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21 Jan 21. Leonardo DRS Awarded More than $600m to Provide Mission Equipment Packages for the U.S. Army Initial Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense. Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced today it has received an initial contract award for 28 Initial Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) Mission Equipment Packages (MEP) from General Dynamics Land Systems (GD) in support of the U.S. Army’s recent IM-SHORAD production award. The award, received on December 2nd 2020, is the first of a five-year contract valued at more than $600m. The centerpiece of the MEP is Moog’s Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP®) turret with multiple kinetic effectors including the XM914 30mm cannon and M240 7.62mm machine gun, along with Stinger and Longbow HELLFIRE missiles. The MEP also includes an on-board Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radar (MHR) to provide persistent 360 degrees of aerial surveillance, identification friend or foe and other mission essential technologies. This production contract award marks the successful completion of an aggressive prototype program that delivered nine prototypes and completed government testing in just two years.
“Leonardo DRS is excited to work with General Dynamics Land Systems and its Mission Equipment Package partners to deliver this important air defense capability to our warfighters,” said Aaron Hankins, Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Leonardo DRS Land Systems business. “The rapid prototyping effort set the conditions for a very successful production program and we are excited to get started on production deliveries.”
Leonardo DRS will begin delivering the MEPs to General Dynamics for final integration onto purpose-built Strykers next year.
21 Jan 21. Lockheed Martin awarded OpFires Phase 3b contract. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control a USD58.9m contract to advance the Phase 3 development of the Operational Fires (OpFires) hypersonic surface-to-surface weapon system to initial system flight testing later this year.
Announced on 11 January, the Phase 3b contract follows the company’s successful delivery of the Phase 3a integrated system preliminary design review (PDR) in November 2020 and resultant comprehensive design and test plan, and provides for full-scale missile fabrication, assembly, and flight testing from a launch vehicle to achieve a system-level critical design maturity. The estimated completion date for the Phase 3b contract is January 2022.
“Phase 3 takes the design from the initial requirements development through initial flight testing in the fourth quarter of 2021 and the critical design review following that activity. DARPA approved our design and test plan in a Phase 3a integrated system preliminary design review, and this Phase 3b contract extension supports the execution of that plan through development and integration tasks ahead of flight test,” Steven Botwinik, the director of Tactical and Strike Missiles Advanced Programs at Lockheed Martin, told Janes.
“The objectives of DARPA’s OpFires programme remain unchanged. The system design that Lockheed is developing continues to achieve the desired tactical mobility and system performance in line with the [US] Department of Defense’s [DoD’s] push to deliver an intermediate-range surface-to-surface missile,” said Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Stults, the programme manager for OpFires in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. (Source: Jane’s)
21 Jan 21. DARPA’s Operational Fires (OpFires) program, which is developing a ground-launched intermediate-range hypersonic weapons system, is advancing to a new phase. Phase 3b will involve full-scale missile fabrication, assembly, and flight testing from a launch vehicle. Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control was awarded this new contract modification after leading a successful Phase 3a integrated system preliminary design review that resulted in a comprehensive design and test plan.
“The objectives of DARPA’s OpFires program remain unchanged. The system design that Lockheed is developing continues to achieve the desired tactical mobility and system performance in line with the Department of Defense’s push to deliver an intermediate-range surface-to-surface missile,” said Lt. Col. Joshua Stults, the DARPA program manager for OpFires in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office.
OpFires aims to demonstrate a novel system enabling hypersonic boost glide weapons to rapidly and precisely engage critical, time-sensitive targets while penetrating modern enemy air defenses. The program is developing an advanced booster capable of delivering a variety of payloads at multiple ranges and compatible mobile ground launch platforms that can be rapidly deployed. (Source: ASD Network/DARPA)
11 Jan 21. LM Delivers HELIOS Laser Weapon System to US Navy for Ship Testing and Integration. The Surface Navy Laser Weapon System (SNLWS) Increment 1, High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS),Completes 2020 Milestones in preparation for integration onto an Arleigh Burke destroyer.
This year, the U.S. Navy will field the first acquisition program to deploy the High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance, or HELIOS, a laser weapon system with high-energy fiber lasers for permanent fielding by the U.S. Department of Defense. This will be the only deployed laser system integrated into an operational Flight IIA DDG. This follows the Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Navy’s recent demonstration of full laser power in excess of the 60 kW requirement. The scalable laser design architecture spectrally combines multiple kilowatt fiber lasers to attain high beam quality at various power levels.
