket boosters,” al-Kenany said.
DAPA did not disclose the details of the deal with Egypt valued around $1.7bn, but the source privy to the deal said the number of the K9 artillery systems to be supplied to the Egyptian armed forces is expected to be around 200, along with scores of support vehicles, such as the K10 ammunition resupply vehicles. (Source: Defense News)
01 Feb 22. SIG SAUER Custom Works Expands SPECTRE Series with P365XL SPECTRE Comp. SIG SAUER is pleased to announce the expansion of the SIG Custom Works SPECTRE Series of pistols with the introduction of the P365XL SPECTRE Comp. This latest release from SIG Custom Works combines superior craftsmanship and the rich SPECTRE feature-set with cutting edge technology, resulting in less recoil and an enhanced shooting experience to America’s #1 selling micro-compact pistol.
“The SPECTRE family of pistols is SIG Custom Works feature-rich polymer pistol line that is fine-tuned for performance. The custom-designed slide and gold features of the P365XL SPECTRE Comp make this latest addition to the SPECTRE series noticeably distinct,” said Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales, SIG SAUER, Inc. “However, the true standout feature of the P365XL SPECTRE Comp is the uniquely integrated compensator that reduces muzzle flip and felt recoil by up to 30%, and because of the design will never come loose or cause function issues. The P365XL SPECTRE Comp offers all the benefits of a compensated pistol in a reliable, concealable, everyday carry package.”
The SIG Custom Works P365XL SPECTRE Comp is a 9mm polymer frame pistol that features the laser stippled XSERIES (LXG) grip module, an optics-ready slide with custom serrations featuring an optic plate and rear dovetail sight, integrated compensator, a titanium nitride gold barrel and XSERIES gold flat trigger, and X-RAY 3 day/night sights. The SIG Custom Works P365XL SPECTRE Comp ships with (3) three steel magazines and comes with a Limited-Edition SIG Custom Works case, coin, and certificate of authenticity.
P365XL SPECTRE Comp:
Overall length: 6.6 inches
Overall height: 4.8 Inches
Overall width: 1.1 inches
Barrel length: 3.1 inches
Sight Radius: 5.1 inches
Weight (w/magazine): 20.7 oz.
The complete SIG Custom Works SPECTRE series of pistols includes the P320 XCARRY SPECTRE, P320 XCOMPACT SPECTRE, and the P365XL SPECTRE.
The SIG Custom Works P365XL SPECTRE Comp is now shipping and available at retailers. To learn more about the P365XL SPECTRE or watch the product video with Phil Strader, Director, Product Management visit sigsauer.com.
01 Feb 22. Egypt inks $1.7bn deal for K9 howitzers from South Korea. Hanwha Defense has signed the largest deal to export its K9 self-propelled howitzers and other support vehicles to Egypt, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced Feb. 1. The arms agency did not disclose the details of the deal, valued around $1.7bn, but a source privy to the deal told Defense News that about 200 K9 artillery systems will be supplied to the Egyptian military, along with scores of support vehicles, such as the K10 ammunition resupply vehicles.
Under the deal, most of the artillery and vehicles are scheduled to be locally produced at Factory 200, a state-run defense manufacturing facility just outside the Egyptian capital, while an initial batch is to be delivered by Hanwha Defense, according to the source.
According to the DAPA, the signing ceremony was held at Artillery House in Cairo. The long-awaited deal goes back to at least 2009, when Egypt expressed interest in updating its artillery systems. But efforts were postponed for nearly a decade as the country underwent a revolt — part of what was dubbed the Arab Spring, a wave of pro-democratic protests, revolutions and civil wars in the region that began in 2011.
“The latest deal is the first export of the K9 Self-Propelled Howitzer to Africa following the artillery’s successful exports to European and Asia-Pacific nations,” DAPA said. “This is the largest K9 deal in scale, making Egypt the eighth country to operate the K9.”
Hanwha Defense, a land systems developer affiliated with Hanwha Group, participated in the Egypt Defence Expo from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, during which it displayed its self-propelled gun. On the opening day of the show, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi met with Son Jae-il, president and CEO of Hanwha Defense, to discuss bilateral cooperation, including the potential acquisition of the artillery systems.
