November 3, 2015: Strategy Page
South Korea recently sold a hundred of its locally designed and made K9 155mm self-propelled howitzers to India for about $7.5 million each. South Korea has already sold 350 K9s to Turkey and 120 to Poland. While superficially similar to the American M109 the K9 is a heaver (46 tons versus 28 for the M109), carries more ammo and has twice the range (up to 56 kilometers in part because of a barrel that is a third longer). There is more automation on the K9, so it has a crew of five versus six on the M-109. South Korea thus joins Germany in their effort to build a suitable replacement for the elderly M109 design. To get the Indian sale South Korea had to agree to have the K9s assembled in India from South Korean components. This sale gives South Korea an edge in obtaining an even larger contract to supply India with several thousand towed 155mm howitzers. Because of corruption and political problems the Indian Army has not been able to buy any new artillery since the 1980s. The chief competitor for the Indian contract was Russia which offered its similar 42 ton 2S19. The K-9 won on the basis of technical capabilities, field tests and a South Korean reputation for quality and reliability.
The K9 and 2S19 are examples of the kind of system the United States sought to build to replace its 1960s era M109. The United States sought to build the 56 ton Crusader to replace the M109s. Crusader was very similar to the K9 but was too complex and expensive and the heavier weight was seen as a disadvantage for a country that has to ship its armored vehicles overseas to use them. For South Korea, Turkey and Poland that is not a problem and more heft (and protection for the crew) is an advantage.
One American innovation K9 users will probably adopt is the GPS guided Excalibur shell. This smart shell entered service in 2008 and changed everything. Excalibur has worked very well in combat, and this is radically changing the way artillery operates. Excalibur means 80-90 percent less ammo has to be fired to destroy a target and this results in less wear and tear on SP artillery, less time needed for maintenance, and less time spent replenishing ammo supplies and more time being ready for action.
Because of Excalibur (and other precision munitions) since 2001 operations in Iraq and Afghanistan provided very little work for the M109. The lighter, towed, M777 has proved more useful, especially when using the Excalibur shell. Currently, the army plans to keep newly upgraded versions of the M109 around until 2050. The army plans to acquire at least 551 upgraded M-109s by 2027, reflecting the impact of the Excalibur shell, and the number of older M109s that are still fit for service. The M109 was a solid design, which is pretty clear from how difficult it's been to come up with a replacement. So, in the end, the army replaced the M109 with another M109 upgrade and is still seeking a replacement for that.
November 4, 2015: Strategy Page
Israel is offering for sale a laser weapon that can shoot down artillery and mortar shells as well as rockets and small UAVs. Called Iron Beam it has a range of 2,000 meters and is expected to enter service in Israel by the end of 2015. There is a lot of action on Israeli borders for a system like Iron Beam and it will soon become evident if Iron Beam is the first effective laser air defense weapon or not.
Each Iron Beam firing unit consists of a radar and control system and two lasers. These three elements can be stationary or mounted (and used) in trucks. This is the first C-RAM (counter-rockets, artillery and mortars) system using lasers to be offered for sale. There have been several attempts to develop systems like this since the 1990s but this one is the first to actually hit the market.
The first non-laser system similar to Iron Beam was developed by the United States in 2006. This was a C-RAM version of the Phalanx ship-mounted missile defense system. The C-RAM Phalanx was intended to protect large bases in Iraq and Afghanistan from mortar and rocket attack. The original Phalanx was a 20mm cannon designed to defend American warships against anti-ship missiles. Phalanx does this by using a radar that immediately starts firing at any incoming missile it detects. The C-RAM Phalanx system has its software modified to detect smaller objects (like 82mm mortar shells). This capability came about when it was discovered that the original Phalanx could take out incoming 155mm artillery shells. This capability is what led to the 2006 C-RAM Phalanx.
The first C-RAM was sent to Iraq in late 2006 to protect the Green Zone (the large area in Baghdad turned into an American base). It was found that C-RAM could knock down 70-80 percent of the rockets and mortar shells fired within range of its cannon. It took about a year to develop C-RAM, and another version, using a high-powered laser, instead of the 20mm gun, was soon in development. The laser powered version is still in development.
