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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Nexter qualifies Shard 120 mm APFSDS tank ammunition

by Nicholas Fiorenza

KNDS's Nexter qualified its Shard 120 mm APFSDS tank ammunition in late 2023. (Nexter)

KNDS's Nexter announced in a press release on 29 February that it had qualified its Shard 120 mm armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) tank ammunition in late 2023 and that it is now ready for production.

The ammunition was demonstrated against rolled homogeneous armour with Leclerc and Leopard 2 main battle tank (MBT) users in Alcochete.

Shard is designed to defeat modern MBTs and future threats, with Nexter claiming it offers increased penetration, greater accuracy, and reduced barrel wear.

The company said the ammunition's penetration has been increased by 15% while keeping dispersion low; its barrel wear has been reduced by 25%, reducing maintenance cycles and costs; and its muzzle velocity is 1,720 m/s with the Leclerc L52 gun and 1,734 m/s with the Leopard 2 L55 gun.

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Bundeswehr orders Skyranger 30 mounted on Boxer

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The Bundeswehr has ordered Skyranger 30 air-defence systems mounted on Boxers, Rheinmetall announced on 27 February 2024. (Rheinmetall)

The Bundeswehr has ordered Skyranger 30 air-defence systems mounted on Boxer armoured vehicles, Rheinmetall announced in a press release on 27 February. Under the EUR595 million (USD644.8 million) worth of contract, the prototype will be delivered at the end of 2024, followed by 18 production vehicles, with an option for 30 more.

According to the German company, the Skyranger 30 will be a key component of the Bundeswehr's Nah- und Nächstbereichsschutz (short- and very-short-range air defence: NNbS), for which a Rheinmetall Electronics, Diehl Defence, and Hensoldt Sensors Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) working group was awarded a contract in January. The turret will be equipped with a 30×173 mm KCE revolver gun firing programmable airburst munition, two Stinger surface-to-air missiles, and a sensor suite.

The Bundeswehr's Skyranger 30 order follows one from the Bundesheer (Austrian Armed Forces) on 21 February for 36 Skyranger turrets, with an option for nine more for Pandur Evolution (EVO) 6×6 armoured vehicles that Austria ordered from General Dynamics European Land Systems-Steyr (GDELS-Steyr) on 19 February.

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Singapore Airshow 2024: High Point Aerotechnologies debuts latest-generation Sawtooth C-UAS

by Prasobh Narayanan

High Point Aerotechnologies displayed its latest-generation Sawtooth counter-unmanned aircraft system. (Janes/Prasobh Narayanan)

US-based High Point Aerotechnologies showcased its latest-generation Sawtooth counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) for the first time at Singapore Airshow 2024 held from 20 to 25 February.

Speaking to Janes, the chief revenue officer of High Point, Evan Hunt, said the Sawtooth C-UAS uses layered technologies to adequately detect unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The system comprises a passive radio frequency (RF) system, radar, electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, and jammers.

As a first step of detection, the Sawtooth uses the passive RF system to detect UAS communications in frequencies that are in known libraries. As the second step, in the case where the frequency is not known, the Sawtooth uses its radar.

“Usually, we use passive RF and radar to find the drone and then cue an EO/IR sensor that is looking in the mid-wave and the short wave, so it is day or night operable,” adds Hunt.

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The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA) signed a NOK350 million (nearly USD36 million) contract...

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