01 Dec 22. MBDA and Raytheon develop roadmap to produce Patriot GEM-T in Germany. The effort will further expand the possibilities of delivering German-made systems to operators across Europe.
US-based company Raytheon Missiles & Defense and MBDA Deutschland have collaborated to develop a strategic roadmap to facilitate the production of Patriot interceptor missiles in Germany.
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With the new roadmap, the companies aim to address the German Armed Forces’ potential requirements for Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile (GEM-T) interceptor missiles by facilitating production work in Germany.
In addition, the roadmap will expand the possibilities of delivering the German-made Patriot GEM-Ts to other operators in different nations across Europe.
MBDA Deutschland and Raytheon have now been working together for more than three decades to support the availability of the Patriot missile defence system with the German forces.
This work is supported through the Raytheon-MBDA joint venture (JV ), called Comlog.
The JV also acts as a Patriot service provider for the German armed forces by providing the required maintenance and logistics services.
MBDA Deutschland managing director Thomas Gottschild said: “With our partner RMD, COMLOG as an existing JV of our companies, the test and reference facility in Freinhausen, and the possibilities at our company locations, we have ideal conditions to jointly provide Patriot until 2048.”
According to MBDA, the Patriot long-range air defence system has become a crucial component for NATO and German air defence, providing the capability to defeat a wide range of existing adversaries, while acting as ‘a credible deterrent’.
Raytheon Missile & Defense Land Warfare & Air Defence president Tom Laliberty said: “Our successful COMLOG JV with MBDA plays a key role in missile maintenance and logistics.
“By enabling COMLOG to produce GEM-T in Germany, we are also expanding the capacity to deliver this mission-critical interception system to Patriot’s partner nations in Europe.” (Source: army-technology.com)
29 Nov 22. Stratolaunch Partners with Dynetics for Navy MACH-TB Hypersonic Testbed. Stratolaunch, LLC is pleased to announce they have been added as a partner to the Multiservice Advanced Capability Test Bed (MACH-TB) project awarded by Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division through the Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S²MARTS)Other Transaction Agreement (OTA).
One of the key innovations of the NSWC Crane MACH-TB initiative focuses on supporting hypersonic programs through opportunities to flight test technologies with robust, agile, and modular approaches. The Dynetics-led team will demonstrate ways to affordably prototype a testbed that leverages commercial launch vehicles, including Stratolaunch’s Talon-A vehicle, for flight testing hypersonic payloads. The data collected will provide insight to the DoD on technology improvement and capability validation. Early, affordable, and regular hypersonic flight testing leads to robust and successful developments of hypersonic weapon systems.
Stratolaunch’s Talon-A, a reusable autonomous hypersonic testbed, will operate as a high-cadence, high-speed testbed to advance the MACH-TB program development. Stratolaunch’s hypersonic flight test service directly complements the goals of MACH-TB.
“We’re excited for the opportunity for Talon-A flights to be integrated into the MACH-TB program as part of the Dynetics team. We look forward to providing flight test opportunities needed to advance hypersonics systems development for the services,” said Dr. Zachary Krevor, Chief Executive Officer for Stratolaunch. “This partnership will accelerate the frequency of testing that is imperative to reducing the risk of hypersonic system technology development.”
Stratolaunch’s mission is to advance high-speed technology through innovative design, manufacturing, and operation of world-class aerospace vehicles. For the latest news and information, visit www.stratolaunch.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Dynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, provides responsive, cost-effective engineering, scientific, IT solutions to national security, cybersecurity, space and critical infrastructure sectors. Our portfolio features highly specialized technical services and a range of software and hardware products, including components, subsystems and complex end-to-end systems. The company of more than 3,000 employees is based in Huntsville, Alabama, and has offices throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.dynetics.com. (Source: PR Newswire)
29 Nov 22. South Korea sanctions LAH production programme. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has approved the mass production of Korea Aerospace Industries’ (KAI’s) Light Armed Helicopter (LAH), the agency has announced.
