Procurement, Science and Technology Q4-2014

This issue of Procurements, Science and Technology begins with a number of mergers and agreements within the Munitions industries and then mentions some of the recent munitions related procurements awarded.

The technology section begins with a “small” 3D printed propulsion system the size of a coffee cup followed by a “large” motor  (154 ft x 12 ft) to be ground tested next month.   As always, we hope you find the topics, and the associated links, worthwhile and interesting.

Procurements / International agreements

Nammo launches ammunition production line in Sastamala

13 January 2015 Nammo Lapua Oy, a Finnish subsidiary of the Nammo Group, signed an agreement with the Finnish aerospace and defense group, Patria Oyj to acquire the ammunition facility in Sastamala. An official ceremony was held in Sastamala on Monday 12 January 2015, for the initiation of the production line. Representatives from the Finnish MoD, FDF Logistic Center and City of Sastamala were present during the event.  The facility in Sastamala is specialized in production of metal components for artillery –and mortar ammunition.

By acquiring the Sastamala facility Nammo proves its seriousness with regards to the company’s position in Finland and show responsibility in securing the supplies for the Finnish Defense Forces and further strengthen the existing long-term partnership agreement. 

http://www.nammo.com/news-and-events/news/nammo-launches-ammunition-production-line-in-sastamala/

 

Nexter and Hydrema sign a cooperation agreement in Denmark

December 16, 2014 – In the presence of the French Ambassador to Denmark, M. François Zimeray, Philippe Burtin, CEO of Nexter, and Jan Werner Jensen, CEO of Hydrema signed today a partnership agreement concerning the Danish Armoured Personal Carrier replacement program (APC-R), strongly confirming Nexter’s declared commitment to industrial cooperation with Denmark.

Under this partnership agreement, Nexter will support Hydrema in the set-up and operation of a “state-of-the-art” production line in its Støvring facility, where the final assembly and integration of the Danish VBCI will be performed, should the latter be selected by DALO to fulfill its APC-R requirement. Under an existing agreement, Hydrema will also perform the in-country logistic support of Nexter’s CAESAR® self-propelled howitzer in the event that CAESAR® is selected by DALO as part of its on-going artillery competition. 

http://www.nexter-group.fr/en/press-releases/690-nexter-et-hydrema-signent-un-accord-de-cooperation-au-danemark

 

ATK and Orbital Merger

Dec 4, 2014  Alliant Techsystems Inc. and Orbital Sciences Corporation announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has unconditionally cleared the proposed merger of ATK's Aerospace and Defense Groups with Orbital. As previously announced, ATK and Orbital have entered into a transaction agreement, whereby ATK's Aerospace and Defense Groups will merge with Orbital immediately following the spin-off of ATK's Sporting Group business to ATK stockholders as a newly formed company called Vista Outdoor Inc.   

http://www.atk.com/

 

ATK Stockholders Approve the Issuance of Shares to Orbital Sciences Corporation Stockholders

Jan. 27, 2015 ATK today announced its stockholders approved the issuance of ATK common stock to Orbital Sciences Corporation stockholders in connection with the previously announced merger between ATK's Aerospace and Defense Groups and Orbital.   ATK and Orbital held separate, special stockholder meetings today in conjunction with the proposed transaction. As previously announced, ATK intends to spin off its Sporting Group into Vista Outdoor Inc. ("Vista Outdoor") and immediately thereafter complete the merger. During Orbital's special stockholder meeting, Orbital stockholders voted to approve the merger.  They anticipate closing both the spin-off and the merger on February 9.  Following closing, ATK will be renamed Orbital ATK, Inc. and, beginning on February 10, shares of Orbital ATK common stock will trade under the new ticker symbol "OA" on the NYSE.

http://www.atk.com/

 

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann takes over vehicle business of Diehl Defence

On December 17, 2014, Diehl Defence and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) concluded a contract on the acquisition of Diehl Defence Land System´s GmbH (DLS) operative business by a subsidiary of KMW. The contract is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.

Diehl Defence Land Systems is a market leader in the fields of tank tracks and suspensions equipping all the Bundeswehr´s tracked vehicles. Latest innovations include light-weight tracks for the German infantry combat vehicle PUMA as well as segmented rubber band tracks. In the past decades, the company has acquired an international reputation as a service provider regarding maintenance, repair and modernization of military vehicles. The company achieves sales of 56 mio. Euros with approximately 370 employees.

With the transferral of its vehicle business, Diehl is contributing to the consolidation of the German land systems industry. The company will increasingly focus on its core business comprising guided weapons, intelligent ammunition as well as impact and protection. For KMW, the acquisition adds a strategic range of products and services to the existing portfolio.   

http://www.diehl.com/en/nc/diehl-defence/press/krauss-maffei-wegmann-takes-over-vehicle-business-of-diehl-defence/6.html

 

SAAB and  DAMEN sign Teaming Arrangement for Walrus Future Submarine Replacement Program

20 January 2015   Swedish defence and security company Saab is teaming with Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group to explore future opportunities in the international submarine market. The companies have signed an exclusive teaming agreement to work together in pursuit of the potential Walrus-class submarine replacement programme for the Netherlands. In addition to this project, Saab and Damen will also explore ways in which they might bid jointly on other submarine procurement programmes.