Other modifications included linking Phalanx to the Lightweight Counter Mortar Radar and Q-36 Target Acquisition Radar. When these radars detect incoming fire, C-RAM Phalanx points toward the incoming objects and prepares to fire at anything that comes within range (about 2,000 meters) of its 20mm cannon. Phalanx uses high explosive 20mm shells that detonate near the target spraying it with fragments. By the time these fragments reach the ground, they are generally too small to injure anyone. The original Phalanx used 20mm depleted uranium shells, to slice through incoming missiles. Phalanx fires shells at the rate of 75 per second. Another advantage of C-RAM Phalanx, is that it makes a distinctive noise when firing, warning people nearby that a mortar or rocket attack is underway, giving people an opportunity to duck inside if they are out and about.
Iron Beam eliminates the risk of shells not going off in the air and falling to ground or the small chance of anyone (especially children) being hit by the small fragments and injured. Perhaps the best thing Iron Beam has going for it is the impressive track record of Israel in developing anti-aircraft weapons. The Israeli Iron Dome anti-rocket system has been heavily used since 2011 and Israeli work on its Arrow anti-ballistic missile system is considered world-class.
23 octobre 2015 L’écho du champ de bataille
Les théâtres d’opérations contemporains soulignent la nécessité de mettre en œuvre des missions d’assistance militaire opérationnelle (c’est-à-dire l’aide technique et l’expertise auprès d’armées étrangères) rénovées et en adéquation avec le besoin dans les conflits du moment. En outre, ces déploiements interviennent, dans un contexte multinational voire international en Coalition (Irak), auprès de partenaires régionaux (Afrique) ou à proximité d’autres armées (Syrie et Russie).
Ainsi, les principaux acteurs observés engagent, aux côtés de leurs équipes de « conseillers », des capacités nationales de feux indirects. Complémentaires de l’appui air-sol et des hélicoptères, ces moyens issus de l’artillerie, déployés en permanence, participent à la sécurité et à la liberté d’action de détachements (de conseil ou de mentoring pour utiliser le terme anglo-saxon) souvent légers et parfois isolés.
Suite de l'article
26 October 2015 by Nato
Nato Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has agreed to provide its complete support to update the PzH2000 self-propelled 155mm howitzers being procured by Lithuania from Germany.
The update support was announced by head of the department of weaponry and control systems Artur Plokšto at a session of the Land Combat Vehicles (LCV) Support Partnership of the NSPA, held in Luxembourg. At the session, Lithuania joined the howitzer user project after an unanimous agreement was reached between participating countries Croatia, Italy, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands. Representing Lithuania at the session, Plokšto said the howitzers would be updated, C2 systems installed and full operational capability reached on time. For the PzH2000 project, NSPA support will include supply, procurement, maintenance, technical/engineering services, technical training, configuration management, transportation, in-country training and on-site support, among others.
October 9, 2015 defencetalk.com
Indian engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T), in partnership with Korea’s Samsung Techwin (STW), has bagged a Rs 4,875-crore ($750 million) order for supplying the Indian Army with 100 self-propelled (SP), tracked howitzers.
Business Standard has learnt the defence ministry has written to L&T and STW informing them that their gun – called the K-9 Vajra – has cleared army trials conducted in 2013 and 2014. Simultaneously, the ministry has written to the other vendor in contention, Russia’s arms export agency, Rosoboronexport (RoE), rejecting the gun it offered, the 2S19 MSTA howitzer.
The K-9 Vajra consist of a 155-mm, 52-calibre howitzer, mounted on a tracked vehicle. It is highly mobile and can keep up with tank columns in the open desert. The Indian army wants this gun for its mechanized strike corps, which launches rapid thrusts deep into enemy territory. The strike corps’ T-90S tanks currently outpace their artillery guns, which are towed by wheeled vehicles. This constrains the tank spearheads to fight without artillery support at key moments in the advance. With the K-9 Vajra mounted on a tracked vehicle that keeps up with tanks, the armour spearheads would be assured of heavy fire support.
01 October 2015 Saab Press release
Defence and security company Saab has signed a contract to supply the Australian Defence Force with Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar System (C-RAM) support with a contract value of approximately $AUD 26.4m (approximately SEK 168 million). The initial contract period includes the establishment period and three years of support services thereafter, with options of up to five 12-month extensions, that could take the contract period up to July 2024.
