Eurosam initiates system trials of SAMP/T NG

by Robin Hughes

An internal view of the C2 engagement module developed for the new SAMP/T NG long-range, ground-based air missile defence system. (Eurosam)

Eurosam – a joint venture (JV) of MBDA France, MBDA Italy, and Thales – has commenced system trials of the SAMP/T NG (Sol Air Moyenne Portée Terrestre Nouvelle Génération) next-generation long-range, ground-based air missile defence system, ahead of planned deliveries to France and Italy of a fully integrated and qualified capability in 2025.

The system trials include a live-firing campaign with the SAMP/T NG's new Aster Block 1 New Technology (B1 NT) interceptor. “We have initiated the system trials,” Eva Bruxmeier, managing director, Eurosam, told Janes

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Norway orders Polish Piorun MANPADS

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Mesko vice-president Przemysław Kowalczuk (right), and Brigader Jarle Nergård, head of the NDMA's air systems division (left), signed a contract on 29 November for Piorun MANPADS for the Norwegian Army. Behind them (from left to right): NDMA Director General Gro Jære, Norwegian Chief of Defence Staff Elisabeth Natvig, and Polish Defence Attache Colonel Waldemar Torbicki. (NDMA)

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) signed a NOK350 million (nearly USD36 million) contract with Mesko for Piorun manportable air-defence systems (MANPADS) for the Norwegian Army on 29 November, the agency and the Polish company announced on their websites later the same day. Mesko said it would deliver several hundred Piorun missiles and starter kits, and the NDMA expected deliveries to start as early as 2023.

Norwegian Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram said, “This is the first time that Norway will operate this type of air-defence system, and the Norwegian Armed Forces will therefore receive an important capability that they have previously not had in their inventory. This is also the first time we have signed a major contract with the Polish defence industry.”

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Japan weighs up Tomahawk missile procurement

by Jon Grevatt

A Tactical ‘Tomahawk' Block IV cruise missile conducts a controlled flight test over the Naval Air Systems Command's western test range complex in Southern California. (US Navy)

Japan's Ministry of Defense (MoD) is considering the procurement of Tomahawk cruise missiles as part of its plan to bolster Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) counterstrike capability.

The MoD indicated to Janes that a procurement of the Tomahawk is a possibility as it seeks to redefine the country's defence posture in the face of what is perceived in Tokyo as rapidly escalating regional threats.

Japan's Kyodo news agency, citing a Japanese government source, reported on 30 November that the MoD is considering the acquisition of “about 500” Tomahawk missiles from the United States government between 2023 and 2027.

A spokesperson for the MoD did not confirm these plans but said that decisions on the Tomahawk “are still under consideration”. The spokesperson added, “The MoD has not decided anything [in relation to] counterstrike capability.”

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US approves FS-LIDS counter-UAV system for Qatar

by Jeremy Binnie

A still from a video released by Raytheon shows a Coyote Block 2 being launched during tests at Yuma Proving Ground in August 2021. (Raytheon Technologies)

The US Department of State has approved the sale of counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems estimated to be worth USD1 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 29 November.

The approval covers 10 Fixed Site-Low, Slow, Small UAV Integrated Defeat Systems (FS-LIDS) and 200 Coyote Block 2 interceptors, as well as associated equipment and services.

The FS-LIDS is a ‘system of systems' developed by SRC Technology for the US Army and uses the company's AN/TPQ-50 counter-fire radar and electro-optic cameras to detect and track small UAVs. Targets can be engaged using an electronic warfare system or Coyote interceptors.

The Coyote was originally developed by Raytheon as a multi-purpose disposable UAV/loitering munition. The Block 2 has a small jet turbine engine, making it faster than the propellor-driven Block 1, and the original's fold-out wings were replaced with fixed ones along the side of its fuselage, making the new variant look more like a missile than a UAV.

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Eurosam – a joint venture (JV) of MBDA France, MBDA Italy, and Thales – has commenced system trials ...

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