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12 Apr 13. Selex ES introduces its Light ISR system at LAAD 2013. Selex ES, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to present the Light ISR system, a readily-available answer to the growing demand for low-cost airborne surveillance assets. The Light ISR system comprises the ATOS Lightweight, a de-scaled version of Selex ES’s best-in-class ATOS mission system, integrated on-board the light and versatile Skycar aircraft produced by Italian firm Omasud. The end result is a new, affordable surveillance asset that can fulfill the requirements of maritime and overland missions. The ATOS Lightweight is available in multiple configurations, giving it the flexibility to meet all types of requirements, and can be easily installed and removed from a wide range of fixed and rotary wing aircraft. Omasud’s Skycar platform can be easily converted to adapt it for several different operational modes with the inherent flexibility of the system allowing for several special configurations that integrate customised sensors. These include surveillance radars such as the Selex ES Gabbiano T-20 Radar and electro optical day/night turrets such as Selex ES’s EOST 46. The Skycar’s light ISR configuration can integrate Automatic Information Systems (AIS), SAR DF and tactical communications, including line of sight and beyond line of sight data links. The aircraft’s unique design also offers a rear door that can be opened during flight to launch SAR Kits, Medi-Kits, and other mission-specific supplies. Offering 3.5 hours of patrol time, the Light ISR system is a highly versatile and effective surveillance asset, covering a wide range of requirements for military, paramilitary, civil defence, environmental monitoring and search and rescue operations. (Source: ASD Network)

10 Apr 13. US Navy will deploy a solid-state laser aboard USS Ponce during coming FY. USS Ponce, an amphibious transport dock ship formerly known as LDP 15, was refitted last year as an Afloat Forward Staging Base, Interim (AFSB-I), & will be deployed to Persian Gulf. Iran will counter it with bad weather. Thales UK would like to get into that laser business too. (Source: Open Source Information Report/Defense Daily)

11 Apr 13. Raytheon Missile Systems has disclosed an initiative for a network of re-locatable afloat air-defence batteries purpose-designed for the protection of coastal and offshore critical infrastructures. Leveraging the company’s existing portfolio of air defence guided weapon systems – including the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) and the RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) – the initiative is being pursued in partnership with Kongsberg Defence Systems and Thales Nederland. Marketing is focused on potential customers in the Gulf and Asia-Pacific regions as part of Raytheon’s broader push to develop and grow its integrated air-defence business into new markets. One part of this strategy was tested in June 2012 when Raytheon and Kongsberg successfully fired an ESSM from a Norwegian NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System) GBAD battery. (Source: Jane’s)

08 Apr 13. Thales Advanced Weapon Systems UK has revealed that it plans to commence series production of its lightweight multi-role missile (LMM) in the second half of 2014. The Belfast-based business is also anticipating a Demonstration and Manufacture contract for the Royal Navy’s Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Light) (FASGW[L]) in the middle of 2013. LMM is the effector for the FASGW(L) system, which is the first UK application of the missile. However, Thales believes that the first LMM deliveries may not be to the UK, reflecting delays to the FASGW(L) programme. LMM has been conceived as a lightweight multi-role guided weapon able to provide a broad range of maritime, air-launched, and ground tactical platforms with a precision strike capability. Thales and the UK Ministry of Defence in April 2011 announced a full scale development and series production contract having agreed to ‘

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