C-RAM is an essential capability to protect friendly forces from hostile fire. C-RAM sensors provide detection and warning against small, mobile and hard-to-find threats such as rocket and mortar fire. The C-RAM capability components to be supported under this contact are Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam (AMB) radar, Giraffe Training Simulator and a Lightweight-Counter Mortar Radar. The contract follows the 2010 procurement of Saab’s Giraffe AMB and Giraffe Training System Mission Systems to support Australian troops during Operation ‘Slipper’ in Afghanistan.
“The Giraffe AMB radar maintained an operational availability of 98.5 per cent in Afghanistan and was the first layer of defence against insurgent rocket attacks for the Australian led coalition base at Tarin Kot,” says Dean Rosenfield, Managing Director of Saab Australia.
“This contract is a boost to local industry with additional positions through the period of the contract to manage the Australian sub-supplier network and deep maintenance services from our headquarters in Adelaide”, says Rosenfield.
Adelaide-based, Saab Australia will lead an In-Service Support team which includes Saab in Gothenburg, Sweden and SRCTec, LLC in Syracuse,USA.
“Saab’s global radar operations are now growing in Australia. Our Australian staff has the full backing of Saab in Sweden in our proven through-life support of the Giraffe AMB. It is a solution shared by many Giraffe AMB customers and includes global logistics and supply, comprehensive training, maintenance and engineering. This contract also proves that Saab has the competence to be able to support radar systems from other OEMs”, says Anders Linder, Head of Saab business unit Surface Radar Solutions.
SRCTec has been sub-contracted to provide through-life support to the AN/TPQ-49 Lightweight-Counter Mortar Radar. Saab Australia will manage the support program, including the establishment and delivery of support services and support to the introduction-into-service requirements, associated with the three C-RAM capability components.
The C-RAM capability is intended to be absorbed into the wider Australian Defence Force ground based air and missile defence capability.
Headquartered in Adelaide, Saab Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saab AB, providing defence, security and traffic management solutions. With over 300 experienced staff across Australia and New Zealand, and a reputation for achieving complex systems integration projects on time, Saab Australia has proven its capabilities over more than 26 years.
30.09.2015 BAE Systems
BAE Systems today delivered the first production series ARCHER artillery system to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) during a ceremony at the company’s Karlskoga facility.
The ARCHER system is one of the world’s most advanced artillery systems with high mobility and precision. ARCHER provides fire support that is powerful and flexible, and features high levels of autonomous operation under protection. It is based on proven subsystems and has an extensive ammunition portfolio.
“BAE Systems Bofors and FMV have been working very closely to achieve our high-level requirements for the ARCHER program. This is an important milestone as we begin the delivery of all systems for our Swedish customer,” said Lena Gillström, managing director for Weapon Systems, Sweden at BAE Systems, Inc. “ARCHER will provide the Swedish armed forces with an advanced artillery system that focuses on the safety of our soldiers.”
BAE Systems’ employees and representatives from FMV, the Swedish Armed Forces, and the Ministry of Defence were in attendance as Gillström delivered the first system to Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvst.
“ARCHER is an important part of strengthening the Swedish defense,” said Dan Ohlsson, Acting Director General for FMV.
BAE Systems delivered the pre-serial ARCHER systems to the Swedish government in 2013, which have been in use by the Swedish artillery regiment.
Sep 29, 2015 by Richard Tomkins(UPI)
Lithuania on Tuesday signed an agreement to procure 21 PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers from the German Armed Forces.
The deal for the 155mm guns, as well as vehicles and other equipment, is worth nearly $65 million.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Defense said 16 of the guns will be usable for combat purposes, two will be used for training firing and driving skills, and three for spare parts.
"The changed geopolitical situation and lessons learned from the conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine have made the Lithuanian Armed Forces prioritize an efficient fire support to maneuver units on the course of its development," said Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas. "Looking for solution, we turned to Germany, our ally, and its understanding and good will has helped us come up with a compromise on the procurement on one of the most modern self-propelled howitzers in the world within a particularly short time.
"That is a clear demonstration that Germany understands the reasons behind our security concerns and is sending a clear signal that it stands firmly by Lithuania."
The other equipment being purchased from Germany includes 26 M577 V2 armored command vehicles and six BPZ2 recovery tanks.
Also included in the deal is training for Lithuanian troops who will use the self-propelled howitzers, which will begin to arrive in Lithuania next year.