DAPA said in a notice on 28 November that the LAH production programme has been budgeted KRW5.75trn (USD4.3bn) between 2022 and 2031. In the same notice, DAPA also approved the acquisition of additional attack helicopters as well as projects to develop new rockets and munitions.
A source with knowledge of the LAH programme told Janes on 29 November that DAPA and KAI are expected to sign a contract for an initial batch of LAHs before the end of December. The source said this initial batch will feature “about 170 units”. Deliveries could start from 2024.
The LAH programme will replace the Republic of Korea (RoK) Army’s ageing Hughes MD 500MD/BGM-71 TOW Defender and Bell AH-1S Cobra helicopters. (Source: Janes)
28 Nov 22. UK researches new, affordable precision munition, with Ukraine in mind. The review of options for the UK’s new Medium Range Utility Strike Weapon is expected to come out towards the end of 2023.
Even as it continues development on a future high-end cruise missile, the UK Ministry of Defence is pursuing the design of a more affordable precision munition for the F-35B and ”generation-after-next” platforms including UAVs, with a top official revealing details for the first time this month.
The Defence Science Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has launched a study on the future viability of a Medium Range Utility Strike Weapon (MRUSW) supported by an industrial consortium featuring MBDA, Thales and Raytheon, with the goal of investigating the art of the possible for MRUSW with particular focus on affordability and minimal integration onboard air frames, according to Dstl officials. The effort, known formally as the “WSRF 0058 Utility Air Strike Weapon Concept Study,” is scheduled to report its findings in Q3/Q4 2023.
Addressing delegates Nov. 17 at the Royal Aeronautical Society’s ”Weapons for the Generation After Next Platform” conference in London, Dstl’s Jonathan Burnage described the MRUSW as an additional capability to SPEAR (Selected Precision Effects at Range) Capability 5 — a long-range replacement for the in-service, low-observable air-launched Storm Shadow cruise missile.
According to Burnage, ongoing development of SPEAR Cap 5 is focused on “stand-off, navigation and payload size.” In comparison, MRUSW is expected to be more interested in cost, combat mass and, to a lesser extent, navigation.
“MRUSW is a capacity gap rather than a capability gap,” Burnage urged before suggesting the munition will be a “cheap, high combat mass weapon” to complement, rather than replace, SPEAR Cap 5. “This would enable the UK to attack a wide range of fixed targets with [a] limited number of aircraft,” he said before suggesting MRUSW could also be considered a “substitute” weapon in “less demanding situations.”
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The study will consider powered and unpowered concepts in addition to penetrator warhead design, along with ability for high accuracy in Attack on Coordinates mode as well as navigating in the presence of GNSS jamming, Burnage said.
According to Burnage, the first priority for MRUSW must be the prosecution of “moderately hardened structures and small, medium size soft buildings.” The second priority, he said, should be ability to engage static, mobile and relocatable targets — of particular interest following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine and the popular employment of mobile missile launchers and artillery pieces that has been seen since. Additional requirements call for the munition to be guided onto a target by on- and off-board laser target designators.
Burnage also described a pair of use cases for MRUSW including pre-planned, stand-off and simultaneous launch of eight munitions to destroy the same number of small bunkers in a GNSS-denied environment, as well as deployment of a single munition to engage a moving target at shorter range, enabled by laser target designation.
The potential design process of MRUSW could also include a variety of next-generation technologies. Burnage specifically highlighted next-generation navigation technologies such as inertial measurement units; resonant acoustic mixing (RAM) techniques for warheads; and additive manufacturing processes. He also suggested the MRUSW development might not necessarily feature seeker technology.
It’s clear the MoD is looking at other systems as it works on this design phase. In his comments, Burnage referenced the Nov. 9 American deployment of palletized Joint-Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles from an MC-130J Commando II at the Andoya Space Range, Norway — but questioned whether the RAF’s A400M could support a similar capability with Storm Shadow cruise missiles. Such a concept, he said, would provide “a lot of combat mass” but at great expense.
