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[*] posted on 27-9-2017 at 06:49 PM


BAE optimistic about fighter-borne directed energy weapons

27 September, 2017 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Greg Waldron Singapore

The chief technologist of BAE Systems is optimistic about fighter aircraft carrying directed energy weapons in the not-too-distant future, as he also discusses other emergent technologies.

"The amount of power [a directed energy weapon] actually needs isn't as much as you might imagine," says BAE Systems chief technologist, Nigel Whitehead.

"If you can put the energy on a spot and keep it there…then you don't need an awful lot of power on the spot to disable an aircraft, a munition, or a missile coming towards you," he says.

Key to achieving this precision are beam direction, targeting, and coping with aberrations in the atmosphere.

Whitehead made the remarks to a small group of journalists during a recent visit to Singapore. He is also the firm's group managing director programmes and support.

Directed energy has applications both for surface and air platforms, he believes.

"[Directed energy] requires power, accuracy, and speed of response. These are things we're working on. It's an exciting area, and definitely in our lifetime."

Whitehead, however, is sceptical about the applications of 'swarming drones.' He believes a key challenge is getting it into airspace near an adversary, and then making it a credible threat. He also notes that swarms can be defeated through directed energy and other means.

"There are ways of defeating swarms," he says. "Our view is that there is a limited utility in swarms if [the adversary] is set up to counter it."

Of greater interest to BAE Systems, are larger unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV) that can work alongside conventional aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon. He points to the company's work with its Taranis technology demonstrator as an example of this. BAE, along with Dassault, is playing an integral role in the joint UK-France Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which aims to develop a UCAV by 2030.

"This is not just as an extra bomb bay, bearing in mind you can take an unmanned asset into a dangerous place and not put human life at risk," he says. "Sending the UAV ahead to have a look and maybe knock out some enemy air defences seems like a good idea."

Whitehead also touched on the issue of technology transfer, an essential requirement for many developing countries when obtaining defence equipment from major international contractors.

"The business model worldwide accepts, and encourages, technological development and technology transfer," he says. "We enter discussions and agreements with our customer nations with an acceptance and understanding that this is something that is going to be important."
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[*] posted on 29-9-2017 at 12:27 PM


BAE Systems progresses Project Centurion with Brimstone milestone

Gareth Jennings - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

28 September 2017


A computer-generated impression of how the Typhoon will appear with its Project Centurion weapons fit (minus the Storm Shadow). Source: BAE Systems

BAE Systems has completed a major milestone in its efforts to roll out the Project Centurion configuration for the United Kingdom’s Eurofighter Typhoon force by the end of 2018.

Speaking to Jane’s on 28 September, Eurofighter Delivery Director Andy Flynn said the summer flight test campaign of the MBDA Brimstone air-to-surface missile had been successfully concluded three days previously, resulting in the low-yield missile now being safe for carriage on the Typhoon.

“Over the past 18 months we have done a number of Storm Shadow [cruise missile], Meteor [beyond visual range air-to-air missile], and Brimstone releases in the UK. There have been nine Brimstone jettisons and nine firings from 13 July to 25 September,” Flynn said, adding: “We have now completed the aerodynamic integration and the stores release and jettison – this means it is now safe to fly and fire through the required performance envelope of the aircraft. This is a really positive step!”

The Project Centurion configuration is intended to combine the already-delivered Raytheon Paveway IV precision-guided bomb, and the Storm Shadow, Meteor, and Brimstone on the Typhoon FGR4 in time for the retirement from Royal Air Force (RAF) service of the Panavia Tornado GR4 in 2019.

“Project Centurion from contract award to in-service is four-and-a-half years, including putting Storm Shadow and Meteor onto the aircraft – this is quite challenging. We are focused on delivering what the customer needs when the customer needs it,” Flynn said, noting: “It’s about using the power of the Eurofighter partnerships (Airbus Germany and Spain, Leonardo, and MBDA), and a whole force approach to capability delivery.

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[*] posted on 30-9-2017 at 12:29 PM


Orbital ATK prepares for Hatchet guide-to-hit trials

Robin Hughes - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets

29 September 2017



Orbital ATK is preparing to conduct first air-dropped guide-to-hit trials of the Hatchet miniature precision strike weapon in Q3/2017–Q1/2018. Specific detail of the exact date,location of the trials, and the platform type to be used have not been disclosed, other than that they will be conducted in the ‘continental United States’.

