US Army conducts ‘static' test with ramjet for future Precision Strike Missile
13 May 2022
by Ashley Roque
Photo from the inaugural flight of Lockheed Martin's PrSM prototype in December 2019. (US Army)
Advancements in designing and testing a potential ramjet for the US Army Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) could extend the weapon's range up to 1,000 kilometers, and a prototype could be ready for testing in 2026, according to Major General John Rafferty, head of the service's Long-Range Precision Fires Cross-Functional Team, and budget documents.
Lockheed Martin's PrSM is set to replace the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) and the army is preparing to deliver an initial version of the weapon (with Northrop Grumman's rocket motor) to soldiers in fiscal year 2023. Although the service has not disclosed the range of this missile, Army Chief of Staff General James McConville told lawmakers on 12 May that it will exceed 500 km.
State of mines: Future of naval mine warfare in Asia-Pacific
25 November 2022
by Nishant Kumar & Chinmay Kohad
Mines constitute the most cost-efficient anti-access, area-denial (A2/AD) naval weapon. NATO's Naval Mine Warfare Centre of Excellence defines mines as small, easy to conceal, and cheap explosive devices that require minimal maintenance. These can be easily laid in the water or on seabed from almost any type of platform. Mines have been used by the navies both in defensive and offensive ways. They can be used to directly attack the adversary's ships or submarines or to protect one's own ships, submarines, or critical sea areas, ports, or waterways.
Perceived minefield risks require the deployment of a dedicated means of detecting, classifying, and neutralising the mines – or confirming their absence – imposing intolerable delays to dynamic operations and lending tactical mines a strategic utility. Advances in mine technology have led to countermeasures splitting into two main branches, sweeping and hunting, with mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) developed to perform either or both roles.
JMSDF demonstrates enhanced BMD capabilities with first SM-3 Block IIA firing
22 November 2022
by Ridzwan Rahmat
, seen here firing the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor against a ballistic target in waters near Hawaii on 16 November 2022.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has demonstrated its ability to engage in enhanced co-operative ballistic missile defence (BMD) operations by test-firing two sea-based variants of the SM-3 interceptor.
The firings were carried out by the Maya-class destroyers, JS Maya and JS Haguro, in waters near Hawaii on 16 and 19 November, respectively, the service disclosed in a statement on 21 November.
Maya deployed an SM-3 Block IIA interceptor while Haguro launched the Block IB variant of the same weapon. Both firings were supported by the US Navy (USN) and the US Missile Defense Agency, the JMSDF statement added.
The SM-3 is a family of interceptors that has been developed by Raytheon to destroy short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The weapon system utilises its own kinetic energy instead of an explosive warhead to destroy targets as part of its ‘hit-to-kill' method.
UK Dragonfire laser weapon demonstrator completes first high-power firings
09 November 2022
by Richard Scott
Leonardo developed the LDEW beam director as part of the UK Dragonfire consortium. (Richard Scott/NAVYPIX)
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has completed the first trials of a high-powered, long-range Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) testbed at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory's (Dstl's) Porton Down range in Southern England.
Conducted in October, the trials involved firing the DragonFire LDEW capability demonstrator at several target sets. Led by MBDA UK, the UK Dragonfire consortium includes Leonardo and QinetiQ as key technology suppliers.
The sovereign LDEW capability demonstrator programme has been established to improve the MoD's understanding of how high-energy lasers and their associated technologies can defeat representative air and surface targets at operationally relevant ranges, and in different operating environments. According to Dstl, the need to generate high levels of laser power and the ability to focus the beam with sufficient accuracy, are two important areas that need to be demonstrated to provide confidence in the performance and viability of LDEW systems. Other considerations include management of power and cooling demands over a prolonged period, and effects management/safety aspects.