The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Northrop Grumman a USD705 million contract to develop and test the Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW), an air-to-ground missile intended to strike high-priority targets, the company announced on 25 September.
SiAW is designed to be carried internally by the Lockheed Martin F-35, which cannot employ ground attack missiles currently in the arsenal. The missile will also be integrated with other USAF platforms, although the F-35 is scheduled to be the first aircraft with which it is set to be integrated.
“To adapt to ever-changing threats, the missile design features open architecture interfaces that will allow for rapid subsystem upgrades,” Northrop Grumman said in a statement.
Northrop Grumman is to conduct at least four test flights of SiAW in advance of the USAF's desired 2026 initial operational capability (IOC), according to the company. The missile reportedly leverages ongoing work with a similar US Navy programme, the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER).
NNSA details US nuclear warhead modernisation timeframes
04 December 2023
by Dr. Lee Willett
An artist's portrayal of the Northrop Grumman LGM-35A Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile. (Northrop Grumman)
The US is undergoing large-scale recapitalisation of its nuclear deterrent capability, with warheads central in this process: five warhead programmes are under way, two of which are in production and in-service phases, and three programmes are in development, according to a Department of Energy (DoE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) annual report.
The two in production are the B61-12 air-launched gravity bomb, which is replacing four older, in-service B61 variants; and the W88 Alteration (Alt) 370 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warhead, which is replacing the W88, the larger-yield warhead fitted to the US Navy's (USN's) Trident D5 SLBM, the NNSA said in its fiscal year (FY) 2024 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (SSMP) report presented to Congress on 27 November.
For B61-12, the first production unit (FPU) was delivered in November 2021, full-scale production (Phase 6.6) commenced in 2022, and (as the SSMP confirmed) the warhead is cleared for operational deployment on the B-2 Spirit strategic bomber.
Ukraine conflict: Ukrainian air defence employs passive sensors for detection and tracking
24 November 2023
by Christopher Petrov
The Shahed 136 is of great concern for air-defence planners and industry since its debut in Ukraine in 2022. Skyfortress has developed a solution that can detect and track these loud and slow munitions without the use of active systems such as radars or electro-optical sensors. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)
Representatives from Skyfortress – a Ukrainian non-governmental organisation – have disclosed details of work to develop and install an acoustic sensor network for the detection and tracking of aerial threats.
Speaking at SAE Media Group's Air and Missile Defence conference in London, the representatives said the Skyfortress detection and tracking system combines cheap and domestically designed passive sensors to detect, track, and classify airborne threats. It consists of an array of acoustic sensors that gather information and feed this into Ukraine's national air-defence command-and-control network, known as ‘Virazh'.
India carries out ‘guided flight trials' of indigenous anti-ship missile
22 November 2023
by Ridzwan Rahmat
An Indian Navy Sea King Mk 42B helicopter firing a Naval Anti-Ship Missile – Short Range as part of the weapon's guided flight trials. (Indian Navy)
India has carried out another test of an indigenously developed anti-surface guided weapon known as the Naval Anti-Ship Missile – Short Range (NASM-SR).
The latest launch was carried out as part of the weapon's ‘guided flight trials', the Indian Navy announced via an official social media channel on 21 November.
Similar to its maiden flight test in May 2022, the weapon was launched from a Sea King Mk 42B helicopter operated by the Indian Navy.
In its announcement the service described the test, which was carried out in collaboration with the country's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), as “a significant step towards achieving self-reliance in niche missile technology, including seeker and guidance technology”.
The NASM-SR is a helicopter-launched variant of the NASM family of missiles. The subsonic weapon is powered by a two-stage solid-propellant rocket motor, and it can reach an average cruise speed of Mach 0.8.
Claire Chu, Janes senior China analyst joins Harry Kemsley and Sean Corbett to discuss how China's economic activity projects influence globally and what she learnt as part of the recent US Congressional staff delegation to China.