Swiss Project Offers Weapon ID Workshop to Journos | Gen Atom to Develop Laser Tracking for MQ-9 Reaper | Finland in Defense Collaboration Talks with USAug 24, 2016 00:58 UTC
- The Small Arms Survey, a Swiss-based research project, will host a series of workshops for journalists on the identification of small arms and light weapons. Aiming to improve the reporting on weapons and ammunition, the event will take place in New York from September 6-7. Participants will learn skills in the identification and recording of weapons and ammunition, tracking them to their source, and understanding the strategic and diplomatic implications of their proliferation.
- General Atomics has been contracted by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to develop a laser tracking system for the MQ-9 Reaper UAV. Valued at $9.6 million, the contract will set the company to design, build and test in the lab key laser subsystems to demonstrate precision tracking. Furthermore, the company will develop and demonstrate an MQ-9 flight representative laser system with the beam train optics required to upgrade a multi-spectral targeting system for use as an active tracking sensor.
Middle East & North Africa
- US and Russian talks over coordinating activities in Syria still remain to be finalized. The talks, based on “on necessity, rather than trust” according to US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, still have a long way to go before anything is decided. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet for another round of discussions on Friday, with the goal of setting up some sort of intelligence sharing agreement in order to coordinate strikes against the Islamic State.
- Lithuania’s Ministry of Defense continues with the modernization of their land forces after awarding a $435.1 million contract to the German-Dutch Artec consortium for the provision of 8×8 Boxer infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs). The group, a cooperation between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles will deliver the vehicles equipped with Israeli-made turrets and armed with 30 mm cannons and Spike LR anti-tank missiles. This follows a bilateral cooperation between Lithuania and the Dutch government, who are currently in the process of transferring second hand Army land vehicles east to boost Lithuanian military capabilities.
- Russia is to fly its first aircraft with a long-range surveillance and control system for the first time in 2018. An Ilyushin Il-76MD, often used as an aerial tanker, will be fitted with the A-100 Premier system which boasts a greater range compared to the US-made Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS). Once operational, the aircraft will reportedly be able to detect fighter jets at a distance of more than 324 nautical miles, and identify ships at 216 nautical miles.
- When is a neutral state not neutral? After spending most of the Cold War adhering to strict military neutrality, Finland is in talks with the US over a defense collaboration with the intention to have an agreement signed this Fall. With Finland sharing a 1,300 km border with Russia, it is one of a number of Nordic and former Soviet Baltic states concerned over increased Russian military activity following the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Moscow has denied that it poses a threat to Nordic countries, but this hasn’t stopped another neutral nation, Sweden, signing a deal with the US in June similar to what Finland now hopes to achieve.
- The US State Department has approved another $60 million arms sale to the Afghan government with FN America standing to be the principle contractor. 4,891 M16A4 5.56mm rifles, 485 M240B 7.62mm machine guns and 800 M2 .50-caliber machine gun alongside an unspecified numbers of M249 light automatic machine guns, M1110 7.62mm sniper rifles and MK-19 40mm grenade launchers will be transferred as part of the deal. Since 2002, the US has spent over $68 billion training and equipping the Afghan Armed Forces.
- Saab has announced that it has been contracted by the New Zealand government to provide the New Zealand Army with the Tactical Engagement Simulation System, the company announced Monday. The five-year deal offers a wide range of realistic training scenarios that will enhance the army’s ability to conduct and analyze the outcomes of force-on-force exercises. So far, the company has provided the system to US, British, Canadian, Australian, and NATO forces.
The Boxer 8×8: