Redstone Arsenal To Test SHORAD For The Army | UK Deploys Warrior IFVs To Estonia | Japan To Use AI For Patrol PlanesNov 12, 2019 05:00 UTC
Redstone Arsenal is starting to test a new air defense vehicle for the Army. The Stryker A1 IM-SHORAD vehicle supports the Army’s short-range air defense (SHORAD) operational gap. Armed with Hellfire missiles, Stinger missiles and a 30mm cannon, its precision fire-power defeats unmanned aerial systems as well as fixed wing and rotary wing threats. “It all started about 18 months ago when the Army identified that we had this existing gap and they charted our office to find the right material solution to fill that gap,” said Colonel Chuck Worshim, cruise missile defense systems. Arsenal officials say government testing for the very first prototypes started in Huntsville. Test stations in other states will start in January.
Two Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Cost Reduction Initiative interceptors successfully hit two ballistic missile targets Thursday at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, Lockheed Martin announced. The demonstration was meant to support the US Army’s Field Surveillance Program by ensuring the reliability and readiness of PAC-3 missiles already fielded by the service. The Army-led missile defense flight test demonstrated the weapon’s hit-to-kill capability and was observed by representatives from the service as well as current and potential PAC-3 customers. Lockheed’s PAC-3 CRI is a high-velocity interceptor that defends against incoming threats, such as tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. “PAC-3 continues its long history of reliability and readiness in the field and remains the only combat proven Hit-to-Kill interceptor in the world,” said Jay Pitman, vice president of PAC-3 programs at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Today’s global security environment demands reliable solutions. We expect PAC-3 interceptors to continue serving as an essential element in integrated, layered defense systems.”
Middle East & Africa
Iran told the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that three of its tankers have been attacked in the Red Sea this year, the Wall Street Journal reports. The government warns IMO of “unsafe routes” in Red Sea after saying incidents previously described as technical faults were in fact missile attacks. Iran previously reported one attack carried out against the tanker Sabiti on October 11, forcing it to return to Iran. The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said the vessel was probably hit by two missiles and photographs showed its hull had been punctured in two places. „We believe that this is an attack organized by one or more states, since two other Iranian flagged [very large] tankers were similarly attacked in the same approximate area” and with “similar damages to the ships“, the Wall Street Journal quotes an Iranian letter. The newspaper identified the two other tankers as Happiness 1 and Helm, which were attacked in April and August respectively.
Up-armored Alvis Warrior infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) have been deployed to Estonia as part of a rotation of the equipment for the UK-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup, Jane’s reports. The Warrior tracked vehicle family is a series of British armored vehicles. The Warrior family developed by Alvis Vickers, which is now BAE Systems Land Systems, has been proved in action with the British Army in operations in the Middle East during Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom and on United Nations duties in Bosnia. Warrior vehicles were also deployed to Afghanistan. The British Army has upgraded its Warriors to extend their service life to 2025. The upgrade included the General Dynamics UK Bowman tactical communications system and the addition of a night fighting capability in the form of the Thales Optronics battle group thermal imaging program. Until now the Warriors on duty in Estonia have been standard vehicles from the British Army training fleet with no theater-specific enhancements. The new Warriors appeared to be fitted with plates along the length of their hulls to defeat high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warheads, which British Army sources said is designated Operational Equipment Standard 3 (OES3). This is an evolution of the theater entry standard armored packages developed for the Iraq and Afghan campaigns.
The Nikkei reports that Japan has embarked on a program to process data collected by its maritime patrol aircraft using artificial intelligence (AI) in order to cut down the workload of the crews. $8.25 million is being allocated and the program will begin in April. It is expected that the system can be operational in 2024. The AI would help ascertain whether a target spotted by conventional radar is an enemy vessel or some other threat. Machine learning through previous data would be used to develop the ability to identify a vessel from images that are difficult for the human eye to decipher.
A US Air Force F-16 assigned to the 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base, Japan had dropped a 500lb BDU-50 inert bomb on a private land on November 6. The BDU-50 is reported to have landed 5 kilometers away from its target. It did not contain explosives, and no damage was reported. “Such an incident is a huge concern for surrounding residents and should never happen,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a November 7 news conference. “We urge the US military to provide more information and effective measures to prevent a recurrence.” The US military later found the mock bomb buried in grass on a private farm. US Forces also told the ministry that they will refrain from mock-bomb drop training for the time being.
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