Through the acquisition of Kockums Saab has extensive experience in the design and manufacture of submarines and surface vessels for a global customer base, integrating advanced systems and using a range of ultra-modern materials and construction techniques. Key technology includes Saab’s unique Air Independent Propulsion System based on the Stirling engine. Damen delivers about 160 vessels annually and is known for its unique ship-design concepts, with a focus on research and development, standardisation and modularisation. Its defence and security portfolio includes vessels ranging in size from 7 m to over 200 m. Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (established in 1875) supplies major surface vessels to navies worldwide.

http://www.saabgroup.com/en/About-Saab/Newsroom/Press-releases--News/2015---1/Saab-and-Damen-Team-for-Walrus-Future-Submarine-Replacement-Programme/

 

Scorpion Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle contract awarded to Nexter, RTD and Thales

December 5, 2014 – On the occasion of its visit in the 27th Mountain Infantry Brigade Artillery of Varces (Isère), Jean-Yves LE DRIAN, Minister of Defence, handed the EBMR (Armoured Multi-roles vehicles) market to the CEOs of the GME (temporary consortium) formed by the French companies Nexter Systems, Renault Trucks Defense and Thales. Prepared by the French Armament Procurement Agency (DGA), this market plans the development, the manufacturing and the support of the EBMR of the SCORPION program.

Under the EBMR contract, the Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle GRIFFON and Reconnaissance and Combat Armoured Vehicle JAGUAR will replace respectively on the one hand the VAB, and on the other hand, the AMX10RC, the ERC Sagaie and the VAB Hot, produced in the 70s and 80s and used extensively by the French Army in all theaters of operation for thirty years.

The contract covers all phases of an armament program, from development to unit logistical support through the qualification and production of systems. This program has a structuring effect for Nexter, RTD and Thales as well as for the French industrial sector that will be nourished by the subcontracting orders from the GME. It will create a thousand jobs in its development phase and 1,700 jobs in its production phase.  Almost 2,000 vehicles, and all associated logistical support equipment, will be delivered to forces from 2018. 

http://www.nexter-group.fr/en/press-releases/684-article-du-0512-fr

 

Forbes Rifle LLC to manufacture Carl Gustaf 2000 Hunting Rifles under Nammo License

23 January 2015

Forbes Rifle LLC logo.jpgNammo Group and Forbes Rifle LLC have entered into an agreement where Forbes has acquired a global manufacturing and marketing license for Carl Gustaf 2000 hunting rifles.

Carl Gustaf (CG) rifles have been manufactured in Eskilstuna, Sweden, since 1812. The CG 2000 is the latest model in a line of excellent hunting weapons carrying the CG brand name that is known for its design, quality and durability. The CG 2000 rifles are currently available in calibres .243 Win, 6.5 mm x 55 Swedish, .270 Win, .308 Win, .30-06, 7 mm x 64, 9.3 mm x 62, 7 mm Rem Mag and .300 Win Mag and will be CarlGustaf logo.jpgmade available to the market during 2015. Other calibres are planned for later release.

Nammo military ammunition carries the Carl Gustaf brand and head stamp including the 7.62 mm AP (M993) and 5.56 mm AP (M995), and Nammo’s 5.56 mm “green” ammunition is now also available under the Carl Gustaf brand name from selected distributors.

http://www.nammo.com/news-and-events/news/forbes-rifle-llc-to-manufacture-carl-gustaf-2000-hunting-rifles-under-nammo-license/

 

Raytheon awarded $2.4 billion contract to provide the State of Qatar with Patriot Air and Missile Defense System

Dec. 22, 2014  Raytheon Company has received a $2.4 billion Foreign Military Sales contract for new-production fire units of the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System for the State of Qatar. Qatar, a new Patriot customer, now brings the total number of global Patriot customers to 13.

The acquisition is part of an Armed Services modernization and recapitalization effort announced by Qatar in March of this year.  The contract includes the latest Patriot fire units featuring increased computing power and radar processing efficiency, improved man-machine interface and reduced life-cycle costs.

Patriot will be the cornerstone of Qatar's advanced Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) capability.  Earlier this month, Raytheon announced a U.S. Air Force contract to provide the state of Qatar with an Air and Missile Defense Operations Center (ADOC) which will integrate U.S. air defense systems including Patriot, the Early Warning Radar, and THAAD; with European air defense systems and radars and Qatar's Air Operation Center.  

http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/2014-12-22-Raytheon-awarded-2-4-billion-contract-to-provide-the-State-of-Qatar-with-Patriot-Air-and-Missile-Defense-System

 

£270 million contract awarded to upgrade Royal Navy Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedo torpedoes

Following the completion of the design phase, existing torpedoes will be upgraded by BAE Systems at its Broad Oak facility in Portsmouth to the new design with initial deliveries in 2020 continuing until 2024.   The upgrade, known as Spearfish Mod 1 extends the life of the torpedo, improves safety through the introduction of an Insensitive Munitions warhead and by utilizing a single fuel system and provides more capable data links between the weapon system and the launching vessel. This results in capability improvements for the Royal Navy as well as significant reduction in through-life operating costs.  

The anti-submarine and anti-surface Spearfish torpedoes are currently deployed the BAE Systems designed and built Trafalgar and Vanguard submarines, as well as the Astute Class submarines.  Spearfish can be used in defensive and offensive situations and its advanced design delivers maximum warhead effectiveness at high speed with outstanding maneuverability, low radiated noise, advanced homing and sophisticated tactical intelligence.

