30 Dec 22. US Army seeks mid-range missile to cover operational gaps.
A Norwegian soldier fuels up a vehicle carrying radar to a NASAMS air-defense system during winter exercise Joint Viking 2017 in Finnmark, Norway.
The Missile Defense Agency is considering new technologies – coupled with current capabilities – to protect Guam from future threats from adversaries.
As the ballistic missile threats from China continue to evolve, the Army has several capabilities in place to defend the island of Guam. The service’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery has been operating there since 2013.
In fiscal year 2022, the agency, at the urging of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, requested $78.3 million to analyze systems to defend Guam and another $40 million to acquire long-lead items, originally reported by Army Times sister publication Defense News
Congress ultimately approved $80 million to accelerate arming Guam, including with the Patriot air-and-missile defense system and the Navy’s SM-6 and SM-3 missiles.
But a changing adversary means the service must develop further its own capabilities. The service is looking toward a more mobile architecture, one that can use mobile launchers.
One of those new technologies is the Mid-Range Capability missile. The missile will be fielded in 2023, more than two years since the Army announced that the service would pursue the capability.
The Army chose Lockheed Martin to integrate the Navy’s SM-6 and Tomahawk missiles with a launcher and battery operations center to create an MRC prototype back in November 2020. (Source: Defense News)
21 Dec 22. South Korea completes development of Cheongeom ATGM. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) announced that the development of the Cheongeom air-launched anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) has been completed.
Cheongeom, which has been in development since November 2015, will be integrated into the Light Armed Helicopters (LAHs) developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces, DAPA said in a media release on 19 December.
The ATGM – jointly developed by the state-owned Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and Hanwha Defense – qualified the combat suitability assessment on 12 December, DAPA added.
Cheongeom has reportedly been developed under a KRW180 billion (USD139.5 million) project.
DAPA said the ATGM has “fire-and-forget” and “fire-and-update” capabilities, enabling the missile to hit a target without human intervention as well as enabling the operator to “redesignate the target” after the missile has been launched. (Source: Janes)
30 Dec 22. Argentina buys Uvision loitering munitions from Israel. The Argentine Ministry of Defense (MoD) on 27 December signed a contract with the Israeli MoD’s Directorate of International Defense Cooperation to buy Uvision’s Hero-120 and Hero-30 loitering munitions.
Argentine Defence Minister Jorge Taiana and head of the Israeli directorate Yair Kulas signed the contract.
This is the first time a Latin American country has bought Uvision’s series of loitering munitions, and is part of a programme launched in 2022 by the Argentine Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff to modernise the country’s ammunition over several years. This programme aims to recover stocks of spent ammunition, from small arms to artillery and aviation bombs and rockets, as well as to add new ammunition technology.
While no details of the contract were disclosed by the Argentine MoD, in terms of quantity of systems or the amount of the contract, sources from the ministry told Janes that this is a small batch to start army and marine corps training on loitering munitions. Based on their experiences, a larger buy may be considered, the sources said.
29 Dec 22. Lockheed doubles Joint Air-to-Ground missile range in flight test. Lockheed Martin has developed a new version of the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile that doubles its current range, and the American company told Defense News it proved the capability in a recent flight test.
The new missile, which Lockheed is calling the JAGM-Medium Range, or JAGM-MR, traveled 16 kilometers (9.94 miles) in a flight test on Nov. 16 at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California.
The company also incorporated a tri-mode seeker that pairs a low-cost imaging sensor with the seeker’s semi-active laser and millimeter wave sensors. The U.S. Army originally required the JAGM weapon to have a tri-mode seeker, but the service walked back to a dual-mode seeker requirement during a competitive development stage.
Cost was a factor for the Army when choosing to back of the tri-mode seeker requirement, but since then the price of tri-mode seeker technology has become more affordable.
The Army and the Marine Corps declared JAGM ready for full-rate production at the end of August 2022. The decision was delayed after the weapon previously failed to achieve desired lethal effects on a maritime target, resulting in the Army and the Marine Corps delaying the missile’s fielding by more than a year.
