Indian Army orders locally produced loitering munitions

by Rahul Bedi

The Indian Army (IA) has signed two contracts worth a combined INR2 billion (USD27.4 million) to acquire a total of 200 locally produced loitering munitions to meet urgent operational requirements.

The first contract, worth INR1 billion, was awarded on 31 August to a joint venture (JV) between local company Alpha Design Technologies Limited (ADTL) and Israel's Elbit Systems for the supply of 100 SkyStriker light munition systems.

Elbit Systems' SkyStriker is a precision-guided loitering munition designed to seek, locate, and acquire operator-marked targets and targets of opportunity in tactical-level engagements.

The IA has ordered a total of 200 locally produced loitering munitions, including100 SkyStrikers (similar to this one), to meet urgent operational requirements. (Elbit Systems)

The IA has ordered a total of 200 locally produced loitering munitions, including100 SkyStrikers (similar to this one), to meet urgent operational requirements. (Elbit Systems)

According to the company, the SkyStriker can cover a distance of 20 km within 10 minutes. Upon reaching the target area, it can loiter and pursue the target for up to 2 hours when fitted with a 5 km warhead and for up to one hour with a 10 kg warhead.


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Quick-fielding contracting model touted for US Navy Task Force 59 unmanned systems in the Middle East

by Michael Fabey

The US Navy Task Force 59 is experimenting with Saildrone platforms. (Saildrone)

The contracting model employed by US Navy (USN) Task Force 59 (TF 59) makes it possible to field, test, and evaluate unmanned systems quickly in the Middle East, according to Michael Stewart, USN Unmanned Task Force lead.

“Task Force 59 is using a fee-for-service contracting model,” Stewart said on 25 May during a media roundtable update on unmanned systems' work. “They can get stuff out there really quick. They see it, lease it, get it into the theatre and test it.”

Established by the US 5th Fleet in September 2021, TF 59 works closely with members of industry and academia as well as other experts to provide operator feedback and help drive the innovation process forward for unmanned systems.

TF 59 is testing the limits of commercial technology, Stewart noted. “They are trying to get to the leading edge of commercial [technology] and see what the gaps are.”

In particular, he cited the task force's work with Martac unmanned surface vessels (USVs) and Saildrone unmanned platforms.


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NATO counter-terrorism project proves its viability in demonstration

by Brooks Tigner

The Microwave Imaging Curtain to detect concealed firearms using microwave technology was one of the Detection of Explosives and Firearms to Counter Terrorism (DEXTER) technologies demonstrated in the Rome Metro on 24 May under NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme. (Brooks Tigner)

One of NATO's flagship counter-terrorism research consortia has moved a step closer to market with a live demonstration of its capabilities. Once commercialised, the project's real-time threat detection systems could fan out to civil critical infrastructure sites across the allies, according to NATO and national research officials, who said Europe's armies are closely following the work's outcome for its potential military applications as well.

“We have had some informal talks with Italy's military, for example, and they have expressed interest in DEXTER [Detection of Explosives and Firearms to Counter Terrorism] for its potential peacekeeping uses,” a researcher told reporters after the technologies' demonstration on 24 May in a Rome Metro station.


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Kaman to buy Parker Hannifin's Aircraft Wheel & Brake division

by Marc Selinger

Parker Hannifin provides wheels and brakes for military aircraft, including the CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter that Sikorsky is building for the US Marine Corps. (US Marine Corps/Cpl Yuritzy Gomez)

US-based Parker Hannifin Corporation has agreed to sell its Aircraft Wheel & Brake business to US aircraft parts maker Kaman Corporation for USD440 million to address regulatory concerns about its proposed acquisition of the United Kingdom's Meggitt.

The 23 May announcement came about a month and a half after Parker disclosed it was in the process of finding a buyer for the business. The European Commission said in April that the divestiture is needed to preserve competition, as Parker and Meggitt are both “leading global suppliers of wheels and brakes for a range of aircraft types, including military helicopters and drones”.

The completion of the divestiture is contingent on Parker obtaining approval to acquire fellow motion and control system provider Meggitt, a Parker spokesperson said. The Meggitt purchase, which Parker plans to complete for GBP6.3 billion (USD7.9 billion) in the third quarter of 2022, is under review by UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng and the US Department of Justice.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/weapons-headlines/latest/indian-army-orders-locally-produced-loitering-munitions

The Indian Army (IA) has signed two contracts worth a combined INR2 billion (USD27.4 million) to acq...

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