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17 Dec 12. Johnson Electric announced rotary piezo shutters optimized for defense applications such as NUC (non-uniformity correction) and filter changers. Launched under the Nanomotion brand, these shutters feature unique direct drive piezo technology with closed loop control, delivering silent operation and low EMI/RFI profiles. Innovative mechanical design creates the closest back-working distance and does not conflict with the footprint of the video assembly. These Nanomotion piezo shutters have the best SWaP (size, weight and power) performance for in-flight, head mounted or hand held devices with weight < 2 grams and a package size of 8 mm x 20mm. Travel from 35 - 120 degrees is available. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire) 20 Dec 12. On December 12, 2012, French defense procurement agency DGA successfully carried out the last qualification firing test of the AASM modular air-to-ground missile developed and produced by Sagem (Safran), in its laser terminal guidance version (NATO designation: SBU-54 Hammer). The success of this firing test culminates the qualification phase of the laser version, allowing Sagem to start delivery of the first production-standard AASM Laser weapons to the French air force and navy, for operational deployment in 2013. The last firing test was carried out at the DGA's missile range in Biscarrosse, using a Rafale fighter operated by the DGA's Flight Test department at the Cazaux air base. The target was an all-terrain vehicle. Remotely piloted, it was illuminated by the aircraft's Damocles pod during the final seconds of the AASM's flight. The vehicle was traveling at different speed, reaching 50 km/h at the time of impact, when it was more than 15 km from the Rafale. The weapon was launched from the aircraft at an extreme off-axis angle of 90° and hit the target at an oblique angle. Using its powerful algorithms for detection and flightpath slaving to the laser point, plus its excellent agility, the AASM hit the target with an accuracy of less than a meter. This performance qualified the complete laser firing system under typical conditions, with the target illumination being carried out by the aircraft firing the weapon. This new GPS/inertial/laser version further expands the AASM family, which already counts two other versions qualified on Rafale: GPS/inertial and GPS/inertial/infrared. It features a laser seeker in place of the infrared imager on the latter version, and also has tracking algorithms which are activated during the terminal phase. 18 Dec 12. Rheinmetall has successfully tested its new 50kW high-energy weapon technology demonstrator. Conducted at the end of November, the test encompassed the entire operational sequence from target detection and tracking to target engagement. Building on a 123-year heritage, the Düsseldorf, Germany-based Group has once again made good its claim to be the global leader in high-energy laser (HEL) technology. The test was conducted at Rheinmetall’s Ochsenboden Proving Groud (EZO) in Switzerland, in snowy conditions and blinding sunlight, and was initially supposed to show the increase in efficiency of the 50kW HEL weapon compared with the 10kW version demonstrated last year. A five-fold increase in laser power was thus available for the individual scenarios, which included Air Defence, Counter Rocket, Artillery, Mortar/C-RAM, and Asymmetric Warfare operations. Furthermore, the tests were intended to prove that separately located HEL weapon stations using Rheinmetall’s existing Beam Superimposing Technology (BST) are able to irradiate a single target in a superimposed, cumulative manner. This modular technology approach makes it possible to maintain the very good beam quality of the individual laser modules, increasing overall performance several times over. Thus, from the technical stand-point, nothing stands in the way of a future HEL weapon system with a 100kW output. The 50kW HEL weapon technology demonstrator consisted of two functional models

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