General Dynamics UK has successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) for the Scout Reconnaissance variant, as part of the Scout Specialist Vehicle (SV) programme. The completion of the Scout Reconnaissance variant CDR is a significant marker in the Scout SV programme, with the first Scout Reconnaissance pre-production prototype to be completed later this year.
The CDR covered the fully-integrated Scout Reconnaissance platform, including the platform hull design, the Lockheed Martin UK-developed turret, Electronic Architecture, onboard software solutions, sub-systems and variant-specific products, such as the Primary Sight.
In service, the Scout Reconnaissance variant will provide best-in-class protection and survivability, reliability and mobility and all-weather Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Recognition (ISTAR) capabilities. It will enable the soldier to be at the point of collection of accurate all-weather commander information within a network-enabled, fully-digitised platform.
Kevin Connell, vice president at General Dynamics UK – Land Systems, said: «The Scout Reconnaissance variant is the flagship of the Scout SV programme and will provide a step-change in ground-based ISTAR capability to the British Army. The completion of the Scout Reconnaissance variant CDR is a significant step in delivering a family of Scout SV platforms, which represent the future of Armoured Fighting Vehicles for the British Army».
The Scout Reconnaissance variant CDR is the final variant-specific CDR to be completed ahead of the pending Scout SV System CDR, which will examine all aspects of each Scout SV platforms under a single review.
Defence Minister, Philip Dunne, said: «The Scout programme has already passed several of its key milestones, including the live blast trials. This latest achievement shows great progress, with Scout SV vehicles well on their way to being ready for Army user trials in 2017. This is an exciting time for the armoured vehicles business in the UK and it is great news that the Scout programme is already securing approximately 2,400 jobs across the country».
The range of Scout SV variants will allow the British Army to conduct sustained, expeditionary, full-spectrum and network-enabled operations with a reduced logistics footprint. Scout SV can operate in combined-arms and multinational situations across a wide-range of future operating environments.
According to Nicholas de Larrinaga, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, the UK has ordered a total of 589 of the vehicles, intended to replace the less capable CVR(T) family, at a cost of £3.5 billion ($5.420 billion). These are divided between two principal variant families: the 40-mm turret armed reconnaissance vehicle and the Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support (PMRS) variant.
It is said in The Jane’s Defence Weekly that Finland’s Special Forces have selected the Belgian FN SCAR-L assault rifle as a new standard firearm. The FN SCAR-L will be the first 5.56×45 mm NATO calibre firearm introduced to the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF). It will supplement the current RK 95 TP assault rifle chambered in the Russian 7.62×39 mm cartridge. Both weapons will be used in parallel by Finnish soldiers.
«We decided that the rifle for the Special Forces should be compatible with other nations for use in crisis management and national defence», said infantry inspector Colonel Jukka Valkeajärvi.
The weapon was approved after field tests. A contract for FN SCAR-L rifles and FN40GL-L under-barrel grenade launchers is to be signed in March. The Special Forces units are also seeking a new light machine gun chambered in 5.56×45 mm. The FN Minimi and the H&K MG4 are being tested at the Finnish Army training centre (Utin Jääkärirykmentti).
Finland launched its ‘reconnaissance weapon system’ for the Special Forces in March 2014. Under it, the country was looking for 200-300 rifles chambered in 5.56×45 mm and 50-75 grenade launchers chambered in 40×46 mm low velocity ammunition. Rifles are set to be equipped with additional accessories, including the tactical light and laser pointer Insight Model 7500 (AN/PEQ-2A). The contract is estimated to be worth €750,000 ($851,378) with all weapons to be delivered in 2015.
Early 2004, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) issued a solicitation for a family of Special Forces Combat Assault Rifles, the so-called SCAR, designed around two different calibers but featuring high commonality of parts and identical ergonomics.
FN Herstal took part in the full and open competition and released prototypes of a brand new family of weapons within timeframe taking advantage of our long-standing firearms know-how.
From the first pre-selection tests, the FN SCAR system developed by FN Herstal has remained the first and only choice of USSOCOM.
