miércoles, 3 de enero de 2018

Lockheed Martin's Gray Wolf

Lockheed Martin received a $110 million, five-year Phase 1 contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to develop and demonstrate a new low-cost cruise missile called Gray Wolf.

"Lockheed Martin's concept for the Gray Wolf missile will be an affordable, counter-IAD missile that will operate efficiently in highly contested environments," said Hady Mourad, Advanced Missiles Program director for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control"Using the capabilities envisioned for later spirals, our system is being designed to maximize modularity, allowing our customer to incorporate advanced technologies such as more lethal warheads or more fuel-efficient engines, when those systems become available. Our AFRL customer will benefit from decades of Lockheed Martin experience in building high-quality, low-cost systems like GMLRS, while capitalizing on the experience of our team in developing and integrating advanced cruise missiles such as JASSM and LRASM on military aircraft," Mourad said.

The Gray Wolf program consists of four spiral-development phases that allow for rapid technology prototyping and multiple transition opportunities. This first phase, defined by an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract, is anticipated to run until late 2019. Initial demonstrations will be from an F-16 aircraft. In addition to the F-16, the system will be designed for compatibility with B-1, B-2, B-52, F-15, F-18 and F-35 aircrafts. This program seeks to develop low-cost, subsonic cruise missiles that use open architectures and modular design to allow for rapid prototyping and spiral growth capabilities. The AFRL is developing the missiles to feature networked, collaborative behaviors (swarming) to address Integrated Air Defense (IAD) system threats around the world.

341st Missile Wing commander confirmed for promotion

Col. Ronald G. Allen Jr., began service as commander of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base in April 2016.

He was among 1.317 eligible colonels for promotion to the rank of brigadier general and at the end of December the U.S. Senate confirmed him for promotion to brigadier general in the United States Air Force.

“It’s a great honor to serve with someone of Col. Allen’s caliber and character,” said Col. Peter Bonetti, 341st MW vice commander. “I’m grateful to see the Senate confirmation. It’s an acknowledgement that Col. Allen’s senior leadership is vital to the Air Force and the United States.”

The wing’s 4.000 personnel defend the United States with combat-ready Airmen and nuclear forces. They are responsible for base support, maintenance, security and operation of 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles located throughout a 13.800 square-mile complex in central Montana.

lunes, 1 de enero de 2018

S-400 Triumf: Russia and Turkey signed a loan agreement

"Earlier in the day, Russia and Turkey have signed a loan agreement on Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 systems" Haberturk TV said last Friday.

According to the Hurriyet daily, Ankara will pay part of the sum from its own funds and will contract a Russian loan for the rest. Notably, the loan will be in rubles.

On September 12, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara had signed an agreement with Moscow on purchase of S-400 systems, with an advance payment already made.

On November 2, Director General of Russia’s Rostec Corporation Sergei Chemezov told TASS that the contract with Turkey on the sales of S-400 Triumf systems exceeded two billion US dollars.

Supplies of these systems are expected to begin within two years. Russia’s S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) is the latest long-range anti-aircraft missile system that went into service in 2007.

It is designed to destroy aircrafts, ballistic and cruise missiles, including medium-range missiles, and surface targets. The S-400 can engage targets at a distance of 400 kilometers and at an altitude of up to 30 kilometers.

Washington keeps persuading Turkey not to buy air and missile defense systems from Russia, US Department of Defense Spokesperson Johnny Michael told TASS"We have relayed our concerns to Turkish officials regarding the purchase of the S-400," the Pentagon spokesman said. "A NATO interoperable missile defense system remains the best option to defend Turkey from the full range of threats in its region. We have an open dialogue on this issue, and have emphasized the importance of maintaining NATO interoperability on any major defense systems procurements."

Aegis Ashore deployment in Japan will affect ties of Moscow and Tokyo

The deployment of U.S.-made Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense systems in Japan will affect ties of Moscow and Tokyo, including the dialogue on a peace treaty, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday 28.

She mentioned that the systems are equipped with universal launchers that are also capable of using attack weapons. "In practice, this will mean a new violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by the U.S. with practical assistance from Japan," Zakharova stressed.

On December 19, the Japanese government made the decision to deploy two Aegis Ashore missile defense systems in the north and southwest of the country’s main island of Honshu, tentatively in 2023. Japan maintains that they are aimed at securing the country against ballistic and maybe cruise missiles. These systems will be bought from the U.S. and will cost Japan an equivalent of about $889 million each.

"Once again we are calling on the Japanese counterparts to consider whether it is in their interests to become involved in violating the INF Treaty. The U.S. has been deploying them at the military bases in Romania and Poland, which is next to our western border, thus violating the INF Treaty of 1987, which outlaws use of such systems ashore." Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also stressed.

Russian Navy to focus on strategic non-nuclear deterrence

In the near future, the Navy General Command of Russia will take steps aimed at further developing the Russian Navy in compliance with the 2018-2027 state weapons program: "At the current stage, it includes maintaining the combat capabilities of the naval strategic nuclear forces through building Borei-A and Borei-B-class ballistic missile submarines, as well as through developing the potential of the general-purpose naval forces, which requires building green-water and blue-water vessels, modernizing ships suitable for modernization, supplying modern aerial vehicles and coastal missile systems to coastal defense units," Navy’s Commander-in-Chief Admiral Vladimir Korolyov said. "The Navy General Command will particularly focus on forming strategic non-nuclear deterrence groups that will include vessels armed with long-range precision weapons, as well as on improving the system of naval bases and ensuring balanced supply of weapons and munitions," added.

martes, 5 de diciembre de 2017

Congress deepens US-Israel missile alliance

U. S. Congress released Nov. 9 an annual defense bill that calls for $705 million for Israel’s missile defense program, a tacit acknowledgment of the threat posed by Iran and Hezbollah.

David’s Sling, a joint US-Israeli development that can shoot down missiles that range up to 190 miles, is authorized to receive an additional $120 million under the new defense bill, according to a U.S. Senate summary.

The bill also requests $92 million for the Iron Dome system, designed to intercept small projectiles and artillery, expanding it from 10 to 15 missile batteries.

And the Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 batteries that took down Syrian anti-aircraft missiles headed for Israeli fighter jets in March are also in line to get $120 million under the bill.

“Israel is arguably under the greatest threat of rockets and missiles in the world with the exception of South Korea and Japan,” said Ian Williams, an associate fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

Spain Approved Budget for Spike Procurement

Earlier this year, the Spanish Ministry of Defense announced its intention to purchase 260 Spike launchers and 2550 Spike L-R missiles from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Now it has been published that the Ministry has committed €1.8 billion ($2.1 billion) of funding for a series of special armament programs, and as part of the massive defense acquisitions, Spain would purchase such missiles and missile launchers with funding now falling under core defense budget.

US Patriot missiles may have failed in Saudi Arabia

“Governments lie about the effectiveness of these systems. Or they’re misinformed, and that should worry the hell out of us.” Jeffrey Lewis, an analyst who led the research team, told the Times.

Israel: Defense Ministry halts Arrow-3 test

According to Moshe Patel, Israel Missile Defense Organization Director, the simulator missile -which was supposed to simulate a ballistic missile fired at Israel- was fired but it quickly became clear that it was not functioning as expected and therefore the test was stopped before the Arrow system could be tested.

lunes, 27 de noviembre de 2017


According to DARPA’s website, the EXACTO system should “greatly extend the day and night time range over current state-of-the-art sniper systems,” minimise the time required to engage with targets, and also reduce misses.

Ok, but, ¿What is really EXACTO? Well, DARPA recently released a video showcasing the technology: Basically, the project is focused to develop a bullet sized micro missile to get one shot, and one kill.

DARPA wants these micro-missiles to be an easily deployable technology, so it's designed them to be compatible with standard smooth-bore rifles and fit into traditional cartridges. The agency says their most recent tests suggest that even a novice shooter using these missiles for the first time could hit moving targets, but the stated goal is to make sniper's jobs easier and eventually adapt the technology to other calibers. The dream would be an arsenal of guns that the soldiers don't even have to aim.

Self-guided weapons technologies have been around us for quite some time: The first American laser-guided bombs, which used optical sensors to hone in on targets, were launched during the Vietnam War. Scaling down the electronic systems needed to put these technologies in something the size of a bullet, however, has been a trickier task. So nowadays we have micro missiles equipped with optical sensors positioned on the surface of the nose that collect in-flight data which is sent to internal systems for interpretation, then fed to the tracking system before it delivers the projectile on to the target.