GD railgun ready for testing | Israel starts concept work on Arrow-4 interceptor | French prosecutors widen Malaysian sub probeAug 04, 2017 05:00 UTC
- The US Secret Service is planning to deploy and test a small tethered drone during President Donald Trump’s visit to his golf club in New Jersey this month. The move, which aims at improving and providing new types of presidential protection, will help determine the potential for using such vehicles to protect the president, as the service works to incorporate several types of drones and tethered systems into its overhead security-monitoring efforts. President Trump is expected to spend an extended period of time at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.
- A new 10 mega joule medium-range multi-mission railgun developed by General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems is ready for testing, according to the company. Designed to provide multi-mission, multi-domain capability with greater flexibility and a smaller footprint for ship, land and mobile platforms, the firm stated that field testing of the system will be conducted at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, however, they did not disclose when the system will be tested. The railgun integrates a High Energy Pulsed Power Container, 10 MJ launcher, hypersonic hybrid missile, and fire control technologies. The HEPPC uses next-generation railgun capacitors and a new approach to packaging and distribution of the energy in a smaller footprint than existing pulsed power solutions.
Middle East & North Africa
- Qatar has completed a deal with Italy to purchase seven naval vessels. The deal, estimated to be worth $5.9 billion, was announced by the Qatari foreign minister on Wednesday, however, no further details on the vessels’ specs or contractors was given by the ministry. Last June, Italian shipyard Fincantieri said it had signed a 4-billion-euro agreement with Doha for four corvette warships, two support vessels and an amphibious landing platform dock, along with support services in Qatar for 15 years after delivery. Qatar is the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter and like its energy-rich Gulf neighbors, is one of the world’s biggest spenders on military equipment. In June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar, expelling citizens and closing its only land border and barring use of their airspace. Qatar stands accused of supporting Islamists, terrorists, and regional foe Iran, charges it denies.
- The US State Department has cleared the possible Foreign Military Sale for an estimated $150 million naval support package for US origin Navy vessels and a ship repair facility to the government of Iraq. The follow-on technical support deal covers procurement of spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training equipment, engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. Swiftships, LLC, of Louisiana will act as lead contractor.
- Early concept work has begun on the Arrow-4 interceptor, Israel’s new air defense system designed to counter future ballistic missile threats from Iran. Involved in the work are Israel’s MAFAT Defense Research and Development Authority, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, as well as other firms, who are now evaluating the technologies needed to improve the ability to track, target and ultimately destroy such threats. While the work is in its infancy— IAI executive vice president Boaz Levy called said the effort is too early to call Arrow-4—the new interceptor will extend capabilities beyond Arrow-2, which intercepts Scud-type ballistic missiles high within Earth’s atmosphere, and Arrow-3, which is designed to destroy targets in space. The new system will specifically look into countering salvo strikes, sub-munition warheads and multiple reentry vehicles (MRV).
- Eight German-operated P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft are scheduled to receive mission system upgrades in a $158.5 million contract modification awarded by the US DoD under its Foreign Military Sales program. Lockheed Martin will act as the lead contractor in the sale, providing updates to computer systems, acoustic sensors, weapon systems and avionics for eight P-3Cs, and will include components specified by Germany and will comply with currentand future NATO standards. Work will be performed in Manching, Germany, and Oswego, NY, with a projected completion date of May 2022.
- BAE Systems Australia has announced its intentions to build a defense hub that will manufacture armored vehicles and also consolidate various company businesses on one site. Expected to be located at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne, Victoria the facility will be the biggest of its type in the nation and it plans to manufacture the Australian Army’s Armed Combat Reconnaissance vehicles there. The hub will also include a globally competitive aerospace business that develops leading edge autonomous systems, electronic warfare, hypersonics and weapons technology, and BAE will also conduct its naval sustainment business from the facility.
- A former aide to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been placed under formal investigation by French financial prosecutors as part of a probe into the 2002 sale of two Scorpene submarines to Malaysia. The accused, Razak Baginda, has denied any wrongdoing during his time as advisor to Najib during his stint as defense minister, and who oversaw the procurement from French shipyard DCN International—who then became a new entity called DCNS, which in turn rebranded itself as Naval Group this year. Last month, two French former defense industry executives were placed under investigation as part of the same probe into alleged kickbacks from that submarines deal. The investigation began after Malaysian human rights group Suaram alleged that the EUR 1 billion sale resulted in some $130 million of commissions being paid to a company linked to Najib.
- Russian 9K333 Verba MADPADS downs drone in Syria: