EDR issue 32

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Issue N° 32 – March / April 2017

Eu r o p e a n D ef en ce R e v i e w

Shipborne air-defence systems evolve Underwater Special Forces Deployment Today’s shipborne fighters, an ever shrinking choice Eyes on Europe

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Eu r o p e a n D ef en ce R e v i e w

Issue n o. 32

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Today’s shipborne fighters, an ever shrinking choice – By Jean-Michel Guhl Tank ammunition: answering current needs – By Paolo Valpolini


Ziad Khoury on the EURO-2016 By Olga Ruzhelnyk Eyes on Europe – By David Oliver Shipborne air-defence systems evolve By Luca Peruzzi


Bren 2 – New Assault Rifle from CZ By Martin Helebrant Train as you Fight! – By Paolo Valpolini Underwater Special Forces Deployment By David Oliver


Brahmos: Full speed ahead! – By Joseph Roukoz, Jean-Michel Guhl and Luca Peruzzi

Publisher: Joseph Roukoz Editor-in-chief: David Oliver European Defence Review (EDR) is published by European Defence Publishing SAS www.edrmagazine.eu

EDR – March / April 2017

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© S. Fort / Dassault Aviation

M A quartet of Dassault Rafale Ms pictured about to be catapulted from the deck of France’s only aircraft-carrier, the nuclear-powered FS Charles-de-Gaulle now in her fifteenth year of active service. Since the retirement of the last veteran Dassault Super-Étendard “modernisé” last July 2016, the Rafale Ms is the only fighter plane type embarked on the CDG. Some twenty Rafale M/F3s make up the standard GAE, or Groupe Aérien Embarqué, along with a pair of Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeyes and some light and medium support helicopters.

Today’s shipborne fighters, an ever shrinking choice By Jean-Michel Guhl Modern combat aircraft designed from the outset to operate from ships at sea are a very rare breed in this eve of the third millenium, whether they can be operated from a flat deck carrier fitted with catapults and arrestor cables or from a ski ramp. Today, only a handful of countries muster aircraft-carriers in their arsenals. They form an exclusive club, one whose members have decided that their national interests stretch far beyond their own waters, in short any place around the globe where they need to despatch air power at sea. 4

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certainly rival today with the U.S. Navy super carriers, ten of which are cruising in the oceans! With some forty Hornets and Super Hornets lined up on her deck the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) is seen last June 2016 participating in a replenishment-at-sea with USNS Pecos (T-AO 197), a fleet replenishment oiler used to transfer aviation jet fuel.

© U.S. Navy / K. Rodriguez Santiago

The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group was deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations, and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations during 2016.

O A Boeing F-18E Super Hornet assigned to the "Vigilantes"


f only two countries in the world operate nuclear-powered aircraft-carriers, the USA and France, more numerous are those fielding multi-purpose vessels made to carry jump jets; like China, India, Italy, Russia, Spain, the USA… and soon again Great-Britain. Lesser operators of aircraft-carriers are Brazil and Thailand, both with a very irregular or improbable readiness status. As we are closing for press this February 2017, there exists thirty-seven active aircraft carriers in the world within twelve different navies. The U.S. Navy has ten large nuclear-powered carriers (CVN) known as supercarriers holding up to ninety aircraft each. They are the largest carriers in the world, displacing 75,000 tonnes or greater; and it is said that their total deckspace is over twice that of all other nations’ combined. As well as these aircraft-carrier, the U.S. Navy owns a fleet of nine amphibious assault ships EDR – March / April 2017

of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 launches from USS John C. Stennis' (CVN 74) flight deck during routine flight operations. Providing a combat-ready force to protect collective maritime interests, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled Western Pacific deployment. (LHA, LPH and LHD). Primarily aimed at projecting U.S. Marine Corps helicopters they can also carry up to 25 AV-8B Harrier II fighter jets and soon F-35B Lightning IIs as well.

With or without tailhook! Putting into the limelight the specificity of carrier-borne combat aircraft, which naval fighter planes do we exactly have in production today? The answer is easy and fast to write down: • B oeing and Lockheed Martin in the USA, respectively with the F-18E/F Super Hornet and F-35C Lightning II ; • Dassault Aviation in France with the Rafale M; • UAC in the Russian federation with the MiG-29K/ KUB; 5

© U.S. Navy / B. J. Siens

N In terms of naval air power no country can

© U.S. Navy / J. R. Pacheco

• Shenyang in China with the J-15 Flying Shark (a carbon copy of the Russian Su-33K achieved in total violation of intellectual property agreements) and that is all: five aircraft only in total!

M In June 2016 a bombed up F-18E Super Hornet,

N F-18C Hornet and F-18F Super Hornet, assigned to Carrier Air Wing 7, prepare to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). The two aircraft look similar however the Super Hornet, on the catapult, is an even more potent fighter-bomber. A standard USN CAW today has two F-18E/F squadrons and two F-18C squadrons supported by one squadron of EF-18G Growlers used for electronic and jamming aerial support.

© U.S. Navy / B. J. Siens

assigned to the "Jolly Rogers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103, prepares to land on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Of note is the amazing size of the Super Hornet’s LEX which provides this fighter with exceptional maneuvrability.

Aside from the above scanty collection – and due to replace the different variants of the Harriers (AV8A/C, AV-8B, Sea Harrier) – the fairly original F-35B STOVL Lightning II is the only other combat aircraft that can be added on this short list, so important is the number of vessels likely to operate one day soon with this advanced fighter plane : the only existing STOVL combat aircraft in production today. Carried-based fighter aircraft belong to two very different families. Those operating under the CATOBAR designation – Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery, in 2016 this is reduced to Brazil, France and the USA – and the STOBAR – Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery, using a ski-jump forward deck. Today this is the case with


March / April 2017 – EDR

P On new year’s eve 2016 an EA-18G Growler, assigned to the Patriots

Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov, China’s Liaoning and India’s INS Vikramaditya (R33) and INS Viraat (R22). The main difference between CATOBAR and STOBAR is that catapult-operated carriers are able to launch aircraft with a much heavier combat load, as well as much larger airplanes, whereas those with a ski-jump impose strong limitations on the payload. Namely STOBAR fighters have an average 20-ton MTOW limit. If in the 20th Century, many naval fighters were produced both in single- and two-seat models, this is less and less the case today as carrier-based fighterplanes like the F-35 and the Rafale M do not have a two-seat relative. There are two reasons for that: one, the cost of developping a specialized two-seat variant in limited series; second, the availability of extremely advanced flight simulators or lead-in trainers which can mimic the behaviour of any type of aircraft. Thus providing very realistic training and familiarisation at a much lower cost.

Old soldiers never die

© USAF / S. King Jr

© U.S. Navy / B. J. Siens

of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, prepares to launch on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) for a night sortie over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

M Sailors from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101,

perform preflight checks on an F-35C Lightning II after a hot pit session on the 33rd Fighter Wing flightline at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where all joint initial conversion training on the JSF nowadays takes place. In comparison with the USAF F-35A, the U.S. Navy F-35C has a slightly wider wing form, a sturdy shock-aborbing naval landing gear and a tailhook. For the rest both aircraft are very similar and use the same jet engine.

Besides the original McDonnell Douglas Hornet (in F/A-18A/C and F/A-18B/B guises) still very much operated by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps (as well as many foreign air arms as a land-based 8

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aircraft), the only two legacy carrier-borne fighters still soldiering on today are the Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) A-4KU Skyhawk II in Brazilian naval service and the Dassault Super-Étendard of the Argentinian naval aviation, albeit without a sea deck to land on… as Argentina’s last portaviones retired a long time ago now. Gone are the last Sea Harriers, these having stood down in Britain in 2006 and in India in May 2016, just two months before the French Navy paid a moving farewell to its last worn out surviving Super-Étendards in July 2016, a type which will however soldier on in Argentina – the only other extant purchaser of the Super-Étendard – at least until 2030, so it says. Just a decade younger, the last McDonnell Douglas AV8Bs to exist are those of the USMC, the Italian Navy and the Spanish Navy. By 2025 most of them will be past, either replaced by F-35Bs or… nothing. N A U.S. Navy F-35C on the deck of USS

© Lockheed Martin / A. McMurtrie

Eisenhower (Ike) in the Atlantic Ocean in October 2015. Two VX-23 test pilots from the Patuxent River Integrated Test Force (ITF) taxi their F-35C Lightning II aircraft aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower during the F-35’s second developmental test (DT-II) phase. As noted at left, the F-35C has larger wings and a more robust landing gear than the other variants, making it suitable for catapult launches and flyin arrestments aboard naval aircraft carriers. Its wingtips also fold to allow for more room on the carrier’s deck while parked. The F-35C also has the greatest internal fuel capacity of the three F-35 variants. The Charlie carries nearly 20,000 pounds of internal fuel for longer range and better persistence than any other fighter in a combat configuration.

Corrosion and heavy g-loads: a demanding environment Given the continuous at-sea environment, corrosion is a serious threat to both ship… and aircraft on their deck. Naval (carrier-based) planes are usually built from different materials than their land-based counterparts. Mainly in order to make them «naturally» more corrosion resistant, as they operate round the clock in a humid and salt-laden environment absolutely not compatible with light alloys structures, di-electric surfaces and avionics. This has a direct impact on their construction price. Any lucky one who has had an opportunity during his life to go at sea onboard an aircraftcarrier experienced how salty and sticky one’s face and hands were after a day on the deck observing or shooting pictures of aircraft! In a maritime environment corrosion is permanent, all around and everywhere, and particularly aggressive on aeronautical elements. Therefore all aircraft at sea are required to be thoroughly hand cleaned, washed, and rinsed extensively after being frequently doused with fresh water. On top of that, they need to be scrubbed – at least once a week when at sea – with a special compound that also aids in preventing corrosion.

Needless to say, corrosion control is a constant fight for naval aviators. Each aircraft squadron has a dedicated corrosion control team. These people apply sealants and special corrosion resistant paint frequently to all their aircraft. They perform many routine inspections and remove panels, always looking for incipient corrosion and re-coating all vulnerable areas. Theirs is a vital and unrelenting war against all kinds of corrosion, beyond just the sea salt spray, and no naval squadron could operate without these N The first F-35B for the RAF pictured during the 2016


© H. Cariou / Latinero

RIAT air show in England performing a stationary flight over the runway. Of note are the low-viz RAF roundels! The British naval aviation is earmarked to receive a total of 48 F-35Bs and the RAF another 90 F-35Bs, as both services will only use the STOVL version of the Lockheed Martin Lightning II.

unsung corrosion-control team. And this extends as well to maritime patrol aircraft flying for long periods very low over the sea, whether for reconnaissance, SAR or anti-submarine missions. All get their regular pure water shower on a dedicated ramp after returning home and shutting down their engines. Carrier air operations in particular also require that a naval aircraft be extremely rugged and of much sturdier construction than land-based aircraft, in order to absorb both the heavy g-loads of a catapult launch and the rocky impact of a carrier landing. Modern naval fighters are all equipped with a launchbar and holdback fitting which keeps the aircraft from moving forward prior to catapult firing and with an arresting hook attached to the mainframe for all “traps”.

N A Sukhoi Su-33K pictured during test on the

lateral lift of the Russian aircraft-carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. The Su-33K was the main fixed-wing aircraft selected by the Russian naval aviation as early as 1995 when the ship performed her first Mediterranean cruise. Some two dozens are believed to have been produced before a switch was made in favour of the lighter MiG-29K. The Su-33K is now out of production but all existing aircraft are earmarked to be updated at a later stage.

naval fighter in production. The programme got a boost in the late 1990s thanks to an Indian requirement for a shipborne fighter following the purchase of the former Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, since renamed INS Vikramaditya. The MiG-29K, a much modernised variant of the MiG-29M with modern radar and avionics, is in service in the Indian Navy since 2009 and in the Russian Navy since 2010. Here a Russian MiG-29KUB is seen overshooting the deck of Admiral Kuznetsov during a training sortie. The MiG-29K was used for offensive actions for the first time durimg 2016, over Syria against anti-Assad rebels. First in line as mentioned above, the landing gear of naval aircraft is always much stronger and bigger than that of land aircraft as it has to cope with amazing sink rates and shocks. Naval flyers never go for nicely flared touch down on a carrier, rather they zoom in and hit the deck to catch an arresting cable in a very hard contact which has nothing to do with a “kiss landing”. Building a carrier deck fighter has a significant cost. For instance, the Rafale M (M for mer, “sea” in French) used by the Aéronautique Navale is some 13% more expensive than its land-based model, the Rafale C, because it has a beefed up corrosion protected airframe main box, many sealed subcomponents, a different and much more robust landing gear, a landing hook, an in-built retractable access ladder, etc. EDR – March / April 2017


P The MiG-29K is nowadays the only Russian

Super Hornets and naval Lightnings A much enlarged and improved version of the legacy McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, the Super Hornet first flew in 1995. Full-rate production began in September 1997, once the merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing was completed earlier in the summer. The Super Hornet entered U.S. Navy service in 1999 with a view at ultimately replacing the Grumman F-14D Tomcat, retired in 2006. Since then the Super Hornet serves alongside the original Hornet in all carrier air groups along with a number of EF-18G Growlers – a specialized EW variant of the F-18F which replaced in turn the last Grumman EA-6B Prowlers. Besides the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force which has operated the F/A-18A as its main fighter since 1984, ordered the F/A-18F in 2007 to replace its surviving General Dynamics F-111. RAAF Super Hornets entered service in December 2010. So far the Super Hornet has attracted only two customers, despite Boeing’s strong international lobbying. Just a few years back, in order to compete with the Lockheed Martin F-16V Viper, Boeing and Northrop Grumman self-funded a prototype of the Advanced Super Hornet. The prototype is said to feature a 50% reduction in frontal radar cross-section (RCS), and is fitted with a pair of large conformal fuel tanks (CFT) as well as an enclosed and highly profiled weapons 11

P A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II prepares to land on the flight deck of

© S. Yang / China Web

© U.S. Navy / R. Madanat

the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) in June 2016. The carrier was then deployed with the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group to support maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation. Nowadays, along with the Spanish and Italian Navies, the USMC is the last operator of the legacy McDonald Douglas STOVL fighter-bomber due to be replaced over the years by the F-35B.

pod. Flight tests of the Advanced Super Hornet began in August 2013 and continued for three weeks, testing the performance of CFTs, the enclosed weapons pod (EWP), and signature enhancements. The U.S. Navy was reported pleased with the Advanced Super Hornet’s flight test results, and hopes it will provide future procurement options. Boeing, although ready to shut down both assembly lines and close the factory by 2015, has elected to keep the Super Hornet line going, as extra orders could ultimately come from disenchanted NATO JSF programme participants – like Belgium and Canada – and also from Poland whose air arm is due to replace its fleet of Soviet-era Su-22M4 attack fighters with a comparable large platform. Due to various Pentagon contracts, Boeing has enough ongoing orders to keep things running into 2017 and 2018 to give the company the opportunity to bag up more international purchases. Over 500 Super Hornets have been produced since 1997. However and nowadays, the future of U.S. naval aviation beyond 2050 clearly appears to be in the hands of Lockheed Martin with the JSF, F-35B/C Lightning II. In comparison with the USAF F-35A, the U.S. Navy F-35C has a slightly wider wing form, a sturdy shock-aborbing naval landing gear and a tailhook. For the rest both aircraft are very similar 12

M A Shenyang J-15 Fēishā (or Flying Shark) during tests in 2011 pictured lifting off from the deck of the PLAN Liaoning. This aircraft is based on the Soviet-designed Su-33K but fitted with domestically produced sub-components, including radar, engines and weapon system. This aircraft was conceived after the T-10K-3 prototype was purchased from Ukraine in 2001, at a time when this country dilapidated much of its Soviet-acquired hardware. It is said that this aircraft uses many elements of the J-11B, the version of the Su-27SK produced under license in China.

and use the same P&W F135 jet engine. The F-35C’s larger wings and robust CATOBAR landing gear making it suitable for catapult launches and flyin arrestments aboard naval aircraft carriers. Its wingtips also fold to allow for more room on the carrier’s deck while parked. The F-35C also has March / April 2017 – EDR

“M” for… mer "Sea"

the greatest internal fuel capacity of the three F-35 variants. The “Charlie” carries nearly 20,000 pounds of internal fuel for longer range and better persistence than any other fighter in a combat configuration. A total of 260 should replace the F/A-18C/D Hornets in the U.S. Navy, and another 80 in the USMC. Besides operators of flat-deck carriers, it is hard to see where the F-35C could find a niche… But this is not the case for the F-35B, the STOVL variant of the new Lockheed Martin stallion developed in close collaboration with Rolls Royce in England for the powerful lift-fan. The “Bravo” is earmarked to replace the Harriers of the U.S. Marine Corps (340 units) and the Harriers and Sea Harriers of both the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm (138 units so far). They will be operated from land bases as well as from the deck of the new HMAS Queen Elizabeth aircraft-carrier due to

Only ordered so far by the French Navy, the Dassault Aviation Rafale M was in fact the first production model of the French multirole fighter due to become the only fighter plane in joint service in France after 2030. Since the retirement last July 2016, after four decades of operational service of the last Dassault Super-Étendards, the Rafale Ms is the only fighter plane now embarked on the “CDG”. If forty-four aircraft have been produced so far, only some twenty to twenty-four Rafale M/F3s make up the standard GAE, or Groupe Aérien Embarqué, on the Charles-de-Gaulle along with a pair of Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeyes and some light and medium support helicopters. The rest of the Rafale M is shore-based and used for training. Total French procurement for the Rafale M is expected to reach 54 copies to equip a total of three flottilles. No foreign interest nor orders for the Rafale M has ever been publicised so far.

© M. Koumpanietz / Latinaero

“K” for… korabelny (ship-borne)

M The last airworthy Dassault Super-Étendards

(SEM) of the French Navy stood down last July in Landivisiau, Brittany. They fought their ultimate combat missions in February, attacking ISIL target in Iraq, flying from the deck of FS Charles-de-Gaulle. The SEM’s demise is opening the way to a complete standardisation of the Aéronavale with the sole multirole Rafale M now available in some forty copies. become active before the end of this decade. A total of 48 F-35BS will be operated by the Royal Navy and another 90 by the RAF. In Italy, 15 F-35Bs have also been ordered by the Italian Navy, as well as another 15 by the Italian Air Force. Clearly Lockheed Martin expects to go beyond its current 848 F-35B/C order book and sell at least one thousand naval-capable Lighting IIs by 2035. EDR – March / April 2017

Thanks to the sturdy reputation of Soviet era fighter planes, the Mikoyan and Sukhoi OKBS have remained in the trade all the while producing navalised versions of two of their most famous VVS fighters, the MiG-29 and the Su-27. These fighters developped in priority for the Russian Naval Aviation (VMS) are the Sukhoi-33K and the MiG-29K. and these aircraft are still flying, undergoing overhauls and minor upgrades to keep them combat-worthy. To supply a suitable training platform for these two fighters, a small number of Su-25UBS (two-seat “Frogfoot”) was produced under the designation of Su-25UTG. Some ten are reported to exist. None was ever exported. Initially the big Su-33K was the main fixedwing aircraft selected by the Russian Naval Aviation as early as 1995 when the Russian aircraft-carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (earlier named Riga, then Leonid Brezhnev and later Tbilissi…) performed her first Mediterranean cruise. Some two dozens only are believed to have been produced before a switch was made in favour of the lighter and easier to produce MiG-29K. The Su-33K is now out of production but all existing aircraft are earmarked to be updated at a later stage according to information made public by the Russian Navy a while ago. 13

© R. Schleiffert / Airliners

Just as the Rafale M is today the sole active French carrier-borne fighter aircraft, the MiG29K is nowadays the only Russian naval fighter in production. The programme got a boost in the late 1990s thanks to an Indian requirement for a shipborne fighter following the purchase of the former Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, since renamed INS Vikramaditya. The MiG-29K (and two-seat MiG-29KUB), a much modernised variant of the MiG-29M with modern radar and avionics, is in service in the Indian Navy since 2009 and in the Russian Navy since 2010, India having been the launch customer. UAC are supplying these aircraft with minor differences to the Russian and Indian navies. The contract with India will end this year with delivery of the last aircraft. A total of 45 has been ordered, all being updated with Israeli-made D-29 EW suites. The Indian Navy has inducted the aircraft into service last May as the successor of the Sea Harrier, but the first sixteen MiG-29KUB two-seaters were actually received three years ago to provide early transition training at Hansa air base near Goa. The naval station has a shore-based 14-degree skijump facilty similarto that installed on the INS Vikramaditya and future INS Vikrant now under construction in India. The deliveries to the Russian Navy are also ongoing. A total of twenty MiG29Ks plus four MiG-29KUB trainers is now being procured for use at Yeysk naval air station on the Sea of Azov, the main shore-base and training centre of Russian carrier-based aviation. Without any further export oreders, just as it is the case with the Rafale M today, from now on expected production of the MiG-29K should not be more than a trickle run for attrition replacement. 14

M A Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) AF-1 (ex-A-4KU) of

the Marinha do Brasil pictured onboard the NAé São Paulo during one of the very rare sea cruises of this venerable carrier off the coast of Brazil. A modernisation programme is underway for 12 low-houred aircraft, one of which was already lost in an air collision in July 2016. Run by Embraer, the task includes restoring the aircraft and their current systems, as well as implementing new avionics, radar, power production, and autonomous oxygen generating systems. The “Carioca” Skyhawks should remain operational until 2025. They are the last to fly in the world, along with the shore-based Boeing A-4ARs of the Argentine Air Force, all former USMC aircraft. The recent decommissioming of the NAé São Paulo will certainly impact their usefulness as a naval weapon.

China or Mister Copycat China had no dedicated shipborne fighters before developping a strong interest for aircraft-carriers, a type of vessel intended to support the country’s strategic naval drive far into the South China Sea at the turn of the century. The Shenyang J-15 Fēishā (or Flying Shark) nowadays in service onboard the deck of the PLAN Liaoning is based on the Soviet-designed Su-33K but obviously fitted with domestically produced sub-components, including radar, engines and weapon system, all drawn from China’s strong autarkic mindset in military procurements. This aircraft is reckoned to have been conceived after the Sukhoi T-10K’s third prototype, an incomplete airframe purchased from Ukraine in 2001, at a time March / April 2017 – EDR

N In a bold interpretation of what could be

A Swedish naval project? Just as Saab has been very actice at promoting on the intertional market its JAS 39 Gripen, the only true western modern single-engine jet now in active production, the Swedish manufacturer foresees a future market for a shipborne derivative of its current stallion beyond 2025. An initial study was launched in 2013 to this end and Saab has even offered a joint development of the Sea Gripen to India, although New Delhi has an obvious preference for a navalised variant of its home-made HAL Tejas. Not long ago during LAAD 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Saab has exhibited a striking diorama with models of a future Sea Gripen – designated Gripen M – sporting Brazilian Navy roundels… Even if this navalisation process is still going on on paper, however nothing really has gone forward in terms of contract as no likely customer for this aircraft is yet on the radar screen. Besides preliminary technical studies conducted in cooperation with BAE in England, it is difficult to see where and when this project could take shape. In its most recent dream, the Aviação Naval Brasileira (AvN) opted to initiate academic talks regarding the development of a naval version of the Força Aérea’s Gripen E. Intended for both CATOBAR as well as STOBAR operations onboard the refitted NAé São Paulo, guesstimates say it would be an ideal replacement for the AF-1M (A-4KU) Super Skyhawk after 2030 as it benefits from much commonality with the 36 Gripen E fleet earmarked for the Força Aérea Brasileira. Indeed, all the sensors, avionics and weapons and the U.S.-designed GE 414G engine of the Gripen NG will be the same for the Gripen M. The small logistic footprint and the smaller, lighter airframe of the Gripen M would be a possible solution beyond the retirement of the AF-1M. The Sea Gripen could display high sensor fusion abilities with the Selex Raven AESA radar, Infra-Red Search and Track device, plus high-tech avionics architecture including ultra-fast databuses and Ethernet. Needless to say that in a cash-strapped country like today’s Brazil, millions in the numerous favelas of Brazil would certainly enjoy seeing the federal government engulf millions of reals just to see the Marinha do Brasil develop its own fleet of some 12 to 24 Gripen Ms instead of creating better living conditions for millions of poorer citizens! J © J.-M. Guhl / WingMen-Brasil

a navalised Gripen, Saab displayed at the LAAD show in Rio de Janeiro in 2015, a model of the future Sea Gripen envisaged for the distant replacement of the Marinha do Brasil’s diminutive A-4/AF-1 Skyhawk fleet. In fact, the very last aircraft of that type to be used on a carrier, the NAé São Paulo (ex-Foch) until her retirement last February. The challenge in order to navalise the JAS 39 is big but not impossible, Swedish aircraft having a reputation of being extremely rugged.

when this country dilapidated much of its Sovietacquired hardware. It is said that this aircraft uses many elements of the J-11B, the version of the Su27SK produced under license in China. The J-15 programme was officially started in 2006 and the first J-15 prototype made its maiden flight in August 2009, believed to be powered at that time by a pair of Russian-supplied AL-31 Su27 engines. Video footage and still images of this flight were released in July 2010, showing clearly the same basic airframe design as the Su-33. In July 2011, it was reported that Chinese-made Shenyang WS-10H turbofan engines – conceived using a copied CFM56 hot core! – were the final selection made to power the series production J-15 fighter. In May 2010, the aircraft conducted its first takeoff from a simulated ski-jump. Two years later, a twoseat variant was also produced and tested. And by the end of 2012, the J-15 prototype made its first arrested landings on the Liaoning. Since then it is said that two dozens aircraft were produced. No export customer for the Flying Shark has been reported yet. EDR – March / April 2017


Tank ammunition: answering current needs Born in the 1970s to defeat the T-72 armour, the 120mm smoothbore gun is still the weapon of choice of most western main battle tanks (MBTs). High chamber pressure, smoothbore to reduce the barrel wear and ensure maximum initial velocity (V0) to kinetic energy rounds that replaced shaped charge rounds as the means to defeat the enemy’s tanks, these were the 120mm key features.


ith the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, which marked the end of the Cold War, MBTs lost their appeal to many armies, while those who maintained them into service tried to find new ways to use them, in operations where opponents were definitely not equipped with tanks. Requirements changed, and while the gun remained the same, it was the turn of ammunition to adapt themselves to new operational situations. Instead of “drilling” small holes into composite armour, they had to open huge breaches in mud walls and alike. To neutralise troops in the open ground, airburst ammunition were developed: a time fuse allowing to detonate the round and “spray” fragments (often in the form of tungsten balls) over the area occupied by soldiers on foot, hitting them even behind cover. Some of those ammunition have entered service, other nations looking at them with considerable interest, the airburst choice requiring some minor adaptation to the guns in order to allow fuse programming. As with fashion, things disappear 16

© P. Valpolini

By Paolo Valpolini

M A Leopard 2 MBT firing a 120mm DM11 round at

Rheinmetall’s Unterlüss firing range; this multipurpose round is being proposed to numerous countries. only to come back at a later date: the appearance of the new T-14 Armata MBT developed by Russia, and the increasing tension between Europe and the big Eastern neighbour, have brought the equation back to the starting point. With the Armata becoming the new benchmark for many armies, industry is once again looking at increasing kinetic energy lethality in order to counter a possible opponent on the Eastern side of the Old Continent. According to Russian sources the active protection system installed on the new MBT, known as Afganit, should be able to destroy APFSDS rounds up to 1,700 m/s, other sources citing tests up to 2,000 m/s. Western APSs developed were said to be able to cut a penetrator, the vehicle needing anyway a considerable armour to defeat the remaining energy, thus it is possible that the word “destroy” used by Russians means in fact “neutralise” that is destabilising the penetrator in order to avoid passive March / April 2017 – EDR

© P. Valpolini

is that it will have a bigger chamber and will withstand a higher pressure. Ejector, cradle and mount will be produced with a new materiel. Rheinmetall plans to test the new gun in late 2017 with overpressure rounds obtained modifying current ammunition, the development of the true new APFSDS round being planned once trials will validate the new ordnance. Internally the new ammunition is known as KE2020, giving a hint on the possible date of availability. The new gun will give birth to a further version of the Leopard 2 MBT; it will be known as Leopard 2 A7V (a historical note: the A7V was the only tank produced by Germany during World War I to be used in combat) and the two demonstrators should be available by mid-2018. Although no contract has yet been signed, Rheinmetall said that the programme should include the refurbishment of the 20 Leopard 2A7 currently in the Bundeswehr inventory as well as the upgrade of 84 Leopard 2A5/A6, for a total of 104 Leopard 2A7Vs; serial production is planned for 2019.

M The DM11 round developed by Rheinmetall

armour penetration. Although many factors influence penetration capability, it is clear that in a kinetic energy round velocity is one of the main issues. In mid-2015 the Chinese Central Northern University Ordnance Institute exhibited a gun demonstrator that might be the answer in terms of velocity increase; the 125mm gun features what is apparently a 60 calibre barrel and is said to fire an APFSDS round at 2,000 m/s muzzle velocity. Its ammunition is a one piece round which a length of over 1,000mm. China is not the only country aiming at updating its MBT weapon system with new guns and rounds. In Europe Germany is leading the rush towards improvements in tank ordnance in order to acquire an edge over the potential new opponent. Crisis response operations (CROs) led to a halt in the research on new kinetic energy rounds since 2005, but now the main German player in the MBT gun and ammo field, Rheinmetall, is moving quickly in two different directions, improving the 120mm and developing a 130mm solution. Beside the L/47 Low Recoil gun being developed to fire current ammunition from lighter vehicles, Rheinmetall is developing a new version of its L/55 ordnance that will be known as L55A1. No metrics have yet been provided, however what is clear EDR – March / April 2017

N The effect of a DM-11: top, against a concrete

wall in point detonation mode, bottom, against a container in point detonation delay mode.

© P. Valpolini

can be used in three different modes, among which an airburst mode.



© P. Valpolini

Currently the Rheinmetall APFSDS top quality round is the DM63A1, which tungsten penetrator has a 26mm diameter versus a length of 685mm (an aspect ratio of over 26) with a weight of 4.6kg. No further details are given, the DM63A1 being said to penetrate ERA and double-ERA targets. The company underlines that the round is temperature independent; according to graphics, the change in velocity between –40°C and +50°C is of ± 1.5%, while the old DM53 V0 was of ± 9%, which considerably affected accuracy. To adapt MBTs to CROs Rheinmetall in recent years developed the DM11, a Multi Purpose High Explosive (MP HE) round. An insensitive munition, it is fitted with a newly designed case base that contains the primer as well as an integrated data cable used for fuse programming. The fuse can be set in three modes, PD, PDwD and AB. Point detonation is used to detonate the warhead inside the target to maximise the breach, point detonation with delay allows the warhead to detonate once inside the target, while airburst makes the warhead detonating after the programmed time; this allows to neutralise targets in the open up to a 5,000-metre distance, the warhead containing over 6,000 tungsten balls. A cheaper version fitted with an impact fuse for point detonation is also available and is known as RH31 HE SQ for Super Quick, this ammo adopting also a propulsion unit without cabling. To allow DM11 programming the gun breech must be fitted with a contact pin, an ammunition communication module, an add-on control box and an interface box that is added to the fire control system. The DM11 answers German Army requirements such as neutralising antitank missile positions, covered and non covered, engaging dismounted infantry, defeating covered targets in buildings, destroying light armoured targets, and destroying targets at long combat ranges. It also answers the three US Marine Corps requirements: engaging a squad in wedge formation, firing trials having demonstrated the neutralisation of 27 of 30 infantrymen with two shots; generating an 8-inch breach in a double reinforced concrete wall; and destroying earth and timber bunkers. The DM11 is in service with the Bundeswehr and with the US Marine Corps (where it is known as Mk 324), respectively on the Leopard 2 and the M1A1 Abrams. Leveraging the work done on the DM11, Rheinmetall is currently considering a derivative of that ammunition optimised for damaging enemy tanks optics, thus obtaining a mission-kill rather than destroying the MBT.

M Nexter Ammunition’s HE and APFSDS rounds on

display; in the background the Polynege guided modular ammunition has a range of 8,000 metres and is in the last stage of development. In the last few years many things changed at Nexter: the main French land armaments group acquired two ammunition companies, one in Italy, Simmel Difesa, and one in Belgium, Mecar, giving birth to the Ammunition Business Group. Moreover in 2016 Nexter and KMW of Germany formed KNDS (KMW Nexter Defense Systems). Currently the Nexter Ammunition 120mm catalogue includes two types of combat rounds already in service, the APFSDS F1B and the HE F1. The kinetic energy round features a 7.3kg tungsten penetrator with a V0 of 1,790m/s, a corresponding training round being available. Aimed at the tank versus tank combat, the KE round is doubled by the HE F1 which projectile weighs 16.8kg and is used against bunkers, soft targets and personnel. A considerable improvement to the Leclerc MBT effectiveness against those types of targets will come from the HE M3M round, currently under development. This will have an 18kg projectile and will feature a three-mode fuse, working in super quick, delayed and air burst mode. The upgrade of 200 Leclerc MBTs is included in the French Army Scorpion programme, and will also feature the upgrading of the tank gun to allow the fuse programming for the M3M round. Two prototypes should be available by 2018, thus the M3M round March / April 2017 – EDR

O The 130mm gun

© P. Valpolini

prototype developed by Rheinmetall and recently tested at Unterlüss; on the left the ammunition, compared to a standard 120mm round.

Towards a 130mm gun?

kinetic energy ones as the first aim of the new gun is to defeat the T-14 Armata and possible future MBTs, thanks to its growth potential. The German Bundeswehr made it clear that At a later date Rheinmetall will conduct the 120 mm calibre will be maintained until comparative trials with the 120mm gun to the end of the Leopard 2 lifetime. With the evaluate the increased penetration capability L55A1 and related new ammo, that calibre of bigger calibre rounds. EDR Magazine will probably reach its limit. Looking understood that the penetrator might have a forward Rheinmetall started working on quite different shape from those adopted in the 130 mm calibre, the system having been current 120mm ammunition, while targets unveiled in May 2016 at the Mounted and selected for testing will be representative of Dismounted Infantry Symposium, and the latest tank armour plates rather than exhibited one month later at Eurosatory in RHA plates. The 130mm gun is clearly aimed Paris. The new 51 calibre gun has a 15-litre at the Leopard 2 successor, the current version chamber, is designed to withstand a pressure being mostly a research tool used to develop of 880 MPa, with a recoil path of 450 mm. and test new rounds, a possible production Three guns have been built, the first firing gun having to go through further refining. having successfully taken place in late The final system will definitely be fitted with December 2016 at the company’s Unterlüß an automatic loader considering the weight proving ground. New ammunition were manufactured, the company concentrating on and dimensions of the ammunition.

should also be available around that date for military tests. These munitions are produced at the la Chapelle Saint-Ursin facility.The recently acquired Mecar is developing a HESH round (High Explosive Squash Head) for 120mm smoothbore guns. Its body is machined to ensure maximum accuracy (old HESH rounds were obtained using the “hot-cup - cold-draw” method, a less expensive process giving less accurate rounds), while localised thermal treatments allow to trim the ogive hardness, ensuring good squash-head effects against medium armoured vehicles as well as sufficient penetration into concrete walls before 20

explosion. The HESH round will be more expendable than the M3M round, its cost being considerably lower; it is developed in cooperation with Orbital ATK, the US company being responsible for propulsion and stabilisation. Testing are expected to start very soon. Mecar is also is also working on ammunition for 120mm rifled guns, aimed at India’s Arjun MBT. Nammo produces a range of insensitive 120mm ammunition. Its HE-T round is fitted with a dual mode fuse, super quick and delay, to cope with bunkers, fortifications, light armour, technical vehicles and personnel. The other combat round is the Canister March / April 2017 – EDR

M A detail of Nexter’s kinetic energy round © P. Valpolini

penetrator. The birth of KNDS (KMW – Nexter Defense Systems) might increase the 120mm tank ammunition business. M The M339 HE Multi Purpose by IMI Systems

© P. Valpolini

entered service in 2014 with the IDF in time to be used in operation Protective Edge.

M Nammo of Norway produces two combat rounds,

one HE and one Canister, and two training rounds. one, based on GD-ITS M1028 (see box). The two other rounds manufactured by the Norwegian company are training rounds, one for HE and one for KE. IMI Systems, formerly Israel Military Industries, develops and produces all the range of ammunition for the Israeli Defence Forces. The IMI current portfolio includes an APFSDS-T round, the M338, EDR – March / April 2017

with a tungsten alloy penetrator and the M339 HEMP-T multifunction round, fitted with a three mode electronic programmable fuse with delayed impact, super quick and airburst modes. The latter was used during “Protective Edge” in summer 2014, and during tests showed its ability to open a 180 x 130 cm breach in a 200mm thick reinforced concrete wall when used in the point detonation/super quick mode. Its17.8kg projectile includes a unitary, enhanced fragmentation high explosive warhead containing 2.3kg of CLX663 explosive. The M339 was fielded in 2014 but unveiled only in 2015 and is the latest addition to the IMI Systems 120mm tank ammunition catalogue, developed to provide Israeli tank crews with the ideal companion to the M338 when dealing with non armoured targets, such as bunkers, light armoured vehicles, buildings, dug-in personnel, etc. Both the M338 and the M339 are insensitive munitions (IM). While the previous rounds can be found in other company’s product baskets, two other rounds are quite peculiar to IMI Systems and stem from the Israeli experience in asymmetric and urban warfare. The first one is the M329 APAM (Anti Personnel Anti Materiel), a multipurpose round fitted with six sub-warheads that can be detonated in sequence, thus saturating an extended area, i.e. a street, with 21

© IMI Systems

M The cutaway of the M329 MAPAM; initially

developed in 105mm calibre, it has then been produced also in 120mm to be used by the latest versions of Israeli Merkava MBTs. fragments; in the anti-personnel mode the fuse is set in Ejection mode 1, Ejection mode 2, with a closer range to the target, being used to deal with helicopters. Three further modes are available: Airburst, where the six sub-warheads explode simultaneously used against concentrated forces, Super Quick to obtain maximum breach in walls, and Point Detonation Delay used against bunkers, buildings, field fortification and armoured vehicles. It is to note that the M339 has been developed from the M329 and has the same trajectory, thus its firing tables remain the same. In both rounds programming can being carried out either prior the loading, via a handheld electronic programmable fuse setter and an inductive coil in the ammunition tip, or after loading, via the fire control system. IMI developed a special data link for chambered cartridges in which

Latest US developments On January 23, 2017 Orbital ATK was awarded a contract worth over $45 million to complete the development of the next generation 120 mm multipurpose round. This in fact announces the selection of ATK’s round over its competitor, a derivative of Rheinmetall’s DM11 developed together with General Dynamics-Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS). The Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract was assigned to the two teams in October 2015. The Advanced Multi Purpose (AMP) round 22

the firing pin itself, besides being used for initiating the primer and propellant, is used for data link purposes. This allows using IMI programmable ammunition without the need of modifying the gun; the only modification is the insertion of a communication device between the fire control system and the firing pin itself. The operating range for the M329 and M339 is between 60 and 5,000 meters, typical accuracy being 0.03%. The second exotic round is the M337 Stun cartridge, a less-than-lethal ammunition that creates a flash-bang effect and is mostly used in urban scenarios. IMI Systems’ 120mm tank ammunitions were supplied to foreign countries such as Italy, Spain, Sweden, Korea, Chile, Turkey and others. Currently both the M338 and M339 are being actively marketed to potential customers using the NATO 120mm smoothbore gun; the company supplied samples of the new 120mm HE-MP-T to four foreign countries, which are testing them in their Leopard 2 MBTs, and is presenting it to other countries that field combat vehicles armed with the 120mm smoothbore gun. IMI is leveraging its knowledge in programmable ammunition to develop multi-purpose rounds in 100, 105 and 125mm calibres. As 125mm are separate loading ammunition, IMI is using a wireless communication for fuse programming. New developments are under way at IMI Systems R&D department, one being a round designed to defeat armoured targets protected by active armour, the other featuring a warhead with enhanced capability and accuracy to defeat antitank teams. J

will replace four tank munitions currently in use, the M830 High Explosive Anti-Tank round, the M830A1 Multi-purpose Anti-Tank round, the M1028 Canister round, and the M908 Obstacle Reduction round, combining their performances and adding new ones, such as that of breaching reinforced walls and of engaging antitank missile teams up to 2,000 meters even if hidden behind cover. The contract calls for a 30-month development and qualification phase (which should thus end in July 2019) and includes three exercisable options for initial and fullrate production that could bring the total March / April 2017 – EDR

aimed at the export market as the US selected the M829A4 with DU penetrator, and on the right the recently selected M1147 HE MP-T.

contract value to $119 million. The new round will be known as M1147 HE MP-T (High Explosive Multi-Purpose with Tracer) and should be fielded in 2021. It is fitted with a programmable fuse that exploits the Ammunition Data Link kit developed according to the Interface Control Document established by the Joint Configuration Board, a US-German body created in the mid-90s to combine German requirements for airburst munitions and US potential future developments. When the US Marine Corps decided to adopt the DM11 the Benet Laboratories tested the ADL kit on the M256 120 mm smoothbore gun, and after some modification due to some issues with ADL guns, in 2013 the system was patented. This allows using both European and US

EDR – March / April 2017

O An artist impression of Orbital ATK’s High

Explosive Multi-Purpose with Tracer rpd selected by the US Army in January 2017, which should be fielded in 2012. (Orbital ATK)

© P. Valpolini

© P. Valpolini

M Left, Orbital ATK’s KE Tungsten round,

programmable ammunition; this said, as the programming units for those rounds are different, ammunition interchangeability should remain a problem between Army and Marines tanks. As for kinetic energy rounds, Orbital ATK started production of the latest version of the M829 APFSDS round, the M829A4, in July 2015. The cartridge incorporates an advanced design, depleted uranium multi-segmented long-rod penetrator and a redesigned composite sabot that facilitates the transfer of energy to maximize the rod’s penetrating power. The use of a unique propellant blend maintains a consistent muzzle velocity across operational temperatures. Not many details are yet available on both rounds; Orbital ATK confirmed that the M892A4 requires a data link but no other information were provided. The M1147 AMP and the M829A4 will become the two rounds of choice of US Army tank crews; the reduction in the types of rounds will make the “battlecarry” tactic easier, especially when no armoured threat is awaited. Crews will load the AMP round at the beginning of the mission, the programming options given by the M1147 allowing to be nearly 100% sure that the ammunition will be optimised for the target. Besides Orbital ATK, which portfolio also includes a Kinetic Energy Tungsten round said to provide penetration “above competitor KE tungsten rods”, the other two major US tank ammunition manufacturers are GD-OTS and American Ordnance.


Ziad Khoury on the EURO-2016

Security issues, terrorist threats and the importance of International cooperation By Olga Ruzhelnyk

EDR has had a chance to speak with “Mr. Security of Euro 2016” Ziad Khoury about challenges and achievements of current French national security system. Ziad Khoury joined the French Ministry of the Interior in 1994. From 2006 to 2013 he served as a diplomat in the French Permanent Representation to the EU as migration and asylum Counselor and as the Head of the Justice and Home Affairs Service. After several months as Director in the Ministry of the Interior, in September 2013 Ziad Khoury was appointed as the Head of safety and security for the Euro 2016 sports event. He is currently holding the position at the General Secretariat of the Ministry of the Interior. You are a specialist in the security domain. So, is France secure? – France is secure, of course. It is a strong state. But it is still subjected to different threats, as, in fact, all Western countries are. Threats like what? – First, the terrorist threat, but not only that. The level of security in general is very good in France, compared to other countries. However, the level of tolerance is quite low. So, from one point of view, our society is less violent. But from another point of view, and taking into account a particular level of terrorist threat, there is a feeling that people became less respectful to each other. The problem is not just violence, but as well a lack of the feeling of solidarity. Nowadays all is characterized by much individual behaviour. And it is a problem, as all the people, all the society, should be included in its own security, France and its citizens are moving forward this way. We need to put more efforts on security as it is not an option, security is not a choice, it is an obligation. It should be in a form of strategy. The security concerns 24

cannot be addressed only through public service, citizens must be included in this process too, like a part of a single strategy. This is a goal. We have already implemented this strategy during the Euro 2016 and it went well. So, it is very important not only to react, to make efforts at one particular moment, but also to make those effort long term, permanent if you want. And that is a challenge. Security cannot be built in a closed circle. If you do it by yourself it does not work, you need to engage others and have efficient international cooperation. We need to understand one thing – security is not simple onedimension phenomena, it is very complex thing. Let’s take the Euro 2016. There were some incidents, quite alarming ones – for example, the incident of a fight between Russian and English fans in Marseille. It turned out that some football hooligan groups from Russia participated there as they managed to obtain visas and come to France. What happened there? Was it a security fail from French side? Or was it a lack of international cooperation, in this case, with Russia? – Nothing is perfect. Even if you use all of your capacities, it is not enough. You need to find a balance between the liberties of open even and strict security measures. Football championship is not a closed diplomatic event where it is possible to make a bunker for the participants. The Euro is a festive event and the security is adapted to it. The incident in Marseille was caused, first, by a lack of cooperation from Russia. We did not have the information about hooligan groups coming from Russia. If you have good international cooperation you can prevent incident like that before then happen. But in that case we had the information about those people only after the incident. Of course, after we found them and they were deported, and all other football matches of Russian national team went without any problem. But still, that was an issue. March / April 2017 – EDR

The second reason is a basic one. It was an open event, supporters could come freely to France to support their teams. You just needed a ticket and, roughly speaking, that was enough. So, because we were not provided by the database on football hooligans from some countries we could not restrict the process of selling tickets for some particular individuals. And the ticketing process for events like European football championships brings complication as well. Part of the tickets were sold to the supporters by their national football association and we, as a hosting country, could not have a total control over it. So from the Russian side we did not receive any information about whom the people benefiting from tickets exactly were. But in the future the tickets will be nominative and thus we expect to get more control about of who is coming. However, with the system we had at the time it was impossible to identify everybody. Yet, there were no other big incidents during the Euro. We established an efficient system of security checks and it worked. But it is all the time like that – you are criticized both when you don’t do much and when you do too much. Thus, we are always trying to keep balance. We all can agree that after the tragic events that happened in Paris and Nice the security measures must be increased and toughened, especially during mass events. But it seems for ordinary citizens that the increased security is: random documents checks, perfunctory inspections of bags, police presence on every street corner, etc. But is it working? And what other measures, unseen for public eyes, are you taking to ensure security? – Of course there is so much more. There are so much work and the people you do not see. The key point is the work of intelligence. They analyze the information and try to avoid as many dangerous situation as possible. We do not talk about that, but there could have been a number of incidents if not for their work. And I am not talking about the intelligence work just on national level, but on international one as well. If you have a database on troublemakers, you can work more efficiently. As well we use technologies, like cameras for instance. But cameras cannot substitute people, who remain a main point in the process of providing security. And the people involved in security must be qualified. It is not about having a lot of people, it is about having good people, who are trained and coordinated. The citizens might have an impression that there is just a police everywhere. But it is not just a police, there are different service units with their own missions and their own different tasks. Together and only together they are making the place safe. Thus, security is one strategy with the coordination of different actors. If you want to succeed you need to be strong at every level. The zero level of risk cannot be reached, but it this way it can be approached. EDR – March / April 2017

Human life is priceless. But still, how much does the security cost? For example, if we consider the Euro-2016? – If you take the direct cost of security measures implementation, it was 35 millions of euros. But we contributed a lot from already existing infrastructure. That is why if we take the examples of the Football World Cup in Brazil or the Winter Olympic Games in Russia, the security cost was way bigger. But it is justifiable as you cannot save on security, you cannot take the cheapest option. You have to pay a correct price. It is importance to keep security as a priority. And sometimes it is difficult to do. For example, before UEFA established the policy that during the championships the police should not be seen as it was considered as something that would make people feel uncomfortable. Now this policy has changed, the police presence is viewed as an element of confidence. Providing security during big mass public events is one thing. But ensuring security in day-to-day life is different. It is more complicated, for example, in the places like commercial centers, the place of daily gathering of a big amount of people. And there are also new forms of terrorist actions - for example, the kamikaze terrorists, who are difficult to spot and hard to render innocuous. Difficult but possible, if you have at the disposal all the necessary tools. And these new forms of terrorist actions, and potential new weapons that might be used for the attacks (I am talking about biological and chemical weapon), how it is affecting the security sector? Are the security measures changing? – We have already developed a number of action plans in the event of biological, chemical and even nuclear attacks. But I don’t think that the terrorists have a capacity to do it. If you look at what happened up to now, you will see that they tend to use quite simple tools, basic weapons. In order to prevent the development of more sophisticated weaponry the cooperation with the other countries is required. In general, the security is not bad in France. We are not naïve, we had terrorism some years ago. We are among one of the best regarding terrorism prevention. But we still plan to improve our security system through the use of technologies and the data expertise from one side, and the use of social sector (having more people in the field) from another side. As well we want to improve the international cooperation. Terrorism is a common enemy, it has no nationality, but it has places and faces. That is why it is so important to share information among the actors involved in ensuring security. We want to do our best to establish a new security culture, a culture of cooperation and understanding about common goals. J 25

P The Italian Air Force is arming its

fleet of MQ9 Reaper UAVs for overseas operations.

© Italian Air Force

Eyes on Europe By David Oliver A complete US leadership

© French Air Force

With the United States new President calling for Europe to increase their defence spending in support of NATO, there are indications that spending is already in the pipeline and much of it is going the US defence companies. One growing defence market is Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems in which the United States – along with Israel – is the major player.

M The French Air Force operates General Atomics

MQ-9A unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in Support of Operation Barkhane in Mali.


General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has a stronghold in the European market with its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in service with the armed forces of France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. France has received an additional two General Atomics MQ-9A Reaper MALE UAVs for operation in Africa. They were deployed to Base Aérienne 101 in Niamey, Niger, at the end of 2016 where the French Air Force’s Escadron de Drone 1/33 Belfort has been operating three other MQ-9s since January 2015 in support of the country’s Operation Barkhane in the Sahel region. The arrival of the UAVs has resulted in the French Air Force withdrawing the unit’s two EADS Harfang MALE UAVs from Niamey back to France. The Harfangs, which were developed from the IAI Heron, will now mostly used for training and surveillance during high profile public events. Due to technical and legal constraints, the Belfort squadron has not been permitted to fly the Reaper UAVs in French national airspace. However, this situation is expected to change with the recent arrival of a sixth Reaper, and a control shelter in Cognac, the home base of 1/33 Squadron. This will enable the unit to train with the MQ-9 in at Cognac, something that was previously only possible from Niamey. Another important milestone for the French Air Force’s Reaper force was reached at the end of December 2016 when a first French Air Force crew was authorised to perform take-offs and landings of the UAV. Until then civilian contractors from March / April 2017 – EDR

© David Oliver


N The UK Protector (RPAS) based on the General Atomics Predator B SkyGuardian armed with MBDA Brimstone 2 weapons.

M Six Piaggio P.HH Hammerhead Medium-Altitude

Long-Endurance (MALE) UAV systems have been ordered for the Italian Air Force. General Atomics have been conducting take-offs and landings of the French Reapers. Under France’s 2014-2019 military programming act, it is planned that the French Air Force will operate a total of four MQ-9A Reaper systems each comprising three UAVs. The Italian Air Force’s 28nd Squadron of the 32nd Wing based at Armendola-Foggia Air Base operates nine unarmed RQ-1 Predator UAVs and is taking delivery of six MQ-9 armed Reapers. Last year General Atomics Aeronautical Systems announced that it will integrate RecceLite, a versatile imagery reconnaissance pod, onto an Italian Air Force MQ-9. Manufactured by the Israeli defence company Rafael, the pod is currently operational on manned Italian military aircraft. It provides geoEDR – March / April 2017

referenced, wide field-of-regard, high-resolution digital stills in the infrared and visible bands, which can be post-processed into a mosaic image in the Ground Exploitation Station. The wide-area coverage capabilities of the RecceLite pod complement the Predator B’s nose-mounted, Multi-spectral Targeting System-B (MTS-B) Full-motion Video (FMV) system. A combined Italian Air Force, General Atomics and Rafael team is currently testing the integration hardware and will execute developmental and operational flight tests under Italian Air Force leadership in 2017 at Amendola-Foggia Air Base, after which the system will be fielded for its overseas operations. Three Piaggio P.HH Hammerhead MediumAltitude Long-Endurance (MALE) UAV systems, each comprising two air vehicles, have been ordered for the Italian Air Force. Derived from the P180 Avanti II business twin-turboprop aircraft produced by the Italian company Piaggio — now owned by Mubadala Development Company, an Abu Dhabi-based investment firm. The twin enginepusher MALE has the Leonardo ES SkyISTAR mission management system (MMS) that manages sensors, video and data, and communications. The Hammerhead has an operational ceiling of 13,500 m and an endurance of 16 hours with a 225 kg payload and with a transit speed of 395 knots is the fastest 27

MALE ever designed. However, the prototype P-1HH crashed in May 2016 which may delay deliveries. Five MQ-9 Reaper systems are being delivered to the Netherlands Air Force and a single MQ-9 system comprising four Block 5 air vehicles was ordered by Spain’s Ministry of Defence in February 2016. They will be equipped with MTS-B electro-optical/ infrared (OE/IR) sensors and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Block 20A Lynx multi-mode radar. In December 2016 the United Kingdom Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon agreed a £100 million contract to develop the Protector Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) especially for Royal Air Force (RAF) to be produced by the US company General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. Based on the General Atomics Predator B SkyGuardian medium altitude long range (MALE) UAV, of which Britain will be the first export customer, 20 Protector will replace the RAF Reaper fleet now operated by Nos 13 and 39 Squadron at RAF Waddington. Protector will be equipped with advanced imaging and enhanced datalink technology and there are also plans for Protector to be armed with UK-made MBDA Brimstone 2 missiles and Raytheon UK Paveway IV laser-guided bombs. The first Protector RPAS is scheduled to fly in October 2017 and qualification testing for type certification will continue over the next two years.

Israel as a second key player UAV pioneer Israel has also made inroads in the European market. The British Army has taken delivery of 54 Thales Watchkeeper WK450 UAVs that is a derivative of the Elbit Hermes 450. Equipped with the El-op CoMPASS electro-optic observation system and the Thales I-Master SAR/GMTI radar, the tactical UAV has an 18-hour endurance. However due to protracted delays in its development and the shortage of qualified pilots and ground crew, full operational capacity (FOC) is not expected before 2018. Elbit Systems is to supply six Hermes 900 Heavy Fuel Engine (HFE) MALE UAVs to be operated by the Swiss Air Force for the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS). The contract includes an advanced ground systems for command, control and communications. In January 2016, Germany announced that it had extended its leasing contract with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for Heron 1 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations in Afghanistan. According to IAI, the Bundeswehr renewed its leasing arrangement with the company for an additional year, taking it to February 2018. The announcement coincided with the passing of the 30,000 hours milestone for the Bundeswehr’s three Heron 1 MALE UAV since they began surveillance

P Dassault is leading the development of

© JM.Guhl

the European multi-national nEUROn stealthy unmanned combat aerial vehicle.


March / April 2017 – EDR

unmanned combat aerial vehicle could be used for the Anglo-French FCAS programme. operations in support of German and coalition forces in Afghanistan in 2010. From November 2016 they have been operated in Africa from Gao Airport in Mali in support of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) The contract extension will see the baseline Heron 1s flying through to the introduction into German service of the larger all-weather Heron TP, again leased from IAI, which was set for delivery in early 2018, but which now will likely be delayed by a yet-to-be resolved protest from General Atomics which had offered its Reaper instead. Subject to the results of that protest, between three to five Heron TPs will serve the Bundeswehr as an interim MALE UAS solution until the pan-European MALE 2020 system becomes operational in about 2025.

Present European autonomous endeavours Since beginning of September 2016 the development of a common European drone has entered a new phase. The contract for the Definition Study of the MALE Programme, assigned to Airbus, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo has been launched at a meeting chaired by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) with the attendance of participating countries France, Germany, Italy and Spain. 
MALE 2020 will be a new generation remotely piloted air system for armed Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions. Air traffic integration and certification for European densely populated environment are part of the key distinctive objectives of the programme. The two-year definition study will be jointly executed 30


P Technology from BAE Systems stealth

by Airbus Defence and Space, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo Aircraft Division with an equal work allocation. The three companies are co-contractors to perform the definition study. 
Following the study, the start of the development phase is planned for 2018, with a prototype first flight in early 2023 and a first delivery of the system in the 2025 timeframe. Operational requirements of the nations will be defined in close co-operation with their Armed Forces. France is involved in no less than three future RPAS programmes including the Anglo-French Future Combat Air System (FCAS) and the nEUROn. At the end of 2016 the UK MOD and French DGI confirmed the next phase of the full €2 billion/£1.5 billion demonstrator programme that will begin this year. UK and French companies involved include Dassault, BAES, Rolls-Royce, Safran, Leonardo UK and Thales, will work towards developing two full-scale operational FCAS demonstrators by 2025. Both France and the UK are involved in developing the next generation of stealth combat UAVs. The Dassault-led nEUROn project involving Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland is to create a stealthy, autonomous UAV that can function in medium-to high-threat combat zones. The nEUROn made its first flight in December 2012 in France and has been flight tested in Italy and Sweden. In July 2016 extensive stealth and detection tests where conducted with the nEUROn and the Charles-de-Gaulle carrier group. BAE systems Taranis is a UK demonstrator programme for stealthy unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) technology that first flew in August 2013. Technology from both these projects are likely to be harnessed for the Anglo-French FCAS programme. J March / April 2017 – EDR

Shipborne air-defence systems evolve


By Luca Peruzzi

© US Navy

he attacks which were registered in October 2016 against US Navy’s fighting ships and UAE support vessel in the Red Sea by older anti-ship missiles (ASMs) launched by Iran-backed Houthi-forces, as well as the emerging of advanced anti-ship weapon systems, mainly supersonic and ballistic missiles, highlights the today need for both all-weather, multi-role and network-centric airdefence shipborne missile systems characterized by reduced footprint and non-dedicated control radars to be installed on a wide range of vessels, and more capable weapon systems and radars to cope with sophisticated threats such as high-speeds, diving or

sea-skimming manoeuvring ASMs as well as short or medium ballistic missile with terminal guidance, which main worldwide marketed developments are illustrated in this analysis. The US DoD and Raytheon Missile Systems developer and manufacturer of Standard missile (SM) family, are continuously working on enhancements and advanced capabilities of the US Navy’s premier anti-air warfare (AAW) weapon system, providing both area and ballistic missile defence for the Fleet and self-defence for individual AEGIS cruisers and destroyers, as well as ensuring the air umbrella of other main naval customers, including Australian, Dutch, German, Japanese, South Korean and Spanish navies’ destroyers and frigates. The SM-6 (RIM-174) is the latest addition to the Standard missile family for the US Navy and allies, as an evolutionary development that combines SM-2 Block IV missile propulsion, airframe and ordnance with the active radar seeker of the AIM120C-7 AMRAAM air-to-air missile to provide an extended range anti-warfare (AAW) over sea and overland. The SM-6 is the first weapon to be tied into US Navy’s emerging Naval Integrated Fire Control Counter Air (NIFC-CA) scheme as part of Aegis Baseline 9 upgrades to the US Navy’s guided missile destroyers and cruisers. In a NIFC-CA context, the SM-6 could receive targeting information from an off-board sensor like an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and attack a target beyond the range of the ship’s radar thanks to its dual-mode active and semiactive seeker technology. In different operational O The Raytheon SM-6 (RIM-174) is a tri-mission

evolutionary development that combines SM-2 Block IV missile propulsion, airframe and ordnance with the active radar seeker of the AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM air-to-air missile to provide extended range AAW over sea and land, anti-surface attack and anti-ballistic missile defence.



M Ensuring the sea-based (and land-based)

defence against short- to- intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in the midcourse flight above the atmosphere, the latest Block IIA version of Raytheon RIM-161 SM-3 is being qualified for both US and Japanese navies, with initial operational capability set for 2018. N The MBDA Aster 30 air defence missile is the


longer range (in the region of 120km) of the Aster family munitions, which is already in service in two different version, including Aster 30 for AAW (Anti-Air Warfare) and dual-capable (Aster 30 Block 1) against both air breathing threats and short-range ballistic missiles. France and Italy are also developing the Block 1NT version with more capable BMD for both land and naval applications.

tests over sea and land, it is accredited of the longest-range over-the-horizon intercept in naval history, being unofficially reported of a 370-plus km (200-plus nautical miles) range. Having achieved initial operational capability (IOC) in November 2013 in the AAW domain, the SM-6 will be part of US Navy’s Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) as the new Sea-Based Terminal endo-atmospheric interceptor, meaning it engages the target within the atmosphere in the terminal flight phase, and uses a blast-fragmentation warhead as its kill vehicle. Such a capability is being introduced with an incremental path, the first (SM-6 Dual I) having been reached in 2016 against short-range tactical ballistic missile. The SM-6 Dual I has proved it can successfully intercepts ‘a complex medium-range ballistic missile target’ during the first firing against such threat in January 2017, while more testing are planned to reach full operational capability. Bases on successful testing against a surface target, a further development known SM-6 Block 1A will add a precision guidance capability based on GPS and software modifications to offer new antisurface capability. It expects at-sea testing as well as production of the first all-up round to begin in 2017. Raytheon said it will move to full-rate production of the SM-6 tri-mission capability in 2018. This will include anti-air warfare, sea-based terminal missile defence and anti-surface capability. With a comparatively lower cost compared to SM-3 missile, according to Raytheon, the SM-6 has been approved by US DoD for international release in January 2017, with Australia, Japan and South Korea, - being in the process to have Aegis combat system upgrade to Baseline 9 on respectively Hobart-class, under


March / April 2017 – EDR

acquisition 27DDG (and in-service Atago-class) and in-service Sejong the Great-class guided missile destroyers -, are the mostly likely first customers. The other BMD weapon system, ensuring the seabased (and land-based) defence against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats in the midcourse flight above the atmosphere, is the RIM161 SM-3. As a development by the Missile Defence Agency (MDA) of the SM-2 ER Block IV, it includes a third rocket stage, a GPS/Inertial guidance system and Boeing-developed kinetic warhead. The latest version model is the SM-3 Block IIA, which is being developed and qualified for both US and Japanese navies with a larger diameter rocket body, more powerful rocket motors, a more discriminating seeker and advanced kinetic warhead. To reach initial operational capability in 2018, it is planned to be deployed also to Aegis ashore land sites in Europe. Under the FSAF/PAAMS (Future Surface-to-Air Family/ Principal Anti-Air Missile System) programs, France and Italy and later under a trilateral agreement with UK, respectively developed two families of navalbased air defence systems. In addition to being in operations with their respective navies, these missiles’ N Thanks to the Block 1 NT enhancements based

© Italian Navy

on a new seeker operating in Ka-band and a new weapon controller, the new munition will be able to counter the entire SRBM threat domain and the entry of the MRBM domain up to 1.500km range. It will also capable of coping with tactical ballistic missiles with separable warheads.

