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.

lunes, 20 de noviembre de 2017

Downing down NK missiles: The need of a new approach

Concerned that the missile defense system designed to protect American cities is insufficient by itself to deter a North Korean attack, the Trump administration is expanding its strategy to also try to stop Pyongyang’s missiles before they get far from Korean airspace.

Congressional documents are actually talking about “additional investments” in “boost-phase missile defense.” The goal is to hit long-range missiles at their point of greatest vulnerability: while their engines are firing and the vehicles are stressed to the breaking point, and before their warheads are deployed.

In interviews, defense officials, along with top scientists and senior members of Congress, describe the effort as a response to the unexpected progress that North Korea has made in developing ICBMs capable of delivering a nuclear bomb to the continental United States: “It is an all-out effort,” said Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who returned from a lengthy visit to South Korea last month, convinced that the United States needed to do far more to counter North Korea. “There is a fast-emerging threat, a diminishing window, and a recognition that we can’t be reliant on one solution.”

One first approach is to have stealth fighters such as the F-22 or the F-35 scramble from nearby bases in South Korea and Japan at the first sign of North Korean launch preparations. The jets would carry conventional air-to-air missiles, which are 12 feet long, and fire them at the North Korean long-range missiles after they are launched. But they would have to fly relatively close to North Korea to do that, increasing the chances of being shot down.

A second approach -hinted at in an emergency request to Congress last week for $4 billion to deal with North Korea- envisions the stepped-up use of cyber weapons to interfere with the North’s control systems before missiles are launched. Using cyber weapons to disrupt launches is a radical innovation in missile defense in the past three decades, but in the case of North Korea it is also the most difficult: It requires getting into the missile manufacturing, launch control and guidance systems of a country that makes very limited use of the internet and has few connections to the outside world — most of them through China, and to a lesser degree Russia.

And a third approach is to develop a UAV that would fire potent laser beams at rising missiles. But recent plans would have it make its debut no sooner than 2025 — too late to play a role in the current crisis or the Trump presidency.

sábado, 18 de noviembre de 2017

Russia gets ready to avoid WW3

In recent weeks, Russia’s nuclear-capable forces practiced missile launches and flyovers in apparent offensive measures for a conflict scenario.

Russian troops near the Black Sea coast have carried out drills for an scenario in which Russia was attacked by a chemical or nuclear weapon, the country's military has revealed.

Spread across three Russian regions between the Black and Caspian seas, the drills involved more than 5,000 troops, the Ministry of Defense announced in a statement.

Units specializing in chemical weapons were deployed in the Krasnodar and Stavropol regions, while at least 100 personnel in the neighboring Rostov region launched a parallel decontamination drill.

¿Has China really backed down over South Korea missile shield row?

Back in 2016 – after the United States and South Korea decided that US Forces Korea would deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defence shield system in South Korea – relations between Beijing and Seoul fell off a cliff.

China unofficially sanctioned South Korean firms, including Lotte, the conglomerate that would eventually cede land to the South Korean government in the country’s south to allow for a deployment of the missile system. For Beijing, the US deployment of THAAD was never about the missile interceptors: Rather, Beijing has long expressed open concern – even through its foreign minister – about the powerful X-band AN/TPY-2 radar that accompanies the THAAD system.

lunes, 6 de noviembre de 2017

Orbital ATK and AMRDEC: Additive Manufacturing for Rocket Motors

As part of the Army’s Missile Science and Technology Enterprise objectives, Orbital ATK and AMRDEC have developed a prototype of motor built using Additive Manufacturing, to demonstrate and mature new and emerging materials technologies to enhance system effectiveness and achieve insensitive munitions compliance for next generation weapons.

Orbital ATK has been very successful in taking additive manufacturing out of the academic world and incorporating it into our industrial design and operations,” said Pat Nolan, Vice President and General Manager for Orbital ATK’s Missile Products Division, part of the Defense Systems Group. “Our goal is not just to create industry firsts, but to create practical, reliable solutions that increase our products’ effectiveness while reducing the time it takes to get them into the field.”

The motor was developed in partnership with the AMRDEC (U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center) at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. It incorporates leading-edge materials technologies designed to improve the performance and safety of a next generation anti-tank missile system. The prototype boost motors featured a high strength graphite epoxy composite case, a reduced sensitivity minimum signature rocket propellant, and 3-D printed components. Assembly and testing of the prototype motors was conducted at Orbital ATK’s Tactical Propulsion and Ordnance facility in Rocket Center, WV. The test firings successfully validated boost motor and component performance across the full operational temperature range, closely matching pre-test predictions and meeting all test objectives.

domingo, 15 de octubre de 2017

India Is Developing Its Own Missile-Defense Shield

A decade later, New Delhi has finally begun setting up a two-layer ballistic missile defense shield that initially will protect New Delhi and Mumbai. The Prithvi Air Defense (PAD) system will provide long-range high-altitude ballistic missile interception during an incoming missile’s midcourse phase, while the Advanced Air Defense system offers short-range, low-altitude defense against missiles in the terminal phase of their trajectory. Reportedly the first batteries have begun installation in two villages in Rajasthan.

At first glance, the Prithvi Air Defense missile seems quite capable, with a range of 1,250 miles and a maximum altitude of 260,000 feet, making it an exospheric interceptor. The missile is programmed prior to launch by the BMD command center on an intercept trajectory, which it maintains using an inertial navigation system. It receives midcourse updates to its trajectory using data from the Swordfish radar, and then in the terminal approach phase switches to its own active radar seeker and destroys the target with a proximity-fused warhead.

For defense at low-altitudes, the solid-fuel Advanced Air Defense system, or Ashwar, uses an endospheric (within the Earth’s atmosphere) interceptor that knocks out ballistic missiles at a maximum altitude of 60,000 to 100,000 feet, and across a range between 90 and 125 miles for local defense. The AAD has performed successfully in most tests against targets at altitudes of 50,000 feet, though an improved model failed a test in April 2015 before succeeding in subsequent attempts. It is claimed the Mach 4.5 missile might also have application against cruise missiles and aircraft.

However, a major limitation of the PAD is that the second phase of the two-stage rocket uses liquid fuel. As liquid rocket fuel corrodes fuel tanks when stored for long, the PAD could not be on standby 24/7. Instead, it would need to be gassed up during a period of crisis in anticipation of trouble. This is less than ideal for a weapon intended to defend against an attack which might come at any moment.