The US Army integrates DeepStrike | The Zephyr is being eyed by the US Futures Command | “S-300 is not a match for the F-35i”, claims Israeli official
The US Army is introducing a more lethal long-range missile to its inventory. The service is now able to fire Raytheon’s DeepStrike missile from its M142 HIMARS and M270 MLRS launchers. The launchers are now outfitted with a launch pod missile container. This launchers are now able to fire two missiles from a single weapons pod. The DeepStrike is Raytheon’s answer to Russia’s Iskander Ballistic missile and has been designed to fulfil the requirements of the Army’s Long-Range Precision Fires (LRPF) program. According to the Army the LRPF program is its “number one modernization priority and critical to winning in a peer adversary”. The DeepStrike will be the Army’s future surface-to-surface missile that can engage moving sea and land-based targets at ranges of up to 309 miles, ultimately replacing the ATACMS missiles. Live-fire demonstrations are expected to be held by the end of 2019.
Embraer’s first series production KC-390 successfully completes its maiden flight. This milestone allows the multi-mission medium airlifter to join the Brazilian Air Force’s flight test campaign, in which over 1.900 flight hours have been logged so far. Embraer states that the Brazilian aviation authority ANAC will soon issue the basic aircraft with a civil certification. The KC-390 is a T-tailed, high-winged, hump-backed form as a full military aircraft and C-130 competitor.
The US Army Futures Command is interested in buying Airbus’ Zephyr S HAPS system. The new group is the Army’s fourth command and is tasked with driving the service into the future to achieve clear overmatch in future conflicts. The command wants to use the high-altitude pseudo-satellite for a variety of missions, including as military, security and civil missions and acting as a communication hub. The Zephyr is built out of carbon fibre composite materials and is solar powered. The drone set the world record for flight endurance in July after staying aloft using solar cells for 25 days 23h 57min. Willie Nelson, the Futures Command’s director, told Flight Global “I think they are an incredible capability that we should continue to invest [science and technology] dollars into research and development”. The UK has currently three Zephyrs on order. They will provide British troops with battlefield intelligence and surveillance. The US Army currently has no funded program to acquire high-altitude UAVs.
Middle East & Africa
Israeli defense firm Smart Shooter unveils a new optical device that helps soldiers to engage targets under crowded and stressful conditions. The SMASH 2000 Plus can be placed on a wide range of small arms, such as the M4 Carbine, and according to the company virtually guarantees rounds on target. The SMASH consists of an imaging system, a firing processor and user display. A number of sensors allow the optical device to track ground and aerial drone targets, once the soldiers acquires a target the system works out a firing solution and releases a shot. The device helps fatigued and stressed soldiers to effectively engage enemies or drones in congested environments. The 2000 Plus is the latest variant, and is specifically designed to accurately hit fast and maneuverable tactical drones during the day and at night. The SMASH system is currently in use by the Israeli Defense Force and was successfully tested by US SOFs and other military agencies.
An Israeli official claims that Syria’s new S-300 is not a match for the IAF’s F-35i fighter aircraft. The official told Israel’s Army Radion on Wednesday that the Russian supplied air-defense missile system can be “defeated by Israel’s stealth fighters and possibly destroyed on the ground”. Tzachi Hanegbi also told the radio station that the S-300’s capabilities had long been factored into Israeli planning. The F-35 is designed as an ‘affordable stealth’ counterpart to the F-22 Raptor, in addition the F-35i incorporates Israeli-made electronic counter-measures systems. Experts have noted that although, the S-300 has systems that are designed to detect and track the presence of low observable aircraft such as the F-35i, its low-band early warning radars may not be able to accurately target the aircraft. The Russian government confirms that the delivery of the S-300 to Syria is a response to an incident last month that resulted in the downing of a Russian spy plane.
Thales and Leonardo are testing the jointly-developed end-to-end missile warning and protection system in live-fire scenarios. According to a press release, the system successfully demonstrated it’s ability to very quickly defend against incoming missiles, during a recently held Surface-to-Air Launch Trial hosted by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration. The warning and protection system consists of the Miysis DIRCM system and DAS controller provided by Leonardo and a Thales Elix-IR multi-function TWS. The Elix-IR warning system provides alert about incoming threats which typically are heat-seeking missiles equipped with infrared seekers such as inexpensive Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) used by terrorist organizations and military operators worldwide. The Miysis system tracks and jams the incoming missile’s guidance system, steering the missile away from the target. This latest-generation protective system is a UK Sovereign capability and has been specified to meet the requirements of the UK Ministry of Defense.
The Australian Army is ordering a laboratory from Spain’s Indra. The awarded contract is valued at $25.4 million and provides for the design and manufacture of a deployable forensic laboratory. This new facility will help soldiers to faster collect, analyse, and document the evidence from IED attacks. Deployable Forensic C-IED Laboratories are intended to analyze the intelligence and evidence gathered at the scene of an IED event quickly, to both give a commander quick actionable intelligence and support subsequent exploitation. Procurement of this facility gives the Australian Army it’s needed Joint Counter Improvised Explosive Device Capability as outlined under the Land154 Phase 2 procurement program. According to the company, over 90% of the contract will be carried out by Australian equipment manufacturers and distributors.
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