Speaking to Breaking Defense at the conference, Burnage suggested MRUSW could enter service within the next decade, should the concept study conclude the development is a worthwhile venture. The biggest challenge facing the MRUSW might not be a technical one, however.
There is no guarantee it will become an official program, especially with looming questions about London’s defense spending. On Nov. 17, the UK government delayed approving an expected rise in defense spending to 3 percent GDP by 2030. In his Autumn Statement speech, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt could only confirm the country’s defense budget would remain “at least two per cent of GDP to be consistent with our NATO commitment.”
More details are expected to be announced in the MoD’s Integrated Review Refresh, scheduled to publish by the end of the year.
Also speaking at the conference, Group Captain Nick Lowe, Deputy Head of Weapons, Evaluation and Capability Assurance in the RAF, suggested generation-after-next weapon systems could come sooner than expected.
“I’m not sure how far the generation after next really is? Some things can endure but we need to get there quickly. We need to be able to generate winning capability and more quickly. How much more quickly depends on others and being able to deliver at pace of relevance. That’s the challenge. So how do we get after the solution,” he asked
(Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)
28 Nov 22. Rafael’s ‘Drone Dome’ counter-UAS system wins Pentagon certification. The Pentagon’s Joint Counter-small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Office approved the “Drone Dome” system, made by a unit of Israel’s Rafael, for C-UAS as a Service contracts, following tests at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. Drone Dome, which demonstrated detection, identification and soft-kill capabilities against drone targets during the tests in April, is now eligible to compete for CaaS federal contract opportunities in the U.S., Rafael Systems Global Sustainment said in a statement. Parent Rafael Advanced Defense Systems developed Israel’s famous Iron Dome rocket and artillery defense system with Israel Aerospace Industries.
The Drone Dome system utilizes an RPS-42 radar, EO/IR and RF detection & mitigation. Several of these components are already integrated into U.S. defense networks and are globally deployed, RSGS said.
“We are proud to see this advanced Rafael technology being successfully demonstrated by our American partners on American soil,” said Eric L. Brown, chief technology officer at Bethesda, Maryland-based RSGS, in the statement. “The decision by the JCO further illustrates the effectiveness and the relevance of the Drone Dome system in confronting emerging threats in a rapidly changing aerial domain.”
Drone Dome offers a modular, infrastructure comprised of Detection and Classification by electronic sensors, Defeating by kinetic (Laser) and electronic (Jammer) effectors and unique artificial intelligence algorithms within Multi sensors/Multi effectors, open architecture Command and Control, to secure air space, the company said.
Its artificial intelligence capabilities provide a more precise picture of the incoming threat, according to Rafael. This additional information allows the system to both detect and identify specific threat elements more accurately and engage and neutralize the target faster and more efficiently, it said.
The system’s flexibility across military and civilian applications offers advanced protection for maneuvering forces, sensitive facilities and border protection, as well as increasingly vulnerable civilian targets such as airports and other public facilities, according to the company.
RSGS said it provides an exclusive direct connection to U.S. federal, state, and local government agencies to Haifa, Israel-based Rafael’s products and services. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
29 Nov 22. Iranian navy upgrades frigate’s air defences. The Iranian Jamaran-class frigate Sahand (74) has been upgraded with a new air-defence system, it was revealed when President Ebrahim Raisi boarded the ship during a visit to Jask on 27 November. Photographs of the event showed the new rotating radar with a single phased-array antenna on top of the frigate’s bridge. This is presumably a new target engagement radar as it still had its previous Plessey-type air search radar mounted higher on its mast. A new rotating launcher has also been added in front of the bridge that was fitted with three of missile canisters normally used with the 15 Khordad and Talash ground-based air-defence systems. These could be for either Sayyad-2 or Sayyad-3 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), with the latter having a claimed maximum range of 120km. (Source: Janes)
25 Nov 22. Finland to buy BAE Systems’ 57mm munitions for Pohjanmaa-class ships. Procurement of the new artillery system is being carried out in coordination with Sweden. The Finnish Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced the purchase of 57mm naval gun systems for the Finnish Navy’s future Pohjanmaa-class corvettes. The estimated value of this deal is approximately $13.12m (€12.6m), excluding the value added tax.
