Switchblade 300 fired from USV as part of US/UK sensor-to-shooter demo

by Richard Scott

An AeroVironment Switchblade 300 tactical precision-guided missile is fired from the UK's MADFOX USV during the NATO ‘REP(MUS) 21' exercise. (AeroVironment)

The US Navy (USN) and UK Royal Navy (RN) have successfully executed a maritime sensor-to-shooter (S2S) demonstration culminating in the firing of an AeroVironment Switchblade 300 tactical precision-guided missile from an experimental unmanned surface vessel (USV).

Part of a US/UK Interoperability to Interchangeability (I2I) initiative using unmanned/uncrewed systems, the S2S capability demonstration formed part of last month's NATO ‘REP(MUS) 21' exercise off Portugal. The Switchblade 300 weapon was targeted using information from an AeroVironment Puma 3 AE unmanned aerial system (UAS).

Exercise ‘REP(MUS) 21' – an abbreviation of Robotic Experimentation and Prototyping Augmented by Maritime Unmanned Systems – is an annual exercise jointly organised by the Portuguese Navy, the University of Porto, NATO's Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation, and the NATO Maritime Unmanned Systems Initiative. The event, hosted at the Portuguese Navy's Centre for Operational Experimentation held in Troia, gives NATO allies and partners an opportunity to field and evaluate new uncrewed and autonomous maritime technologies.

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RADA teases new exMHR radar for mobile Iron Dome variants

by Naqi Wasif & Mark Cazalet & Ashley Roque

The RADA exMHR mounted on a JLTV in a quad configuration. (RADA)

On 14 November 2021 RADA announced the receipt of USD5 million for an initial pre-order of its extended multimission hemispheric radar (exMHR), with a computer-generated image of the radar mounted on a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) in a quad configuration, suggesting that the exMHR could be employed for a forthcoming mobile Iron Dome variant (I-Dome).

Accompanying the release, the product page for the exMHR on the company's website featured the same image, as well as an image of a Rheinmetall-MAN HX-series 6×6 truck fitted as a transporter, erector, launcher, and radar (TELAR) vehicle.

The second image was first seen at Eurosatory 2018 with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems I-Dome TELAR, with 10 Tamir missile launch containers mounted on the launch assembly, arranged in sealed ready-to-launch canisters inserted in a 2×5-cell hydraulically elevated canisterised launcher on the back of the truck. The exMHR was mounted in front, just aft of the cabin in a quad configuration, similar to the JLTV image but in an enclosed, truncated, pyramidical housing.

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I/ITSEC 2021: Green Ammo shows new version of E-blanks

by Giles Ebbutt

The E-blanks simulation system shown at I/ITSEC 21: proof-of-concept M240, fully converted M4, spare magazines, drop-in bolt, sound booster, muzzle flasher, buttstock recoil booster, and Saab Gamer communications module. (Giles Ebbutt)

Norwegian company Green Ammo has developed a new version of its Electronic Blanks (E-blanks) system, which it showcased at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference 2021 (I/ITSEC 21) in Orlando, Florida, on 29 November–3 December.

E-blanks simulates the firing of small-arms ammunition with recoil, sound, and muzzle flash but without using blank rounds. The system's advantages over conventional blank ammunition are that it is more environmentally friendly as there are no spent cartridge cases, it is logistically simpler and saves ammunition issue and resupply time in training, it is safer, and it can be used in situations where conventional blank ammunition is forbidden. That can be particularly useful for special forces that need to train in real locations.

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India launches bid to procure guided munitions from local industry

by Jon Grevatt

The Indian MoD has issued an expression of interest to procure terminally guided munitions for operation from its 155 mm artillery systems including its M777 ultra-light howitzers (pictured). (BAE Systems)

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued an expression of interest (EoI) in support of its planned procurement, from local industry, of 1,966 rounds of 155 mm Terminally Guided Munitions (TGMs) for the Indian Army.

The EoI states that the TGMs will increase the capability of the army's artillery systems by facilitating “precision strikes and simultaneously reducing collateral damage”. It added that the Indian Army's artillery regiment has no TGM capability.

According to the EoI, the munitions will be procured through a procurement category known as Make-II. The category outlines the procurement of local-industry funded designs and developments and is intended to support India's import substitution drive. Make-II was introduced in 2016 and is part of India's current Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020.

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The US Navy (USN) and UK Royal Navy (RN) have successfully executed a maritime sensor-to-shooter (S2...

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