Ukraine conflict: Russian mine-laying system makes combat debut

by Miko Vranic

An ISDM Zemledeliye battery in use during the quadrennial strategic-level Zapad-2021 exercise in September. (Russian MoD)

Russian forces have been observed using the ISDM Zemledeliye mine-laying system in Ukraine, marking the system's combat debut.

Video circulating on social media since 27 March shows two vehicles launch a full salvo of 50 mine-loaded rockets each, the footage was purportedly taken in Kharkiv Oblast.

The ISDM – inzhenernoi sistem distantsionnogo minirovaniya or engineer system for remote mining – was specifically developed for the Russian Armed Forces' Engineer Troops within the R&D ‘Zemeldeliye-I' framework, and part of a December 2013 contract agreed between the Russian MoD and NPO Splav. Based in the Russian city of Tula, NPO Splav is a prominent developer and manufacturer of multiple launch rocket systems.

The system was first unveiled during the 2020 May Day Parade in Moscow and a preliminary batch is thought to have been delivered to the Engineer Troops earlier in the same year.

A complete system comprises a launch vehicle with 50 122 mm rockets that are loaded with scatterable anti-personnel or anti-tank mines, and a transloader vehicle fitted with a reloading crane on its rear

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Yemeni rebels unveil new missiles in largest parade to date

by Jeremy Binnie

One of the Falaq ballistic missiles that were displayed during the parade. (Ansar Allah)

The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (Houthis) unveiled several new weapon systems, many of them seemingly of Iranian origin, during a parade in Sanaa on 21 September.

Three ballistic missiles labelled as the Falaq were displayed that looked similar to a version of Iran's Qiam liquid-fuel ballistic missile that has fins on its re-entry vehicle. The ballistic missiles that Ansar Allah refers to as the Burkan-2H and Zulfiqar have earlier been identified as Qiams that have been modified to extend their range, although both have fins at the base of their rocket motors, unlike the original Iranian missile.

The parade included three other new missile types that all appeared to be members of Iran's Fateh-110 family of solid-propellant tactical ballistic missiles. Ansar Allah's Ministry of Defence (MoD) released a video that gave specifications for the Karar similar to those attributed to the standard Fateh-110: a length of 9 m, a diameter of 60 cm, a range of 300 km, and a payload of 500 kg.

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Raytheon/Northrop Grumman team selected for HACM hypersonic weapon

by Richard Scott & Daniel Wasserbly

Raytheon released this computer rendering to illustrate its HACM concept. (Raytheon)

A team of Raytheon and Northrop Grumman has been selected by the US Air Force (USAF) to develop and prototype the service's scramjet-powered Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM).

Raytheon Missiles & Defense was awarded a USD985 million contract by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Armament Directorate on 22 September 2022, beating competition from Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The company's 54-month contract, which builds on work previously completed under the US/Australia Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE) bilateral project arrangement, covers HACM weapon system design, development, and initial delivery.

According to the USAF, HACM is a tactical hypersonic weapon, suitable for launch from fighter and bomber aircraft, that can strike high-value targets in contested environments from stand-off distances. It said it “plans to deliver a[n] HACM capability with operational utility by fiscal year (FY) 2027”.

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Update – ADEX 2022: Latest member of QFAB series adds laser guidance

by Huw Williams

The QFAB-250 LG features a laser-guidance system as part of its applique kit. (Janes/Huw Williams)

The Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence Industry unveiled the latest member of its QFAB (also known as GFAB) series of general-purpose bombs at the ADEX 2022 exhibition in Baku on 6 September.

According to ministry officials, the new bomb – designated QFAB-250 LG – was developed in collaboration with Turkey's Aselsan.

The QFAB-250 LG is intended to provide enhanced accuracy over the standard QFAB bombs through an applique kit that includes a laser-guidance system and control surfaces. The guidance system is fitted to the nose of the bomb, and control surfaces in the nose and rear.

Information released by the ministry claims a circular error probable of up to 10 m, and the ability to drop the bomb from a maximum altitude of 12,000 m (39,370 ft) and a speed of up to Mach 0.9 (1,100 km/h).

The addition of the guidance kit adds 20 kg to the 250 kg of the standard bomb. The QFAB-250 LG maintains the use of high-explosive fragmentation, and it measures 3,300 mm in length and 325 mm in diameter.

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Russian forces have been observed using the ISDM Zemledeliye mine-laying system in Ukraine, marking ...

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