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  • Latvian defense willing to buy M142 HIMARS artillery rocket systems

    POSTED ON TUESDAY, 26 JULY 2022 14:03

    According to Gatis Kristovskis of the Latvian Information Agency on July 22, the Latvian Defense Ministry has received offers from potential suppliers of coastal defense missiles and inquired about purchasing U.S. M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

    M142 HIMARS firing during RED FLAG-Alaska 21-1 at Fort Greely, Alaska, Oct. 22, 2020 (Picture source: U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

    Latvia has inquired about the availability and prices of the U.S –made M142 HIMARS system. This is a joint project of Baltic countries, and the Defense Ministry expects that the United States could co-finance the project.

    Let’s recall that, according to information published by the United States Department of Defense on July 15, 2022, the U.S. State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Estonia of M142 HIMARS and related equipment for an estimated cost of up to $500 million. The Government of Estonia has indeed requested to purchase up to six M142 HIMARS as well as up to thirty-six M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) Missile Pods with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion System (IMPS) and Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave – Directional Doppler Ranging (FMCW-DDR) Proximity Height-of-Burst (HOB) Sensor Capability.

    The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is a light multiple rocket launcher developed in the late 1990s for the United States Army and mounted on a standard U.S. Army M1140 truck frame.

    The M142 carries a canister with either six GMLRS rockets or one ATACMS missile on the U.S. Army's new Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) five-ton truck, and can launch the entire Multiple Launch Rocket System Family of Munitions (MFOM). M142 ammunition pods are interchangeable with the M270 MLRS; however, it is able to carry only one pod rather than the standard two for the M270 and its variants.

    The launcher can be transported by Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. The chassis was initially produced by BAE Systems Mobility & Protection Systems (formerly Armor Holdings Aerospace and Defense Group Tactical Vehicle Systems Division), the original equipment manufacturer of the FMTV. It was produced by the Oshkosh Corporation from 2010 to 2017. Both chassis and launcher system are now produced by Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control in Camden, Arkansas.


    • Latvia requests HIMARS weapon to bolster Baltic defense

      By Jaroslaw Adamowski

      Jul 26, 09:48 PM

      An American M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System fires salvoes during the second annual African Lion military exercise in the Tan-Tan region in southwest Morocco on June 30, 2022. (Fadel Senna/AFP via Getty Images)

      WARSAW, Poland — Latvia has sent a letter of request to buy an undisclosed number of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems from the United States, with the potential acquisition to be carried out as a joint initiative of the three Baltic states, which also include neighboring Estonia and Lithuania.

      “The MoD has sent a letter of request to the U.S. about the availability and prices of HIMARS,” a spokesperson for the Latvian Ministry of Defence told Defense News. “This is a joint project of the Baltic States, and the MoD expects the U.S. to support it with co-financing.”

      HIMARS is a long-range, mobile rocket launcher made by the American company Lockheed Martin. With Ukraine using U.S.-supplied systems to combat Russia’s invasion of its territory, and Poland filing a letter of request last May to order about 500 M142 HIMARS launchers, Latvia aims to join a growing club of Eastern European countries who intend to use the weapon to boost their respective artillery capacities.

      In addition to HIMARS, Riga aims to purchase coastal defense missile systems and is currently evaluating submitted offers. The country is also considering the purchase of midrange air defense systems.

      “Regarding coastal defense systems, the MoD has received offers from potential suppliers. During market research, an analysis of these offers has been carried out, as well as additional information has been requested for further evaluation,” the spokesperson said.

      In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Latvia’s government decided to gradually raise its defense budget to 2.5% of the country’s gross domestic product by 2025 to finance several acquisition programs. Next year, Riga aims to allocate about €747.7 million (U.S. $763.9 million) toward military expenditure, according to data from the ministry.

      In June, during a meeting between U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and his counterparts from the Baltic states, Lithuanian Defence Minister Ardyvas Anušauskas said the three European countries were planning to order the Lockheed Martin-made HIMARS this year.

      “Together with the Latvian and Estonian allies we are looking into developing a HIMARS artillery rocket system capability. Lithuania plans signing a corresponding contract before the end of this year,” Anušauskas said, as quoted in a statement released by his ministry.


      • July 27, 2022

        THE US military is exploring the possibility of acquiring additional MLRS HIMARS

        The United States military has published a request for a market study to identify potential contractors for the supply of MLRS M142 HIMARS. The request concerns the official documentation on the capabilities, experience and technical approaches to the production of HIMARS. Also, the assessment/opinion of the industry about the most effective and cost-effective method of doing this work.

        The answer should include a description of the production capabilities for the production of HIMARS launchers. It is also evidence of past similar experience in the production of installations and the recommended enterprise. The request states that the company must be able to produce from 120 to 480 UNITS of MLRS HIMARS from 24 to 28.

        A request on the U.S. public procurement website does not obligate the government to enter into contracts for any supplies or services. The American High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) is manufactured by one of Lockheed Martin's units.

        MLRS was developed in the late 1990s on a wheeled chassis as a system that had increased mobility compared to the tracked M270. The M142 HIMARS carries six multiple launch rockets or one ATACMS missile.


        • Bug2
          Bug2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Well, there is going to be an avalanche of requests / orders for HIMARS, already started.............our lot will still piss around wanting gold plating all over the place, or some such tripe! IF we get an order placed, we won't see it until 2030 at the earliest, which may be too late God forbid..............

        • Magnify v2.0
          Magnify v2.0 commented
          Editing a comment
          Yup, we should have ordered HIMARS ~10 years ago, and been steadily expanding capabilities with it today.

          Multiple governments in Canberra (almost all Lib/Nats!), fucked around until we're waaaaaaaaaay behind where we need to be. We should have been in a position of strength and deterrence now, and providing excess HIMARS to Ukraine. Instead we're in a position of weakness, and hoping the Americans can deliver us from Canberra's useless asses again.


          Scomo was a useless fuck - all talk and no action.

      • Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Elbit capture German MLRS zeitgeist with cooperation MoU

        29th July 2022 - 10:38 GMT | by Ben Vogel in London

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        Elbit could provide long-range precision-guided rockets, as used in its Precise and Universal Launching System, to help Germany upgrade its MARS II/MLRS-E system. (Photo: Elbit)

        Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Elbit agree to cooperate on enhancing the MARS II/MLRS-E multiple launch rocket system, tapping into an existing modernisation plan in Germany.

        Interest from European militaries in precision-strike multiple launch rocket systems (MLRSs) has surged in recent weeks amid the successful use of US-donated HIMARS units by Ukraine against Russian targets.

        This was underlined on 29 July, when Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Elbit Systems announced an MoU to ‘further expand their strategic cooperation’.

        KMW will work with Elbit Systems Deutschland and Elbit Systems Land to support the modernisation of the German Medium Artillery Rocket System II (MARS II), also known as MLRS-E.

        ‘In this context, Elbit will provide a modern active agent portfolio so that the requirements of MLRS users can be met.


        • Update: China releases rare footage of supposed DF-17 missile firing

          03 AUGUST 2022

          by Ridzwan Rahmat & Rahul Udoshi

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          DF-17 medium-range missile and differences with claimed launch. (Janes)

          China state broadcaster CCTV has released a video that includes launch footage of what it claims to be the DF-17 medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM).

          The video was released on 1 August in conjunction with the People's Liberation Army's (PLA's) ninety-fifth founding anniversary. It is the first known footage of the DF-17 released by the Chinese government.

          An infographic of the DF-17 missile system tipped with the DF-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) was also released on the same day by state-owned English newspaper Global Times.

          “The DF-17 debuted on 1 October 2019. It is China's first operational hypersonic medium-range missile,” said the Global Times infographic, which captures the various milestones achieved by its missile programme from the DF-3 in the 1960s to the DF-41, which was also revealed in 2019.

          The DF-17 is a road-mobile MRBM that is believed to be deployed with the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF) since 2020. The number of DF-17s that were shown in an October 2019 parade suggests that the weapon is operational.


          • Russian 300mm 9M544 Smerch rockets use chips sold by AliExpress

            By Boyko Nikolov On Aug 5, 2022

            WASHINGTON — Russian 9M544 Smerch missiles use custom chips sold by AliExpress. The 9M544 Smerch is a 300mm rocket used by multiple launch rocket systems [MLRS] Tornado-S. This missile is designed to hit armored vehicles.

            Photo credit: Gagadget

            A used 300mm 9M544 Smerch rocket was investigated by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies [C4ADS]. The team at this center works on discovered imported components used in Russian weapons. I.e. looking for signs of violation of sanctions against Russia. This thinks tank-type center is located in Washington DC, USA.

            C4ADS found in the 9M544 Smerch rocket the following elements in the control unit of an already used rocket: microcontrollers in a TSOP66 package; SMD capacitors; SMA and DB15 connectors; microcontrollers in an LQF64 package. All these components are intended for use in civil and household appliances. They do not meet military standards. Russia can buy such components from AliExpress, bypassing Western sanctions.

            US-made chips in the Kh-101 stealth missile

            Photo credit: Gagadget

            The use of non-Russian microcircuits and chips in the navigation units of Russian missiles is not new. In May, wrote that 35 US-made chips were found in the Kh-101 stealth cruise missile. This discovery did not come from C4ADS, but from Ukrainian intelligence, which on the ground examined an already used missile.

            The chips found in the Russian Kh-101 missile were manufactured by Texas Instruments, Atmel Corp. Rochester Electronics, Cypress Semiconductor, Maxim Integrated, XILINX, Infineon Technologies, Intel, Onsemi, and Micron Technology. A complete list of used American microchips has been sent to the Pentagon.

            The same amount [35] of chips was found in the radar equipment of the Russian army 9S932-1 – command post. Russia has integrated similar radar equipment into two air defense systems and two types of helicopters. I.e. in just two weapons systems, Russia uses 70 US-made chips.

            Phoot: Twitter

            300mm 9M544 Smerch rocket

            The 300mm 9M544 Smerch rocket has been in the US for analysis in recent weeks. At the end of June, reported that Russia had started using it. At least two missiles were documented in use in the Donbas region.

            Photo credit: Twitter

            The 9M544 missile is part of the 9M54 missile family. The 9M54 series missiles are satellite-guided warheads loaded with HE-Fragmentation charge. These missiles have similar characteristics or complementary characteristics. The 9M54 missiles weigh approximately 820 kg and their warhead alone weighs about 250 kg. The minimum range is 40 km and the maximum is 120 km, although the 9M544 missile tested in 2020 reached a range of 200 km.

            These series of missiles are a surface-to-surface type. The missile is designed to destroy manpower, unarmored and lightly armored vehicles, destroy command posts, communication centers, and sites of the military-industrial structure.


            • Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) Information Update
              A Precision Strike Missile rockets off a HIMARS truck during a trial test. (Photo: US Army LRPF)

              Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) Information Update

              In July 2022, Naval News reached out to the U.S. Army for an update on the Precision Strike Missile’s (PrSM) progress. Two PrSMs are mounted on a M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) 6x6 FMTV truck launcher for a longer reach than the typical HIMARS six rocket pod. One of the greatest advantages of PrSM is that it can hit moving land and maritime targets using a multi-mode seeker. The U.S. Army’s Long Range Precision Fires Team (LRPF) replied.

              Peter Ong 05 Aug 2022

              Naval News has covered the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) here.

              The Lockheed Martin PrSM has an objective range of 60 to 650 kilometers (37 to 403 miles) and two PrSMs can fit inside a M142 High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System HIMARS, double the number compared to the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) with the later having a range of 190 miles (305 kilometers).

              According to the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), “The PrSM is a surface-to-surface, all-weather, precision-strike guided missile, fired from both the M270A1 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and M142 High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). As the replacement for the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), PrSM doubles ATACMS’ current rate-of-fire with two missiles per launch pod. It is designed to attack threat air defense systems, missile launchers, command and control (C2) nodes, troop assembly/staging areas and high-payoff targets throughout the battlefield at ranges of more than 500 kilometers.”
              The features for the Precision Strike Missile show that it can strike farther than the ATACMS and double the missiles compared to one ATACMS per HIMARS. (Photo: U.S. Army) Two Precision Strike Missiles can be placed into a pod normally containing six rockets. This is double the number compared to the Army’s ATACMS. ( Graphic: U.S. Army)
              The U.S. Army’s Long-Range Precision Fires (LRPF) Spokesperson, based at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, replied to Naval News’s inquiry.

              Naval News: Do you have any Precision Strike Missile performance dimensions, range, cost, and specifications?

              U.S. Army LRPF:PrSM Increment 1 has consistently demonstrated its capability to have effects well beyond 400 km. The coordinate seeking missile will be a significant increase in range and effectiveness over current ATACMS munitions.

              When asked about the cost in a follow-up email, the LRPF Spokesperson declined to offer specifics on the cost per PrSM missile but said that it is less expensive than ATACMS. The warhead is “an optimized unitary warhead designed to achieve the same effects as ATACMS.” The U.S. Army’s LRPF Spokesperson also could not offer performance specifications at this time regarding missile speed or if PrSM flies faster than ATACMS and the general MLRS rockets.

              Naval News: What kind of seeker is used for Anti-Ship purposes?

              U.S. Army LRPF:A multi-mode seeker is used for engaging moving land and maritime targets.”

              U.S. Army LRPF declined to offer specifics to a follow-up Naval News email asking what kinds of sensors the multi-mode seeker (thermal, radar, electro-optical TV, LIDAR, etc.) might have.

              Naval News: What are the PrSM Increments proposed?

              U.S. Army LRPF:Future Increments of PrSM will include: (1) Multi-domain operations capability to engage moving land and maritime targets; (2) Enhanced lethality payloads capable of autonomously and collaboratively detecting, targeting, and striking high payoff targets that are moving, have moved, poorly located, or dispersed; and (3) Extended range capability enabled through air-breathing ramjet propulsion.

              Naval News: What kind of ramjet is used?

              U.S. Army LRPF:Both solid and liquid fuel ramjet propulsion options are currently being investigated.

              Naval News: What is the fielding and progress status on the Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher (AML))?

              U.S. Army LRPF:Unmanned HIMARS is participating in Project Convergence 22 and will continue to be matured for fully integrated system level demonstrations in the next several years and may move forward into acquisition at that point.

              The unmanned Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher (AML) can allow for remote driving and remote firing to increase battlefield survivability. (Graphics: US Army)

              Naval News: PrSMs may be able to target moving ships with a new seeker, but can any HIMARS rocket target moving ships with new MLRS rocket seekers—six rockets to a HIMARS—or only PrSM can target moving ships?

              U.S Army LRPF:Currently only PrSM is being designed to engage maritime targets from HIMARS. Each PrSM missile pod will carry two missiles.

