DSEI Japan 2023: Japan to take delivery of OZZ-5 mine-countermeasures UUV

by Jon Grevatt

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is expected to operate the OZZ-5 MCM UUV in Japan's disputed southern islands. (Janes/Jon Grevatt)

Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is set to deliver its first OZZ-5 mine-countermeasures (MCM) unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) to the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

Company officials told Janes at the DSEI Japan 2023 exhibition in Chiba that the first of five on-order OZZ-5 systems will be supplied to the JMSDF by the end of March. The initial five OZZ-5s are all expected to be delivered by the end of 2024.

MHI officials said the JMSDF will operate unmanned surface vessels (USVs) – also built by MHI – that deploy from the service's Mogami-class frigates. Janes understands that the OZZ-5 will be operated by the JMSDF around Japan's disputed southern islands.

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) initiated a project to develop an MCM UUV in the late 2000s, leading to MHI's development of the OZZ-5 in 2017. MHI said the development programme was completed in 2021.

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Ukraine conflict: Ukrainian troops trained on Patriot faster than expected

by Meredith Roaten

The US is expected to provide a Patriot missile battery to Ukraine in the coming weeks. (AFP via Getty Images)

The soldiers selected by the Armed Forces of Ukraine to train on the Patriot missile battery completed their training curriculum faster than expected, a Pentagon official announced on 21 March.

When Ukraine sent about 100 troops to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to be trained on the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile (SAM) battery in January, officials expected them to need more time to wrap up their courses at the Fires Center of Excellence, Brigadier General Pat Ryder, Pentagon press secretary, told reporters. The expedited training also will speed up how fast the batteries pledged by the US and allies could be delivered to Ukraine, he said.

“You're seeing that the Ukrainians that were undergoing Patriot training went faster than expected, just given their propensity and their eagerness to do the training,” he said.

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US Air Force seeks USD500 million for hypersonics research

by Zach Rosenberg

A computer rendering of the HACM. (Raytheon)

The US Air Force (USAF) requested USD500 million for hypersonic weapons research and development in fiscal year (FY) 2024, the same amount as the previous year.

Roughly USD150 million would be used to further develop the Lockheed MartinAGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW), a boost-glide system that in December 2022 saw its first successful launch following three failed tests. The USAF plans to conduct four additional ‘all-up round' test shots of the completed missile during FY 2024.

The ARRW was initially scheduled to enter service in 2023,but the USAF said that has been delayed. “The ARRW production decision remains event-driven and will occur after operational utility is demonstrated through successful [test flights] and a system production readiness review,” the service told Janes. “Additionally, the [USAF] will need to look at our weapons mix and see if [the] ARRW falls within the requirements.”

Approximately USD350 million will go to the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM), an operationally focused development of the experimental scramjet-powered US-Australia Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE). A joint Raytheon/Northrop Grumman team was downselected in September 2022 to build the HACM.

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Japan to procure Minimi Mk 3 LMGs, G28 E2 snipers

by Kapil Kajal

The FN Minimi Mk 3 is a belt-fed, fully automatic, gas-operated, air-cooled LMG. The barrel of Mk 3 is chambered for 5.56×45 mm, and it is available in two lengths – 349 mm and 465 mm. (FN Herstal)

The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has selected Belgian armaments manufacturer Fabrique Nationale (FN) Herstal's Minimi Mk 3 light machine guns (LMGs) and German handgun manufacturer Heckler & Koch's (H&K's) G28 E2 anti-personnel sniper guns for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF).

A spokesperson for the MoD told Janes that the country will procure 514 Minimis for JPY920 million (USD6.88 million) and 182 G28 E2 snipers valued at JPY1.13 billion in 2024. “The models are scheduled to be publicly announced in FY [fiscal year] 2023,” he said.

According to Janes Weapons: Infantry, the Japanese MoD announced in February 2023 that it will purchase 3,100 Minimis worth JPY14.9 billion to replace the Sumitomo Heavy Industries-produced Minimi Mk 1 guns in service with the JGSDF.

At the same time, Japan's Ground Staff Office announced the procurement of 900 G28 E2 snipers to replace the in-service M24A2 sniper rifle.

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Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is set to deliver its first OZZ-5 mine-countermeasures (MC...

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