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  1. #1


    Finland has awarded Saab a follow-on order for the RBS 70 short-range air-defense missile, seen here in Swedish army service. (Saab photo)

    RBS 70 to Finland

    (Source: Saab AB; issued January 27, 2010)

    Saab has signed a contract on deliveries of the RBS 70 ground based air defence system to the Finnish Army. The order is worth 26 million EUR.

    The contract covers further deliveries of the RBS 70 ground-based air defence system. First deliveries of materiel are scheduled for 2011.

    "This is very positive and it further proves the capability of the RBS 70 system which until now has been exported to 18 countries located on all five continents," says Tomas Samuelsson, Head of Business Area Dynamics.

    A complete missile system

    RBS 70 is a complete missile system with the potential for being integrated with most wheeled and tracked vehicles.

    The 4th generation of the RBS 70 system has non-cooled laser transmitter minimising reaction times and logistic support. The 4th generation system incorporates the BOLIDE all-target missile, BORC clip-on thermal imager, a digital IFF Interrogator, a PC-based training simulator and an external power supply for training.

    Because of its long intercept range in the head-on sector 8 km, RBS 70 really belongs to a class other than the VSHORAD.

    Operational on all continents

    RBS 70 is currently operational or procured by 23 users, in 18 countries, on all continents and used in arctic, desert as well as tropical environments. It is, in addition to Army users, also operational with other services such as Air Force, Navy and Marines. More than 16,000 missiles in four generations have been produced.

    Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defence to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.


  2. #2

    Protecting Forward Operating Bases: Rheinmetall and Partners to Build Demonstrator System – The Focus Is on Interoperability

    (Source: Rheinmetall Defence; issued March 3, 2010)

    The European Defence Agency, or EDA, has contracted with Rheinmetall and its partners in Germany and France to create a demonstrator system for protecting military assets and installations in a multinational context.

    Standing for “Future Interoperability of Camp Protection Systems”, the Franco-German FICAPS project seeks to develop methods and means to harmonize semi-static and mobile protection systems for the combined (multinational) protection of co-located sections, camps and critical infrastructure.

    Development of a common system architecture for linking various semi-static and/or mobile protection systems will enable better cooperation between the armed forces of different nations, thus fostering greater interoperability.

    Interoperability of equipment and systems has emerged as a critical factor in coalition operations. After all, in this era of international conflict management and intervention, a growing number of missions involve troops from more than one country.

    Having embarked on national programmes to develop systems for protecting military camps and semi-static bases, Germany and France agreed back in 2005 to launch a bilateral project to promote European interoperability of these systems.

    Adopting a “system of systems” approach, FICAPS will draw on national assets to implement a European protection system demonstrator featuring interoperable capabilities for defending facilities such as forward operating bases. The programme will involve increased sharing of human and technological resources in a joint or even combined framework.

    The Rheinmetall consortium has been given a three-year processing period to complete this task.

    The French and German governments have assigned coordination of contractor activities to EDA in Brussels. The award of this contract brings to a successful conclusion a three-year preparation and harmonization phase worth a total of EUR 8 million.


  3. #3

    Iran Introduces Indigenous Air Defence Missile System

    Mersad is largely based on the US-built Hawk system. (Photo: MEHR)

    Defence Minister announces mass-production of medium-range missiles

    08:45 GMT, April 12, 2010 defpro.com | While the international community is still weighing and debating on the status of the Iranian nuclear programme and experts are expressing different views on the probability of a pre-emptive strike against Iran, the country further improves its national defence capability. As the semi-official Fars news agency reported yesterday, the western Asian country introduced its first indigenously developed and built air defence system, dubbed Mersad (Ambush).

    According to the agency, the Iranian Defence Minister, Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, recently briefed reporters on the new weapon system, emphasising its superior air defence capabilities and its resistance against electronic countermeasures. Vahidi said: “The Mersad air defence system that is ready for delivery to the Air Defence Base is a mid-range defence system capable of destroying advanced airplanes in low and mid altitudes.”

    Presenting the system to the press, Vahidi announced that Iran has started mass-production of the Shahin missiles which are scheduled to be delivered in a considerable number to the Iranian Armed Forces by the end of 2010. There, the Mersad systems will be used to protect vital installations such as government buildings, airfields as well as, probably, Iran’s hotly debated nuclear programme facilities.

