US approves air-launched weapons package for Finland
29 November 2022
by Gareth Jennings
Finland has been approved for a multimillion-dollar weapons package to equip its fleet of Hornet fighters. (Janes/Patrick Allen)
The United States has approved the sale to Finland of 88 air-launched weapons valued at an estimated USD323.3 million.
Announced on 28 November, the package comprises 40 Raytheon AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and 48 Raytheon AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) cruise missiles, as well as related equipment, training, and support.
“It is vital to the US national interest to assist Finland in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability. The proposed sale will improve Finland's air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons capabilities and will positively impact US relations with countries in the Nordic region. Finland intends to use these defence articles and services for its fighter aircraft fleet,” the approval notification said.
As noted by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which announced the proposed sale, the missiles will be carried by the Finnish Air Force's fleet of 55 Boeing F/A-18C and seven F/A-18D Hornet fighters. These Hornets are to be replaced by 64 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft from 2026.
India test-flies Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle
02 February 2023
by Kapil Kajal
The HSTDV, seen here from a test in September 2020, uses an Agni-1 short-range ballistic missile as the solid rocket booster to place the vehicle into the altitude needed to ensure the operation of the scramjet. (DRDO)
India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted a flight test of the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV).
A DRDO official confirmed with
that the test was conducted from APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the northeastern coast of Odisha. However, the DRDO
did not confirm the test results. It said it is assessing the test data and will share the results soon.
The HSTDV was tested for the third time with the current test. The first test flight of the HSTDV took place in June 2019. An Agni-1 short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) was used as the solid rocket booster to place the HSTDV into the altitude needed to ensure the operation of the scramjet.
US Space Force seeks battle-ready microchip prototypes
01 February 2023
by Carlo Munoz
The USAF's 45th Space Wing launches an advanced extremely high frequency satellite onboard an Atlas V launch vehicle, which is part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle programme. (US Air Force)
Engineers at the US Department of Defense (DoD) and US Space Force (USSF) are looking to develop a new generation of microchips that can withstand the harsh radiation exposure associated with deep-space operations, while also employing cutting-edge micro-electronics (ME) technologies from the military and commercial sectors.
The Advanced Next Generation Strategic Radiation-hardened Memory (ANGSTRM) programme, as designed, will ensure that critical space-based assets – such as military satellites, command-and-control systems for strategic missile systems, and anti-missile warning nodes and systems – will be equipped with “near-commercial state-of-the-art performance … while still meeting the radiation requirements for the space and strategic environments”, USSF programme officials wrote in a 23 January industry solicitation.
While the USSF is the lead organisation conducting the ANGSTRM programme, the effort is one of several testing, development, and prototype technology initiatives being contracted to the industry through the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) via its Space Technology Advanced Research-Fast-tracking Innovative Software and Hardware (STAR-FISH) programme.
German Army receives Ziesel unmanned ground vehicles for testing
01 February 2023
by Alexander Stronell
Ziesel light UGV pictured at the Lehnin training ground near Berlin, in December 2022. (Janes/Alexander Stronell)
The German Army has procured two prototype Ziesel light unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) for testing and evaluation, Janes has learnt.
The German Army received the two systems in December 2022, and will conduct the testing for an undetermined period, according to spokespeople for the German Army and the system's manufacturer, Diehl Defence GmbH.
The Ziesel is a tracked UGV designed for close infantry support in roles including logistics and casualty evacuation (casevac).
Explaining the acquisition process to date, Alexander Wolf, head of Technology Management Unmanned Systems and Systroncis at Diehl Defence GmbH, said, “The German Army were looking at our UGV and autonomy research [in the mid 2010s]. We thought about the kind of terrain on which the German Army might be operating, and it's often the forest. That required a platform somewhat smaller than the THeMIS and the Mission Master.”
The THeMIS and Mission Master medium UGVs are modular vehicles produced by Milrem Robotics and Rheinmetall, respectively. They have proven to be popular acquisitions among Western militaries.