The UK’s Chief of the General Staff warns that the British Army faces “serious decline” if the government does not fulfill its pledge to increase defense spending after the 2015 general election. Speaking at at the Royal United Services Institute’s Land Warfare Conference General Sir Peter Wall said spending on the army would “require a real-terms growth in the latter part of the decade” in order to avoid such a decline.
The Deputy Director of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation says Russia and the United States will set up a maintenance center for Afghanistan’s Mil Mi-17 helicopters.
Skydex Technologies signs multiple contracts with the US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to provide its blast mitigating Convoy Deck product for about 1,000 M-ATV vehicles.
DARPA’s crowd-sourced design crusade comes to the aircraft industry in the shape of a fly-off competition. UAVForge has been launched to demonstrate crowd-sourced design of small, persistent perch-and-stare unmanned aircraft.
DJ Elliott is a retired USN Intelligence Specialist (22 years active duty) who has been analyzing and writing on Iraqi Security Forces developments since 2006. His Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle is an open-source compilation that attempts to map and detail Iraqi units and equipment, as their military branches and internal security forces grow and mature. While “good enough for government use” is not usually uttered as a compliment, US Army TRADOC has maintained permission to use the ISF OOB for their unclassified handouts since 2008.
This compilation is reproduced here with full permission. It offers a set of updates highlighting recent changes in the ISF’s composition and development, followed by the full updated ISF OOBs in PDF format.
Sweden’s Saab Bofors Dynamics recently announced a SEK 150 million ($18.6M/ EUR 14M) order for its AT4-CS infantry rockets. This is France’s 4th order for the unguided system, following purchases in 1996, 2000, and 2003. The AT4-CS fills a niche as a lighter alternative to Giat/Nexter’s 112mm APILAS, which has some disadvantages that hamper its use.
The 84mm AT4 will not defeat modern tanks, but it will destroy light vehicles and some medium armor. It’s also extremely useful against fortified enemy positions. That’s currently its most common use, hence Saab’s designation as an “Anti-Structure Weapon.” In the US Army and USMC, a modified version is known as the M136, which has been license-manufactured by ATK, and also bought via direct order. The AT4-CS is now the standard version sold around the world, and the CS means “confined space,” thanks to the clever use of a saltwater mass in the back. As the firing pin hits the ammunition and the normally large and dangerous backblast begins, it turns the counter-mass into spray, baffling and slowing the pressure wave to make it safe for use in confined spaces like buildings.
Recent wars have brought a new technology to the fore: precision artillery fire offers an alternative to air support that has a shorter reach, with very considerable throw-weight and repeatable fire, plus 100% persistence and availability in any weather. GMLRS is a highly accurate GPS-guided rocket that can be fired by ground forces 35 miles away and arrive on target, in under a minute, under any conditions, with a 200 pound unitary warhead that will take out a fortified house. That’s very useful. When integrated into a battlefield surveillance/strike setup like Task Force ODIN, their effectiveness is kicked up several more notches.
In July 2010, Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control in Dallas, TX received a $469.9 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for Full Rate Production Lot V procurement for 4,770 total unitary rocket pods (with 6 227mm rockets each), and 530 reduced range rocket pods (RRPR, used for training). Work will be performed in Dallas, TX (15%), and Camden, AR (85%), with an estimated completion date of June 30/13. One bid was solicited with one bid received by US AMCOM Contracting Center at Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-10-C-0270).
This Lot 5 buy covers hardware, support, spares, and “obsolescence support” for the USA, foreign partners, and Foreign Military Sales customers, as follows:
In September 2009, long-time US Middle East ally Jordan submitted an impressive wish list of weapons for its armed forces to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). The list includes rocket launchers, radios, and Humvees.
DSCA said that weapons Jordan wants to buy will provide its armed forces with a long-range precision artillery support capability that will significantly improve US-Jordan interoperability and provide for the defense of vital installations. What exactly is Jordan looking for?
Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Missile and Fires Control in Grand Prairie, TX received a $151.2 million firm-fixed-price contract to supply high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS) full rate production Lot 5 launchers for the US Army.
The contract includes 46 Army launchers; 1 Army launcher rebuild; launchers loader module trainer kit; product definition data package maintenance tack; new equipment training; and support equipment.
The HIMARS is the newest member of the multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) family.
Allegations and legal depositions state that the firm traded booze for weapons, and bought weapons and vehicles on the black market in Iraq between 2003-2004. At least one of those employees have expressed concern that the money used to buy these items may have ended up in the hands of Iraq’s Islamists, who were connected to criminal enterprises in Iraq at a number of different levels.
The article itself turns out to be more balanced than its headline might indicate, and the detailed accusations are linked to detailed responses; both are worth reading. Beginning with the revelation that significant responsibility for this state of affairs traces right back to the US State Department…
In the wake of Chevez’ purchases, neighbors like Colombia and Brazil have increased their defense budgets, and launched purchases of their own. Now, the latest large-scale deal involving Russia and Venezuela involves tanks, rocket artillery, and air defense missiles…
The U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico is ordering up to $136.5 million worth of M72A7 Light Weight Anti-Armor Weapon (LAW) systems and trainers from Nammo Talley Defense in Mesa, AZ to replenish stockpiles. The M72A7 LAW is a man-portable, shoulder-launched rocket designed to destroy armored vehicles and covered enemy fighting positions.
The M72A7 LAW meets the needs identified by the Marine Corps in 2004 for a shoulder-launched rocket. The Marine Corps required a weapon system with the capability to defeat targets such as covered enemy fighting positions (bunkers, urban structures) or light armored vehicles that are impervious to small arms fire or out of the range of fragmentation hand grenades and other close-in weapon systems.
DID has more on the Nammo Talley contract and the tactical advantages of the M72A7…
Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Missile and Fires Control (LMMFC) division received a $11.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the acquisition of 26 increased crew protection cabs for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), 19 for the Army and 7 for the Marine Corp. The cabs are provided as kits for installation on HIMARS M142 launchers.
The HIMARS is the newest member of the Multiple Launch Rocket System family. It is a highly mobile artillery rocket system that offers MLRS firepower on an FMTV truck, making it an ideal system for medium-weight brigades. The M142 HIMARS launcher weighs approximately 15 tons, compared to 27 tons for the tracked M270; but it carries only 1 reloadable rocket pod, rather than 2.
LMMFC will perform the work at its facilities in Grand Prairie, TX (20%); Sealy, TX (53%); Rock Center, WV (14%); and White Sands Missile Range, NM (13%); with an estimated completion date of Sept 30/09. Only one bid was solicited by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Army Contracting Center, Redstone Arsenal, AL (W31P4Q-06-C-0140).