28 Jun 10. MBDA announced the successful completion of a programme of firings to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Aster 30 missile. Over the last month, firings have been carried out from the Italian Orizzonte frigate “Andrea Doria”, the French Horizon frigate “Forbin” and the UK trials barge “Longbow” at two different ranges in the Mediterranean. The trials were conducted over a range of scenarios of steadily increasing complexity, culminating in a final trial featuring a salvo firing against a sea skimming target performing a high-g terminal manoeuvre. All the trials were fully successful with both the PAAMS ship equipment and Aster missiles operating as expected in each case. This draws to a close the complex and high intensity investigation launched within MBDA after problems encountered in two firing trials last year.
24 May 10. SM-6 to begin sea trials. Sea-based trials of Raytheon’s Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) are expected to begin during May, a schedule that should lead to an initial operational capability (IOC) in 2011. “Since Raytheon began SM-6 development five years ago, the on-time and on-budget programme has completed five successful land-based flight-tests and moved to low-rate initial production,” said Frank Wyatt, the company’s vice-president for air and missile defence systems. (Source: Jane’s, JMR)
17 Jun 10. USAF Liberty fleet to be fitted with new high-definition sensors. Project Liberty, the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) MC-12W intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft fleet, is to receive an upgrade designed to boost the quality of imagery available to ground forces. Major General James Poss, the USAF’s deputy chief of staff for ISR, said the Liberty aircraft’s L-3 Wescam MX-15DI electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor ball is going to be replaced with a new high-definition (HD) sensor. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)
18 Jun 10. Soltam develops CARDOM for base protection role. Israeli artillery specialist Soltam has developed a land-based version of its widely deployed Computerised Autonomous Recoil rapid Deployed Outrange Mortar (CARDOM) to meet a requirement for the US Army. Displayed at Eurosatory 2010 in Paris, the 120 mm system maintains the core capabilities of the vehicle-mounted CARDOM – which is fitted to the US Army’s Stryker mortar carrier vehicles and Israel Defence Force M113 armed personnel carriers among others – but is instead mounted on a base platform with an electrical system that controls the rotation and elevation of the mortar. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)
17 Jun 10. US Army’s E-IBCT programme set for key test in September. This is a revised version of an article published 16 June. The US Army is making progress in fixing issues with the readiness of its cornerstone force modernisation effort as it is slated for another key test in September, according to programme officials. The Early Infantry Brigade Combat Team (E-IBCT) modernisation programme came up short during testing last year that evaluated the technological maturity of the unmanned sensors, robots and communication systems that could be widely fielded under the project. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)
17 Jun 10. US Army recalls body armour plates. The US Army announced on 14 June that it is recalling approximately 13,500 body armour plates that do not meet government specifications. Army officials directed all troops to examine their body armour and look for a specific model that the service says “was not made according to contract requirements.” (Source: Jane’s, JDW)
29 Jun 10. The US Army has begun sending the new 5.56mm cartridge M855A1 enhanced performance round (EPR) to soldiers in Afghanistan. The new M855A1 round, also known as “green ammo” will replace the army’s M855
5.56mm cartridge. Specifically designed for use in the M-4 weapon system, the M855A1 can also be used in the M-16 and M-249 families of weapons.
Green ammo features improved hard-target capability, improved accuracy, reduced muzzle f