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NIGHT VISION, MUNITIONS AND BALLISTICS UPDATE

19 Feb 10. L-3 Communications, New York, has agreed to buy Insight Technology, a maker of night-vision and electro-optical equipment such as laser rangefinders, night-vision goggles and thermal imaging systems.
L-3 didn’t release the purchase price for Insight, but said it will fund the acquisition with cash on hand. Insight is expected to have sales of $290m in 2010, L-3 said. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2010. Insight is based in Londonderry, N.H., and has about 1,100 employees.Ken Solinsky, Insight’s founder and president, is slated to become president of L-3’s new Warrior Systems sector, which includes L-3’s electro-optical/infrared products business, pending completion of the deal, L-3 said. “By combining Insight’s outstanding people and innovative products with our existing portfolio, we add important new capabilities to L-3,” said L-3 chairman, president and chief executive Michael Strianese in a statement announcing the deal. “Insight’s entrepreneurial culture and dedication to customer needs make this a natural fit and is a great example of L-3 successfully executing its acquisition strategy. (Source: Defense News)

17 Feb 10. Python Exploding Hose: Now Deployed. The MoD announced (17 Feb 10) that: “The Royal Engineers have fired their latest weapon in their battle against the Taliban for the first time – an exploding hose which punches safe passage through suspected IED belts. The Python rocket is a trailer-mounted, rocket-propelled mine clearing system pulled behind the Trojan armoured engineer tank.”.
Comment: The media presented Python as a ‘new’ device, which is somewhat misleading. In 1992 Royal Ordnance was awarded a £17m contract to carry out a mid-life improvement programme on the Giant Viper mine clearing system. The main Giant Viper/Python component is a 230 metre hose, 67mm in diameter and filled with aluminised plastic explosive.
An even older ‘cousin’ of the Giant Viper is the Bangalore Torpedo, which has been in British use since 1912 to clear obstacles such as barbed wire. Chemring was awarded a £2m, five-year contract in April 2009 to replace the Bangalore Torpedo stocks with an initial 300 sets. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 10/08, 22 Feb 10)

15 Feb 10. ST Kinetics strives to fill grenade launcher ammunition gap. ST Kinetics (STK) unveiled a new family of 40 mm medium-velocity (MV) ammunition, which has been developed in response to operational requirements, at the Singapore Air Show. The range includes high-explosive (HE), HE dual purpose (HEDP), target practice marker and flashbang variants, with the MV rounds offering a 30 per cent shorter flight time, 50 per cent longer range and improved hit-probability compared with low-velocity (LV) ammunition, STK stated. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

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