Iraq orders new artillery

by Jeremy Binnie

French soldiers fire a CAESAR in support of Iraqi forces near Al-Qaim during Operation ‘Roundup' in May 2018. (Combined Joint Task Force – Operation ‘Inherent Resolve')

The Iraqi Ministry of Defence (MoD) has placed contracts with the United States and France for advanced weapons, including artillery, the state Iraqi News Agency cited Major General Abdul-Ardawi, the MoD's head of artillery, as saying on 8 May.

He did not identify the weaponry that has been ordered but noted that artillery has proved its effectiveness in the battles against the Islamic State extremist group and is considered better than aircraft.

The Iraqi Ground Forces' main artillery systems are US-supplied M198 towed howitzers and M109 tracked self-propelled howitzers.

The latest US Office of the Inspector General report on Operation ‘Inherent Resolve' against the Islamic State noted that “artillery remains absent from the [Iraqi] Ground Forces' operational planning” even though it could be used to strike some targets more easily and for longer periods than aircraft.


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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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The Iraqi Ministry of Defence (MoD) has placed contracts with the United States and France for advan...

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