JAGM will replace Lockheed-made Hellfire missiles aboard American aircraft and will first be fielded on AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper helicopters.
The longer-range capability is critical for the military’s desire to achieve greater standoff from enemy locations — to operate out of range of enemy weapons systems — Joey Drake, program management director of air-to-ground missile systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, told Defense News in a recent interview.
The Army has repeatedly stated its need for longer-range munitions across the board, but particularly for its helicopter fleet. It is also pursuing a long-range precision munition in a separate competitive effort and is currently using Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Spike Non-Line-of-Sight missiles in the interim.
Along with the improved seeker, “there’s been quite a bit of activity and interest in this new capability with customers international and domestic,” Drake said of the JAGM-MR.
Lockheed invested in the upgrades with no external investment, but would not say how much funding it put toward the effort.
While the Army and the Marine Corps are the first adopters of the capability, the United Kingdom also signed on to receive JAGM, committing to the new missile in 2021.
As the company has worked on the effort, beginning static motor firings in November 2021, it saw an increased level of interest from foreign customers, Drake said. Lockheed plans to continue proving out the technology both on the tri-mode seeker and range fronts over 2023.
The company acknowledged in a statement that “previous discussions of a medium range missile variant of JAGM were met with cost-prohibitive concerns, whether it was concerns because of the camera technology needed for the seeker or concerns about the additional hardware needed to integrate the third mode into the system,”
But now Lockheed believes it can provide this additional capability at a cost that is “very close” to current JAGM production.
Lockheed noted in its statement that the Army is now looking to address its aviation strategy with a JAGM Increment 3 requirement, which would increase the range of the missile and add the tri-mode seeker.
The company stated it is now working with the Army to “develop the JAGM roadmap to go from development to production as quickly as possible. The next steps will be to work with the Army to secure funding for this product improvement program.” (Source: Defense News)
28 Dec 22. New rifle, light machine gun headed to US close combat troops.
The Army selected Sig Sauer to build its Next Generation Squad Weapon rifle and automatic rifle, shown here, called the XM5 and XM250. (Sig Sauer)
The Army plans to field in 2023 a rifle and light machine combination that will replace the standard issue M4 carbine and the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon for its close combat force.
They’re not alone, both the Marine Corps and Special Operations Command have been included in the years-long testing and experimentation phase and will have the option to adopt the new-caliber weapons.
That new caliber, a special, Army-designed 6.8mm round, is the biggest change that shooters will see. The Next Generation Squad Weapon program had industry competitors build the weapon around the round.
This past year, Sig Sauer won the $4.7bn weapon contract and Vortex Optics and Sheltered Wings working together won the $2.7bn NGSW-Fire Control.
Once fielded, the M5 carbine replacement and the M250 SAW replacement, will allow users to shoot farther, faster with more accurate shots that are more lethal than the current 5.56mm round used in the two legacy weapons.
The fielding will go to operational units, likely in early 2023. Those units have not yet been identified publicly by Army officials. The full rollout to the entire close combat force will happen over several years.
That close combat force includes infantry, scouts and combat engineers who support or deploy alongside infantry and scouts.
The rest of the force will continue to carry the M4 and M249 for the coming decade or longer.
Both weapons feature M-lock handguards, a Picatinny Rail for attaching shooting accessories, an ambidextrous safety and left-side accessible charging handle for the M250.
The two will also feature the NGSW-Fire Control, which is a computer-assisted optic that can provide aim correction, first focal plane optic, a disturbed reticle, ballistics computer and laser range finder. It also links wirelessly with current and future soldier electronics. (Source: Defense News)
29 Dec 22. Indonesia completes installation of 57 mm naval guns on two KCR-60M vessels. Indonesia’s state-owned shipbuilder PT PAL has fully integrated the BAE Systems Bofors 57 Mk3 naval gun on the country’s third and fourth KCR-60M-class fast attack craft (FAC), KRI Halasan (630) and KRI Kerambit (627). The milestone was marked with a commodore inspection on 27 December. The inspection is part of a process for the Indonesian Navy to verify that the weapons, which were first fitted on the ships in April 2022, are fully functional and integrated into the vessels’ combat systems. The process includes trials in the harbour and at sea.
