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29 Sep 06. BAE Systems today unveiled the Future Combat Systems (FCS) Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) Cannon Firing Platform. The NLOS Cannon is the lead Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV) of the Boeing/Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) led FCS Program. FCS, the U.S. Army’s foremost modernization program, is an integrated family of air systems and both manned and unmanned ground systems connected by a robust network that is the U.S. Army’s foremost modernization program. The 155-mm Firing Platform is the first step toward development of NLOS Cannon prototypes scheduled to begin testing in 2008. The NLOS Cannon Firing Platform, which features a 38-caliber length, fully automated 155-mm howitzer, was developed at BAE Systems’ Minneapolis System Integration Facility and will soon be shipped to Army test facilities, where it will begin qualification of its ultra-lightweight cannon and breech. The Firing Platform will undergo testing through 2008. Test data from these tests will support obtaining a safety release, which will allow soldiers to begin testing the NLOS Cannon prototypes.
27 Sep 06. Iran To Mass Produce New Artillery Gun. Iran on Sept. 27 announced it has started mass production of a marine artillery gun, the Fajr 27, which it said is capable of firing 85 76-millimeter shells a minute. ”The Fajr 27 addresses our naval forces’ needs and is capable of hitting surface as well as aerial targets. Six years of work by our military specialists have borne fruit,” Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said. ”This weapon is capable of quickly reacting to any incoming aerial and surface attacks, has the capability to fire 85 rounds of 76 millimeter shells a minute and can be controlled automatically,” he added on state television. He added that the cannon, which can be mounted on a ship or dry land, has a range of 17 kilometers (10.5 miles). Najjar said at the unveiling of the weapon’s mass production plant that since 54 countries have this kind of artillery, its mass production will open up export markets for the Islamic republic.
27 Sep 06. New High Performance EH101 Enters Flight Test Phase. The first flight of a high performance variant of the AgustaWestland EH101 fitted with new technology British Experimental Rotor Programme (BERP) IV main rotor blades, more powerful CT7-8E engines and a new integrated cockpit display system took place at AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility yesterday. Following an initial flight in the morning the aircraft performed a second flight later in the day operating at speeds up to 135 knots and performing a range of manoeuvres with all results as predicted.
02 Oct. 06. Northrop Grumman Corporation has started flight testing a new airborne surveillance radar for the Global Hawk unmanned aerial system to provide unprecedented situational awareness to battlefield commanders. The first test flight of the radar took place last week on the high-altitude Proteus test aircraft. The Global Hawk version of the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor was tested in its moving target indicator (MTI) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) modes. Proteus flights last April tested the aerodynamic effects of adding the pod that houses the radar to the aircraft. The pod contained mass simulators to replicate the weight and characteristics of the radar. Northrop Grumman received a $90m contract earlier this year to integrate the MP-RTIP radar into the Global Hawk system, including the air vehicle and ground stations, to support the air-to-ground radar mission. The Global Hawk system features an unmanned air vehicle that flies at altitudes over 60,000 feet, above inclement weather. With its speed and maneuverability, Global Hawk can transit great distances, survey vast geographic regions and stay aloft on station for more than 24 hours. The powerful combination of the two systems will provide p