RAFAEL announces new version of SPIKE-ER multi-purpose missileHaifa, June 1, 2004 – RAFAEL Armament Development Authority Ltd has announced the release of a new member of the SPIKE Family of 4th generation multi-purpose guided missiles – the Penetration, Blast and Fragmentation (PBF) version of its well-known SPIKE-ER. RAFAEL developed the PBF version of the SPIKE-ER to fulfill the needs of its customers for an effective / minimal collateral damage weapon system for urban and anti-terror warfare, low intensity conflicts, and high value targets.The basic version of the SPIKE-ER contains a tandem-shaped charge warheads system, capable of penetrating any main battle tank armor from ranges of up to 8km. The SPIKE-ER, which can be fired day or night from helicopters, light combat vehicles and naval vessels, claims its fourth generation status due to its unusual capabilities. Among others are concealed targets capability, the ability to alternate targets or abort a mission after launch and the ability to perform real-time surveillance and damage assessment. The new Penetration, Blast and Fragmentation warhead on the SPIKE-ER is capable of penetrating light armor and concrete bunkers. The SPIKE-ER's unique capabilities have been demonstrated in a series of successful firing tests against various targets. At different ranges, The PBF version maintained SPIKE-ER's pin-point accuracy, penetrated the targets and exploded after penetration; proving that SPIKE-ER, BPF version, hits precisely where it should while minimizing collateral damage. “This new capability exemplifies once again RAFAEL’s commitment to fulfilling its customer’s requirements by harnessing the most advanced technologies. The PBF warhead is an important addition to the already versatile SPIKE family of multi-purpose missiles”, says Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, Corporate VP Marketing and Business Development at RAFAEL.RAFAEL designs, develops, manufactures and supplies a wide range of advanced defense systems for all branches of the Israel Defense Forces and allied armed forces worldwide. These leading-edge products are based on RAFAEL's vast experience. In addition to its defense technologies, the company has also formed partnerships with civilian counterparts to develop commercial applications based on its proprietary technology. RAFAEL has a workforce of over 5000 employees and registered sales of $830M in 2003
Militares portugueses regressam hoje de Timor Não haverá mais "capacetes azuis" portugueses em Timor Cinco meses depois, com 11 mil quilos de bagagem, 253 militares portugueses terminaram ontem a missão ao serviço das Nações Unidas, em Timor-Leste, regressando, às 7 horas de hoje. A viagem, de cerca de 24 horas, compreende escalas técnicas em Kuala Lumpur e Cairo. Estes são os últimos "capacetes azuis" portugueses da Força de Manutenção de Paz das Nações Unidas, que tiveram sob o seu comando o Batalhão Oriental, um sector que integrou os distritos de Díli, Aileu, Baucau, Manufahi, Manatuto e Viqueque, numa área que se estende por cerca de 7 mil quilómetros. Ontem de manhã, à partida de Díli, os militares portugueses foram individualmente cumprimentados pelo comandante das Forças de Manutenção de Paz da Missão de Assistência das Nações Unidas (UNMISET), brigadeiro-general Bin Mat Yusof Khairuddin, que agradeceu o serviço prestado e formulou votos de boa viagem. Os 503 efectivos do batalhão português integraram militares do Regimento de Infantaria 13, baseado em Vila Real, fuzileiros, do Corpo de Fuzileiros da Armada, e comandos pertencentes ao Regimento de Comandos da Carregueira, tendo sido comandados pelo tenente-coronel Xavier de Sousa.