September 14, 2015 By Army News Service -
More than two decades have passed since the first M119 howitzer rolled off the production line at Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, or RIA-JMTC, yet it remains one of the Army’s primary direct and indirect fire support assets. This lightweight, air-mobile, towed howitzer has been the workhorse for the Army’s infantry brigade combat teams’ direct support artillery battalions. Throughout the past 13 years, it has seen extensive use in both Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, or OEF and OIF. The Army has employed this howitzer in some of the most austere conditions in the world, firing multiple-round, high-angle, high-charge missions on a daily basis in support of combat troops. High-angle fire is used for firing into or out of deep defilade such as that found in heavily wooded, mountainous and urban areas. It is also used to fire over high-terrain features near friendly troops. To counteract the effects of these high operational-tempo combat conditions and to increase the survivability of the howitzer, the Project Manager for Towed Artillery Systems, or PM TAS, which manages the M119A3 howitzer within the Program Executive Office for Ammunition, or PEO Ammo, has developed an ongoing system modernization program.
September 1, 2015: Strategy Page
On August 22nd Iran announced that it had developed, tested and was putting into production a new ballistic missile. This one, called Fateh-313, used solid fuel and had a range of 500 kilometers. This is the latest claimed Iranian development of the Fateh 110 which is a copy of the Chinese DF-11 ballistic missile, which appeared in the 1980s with a range of 300 kilometers and an 800 kg warhead. In the 1990s an improved version, the DF-11A appeared with a range of 800 kilometers and a half ton warhead. A decade later the DF-11 was using GPS (American or Chinese) guidance in addition to the less accurate INS. For nuclear warheads either guidance system is accurate enough. For conventional warheads GPS is essential to avoid missing the target with the smaller explosive power of the conventional warhead. The big change here is solid fuel, which enables a missile to be made ready in less than 30 minutes compared to several hour for liquid fueled missiles like the SCUD.
The Fateh 110 is an 8.86 meter (27.5 foot), 3.5 ton rocket with a half-ton warhead. The first version appeared after in 2002 and had a range of 200 kilometers. By 2010 there had been to improved models, with ranges of 250 and 300 kilometers plus improvements in reliability and accuracy. The Fateh 110 is a solid fuel missile developed to replace the liquid fueled SCUD ballistic missiles Iran had been using since the 1980s. SCUD was developed from the German World War II era V-2. In 2008 Iran licensed Syria build the Fateh-110 as the M600. In 2010 some of these were apparently transferred to Hezbollah. Apparently the only Fateh-110 type missiles to be fired in combat were two Syrian M600s fired at rebel targets in 2012.
In 2011 Iran claimed to have created an anti-ship missile, called the Khalij Fars, with a range of 300 kilometers based on the Fateh 110. What all this implies is that Iran is claiming to have developed a ballistic missile that can hit moving ships at sea. China is also claimed to have developed this technology (the DF-21D). But neither country has demonstrated their anti-ship ballistic missiles actually working.
In fact there is little evidence, in the public record that any versions of the Fateh 110 are effective or exist in large numbers. Iran regularly announces wondrous new weapons, developed entirely in Iran. Very few of these weapons are ever seen in service. Still, the Iranians can handle modern tech and it is possible that their Fateh 110 missiles, or at least most of them, would work in wartime
20/07/2015 armée de Terre
Dans cet ouvrage, le général Benoit Royal démontre l’importance et l’efficacité de l’artillerie dans les guerres de contre-insurrection.
S’appuyant sur des dizaines de témoignages, il retrace les solutions existantes mais surtout révèle que la guerre peut se gagner en suivant des modes opératoires innovants. Parmi ceux-ci, l’artillerie fait figure d’arme à l’efficacité redoutable. Pour preuve, sur les derniers théâtres d’opérations extérieures, elle représentait 7 % des effectifs tout en étant à l’origine de près de la moitié des morts et des blessés adverses. Fulgurant.
L’artillerie dans les guerres de contre-insurrection
Général Benoit Royal (sous la direction)
144p., 15 €
ISBN : 978-2-7178-6804-3
01..07..2015 par Philippe Chapleau - Lignes de Défense
La société américaine GSI (GovSource Inc) recherche des formateurs pour un contrat de 13 mois en Jordanie.
Les formateurs, tous anciens membres des FS américaines (au moins 3 ans d'expérience), devront avoir une expérience du mentoring au profit de soldats de nations partenaires.