Hatchet is a guided glide munition featuring a tri-form wing design and aft control surfaces and three updated fixed mid-body wings, aerodynamically re-configured from the previous conceptual drawings that had been made publicly available. Still under development, the initial variant of the completed weapon will be equipped with global positional system/inertial navigation system (GPS/INS) midcourse guidance, and a semi-active laser (SAL) package for terminal guidance.

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[*] posted on 3-10-2017 at 08:16 PM


Australia – GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II)

https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/australia-gbu-53b-smal...

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PDF icon australia_17-44.pdf
Media/Public Contact:
pm-cpa@state.gov
Transmittal No:
17-44
WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2017 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia for GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II). The estimated cost is $815 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on September 29, 2017.

The Government of Australia has requested a possible sale of up to three thousand nine hundred (3,900) GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb Increment II (SDB II), up to thirty (30) GBU-53/B Guided Test Vehicles (GTV), up to sixty (60) GBU-53/B Captive Carry Reliability Trainers (CCRT). Also included in this sale are Weapon Load Crew Trainers (WLCT), Practical Explosive Ordinance Disposal Trainers (PEST), containers, support and ground crew test equipment, site survey, transportation, warranties, repair and return, maintenance, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor representative engineering, logistics, and technical support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated total case value is $815 million.

This sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Western Pacific. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.

The proposed sale of SDB II supports and complements the ongoing sale of the F-35A to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). This capability will strengthen combined operations, particularly air to ground strike missions in all-weather conditions, and increase interoperability between the United States and the RAAF. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

The proposed sale will improve Australia’s F-35 survivability and will enhance its capability to deter global threats, strengthen its homeland defense and cooperate in coalition defense initiatives.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor will be Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, AZ. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government personnel or contractor representatives to Australia.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

All questions regarding this proposed Foreign Military Sale should be directed to the State Department's Bureau of Political Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, pm-cpa@state.gov.

-30-

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In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 4-10-2017 at 11:07 AM


U.S.-Russia-China Cooperation Could Hinder the Proliferation of Hypersonic Missiles, Reduce Risk of Strategic Wars

FOR RELEASE
Wednesday
September 27, 2017

A new RAND report proposes that despite their differences, Russia, China and the United States should act jointly to head off a little-recognized security threat—the proliferation of hypersonic missiles beyond the three nations.

The spread of this new class of weapons would increase the chance of strategic (missile-based) wars and would jeopardize nations small and large—including the three nations that now have the technology, according to the study, which is the first-ever detailed examination of the issue...

https://www.rand.org/news/press/2017/09/27.html

[more at link]
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[*] posted on 4-10-2017 at 08:40 PM


Kongsberg prepares to qualify the Joint Strike Missile

Robin Hughes - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets

04 October 2017

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace is set to conduct the final flight test (FTM-5) of the Joint Strike Missile (JSM) in early 2018, in preparation for the weapon’s integration with the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s (RNoAF) F-35A Lightning II multirole stealth fighter.

FTM-5 is the culmination of a two-year flight-test campaign to qualify the missile for integration with the F-35A. In a first end-to-end flight test for the missile, a JSM equipped with a live warhead will be launched from a legacy F-16C/D Fighting Falcon from the US Air Force’s 445th Flight Test Group against a ‘realistic’ land target at the Utah Test and Training Range in the United States.

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[*] posted on 9-10-2017 at 11:50 AM


S. Korea close to developing 'blackout bomb'

2017/10/08 10:37

SEOUL, Oct. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has secured technologies to build a non-lethal graphite bomb which can paralyze the North's power systems in case of war, military sources said Sunday.

The so-called "blackout bomb" works by spreading chemically treated carbon graphite filaments over electric facilities to short-circuit and disrupt the power grid.

The weapon has been developed by the Agency for Defense Development as key part of South Korea's pre-emptive strike program called Kill Chain.

"All technologies for the development of a graphite bomb led by the ADD have been secured. It is in the stage where we can build the bombs anytime," a military official said.

The defense ministry had requested next year's budget include 500 million won (US$436,000) for the project but the finance ministry did not accept it, he added.

The bomb is often referred to as a "soft bomb" since it only affects targeted electrical power systems. It was first used by the U.S. against Iraq in the 1990–1991 Gulf War and again by NATO against Serbia in 1999.

(END)
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[*] posted on 12-10-2017 at 09:55 PM


U.S. Navy Orders Additional BAE Systems APKWS Rocket Guidance Kits

Posted On Thursday, 12 October 2017 02:20

The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a $59.5 million contract for additional APKWS guidance kits to transform unguided 2.75-inch (70-millimeter) rockets into laser-guided precision munitions. The new contract will enable BAE Systems to continue to meet the growing demand for cost-effective guided munitions for U.S. armed forces and allied international customers.



The new award, which follows a recent contract for $180.5 million, is part of a 2016 indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity contract for more than $600 million. With the new award, BAE Systems has further reduced the per-unit cost for APKWS laser-guided rockets, reinforcing its commitment to deliver customer value.

“APKWS guidance kits are easy to use, cost-effective, and precise, and they seamlessly integrate with existing munitions and platforms,” said Rachel Guill, director of Precision Guidance Solutions at BAE Systems. “Our customers are demanding APKWS because of their extreme precision and mission effectiveness.”

In July, BAE Systems delivered its 10,000th APKWS guidance unit. As part of its drive toward annual production of more than 20,000 units, the company continues to invest in its state-of-the-art precision guidance manufacturing facilities in New Hampshire and Texas. The company is also working closely with its strong supply base and has recently qualified several additional suppliers to ensure multiple sources to meet and exceed growing demand.

The APKWS laser-guidance kits enable warfighters to transform standard 2.75-inch rockets into highly accurate precision munitions. The easily assembled rockets enable critical airborne platforms — including A-10 Thunderbolt II, AH-64 Apache, AH-1W/Z Super Cobra/Viper, AV-8B Harrier, F-16 Fighting Falcon, UH-1Y Venom, and other fixed- and rotary-wing platforms — to deliver efficient weapons to soft and lightly armored targets in confined areas while minimizing collateral damage. In a budget-constrained environment, the combat-proven, cost-efficient APKWS laser-guided rockets enable militaries to efficiently face new challenges in densely populated urban battlefields.

APKWS rockets are the only guided 2.75-inch rockets qualified by the U.S. Department of Defense and are used by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, and U.S. Air Force.
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[*] posted on 18-10-2017 at 10:17 PM


AMRDEC to assess Thales induction rocket technology

Robin Hughes - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets

18 October 2017

The US Army’s Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) is to evaluate Thales’ induction rocket system technology under a six-month US Foreign Technology Assessment Support (FTAS) contract, signed in early October.

Under the provisions of the FTAS agreement, an AMRDEC delegation will work with Thales engineers on a week-long capability assessment of the 68 mm Aculeus induction rockets, and Telson-22 (22-tube) and Telson-12 (12-tube) rocket launchers, at Thales’ La Ferté-Saint-Aubin facility in northern France. No flights or firings of the system will be conducted during the assessment.


Thales’ Induction Laser-Guided Rocket is scheduled to enter service with the French ALAT Tiger HAD combat helicopter in 2019–20. (Thales)

“AMRDEC wants to get an in-depth understanding of our induction rocket technologies, and firings are not necessary for this since the US Army is already aware of the comprehensive deployment of the Telson system in Afghanistan,” Matthieu Krouri, senior manager of Thales’ Airborne Weapon Systems division told Jane’s . “This evaluation could potentially result in an induction rocket solution informing part of AMRDEC’s Modular Missile Technology [MMT] requirement,” Krouri added.

MMT is a product-line approach to missile design based on a modular open-system architecture for guided missiles. The objectives of the MMT project are to demonstrate technologies that support a guided-munition product line – in order to address a number of perceived lethality gaps for US Army aviation manned rotary-wing and unmanned aircraft system (UAS) platforms – and to develop a new architecture for the purpose of reducing life-cycle costs for guided missiles. AMRDEC seeks to ensure that the design principles of the MMT are broadly applicable to other guided-munition developments efforts, regardless of diameter.

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[*] posted on 23-10-2017 at 07:51 PM


U.S. Air Force JASSM-ER Rolling Out To New Fighters, Bombers

Oct 23, 2017

James Drew | Aviation Week & Space Technology

As technologies for long-range air defense improve and proliferate, the U.S. military has long sought a counter—missile that can strike land-based targets from hundreds of miles away.

In the mid-1990s, the U.S. Air Force and Navy partnered to develop the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), but it was not deployed until 2009 and had limited range due to its Teledyne J402 turbojet engine. 

Now the Pentagon believes it has  a more effective weapon in the JASSM extended-range version (JASSM-ER), powered by the Williams International F107 turbofan and with a range exceeding 500 nm (926 km). It is being integrated on Air Force fighters and bombers, including the Lockheed Martin F-16, Boeing F-15E and B-52 and Northrop Grumman B-2.