14 June 2004 New turret from Belgium Christopher F Foss With medium weight forces that are readily deployable, a number of countries are planning to field vehicles armed with a 105mm gun. This will allow armoured fighting vehicles to be transported in tactical transport aircraft such as the C-130 and A400M. CMI Defence, the Belgian turret integrator, is using its experience in the design, development and production of two-man 90mm turrets for export markets to create the CT-CV 105mm. It is shown for the first time at Eurosatory 2004 on a MOWAG Piranha III chassis that was also used for recent firing trials with the demonstrator turret. This turret is armed with the Cockerill CV, a new CMI Defence-developed 105mm rifled tank gun fitted with a muzzle brake, thermal sleeve and fume extractor. One of the CT-CV's key features is its modularity, which enables it to be tailored to meet specific user requirements. Subsystems are available from a variety of sources and stretch potential has been built into the design. According to CMI Defence, the gun can fire all current and planned 105mm NATO ammunition, as well as future smart ammunition and guided missiles. Mounted in the turret bustle and separated from the crew compartment by a bulkhead is the automatic loader that holds a total of 16 rounds of ready-use ammunition in the normal configuration and 12 rounds in the C-130 deployable configuration. The CT-CV 105mm is fitted with a computerised fire control system with the commander and gunner both having two-axis stabilised sighting systems that have day/thermal channels and eyesafe laser rangefinders. The commander's sight is of the panoramic type that allows the turret system to carry out hunter/killer target engagements. Commander and gunner each have two display screens showing the image from each of the sighting systems. A 7.62mm machine gun is mounted co-axially with the 105mm gun and a remote control 12.7mm or 7.62mm machine gun, or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher can be mounted on the roof. It is also expected that the CT-CV 105mm will be shown at the AUSA Exhibition in Washington, DC, in October this year. The company hopes for export orders, especially in South America, following the Belgian MoD decision to field 90mm weapons for political rather than military reasons. Final qualification and validation tests are expected to take place in the first quarter of 2005, although development of the complete system is virtually complete.
Arrows 300: another string to FN's bow Paul Beaver Belgian small arms system company FN Herstal officially launches the Arrows 300 series of weapon stations at Eurosatory today. Described as the 'world's most advanced remotely operated weapon station', it can be equipped with an assortment of machine guns or 40mm grenade launchers for light to medium vehicles. FN Herstal has teamed with Swiss systems integrator Oerlikon Contraves to jointly develop the Arrows 300 to meet the most demanding operational requirements. The system has two major assemblies: the above-deck weapon subsystem and the operator console with its own display unit. The weapons fits available include the 7.62mm general purpose machine gun, 0.5in (12.7mm) M2 or 0.5in M3 machine guns and the Mk19 40mm grenade launcher. Among the benefits being cited by FN are unmatched accuracy (a spread of less than 1.5m at 1,000m range) and a unique high rate of fire with the M3S 0.5in machine gun. It says that thanks to the soft mount, there are very low recoil forces and because the Arrows 300 is modular, its performance can be enhanced with off-the-shelf options and there is the potential for technology insertions during the system's life.
First time for third-generation IFV Christopher F Foss Being shown in public for the first time at Eurosatory 2004, the Alvis Hägglunds CV9035 is in keen competition for the Royal Netherlands Army infantry fighting vehicle requirement. The Dutch want more than 200 vehicles of this class. The vehicle is described as a third-generation IFV and is derived from the CV9030, claimed by Alvis to be the best-selling vehicle in its class. When compared with the current production CV9030 Mk II, the CV9035 Mk III has significant improvements in the key areas of firepower, protection and mobility. Main armament comprises the ATK Bushmaster III 35/50 cannon. Its standard 35mm calibre can be upgraded to 50mm, although development of the 50mm version and its associated suite of ammunition are not complete. In the CV9035, an ammunition programmer is integrated into the computerised fire control system that allows the weapon to fire air-bursting munitions. This is highly effective against a variety of battlefield targets and was demonstrated during recent firing trials. Main anti-armour projectile is of the frangible AP sabot type with the empty cartridge cases being automatically ejected from the turret. Mounted coaxial with the main armament is a 7.62mm machine gun. Commander and gunner have stabilised day/third-generation thermal sights with the former being independent to allow for hunter/killer target engagements. In this the target is detected and tracked by the commander and then handed over to the gunner, who carries out the engagement. CV9035 Mk III has a new armour package that gives improved protection through the horizontal arc, as well as providing a high level of protection against top-attack weapons such as sub-munitions and mines. The defensive aids suite (DAS) includes laser warning receivers integrated with smoke grenade launchers and alignment of the main armament with the threat via the Hägglunds DAS software. Gross combat weight of the CV9035 Mk III is currently 32 tonnes, but it has a stretch potential to 35 tonnes. The enhanced powerpack consists of a Scania diesel developing 750hp coupled to the latest electronically controlled Perkins X-300 series automatic transmission. The CV9030 Mk I is in service with Norway (104 units) armed with a Bushmaster I 30mm cannon. The current production CV9030 Mk II is armed with the Bushmaster II 30mm cannon and has been ordered by Finland (57 vehicles) and Switzerland (186 vehicles). The Swedish Army uses the CV9040 armed with a Bofors Defence 40mm L/70 cannon and part of the fleet is being upgraded with a new armour package to hull and turret.
