10 Feb 22. Turkey’s own Atmaca missile to replace Harpoons on its Navy ships. Turkey’s first indigenous anti-ship cruise missile, the Atmaca, will replace the country’s aging inventory of American-made Harpoon missiles, military and industry sources said.
“We are confident of a smooth substitution over the next years,” a Navy officer said. “The effort covers all combat ships in our inventory.”
An official from state-controlled missile-maker Roketsan, a co-producer of Atmaca (which translates to “Hawk” in English), said that the weapon will replace more than 350 Harpoons in the next two to three years, starting with ships under maintenance and upgrade programs.
Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to speak to the press.
Roketsan won the development contract from the Turkish government in 2009. In 2018, Roketsan teamed up with military-electronics specialist Aselsan, Turkey’s largest defense firm, to jointly manufacture Atmaca, which incorporates features of the Harpoon and French Exocet missiles.
In 2019, Atmaca was fitted aboard Turkey’s fourth Ada-class corvette, the TCG Kinaliada. It was successfully tested in July 2020.
The Roketsan official said Turkey aims to save up to $500m from the Atmaca replacement program, as the homemade missile comes in at around half the price of a Harpoon.
Defense News asked Harpoon manufacturer Boeing about the financial impact of Turkey’s decision, but the company referred questions to the U.S. government and the international customer.
Atmaca is a subsonic, sea-skimming anti-ship missile with a range exceeding 220 kilometers. It features a 250-kilogram-class high-explosive fragmentation warhead. It reportedly has a high resistance to countermeasures and features all-weather capabilities, a target updating and mission termination facility, and a comprehensive mission planning system with 3D routing.
The missile is effective against sea targets in open or coastal waters, as well as against shore-based targets. During tests, Atmaca cruised at an altitude as low as 3 meters.
It will be fitted aboard the Ada-class corvettes, the Istanbul-class frigates and the TF2000-class anti-air warfare destroyers. (Source: Defense News)
10 Feb 22. SIG SAUER Releases P210 CARRY. SIG SAUER announced the latest release in the historic line of P210 pistols – the P210 CARRY. This pistol combines the historic lineage of its iconic Swiss predecessor with the ideal characteristics and necessities the modern consumer expects in a carry pistol.
“The SIG P210 is regarded as one of the most legendary, reliable, and accurate firearms in the world; the P210 CARRY pays homage to the foundational craftsmanship of its forerunner while maintaining the features, weight, and balance of an ideal carry pistol,” said Tom Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Commercial Sales, SIG SAUER, Inc. “The alloy frame lightens the weight, the slim low-profile grips with wrap-around checkering allow for an ideal purchase, and the shortened slide features the hallmark P210 signature reverse rail design bringing the premium P210 shooting experience to a carry gun.”
The SIG SAUER P210 CARRY is a 9mm, hammer-fired alloy frame pistol with a Nitron finish, and a stainless-steel slide with front and rear cocking serrations. The pistol features slim black HOGUE™ G10 grips with front, side and back checkering, an SAO trigger, thumb safety, and SIGLITE night sights. The P210 CARRY ships with (2) two eight-round magazines.
Overall length: 7.75 inches
Overall height: 5.63 inches
Overall width: 1.44 inches
Barrel length: 4.1 inches
Sight Radius: 5.6 inches
Weight (w/magazine): 29 oz.
The SIG SAUER P210 CARRY is now shipping and available at retailers. To learn more about the P210 CARRY or watch the product video with Phil Strader, Director, Product Management visit sigsauer.com.
