Missiles and Fires News - September 2010

Photo above: Pincher is a new robotic operated countermeasures designed to disable Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from long distance employing high precision, high speed pyrophoric darts. Photo: Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

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Falcon is Healthy, Few Tweaks Will Suffice to Fly the Next Mission in Late 2011

DARPA FalconSix months after the first test flight of the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle’s (HTV-2) which failed to meet its objective, an independent Engineering Review Board (ERB) identified the anomaly that caused the vehicle to exceeding the design flight control envelope. “No major changes to the vehicle or software are required to mitigate the first flight anomaly” said David Neyland, DARPA Tactical Technology Office director (Read More...)

U.S. Challenges Iran, Equipping Gulf States with More Ballistic Missiles

Himars Bahrain and Dubai are expecting to get more MGM-164 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Last week the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the U.S. Congress about the planned sale of 130 ATACMS missiles carrying Unitary Warheads T2K (MGM-164), equipping the two gulf states with medium range ballistic missile capability for the first time. (Read More...)

Israel Delays Deployment of Iron Dome

Iron Flame While the first Iron Dome battalion continues its training toward achieving Initial Operational Capability, the military is reluctant to deploy them in positions protecting population centers near the Gaza strip as originally planned. Instead, the single system currently available will be stored at a central IAF base, ready for dispatch at short notice, to protect strategic targets or population centers that may come under attack by enemy short range rockets. (Read More...)

Distributed Aperture System Tracks Ballistic Missiles from 1,300 km Away

Manned and unmanned aircraft equipped with omni-directional ‘Distributed Aperture System’ (DAS) imaging infrared systems could be used effectively to provide early warning on missile launches. Such systems covering a full hemisphere, can spot missiles as they break over the horizon and automatically track their hot flame from long distance, throughout their ascent phase. (Read More...)

MBDA Tests a Novel Penetrating Warhead

MBDA The European missile group MBDA has completed a second successful test of a new aerial weapon designed to penetrate deep buried bunkers. The recent test employed the weapon using representative missile airframe, accelerated on the long sled track at the Biscarrosse test range of DGA Essais de Missiles on 14th September 2010. (Read More...)

Laser JDAM Tested with 2,000 pound Mk-84 Warhead

Laser JDAM Boeing completed the first pair of seven flight tests of the MK-84 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (Laser JDAM) this summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., as part of the new weapon qualification process. Integration of Laser JDAM will provide these heavy warheads with pinpoint strike precision, utilizing redundant navigation and guidance modes the guidance kit will enable midcourse GPS and terminal laser guidance, providing more effective, flexible attack modes. (Read More...)

IMI’s Iron Fist APS Completes a Successful Evaluation in the U.S.A.

Iron Fist Iron Fist, the active protection system (APS) for armored vehicles developed by Israel Military Industries (IMI), has completed an evaluation by the U.S. Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) as part of a congressionally mandated evaluation of domestic and foreign APS. For the OSD evaluation IMI integrated the Iron Fist onto a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, or MRAP, vehicle. The rigorous test program spanned over several months and evaluated the system under complex engagement scenarios. (Read More...

Pentagon Tests U.S., Foreign Active Protection Systems in Search for a Mature Solution Against RPGs

APS The U.S. Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) is testing seven Active protection Systems, mostly from international vendors, to determine the maturity and potential of such systems, protecting U.S. forces against Rocket Propelled Grenades and other Anti-Armor weapons. The Active Protection Systems Live Fire Test and Evaluation effort, which was mandated by Congress in 2008 provides U.S. with comparative insight into potential defenses readily available to protect U.S. forces. (Read More...)

David's Sling Short Range Missile Defense Systems Enters a New Stage

David Sling Israel and the U.S. reiterated the agreement to continue their cooperative development of the David Sling weapon system (also known as Majic Wand), extending the agreement signed in 2008 that paved the way for the development of a Short-Range Ballistic Missile Defense Project. The new agreement provides the necessary funding for continued development of the system, considered highly important for Israel’s defense. (Read More...)

How serious is the P800 Yakhont threat? Does it have a destabilizing effect on the Middle East?