              A Precision Strike Missile fires from a HIMARS launcher during a test demonstration. (Photo: U.S. Army LRPF)

              According to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense, (Comptroller), Chief Financial Officer’s April 2022 Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request report, “[Precisions Strike Missile] FY 2023 Program: Procures 120 Urgent Materiel Release missiles with Launch Pod Missile Containers and tooling investments to increase production in the future.”

              Source: Undersecretary of Defense, (Comptroller), Chief Financial Officer’s April 2022 Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request report for Precision Strike Missile.

              With a smaller diameter than the ATACMS missile, two PrSMs can fit inside a HIMARS pod, or four PrSMs for a tracked M270 MLRS. Only the PrSM can strike moving land and maritime targets. (Photo: U.S. Army LRPF) Naval News and Author’s Comments

              A graphic of a Precision Strike Missile launching from a two-missile pod aboard the HIMARS. Note the crane arm over the missile pod to aid in reloading. (Image: Raytheon)

              Although the PrSM is being developed by the U.S. Army’s LRPF Team, the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) also use the M142 HIMARS so having PrSMs with Land-Based Anti-Ship Missile (LBASM) capabilities is a huge game changer and force multiplier for the Marine Corps.

              The HIMARS launcher can rotate 90-degress from center axis to target threats on both sides of the FMTV truck, and the manned M142 HIMARS can be fitted with a rooftop swingarm 7.62mm M240 medium machine gun for close-in area and point defense.

              For speculative discussion purposes, PrSM on HIMARS can operate in tandem with the new Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS). NMESIS carries two stealthy 100 nautical miles (114 miles/185 kilometers) Naval Strike Missiles (NSM) on an unmanned 4×4 Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) truck that can be sling-loaded by a USMC CH-53K “King Stallion” helicopter for more austere field conditions, mobility, and flexibility. M142 HIMARS (and the unmanned AML) can be transported internally via Marine KC-130J “Hercules” military cargo aircraft and thus requires a landing strip.

              Combined, NMESIS with NSM, and HIMARS with PrSM, can form the foundational basis for the USMC’s LBASM deterrent. (Also note that the M142 HIMARS can also be outfitted with special racks for AIM-120 AMRAAMs for a forward surface-to-air missile Air Defense option, but the USMC has yet to field this option although there was a test firing of an AIM-120 from a HIMARS in March 2009).

              Thus, U.S. Marine Corps HIMARS can, in theory and test fire practice, attack moving enemy land, ship, and air targets and create a Navy/Marine Anti-Access/Area Denial space over land and sea where HIMARS and NMESIS are stationed. (The HIMARS will still need an independent external sensor to detect and pass on targeting information to the HIMARS launcher. The NMESIS Naval Strike Missile can also attack land targets, providing the U.S. Marines much needed organic LRPFs on land since the divestment of their M1A1 Main Battle Tanks).

              With the unmanned AML HIMARS and unmanned NMESIS JLTV, the U.S. Marines can station and conceal these missile launchers at remote positions and control them via satellite from ship, USMC rotary airborne platforms, or distant land locations to avoid counter-battery fire, and move them via remote-control for true unmanned “shoot and scoot” operations. Furthermore, HIMARS with PrSM can, in theory, offer U.S. Navy amphibious warships an ad-hoc LRPF land attack and LBASM moving target capability fired from the deck of amphibious vessels.

              PrSM HIMARS can be chained to the flight deck for a visible deterrent, or concealed in the hangar and then brought up to the flight deck by aircraft elevators (for LHA and LHD carriers), and can provide these amphibious ships with no inherent Mark 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) a huge offensive and self-defensive punch out to 650 kilometers (403 miles) that doesn’t require a towed trailer such as the Mark 41 VLS derivative in a shipping container with Tomahawk cruise missiles.

              At the end of July 2022, Naval News asked retired Marine colonel, Mark Cancian, Senior Advisor to the Center for Strategic Institute Studies (CSIS) for his opinion on the upcoming USMC HIMARS with PrSM.
              “The Marine Corps needs a long-range missile to complement the NSMs on NMESIS. That missile could be PrSM or Tomahawk. The problem with NSM is its short range, about 100 [nautical] miles. NSM Launchers must get close to the adversary to be effective, but that will be difficult. Once conflict begins, penetrating that far into an adversary’s defensive zone will be extremely dangerous if not impossible. Deploying that close before conflict begins may not be possible diplomatically.”
              Mark Cancian, Senior Advisor to Center for Strategic Institute Studies

              At this time, it is too early and unknown if the PrSM and AML will be exported to any U.S. allies.


              • Magnify v2.0
                Magnify v2.0 commented
                Editing a comment
                The Marine Corps needs a long-range missile to complement the NSMs on NMESIS. That missile could be PrSM or Tomahawk. The problem with NSM is its short range, about 100 [nautical] miles. NSM Launchers must get close to the adversary to be effective, but that will be difficult. Once conflict begins, penetrating that far into an adversary’s defensive zone will be extremely dangerous if not impossible. Deploying that close before conflict begins may not be possible diplomatically.”
                I've always looked at this use of NSM to be purely defensive against concerted naval attack, so getting them into range is a quite irrelevant consideration. They go where the force goes, especially if there's a few Tomahawks for a limited offensive strike on threat targets that the air force is not prioritizing, nor not hitting soon enough. While PrSM is the intermediate utilitarian rapid-reaction deep strike weapon, that can also smack lone ships in transit.

                Launching AMRAAM from HIMARS seems a very poor use of HIMARS tubes to me, when it's perfectly viable to return to the SLAMRAM concept, and place 2 AMRAAMs on a modular static launcher trailer, or 2 missiles on a lightweight mobile vehicle with a rail launcher. There's nothing wrong with doing that.

            • DARPA Updates on OpFires Hypersonic Missile Test
              An OpFires hypersonic missile launches off of an USMC LVSR truck during a test fire at White Sands Missile Range. Note the sabots detaching as the missile clears the canister. Photo: DARPA

              DARPA Updates On OpFires Hypersonic Missile Test

              In July 2022, Naval News reached out to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for an update on their test firing of an Operational Fires (OpFires) hypersonic missile. The OpFires program will mount two to three hypersonic missiles on a U.S. Army 10x10 Palletized Load System (PLS) or U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Logistics Vehicle Replacement System tactical truck. OpFires trucks intend to deliver better field mobility, setup, and launch response time, maneuverability, and concealment than hypersonic missiles on a tractor-trailer combination.

              Peter Ong 10 Aug 2022

              Naval News has covered the DARPA OpFires program here and further reading on truck-mounted hypersonic missiles and their potential deployments can be found here. Naval News readers can also catch up on various nations’ hypersonic missile programs’ progress here.

              The DARPA OpFires Project will use throttleable rocket motors on hypersonic missiles to achieve varying ranges in flight; therefore, OpFires can hit targets within the range envelope up to 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers). At Mach 5+, the OpFires’ warhead can fly 1,000 miles in approximately 20 minutes.

              According to the DARPA website on the OpFires’ first test fire launch on July 13, 2022, “DARPA’s Operational Fires (OpFires) program has successfully executed its first flight test at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The OpFires system achieved all test objectives, including first ever use of a U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) logistics truck as a medium-range missile launcher, missile canister egress, stable flight capture, and use of U.S. Army inventory artillery fire control systems to initiate the test mission. Lockheed Martin built the system, which includes a Northrop Grumman rocket motor, and conducted the test.

              “The test demonstrated integrated technology maturation of key enabling components including the first stage rocket motor, missile canister, and missile round pallet (MRP). The MRP is designed for use with the load handling system available on USMC and Army logistics vehicles, eliminating the need for a bespoke OpFires transporter erector launcher (TEL).

              “The primary goal of OpFires is the development and demonstration of a ground-launched two-stage propulsive system capable of employing hypersonic (greater than five times the speed of sound) payloads from ubiquitous U.S. military trucks (the Palletized Load System family of vehicles) that can penetrate modern air defenses and precisely strike time-critical targets. Compatibility with existing command and control, vehicles, logistics infrastructure, and operating environments ensures that OpFires is highly mobile and rapidly deployable.”

              The DARPA Spokesperson also sent Naval News additional photos of the test fire at White Sands Missile Range.

              The DARPA OpFires hypersonic missile speeds away from the USMC LVSR. Photo: DARPA

              Dr. Michael Leahy, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, replied to Naval News’s follow-on inquiry about the first OpFires hypersonic missile test fire.

              Naval News: How far did the hypersonic missile fly?
              DARPA: The missile range of this test was intentionally limited to keep it within [the] WSMR [White Sands Missile Range] safety boundaries.

              Naval News: Were the USMC and US Army both present at the test?
              DARPA: No.

              Naval News: How many missiles were launched and what was the speed of the hypersonic
              DARPA: This test was limited to a single missile.

              Naval News: Any dimensions and specifications on the missile for the Media (weight, dimensions, cost, payload, etc.)?
              DARPA: The OpFires missile system has the ability to carry a variety of payloads and the system (missiles, canister, and launcher) is sized to fit on the [U.S.] Army M1075A1 PLS and USMC LVSR family of vehicles.

              Naval News: Did the missile contain a warhead or Glide Body and can it hit moving maritime and ground targets?
              DARPA: This test demonstrated the ability to successfully launch a full-scale OpFires missile from an LVSR. Our flight test plan calls for the next flight to include a payload simulator and through a series of progressive flights, we will fully test the booster and payloads.

              Naval News: Is it possible to mount three hypersonic missiles on the USMC LVSR truck as
              shown in the Lockheed graphic?
              DARPA: The Lockheed graphic is an artist’s concept of one possible system configuration.

              Naval News: Any comments on how fast the Kill Chain Web was from acquisition time-on-target to launch?
              DARPA: This was not one of the test objectives.

              Naval News: What other lessons were learned from this test?
              DARPA: We are continuing to review the data and will incorporate findings into the system critical design review in the Fall. Naval News and Author’s Comments
              “The Marine Corps needs a long-range land-based anti-ship missile. The Naval Strike Missile is too short-ranged to have the operational effects that the Marine Corps wants. The challenge will be cost. Hypervelocity missiles may be very expensive, and a conventional missile like Tactical Tomahawk may be better for buying in quantity.”
              Mark Cancian, retired Marine colonel and Senior Advisor to the CSIS

              Interestingly, DARPA confirmed that the Lockheed Martin graphic (see below) is very similar to the setup of the OpFires USMC LVSR prototype, meaning that three OpFires hypersonic missiles can be mounted on a U.S. military 10×10 truck. Even the rendering of the missile appears very similar to the actual one test fired missile at White Sands Missile Range.

              The USMC is also experimenting with Tactical Tomahawk launched from a Mark 41 VLS derivative on a trailer. One airlift transportation issue is that LVSR cannot fit inside a C-130 cargo plane whereas the Tomahawk trailer and MTVR, if designated prime mover, can fit inside.

              The Lockheed Martin artist’s graphic showing a launch of the OpFires hypersonic missile from a 10×10 wheeled truck is very similar to the actual prototype, meaning three missiles can be mounted on the USMC LVSR, each missile with a Mach 5+ speed and 1,000-mile range. Graphic: Lockheed Martin


              • Testing of US Army first autonomous vehicle speeds ahead

                POSTED ON TUESDAY, 16 AUGUST 2022 10:38

                Imagine the possibilities of a self-driving vehicle on the battlefield. Engineers at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, or AvMC, don’t have to imagine it: they are building it. The Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher takes a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System — or HIMARS — and modifies it with hardware and software to be controlled remotely and driven autonomously. Katie Davis Skelley, U.S. DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center Public Affairs, reports.

                The Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher participates in the U.S. Army's System Integration Event 2 in 2022 (Picture source: U.S. Army )

                “[The Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher] represents a significant and exciting modernization improvement for the Army,” said Christi Dolbeer, director of DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center’s Technology Development Directorate. “Adding autonomy to drive mobile launchers and increasing the firing power of those launchers represents a powerful combination. I am very proud of the DEVCOM AvMC and DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center teams working together to give Soldiers even greater capabilities.”

                While it resembles the self-driving cars in the news, the Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher — or AML — will have capabilities that those vehicles will never possess — but also challenges. Regular autonomous autos operate on established roadways, they aren’t navigating sometimes treacherous terrain. They also aren’t being fired upon by enemy combatants. Then there is the matter of size.

                “We are talking about putting a 36,000-pound vehicle in an area where there will be humans running around,” said Lucas Hunter, AML project manager for AvMC. “Tesla and other companies are working on vehicles that can sense cars in front of them and behind them; they have these nice stripes on the road that tell it, ‘I am getting out of my lane.’ Well, we are driving through open country, we don’t have stripes — we have holes, we have cliffs.”

                AML in its current incarnation will look notably different than the final system as the existing cab will eventually be eliminated from the vehicle. Later iterations will also boast a new launcher and increased firing power.

                AML was conceptualized as a tool to increase mass fires and “thicken the force,” but what exactly does that translate to in theater? “AML applies a wingman concept to the Soldiers we already have on the battlefield,” Hunter said. “That spreads out capabilities. So more targets have to be addressed by the enemy. At the same time, it increases the number of rounds that our Soldiers have available which keeps them in the fight longer. With HIMARS, once they fire their six rounds, they have to reload. If you add 12 more, now they are able to support frontline troops three times as long.”

                How this new capability will be utilized is currently being explored by the Fires Center of Excellence and the Strategic and Operational Rockets and Missiles Office. Concept testing was conducted in 2021 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to demonstrate how the wingman concept might look, emulating a mission with the Precision Strike Missile — the missile being part of the Army’s Long-Range Precision Fire cross-functional initiative and also in the AvMC portfolio.

                For Hunter, AML marks not just a landmark paradigm shift for Army battlefield technology, but for the world of robotics itself. With the strides already made in breaking the manual chain and developing the robotic applique kit, it is easy to forget that AML has only been in existence since February 2020. “There are all kinds of situational awareness challenges that the robotics industry is just now starting to look at,” Hunter said. “AML, which will be called HIMARS Increment 2, has to be able to travel wherever it is told to travel. It has to be able to tell, ‘Hey, there is a cliff right here.’ It has to be able to recognize whatever terrain it is on. “This is a career field in robotics — how to enhance that situation awareness and do so in passive manners. We need sensors that collect situational awareness data without emitting detectable energy like light or sound. Because you don’t want this to light up like a Christmas tree when the enemy is looking.”


                The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.


                • US Army to receive four Mid-Range Capability battery prototypes, fielding set for 2023

                  15 AUGUST 2022

                  by Ashley Roque

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                  Image showing US Army detailing what each MRC prototype battery will include. The service plans to begin fielding the weapon in 2023. (US Army)

                  Lockheed Martin is poised to deliver four initial Mid-Range Capability (MRC) weapon system batteries to the US Army by the end of 2022. If all goes as planned the service could field the new weapon prototype, paired with Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) and Tomahawk missiles, to soldiers by late September 2023, according to the company and service.