These aircraft can already carry the legacy version of JASSM but require additional integration to take full advantage of the AGM-158B’s superior range and performance. Once equipped, they will be capable of destroying high-value targets over an area of 785,398 nm². 

Killer Cruise Missile
- Air Force upgrade path for JASSM-ER includes a new wing, anti-radiation homing and weapon data link
- Navy has no immediate plans to adopt JASSM-ER for Super Hornet along with LRASM
- Integration with F-35A/C not expected until Block 5 upgrade in the mid/late-2020s

Despite partnering with the Air Force in the early stages of the program, the Navy has no immediate plans to adopt the land-attack cruise missile for its strike fighters. The service has instead developed a ship-killing variant for its Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet called the AGM-158C Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM).

Operators of Lockheed’s F-35A and carrier-based F-35C will also be watching the early performance of the JASSM-ER. The weapon did not make the cut for the F-35’s Block 4 follow-on modernization program, and it will instead be considered for the next iteration, Block 5, in the mid/late-2020s.

Alan Jackson, director of strike systems at Lockheed’s missiles and fire control division, confirms that the JASSM-ER has been integrated with U.S. Air Combat Command’s fleet of F-15E Strike Eagles. Coming up next will be integration with the F-16 and B-52H, including external and internal carriage.

“We’re already on the F-15E, and that was using the Universal Armament Interface,” Jackson tells Aviation Week. “F-16 integration is going on right now.”

Air Force budget documents state that the missile will be integrated with the F-16C/D Block 40/42/50/52-series fighters and a contract for nonrecurring (one-off) engineering was awarded in March. There is also some work left for the Strike Eagle, specifically integrating the F-15E’s Northrop Litening Advanced Targeting Pod.


Lockheed’s JASSM-ER can fly 500 nm and precisely strike land targets to within 3 m of the aimpoint, with an impact angle of 40 deg. nose low for soft targets and up to 70 deg. for penetration of hardened aircraft shelters or facilities. Credit: U.S. Air Force

For bombers, the B-52 can carry up to 12 JASSM-ERs on its wings and with the new 1760 Internal Weapons Bay Upgrade, another eight internally. The only other aircraft that can carry more JASSM cruise missiles than the B-52H is the B-1B, which accommodates 24 missiles inside its internal weapons bays.

Brig. Gen. Michael Schmidt, the Air Force’s program executive officer for fighters and bombers, confirmed during a recent interview that the B-2 Spirit bombers of Whiteman AFB, Missouri, are also slated to receive JASSM-ER. The B-2’s primary mission is nuclear deterrence, but the JASSM-ER provides a long-range, conventional option for striking high-value targets from outside the range of counterstealth radars and interceptors. The B-2 will require some changes, and development should start by mid-2018, Air Force documents state.

In terms of capability upgrades for the missile, the service highlights some plans in its fiscal 2018 budget proposal. It includes funding for studies of an anti-radiation homing system for targeting radio frequency emitters such as radars and communications sites. The service wants a weapons data link for passing updated targeting information to the missile midflight, enabling JASSM-ER to hit relocatable or roaming land and maritime targets. Under a recent government contract, Lockheed is developing an improved wing that will add greater range and performance.


The Air Force will buy approximately 360 JASSM-ERs per year and is in various stages of integrating the cruise missile with the F-15E, F-16, B-2 (pictured) and B-52H along with the B-1B. Credit: U.S. Air Force

The missile is accurate to within 3 m (10 ft.) of a target using the onboard imaging infrared seeker, or within 13 m when only guided by GPS-aided inertial navigation.

The continued rollout of the JASSM-ER comes as flight testing of the anti-ship derivative begins on the B-1B for fielding in 2018 and the F/A-18E/F in 2019.

Jackson says LRASM retains all the features, targeting capabilities and low-observable characteristics of the JASSM-ER but adds another passive sensor produced by BAE Systems. He would not say what type of sensor it is or what part of the electromagnetic spectrum it operates in, but it is probably a semi-active radar homing device. Once LRASM is introduced, the B-1B and the Navy’s Super Hornet will be capable of destroying land targets as well as moving vessels at sea from significant standoff ranges.

Jackson says the Navy has no plans to adopt the less expensive JASSM-ER for striking land targets, even though it would be quicker, cheaper and easier to integrate LRASM and JASSM-ER at the same time rather than separately.

“That would be an attractive option, but for now the Navy wants to remain focused on just getting LRASM out the door,” Jackson says. “It’s a low-risk, low-cost and relatively easy way to do the integration if you piggyback the two at the same, but nevertheless, if or when that happens, that will be a separate integration effort.”