The torpedo can operate autonomously from the time of launch and is capable of variable speeds across the entire performance envelope. Its high power density bespoke engine allows it to attain exceptional sprint speed in the terminal stage of an attack.  The result is an underwater weapon that provides decisive advantage against the full range of submarine and surface threats in all operational environments. Extensive in-water testing will demonstrate consistently high performance and outstanding reliability.  

http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_178486/270-million-contract-awarded-to-upgrade-royal-navy-torpedoes/

 

UK orders next-generation air defence system from MBDA

As reported by  IHS Jane's Defence Weekly; The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has ordered a new ground based surface-to-air missile (SAM) system from MBDA, IHS Jane's can confirm.  Known as the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS) Land, the new SAM system will eventually replace the British Army's Rapier Field Standard C (FSC) short-range SAM systems.

An MBDA spokesperson confirmed to IHS Jane's that it had received the contract in December 2014. The contract is valued at GBP228 million (USD348 million).    FLAADS Land uses the MBDA Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) as its interceptor. CAMM is also under order for the Royal Navy's Sea Ceptor primary-air defence system that will equip the services Type 23 frigates and future Type 26 Global Combat Ship. CAMM is originally derived from the MBDA Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), while both Sea Ceptor and FLAADS Land also sharing a common command and control (C2) system.

The Janes article in the link provides an interesting analysis of the system and the award of the contract, which was not publically disclosed.

http://www.janes.com/article/47936/uk-orders-next-generation-air-defence-system-from-mbda

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/industry/2015/01/12/flaads-uk-air-defense-missile/21502873/

 

Raytheon awarded $491 million contract for AMRAAM®

Dec. 23, 2014  Raytheon is being awarded a fixed-price contract $491,478,068 for the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile. The contract is for the production of the AMRAAM® missile and other AMRAAM system items, including the captive air training missile, common munitions bit/reprogramming equipment and non-developmental item airborne instrumentation unit.

The contract includes foreign military sales to Korea, Oman, Singapore and Thailand.  Work will be performed in Tucson and is expected to be completed by February 2017. 

http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/2014-12-23-Raytheon-awarded-491-million-contract-for-AMRAAM

 

Raytheon awarded $26 million US Navy contract for Tomahawk launching system

Dec. 10, 2014 Raytheon Company received a $25.9 million U.S. Navy contract for Tomahawk missile Composite Capsule Launching Systems (C/CLS). Production and delivery of the systems will support submarine-launched Tomahawk Cruise missiles.

The new launching systems will be integrated into nuclear powered fast attack submarines and nuclear powered guided missile subs. The C/CLS provides for all mechanical and environmental interfaces between the missile and the submarine missile tube. Deliveries will begin in September 2015.  With a range of more than 1,000 miles the Tomahawk Block IV missile is a surface and submarine-launched precision strike stand-off weapon. 

http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/2014-12-10-Raytheon-awarded-26-million-US-Navy-contract-for-Tomahawk-launching-system

 

General Dynamics Awarded $26 Million for MK46 Gun Weapon Systems Production

The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $26.2 million contract for the production of MK46 Modification (Mod) 2 Gun Weapon Systems (GWS) for use on Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), and Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) ships. General Dynamics Land Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).

The MK46 30mm Naval Weapon System is an all-weather, day/night, fully stabilized weapon system. Its lightweight, modular and compact size makes it an ideal candidate for numerous anti-surface and anti-air defense applications. The systems family of turrets represents a balance of lethality, performance, reliability and versatility, and it is one of the most cost-effective medium-caliber weapon systems. 

General Dynamics has delivered 38 MK46 systems to the U.S. Navy since 2005. It is the main deck gun for LPD-17 ships and is the secondary gun battery for LCS, and Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) ships. The MK46 Mod 2 GWS incorporates new open architecture, fault isolation software and an embedded trainer.

Production will be performed by existing employees in Anniston, Ala.;Tallahassee, Fla.;Sterling Heights, Mich.;Lima, Ohio;and Scranton, Pa. Work is expected to be completed by November 2016.          http://www.generaldynamics.com/news/press-releases/detail.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1811=19678

 

General Dynamics Awarded $100 Million for Abrams Tank Production

General Dynamics Land Systems has been awarded a $99.7 million Foreign Military Sales follow-on contract for the procurement and production of Saudi M1A2 (M1A2S) Abrams tanks for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This modification is part of an existing contract to upgrade the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's fleet of tanks.  This contract extends work started in 2008 to update M1A1 and M1A2 tanks to the M1A2S configuration. The M1A2S conversion increases the efficiency and capability of the tank.

The work will be performed at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of July 2016.      

http://www.generaldynamics.com/news/press-releases/detail.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1811=19651

 

Iraq to receive M-1A1, Armored HMMWVs worth $3 billion

As posted in Defense-Update, Washington plans to equip the Iraqi Army with 175 M-1A1 Main Battle Tanks and 15 M88A2 Hercules tank recovery vehicles to equip an armoured brigade. The new arms transfer package is worth US$2.4 billion. The Pentagon is also planning to provide the Iraqis with a thousand M1151A1 Up-Armored High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) for additional $579 million. The tanks and HMMWVs are likely to be withdrawn from US surplus. Under another contract worth $100 million awarded to General Dynamics Land Systems is upgrading Saudi M-1A1 tanks into the more advanced M1A2S configuration. This contract extends work started in 2008 to update M1A1 and M1A2 tanks to the M1A2S configuration. The project is expected to complete in July 2016.

