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Author: Subject: Missile Defence part 2

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[*] posted on 9-3-2018 at 10:34 PM

Singapore Deploys MBDA’s Aster 30 Air-Defense Missile

(Source:; posted March 6, 2018)

The Aster 30 medium-range air-defense missile (highlighted in red) is shown to have attained operational status in this graphic released March 2 by Singapore’s Ministry of Defence, five years after it placed an order. (SPore MoD graphic)

Singapore has announced for the first time that it has operationally deployed the MBDA Aster 30 air defense system that it had ordered at the end of summer 2013. This is the first time that the ground-launched version of the Aster medium-range missile is deployed by a non-European nation.

Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen confirmed the delivery of the system in a speech to Parliament’s defense committee on March 2.

Ng Eng Hen had first announced the Aster’s acquisition decision in September 2013 to replace the aging American Hawk system acquired more than thirty years ago.

At the time, replying to a Parliamentary question, said “I would like to announce today that the SAF will also be acquiring the ASTER-30 Surface-to-Air Missile System. This missile defence system against airborne threats is used by advanced militaries such as France and Italy. The ASTER-30's capabilities are many times more potent than our current I-HAWK ground-based air defence system.

“The ASTER will allow us to engage multiple threats simultaneously and from a longer distance. It will complement the [Israel Aerospace Industries] SPYDER, which we have already operationalised - it is a mobile, shorter-range, quick reaction ground-based air defence system - and together, they will provide a layered air defence shield.

A fact sheet on the Aster 30 was published at the same time on the Singapore defense ministry’s website.

Also at the time, the CEO of European missile maker MBDA, Antoine Bouvier, noted that the Aster 30 had been selected over competing American and Israeli systems thanks to its "performance" and "price."

“Our skies will be better protected with advanced weapon systems,” Ng said March 2, adding that “We also recently added the ASTER-30 surface-to-air missile system.” The Aster 30 is also included in an infographic illustrating the most capable in-service weapon systems.

Although the Aster 30 was only recently delivered, it would likely already be part of the Air Force Island Air Defense (IAD) system of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). The IAD network, covering the whole of Singapore (42 kilometers long and 23 kilometers wide), connects all RSAF weapons and air defense sensors, including fighters, air-to-surface systems and radar.

The Aster 30 missile system is operated by a single unit, 163 Squadron.


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[*] posted on 10-3-2018 at 04:41 PM

US, Israel Begin Joint Anti-Missile Operations In Juniper Cobra

By Arie Egozi

on March 09, 2018 at 2:06 PM

US and Israeli soldiers meet during previous Juniper Cobra wargames in 2016.

Israel has long been threatened by Hezbollah’s short-ranged missiles, but now Iran is stepping up the threat, both from its own long-range ballistic missiles and from its proxies in Syria. In response, Israel is pressing to build a multi-layered missile defense with its Arrow 2 and Arrow 3, Iron Dome and David’s Sling anti-missile systems.

And it will require American help, Israeli generals say. That is the reason for the huge two-week Juniper Cobra exercise underway, with 2,000 Israeli Aerial Defense troops with at least 2,500 US troops in the largest joint exercise with the US military.

“When necessary, US forces will deploy in Israel and fight alongside Israel’s Aerial Defense Division in order to protect Israel from missiles,” Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovich, commander of the IAF Aerial Defense Division, said. “This is the only division in the IDF whose operational goal includes cooperation with international forces, and the breadth of this exercise is unprecedented. This is an opportunity for the Aerial Defense Division to utilize all of its weapon systems and capabilities in one linear scenario and examine the division’s fitness.”

To help build the infrastructure, tactics, techniques and procedures that Israeli and US forces will need to counter that threat, heavy US Air Force transport aircraft landed in IAF bases two weeks ago and off-loaded full batteries of the most advanced ballistic missile detection and interception systems for the Juniper Cobra exercise. Hundreds of U.S personnel also arrived and began the deployment, escorted by IAF personnel.

“In the exercise, we simulate situations we expect to experience in real-time scenarios. No interceptors are launched during the exercise, which is performed solely using challenging simulations meant to emulate the expected scenarios,” described Brig. Gen. Gershon Zlotnik, deputy division commander. “The cooperation’s biggest challenge is the need for complete coordination between the two countries, from conversing in English to using multiple weapon systems at the same time. However, the mutual training forms interpersonal relationships which strengthen the will to protect Israel together”.

American troops disembark for Juniper Cobra exercise in Israel.
The first part of the training exercise involves deploying the American Patriot anti-missile system, while practicing security and logistical organization. During the second part, the forces simulate challenging scenarios, in which Patriots, THAAD and the AEGIS Combat System all coordinate with Israel’s David’s Sling, Iron Dome and Arrow. The scenarios are visualized in the weapon system’s command and control stations using a complex simulator provided by the US.

“In aerial defense, interception systems operate at different altitudes. As a result, we must synchronize them to achieve their full effect”, explained Lt. Col. Tal Kadori, Head of the Cooperation Branch. “During the training exercise, American soldiers and Israeli soldiers sit side by side and make decisions together. The extent of the exercise brings about a need to debrief the series of operational events on a daily basis so we can draw conclusions for the following day.”

The biggest test for the system may be its ability to handle more than one incoming threat.