JASSM and LRASM are produced by Lockheed in Troy, Alabama. The Air Force intends to procure JASSM cruise missiles at a rate of 360 per year.

The missile is a major international sales opportunity for Lockheed, as it has already been adopted by Australia, Poland and Finland. Other foreign sales could materialize, particularly for trusted operators of the F-16, once integrated. Australia’s Super Hornets would be obvious candidates for the JASSM-ER and potentially LRASM. 
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[*] posted on 25-10-2017 at 04:10 PM


Taurus Missile Consortium Proposes Compact Bunker Buster

Aiming at hardened targets, Seoul considers a lighter Taurus

Oct 25, 2017

Bradley Perrett and Kim Minseok | Aviation Week & Space Technology

A war on the Korean peninsula would see many a split-second contest between reinforced concrete and high-velocity steel, as Pyongyang’s enemies hurled bunker-busting munitions at its hardened command, communications and weapon installations.

The tool in South Korea’s arsenal that can punch farthest through concrete is the Taurus KEPD 350 air-launched missile, made by a consortium of MBDA and Saab. The Taurus can be carried by the 60 Boeing F-15K Eagles of the Republic of Korea Air Force but is too heavy for the 60 Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50 light-attack aircraft. And while each of the air force’s forthcoming 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightnings should be able to lift a pair of Tauruses, the missiles will have to be carried externally, ruining the fighters’ stealthiness.

So the consortium, Taurus Systems, proposes to develop a compact version of the missile light enough for the FA-50 and, it thinks, probably small enough for F-35 weapon bays—a feature likely to catch the attention of other Lightning operators.

Considering South Korea’s relentless determination to exploit its defense budget to promote industrial development, the company proposes the new version be developed and built in the country with a local partner.


The Taurus KEPD 350 attacks the target first with a shaped charge (the green bucket shape near the nose) then a steel penetrator (the black shape extending aft of the wing). Credit: Taurus Systems

Thanks to new materials and smaller electronics, a compact Taurus of perhaps 1,000-kg (2,200-lb.) mass would offer the same penetration as the 1,400-kg standard version, says the president of the South Korean branch of Taurus Systems, Christoffer Drevstad. Length could be reduced to 4 m (13 ft.) from 5 m—though it may need to be shorter still to fit inside the F-35. Range would fall only a little from that of the full-size Taurus, which the manufacturer says exceeds 500 km (300 mi.).

If the project goes ahead, the full-size Taurus will probably be improved by applying the new technology to its warhead, says the company. Penetration would presumably increase.

South Korea began receiving Tauruses a year ago. Improved from earlier versions, they have the designation KEPD 350K. The manufacturer and defense ministry are negotiating for a second batch. Taurus Systems will not disclose how many units are under discussion, except to say that the second batch would be slightly smaller than the first, which local media reported amounted to 170 units. The potential follow-on development program, for the compact KEPD 350K2, could equip the KAI KF-X fighter as well as the FA-50.

The defense ministry’s Agency for Defense Development (ADD) will begin developing an indigenous bunker-busting air-launched missile in 2018, according to the newspaper Asian Economy.

Development will cost 300 billion won ($270 million) and production of 200 units until 2031 a further 510 billion won. It is unclear whether this is the Taurus KEPD 350K2 or an all-new missile that is seen as an alternative.

Hanhwa or LIG Nex1 are the only realistic candidates for making the compact Taurus or a new ADD weapon. Taurus Systems sees a good chance of its proposal going ahead next year.

Development could take 3–4 years,  Drevstad said at the Seoul Aerospace & Defense Exhibition, held Oct. 16-22.

The warhead of the KEPD 350 comprises two munitions: a shaped charge that attacks the target first and a steel penetrator that punches through the concrete and earth with kinetic energy, carrying a charge of nearly 100 kg that the fuse detonates after determining that the required number of layers has been pierced. The fuse is the only one in service that is known to count layers; other bunker busters burst after a set time delay.

The striking velocity of a Taurus depends on its terminal maneuvers. If the missile climbs high in the last tens of seconds and dives steeply, it strikes at nearly Mach 1; the speed is limited by the need to remain under control and therefore subsonic.

The Taurus can pierce 6 m of concrete, according to South Korean media reports that would have been based on official briefings. Taurus is surely capable of destroying a bunker of typical design, one with three layers of concrete and, between them, two layers of sand that absorb blast. It would not be surprising if the weapon can go through bunkers with more or unusually thick layers.

