RN Wildcat completes first Martlet in-service firing

by Richard Scott

A first Martlet in-service firing was completed in the Bay of Bengal on 16 October. (Royal Navy/Crown Copyright)

A UK Royal Navy (RN) Wildcat HMA2 helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) has completed the first in-service firing of the Thales Martlet laser-guided anti-surface guided weapon.

Undertaken in the Bay of Bengal, the firing was performed by the Wildcat of 219 Flight, embarked in the Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender as part of the RN's Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) deployment.

Developed by Thales to meet the Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Light) requirement, Martlet uses the company's laser-beam riding Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) as its effector. Targeted by the Wildcat's observer using an active laser-generation unit inside the nose-mounted L-3Harris Wescam MX-15Di electro-optical/infrared/laser turret, Martlet is designed to deliver precise and proportionate effects against target sets such as fast inshore attack craft, jet skis, and waterborne improvised explosive devices.

The first operational live firing was performed on 16 October, with the missile targeted against an inflatable ‘Killer Tomato' target. Cockpit video footage released by the RN showed a single LMM impacting the target.


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Mac Jee develops improved Armadillo multiple rocket system

by Victor Barreira

Mac Jee Defesa has developed an improved Armadillo 70 mm launcher configuration for 4×4 light armoured tactical vehicles. (Mac Jee)

Brazil's Mac Jee Defesa has developed an improved configuration of its all-weather Armadillo 2.75”/70 mm rocket launcher system for 4×4 light tactical armoured vehicles.

An initial configuration of the launch pod was officially unveiled in April 2019, mounted on an M1152 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). The new compact 24-cell Armadillo launch pod is 3.5 metres in length, and weighs approximately 50 kg. The re-configured design features a retractable roof-mounted 360° mission module which, according to the company, can accommodate 2.75”/70 mm guided/unguided anti-tank and short-range air defence rockets, furnished with MK40/MK66 rocket motors. Two additional launch pods (24+24 rockets) mounted on an automatic reloading system are stowed in the launch platform.

The current solution utilises an AM General 4×4 M1152 HMMWV with rear and front hydraulic stabilisation systems and a redesigned bonnet, although the Armadillo system can be integrated into any new 4×4 armoured tactical vehicle or existing 4×4 platform in the inventory of a client, Mac Jee product manager Márcio Corrêa da Silva Santos told Janes .


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Russian forces receive 9M333 SAMs

by Samuel Cranny-Evans

The Russian MoD has taken delivery of 9M333 SAMs for its Strela-10M3 short-range air defence systems. (Russian MoD)

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has received “the first mass deliveries” of 9M333 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) from Kalashnikov, Rostec announced on its website on 18 November.

Rostec said the new missile is designed to arm the Strela-10M3 air defence system 9A34M3 and 9A35M3 combat vehicles. It replaces legacy 9M37 missiles, which only had a dual-mode seeker.

The 9M333 can be traced back to 1989, but Rostec stated that the missile delivered to the MoD was first demonstrated publicly at the Army 2020 exhibition before successfully completing qualification tests for the Russian MoD last December.

Development of the missile was initiated in 2018 and the successful tests in December 2020 led to its serial production.

The 9M333 has a horizontal engagement range of 5,000 m and an altitude range of 10-3,500 m. It can engage targets travelling at 679 m/s, and has a three-mode seeker designed to withstand jamming. It can be used as a fire-and-forget missile against a range of low-flying aircraft.


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Turkey to build cartridge factory in Mongolia

by Lale Sariibrahimoglu

Turkey's Machine and Chemical Industry Inc (MKE) will build a cartridge loading and assembly factory in Mongolia under a contract signed with Mongolia's Defence Industry Board on 15 November.

The factory will have a yearly capacity of producing 10 million cartridges, Yasin Akdere, MKE general manager, said during the signing ceremony at MKE's Gazi Fişek fireworks factory in Ankara, Turkey's capital.

In July, MKE signed a contract with the Jordan Design and Development Bureau (JODDB) for the supply and installation of cartridge loading and assembly and bullet and shell production lines.

Under the contract with Jordan, 30 million shells (5.56 mm×45, 7.62 mm×51, 7.62 mm×39, and 9 mm×19), and 30 million bullets (7.62 mm×51 M80, 5.56 mm×45 SS109/M193, 7.62 mm×39 M67, 9 mm×19), will be produced per year, while 20 million cartridge loading and assembly tasks (7.62 mm×51 M80 Cartridge, 7.62 mm×39 M67 Cartridge, 5.56 mm×45 SS109/M193) per year will be realised, Turkey's state-owned Anatolia News Agency reported.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/weapons-headlines/latest/rn-wildcat-completes-first-martlet-in-service-firing

A UK Royal Navy (RN) Wildcat HMA2 helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) has completed the fir...

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