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NIGHT VISION, MUNITIONS AND BALLISTICS UPDATE

30 Apr 10. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems has been awarded a $3m contract by the U.S. Marine Corps System Command (MARCORSYSCOM) for a technology demonstration (TD) and evaluation of a new hardware’s ability to meet the program requirements for the Mission Payload Module — Non-Lethal Weapon System (MPM-NLWS). A full-and-open competition will follow the initial technology demonstration phase of this program. Called the Medusa Weapon System, the new system — developed by General Dynamics with its subcontractor and partner, ATK Aerospace Systems — will adapt advanced 66mm grenade and launcher technology to provide improved counter-personnel and non-lethal capabilities that temporarily incapacitate targets through intense light, sound and pressure stimuli. The Medusa’s articulated launcher and fire control system fires a new non-lethal grenade munition with electronic, in-tube, range-programmable fuzing that provides precision placement of the non-lethal effect. The system will provide longer range, greater area coverage, extended duration, lower risk of permanent injury and better scalability of effects over current non-lethal weapon systems. The Medusa system is also capable of launching the current inventory of 66mm non-lethal and obscuration-effect grenades and will be integrated onto the
Marine Corps Transparent Armor Gun Shield (MCTAGS), ballistic-glass shields which are used to protect service members in close urban environments.

05 May 10. Lockheed Martin has successfully completed an extensive series of wind tunnel tests of its Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) system. The tests simulated the flight environments of the Navy’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet jet fighter in various aircraft configurations of the JAGM and its Navy fixed-wing launcher. The successful wind tunnel tests prepare the Lockheed Martin JAGM team for F/A-18 E/F flight testing later this year. The JAGM will provide rotary- and fixed-wing pilots, as well as the unmanned aerial systems community, with a precision, adverse-weather, low-collateral-damage weapon to counter both conventional and irregular warfare threats of the 21st century battlefield environment. (Source: Yahoo!)

03 May 10. Raytheon Company’s Standard Missile-6 begins sea-based flight testing this month, paving the way for initial operational capability (IOC) in 2011. “With its over-the-horizon protection, SM-6 increases the surface Navy’s battlespace against air and cruise missile threats and offers protection for coalition forces ashore,” said Frank Wyatt, Raytheon’s vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems product line. “These sea-based flight tests clear the way for Raytheon to deliver a critical capability to the warfighter by 2011.” SM-6 takes full advantage of the legacy Standard Missile airframe and propulsion elements while incorporating advanced signal processing and guidance control capabilities of Raytheon’s Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile. The merger of two proven technologies enables SM-6 to employ both active and semiactive modes. “Since Raytheon began SM-6 development five years ago, the on-time and on-budget program has completed five successful land-based flight tests and moved to low rate initial production,” said Wyatt. “With the hard work of Raytheon’s employees, our dedicated suppliers and our U.S. Navy customer, we are on track to achieve the IOC milestone in 2011.”

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