The Iraqi Army has lost part of the hardware previously supplied by the USA in the recent fighting with the Islamic State. Among the assets that fell into the hands of Islamic insurgents were artillery pieces, MRAP vehicles and armoured HMMWVs. T-55 tanks and SCUD missiles were also seized by IS, from bases they ran over in Syria and Iraq. In the recent fighting around the town of Baji IS fighters managed to capture and destroy Iraqi M-1A1 tanks. 

http://defense-update.com/20141222_more_m1a1-for_iraq.html#.VNTEvf7wuJA

 

U.S. Navy Awards General Dynamics $498 Million for Mobile Landing Platform Afloat Forward Staging Base

SAN DIEGO – –The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics NASSCO a $498 million contract for the detail design and construction of the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB). Under this option, NASSCO will provide the detail design and construction efforts to build the second AFSB of the Mobile Landing Platform-class ships. The work will be performed at NASSCO's San Diego shipyard and is scheduled to be completed by March 2018.    The MLP AFSB is a flexible platform and a key element in the Navy's and Marine Corps large-scale airborne mine countermeasures mission, with accommodations for 250 personnel and a large helicopter flight deck.

http://www.generaldynamics.com/news/press-releases/detail.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1811=19649

 

Lockheed Martin Selected To Continue Building MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems For U.S. Navy

Dec. 15, 2014 – The U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] a $235 million contract to continue building MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems (VLS) with options that, if exercised, would increase the value to $356 million.

The VLS fires a wide range of missiles, primarily off of U.S. Navy cruisers and destroyers. Since the first launcher rolled off of the Lockheed Martin production line in 1984, the systems have been combat proven with more than 3,800 successful firings worldwide, deployment by the U.S. and 12 allied navies on nearly 200 ships representing 21 ship classes. 

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/december/141215-mst-lm-selected-to-continue-building-mk41-vertical-launching-systems-vls.html

 

MBDA’s Sea Ceptor selected for Brazilian Navy’s next generation corvette programme

The Brazilian Navy has selected MBDA’s Sea Ceptor to provide the local area air defence for its next generation Tamandaré class corvettes. After the UK’s Royal Navy (RN) and the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN), Brazil’s is now the third navy to have chosen Sea Ceptor. With discussions also well advanced with other leading navies around the world, Sea Ceptor is rapidly establishing a significant user community.

Sea Ceptor provides all-weather, night and day, 360° local area air defence coverage against multiple simultaneous targets including sea-skimming anti-ship missiles, helicopters and fast combat jets., and is also capable of engaging surface targets. 

http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/#/news/3450

 

Rheinmetall to supply the US Marine Corps and Navy with screening smoke munitions 

16 Dec 2014 - The Department of the Navy recently announced the award of three framework contracts worth a total of $127.8 million (€95.7 million) to American Rheinmetall Munitions, Inc. (ARM) – a wholly owned US subsidiary of Germany’s Rheinmetall Defence AG – for advanced infantry and screening smoke munitions.

The three framework contracts, one for the M1110 40 x 46mm day/night training cartridge and two for 66mm vehicle-launched screening smoke grenades, are all five-year, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts running through FY 2019. In June 2014 ARM received delivery orders under these frame contracts totalling $26.2 million (€19.1 million). An additional $6.8 million (€5.0 million) relates to a recent order for 66mm screening smoke munitions. The 40mm ammunition ordered by the US military will be produced at the American Rheinmetall Munitions plant in Camden, Arkansas, with the first deliveries scheduled to take place in mid FY 2015. Production of the 66mm grenades ordered by both the USMC and USN will take place in Neuenburg, Germany.

The M1110 is the world's first 40 x 46mm low-velocity (LV) cartridge specially designed to enable infantry forces to conduct live fire training at night. The projectile of the M1110 contains two distinct chemiluminescent marking agents made by Cyalume Technologies which together are able to mark the impact point of the fired projectile with a signature that is visible at day and at night, either with the naked eye or night vision devices. It thus eliminates the need for high explosive rounds in order to observe the impact point. This low-cost, night marking capability was developed for the US Marine Corps (USMC), and allows Marine infantry units to train during all weather and all range conditions, since the non-toxic, environmentally safe marking payloads of the M1110 contain no energetic or flammable materials that could create an unexploded ordnance hazard or a range fire. The M1110 has already been qualified for US military service by the Marine Corps.

The US government has awarded two contracts to ARM for Rheinmetall 66mm smoke grenades. For the first award, the USMC will be ordering additional quantities of the MK 1 MOD 0 version of the 66mm grenade, a grenade that is already qualified and in-service with the Marines. The second contract was awarded by the Department of the Navy, and will encompass work on a new version of the MK 1 66mm grenade specifically designed to be deployed and function over water. This new version of the grenade uses a slightly modified MK 1 design that carries an RP formula optimized for screening small boats operating in “brown water” and littoral environments. 

http://www.rheinmetall-defence.com/en/rheinmetall_defence/public_relations/news/archive_2014/details_6784.php

 

Nammo Talley awarded contract to supply the M72 Light Assault Weapon (LAW) to the U.S. Department of Defense

5 Jan, 2015 - The multi-year indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract specifies M72 LAW variants for anti-armor and anti-structure missions, as well as sub-caliber training systems and other support services. The first delivery order against the contract has already been placed and exceeds $25 million. The maximum value of the four-year contract is approximately $63 million, but is contingent upon the total quantity of options exercised.