                  The army's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) tasked Lockheed Martin with building this mid-range prototype in late 2020, at present called the ‘Typhon', which includes launchers, missiles, and a battery operations centre.

                  The idea was to create a capability to strike targets somewhere between the 500 and 1,800 km range, or greater than the future Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) but shorter than a Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) system. To do this, army programme officials joined forces with the navy to leverage existing capabilities such as the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System (Mk 41 VLS), and the Tomahawk and SM-6 missiles.


                  • ADMk2
                    ADMk2 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    So much for airforce expansion being the fastest way to field enhanced strike capability…

                  • Magnify v2.0
                    Magnify v2.0 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Air forces have vastly more range and firepower than this. This just relieves the air force from some of the closer-in strike workload, and relieves the army from relying on the air force to kill high-threat targets, fast as they would like. And the army won't have many of these weapons, while an air force can reload and deliver such weapons, much faster, so it's just an ancillary strike capability.

                    What bothers me about the system is the trailers and prime-movers, are not going to have a lot of mobility beyond landing at a FARP. It requires highways, so is a valid mobility concept for Europe and the ME, but is it useful in the Western Pacific? Seems less relevant to me.

                    Maybe it works in northern Australia but then the question is, "what are we shooting at"?

                    I can see why the USA would want these but I can't really see why the ADF would, if ADF can get HIMARS + PrSM, and an NSM ground launch weapon, that can be supplemented or replaced with LRASM-SL, and/or, JASSM-ER-SL, in a smaller, air-mobile launcher on a rigid-truck chassis.

                  • ADMk2
                    ADMk2 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Depends entirely upon the scale of investment.

                    However the point was in relation to the ‘fastest’ way to improve long-range strike capability. Missile on a truck bests anything RAAF could ever do on a timeliness basis.

                • Is the SM-6 going to be used purely in a surface to surface capacity, or will it also be integrated into an air defence network? If it's the latter, this would cover so many holes in the ADF's current force structure.


                  • Magnify v2.0
                    Magnify v2.0 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    SM-6 becomes irrelevant for this (other than as a LR SAM) the moment moving-target PrSM is delivered.

                • Built in Arkansas, we delivered the first M270A2 for the U.S. Army.

                  This next-gen launcher will protect and provide proven capabilities to service members in the field for years to come.

                  161K views, 6K likes, 162 loves, 91 comments, 335 shares, Facebook Watch Videos from Lockheed Martin Careers: Built in Arkansas, we delivered the first M270A2 for the U.S. Army. This next-gen...


                  • Poland could acquire South Korean K239 Chunmoo rocket launcher systems

                    POSTED ON SUNDAY, 04 SEPTEMBER 2022 10:53

                    According to information published by the Polish "Defence24" website on August 27, 2022, during an interview, the Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced that Poland could acquire South Korean K239 Chunmoo rocket launcher systems.

                    South Korean army K239 Chunmoo MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System. (Picture source Army Recognition)

                    Poland continues to increase its relationship with South Korea in terms of defense products acquisition, on August 28, 2022, the Army Recognition editorial team reported that Poland signed contracts with South Korea to acquire 180 K2 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) as well as 600 K9 155mm self-propelled howitzers.

                    Due to the situation in Ukraine, Poland has launched a plan to strengthen its armed forces. Defense minister Mariusz Błaszczak has declared that Poland will have “the most powerful land forces in Europe” thanks to ongoing investments by the government, which recently raised the defense budget to 3% of GDP, one of the highest levels in NATO and aims to further increase it to 5%.

                    According to open source information, currently, the Polish army has a total of 179 MLRSs (Multiple Launch Rocket Systems) including 75 Soviet-made BM-21, 29 Czech-made RM-70, and 75 local-made WR-40 Langusta.

                    On May 27, 2022, the Army Recognition editorial team reported that Poland signed a Letter of Request (LOR) with the United States for the acquisition of 500 M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems) with the goal to strengthen the artillery capabilities of the Polish Army.

                    The Chunmoo also called K239 K-MLRS is a multi-caliber launch rocket system designed and manufactured by the South Korean Company Hanwha Corporation. It is a new generation of artillery weapons able to fire different calibers of rockets.

                    The Chunmoo K-MLRS carries two launch pods able to fire different calibers of rockets. It can fire 130 mm non-guided rockets (20 rockets to each pod), 227mm non-guided rockets (6 rockets to each pod), and 239mm guided rockets (6 rockets to each pod). The 130mm rockets have a range of 36 Km while the larger 230mm-class rockets have a range of about 80 Km for the non-guided one and 160 Km for the guided variant.


                    • Presenting the LRSVM Tamnava Self-propelled Modular Multiple Rocket Launcher from Yugoimport SDPR

                      Military v1904 09/09/2022

                      LRSVM Tamnava (Lanser Raketa Samohodni Visecevni Modularni Tamnava) is a new modular multiple rocket launcher (MLRS) developed by the Serbian state-owned company Yugoimport SDPR in collaboration Military Technical Institute (Vojnotehnicki institut; VTI).

                      Tamnava developed by the Serbian state-owned company Yugoimport SDPR, was first presented in December 2018 at the Egyptian exhibition EDEX. The following year, an improved MLRS prototype was shown at the Partner 2019 International defense Exhibition in Belgrade. In October 2019, a military parade was held in Belgrade in honor of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the city from Nazi invaders. It intends to strengthen the artillery capabilities of the Serbian Armed Forces.

                      LRSVM Tamnava Self-propelled Modular Multiple Rocket Launcher

                      Tamnava MLRS is based on the chassis of the KAMAZ 6560 8×8 heavy truck, which is mounted with a crew cabin. The vehicle measures 10.5m long, 2.6m wide, and 2.8m high. The maximum combat weight of the system is 35t. The MLRS is composed of sub-systems including the vehicle, launcher superstructure, launch modules, a hoisting device, an automatic system with drives, and a fire control system. The armoured cabin can protect the crew from small arms and shell splinters. KAMAZ 6560 8×8 truck is powered by a Euro III compliant KAMAZ-740.63-400 diesel engine developing a nominal power output of 400hp. The engine is coupled to a ZF 16S 1820, mechanical, 16-speed gearbox. The heavy-duty vehicle has a maximum road speed of 90km/h and can attain a maximum range of 1,200km.

                      LRSVM Tamnava Self-propelled Modular Multiple Rocket Launcher

                      The sensor suite of the multiple launch rocket system includes an inertial measurement unit (IMU), a satellite navigation receiver, and a radio. Launch modules enable the stowage of the rockets. The units lock the rockets during the movement and also provide direction to the rockets during the launch. The elevation and azimuth are controlled in automatic, semi-automatic and manual modes. Electrical ignition to the rocket motors is provided by the launch module. The system requires 90 seconds to prepare for firing and moves away from the point of firing within 90 seconds. It can conduct burst fire with variable time intervals between 0.8 and four seconds.

                      LRSVM Tamnava Self-propelled Modular Multiple Rocket Launcher

                      The baseline modular containers when combined use 122 and 262mm missiles consisting of 2 launched modules 122mm (24 missiles) and 2 modules 262mm (6 missiles). When it only uses 122mm missiles, this system has 48 missiles at its disposal. The total armament being carried by the system constitutes 50 122mm or 12 267mm ready-use rockets. The system requires 90 seconds to prepare for firing and moves away from the point of firing within 90 seconds.”

                      Rockets are fired from the cabin or a shelter through a remote-control panel. The platform is stabilised by four legs during the firing, while automatic slope correction is ensured by a special device.The maximum firing range of the 122mm rockets is 40km, while 267mm rockets can engage targets at a maximum range of 70km.

                      LRSVM Tamnava Self-propelled Modular Multiple Rocket Launcher


                      • Iranian army IRGC operates new Fath 360 MLRS like US Army with HIMARS

                        POSTED ON MONDAY, 19 SEPTEMBER 2022 15:21

                        Iran tested this September month its indigenously produced Fath 360 satellite-guided ballistic missile during military exercises, an apparent bid to match America’s M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) that has been deployed with lethal success in Ukraine, Gabriel Honrada writes in Asia Times.

                        Fath 360 rocket launcher is likely Iran's answer to the U.S. M142 HIMARS (Picture source: Mashregh News/Facebook)

                        Fars News reported last week that Iran tested its Fath 360 short-range surface-to-surface missile and performed combined arms operations with the system during the Eghtedar 1401 military drills at Nasrabad, Isfahan. Iran Press News Agency reports that the Fath 360 was delivered to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in 2021.

                        Fath 360 missile can hit strategic targets at the speed of 3,704 km/h, and its velocity can be increased to some 5,000 km/h while communicating with satellites for quick navigation and fast strikes against enemy targets. So, the missiles can be fired at Mach 3, after which they connect to satellites for rapid homing and strike their targets at Mach 4, state-owned Tasnim News reported. Iran’s Fath 360 may most likely use Russia’s GLONASS satellite navigation system for targeting data. Russia reportedly gave Iran GLONASS access during the latter’s January 2020 strikes against the US-held Al Asad Airbase in retaliation for the US killing of IRGC General Qassem Soleimani, as reported by Defense World.

                        The Iran Press News Agency said the Fath 360 is downsized member of the Fateh ballistic missile family, allowing it to fit more missiles on a truck, carrier or launcher. The Fath 360 is 4-meter long with a diameter of 30 cm, weighs from 850 to 1,100 kg with a 150kg warhead, and has an 80–100km range. Its lightweight dimensions allow multiple missiles to be mounted on a truck-based launcher, with six, four, or two-round launch canisters available. Those specifications make the Fath 360 roughly comparable to HIMARS on paper, Asia Times writes. Global Security notes that the M31 GMLRS rocket that the US has supplied for Ukraine’s HIMARS units sends a 90kg unitary warhead at up to 70 km at Mach 2.5, and can be fired from the six-round HIMARS or the heavier 12-round M270 MLRS which the UK has sent as military assistance to Ukraine.

                        The Fath 360 may also mark a trend towards smaller wheeled multiple launcher rocket systems (MLRS), Asia Times comments. Large and heavy systems such as the US M270 MLRS and Russian B-300 Smerch pack formidable firepower holding a dozen rockets each. The Fath 360’s light-wheeled configuration potentially makes it more adapted to the Middle East’s mountainous, desert and urban areas compared to the heavier Fateh and Fajr launchers.

                        The surface-to-surface Fath 360 and Labeik missiles as well as the Dezful and Majid air defense systems were unveiled last April (Picture source: Tehran Times)


                        • JUST IN: Army's New Precision Strike Missile on Track for 2023 Debut


                          By Sean Carberry

                          Lockheed Martin illustration

                          AUSTIN, Texas — The Army’s replacement for the Tactical Missile System — the Precision Strike Missile — is on target for fielding next year, a service official said Sept. 19.

                          Hunter Blackwell, deputy capability area lead for fires at the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Aviation and Missile Center, said increment one of the Precision Strike Missile, or PrSM, has transitioned out of science-and-technology phase and into the acquisition community for fielding.

                          “It's capable of attacking a coordinate or a location at targets out to the old [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty] ranges of 500 kilometers,” he said at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Future Force 2022 conference in Austin, Texas. In addition, the PrSM will fire two missiles per launch pod versus one in the predecessor.

                          The Army is fielding the PrSM in increments and adding capabilities in stages, which allows for more rapid fielding of the first increment, or base capability. It is one of the 24 modernization programs senior service leaders have vowed intends to have in the hands of soldiers to use by the end of 2023.

                          Increment two will add seeker technology to engage moving targets in the land and maritime domains, Blackwell said. It is in the final year of its science-and-technology phase and will transition to the acquisition community by the end of fiscal year 2023, he said.

                          “This is really going to be a paradigm change for the artillery community,” he said. “We're changing from attacking a place — a coordinate — to attacking things: attacking specific targets that may be moving on the battlefield.”

                          The third increment is called the “enhanced lethality variant” of PrSM, he said. It’s a science-and-technology program that will add modular, maneuvering payloads to address the challenge of firing on mobile targets from long distances.

                          “Let's say it takes 10 minutes to fly to a 500-kilometer-deep target,” he said. “That target has 10 minutes to move, which allows uncertainty to go into our targeting process. Having these maneuvering submunitions is a way that we can overcome that uncertainty that's introduced by this


                          • Iran unveils Rezvan new surface-to-surface ballistic missile

                            POSTED ON THURSDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 2022 16:07

                            The Iranian Armed Forces unveiled on September 22 a surface-to-surface ballistic missile as President Ebrahim Raisi is in New York talking about peace in the region, Iran International reports. The new missile, dubbed Rezvan, was put on display during a nationwide military parade to mark what the Islamic Republic calls the Sacred Defense Week, which marks the start of the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war.

                            Rezvan surface-to-surface ballistic missile (Picture source: Iran International)

                            According to Iranian media, Rezvan is a liquid-fueled single-stage missile with a detachable warhead that has a range of up to 1,400 kilometers and can be launched from a variety of fixed and mobile platforms, Iran International writes.

                            During the parade, Kheybar-Shekan missile system -- developed by the Aerospace Division of the Revolutionary Guard -- was also put on display that has a range of 1,450 kilometers and Iran boasts about its high agility and pinpoint accuracy. It uses solid propellants and is said to be capable of penetrating into missile shields with high maneuverability during its landing stage.


                            • ASEAN Military Forum

                              Pathompong Tungjitsirisun · 4h ·

                              Field Testing of D11A Modular Multi - Purpose Launcher based on Elbit Systems' PULS (Precise & Universal Launching System) by Defense Technology Institute (DTI) for the Royal Thai Army.

                              Chassis: Czech-Made Tatra 815-7 6x6

                              Compatible Rocket System:
                              • 122mm Rocket [ACCULAR] with 40km range
                              • 306mm Rocket [EXTRA] with 150km range
                              • 370mm Rocket [Predator Hawk] with 300km range
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                              • Tactical High-speed Offensive Ramjet for Extended Range (THOR-ER) Team Completes Ramjet Vehicle Test

                                Oct. 5, 2022 – The THOR-ER program team, a collaborative effort between the United States and Norway to develop a solid fuel ramjet (SFRJ) vehicle, achieved an important milestone on August 17, at Andøya in northern Norway. The test vehicle successfully fired several times, showing the viability of ramjet propulsion technology and demonstrating significant increases in effective range.

                                “The United States needs to be working closely with our allies to ensure our joint force has the most cutting-edge capabilities on the battlefield,” said Heidi Shyu, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “I commend the THOR-ER team on their outstanding work weathering the pandemic environment, continuing the development of this significant propulsion technology, and promoting continued science and technology collaboration with our partners in Norway,”

                                The recent tests satisfied the THOR-ER Phase 1 objectives of demonstrating jointly developed propulsion technologies in flight, including new high energy fuels, advanced air injection, and throttling methodologies which will be essential for mission flexible SFRJ systems of the future.