EDR – March / April 2017

families are registering fresh export success, with already planned developments on the horizon. Both the land- and naval-based air defence systems developed under the FSAF/PAAMS programs by Eurosam consortium including MBDA and Thales are centred on the Aster family of vertically launched missiles. Both the shorter-range Aster 15 (30-plus km) and the longer-range Aster 30 (in the region of 120 km) munitions are based on the same dualstage missile using different capable boosters for either self-defence or area defence missions. The two munitions also share the same kill vehicle with active RF seeker and autopilot, featuring the patented ‘PIFPAF’ dynamic control system, which make the Aster systems equally efficient against the full spectrum of air breathing and missile threats. The Aster 30 Block 1 differs only for a dual warhead to provide increased efficiency against tactical ballistic missiles. Both the SAAM (Surface-to-Air Anti-Missile) and PAAMS (Principal Anti-Air Missile System) families and their developments are in service or in order by domestic and export customers. In addition to French Navy, the SAAM/FR centred on Aster 15 missiles, command and control (C2) subsystem, DCNS Sylver A43 VLS and Arabel multi-function radar (MFR) is operational onboard Royal Saudi Arabian Navy’s F-3000S stealth frigate (based on the DCNS-develop La Fayette), while the enhanced version with Thales Herakles MFR equips the French, Egyptian and Moroccan Navy’s FREMM frigates and Republic of Singapore Navy’s Formidable-class frigates, the latter also bein reported to utilize Aster 30 missiles with DCNS Sylver A50 VLSs. French industry is however proposing a next generation PAAMS version based on the new Thales Sea Fire 500 AESA (four) fixed-arrays AESA (active electronically scanner array) radar, Aster 30 missiles and its latest versions with DCNS Sylver A50 VLSs. The latter has been selected for both the French Navy’s two air-defence specialized FREMM and the new frégates de taille intermédiaire (FTI) program and being offered on the export market. Italian industry has developed the SAAM-ESD (Extended Self-Defence) based on Aster 15/30 and Sylver 50 launchers with Leonardo Grand Kronos naval AESA radar to offer self and nearby ships coverage for the national FREMM frigate program. The same air-defence system with Aster 15 (but Aster 30 capable) missiles and Sylver A50 VLSs today also equips the Algerian Navy’s BDSL amphibious and flagship while an enhanced version based on Aster 30 Block 1, Sylver A50 VLSs, the same MFR and C2 33

© US Navy

M To enter service from 2020 with eleven

customers, the ESSM Block 2 (RIM-162) introduces a new dual-mode semi-active/active radio frequency (RF) seeker which doesn’t require terminal target illumination, an improved guidance and control with a new dual-band data link, and an upgraded warhead to counter present and future threats. has been selected to equip Qatar Emiri Naval Forces’ new multirole corvettes to be delivered by Fincantieri together with an amphibious and flagship vessel equipped with long range radar to provide, as a whole system, a ballistic missile defence capability. The Italian Navy has selected a next generation SAAMESD PAAM system for its new multirole combatant patrol vessel (PPA, Pattugliatori Polivalente d’Altura) based on the new under development Leonardo’s AESA dual-band radar (DBR) with each four fixedarrays capable to provide ballistic missile defence capabilities together with the future Aster 30 Block 1 NT version. The latter is the perfect candidate to provide the same capabilities to the PAAM(E)equipped French and Italian Navy’s Horizon type destroyers and the PAAM(S)-equipped UK Royal Navy’s Daring-class destroyers. The two systems differ for respectively the Leonardo Empar (passive electronically scanning array) and BAE Systems Sampson (active) radars, while being supported by Thales Nederland S1850M Long Range Radar (LRR) for long-range surveillance. The amendment 1 contract to the sustainment & enhancement (S&E) phase of the FSAF-PAAMS program signed in December 2016, not only incorporates the entry of Italy in the development of Aster 30 Block 1NT (New Technology) 34

ammunition and the SAMP/T ground-based system modernization, but also integrates all three nations (FR, IT & UK) into the Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) and extension program for the existing Aster 15 and 30 munitions. In addition to provide SAMP/T increased capabilities against ballistic missile threats with deliveries for French MoD from 2023, the PAAMS(E) systems will also benefit from an initial study that will prepare for the modernization of the PAAMS systems and also address anti-ship ballistic missile emerging threats , says the OCCAR program managing agency. The Italian MoD confirmed in its documentation for the Parliament program approval, the new Aster 30 Block 1NT munition is also planned for the naval SAAM-ESD family, while Royal Navy has engaged feasibility studies and trails to extend the Sea Viper capability to cope with emerging ASBM (Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile) threat with Block 1 or Block 1NT munition, although there isn’t an approved UK requirement yet. Thanks to the enhancements to be introduced with the Block 1 NT and based on a new seeker operating in Ka-band and a new weapon controller, the new munition will be able to counter the entire SRBM threat domain and the entry of the MRBM domain up to 1.500 km range. It will also capable of coping with tactical ballistic missiles with separable warheads against an in-service Block 1 version able to cope with 600-km TBMs with nonseparable warheads. MBDA is also investing in a new and complementary interceptor, Aster Block 2, capable to engage the new generation of manoeuvring, short and medium range ballistic in the medium/ high endo-atmospheric domain. The successful two firings which took place in December 2015 from Indian Navy’s Kolkata first-ofclass new P15A destroyer opened the way towards the Barak 8 or LR (Long Range) entry into service with deliveries on-going. Jointly developed by Israel MoD ad the Indian DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organziation) the program sees the leading of Israel Aerospace Industries, as prime contractor, in collaboration with Indian MoD, Elta Systems, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and other industries. Intended to be used by Israeli and Indian defence forces, the Barak 8 or LR is already fully developed and is in operational service. With a maximum 70k intercept range, it consists of the Barak LR missile, eight-cell VLSs, command and control and the Elta E/LM-2248 Multi-Function Surveillance, Track & Guidance Radar (MF-STAR) four-face digital AESA naval radar. In addition to the P15As, the Indian March / April 2017 – EDR


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December 2015 from Indian Navy’s Kolkata first-ofclass new P15A destroyer, opened the way towards the here depicted Barak 8 or LR (Long Range) entry into service with deliveries on-going. Navy is expected to install Barak LR on board the P15B destroyers, the indigenous Vikrant aircraft carrier and other new vessels, while Israeli navy begun testing and installing the system on the Sa’ar 5-class corvettes to be fully operational by 2017-end, followed by Sa’ar 4.5s and new larger Sa’ar 6 corvettes. On the smaller Sa’ar 4.5-class vessels, the system will be managed by Elta Alpha 3D rotating radar, although the M-2248 can be tailored to naval platform size. The today Barak LR is however part of a larger Barak systems family, which include both land- and naval-based system. In addition to Abisr 35km range version, it also includes the Barak ER with a 150km range, which could find naval and anti-ballistic missile defence applications. Developed and manufactured by a US-led multinational consortium under the stewardship of the NATO Sparrow Surface Missile System (NSSM) project, the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) has evolved from a substantial upgrade of the RIM-7P SeaSparrow missile known as Block 1 to ensure compatibility with the existing NATO’s weapon system infrastructure, to the advanced Block 2 intended to achieve initial operating capability (IOC) in 2020. As an international co-operative development shared among 10 (Australia, Canada, 36


© Luca Peruzzi

M The successful two firings which took place in

Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey and the US) of the 12 NATO’s NSSM consortium and industrially lead by US Raytheon, The RIM-162 has been sold also to Thailand and UAE and licensed for production in Japan. The ESSM Block 1 is a semi-active radar-guided weapon suitable for both vertical and trainable launchers designed to operate with homing all the way (HAW) systems using continuous wave illumination, which has also been integrated with USN’s Aegis combat system, Thales Nederland APAR, CEA Technologies CEAFAR, and Mitsubishi FCS-3 AESA fire-control-radars. With a range in the 40-km region, the ESSM Block 1 is a medium-range, all-weather, all-environment ship selfdefence missile entered in service in 2004. Today in the engineering and manufacturing development phase by 11 NATO SeaSparrow consortium nations (the already mentioned plus Portugal), the ESSM Block 2 introduce a new dual-mode semi-active/active radio frequency (RF) seeker which doesn’t require terminal target illumination, an improved guidance and control with a new dual-band data link, and an upgraded warhead to counter present and future threats.

M The Sea Ceptor is based on the Common Anti-Air

Modular Missile (CAMM) effector, developed by MBDA to meet future anti-air target requirements for both naval and land applications. Capable of ranges of more than 25 km, CAMM uses an active radar seeker (supported by mid-course guidance updates by a 2-way data-link) to deliver all-weather engagement capability against multiple targets simultaneously. March / April 2017 – EDR

In November 2016, the UK MoD assigned MBDA the demonstration and manufacture phase contract for the Sea Ceptor local area anti-air defence system, to equip the entire Royal Navy’s Type 26 frigate fleet and entering in service in the mid-2020s. Prior to Type 26s (48 cells), the Sea Ceptor is being installed (32 cells) on Type 23 frigates fleet, with the first three ships returning to service in 2017, to allow sea trails of Sea Ceptor throughout the year and declare inservice-date. The system is based on the Common AntiAir Modular Missile (CAMM) effector, developed by MBDA to meet future anti-air target requirements for both naval and land applications. Capable of ranges of more than 25km, CAMM uses an active radar seeker (supported by mid-course guidance updates by a 2-way data-link) to deliver all-weather engagement capability against multiple targets simultaneously. Requiring no dedicated tracker/illuminator radars, as it being cued by ship’s own standard surveillance radar allowing multiple simultaneous engagements, the Sea Ceptor is also characterized by a novel ’soft launch technology’ which eliminates the launcher efflux

management system, thereby contributing to overall system’s mass and on-board footprint reduction. This flexibility extends to installation and launchers options, being promoted with Lockheed Martin partner’s Mk 41 VLS, through the quad-packed host variant of the Extensible Launching System (ExLS), and a smaller three-cell standalone ExLS CAMM launcher for ship not able to accommodate the Mk 41. The Sea Ceptor has however already found export success with the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Anzac Frigate Systems Upgrade project and has been selected by Brazialian Navy for its Tamandaré-class corvettes program. The naval CAMM family also include the extended range (CAMM-ER) 40-plus km version with a longer ammunition. European missile house MBDA Missile Systems is campaigning for new customers of its VL MICA shipborne point defence missile system. The latter uses the existing Mica air-to-air missile, available with either active radar or imaging infrared seekers, and fired in a lock-on-after- launch mode to provide protection out to a maximum range of 20km. The use of vertical launch, and the absence of dedicated

The 20MM


cannon superior firepower




P The MBDA VL MICA uses the existing Mica air-to-air


missile, available with either active radar or imaging infrared seekers, and fired in a lock-on-after- launch mode to provide protection out to a maximum range of 20km. It Is in service with four customers and has been selected or ordered by an additional three. target trackers, provides for a 360-degree engagement capability against multiple simultaneous targets. Eliminating the VLS need, the full tactical VL Mica ammunition integrates a single missile all-up-round with a single-use autonomous firing and storage canister with an integrated efflux duct, in order to vent motor efflux upwards on launch. Aside from the ammunition canisters themselves, the only other below-decks equipment is the sequencer cabinet which links the VL Mica missiles with the ship combat management system (CMS), receives inputs from the ship inertial system, and provides the link to the Ship Missile Data Link (SMDL). The SMDL comprises N Based on the combat-proven land-based Iron

© Luca Peruzzi

Dome interceptor that’s has already achieved more than 1500 successful intercepts, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems is proposing the C-Dome naval point defence system, which has already been selected to be installed on board Israeli Navy’s fighting ships.

a below-decks transmitter with four small uplink antennas fitted around the masthead. The VL Mica naval air defence system is already in service with four customers including the Royal Navy of Oman’s (RNO) on three Khareef-class OPVs (12 cells), Royal Moroccan Navy’s three SIGMA 9813 and 10145 light frigates (12 cells), UAE naval forces’ two Falaj-2 patrol vessels (6 cells) and Republic of Singapore Navy’s Independence-class Littoral Mission Vessels (12 cells). The system has already been selected by Egyptian, Malaysian and Qatari navies for respectively equipping the four DCNS Gowind corvettes (16 cells), six Kedahclass patrol vessels and the two new 60-meters fast patrol vessels under order. Based on the combat-proven land-based Iron Dome interceptor that’s has already achieved more than 1500 successful intercepts, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems is proposing the C-Dome naval point defence system, which has already been selected to be installed on board Israeli Navy’s fighting ships, including the new Sa’ar-6 corvette being built in Germany by TKMS-lead industrial team. In May 2016, the Israeli MoD said that is successfully tested the Rafael-Iron Dome system connected to the Israel Aerospace Industries/Elta E/LM-2248 Adir MFSTAR AESA radar on board Lahav Sa’ar-5 corvette, both of which are expected to equip the new Sa’ar 6 corvettes, together with IAI Barack 8 o LR (Long Range). Designed to protect vessels from ballistic trajectory and direct attack weapons fire in saturation attacks, the C-Dome system consists of a multi-round launcher assembly installed under ships’ deck and loaded with up to 10 vertically launched canisterised Tamir interceptors for 360-degree coverage. The C-Dome utilizes the ship’s own surveillance radar and doesn’t require a dedicated fire control radar, while the weapon control is seamlessly integrated with ship’s CMS. Rafael says the interceptors are maintenance-free, and can be installed on smaller ships such as OPVs and corvettes thanks to its overall system reduced footprint. J March / April 2017 – EDR


bren 2

The modern auTomaTiC assaulT rifle


magazine CapaCity


barrel length (mm)

length (mm)

height with magazine (mm)

width (mm)

weight without magazine and sights (g)


5.56x45 mm NATO







2 760

CZ bren 2 11“

5.56x45 mm NATO







2 860

CZ bren 2 14“

5.56x45 mm NATO







2 960

CZ bren 2

Stated dimensions may be different in particular design and configuration.




#czGuns www.insTaGram.com/czGuns/

Bren 2 – New Assault Rifle from CZ


By Martin Helebrant

© © Michal Zdobinsky

fter 1989, the Ceska Zbrojovka (CZ) became a big player of today undoubtedly worldwide format – this is the fact that will confirm anyone who has something to do with the firearms industry. In last years, the company added to the strong foundations of the civilian arms production equally strong and broad offer of the law enforcement and military weapons. It started with dual-use products – pistols in the 9mm Lüger caliber. We can look at a CZ 75 pistol developed for the Czech law-enforcement force as a breakthrough, after which came sniper rifles and finally assault rifles. While in previous years a lot has been said about the weapon made for the tender in India, this year CZ presents another new assault rifle. The gun maintained the original name Bren – after the famous pre-WW2 Brno-Enfield machine gun – to which the numeral “2” was added. The ATM editorial staff and the author of this article were invited as one of the very first journalists to look and try the new Bren 2 assault rifle. To be honest, we were honoured by the invitation but expectations concerning the gun alone were not high. We knew

M The Bren 2 is a derivative of the original Bren, which

includes many considerable improvements aimed at the weapon which is being proposed to India. 40

about the modification of the Bren for the Indian tender and we expected “a moderate but recognizable progress within legitimate limits”. The fact that our expectations were gravely mistaken became obvious at the moment when our CZ hosts opened a transport box with the gun. We found out that everything is going to be quite different.