These 57mm guns replace the older Bofors 40mm cannons that were installed in the primary position of both ships. These weapons were salvaged from the decommissioned landing ship tank (LST) vessel, Teluk Semangka, as an interim measure to provide both Halasan and Kerambit with gunnery capabilities. Citing an Indonesian Navy source, Janes first reported in February 2018 that the country has selected the Bofors 57 Mk3 naval gun system for its KCR-60M vessels. (Source: Janes)
28 Dec 22. Kratos Rocket Systems Supports Multiple Successful Ballistic Missile Intercept Tests During JFTM-07. Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that its Defense & Rocket Systems business supported the successful intercept test of a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) target by a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block IIA fired from the JS Maya (DDG 179), marking the first time that a Japanese Maya-class destroyer has fired an SM-3 Block IIA. The intercept was the highlight of the Japan Flight Test Aegis Weapon System-07 (JFTM-07) event which featured four Kratos subscale ballistic missile targets that was conducted by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the United States Missile Defense Agency (MDA) over a span of two weeks from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Hawaii. During the event, the Kratos team also supported a live-fire event featuring the engagement of a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) target by the JS Haguro (DDG 180). Altogether, Kratos along with Government and industry partners, integrated and launched three MRBM targets and one SRBM target in support of these mission critical national security related exercises.
The three-stage MRBM targets feature a “payload” mounted atop Kratos’ proven Oriole rocket motor and two government surplus Terrier Mk-70 rocket motors, while the two-stage SRBM target uses a Kratos Oriole and one Terrier Mk-70, to deliver the respective payloads to specific mission requirements. All four target vehicles, which have an incredibly successful, flight-demonstrated heritage on test and intercept missions for the US Navy and the MDA, executed nominal trajectories while meeting target requirements.
Kratos is a leading provider of products, solutions, and services supporting ballistic missile defense for Aegis, hypersonic testing, atmospheric science research and technology maturation. “Our team works side-by-side with our government customers to deliver transformative and affordable target systems and vehicles from mission inception through successful launch operations. JFTM-07, which was one of our largest recent mission campaigns, is just the latest example,” said Dave Carter, President of KDRSS. “We are grateful to be able to continue supporting the U.S. DoD and its allies in this very important mission area.”
Eric DeMarco, President and CEO of Kratos, said, “These multiple successful missions with our government partners are representative of Kratos’ industry differentiating ability to rapidly develop and field relevant systems, at an affordable cost, in support of National Security priorities. At Kratos, affordability is a technology, and our mission is to disrupt the traditional procurement and cost model, providing our customers mission relevant products and systems at an affordable cost, enabling rapid, high-volume operations, testing and fielding. (Source: ASD Network)
21 Dec 22. The French DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement) has just received the last 1,000 HK416 rifles out of 12,000 due for the year 2022.
The General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) has just received the last 1,000 HK416 rifles out of 12,000 due for the year 2022.
In addition, the DGA has also placed an order for the last 8,660 rifles out of the 12,660 to be ordered in 2022, for an amount of 12.5m Euros. The first 4,000 were ordered on June 30, 2022. To date, 69,340 rifles have been delivered to the armies. A total of 117,000 rifles will be delivered to armies by 2028, including 94,000 by 2025.
The HK416 assault rifle has been selected to gradually replace all FAMAS rifles currently in service in the three armies. The HK416F market was notified to the Heckler & Koch SAS France and Heckler & Koch GmbH consortium by the DGA on September 22, 2016. The first deliveries began in May 2017.