BAE Systems Bofors in Sweden has been selected as the preferred contractor for this deal. The company has previously provided its 57mm naval gun systems, including 57Mk3 and 57A, for other Finnish Navy vessels, including Hämeenmaa-class minelayer vessels.
The current procurement activity is being carried out in coordination with Sweden.
The joint effort will allow The Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV – Försvarets Materielverk) to purchase the naval munitions together at the same time.
It will further reduce the overall cost of the procurement, while allowing the Finnish and Swedish navies to obtain compatible munitions.
BAE Systems’ 57mm naval gun system provides high survivability and tactical freedom capability to deter air, land and sea-based adversaries.
According to the Finnish MoD, the procurement of new 57mm artillery system is expected to enhance the self-protection and air defence capabilities of the Navy’s Pohjanmaa-class surface combatants that are currently under development.
The initial contract for the construction of four Pohjanmaa-class vessels was awarded to Rauma Marine Constructions in 2019 as part of the country’s Squadron 2020 project.
The new vessels will serve the requirements of the Finnish Defence Forces in the Baltic Sea region and will carry out surveillance missions to defend maritime connections and secure homeland’s territorial integrity.
In 2019, the Finnish MoD approved the proposal of Defence Forces Logistics Command to equip all the four future Pohjanmaa-class vessels with surface-to-air missile system, called ITO20. (Source: naval-technology.com)
24 Nov 22. US Army uses Lockheed Martin RIG-360 to help PAC-3 intercept target. The test was supported by Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS). Lockheed Martin and the US Army have successfully conducted the first live target engagement using its Remote Interceptor Guidance-360 (RIG-360) capability.
The prototype missile communication device demonstrated its ability to serve as the uplink to an in-flight Patriot Advanced Capability – 3 (PAC -3) missile to intercept a cruise missile target.
The US Army Integrated Flight Test-2 was conducted at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico.
The communication technology, RIG-360, has been designed to leverage target data from several sensors and offer a 360° engagement capability to an interceptor.
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Integrated Air and Missile Defense vice-president Scott Arnold said: “This successful test confirms our RIG-360 prototype as one of the many ways we continue to deliver technology to ensure our customers stay ahead of the full spectrum of 21st century threats.”
During the test, Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) used the RIG-360 prototype as a data link to the Patriot interceptor to engage the target.
It proved IBCS’s ability to combine with the new weapons data link. The test also removed the existing dependency of the Patriot radar in IBCS’ architecture to provide the communication link.
Northrop Grumman combat systems and mission readiness vice-president and general manager Christine Harbison said: “IBCS’ ability to integrate with any available networked sensor and effector provides the warfighter flexibility, time, and dominance in the battlespace.
“With every unique system test, the IBCS architecture has proven that the system is defining the possibilities of providing command and control across domains.”
Last week, Switzerland requested the sale of 72 PAC 3 Missile Segment Enhanced (MSE) missiles from the US. (Source: army-technology.com)
24 Nov 22. Nato allies’ fighter jets test French MAMBA system in Romania.
The recent activity focused on ensuring that Nato forces can operate together to counter any threat.
NATO allied and partner forces’ fighter jets have carried out a combined exercise to test French Air Force’s Mamba surface-based air and missile defence system.
Conducted on 23 November, the exercise was held as part of routine trials of the missile defence system, which has been deployed in Romania since May this year.
The defence system has been deployed to augment Nato’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) system. It functions to protect allied airspace.
