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09 Jul 13. XTEK to develop advanced hard armour plate solutions for US Army. The US DoD has selected XTEKf as part of its foreign comparative testing (FCT) programme. Under the $1.5m contract, XTEKf will develop advanced lightweight hard armour plate solutions using its XTclave isostatic composite consolidation technology for the US Army. The contract follows the company’s selection by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) review committee to participate in the FCT programme in October 2012. The contract seeks cost-effective production of personal body armour products that will feature lowered weight and performance characteristics addressing or exceeding those of the existing US Army designs. Featuring programmable cycling of significant isostatic pressure and temperature to achieve composite consolidation in thermoset and thermoplastic based systems, XTclave technology has initially been developed as a batch-type manufacturing process for ballistic protection laminates, primarily small arms protective inserts (SAPIs). The isostatic high-pressure processing technique has already displayed its ability to achieve enhanced performance characteristics for armour plates, including lower area density and improved ballistic performance. Managed under the OSD Comparative Testing Office (CTO), the FCT programme enables testing and validation of foreign non-developmental items by US armed services that feature potential to address user requirements of the components of the US military. The DoD initiative specifically aims to evaluate the foreign allies and friends’ items and technologies that have required Technology Readiness Level for satisfaction of valid defence requirements. With US Army as the sponsor agency, the FCT contract is expected to make XTclave technology a possible solution to providing lighter and enhanced body armour to the US military. Production and validation work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out for the next two years. (Source: army-technology.com)

11 Jul 13. Lockheed Martin recently completed a series of Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) captive carry flight tests at the Sea Range in Point Mugu, Calif., advancing the research program toward its first missile release and free flight test later this year. The captive carry missions were flown aboard a U.S. Air Force B-1B from the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The primary mission objectives were to collect telemetry for post-flight analysis, verify proper control room telemetry displays and simulate all the test activities that will occur in later air-launched flight tests. All test objectives were met. The LRASM program is in development with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research. After a competition in 2009, Lockheed Martin’s LRASM was selected to demonstrate air- and surface-launched capability to defeat emerging sea-based threats at significant standoff ranges. LRASM is an autonomous, precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile leveraging the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile Extended Range (JASSM-ER) heritage, and is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters in a robust anti-access/area-denial threat environment. Armed with a proven 1,000-lb. penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead, LRASM employs a multi-mode sensor, weapon data link and an enhanced digital anti-jam Global Positioning System to detect and destroy specific targets within a group of ships.

07 Jul 13. A warhead upgrade for the UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) inventory of Sting Ray Mod 1 lightweight torpedoes has been completed three months ahead of schedule. Developed as part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) wider insensitive munitions (IM) insertion strategy, the new shaped charge warhead has been developed and delivered under the prime contractorship of BAE Systems through a circa-GBP60m (USD89m) contract awarded in 2009. TDW MBDA in Sch

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