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28 Mar 11. The U.S. Army’s Joint Attack Munition Systems (JAMS) Project Office and Lockheed Martin successfully fired a multipurpose AGM114R HELLFIRE II “Romeo” missile with a live warhead and penetrated a brick-over-block target in its sixth proof-of-principle (POP) test. The flight test, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., demonstrated the Romeo’s enhanced software capability and superior performance in a military-operations-in-urban-terrain scenario. The new Romeo’s multipurpose warhead design enables the missile, with a designator spot laser, to seek out and defeat hard, soft and enclosed targets with outstanding success. The initial fielding of the HELLFIRE II Romeo is scheduled for late 2012. “The AGM-114R baseline design is now defined and allows us to go into system qualification,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Mike Brown, HELLFIRE Systems product manager at JAMS. “The R model remains on cost and on schedule, and meets all performance objectives.” Engineers ground-launched the single HELLFIRE II Romeo missile in a lock-on-after-launch mode, simulating the missile being fired from a rotary-wing platform. The short-range (2.5 kilometer) high-speed impact shot penetrated the brick-over-block target and successfully detonated with the specified fuze delay. This was the final POP test for this next-generation precision missile. The Romeo’s advanced fuze technology and new warhead design performed flawlessly in test flights, proving reduced risk through system performance. Additionally, Lockheed Martin’s Joint-Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) incorporates the same warhead technology and fuze design that is present in the HELLFIRE II Romeo.

24 Mar 11. Cubic Defense has received a contract to provide an optical data link system for a new small-calibre guided weapon system being developed for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The extreme accuracy tasked ordnance (EXACTO) system will produce a guided, actively controlled 50-calibre sniper rifle system with improved range and accuracy over current systems. Cubic advanced programmes for defence vice-president Steve Sampson said the system will enable troops to operate under difficult environmental conditions with high long-range precision capabilities. The optical link will be a critical piece of this new guided system. The company has in the past created a new two-way optical combat identification system designed to reduce the incidence of fratricide. (Source: armytechnology.com)

18 Mar 11. C-Shield rolls out across RN MCM force. UK-based Dytecna Engineering is continuing the delivery of its C-Shield ballistic protection system to UK Royal Navy (RN) mine-countermeasures vessels (MCMVs), having previously supplied a variant of the same system to major RN surface ships. C-Shield covers a range of ballistic products designed to provide protection for upper-deck force protection teams against both traditional and asymmetric threats. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

09 Mar 11. Lockheed Martin’s SMSS may deploy to Afghanistan by September. Lockheed Martin could deploy its Squad Mission Support System (SMSS) to Afghanistan as early as September this year if it receives a US Army contract to do so in March, according to Don Nimblett, business development manager for combat manoeuvre systems at the company. Under the ‘Project Workhorse’ competition, a timeline for the deployment would see the unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) undergo a 150-day safety testing period at three locations before being refurbished and handed over to the army, Nimblett told Jane’s. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

24 Mar 11. Ballistic plates for combat body armour – made in Australia. Ballistic plates for combat body armour to protect Australian troops can now be made in Australia thanks to the development of new manufacturing technology. Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced the new technology during a visit to the CSIRO in Melbourne to

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