Israel Weapons Industries (IWI) knows that some armies want new advanced assault rifles but often are reluctant to change the ammunition. This is the reason for the development of an ACE version of its assault rifle that uses 7.62 ammunition. I-HLS reports
The ACE family of assault rifles is based upon the reliable mechanism of the famous GALIL assault rifle. The ACE incorporates enhanced human engineering and ergonomics with the demands of the modern battlefield.
According to IWI the ACE family of assault rifles offers the ultimate solutions for today’s modern warfare requirements of high accuracy and reliability. The ACE assault rifle is battle proven under the most extreme conditions worldwide. The new ACE 31 and the ACE 32 assault rifles use standard 7.62x39mm ammunition. This offers a practical solution for military forces seeking to modernize their weapon arsenal while retaining existing ammunition.
The modern design of ACE family assault rifles is comes in two lengths and offers up to four picatinny rails, enabling users to mount a wide array of optical devices and accessories. The air cooled, gas operated weapon fires 7.62x39mm ammunition using Standard 30 round AK type magazine. The rifle has a muzzle brake / jump compensator and telescopic or foldable butt.
The efficacy of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as an early warning mechanism against enemy sneaking in aboard hijacked or rogue vessels was demonstrated during Exercise Gemini-2, the second edition of integrated coastal defence drill for Kerala and Lakshadweep in India. i-hlsreports.
According to the Hindu the Israel aerospace industries (IAI) Heron and Searcher UAVs of the Navy’s air squadron No. 342 based at the Southern Naval Command in Kochi took to the skies relentlessly, picking out at least a few suspect vessels on each flight and alerting the defense forces to the threat.
“They proved quite useful in searching for rogue boats, which made it easy for us to instruct interceptor boats on patrol to check them out,” said a Navy officer. “Given the flight safety restrictions imposed by commercial aviation, they couldn’t be flown at high altitudes. But they did a good job,” he said.
While the highs and lows of the drill, conducted periodically to review security mechanism, can only be found out after a thorough debriefing, Gemini-2 showcased the near-impenetrability of the region’s coastal security, characterized by a robust network of static coastal sensors, surveillance data relayed by the UAVs and Dornier maritime reconnaissance aircraft, helicopters on watch, Navy, Coast Guard and Marine police.
INAS 342 ‘Flying Sentinels’ was the The first Indian Naval Air Squadron equipped with UAVs. UAVs were inducted into the Indian Navy in 2003 at INS Garuda and the squadron was formally commissioned as an operational unit in 2006 flying Heron and Searcher MK II UAVs. The Indian Navy was one of the first to operate unmanned aerial vehicles.
Canada’s military wants its next unmanned aircraft system to be capable of dropping search-and-rescue supplies in the Arctic and in other areas as it looks to expand UAS roles into activities formerly conducted by manned platforms.
According to UAS Vision, Canada plans to spend between CAN $1 billion (US $998 million) and $1.5 billion on a new fleet of UAS.
Lieutenant-General Yvan Blondin, head of the Royal Canadian Air Force, explained “I would like to have a UAS that can carry some equipment, whether it is weapons or other equipment, to be able, when it is patrolling the Arctic, to carry a search-and-rescue package that I can drop any time I want or need to,” Blondin said. “For UAS, we are looking at the requirement to work from home to be able to do maritime patrol, to do a bit of what the Auroras are doing and be able to patrol the coast,” he added. Aurora maritime surveillance aircraft are a variant of the US Navy’s P-3 Orion. UASs are also going to need greater range and endurance for long patrols, and “be our eyes in the sky in the Arctic”, said Blondin.
The Air Force did not respond to questions about whether it would be willing to fund research and testing into adding equipment transport capability to UAS. But a National Defense Department source said the Air Force hopes industry will provide solutions to Canada’s project to purchase the UAS, known as the Canadian Forces Joint UAV Surveillance and Target Acquisition System (JUSTAS). Adding additional weight for every mission of an unmanned mission is unlikely as the extra weight will reduce the volume of fuel carried on board, dramatically reducing mission endurance, increasing system’s wear (due to excessive takeoff and landing) and increasing the risk of losing aircraft (caused often by takeoff or landing)
The Air Force’s quest for leading-edge UAS technology has raised some concerns. John McKay, the defense critic for the opposition Liberal Party in the House of Commons, said he is worried that adding such a capability would further delay JUSTAS, which has already fallen years behind schedule.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said Israeli companies were behind 41 percent of all UAVs exported in 2001-11. Those Israeli exports went to 24 countries, including the United States. i-hlsreports.
That volume’s expected to expand as production costs are relatively low. Israeli industry officials boast that it’s significantly cheaper to buy an advanced UAV than it is to train an air force pilot.
“In recent years, there have been more pilotless sorties than piloted ones in the Israeli air force,” observed Ophir Shoham, an army reserve brigadier general who heads the Defense Ministry’s Research and Development division known by the Hebrew acronym Mafat.
Accordimg to Space war , Shoham, who’s had the job for three years, is responsible for the ministry’s program to develop advanced technology for rockets, missile interception, satellites and unmanned systems.
“Within a few years there will be a number of operational missions of a known character that we will be able to carry out with a small number of unmanned devices,” Shoham, the little-known “backroom boffin,” told the Israeli daily Haaretz in a rare interview.
“That’s the direction we’re taking,” he said. “Robots are not about to replace combat soldiers — that’s a bit far off — but yes, we’ll operate unmanned vehicles on the ground against highly dangerous targets.
“I refer to targets in enemy territory against which we can send such vehicles remotely, as a kind of forward guard — vehicles that both observe and shoot. We will witness this in the foreseeable future.”