                                “The SFRJ flight vehicle was accelerated to above Mach 2 with the help of a solid rocket booster and transitioned to ramjet mode. The flight phase was a resounding success with stable flight, robust ramjet operation, and a high thrust-to-drag ratio,” said Executive Vice President of Aerospace Propulsion at the Nordic Ammunition Company (Nammo), Stein Erik Nodeland. “The flights performed in accordance with pre-flight calculations, demonstrating a high-speed long-range trajectory. All in all, this is a real milestone. While not the first ramjet vehicle, it is the first modern ramjet, with a potential for a great improvement in range, time to target, and agility.”

                                The first flight, conducted on August 17, demonstrated an unguided vehicle with robust SFRJ operation across a wide range of altitudes and speeds. The second test, which focused on a high thrust flight profile, took place the following day. Both flights were considered successful, having demonstrated high supersonic speeds prior to ramjet burnout and splashdown. Program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.

                                “Not only do the recent test firings at Andøya Space Flight Center mark a key milestone in terms of proving the THOR-ER propulsion technology, they also demonstrate the power of bilateral cooperation,” said Morten Tiller, Norwegian Armaments Director. “Through concerted efforts, key stakeholders in the United States and Norway have made significant progress that promises to increase both speed and range of air defense and missile systems. I am hopeful that the collaborative approach we have brought to the R&D, prototyping and test phases will continue into the industrialization stage of the technology.”

                                “We believe that the SFRJ is going to be a game-changer for the U.S. Navy and our Allied partners, and we are excited to see the successful THOR-ER flight tests,” said Stephen Farmer, Director for Advanced Concepts, Prototyping & Experimentation at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD). “We are also humbled in having this partnership with the Norwegian Ministry of Defense and Norwegian industry partner Nammo. We know that our combined team will continue to build on this success, and we are excited for what the future will bring.”

                                The THOR-ER program builds upon collaborative research efforts involving the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office, NAWCWD, the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, and Nammo.

                                “I want to congratulate the THOR-ER team on these wonderful tests. From a Nammo viewpoint, it underscores the importance of investing in competence and technological development. THOR-ER and ramjet technology can help our NATO partners with some of their most key priorities: range and precision.” said Nammo CEO Morten Brandtzæg. “I think this would not have been possible without the bilateral cooperation. In time, this might be the most important project Nammo has been involved in–ever–both industrially and in terms of military importance.

                                Image courtesy Nammo


                                • India to test 10,000 km range Agni-6 ICBM missile in 3 years

                                  POSTED ON MONDAY, 10 OCTOBER 2022 11:00

                                  According to Udaipur Kiran, taking lessons from the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, India has intensified preparations to start testing its Agni Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) with a range beyond 5,000 to 10,000 km.

                                  The Agni-IV ballistic missile is largely seen as part of India's deterrence against China (Picture source: DRDO)

                                  The reason behind the testing of the upcoming three Agni-6 missiles is to secure the Indian territory as well as to take the most remote areas of China under its control. With this, India will be counted among those countries which have ICBM, which means the US, Russia, France and China.

                                  So far, India has limited its official range to 5,000 km after conducting a pre-induction trial of the Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) nuclear-capable Agni-5 in January 2018, Udaipur Kiran recalls. The 5,000 km range means it can reach India’s main geopolitical rival China’s important cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Hong Kong are covered. Apart from this, it is able to take all Asian countries, parts of Africa and Europe under its control. But there is no official confirmation of the deployment of Agni-5 on any border of China or Pakistan. But Agni-6 will extend India’s deterrence power. By getting able to reach the most remote areas of China.

                                  To date, Udaipur Kiran recalls, India is armed with four types of Agni series missiles: Agni-1 with a range of 2,000 km. Agni-2 with a range of up to 2,500 km, Agni-3 and Agni-4 with a range of up to 3,500 km. Reôrted by Udaipur Kiran, DRDO officials said that any missile with less payload, and better navigation can increase its range but requires testing. He said India had not officially crossed the range of IRBM till the testing of Agni-5.

                                  By intensifying preparations to test the ICBM with a more than 5,000 km range, India has developed several critical technologies required under the Agni-6 project. The new missile is set to be tested in the coming three years by validating computer simulations. Research on new technologies includes more contemporary materials, better navigation and ranges of up to 10,000 km, and even launching from a submarine.


                                  • Poland to buy hundreds of SKorean Chunmoo multiple-rocket launchers

                                    By Jaroslaw Adamowski

                                    Oct 15, 02:11 AM

                                    MLRS-launched munitions from U.S. and South Korean forces fly across the Seungjin, South Korea, training range in 2015. Poland wants to buy hundreds of the Hanwha-made Chunmoo weapons, operated by South Korea's army. (US Defense Department photo)

                                    WARSAW, Poland — Poland has completed its negotiations with South Korea to buy close to 300 K239 Chunmoo multiple-rocket launchers, with a contract expected to be signed during next week’s visit by Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak to Seoul.

                                    “It’s an excellent artillery weapon and based on our observations from the war in Ukraine we can clearly see how much advantage artillery can create on the battlefield,” Błaszczak told local news site I.PL.

                                    Last May, the minister announced he signed a letter of request to purchase about 500 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, from the United States. However, the latest development indicates Warsaw understands it will not be able to buy as many U.S. systems as it originally planned.

                                    “We’re aware that we will not receive all 500 HIMARS launchers, for which we have sent a letter of request, within a timeline that would be satisfactory to us,” Błaszczak said. “We decided to split the HIMARS order into stages. We will have both the HIMARS and the Chunmoo.”

                                    The minister said that, under the plan, the first South Korean launchers, which are made by Hanwha Group, are to be delivered to Poland in 2023.

                                    “In addition to these launchers, we will also acquire a very large number of missiles, both precision strike missiles for a distance of up to 70 km, and tactical missiles with a range of about 300 km,” according to Błaszczak.

                                    The value of the planned contract, which will further expand Poland’s reliance on South Korean weapons, was not disclosed. A series of deals signed in the last months for the purchase of tanks, howitzers, and aircraft made the country Seoul’s largest defense client in Europe.

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                                    • 15 October, 2022 - M142 HIMARS of the US military. 2021. Photo credits: U.S. Pacific Fleet

                                      Poland specified the number of HIMARS and K239 Chunmoo that it plans to purchase until 2030

                                      Details of future purchases of American (HIMARS) and Korean (Chunmoo) rocket systems have been clarified in Poland.

                                      The number and terms were announced on Twitter by the spokesman of the Armaments Agency, Krzysztof Płatek.

                                      According to his information, expectations regarding the number of HIMARS M142 rocket systems have changed. They are now planning to purchase more than 200 instead of the previously announced number of 500 units.

                                      “The GMLRS is still planned due to the fact that the M142 HIMARS are also to be procured – more than 200 launchers,” Płatek wrote.

                                      Jelcz 6×6 chassis

                                      At the same time, the spokesperson of the Armaments Agency noted, the Poles aim to mount American MLRS on their Jelcz 6×6 chassis.

                                      He also confirmed Poland’s intentions to purchase more than 300 Korean K239 Chunmoo rocket artillery systems.

                                      K239 Chunmoo

                                      The Republic of Korea agreed to the transfer of technologies for ammunition production. Poland intends to produce rockets with a range of 70 km and missiles with a range of 300 km.

                                      In the future, K239 Chunmoo will be mounted on the Polish Jelcz 8×8 truck chassis.

                                      Multiple launch rocket system mounted on the Jelcz 8×8 chassis

                                      Instead, the idea of integration of Polish 122-mm rockets with Korean MLRS was abandoned. They are still to be used only by national analogues of the Grad multiple rocket launcher – WR-40 Langusta.

                                      As previously reported, on October 17, 2022, Poland plans to sign a framework agreement with Korean companies for the purchase of more than 300 K239 Chunmoo rocket artillery systems.

                                      The Poles expect the first deliveries of HIMARS and K239 in 2023, thus it’s planned to complete rearmament in 2030.


                                      • Russian Iskander-M can fire new types of missiles enhancing combat capabilities

                                        POSTED ON TUESDAY, 25 OCTOBER 2022 17:57

                                        According to information published by the Russian defense industry on October 25, 2022, the Iskander-M (NATO reporting name: SS-26 Stone) tactical missile system can be equipped with new missiles, which will enhance its combat capabilities, said Valery Kashin, the Deputy CEO of the High-Precision Systems Company and General Designer of the Machine-Building Design Bureau Hero of Labor.

                                        The Iskander-M carries two tactical ballistic missiles. (Picture source Russian Social Network)

                                        Citing information from the Russian defense industry, the infrastructure that was created for the Iskander system will probably serve for 30 years, depending on the situation that will change. But at the same time, I think we will work to enhance its combat capabilities, first of all, by integrating new and more advanced missiles,” he said on the Zvezda TV channel.

                                        Currently, the Iskander-M is widely used by Russian troops to conduct strikes against Ukrainian armed forces and critical targets. In August 2022, The Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said that the Iskander-M had directly hit a military train in the Dnepropetrovsk Region and destroyed several military equipments and combat vehicles of the Ukrainian army.

                                        The Iskander-M is designed to eliminate missile and multiple launch rocket systems, long-range artillery systems, command posts, communication centers, as well as planes and helicopters at airfields at a distance of up to 500 km (311 mi). The Iskander-M system has been operational with the Russian Armed Forces since 2014. Russian missile units were fully rearmed with the system in late 2019.

                                        The Iskander-M is a mobile ballistic missile based on an 8x8 military vehicle chassis. It carries two solid-propellant single-stage guided missiles, model 9M723K1. Each one is controlled throughout the entire flight path and fitted with an inseparable warhead. Each missile in the launch carrier vehicle can be independently targeted in a matter of seconds.

                                        The Iskander-M missile flies at a hypersonic speed of 2100–2600 m/s (Mach 6–7) and an altitude of 50 km. The missile weighs 4,615 kg, carries a warhead of 710–800 kg, has a maximum firing range of 500 km and achieves a circular error probable (CEP) of 5–7 meters (when coupled with optical homing head; 30–70 m in autonomous application


                                        • Saab expects first contract soon for new GLSDB artillery weapon

                                          01 NOVEMBER 2022

                                          by Marc Selinger

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                                          The Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb combines an M26 ground-based rocket motor with an air-launched Small Diameter Bomb. (Saab/Boeing)

                                          The Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), which Boeing and Saab developed to provide long-range, ground-to-ground precision fires, is close to lining up its first customer, according to Saab's chief executive.

                                          “We are imminently, shortly expecting contracts on that,” Saab president and CEO Micael Johansson told analysts on 28 October.

                                          Johansson did not elaborate, and spokespersons for Sweden's Saab and US-based Boeing had no immediate response to questions. However, artillery systems have received significant attention in recent months because of the important role they have played in Ukraine's resistance to Russia's invasion.

                                          Boeing and Saab, which have been marketing the GLSDB for years, indicated at the 2019 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference that the weapon was ready to begin production. Saab announced in November 2021 that two Norwegian companies, Nammo and Nordic Shelter, had joined the GLSDB team, providing expertise on rocket motors and launchers, respectively.


                                          • Indo Defence 2022: Roketsan from Turkiye to export long-range artillery missile Khan to Indonesia

                                            POSTED ON FRIDAY, 04 NOVEMBER 2022 10:09

                                            At Indo Defence 2022 currently taking place in Djakarta, Roketsan announced its first export deal for its long-range land-to-land missile Khan to Indonesia, a company official said on October 3, Daily Sabah reports. Talking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Roketsan’s Assistant General Manager Murat Kurtuluş mentioned the importance of the Southeast Asian market for the company.

                                            Roketsan’s Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) can fire Khan artillery rockets, among other projectiles (Picture source: Army Recognition)

                                            Pointing to Roketsan’s product variety, Kurtuluş said, as one of the leading Turkish defense companies, they have signed two agreements with the Indonesian Ministry of Defense under the coordination of Türkiye’s Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB). "With the contracts we have signed, we will be offering our first products to the Indonesian Ministry of Defense in the near future. There are two separate issues at stake. The first is the land-to-land long-range artillery system Khan. This system is an important weapon system that is effective with a range of up to 280 kilometers (173.98 miles) and high precision. The second agreement was aimed at layered air defense with two separate systems with medium and long-range”.

                                            Kurtuluş, bringing to focus the Indonesian geographical structure, consisting of islands and long coastlines, noted the country’s requirement for naval systems and ship-to-ship guided naval missiles.

                                            The Khan missile can hit targets accurately with its inertial guidance system or its GNSS-supported inertial guidance system. It is launched from a canister manufactured by Roketsan or other compatible platforms with suitable interfaces for integration. The launcher platform is integrated on a Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) vehicle, either 6x6 or 8x8. MBRL provides high efficiency in the field with its technological infrastructure and its ability to be used 24/7 in all weather and terrain conditions. Designed with the ability to quickly deploy and change positions, it also offers the user a ready-to-fire force with a very short firing preparation time.

                                            New missile systems can also be integrated into the MBRL in line with the requirements, alongside the TR-122, TRB-122, TRG-122, TRLG-122, TRG-230, TRLG-230, TRG-300, TRGK-300 and Khan rockets and missiles that it is already capable of firing. With the integration of TRLG-122 and TRLG-230, the system was displayed for the first time at IDEF ’21 in Türkiye.

                                            An MBRL battery includes a Command & Control Vehicle, six Launcher Vehicles, six Ammo Supply Vehicles, a Meteorology Vehicle, a Maintenance and Repair Vehicle, and other necessary mission support vehicles. The number and type of vehicles can also be customized according to user requirements.

                                            One of the most important features Roketsan offers with this system is the ability to integrate the Command and Control System and Weapon Management System of the MBRL battery with other systems. Information can be transferred to the system instantly from target acquisition elements such as target acquisition radars or unmanned aerial vehicles.

                                            For the system that can fire rockets and missiles over distances of 10–280 km, Roketsan signed its first export contract in 2014 followed by another in 2019. Logistics support services are ongoing as the deliveries under the first contract have been completed.

                                            Roketsan’s Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) (Picture source: Army Recognition)

                                            Roketsan’s Khan missile (Picture source: Army Recognition)


                                            • US approves the sale GMLRS guided rockets for Finnish army M270 rocket launchers

                                              POSTED ON SATURDAY, 05 NOVEMBER 2022 15:16

                                              According to information published by the United States Department of Defense on November 2, 2022, The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Finland of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) for M270 MLRS and related equipment for an estimated cost of $535 million.

                                              Finnish army M270 MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System. (Picture source Wikimedia)

                                              The Government of Finland has requested to buy one hundred fifty (150) M30A1 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) (Steel Case), or M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) Missile Pods with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion System (IMPS), or a combination of both; and two hundred fifty (250) M31A1 GMLRS Unitary (GMLRS-U) Warhead (Steel Case), or M31A2 GMLRS-U IMPS, or a combination of both. Also included is a Quality Assurance Team (QAT); transportation services; and other related elements of program and logistics support. The total estimated cost is $535 million.