A quick description What they have shown us, was a new gun with innovated ergonomics and modified technical design. For sure, the basic principles remained – the bolt locks by means of a rotating bolt head is powered by the gunpowder gasses passing through a regulator and forcing the bolt via a short stroke piston. The ammunition is supplied from the regular NATO magazines compatible with the M16/M4 platform, held in the weapon by push release buttons on both sides of the magazine well. The whole weapon is designed as a modular one, enabling relatively simple change of the barrel for the one of the desired lengths. There is an intention to enable also to change the calibre, in the game are at the moment only of the two most popular calibres: 5,56 x 45mm NATO and 7,62 x 39mm Russian. The stock is folding, telescopic and but is more or less in line with the axis of the barrel. There are four MIL-STD-1913 installation rails on the forearm and upper surface of the receiver (the ones on the sides can be removed should you wish to do so). On the upper rail are iron sights but the weapon will primarily rely on some optical sight, be it a reflex sight or rifle scope, as this solution is pretty common now. Charging of the Bren 2 – cocking the gun – is newly designed by means of the cocking handle which after initial manipulation with the bolt remains static. The cocking handle is accessible from both sides. Also, the bolt catch and bolt release are redesigned. The bolt remains held in the rear position automatically after firing the last cartridge from the magazine. The March / April 2017 – EDR

© © Michal Zdobinsky

M Czech Army shooting instructors firing

respectively the 11-inch (left) and 8-inch barrel Bren 2 at the Bzenec range. bolt is released by a small lever on the left side of the receiver or by small pad near the front arm of the trigger bow. Ambidextrous fire control offers (from rear forward) three positions: safe, single shots, full automatic (burst). The flash suppressor at the muzzle end is also new. The Bren 2 in general underwent a thorough redesign, it got rid of the “edginess”, the shape is smoothened (if one can speak of smoothness in case of a rifle full of now obligatory MIL -STD1913 installation rails). There is a lot of internal design modifications but let us keep them for the time being aside. They influence user characteristics rather than a complete feeling of friendliness, which will be explained more thoroughly later on. The ergonomics and handling characteristics are quite strictly based on the today’s most common rifles of the M16/M4 family. For the user accustomed to them, the Bren 2 will be a fast learning experience.

Handling the gun The first introduction to Bren 2 took place on the shooting range near the Czech town of Bzenec, close to Uhersky Brod. The range is a pretty large installation in the open, sandy landscape. According to many experts, the Bzenec shooting range is in nature very close to EDR – March / April 2017

the arid, hot, sandy and dusty areas of the Middle East. But on the day of our testing, this was far from true. It was the end of the winter, the day was cloudy, the temperature just above zero degrees Celsius and the sand was wet from steady drizzle which with later turned into a pouring rain. The first instruction took place under an open shelter, where we were joined by two Czech Army shooting instructors. The instruction soon became an open discussion over the filling of the magazines. These were available in different versions, all of them M16/M4 compatible. While the pile of full magazines happily rose up, some participants went to the backstop slope of the range to place the targets there. We placed there a couple of paper bull’s eye targets for an aimed shooting and a bunch of sheet silhouettes for practical shooting. On the bulls, we checked the zero of the available guns. We had a rifle with barrel length of 11 inches (280mm) – this is the basic standard gun – and the Meopta ZD Dot 1,5 riflescope. We also tested a short carbine with the 8-inch (207mm) long barrel which is intended for specialists and everyone who needs short, manpeuverable gun enabling a fast movement in confined spaces. On the top of the carbine were peep type folding irons. On the rifle, there was a vertical grip on the bottom installation rail and the carbine had a back slanted grip. The Bren 2 is also produced with a 14-inch barrel but this version was not subject to out testing. Originally we intended that each of us start by firing aimed shots on the circles from bull’s eyes, but the rain mixed from time to time with snowflakes quickly turned the paper targets to scraps and we were happy that we managed to quickly check the zero. God bless the sand banks of the range’s backstops which provide ample evidence about our and gun’s shooting capabilities. The Army goes first – Bren 2s went into the hands of the shooting instructors. The beginning was quite gentle – aimed shooting in a standing position. Their tamed habits were quickly revealed as they started to shoot in a dynamic way, from practical, field positions, during the movement, and at different distances. The roar of the guns was mixed by the ringing of the hit steel silhouettes and sand geysers on the bank behind witnessed that the shooters knew their trade damn well! Once the magazines were empty, we returned to the shelter, under the roof. We asked every one’s first feelings and we heard positive words. Hand in hand we refilled the magazines. Now our turn – journalists, up in front. 41

© Michal Zdobinsky

M The Bren 2 fitted with the Meopta ZD Dot 1,5 riflescope

used in full auto, as the ejected brass show well. Even in full auto the gun proved to be easy to control.

Journalists in live action The author of this article first took the short carbine and left the shelter. His authentic first feelings and description follow: “I ram in the magazine, charged and levelled the gun. I chose the silhouette of the prone enemy on the bank in front of me and sight picture came to my eyes. Selector to fire! Finger’s motion is fluent and so natural, intimately familiar that it catches me by surprise. I turn the gun a bit a visually check the selector – yes it is on a ‘single’ position. The gun returns to sight and shoulder and I squeeze the trigger. The trigger is good – a bit heavy (as it should be in the case of a military weapon), but smooth and quite short. The shot is noisy a bit, the carbine has a short barrel but even in the dark, dim light of the weepy cold day, I notice no muzzle flash. The target rings, but I haven’t seen the impact. I choose a clump of grass by the foot of the target and squeeze off the second round. A geyser of sand springs from the grass exactly where the top of the front sight is. I repeat the shot – dead zero again. Double tap now. New Bren 2 is a “cultivated” gun, it holds the line of aim, double taps are fast and muzzle rise is negligent. Only the sound of the shot is ‘somehow unusual’, it is sharp and cracking. The sound comes also P A view of the Bren 2; the three© Mich al Zdo bins ky

pronged flash suppressor has been totally redesigned as well as the non-reciprocating charging handle. 42

from the guns of colleagues shooting by my side.” Later question to our hosts from CZ explains the cause – the three-pronged flash suppressor has been totally redesigned not only to suppress the flame but also to avoid resonance – not to act as a tuning fork and at the same so that the gasses tighten the suppressor on the muzzle. A detailed inspection of the suppressor reveals that the shape is not that elementary as our dear Dr. Watson might expect. “The magazine is empty, I replace a new one and by flicking my finger across the bolt release pad I let the bolt charge forward. It comes across my mind that this gun is really lightweight.” “Thumb switches the selector to “full auto”. I start with short bursts aimed at the figures on the bank. No matter the light weight, they stay on target even beyond 30 m distance. After getting familiar with short bursts, I squeeze off a longer one. The gun is still very easy to control. I shoot to the right side to the hard beaten clump of grass – my target – rip it by a couple of bullets and then continue further to the left. The wet sand of the bank works as an excellent movie screen showing clearly the impact of one and every round. The final picture is very satisfying.”

A first impression After initial familiarization, I started to enjoy the shooting as well as others. No matter the poor weather, we were getting harder and more demanding. I swapped the gun. I shot from any position; I ran up the bank of the backstop and down again, I hit the ground, rolled over like in an engagement and shot on the move. I reloaded in a combat way, the empty magazine being thrown on the ground: no wasted time by using my pouches. The mags will be collected later, as to get rid of the majority of wet sand on them. I mumbled unhappily to myself, this is “cruel” both to the gun and magazine and I don’t like such a handling. The sand squeaked and creaked somewhere around the follower. To my surprise, the Bren 2 makes no complaints and works alright. Only later did some magazines start to develop double feeds (releasing two cartridges at once to be loaded into the chamber) and after a stronger knock, the top cartridge jumped out of the magazine. This is the problem March / April 2017 – EDR

© Michal Zdobinsky

P The Bren 2 seen from

the right side; the trigger guard has been improved to allow easier use when wearing gloves and the gas selector has now three positions, standard, bolt action and hard conditions. especially with the standard US military magazines made from soft aluminum sheet. Their lips are easy to deform. I know that a special gauge/fixture for truing the magazine lips is available but I am not sure if in the field it is the right place and time to fix the lips. There exists plenty of (better or not much better) replacement magazines which fit into the magazine well of any AR 15 (M16/M4). The magazine issue is nothing new and it is not by chance that many experienced users rather purchase magazines from Heckler & Koch or MecGar, which do not suffer the mentioned bad habits (at least not to that extent). The key to the magazine story rests in the different approach of European and American logistics with regards to the magazines. While for the European logistic the magazine is part of the weapon and as such is carefully registered and handled, for Americans, the magazine is nothing but a “mere consumption item” which is dropped after use without mercy. US soldiers are often issued with ammunition already filled in magazines; definitely, it is more common than ammunition issued in boxes. It is also good to remember that the standard magazine for the M14/M6 guns, stemming from the STANAG 4179 standard is not a happy design per se. It has a transition between the curved part (needed because of accumulation of conical shapes of the cartridges) and linear part (needed for a smooth push into the magazine well). Anyway, it is standard and due to the tremendous inertia of logistic chain of current armed forces, none can simply drop it. At the time when we did our testing of the new Bren 2, even the CZ was not sure what magazines they will use. The inclination was towards own magazines but their development was not completed on the day of testing. Let us summarize our impressions from the first but very intensive meeting with the new assault rifle Bren 2. No matter the old name, the gun is completely new, redesigned and modified in the reflection of combat experience. The most tangible improvement is new ergonomics, especially overall EDR – March / April 2017

balance of the gun and ease of shouldering the rifle, the trigger is pleasant and “cultivated” as well as the other controls which command by an intuitive a sure use, even in gloved hands. Plain step ahead is a cocking handle that does not move with the bolt. Here the gun meets the trend existing already for quite some years. The longer barrel is more pleasing for us but today’s mainstream prefers rather “compact” weapons. And with respect to the possibility of simple barrel replacement – who cares about our preference, the final user can install any barrel exactly meeting his needs. But this is the main advantage of modular weapons. The accuracy of the Bren 2 is fully sufficient in both basic version and carbine as well. Even with the carbine it is possible to engage enemy up to 300 m; and should you have a good sighting device, even further. In terms of folding iron sights, I noted with pleasure that their axis is practically on the same axis as the axis of reflex sight. If the reflex sight fails there is no need to change the cheek position that you were used for. I appreciated the reliability of the new gun; this has been proven by our test to the highest degree. For a common infantryman, the best news of all is probably low weight and “smoothness” of the new weapon mentioned in the earlier part of the article. It is obvious that any soldier spends more time by carrying the gun than firing it. Every gramme of weight spared is welcome on long patrols on feet or can allow to carry welcome few more rounds. I have two reservations about the new gun – the stock, when folded, blocks access to the trigger and rear loop of the sling sometimes unpleasantly pinched my face when I quickly shouldered the gun. The issue of the rear sling loop position and shape can be solved by practice, the stock will be modified before Bren 2 reaches full serial production. We all regard the Bren 2 as a gun of great potential where the producer utilized for the best his vast experience. It is a modern gun that, thanks to its modularity, comes ahead to meet the individual needs of a client. One can argue if it is proper to use the name Bren again for the new gun. I personally am not convinced about it but – have you ever compared the very first Volkswagen Golf with its today’s version? So, you see, this a new generation of the Bren. And it has made a huge step ahead in the right direction. J 43

N The US Army National Training Centre at Fort Irwin is the largest instrumented CTC in the western world; it was inaugurated in 1981, in full Cold War, and proved its value in all recent engagements.


Train as you Fight! By Paolo Valpolini Although nothing can get as close to reality as reality itself, a UK General told us in the 1980s « sadly our best training area is Northern Ireland », the effort for providing troops with simulated scenarios as close as possible to real life operations has become a must in most of 1st tier armies.


ince the early times of simulations things have constantly evolved, visual training systems having been replaced by laser systems, initially only for small arms and direct fire weapons, live training simulation having then progressed to include indirect fire, chemical agents, etc. Urban training scenarios have become key elements as fighting/ operating in towns has become the standard. Live training is now often connected to computer assisted training at higher echelons, some of the inputs thus coming from the field, while at the other end virtual constructive training can help in building up skills in view of live training. 44

The scope of this article is limited to live training. Engagement simulation systems are the building blocks that fit into a wider scenario, the Combat Training Centre (CTC), which can be either fixed or deployable, depending on the level. All is linked together via a signal system that allows the exercise control centre (EXCON) to see in real time all the events, most often not only virtually with symbols blinking on digital maps, but also through video streaming, all being recorded for after action review. Another key element is the opposing force, but this is something that we do not find on the market… Probably the western benchmark in terms of CTCs will remain the US Army National Training Centre at Fort Irwin, California; With over 2,600km2 for manoeuvre and ranges, its airspace being restricted to military use, it was formed in late 1979, the MILES laser engagement system being used for the first time in 1981, while OPFORs showed up in 1984. The NTC proved its value in 1990, when the 24th Mechanised Division was dispatched in a hurry to Saudi Arabia while on its way back to base form the NTC, where it trained against OPFORs using the same defensive layout then adopted by Iraqi tank formations during the 1991 Operation Desert Storm. Numerous instrumented CTCs have since been established by European armies: the British Army exploits the BATUS (British Army Training Unit Suffield) in Canada for open field simulation and March / April 2017 – EDR

© Thales

© P. Valpolini

O The Swedish Army set up a major training facility in Kvarn, that allows training at company level in urban terrain.

M A team led by Thales and including RUAG

Defence France has recently won the Cerbere contract, that will upgrade the effectiveness of the two French Army CTCs. the Copehill Down Village at Warminster for urban training; Germany training its land forces at the GÜZ (Gefechtsübungszentrum,) near Altmark; France having two centres, the CENTAC (Centre d’Entrainement au Combat) at Mailly-le-Camp, for open terrain simulation, and the CENTZUB (Centre d’Entraînement aux Actions en Zone Urbaine) at Sissone, for urban terrain simulation. EDR – March / April 2017

On its side Switzerland also has two centres, one for armoured training in Bure, the SIMUG (Simulationsunterstützung für Gefechtsübungen), and one for MOUT training, the SIM KIUG (Simulation Kampf im Überbauten Gebiet) in Walenstadt, while Sweden created its MOUT CTC in Kvarn (how much the proposed come back of conscription in this country might impact training is to be seen), while other are under development and more are in the design phase. Many of those CTCs are being upgraded, and this allows us to depict the most recent technical evolution of European companies involved in simulation. The latest announcement comes from France, Thales having won the Cerbere (Centres d’entraînement représentatifs des espaces de bataille et de restitution des engagements) contract for upgrading the instrumentation for the French Army’s two live combat training centres. The contract was awarded by the DGA in late 2016 and is a direct consequence of the launch of the Scorpion programme, which includes new vehicles, the Griffon, the Jaguar, a light armoured vehicle still to be selected and named, while existing combat vehicles such as the VBCI and Leclerc will be upgraded. A new command and control system, known as SICS (Système d’Information de Combat Scorpion), will be installed on all platforms, while new Contact radios with a higher throughput will be issued. Thales as prime contractor of Cerbere will lead a group of companies and ensure full integration of all 45

© P. Valpolini

© P. Valpolini

M The French Army CENTZUB at Sissonne is one of

allows to see in which part of the body the soldier has been hit, and thus to determine the level of the wound.

the numerous CTCs built in the last year in Europe to increase the training level of Army formations.

subsystems, many of which provided by the prime itself. Both CTCs will be fitted with a new signal network allowing the monitoring of all engagements in the training area; this will exploit the latest civil communications technologies that will generate a dedicated communications bubble over each of the centres. Another key element will be the new geolocalisation system; currently the two CTCs use GPS-based tracking systems, which accuracy is considered insufficient and which are quite ineffective inside buildings, especially in terms of height, as it is impossible to understand at which floor a soldier

is operating. The new system will be RF-based; each soldier will be equipped with a small emitter, a series of receivers in the buildings allowing to establish the soldier position with centimetric accuracy. Overall each CTC will be able to host 1,000 soldiers and 250 vehicles, which is the equivalent of three reinforced-company elements. Thales is teamed with RUAG Defence France, formerly Gavap, which already provided laser engagement systems for the existing CTCs. It will provide the latest version of its STCAL-NG (Simulateur de Tir de Combat aux Armes Légères – Nouvelle Génération); laser emitters will be fitted to the new French Army assault rifle, the Heckler & Koch HK 416, the delivery of the first 12,000 weapons out of 117,000 being planned before year end. They will also be fitted to machine guns and sniper rifles. The initial operational capability is planned for 2019, when Scorpion will start to enter service in the Armée de Terre. Beside the French programme and the aforementioned Swiss CTC programme, both sites being now fully operational, RUAG is looking forward to expand its market in the simulation business in Europe, South America and Southeast Asia.

