Weapons news

MMP missile fired with target designation provided by UAV

By Nicholas Fiorenza 22 January 2021
MBDA announced in a press release on 21 January that it has demonstrated the firing of the Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP) medium-range missile with target designation provided by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The firing demonstration of LynkEUs Dismounted, comprising of the MMP in infantry configuration and a Novadem NX70 UAV linked to the weapon terminal, was conducted with the support of the French armament procurement agency, Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), at the Canjuers military camp in southern France.  MBDA demonstrated the...

US Army hosting ‘low collateral' C-sUAS demo

By Ashley Roque 22 January 2021
The US Army will evaluate counter-small unmanned aerial system (C-sUAS) technologies ideal for urban environments during an industry demonstration at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in April.  In mid-January, the service released a request for information asking interested vendors to submit White Papers detailing technologies capable of downing group 1 and 2 UAS that weigh less than 25 kg, travel at speeds less than 250 kt, and operate at altitudes less than 1,066 m.  After reviewing the White Papers, the army will select up to 10 companies to...

Lockheed Martin awarded OpFires Phase 3b contract

By Robin Hughes 21 January 2021
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control a USD58.9 million contract to advance the Phase 3 development of the Operational Fires (OpFires) hypersonic surface-to-surface weapon system to initial system flight testing later this year.  Announced on 11 January, the Phase 3b contract follows the company’s successful delivery of the Phase 3a integrated system preliminary design review (PDR) in November 2020 and resultant comprehensive design and test plan, and provides for full-...

China to field more nuclear weapons that can target the United States, says report

By Gabriel Dominguez 20 January 2021
China’s missile force is expanding, with the number of nuclear warheads capable of reaching the United States on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) potentially increasing to “well over 200” within the next five years, according to a report by the US Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC).  Published on 11 January 2021, NASIC’s ‘2020 Ballistic and Cruise Missile Threat’ report says that China, which “continues to have the most active and diverse ballistic missile development programme in the world”, has been ad...

USMC rolls out suppressors for close combat units

By Thomas Ford 19 January 2021
The US Marine Corps (USMC) has begun the widespread distribution of suppressors to equip all of its close combat units, the Marine CorpsTimes noted in a 30 December 2020 article.  The suppressors are intended for the M27 IAR, M4, M4A1, and M38 rif...

Iran claims to have longer-range anti-ship ballistic missile

By Jeremy Binnie 18 January 2021
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says it launched ballistic missiles at a simulated naval target 1,800 km away as part of its Exercise ‘Great Prophet 15’ on 16 January.  An Iranian Ghadr medium-range ballistic missile is launched during Exercise ‘Great Prophet 15’. (Islamic Revolution Guards Corps)  “Today, our goal was to destroy the enemy fleet in the northern Indian Ocean at a distance of 1,800 km, when ballistic missiles were fired at this area,” said Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC Aerospace F...

Netherlands sets out plans for Goalkeeper CIWS replacement

By Richard Scott 15 January 2021
The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) is to buy a combination of inner-layer missiles and medium-calibre guided munitions to replace the Goalkeeper close-in weapon system (CIWS) currently fitted to Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN) ships.  The Dutch Navy’s 16 Goalkeepers were recently subject to an upgrade to keep them relevant until at least 2025. (Royal Netherlands Navy)  In a 14 January letter to the Dutch parliament’s House of Representatives, State Secretary for Defence Barbara Visser said that plans were being taken forward to acquire...

North Korea unveils Pukguksong-5 SLBM at military parade

By Gabriel Dominguez 15 January 2021
Less than a week after announcing plans to modernise its military and bolster its nuclear arsenal, North Korea unveiled new missile systems, including the latest version of its Pukguksong (also spelled Pukkuksong) series of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), at a military parade held in the evening on 14 January.  The parade, which was held at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung Square to mark the end of the Eighth Congress of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), took place only a day after media reports emerged about South Korea’s plans...

Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Thales sign Starstreak teaming agreement

By Gerrard Cowan 14 January 2021
India’s Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL) will produce the Starstreak close air defence system under a new teaming agreement with Thales, with the companies aiming to meet future demand from the Indian Armed Forces and international customers.  BDL will become part of the system’s global supply chain, with the potential to export Indian-manufactured Starsteak systems – and individual components – to existing and future customers, according to the two companies.  The deal would allow BDL to offer what the companies term a ‘Made in India’ Starstrea...

Production begins for Italian Army's Centauro II MGS

By Christopher F Foss 13 January 2021
Consortium Iveco – Oto Melara (CIO) confirmed on 8 January that production of its latest Centauro II 8x8 Mobile Gun System (MGS) for the Italian Army is under way, with first deliveries due in the first quarter of 2021.  The Italian Army’s initial contract was for 11 Centauro II 8x8 MGSs comprising one prototype brought up to full-production standard, 10 new-production MGSs, and a two-year support package.  According to CIO, the latest Centauro II MGS prototype has a number of improvements that have now been tested by the Italian Army and wil...