                                              Finland intends to use these defense articles and services to increase its national stock, bolstering the land and air defense capabilities in Europe’s northern flank. The increased national stock is critical to Finland’s defense and deterrence due to the deteriorated security situation in Europe. Finland will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

                                              Currently, the Finnish armed forces have a total of 56 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket Systems) including 34 Czech-made RM-70s and 22 American-made M270s. In 2010, Finland has requested the upgrade of its M270 MLRS fleet to the Universal Fire Control System configuration. In May 2011, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) received a $45.3 million contract to upgrade 22 Finnish Army M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launchers, incorporating the Universal Fire Control System and other enhancements. The upgrade enables the launchers to fire precision GPS-guided munitions for the first time.

                                              The M270 is a Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) manufactured by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. The M270 MLRS is operational in the US Army, and fourteen countries have fielded or ordered MLRS including Bahrain, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, The Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, and United Kingdom. The M270 is now also used by the Ukrainian army to fight Russian troops.

                                              The M30A1 guided multiple launch rocket system alternate warhead recently debuted during a test fire exercise in Kuwait. This rocket has an Alternative Warhead (AW), which is filled with 182,000 pre-formed tungsten fragments. They spread widely after the impact, destroying enemy personnel and equipment in a wide area. The rocket has a range of 15-92 kilometers.

                                              The M30A2 rocket with Alternative Warhead (AW) has a firing range from 15 to 92 kilometers (9.3–57.2 mi). It is an improved version of the M30A1 with Insensitive Munition Propulsion System (IMPS).


                                              • Poland approves the purchase of 218 South Korean Chunmoo K239 MLRS rocket launchers

                                                POSTED ON TUESDAY, 08 NOVEMBER 2022 11:48

                                                According to a Tweet published by the Polish Ministry of Defense on November 4, 2022, Poland approved an agreement with South Korea to acquire 218 Chunmoo K239 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System).

                                                South Korean army Chunmoo K239 multi-caliber rocket launcher system. (Picture source Army Recognition)

                                                This new announcement of military purchase manufactured by the South Korean defense industry, follows the order of K2 tanks and K9 howitzers by Poland that was announced in July 2022. In fact, On July 27, 2022, the Army Recognition editorial team reported that Poland will order from South Korea 980 K2 Main Battle Tanks, 648 K9 155mm tracked self-propelled howitzers and 48 FA-50 fighter aircraft.

                                                At the same time, Poland has also shown interest to acquire the latest generation of AS-21 Redback tracked armored IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) also designed and developed by the South Korean defense industry. The AS21 was recently tested by the Polish Army.

                                                The Chunmoo K239 is a multi-caliber K-MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) developed and manufactured by the South Korean company Hanwha Defense. The rocket launcher system is able to fire 130 mm non-guided rockets (20 rockets to each pod), 227mm non-guided rockets (6 rockets to each pod), and 239mm guided rockets (6 rockets to each pod).

                                                The Chunmoo K-MLRS is based on an 8x8 truck chassis also manufactured by the Company Hanwha. the design of the MLRS consists of an armored crew cab located at the front and the launcher weapon station mounted at the rear of the truck chassis.

                                                The Chunmoo K-MLRS is fitted with a computerized fire control system. It can fire 130mm, 227mm, and 239mm rockets. Rockets can be fitted with HE-FRAG (High-Explosive Fragmentation), incendiary, smoke, illumination, and cargo warheads with anti-tank or pre-fragmented anti-personnel sub-munitions. The types of rockets can be mixed (for example 1 container of 20x 130mm and 1 container of 6x 239mm). The 130mm rockets have a range of 36 Km while the larger 230mm-class rockets have a range of about 80 Km for the non-guided one and 160 Km for the guided variant.


                                                • Indonesia to be first foreign user of Turkey’s Khan missile system

                                                  By Tayfun Ozberk

                                                  Nov 8, 10:39 PM

                                                  The Khan missile is the export version of the Bora weapon, seen here. (Roketsan)

                                                  MERSIN, Turkey — Turkish missile-maker Roketsan signed a contract with Indonesia this month to supply Khan missiles and a multilayer air defense system for the Asian nation’s military.

                                                  This is the first time the Khan missile system, an export version of the combat-proven Bora ballistic missile system, will enter the inventory of a force other than the Turkish military.

                                                  The deal was announced at the Indo Defence Expo & Forum, which ran Nov. 2-5. Speaking to Turkish media, Roketsan’s deputy general manager, Murat Kurtulus, stressed the importance of the Southeast Asian market to the company.

                                                  “We will soon be putting our first products into the service of the Indonesian Ministry of Defense thanks to the contracts we have signed,” Kurtulus said. “These are two different products. The Khan missile system is the first. This is a significant weapon system with a range of 280 kilometers and high precision in the battlefield’s depths. The Indonesian military will be the system’s first foreign user.”

                                                  Kurtulus also noted the company will develop a tailor-made air defense system for the Indonesian Army.

                                                  “The second contract is about the layered air defense system. The Indonesian Ministry of Defense had different requirements in this regard. We have created a new model in collaboration with our international business partners. A technical and financial model has been developed. We will present our first layered air defense system products as two separate medium- and long-range systems here. In the coming months, we will also discuss close air defense systems,” Kurtulus explained.

                                                  Roketsan officials did not reveal additional information about the layered air defense system, and the company declined to answer Defense News’ inquiries about the contracts’ values and delivery timelines.

                                                  According to Roketsan brochures, the Khan missile can launch from a multi-barrel rocket launcher on an eight-wheel drive vehicle. In accordance with the customer’s requirements, it can also launch from other tactical wheeled vehicles.

                                                  The 280-kilometer-range (174-mile-range) missile weighs about 2,500 kilograms (5,512 pounds) with a 470-kilogram (1,036-pound) high-explosive warhead. Khan missiles are managed via aerodynamic control with an electromechanical actuation system, and supported with GPS and inertial guidance system technology.

                                                  It’s rumored the Indonesian Navy is interested in Turkey’s Atmaca anti-ship missile system, though Roketsan has not confirmed this.

                                                  However, Kurtulus did not Indonesia’s “very large coastlines” and islands, adding that the country “needs naval systems and surface-to-surface guided missiles. We want and hope that we can further develop the cooperation that we signed for the first time at this exhibition in the near future.”​


                                                  • Lithuanian army to get 8 HIMARS with GMLRS ammunition and related equipment

                                                    POSTED ON THURSDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2022 13:38

                                                    The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on November 9 announced that the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Lithuania of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) Launchers and related equipment for an estimated cost of $495 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

                                                    197th Field Artillery Regiment of New Hampshire fires HIMARS at Fort Drum, 20-7-2021 (Picture source: US Army/Sgt. 1st Class Richard Frost, 603rd Public Affairs Detachment)

                                                    The Government of Lithuania has requested to buy eight (8) M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) Launchers; thirty-six (36) M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) Missile Pods with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion System (IMPS); thirty-six (36) M31A2 GMLRS Unitary High Explosive (HE) Missile Pods; thirty-six (36) XM403 Extended Range GMLRS (ER GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) Missile Pods with IMPS; thirty-six (36) XM404 Extended Range GMLRS (ER GMLRS) Unitary Pods with IMPS; and eighteen (18) M57 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) Missile Pods. Also included are M28A2 Low-Cost Reduced Range Practice Rocket (LCRRPR) pods; International Field Artillery Tactical Data System (IFATDS); battle management system Vehicle Integration Kits; ruggedized laptops; training equipment publications for HIMARS and munitions; and other related elements of program and logistics support. The total estimated cost is $495 million. This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the military capability of a NATO Ally that is an important force for ensuring political stability and economic progress within Eastern Europe.

                                                    The proposed sale will contribute to enhancing interoperability with the United States and other NATO allies.

                                                    The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin, Grand Prairie, TX. Implementation of this proposed sale will require U.S. Government or contractor representatives to travel to Lithuania for program management reviews to support the program. Travel is expected to occur approximately twice per year as needed to support equipment fielding and training.


                                                    • ADMk2
                                                      ADMk2 commented
                                                      Editing a comment
                                                      This will be in-service before our “leaders” have even made a decision…

                                                  • Poland to integrate US HIMARS and Korean Chunmoo rocket launcher pods on Jelcz truck chassis

                                                    POSTED ON SATURDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 2022 16:05

                                                    According to information published by the Polish News website "I.PL" on November 9, 2022, Polish Deputy Prime Minister, and head of the Polish Ministry of National Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak approved a new ambitious defense program with the national defense industry to integrate HIMARS and Chunmoo rocket launcher weapon station on Polish Jelcz truck chassis.

                                                    HIMARS and Chunmoo rocket launcher pods will be integrated into Polish-made Jelcz trucks. (Picture source Army Recognition)

                                                    The agreement between the Polish Armaments Agency representing the State Treasury of the Republic of Poland and the PGZ-WWR consortium will define the terms and conditions for concluding the upcoming executive agreements regarding M142 HIMARS and K239 CHUNMOO multi-lead rocket launchers.

                                                    This new Polish defense program was signed by Sebastian Chwałek, the president of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ). In terms of value, this is the second largest defense contract for the Polish defense industry after the "NAREW" program.

                                                    The NAREW program was launched by the Polish Ministry of Defense to acquire new air defense systems including the CAMM short-range air defense missile systems and Piorun very short-range man-portable surface-to-air missile systems.

                                                    The integration of the American HIMARS and the South Korean Chunmoo rocket launcher pods will be led by the Polish industry in collaboration with the United States and South Korea. Citing Mariusz Błaszczak, the first K239 CHUNMOO launchers, mounted on the Jelcz trucks, will strengthen the Polish Armed Forces next year.

                                                    In November 2017, the United States Department of Defense announced that The State Department has made a determination to approve a possible Foreign Military Sale to Poland for a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) for an estimated cost of $250 million. The Government of Poland has requested to purchase sixteen (16) Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) M31A1 Unitary, nine (9) Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) M30A1 alternative warheads, sixty-one (61) Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) M57 Unitary.

                                                    Regarding the acquisition of South Korean Chunmoo MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System), on November 4, 2022, the Polish Ministry of Defense announced the signature of an agreement with South Korea to acquire 218 Chunmoo K239 MLRS.

                                                    The HIMARS is an American-made multiple rocket launcher (MLRS) developed in the late 1990s for the United States Army. The MLRS is based on a 6x6 truck chassis with a launcher station mounted at the rear of the truck. It can fire guided and unguided rockets at a maximum firing range of 70 km as well as tactical missiles at a range of up to 300 km.

                                                    The Chunmoo K239 is a multi-caliber rocket launcher vehicle manufactured by the South Korean company Hanwha Defense. It is based on an 8x8 truck chassis with a launcher station at the rear. It can fire guided and unguided rockets of 130mm, 227mm, and 239mm at a range of up to 160 km.


                                                    • China presents new SR5 MLRS rocket launcher able to launch loitering munitions

                                                      POSTED ON SATURDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 2022 19:47

                                                      At AirShow China 2022, Chinese Defense Company NORINCO displays a new version of its SR5 multi-caliber MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) which is now able to launch loitering munitions as well as different calibers of guided and unguided rockets.

                                                      The new generation of SR5 multi-caliber MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket System at AirShow china 2022. (Picture source Weibo China Social Network)

                                                      At AirShow China 2022, different types of rockets and loitering were displayed near the SR5 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System). The new version can be fitted with different types of rocket launcher pods able to fire Fire Dragon 40 122mm guided and unguided rockets, 220mm Fire Dragon 70 guided rocket (GR70), 220mm King Dragon 60 (GR1) Terminal Guided Rocket, 300mm King Dragon (GRS7) Terminal Guided Rocket, 610mm Fire Dragon 300 Guided Rocket as well as Dragon 60A and 60B loitering munition also called suicide drones.

                                                      The SR-5 MLRS was unveiled in 2012 during the Eurosatory defense exhibition in France and is now in service with China and Venezuela. The layout of the SR-5 is conventional for a modern rocket launcher vehicle and is based on 6x6 military truck chassis Taian TA5310. The rocket pod launcher is mounted at the rear of the truck chassis. It can be configured according to the mission’s requirements and to fire different types of rockets or loitering munitions.

                                                      At AirShow China 2022, the SR-5 was displayed with one launcher system fitted with two types of rocket launchers, one with twenty launcher tubes and one with six launcher tubes able to fire the Dragon 60B loitering munitions.

                                                      The SR5 rocket launcher vehicle is equipped at the rear with a traversable platform fitted with two pods of launcher tubes that can launch surface-to-surface rockets. The powered launcher station has an elevation from 0 to 60° and a maximum traverse of 70°. In the firing position, two stabilizers are lowered to the ground at the rear of the truck chassis to provide a more stable firing platform.

                                                      The SR5 is fitted with a two doors crew cab located at the front of the truck which is able to accommodate five men. At AirShow China 2022, the protection of the crew cab was increased and each window as well as the roof of the crew cab was fitted with mesh guards.

                                                      The SR5 can be ready to fire its first rockets in less than 5 minutes. Once a fire mission has been carried out, after 1 minute, the SR5 is normally redeployed to a new position to avoid any potential counter-battery fire. New rocket pods can be rapidly loaded in about five minutes using the onboard mechanical handling system fitted inside each pod of the launcher platform. Additional rockets pods are carried by reloading truck carrying a total of 4 pods. Reloading is made by the crew in less than 10 minutes.

                                                      The SR5 is now able to launch loitering munition. (Picture Weibo China Social Network).

                                                      The SR5 MLRS is able ti fire different calibers of guided and non-guided rockets as well as loitering munitions. (Picture source Weibo China Social Network)


                                                      • Algeria in talks with China to acquire SY-400 ballistic missile systems

                                                        POSTED ON FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2022 12:43

                                                        According to information published by the "Tactical Report" website on November 24, 2022, Algeria is in talks with China to acquire SY-400 Chinese-made short-range ballistic missiles.

                                                        Chinese-made TEL Transporter Erector Launcher of SY-400 ballistic missile at AirShow China 2018. (Picture source Army Recognition)

                                                        Since its independence, the Soviet Union, and later Russia, has been Algeria's chief weapons supplier, accounting for 90% of the Algerian armed forces. Until recently, Algeria imported mainly small arms from China. But this changed in the last decade because Algeria decided to diversify its imports of weaponry, turning to Germany, Turkey, Italy, South Africa, the United States, and China.

                                                        Since the 2010s, China has provided a large amount of land military equipment to Algeria including PLZ-45 155mm self-propelled howitzers, SR-5 MLRS Multiple Launch Rocket Systems as well as APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) vehicles Type-07 and WZ-502G.