© P. Valpolini

M The electronic control box of RUAG’s STCAL-NG


O Besides the typical laser engagement system,

RUAG Defence France provides indirect fire and area denial systems, such as Claymore and hand grenade simulators. March / April 2017 – EDR

M Swiss Army soldiers train in the Walenstadt

SIM KIUG, which has been entirely instrumented with RUAG simulation systems. In Q2 2016 the German Bundeswehr awarded Rheinmetall AG several upgrading contracts concerning the modernization and expansion of the German GÜZ, worth around € 24 million. The programme is staggered in various phases and should be finalised by 2020. The Bundeswehr has two principal aims, expanding the HQ software to allow the execution and evaluation of training sequences in the Schnöggersburg MOUT environment, as well as modernization of the training area’s data communication system. A future step will be the inclusion of the IdZ-ES future soldier equipment used by the German Army, which prime contractor is Rheinmetall itself. Back to the MOUT topic, the plan includes the addition of non-laser based systems to allow simulation of weapons effect on buildings and on those players who are located within buildings. The Rheinmetall products in this field is the Legatus, a modular and scalable system available both in fixed installation or deployable configurations, which includes all the elements, from the Excon down to the individual effectors and sensors. Starting from the bottom, the personal equipment suite is available in three different versions, basic, standard and extended, the latter including also precision indoor position tracking, lower body and left and right side zones hit discrimination, posture detection for indirect fire vulnerability, and medical treatment simulation; optionally it can also EDR – March / April 2017

© Rheinmetall


be fitted with the NBC protection mask simulator. The company is ready to provide those systems in a wireless configuration, the usual one being integrated into a traditional H-harness or in the combat vest. The personal harness is made of a player unit that includes the simulation processing unit, the personal area network (PAN), the Tetra radio module, the GPS and the wireless location system (WLS) modules. The other elements are the torso and head harnesses, the personal display unit, optical detectors, retro-reflectors, the acoustic buzzer and the flashing beacon, and obviously the battery. As for effectors, three models are provided, SALT (Small Arms Laser Transmitter), MALT (Medium Arms) and HALT (Heavy Arms). The range of the laser beam is tuned to that of the weapon it simulates, MALT transceivers requiring elevation correction, while HALT transceivers not only measure the range to the target but also scan the beam right and left of the gun bearing allowing hunter-killer capability. All systems use optical codes in accordance with the OSAG 2 standard, while all lasers are Class 1 eyesafe. As for indirect fire weapons, these are based on Geo-pairing technology, while hand grenades effects are simulated using radiofrequency. Geo-pairing technology provides the relative position between

M A German soldier equipped with the latest

iteration of Rheinmetall’s Legatus simulation system; the German Army is upgrading its CTC. 47

N Training at Schnöggersburg MOUT infrastructure;

the point hit by an indirect fire round and the target, allowing to generate the lethal effects without using lasers or RF solutions. Besides the HALT, vehicles are fitted with the equivalent of the personal harness, that is sensor modules, light and flash simulators, as well as weapon interface and a main electronic unit. A Urban Operations kit is also part of the Legatus. This includes low light level cameras, radiofrequency transceivers for precise location, noise, smoke, fog and smell generators, and sensors installed on the outside of the building to discriminate effects into the building by direct and indirect fire. Seamless transition between outdoor and indoor is guaranteed, troop verbal commands being monitored via microphones installed in buildings, IED simulation being also provided. Umpires are equipped with Tetra handsets ensuring the link with EXCON, umpire control gun, enabling to check players conditions as well as to reset their status, laptops showing the tactical situation, and videocameras. The Exercise Control Centre is the heart of the system, where all is seen in real time and recorded, and it can also influence the action. It then provides all the material used in After Action Review. The German order also includes 2,000 new Legatus laser transmitter units for small arms and 1,500 accompanying soldier target sets with corresponding laser sensors. 48

© Rheinmetall

© Rheinmetall

Rheinmetall has just won a contract that will allow a considerable in the GÜZ effectiveness.

M A HALT laser transmitter fitted into the barrel

of an MBT gun; Rheinmetall provides simulation system for all kinds of land weapon systems. Besides its success in Germany Rheinmetall recently booked two order from international customers. to equip a city built exclusively for training purposes with corresponding live simulation technology from the Legatus product line. In early September 2016 an order worth “an eight-figure euro amount” was filed by an undisclosed country in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. The customer is building a complete training city that should become “the world’s most advanced training centre for preparing soldiers and security personnel for urban operations”. A further €10 million contract, still in the same region, was announced in November 2016; the aim is to modernize and expand an existing live training facility, Rheinmetall supplying stateMarch / April 2017 – EDR

© P. Valpolini

level of the soldier depending on the type of helmet and body armour worn, which impacts wound levels, and to simulate CBRN conditions thanks to a simulated gas mask filter. The PDD NG covers 360 degrees but is less intrusive as a new dual field detector enabled to remove the shoulder section. It also includes a GPS as well as a compass, the latter enabling to see where the soldier is focusing in the AAR phase. The basic version weighs 1.1 kg, the same weight of the medium version which adds hand grenade, booby trap and IED compatibility, and MOUT compatibility; the Advanced version, which includes real-time data transfer adds 800 grammes to the system. Saab is also producing the well known BT46, the laser engagement transmitter for combat vehicles, as well as related sensors to be added to the vehicles. The CVTESS (Combat Vehicle Tactical Engagement Simulation System) is used by the US Army and Marines and supports the Abrams MBT and the Bradley IFV, SAT (BT47) transmitters being also part of the package for allowing machine guns simulation. The effects of minefields, artillery, mortars and CBRN weapons can also be simulated. Three live simulation items deserve some attention. The first is the Manpack 300, a portable and readily deployable system that enables instrumented training exercises to be conducted with up to 300 players. Used as a stationary Installation it can cover up to 6km diameter training area for both dismount and vehicle systems, the diameter being reduced to 4km when used as a mobile

of-the-art hardware and software components for expanding and updating the country’s Mobile Combat Training Centre. The Swedish CTC located close to Kvarn, 40 km west of Linköping, is fully instrumented with Saab simulation systems. Saab’s Urban Training Package (UTP) is a modular and deployable solution specifically aimed at addressing the requirements for seamless tracking, mission rehearsal and after action review (AAR) for units fighting in urban terrain. Wireless sensors allow to instrument rooms in order to provide accurate indoor tracking, while the Direct Fire Module allows to simulate direct fire effects on buildings, communicating primary and secondary effects to the sensors worn by players operating inside. When appropriate it also triggers the Building Effects Generator, that generates audio, light and smoke. OPFOR can be complemented or fully replaced by reactive targets, which come in the form of civilian, friend or foe; they react to the laser beam generated by the Small Arms Transmitter (SAT), the 200 grammes item fitted to the individual weapon via a dedicated bracket; as option it can be used with various simulation codes such as MILES, OSAG and SIC in order to make it compatible with other existing systems. The SAT can be used on all long barrel infantry weapons up to heavy machine guns. The SAT is linked to the PDD (Personnel Detection Device), currently available in the NG (New Generation) version, that includes laser sensors, allows to trim the protection EDR – March / April 2017

© P. Valpolini

M Some elements of the Legatus simulation system; beside the German GÜZ Rheinmetall has recently won an order from a MENA undisclosed country.

M Sensors for MOUT training installed on the

wall of a house in the Swedish Army CTC in Kvarn; this facility can host the training of a reinforced company. 49

© Saab

installation. At 13kg only, provides almost identical functionality to a full-scale CTC and features a three channel communication system in the 320-380 MHz band, batteries ensuring eight hours of operation. At 1 kg only, plus a standard laptop, the Wireless Manpack allows to support up to 80 players operating in a 2-6 km radius, the base-station and laptop being linked via a Bluetooth connection. The Medical Treatment Simulator (MTS) allows to augment the basic wound simulation capabilities of the PDD. The MTS software runs on a handheld computer to simulate examination and treatment of soldiers, and can be used both in instrumented and non-instrumented training systems. It is based on a medical treatment database and evaluates how serious is the wound, depending on the hit location and the type of ammo. An evolved version also takes in count the time elapsed from the wound to the treatment. Five levels are available, to cope with the knowledge level of the medical personnel. The MTS communicates via infrared with the soldier’s vest, and can obviously be translated in different languages according to customer. Finally Saab’s training portfolio also includes a Counter-IED Collective Trainer, which is in use in many countries among which the United Kingdom. As for the other simulation systems, these are in use in the US, UK, Norway, Finland, Slovenia, Austria, Italy and other undisclosed countries. Italy is currently developing the SIAT (Sistemi Integrati per l’Addestramento Terrestre), a distributed training system that involves different training areas that are being instrumented. The prime contractor is Vitrociset, which role is providing life cycle

P Soldiers equipped with Saab simulation systems;

the Swedish company portfolio features laser simulation systems for soldiers and combat vehicles.

contract support, management, oversight and quality assurance to ensure that a wide variety of training systems remains operationally available in accordance with the Italian Army Staff validated requirements. The SIAT impacts four major sites, the main one being Capo Teulada (Sardinia), which is the amplest training area in Italy, followed by Monteromano, where a MOUT village is about to be built, the existing one being in Brunico, in northern-Italy, which is being used for urban, forest and mountain training, Lecce being the instrumented site for armoured cavalry. The SIAT is made of live, virtual and constructive immersive simulation systems, the suite enabling to train leaders, teams and platoons. Live training devices are mostly provided by Cubic. To provide a mobile architecture Vitrociset partnered with two Italian SMEs, Pezt.Co. and Rebel Alliance, focusing on tactical safety and advanced mission rehearsal/planning. Rebel Alliance is providing its RASE (Rebel Alliance Synthetic Environment), an innovative simulation architecture capable of delivering training and rehearsal capabilities in order to perform advanced and basic tasks on the battlefield on an individual or collective base, using real vehicles, aircraft and weapon systems. The RASE thus allows units to carry out procedural training from their barracks, using real vehicles, but can also be used downrange to rehearse real operations. In the SIAT it exchanges data with Vitrociset EXCON equipment, allowing to integrate live and virtual elements in the same training event. As for real life, the SIAT employs simulation systems provided by Cubic, which are depicted in the following box. J

N In its various versions the MILES, developed

and produced by Cubic in the US, is probably the most widely used small arms laser simulation system worldwide.

Cubic is definitely the US giant in the simulation domain, the company having designed and developed urban ranges, CQB houses, specialist facilities and training centres. The company has been among the first to exploit lasers for engagement simulation systems, its MILES (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System) having been fielded worldwide. An emitter, activated by a blank round, “fires” a laser beam where the soldier aims, and if at the receiving end the opponent is hit the sensors worn on the helmet and webbing trigger a visual and acoustic signal indicating the hit or the kill. The system has evolved since in the MILES 2000, which was adopted by the US Army in an upgraded version known as MILES IWS (Individual Weapon System); the harness weighs 0.9kg, the helmet sensors 0.18kg and the small arms transmitter 0.45kg. A further improvement came with EDR – March / April 2017

the Wireless MILES, where cables have been replaced by a Personal Area Network (PAN) working in the 2.4GHz band. Modules are provided in a smart transfer case that allows reloading when stored, each module containing its own battery. The helmet module as well as detector modules feature both laser and radiofrequency links, allowing for example the reception of areal weapons, mines, artillery, IEDs, etc, enabling combat medical treatment, beside obviously the handling of direct fire weapon engagement results. Weapon simulation is thus also exploiting both laser and RF. The display module provides acoustic and visual cue to the soldier, while the player unit instrumentation is equipped with a GPS and is linked upwards to the CTC EXCON and sidewards to the soldier PAN. The advantage of the wireless system is in terms of ergonomics, mounting and update, adding a new model being favoured compared to a cable-based system.

© P. Valpolini

Cubic: the US giant


Underwater Special Forces Deployment By David Oliver Manned torpedoes were a type of submarine developed during World War II to be used as a secret naval weapon. The basic design is still in use today as a type of diver propulsion vehicle. Basically a torpedo ridden by a two-crew fitted with a rudimentary guidance system and manual controls. The name was commonly used to refer to the weapons that Italy, and later Britain, deployed in the Mediterranean and used to attack ships in enemy harbours. The Japanese used a manned fast torpedo called the Kaiten, which its crew piloted straight into its target in a suicide mission.


uring the Cold War France was in the forefront of the development of practical underwater vehicles for carrying teams of naval special operations forces (SOF). France pioneered Swimmer Delivery Vehicle (SDV) technology and its navy was the first Navy to operate removable Dry-Deck-Shelters (DDS) attached to the decks of submarines in which to house them. Commando Hubert, the French SOF equivalent of the US Navy Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) teams, used them. A DDS is a removable module that can be attached to a submarine to allow divers easy exit and entrance while the boat is submerged. The host submarine must be specially modified to accommodate the DDS, with the appropriate mating hatch configuration, electrical connections, and piping for ventilation, diver’s air, and draining water. With the future introduction of the new Suffren-class nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN), the French Navy will regain its SDV capability. From the outset the French SSNs were designed to carry a DDS behind the sail. This will be larger than previous shelters ones and have

been designed to incorporate direct access into the hull to give divers access to the chamber before it is flooded which is an operational advantage. A new SDV design for Commando Hubert is the ECA Special Warfare Underwater Vehicle (SWUV) that will be known in French service as (Propulseur Sous-Marins de 3ème Génération (PSM3G). ECA Group

© US Navy

P Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) team Delivery Vehicles

(SDV) are launched from Dry-Deck-Shelters (DDS) attached to the decks of US Navy submarines. 52