Surface Navy 2021: US Navy tables possible Aegis Ashore transition to another entity, for now

By Michael Fabey 13 January 2021
The US Navy (USN) has postponed a decision to possibly transfer Aegis Ashore operations to another military entity during recent budget discussions but discussions continue about making such a move, said Rear Admiral Paul Schlise, director, USN Sur...

US Army awaits imminent IBCS production decision

By Ashley Roque 12 January 2021
The Pentagon will announce within days whether it is green-lighting production of the US Army’s new Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) network,   Janes  has learned.     The army had anticipated that Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s acquisition chief, would hold the IBCS milestone C review in mid-November 2020 but as of early January the service had not yet been notified of a decision, according to an army spokesperson. However, Lord’s office told   Janes  on 11 January that the announcement will be coming...

Surface Navy 2021: HELIOS begins US Navy laser testing at Wallops

By Michael Fabey 12 January 2021
Lockheed Martin’s High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS) was delivered to the US Navy (USN) in late 2020 for ground-based testing at the USN’s test site on Wallops Island, Virginia, company officials said on 11...

North Korea developing nuclear-powered submarine, tactical nuclear missiles, says Kim Jong-un

By Gabriel Dominguez & Dae Young Kim 11 January 2021
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has revealed that Pyongyang is at different stages in the development of a range of new military platforms and weapon systems, including a nuclear-powered submarine, tactical nuclear weapons, hypersonic glide vehicles, electronic warfare equipment, and reconnaissance satellites.  On 9 January the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted Kim as telling members of the Eighth Congress of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) that the aim is to modernise the Korean People’s Army (KPA), bolster its dete...

Update: UK orders production of SPEAR3 for F-35

By Robin Hughes 11 January 2021
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded MBDA in the United Kingdom a seven-year demonstration and manufacture contract for production of the SPEAR network-enabled stand-off air-to-surface weapon system.  Designated SPEAR3 in UK service, the effector will be the primary medium-to-long-range strike weapon of the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy (RN) F-35B Lightning variant multirole combat aircraft, enabling them to engage and defeat challenging targets such as mobile long-range air defence systems at over-the-horizon ranges in all...

Surface Navy 2021: US Navy to test missile operations on LPDs to enhance sea control

By Michael Fabey 11 January 2021
The US Navy (USN) will be testing and reviewing the potential of added-missile capability on San Antonio-class LPD-17 landing platform dock vessels to gain better sea control, said US Marine Corps (USMC) Major General Tracy King, director of USN Ex...

Surface Navy 2021: USN works to equip Zumwalt destroyers with conventional prompt strike weapon

By Michael Fabey 11 January 2021
Responding to a recent mandate by US lawmakers, the US Navy (USN) is working now to develop and integrate a conventional prompt strike system on the Zumwalt-class guided-missile (DDG 1000) destroyer, Rear Admiral Paul Schlise, director, USN Surface Warfare Division said on 8 January.  “This has been under discussion for a little while,” Rear Adm Schlise said during a media discussion in advance of the virtual Surface Navy Association 2021 National Symposium, which begins on 11 January.  The US Navy is working now to develop and integrate a co...

US Army aims to have Iron Dome deployment ready by September

By Ashley Roque 08 January 2021
The US Army is training soldiers on how to operate Rafael’s Iron Dome, with the goal of having the first battery ready to deploy by September and the second by about December, the service told  Janes  .   Israel delivered the first air-defence battery to the army in September 2020 and the weapon is now at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, Donald Herrick, a spokesman for the Air and Missile Defense Cross Functional Team, wrote in a 6 January email. The army then received the second battery in early January and Herrick said this o...

German Army trains Hungarian trainers on PzH 2000

By Nicholas Fiorenza 08 January 2021
The 10th Panzer Division's Artilleriebataillon (Artillery Battalion) 131 is training eight Hungarian trainers on the Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000 self-propelled howitzer (SPH), the German Army announced on its website on 6 January. The service said the first of 24 PzH 2000s would be handed over to the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) in February 2022 and be used for training in Hungary.  The German Army is training Hungarian artillerymen on the PzH 2000, pictured firing the SPH. (Bundeswehr/Mario Hönig)  Eight Hungarian artillerymen have received...

Rearmament of Kozelsk missile division continues

By Robin Häggblom 08 January 2021
The rearmament of Russia’s nuclear triad continues, with state media-released video footage on 4 January showing the loading of an RS-24 Yars (NATO reporting name SS-27 Mod 2) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into a silo in Kozelsk, home t...
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