Skyranger offers versatile air defence capability Christopher F Foss Skyranger is the name of a new 35mm self-propelled air defence system from Oerlikon Contraves, part of the Rheinmetall DeTec Group. Details were released at Eurosatory 2002, but this year, the first example is making its debut. Oerlikon Contraves says Skyranger is designed to meet emerging requirements for a highly mobile air defence system that is capable of meeting a wide range of future air defence threats. The system can, in part, have a ground defence role. Skyranger consists of three key items, each of which can be installed on a wheeled armoured personnel carrier chassis. The three elements are a remote controlled turret armed with the Oerlikon Contraves 35/1000 revolver cannon, Rheinmetall Defence Electronics ASRAD missile launcher system and Oerlikon Contraves advanced X-Tar 3D I band search and acquisition radar with integrated control centre. The Skyranger gun system has already been produced in series quantities for the Skyshield air defence system. This weapon fires the 35mm Ahead (Advanced Hit Efficiency and Destruction) ammunition, which although optimised for the air defence role, is highly effective against trucks as well as being able to neutralise the optics of armoured vehicles. A typical burst would consist of 20 to 24 rounds. Each Ahead round releases a lethal cloud of sub-projectiles just in front of the target that could be cruise missiles, air-to-ground missiles, attack drones and unmanned aerial vehicles. Ahead ammunition has been in production for several years and has already been adopted by at least six countries. Shown at Eurosatory 2004, the Skyranger has four Saab Bofors Dynamics Bolide surface-to-air missiles (SAM) in the ready-to-fire position. It is shown mounted on a Piranha III 8x8 armoured fighting vehicle. It can just as easily be mounted on a full tracked chassis. The Piranha is fully air-transportable in a C-130 tactical transport aircraft. Mounted on the roof of the turret is the electro optical tracking system, which automatically tracks the target with initial information being provided by the Skyranger Radar System. This radar is capable of detecting, locking onto and tracking a wide range of aerial targets and has a maximum range of 25km. It classifies detected targets, carries out threat analysis and then allocates the target to a weapon platform that performs the actual target engagement. For travelling, the radar is retracted to reduce overall height. The passive tracking system includes an infra-red camera, TV camera and laser rangefinder. The crew of three - commander, gunner and driver - are seated in the hull under armour protection. After the show the system will commence its extensive trials programme, the company says.
How to make dumb rockets smart Brian M Walters Norwegian company Kongsberg is developing an upgrade that will turn 'dumb' 2.75-inch (70mm) rockets into precision guided rounds for use by land, sea and airborne launchers. Dubbed the 'multirole low-cost precision guided 2.75-inch rocket', the strap-on device is the first of a planned family of interchangeable guidance and control packages that can convert standard 70mm unguided rockets. They will fit all Hydra-70, CRV7 and FZ rockets. Although the initial Royal Norwegian Navy-funded development features laser and GPS-guided systems, in future the system will be upgraded to include infrared (IR) or anti-radiation (AR) seekers if required. Initial firings have been made from a 6x6 all-terrain vehicle using the Kongsberg remote weapon station (RWS). Trials, which began in Norway last year using a laser seeker, will be followed by tests with rockets fitted with a GPS guidance unit. If funding is forthcoming, it is anticipated that development will be complete by early 2005 to permit series production to begin by the end of that year. To speed development and production, Kongsberg is seeking partners that could collaborate on the programme and share costs. Introduced into US Air Force service soon after the Second World War, the 2.75-in folding-fin aerial rocket (FFAR) and its derivatives has become standard equipment for most Nato countries and many Western-supplied armed forces in other parts of the world. Still in production in a variety of guises, 70mm unguided rockets are normally fired in salvos to overcome the limits from atmospheric dispersion effects. In practice this limits the effective range of the weapon to about 4km. Clearly by turning dumb rockets into precision guided weapons, the effectiveness of 70mm rounds will be substantially increased, so the market potential for the Kongsberg kit is likely to be enormous, despite the inevitable higher cost per round. However, this is true of all 'smart' weapons and is balanced by the reduction in the number of rounds required to achieve a specific objective. Kongsberg's potential sales for the upgraded rocket and the potential demand for strap-on kits, may be further boosted by the fact that the 70mm rockets can be fired from the company's remote weapon station, which is selling well throughout the world. The RNoN recently fired 13 Hellfire missiles from an FPB fitted with a remote weapon station stabilised mount, while no fewer than 1,734 are being supplied to the US Army with the 12.7mm machine gun as the primary weapon. However, the Javelin missile has now been integrated with the RWS and the Australian Army has placed a letter of intent to buy a number in the wake of successful trials firing 12.7mm rounds and 40mm grenades from an LAV-2 armoured vehicle.
