Russia's Sarmat heavy ICBM to enter service at end of year

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Russia plans for its RS-28 Sarmat heavy ICBM (pictured), leaving a silo during its first test launch from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk Oblast on 20 April, to begin combat duty at the end of this year. (Russian MoD)

Russia's first RS-28 Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) will begin combat duty at the end of the year, Russian President Vladimir Putin told military university graduates he met in the Kremlin on 21 June.

The announcement came two months after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the Russian Federation reported the first test launch of the ICBM with a dummy warhead from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk Oblast on 20 April.

Armed with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV), Sarmat will replace the Voyevoda RS-20 ICBM, also known by its NATO designation SS-18 ‘Satan' Mod 5, which Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) plan to retain until the RS-28 is officially accepted into service.

Developed by State Rocket Center ‘Academician V P Makeyev', the three-stage Sarmat is produced by the Krasnoyarsk Machine-Building Plant (KrasMash), a subsidiary of Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos.

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IDET 2023: Excalibur Army Viktor light air-defence vehicles supplied to Ukraine

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Excalibur Army displayed its MR-2 Viktor light air-defence vehicle at IDET 2023. (Janes/Nicholas Fiorenza)

The Excalibur Army MR-2 Viktor light air-defence vehicle displayed at the International Defence and Security Technology Fair (IDET) 2023 held in Brno, Czech Republic, from 24 to 26 May is being supplied to Ukraine.

An Excalibur Army representative told Janes on 24 May that two batches totalling 10 to 20 vehicles had been delivered during the fourth quarter of 2022 and that 130 to 140 were planned.

Some of the vehicles have been paid for by Czech citizens, he added. EUR3.8 million (USD4.1 million) of the nearly EUR4.3 million collected from 24,270 donors have paid for 15 Viktor vehicles for Ukraine, according to the Gifts for Putin website. In addition, the Netherlands is financing 100 vehicles, according to its Ministry of Defence's website.

The vehicle, which uses a Toyota Hilux chassis, is armed with ZPU-2 twin KPVT 14.5 mm machine guns that can be used against unmanned aerial systems, the Excalibur Army representative said.

The 14.5 mm ZPU series of anti-aircraft machine guns has an effective slant range of 1,402 m, according to

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LIMA 2023: Delivery of second batch of ‘Blue Sharks' for Philippines delayed

by Akhil Kadidal

With a weight launch of 280 kg, the Blue Shark can hit targets at depths of up to 450 m and at a range of 6.5 n mile. The torpedo can travel at a speed of 45 kt. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

South Korea is prepared to deliver a second batch of Cheong Sangeo (K745/Blue Shark) torpedoes to the Philippine Navy (PN). However, Janes understands that the Philippines has delayed the procurement.

The deal was first announced in August 2021. At the time, the Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) said that the deal was reported to cost around PHP722.3 million (USD12.9 million).

A source with knowledge of the process told Janes that the documentation for the second sale batch was prepared in December 2022. “However, six months on, there has not been movement on the procurement,” the source added.

The source was speaking at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2023 held in Malaysia from 23 to 27 May.

Janes understands that the second batch of torpedoes is to equip the Leonardo AW159 helicopters in service with the PN and on the PN's two South Korean-made

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US Army testing new Patriot replacement sensor capabilities at missile range

by Meredith Roaten

Raytheon is replacing the US Army's Patriot radar with the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor. Some of the prototypes are undergoing testing with the army. (Raytheon)

The US Army is testing two of its new air-defence sensors at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico, the service recently announced.

The Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS) has begun contractor verification testing (CVT), the army's Program Executive Office Missiles and Space (PEO MS) announced on 18 May. The army envisions the radar as a key technology for air defence in Guam and as a replacement for the Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target (Patriot), service officials said.

Raytheon Missiles and Defense won a USD383 million contract in 2019 to build six prototypes for the service. Joe DeAntona, Raytheon Missiles and Defense's vice-president of business development, told Janes in March 2023 that the service had begun some testing of the sensors.

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Russia's first RS-28 Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) will begin combat duty a...

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