09 Feb 22. Iran unveils new missile it says can strike US bases, Israel. Iran’s state TV reported that nation has a new solid fuel missile with a range of 900 miles. It is called the Khaibar-buster, a reference to a Jewish castle overrun by Muslim warriors in the early days of Islam. (Twitter). Iran unveiled a new missile on Wednesday with a reported range that would allow it to reach both U.S. bases in the region as well as targets inside its archfoe Israel. State TV reported that the missile has solid fuel and a range of 900 miles. It is called the Khaibar-buster, a reference to a Jewish castle overrun by Muslim warriors in the early days of Islam. It said the missile has high accuracy, is manufactured completely domestically, and can defeat missile shield systems. The information has not been independently verified. Israel’s closest point to Iran is some 620 miles, away. The report comes as negotiations continue in Vienna to revive Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers. Iran, which has long said it does not seek nuclear weapons, insists its missile program is only a deterrent. Earlier in January Iran tested an engine for a solid-fuel rocket designed to launch satellites. (Source: Defense News)
08 Feb 22. Increasing Production Is Important for Hypersonics, Defense Official Says. The Defense Department is working hard on developing both hypersonic offensive and defensive capabilities. But in the immediate future, one of the most important areas to be developed is increasing the capacity at which such systems can be produced, said Gillian Bussey, director of the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office.
“I would say that everything we’re doing in terms of the interceptors, the strike weapons isn’t going to make a difference unless we have sufficient quantities,” Bussey said during a discussion today with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Having a dozen hypersonic missiles — regardless of whether they’re really hypersonic or not — isn’t going to scare anyone.”
The biggest technological and industrial capability the department can invest in right now, she said, is to increase production rates, particularly for thermal protection systems for glide vehicles and additive manufacturing for cruise missile engines.
“I think those are the long poles in the tent when it comes to production,” she said. “Those are the things that take the longest. If we can reduce the production time and increase the capacity and you know double, triple, quadruple those production numbers, I think that’s how we’ll really make a difference.”
Investing there, she said, needs to start now in order for capacity to be there when the department is ready with a program of record.
Bussey also said that defending against hypersonics is an expensive and complicated endeavor, while it remains less expensive to develop and launch a hypersonic offense. That’s why, even though the department is focused on both offensive and defensive capabilities, it’s prioritizing offensive systems.
“Essentially, this means it’s a lot easier to attack than it is to defend against such an attack,” she said “Despite the obvious threat, as a department, we’ve chosen to focus on offense first because a good offense is the best defense, and offense is a lot easier.”
At the same time, she said, research into both defensive and offensive systems yields valuable knowledge that can be used for both.
“What has the maneuverability, altitude, reach and speed to hit a hypersonic missile? A hypersonic missile,” she said.
While technology for defensive and offensive systems are different, including seekers, guidance and booster technology, the fundamental design of an offensive or defensive kill interceptor vehicle can be the same, Bussey said.
“We’ve seen a number of proposals using what could be an offensive strike weapon used as an interceptor and vice versa,” she said. (Source: US DoD)
07 Feb 22. South Korea receives first batch of 120mm self-propelled mortar system. The 120mm system has a longer striking range and stronger firepower, compared to its predecessor, the 4.2-inch mortar. The South Korean Army has received the first lot of 120mm self-propelled mortar systems to improve the capabilities of its mechanised units. The new systems will replace the older 4.2-inch mortars, Yonhap news agency reported, citing the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA). The deployment will continue through to 2025 under a $648.9m acquisition programme that also includes the development of fire direction centre vehicles.
The 120mm mortars will be mounted on armoured carriers and fire direction centre vehicles, to assist close fire support operations.
According to the DAPA, the new mortars have a longer striking range and stronger firepower compared to the 4.2-inch mortars, which have been in service for more than four decades.
The 120mm self-propelled mortar systems are developed and assembled by the local firm S&T Dynamics. Defence company Hanwha Defense supplied the carrier for the new mortar.
