DARPA Chooses Dynetics & GA for Gremlins Project | Israel’s Arrow Sees First Combat Against Syrian SAMs | India & Russia Come Together on Su-30MKIs
- The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected Dynetics and General Atomics to move forward to the second phase of the Gremlins research project. The Gremlins program is an attempt to build a low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle that could be launched and later retrieved in mid-air. Phase 2 of the project will see the maturing of the two system concepts developed by the firms to enable “aircraft carriers in the sky” using air-recoverable UASs that could carry various payloads—advances that would greatly extend the range, flexibility, and affordability of UAS operations for the US military.
- US Army personnel demonstrated the combat capabilities of a MEHEL laser weapon integrated on its Stryker armored vehicle. Testing was carried out on the weapon’s upgraded 2.0 version by a team of members from the Army Space and Missile Defense Command and the Army Forces Strategic Command, who demonstrated the weapon’s ability to defend against unmanned aircraft systems. Improvements found in the MEHEL 2.0 include the capability of releasing 5kW beams (up from the original 2kW), which recorded a successful performance in repelling UAV threats.
- Lockheed Martin has won a $98 million US Navy contract to produce and deliver the service’s Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program systems. The modification covers work for the program’s Block 2 subsystems, which aim to expand upon the receiver and antenna groups necessary to support threat detection and improved system integration. Work will be completed by July 2019.
Middle East & North Africa
- Israel’s Arrow anti-ballistic missile system has been combat tested for the first time. The system came into operation in order to intercept a Syrian surface-to-air missile that was targeting Israeli warplanes returning from a raid on Syrian sites. Despite claims from Damascus that one Israeli plane had been downed, IDF officials stated that no aircraft had been lost.
- Serial production has begun of the Korkut Self-Propelled Low Altitude Air Defence Gun System, an armored vehicle project for Turkish ground forces. FNSS, a joint venture between BAE Systems and Turkey-based Nurol Holding, will work with ASELSAN to produce the vehicles, with the first to be completed by May 2018. The Korkut system is built on an ACV-30 chassis, utilizes a 3D search radar, and has two 35mm guns that fire fragmentation ammunition.
- Saab is to deliver a number of its AT4 single-shot recoilless, smoothbore weapons to an unnamed customer. Variants of the weapon to be sold include the new AT4 CS ER (Confined Space Extended Range) and the AT4 CS HP (Confined Space High Penetration) weapons, and will be delivered to the customer next year. The company claims that the latest version, the AT4 CS ER, has a range of as much as 656 yards – about 100 yards further than earlier variants.
- Indian and Russian officials have signed two long-term support contracts for Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat aircraft flown by India. Companies signing the agreement include Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation, and covers upgraded schedule for delivery of spares from Russia for the jets, local manufacturing of parts, and a proposed logistics hub for the fighter in Bengaluru, India, by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. A second agreement will see the provision of lifecycle support and maintenance of major Russian equipment and platforms for Mi-17 helicopters, MiG-29K aircraft, INS Vikramaditya and T-90 tanks.
- North Korean state media announced that their latest rocket-engine test shows that the hermit state is close to mastering the technology to power the different stages of an intercontinental ballistic missile. The test saw the firing of a main engine and four auxiliary engines as part of the development of a new rocket booster for an ICBM. Analysts, however, believe that the North is still a far way off from possessing a missile capable of reaching the mainland US.
- The Korkut:
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