The FN SCAR-L STD assault rifle is chambered in 5.56×45 mm NATO caliber and is fitted with a standard 14.5″ barrel.
The operator can replace the standard barrel with a short 10″ barrel for close quarter combat in less than five minutes. The rifle is then called FN SCAR-L CQC.
The FN SCAR-L STD assault rifle can be fitted with a FN40GL-L grenade launcher mounted on the lower rail of the rifle, for additional firepower.
The FN SCAR assault rifle features a foldable buttstock, an adjustable cheek piece (2 positions) and an adjustable length of pull (6 positions) to adapt to any operators.
The FN SCAR assault rifle features a reversible charging handle and an ambidextrous safety/firing selector and magazine release.
Right- and left-handed operators are at ease with any FN SCAR® assault rifle.
The FN SCAR-L STD weighs no more than 3.545 kg (without magazine) and does not exceed 653 mm in length with folded buttstock.
The FN SCAR assault rifle fires semi-automatic or full automatic maintaining high firing accuracy in either mode.
Wide range of Accessories
The FN SCAR assault rifle features an upper Picatinny rail for optional day or night sighting systems (in-line mounting possible) and lower and side rails for optional accessories (e.g. light, laser, foregrip).
Further accessories are available, such as sling, bipod, carrying bag and blank firing system.
Easy Field Stripping
The FN SCAR assault rifle consists of 5 major assemblies:
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Sailors aboard the USS Carney (DDG-64), USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) and USS Barry (DDG-52) successfully completed a flight test today involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) weapon system.
At approximately 2:30 a.m. EST, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near-simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. Two Aegis BMD destroyers acquired and tracked the targets, while another destroyer participated in associated operations. Using this data, the Aegis BMD ships conducted simulated Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB guided missile engagements with the Distributed Weighted Engagement Scheme (DWES) capability enabled.
The DWES provides an automated engagement coordination scheme between multiple Aegis BMD ships that determines which ship is the preferred shooter, reducing duplication of BMD engagements and missile expenditures while ensuring BMD threat coverage. Several fire control, discrimination, and engagement functions were exercised. Since no SM-3 guided missiles were launched, the test did not include an attempted intercept.
This test was designated Flight Test Other 19 (FTX-19). This was the first flight test to assess the ability of the Aegis BMD 4.0 weapon system to simulate engagements of a raid consisting of three short-range, separating ballistic missile targets. This was also the first time Aegis BMD 4.0 ships used the DWES capability with live targets.
According to Geoff Fein, Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter, in this scenario one ship took two shots and one ship took one. The USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) took two shots based on how DWES determined who had best shot. The system can be configured to automatically fire or have operator intervention. Both ships fired simulated Standard Missile-3s. A third ship, USS Barry (DDG-52), equipped with Aegis baseline 9, also took part in the test, but it did not participate in the co-ordinated tracking and engagement of the three ballistic missile targets.
USS Barry (DDG-52) was tracking the three targets and doing simulated engagements similar to what the other ships were doing, except that USS Carney (DDG-64) and USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) were testing out DWES. USS Barry (DDG-52) gave an opportunity to use the latest Baseline 9 build and make sure Navy could do simultaneous engagements in the same raid-type scenario.
The difference between USS Carney (DDG-64) and USS Gonzalez (DDG-66) equipped with Aegis Baseline 4 and USS Barry (DDG-52) equipped with Baseline 9 is that the baseline 4 ships have a combination of the older UYK military-based and commercial off-the-shelf computers and rely on the ballistic signal processor functionality.
USS Barry (DDG-52) just received Baseline 9, which has the latest software configuration that brings an integrated air and missile defence capability to the ship. Baseline 9 also has the multi-mission signal processor, which is capable of conducting both air and BMD missions simultaneously. Aegis Baseline 9 has DWES capability built in. Additionally two cruisers, USS Lake Erie (CG-70) and USS Shiloh (CG-67), have DWES functionality.