DAPA Maneuver Program Department brigadier general Cho Hyun-ki was quoted by Yonhap as saying: “The 120-mm self-propelled mortar is a core asset that elevates the operational capacities of South Korean mechanised units, in charge of offensive manoeuvre missions, to another level.”(Source: army-technology.com)
07 Feb 22. HSW presents Baobab-K scatterable mine-laying system prototype. Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) presented the final prototype of the Baobab-K truck-mounted scatterable mine-laying system in a video on 1 February. The video shows the mine-cassette loading process and mine-laying operations on the factory training ground. The system is undergoing qualification trials to certify the final prototype. The Polish Armaments Inspectorate (now Armaments Agency) awarded the PLN19.95m(USD5m) Baobab-K prototype development contract to HSW in December 2018. Krzysztof Cedrowski of HSW told Janes on 2 February that development is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. Baobab-K is an automated system that can lay minefields of various sizes and densities. The platform is being developed by a consortium of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) subsidiaries HSW, Jelcz, and Belma; Poland’s Military University of Technology; and WB Group. The system is mounted on a Jelcz 662D.43 8×8 high-mobility truck chassis with an armoured cabin and six launchers. However, Cedrowski said HSW can offer a tracked Baobab-G based on HSW’s hydro-pneumatic chassis. The vehicle can carry 600 Belma MN-123.1 and MN-123.2 programmable anti-tank mines. (Source: Janes)
07 Feb 22. Russia will use Soviet-Era Biplanes to Draw Out Ukrainian Air Defenses. The Russian military has quietly tested new ways of defeating Ukrainian air defense systems using Soviet-era AN-2 Colt biplanes.
The AN-2 is archaic agricultural aircraft that first flew in 1947, as the Soviet Union was rebuilding after the tumult of World War II.
The AN-2 is one of the largest single-engine biplanes ever produced. It was particularly prized for its versatility and extraordinary slow-flight, short takeoff, and landing capabilities. The AN-2 will allow simulating a breakthrough of a helicopter group or attack drones.
Russian forces reportedly are training to use antiquated biplanes as decoys to fly them to the front lines to draw out Ukrainian air defenses. Recent videos posted to social media have shown almost a dozen AN-2 aircraft in a close formation during an exercise in Russia’s border areas with Ukraine.
A similar approach was used during the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Azerbaijani military converted an An-2 airplane into an unmanned aerial vehicle. Remote-control systems were taken the place of a human pilot in the cockpit of an airplane, replacing the crew with a kit that takes just a short time to install. (Source: UAS VISION/Defense Blog)
07 Feb 22. Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range Completes Second Successful Missile Live Fire. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announced the successful completion of the second flight test of its AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER). The U.S. Navy launched the missile from an F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft on Jan. 21 at the Point Mugu Sea Range off the coast of southern California. The missile performed an extended range profile, engaging a land-based, emitter target staged at the range on San Nicholas Island.
“This second flight test verified AARGM-ER’s ability to detect, identify, locate and engage a land-based air defense radar system from an extended range,” said Captain A.C. Dutko, Navy Program Manager for Direct and Time Sensitive Strike (PMA-242). “Through the exceptional efforts of our government/industry team, we are another step closer to delivering capability to suppress the most advanced adversary air-defense systems without putting our warfighters in danger.”
Since achieving a Milestone C Decision (authorization for Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP)) in September 2021, AARGM-ER prime contractor Northrop Grumman has continued to lead its industry team in development of a critically needed warfighting capability. Northrop Grumman is currently under contract to deliver production units of AARGM-ER to support a 2023 initial operational capability (IOC) fielding. In December 2021, Northrop Grumman received a $45.6M contract for the second lot of AARGM-ER LRIP
AARGM-ER leverages existing state-of-the-art AARGM sensors, electronics and digital models with the addition of a new high-performance air vehicle, solid rocket motor propulsion system and advanced warhead.
“AARGM-ER provides the U.S. Navy with the capability to stay ahead of evolving threats,” said Mary Petryszyn, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Defense Systems. “This flight test further demonstrated the critical capability of AARGM-ER to precisely engage long-range threats, while enabling launching aircrew to remain at a safe distance.”
AARGM-ER is being integrated on the Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft as well as F-35A/B/C aircraft.
07 Feb 22. Pentagon needs to prioritize hypersonic defense, not offense: CSIS.
“You really need to worry about the tactical things. You really need to defend your surface ships, air bases, all that stuff,” NDIA’s Mark Lewis said.
As the Defense Department looks for ways to up its hypersonics game, it needs to refocus its priorities towards protecting ships, air bases and other critical tactical assets from Chinese and Russian cruise missiles and glide vehicles, asserts a new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
“Notwithstanding all the hyperbole, hypersonic missiles are not unstoppable,” Tom Karako, coauthor along with Masao Dahlgren of the study “Complex Air Defense: Countering the Hypersonic Missile Threat,” told Breaking Defense.
