15 Feb 10. Raytheon Company’s Joint Standoff Weapon C-1 completed a major milestone when the weapon’s Strike Common Weapon Datalink (SCWDL) communicated via Link-16 nodes with a Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System aircraft. The test demonstrated the weapon’s ability to function as a node on the network and moved the system one step closer to engaging moving maritime targets. JSOW is a family of low-cost, air-to-ground weapons that employs an integrated GPS-inertial navigation system and terminal infrared seeker, which guides the JSOW to the target. JSOW C-1 features the two-way Rockwell Collins SCWDL, which gives the combat-proven weapon a moving maritime target capability. “The SCWDL has already demonstrated the capability to communicate with an F/A-18 fighter aircraft and the Littoral Surveillance Radar System surveillance aircraft,” said Phyllis McEnroe, Raytheon’s JSOW program director. “Equipped with the SCWDL, the JSOW C-1 will provide unprecedented connectivity and interoperability between sensor platforms, shooting platforms and weapons.” The test was part of the U.S. Navy’s Joint Surface Warfare Joint Capability Technology Demonstration. During the demonstration, the JSOW C-1’s SCWDL received and replied to in-flight target updates from the JSTARS’ Joint Tactical Information Distribution System. “The successful outcome of the JSTARS demonstration marks another important milestone achieved by the men and women who dedicate themselves to this JSOW program,” said Robert Cornelius, Precision Strike Weapons program lead for the Joint Surface Warfare, Joint Capability Technology Demonstration team. “By confirming initial JSOW interoperability with both Joint Surface Warfare Joint Capability Technology Demonstration targeting aircraft, we advance toward providing the warfighter with a capability imperative to the mission today and tomorrow.”
15 Feb 10. On January 29, 2010, Sagem (Safran group) delivered to MBDA the first batch of new-generation infrared sights designed to fit the launchers for Eryx antitank missiles. This batch is part of MBDA’s initial order in 2008 for approximately 400 new-generation IR sights; the sights will be deployed this year. The new IR sight uses the latest non-cooled infrared detector technology, and calls on developments by Sagem for the FELIN (dismounted soldier integrated equipment suite) soldier modernization program. Compared with previous generation sights, this new IR sight gives weapon system users a host of advantages: it is light, compact, silent in operation, easy to use, more reliable and more autonomous. Detection, recognition and identification ranges are also significantly improved, beyond the range of the Eryx missile itself. MBDA recently carried out a very successful series of test firings in the Gulf region, demonstrating the operational advantages of this new sight, especially for night combat. The sight is now on offer as either original equipment or a retrofit option to modernize current weapon systems. Since 1993, the armed forces in eight countries have ordered more than 3,500 Eryx weapon systems.
16 Feb 10. The U.S. Army has cleared the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) for use in Afghanistan, one day after two HIMARS rockets killed civilians in Marjah. Officials with the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) suspended the use of HIMARS on Feb. 14, while they reviewed the incident. The ban was lifted after they determined the system was not at fault, said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Sabrina Foster, a spokeswoman for ISAF. “The review into the incident is ongoing, but it has been determined that the HIMARS system was not to blame,” Foster said in an e-mail. “Use of the HIMARS system has been reinstated for defense purposes in accordance with the tactical directive and standard use of engagement rules.” According to a Feb. 14 press release, the two rockets were intended to hit a compound “where insurgents were delivering accura