The MDA will use test results to improve and enhance the Ballistic Missile Defense System and support the advancement of Phase 2 of the Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense in Europe to provide protection of U.S. deployed forces and European allies and partners.
The future USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10), launched from the Austal USA shipyard February 25, marking an important production milestone for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. The ship is named after former United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords. LCS-10 will be the 16th U.S. naval ship to be named for a woman, and only the 13th ship to be named for a living person since 1850.
«This third Independence variant ship of the block buy is the first ship constructed fully utilizing Austal’s LCS Modular Manufacturing Facility and is launching at the highest level of production completion to-date», said Capt. Tom Anderson, Littoral Combat Ship program manager, «a sign that facility investments are now paying off in schedule and cost performance».
Gabrielle Giffords was rolled out of her assembly bay onto a barge for transfer down the Mobile River to a floating drydock February 24. The new ship entered the water for the first time the following day when the drydock was flooded for the ship launch. The ship will return to the shipyard to continue final outfitting and activation until her christening later this year. She is expected to deliver to the fleet in 2017.
Gabrielle Giffords is the third ship in a block buy contract with Austal to build 10 Independence- variant LCS ships. Sister ship Jackson (LCS-6) is preparing for builder’s trials, and Montgomery (LCS-8) was christened in November 2014. The LCS program is ramping up in 2015 to deliver two ships per year from the Austal shipyard, as well as two Freedom-variant ships from the Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin.
The Navy is leveraging competition, fixed-price contracting and ongoing production efficiencies to reduce construction time and costs on littoral combat ships. Lessons learned from the lead ships have been incorporated into both Freedom-variant (odd-numbered) and Independence-variant (even-numbered) hulls.
PEO (Program Executive Offices) LCS is responsible for delivering and sustaining littoral mission capabilities to the fleet and is working with industry to increase production efficiencies and leverage cost savings to achieve steady serial production. Delivering high-quality warfighting assets while balancing affordability and capability is key to supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy.
The Independence Variant of the LCS Class
Construction: Hull and superstructure – aluminium alloy
Length overall: 417 feet/127.1 m
Beam overall: 103 feet/31.4 m
Hull draft (maximum): 14.8 feet/4.5 m
Payload and capacities
Core Crew – 40
Mission crew – 36
Berthing: 76 in a mix of single, double & quad berthing compartments
Maximum mission load: 210 tonnes
Mission packages: ASW, SUW, MIW
2 × GE LM2500
2 × MTU 20V 8000
Waterjets: 4 × Wartsila steerable
Bow thruster: Retractable azimuthing
Speed: 40 knots/46 mph/74 km/h
Range: 3,500 NM/6,482 km
Operational limitation: Survival in Sea State 8
Deck area: >21,527.8 feet2/2,000 m2
Launch and recovery: Twin boom extending crane
Internal elevator to hanger
Flight deck and hanger
Flight deck dimensions: 2 × SH-60 or 1 × CH-53
Hanger: Aircraft stowage & maintenance for 2 × SH-60
The Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range (JDAM ER) demonstrated significant range increase while maintaining its expected accuracy during flight-testing conducted by Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
The testing centered on a new wing kit that, when used in conjunction with the weapon’s guidance kit, increases the bomb’s range from approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) to more than 45 miles (72 kilometers), as shown during tests above the Woomera Test Range in Australia.
«The JDAM ER wing kit takes advantage of the conventional JDAM aircraft interface and Small Diameter Bomb glide technology», said Beth Kluba, vice president, Boeing Weapons and Missile Systems. «This keeps integration, development and sustainment costs low while bringing customers the range increase needed to neutralize current and future threats».
The 500-pound (227-kilogram) winged JDAM, jointly developed by Boeing and Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation, was dropped from RAAF F/A-18 Classic Hornets from altitudes ranging from 40,000 feet (12,190 meters) down to 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). The weapon deployed its wing kit successfully during each test and flew to a pre-determined aim point, impacting within meters of its target.
