Ukraine conflict: EU countries pledge small arms, anti-tank weapons to Ukraine

by Amael Kotlarski

The Ukrainian military is set to receive further NLAW anti-tank weapons, having initially been equipped with systems by the UK. (Gaelle Girbes/Getty Images)

European Union (EU) members have announced a range of military assistance packages to support Ukraine, with a range of small arms and light weapons (SALW) included.

A mix of anti-tank weapons are set to be supplied by several countries. Luxembourg has pledged 100 Next-Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons (NLAWs), which will bolster the 2,000 sent by the UK in January.

The Panzerfaust 3 anti-tank weapon has been offered by Germany, the Netherlands, and likely Italy as well. The Netherlands has stated that it will send 50 launchers and 400 rounds of ammunition, while Germany has announced it would be sending 1,000 systems alongside 500 Stinger manportable air-defence missiles.

Although not confirmed as the Panzerfaust 3, the 1,000 anti-tank weapons pledged by Italy are likely to be of this type, coincidentally the Italian Ministry of Defence announced an order for new DM12 rounds on 25 February. Italy has also said it will supply 500 Stinger missiles.

Ukraine is set to receive a large number of single-shot, disposable anti-tank weapons. On 28 February, the Swedish government announced it would be sending 5,000 84 mm AT4 anti-tank weapons, while Norway said it would provide 2,000 66 mm M72 Light Anti-tank Weapons (LAWs).

Denmark and Finland also pledged to send 2,700 and 1,500 anti-tank weapons respectively. Although neither country specified the type of weapons, Janes believes these could include the M72EC from Denmark and M72A2/A5 from Finland. Denmark could also send AT4s, and Finland, the Armor-Piercing Infantry Light Arm System (APILAS), which the country has been slowly replacing with NLAWs. The APILAS fires a much larger and heavier 112 mm munition.

Belgium has pledged 200 anti-tank weapons, which could either be M72 LAWs, 90 mm RGW 90s, or a mix of both.

Small arms and associated ammunition have also been promised. Belgium has said it will send over 5,000 assault rifles, with at least 2,000 being older FN FNC types that the country is replacing with more modern FN SCAR rifles.

Portugal has announced that it will supply an undisclosed number of 7.62 mm G3 type rifles – locally produced as the m/963.

Among the small arms promised by Italy are heavy and medium machine guns, plus ammunition. These are likely to include the 12.7 mm M2 heavy machine gun and the 7.62 MG42/59.

The Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia have also announced that they will be sending small arms and ammunition that are likely to be drawn from stocks of Cold War-era weaponry that are chambered for Soviet calibres, which are predominantly used by the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The UK and the US have also pledged to send additional weapons, which are likely to include NLAWs and Javelin systems to replace those fired or lost during the fighting. Denmark has offered components for Stinger systems.

Northrop Grumman finalises development of Hatchet miniature strike munition

by Robin Hughes

Northrop Grumman has finalised the development of the Hatchet miniature precision strike munition. (Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman has declared the development of its Hatchet miniature precision strike munition ‘finalised' following a series of end-to-end live all-up round (AUR) tests at an undisclosed US government test range on 11 May.

During the US Department of Defense (DoD)-sponsored live-fire event, multiple Hatchet AURs were released from an undisclosed Group 3 tactical unmanned aircraft system (TUAS) against a static target, simulated by an ISO container. The tests involved both point-detonated engagements and proximity initiations.

“These were the first Hatchet release demonstrations using a live warhead,” a Northrop Grumman spokesperson told Janes. “The purpose of the tests was to evaluate the capability of live AURs delivered from a tactical platform. The multiple drops proved 100% reliable for the warhead function, with an ISO container ‘target' utilised to enable our engineers to evaluate the pattern of fragmentation from a live release. Hatchet is designed for precision strike engagements of two metres or less, and this was also verified in each of the releases.”

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DSEI 2021: SAAB Dynamics reveals new details about upcoming developments

by Amael Kotlarski

Mock-ups of the AT4CS AST (top), AT4CS HE (middle), and AT4CS ER (bottom). (Amael Kotlarski)

A representative of Saab Dynamics briefed Janes on its upcoming developments for its shoulder-launched recoilless weapons, revealing details of the HE 448 round that is specifically designed to work in conjunction with the Carl Gustaf M4.

The projectile's warhead consists of a high-explosive (HE) fill and a liner containing 4,000 tungsten balls, each 2 mm in diameter, to defeat body armour. It has a modular fuze capable of both impact and airburst detonations. When programmed for airburst mode, the round is aimed to fly roughly 4 m over the target, with the downward-facing pattern of the tungsten balls capable of covering 400 m2.

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India's naval anti-ship missile completes maiden flight test

by Rahul Udoshi

The Naval Anti-Ship Missile - Short-Range completed its maiden flight test from an Indian Navy's Sea King Mk 42B helicopter on 18 May. (Indian Ministry of Defence)

India's locally developed Naval Anti-Ship Missile - Short Range (NASM-SR) completed its maiden flight test from an Indian Navy's Sea King Mk 42B helicopter at the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha on 18 May.

The Indian government's Press Information Bureau (PIB) said the test-firing, which was jointly conducted by the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Navy, achieved the main objective of proving the performance of the missile's subsystems.

The missile – the Indian Navy's first indigenous air-launched anti-ship missile system – followed the planned sea-skimming trajectory and “reached the designated target with [a] high degree of accuracy, validating the control, guidance, and mission algorithms”, the PIB statement added.

Additional details about the missile's technical parameters were not provided by the PIB. It added that the weapon has been incorporated with “many new technologies” including a “state-of-the-art navigation system and integrated avionics” for the missile guidance and an “indigenously developed launcher for the helicopter”.

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