US approves FS-LIDS counter-UAV system for Qatar

by Jeremy Binnie

A still from a video released by Raytheon shows a Coyote Block 2 being launched during tests at Yuma Proving Ground in August 2021. (Raytheon Technologies)

The US Department of State has approved the sale of counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems estimated to be worth USD1 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 29 November.

The approval covers 10 Fixed Site-Low, Slow, Small UAV Integrated Defeat Systems (FS-LIDS) and 200 Coyote Block 2 interceptors, as well as associated equipment and services.

The FS-LIDS is a ‘system of systems' developed by SRC Technology for the US Army and uses the company's AN/TPQ-50 counter-fire radar and electro-optic cameras to detect and track small UAVs. Targets can be engaged using an electronic warfare system or Coyote interceptors.

The Coyote was originally developed by Raytheon as a multi-purpose disposable UAV/loitering munition. The Block 2 has a small jet turbine engine, making it faster than the propellor-driven Block 1, and the original's fold-out wings were replaced with fixed ones along the side of its fuselage, making the new variant look more like a missile than a UAV.


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IAV 2023: Elbit presents Crossbow turreted mortar

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Elbit presented the Crossbow 120 mm turreted mortar system at IAV 2023. (Elbit Systems)

Elbit Systems presented the Crossbow 120 mm turreted mortar at Defence IQ's International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2023 conference being held in London from 23 to 26 January.

The weapon can be installed in a mission module with minimal protrusion, can be easily operated by a single crew member, and is fuzed for fully automatic operation, according to Elbit.

It can fire the company's range of mortar rounds, including those with an extended range and precision guidance. It has a range of 10 km and a rate of fire exceeding 12 rds/min, achieving 16 rounds for the first minute, an Elbit representative told Janes on 23 January. Crossbow is designed to be fired on the move and to shoot and scoot with a multiple round simultaneous impact (MRSI) capability.

A second Elbit representative said it was developed over the last three years based on Elbit's experience in ammunition, fuzes, fire control, and command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) integration. It is scheduled to enter service in 2024 with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which financed its development.


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Ukraine conflict: Defence contact group meeting fails to agree to send Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at Ramstein Air Base on 20 January failed to agree to send Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv (photo of Polish Leopard 2PL). (PGZ)

The Ukraine Defense Contact Group met at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on 20 January but failed to come to an agreement on sending Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv.

The new German Defence Minister, Boris Pistorius, said that Berlin had not reached a decision on supplying Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks. However, he ordered his ministry to conduct an inventory of the different versions of Leopard 2s available in case there is a decision.

German news magazine Der Spiegel reported on 22 January that the German Ministry of Defence had already made an inventory of German Leopard 2s in mid-2022, which numbered 312 in Bundeswehr and 99 in industry stocks, with one tank being phased out. Nineteen of these tanks being used for training purposes could be sent to Ukraine, according to Der Spiegel.

He stated Berlin's position that a decision on whether or not to supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine was still open but had to be carefully weighed.


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Ukraine conflict: UK accelerates Mobile Fires Platform programme

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The UK is accelerating the British Army's Mobile Fires Platform programme to replace its AS90 SPHs (pictured above). (Crown copyright)

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced to the House of Commons on 16 January that he is accelerating the British Army's Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) programme, so that it delivers during the 2020s rather than the 2030s. He said he has also directed an interim artillery capability to be delivered, subject to commercial negotiation.

Janes understands that the UK now plans for the MFP to enter service in 2027.

Among the companies competing for the programme are Hanwha Defense's Team Thunder offering the K9A2 self-propelled howitzer (SPH), Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) with its Boxer Remote Controlled Howitzer (RCH) 155, Nexter with its CAESAR 8×8 SPH, BAE Systems with Archer, and Rheinmetall with an HX3 10×10 truck equipped with an automatic remote-controlled artillery turret.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/weapons-headlines/latest/us-approves-fs-lids-counter-uav-system-for-qatar

The US Department of State has approved the sale of counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems es...

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