«The extended range wing kit will allow the Australian Defence Force to employ JDAM more flexibly and safely in the target area», said Rear Adm. Tony Dalton, responsible for the acquisition of Guided Weapons in Australia. «Additionally, the program also stands to significantly benefit local Australian industry».
Boeing will produce and integrate JDAM ER wing kits for the RAAF under a contract awarded in 2011. Following additional flight and certification testing, production and initial deliveries of JDAM ER to the RAAF are planned for 2015.
Ferra Engineering supplies major sub-assemblies for the JDAM ER modular wing kit to Boeing from its facility in Brisbane, Australia.
JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit that converts existing unguided bombs into near-precision weapons. Including the JDAM ER wing kit, Boeing designed JDAM technology to accept a variety of upgrades such as a laser sensor, improved immunity to GPS jamming, and an all-weather radar sensor. Boeing has built more than 260,000 JDAM tail kits in its Saint Charles, Missouri, facility since production started in 1998. JDAM is used by 27 international militaries.
Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition
Description and Purpose
The Laser Joint Attack Direct Munition (Laser JDAM) expands the capabilities of the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). JDAM is a low-cost guidance kit produced by Boeing that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into near-precision guided «smart» weapons. The JDAM kit consists of a tail section that contains a Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (GPS/INS) and body strakes for additional stability and lift.
Because of its modular design, an affordable laser sensor kit can easily be installed on an existing JDAM in the field within minutes. In addition to the outstanding all-weather GPS/INS capability that conventional JDAMs offer, Laser JDAM now adds the flexibility to prosecute targets of opportunity, including mobile and even maritime targets.
U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and six international countries use the laser sensor kit on their JDAMs.
Currently, tail kit variants are integrated with the Mk-84 2,000-pound and BLU-109 2,000-pound (900-kg) warheads (GBU-31). Mk-83 1,000-pound (450-kg) (GBU-32) and Mk-82 500-pound (225-kg) warheads (GBU-38) are in production to deliver the cost-effective JDAM. When employed, these weapons have proven highly accurate and can be delivered in any flyable weather. JDAM can be launched from more than 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the target with updates from GPS satellites to help guide the weapon to the target. Laser JDAM has been integrated with the GBU-38. Follow-on integration with the GBU-31 and GBU-32 is planned.
Laser JDAM is operational on U.S. Air Force F-15E and F-16 and U.S. Navy F/A-18 and A/V-8B platforms. Boeing completed the Laser JDAM development and testing cycle in less than 17 months, and delivered the first production Laser JDAMs to the U.S. Air Force in May 2008. Laser JDAM was successfully employed in combat in Iraq in August 2008. The U.S. Navy’s first Laser JDAMs were delivered in October 2008. In March 2010, the Navy selected Laser JDAM to satisfy its Direct Attack Moving Target Capability (DAMTC) requirement.
In September 2012, Boeing received a $22.7 million modification to an existing U.S. Navy contract for more than 2,300 Laser JDAM sensors, starting full-rate production in order to meet the Navy’s DAMTC program requirements.
The United Arab Emirates-made Nimr – Arabic for «Tiger» – armored vehicle could get a major firepower upgrade, under a pact between Raytheon and Abu Dhabi-based Nimr Automotive that would outfit the rugged four-wheeler with Laser-Guided Rockets (LGRs) previously found only on helicopters (Hydra-70) and other aircraft.
The project to arm the Nimr with TALON rockets is the latest in a series of international partnerships that bring Raytheon’s advanced engineering and innovation to U.S. allies worldwide. The deal was announced at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi (IDEX 2015).
«If you look at the world today, the countries we used to sell to, they’re not happy to buy products off the shelf any more», said Steven C. Schultz, director of business development for land warfare systems at Raytheon Missile Systems. «They want to be true partners in terms of co-production, co-development, and in many cases be the prime contractor for some of these international pursuits».
Nimr Automotive is part of a company owned by Tawazun, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) strategic investment firm. Raytheon and Tawazun previously partnered to develop TALON, which is used to modify older, unguided rockets into laser-seeking weapons.