Nammo Talley, is the only manufacturer of man-portable, unguided, shoulder launched munitions (SLM) in the United States. The company has produced over 350,000 LAWs for U.S. and allied military forces. Program management and final assembly of the energetic rounds will occur at Nammo Talley’s headquarters in Mesa, Arizona, while inert launcher fabrication will take place primarily in Davidsville, Pennsylvania.

http://www.nammo.com/news-and-events/news/nammo-awarded-contract-for-shoulder-launched-munitions/

 

BAE Systems Awarded Contract worth up to $1.2B for Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle Program

Tuesday 23 December 2014 - The program aims to provide the U.S. Army with a highly survivable and mobile fleet of vehicles that addresses a critical need to replace the Vietnam-era M113s.

The initial award is for a 52-month base term, valued at approximately $383 million, during which BAE Systems will produce 29 vehicles across each of the variants. The award also provides an option to begin the LRIP phase immediately following the current EMD phase, at which time the company would produce an additional 289 vehicles for a total contract value of $1.2 billion.

See more at: http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_178516/bae-systems-awarded-contract-to-begin-armored-multi-purpose-vehicle-program

 

US Army invites proposals for JAGM, the Hellfire successor

The US Army has released a Request for Proposals for the Engineering (EMD) and development of the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) – new air/ground missile designed to replace the current air-launched BGM-71 TOW, AGM-114 Hellfire and AGM-65 Maverick missiles. The US Army will offer the winner options for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP), toward fulfilling the Army and Navy plan to buy thousands JAGM missiles.  Per the January 2015 Army RFP, they plan to award the contract in August this year.  Note that at present, international companies are excluded from the JAGM program.

http://defense-update.com/20150204_jagm-2.html#.VNTAp_7wuJA

 

Technology

Aerojet Rocketdyne Successfully Demonstrates 3D Printed Rocket Propulsion System for Satellites 

Dec. 15, 2014 - Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120™ CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System™ (CHAMPS™). The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief Technologist's Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development and awarded out of NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center. The test was conducted in Redmond, Washington.

The MPS-120 contains four miniature rocket engines and feed system components, as well as a 3D‑printed titanium piston, propellant tank and pressurant tank. The MPS-120 is designed to be compatible with both proven hydrazine propellant and emerging AF-M315E green propellant. The system is upgradable to the MPS-130™ green propellant version through a simple swap of the rocket engines. The entire system fits into a chassis about the size of a coffee cup.

"Demonstrating the speed at which we can manufacture, assemble and test a system like this is a testament to the impact that proper infusion of additive manufacturing and focused teamwork can have on a product," said Ethan Lorimor, MPS-120 project engineer at Aerojet Rocketdyne. "The demonstration proved that the system could be manufactured quickly, with the 3D printing taking only one week and system assembly taking only two days."

The MPS-120 demonstrated more than five times the required throughput on the engine and several full expulsions on the propellant tank. This demonstration test brought the system to Technology Readiness Level 6 and a Manufacturing Readiness Level 6.     While the MPS-120 is Aerojet Rocketdyne's first 3D-printed integrated propulsion system, the company has previously conducted several successful hot-fire tests on 3D-printed components and engines. Those tests include an advanced rocket engine Thrust Chamber Assembly using copper alloy AM technology in October 2014; a series of tests on a Bantam demonstration engine built entirely with AM in June 2014; and a series of tests in July 2013 on a liquid-oxygen/gaseous hydrogen rocket injector assembly designed specifically for additive manufacturing.

http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne-successfully-demonstrates-3d-printed-rocket-propulsion-system-satellites

 

ATK Completes Installation of World's Largest Solid Rocket Motor for Ground Test

Jan. 22, 2015-- NASA and ATK have completed installing the first Space Launch System booster qualification motor, QM-1, in a specialized test stand in Utah. The largest solid rocket motor ever built for flight, QM-1 is now being prepared for its static-fire test, which is scheduled for March 11.

For this test, QM-1 is being conditioned to 90 degrees to test its higher temperature capabilities against the required temperature range. Lying horizontally in the test stand, the motor is 154 feet in length and 12 feet in diameter. When fired, QM-1 will produce 3.6 million pounds of maximum thrust. The full-scale motor test will further improve the safety, technology and knowledge of solid rocket motors.

The five-segment rocket motor in conjunction with four RS-25 engines will propel NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) off the launch pad . The SLS, along with NASA's Orion spacecraft, provides a flexible deep space exploration platform to take humans and cargo to multiple destinations across our solar system.

Orion successfully experienced its first flight test in December, orbiting twice around the earth and flying as far away as 3,600 miles, – more than 15 times farther than the International Space Station and farther than a human spaceflight vehicle has traveled in 40 years. The first test flight of SLS, called Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), is just a few years away. EM-1 will use two of ATK's five-segment solid rocket motors.

Recent milestones include:

  • EFT-1 (Orion) flight test (Dec. 5, 2014)

  • Launch abort motor igniter test (Sep. 30, 2014)
  • Booster Critical Design Review (August 7, 2014)

http://www.atk.com/

 

U.S. Navy Approves F/A-18 Super Hornet IRST System for Production

Jan. 22, 2014 The F/A-18 Super Hornet infrared search and track (IRST) system, developed and integrated by Boeing  and Lockheed Martin, received approval from the U.S. Navy to enter low-rate initial production.     .  The long-range IRST21 sensor uses infrared search and track technology to detect, track and enable the Super Hornet to engage threats with air-to-air weapons.   In addition to detecting airborne threats, IRST significantly enhances multiple target resolution compared to radar, providing greater discrimination of threat formations at longer ranges.