“The single most important capability here will be space sensors to track these threats, followed by a glide phase interceptor and a command and control function that can contend with a geographically broad, temporally compressed decision-space,” Karako said. “Hypersonic gliders, for instance, are sometimes described as targeting the gaps and seams of our sensors or interceptors, but they also target the gaps and seams of our command and control structure.”
The report comes just days after the Department of Defense arranged a high-level meeting between senior Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and the CEOs of major defense contracting firms — the latest signal of the urgency with which the US is pursuing hypersonic capabilities.
But the CSIS study finds that there is a ginormous disparity between Defense Department spending on offensive hypersonic missile programs and ways to defend against them. Whereas DoD and the services splashed out more than $2.5bn for offensive hypersonic missile programs in their fiscal 2022 budget requests, CSIS analysis shows that funds budgeted for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and DARPA on defensive capabilities barely topped $2.5m.
Mark Lewis, former acting secretary of DoD’s Office of Research & Engineering and an expert on hypersonic tech, agreed with CSIS’s assessment.
“There’s much more emphasis right now on offense and defense,” he told Breaking Defense.
Breaking Defense reporting about what the service did during PC21, what it found, and how much further it still has to go.
This is in part, he explained, because defensive efforts at MDA and the Space Development Agency (SDA) are entangled with other missile defense activities.
Indeed, there are a number of long-standing policy issues with regard to how MDA, SDA and the services will share responsibility for hypersonic missile defense that remain unresolved — leading to both overlaps and cracks in development efforts.
For example, there is a long simmering feud between the Air Force and the Army about defense of air bases around the world, which as the CSIS study notes are likely to become targets of tactical hypersonic missiles. There also has been a kerfuffle between SDA and MDA, which has drawn the ire of Congress, over responsibility for building new sensors to track highly maneuverable hypersonic missiles under the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) effort.
Further, Lewis explained, there is some technology “bleed” between offensive and defensive capabilities — something that Karako also pointed out. “Some of the same characteristics that make hypersonic weapons attractive may hold the key to new approaches to defense design,” Karako said.
And finally, a lot of what is going on in the defensive arena is highly classified. “Not seeing something doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t happening,” Lewis said.
The CSIS study stresses that “hypersonic technology” isn’t a “thing.” Rather it is an attribute — super high speed — that leads to a number of different types of weapon delivery systems that stress US defense and response capabilities. For this reason (as the study’s name suggests), defending against such delivery systems “might be better framed or understood as a complex form of air defense, rather than, say, as an adjunct to ballistic missile defense,” Karako said.
This will necessitate a change in Pentagon thinking about how to approach its strategies and investments.
For Lewis, a key takeaway from the CSIS study is that DoD and the services need to keep their eyes fixed on the issue of protecting against the tactical uses of scram-jet based hypersonic missiles and maneuvering glide vehicles.
“You really need to worry about the tactical things. You really need to defend your surface ships, air bases, all that stuff,” Lewis said.
The CSIS study explains that: “As a practical matter, access to strategic theaters requires effective hypersonic defenses. […] The United States does not compete with unlimited resources. It is not possible to actively defend every critical asset or even broad areas that hypersonic missiles might target. This simple reality requires policy and strategy expectations aligned to preferential defense and a more limited defended asset list.”
Lewis foot-stomped this, saying it is critical that DoD leaders “don’t get distracted” by sensational things, like China’s experimental fractional orbital bombardment system (FOBS) that may or may not be nuclear capable.