                                                        The SY-400 also called DF-12 A is a mobile ballistic missile system designed and manufactured by the Chinese defense industry. It was unveiled in 2008.

                                                        The TEL (Transporter Erector Launcher) is based on 8x8 military truck chassis and has eight containers each carrying one solid-fuel missile. The missiles are launched vertically and have a firing range of about 400 km and can be equipped with different types of warheads.

                                                        The SY-400 missile is equipped with GPS/INS guidance system. It is steered to the intended target in the initial flight phase by four control surfaces and stabilizing fins. The missile uses a low lowering rate to extend the range. Multiple missiles can be aimed at different targets.


                                                        • Discover Boeing GLSDB Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb that US considering supply Ukraine

                                                          POSTED ON TUESDAY, 29 NOVEMBER 2022 19:15

                                                          The GLSDB (Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb) is a new generation of precision-guided ammunition that was jointly developed by the American company Boeing and SAAB from Sweden that can be launched from artillery systems such as the M142 HIMARS or the M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System). The bomb can reach a target at a range of 150 km with an accuracy of 1 m.
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                                                          The GLSDB Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb can destroy a target at a range of up to 150 km using the technologies of the GBU-39B SDB I aircraft bomb and the motor of the M26 rocket. (Picture source Graphic News)

                                                          The GLSDB is based on the GBU-39B SDB I bomb originally designed for launch from an aircraft using the propulsion motor of the M26 rocket which is the first major unmanned rocket projectile in the MLRS family.

                                                          The GLSDB is able to reach a target at a maximum firing range of 150 km, to increase by 50% the firing range of the standard guided rockets fired by M270 or HIMARS M142 which are now in service with the Ukrainian armed forces. It can be launched from hidden or protected rocket-launching sites to avoid detection by the enemy forces, engage targets at 360°, and is accurate to strike targets within 1 m.

                                                          The guidance system of the GLSDB includes an inertial navigation system (INS) / global positioning system (GPS) allowing guidance, navigation, and position data for the bomb. With this guidance system, the GLSDB can be used to destroy static or moving targets during the day and night and in all weather conditions.

                                                          The GLSDB has a weight of around 115 kg and is equipped with an Advanced Anti-Jam GPS System-aided Inertial Navigation System, combined with a multipurpose, penetrating blast-and-fragmentation warhead and programmable electronic fuze.

                                                          The GLSDB is fitted with an ultra-low fragmentation, carbon fiber case warhead with 57.6 kg Insensitive Munition-certified explosive fill. The bomb can be used to destroy light tactical, armored vehicles or fortifications.


                                                          • ADMk2
                                                            ADMk2 commented
                                                            Editing a comment
                                                            Why not simply use GMLRS-ER that is already qualified on HIMARS and M270 and outranges this?

                                                            This has been around for more than 7 years and has failed to attract any interest at all. Not one single order…

                                                          • unicorn11
                                                            unicorn11 commented
                                                            Editing a comment
                                                            One wonders if revelations that the US hobbled Ukrainian HIMARS to prevent them from striking outside Ukraine played a part?

                                                        • Elbit Systems

                                                          26m ·

                                                          NEWS FLASH: After signing an MoU , Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) & Elbit Systems Land and Elbit Systems Deutschland have agreed to intensify strategic cooperation. Background is the modernisation and the capability extension of the European Multiple Launch Rocket System #MLRS. KMW and Elbit have established the concept “Euro-PULS” for the next generation European Long Range Rocket Artillery as the successor system for the MLRS.

                                                          "I am confident that the Euro-PULS will provide effective and timely solution for both the operational and industrial needs of European countries. I am encouraged by the level of interest this initiative is already drawing from European and NATO countries", stated Yehuda (Udi) Vered, General Manager of Elbit Systems Land:

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                                                          • Estonia confirms the purchase of six US HIMARS rocket launchers and ammunition

                                                            POSTED ON MONDAY, 05 DECEMBER 2022 17:40

                                                            On December 2, 2022, the Director General of the Estonian State Defense Investment Center Magnus-Waldemar Saar signed an agreement with the US Defense and Security Cooperation Agency for the purchase of six American-made M142 HIMARS (MLRS) Multiple Launch Rocket Systems with ammunition including rockets and missiles.

                                                            A High Mobility Artillery Rocket System of the 1-14th Field Artillery Field Artillery Battalion moves from the firing point during a live fire exercise in the Middle East. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

                                                            On July 15, 2022, the U.S. State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Estonia of M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) and related equipment for an estimated cost of up to $500 million.

                                                            The Government of Estonia requested the United States to purchase up to six M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) Launchers as well as up to thirty-six (36) M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) Missile Pods with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion System (IMPS) and Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave – Directional Doppler Ranging (FMCW-DDR) Proximity Height-of-Burst (HOB) Sensor Capability; up to thirty-six (36) M31A2 GMLRS Unitary High Explosive (HE) Missile Pods with IMPS and FMCW-DDR Proximity HOB Sensor Capability; up to thirty-six (36) XM403 Extended Range GMLRS (ER GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) Missile Pods with IMPS and Side Mounted Proximity Sensor (SMPS) HOB Capability; up to thirty-six (36) XM404 Extended Range GMLRS (ER GMLRS) Unitary Pods with IMPS and SMPS HOB Capability; and up to eighteen (18) M57 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) Missile Pods.

                                                            Citing information from the Estonian newspaper website, this is the largest defense contract for Estonia with a total value of more than $200 million. The first delivery is expected for 2024. A total of six HIMARS rocket launcher vehicles could be delivered to Estonia.

                                                            Other Baltic States also plan to acquire American M142 HIMARS including Latvia and Lithuania.

                                                            Following the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army, the United States delivered 16 HIMARS to Ukraine which has demonstrated its high level of effectiveness against the old Soviet-made MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket Systems) which was already in service within the Ukrainian armed forces.

                                                            The HIMARS M142 is an American-made MLRS designed and manufactured by the company Lockheed Martin. The artillery system is based on a 6x6 chassis of the medium tactical vehicles (FMTV) all-wheel-drive 5t truck. The rocket/missile launcher system is mounted at the rear of the truck chassis.

                                                            The M142 HIMARS carries a single six-pack of rockets on the army's family of medium tactical vehicles (FMTV) 6x6. The HIMARS can fire the standard MLRS round, but also the entire MLRS family of munitions, including the extended-range rocket, the reduced-range practice rocket, and all future variants. It can also fire the extended-range guided rocket GMLRS, with a range of more than 70 km. It is also capable to fire a TACMS Tactical Missile with a maximum range of 300 km.


                                                            • ARHmk3
                                                              ARHmk3 commented
                                                              Editing a comment
                                                              In the mean time, Australia is still waiting... It's only been nearly a decade.

                                                          • Typhon MRC

                                                            US Army Accepts Delivery Of First Prototype MRC Battery

                                                            The US Army accepted delivery of the first prototype Mid-Range Capability (MRC) battery. The MRC provides a land-based, ground-launched system with a range between the Army’s Precision Strike Missile and the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon.

                                                            Naval News Staff 05 Dec 2022

                                                            US Army press release

                                                            Building from existing US Navy missile and launcher systems, the MRC provides a fires capability that has not existed in the US Army since the implementation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in 1987. Answering the call to the Army’s No. 1 modernization priority, Long-Range Precision Fires, the MRC can defeat a variety of mid-range targets.

                                                            “The MRC rapidly progressed from a blank piece of paper in July 2020, to the Soldiers’ hands in just over two years. The RCCTO team, as well as our joint service and industry partners, delivered this hardware so Soldiers can begin training as quickly as possible,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Rasch, Director of the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO).

                                                            Initial hardware delivery occurred with ongoing support planned through December 2022 in preparation for training to begin after the holidays. The delivery includes a complete MRC ground equipment and reload capability, which comprises a battery operations center, four launchers, prime movers, and modified trailers.

                                                            The MRC achieves operational capability in fiscal year 2023 upon completion of system testing, training, and delivery of the missiles. Delivering the ground hardware first allows the Soldiers to train on the equipment, create doctrine for the system, and develop tactics, techniques, and procedures.

                                                            The MRC Project Office works closely with the Soldiers and Sailors who benefit from this system via embedded Soldier-Sailor Centered Design Events. These events provided critical user feedback throughout the design process and ensured Soldiers and Sailors were at the center of this effort.

                                                            In executing the mid-range fires system and testing, the Army continues to work in close coordination with its joint service and agency partners.


                                                            Dino Pusinsky, Director of Next Generations Solutions for Lockheed Martin with Gary Hallinan, RCCTO’s Mid-Range Capability Project Manager. The first Mid-Range Capability battery was delivered to the U.S. Army, increasing their capability to address threats and provide support in multi-domain operations. (Lockheed Martin)

                                                            Naval News comments: About US Army MRC / Typhon

                                                            The MRC Weapon System is part of the US Army’s LRPF modernization portfolio. It is intended to hit targets at ranges between the Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) (about 300 miles maximum range) and the developmental Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) system (about 1,725 miles maximum range). The MRC Weapon System is to leverage existing SM-6 missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles—both of which are currently produced by Raytheon and used by the U.S. Navy—and modify them for ground launch by Army units.

                                                            The MRC system is also known as the “Typhon” missile system.

                                                            The USMC is also looking at land-based Tomahawk and SM-6 missiles launched from trailers:


                                                            • ADMk2
                                                              ADMk2 commented
                                                              Editing a comment
                                                              This isn’t true apparently. Magnify said it wasn’t…

                                                          • Indonesian Marines carry out gun drill with NORINCO 90B MLRS

                                                            POSTED ON FRIDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2022 10:17

                                                            In order to hone professionalism in manning weapons, soldiers of the 1st Rocket Battalion (1 Mar 1st Battalion)of the Indonesian Marines carried out gun drill exercises with the NORINCO 90B Multiple Launcher Rocket System (MLRS) which took place at the 1st Yonroket Apple Field, Kesatrian Marines Baroto Sardadi Marunda, North Jakarta, Defense Studies reports.

                                                            Norinco Type 90B Indonesian Navy Marine Corps (Picture source: Airspace Review/Indonesian Marine Corps)

                                                            Training took place under the leadership of Marine Lt. Martin Safari as Trainer and Training Battery Officer (Parai).

                                                            Type 90B is the second generation of Type 90 series MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) of 122mm caliber. The weapon system is designed and manufactured by the Chinese Defense company NORINCO. The first version of Type 90 MLRS was unveiled in the mid-1990s, followed by Type 90B in 2004.

                                                            The 122 mm Type 90B multiple launch rocket system is a mobile fire support system for the destruction of a variety of targets by means of multiple barrages of up to 40 rockets fired in salvo. The Type 90B is able to be in combat position, fire and leave its firing position in less than 7 minutes. The Type 90B is fully operational with the Peruvian army: in 2013, Peru ordered 27 Type 90B MLRS to China that were delivered in 2015. The Indonesian Marine Corps also operates this artillery system.

                                                            The PLA developed the Type 81 122mm 40-tube multiple launch rocket system based on the Soviet BM-21 ‘Grad’ in the early 1980s. In the mid-1990s NORINCO revealed a new 122mm rocket system design known as Type 90. The biggest difference on the Type 90 is the reload pack carrying 40 spare rockets, which can reload the rocket launcher within 3 minutes after the first launch, providing additional firepower with quick turnarounds. The launcher is mounted on the improved North-Benz 2629 6X6 truck, which possesses better performance compared to the Yan’an SX2150 truck used by the Type 81.

                                                            The Type 90 is also supported by a large formation of ground equipment including a battery command truck, rocket reloading trucks, reconnaissance APC, meteorological radar, and maintenance vehicles. Greater firing accuracy is ensured by the use of a computerised fire-control system integrated with GPS on the improved Type 90B. The weapon system could deliver intensive firepower over a distance of 40km within a very short period. The weapon was designed to engage large area targets such as armour formation, airport, weapon storages, etc. NORINCO has developed a range of warheads for different purposes.

                                                            The Type 90 fires 122mm fin-stabilized free rockets to a minimum range of 10~12km and a maximum range of 20~40km depending on the rocket type. The combination of spin- and fin-stabilization ensures closely grouped fire. The rocket can deliver High-Explosive (HE), High-Explosive Fragmentation (HE-FRAG), High-Explosive Incendiary (HEI), anti-tank/anti-personnel submunitions, and mind-laying warheads of 18.3~22kg at a standard range, or 26-28kg at reduced range. These rockets could also be launched from the older Type 81 rocket system.

                                                            - Type 90: standard version
                                                            - Type 90A: able to fire unguided rockets, new computerized fire control, command post can lay and control Type 90A launchers units by remote control.


                                                            • Lithuania signs contract with US to purchase 8 M142 HIMARS rocket launchers

                                                              POSTED ON FRIDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2022 16:27

                                                              According to information published on the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense Twitter account on December 16, 2022, Lithuania signed a contract with the United States to purchase 8 American-made M142 HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) as well as rockets and missiles.

                                                              A U.S. Army Soldier from A Battery, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Multi Domain Task Force, conducts training on Pohakuloa Training Grounds, Hawaii, Nov. 4, 2022. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

                                                              On November 9, 2022, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced a Foreign Military Sale for the Government of Lithuania of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) Launchers and related equipment for an estimated cost of $495 million.

                                                              The Government of Lithuania requested to buy eight M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) Launchers as well as thirty-six (36) M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) Missile Pods with Insensitive Munitions Propulsion System (IMPS), thirty-six (36) M31A2 GMLRS Unitary High Explosive (HE) Missile Pods, thirty-six (36) XM403 Extended Range GMLRS (ER GMLRS) Alternative Warhead (AW) Missile Pods with IMPS, thirty-six (36) XM404 Extended Range GMLRS (ER GMLRS) Unitary Pods with IMPS and eighteen (18) M57 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) Missile Pods.

                                                              The HIMARS M142 is an American-made MLRS designed and manufactured by the company Lockheed Martin. The artillery system is based on a 6x6 chassis of the medium tactical vehicles (FMTV) all-wheel-drive 5t truck. The rocket/missile launcher system is mounted at the rear of the truck chassis.

                                                              The M142 HIMARS carries a single six-pack of rockets on the army's family of medium tactical vehicles (FMTV) 6x6. The HIMARS can fire the standard MLRS round, but also the entire MLRS family of munitions, including the extended-range rocket, the reduced-range practice rocket, and all future variants. It can also fire the extended-range guided rocket GMLRS, with a range of more than 70 km. It is also capable to fire a TACMS Tactical Missile with a maximum range of 300 km.


                                                              • unicorn11
                                                                unicorn11 commented
                                                                Editing a comment
                                                                I think Australia's chances of getting HIMARS before 2030 is pretty much nil, after everyone else's orders, including that massive Polish order for 500.