Other recent international collaborations include:
A partnership with Abu Dhabi Ship Building that provided the United Arab Emirates Navy with the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) and the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM). RAM is a lightweight, self-guided missile that travels faster than the speed of sound. ESSM is the world’s premier international cooperative missile production program, with 18 industrial partners representing 10 nations.
An agreement that designated Turkish missile maker Roket Sanavii ve Ticaret A.S. as a supplier for Raytheon’s Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical (Patriot GEM-T). The company, also known as Roketsan, is the first major trans-Atlantic supplier for the system and is strategically located to support countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
A $1.7 billion Direct Commercial Sales contract in Saudi Arabia to upgrade Patriot systems to the latest Configuration-3.
A partnership with Lockheed Martin to provide the United Arab Emirates with advanced Patriot air and missile defense, along with support and training.
The U.S. Army’s Warfighter Field Operations Customer Support contract, under which Raytheon trains helicopter pilots in Afghanistan. Students graduate as commercial-level pilots.
Bringing TALON to the Nimr vehicle will meet a critical need, should the UAE Armed Forces adopt the system, Schultz said.
«TALON fills a gap between heavy, expensive, anti-tank guided missiles and unguided rockets», Schultz said. «There are a lot of missions for something like TALON. That’s the niche we’re filling».
TALON Laser-Guided Rocket
The weapon integrates Raytheon’s extensive experience in digital semiactive laser technology and proven history in precision air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions development and production. TALON’s architecture and ease of employment make it a low-cost, highly-precise weapon for missions in urban environments, counterinsurgency and swarming boat defense missions.
TALON is certified for use on U.S. Army Apache helicopters and Apaches in international fleets needing an affordable upgrade to the Hydra-70 rocket.
TALON was codeveloped with the United Arab Emirates.
TALON is fully compatible with existing airborne and ground laser designators.
TALON requires no hardware or software modifications to the launcher or aircraft platform and can be deployed from any aircraft that fires 2.75-inch (70-mm) Hydra-70 unguided rockets using the standard M260/261 launchers.
TALON is a low-cost, semi-active laser guidance and control kit that connects directly to the front of 2.75-inch (70-mm) Hydra-70 unguided rockets currently in U.S. and international inventories
Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, introduced its MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) Extended Wheel Base Medical (EXM) variant at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2015, taking place February 22-26 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Oshkosh designed the M-ATV EXM to provide off-road mobility and MRAP-level protection to military medics on ambulatory missions in high-threat environments.
«There is no mission more important than keeping troops safe, including the medics and their patients on the battlefield», said U.S. Army Major General (Retired) John Urias, executive vice president of Oshkosh Corporation and president of Oshkosh Defense. «An increasing number of troops and medics are suffering injuries – often life threatening – while trying to deliver care and evacuate the injured in commercial-based ambulances. The Oshkosh M-ATV EXM combines best-in-class off-road mobility with a life-saving crew protection system for urgent medical care in landscapes that are too rugged for other ambulances».
The Oshkosh Defense M-ATV EXM provides urgent evacuation capabilities while shielding patients and medics from enemy fire. The M-ATV’s lightweight ramp and unique «easy glide» system can load two litter-bound patients – on any NATO-standard litter – in less than two minutes. The tactical ambulance has enough interior capacity to simultaneously transport two litter-bound patients, two ambulatory patients, a medic, commander and driver. The M-ATV EXM’s customizable internal configuration also enables equipment to be accessed quickly by a centrally positioned medic. The vehicle supports standard MRAP Medical Equipment Sets (MES) and requirements such as a universal mounting system, secured storage units, and Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) mounted storage bags.
