Royal Navy to upgrade Merlin HM2 radar

by Gareth Jennings

The UK Royal Navy is looking to upgrade the search radars of its 30 Merlin HM2 helicopters as it seeks to extend the type's service life out to 2040. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The UK Royal Navy (RN) is to upgrade the radar of its Lockheed Martin AW101 Merlin HM2 maritime helicopters to see them out to their planned 2040 retirement date.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a supply chain notice on 25 January, in which it said it is looking for “expressions of interest” from organisations wishing to be considered for qualification for the competitive procurement process for radar solutions for the RN Merlin HM2.

“The radar is to provide helicopter-based surface search for general maritime surveillance including small target detection/tracking, situational awareness and contribution to collision avoidance. Additional capabilities including air detection and over-land modes should be identified,” the MoD solicitation said, adding that responses should be submitted by 18 February. No further details or timelines were disclosed.

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Trident nuclear missile test from HMS Vanguard fails

by Kate Tringham & Dr. Lee Willett

HMS Vanguard is the lead boat of a four-strong class of Trident-armed SSBNs whose role is to provide the UK's strategic nuclear deterrent. (UK MoD)

The test firing of an unarmed Trident II D5 missile from one of the UK Royal Navy's (RN's) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) has failed, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed.

During the test launch, which took place from HMS Vanguard (S28) off the US eastern seaboard on 30 January, an “anomaly” occurred, an MoD spokesperson told Janes .

“As a matter of national security, we cannot provide further information on this, however, we are confident that the anomaly was event-specific, and therefore there are no implications for the reliability of the wider Trident missile systems and stockpile. The UK's nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure, and effective,” the spokesperson said.

Vanguard, which had recently completed a seven-year deep maintenance and refuelling period at Babcock International's Devonport Royal Dockyard facility in Plymouth, carried out the missile demonstration in the US as the final step in its post-refit trials programme before being returned to operations.

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RNLA's first GM200 MM/C radar demonstrated during live firings

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The RNLA's first MMR after it was demonstrated during live firings at the Dutch MoD's 't Harde firing range on 15 February. (Janes/Nicholas Fiorenza)

The first Ground Master 200 Multi Mission/Compact (GM200 MM/C) radar handed over to the Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA) by Thales in Hengelo on 14 February was demonstrated during live firings at the Dutch Ministry of Defence's 't Harde firing range the next day.

The Multi-Mission Radar (MMR), as it is designated in RNLA service, tracked 81 mm mortar rounds and 155 mm Panzerhaubitze (PzH) shells fired at the range, as well as a pair of Puma unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), with their trajectories and flightpaths shown in 2D and 3D on large-screen displays to an international military audience, local journalists, and Janes at 't Harde. Also displayed in 2D were the tracks of airliners flying above at an altitude of 3 km, but clutter from birds was filtered out. The Puma UAVs could also be seen moving away from the PzH 2000s' trajectories.

The MMR was able to determine the points of origin and impact of the mortar and artillery fire, which began with fire for effect and ended with salvos.

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India clears USD10 billion defence procurement

by Kapil Kajal

India has cleared various defence equipment aquisitions, including the procurement of heavyweight torpedoes to enhance the attacking capabilities of Kalvari-class submarines, as shown in the above picture. (Ministry of Defence, India)

India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has approved the procurement of various defence equipment worth INR845.6 billion (USD10.19 billion) for the Indian Armed Forces and the Indian Coast Guard.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement on 16 February that the procurement is approved through the provision of an ‘Acceptance of Necessity' (AoN) status under the ‘Buy (Indian)' category.

For the Indian Army, the DAC accorded AoN to procure a new generation of anti-tank mines featuring seismic sensors with a provision of remote deactivation and additional safety features, the MoD said.

The DAC also cleared the procurement of canister-launched anti-armour loiter munition systems to enhance the operational efficiency of the army's mechanised forces and to engage targets that are beyond visual line of sight, the MoD added.

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The UK Royal Navy (RN) is to upgrade the radar of its Lockheed Martin AW101 Merlin HM2 maritime heli...

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