At the time, the Egyptian presidential office said the meeting “reviewed opportunities to strengthen joint cooperation in light of the modern technological and manufacturing capabilities of the Korean company.”
Also in attendance were the minister of defense and military production, Gen. Mohamed Zaki; the head of the Armed Forces Financial Affairs Authority, Maj. Gen. Ahmed El-Shazly; and the director of the military’s Armament Authority, Maj. Gen. Osama Ezzat.
The K9 accounts for nearly 50 percent of the global self-propelled howitzer market, as it is in service with seven countries: South Korea, Turkey, Poland, India, Finland, Norway and Estonia. Australia recently signed a deal for the K9 under its Project LAND 8116 Phase 1.
The tracked artillery system meets NATO standards and can be deployed in a large range of environments, including snowy terrain and deserts.
Equipped with a 360-degree rotating turret, the 47-ton weapon has a firing range of 40 kilometers and moves as fast as 67 kph. Fitted with an automatic fire control system, the howitzer can fire within 30 seconds from a stationary position and within 60 seconds while on the move, with a burst rate of fire from six to eight rounds per minute.
Egypt’s land forces currently operate versions A2, A3 and A5 of the American-made M109 howitzer. (Source: Defense News)
01 Feb 22. USAF conducts F-15EX Eagle II jet’s first AIM-120D missile live firing. The newest F-15EX fighter aircraft is developed by Boeing for the USAF. The US Air Force (USAF) 40th Flight Test Squadron pilots have successfully conducted the F-15EX Eagle II aircraft’s first missile live-fire event.
The firing was carried out during an air-to-air Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) mission near Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.
83rd Fighter Weapons Squadron is managing the WSEP monthly event.
During the event, the aircraft took off on a sortie and used its onboard sensors to identify a BQM-167 aerial target drone.
Once the aircraft obtained a weapons-quality track, the aircrew aboard F-15EX fired an AIM-120D missile, as reported by Samuel King Jr.
Operational Flight Program Combined Test Force F-15EX test project manager Colton Myers said: “This was an end-to-end verification of the entire weapons system, which will pave the way for more complex missile shots in the future.”
The USAF currently has two F-15EXs, which were delivered by Boeing in March and April 2021.
Myers said: “The fact that both aircraft were able to turn around from a streamlined acceptance period and immediately deploy to a major exercise is a testament to the maturity of this platform, as well as the expertise of the combined test team as a whole.”
The event marks a milestone for the F-15EX test team at Eglin Air Force Base. It follows integrated developmental and operational flight testing carried out over six months.
The F-15EX has completed developmental testing, ground testing, survivability testing and some operational testing. It has also participated in the Northern Edge multiservice exercise in Alaska.
Myers added: “The combined developmental testing and operational testing (DT/OT) strategy has been critical to our test success, allowing us to break the mould of ‘traditional’ testing while ultimately resulting in an overall better product for the warfighter, and in a shorter timeline than if we adopted the traditional approach.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
30 Jan 22. The US Army has an artillery problem, but it’s working on high-tech solutions.
- Since World War II, the US military has de-emphasized artillery, relying on airpower to support troops.
- In recent years, Russia and China have made significant advances in their artillery forces.
- The US Army is now developing multiple ground-based weapons capable of firing dozens or even hundreds of miles.
Bottom of Form
“Artillery is the god of war,” famously declared Joseph Stalin, whose big guns blew Hitler’s armies to smithereens.
Today’s Russian army has continued the tradition with a formidable array of howitzers and multiple rocket launchers. But in the US, the god of war now has grown feet of clay.
American cannons were feared by the Germans and Japanese in World War II, proved vital in Korea and Vietnam, and would have helped defeat a Soviet invasion of Europe. But since 1945, airpower has become the favorite child in America’s firepower family.
It’s easy to understand why. In the jungles, deserts and mountains where US forces have mostly fought since World War II, artillery was often too cumbersome to employ, but aircraft had the speed and flexibility to deliver firepower as needed. Even better, airpower was a high-tech solution to avoiding bloody ground combat that would erode American public support.
The end of the Cold War hastened the decline. From 218 artillery battalions in 1989, the number of Regular Army, Reserve and National Guard units shrank to 141 by 1999. In the 2003 Iraq War, well-trained artillery crews were being used as infantry.
However, the US Army has belatedly realized that it needs its big guns.
