Monthly Archives: April 2013

    3686802_sThe IDF today called to service 2000 reservists in what is defined as a “sudden drill”.

    The reservists will be in northern Israel until the end of the week.

    The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) are on the highest alert today as the civil war in Syria moved to another “dangerous phase”.

    The main Israeli concern is the huge stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) owned by the Assad regime.

    The alert has put the Israeli Airforce (IAF) on the highest alert with a “massive array” of sensors directed to the suspected areas.

    According to reports from Syria, at least one such weapon was used a few days ago in clashes between army and rebel forces.

    The United States said it was evaluating allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria, but dismissed charges that the opposition had used such weapons in the two-year-old conflict.

    The IDF officially announced that at least in one instance, on March 19, the Syrian used chemical weapons against civilians.

    The Syrian government and rebels accused each other of launching a deadly chemical attack near the northern city of Aleppo.

    Israel has been following the “Moves” of the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal in recent months.

    Sources in the IAF expressed a deep concern about the Syrian stockpile of chemical warfare materials and said that any sign of an intention to use it against Israel will be met with a “fierce reaction”

    The Syrian army has a big stockpile of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and Israeli intelligence sources said in the past that some were put in warheads of the Syrian Scud-D ballistic missiles.

      Elbit Systems will supply electro-optical observation and surveillance systems for the Brazilian border security program known as ‘SISFRON‘. The systems will be delivered by AEL International Ltd., a subsidiary of AEL Sistemas S.A., which is a Brazilian subsidiary of Elbit Systems. The contract was awarded by Savis Tecnologia e Sistemas S.A, a subsidiary of Embraer Defesa & Security which is the prime contractor and integrator for the SISFRON.

      The company said the systems will be supplied within a year, starting in 2014, as part of the first phase of the Brazilian multi-year “Sisfron” Integrated Border Monitoring System. In addition, as part of the program, Elbit Systems will be making investments in Brazil in terms of assets, infrastructure and know-how in optronics.

      Mr. Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, Elbit Systems’ President and CEO, commented: “We see great importance in this award, marking a breakthrough for our electro-optic activities in Brazil, which is a significant market for Elbit Systems. Sisfron is a global leading and very unique border security project, and we are very proud to be involved in it. This is yet an additional opportunity for our Brazilian companies to provide our advanced technologies, this time in the field of observation, in Brazil, a country that values unique, cutting edge technology in every field of operation”.

        Iron Curtain APS installed for the government sponsored test on an M-ATV. Photo: Artis

        Iron Curtain APS installed on a M-ATV for the government sponsored Live Fire test. Photo: Artis

        The Iron Curtain active protection system (APS) for protected vehicles has recently passed a successful test series on board a Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) prototype developed by BAE Systems for U.S. government testing. Artis is a member of the BAE Systems GCV team.

        Keith Brendley, CEO Artis LLC.

        Keith Brendley, CEO Artis LLC.

         

        Two Ground Combat Vehicles (GCV) models, developed by BAE Systems / Northrop. Artis is a member of this team, responsible for APS. Photo: BAE Systems

        Two Ground Combat Vehicles (GCV) models, developed by BAE Systems / Northrop. Artis is a member of this team, responsible for APS. Photo: BAE Systems

        According to Keith Brendley, CEO of Artis, LLC, developer of Iron Curtain, the system performed flawlessly during the month long tests, defeating all shots directed at the vehicle through a highly demanding test series. “We proved not only that Iron Curtain defeats threats and saves lives, but the risk from collateral damage is minimal, especially when compared with the alternative.” Brendley said the Iron Curtain has proved itself as a mature APS solution, capable of defeating a wide range of threats required for GCV survivability. At present the Army does not require an APS for its future GCV.

        “In addition to these compelling test results, Iron Curtain has an approved safety architecture as unanimously recommended by the Joint Services Weapons Safety Review Board. These accomplishments along with our cost studies show that this system is affordable and ready to integrate today,” said Brendley.

        Iron Curtain intercepts threats such as rocket-propelled grenades few inches from the protected vehicle, rendering them inert, even if the threat was fired from extremely close range. Iron Curtain uses two independent sensors – radar and optical, coupled with high-speed processor and effectors surrounding the protected vehicle, providing a protective curtain. The system’s radar was developed by Mustang Technology Group in Plano, Texas under a parallel sensor program at DARPA. Brendley said the Iron Curtain can also work with other radars available in the market.