The M-ATV EXM is a variant of the Oshkosh Defense M-ATV Family of Vehicles, which includes two multi-mission models – the M-ATV Standard and M-ATV Extended. The M-ATV Standard model provides response and support capabilities for a range of offensive and defensive missions in off-road environments, and the M-ATV Extended model delivers increased capacity for additional troops and equipment to support multiple mission profiles. M-ATV EXM delivers gold-standard off-road mobility and optimal protection against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other battlefield threats. Oshkosh’s proprietary TAK-4 independent suspension system provides superior ride quality, including a smoother drive in rough terrain to enable better patient care and preserve the longevity of medical equipment. The M-ATV’s crew protection system is designed for today’s most prevalent threats and can be customized to deliver the highest standards of MRAP-level protection. Furthermore, the M-ATV EXM’s silhouette is the same as the other M-ATV Extended Wheel Base variants, which prevents it from standing out as an obvious target in theater.
Oshkosh M-ATV EXM
Purpose-built military ambulance with complete access to patients and medical equipment.
Fully customizable design for medical equipment.
MRAP-level protection and unmatched mobility for medical evacuation operations.
Fully protected, single compartment crew capsule
Integrated blast protection
TAK-4 independent suspension system
Accommodates two crew members, one medic, two ambulatory patients and two litter-bound patients
Centrally positioned medic with easy access to patients and medical equipment
Vinyl floor covering in medic area is easy to clean and sanitize
Customizable work area supports standard MRAP Medical Equipment Sets (MES) with a universal mounting system
Dual-rear hatches with mechanical spring assist reduces opening size and minimizes load and close procedures
Loading ramp with forward locking mechanism glides and secures any NATO-standard litter into position
Complete all load, secure and close procedures for both litters in less than two minutes
Similar silhouette to other M-ATV Extended Wheelbase variants reduces the risk of medic crews becoming targets
Underbody Improvement Kit (UIK) integrated into EXM design
The U.S. Navy conducted successful test flights February 22 of two Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missiles built by Lockheed Martin. This brings the D5 missile’s record to 155 successful test flights since design completion in 1989, a 25-year-plus reliability record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile.
«These latest test flights demonstrate the reliability of the D5 missile and the readiness of the entire Trident Strategic Weapon System every minute of every day», said Mat Joyce, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs and deputy for Strategic & Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. «The Navy program office, the submarine crews and the industry team never rest to ensure the safety, security and performance of this crucial deterrence system».
The Navy launched the unarmed missiles in the Pacific Ocean from a submerged Ohio-class submarine. The missiles were converted into test configurations using kits produced by Lockheed Martin that contain range safety devices and flight telemetry instrumentation.
The Navy conducts a continuing series of operational system evaluation tests of the Trident Strategic Weapon System, which is the sea-based element of the nation’s nuclear deterrent triad, under the testing guidelines of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile is aboard U.S. Navy Ohio-class and U.K. Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines. The three-stage ballistic missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers) and carries multiple independently targeted reentry bodies.
Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM)
The Trident II D5 is the latest generation of the U.S. Navy’s submarine-launched fleet ballistic missiles, following the highly successful Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident I C4 programs. First deployed in 1990, the Trident II D5 missile is currently aboard Ohio-class and British Vanguard-class submarines. Each missile weighs approximately 130,000 pounds (58,967 kilograms).
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy’s Trident missile prime contractor, developed and produced the missile and support equipment. The company also supplies technical and logistical support at sites where the missiles are deployed.
The FBM team continues to build on a remarkable mission success track record. Through June 2014, the Trident II D5 missile has achieved 150 successful test flights since design completion in 1989 – a record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle.
The first Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) developed and deployed by the United States was the Polaris A1 missile, named for the North Star. A two-stage ballistic missile with a range of 1,200 nautical miles (2,222 kilometers), the A1 was powered by solid fuel rocket motors and guided by a self-contained inertial guidance system independent of external commands or control. The A1’s first successful underwater launch from a submarine on July 20, 1960, brought to fruition a remarkable Navy and industry research and development effort begun only four years earlier. Subsequent Polaris missiles, the A2 and A3, increased the range and thus the operating area of the stealthy deterrent. U.S. deployment of the Polaris missile series ended with the retirement of the A3 in 1979.