Ils seront sur place pour le 1er août prochain et ils seront déployés au KASOTC (King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center, KASOTC.) pour y entrainer des recrues jordaniennes.
GSI recrute aussi des formateurs pour un autre contrat de 13 mois. Il s'agit de transformer un bataillon d'artillerie jordanien en un bataillon équipé de lance-roquettes multiples de type High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). La Jordanie dispose de 12 systèmes de ce type.
3 juin 2015 by Forces TV
In just over eighteen months Britain will lead a rapidly deployable multinational formation intended to deter any Russian threat to NATO territory in the wake of the Ukraine conflict.
The Very High Readiness Joint Task Force is also known as the Spearhead and the Royal Artillery will provide much of the firepower.
The Gunners of 26 Regiment have already started preparing for a new role which will be a big change after years of operations in Afghanistan.
10/04/2015 Sources : Etat-major des armées
Du 23 février au 6 mars 2015, un détachement d’assistance opérationnelle « feux dans la profondeur » de l’unité de coopération régionale des Eléments Français au Sénégal (EFS), s’est rendu au centre d’entraînement tactique n°7 (CET7) de Thiès, au Sénégal. Ils y ont conduit une action de formation artillerie au profit de soldats sénégalais.
Les stagiaires sénégalais issus des sections de mortiers des 4ème et 6ème bataillons d’infanterie et du bataillon parachutiste des forces armées sénégalaises (FAS), ont reçu une formation qui avait pour objectif de les remettre à niveau dans le domaine de l’artillerie. Le travail s’est axé autour des domaines suivants : calcul des éléments de tir (EPT), service de la pièce (EDP) et utilisation d’une équipe de reconnaissance (RECO), permettant ainsi de gagner en vitesse lors de l’équipement d’une position de tir.
La première semaine a été consacrée à l’instruction théorique, dispensée entre salle de cours. La deuxième semaine a quant à elle été réservée à la mise en pratique des savoir-faire acquis. Des exercices ont été effectués sur le terrain de manœuvre du CET7, permettant ainsi au personnel de s’entraîner à la manœuvre tactique et d’appliquer les procédures de travail étudiées plus tôt.
Au terme de ces deux semaines enrichissantes, les forces armées sénégalaises et le détachement des EFS ont procédé à la traditionnelle cérémonie de remise des attestations de stage.
Depuis 2011, les EFS constituent « un pôle opérationnel de coopération à vocation régionale » en Afrique de l’Ouest. A ce titre, ils conduisent des actions bilatérales et régionales de coopération militaire visant à accompagner les Etats africains dans le renforcement de leur capacité de maintien de la paix. Depuis le 1er janvier 2015, les EFS partagent cette activité de formation avec les forces françaises en Côte d’ Ivoire, seconde base opérationnelle avancée (BOA) en Afrique de l’Ouest avec celle de Djibouti.
RUAG Defense's Cobra 120mm mortar features a semi-automatic loading system. Photo courtesy RUAG Defense
BERN, Switzerland, March 19 By Richard Tomkins (UPI
-- RUAG Defense of Switzerland has introduced a modular 120mm mortar system that comes equipped with a semi-automatic loader system.
The Cobra features electronic drives and shoot–and-scoot capabilities, multi-round capabilities and ballistic computing. It can be integrated into any lightweight vehicle, RUAG said.
"The RUAG Cobra mortar system incorporates RUAG's ballistic computing, allowing automatic gun laying and multi-round single impact capabilities," the company said. "The system is designed to fire any standard 120mm ammunition, including latest generation smart ammunition."
The Cobra system has a range of about 5.6 miles.
RUAG said the system was first unveiled last month at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Additional details on the system's specifications were not immediately available.
M198 155mm howitzer being unloaded from a ship at Beirut’s port in Lebanon, February 8, 2015 photo Military In the Middle East
March 20, 2015: Strategy Page
The United States recently sent Lebanon 72 M198 155mm howitzers and 25 million rounds of ammunition (mostly for rifles, but also thousands of mortar and 155mm shells). The U.S. valued the shipment at $25 million but that was being generous. The Americans began replacing their 1980s vintage M198s with M777s in 2007. Thus the United States has lots of M198s that were going to be scrapped or put in storage (and eventually scrapped). Artillery is much less in demand since the 1990s because of the development of cheaper and more accurate guided rockets and artillery shells. That said, the Lebanese were grateful for the American howitzers since these are still useful and Lebanon received them as a gift.