    Mersad is largely based on the US-built Hawk air defence system, which was introduced into service in an improved version in the 1970s (The original system’s development began as early as 1952). Iran claims that its performance, including speed, range and interception capability, is far superior to the US system which features a 15-miles range with missiles carrying a 119-pound warhead. The Iranian Shahin missiles, which are integrated with the new air defence system and, at least from an exterior point of view, strongly resemble its US ancestor, will probably feature slightly higher performance data in the mid-range air defence envelope.

    According to the Iranian Defence Minister the system is equipped with sophisticated radar signal processing technology, an advanced launcher, and contains exclusive electronic equipment for guidance and target acquisition. He explained: “The state-of-the-art technology used in Mersad links it to other anti-aircraft batteries and provides it with the unique ability to combat electronic warfare.”

    Vahidi emphasised the importance of this development success for the country. Since the Iran–Iraq War of 1980-88, Iran has undertaken great efforts to improve its national development and production capabilities to compensate for the US weapons embargo. This resulted in the indigenous production of main battle tanks, armoured vehicles, missiles and aircraft. According to the minister, the successful development of Mersad marks a breakthrough in terms of the nation’s technical capabilities and its independence in military development and production activities.

    Iran’s air defence development efforts have in particular surfaced in connection with the country’s dispute on the delivery of S-300 air defence missile systems by Russia. After Russia continuously delayed delivery of the state-of-the-art weapon systems, ordered by Iran in December 2005, Iran boasted that it would develop an air defence system on its own which would be far more capable that the S-300. However, this is not the case with the Mersad system as the S-300 (Iran reportedly ordered the S-300PMU-2 variant) is designed as a long-range missile system reaching maximum ranges of up to 195 kilometres and is considered to have a comparable performance to the US MIM-104 Patriot system. Furthermore, Russian military experts question Iran’s capability to indigenously develop and build an air defence system such as the S-300.

    By Nicolas von Kospoth, Managing Editor

  4. #4


    A Defense Technology Blog

    Iron Dome Nears

    Posted by Robert Wall at 4/26/2010 3:17 AM CDT

    During a technology exhibition, the Israeli military has shown off elements of the Iron Dome rocket and mortar intercept system that is supposed to be operational this year.

    You can get a good view of the interceptor and the container. The IDF previously released some interesting shots from Iron Dome flight trials.

    Despite some early problems, the IDF says Iron Dome has intercepted 90% of the rockets it has been fired to engage -- one of the key elements of the system is being able to determined what rockets are a threat and which can be let pass because they are going to fall in non-populated areas.

    Several more rounds of testing are planned before the system actually is declared operationally ready.

  5. #5

    Launch of Radar Cooperation

    (Source: Swedish Defence Forces; issued April 29, 2010)

    (Issued in Swedish only; unofficial translate, by defense-aerospace.com)

    Sweden, Britain and the USA have jointly launched an important cooperation project on using radar to detect and warn of incoming rockets and grenades. The cooperation is intended to improve protection of troops inside the camps and bases during international operations.

    In 2009, the three countries signed the related cooperation agreement (Memorandum of Understanding), and now the steering group, composed of generals from Sweden, U.S. and UK, met for the first time at the Halmstad headquarters of the Air Defence Regiment (Lv6) to launch practical work on the project.

    “Through this collaboration, we have acquired a warning capabilities much faster than if we had done it on our own, and so can provide better protection for our soldiers when they live in their camps, "says Brigadier General Bengt Svensson, C PROD Army (Chief of the Armed Forces production units in the Swedish army).

    “We have had many cases of threats and injuries to our soldiers in Afghanistan. All we can do to protect our soldiers is important, "says General Sean Bell from the UK. “We have invested heavily in our warning system, and since we can share experiences with each other, and with Sweden as a leader in the areas of radar technology, we can be more effective together,” he added.

    Seven-year agreement

    The cooperation agreement valid for seven years and allows the three countries to exchange experiences and technical data from the use of the radar systems used in anti-aircraft and artillery missions to improve the protection of the camps. The radar can detect rockets or mortars fired into the camp, compute their firing and landing points, and if warranted issue an automatic warning so troops can take cover, which dramatically reduces the risk of injury.

