Oct 12, 2014 15:20 UTC
In July 2008, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Iraq’s formal request to buy 24 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters that act as scouts, perform light close air support, and escort other helicopters on dangerous missions. The DSCA documents also included requests for airborne weapons – which would be a new capability for the nascent post-Saddam air force.
At the time of the requests, the IqAF relied on a small force of Russia’s popular Mi-8/17s, and a handful of refurbished Bell “Huey II” helicopters. While the Russian helicopters can be armed, their status as Iraq’s only medium utility helicopters makes them a poor fit for an ARH role. Instead, Iraq chose between 2 competitors. Bell’s 407 bears a close resemblance to the OH-58 scout helicopters used by the US Army, and the 407-derived ARH-70A won the American ARH competition before running into trouble. Boeing’s AH-6 “Little Bird” light attack helicopters are used by US Special Forces, are very effective in urban settings, and provided critical fire support during the 1991 “Blackhawk Down” incident. Iraq went on to pick Bell as its its ARH winner.
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Sep 30, 2014 16:49 UTC
M72 LAW, Ft. Benning
The M72 Light Anti-tank Weapon (LAW) found both popularity and notoriety in Vietnam. On the one hand, it was easy to carry, and improved the squad’s firepower. On the other hand, it bounced off of North Vietnam’s obsolete tanks.
In 2006, a redesigned version of the LAW rocket restarted production, and returned the LAW to American military service. It still isn’t going to take on any tanks, but it’s very useful in modern urban warfare scenarios. In 2008, Israel submitted an export request for up to 60,000 of them…
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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.