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NIGHT VISION, MUNITIONS AND BALLISTICS UPDATE

30 Apr 12. USSOCOM plans a missile for special forces use. The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Special Operations Research, Development and Acquisition Center (SORDAC) extended the deadline for companies to respond to its requirement for a medium-range precision strike system (MRPSS) until mid-April. The new weapon system is intended to allow precision engagements of fixed and moving ground targets by US special operations forces (SOF). (Source: Jane’s, JMR)

11 May 12. India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is planning to equip the Indian Army’s nuclear-capable Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with multiple warheads to increase destruction capabilities. DRDO chief VK Saraswat was quoted by Press Trust of India as saying that the developmental work is currently underway but the project will take time to complete. “Basic vehicle (missile) will remain the same,” he said “The first three stages will also remain the same and only the kill vehicle or the payload delivery system will need changes.” The Agni-V variant, also known as multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicle (MIRV), will feature small onboard rocket motors and computerised inertial guidance system, which directs warheads to several different trajectories. “The mark-I version of Astra long range air-to-air missile will be ready by 2015. The long-range surface-to-air missile would be ready by 2014.” Saraswat also said the successful test flight of Agni-V missile in April has provided the nation with the capability required to design and develop long-range missiles. The 17m-long Agni-V is an indigenously developed ICBM, capable of carrying a payload of 1.1t with a strike range of 5,000km and is expected to be operational by 2015. Saraswat also provided information on the developmental status of an array of tactical missiles such as the long and medium-range surface-to-air missiles. “The mark-I version of Astra long range air-to-air missile will be ready by 2015. The long-range surface-to-air missile would be ready by 2014, while its medium-range version will take a year more.” The Prahaar missile has completed demonstrations and will enter production stages following approval from the army, according to Saraswat. (Source: armytechnology.com)

08 May 12. Raytheon Company has fired four Excalibur 155mm precision-guided artillery projectiles from the Denel-manufactured G6 self-propelled howitzer as part of a field trial demonstration. Multiple rounds of the combat-proven Excalibur successfully fired from the G6
155mm wheeled howitzer out to a range of 38 kilometers (23.6 statute miles), with all rounds landing within 5 meters (16.4 feet) of the target.
“These trials demonstrated Excalibur can give a true precision capability to G6 howitzers that can enhance the warfighter’s defensive posture,” said Kevin Matthies, Excalibur program director for Raytheon Missile Systems. “Excalibur improves tactical war fighting capability by providing precision that is essential to close-combat operations.”
The U.S. Army has demonstrated Excalibur in scenarios designed to defeat specific point targets while avoiding damage to structures, non-combatants and friendly forces. This targeting capability provides flexibility to engage at the tactical level, avoiding unintended consequences. Significantly fewer Excalibur rounds are required to defeat a target, lessening the burden of logistics.

27 Apr 12. China reveals 105mm wheeled artillery systems. China’s Poly Technologies revealed a new truck-mounted 105 mm howitzer at Malaysia’s DSA exhibition. The development is unusual because the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) does not use the 105 mm calibre and is promoting it solely to the export market. The ordnance is mounted on a 6×6 cross-country truck chassis with a total combat weight of 11.5 tonnes. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

18 Apr 12. NASAMS makes ESSM debut. A Raytheon- and Kongsberg-developed National Advanced Surfac

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