Until recently the M198 was the standard towed 155mm howitzer for the United States and many NATO counties. Each one weighs eight tons, and can fire conventional rounds as far as 22.4 kilometers. For rocket-assisted projectiles the range is 30 kilometers. These unguided shells land anywhere within a 200 meter circle. That's at 25 kilometers range. Accuracy gets worse at longer ranges. It takes 12 minutes for the M198 to be ready to fire after the truck towing it stops. It can pack up and move again in about 4 minutes. Using GPS the M198 can be in position to fire in less than ten minutes and shift to another target in about 8 minutes.
The M198 has been replaced by the M777A1 lightweight 155mm howitzers. The M777s cost $1.9 million each and the U.S. has bought 800 of them so far, for use by the army and marines (who are getting 377 of them). The manufacturer, BAE, has also received a contract to refurbish 33 M777s that returned from service in Afghanistan. This cost $91,000 per howitzer. The British designed howitzer is also used by Canada and Britain. The U.S. Army uses M777s in airborne and Stryker brigades. A five ton truck is used to tow the guns, but a special, 4.5 ton LWPM (Lightweight Prime Mover) is available to do that as well.
The five ton M777A1 is 40 percent lighter than the weapon it replaces, the M198. This is because the M777A1 makes extensive use of titanium, and new design techniques. It fires shells with a maximum range of 40 kilometers (using RAP, or rocket assisted projectile, ammo). A crew of five operates the gun, which can be ready to fire in under three minutes, and ready to move in under two minutes. The M777A1 is light enough to be moved (via a sling) by CH-53E and CH-47D helicopters. Its sustained rate of fire is two rounds a minute, with four rounds a minute for short periods.
What will really makes the M77A1 (and the M198) useful is the new GPS guided Excalibur shell which entered service in 2007. The Excalibur shell falls within a ten meter circle (the middle of that circle being the "aim point") at any range compared to the unguided shell that lands within a 200 meter (or larger) circle depending on range. The Excalibur shell is essential, because ten 155mm shells (of any type, with their propellant and packaging) weigh about a ton. Ammo supply has always been a major problem with artillery, and Excalibur is the solution making one shell where previously ten or more unguided ones were needed.
For users like Lebanon ammo supply is less of a problem because the howitsers will be operating within tiny Lebanon and never that far from a port or airbase were new supplies of ammo will arrive. Besides the U.S. isn’t giving any of the expensive Excalibur shells away.
11 March 2015 army-technology.com
Orbital ATK has been awarded a contract to supply additional precision guidance kits (PGKs) to the US Army for 155mm artillery systems.
Under the terms of the $120m agreement, the company will be responsible for the production, lot acceptance testing and delivery of guidance fuses for the US and select allied forces.
PGK is a guidance fuse designed to fit within the fuse well of 155mm high-explosive artillery projectiles and can transform existing, conventional artillery projectiles into precision weapons that significantly reduce dispersion to 30m or less, enabling accurate targeting.
Orbital ATK Defense Systems Group Armament Systems division vice-president and general manager Dan Olson said: "This contract signing marks another significant milestone for the PGK programme.
"Fielding PGK for use with existing artillery projectiles provides soldiers with a distinct battlefield advantage, by greatly reducing the inherent dispersion associated with conventional artillery.
"As a proven and qualified technology, the next step is growing PGK into future precision applications for either existing or new direct and indirect-fire weapons systems."
The kit features a fixed-canard guidance and control approach with gun-hardened electronics and a self-generated power supply, and also incorporates a fail safe option, which prevents PGK-equipped artillery from detonating if it fails to get close enough to the target.
The kit was supplied to the US military for training and tactical operations in Afghanistan through an urgent release in March 2013.
PGK programme management, systems integration and production is overseen by Orbital ATK Defense Systems Group's Armament Systems division in Plymouth, Minnesota, US.
Deliveries are scheduled to start next year, without a production break from low-rate initial production, which started in January.
11 mars 2015 British Army
Gunners from Army Reserve unit 101 (Northumbrian) Regiment Royal Artillery and 1 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (1 RHA) on exercise at the Otterburn Ranges in the north of England. The soldiers fired the Multi Launch Rocket System (MLRS) to hone their skills and maintain combat effectiveness. Videographer Sgt Gary Kendall; Crown copyright.