The effect of introducing a high-performance bunker buster into service is not just to render vulnerable what an adversary previously thought was safe; the adversary will probably go to the expense of building even tougher structures and reinforcing some in place.

But that is probably not the end of the cycle of attack and defense. The precision of modern weapons raises a quite realistic possibility that successive rounds can be sent into the same hole, drilling ever deeper. Official videos show Tauruses striking around 50 cm (20 in.) from their target points. If that represents dependable precision, a second shot would hit close enough to the striking point of the first to work its way into the original hole, because intervening concrete would crumble. If a second hit were not enough to do the job, a third could be used.

And a fourth. 
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[*] posted on 27-10-2017 at 07:37 PM


U.S. Air Force Awards Lockheed Martin $131 Million Contract for Paveway II Plus Laser Guided Bombs

(Source: Lockheed Martin; issued Oct. 25, 2017)


A B-52 Stratofortress from the 2nd Bomb Wing drops a Paveway II Plus LGB GBU-12 (500 pound) during a training mission at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. (USAF file photo)

ARCHBALD, Pa. --- Lockheed Martin received a $131 million contract from the U.S. Air Force for follow-on production of Paveway II Plus Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) kits.

The contract represents the ninth consecutive year in which the U.S. Air Force selected Lockheed Martin to provide the majority share of LGB kits in the annual competition. The award also includes all available funding for the service's foreign military sales and replacement kits.

"The U.S. Air Force and its foreign military sales partners realize significant savings in their defense budgets with our affordable and combat-proven LGBs," said Joe Serra, Precision Guided Systems director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "This innovative and cost-effective guidance package supports greater precision for warfighters."

Paveway II Plus includes an enhanced guidance package that improves accuracy over legacy LGBs. Qualified for full and unrestricted operational employment in GBU-10, -12 and -16 (1,000 pound) configurations, Paveway II Plus is cleared for use on U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and international aircraft authorized to carry and release LGBs. Lockheed Martin has been a qualified supplier of Paveway II LGB kits since 2001 and has delivered over 100,000 kits to customers.

Production of the guidance kits and air foil groups for GBU-10 (2,000 pound) and GBU-12 (500 pound) LGBs will begin in first quarter of 2018.

In addition to the Paveway II Plus LGB, Lockheed Martin's 350,000-square-foot production facility in Archbald, Pa., is the sole provider of the Enhanced Laser Guided Training Round and Paragon direct attack munition. Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 160,000 training rounds and 7,000 dual-mode LGB kits to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force and 24 international customers.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 10:28 PM


New long-range missile project emerges in US budget

02 November, 2017 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Stephen Trimble Washington DC

The existence of a two-year-old project to develop a new air-to-air missile capable of intercepting targets at great distances has emerged in US budget documents.

The Office of the Secretary Defense (OSD) launched a two-year engineering assessment of a new long-range engagement weapon (LREW) designed with the goal of “maintaining air dominance”, according to budget documents released last March.

Analyses of the design, engineering and kill chain requirements were expected to be complete in the last fiscal year, although details are classified. “When successful, LREW will transition to multiple services,” the documents show.

Though funded for more than two years, the LREW project had escaped notice in an obscure budget line item for an OSD account named “emerging capabilities technology development”, which is mostly reserved for small electronic warfare projects.

But the programme offers the first indication that the US military is interested in a new missile to replace or surpass the capabilities of the Raytheon AIM-120D AMRAAM.

The LREW also emerges as Chinese and Russian militaries reportedly are pursuing new air intercept missiles with ranges significantly longer than the AIM-120D. The range of the AIM-120D is classified, but is thought to extend to about 100mi (160km).

The US Air Force also is developing two short-range weapons – the small advanced capabilities missile (SACM) and the miniature self-defence munition (MSDM).
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[*] posted on 4-11-2017 at 01:14 PM


India conducts successful test flight of SAAW glide bomb

Gabriel Dominguez - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

03 November 2017

The Indian government announced on 3 November that the Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully flight-tested the indigenously developed Smart Anti-Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur on the country’s east coast.

The Press Information Bureau (PIB) said in a statement that three tests of the precision-guided gliding munition were recently conducted under different release conditions in which the weapon, which was released from an IAF aircraft, reached its intended targets at a distance of more than 70 km with a high degree of accuracy.

The weapon has been under development by the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in collaboration with the IAF.

(108 of 327 words)
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[*] posted on 4-11-2017 at 02:58 PM


More on this................