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2015/january/mfc-012115-us-navy-approves-fa18-super-hornet-irst-system-production.html

 

U.S. Air Force Approves Full Rate Production for Lockheed Martin’s JASSM®-ER

Dec. 15, 2014 – The U.S. Air Force has approved full rate production for Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER).  JASSM-ER successfully completed U.S. Air Force Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) flight testing in 2013. During IOT&E, the program had a 95 percent success rate, scoring 20 successes in 21 flights. Lots 11 and 12 of the JASSM contract awarded in December 2013 included 100 ER missiles.

Armed with a dual-mode penetrator and blast-fragmentation warhead, JASSM and JASSM-ER cruise autonomously day or night in all weather conditions. Both missiles share the same capabilities and stealthy characteristics, though JASSM-ER has more than two-and-a-half times the range of the baseline JASSM for greater standoff margin. These 2,000-pound cruise missiles employ an infrared seeker and Global Positioning System receiver to dial into specific target aimpoints.

The JASSM-ER is integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s B-1B. JASSM is integrated on the U.S. Air Force’s B-2, B-52, F-16, F-15E, and internationally, on the Royal Australian Air Force’s F/A-18A/B.  More than 1,500 JASSM cruise missiles have been assembled for testing and operational use toward a total U.S. Air Force objective of 4,900. 

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/december/121214-mfc-us-air-force-production-lockheedmartin-jassm-er.html

 

US Navy approves multi-role SM-6 for use on more ships

Jan. 14, 2015  The U.S. Navy authorized ships in the Aegis Combat Weapon System baselines 5.3 and 3.A.0 series to carry the Raytheon Company Standard Missile-6. The authorization expands the missile's use from five ships to more than 35 ships.

Raytheon has delivered more than 130 missiles to the U.S. Navy, which deployed SM-6 for the first time in December 2013.   SM-6 is a surface-to-air supersonic missile capable of successfully engaging manned and unmanned aerial vehicles and fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. It also defends against land-attack and anti-ship cruise missiles in flight.

http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/2015-01-14-US-Navy-approves-multi-role-SM-6-for-use-on-more-ships

 

SAAB and Polish Navey's Orkan Fast Attack Craft Conduct Successful Acceptance Test of the RBS15 Mk3 missiles

20 January 2015  Saab and the Polish Navy have conducted a successful commissioning and sea acceptance test  of the RBS15 Mk3 onboard the Orkan-class fast attack craft. The tests were part of Saab’s 2006 contract with Poland for the delivery of RBS15 Mk3 missiles, and their installation on the Orkan-class ships.

Testing included a simulated missile firing exercise, and concluded with sea trials when the ship carried its full complement of eight missiles. With the RBS15 Mk3, Poland now has an anti-ship missile that can defeat targets at a range of more than 200 km, in all weather conditions. The two remaining Orkan class ships: Piorun and Grom, are scheduled to undergo similar systems tests later in 2015.

http://www.saabgroup.com/en/About-Saab/Newsroom/Press-releases--News/2015---1/Successful-RBS15-Mk3-Sea-Acceptance-Test-for-Polish-Navys-Orkan-Fast-Attack-Craft/

 

A Complex Firing Of MBDA’s Aster 30 Successfully Carried Out At DGA Missile Test Centre

15 February 2015 In a French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) Press Release, the missile test division of the DGA (French Defence Procurement Agency) carried out a complex test firing of the Aster 30 air defence missile on behalf of the French Navy at its Levant test centre. The firing scenario of the Aster 30 training missile launched from the Chevalier Paul air defence frigate involved an air target pursuing a friendly aircraft. The purpose of the test was to prove Aster 30’s ability to discriminate and intercept when dealing with two interlinked radar tracks.

This elaborate scenario, created for the French Navy in cooperation with DGA Naval Technology and DGA Information Management, and using an instrumented training missile, allowed technical data to be collected giving precise details of the missile’s final interception phase.  In addition to the main priority which was the safety of both personnel and property within a complex scenario that put three fast moving objects in flight, one of which was a missile fitted with measuring instrumentation, the challenge met by the DGA was to have two Mirach targets flying in close proximity to each other.  

http://www.mbda-systems.com/mediagallery/#/news/3459

 

Brazil Developing Homemade Missile For Gripen NG Fighters

February 3, 2015  Brazilian Air Force announced last week that it has been developing homemade air-to-air missile, A-Darter by partnering with South Africa's Denel Corp. The missile is said to be 90% ready and is expected to be ready for manufacturing in 2016. Brazilian companies Mectron, Avibras and Optoelectronics have already received technology transferred by South Africa’s Denel. 

The partnership for the project began in 2006 and the goal is to produce the missile for future exports. The maximum range is 12 kilometers.  Brazil had bought Gripen NG Fighter from Sweden last year and will manufacture some of them at home with technology from SAAB. 

A-Darter Air-to-Air missile Photo Credit:Defense Industry Daily. 

http://www.defenseworld.net/news/12076/Brazil_Developing_Homemade_Missile_For_Gripen_NG_Fighters#.VNNYUP7wuJA

 

Raytheon, Bell conduct first missile launch from V-22

Dec. 16, 2014  Raytheon Company and Bell Helicopter completed two successful launches of the Griffin B missile from a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey multi-mission aircraft at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona. As an industry funded effort with Bell's Xworx, Raytheon demonstrated the simplicity of integrating the Griffin B missile onto the V-22 platform.

Bell flight test crews launched two Griffin B missiles, scoring direct hits from both hover mode and during conversion mode at 110 knots. The results highlight the Griffin B's ability to engage static and moving targets through a significant range of launch speeds. The Griffin B missile has off-axis launch capability, allowing aircrews to strike targets to the left or right of the aircraft flight path.