Yakhont The expected arrival of the P800 Yakhont supersonic anti-ship missile in Syria is considered the first serious attempt by Syria to directly challenge the Israel Navy since the 1973 war, when the Israeli Navy sunk five Syrian vessels in the first missile-boat engagement known as the ‘Battle of Latakia’. Four decades later, the P800 Yakhont is far superior than the Styx missiles that failed to protect the Syrian Navy in 1973.  Much like the Russian-Indian Brahmos, the earlier Moskit and Supersonic Alpha, Yakhont has the capability to strike its target at supersonic speed, flying at very low level, leaving the defender much shorter time to react. Yet, ship defenses have come a long way since the Electronic Warfare (EW) systems that saved the day and won the battle for the Israelis. (Read More...)

More details on the SDB-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II

SDB The SDB II's multi-effect warhead packs a shaped charge, blast and fragmentation effects, defeating armored targets, structures as well as unarmored targets. One of the key featutures of the GBU-53/B is that it is designed to maximize the loadout on fourth and fifth generation fighter aircraft. An F-15E fighter aircraft to carry seven groups of four GBU-53/Bs for a total of 28 weapons. The Raptor and F-35 Lightning II can carry eigth such weapons in their internal weapons bay. (Read More...)

Army NLOS Dead. Will the Navy Keep it Alive

While the cancellation of the XM-501 Non Line of Sight Launch System and Missile (NLOS-LS) will relieve the Army of financial burden of a weapon system considered too costly and redundant, the U.S. Navy, which counted on the weapon will have to support the continued development and fielding of the system by itself. The Navy is scheduled to begin at-sea testing of the NLOS-LS medium range surface to surface missile module by 2012. According to the Navy's plans, NLOS-LS would become the principal weapon for the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) 'Surface Warfare' Module, enabling the vessel to dominate a large coastal and littoral area. (read more... )

Gel-Based Rocket Propellant Matures at Bayern-Chemie

Gel-Based Rocket Propellant Matures at Bayern-ChemieRocket propulsion expert Bayern-Chemie has demonstrated the maturity of a gel-based rocket propulsion enabling efficient missiles, drones and rockets to implement variable-thrust, therefore extend mission range, endurance and maneuverability. According to the manufacturer, the full advantages of gelled propellant propulsion systems will be realized when they are integrated within air-to-ground or surface-to-surface missiles. Meanwhile, Bayern-Chemie considers implementing the new propulsion technology with reusable start boosters for drones, cruise missiles and aircraft. (read more...)

Missile Cooperation Between Iran and China

Nasr-1 (Victory 1) medium range anti-ship missileChina inaugurated a new missile assembly plant in Iran last month, Jane's Defense Weekly reports. According to Robert Hewson, editor of Jane's Air-Launched Weapons, quoted by UPI, the new production line is producing Iran's Nasr-1 (Victory 1) medium range anti-ship missile which is actually the Chinese C-704 anti-ship missile. The event marked "another milestone in the continuing military/industrial bond between the two countries." observed Hewson, indicating that "unlike Russia, China has been very successful in offering Iran technology and capabilities that are actually wanted, as opposed to those that might be 'nice to have.' While these Chinese-origin systems have provided Iran with invaluable missile technology, this has had little or no impact on the development of its ballistic missile capabilities." Hewston said. "Iran's strategic weapons can only (ultimately) involve it in a losing battle with the United States,' Hewson concluded, "but its tactical weapons have already altered the regional balance of power in a much more practical way." (read more...)

Pantsir-S1, S-300 Tested on a Russian Air Defense Drill

Pantsir S1 hybrid gun/missile system

The Russian Air Defense command carried out an exercise engaging targets representing cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and rockets. The exercise took place at the Ashuluk missile test range in the Astrakhan Region at the Kola Peninsula. The video recorded at the exercise depicts multiple launches of the S-300 Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) and several engagements of Pantsir S1 hybrid gun/missile system, engaging targets with both 30mm cannons and missiles. According to the Novosty news agency reporting about the event, 23 missiles were launched to intercept 10 targets. Representatives from the air defense forces in Kazakhstan and Belarus watched the exercise.

Iran Unveils S-300 Like Missile Carrier

Iran Unveils S-300 Like Missile CarrierIran has unveiled several new missiles and UAVs at the 2010 Army Day Parade, highlighting long-range ballistic missiles of the solid-propelled Sejjil-2 and liquid propelled Shahab family. Iran also hints on the existence of a new missile in its arsenal, an S-300 'look-alike'. The vehicle displayed on the parade carries four cylindrical canisters measuring roughly as the S-300 container-launcher, but the Iranian vehicle does not show any erection apparatus. If these vehicles are part of a real system, they could be vehicles carrying reload missiles. The system is definitely not the Russian S-300, but could be a derivative of the Chinese HQ-9. (Read the full report...)

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