This assault rifle has been designed as a veritable weapon system, compatible with FELIN equipment, scalable and capable of integrating new technologies to come, particularly in the field of day and night optics and aids to the target. With a NATO calibre of 5.56 mm, it has a low-velocity grenade launcher capability. Easy to use, precise, robust and reliable, it is available in two versions:
- a standard version for infantry units
- a shorter version for other units. (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
28 Dec 22. Japan to deploy anti-aircraft missile system near Taiwan. Japan’s Defense Ministry plans to deploy a surface-to-air guided missile unit on Yonaguni, a remote island in southwestern Japan that is about 110 kilometers from Taiwan, ministry spokesman Takeshi Aoki said Tuesday, Jiji Press reported. Specifically, the ministry is set to expand the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Camp Yonaguni in Okinawa Prefecture to accommodate the unit, the spokesman told a press conference.
The deployment is intended to strengthen the defense of the Nansei Islands, including Yonaguni, as China is boosting its military pressure on Taiwan, sources familiar with the matter said.
The ministry’s fiscal 2023 budget plan included the costs to acquire a 180,000-square-meter land lot located west of the camp to construct facilities for the missile unit, including an ammunition depot. But the ministry has not disclosed the specific acquisition costs.
At Camp Yonaguni, established in 2016, some 200 members of the GSDF and the Air SDF are tasked with monitoring the activities of vessels and aircraft. (Source: News Now/https://news.am/eng/news)
22 Dec 22. Delivering Resilience: Thales in Belfast to Provide Next Batch of Saab NLAW Anti-Tank Missiles.
Following the announcement from the UK Ministry of Defense about future anti-tank missile provision, Thales in Belfast has received a contract to produce a further batch of NLAW effectors (Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon) for the British Army.
The contract for additional missiles will go far to reinforce a key NATO member and at the same time maintain the ability to manufacture and supply this system which is used by other NATO members and key allies alike. ? Commonality of equipment across multiple Land Forces is key to NATO interoperability and resilience.
Saab’s NLAW is a shoulder-launched missile system that attacks a tank from above. It combines the simplicity of light anti-armour weapons with the advantages of heavy, crew-operated guided missile systems. With NLAW, a single soldier can take out a heavily-protected modern main battle tank at ranges between 20 and 800 metres.
Due to its agility, reliability and accuracy the NLAW has played an important role in Ukraine’s defense capacities, making up part of the 10,000 anti-tank weapons the United Kingdom has supplied to the Ukrainian armed forces.
As a global leader in the development and manufacture of complex effectors, Thales Belfast has provided the final assembly of NLAW on behalf of Saab since 2008. This facility in Northern Ireland is ideally suited for this purpose because for Thales it specialises in the design and development of its own light weight weapon systems offering for tactical air, land and sea platforms. ? ? The site is also home to the Thales STARStreak and Lightweight Multi role Missile (LMM) both of which have also been central to the UK’s support to Ukraine where over 600 people from the region are employed. ? In recent years Thales Belfast has secured contracts worth hundreds of ms from the UK Ministry of Defence and in export contributing significantly to the economy of Northern Ireland and the UK.
Commenting on the contract last week, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton- Harris MP, said: “I am delighted to see further government funding and contracts awarded to one of Northern Ireland’s leading engineering companies. ?“As well as supporting growth in Thales workforce, government contracts are helping to attract investment to the region, strengthening Northern Ireland’s economy during a time of significant challenges for public finances and cost of living.”
Philip McBride, Managing Director of Thales Belfast said:“I am delighted to receive this contract today cementing our long standing relationship with Saab. It is yet another vote of confidence in the talent of our workforce here at Thales Belfast. Once again, Northern Ireland is demonstrating its significant role in the UK defence enterprise. We are proud to continue to provide skilled manufacturing and engineering jobs. As we continue to enjoy success like this we continue to grow and have a number of opportunities currently available in our Belfast operation that I would encourage anyone to look at who is passionate about playing a role in supporting UK national security.”
Dean Rosenfield, Group Managing Director of Saab UK said: ? “We are pleased to be able maintain our close bond between Thales and Saab which has been a good working relationship for many years. I have seen first-hand the expertise and enthusiasm of the workforce in Belfast and their seamless integration with Saab’s NLAW team, so I look forward to seeing this continue as part of the contract.” (Source: ASD Network)