Weapons news

Italy's new Multiyear Planning Document boosts defence spending

By Alessandra Giovanzanti & Nicholas Fiorenza 09 August 2021
The Italian Ministry of Defence (MoD) published its Documento Programmatico Pluriennale (Multiyear Planning Document, DPP) 2021–2023 on 5 August, which lays out plans to spend EUR24.58 billion (USD29 billion) or 1.41% of GDP on defence in 2021, EUR...

US Army conducts first RCV-M live-fire testing

By Ashley Roque 06 August 2021
The US Army is conducting shakedown testing with four Robotic Combat Vehicle – Medium (RCV-M) prototypes, and as part of this phase, has begun live-fire tests with the platforms' XM813 main gun and M240 machine gun.  Earlier this year, the Textron Systems, Howe & Howe Technologies, and FLIR Systems team delivered its fourth and final RCV-M prototype to the army that is based off the Ripsaw M5 and is outfitted with Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace's PROTECTOR Medium Caliber Remote Weapon Station (MCT-30).    These vehicles then received gove...

UK orders Type 163 laser target designators to fill NATO mission gaps

By Giles Ebbutt 06 August 2021
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has contracted Leonardo for eight Type 163 laser target designators (LTDs). The contract, worth GBP800,000, was awarded in June 2021 for delivery the following month, and was revealed to Janes in August.  The invitation to tender (ITT), issued in April 2021, stated a requirement for the LTDs “to terminate the capability gap on Op CABRIT and enable training and currency to continue for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs), notably for Very High Readiness (VHR) forces”. Operation CABRIT is the United Kingdo...

Keels laid for Indian Navy's first ASWSWC and third large survey vessel

By Gabriel Dominguez & Rahul Bedi 06 August 2021
Indian public-sector company Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) announced on 6 August that it has laid the keels for the first of eight anti-submarine warfare shallow-water craft (ASWSWCs) as well as for the third of four large survey v...

US State Department approves sale to Japan of additional RIM-116C missiles

By Gabriel Dominguez & Kosuke Takahashi 05 August 2021
The US State Department has approved a potential USD61.5 million Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Japan of up to 44 RIM-116C Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAMs) along with related equipment and services.  In a 4 August notification the US Defens...

First Sadral installation for modernised La Fayette-class frigate

By Xavier Vavasseur 04 August 2021
FS   Courbet   has become the first of three French Navy La Fayette-class frigates to be refitted with MBDA's Sadral ship self-defence missile system.   The ship has received two Sadral launchers in place of the Thales Crotale CN2 point defence missile system fitted from build. As part of the upgrade, the Sadral system has been integrated with the SENIT FLF combat management system also introduced in the scope of the La Fayette upgrade programme.  The Direction générale de l'armement in May 2017 contracted Naval Group for...

NSWC Dahlgren develops decision aid for high-energy laser fire control

By Richard Scott 03 August 2021
Engineers at the US Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) have designed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based decision aid designed to assist sailors operating high-energy laser (HEL) weapon systems.  An artist's rendering of Lockheed Martin's HELIOS system: one of several first-generation HEL weapons being introduced by the US Navy into frontline service. (Lockheed Martin)  The High Energy Laser Fire Control Decision Aid (HEL FCDA) is intended to improve response time and accuracy. Development has been informed by a NSWCDD...

Update: USAF conducts first test of ARRW warhead, but second booster test flight fails

By Robin Hughes 02 August 2021
The US Air Force (USAF) 780  th  Test Squadron, based at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida has successfully conducted the first arena test of the warhead intended to equip the Lockheed Martin AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) prototype conventional hypersonic glide weapon system.   Intended to collect lethality data on developmental AGM-183A weapon, the detonation test was designed and conducted “to ensure the customer's data requirements were met using new and improved test tools, technologies, and techniqu...

Portuguese Army seeks to boost its field artillery by 2030

By Victor Barreira 02 August 2021
The Portuguese Army is planning a significant field artillery modernisation by 2030, which is likely to begin with new radar acquisitions next year.  Portugal's 2019–30 Military Programming Law, worth EUR4.6 billion (USD5.47 billion), includes EUR3...

US Navy completes first AARGM-ER live fire test milestone

By Robin Hughes 02 August 2021
The US Navy (USN), in association with Northrop Grumman, conducted the first live fire test of an AGM-88G Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range (AARGM-ER) over the sea test range at Naval Air Station Point Mugu in southern California on 19 July.  Launched from from an F/A-18F Super Hornet multirole combat aircraft, the Flight Test Vehicle (FTV) event was conducted using a telemetry round, without a warhead. The USN said the live fire test successfully demonstrated the long-range capability of the missile's new design, althou...

India's DRDO develops system to counter micro and mini UAVs

By Rahul Bedi 30 July 2021
Indian Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt confirmed on 28 July that the government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a system designed to detect, track, and neutralise micro and mini unmanned aerial vehicl...

