Saab to deliver Sea Giraffe to Canadian Navy | IWI introduces new Assault Rifle | UK sends F-35B on first Overseas Deployment
Leidos won a $19.4 million ceiling cost-reimbursement contract for system integration and field testing of a laser weapon system at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. Specifically, the deal is for the advancement of laser weapon system technology through research and development of systems as well as evaluating performance in relevant operational environments. The Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland Air Base develops technologies in laser systems, high power electromagnetics, weapons modeling and simulation as well as directed energy and electro-optics for space superiority. With its laser programs the lab is trying to achieve a laser weapon system that can operate in all flight regimes against targets that are approaching at supersonic speeds, which must be intercepted at significant range, according to a report. By 2021, the Air Force plans to test laser weapons from fighter jets to destroy high-value targets, conduct precision strikes and incinerate enemy locations from the sky. Work is scheduled to be finished by April 2022.
Lockheed Martin contracted Saab to deliver Sea Giraffe AMB 3-D surveillance radars to the Royal Canadian Navy’s two new Protecteur Class Joint Support Ships. According to a press release by Saab, the Sea Giraffe AMB will form part of the command management system for the new ships. The Sea Giraffe Agile Multi Beam (AMB) is a C-band maritime 3D mid-range multifunction radar. The radar provides airspace reconnaissance and simultaneous target tracking, weapon system targeting and high-resolution navigation. The Sea Giraffe AMB has been optimized for use on the Swedish Visby Class corvettes and the Independence Class US Coast Guard. The AMB contains a number of independent elevation-angle antenna beams. Saab will perform work in Gothenburg, Sweden and Halifax, Canada with deliveries scheduled between 2020 and 2022.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli Weapons Industries (IWI) introduced a new assault rifle during the LAAD 2019 exhibition in Brazil, local media reports. The so called Carmel is a conventional configuration rifle, which is offered in four different barrel lengths: 267mm, 305mm, 368mm and 406mm. The rifle features special steels, aviation grade aluminum and high impact polymers for high performance in small unit operations across a wide range of environments and different combat scenarios. It has a rotating bolt system and is equipped with picatinny rails on all sides to allow 100 percent compatibility with any available sights, devices or accessories. The weight of the rifle without a magazine or sight is 3.3 kg.
Britain will send its F35B aircraft on their very first overseas deployment this year. According to the British government, the aircraft will make their way from Royal Air Force home station Marham in Norfolk to Cyprus. This marks an important milestone for the F35B’s journey to become fully operational. The deployment will see personnel from the Royal Air Force as well as the Navy gain vital experience in maintaining and flying the aircraft in an unfamiliar environment. Britain currently owns 17 F-35B aircraft, and plans to procure 138 over the life of the program. The country plans for the jets to hit targets in Syria as soon as this summer, the Times reported last December.
German defense company Rheinmetall won a $122.8 million contract from the German Bundeswehr to deliver 32,000 rounds of artillery ammunition. The deal includes an option for a further 11,000 for $41.7 million. The ammunition ordered by the Bundeswehr is the 155mm DM121. At the end of March, the German parliament approved $28 million in funding for procurement of 155 mm ammunition for the Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 self-propelled howitzer. The DM121 can attain ranges of up to 30 kilometres and can also be used in training as well as field exercises. According to Rheinmetall, the DM121 is capable of penetrating a several-centimeter-thick wall of reinforced concrete before detonating in controlled fashion on the opposite side. Rheinmetall Waffe Munition will produce the 155mm artillery ammunition for the five-year-contract in Unterlüß, Germany.
According to Jane’s, South Korean company Korean Aerospace Industries started ground-based engine trials of the Light Attack Helicopter (LAH) it developed for the Republic of Korea Army. The LAH, developed around the Airbus H155 twin-engined platform, features a turreted 20 mm Gatling-gun under its nose, stub wings provisioned to carry rocket pods as well as a nose-mounted electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, fuselage- and tail-mounted missile warning receivers, and upwards-directed exhausts for a reduced IR signature. The 214 LAHs that are currently being produced are scheduled to enter into service in 2022/2023.
Watch: Here’s How F-35 Technology Would Be Compromised If Turkey Also Had the S-400 Anti-Aircraft System