Lockheed Martin completed the Critical Design Review and Navy Factory Qualification Test milestones in 2020, demonstrating the value of system engineering rigor and proven Aegis system integration and test processes on the way to delivering operationally effective and suitable laser weapon system that meets the Navy’s mission requirements.
Lockheed Martin Directed Energy solutions provide a proven, affordable, scalable, multi-mission capability and weapon architecture with advanced beam control and innovative fiber lasers that support size, weight and power constraints for air, sea and land platforms. Lockheed Martin is advancing and demonstrating a range of technologies to position laser weapon systems for success on the battlefield and at-sea on a variety of platforms. (Source: ASD Network)
21 Jan 21. Successful MMP firing with target designation made by a Novadem drone. MBDA has carried out the first demonstration of the operational capabilities of LYNKEUS Dismounted, comprising the MMP system in “infantry” configuration and a Novadem NX70 drone linked via radio to its weapon terminal.
Carried out with the support of the French Army and of the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA – French Procurement Agency) at the Canjuers military camp in the south of France, this firing was representative of a ‘beyond Line of sight’ (BLOS) engagement.
During this demonstration, the drone enabled the detection and identification of a tank located outside the MMP operator’s field of vision. The transfer of the coordinates for the target to the MMP firing station illustrated the possibility of engaging a target not directly seen by the operator. The missile was “locked-on” to the target during its flight by the MMP operator after detecting the tank via the video stream from the MMP seeker, which was continuously transmitted to the firing station via fibre optics. The demonstration successfully concluded with a direct hit on the target.
This demonstration confirms the capabilities offered by LYNKEUS for the quality and control of the information chain going from the drone to the firing station. It also proves the precision of the extraction of the coordinates for the target.
Philippe Gouyon, Military Advisor at MBDA, said: “This firing also concludes a year-long tactical evaluation conducted with the Army and Novadem exploring all the capabilities of the system and thus, allows MBDA to propose an MMP / drone combination that meets the needs of remote observation and target designation of contact units.
These experiments notably included real-time engagement simulations in virtual reality but also combining, in the field, real equipment (drones, weapon terminal) and MMP simulators implemented by Land Forces units. We are very satisfied with the results of this work, which made it possible to understand the forces’ needs to finalize the system carrying the BLOS capability for dismounted combat.”
The collaborative engagement capacity allowing firing ‘beyond line of sight’ is a breakthrough operational concept, supported at European level by the participants in the PESCO BLOS project.
20 Jan 21. US Army preps for key tests of seeker capable of attacking maritime targets. The Army is preparing for key tests of a multimode seeker for munitions that will be capable of attacking maritime targets, but current funding will prevent a faster timeline to integrate it into the Army’s future long-range missile, according to Brig. Gen. John Rafferty, who is in charge of the service’s long-range precision fires modernization efforts.
The Precision Strike Munition (PrSM) is on track for initial fielding in 2023, but the in-development multimode seeker, known as the Land-Based Anti-Ship Missile (LBASM), will be integrated into the capability at a later date.
The Army had hoped to accelerate the integration of the LBASM seeker in order to get after maritime and emitting integrated air defense system targets by hanging onto funding made available when one of the two vendors with funding to competitively develop PrSM made an early exit.
Lockheed Martin has stayed on as the sole developer of the PrSM missile after Raytheon ducked out before it’s first test shot in March 2020.
But the fiscal 2021 spending bill did not provide enough funding to move quicker, Rafferty told Defense News in a Jan. 14 interview.
While the Army won’t be moving faster to integrate the seeker, the service is heading into a February captive-carry test of the LBASM seeker at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, Rafferty said.
Following that test, the Army will put the seeker inside a surrogate system to begin to refine its performance in a high-speed missile, in order to reduce the risk for integration into PrSM.
“It won’t fly as fast or as high or as far [as PrSM] but it’s the beginning of introducing it to that violent flight environment with the thermal challenges associated with high speed,” Rafferty said. “We’re not going to have the PrSM missiles yet to put the seeker into, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to continue to develop the seeker and be ready when the resources are there.”
If the funding had lined up, the Army had hoped to deliver an urgent materiel release capability of the integrated seeker into PrSM in 2025. “So that is no longer possible,” he said. But Rafferty said he did not believe the integration would fall too far behind, adding it was still “in the realm of the possible” to get the seeker into PrSM by late 2026.
The disadvantages of going slower are “relatively minor,” Rafferty said, because the Army is racing to field a mid-range missile capable of getting after maritime targets by 2023.
in September, Defense News broke the news the Army was pursuing the mid-range capability, and the service has already awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to take the Navy’s Raytheon-built SM-6 and Tomahawk missiles and put together a prototype that consists of launchers, missiles and a battery operations center.
Yet, the service will only buy a small number of that capability to fill the gap between the PrSM missile and hypersonic capability also under development.
“We’re going to pursue this medium-range capability, absolutely,” Rafferty said. “But maritime and medium-range capabilities, the bulk of it in the Army, will always come from the [High Mobility Artillery Rocket System] and the [Multiple Launch Rocket System] fleets. We have hundreds of those launchers, they’re survivable, they’re mobile, they’re dependable. They have high operational readiness rates and it uses our existing comms infrastructure, existing cyber support and fire direction systems.”
PrSM is designed to be launched from those systems, giving the units much longer-range capability.
While the Army figures out if it can come up with another way to integrate the seeker into PrSM faster, Rafferty said the service also saw “promising,” initial results from advanced propulsion work toward the end of 2020.
The advanced propulsion work will feed into efforts to further extend the range of the PrSM missile beyond 499 kilometers, now that it is no longer bound to that distance following the U.S. withdraw in the summer of 2019 from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. That agreement between the U.S. and Russia prohibited all nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.
The program has shared a proposed timeline for an extended-range PrSM with Army Futures Command leadership, but since it’s being reviewed, the schedule could not be detailed, Rafferty said.
The Army is also planning a 400 kilometer shot for PrSM at White Sands in April and will conduct a max range shot beyond 500 kilometers out at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, which has a test range capable of long-range missile shots, in August.
PrSM will also have a role to play in this year’s Project Convergence, which had its inaugural run at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in September, and will be a yearly exercise to help give the service fidelity in terms of how its capabilities are meeting the needs of multidomain operations against anticipated threats. (Source: Defense News)
20 Jan 21. Dstl plays pivotal role in SPEAR3 development. Dstl – the science inside UK defence and security – played an instrumental part throughout the research and development of the new SPEAR3 surface-attack missile. In a recent announcement the Defence Minister, Jeremy Quin, revealed the signing of a £550m contract with MBDA for the new weapon for the F-35 aircraft, “The development of this next-generation missile will allow us to protect our personnel and assets on the ground, from thousands of metres in the sky above. Dstl scientists have played a major and influential role in all stages of development of the weapon for the Armed Forces over many years. The scientists have completed comprehensive analysis to establish the robust evidence required to justify the capability need and to specifically inform the setting of the key user requirements (KURs) for Air Command.”
In the early days of the project, Dstl piloted a new way of interacting with Industry based on a close, jointing working approach. The SPEAR Green Box was very successful as it effectively fast-tracked the development of weapons concepts to meet the SPEAR Capability 3 requirement.
During the assessment phase, Dstl built an excellent relationship with the joint Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) and MBDA management team to ensure our operational analysis and scientific know-how could continue to support the programme.
Throughout the weapon development phase and working closely with many experts across Dstl, the Strike Weapons team have provided highly valuable technical advice to support DE&S and MBDA, including the assurance that the missile provides adequate lethality whilst minimising collateral damage.
Recently the team have assured the technical content of the 7-year £550m contract, for the demonstration and manufacture phase, and are now working with MOD stakeholders to plan the acceptance and release to service activities, such as operational evaluation trials.
Dstl’s Chief Executive Gary Aitkenhead said, “This is an excellent example of Dstl playing a pivotal role in defence, from early research all the way through the acquisition cycle to deliver a high-impact, battle-winning military capability for our armed forces.” (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
19 Jan 21. DDTC Posts Policy Regarding Direct Commercial Sales of Precision-Guided Munitions and Partner Targeting Infrastructure.
The U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) has posted on its website a statement of policy regarding direct commercial sales precision-guided munitions and partner targeting infrastructure.
- Statement of Policy: To comprehensively assess proposed transfers of U.S.-origin PGMs, their critical components, and/or related technical data or defense services, the U.S. government considers a partner’s complete targeting infrastructure. Consistent with the CAT Policy and in concert with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s October 2019 Policy Memorandum 19-58 (Targeting Infrastructure Policy), the Department of State will henceforth review proposed direct commercial sale (DCS) transfers of U.S.-origin PGMs, their critical components, and/or related technical data or defense services against the criteria of a partner’s ATD targeting infrastructure. This approach will ensure an equivalent standard of review for PGM transfers regardless of whether the transfer is completed via DCS or the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
Licenses subject to this policy will continue to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis; however, before authorizing DCS exports, reexports, or retransfer of U.S.-origin PGMs, their critical components, and/or related technical data or defense services, as enumerated below, the U.S. government will confirm the foreign end-user government possesses or is in the process of procuring sufficient U.S., indigenous, or third-party ATD capabilities with respect to the PGMs considered for transfer. Exceptions to this policy may be made in extenuating circumstances – at the sole discretion of the Department of State – where the proposed transfer(s) would contribute to this policy’s goal of reducing civilian harm. Exporters are not required to provide evidence of partner targeting infrastructure or proficiency when applying for authorizations, nor are exporters required to offer such capabilities as a part of an authorization request. The U.S. government is committed to identifying the appropriate solutions for partners to employ precision munitions in the most effective manner, including through practices and use of technologies that can minimize collateral damage and mitigate harm to civilians.
- PGMs and Critical Components Subject to This Policy: The following defense articles and services are subject to this policy. These munitions and components are most likely to be found in U.S. Munitions List (USML) Categories III, IV, V, and XI:
Precision Guided Munition Classes: Air-to-Surface and guided indirect fire Surface-to-Surface munitions 105mm in diameter and larger: Coordinate-seeking/feature-seeking; Laser-guided; Infrared/electro-optical; Radar-seeking; and Stand-off Munitions.
Critical Components: For end-use in the above U.S. munition classes: Computer Control Groups, Programmable Fuse Assemblies (complete), and Tail/Wing Kits.
Technical Data: Information, other than software, which is required for the design, development, production, manufacture, assembly, operation, repair, testing, maintenance, or modification of any one or more of the defense articles identified above.
Defense Services: The furnishing of assistance to foreign persons whether in the United States or abroad in the design, development, engineering, manufacture, production, assembly, testing, repair, maintenance, modification, operation, demilitarization, destruction, processing, or use of any one or more of the defense articles identified above.
- Adjudication Procedures:
Upon receipt of a license application to export, reexport, or retransfer an article or service identified above, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls will coordinate with the Department of State’s Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers (PM/RSAT), the Department of Defense’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), and the Country Team at the U.S. Embassy in the country of ultimate destination or end-use to assess partner ATD capabilities; this effort is related to the Targeting Working Group initiative announced by the Department in October 2020. No action will be required on the part of the U.S. applicant. A valid ATD solution is current for five years, after which the technical support and data need to be refreshed. Within the five-year period of currency, in-scope licenses will be adjudicated as normal.
For further information contact the DDTC Response Team at DDTCCustomerService@state.gov or PM/RSAT at PM_RSATGlobalTeam@state.gov. (Source: glstrade.com)
19 Jan 21. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) recently completed development and test of the world’s first self-contained Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability for an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).
On November 24, GA-ASI successfully demonstrated an ‘A’ size sonobuoy carriage, release, process and control from a company-owned MQ-9A Block 5 on a U.S. Navy Pacific test range. Using a SATCOM link, GA-ASI remotely processed bathythermal and acoustic data from deployed ‘A’ size Directional Frequency Analysis and Recording (DIFAR-AN/SSQ-53G), Directional Command Activated Sonobuoy System (DICASS-AN/SSQ-62F) and Bathythermograph (BT-AN/SSQ-36B) sonobuoys and accurately generated a target track in real time from the Laguna Flight Operations Facility located at Yuma Proving Grounds.
The MQ-9A Block 5 successfully deployed one BT, seven DIFAR, and two DICASS buoys to initiate prosecution and continuously track a MK-39 EMATT (Expendable Mobile ASW Training Target) over a three-hour period. Target track was generated using General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada’s industry-leading UYS-505 Sonobuoy Processing Systems. GA-ASI is developing this first-of-its-kind capability for its new MQ-9B SeaGuardian UAS in partnership with the U.S. Navy under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md.
