25 Jul 12. The U.S. Army and Raytheon Company completed a warhead test for the new Accelerated Improved Interceptor Initiative (AI3). Once fielded, AI3 is intended to provide a new level of warfighter protection by destroying incoming rockets, artillery and mortars. The ground-based system will leverage proven technologies from many of Raytheon’s programs, including the Sidewinder air-to-air missile and Small Diameter Bomb II. The test, which marked a key milestone in AI3’s 18-month development program, evaluated six different warheads. AI3 is a rapid acquisition program; it is being managed out of the Army’s Counter-Rockets, Artillery and Mortar program directorate and Program Executive Office, Missiles and Space.
24 Jul 12. SELEX Galileo’s HOT MW IR Detectors. High Operating Temperature (HOT) Medium Wave Infrared Detectors based on our world leading Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) processes and established ROIC design, offer the most cost effective Full TV resolution cooled detectors available today. HOT MCT allows system designers to minimise Size Weight and Power (SWAP) making this the ideal technology for portable systems. Excellent imagery is possible at temperatures in excess of 160K and proprietary technology allows imaging to commence during cool down giving exceptional time to first image. Operating temperature can be tuned according to performance requirements. MOVPE MCT allows extended cut-off wavelength compared to other technologies, up to 4.95 µm. Full coverage of the Medium Wave band out to 4.95 µm provides the flux required to operate with high f-numbers under all weather conditions. The default F/4 aperture reduces lens cost and weight allowing Detection, Recognition and Identification ranges unsurpassed in other compact systems. Detectors are offered as integrated detector cooler assemblies (IDCA) with a range of rotary or split cycle stirling cooling engines. The choice of coolers allows the designer to balance SWAP, time to image and cooler life. Selex’s own proximity electronics are available as an option. F-number and pass band can be customised.
13 Jul 12. Italy, Russia discuss future soldier systems sale. Italy has been in discussions with Russia regarding the sale of Finmeccanica-sourced future soldier and network-centric technologies to Moscow, the chief executive of Finmeccanica has confirmed. Giuseppe Orsi confirmed the discussions had taken place during an 8 July briefing in London ahead of the Farnborough International Airshow. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)
25 Jul 12. The Air Force’s 30,000-pound behemoth bunker buster is ready to be used if needed, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said. The Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP, is designed to destroy deeply buried bunkers that protect chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, but Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year that the bomb needed more development to be able to take out Iranian bunkers. (Source: Defense News)
25 Jul 12. The US Army has awarded a contract to Raytheon for the development and production of a new 6.8X variant of the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) to help enhance operational capabilities of dismounted troops in combat zones. The $81m contract has a performance period of two years, and can also be extended for a further additional year at a cost of $18m. Raytheon Network Centric Systems business C4I Systems vice president Kim Kerry said that the system would bring the network to the battlefield and front-line personnel, providing them with complete and accurate information about their environment. According to the company, the new version will provide the ground forces with general and fires command and control capabilities, from mission planning to execution stage, while focusing on improving and simplifying the user interface. AFATDS is an integrated fire support command and control (C2) system designed to create a common operational picture from multiple