March / April 2017 – EDR

© US Navy

M A US Navy SEAL Delivery Vehicle being

launched underwater from a submarine DDS. has previously covertly supplied SDVs to French forces. Designed in co-operation with the French procurement agency (DGA) the SWUV is designed for SOF delivery and stealth coastline intervention missions, coastal intelligence with electro-optical (EO) subsystems and explosives transportation to target areas. It will be capable of deploying remote intelligence subsystems while underwater, and then forward video or tactical information via radio or satlink. At 8.5 m-long it is larger and more capable than previous French types and can transport six SOF divers including the two-man crew. DDSs can transport, deploy, and recover SOF teams from Combat Rubber Raiding Crafts (CRRCs) or US Navy SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDVs), all while remaining submerged. In an era of littoral warfare, this capability substantially enhances the combat flexibility of both the submarine and SOF personnel. The Mark 8 Mod 1 SDV is currently the only SDV employed by US Navy Virginia-class and LosAngeles-class SSNs, and with Royal Navy Astute-class SSNs for Special Boat Service (SBS) divers, and it is an upgrade of earlier Mark 8 Mod 0 SDV. The primary improvement over the Mod 0 is that it is constructed of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) instead of aluminium alloy, and it incorporates a suite of advanced electronics. A new SEAL Delivery Vehicle called Proteus, is being developed by Huntington Ingalls Underwater Solutions Group, Bluefin Robotics and Battelle. It will be able to carry up to six divers inside the craft as a ‘wet manned submarine’ with six diver’s air stations, who simply open the cargo door and swim out when they reach their target. Proteus can also be fitted with EDR – March / April 2017

an optional air module in the centre cargo space, capable of supporting all the divers for over ten hours. The 8 m-long SDV has two vertical and two horizontal thrusters and can operate at a depth of 50 m at a speed of 10 knots. Proteus is outfitted with throughwater voice and data acoustic communications systems, an Iridium satellite communications system and voice and data radios. The crew can update its position without fully surfacing, using the GPS antenna located at the top of one of the masts that can be extended above the surface of the water. While the Dry-Dock-Shelter system is a practical solution for employing Swimmer Delivery Vehicles, future generations of attack submarines are being designed to incorporate the launch and recovery of SDVs from within the vessel’s hull. One of the first to be built will be the Saab Kockums A26 “superstealth” submarine, two of which have ordered for the Swedish Navy. With a resurgent Russia on its doorstep with its access to the Baltic Sea, the Swedish Navy has accepted that special operations deployments will gain in importance and that and an SDV operation capability was a requirement to the integrated in the A26 design. With its bottoming capacity, the A26 will be a versatile platform for underwater special operations. Not only will it be capable of launching and recovering a range of autonomous underwater and remotely operated vehicles (AUV/ROV) including the new Sea Owl SUBROV, which is capable of covert mine countermeasures, communication/surveillance or as an active docking tool for an AUV, but if required, the simultaneous launch or recovery of an SDV. It will have a 6.5 m-long Multi-mission Portal (MMP) in the bow of the submarine to lock in and out divers and an SDV for launching and recovery via a 1.6m diameter Flexible Payload Lock (FPL) located in the submarine’s bow between its four torpedo tubes. This can accommodate a six-man Special Operations Forces (SOF) team plus two crew that can be launched and recovered through a Multi Mission Portal (MMP) that will also be able to store, load and maintain the vehicle. The SDV is being designed by a joint Swedish/ British team as part of James Fisher Defence Sweden, with development and testing being undertaken in the Stockholm archipelago and the waters off the west coast of Scotland, amongst other locations. The SDV allow for greater stand-off from the submarines and have further application in the maritime littoral space such as counter-terrorism, specialist maritime operations, counter-narcotics, maritime protection operations and mine countermeasures. 53

M Atlas ElektroniK UK Ltd has developed

the Cerberus Mod 2 Diver Detection Sonar (DDS) to detect swimmers and SDVs.

© Saab

The SDV will comprise an on board diesel engine, advanced Lithium Polymer batteries and forward and aft Y/Z axis-thrusters, water jet propulsion thrusters and depth rudders. The vectored-thruster arrangement coupled with Lithium Polymer batteries provides the power, and means the SDV has a minimal noise signature. The A26’s SDV will be designed to have a 15 nautical mile radius of action at a speed of 5 knots. Apart from the six-man SOF team and two crew there will be internal capacity for a weight-compensating tank, trim tanks, extra personnel air tanks and a load bay. The vehicle will also have outboard pressure tight containers for SOF equipment. With underwater SOF deployments set to increase in the future, defence companies are also focusing on counter-SDV and diver operations. Atlas Elektronik UK Ltd has developed the Cerberus Mod 2 Diver Detection Sonar (DDS) designed to meet the demands of both shipborne and fixed installations. Its lightweight and compact construction is capable of providing reliable protection in a highly portable, flexible and affordable package. The offshore unit, the cable and operator work station all weigh under 25 kg, truly a man portable system. With up to 18 km diameter detection, it gives maximum time to respond. The systems automatic detection classification and tracking provides reliable alerting of multiple underwater targets with very few false alarms to reduce operator workload.

This system is currently in 
service with eight nations and at the end of 2016 the company secured two significant contracts for the Cerberus Mod 2 DDS, the first being a follow-on sale for a number of sonars to be utilised in the expansion of a naval harbour protection system that will feature Atlas Elektronik UK’s fully integrated multi-sonar software that allows the simultaneous operation of multiple sonars. The second contract was from a Middle Eastern navy that selected Cerberus for its ability to be operated in a very challenging sonar environment, as well as full Military Qualification for installation on naval vessels. The system was delivered within four weeks to satisfy the customer’s Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR). Cerberus DDS is the latest generation of AEUK diver detection sonar and is specifically designed to detect and classify open and closed circuit divers, swimmers, SDVs and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs). Qualified for military use, the system is provided in a lightweight rapidly and easily deployable package and is capable of being operated from ships or as part of a fixed harbour installation. J N The Swedish Saab Kockums A26 submarine will launch and recover an SDV from its Flexible Payload Lock (FPL) in the bow.

© Atlas Elektronik

Proteous SDV is the latest breed of US SDV that can accommodate a six-man SEAL team.

© Huntington Ingalls Underwater Solutions Group

M The technological advanced

BRAHMOS: Full speed ahead! By Joseph Roukoz, Jean-Michel Guhl and Luca Peruzzi While reporting at IDEX and NAVDEX in Abu Dhabi last February, the EDR editorial team (comprising Joseph Roukoz with Jean-Michel Guhl and Luca Peruzzi), had the opportunity to meet Dr. Sudhir K Mishra, the CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace, a top-level aerospace engineer willing to make known and market internationally one of the world’s most potent and versatile supersonic cruise missile system: the BRAHMOS which can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land platforms. Where two rivers meet Both a brand and a portmanteau – born from the names of the Brahmaputra river in India, and that of the Moskva in Russia – BRAHMOS is a Joint Venture between the Russian Federation’s NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which have together formed BrahMos Aerospace at the turn of the century. BRAHMOS is known to be the world’s fastest antiship cruise missile system in operation with the Indian Armed Forces, travelling at a top speed of Mach 2.8. While the ship-launched and land-attack versions are already in service since 2005 and 2007 respectively, the air launched variant is currently advancing in its test trial from the Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force. The weapon’s underwater version has also been successfully tested in 2013. The formidable missile is capable of carrying a 300-kg warhead. It has a two-stage propulsion system, with a solidpropellant rocket for initial acceleration and a liquidfuelled ramjet responsible for sustained supersonic cruise. The air-breathing ramjet propulsion is much more fuel-efficient and lasting than rocket propulsion, giving the BRAHMOS a much longer range than that of a pure rocket-powered missile. EDR – March / April 2017

As explained by Dr. Mishra, “We are now developing longer-range capable land-attack and naval versions of our [legacy] BRAHMOS, which maintain the same amount of fuel but thanks to software adjustments (related to the fuel-management system), both feature a 425km range. Both the longerrange land-attack and naval versions are expected to be certified and ready during the year-2017.” The current production BRAHMOS missile features a new digital seeker with enhanced capability compared to that of the original system which used analogue components. A hypersonic version of the missile, designated BRAHMOS-II, is also presently under initial development phase with a speed intended to reach Mach 7-8 in order to boost aerial fast strike capability. It is expected to be ready for testing by the start of next decade and fielded before 2025.

The dawn of BRAHMOS-A Planned as early as 2008, the air-launched variant of BRAHMOS was unveiled in 2012. It is the newest member of the family which will be launched from large aerial platform like the Russian-built Sukhoi-30 strike fighter. After an initial air-carriage of the weapon 55

performed successfully in June 2016, BRAHMOS-A (A for Aircraft-launched) has also undergone drop tests from a suitably modified Indian Air Force Su30MKI fighter-bomber. The weapon is now getting ready for live test firing from the heavy strike fighter. For Dr. S. K. Mishra, “Undeniably, 2017 will be a key year for our BRAHMOS-A, as it will extend the missile’s attack possibilities”. The BRAHMOS-A will have a range of 290-km, thus providing ample stand-off capability to an attacking aircraft, both for anti-ship and land-attack operations. According to Dr. Mishra, two fighter jets have been modified to carry the weapon. The Government has cleared a proposal to modify several Su-30MKI fighters of the IAF to carry BRAHMOS-A. It is interesting to note that the Indian Air Force is going to field BRAHMOS with three air regiments operating the Su-30MKI fighters. Allowing the type to accommodate the new stand-off air-to-surface missile has necessitated modifications to its design, particularly, a redistribution of its primary structure loading. To facilitate the weapon’s integration, the weight of the air-launched BRAHMOS has also been slashed by 500kg and its length by almost 50cm evenas a jettisonable nose cap and additional control surfaces have affixed some uninvited kilogrammes. The BRAHMOS-A is designed to be fired from a large fighter aircraft like the “Flanker” – where the missile’s 8.5 metres and 2,550 kilogrammes fit nicely between its two jet engines. Today’s operators of the Su-27/Su-30 are quite numerous: besides Russia and India, we have Venezuela in South America, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam in Asia… Not to mention Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazahstan and China or even Algeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Uganda in Africa… Enough to make Dr. S. K. Mishra’s eyes glitter at the idea of future export potential of the weapon.

And soon under the seas The submarine-launched variant of BRAHMOS has already validated its underwater strike capability in 2013. The submarine-launched variant was test fired successfully for the first time from a submerged pontoon in the Bay of Bengal on 20 March 2013. This was the first vertical launch of a supersonic cruise missile from a submerged platform. The missile can be launched from a depth of 40 to 50 metres. In late January 2016, Russia confirmed that future Indian-made submarines would be armed with smaller version of the missile that could fit inside a 56

M Dr. Sudhir K Mishra,

the CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace torpedo tube. But this only remains a prospect for the time-being as the BRAHMOS’ 600mm diameter is a bit over the size of standard heavy torpedoes, i.e. 533mm. And a redesign of the current missile – under the new BRAHMOS-NG – could become a costly move impeding its normal serial industrial process. Whatever decision is made in New Delhi this year or next year, such a smaller variant of BRAHMOS would also be ideally suited for the MiG-29K, Tejas and Rafale fighters, among others. According to Dr. Mishra, a number of enhancements are going on to keep the RussianIndian top missile well ahead of the competition, with three strong points: more speed, more accuracy and more range. In truth, if the BRAHMOS propulsion is still based on Russian technology, the complete guidance system has been developed by BrahMos Aerospace, something the Indian industrial leadership is really proud of. With New Delhi becoming a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), India and Russia are now planning to jointly March / April 2017 – EDR

develop for their own use a new generation of BRAHMOS missiles with a higher range and an ability to hit protected targets with pinpoint accuracy!

Already 15 years in the making Let’s remember that the endeavour with this ramjet missile came to fruition 15 years ago when a live BRAHMOS was first test-fired at Chandripur, India on 12 June 2001 from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), in a vertical launch configuration. On 14 June 2004, another test was conducted at ITR and BRAHMOS was this time fired from a mobile launcher. On 5 March 2008, the land attack version of the missile was fired from Indian Navy destroyer INS Rajput and the missile hit and sunk the right target among a group of several dispersed sea targets. Then, on 18 December 2008, the vertical launch of the weapon was conducted from the sister-destroyer INS Ranvir of the same class. On its part, the BRAHMOS Block-I for the Indian Army was successfully tested (albeit with new aiming capabilities) in the Rajasthan desert, at a test range near Pokharan precisely, in December 2004 and March 2007. In March 2009, another advanced variant of the missile was test fired to identify a building among a cluster of buildings in an urban environment. BRAHMOS successfully hit the intended target in two and a half minutes of launch. According to official sources, “The new seeker is unique and would help us to hit targets, which are insignificant in terms of size, in a cluster of large buildings.” India was said at that time to be the only nation in the world with this advanced technology… Whatever the official words say, the Indian Army is absolutely satisfied with its new missile. The tests marked the completion of the development phase of BRAHMOS Block-II before its induction into field service. Finally, more tests of BRAHMOS set a world record for being the first cruise missile to be tested at supersonic speeds in steep-dive mode, thus leading to the development of a further model: the Block-III. More tests then continued to improve speed, precision and range… On 7 October 2012, the Indian Navy successfully test-fired BRAHMOS from the guided missile frigate INS Teg. This new highly manoeuvrable version was fitted with advanced satellite navigation systems, turning it into a «super-rocket» capable of hitting targets nearly 300-km from sea, land or air launchers. On 7 April 2014, one of the Indian Army’s EDR – March / April 2017

missile regiments tested a modified and upgraded BlockIII variant with “steep dive-cum-target” discrimination mode suitable for mountain warfare operations. The weapon was also capable of performing deep penetration strikes against hardened targets. This advanced variant is being deployed with the newly raised Mountain Strike Corps of the Indian Army. On 8 July 2014, Brahmos Aerospace conducted the 44th test launch of the missile from ITR. This time towards a designated target 290km away. It was the first test of the missile in supersonic dive mode against a hidden land target employing a new Indian software algorithm and multiple SatNav (satellite navigation) systems for guidance, without the usual homing system. The new navigation system uses an Indian computer chip called G3OM (using on the same module either US GPS, Russian Glonass and even GPS-aided Geo-augmented signals). The indigenous system weighs less than 20 grammes, and provides a final accuracy below 5 metres – using Indian, US and Russian navigation satellites. The system can be used in tandem with any inertial navigation system, thus adding high-accuracy targeting, all this without the use of any terminal seeker.

More and more In the wake of Dr. Mishra’s mantra (more speed, more accuracy, more range), newer versions of BRAHMOS are now under development. With India becoming a member of MTCR in 2016 – New Delhi and Moscow are now planning to jointly develop a new generation of BRAHMOS missiles with higher range and with the ability to hit protected targets with pinpoint precision. This would come as a new missile or an extended upgrade that should be applied on request to all existing BRAHMOS weapon systems. But the focus is now certainly on designing the BRAHMOS-II. This futuristic variant is a hypersonic cruise missile currently at a conceptual stage. Like BRAHMOS-I, the range of BRAHMOS-II had also been limited to 290-km to comply with the MTCR. With a speed of Mach 7.0, the new weapon would have more than twice the speed of the current BRAHMOS missile, and it will thus become the fastest hypersonic missile in the world, some two Mach points over the French nuclear-tipped MBDA ASMP-A, currently holding the world’s operational speed record. Development of BRAHMOS-II is expected to continue for at least a full decade to complete. J 57

European Defence Review European Defence Review (EDR) is the first magazine in English focusing on defence issues with a European perspective and one which is fully managed by well-known journalists specialised in defence and security. EDR addresses every topic of the defence sector: equipment and industrial issues, armed forces and operations, but also strategic and political news concerning defence and security issues. Although the articles will be mainly focused on European topics, the review also discusses the main countrie’s partners of Europe and emerging markets: Russia, the Middle East, Brazil, India… EDR distributes during the major international defence trade fairs. The readers include military decision-makers, both political and industrial, from European countries as well as traditional or potential partners of the European defence community. Finally, EDR covers all of the major defence exhibitions worldwide; privileged accasions where policy makers, military and trade-related, are attending.

European Defence Review (EDR) is the premier English-language journal focusing on defence-related issues from a distinctly European perspective. EDR is produced by the defence industry’s most prominent and distinguished journalists. J Regular contributors include: Jean-Pierre Husson, François Prins, Jean-Michel Guhl, Nikolay Novichkov, Paolo Valpolini, Luca Peruzzi and Andrew Drwiega. Graphic design / layout by: Da TRAN – tranh@orange.fr J Advertisers in this issue: DCNS [C2] • Renault [C3] • MBDA [C4] Brahmos Aerospace [7] • Imdex Asia [19] Singapore Airshow [29] • Unmanned Systems Asia [35] Nexter [37] • CZ [39]

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