“This demonstration is a first for airborne ASW. The successful completion of this testing paves the way for future development of more Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities from our MQ-9s,” said GA-ASI President David R. Alexander. “We look forward to continuing collaboration with the U.S. Navy as they explore innovative options for distributed maritime operations in the undersea domain.”
GA-ASI first demonstrated a sonobuoy remote processing capability in 2017 from an MQ-9A. Since then, GA-ASI has added a Sonobuoy Management & Control System (SMCS) to monitor and control deployed sonobuoys, and developed a pneumatic sonobuoy dispenser system (SDS) capable of safely carrying and deploying 10 U.S. Navy compliant ‘A’ size or 20 ‘G’ size sonobuoys per pod. The MQ-9B SeaGuardian has four wing stations available to carry up to four (4) SDS pods, allowing it to carry and dispense up to 40 ‘A’ size or 80 ‘G’ size sonobuoys, and remotely perform ASW anywhere in the world.
In a standard Maritime ISR and ASW configuration, SeaGuardian’s endurance exceeds 18 hours, encompassing a mission radius of 1200 nautical miles with eight hours of on-station time for submarine prosecution, providing a low-cost complement to manned aircraft for manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) operations. GA-ASI has already received orders for this MQ-9B SeaGuardian ASW capability from two separate foreign customers, and anticipates demand to be extremely strong for the MQ-9B SeaGuardian with its high-end maritime capabilities and low cost relative to legacy manned Maritime platforms.
19 Jan 21. New autonomous minesweepers to protect sailors at sea. Three world-class autonomous minesweeping systems will detect and destroy sea mines on dangerous naval operations for the Royal Navy, thanks to a £25m contract announced today. The Combined Influence Minesweeping (SWEEP) system designed by Atlas Elektronik UK, will be the Royal Navy’s first uncrewed minesweeper.
More than 25 jobs will be supported through the contract to deliver SWEEP at the Dorset-based company, plus 48 more jobs in the supply chain.
It will allow personnel to neutralise mines from a remote and safe distance at sea while on operations worldwide, keeping sailors safe.
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said:
This next-generation autonomous technology will be instrumental to our goal of protecting the safety and security of our personnel, while also reaffirming the UK’s unwavering commitment to improve the safety of international waters.
Using highly innovative technology, SWEEP will detect more modern and smarter digital sea mines, which target ships and submarines passing overhead.
Each SWEEP system comprises an Autonomous Surface Vessel that tows a sensor unit behind it. The unit uses magnetic, acoustic and electric technology to identify and neutralise different types of sea mines. The system is controlled by a Portable Command Centre which can be based at sea or on land.
The technology, which has been developed in the UK, can be rapidly deployed by land, sea and air and will offer increased protection to military and commercial vessels.
DE&S CEO Sir Simon Bollom said, “This cutting-edge SWEEP technology follows hot on the heels of the contract negotiated for equally innovative autonomous minehunters and provides the Royal Navy with the increased capability they need to deal with modern mine threats.”
The first system will be delivered in late 2022 and will enter operational evaluation before service at a later date. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
15 Jan 21. Iran tests suicide drones that look similar to those used in Saudi attacks. Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Friday that saw suicide drones crash into targets and explode — triangle-shaped aircraft that strongly resembled those used in a 2019 attack in Saudi Arabia that temporarily cut the kingdom’s oil production by half.
Iran has long denied launching the attack on the sites of Abqaiq and Khurais. Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels initially claimed the assault.
However, the United States, Saudi Arabia and U.N. experts believe the drones were Iranian, likely launched amid an escalating series of incidents stemming from President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
The Guard’s decision to use the drones on Friday alongside a series of missile drills comes as Iran tries to pressure President-elect Joe Biden over the nuclear accord, which he has said America could re-enter.
Tehran recently seized a South Korean oil tanker and began enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels, as the U.S. sent B-52 bombers, the aircraft carrier Nimitz as well as a nuclear submarine into the region as a deterrent in Trump’s final days as president.
“The nuclear issue is likely to be the Biden administration’s first foreign policy test,” wrote Simon Henderson, an analyst with the Washington Institute for Near-East Policy. “Ultimately, the United States holds the best hand, but Iran may still be able to play the game quite well, even with a weak hand.”