March 9th, 2015 By US Defense Security Cooperation Agency
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Jordan for M31 Unitary Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) Rocket Pods and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $192 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on March 4, 2015.
The Government of Jordan has requested a possible sale of 72 M31 Unitary Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) Rocket Pods (6 rockets per pod for a total of 432), support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical data, personnel training and equipment, systems integration support, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $192 million.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the U.S. by helping to improve the security of a partner country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. It is vital to the U.S. national interest that Jordan develops and maintains a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with the U.S. regional objectives and will not impact the regional stability in the Middle East.
The proposed sale of GMLRS will improve Jordan’s capability to meet current and future threats on its borders and provide greater security for its economic infrastructure. The GMLRS will provide the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) a long-range precision artillery support capability that will significantly improve U.S.-JAF interoperability and provide for the defense of vital installations. Jordan will have no difficulty absorbing these additional systems into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control in Dallas, Texas. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Jordan.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
03/05/2015 Richard de Silva - DefenceIQ
For a company that has one of the most seasoned histories in the U.S. defence market, dating back more than 40 years, it is no surprise that its role in supporting the field artillery needs of both its American and international customers is held in high regard. From the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) to the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), we take a look at where the company's artillery focus lies today in this exclusive feature.
Feb. 27, 2015 By Richard Tomkins (UPI)
The Army will use a special process to demilitarize obsolete 155mm artillery shells that will allow more casings to be reused.
MCALESTER, Okla., - A U.S. Army ammunition plant has developed a new process to make more recovered 155mm shell bodies viable for reuse as artillery training rounds.
The new process changes how the shell's base plate is removed, leaving its threads intact.
The obsolete D563, recovered from a demilitarization process, is then repacked with Insensitive Munition Explosive-101, or IMX-101, instead of TNT and Composition B. The result is the round is less likely to detonate if in a fire, hit by another munition or mishandled during transport, said the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, which manufactures M1122 high explosive munitions.
"The new 'soft touch' of the manual download line will allow us to use almost all of the downloaded projectiles for M1122 and other programs that reuse those bodies," said Scott Sullivan, M1122 project manager at MCAAP.
26 February 2015 by defenceWeb
The Military Industry Corporation (MIC) Khalifa-1 122 mm self-propelled howitzer has made its international show debut at IDEX 2015 in Abu Dhabi, along with several other products.
The weapon is already in service with Sudan’s army. It comprises a 6x6 Kamaz 43118 truck with a protected four-door cab for the five crew and a 122 mm D-30 howitzer on the back of the vehicle. The normally towed howitzer is transplanted onto the vehicle, and as such is manually traversed (40 degrees left and right). Elevation is minus five to plus 70 degrees, or 15 to 70 degrees above the cabin.
Hydraulically lowered stabilisers are used to anchor the vehicle when firing and the steel sides are hydraulically folded down in order to give access to artillery shells – 45 projectiles and charges are carried. Range is around 17 km and maximum firing rate is eight rounds per minute. The 20 500 kg vehicle can be readied for firing within 90 seconds. The vehicle’s top speed is around 90 km/h.
The vehicle can be fitted with the Karary IGZ01 fire control system, which includes a laser range finder, GPS, telecommunications device etc.
The MIC displayed some of its other hardware at IDEX 2015, such as the 120 mm mortar carrier variant of its Khatim-2 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), a mobile version of the Taka 107 mm multiple rocket launcher, the Nimr long-range patrol vehicle, unarmoured Tamal tactical vehicle and Sarsar-2 armoured reconnaissance vehicle. The Khatim-2 is loosely based on the BMP-2 via the Iranian Boraq-2 IFV.
The Sarsar-2 is based on a 1.2 ton KIA chassis but fitted with armour able to withstand 7.62x51 mm rounds. The vehicle weights 5.5 tons. Other items displayed at IDEX 2015 included the Ateed remote weapon station, apparently based on the Iranian ARIO-H762 and the Sarib anti-tank guided missile (apparently based on the Chinese HJ-8). The Ateed can operate either a 12.7 mm or 7.62 mm machinegun and uses a high resolution day camera, laser range finder and thermal imager. A DShK 12.7 mm heavy machinegun was mounted on the Ateed at IDEX 2015.
Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir attended the IDEX opening ceremony on Sunday in his first official visit to the United Arab Emirates since 2008. He arrived with an 11-member delegation, comprised of Ministers of the Presidency, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Investments, Electricity, Minerals, Livestock and Fisheries, Labour, the director of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), and the head of police.
Since the 1990s Chinese, Russian and Iranian companies have helped Sudan develop its domestic military industry after an international arms embargo placed on the country. The Military Industry Corporation was established in 1993 to manufacture weapons and equipment for the Sudanese military and is now marketing its products internationally. Products include main battle tanks (based on Chinese designs), small arms, recoilless rifles, mortars, rocket launchers, upgraded armoured vehicles, ammunition, electronics and uniforms.
The MIC has used Chinese hardware as the inspiration for many of its own products but the Sudanese military also uses a wide variety of Chinese weapons, such as the Type 96 main battle tank, HJ-8 and HJ-73D anti-tank missile, Type 56 and Type 81 rifles, CQ rifle, QJZ-89 12.7 mm machinegun, M99 12.7 mm sniper rifle, Type 80 machinegun, Type69-1 rocket propelled grenade, NP-42 pistol and the QLZ-87 automatic grenade launcher and recently selected the 5.56 mm QBZ-17 bullpup assault rifle to meet its future needs.
24 février, 2015 Nathan Gain (FOB)
De par son ampleur, la diversité des entreprises présentes et des produits mis en avant, l’International Defence Exhibition (IDEX), salon de défense bi-annuel devenu incontournable, réserve à chaque édition son lot de surprises.
L’édition 2015 n’a pas dérogé à la règle, apportant son lot de nouveautés, certaines étant parfois issues de nations plutôt « discrètes ». Relativement peu présent au sein de ce genre d’évènement, le Soudan est l’un de ces pays désormais capables de déployer un panel de nouveautés propre à surprendre jusqu’aux spécialistes les plus avertis. Au travers de l’importante « Military Industry Corporation » (MIC-Sudan), consortium national d’entreprises fondé en 1993, le Soudan crée et manufacture un vaste ensemble de produits et services, allant de la simple arme de poing au véhicule de combat d’infanterie.
Véritable vitrine de l’industrie soudanaise, la « Military Industry Corporation », basée à Karthoum, a traversé la mer Rouge avec deux produits majeurs : l’obusier automoteur de 122mm Khalifa-1 et le véhicule de reconnaissance Sarsar-2. Selon un délégué soudanais, tous deux sont déjà en service au sein de l’armée soudanaise.
Le Khalifa-1 est le résultat du mariage entre un canon de 122 mm D-30 et un chassis Kamaz 43118 6×6 redessiné, le tout pour une masse totale dépassant les 20 tonnes. Doté d’un équipage de 5 hommes, le Khalifa-1, selon MIC, est capable d’assurer une cadence de tir maximale allant jusqu’à 8 obus tirés à la minute (avec un premier obus déjà chargé, détail non négligeable). Capable d’atteindre une cible dans un rayon maximal de 17 km, le Khalifa-1 serait également en mesure de tirer son premier obus ou d’être prêt au redéploiement en un maximum d’une 1min30. Enfin, le Khalifa-1 est également équipé d’un système de contrôle de tir Karary IGZ01, composé d’un poste d’observation et d’un poste de commandement. De quoi rivaliser avec le Caesar ? D’après les représentants soudanais, cela ne fait aucun doute. Qu’importe la réponse, la question a au moins le mérite d’être posée.
Dans une toute autre catégorie, MIC met également l’accent un panel de véhicules légers, tel le véhicule de reconnaissance Sarsar-2. Basé sur un châssis KIA, le Sarsar-2 autorise le transport d’une escouade de 11 soldats (équipage compris), le tout protégé par un blindage de niveau BR6. Le moteur, un D4DA à 4 cylindres en ligne, développe 139 chevaux et autorise une vitesse maximale de 80 km/h. Une écoutille de toit permet l’installation d’une mitrailleuse de calibre 12.7mm/14.5mm.
Précisons que le Sarsar-2 et le Khalifa-1 ne sont que deux systèmes d’arme parmi tant d’autres présentés par la délégation soudanaise, démontrant par là même l’importance de s’intéresser à certaines industries nationales aux qualités par trop insoupçonnées.