13 Sep 2011. Raytheon’s hopes of selling its SM-3 missile to European navies are focused on 10 out of 24 warships equipped with the Smart-L or active phased array radar (APAR), said Wes Kremer, vice president for air and missile defense systems. The distinguishing factor on the 10 warships – four Dutch, three German and three Danish frigates – is that they equipped with the Mk41 missile launcher, Kremer told journalists at DSEi. The Mk41 launcher meant it would be easiest to deploy the Standard Missile onto those warships, Kremer said. Raytheon presented its prototype dual-band data link, designed to enable ships to use S-band and X-band radars to communicate with the SM-3 missile and guide it to its target, namely, an enemy medium-range ballistic missile in the
exo-atmosphere. The U.S. company has used its own funds to develop the dual-band data link over 18 months and is now looking to sign up customers. A further six to eight months would be needed to complete the data link, consisting mainly of packaging work, Kremer said. A first test-fire of an SM-3 Block IB weapon on Sept. 1 failed to hit its target in an attempted intercept in the Pacific Ocean. (Source: Defense News)
13 Sep 11. Chemring Defence announced product range extension for its Compact Smoke Grenade, which enters service with UK forces. Chemring Defence is unveiling its latest additions to the product range of its revolutionary Compact Smoke Grenade at DSEi, London, and has confirmed the grenade’s selection by the UK MoD and its entry into service in Afghanistan this year. The design of the smaller, lighter and easier to grip Compact Smoke Grenade was driven by lessons from current operations, which highlighted the need to enhance the dismounted soldier’s endurance and effectiveness by lightening his burden. The product range now includes the introduction of new Signalling and Screening variants, which are now available in a full range of colour signals with effective smoke durations of 45, 60 and 90 seconds to meet both UK and international customer requirements. For training and urban operations, Chemring can supply low toxicity, non-flaming visual screening variants. A multi-spectral red phosphorus screening grenade will be available by mid 2012 along with a new CS variant and a signalling grenade designed for use in extreme cold weather conditions. Designated Arctic Smoke, it features special wings to sit on top of the snow for marking positions and ground level for helicopter crews. Chemring’s ergonomic design has replaced the old lever configuration with a moulded spoon end, which lies flush with a smaller, lighter container. For the soldier, the grenade is now easier to grip and throw, and vitally, less likely to snag when removed from the pouch. Operational flexibility is enhanced, because for the same burden, almost double the number of grenades can be carried. Delay times are more tightly controlled allowing for precise timing from initiation. Safety is improved by the introduction of a number of new features: a twist and pull safety pin, the ring retained in a safe position and the lever to prevent snagging. The latest product range enhancements are the result of the second stage of Chemring’s smoke grenade development programme involving a Spiral Technology Insertion Programme conducted in collaboration with Cranfield University. The objectives are to deliver new performance variations, which will meet the requirements of international customers, and in the process, attain further reductions in size.
07 Sep 11. The Hawkeye soft-recoil howitzer: US cannoneers follow ‘the Rock Island line’. The Mandus Hawkeye – a modern revival of a soft-recoil artillery howitzer technology tested and approved for service by the US Army in the 1970s but never put into production – is set to make its inaugural public appearance at the 2011 Association of the US Army (AUSA) Exhibition in Washington in October. Soft recoil serves to reduce a howitzer’s r