13 Jan 11. UK military scientists are planning to develop “invisible” tanks for the British Army to use on the battlefield within five years.
The armoured vehicles will use a e-camouflage technology, which projects images of the surrounding environment on the outside of the vehicle to blend into the landscape and evade attack. BAE Scientists hope the new technology, developed as part of the future protected vehicle programme, will be available for the British Army fighting in southern Afghanistan and future conflicts. The programme is based around seven different manned and unmanned military vehicles, which will be equipped with a wide range of lethal and non lethal weapons. The prototype is expected to be ready within four years and an experimental operational capacity by 2013, according to the Telegraph. (Source: armytechnology.com)
19 Jan 11. The Indian Army could induct its artillery weaponry this year as it is nearing the completion of trials for ultra-lightweight towed Howitzers. Indian Army chief General VK Singh said that one particular variety of gun would be inducted this year.
“Various systems are being tried out. A large number of trials are on and we should be able to induct something into the artillery this year,” he said.
The artillery induction will be the first since the infamous Bofors scam in the mid 1980s. The army plans to buy 145 M-777 guns from the US in a $647m contract that includes laser inertial artillery pointing systems and associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support.
The M-777 is a low-weight firearm weighing less than 4,218kg, and is highly mobile on land, sea and air. The army is currently using the Swedish .39-calibre 155mm guns. (Source: armytechnology.com)
19 Jan 11. Troops fighting in Afghanistan are now using new, lightweight see-through magazines for the SA80 rifle, further reducing the weight of their kit, the MOD announced today. Made from a lightweight plastic, the 30-round Magpul EMAG magazine is around half the weight of a standard metal magazine, yet even more robust. More than 100,000 have already been delivered to troops on operations and in total over a million will be sent to Afghanistan under the four year, £13m contract with Hereford-based distributors Level Peaks Associations. A clear window in the magazine allows troops to easily monitor how much ammunition they have left, helping them ensure they have sufficient levels at critical points in battle. The EMAG’s durability is further enhanced by an easily detachable cover to help protect against dust and sand while the magazine is being carried – meaning fewer need replacing.
12 Jan 11. The European Defence Agency (EDA) and a consortium of nine European defense ammunition companies are leading efforts to develop a European solution for the next generation of precision-guided ammunition. In December, the agency and the consortium signed a 350,000-euro ($453,225) contract under which the consortium would develop a road map and implementation plan for a European solution on precision-guided ammunition by the end of 2011. The background to this is the EDA EDTIB Strategy paper to develop a European Defence Technological and Industrial and Base (EDTIB), approved by the defense ministers in May 2007. The EDA described it as “another important step in fulfilling the Agency’s task, given by Defence Ministers, of identifying those key industrial capabilities to be preserved or developed in Europe.” Ammunition is one of the pilot areas selected by the EU member states. Consortium members are BAE Systems Bofors, Diehl BGT Defence, EXPAL, MBDA, Nexter Munitions, OTO Melara, Rheinmetall Waffe Munition, SAGEM and Thales TDA. The study is part of a step-by-step plan to develop a more competitive European defense ammunition industry that will meet the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy capability requirements – i.e. for use in EU missions abroad – in a sustainable way, not dependent on non-EU countries for