First, while Russia and China were upgrading their artillery, the US spent the 2000s focused on counterinsurgency (COIN) against poorly armed militants rather than a conflict against well-armed major powers.
When highly trained gunners were reassigned as infantry in Iraq, that was an indication that artillery had lost its mojo.
Unfortunately, America’s enemies thought otherwise:
“While the U.S. Army’s field artillery branch was dealing with the implications of COIN from 2003 to the present, the militaries of a number of potential competitor nations made significant advances,” noted a 2019 study by the RAND Corporation.
“For example, as of 2017, the Russian Army has made considerable advances in its artillery. Key Russian artillery capabilities include long-range multiple rocket launchers, such as the BM-30 Smerch, which can fire a wide variety of warheads up to 90 km [56 miles]. The SS-26 Iskander short-range ballistic missile also fires various warheads (including nuclear weapons) against targets at ranges of over 400 kilometers [249 miles].”
In contrast, the US Army’s M109A7 Paladin self-propelled 155-mm howitzer has a range of just 22 kilometers [14 miles] with regular high-explosive shells, and 30 kilometers [19 miles] using rocket-assisted projectiles.
In the past, this might not have been such a problem. For long-range firepower, the Army could rely on the US Air Force (while the Marines could also turn to Navy carrier aircraft and naval gunfire). But a new generation of Russian and Chinese fighters and anti-aircraft missiles have made the skies deadlier for American aircraft.
For Russia and China, accustomed to fighting without air superiority in World War II and Korea, large quantities of artillery were the answer. For the US Army, deprivation of air support would be devastating.
Fortunately, the US Army is developing multiple long-range, ground-based weapons, with plans to field some perhaps as soon as 2023. It’s part of the Army’s Multi-Domain Operations concept, one of whose tenets is a capability to deliver long-range precision fires. The new weapons include:
- Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA), essentially an upgraded Paladin with a longer barrel, rocket-assisted projectiles, and an autoloader. The goal is to hit targets up to 70 kilometers (43 miles) away, or more than twice the range of the Paladin. (ECRA achieved this goal with an Excalibur guided shell during a December 2020 test).
- Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), a guided rocket capable of being launched from M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), out to a range of 500 kilometers (311 miles).
- Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW), the Army’s contribution to an emerging US family of hypersonic missiles that travel faster than Mach 5. The LRHW has an estimated range of 1,725 miles.
- Strategic Long Range Cannon (SLRC), intended to hurl shells out to 1,000 miles. But for now, the supergun project appears to be on hold.
So why does the US Army need weapons that can hit targets almost 2,000 miles away?
Historically, artillery has been a battlefield weapon, from the Roman ballista that hurled rocks out to 500 yards, to the US Army’s M65 280 mm cannon that could shoot atomic shells up to 20 miles.
By 1918, however, destroying distant targets was on its way to becoming the responsibility of the world’s air forces.
One answer is interservice rivalry. It’s natural that the Army would want to join the Navy and Air Force in having a long-range fire capability, with all the prestige and budget that this will entail.
Another is that airpower isn’t always an option and is rarely as cost-effective as artillery.
From the Army’s perspective, having a long-range fires capability in-house is essential for their plan to become a “Multi Domain Operations-ready Force of 2035.”
Even though today’s warfare is supposed to be joint, what Army commander wouldn’t want to have long-range weapons under his control to destroy a distant enemy command post, rather than having to ask the Air Force and Navy to do it? (Source: Google/https://www.businessinsider.com/)
28 Jan 22. Kongsberg Achieves Factory Acceptance Test of 1st Canister Launchers for Australian Army’s NASAMS Capability.
- Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KONGSBERG) has announced a critical production milestone for Project LAND 19 Phase 7B, with the first Mk 2 Canister Launchers for the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) successfully passing Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT), forming the first shipment of Canister Launchers to Australia.
Project LAND 19 Phase 7B is being delivered by prime contractor, Raytheon Australia, with the support of KONGSBERG and Kongsberg Defence Australia, and will deliver a new Short-Range Ground-Based Air Defence capability for the Australian Army.
