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NIGHT VISION, MUNITIONS AND BALLISTICS UPDATE

27 Aug 10. The U.S. Army has selected Raytheon over ATK to continue development of the next-generation of Excalibur 1B GPS-guided artillery rounds, according to a DOD contract announcement. On Aug. 25, Raytheon received a $22m cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for Excalibur 155mm Increment 1B artillery rounds, the announcement said. The contract was awarded after a 23-month competitive development and prototyping effort between Raytheon and ATK, including a competitive shoot-off this summer. If successful during this phase, Raytheon could produce as many as 3,430 projectiles for the Army after its weapon passes tests, said Picatinny Arsenal spokesman Peter Rowland. The Excalibur 1B munition is the next generation of the 1A rounds, produced by Raytheon and in use in Iraq and Afghanistan. After a review of its precision fires portfolio, the Army decided to buy just 6,000 Excalibur 1B rounds, far fewer than the planned 30,000. That sent the unit cost of the rounds soaring, causing a Nunn-McCurdy breach. The Army is still going through the required Nunn-McCurdy review, which is scheduled for completion by Jan. 13, 2011, said Lt. Col. Michael Milner, Excalibur product manager for the Army. Delivery of the Excalibur 1B rounds is projected to occur in 2012, according to a Raytheon statement. Excalibur 1B is required to hit targets out to 35 kilometers. Excalibur Increment 1b, when fielded, is expected to provide a more reliable precision munition for less money, according to the Army. (Source: Defense News)

01 Sep 10. Brahmos, the missile joint venture between India and Russia, is inviting a lot of global attention, particularly from South America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and African regions, a senior defence official told ET. With this newfangled demand BrahMos aims at creating an order book of $13bn for the indigenously-built Brah-Mos. Although there are over 60,000 cruise missiles worldwide, most of them are pretty archaic, having been developed in the 1970s. This explains the reason for the spurt in demand for the new BrahMos fleet, say defence officials. The supersonic cruise missile system has also caught the attention of many countries such as Brazil, South Africa and Chile because it has been developed at a low-cost budget of $300m.

01 Sep 10. The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) F/A-18F Super Hornets are to fly over Adelaide in South Australia to conduct the first live weapons trials. The trials will be conducted by No 1 Squadron from RAAF Amberley in Queensland at the Woomera Test Range, north of Adelaide between 30 August 2010 and 15 September 2010. The weapon trials and deployment will assist No 1 Squadron in achieving initial operational capability by December 2010. The initial operational capability will lead to the formation of Australia’s first operational air-combat-capable Super Hornet squadron including 12 aircraft, trained personnel, weapons and logistics support. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)

01 Sep 10. Iran has test fired its short-range surface-to-surface Fateh 110 missile from a vehicle. The domestically built Fateh 110 (Conqueror) is a 9m-long (29ft) missile weighing 3,500kg, according to Iran’s Press TV. Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the third-generation missile was a single-stage solid propellant missile that could travel between 150km-200km (90-125 miles).
“This version works on solid fuel, so compared with previous generations it has increased range and accuracy. Its preparation as well as launching systems are speedier,” he said. “This missile, which is in the short-range class, has added new features to the country’s missile system,” he added.
Iran is celebrating its annual government week, during which it showcases its latest achievements in various fields, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). (Source: armytechnology.com)

16 Jul 10. Clear Align announced the introduction of the INSPIRE™ line of high-performance, ultra-lightweight, pre-engineered SWIR lenses for

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