Update – ADEX 2022: Latest member of QFAB series adds laser guidance
16 September 2022
by Huw Williams
The QFAB-250 LG features a laser-guidance system as part of its applique kit. (Janes/Huw Williams)
The Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence Industry unveiled the latest member of its QFAB (also known as GFAB) series of general-purpose bombs at the ADEX 2022 exhibition in Baku on 6 September.
According to ministry officials, the new bomb – designated QFAB-250 LG – was developed in collaboration with Turkey's Aselsan.
The QFAB-250 LG is intended to provide enhanced accuracy over the standard QFAB bombs through an applique kit that includes a laser-guidance system and control surfaces. The guidance system is fitted to the nose of the bomb, and control surfaces in the nose and rear.
Information released by the ministry claims a circular error probable of up to 10 m, and the ability to drop the bomb from a maximum altitude of 12,000 m (39,370 ft) and a speed of up to Mach 0.9 (1,100 km/h).
The addition of the guidance kit adds 20 kg to the 250 kg of the standard bomb. The QFAB-250 LG maintains the use of high-explosive fragmentation, and it measures 3,300 mm in length and 325 mm in diameter.
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.