The Griffin A (AGM-176A) is an aft-eject missile designed for employment from platforms such as the C-130 aircraft. The Griffin B (BGM-176B) is a forward-firing missile capable of launching from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, ground-launch applications and maritime platforms. The Griffin missile is 43 inches long, weighs 33 pounds, has a 13-pound warhead, and is in production today. Griffin enables the warfighter to engage targets using GPS coordinates exclusively or with laser designation. The user can choose to engage the target with direct attack or high impact angle and has the option of using height of burst, point detonation or delayed fuzing.

http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/2014-12-16-Raytheon-Bell-conduct-first-missile-launch-from-V-22

 

Typhoon fitted with Brimstone missile for the first time

Friday 12 December 2014  The trial fit is an important milestone in demonstrating the integration of the missile with the aircraft and follows the successful completion of an initial £5M study contract awarded to us by the UK’s Ministry of Defence earlier this year.  The trials are helping to pave the way for Brimstone 2 integration for the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) by 2018.  
Six Brimstone missiles were fitted to the aircraft, each wing carrying a launcher with three missiles. Training missiles were used for the purposes of the trial and demonstrated that the weapon can be fitted to the aircraft.  The aircraft was also fitted with two Paveway IV precision guided bombs, showing the baseline Phase 3 Enhancements Air-to-Surface configuration ..  

Progress is also being made across a number of weapons programmes including the award of a full integration contract for the Storm Shadow weapon and further trials to fully integrate the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-To-Air missile.  In addition an EUR1bn contract to develop and fit the Captor E-Scan radar was signed on 19 November which will give Typhoon one of the most advanced radar systems in the world, providing a wider field of regard than any other combat aircraft.  

See more at:

http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_178325/typhoon-fitted-with-brimstone-missile-for-the-first-time?_afrLoop=1208469639190000&_afrWindowMode=0&_afrWindowId=null#!%40%40%3F_afrWindowId%3Dnull%26_afrLoop%3D1208469639190000%26_afrWindowMode%3D0%26_adf.ctrl-state%3Da1j3ups5p_646

 

First Military Grade 12-micron Thermal Weapon Sight Unveiled

19 January 2015 - BAE Systems today unveiled its first-to-market 12-micron thermal imaging technology that significantly improves the effectiveness of thermal weapon sights. The company’s Universal Thermal Clip-On version XII (UTC® XII) is the first military-grade thermal weapon sight to include the new 12-micron technology, which greatly reduces lens size, total system weight, and battery use, while delivering improved image quality.

Similar to the 17-micron Universal Thermal Clip-On, which is currently fielded by the U.S. military in support of long-range sniper and surveillance missions, the UTC XII will also complement existing day sight systems. This versatility allows users to rapidly move from day to night vision with no mission interruption.

The UTC XII allows the user to detect, recognize, and identify threats in all weather conditions, day or night, and provides the ability to simultaneously observe the target area through fog, smoke, dust, and haze to provide superior situational awareness. The company plans to integrate 12-micron technology into its full line of thermal imaging and aiming monoculars, weapon sights, and binoculars.  AE Systems will publicly display the UTC XII, in conjunction with its distribution partners TSSI and Source One, at the upcoming SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_179153/first-military-grade-12-micron-thermal-weapon-sight-unveiled

 

U.S. Army missile-fighting radar blimp airborne on East Coast

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md., Dec. 27, 2014 - For the first time, the U.S. Army lofted a blimp equipped with a new cruise-missile and drone-fighting radar system high above rural Maryland. The system, made by Raytheon and known as JLENS, consists of two helium-filled aerostats, or tethered blimps, that float 10,000 feet above the ground and carry powerful radars.

"JLENS is strategically emplaced to help defend Washington D.C. and a Texas-sized portion of the East Coast from cruise missiles, drones and hostile aircraft," said Dave Gulla, vice president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems' Global Integrated Sensors business. "JLENS can detect potential threats at extremely long ranges, giving North American Aerospace Defense Command more time to make decisions and more space to react appropriately."

As part of the deployment, Raytheon engineers raised one of the football-field sized aerostats thousands of feet in the air and conducted a series of tests to ensure it was operating as designed.  The company will continue to test and integrate the radar for several more days, then turn the first JLENS balloon over to Soldiers of the U.S. Army.

The second aerostat is scheduled to go aloft in early 2015.  Following a series of additional tests, it will also be turned over to the Soldiers, who will conduct an operational exercise with JLENS.  During the exercise, information from JLENS will be used by NORAD, the U.S.-Canadian organization charged with aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for North America.  The 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, which is responsible for defending the airspace over the National Capital Region, will also use information from JLENS.

Another JLENS system is in strategic reserve, ready to be deployed anywhere in the world at the request of combatant commanders, should they require comprehensive cruise missile defense capability.