The next generation of fleet ballistic missiles to follow Polaris was the Poseidon C3 missile. The Poseidon, despite being 20 inches (508 mm) wider in diameter, 36 inches (914 mm) longer and approximately 30,000 pounds (13,608 kilograms) heavier, fit into the same 16 launch tubes that carried Polaris. Poseidon carried twice the payload of the Polaris A3 with significantly improved accuracy. The first Poseidon test launch occurred on August 16, 1968. The first submarine-based test launch occurred on August 3, 1970, from USS James Madison (SSBN-627). The Poseidon was declared operational on March 31, 1971, and was deployed aboard all 31 Lafayette Class submarines.
The Trident I C4 missiles were the longest continuously operated Fleet Ballistic Missiles ever deployed by the U.S. Navy. Using advanced technology in propellants, micro-electronics and new weight-saving materials, the Trident I C4 missile incorporated the multiple independently-targeted vehicle capability of its predecessor Poseidon and provided an astounding range of more than 4,000 nautical miles (7,408 kilometers) with a full payload.
Raytheon Company has begun development on an extended range variant of the combat-proven Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM). Designed specifically for ground-based air defense, AMRAAM-ER will enable intercepts at longer range and higher altitudes (Source: Raytheon Company).
«With AMRAAM-ER, Raytheon is rewriting the book on ground-based air defense. The new missile will be even faster and more maneuverable than the current AMRAAM», said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon vice president of Air Warfare Systems. «By leveraging many existing AMRAAM components, Raytheon can deliver AMRAAM-ER quickly and affordably with very low risk».
Raytheon will integrate AMRAAM-ER into the NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) launcher.
NASAMS is the latest and most modern Medium Range Air Defense system. In partnership with Kongsberg, Raytheon has delivered more than 70 fire units to seven countries. It is the most commonly used Short and Medium Range Air Defense System in NATO.
«Combined with the NASAMS launcher, AMRAAM-ER will provide a new level of protection to customers», said Ralph Acaba, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. «NASAMS is one of the most easily manned, trained, and maintained systems in the world».
Fielded in Norway for more than a decade, NASAMS is operationally deployed in the U.S. National Capital Region, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, and an undisclosed country. It is also in production for Oman under a contract received last year.
Raytheon plans to flight test AMRAAM-ER before the end of the year.
The AMRAAM is a versatile and proven weapon with operational flexibility in a wide variety of scenarios, including air-to-air and surface-launch engagements. In the surface launch role, AMRAAM is the baseline weapon on the NASAMS launcher.
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Slovakia for UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $450 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on February 18, 2015.
The Government of Slovakia has requested a possible sale of:
9 UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters in standard U.S. Government configuration with designated unique equipment and Government Furnished Equipment (GFE);
20 T700-GE-701D Engines (18 installed and 2 spares);
20 Embedded Global Positioning Systems/Inertial Navigation Systems;
2 Aviation Mission Planning Systems;
1 Aviation Ground Power Unit;
11 AN/APX-123 Identification Friend or Foe Transponders;
20 Very High Frequency (VHF)/Digitally Selective Calling AN/ARC-231 radios;
11 ARN-147 VHF Omni Ranging/Instrument Landing System (VOR/ILS);
11 AN/ARN-153 Tactical Air Navigation Systems;
11 AN/ARC-201D Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems radios.
Also included are aircraft warranty, ammunition, air worthiness support, facility construction, spare and repair parts, support equipment, communication equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, site surveys, tool and test equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services, and other related element of program and logistics support. The estimated cost is $450 million.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally.
The proposed sale will improve Slovakia’s capability to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defense, as well as support counter-terrorism operations. The sale of these UH-60 helicopters will bolster Slovakia’s ability to provide border patrol, rapid reaction, and field expedient firefighting capability for its air and ground forces in counter-terrorism, border security, and humanitarian operations. Slovakia will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractors will be the Sikorsky Aircraft Company in Stratford, Connecticut; and General Electric Aircraft Company in Lynn, Massachusetts. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale may require the assignment of an additional three U.S. Government and five contractor representatives in Slovakia to support the delivery and training for approximately two-five years.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopter
The UH-60M helicopter culminates more than 30 years of technological advancement, improved performance and real world experience. This advanced Black Hawk aircraft serves dependably in the most extreme conditions found on earth. With the integration of the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems and automated aircraft health monitoring, the UH-60M provides superior vertical lift and is the «intelligent» choice for the battlefield of tomorrow.