                                                              • Bug2
                                                                Bug2 commented
                                                                Editing a comment
                                                                The Polish order has been reduced to 200 or so, that's the reason why they have ordered 300 x Korean MLRS as well..............

                                                                Unfortunately, the Korean MLRS does not fire HIMARS rockets or use their pods, so zilch compatibility.

                                                              • ARHmk3
                                                                ARHmk3 commented
                                                                Editing a comment
                                                                There's always the option of local build, which, granted, isn't going to be much faster anyway. Until PrSM enters service in its extended range version, Australia isn't really in a position to make best use of HIMARS in any rate. I suspect the army is holding out until the missile becomes available.

                                                            • Lithuania signs $495 million deal to buy HIMARS, ATACMs

                                                              By Joe Gould

                                                              Dec 17, 02:54 AM

                                                              US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin shakes hands with Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas at the Pentagon on Dec. 15, 2022, as the two countries finalized a deal for US-made advanced rocket launchers and ammunition. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

                                                              WASHINGTON ― Lithuania and the U.S. government have finalized a $495 million deal for as many as eight M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, the Lithuanian government announced Friday.

                                                              The deal includes Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, which have a range of 300 kilometers, and other ammunition. A State Department notice last month said several dozen Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, and variants of them, would be included.

                                                              The deal was finalized as Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas met with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and other U.S. officials in Washington this week. According to a U.S. readout, Austin hailed Lithuania’s “robust defense spending” and investments in new capabilities like HIMARS.

                                                              Anušauskas told Defense News in an interview that the system will be a division-level asset for Lithuania, and that it was important that its Baltic neighbors Latvia, Estonia will also be buying them. Still, because the three countries and Poland will all have placed orders, it’s expected to stretch Lockheed Martin’s ability to build them.

                                                              “As far as I know, industry has doubled its pace in producing HIMARS and ammunition,” Anušauskas said. “But in terms of orders, we’re also looking at Poland also ordering them, so the waiting list is rather long.”

                                                              Anušauskas said deliveries would begin in 2024 and conclude in 2025 for Estonia, and begin in 2025 and conclude in 2026 for Lithuania. A U.S-Latvia deal for the systems is expected to be finalized next year.

                                                              Future talks between the U.S. and Lithuania will focus on HIMARS integration, to include personnel training and maintenance.

                                                              As part of U.S. plans to enhance the military presence in the Baltics, defense officials are “transitioning the episodic deployments of an armored battalion-sized element and field artillery battery to a persistent rotational presence,” the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius announced earlier this month.

                                                              Lithuania earlier this year decided to expand its military budget by some €148 million ($157 million), paving the way for the purchase of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to replace M113 armored personnel carriers it sent to Ukraine.​


                                                              • ADMk2
                                                                ADMk2 commented
                                                                Editing a comment
                                                                Meanwhile we have “reviewed” everything since 2013 or so when Army first put it’s business case together to acquire HIMARS and we are STILL waiting for the go ahead from Government…

                                                            • Northrop Grumman assumes full GMLRS rocket motor production for Lockheed Martin

                                                              POSTED ON MONDAY, 09 JANUARY 2023 16:18

                                                              Northrop Grumman will assume the production of rocket motors for the U.S. Army’s Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), fulfilling the full contract production quantity. The company recently delivered its 15,000th rocket motor and 20,000th warhead to Lockheed Martin for final assembly.

                                                              Firing of a GMLRS rocket by an M270 MLRS (Picture source: courtesy photo, Program Executive Office Missiles and Space)

                                                              “We are proactively investing in production facilities and technologies in support of producing even higher rates of rocket motors faster and more affordably to meet our customer’s anticipated demand,” said Jim Kalberer, vice president of missile products, Northrop Grumman. “We are leveraging our capacity and modern manufacturing facilities to deliver critical military needs.”

                                                              The propulsion system, once delivered to Lockheed Martin’s Camden, Arkansas, final assembly facility, will be integrated into GMLRS missiles – a ballistic rocket designed to engage targets from 15 to 70 kilometers. Northrop Grumman's safety-enhancing insensitive munition provides the system structural integrity under extreme conditions such as heat, shock and adjacent detonations. The ignition safety device further improves the weapon system’s safety characteristics by preventing unwanted combustion.

                                                              “Northrop Grumman is a trusted supplier of GMLRS rocket motors with robust manufacturing capacity to meet the demands of our customer,” said Jay Price, vice president of Precision Fires for Lockheed Martin.

                                                              Northrop Grumman designed and constructed a purpose-built manufacturing facility at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket Center, W. Va., using lean manufacturing and digital engineering techniques which enables a robust and resilient Defense Industrial Base. The facility provides for the efficient design, development and production of this critical weapon system component.


                                                              • Myanmar army Tatmadaw unveils MAM-03 MLRS Multiple Rocket Launcher System

                                                                POSTED ON TUESDAY, 10 JANUARY 2023 11:23

                                                                The commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Burma's Independence on 4 January 2023 (Burma was renamed Myanmar on 18 June 1989 by the ruling military junta) was held in Nay Pyi Taw (the official capital city, Rangoon/Yangon remaining the economic capital) in the presence of the Chairman of the State Administration Council (SAC) and the Supreme Commander of the Burmese Armed Forces Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. Defense Studies reports.

                                                                MAM-03 and MAM-01 Multiple Rocket Launchers (Picture source: MRTV)
                                                                Myanmar Army's (Tatmadaw Kyi) land parade revealed what is likely to be two new weapons: the MAM-03 wheeled multiple rocket launcher and the MMT-40 light tank developed by the Myanmar Army, Department of Defense Industries (DI: Directorate of Defense Industries). The MLRS is now referred to among military analysts as the MAM-03, a new multiple rocket launcher system developed from the 122mm MAM-01. The 240mm MAM-02 was previously in service, Defense Studies recalls. The MAM-03 system has a four-tube 300mm rocket launcher which is understood to be similar to the Chinese WS-1B multiple rocket launcher mounted on a Chinese 6x6 chassis, which is easy to understand, as China is the major military equipment supplier of Tatmadaw.

                                                                The A100 family of surface-to-surface rockets developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) is based on the WS-1 family of systems developed by China National Precision Machinery Corporation (CPMIEC), a state-owned rocket and weapons company, lead the Chinese way. The 300mm A300 surface-to-surface missile has a range of up to 290km, is equipped with a 150kg warhead and is guided by GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and INS (Inertial Navigation System) satellites with a Circular Error Probability (CEP) of 30-45m.

                                                                MAM-03 Multiple Rocket Launcher (Picture source: MizzimaTV)


                                                                • It appears the French are looking at acquiring HIMARS to replace the units they gave to the Ukraine.

                                                                  No statement on number of HIMARS, but would think 6-12 a possibility. Obviously, they'll be interested in all of the new long range missiles coming up.


                                                                  • Bug22
                                                                    Bug22 commented
                                                                    Editing a comment

                                                                    Gabriele Molinelli
                                                                    Not first time HIMARS for France has resurfaced as of late. France has a tiny number of M270 operational and might just replace them rather than try to re-build that fleet. In the case, the UK would gladly buy those M270s, having decided to expand its fleet of the type instead.

                                                                • Belarus army starts self-operating Iskander missile launchers received from Russia

                                                                  POSTED ON THURSDAY, 02 FEBRUARY 2023 10:15

                                                                  The Belarussian armed forces have started independent use of the Iskander missile systems received from Russia, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said: “Belarussian servicemen have started fully independent operation of the Iskander tactical missile system”. “Belarussian servicemen underwent training in the Russian Federation. After completing their theory course, the artillerymen underwent hands-on training on Belarusian military grounds.”

                                                                  9P78-1 TEL (Transporter, Erector and Launcher) of 9K720 Iskander-M SRBM system with 9M723K5 missile displayed at Armya 2016 defense forum near Kubinka (Picture source: Wikipedia/Vitaly Kuzmin)

                                                                  The Belarusian crews of Iskander include only officers, ensigns and professional soldiers. Chief of the missile and artillery department of the Belarussian General Headquarters Ruslan Chekhov said the troops have sufficient Iskander missiles: “The Republic of Belarus has sufficient stocks of missiles to the complex to fulfil any mission”.

                                                                  In late December 2022, the head of the Belarussian Defense Ministry’s ideological education department Leonid Kasinsky announced that Belarussian servicemen operating Iskander systems and S-400 air defense systems underwent training at joint Russian-Belarusian military training centers.

                                                                  The 9K720 Iskander (NATO reporting name: SS-26 Stone) is a mobile short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) system. It flies at a terminal hypersonic speed of 2,100–2,600 m/s (Mach 6–7) and can reach an altitude of 50 km, with a range of up to 500km. The missile system was intended to replace the obsolete OTR-21 Tochka systems by 2020 in the Russian military; however, Tochka usage has been observed in Ukraine in 2022, despite denials to the contrary from the Russian government.

                                                                  The Iskander has several different conventional warheads, including a cluster munitions warhead, a fuel–air explosive enhanced-blast warhead, a high-explosive fragmentation warhead, an earth penetrator for bunker busting and an electromagnetic pulse device for anti-radar missions. The missile can also carry nuclear warheads. In September 2017, the KB Mashinostroyeniya (KBM) general designer Valery M. Kashin said that there were at least seven types of missiles (and "perhaps more") for Iskander, including one cruise missile.


                                                                  • Gabriele Molinelli
                                                                    US Approval for Polish rocket mega-program, although actual purchase now will not be this large due to acquisition of korean K239 Chunmoo instead. Authorization covers another 18 complete HIMARS and 468 (!) launcher-loader modules, for installation on Polish Jelcz 6x6 trucks.


                                                                    Gabriele Molinelli
                                                                    As for ammo, uthorization includes 45 ATACMS unitary warhead (M57); 461 pods with Alternative Warhead for area attack; 521 pods of Unitary Warhead rockets (each pod is of course 6 rockets) and 532 pod of the new Extended Range with Alternative Warhead.​


                                                                    • ADMk2
                                                                      ADMk2 commented
                                                                      Editing a comment
                                                                      About 10,000 plus rockets, all told…

                                                                    • unicorn11
                                                                      unicorn11 commented
                                                                      Editing a comment
                                                                      That's why I asked about HIMARS being fitted to the US truck, or to an Australian Army vehicle, as it seems platform agnostic. Seems strange to run an orphan fleet just for the HIMARS.

                                                                  • US clears Poland to buy HIMARS, ATACMS, ammunition worth $10 billion

                                                                    By Joe Gould

                                                                    Feb 8, 06:21 AM

                                                                    In this May 23, 2011, file photo a launch truck fires the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) produced by Lockheed Martin during combat training in the high desert of the Yakima Training Center, Wash. (Tony Overman/The Olympian via AP)

                                                                    WASHINGTON ― The U.S. State Department has approved Poland to buy advanced rockets and rocket launchers worth $10 billion, marking the latest such order from Eastern European allies in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

                                                                    The proposed order covers 18 M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, launchers and 468 launcher-loader module kits. Also include are 45 M57 Army Tactical Missile Systems, known as ATACMS, and hundreds of guided multiple launch rocket and warheads variants, according to an announcement Tuesday.

                                                                    The Lockheed Martin-made weapons have made headlines in recent months as Ukraine has put the U.S.-supplied rockets to use against Russian forces. Since the first systems arrived in June, they have been credited as helping Ukrainian forces recapture territory around Kherson.

                                                                    “This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO Ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announcement reads.

                                                                    The sale “will improve Poland’s military goals of updating capability while further enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allies,” it adds. “Poland intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces and expand its capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats.”

                                                                    The proposed sale includes 532 XM403 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Extended Range Alternative Warheads ― and 461 M30A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warhead GMLRS-AW pods and 521 M31A2 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Unitary weapons, each with the Insensitive Munitions Propulsion System.

                                                                    While Congress has the authority to block the sale, it’s expected to pass smoothly through Capitol Hill.

                                                                    Warsaw in May announced it was seeking 500 HIMARS launchers for more than 80 batteries. Those systems would be produced by Poland-based factories, and Warsaw aims to ensure the weapons’ integration with the Polish battlefield management system.

                                                                    Poland has sought to purchase HIMARS since before Russia invaded Ukraine, as Warsaw undertakes a military-wide transition to modern Western equipment. It’s split some important buys between the U.S. and South Korea, including 288 K239 Chunmoo multiple-rocket launchers and K-2 tanks.

                                                                    Lithuania, after Latvia and Estonia, became the latest Baltic nation to ink a deal with the U.S. for HIMARS. It announced in December it had agreed to buy HIMARS and ATACMS worth $495 million.

                                                                    With reporting by Jaroslaw Adamowski.


                                                                    • Australia’s Black Sky tests long-range missile prototype

                                                                      By APDR Staff


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                                                                      Australian rocket company Black Sky Aerospace (BSA) has successfully launched a prototype long-range missile from the back of a privately owned Mercedes Benz Unimog. The 3.7 meter long, 229mm diameter TM229 “Cyclone” training missile was fired remotely from a custom weapon pod, all of which were manufactured in Australia, and mounted on the back of an ex-Army truck. The launch took place on what is believed to be the largest private launch range in the world; Black Sky’s 3-million-acre site in the southwestern Queensland outback.

                                                                      CEO Blake Nikolic said the product was the next step in a development that had taken just six months to go from idea to this latest and largest launch, progressing sovereign Australian capability. “As we wait for announcements about Australia’s future sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordinance (GWEO) Enterprise, it’s important that home-grown businesses don’t stay idle,” Nikolic said. “BSA is developing, refining and perfecting its capabilities to respond to Government announcements on GWEO so there are local options available to produce these vital defence capabilities,” he said. “As the first firing, this was about testing the system, the launch and the design of the missile, and we were able to gather valuable data for future launches. The hardware, launch pod, avionics, propellant, rocket motor and nozzle were all manufactured in Australia, by Australians. This is a great advancement for sovereign missile development, with huge export opportunities.”

                                                                      The training missile is designed to simulate the experience of firing much more sophisticated and expensive missiles so trainees can gain live fire qualifications at significantly reduced cost. “This missile can provide a sovereign, cost effective, rapidly deployable training rocket that could align with Australia’s and allies plans for long range fires,” Nikolic said. “BSA will continue development work on its suite of products, all fully conceived, designed, manufactured and tested in Australia.”


                                                                      • unicorn11
                                                                        unicorn11 commented
                                                                        Editing a comment
                                                                        That makes a little more sense, not as a HIMASRS competitor, but as a HIMARS training aid.

                                                                    • IDEX NEWS: How Does Russia’s Newest MRLS Stack Up Against HIMARS?


                                                                      By Mikayla Easley

                                                                      Rostec photo

                                                                      ABU DHABI — Russia is showing off its newest military technologies to potential customers at the Middle East’s largest defense trade show this week, including the country’s latest guided multiple rocket launcher system.