    The agreement also makes it easier to use personnel and equipment in joint tests, exercises and training. The three countries are all using the Giraffe AMB radar (designated Intelligence Radar Station 23 in Sweden) which was originally developed for Swedish air defense, and then exported to a number of countries.

    “We in Sweden have used [Giraffe AMB] for many years and the other countries can benefit from our long experience. Meanwhile U.S. and UK, in a cooperative context that is new for us, can provide us with more knowledge, "says Bengt Svensson. “This collaboration will help us to better respond to changes in the threat against our troops, and react to danger before, instead of after, it occurs.”


  6. #6

    MEADS at Crossroads – Or Not?

    The official glue that still keeps MEADS together is largely political.

    Comment by Dr. Ezio Bonsignore, Editor-in-Chief of MILITARY TECHNOLOGY

    07:58 GMT, April 30, 2010 It is fairly normal (isn’t it?) for major defence programmes to hit a serious bump or two along their development and procurement road. But beyond this, for some unfathomable reason, certain programmes appear to be both cursed by a whole series of hiccups and resulting repeated attempts at folding them down, and blessed by an uncanny ability to survive against all odds and endure unscathed through technical difficulties, budget cuts and waning operational requirements. In this particular category, a prominent place must certainly be reserved for the MEADS (Medium Extended Air Defence System) programme, being pursued (well, sort of) in international cooperation involving the United States, Germany and Italy.

    Retracing the ups and downs of the MEADS effort over the past years would take a massive book, so let’s go straight to a synthetic description of the latest bump. Basically, another billion dollars or so of taxpayer’s money would need to be pumped into the development phase, if this is ever to be completed. Now, cost increases are hardly a new experience in defence, but in this specific case there is a palpable lack of enthusiasm amongst the three partners towards coughing up the required money. Most particularly, the pursue-strings holders in Germany have made it officially clear that the money simply isn’t there, period.

    Which brings us straight to the respective advantages and pitfalls of international cooperation programmes in defence procurement under the multiple operational, political and industrial points of view.

    The US Army seems to have very little residual interest in MEADS, and it even tried (unsuccessfully, as it was) to dump the programme onto the Missile Defense Agency. Basically, under the current situation of tight money, the Service’s medium-range air defence and tactical ballistic missile defence requirements could sort of be satisfied by the combination of the existing PATRIOT (possibly further upgraded beyond the current “Pure Fleet” effort) and THAAD systems. Germany could also accommodate itself to a roughly similar arrangement, should THAAD eventually be selected (which looks like a foregone conclusion) for the NATO’s upcoming missile defence programme. Italy does not currently deploy the PATRIOT, and thus abandoning MEADS would necessarily imply extending the current SAMP/T procurement and joining France for the development of an ATBM version of the ASTER 30 missile. Now this would admittedly force the Italian Air Force into the outrageous proposition of having to deploy the same air defence system as the Army, but, hey, nobody ever said life is fair.

    Given the above, the official glue that still keeps MEADS together is largely political. International cooperation programmes are notoriously difficult to kill (this being arguably one of the main reasons for selecting this approach in the first place), and furthermore it now so happens that MEADS is the last surviving major trans-Atlantic effort. It is thus only too understandable that Washington, Berlin and Rome would be very wary of being perceived as the unreliable partner that renounces its commitments and leaves the others in deep trouble; and would be willing to keep MEADS alive even through and beyond circumstances, that would be more than enough to cause the demise or a purely national effort.

    Plus, of course, the, say, varied picture of industrial interests, and the impact these interests might or then might not have on the governments’ attitudes and decisions. It is no secret that a certain US defence major would have a vested interest in sending MEADS down the drain in favour of a further revamped PATRIOT, and it is actively exploring ways to ensure that this will indeed be the case. As for the MEADS International consortium, there are unmistakeable signs to indicate that the European part of it has already started formulating a “Plan B”. This would involve most notably finding ways to complete the development programme as currently underway for the MEADS radar, and identifying a possible alternative operational use for it that would justify procurement in at least limited numbers.