Arieh Herzog, who headed the Israel Missile Defense Organization in the Israeli Ministry of Defense until 2012, told Breaking Defense that the combination of the two Arrow interceptors with the improved detection and classification of the incoming threat will allow the IAF to defend Israel at the best available level against single incoming missiles. “But,” he said, “when we talk about multiple launches, Israel will need help from the U.S. ”

The Israeli’s Arrow batteries are connected to one command center which can decide which launcher would achieve the best results after an incoming missile is detected by Israel’s Green Pine phased-array radar and more advanced versions like the Super Green Pine (SGP). Detection is also performed by the Americans whose X-Band radar system operates in the south of Israel, and whose spy satellite data is shared with Israel.

The decision on what battery will launch can be made also using the communications network between the batteries with no need to go through the central command center. This sequence was tested successfully in last year’s intercept, when the Arrow intercepted a SA-5 surface-to-air missile launched towards an Israeli fighter jet.

The Arrow 2 and 3 are the upper layers of a system that is designed to defend Israel from rockets and missile. The Rafael Iron Dome system has intercepted hundreds of short- and medium-range rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

One layer above is the Rafael-Raytheon David’s Sling designed to intercept longer-range rockets and cruise missiles. All these system are either fully operational or one step from it.

The Arrow-3 is the most advanced interceptor in the Israeli arsenal, Herzog says. The Arrow-2 has a proximity fuse that detonates the warhead, while the Arrow-3 is a highly complex hit-to-kill interceptor. A kill vehicle is ejected from the main missile and maneuvers itself until it achieves a kinetic kill with the incoming enemy missile.

The Arrow 3 will intercept outside the atmosphere. it is much smaller and lighter then the “Arrow -2” and has superior maneuverability.

But missile defense is not the only part of this exercise. The USS Iwo Jima, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship with 1,400 Marines, 1,100 Navy sailors, 25 aircraft and three hovercrafts, performed a drill with Israeli commandos on an Israeli beach March 7.

You can be sure agents from Iran, Russia and Syria are watching every moment.
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[*] posted on 17-3-2018 at 04:17 PM

Raytheon, Rheinmetall angle to snatch Germany's air-defense market from Lockheed

By: Sebastian Sprenger   10 hours ago

German soldiers assigned to Surface Air and Missile Defense Wing 1 fire the Patriot weapons system at the NATO Missile Firing Installation (NAMFI) during Artemis Strike Nov. 7 in Chania, Greece. (Officer Candidate Sebastian Apel/German Air Defence Missile Group 24)

BERLIN — Raytheon and Rheinmetall have unveiled an integrated suite of air-defense capabilities that they think could meet the entire portfolio of German air-defense needs, ideally choking off efforts to buy an antimissile system from competitor Lockheed Martin, according to executives.

The announcement to provide sensors and shooters capable of defeating everything from low-flying drones to incoming missiles fans the flames of a long-standing industry battle between Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. While Lockheed, in cooperation with MBDA Deutschland, clinched a deal in 2015 to develop a German system based on the Medium Extended Air Defense System, Raytheon and Rheinmetall are waiting in the wings if things go south.

Raytheon believes it can offer its Patriot system for less money, sooner, and without the risks inherent in a new development.

Those points were largely already in play when Berlin went for MEADS anyway. But what has changed, executives here argued today, is that Patriot has undergone continued improvements, attracting some of Germany’s European allies.

That pertains especially to the area of sensors, where Raytheon says it has made substantial progress in gallium-nitride radar technology, which could vastly decrease Patriot radar down times.

The bottom line, Rheinmetall and Raytheon argued, is that Berlin risks ending up with an “insular” air-defense capability so novel that nobody else has it.

Lockheed officials have faced that argument for years, but the prospect of European heavyweight Germany adopting a new system with built-in 360-degree radar and interceptor capability has kept hope alive of landing a key deal on the continent.

Asked about a specific opportunity to get back into the business, Rheinmetall officials suggested they are banking on a surprise when it comes to cost, as the Lockheed-MBDA team is expected to submit more detailed figures in the coming months.

In other words: If MEADS comes in too high, the tide might seriously turn against the program, which was initially begun 10-plus years ago to replace Patriot.

The defense ministry has given no indications that it plans to make a change in the TLVS program, short for Taktisches Luftverteidigungssystem.

Lockheed Martin and MBDA this month formalized their relationship under a joint venture, meaning the German government will deal with a hybrid German-US company.

Raytheon and Rheinmetall executives argued today that the capability gap TLVS is meant to fill does not exist because Germany already operates Patriot. “You can make up your own mind whether it’s needed at all,” Harald Mannheim, Rheinmetall’s chief of German air defense programs told reporters.

Raytheon’s Michael Tronolone, business development director for Europe and NATO, said the company would strive to build a “sovereign” command-and-control architecture for Germany that knits together various elements of the proposed air-defense suite.

In the short-range segment, roughly 4-15 kilometers, Rheinmetall is proposing its own development of a 35-mm gun that would obliterate aerial targets with shrapnel. There is also a more quickly available variant with a 40-mm gun, but the hit probability is lower. In the future, laser weapons also are possible – especially against drones – but the technology is not yet considered ready for real-world deployment.

In the range segment up to about 100 kilometers Raytheon proposes its Next-Generation Patriot product. The company says the system features a “netted, open architecture,” 360-degree sensors and the option of using all interceptor variants that Germany already has in stock.

For Raytheon, offering its existing Patriot customer base an additional shorter-range capability with the help of Rheinmetall could mean big business, as many countries are busy crafting plans for fighting drones.

In Ukraine, Russian-linked separatists reportedly were successful in using small reconnaissance drones to call in artillery strikes against ground formations, which were unprepared to take down the aircraft.
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