Deployed fighter aircraft included Spanish Eurofighter jets and Turkey’s F-16 aircraft, which are currently serving a Nato mission in Bulgaria.
Apart from this, the US Navy’s EA-18G Growler aircraft and the French Navy’s Rafale fighter jets aboard the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle also took part in the recent activity.
During the training activity, the MAMBA system successfully repelled a simulated air attack performed by the allied fighter jets.
Nato spokesperson Oana Lungescu said: “In response to Russia’s war against Ukraine, we continue to strengthen our deterrence and defences in the eastern part of the alliance.
“This includes significantly increasing our air defences with more fighter jets and surveillance aircraft on patrol, more ground-based air defences and air-defence-capable ships at sea.”
France’s MAMBA, also called surface-to-air missile platform/terrain (SAMP/T), is an anti-missile system.
It has been designed to safeguard sensitive sites and other battlefields, including seaports and airports, against several airborne threats such as tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and crewed and uncrewed aircraft.
Allied Air Command Operations deputy chief of staff brigadier general Christoph Pliet said: “Constant drills and training like this ensure crews are ready to detect and if required respond to air and missile tracks that may threaten their defensive area of operations.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)
25 Nov 22. FMV receives 48th and last Archer artillery system from BAE Systems. FMV has also placed a new order with Scania and Volvo to procure up to 300 trucks for the forces. The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has received the delivery of its 48th and final Archer 155mm self-propelled howitzer from BAE Systems Bofors.
Earlier this month, the Indirect Fire unit carried out a series of firing tests with the new artillery system at the Test and Evaluation (T&E) site in Karlsborg.
The tests were performed to check whether the new system meets the requirements of the Swedish forces.
Indirect Fire systems engineer Nora Söderby said: “We fire between 21 and 65 shots per piece, depending on the configuration at these controls.”
The Archer artillery systems have been delivered as part of a contract awarded to BAE Systems in 2010 for the delivery 24 systems each to Norway and Sweden. FMV received the first system in 2015.
The latest delivery marks the beginning of a new phase that involves the procurement of the Archer C prototype.
FMV and BAE Systems have already signed a contract for the development of the new prototype that is expected to feature a fully accredited IT system, as well as the new LSS Mark tactical management support system.
In a separate development, FMV has placed a new order to procure up to 300 trucks of various configurations from Scania and Volvo.
The estimated value of this order is $44.25m (Skr460m). It includes an additional option for the delivery of 260 vehicles.
Delivery of the vehicles is scheduled to take place between 2023 and 2024.
The trucks are being procured to address the requirement of maintenance vehicles in the logistics chain for all units.
FMV heavy wheeled vehicles programme manager Roger Hillerbo said: “Since earlier this year, there is a new framework agreement for [the] procurement of non-militarised heavy trucks with suppliers Scania and Volvo.”
The new Archer system was also tested and validated by the Indirect Fire unit at the T&E site in Karlsborg, Sweden. (Source: army-technology.com)
24 Nov 22. Indonesia tests indigenous air launched munition.
The Smart Bomb Development (SDB) is aimed at the medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) being developed by a local consortium of state-owned and public companies (PTTA MALE) as well as the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU)’s Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano turboprop light attack aircraft.
According to the MoD, the test was conducted through its Research and Development Agency in collaboration with local firm PT Mulatama in Bogor, West Java. It was also observed by senior officials from the MoD.
Details of the SDB were not disclosed, although the MoD stated that it aimed to incorporate at least 50 percent of indigenous content. Images of prototype munitions used in the demonstration suggest a possible laser-guided weapon development with steerable rear fins and fixed folding mid-body fins.
The existence of the SDB programme comes after Indonesia announced that it will be scrapping plans for PTTA MALE’s Elang Hitam (Black Eagle) MALE UAV development for the TNI-AU, instead reappropriating the effort for civilian applications.