New long-range missile project emerges in US budget

02 November, 2017 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Stephen Trimble Washington DC

The existence of a two-year-old project to develop a new air-to-air missile capable of intercepting targets at great distances has emerged in US budget documents.

The Office of the Secretary Defense (OSD) launched a two-year engineering assessment of a new long-range engagement weapon (LREW) designed with the goal of “maintaining air dominance”, according to budget documents released last March.

Analyses of the design, engineering and kill chain requirements were expected to be complete in the last fiscal year, although details are classified. “When successful, LREW will transition to multiple services,” the documents show.


Photo: US Department of Defense

Though funded for more than two years, the LREW project had escaped notice in an obscure budget line item for an OSD account named “emerging capabilities technology development”, which is mostly reserved for small electronic warfare projects.

But the programme offers the first indication that the US military is interested in a new missile to replace or surpass the capabilities of the Raytheon AIM-120D AMRAAM.

An unclassified concept image of the LREW was published last April in a presentation by Chuck Perkins, the principal deputy to the assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering.

The image in Perkins’ presentation may not reflect the classified version of the LREW concept, but depicts a large, two-stage missile launched from an internal weapons bay of a Lockheed Martin F-22.

The LREW also emerges as Chinese and Russian militaries reportedly are pursuing new air intercept missiles with ranges significantly longer than the AIM-120D. The range of the AIM-120D is classified, but is thought to extend to about 100mi (160km).

The US Air Force also is developing two short-range weapons – the small advanced capabilities missile (SACM) and the miniature self-defence munition (MSDM).

(UPDATE: The original article was updated with an unclassified image of the LREW concept and a description of that image.)
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[*] posted on 4-11-2017 at 06:44 PM


Spounds like a missile designed to kill enemy AW&CS and tankers.

Shades of the old Tomcat-launched Phoenix.




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[*] posted on 5-11-2017 at 06:27 AM


Why not just buy Meteor?
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[*] posted on 5-11-2017 at 03:05 PM


Not made in the US.



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[*] posted on 5-11-2017 at 10:57 PM


Quote: Originally posted by JimWH  
Why not just buy Meteor?


Also not everyone is as convinced of it’s superiority over the AIM-120D series as some of the more ‘enthusiastic’ Euro fans are. I’ve no doubt it has a kinematic advantage over even -D model AMRAAM variants, but as to the rest of it’s capability, seeker, Home on Jam, GPS/INS, ECCM, data-link and so forth?

I’m not so sure it’s much better at all in those departments. The UK and Japan are already looking at putting a different seeker on it for example...





In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 6-11-2017 at 12:21 AM


And as it so happens, the seeker is the only certainly known example with everything else being kept.
And swapping the mechanical one with an AESA radar is something for a modernization increment anyways.
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[*] posted on 6-11-2017 at 12:58 AM


MBDA have viewed it exactly as you have said, a quick way to leapfrog into the next technological break through for missiles, ASEA radar................win/win for both parties.
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[*] posted on 14-11-2017 at 06:54 PM


MBDA Launches its SmartGlider Family of Guided Weapons on the International Market

(Source: MBDA; issued Nov 10, 2017)


MBDA has exhibited its new family of SmartGlider air-launched guided weapons for the first time at the Dubai Air Show. Pictured is a model of the company’s stand. (MBDA photo)

DUBAI AIRSHOW ---. MBDA presents SmartGlider, a new family of air launched guided weapons, for the first time outside Europe.

“We are seeing a huge interest in the SmartGlider family from the region”, states Florent Duleux, MBDA Vice-President Middle East. “The region’s air forces are equipped with the latest generation of combat aircraft, particularly European combat aircraft, and Smart Glider allows the full exploitation of the sensors and systems that equip these modern aircraft – to deliver military effects that could not even be considered before.”

The new SmartGlider family of guided weapons is optimised to counter anti-access strategies and other emerging battlespace threats. Designed to complement newest and future fast jets, SmartGlider forms a family of all-up-round glider weapons, with folding wings and a range of over 100 km allowing the combat platform to stay at safe distance from the enemy defences. This new generation of air-to-ground weapons is designed to counter new networked short- and medium-range surface-to-air threats, as well as moving/relocatable targets or hardened fixed targets.

The compact family member, SmartGlider Light, is 2 meters long and weighs 120 kg. 12 to 18 SmartGlider Lights can be carried on an aircraft thanks to a Hexabomb Smart Launcher (HSL) capable of managing reactive strikes without affecting the pilot’s workload. As such, the SmartGlider Light will allow first-day-entry by saturating and destroying enemy air defences.

