PGZ develops new air-defence capabilities

by Jakub Link-Lenczowski

The first eight Jelcz T21 TS DOW 8×8 chassis for CAMM iLaunchers are expected to be ready by the end of 2022. (MBDA)

Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) plans to develop new short-range air defence (SHORAD) and very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) capabilities. Sebastian Chwałek, president of PGZ's management board, and Colonel Michał Marciniak, the Ministry of National Defence's plenipotentiary for integrated air defence and deputy head of the Armaments Agency, presented the main goals for the development of multilayer air defence in Poland during a press briefing in Warsaw on 28 January.

Col Marciniak said it would be crucial to integrate systems being developed separately: Pilica VSHORAD, armed with Grom and Piorun missiles; Narew SHORAD, based on the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) family; and the Wisła medium-range air defence system with Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles. He explained that Polish air defences would be organised based oneffective range of effectors, not on the branches of the armed forces that operate the current system.

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Kuwaiti NASAMS request approved

by Jeremy Binnie

An Omani NASAMS launches an AMRAAM during a test. (Omani Ministry of Defence)

The US Department of State has approved a Kuwaiti request for a National Advanced Surface-to-air Missile System (NASAMS) package estimated to be worth USD3 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 6 October.

Developed by Raytheon and Norway's Kongsberg, the NASAMS uses the AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) as surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), making it an attractive option for militaries that already have these missiles. The new AMRAAM-Extended Range (AMRAAM-ER) missile provides a longer-range option but is only available as a SAM.

A NASAMS fire unit consists of at least one launcher, a fire distribution centre (FCU), a towed AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel radar, and an optional vehicle-mounted electro-optical target detection and tracking system.

The DSCA said the Kuwaiti request was for seven Sentinel radars, 63 Sidewinders, 63 AIM-120C-8 AMRAAMs, 63 AMRAAM-ERs, an unspecified number of FCUs, a simulator, and all the required support.

It also includes 12 Multifunctional Information Distribution System Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVTs) with radios and cryptographic modules so the NASAMS can be integrated into a network using the Link 16 tactical datalink.

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Leonardo DRS to equip Australian ABVs with electro-optical sensors

by Kapil Kajal & Sonny Butterworth

In January 2022, Australia announced the procurement of 29 Assault Breacher Vehicles from the US. (US Marine Corps)

The United States Army has awarded a contract to Leonardo DRS for equipping Australia's Assault Breacher Vehicles (ABVs) with thermal integrated vision systems (IVSs), Leonardo DRS said.

According to a press release by Leonardo DRS on 4 October, the contract is worth USD9.6 million.

The company added that the IVS combines state-of-the-art uncooled thermal technology into a small two-axis stabilised gimbal in addition to a situation awareness camera system.

“When the ABV is equipped with IVS, the thermal sighting technology allows users to be protected inside the armoured vehicle. IVS also provides users with a visual situational awareness outside during combat missions,” said Leonardo DRS.

In January, Australia announced the procurement of Abrams main battle tanks (MBTs) and combat engineering capabilities for AUD3.5 billion (USD2.26 billion) from the US.

Under this deal, the Australian Army will receive 75 M1A2 Abrams tanks, 29 M1150 ABVs, 17 M1074 Joint Assault Bridge Vehicles, and an additional six M88A2 armoured recovery vehicles.

An Australian defence spokesperson told Janes

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New self-propelled mortar enters Algerian service

by Jeremy Binnie

The new self-propelled mortar system is in service with Algeria's 12th Mechanised Infantry Division in Djelfa. (Ministère de la Défense Nationale (Algeria))

A new type 120 mm self-propelled mortar has entered service with the Algerian National People's Army (ANP), a photograph released by the country's Ministry of National Defense (MND) on 4 October confirmed.

The photograph was posted on the MND's Facebook channel to show a ceremony that was held by the 12th Mechanised Infantry Division, which is based in Djelfa, to mark the start of the 2022–23 training year.

Lined up behind a modified T-62 tank, it appeared to be mounted on a light armoured vehicle developed by the United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) Nimr company, which has licensed some of its designs for production in Algeria.

What appeared to be the same mortar mounted on a 6×6 Nimr Hafeet 640A was briefly seen in footage broadcast by China's CCTV-7 television channel on 6 January. Nimr says its Hafeet range has a gross vehicle weight of 15,000 kg.

Images of a very similar mortar have circulated on the internet that identify it as the CS/SM5A made by China's Norinco defence company .

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Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) plans to develop new short-range air defence (SHORAD) and very short-...

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