UCAR: Is Army Still Committed? DARPA's Tether AsksDr Tony Tether, head of DARPA has become skeptical the US Army is maintaining momentum on its UCAR (uninhabited combat armed rotorcraft) programme. 'I'm worried about it,' he says in a forthcoming interview in sister publication Unmanned Vehicles magazine, 'I'm picking up the sense they don't want to spend the money.'DARPA shares the investment with the services on long-range R&D projects, and recently helped launch a contest between teams of contractors pitching UCAR designs.'I'll know more when I see the POM (Program Objective Memorandum) the Army puts out later this year.'It'll be interesting to see where their true priorities lie.'In other topics, Tether had an explanation for the purchase of Frontier Systems - developer of the A-160 high endurance helicopter design - by Boeing recently.Asked if DARPA was disappointed the company sold out after investing nearly $70-million into Frontier, Tether said it was 'basically our fault.' Tether says there was so much concern the A-160 could not be manufactured by Frontier in the numbers needed, DARPA 'went out and told them to find some way to fix that problem.' The result, he says, was a buy-out.The A-160 is apparently a hot item. 'It's the only thing the Army has capable of giving a comms relay and moving target indicator (MTI) platform. 'The Army wants that badly, hence the productivity issue became key,' he said.
US Army OH-58 crash - both crew surviveBAGHDAD, Iraq: A US Army OH-58 helicopter crashed Sunday north of Baghdad, but the two-member crew was reported alive, the US command said.The military said the observation helicopter came down about 3:30 p.m on Sunday 13th June near the Taji air base about 12 miles north of Baghdad.Lt. Dwight Mears of Corvallis broke his back when the helicopter went down near the Taji air base, which is about 12 miles north of Baghdad. Only two men were on board the helicopter and both survived. An army spokesperson says there is no indication that they were brought down by enemy fire, although the incident is being investigated.The US Army has lost about 20 helicopters to hostile fire since June 2003.Katu and AP press reports
After years of complaints from the troops, and 18 months of effort, the U.S. Army has a new combat uniform. There will be only one color scheme (light green, tan and gray) for this uniform (instead of the current two, one for deserts and the other for temperate climate zones). The new uniform also includes tan combat boots (that cannot be shined, you just brush the crud off them). There is no black in the uniform, because it was pointed out that black is not a color you encounter much in nature. The new uniform costs $88, replacing the $56 BDU, which was introduced in 1981. Officially called the ACU (Army Combat Uniform), the major changes are all responses to numerous requests from the troops. These changes include; Mandarin (high) collar that can be worn up or down. When worn up, this keep crud from getting down inside the shirt, and eliminates chafing from the protective vest. Rank insignia can be attached above the right chest pocket with Velcro. Velcro is also used for attaching the unit patch, skill tabs and recognition devices. This spares troops the hassle of sewing on, and later removing, patches. The Velcro also allows all the patches and such to be removed before the uniforms are sent to the laundry. Zippered front on the shirt, which is easier to close than buttons. Elbow pouch for internal elbow and knee pad inserts. The introduction of knee and elbow pads in the 1990s saved thousands of infantry troops from painful, and sometimes permanent, injuries. Infantry spend a lot of time getting down on elbows and knees, especially in combat. The inserts are cheaper and easier to use than the more traditional elbow and knee protectors similar to those you see in sporting goods stores. Elastic leg cuff, a useful item for keeping the crud out when you are in the field. Tilted chest pockets with Velcro closure. Makes the pockets easier to use when wearing your webbing gear. Three-slot pen pocket on bottom of sleeve. Again, convenience. Velcro sleeve cuff closure. Keeping the crud at bay once more. Shoulder pockets with Velcro. When troops are wearing their webbing gear and packs, shoulder pockets are the only ones you can get at easily. Forward tilted cargo pockets. Again, convenience.