        “In addition to these compelling test results, Iron Curtain has an approved safety architecture as unanimously recommended by the Joint Services Weapons Safety Review Board. These accomplishments along with our cost studies show that this system is affordable and ready to integrate today,” said Brendley. He added that Iron Curtain can be configured to cover 360 degree hemisphere, protecting from multiple attacks by horizontal or top-attack threats.

        According to Mark Signorelli, Vice President and General Manager Vehicle Systems, BAE Systems Land and Armaments, Iron Curtain was selected for the test because of its test history, maturity, robust capability against many types of threats, and safety to personnel outside the vehicle.

        Commentary: for Members only

        Iron Curtain defeats an RPG. The system was developed under a DARPA sponsored technology demonstration phase.

        Iron Curtain defeats an RPG. The system was developed under a DARPA sponsored technology demonstration phase.

         

        Israeli officials at a ceremony in Kiel, Germany to receive a Dolphin-Class submarine. Photo: IDF.

        Israeli officials at a ceremony in Kiel, Germany to receive a Dolphin-Class submarine. Photo: IDF.Received 

        Israel received today the fifth Dolphin-Class submarine in an official ceremony in Kiel, Germany. MOD Director General, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Udi Shani; Commander of the Navy, Rear Admiral Ram Rothberg; in addition to other high ranking Israeli officials and their German counterparts inaugurated the fifth Dolphin Class submarine. This ceremony signaled the end of a lengthy process led by the Procurement Administration of the Ministry of Defense and the Israeli Navy.

        “INS Rahav” will arrive in Israel during the course of 2013, upon the completion and installation of its relevant systems.  It is considered one of the most advanced and sophisticated submarines in the world, and will be Israel’s most expensive piece of military equipment. Israel’s first three Dolphin-class submarines are believed to be some of the most advanced diesel-electric submarines in the world. The fourth submarine Tanin, the first of the new generation Dolphin II subs, was delivered about a year ago, on May 2012.

        Germany donated the first two submarines after the First Gulf War and split the cost of the third with Israel. The fourth was received last year. In March 2012, Israel signed a contract for a sixth submarine, meaning that by the end of the decade the navy will have doubled its fleet.

        The Rahav submarine is extremely versatile with a range of capabilities enabling it to adapt to a multitude of missions. The submarines are the multiplier force of the Israeli Navy, the IDF, and the State of Israel.

        As the prime contractor HDW was responsible for development, construction and integration of all Dolphin class submarines and the advanced combat systems with which the vessel is equipped. The acquisition of the three submarines is estimated to cost about US$1.5 billion, with a third of the cost covered by German Government assistance.

        The new INS Rahav is seen here at the dry dock at Kiel, Germany. A German Navy Type 212 submarine berthed in front of the Rahav provides a size comparison between the two classes.

        The new INS Rahav is seen here at the dry dock at Kiel, Germany. A German Navy Type 212 submarine berthed in front of the Rahav provides a size comparison between the two classes.

        FBI Tactical team deployed to Boston, 2012. Team members' kits include the C4OPS, to offer clear communications and hearing protection on assault operations.

        FBI Tactical team deployed to Boston, 2012. Team members’ kits include the C4OPS, to offer clear communications and hearing protection on assault operations.

        Warfighters pay a high price for lack of auditory protection, but often they consider such price justified, for it keeps them sharp to react quickly and effectively, thus staying alive in combat. Beside the long-term effect suffered by the individual, implications of auditory damage effect on the team’s performance are also evident. Stunning effect of noise peaks in excess of 130db, often caused by explosions (friendly or hostile), severely degrade the team’s performance and expose the individuals to unnecessary risks.

        Auditory damage caused by blast effect

        Auditory damage caused by blast effect

        Auditory injuries are often caused by exposure to gunshots or explosions, particularly those experienced in close quarters and built-up areas or by IED blasts. When team members firing nearby, tank gun blasts, or explosive charges going off, warfighters experience excessive noises in combat, in situations they do not expect and therefore, cannot prepare for.

