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NIGHT VISION, MUNITIONS AND BALLISTICS UPDATE

09 Dec 11. The US Army will soon receive an upgraded, digitised M119A2 howitzer that will enable infantry brigade combat teams to begin firing rounds quickly to avoid enemy return fire. Around four upgraded M119A2s have been delivered to various installations by the US Army Program Executive Office (PEO) along with the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) for safety testing. The new 105mm howitzer is integrated with a digital fire control system that includes a guided-precision system (GPS) technology aided inertial navigation unit (INU) to help the weapon determine its precise geographical location on its own. The lightweight M119A2 howitzer provides suppressive and protective fires for infantry units and basically employs glass and iron optical sites to survey and detect the location, but the integration of the INU allows the soldier to fire the first round within two to three minutes. Additionally, the digital fire control system will also help the M119A2 cannoneers in evading enemy fire by allowing them to ‘shoot and scoot’. The software development and integration of the digital fire control system was performed in-house at ARDEC and 90% of the software was derived from the M777A2. M119 product manager Joe Lipinski said: “We have started safety tests in October, and that will allow us to go to operational tests next June. Then we will go into type classification and material release this time next year (2012), which would allow us to go into production and retrofit the weapons.” The army has plans to upgrade 603 howitzers with the digital fire-control system and deliveries are scheduled for early 2013. (Source: armytechnology.com)

09 Dec 11. Saab Group has launched a new countermeasures self protection pod, BOH, which can be incorporated into any fixed wing aircraft for defeating all modern infra-red-guided threats. The modular multiconfigurable BOH employs Saab’s BOL countermeasures dispenser system (CMDS) and compact integrated defensive aids suite (CIDAS) into the shape of a missile. The BOH pod features a missile approach warning system (MAW), pyrotechnical dispenser, controller and electromechanical dispenser modules. The BOL CMDS enables countermeasure dispensing characterisation with its long duration pre-emptive dispensing capability, while Saab’s BOP dispenser is designed to provide forward firing flare capability to the BOH. CIDAS is the small and light weight electronic warfare (EW) system variant featuring electro-optical sensors and a smaller controller, to provide self-defence in diverse and dense threat scenarios. The BOL and CIDAS capabilities are incorporated in the form of a missile using AIM-9 Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM interfaces and are supported by the missile approach warning and laser sensors mounted in the front end for automatic trigger dispensing action. The interfaces allow the BOH installation in place of a missile on a mission-to-mission basis to assist the operator in selecting missiles or additional EW equipment for carrying in the BOH form-factor. The BOH integration with MIL-STD-1553 or RS-485 data links allows the adaptation to other displays and control means while the wireless technology implementation makes integration much simpler. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)

06 Dec 11. Lockheed Martin and industry partner Marotta Controls, Inc., recently completed testing of the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) launcher pneumatic cooling system (PCS), a critical component in U.S. Navy rotary- and fixed-wing JAGM launchers. The PCS, a miniature compressor and air filtration system, cools JAGM’s imaging infrared (I2R) sensor, enabling the aircrew to passively acquire and track targets at safe standoff range while the missile is still on the launcher, allowing it to confirm target acquisition. It has a predictive reliability of over 10,000 hours mean time between failure, which far exceeds the 2,500 hour durability requirement. The PCS design is based on Marot

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