Primary Function: Personnel recovery in hostile conditions and military operations other than war in day, night or marginal weather
Contractor: United Technologies/Sikorsky Aircraft Company
Length: 64 feet 8 in/17.1 m
Height: 16 feet 8 in/4.4 m
Rotor Diameter: 53 feet 7 in/14.1 m
Fuel Capacity: 4,500 pounds/2,041 kg
Payload: depends upon mission
Armament: Two 7.62-mm or .50 caliber machineguns
Crew: 2 pilots, 1 flight engineer and 1 gunner
Initial operating capability: 1982
Unit Cost: $40.1 million
Inventory: Active force, 67; ANG, 17; Reserve, 15
Powerplant and fuel system
Number of Engines: 2
Engine Type: T700-GE-701D
Maximum Take Off: 3,988 shp/2,974 kW
OEI Shaft horsepower (30 sec): 1,940 shp/1,447 kW
Crew @ total weight: 4 @ 980 lbs/444.5 kg
Troops @ weight/each: 11 @ 290 lbs/131.5 kg
Cargo hook capacity: 9,000 lbs/4082 kg
Weight empty: 12,511 lbs/5,675 kg
Primary mission gross weight: 19,398 lbs/8,799 kg
Maximum Gross Weight: 22,000 lbs/9,979 kg
Maximum Cruise Speed*: 151 knots/174 mph/280 km/h
Maximum Range – No Reserve: 276 NM/317.5 miles/511 km
Vertical Rate of Climb, feet per minute
16,800 lbs/7,620 kg, 4000 feet/1,219 m, 95°F, 95% IRP**: 1,553
18,000 lbs/8,165 kg, 4000 feet/1,219 m, 95°F, 95% IRP**: 941
HIGE*** Ceiling: 10,520 feet/3,206 m
HOGE**** Ceiling: 6,010 feet/1,831 m
OEI***** Service Ceiling: 6,500 feet/1,981 m
AEO****** Service Ceiling: 15,180 feet/4,626 m
* 16,800 lbs/7,620 kg, 4,000 feet/1,219 m, 95°F @ 100% MCP (Mode Control Panel)
** Intermediate Rated Power
*** Hovering In Ground Effect
**** Hovering Out of Ground Effect
***** One Engine Inoperative
****** All Engines Operating
Cabin Length: 12.6 feet/3.8 m
Cabin Width: 7.7 feet/2.3 m
Cabin Height: 4.5 feet/1.3 m
Cabin Area: 88 feet2/8.1 m2
Cabin Volume: 396 feet3/11.2 m3
Baggage Volume: 20 feet3/0.5 m3
Machined cabin structure
Multi-functional and durable 300 psi cabin flooring
Crashworthy Pilot and co-Pilot seats
Two sliding cargo doors with pop-out egress windows
Two jettisonable cockpit doors
Three point dual OLEO landing gear with kneeling capability
Active vibration control system
Wire strike protection system
Integrated Vehicle Health Management System (IVHMS)
Foldable tail pylon for shipping and storage
Built-in work platforms, engine cowlings and hydraulic deck
Four-axis fully coupled flight director
Dual embedded global positioning
Two UHF/VHF AM/FM radios
Five digital ICS stations
Automatic direction finder
VOR/ILS (VHF Omni Ranging/Instrument Landing System)
Dual digital flight control computer
Powerplant and fuel system
Two T700-GE701D engines
Auxiliary power unit
Dual crashworthy and self-sealing fuel tanks, 360 gallons/1362.75 L
Left and right gravity refuel ports
Single point for close circuit and pressure refueling