What happened during the drills?
Iranian state television described the drill as taking place in the country’s vast central desert, the latest in a series of snap exercises launched amid escalating tensions over its nuclear program. The footage showed four of the unmanned, triangle-shaped drones flying in a tight formation.
Another scene showed the drones smash into targets Iran described as being “hypothetical enemy bases” and detonate. One target appeared to be a missile vehicle — a telling target in a region where American forces and their Gulf Arab allies rely on Patriot missile batteries for defense.
Looking at the footage frame by frame, the triangle-shape drone appeared to have two fins on either side. This strongly resembles the so-called Delta drones used both in the Abqaiq and Khurais assault in September 2019, as well as a May 2019 attack on Saudi Arabia’s crucial East-West pipeline. Saudi Arabia showed damaged drones to journalists after the attacks, while U.N. experts included images of the drone in a report.
Experts refer to such bomb-carrying drones as “loitering munitions.” The drone flies to a destination, likely programmed before its flight, and either explodes in the air over the target or on impact against it.
Iranian officials did not acknowledge the resemblance, nor did they immediately identify the drones used.
“The message of this drill is our might and firm determination to defend our sovereignty, our holy ruling system, and our values against the enemies of Islam and Iran,” said Gen. Hossein Salami, the Guard’s top commander.
The Guard also launched solid-fuel ballistic missiles named Dezful and Zolfaghar during the drill, with state TV repeatedly airing imagery of the simultaneous launch of eight missiles from truck-based launchers.
Iran’s missile program has a 2,000-kilometer (1,250-mile) range, far enough to reach archenemy Israel and U.S. military bases in the region. Last January, after the U.S. killed a top Iranian general in a drone strike in Baghdad, Tehran retaliated by firing a barrage of ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops, which saw dozens of troops injured with concussions.
Associated Press journalists Amir Vahdat and Mehdi Fattahi in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report. (Source: Defense News)
15 Jan 21. The Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to buy a combination of inner-layer missiles and medium-calibre guided munitions to replace the Goalkeeper close-in weapon system (CIWS) currently fitted to Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) ships. In a 14 January letter to the Dutch parliament’s House of Representatives, State Secretary for Defence Barbara Visser said that plans were being taken forward to acquire the Raytheon/RAM-System GmbH RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) guided weapon system and the Leonardo DART (Driven Ammunition Reduced Time of flight) 76 mm guided ammunition. The latter will be integrated with the Pharos fire-control radar developed by Thales Nederland. Developed by what was Hollandse Signaalapparaten, now Thales Nederland, Goalkeeper is a fully autonomous CIWS combining a seven-barrel General Dynamics ATP GAU-8/A 30 mm gun with an I-band search radar and an I/K-band tracking radar. The system has recently been the subject of an upgrade under the Instandhouding Goalkeeper programme, designed to sustain Goalkeeper through to 2025. This has introduced a new electro-optical sensor package and video tracking processing unit, new prediction algorithms to improve fire-control effectiveness, and a new operator console. However, with the Goalkeeper system now encountering obsolescence, the MoD’s Defence Material Organisation (DMO) in 2018 established the Vervanging (replacement) Close-in Weapon System project to identify options for a successor. According to the DMO, the replacement capability – costed at between EUR100–250m (USD120–300m) – is required to defeat stressing anti-ship cruise missile threats, other air targets, and surface threats, such as fast inshore attack craft. (Source: Jane’s)
Arnold Defense has manufactured more than 1.25 million 2.75-inch rocket launchers since 1961 for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and many NATO customers. They are the world’s largest supplier of rocket launchers for military aircraft, vessels and vehicles. Core products include the 7-round M260 and 19-round M261 commonly used by helicopters; the thermal coated 7-round LAU-68 variants and LAU-61 Digital Rocket Launcher used by the U.S. Navy and Marines; and the 7-round LAU-131 and SUU-25 flare dispenser used by the U.S. Air Force and worldwide.
Today’s rocket launchers now include the ultra-light LWL-12 that weighs just over 60 pounds (27 kg.) empty and the new Fletcher (4) round launcher. Arnold Defense designs and manufactures various rocket launchers that can be customized for any capacity or form factor for platforms in the air, on the ground or even at sea.
Arnold Defense maintains the highest standards of production quality by using extensive testing, calibration and inspection processes.