Newscast: December 7, 2006

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GDLS To Upgrade Additional 312 Abrams Tanks

The U.S. Army has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $305 million contract to reset and upgrade 312 M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom under a new program called Improved Systems Enhancement Package (SEP) Reset. 72 of the tanks will be upgraded in 2007. Additional 240 tanks will go through the process in 2008-2009.

Australian, French Tiger HAP Testthe Fires Hellfire II

The integration of Hellfire II missiles with the Eurocopter Tiger HAP helicopter is progressing, Lockheed Martin reported of a recent test firing conducted in Australia by the French MOD Armament Agency (DGA). The first-time gunner, a French pilot, employed a lock-on-before-launch technique, scored a direct at a target six kilometers away. The recent test followed seven previous firings, where all missiles hit their designated targets. Hellfire is currently employed with various platforms, including the Apache, Cobra, and Predator UAV. Integration with the Tiger is underway for the Australian Army, while the French Army is also considering the missile for its Tigers. Another potential airborne platform currently considered for the Hellfire is the Black Hawk helicopter.

Lockheed Martin Sky Spirit UAV Operates MiniSAR Payload

Lockheed Martin demonstrated the capability of its Sky Spirit Mini UAV to operate with Miniature SAR, offering tactical ground forces with broad-area, high resolution imaging capability under all weather conditions. During the October 19th flight the Sky Spirit flew with the Sandia National Laboratories MiniSAR at an altitude of 3,000 feet, transmitting high resolution (4 inch) SAR imagery to the ground station in near-real-time.

RAFAEL Unveils Sea Spotter - a Third Generation Naval IRST

RAFAEL Armament Development Authority Ltd is developing an advanced, passive Infra-Red Search & Track (IRST) system that will enable a naval vessel to automatically locate and pinpoint threats and targets located around it without employing on-board radar, thus becoming exposed to enemy electronic support measures. The system employs a third generation staring infrared system providing automatic location of surface and airborne targets. Sea Spotter is able to locate such threats as surface-to-surface missiles, super sonic and sub sonic sea skimming missiles, combat aircraft, gliding bombs, ARM weapons helicopters, ships, small target vessels such as a submarine periscope and/or terrorist threats like jet skis.

High Capacity Data Radios for Israel's Army Digitization Program

Streamlining systems acquisition for the Israel Defense Forces' Digital Army Program (Zayad), Elbit Systems will procure high capacity data radios from its newly acquired subsidiary Tadiran Communications. Originally, Elbit opted for a derivative of US based ITT's Mercury High Capacity Data Radio (HCDR) for this role but after the acquisition of Tadiran, the company obtained such technologies in-house. Tadiran was subsequently assigned a US$ 23.6 million contract to complete development and deliver the radios for DAP, with deliveries expected to continue through 2011. Under a different DAP related program Tadiran is developing the higher level, broadband area communications layer, based on the military implementation of commercial WIMAX standards.

Netherlands Look for 50 new Special Forces' Vehicles

The Dutch Army plans to procure 50 high mobility vehicles to equip its special operations units. According to a Dutch MoD Request for Information (RFI) released this week, the vehicles should accommodate 4 soldiers, with significant mission and payload carrying capability while maintaining excellent cross country mobility. The vehicles should also be fitted with armor protection and armament mountings.


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