    Be this as it may, in political terms Germany now appears to hold the keys for whatever future is in store for MEADS. Washington would almost certainly not wish to cancel the programme on its own and be seen as “betraying” Europe, while a conceivable unilateral departure of the Italian 17 per cent would not be enough to kill MEADS. But if Germany’s 25 per cent goes, for whatever reason, then that’s it.

    But even from a political point of view, it is a fair bet that on the European side industrial considerations would have an even larger influence on the decision-making process than it is usually the case. Both the German and Italian governments are firmly in support of close ties with Washington, and they can thus be counted upon being more than prepared to save a trans-Atlantic programme for its own sake if they only can decently do so without imperilling domestic support. Given this, if industry this side of the pond starts crying foul and threatening that the demise of MEADS would lead to job losses, plant closures and the like, then the beancounters’ resistance will easily be broken, and money to save the programme will be found. But if, on the other hand a least a solid majority of the European industries currently involved in MEADS can accommodate themselves to a “Plan B”, then the future of the programme looks uncertain indeed.

    What is lamentably missing in the whole affair is a serious analysis as of whether or not the operational requirements that did originally lead to the three countries joining forces for the MEADS programme still stand in the current scenarios, together with an in-depth discussion on the roles MEADS (which along its development path has metamorphosed into a very different beast than originally envisaged) will or would play. But this is, I’m afraid, an only too common occurrence in contemporary defence procurement – whereby the needs and ideas of the Services play a very distant third fiddle to political and, increasingly, industrial issues.

    In a world where the British Defence Secretary finds its quite normal and logical to present an order for two additional ASTUTE-class SSNs (for the not totally insignificant cost of £300 million) without even mentioning the Royal Navy’s operational requirements, and rather by commenting at length about the situation of the British shipbuilding industries and the need to preserve jobs and skills there, it would certainly not be surprising if MEADS finally meets its fate, or rather is once again saved like the perpetual Phoenix, for reasons that have a precious nothing to do with what the US, German and Italian military might think or wish.

    By Dr. Ezio Bonsignore, Editor-in-Chief of MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH)

  7. #7

    That's a MISTRAL SAM isn't it?

  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Digger View Post
    That's a MISTRAL SAM isn't it?
    Yes and the WORST naval uniform since RAN CAM! For shame Navy, to be outdone in bad dress by the Pak Navy...

  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by Gubler, A. View Post
    Yes and the WORST naval uniform since RAN CAM! For shame Navy, to be outdone in bad dress by the Pak Navy...
    I was gonna say that............boy, its a shocker!

  10. #10

    S 125 Neva/ Pechora surface-to-air missile (Photo: Wikipedia)

    Burma's Air Defense Force Deploying New SAMs
    By KO HTWE Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Burma’s Air Defense Force intends to deploy the S 125 Neva/ Pechora surface-to-air missile after Burmese army soldiers spotted an unidentified flying object assumed to be an Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) flying over eastern Shan State in early January.

    Originally from Russia, the S-125 Neva/Pechora is a kind of surface-to-air-missile (SAM) that has a shorter effective range and lower engagement than others.

    “Air Defense Force troops will be in training between this month and April at Burma’s Air Defense Force schools,” said Khuensai Jaiyen, the editor Thailand-based Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN). “The training involves the UAV that was spotted in January.”

    The UAV flew across Namhsan Township and was identical to a UAV spotted by government troops in the last week of December over Kengtung Township. The Burmese Air Force has reportedly been ordered to shoot the UAV down if spotted again in Burmese airspace.

    Normally, Burmese Air Defense Force battalions are equipped with 57 mm and 40 mm anti-aircraft auto-cannons, 37 mm anti-aircraft guns and Russia-made IGLAs, a portable anti-aircraft missile. Burma's military has sent junior Air Defense Force officers to Russia to be trained in portable air defense missile systems.

    During the NATO air strikes in Yugoslavia, an F-117 stealth aircraft was shot down by a Serb S-125 air defense system in 1999.

    As of December 2008, over 200 Pechora-2M upgraded ramp-launched missiles had been ordered by Egypt, Syria, Libya, Burma, Vietnam, Venezuela and Turkmenistan, according to the website www.deagel.com.

    Burma's military has two Air Defense Force schools, one based in Meikhtila in Mandalay Division and the other in Hmawbi in Rangoon Division, and eight Air Defense Force commands.

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