The consortium comprises the TNI-AU, state-owned aerospace company PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI), national defence electronics company PT Len Industri, the Indonesian Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), and the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN).
Another candidate platform for the SDB could be the TNI-AU’s Chinese-built CASC CH-4 MALE UAV. The TNI-AU operates a fleet of six CH-4B UAVs and earlier test-fired CASC’s AR-1 and AR-2 precision guided missiles, although it is not known if the service has decided to field those weapons.
Reports have also emerged at the Indo Defence 2022 exhibition in Jakarta that the MoD had shown interest in the Bayraktar TB2 tactical and Akinci MALE UAVs produced by Turkey’s Baykar. (Source: AMR)
24 Nov 22. ROK L-SAM Intercepts Target in Test. L-SAM is intended to counter the growing ballistic missile threat presented by the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea). Its development was initiated in 2019 by the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) through an effort by the firms LIG Nex1 and Hanwha.
The system includes two missile types one for missiles and one for aircraft linked launched from trucks linked with a trailer-mounted S band AESA radar. The former will destroy incoming ballistic missiles in their terminal flight phase at altitudes up to 60 km. This test is significant in that it engaged and destroyed a target closely simulating an operational scenario. This test series also included demonstration of the anti-aircraft missile version. A prior test in February 2020 demonstrated the missiles’ ability to maintain its proper flight trajectory.
The L-SAM missile and mobile multi-function radar are reported to be able to detect a missile at 310 km and aircraft at 230 km. The system can address multiple targets simultaneously tracking and engaging up to 10 missiles at 150 km distance. Being truck/trailer mounted will allow the system to be relocated to reduce the potential of it being targeted.
L-SAM is an element of a broader initiative to counter North Korean artillery, rockets, missiles and aircraft attacks against the country which has major population centers within striking range of the border. ADD’s web site describes L-SAM as “a cutting-edge indigenous weapon system currently under development to defend against long range/high altitude aerial vehicles, providing multi-layered missile defense in combination with Cheongung II.” L-SAM addresses the same role as the US THAAD anti-missile batteries which are also positioned in the country. However, the ROK administration has given priority to the fielding of its own indigenous developed and produced capability. L-SAM is planned to become operational in 2026. (Source: AMR)
25 Nov 22. Kongsberg and Thales UK sign new MoA for Protector RWS programme. The RWS can be equipped onto mobile/static platforms to allow the remote operation of small to medium calibre weapons. Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Thales UK to collaborate on the Protector Remote Weapon Systems (RWS) programme.
Through this joint initiative, the two companies aim to work in close cooperation to promote the Protector RWS to a larger number of military platforms in the UK Armed Forces, as well as in other countries’ forces.
Kongsberg Land Systems executive vice-president Eirik Tord Jensen said: “Protector programmes, projects, and capability areas Kongsberg and Thales UK aspire to collaborate in have steadily grown since we signed the last agreement in 2017.
“Both companies have expressed a high level of ambition to expand our relationship over the coming five years.”
The new MoA builds on the existing partnership between the two companies.
The first teaming agreement between Kongsberg and Thales UK was signed in 2007 and, over the years, the companies have partnered to promote the Protector programme.
Approximately 1,000 RWS systems have recently been selected for service within the UK Armed Forces.
Thales UK OME managing director Stephen McCann said: “I am delighted to be re-signing this MoA that consolidates our existing partnership over 20 years.
“A partnership that has secured a major role within the UK Army’s Boxer Strategic Pipeline and has grown from strength to strength.
“I look forward to extending the reach and scope of a partnership in the UK and throughout Europe, and supporting Kongsberg in the US.”
The Protector RWS programme was initially selected by the UK Ministry of Defence through a competitive process, based on the systems’ performance, modularity/flexibility, and firing accuracy.
Kongsberg recently signed a contract to deliver the Protector RS4 RWS for the British Army mechanised infantry vehicle programme. (Source: army-technology.com)