For general purpose missions, the SmartGlider Light can be engaged against a wide spectrum of targets, from hardened and defended fixed targets such as hangars, to relocatable targets that can only be destroyed from a standoff distance with significant lethal effects.

Last, MBDA also prepares a 1,300 kg SmartGlider Heavy able to carry a multipurpose warhead of more than 1,000 kg to deal with large and hardened infrastructure.

SmartGliders will integrate new technologies in their guidance and navigation functions, as well as multi-purpose warheads. Thus, they will be able to reach and destroy the best defended targets, notably enemy air defences, thanks to a mix of optronics and radio frequency sensors that makes them robust against anti-access measures.

“The SmartGlider family considerably reinforces the air-to-ground capabilities of the combat platform, sitting between bombs equipped with guidance kits and cruise missiles”, explains François Moussez, MBDA Military Advisor. “Designed for use in high volumes, SmartGliders Light can be fired in groups behaving as wolf packs that will coordinate in order to saturate enemy air defences.”

-ends-
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[*] posted on 14-11-2017 at 08:19 PM


MBDA explores wire-free missile architectures

Richard Scott - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets

13 November 2017

MBDA has revealed a programme of research intended to mature wire-free missile architectures and technologies applicable to future guided weapons.

Being performed as part of the French/UK/ Materials and Components for Missiles Innovation and Technology Partnership (MCM IPT) programme, the wire-free architecture project includes a wireless umbilical concept demonstrator for power transfer from a platform to a munition.

Current missile architectures are characterised by multiple connectors, cabling, and cable routes. However, it is recognised that broken connectors and the volume demands of cabling and cable ducting pose a significant challenge to the missile designer.

As a result, MBDA has embarked on a project to identify and explore architectures, technologies, and techniques to reduce the total volume and complexity of interconnects, improve system robustness, and increase levels of hardware, software, and firmware re-use.

(156 of 472 words)
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[*] posted on 14-11-2017 at 08:22 PM


MBDA studies passive radar localisation technique under PAMIR II study

Richard Scott - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets

13 November 2017

MBDA, working in conjunction with the University of Birmingham, is exploring a novel bi-static sensing technique for future long-range anti-ship missile systems that would use communications satellite constellations as ‘transmitters of opportunity’ to improve target localisation at range.

Initial experimentation has been performed under the recently completed Passive Missile-borne Radar (PAMIR) II study, part of the French/UK Materials and Components for Missiles Innovation and Technology Partnership (MCM IPT) programme. The technique has been identified as a candidate technology for the projected French/UK Future Cruise Anti-Ship Weapon (FCASW).

Over-the-horizon anti-ship missiles typically fly out steering to a commanded heading, using inertial mid-course guidance, but must then switch to a homing seeker in the latter stages of flight so as to acquire and home onto the intended ship target.

For the majority of weapons this terminal phase function is performed by an active radio frequency (RF) seeker operating in either the I-band or J-band. However, the drawback of this approach is the loss of discretion when the active RF seeker is switched on.

The year-long PAMIR II study set out to examine whether a bi-static sensor could provide a complementary capability to localise surface targets (with a radar cross section of ~1,000 sq m) by comparing the direct signal from a transmitter of opportunity with indirect signals (reflections), and thus ‘collapse’ the search area/attack boundary for a terminal RF or electro-optical (EO) seeker. The approach adopted for PAMIR II makes use of satellites as ‘illuminators of opportunity’ (IOO), exploiting the significant increase in space-based transmitters to potentially provide near worldwide coverage, and an acceptable power budget for the reflected signal.

The PAMIR hypothesis has identified navigation (GPS, Galileo, and GLONASS) and communications (both low Earth orbit [Iridium, Globalstar] and geostationary Earth orbit [Inmarsat]) satellites as potential IOO. All these transmit in the L-band (1-2 GHz) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

(332 of 857 words)
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[*] posted on 17-11-2017 at 03:34 PM


Norway cleared to buy follow-on AMRAAMs

Gareth Jennings - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets

15 November 2017


Norway already fields the AIM-120C7 AMRAAM on its F-16s (pictured), and will do so for its newly received F-35As also. Source: Jamie Hunter

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of Raytheon AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) to Norway.

The approval, which was announced by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 15 November, covers 60 AIM-120C-7-variant missiles, plus spares, support, and training. The deal is estimated to be worth USD170 million.

As the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RoNAF) already fields the AIM-120C-7 on its Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcons, the DSCA notes that the service will have no problems absorbing this latest batch should the deal be fulfilled.

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