22 Jul 10. Depleted Uranium (DU) Ammunition: Expenditure. The Defence Secretary said (22 Jul 10) that less than one metric tonne of DU ammunition was expended by UK Forces during the 1991 Gulf Campaign. Approximately 1.9 metric tonnes of DU was expended in the 2003 Iraq Campaign. In Iraq, UK Forces carried out ordnance disposal activities and removed surface-lying DU fragments as they were discovered. The MoD “has made it clear that we take seriously concerns about the effects of the use of DU munitions”.
Comment: A survey by King’s College, London, published on 3 Jul 07 concluded “that the risk of incidental contamination by battlefield use of DU munitions is very small”.
DU ammunition has been test-fired once in the last six years. 20 rounds were expended at the Kirkcudbright Range in Scotland on 11/12 Mar 08, at an estimated cost of £60,000. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/29, 26 Jul 09)
27 Jul 10. The new Arbel thermal imager offers a dual field of view, which provides its operators with best situational awareness in a variety of defence and security applications. By utilising the next generation Eye-R25 17 micron sensor with an advanced, DSP-based platform it can detect man sized targets at 2,480m and NATO objects at 6,200m. The Arbel is fully ruggedized to deal with the harshest weather and environmental conditions, including rain, direct sunlight, high humidity and dust. The module is encased a in a metal enclosure and designed to be vibration and shock resistant. The high-sensitivity, <40mK, long wave thermal imaging sensor detects targets in total darkness and also through dust and smoke. It has new 12/4 degrees dual field of view compact optics to obtain fast situational awareness. The Arbel can be used as a stand-alone camera and/or as an OEM sensor to be integrated in the customer's surveillance or weapon sight systems, suitable for rugged field conditions. The unit works in temperatures from -30 to 60C and can be powered from 9V to 28V. It has military clearances MIL-STD-461D & Mil-STD 810E the casing is IP65 or can be IP67 if requested. The camera can be fixed, mounted or integrated into a pan and tilt device. This imager provides the user with the latest in target detection through difficult viewing conditions and should help in assessing critical situations where good information is essential to making the correct decision. (Source: Premier Electronics/Shephard) 26 Jul 10. India's Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) system, which failed a test earlier this year, was more successful. A PAD interceptor missile struck an incoming target missile at an altitude of 15 kilometers, according to a scientist from the government's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), which is developing the missile defense program. Fired from Wheeler Island off the Orissa coast near Dhamra, the interceptor "destroyed an incoming ballistic missile - a variant of the Prithvi II that lifted off from Launch Complex-III of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur-on-Sea." about 70 kilometers away across the sea, the scientist said. In March, the PAD had failed a similar endo-atmospheric test when the target missile, a short-range Prithvi ballistic missile fired from a mobile launcher, deviated from its trajectory after traveling about 11 kilometers and fell into the sea, the DRDO scientist said. The hypersonic interceptor missile did not receive the required command for takeoff from Wheeler Island during the March test, Defence Ministry sources said. But the DRDO scientist claimed the March test was not a failure as the interceptor missile's capabilities were not to blame. The PAD system has undergone exo-atmospheric and endo-atmospheric tests. Its original Israeli-built Green Pine radar has been replaced with an indigenous system. PAD Phase-I, which can kill an incoming ballistic missile at a height of 80 kilometers, is expected to be inducted into service in 15 months. Based on the same principles of how a cornstar