Newscast: March 8th, 2007

TOPICS & FEATURES
Armored vehicles
C4ISR & Net Centric
Combat Aircraft
Fire Support
Future Combat Systems
Homeland Security
Infantry Warfare
Logistics & Support
Naval Systems
Precision Strike
Protection & Survivability
Special Operations CT
Training & Simulation
Unmanned Systems
Defense Exhibitions

 

 


 

Analysis:

  • Ethnic Opposition on the rise in Iran
    While no definite proof has surfaced over any direct, or indirect involvement of American intelligence agencies in the latest bombing in Zahedan, the US should certainly be interested inflaming ethnic and political opposition inside Iran.
  • Is America Losing its Strategic Hold on Central Asia?
    Over the past two years, US relations with former Soviet Central Asia nations have collapsed. For the United States be able to rapidly deploy troops or have theater strike capability in the future, America will need new Central Asian allies soon.

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Elbit Systems Unveils VIPeR a Portable Combat Robot

Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESLT) introducing at AUSA Winter the Versatile, Intelligent, Portable Robot (VIPeR), the newest member of its unmanned systems family. The new robot is displayed at the company's booth at the USA Winter Symposium and Exhibition. VIPeR™ was developed for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) within the framework of its Portable Unmanned Ground Vehicle (PUGV) program, and in close cooperation with The Israeli Ministry of Defense’s Directorate of Defense R&D (DDR&D). Following operational evaluation, the IDF plans on fielding VIPeR in its infantry platoons.

F-22A Begins SDB Weapon Integration Test Flights

The US Air Force began integration testing of the F-22A Raptor and the GBU-39/B Small-Diameter Bomb (SDB). Testing is conducted since February 2007 by the 411th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB. TheSDB weapon is a low-cost, stand-off precision strike weapon, capable of flying autonomously. Integrating the F-22's stealth and speed and the weapon's autonomy enables pilots to strike targets at a stand-off distance of up to 60 nautical miles (111 km).

Lockheed Martin Unveils New Missiles at AUSA Convention

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) unveiled today two guided missiles designated to improve and fill capability gaps experienced by the current force. One system, called DAGR will engage targets at very short range, in urban setting while the P-44 will strike at point targets from 70 kilometers away. The two systems are designed to integrate within the current forces. DAGR is designed for operation from systems currently using the Hellfire, such as attack helicopters and weaponized unmanned aerial systems, while th eP44 missile is designed for deployment with HIMARS and MLRS rocket launchers.


International's MRAP I Model Unveiled for AUSA Winter

Another Israeli developed IED, mine and ambush protected system was unveiled today, with the introduction of International Trucks' MRAP Category I vehicle, developed by International Trucks and Plasan for the US Marine Corps' MRAP program. In January International was awarded an initial contract to supply four test vehicles. Collaboration with Plasan provided International Trucks with the armor suite designed to meet the MRAP specifications, offering resistance to mines and IEDs. International plans to assemble the armor kits at its armor integration center in Mississippi. BAE Systems is also expected to show two configurations of its RG33 - the 4x4 and 6x6 vehicles, which have already entered production for the MRAP program.


Australia Launch A$6 Billion Super Hornet Acquisition

Australia decided to acquire 24 F/A-18F Block II Super Hornet multi role aircraft to close a potential air combat capability gap that could have opened in 2010, when current F-111 are retired and 2015, when JSF fighters are expected to be fully operational in Australia. A dozen Super Hornets will be delivered starting in 2009. The remaining twelve will be delivered in 2011. Full Operational Capability is expected to be achieved by the end of 2012, including full indigenous training, EW support, logistics and full deployment capability.

Photo: Minster for Defence Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP at the announcement of the acquisition by Australia of 24 F/A-18F Block II Super Hornet multi-role aircraft at RAAF Base Fairbairn. (Photo: Australian defence)

7,600 New Tanks To Be Produced Through the Next Decade

The tank is not dead. In its annual analysis “The Market for Tanks,” the Forecast International (FI) Weapons Group projects that the international market will produce over 7,600 new main battle tanks, worth in excess of $31.5 billion, through 2016. Significant spending is also directed to retrofits and upgrades.


