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NIGHT VISION, MUNITIONS AND BALLISTICS UPDATE

29 Aug 12. French Navy to receive new 76/62 multirole ammunition. Diehl Defence has been contracted by France’s Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) to develop and qualify new 76 mm Insensitive Munition (IM) multirole ammunition for use with Oto Melara 76/62 Super Rapid guns fitted to the French Navy’s two Horizon anti-air warfare frigates and new Aquitaine-class multi-mission frigates. Jointly developed by Diehl and France’s Nexter, the new ammunition – compliant to STANAG 4439 – is scheduled to enter service from 2015. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

05 Sep 12. The Taiwanese Army has taken delivery of its first countrydeveloped Thunderbolt-2000 artillery multiple-launch rocket system (AMLRS) from the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST). All MLRS units falling under the Army’s 21st Artillery Command are scheduled to start training with the new system following the completion of installation, as reported by local media. The Thunderbolt is a wheeled MLRS, developed primarily to help replace the army’s existing Kung Feng VI 117mm rocket system, which entered into operational service 30 years ago. Under development since 1997, the modular, truck-mounted, multi-barrel MLRS provides quick-fire against enemy amphibious assault landings, prior to disembarkation from the sea and also to boost firepower of conventional tube artillery.
“The Thunderbolt is a wheeled MLRS, developed primarily to help replace the army’s existing Kung Feng VI 117mm rocket system.”
Operating from an M977 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), the system can launch 40 rockets a minute, with a range of 28m. In addition, it requires only eight minutes to be combat-ready, which is less than half the time used by the current MLRS to position itself. The launcher is equipped with systems for automatic fire control, elevation and azimuth, as well as a global positioning (GPS), providing rockets with a circular error probability of less than 1% of the target. It can be integrated with three types of rockets, including 60 tubes of 117mm rockets to fire MK15, 27 tubes of 180mm rockets to shoot MK30 or 12 tubes of 230mm to launch the MK45 rocket. More than 50 systems are currently planned for production by the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defence (MND) at a cost of TWD15.5bn ($483m) in an effort to increase the army’s surface-to-surface combat ability. (Source: armytechnology.com)

29 Aug 12. Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 Missile successfully destroyed a tactical ballistic missile (TBM) target at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., in an Operational Test conducted by the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command. The test involved three incoming targets; two Patriot-As-A-Target TBMs and one MQM-107 drone. A ripple launch of two PAC-3 Missiles successfully engaged the second TBM. Preliminary data indicate all test objectives were achieved. Three additional PAC-3 tests are scheduled for the second half of 2012, including flight tests that will demonstrate the Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) capability in both the Patriot and MEADS systems.

24 Aug 12. India to kick off carbine trials. The Indian Army started trials for 5.56 mm close quarter battle (CQB) carbines with four overseas models on 21 August at Mhow in central India. The army is seeking to procure 44,618 CQB carbines to replace its Stirling-derived 1A1 9 mm sub-machine gun and 33.6m rounds in a contract worth around INR20bn (USD363m). (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

05 Sep 12. Raytheon Company completed testing of High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) upgrades, which make the combat-proven missile more precise and accurate, while reducing collateral damage. HARM suppresses or destroys surface-to-air missile radars, early warning radars and radar-directed air defense artillery systems. The upgrade, called the HARM Control Section Modification (HCSM), adds a GPS receiver and an improved inertial measurement unit (IMU) for precision navigation. HCSM also features a digital flight computer that mer

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