A new breed of weapons employed by insurgents in Iraq is causing
heavy casualties to U.S. troops in Iraq. "Explosively Formed
Projectiles", (EFPs) are far more lethal than more traditional
improvised explosive devices (IEDs)" said U.S. Defense
Secretary Robert M. Gates told reporters today during a Pentagon
news conference. Such EFPs, believed to be produced in Iraq
and infiltrated into Iraq to support insurgent groups are capable
of taking out armored vehicles including, in certain aspects,
an M1-A2 Abrams tank.
Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the Canadian government have signed an
agreement for the purchase of four C-17 Globemaster IIIs for
Canada's Department of National Defence to provide new strategic
airlift mobility capabilities for the Canadian Forces. The contract,
estimated at about C$3.4 billion (US$ 2.9 billion) was signed
Feb. 1, 2007. It includes the sale of four airframes and full
support for 20 years. The first aircraft will be delivered in
fall 2007. The Canadian C-17s will be based at the Canadian
Forces Base in Trenton, Ontario. 47% of the cost will fund maintenance
repair and overhauls (MRO) services supporting the aircrat over
the next 20 years.
Alenia Aeronautica Resumes Sky-X Flight Testing in Italy
Alenia Aeronautica The Sky-X, unmanned technology demonstrator
aircraft developed by Alenia Aeronautica resumed flight testing
in Italy, flown from the Italian Air Force's Base of Amendola,
near Foggia. During the last two years at the Vidsel Base in
Sweden, near the Arctic Circle. This operation required special
certification for one ton weight class of unmanned aircraft,
by ENAC, Italian Civil Aviation Agency.
EADS Defence & Security Systems will provide the tri-national
Medium Extended Air Defence System (MEADS)
with T/R modules forming the system's fire control radar, under
a € 120 m. The company is expected to deliver more than
40,000 modules within the next two years, to support the design
and development of the new radar.
The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG)
entered the U.S. 7th Fleet’s area of responsibility (AOR)
Jan. 31. Stennis and the rest of the strike group, led by Rear
Adm. Kevin Quinn, is headed west to provide support for U.S.
and coalition forces operating in the 5th Fleet and will support
Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, be prepared to
take part in Horn of Africa operations, and conduct maritime
security operations (MSO).
On February 1, 2007 the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) selected
RAFAEL to develop the system that could mitigate the rocket
threat. Called "Iron Cap" the system will address
the threat of short range rockets, including the Qassam improvised
rockets and Katyusha rockets fired by Palestinian and Hezbollah
guerillas from Gaza and South Lebanon. The mobile Iron Cap system
will most probably will consist of mobile radar systems, battle
management center and missile firing units employing a version
of a yet unspecified missiles, to be modified into rocket interceptor.
The system will utilize a new radar developed at IAI's Elta,
capable of tracking multiple targets and discriminate between
benign threats and those threatening the protected targets.
The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a € 430
million ($559 million) contract to EuroHawk GmbH, a joint-venture
company formed by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and
EADS, for the development, test and support of the Euro Hawk
unmanned signals intelligence (SIGINT) surveillance and reconnaissance
system. The joint team will conduct integration and flight test
activity in Germany in late 2009. Delivery of the first demonstrator
is scheduled for 2010, with the following four systems scheduled
tentatively between 2011 and 2014.
The US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) is testing
an AC-130U Spooky Gunship equipped with two 30mm Bushmaster
automatic cannon, replacing the older 25mm and 40mm guns. The
rearmed gunship retains the 105 mm cannon. The rearmed aircraft
will undergo flight testing through May. It should be declared
operational with the 4th Special Operations Squadron in July.
Three more modified U-model gunships will join the squadron
by December 2007.
With Turkey and Norway signing the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
production, sustainment, and follow-on development (PSFD) memorandum
of understanding (MOU), all but two members – Italy and
Denmark confirmed their support for the next phase of the Joint
Strike Fighter program.
The U.S. Army Tank and Automotive Command (TACOM) plans to
test a new robot designed to perform under-vehicle visual inspections
for explosives, weapons or other contraband while keeping human
inspectors protected from potential attack. The robot, known
as Spector, was developed by Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI),
a designer and manufacturer of unmanned vehicle systems. It
is intended for use at roadside, embassy, border, and other
secure location checkpoints.
US Army Awards
KVH US$11.5 Million for TACNAV systems
KVH Industries (Nasdaq: KVHI) will supply
TACNAV vehicle navigation systems for use on U.S. Army combat
vehicles. The contract is potentially worth $11.5 million over
five years. The systems provide precision navigation, heading,
and pointing data for vehicle drivers, crews, and commanders.
Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace
(Kongsberg) of Norway have entered into a Joint Marketing Agreement
to market an air-launched version of the Naval Strike Missile.
The 1,000 pound stealthy missile, to be called the Joint Strike
Missile (JSM), is designed to be carried internally and launched
externally from the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, striking surface
or land targets at ranges of up to 130 nautical miles with high