“I don’t want to dismiss what the Russians and Chinese are doing,” he hastened to say. But the real point of the Chinese FOBS was the messaging, not necessarily the capability. “It’s trying to say: We’re now a world power. We want to be able to shoot anything around the world, and we’re not constrained to our backyard,” he said. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
04 Feb 22. Top Pentagon officials met with industry executives about hypersonics. What comes next? Top Pentagon officials and defense industry executives huddled on hypersonic weapons development this week, marking a new level of attention to the area. But experts say the fiscal 2023 budget will be the true test of whether the U.S. Department of Defense is serious about building the necessary momentum to deliver hypersonic capabilities on a faster timeline. The unclassified meeting, convened Thursday by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and attended by more than a dozen defense CEOs, was largely centered around gathering industry feedback on the impediments to speeding up development of hypersonic capabilities, according to an official readout of the meeting. The conversation was mostly led by Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu, but Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin made an appearance toward the end, offering prepared remarks focused on the importance of the capability and the need to go fast to outpace China’s progress on hypersonic weapons, according to the readout. Executives detailed a range of concerns, including supply chain constraints, acquisition barriers, budget instability and access to test facilities, with participants emphasizing that without suitable testing facilities, the department will struggle to truly adopt a “test often, fail fast and learn” development approach.
Meetings between defense secretaries and groups of industry executives are so uncommon that the high-level meeting alone signals the Pentagon’s deep urgency to develop hypersonic weapons. Steven Grundman, a former Pentagon industrial policy chief now with the Atlantic Council, likened it to then-Secretary of Defense Les Aspin’s 1993 gathering to force defense industry leaders to consolidate their firms.
“Maybe there have been three occasions like that in a quarter century, so if the secretary of all defense asks the captains of industry to come to his office and talk about something important to him, that’s a very important indicator right there,” Grundman said.
Defense industry consultant Loren Thompson echoed Grundman’s comments, noting the meeting makes clear Austin “embraces the high priority being assigned to the weapons.”
“The bottom line here is that of all the things, Sec. Austin decided to bring the CEOs together on hypersonics,” he said. “I would say that’s a good sign for anybody with expertise in the field.”
Thompson said that the department’s investments in fiscal 2023 will provide a clearer picture of how it intends to tackle the problem.
“The president’s budget request for fiscal ‘23 will tell the tale of just how important this is,” he said. “We’ve got three different services and a variety of research agencies engaged in over a dozen different hypersonic projects. How much will that money go up?”
Mark Lewis, executive director of the National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technology Institute and former acting deputy undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, said the department needs to make near-term investment in its lagging hypersonic testing infrastructure.
“What you need is an [Office of the Secretary of Defense-level] commitment that says, ‘Yeah, we’re going to invest in hypersonic test facilities. We’re going to build more wind tunnels. We’re also going to make it easier to flight test,’” he said.
Along those lines, Lewis said hypersonic programs should have priority range access for flight testing, noting that in some cases, hypersonic tests get “bumped” because they are not connected to an established program of record.
The Pentagon has acknowledged its testing capability shortfall, which isn’t limited to hypersonic facilities. A recent study from its own innovation steering group uncovered a $5 bn gap in testing and laboratory infrastructure, which includes hypersonic testing facilities. On Thursday, the Pentagon’s Inspector General published an evaluation of the department’s hypersonic testing infrastructure, though its findings were marked as “controlled unclassified information.”
Thompson noted that because DoD has “lagged for so long in developing the technology,” it doesn’t have the infrastructure it needs to adequately and repeatedly test hypersonic weapons, which means it will take time and financial investment for the department to pick up its pace.
“I think that the United States is underendowed with testing facilities suitable for the development of hypersonics,” Thompson said. “It just hasn’t been a big priority until recently. And therefore, we don’t have the kind of capacity to replicate the environment in which a hypersonic atmospherically maneuvering vehicle would operate.”
But Lewis said focused government investment in testing infrastructure — as well as the offices that support technology and workforce development like the Joint Hypersonic Transition Office — could go a long way over the next few years.
“We’re at the point where it really is a technology that is basically almost at hand,” he said. “I don’t want to minimize the challenges. There are still challenges remaining . . . but there’s nothing that violates the laws of physics.”
It’s not clear if Austin’s call for industry and the department to work together to address hypersonic development challenges included a request for greater facilities investments, but many of the companies on contract to develop these capabilities are already funding major projects.
In recent months, Lockheed opened a 65,000-square-foot factory dedicated to Army, Navy and Air Force hypersonic strike weapons in Courtland, Ala. The company projects its hypersonic sales will grow from $1.5 bn per year to about $3 bn per year by about 2025.
Acting Chief Financial Officer John Mollard said on the company’s earnings call last week “there are opportunities to grow” above that projection.
“There’s operational urgencies driving our customers to push us to go faster and faster,” Mollard said. “There’s emerging activity in counter-hypersonics that may be of some note that we’ll keep an eye on that could provide upside to that forecast. But I think for modeling purposes, I’m comfortable with $3bn.” (Source: Defense News)
04 Feb 22. The Skyranger 30 HEL – Rheinmetall’s hybrid solution for threat-commensurate, modern mobile air defence. Laser on board: The Skyranger 30 HEL is a hybrid solution designed to thwart the full range of future airborne threats. Here, the interplay of a 30mm automatic cannon, guided missiles, and a high-energy laser (HEL) results in a mix of effectors unique in this combination. Teamed with a matching sensor mix, the Skyranger 30 HEL can monitor airspace autonomously, while simultaneously selecting the optimum effector in response to emerging threats. The Skyranger 30 HEL can protect mobile units on the march or critical stationary infrastructure and facilities from aerial threats. No matter what the initial situation, an appropriate response is always readily available, assuring adherence to legal requirements and the avoidance of collateral damage.
Thanks to its longstanding experience in the field of ground-based air defence and adherence to a clear technical road map for a future laser weapon system, Rheinmetall is able to integrate mechanically and systemically a full range of advanced capabilities into a wheeled or tracked mobile platforms such as the Boxer multipurpose wheeled armoured vehicle* or the tracked Lynx KF41 armoured vehicle. Thanks to the highly flexible Skymaster fire control system and state-of-the-art sensors, the effectors achieve maximum tactical impact.
Rheinmetall’s HEL effectors consist of a laser source and laser guidance system, both of which are integrated into the vehicle, along with a laser weapon station built into the turret that simultaneously serves as a platform for the electro-optical sensors. The laser weapon station tracks targets automatically, neutralizing them with a laser beam. Thus, the Skyranger 30 HEL is capable of effectively defending assigned airspace with three different effectors – an automatic cannon, guided missiles, and a high-energy laser – with the appropriate level of intensity.
Featuring a rate of fire of 1,200 rounds per minute, the 30mmx173 KCE revolver gun is the world’s top-performing weapon in this calibre. Programmable time-delay ammunition enhances the probability of hitting even the smallest aerial targets. The Skyranger 30 HEL’s guided missiles increase the system’s operational flexibility and maximum range.
In live trials, current technology sample systems for laser weapon systems have successfully achieved laser outputs of 20kW. The ability to increase this figure to 100kW is already an integral feature of this technology. The laser weapon station used here has its own sensors for identifying and tracking targets. Subassemblies coordinated by Rheinmetall to interoperate harmoniously produce the outstanding beam quality of Rheinmetall laser sources even at high-output levels, meaning that they can be directed at the target with high precision. The carrier platform’s sophisticated mechanical design assures 100% coverage of assigned airspace. Laser outputs of up 20-50 kW are planned for the first realization phase. Late last year, the Skyranger HEL was presented in public for the first time at a counter-drone event held by the Swiss procurement agency armasuisse in Bure, Switzerland, sparking great interest from the experts present at the event.
04 Feb 22. Israel to deploy protective ‘laser wall.’ Israel is to deploy a laser interception system within the next 12 months to protect itself from ground-launched and airborne threats, the government announced on 1 February. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that the laser system will first be deployed in an experimental capacity before being rolled out operationally.
“Within about a year, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will implement a laser interception system, initially experimentally and then operationally. First in the south, and then elsewhere,” Bennett said. “This will allow us, in the medium to long term, to surround Israel with a laser wall that will protect us from missiles, rockets, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and other threats, and in fact take from the enemy the strongest card it has against us.”
Prime Minister Bennett did not disclose the nature of the laser system to be employed, but Israel is known to have been working on a number of air- and ground-based solutions over several years. (Source: Janes)