        Two Air National Guard Combat Controllers from the 125th Special Tactics Squadron help conduct airfield landings and take offs at Fort Carson, Colo.(Photo: Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, USAF)

        Two Air National Guard Combat Controllers wearing different types of helmets – MICH with cropped ear protection (front) and FAST (rear) both are worn with Peltor ComTac II earmuffs (Photo: Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, USAF)

        Immediately after an explosion, particularly those coming as a surprise, soldiers experience few seconds of shock, or incapacitation, their ears buzzing. Through this time they are vulnerable and exposed.

        According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, hearing loss is one of the most common type of disability reported by veterans and the second largest segment in compensation payments. The US Government spends over $1.1 billion annually on compensation to veterans with hearing losses caused mostly during service in combat.

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        “We must use all of our energy finishing development within the time and money we have, we must continue to drive the cost of producing F-35s down, and we must start today to attack the long term life cycle costs of the F-35 weapon system.” Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan have set these three goals in his testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s airland subcommittee Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

        Bogdan, the Program Executive Officer for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) told the committee the program has made progress, but obstacles still remain, in software integration, affordability and future operating and support costs. Sequestration further complicates the acquisition as well, he added.

        Sequestration has the potential either to stretch the development program out or reduce the capabilities warfighters can get, Bogdan said. By cutting funds from the program Sequestration is likely to stretch out, causing the more cost overruns for the troubled program that has just recently recovered from major delays and cost increases. “This will have impacts on international partners,” Bogdan warned. “The increases may result in reduction of their aircraft quantities, which would, in turn, increase unit costs even more and cause them to relook their commitment to the program” Bogdan said.

        Other topics addressed by Bogdan were:

        F-35 Program - Projected procurement Costs - Members can view larger images

        F-35 Program – Projected procurement Costs – GAO

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        The French President Francois Hollande will release a long-awaited update to the nation’s defense strategy Monday. Aviation Week reports. On a post in the Ares blog, Amy Svitak comments the document will outline France’s response to changes in the defense and security environment since 2008, when the most recent iteration of the strategy was issued under former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. 

        According to French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian three things have changed since the last white paper was issued in 2008: The evolution of American defense posture with a new orientation to the Asia-Pacific region; a need for European and other nations to clean up their finances; and a more focused push to create a common European defense policy.

        “The nation has to basically put its house together by ensuring budgetary independence, because when we have a colossal debt, and we do, we’re not sovereign,” he said. “But we have to maintain a defense posture equivalent to our place in the world. That’s the difficulty here.”“We do a white paper at moments of great evolution in our mission of security and defense for the nation,” Le Drian told French air force personnel on a recent visit at Avord air base. “We had a white paper when the deterrent force was decided. We had one when it was time to think about the professionalization of the army. We had another at the fall of the Berlin Wall, a period of historical change globally.”

          SatTrooper 1000

          Gilat Satellite Networks’ SatTrooper 1000. Photo: Gilat

          The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has selected Gilat Satellite Networks’ SatTrooper-1000 military Manpack Satellite Communications (SATCOM) terminal to equip combat units with advanced, beyond line of sight tactical communications. I-HLS reports

          The new terminal communicates data, video and telephony at broadband speeds, via a satellite link, thus overcoming distance or interference typically encounters in urban or mountainous operations.
          Read more on SatTrooper1000 in our Members Edition

          CV90 Armadillo Infantry Carrier

          Armadillo is a turretless version of CV90 with ballistic and mine protection which exceed Stanag 4a/b. Removal of the turret gives six tonnes of “spare” payload for further protection or other purposes on top of its “fighting configuration”. Photo: BAE Systems

          The Danish Army has received five Armadillo type armored infantry fighting vehicles for testing. Defense-Update reports. The vehicle is based on the CV90 chassis was configured by BAE Systems Sweden for protected infantry transport. Earlier in April BAE shipped the five vehicles to the Danish army Oksbol base for competitive evaluation. The tests, which begin in April and continue through September, will evaluate the new vehicle’s ability to meet Denmark’s armored personnel carrier requirement. BAE Systems is also offering the vehicle to other countries, among them Canada.

          Armadillo is a turretless version of CV90 with ballistic and mine protection which exceed Stanag 4a/b. Removal of the turret gives six tonnes of “spare” payload for further protection or other purposes on top of its “fighting configuration” while its state-of-the-art electronic architecture allows “plug and play” of new systems.

