US Army interested in enhanced M-SHORAD capability for ground threats

by Ashley Roque

An M-SHORAD Stryker, assigned to the US Army's 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery, targets a UAS and launches a Stinger missile on 9 March 2022 near Rutja in Estonia. The service is seeking industry feedback on ammunition cartridges that will enable the weapon to target ground threats too. (US Army)

The US Army wants soldiers using the Stryker-based Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) weapon to also be able to target ground threats and is seeking information about “state-of-the art” ammunition cartridges to help make that a reality.

On 27 June the service issued a sources sought notice for a potential 30×113 mm Multi-Mode Proximity Airburst (MMPA) requirement that calls for more accurate, lethal, and reliable cartridges than the currently fielded XM1198 High Explosive Dual Purpose with Self Destruct design.

More specifically, a future MMPA would provide M-SHORAD vehicles with the ability to “rapidly transition” to defeat both ground and air target sets, instead of just the latter.

“MMPA will integrate with the XM914 weapon system utilising a United States government contact fuze setter and will require advanced proximity fuze and airframe/propulsion components to meet performance goals,” the army wrote.


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Iraq returns CH-4 UAV to service

by Jeremy Binnie

One of the IAAC's CH-4s displayed with AR-1 missiles and FT-9 bombs at Balad Air Base. (Iraqi Ministry of Defence)

The Iraqi Army Aviation Command (IAAC) has returned its first Chinese-made CH-4 armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to service, it was announced on 8 August, when Minister of Defence Juma Enad Saadoun visited the IAAC area of Balad Air Base.

The Iraqi Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a video showing Saadoun being shown a ground control station and watching a CH-4 armed with AR-1 laser-guided missiles and FT-9 bombs take-off.

Saadoun said in the video that the UAVs played a large role in the war against the Islamic State extremist group, but were put in storage in 2017 because of their age. A contract was signed with the manufacturer in 2021 to return them to service and the work began about a month ago, he said.

The Iraqi MoD unveiled the CH-4s in October 2015 but did not reveal how many it had acquired.


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PLA's drills intended to show capabilities to invade Taiwan

by Akhil Kadidal

Taiwan air force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets prepare to take off from Hualien Air Force Base on 6 August 2022. The aircraft were scrambled to monitor PLA live-fire drills around the island. (Annabelle Chih/Getty Images)

A series of drills conducted by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) recently are intended to demonstrate its warfighting capabilities to invade Taiwan.

The drills, which began on 4 August, were officially started to illustrate Beijing's displeasure over a 2 August visit by the US House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. However, the state-owned newspaper, Global Times, said on 6 August that the military drills not only promote reunification of Taiwan with the mainland but also “rehearsed a potential real operation”.

Between 4 and 7 August, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) disclosed 113 incursions by PLA aircraft into the country's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ). Out of these, at least 78 incursions involved PLA aircraft crossing the median line. This line is the de facto sea border separating China from Taiwan.


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UK awards contracts for UAS swarm project

by Olivia Savage

A UAS swarm comprising of Malloy Aeronautics TRV150 systems during a Royal Marines trial. (UK MOD Crown copyright 2021 - Barry Wheeler)

Malloy Aeronautics and Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) group have been awarded a contract as part of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Multi-Domain Integrated Swarm (MDIS) project, Brigadier Mark Totten, Deputy Director of Acquisition Commando Forces and MDIS told Janes on 27 July.

The project will involve a series of trials with SNC, integrating and teaming approximately 10–20 Malloy Aeronautics unmanned aerial systems (UAS), James Gavin, head of Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Future Capability Group (FCG) told Janes.

As part of the project, the MDIS team are interested in understanding how the swarming systems exchange data and the bandwidth/information exchange rates that those behaviours require, Brig Totten said. He added that the project is expected to produce results within the current financial year.

Brig Totten was unable to provide further details surrounding the project, although he did note that the Malloy Aeronautics T400 UAS was used during the trials.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/us-army-interested-in-enhanced-m-shorad-capability-for-ground-threats

The US Army wants soldiers using the Stryker-based Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) weapo...

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