About JLENS

A JLENS system, known as an orbit, consists of ground equipment and an integrated radar system on two tethered, 80-yard aerostats, which fly at altitudes of 10,000 feet above sea level and remain aloft and operational for 30 days. This capability better enables commanders to defend against threats including cruise missiles, drones, and aircraft.  JLENS also provides ascent phase detection of tactical ballistic missiles and large-caliber rockets.  

http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/2014-12-27-First-U-S-Army-missile-fighting-radar-blimp-airborne-on-East-Coast

 

Raytheon Gallium Nitride Technology Validated For Space Applications

Dec. 17, 2014  Raytheon Company has successfully validated its GaN Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) technology for use in space-bound equipment.  Raytheon GaN MMICs, fabricated at its Andover, Massachusetts foundry, demonstrated the radiation hardness required for space through Single Event Burn-out (SEB) and Total Ionizing Dose (TID) testing.  The results showed the devices are not susceptible to catastrophic failure caused by heavy ions. Further testing showed no loss of performance at exposure levels up to 1Mrad, significantly more than is needed for typical space applications. http://raytheon.mediaroom.com/2014-12-17-Raytheon-Gallium-Nitride-Technology-Validated-For-Space-Applications

GaN-based components are more than five times more powerful than semiconductors presently used in radars and other types of sensors resulting in lighter, more capable electronics.  In 2013, Raytheon was honored by Office of the Secretary of Defense for successfully completing a Defense Production Act Title III GaN production improvement program, culminating more than a decade of government and Raytheon investment in GaN RF circuit technology.

Raytheon also demonstrated that GaN technology reliability exceeded the requirement for insertion into production military systems. This maturation of GaN resulted in a Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) production capability of “8,” the highest level obtained by any organization in the defense industry for this technology.  MRL is a measure used by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and many of the world's major companies to assess the maturity of manufacturing readiness. 

http://www.raytheon.com/news/feature/rtn14_gan_fifteen_yrs.html

 

Navy Considering Railgun for Third Zumwalt Destroyer

USNI article by: Sam LaGrone  February 5, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Engineering studies to include an electromagnetic railgun on a Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG-1000) have started at Naval Sea Systems Command.  The work will determine if the Zumwalt-class will have the space, power and cooling to field a railgun – likely replacing one of the two 155mm BAE Advanced Gun Systems (AGS) ahead of the ship’s deck house.

The likely candidate for the weapon would be the third planned Zumwalt, Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) currently under construction at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works with an expected delivery date of 2018.

The Navy is in early stages of testing and fielding a railgun – which forgoes the gunpowder in the shells of conventional naval guns and instead uses high powered electromagnetic pulses along a set of rails to shoot a projectile at super sonic speeds.

An electromagnetic railgun prototypes on display aboard the USS Millinocket in port at Naval Station San Diego, Calif. US Navy Photo     The Navy plans to test a BAE Systems prototype railgun onboard the Joint High Speed Vessel USNS Millinocket (JHSV- 3) next year. 

The Zumwalts would be likely used as test beds for emerging technologies like railguns and directed energy weapons the Navy wants for its next large surface combatant due to the ship’s size an ability to generate power.  The integrated power system on the 16,000-ton ships– powered by two massive Rolls Royce MT-30 gas turbines and two smaller Rolls-Royce RR450– allow the ships to route and generate 80 mega-watt power – much more electrical power than the current crop of U.S. destroyers and cruisers.

The three ship Zumwalt-class were – in part – originally designed to address a gap in naval surface fire support with the AGS firing the Long-Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) at a range of up to 75 nautical miles. Each ship is designed to field two AGS. 

http://news.usni.org/2015/02/05/navy-considering-railgun-third-zumwalt-destroyer

 

BAE Systems takes pride in HMAS Canberra’s Australia Day role

SYDNEY, Australia: The HMAS CANBERRA, the largest ship ever built for the Royal Australian Navy, a Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) weighing in at 27,000 tons, will be centre stage at this weekend’s Australia Day celebrations in Sydney.

HMAS Canberra, is one of two Landing Helicopter Dock ships being produced for the Royal Australian Navy under the LHD Program, and was delivered at the Williamstown (Victoria) Shipyard in September last year. 

http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_179175/bae-systems-takes-pride-in-hmas-canberra’s-australia-day-role

 

BAE Systems Applied Intelligence reveals top five predictions for 2015   

Wednesday 7 January 2015 - Based on its work this year in the fields of cyber security and financial crime, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence believes the following will be the top five predictions for the digital criminality landscape in 2015.

  1. Fragmentation of cyber criminal activities will pose new challenge to detection and investigation;

  2. We will enter a period of ‘hyper regulation’

  3. The arrival of the next industrial revolution will be accelerated by building in security from the start;

  4. The art of attribution will be impacted by deception efforts;

  5. 2015 will be crunch time for Big Data.

http://www.baesystems.com/article/BAES_178892/bae-systems-applied-intelligence-reveals-top-five-predictions-for-2015

 

And finally, the US Office of Naval Research Science and Technology Strategy has released the Naval S&T strategy document.   It’s identifies and aligns capability gaps to nine S&T focus areas listed below, and defined in the documents Appendix A:

  • Assure Access to Maritime Battlespace

  • Autonomy and Unmanned Systems

  • Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare

  • Expeditionary and Irregular Warfare

  • Information Dominance - Cyber

  • Platform Design and Survivability

  • Power and Energy

  • Power Projection and Integrated Defense

  • Warfighter Performance

In the foreword by Rear Admiral Winter “basic research conducted in the 1960’s at NRL on gallium nitride-based electronics is now the foundation of next-generation radars for our warfighting platforms. In 2014, a new prototype laser cannon was successfully deployed aboard the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf, and rapid progress in the  electromagnetic railgun, a revolutionary advancement in naval gun technology, will enable early testing on a ship at sea in 2016. Both lasers and railguns are high-powered precision electric weapons that will  transform how we employ warships, support forces ashore and deliver power projection to meet modern security challenges more cost effectively.”  I note that the majority of these topics that have been mentioned in recent MSIAC newsletters.  The US document can be found in the MSIAC database, or downloaded from http://news.usni.org/2015/02/05/document-office-naval-research-strategy.