          The CV90 was originally designed by Hagglunds and was fitted with a Bofors gun turret. It came into service in 1993. The light tank variant of the vehicle, designated CV9035 MkIII infantry fighting vehicle is operational with the Danish Army since 2007. Denmark plans to replace its existing fleet of M113s and BAE Sweden is one of four contender for the program. Other options considered are the Piranha V from GDLS Europe and G5, yet another upgrade of the M-113, proposed by FFG, which will bring this old design to a new APC status. Denmark is expected to select its future APC variant in 10 months, around February 2014. First deliveries will commence in 2015.

          According to BAE Systems, Armadillo offers class-leading protection and optimum mission flexibility. Unlike the G5 or Piranha V, it will be produced on a ‘hot’ production line, with CV90 tanks built for Norway, therefore offer the benefit of production scale and shared costs. Moreover, CV90 platforms are currently operational with six existing operators, adding to the platform’s attractiveness as a low-risk solution, both for initial purchase and long-term sustainment and upgrade. The Danish contract requires the supplier to bind to support the fleet over a period of 15 years.

          Source: Defense-Update

          The Danish Army is already operating 45 CV9035DK infantry Fighting Vehicles. Photo: Danish Army

          The Danish Army is already operating 45 CV9035DK infantry Fighting Vehicles. Photo: Danish Army

          A new Pentagon assessment of Iran’s military power maintains that in two years time, Iran could flight-test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States, given “sufficient foreign assistance”, is provided to Tehran. The new assessment reiterated a longstanding estimate of the U.S. intelligence community. Iran could test such a missile by 2015 with assistance from nations like North Korea, China or Russia. Pyongyang is already in the process of developing the KN-08, an extended range ballistic missile that can reach the US West Coast. The missile’s range could be extended to provide the missile an intercontinental strike capability. Pyongyang and Tehran have been collaborating and exchanging technologies regarding ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons for many years; both countries are seeking to match the two technologies to acquire nuclear weapons delivery capabilities. U.S. experts agree that North Korea and Iran could be capable of developing and testing few ICBM class missiles based on liquid propellants, but doubt they could acquire solid-propelled weapons in the near future. The lengthy pre-flight procedures required for fuelling liquid-propelled missiles means that such weapons cannot be mass-fired without warning, as the shorter range missiles could, therefore, providing the defender time to respond, employ missile defense or conduct preemptive attack.

          An unclassified portion of the “Annual Report on Military Power of Iran,” dated January 2013 and made available by the Pentagon today, also states that Iran is continuing to develop both the “technological capabilities applicable to nuclear weapons” and “ballistic missiles that could be adapted to deliver nuclear weapons.” In December 2012 US sources were sceptical about Iran’s ability to reach such milestone by 2015. Tehran encountered a major obstacle in 2011, after an explosion killed 21 people during a test, among the casualties was Hasan Tehrani Moghaddam, who was in charge of the country’s missile program.

          The Defense Department adds that Iran “continues to develop technological capabilities applicable to nuclear weapons” and is “proceeding with uranium enrichment and heavy-water nuclear reactor activities in violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
          Iran “also continues to develop ballistic missiles that could be adapted to deliver nuclear weapons,” it states. Despite “increased pressure resulting from sanctions” imposed by the United Nations, there “has been no change to Iran’s national security and military strategies over the last year,” according to the report.

          In the past Iran was reportedly working on ‘Project Koussar’, a ballistic missile capable of reaching targets at ranges of 4000 – 5000 km. These missiles, sometime referred to as Shahab 5 and Shahab 6 were believed to be based on different propulsion used on the Shahab 3. Some sources indicated the Iranians were erlying on the RD-216 originally developed for the SS-5 IRBM and also used to with the Kosmos SL8 satellite launcher.
          James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence last month that “we do not know if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.” The U.S. government’s 17 intelligence agencies, according to Clapper, “judge Iran would likely choose a ballistic missile as its preferred method of delivering a nuclear weapon, if one is ever fielded,” he said in the U.S. intelligence community’s annual worldwide threat assessment. These missiles are capable of delivering a weapon of mass destruction, he said.

          “In addition, Iran has demonstrated an ability to launch small satellites, and we grow increasingly concerned that these technical steps — along with a regime hostile toward the United States and our allies — provide Tehran with the means and motivation to develop larger space-launch vehicles and longer-range missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile,” according to Clapper.

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