May 22, 2013 15:57 UTC
Latest updates[?]: ATK's GATR gets evaluation contract from US Special Forces; TALON entries improved.
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Sen. Leahy’s [D-VT] worked in the mid-2000s to keep the Hydra 70mm rocket family alive through special appropriations, just in time for the Hydras’ potential on the battlefield to rise again. The key was the addition of low-cost precision guidance, which would expand the number of precision weapons carried by helicopters, aircraft, and even UAVs.
Over the last few years, the US Army’s 2nd attempt at an APKWS 70mm guided rocket had a near-death experience, before righting the program with Navy funding. Meanwhile, private development efforts from Lockheed Martin, Thales TDA, and a raft of international partnerships involving major defense firms and partners in Korea, the UAE, Canada/Norway, and Israel are introducing new competitors into the precision-guided rocket space. This DID FOCUS article covers the most prominent competitors within the guided rocket trend. Their products will sit between full anti-armor missiles like Hellfire, TOW, and Brimstone, and an emerging class of ultra-small precision attack weapons like Northrop Grumman’s Viper Strike, Raytheon’s Griffin, etc.
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Apr 30, 2012 16:59 UTC
Guided, portable anti-tank weapons have become a ubiquitous feature of the modern battlefield, but there’s still a role for good old fashioned panzerfaust rockets. For a soldier who needs to take out light vehicles at close range, blast enemy strongpoints, etc., these systems offer all the capability you can ask for, without all of the extra weight and cost. Less weight means more rounds carried, and less cost translates into more rounds bought. Taken together, they ensure more available firepower when it’s needed most. During 1989 operations in Panama, for instance, the 66mm LAW rocket was used so often as a building entry weapon that it was known as the “Ranger Key.”
Saab’s Carl Gustaf system and its range of 84mm rocket shells have become popular all over the world, with over 40 customers. Australia became one in 2009, and has continued to place orders associated with their LAND 40, Phase 2 project. Their system also has one particular twist…
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Dec 30, 2011 07:45 UTC
DID would like to wish all of our readers a Happy New Year!
- So, what milestones does India’s Ministry of Defence want to highlight from 2011?
- Dynamint Nobel is still working on its classic Panzerfaust, whose modern versions have proven quite popular. The lightweight versions are strong urban warfare weapons, and the next step is integrating them with remote weapons stations for roles like harbor defense.
- Switchblade UAVs to launch from subs? While they could retain their kamikaze capabilities, the reality is that sub-launched UAVs are going to be 1-shot items at first. Why not adapt an existing UAV designed for that?
- InnoCentive offers a $15,000 reward for a concept or design of a medical transportation device that would enable a rescuer to quickly and safely transport an injured person away from an active combat site.
- Range remains a significant challenge for nonlethal weapons.
- Aviation Week Intelligence Network really doubts that the US Navy will be able to keep its resolutions about fielding modernized DDG-51 Flight III destroyers. Worse, operations and maintenance costs are going to be a problem for the existing fleet. Meanwhile Walter Pincus is challenging the Navy’s numbers and Bloomberg View bemoans how LCS has turned out so far.
- At least the US Navy is not facing a fire on one of its nuclear submarines, unlike its Russian counterpart yesterday.
- Thursday was not a good day for the Russian military since they also had a Su-24 crash. These crashes have happened like clockwork over the years [in Russian]. Nobody died in either incident yesterday though some people appear to have been injured in the submarine fire.
- Yet another cybersecurity acquisition for Raytheon: Henggeler Computer Consultants, Inc. It’s the 2nd this month and the 10th in the last 4 years.
Dec 04, 2011 13:52 UTC
RAWS firing: Basra, Iraq
In November 2011, the US Army combined with US Special Operations Command to place an $31.5 million order with Saab North America for their Carl-Gustaf M3 man-portable recoilless rifle, which fires 84mm rockets. It’s a good order for Saab, because it breaks new ground with the US Army.
If the ubiquitous Russian RPG family is removed from the picture, Sweden’s Saab Bofors Dynamics has earned a strong niche, with 2 of the most popular shoulder-fired rocket systems in the world. Its 84mm offerings include the Carl Gustaf/Gustav, whose core design dates back to 1946 and whose most recent M3 version dates to 1991. The less-expensive AT-4/M136 is also 84mm, but swaps the rifled metal/carbon fiber launch tube for cheaper reinforced fiberglass, among other changes. Both systems offer a variety of rocket types, but the Carl Gustaf M3′s Area Defence Munition (ADM) flechette rounds are a uniquely useful capability in infantry fights. The US military has used both weapons for some time, but until now, the Carl Gustav M3 Ranger Antitank Weapons System had been fielded exclusively by US Special Operations units, while the M136 Lightweight Multipurpose Weapon was fielded to both US SOCOM and regular US Army units.