BAE Systems contracted to manufacture seekers for LRASM Lots 4/5

By Robin Hughes 30 July 2021
Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control has contracted BAE Systems Electronic Systems in Nashua, New Hampshire to manufacture additional next-generation seekers for the AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) programme.  Awarded in late April, the USD117 million contract will deliver the new seeker assemblies for LRASM production Lots 4 and 5, with initial deliveries beginning in mid-2022. “Following design improvements conducted under a Diminishing Sources/Affordability contract, BAE Systems is producing next-generation seekers for L...

South Korean army deploying upgraded 81 mm mortar system

By Gabriel Dominguez & Thomas Ford & Dae Young Kim 29 July 2021
The Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) has begun deploying an upgraded version of its locally developed 81 mm mortar system, according to South Korea's Defense Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA).  Delivery to RoKA units of the upgraded system, which is now in series production, began in June, noted DAPA in a 29 July statement.  A screengrab from footage provided by DAPA showing soldiers using South Korea's upgraded 81 mm mortar system. (DAPA)  Referred to as the ‘81 mm Mortar-II', the weapon, development of which began in December 2014 an...

Elbit Systems progressing new SIGMA 155 mm artillery system

By Christopher F Foss 28 July 2021
Israel's Elbit Systems is developing a new fully automatic 155 mm/52 calibre SP artillery system for the Israel Defense Force (IDF) that will start to replace the IDF's 155 mm/39 calibre M109 tracked SP artillery systems around 2023 , company representatives told Janes.  While many countries still deploy tracked self-propelled (SP) 155 mm artillery systems, there is a trend towards 155 mm wheeled artillery systems, as they offer strategic mobility due to less reliance upon heavy equipment transporters.  A rendering of the new SIGMA 155 mm/52...

Russia unveils Kh-59MKM upgrade variant air-to-surface missile

By Nikolai Novichkov 28 July 2021
The Raduga Design Bureau, a subsidiary of Russia's state-owned JSC Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV), unveiled an upgraded derivative of the TV-guided Kh-59MK extended-range air-to-surface missile at the MAKS 2021 International Aviation and Space Salon, held in Zhukovsky on 20–25 July.    With an all-up weight of 930 kg, the new Kh-59MKM is 5.7 m in length, 380 mm in diameter (with a slightly larger nose section diameter of 420 mm), and a has wingspan of 1.3 m. While the Kh-59MKM airframe retains the same airframe dimensions as the ea...

UK mulls 105 mm Light Gun replacement project

By Christopher F Foss 28 July 2021
The UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is leading a programme, referred to as the Light Fires Platform (LFP), to study a potential replacement for the towed 105 mm L118 Light Gun.  The LFP effort is at a pre-concept phase that is now in its second year and is due to be completed in 2022, according to Ricky Hart, principal advisor for Land Weapons and Land Fires at Dstl.  An L118 Light Gun waiting to be airlifted by an RAF Chinook. (Janes/Patrick Allen)  Hart said unmanned, autonomous, and self-propelled concepts are being c...

AFRL seeks SDA for Mayhem hypersonic weapon system in follow-up RFI

By Robin Hughes 27 July 2021
The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has issued a follow-up Request for Information (RFI) to identify potential industry sources with the necessary expertise, capabilities, and experience “to competently and competitively respond to requirem...

New MRL system in service with PLA's Tibet Military Command

By Gabriel Dominguez & Samuel Cranny-Evans 27 July 2021
Chinese state-owned media has revealed that a new wheeled multiple rocket launcher (MRL) system has entered service with a combined arms brigade under the People's Liberation Army's (PLA's) Tibet Military Command.  A screengrab from video footage released by CCTV on 24 July showing that a new MRL has entered service with the PLA's Tibet Military Command. (CCTV)  In a news report released by China Central Television (CCTV) on 24 July several examples of the new 4×4 MRL were shown being used in a live-fire exercise at an undisclosed location o...

Georgia outlines defence procurement priorities

By Charles Forrester 26 July 2021
The Georgian government has revealed its defence procurement priorities up to 2030, which includes acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), new artillery systems, and a revitalisation of its defence housing infrastructure.  At a ceremony for the release of the Action Plan of the Georgian Defence Forces 2020–30 on 22 July, Minister of Defence Juansher Burchuladze revealed that the country would be acquiring additional Javelin anti-tank missiles in 2021 from the United States. Negotiations are also under way with Polish and South African...

Image suggests HJ-12 ATGW is in service with PLA's Tibet Military Command

By Gabriel Dominguez & Amael Kotlarski 26 July 2021
Chinese state-owned media have released an image suggesting that the Hongjian-12 (J-12) manportable anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) system is being operated by the People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF).  A photograph released on 22 July via...
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