Korea Unveils New Tank Proposed for Turkish MBT Program

The Republic of Korea is planning to field new XK2 tanks in 2011, gradually replacing the K1 tanks current in service. ADD is one of two finalists competing for a Turkish main battle tank acquisition tender, where it is competing against a version of the French Leclerc tank offered by GIAT. Given traditionally stressed relations between Turkey and France, Korea's chances to win the program are considerably high. Turkey plans to select one of its domestic companies to lead the next-generation tank project in the spring of 2007. According to ADD officials, as the tank enters production in 2009, it is expected to cost about 8.3 billion won (US$7.9 million) a piece.

OMC Quadruples Turnover After BAE Systems' Acquisition

Recent new contracts from the US Army and Sweden have helped BAE Systems Land Systems OMC achieve record growth. “Since BAE Systems purchased a major share in the company in 2004, Land Systems South Africa’s annual turnover has quadrupled from 300 million Rand (US$40.6 million) to over 1.2 billion Rand ($120 million) in 2006." said Johan Steyn, managing director of BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa.

Force Protection Awarded 19 Additional Buffalo EOD Vehicles

Force Protection was awarded $16.2 million US Navy contract to supply 19 Buffalo mine-resistant, route clearance (EOD) vehicle to be used for convoy operations in Iraq. The company is expected to deliver the vehicles to the US Marines by September 2007.

Tank Crews 'Check Six"via new Rear View Camera

US Army tank crews will soon be able to 'watch their back' using new rear-view cameras to be delivered by BAE Systems. The Driver’s Rear View Camera (DRVC) system uses a thermal imager to monitor the area behind the tank day, night and through dust and smoke. The system is part of the U.S. Army’s Abrams Tank Urban Survivability Kit, fits into taillight housings common to more than 200,000 military vehicles.

Industry Groups Urge for Revision in US Export Control System

Export control systems should be modernized to improve performance and competitiveness in the world defense markets by implementing a modern system that will be more efficient, predictable and transparent. In an open letter to President George W. Bush, the newly formed Coalition for Security and Competitiveness outlined several proposals to modernize the export regulation process. The coalition recommended the implementation of more efficient export control regulatory management, by identifying and safeguarding the sensitive and militarily critical technologies essential for US defense, facilitating defense trade and technological exchange with allies and trusted partners, promote greater multilateral cooperation on mutually agreed export control.


Additional Arrowheads for US Army Apaches

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] will supply 158 Arrowhead kits for US Army AH-64 Apache helicopters, under a follow-on $311 million production contract awarded by the US Army. Final deliveries are expected in December 2009. The first Arrowhead production contract was awarded in 2003. Arrowhead, also known as Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) replaces the original sighting system developed for these attack helicopters. Boeing [NYSE: BA] completed the delivery of six AH-64D Apache Longbow multi-role combat helicopters for the Kuwait Air Force. The helicopters are part of a 16-aircraft order signed in 2002 between Kuwait's Ministry of Defense and the U.S. Department of Defense. The delivery schedules for the remaining 10 aircraft and contract details have not been announced.

Army Fields New Protective Neck Gear

The Army is fielding 430,000 new helmet pads, officially referred to as Nape Pads, designed to better protect Soldiers' neck areas from ballistic fragmentation. Shipment of the new protective pads is already underway, according to the US Army. The neck pad further complements the Army's continuously evolving 'system-of-systems' based protection gear which includes the advanced combat helmet, ballistic eyewear, hearing protection, fire resistant uniforms, and integrated body armor with enhanced small-arms protective inserts, deltoid auxiliary protectors, and side-armor plates.

France to Deploy Tactical Wireless Access to Defense Intranet

The French Army is planning to employ commercial-based WiMAX system to support high capacity wireless data communications (broadband connectivity) in support of deployed forces. The system will support the transfer of classified information up to the 'restricted' level, thus allowing direct access from the field level to INTRADEF, the Intranet of the French Ministry of Defence.

 


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