NASAMS is a state-of-the-art Ground Based Air Defence weapon system produced by KONGSBERG and Raytheon Technologies that is in service with, or under delivery to, 12 nations. The system will enable the Australian Army to quickly detect, engage, and destroy aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and cruise missile threats. The Mk 2 Canister Launcher represents the latest launcher build standard, and includes a new common ground launch rail to enable the employment of multiple missile types.
Taking place in Kongsberg Norway, KONGSBERG conducted the First of Type FAT on the first Mk 2 Canister Launcher, before completing FAT on the second Launcher. Representatives from Raytheon Australia were present to witness this occasion.
KONGSBERG’s Vice President Air Defence Programs, Leif Roar Olsen, welcomes the achievement of this critical project milestone, highlighting the close partnership shared between the KONGSBERG teams and the importance of technology transfer in delivering this transformational capability for the Australian Army.
“Successful Factory Acceptance Testing of the first Mark 2 Canister Launchers is a significant milestone for KONGSBERG. We have also been working closely with our Australian colleagues to ensure that we have a local workforce with the technical skills and expertise required to undertake final assembly, integration, and test of Army’s NASAMS Canister Launchers, as well as supporting them whilst in service. Project Engineers from Kongsberg Defence Australia recently travelled to Norway to learn about the Canister Launchers from KONGSBERG specialists in preparation for shipment to Australia in early 2022,” said Olsen.
Prior to the 2022 delivery to Raytheon Australia’s Centre for Joint Integration in Mawson Lakes, the Canister Launchers will be painted by a local South Australian supplier, before being used as part of the Fire Distribution Centre First of Type Factory Acceptance Test in Q1 and Q2 of this year. Formal delivery of the first two launchers to Raytheon Australia is scheduled for July 2022.
“Army’s NASAMS Mark 2 Canister Launchers will allow them to employ a mixture of different AMRAAM missile variants, as well as the AIM-9X Block 2 missile. This mix of missiles is highly effective against advanced aircraft, just like they are on the F-35A and Super Hornet, as well as being highly effective against air-delivered threats such as cruise missiles”, says John Fry, General Manager of Kongsberg Defence Australia. “Importantly, the Mk 2 Canister Launcher that will be provided to the Australian Army under NASAMS is the most modern launcher configuration. Successfully completing the first live-fire tests last year, this latest launcher also provides options for additional missile types.” (Source: ASD Network)
28 Jan 22. Philippines signs deal for BrahMos supersonic anti-ship missile. The Philippines has signed a contract with an Indian company for shore-based medium-range supersonic anti-ship missiles, enhancing the U.S. ally’s ability to target adversarial ships from land.
Philippine National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the head of BrahMos Aerospace, Atul Dinkar Rane, signed the 18.9bn peso (U.S. $368m) deal Friday for three batteries of Brahmos anti-ship missiles in a virtual ceremony.
A missile battery typically consists of three autonomous, mobile launchers with two or three missile tubes each, along with attached command-and-control technology, radar, and support vehicles and units.
The contract signing ceremony, held at the Department of National Defense headquarters in the capital Manila, was also attended by India’s ambassador to the Philippines, according to a report carried by the official Philippine News Agency.
The event took place less than a month after Lorenzana signed the notice of award for the Philippine Navy’s BrahMos acquisition effort.
Underscoring the urgency of the procurement, the project was fast-tracked by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2020, being moved from the Horizon 3 phase of the Philippines’ modernization program scheduled for 2023-2027 to the Horizon 2 priority projects list that spans 2018-2022.
Lorenzana had earlier said deliveries of the first systems were expected to start within a year of the signing of the contract, which is a government-to-government deal between the Philippines and India.
The BrahMos is guided by an active radar homing system or by satellite, and it has an inertial navigation system for midcourse guidance. The missile’s punch comes in the form of a 200-kilogram (440-pound) warhead.
It is propelled by a solid-fuel first booster stage and a liquid-fuel ramjet second stage, propelling the missile to speeds around Mach 4, or four times the speed of sound.
The export variant has a range of 290 kilometers (180 miles). That range is downrated to comply with international agreements, but would still be sufficient for the Philippines to provide cover for some of its holdings in the disputed South China Sea.
The Philippines has been among the most vociferous is objecting to China’s construction activities and assertive behavior in the disputed islands and features of the South China Sea. In 2016, the Philippines won a ruling from an international tribunal against China’s reclamation and construction activities there, although China has not recognized the decision. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)