22 Feb 11. An order for 46 M777 howitzers from the U.S. Department of Defense takes the total number of guns ordered to 1001. The order comes as BAE Systems continues deliveries of M777 to Canada and Australia, in addition to the U.S. Weighing in at less than 4200kg, the revolutionary M777 is the world’s first artillery weapon to make widespread use of titanium and aluminium alloys, resulting in a howitzer which is half the weight of conventional 155mm systems. As a result, it can be deployed by medium-lift helicopter quickly and beyond the reach of roadside bombs to otherwise inaccessible areas, extending its reach over the theater of operations.
Mike Smith, managing director of BAE Systems’ Global Combat Systems Weapons business commented: “M777’s capability is proven in combat daily – being sling-loaded under helicopters and air-dropped in some of the most demanding operational conditions on the planet. These additional orders serve to reinforce the confidence that our customers have in the system and its support.”
17 Feb 11. The 1st Infantry Regiment training zone of the French Army has successfully completed the six-week technical orientation phase of a high-tech integrated equipment suite, FELIN, for French troops.
FELIN, developed by Sagem as part of an overall soldier modernisation programme, will further undergo the service entry and tactical integration phase followed by deployment in foreign theaters by the end 2011. The system is equipped with a tactical vest that includes an individual radio with integrated GPS, a miniature terminal that displays data, orders, positions of fellow troops, and images from gun sights for round-the-corner firing. The rifle’s handgrip is fitted with a keyboard to control the vital FELIN functions, radio and sight, while holding the weapon and engaging the target. The company is also providing training sessions to the French soldiers before it can be used under operational conditions. About 22,600 French soldiers will be equipped with FELIN systems by 2015. (Source: armytechnology.com)
20 Feb 11. At IDEX MBDA revealed an addition to its air defence range by presenting for the first time a new combination of systems to coordinate the firing of Mistral and VL MICA missiles. IMCP (Improved Missile Control Post) is the first element of this set up. It integrates, within a shelter mounted on an all-terrain vehicle, a command and control unit and latest generation 3D radar capable of detecting and identifying aerial targets at ranges of 80 km. IMCP is an evolved version of the Mistral Coordination Post of which more than 40 have already been sold. It comprises an operator console very carefully ergonomically designed to provide a work space within which the unit commander can carry out his mission under optimum conditions. The second new system presented by MBDA is the PCP (Platoon Command Post). This modular command system is a direct derivative of the VL MICA Tactical Operations Centre (TOC) which has been developed in close cooperation with the French Air Force. PCP allows the commander to control multi-layer surface-to-air defence units, linking Mistral and VL MICA missile launchers. The system carries out the interface role between the various units responsible for coordinating the air space and, if necessary, its self-coordination with the PCP units deployed in neighbouring zones. The detection, identification and tracking functions are carried out via a link to the IMCP which, in this case, is completely remote-controlled by one of the three operators manning the PCP. The combination of IMCP + PCP, already selected by its first customer, further broadens the range of surface-to-air command and control systems offered by MBDA. It provides a very high degree of flexibility with regard to the number and type of effectors in adapting to the mission or threats in question. The first deliveries of IMCP and PCP are expected as of 2014.
21 Feb 11. ATK introduced its newly-develo