State of mines: Future of naval mine warfare in Asia-Pacific
25 November 2022
by Nishant Kumar & Chinmay Kohad
Mines constitute the most cost-efficient anti-access, area-denial (A2/AD) naval weapon. NATO's Naval Mine Warfare Centre of Excellence defines mines as small, easy to conceal, and cheap explosive devices that require minimal maintenance. These can be easily laid in the water or on seabed from almost any type of platform. Mines have been used by the navies both in defensive and offensive ways. They can be used to directly attack the adversary's ships or submarines or to protect one's own ships, submarines, or critical sea areas, ports, or waterways.
Perceived minefield risks require the deployment of a dedicated means of detecting, classifying, and neutralising the mines – or confirming their absence – imposing intolerable delays to dynamic operations and lending tactical mines a strategic utility. Advances in mine technology have led to countermeasures splitting into two main branches, sweeping and hunting, with mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) developed to perform either or both roles.
Iran shows Russian defence minister missiles it denies supplying to Yemen
21 September 2023
by Jeremy Binnie
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu is shown a ‘351 land-attack cruise missile' at Iran's IRGC Aerospace Force museum in Tehran. (Russian Ministry of Defence)
The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed that missiles previously only displayed by Yemen's Houthi rebels are Iranian, when it released photographs of Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu inspecting them during a visit to Tehran on 20 September. The missiles were also seen in footage broadcast by the Sputnik news agency.
The weapons included the cruise missile that Ansar Allah calls the Quds, which Shoigu was shown at the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force's museum in Tehran. The missile has not previously been seen in Iran despite extensive local media coverage of the museum.
Referred to as the ‘351 land-attack cruise missile' by the US military, the Quds has been used to attack targets in Saudi Arabia several times as well as Abu Dhabi on 17 January 2022.
Shoigu was also shown a type of loitering surface-to-air missile (SAM) the US military calls the ‘358 SAM' and the Houthis have displayed as the Saqr-1.
The Lithuanian Air Force conducted its first live firing of NASAMS during Exercise ‘Silver Arrow 2023' held in Norway. (Norwegian Armed Forces)
The Lithuanian Air Force (LAF) conducted its first live firing of the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) III medium-range air-defence system during Exercise ‘Silver Arrow 2023', the Norwegian Armed Forces announced on their website on 15 September. The firing took place at the Nordmela missile firing range on Andøya in Nordland, Norway, and was supported by Ørland airbase's air-defence battalion, which verified the training the LAF conducted in Lithuania.
During the exercise, the Norwegian air-defence battalion and the LAF practised deploying and integrating the two countries' NASAMS III and operating together.
The Norwegian Armed Forces reported that the first Lithuanian live firing of NASAMS hit the target drone.
The LAF's Air Defence Battalion received NASAMS III in 2020. The systems were placed on standby during the NATO leaders' meeting in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on 11–12 July, along with German Patriot and Spanish NASAMS air-defence systems.
DSEI 2023: Steel Core eyes assault rifle market with Black Widow
18 September 2023
by Amael Kotlarski
Steel Core Designs Black Widow 5.56 mm assault rifle. (Janes/Amael Kotlarski)
Steel Core Designs publicly unveiled its Black Widow 5.56×45 mm assault rifle at DSEI 2023 in London.
Speaking to Janes, Mike Cherry, the company's CEO and designer of the Black Widow, explained the design philosophy behind the new weapon. Better known for their high-precision rifles, the company decided to design an assault rifle using a unique and patented action.
The bolt is locked by an ‘over-cam' system using two actuating arms to lock the bolt face to the breech face by way of a pair of locking shoulders in the lower portion of the receiver. The bolt is actuated by a short-stroke gas piston. The rifle features a fixed ejector inside the upper receiver, and the bolt sports an oversized extractor and free-floating firing pin. The purpose of the design was to do away with a rotating bolt, which can induce a rotation of the rifle in the shooter's hands as they fire, especially in bursts of automatic fire.
Dr Joana Cook and Dr Shiraz Maher authors of 'The Rule is for None but Allah: Islamist Approaches to Governance' join Harry Kemsley and Sean Corbett to discuss the role that OSINT has to play in understanding violent extremist organisations and ...