                                                                      Russian state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec displayed a model of the Tornado-S multiple launch rocket system, or MLRS, and accompanying projectiles during the International Defence Exhibition in Abu Dhabi. The platform is part of a family of systems developed by NPO Slav for the Russian army.

                                                                      The organization touted the control system unit of the Tornado-S, which allows users to program multiple guided rockets within a single salvo to strike various targets. A statement from Rostec highlighted the system’s improved range and effectiveness when compared to the Soviet-made BM-30 Smerch MRLS it is replacing.

                                                                      “The precision-strike rockets have an effective range of over 100 km and the fire accuracy of Tornado-S projectiles is 15-20 times higher than that of the munitions used by the Smerch predecessor,” Rostec said in a statement.

                                                                      Scott Boston, a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corp. who studies land warfare and Russian military capabilities, noted that the Tornado-S is outwardly similar to the United States Army’s M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System made by Lockheed Martin — currently being used by Ukrainians to fend off Russian forces.

                                                                      As a newer platform that evolved from the Smerch system, “Tornado-S has some important upgrades to its fire control and it can fire a more modern suite of rockets,” Boston said in an email.

                                                                      HIMARS is built off of a medium tactical truck, Russia’s platforms are built off heavier trucks that can carry twice as many rockets as HIMARS, he noted. In addition, the 300 mm rockets Russia fires from Tornado-S are much larger than today’s guided multiple rocket launcher systems or older multiple rocket launcher systems, he said.

                                                                      In addition, “Smerch and Tornado-S both have a tube-based rocket that is reloaded individually with a specialized vehicle,” Boston noted. “HIMARS (and MLRS for that matter) is reloaded much more quickly because it reloads an entire pod of six rockets at one time.”

                                                                      He added that the pod-based reloading system also allows users to fire other munitions, like the Army’s Tactical Missile System or the upcoming Precision Strike Missile.

                                                                      Although the Russians have used Tornado-S during its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, “despite them talking up its capabilities it certainly hasn’t changed the tide of the war in the way the introduction of HIMARS did last summer,” Patrick Bury, senior lecturer at the University of Bath specializing in warfare and counter-terrorism, said in an email.

                                                                      The United States began supplying HIMARS to Ukraine in June 2022, and the platform’s extended ranges have since given Ukraine momentum in the war. In total, the United States has sent 20 HIMARS to Ukraine as part of various military assistance packages.

                                                                      Because both Tornado-S and HIMARS use multiple types of munitions that can cover varying ranges, Russia’s platform could outrange HIMARS rockets, Bury said.

                                                                      “But as a much newer system it is not as proven as HIMARS either,” he added.

                                                                      Boston noted that Russia may not have a significant amount of the newer Tornado-S available yet, but the older rockets from both sides are still proving capable.

                                                                      “Tornado-S is probably one of the systems we would have been most concerned about, and although I have no doubt they have been used, Ukraine has not been publicly showing the battlefield effects of these weapons,” he said, noting that is likely to prevent Russians from knowing if their attacks are working as intended.


                                                                      • China’s missile program is a wake-up call to the nation

                                                                        China’s PLA is the world leader in developing anti-ship ballistic missiles. Trying to change Beijing’s calculus should be a high priority in Canberra.

                                                                        By DAVID KILCULLEN

                                                                        Anti-ship ballistic missiles are a class of medium or intermediate-range ballistic missiles pioneered by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the world leader in developing them. A US intelligence assessment in 2017 noted: “China continues to have the most active and diverse ballistic missile development program in the world. It is developing and testing offensive missiles, forming additional missile units, qualitatively upgrading missile systems, and developing methods to counter ballistic missile defences.”

                                                                        In the years since, PLA programs have only accelerated: China now has hypersonic missiles (which travel five to 10 times the speed of sound, making them extraordinarily hard to intercept) and hypersonic glide vehicles (space shuttle-like warheads accelerated to hypersonic speed by a ballistic missile, which can orbit the planet and re-enter the atmosphere to strike a target anywhere on Earth). The PLA is building missile launch complexes – hectare upon hectare of subterranean silos – in China’s western desert, and constructing replicas of US ships as mobile targets.

                                                                        As the name suggests, anti-ship ballistic missiles are designed to destroy surface warships, though they can also target fixed locations, such as ports, air bases and, under certain circumstances, submarines. Chinese systems are land-based and road-mobile. Like other ballistic missiles, ASBMs follow a parabolic path, passing briefly through space before descending to their targets. In 2020 China claimed its ASBMs – the most advanced on the planet – had demonstrated the ability to manoeuvre during descent (avoiding missile defences) and then strike a moving target at sea.

                                                                        China’s two principal ASBMs are the DF-26, with a range of at least 4000km, and the DF-21D, which can strike targets at 1685km. Even with non-nuclear payloads, ASBMs are sufficient to sink major fleet units, including big-deck amphibious ships (such as HMAS Canberra or Adelaide) or aircraft carriers, hence their nickname, “carrier-killers”.

                                                                        ASBMs matter because of their potential placement in our region.​

                                                                        The Rocket Force under the Eastern Theatre Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts conventional missile tests into the waters off the eastern coast of Taiwan in August. The Rocket Force under the Eastern Theatre Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts conventional missile tests into the waters off the eastern coast of Taiwan in August.

                                                                        When China’s security agreement with Solomon Islands was revealed in April last year, it prompted much discussion about spheres of influence, introspection about Australia’s colonial legacy in the Pacific and debate about China’s ambitions in the region. In July, under pressure from Australia and others, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare ruled out a permanent Chinese military base in the country.

                                                                        The cancellation of a Chinese company’s attempt to lease the island of Tulagi, whose harbour makes it an attractive naval base, reduced tension, but a different Chinese company is still pursuing plans to purchase an airstrip and deep-water port at Kolombangara, in the New Georgia group of the northwest Solomons. Chinese advisers have deployed to train Solomon Islands security forces, and the emergence of the Southwest Pacific as a zone of great-power competition remains of concern in Canberra.

                                                                        China’s ties with Solomon Islands – and other Pacific states – must be understood through the lens of the PLA’s long-range mis­sile capability. To be clear, there is currently no public evidence that Beijing intends to place ASBMs at any of China’s offshore bases or in Chinese-controlled ports across the Indo-Pacific, let alone in the Solomons. But from a military standpoint, strategists understand future threats by analysing capability (which takes years to build) rather than intent (which can change in an instant).

                                                                        Consider the precedent of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. In March 2015, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying insisted Beijing’s intentions in the islands were peaceful, seeking merely to fulfil China’s international obligations in areas such as maritime search and rescue. Six months later, during a press conference with Barack Obama, Xi Jinping acknowledged that the PLA was building runways and living facilities in the Spratlys but claimed “China does not intend to pursue militarisation”.

                                                                        These soothing statements were abruptly walked back in 2016 after the discovery of radars and missile emplacements on the islands. By 2018, the PLA had stationed surface-to-air missiles in the Spratlys, along with cruise missiles able to strike ships 545km away, and was staging nuclear-capable H-6 strategic bombers through the islands. Chinese intentions, in other words, were peaceful – until they weren’t.

                                                                        Military vehicles carrying DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles march past the Tiananmen Rostrum during the military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in Beijing. Military vehicles carrying DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles march past the Tiananmen Rostrum during the military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in Beijing.

                                                                        Beijing’s record of deception and obfuscation in the Spratlys (and elsewhere) suggests capability, rather than stated intent, must guide any threat assessment, esp­eci­ally when it comes to long-range strike assets such as ASBMs. Maps showing the ranges of PLA missiles often portray them as if measured from the outermost edge of mainland Chinese territory; on such maps, the DF-21D’s range appears to extend to northeastern Borneo, while the DF-26 reaches northwestern Papua New Guinea and falls just short of Darwin.

                                                                        This is unrealistic, of course: the PLA does not deploy missile units right on China’s borders. A more accurate depiction (based on the location of the PLA Rocket Force’s first DF-26 unit, thought to be based in Henan Province) gives a range that reaches Borneo and brushes the Vogelkop on the northwestern tip of Indonesia’s Irian Jaya province.

                                                                        But ASBMs are not constrained to mainland China. Both launchers and missiles can be shipped in the vehicle deck of a car ferry or amphibious ship. Transported by sea, they could be placed on any Chinese-controlled island or at any of the ports and naval bases China owns or is building across the Indo-Pacific.

                                                                        These include the harbour at Hambantota in Sri Lanka, the naval base under construction at Ream in Cambodia, the port of Gwadar in Pakistan and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, all of which are Chinese-controlled, while two (Djibouti and Ream) are PLA bases or shared facilities.

                                                                        Obviously enough, a Chinese base in Solomon Islands could serve the same purpose. Forward positioning could occur openly, or covertly with support from “denial and deception” activities, as during the Soviet deployment of medium-range nuclear missiles by cargo ship to Cuba in 1962.

                                                                        The PLA has the ability to ship missiles to any Chinese-controlled port facility, then operate them from container-based launchers or from a truck-like system (called a transporter-erector-launcher), with or without the knowledge of the government concerned. A pre-developed pattern of “lily pads” – a network of regional sites set up to receive missiles and launchers when needed – would enable rapid deployment of ASBMs in a crisis or conflict.

                                                                        The impact of even potential placement of ASBMs would be almost as significant as their actual deployment. The impact of even potential placement of ASBMs would be almost as significant as their actual deployment.

                                                                        If Solomon Islands became part of a Chinese lily-pad network, the implications would be profound. DF-26s in the Solomons could strike ships anywhere west of Fiji or Tuvalu, south of the Marshall Islands, north of Brisbane, or east of Wewak, in PNG. They could prevent ships leaving Cairns, Townsville and Brisbane, block transit through the Torres Strait, interdict export terminals in Queensland and NSW, and deny movement around Vanuatu, Nauru and New Caledonia.

                                                                        Shipping routes connecting Australia and New Zealand with Asia and the US – which pass through the Solomon Sea, between New Ireland and Bougainville, carrying much of our maritime trade – would be threatened. Australia’s energy imports, critical to every aspect of national life, would be severely impacted, while our ability to protect fibre-optic cables and other offshore infrastructure would be hampered, since naval forces would need to avoid the PLA’s missile bubble.

                                                                        Such a “sea denial” strategy, employing a web of land-based ASBMs overlaid with cruise missiles, bombers, submarines and surface warships, is exactly the approach China is taking in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait. Described recently as an “anti-Navy”, it has changed Washington’s entire risk calculus for deploying naval forces into the region. Naval commanders are now much more cautious about risking fleet units in the area, while analysts, for the first time this year, assessed the US military’s ability to perform assigned tasks in the Western Pacific as “weak”.

                                                                        If China applied the same approach off Australia’s northeast coast, this would severely limit Washington’s appetite to assist us in a crisis. In extremis, it could block American or allied reinforcements in a major war, leaving Australia isolated unless we develop the capacity to neutralise it – or, far better, prevent the PLA from putting it into practice.

                                                                        The impact of even potential placement of ASBMs would be almost as significant as their actual deployment. Merely by creating a sustained presence in the Solomons (say, under the guise of ongoing security assistance) and then resupplying deployed troops with vessels capable of carrying containerised missiles, China would send an important message. The PLA would, in effect, be demonstrating the capacity to interdict maritime movement across an enormous area, excluding American and Australian naval forces from Southwest Pacific. Communicating that capability would allow Beijing to call the shots across the region in political, economic and diplomatic terms. All this suggests that changing China’s calculus should be a high priority in Canberra.

                                                                        At the strategic level, the tactical and operational implications of Chinese ASBMs are concerning. As far as China is concerned, American strategic ambiguity on Taiwan increasingly looks as if it masks uncertainty, while economic sanctions and technology restrictions (particularly on semiconductors and critical commodities) risk backing Beijing into a corner. US Navy commanders openly talk of a danger window, starting this year and running until 2027, when China will be in the strongest position it will ever reach, relative to the US, and may be tempted to move against Taiwan – an action that would almost certainly provoke a wider war in the Pacific, drawing Australia in.

                                                                        Australian leaders of all parties would do well to consider the risks involved in continuing to tie Australia so tightly to an alliance partner that is clearly in relative, if not absolute, decline. This does not imply walking away from ANZUS, let alone attempting to play both sides or position ourselves as neutral in a future conflict. After everything that has happened in our relationship with China, this would be unlikely to work, while telegraphing weakness that might only provoke an attack. Rather than rejecting the US alliance, Australian strategists should be realistic about its limits.

                                                                        In a crisis over Taiwan, it is entirely possible that Washington might back down from a confrontation. Even if the US were to fight China and win, Australia would likely suffer heavily. And if US forces fought and were defeated, the impact would be even worse.

                                                                        In any of these cases, Chinese ASBMs in Southwest Pacific – cutting us off from reinforcement and resupply, blockading critical commodities, interdicting our seaborne trade – would pose an existential threat. In May 1942 the US Navy, along with Australian warships and land-based aircraft operating from Townsville, defeated a Japanese invasion fleet in the Battle of the Coral Sea, buying time for Australia to mobilise against the Japanese onslaught and allowing the US to deploy forces to Australia and, in time, mount a counterthrust.

                                                                        In a future Pacific war, such a battle might never take place if ASBMs had already been pre-positioned in the region. Any battle would involve heavy losses with limited chance of success: US commanders might refuse to risk scarce, critical national assets such as aircraft carriers under those conditions. Even if the US were only temporarily neutralised in the initial phase of a conflict with China, a PLA missile bubble in the Southwest Pacific would mean Australia might need to survive unaided for a considerable time, perhaps years. This perhaps sounds alarmist, but unless Australians understand the stakes, we run the risk of missing the urgency of the problem. Prevention is critical: retaking a regional lily pad, once ASBMs were established, would require the entire ADF and, even with US help, we would likely suffer casualties on a scale unprecedented since 1945.

                                                                        Nor can we rely on Washington to rescue us – whether American leaders want to help or not, their capacity to do so is clearly declining. Instead, we need to engage partners, now, to develop regional deterrence and a cost-imposition strategy. This alone would not solve the problem but it might buy time for urgently needed military modernisation (including theatre missile defences, our own long-range strike assets, the ability to project joint forces into the region and a capability for stealthy distributed operations).

                                                                        It would also buy time to improve national resilience across the board, an effort that is crucial given the sharply increasing likelihood of conflict between our most important trading partner and our traditional military and political ally. Seen in this light, China’s pact with Solomon Islands is not simply a matter of economic and political influence but also a matter of firepower, missile ranges and hard-power logic. Given the risks involved, it ought to be a wake-up call for Australia.

                                                                        This is an edited extract from David Kilcullen’s article Wake-Up Call in Australian Foreign Affairs. Out Monday.

                                                                        It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
                                                                        It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
                                                                        It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.