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NIGHT VISION, MUNITIONS AND BALLISTICS UPDATE

07 Feb 13. French Navy’s first FREMM frigate test-fires Aster missile. The French Navy’s first frégate Européen multi-mission (FREMM) frigate, Aquitaine, has successfully test-fired the Aster 15 anti-aircraft missile in the Mediterranean off DGA’s Missile Test Center on the Ile du Levant, France. During the tests, performed in cooperation with DCNS and MBDA crew, the missile successfully destroyed the designated aerial target following its launch from Aquitaine. Conducted under the responsibility of the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) and the joint body Cooperation (OCCAR), the demonstration validated military characteristics of Aquitaine prior to its operational service with the navy. The MBDA Aster 15 air defence missile system has been designed to provide strikes against supersonic and subsonic threats at a maximum range of 30km. Under the contract, DCNS will deliver 11 FREMM ships for the French Navy and one for the Royal Moroccan Navy. Two of the 12 frigates will be equipped with torpedoes, vertical-launch self-defence missiles and active towed array sonar, while the remaining ships will feature anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and shore bombardment enhanced capabilities. The second FREMM vessel, Mohammed VI, is due to be delivered to the Royal Moroccan Navy in 2013, while the third ship of the class for the French Navy, named Normandie, is scheduled to be commissioned in May 2014. Delivered by DCNS in November 2012, the 142m-long Aquitaine has a displacement capacity of 6,000t, a range of 15km, can cruise at a speed of 27k and is capable of accommodating a crew of 145. Powered by an LM2500+ gas turbine, the ships are armed with Herakles 3D S-band multifunction surveillance radar, MdCN cruise missiles and Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles, as well as Aster anti-air missiles. (Source: naval-technology.com)

04 Feb 13. Michigan Base to Test Missile Counter-measure Prototype. The Air National Guard has begun installing a new prototype missile
counter-measure device on aircraft at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. If tests on the prototype conclude favorably, as expected, the device could mean safer travels for KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft and additional job security for maintenance personnel at the base. Working in conjunction with the KC-135 Systems Project Office (SPO) at Tinker Air Force Base, aircraft maintenance personnel at Selfridge began work in mid-January preparing a single KC-135 aircraft at the base for a prototype of the LAIRCM – large aircraft infrared countermeasure – system. After several weeks of prep work on the aircraft, the LAIRCM pod, known as The Guardian, will be added to the aircraft and a series of tests will be conducted with the aircraft at an Air Force test range in another state. An exact timeline on the testing project has not been publicly released, but the prototype testing is expected to conclude by late spring or early summer. The LAIRCM is specifically designed to defeat a portable, man-carried surface-to-air missile. While such missiles don’t pose much threat when the KC-135 is refueling another aircraft at a high altitude, the tanker can be susceptible to such weapons while taking off and landing. Safety in a hostile environment is of particular concern when KC-135s are used to perform one of the key alternate missions of the aircraft – serving as an aeromedical transportation system to move injured military personnel from remote bases to larger hospitals. (Source: ASD Network)

05 Feb 13. DRS Technologies, Inc., a Finmeccanica Company, expanded the Tamarisk® product line by introducing the high-resolution Tamarisk®640, which is designed for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to incorporate into their products. The Tamarisk®640 camera module generates a sharp thermal image with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, advancing the groundbreaking technology of the tiny Tamarisk®320 released in 2011. The affordable but powerful Tamarisk®640 detects long-wave infrared energy to produc

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