Israel’s military has long used UAVs for intelligence-gathering operations in the fight against Palestinian militants and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The Israelis also pioneered the use of missile-armed drones to assassinate key militant leaders. But it was the Americans who developed UAVs like General Atomic’s MQ-1 Predator as killer drones in their war against al-Qaida since the attacks on the United States Sept. 11, 2001. The first such ‘targeted killing’ mission was in Yemen in November 2002.
Israel’s pioneering work with UAVs dates back to 1970. The first major combat role for the UAVs, namely an early variant called the Scout, was in the June 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The Israelis used Scouts from Israel’s first UAV unit, Squadron 200, as decoys to lure Syrian surface-to-air missiles sites in Lebanon, thinking the UAVs were combat aircraft, to lock on their radar systems, exposing their positions. Israeli warplanes knocked out all 19 batteries over a two-day period, during which Israeli fighters shot down 85 Syrian aircraft for no loss. The Scout was built by Israel Aircraft Industries, IAI’s original incarnation.
In addition to exports, Israeli defense firms set up subsidiaries in consumer countries “to target markets, rather than expand local manufacturing,” Israel’s Haaretz daily observed in 2009.
One example is the Aerostar and Orbiter 2M aerial drones being manufactured in Azerbaijan by Azad Systems Co., a joint venture between Israel’s Aeronautics and the Azeri Defense Ministry. Oil-rich Azerbaijan, which borders Iran, has become a key Israeli ally.
“There are three explanations for Israel’s success in becoming a world leader in development and production of UAVs,” a senior Israeli official told The Jerusalem Post. “We have unbelievable people and innovation, combat experience that helps us understand what we need and immediate operational use since we’re always in a conflict which allows us to perfect our systems.”
Shoham gets the last word. Developing the UAV, he says, “was one of Israel’s best investments. “It led to the development of a tremendous technological infrastructure in the country. It’s important to us to maintain our place in the forefront of world technology. “This is the key to development in the coming generations as well.”
The U.S. Air Force has been quietly developing and has finally fielded measures to counter interference and electronic attacks directed against satellite communications. i-hlsreports.
Brig. Gen. Roger Teague, Air Force Space Command’s strategic planner, noted during a speech at the 29th National Space Symposium earlier this month that the Rapid Attack Identification Detection Reporting System (RAIDRS) is fielded — one of several accomplishments for the command in 2012. RAIDRS is designed for “defensive counterspace,” or protecting satellite communications links by alerting operators to anomalies in signals in the C, Ku, X and UHF frequencies.
According to Aviation Week , Raidrs prototype, designed by Integral Systems of Lanham, Md., was in use in the Middle East since July 2005. The system included a series of antennas that could be used to locate an ellipsis of area where a jamming source could be located. Those antennas were deployed forward in U.S. Central Command and require protection.
But they proved the concept of monitoring satellite communications signals and detecting the source of interference. This mission has become more crucial as U.S. forces have been more dispersed through the battlefield and reliant on satellite communications. Because the military’s communications have inherent protection, Raidrs is focused on monitoring commercial satellite signals from the geosynchronous belt. The military relies heavily on these systems for operations abroad.
Now, however, the Air Force has fielded a more permanent system. The service now has a centralized operations center at Peterson AFB, Colo. Five transportable Raidrs Transportable Ground Segments (RTGS) are being strategically located at the following locations: Lualualei Naval Station, Hawaii; Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.; Misawa Air Base, Japan; Kapaun Air Station, Germany and an unidentified location in Central Command. “By placing on RTGS in Japan and another in Hawaii, we can monitor signals for [electro-magnetic interference] throughout the Pacific region,” according to a command spokeswoman.
ALthough the AGM-114R has been optimised for operation from UAVs, provided with a laser seeker with wider aspect angle, smokeless launch and multi-purpose warhead, according to Defense News the Air Force secretive Big Safari Groupis evaluating the British Brimstone missile as an alternative.
Brimstone was developed as a ‘fire and forget’ weapon, employing millimeter-wave seeker (similar to the Hellfire ‘Longbow’). However, unlike the Longbow, Brimstone was converted to integrate laser guidance in addition to the MMW seeker, providing post launch guidance and ‘man in the loop’ intervention, enabling operators to abort an attack after a missile is launch, or correct a missile that locks on the wrong target, thus prevent operational errors and engage targets in close proximity to friendly forces.
A US purchase would see the wheel come full circle for MBDA. Brimstone was originally developed based on the US-made Hellfire missile that it would replace. MBDA, Brimstone’s maker, declined to comment, referring all questions to the UK Defence Ministry. The US Air Force said it was unable to respond in time.
The 645th Aeronautical Systems Group, better known as “Big Safari,” is a rapid acquisition office for the US AIr Force, based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. The group is known for its work on unmanned and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems, and is widely credited with the decision to arm Predator drones for use in Afghanistan.
The use of armed drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere to take out high-value Taliban and al-Qaida leaders, UAVs like the Reaper have caused controversy, especially since the drone strikes often kill civilians, as well.
Doug Barrie, the senior air analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, said that having struggled to come up with a weapon of their own in this class, the US Air Force’s purchase of Brimstone would be an effective tool.
“Brimstone on Reaper, with its option for man-in-the-loop guidance, would give you all the benefits the weapon gives fixed-wing strike aircraft crews,” Barrie said. “It would be an effective quick fix, able to give Reaper users the added security of a dual-mode system that they don’t get on some other weapons. If the deal goes ahead, I wouldn’t be surprised if the [British Royal Air Force’s] Reaper force ends up being similarly equipped.”
“Brimstone is being used to great effect by the RAF’s Tornado Force in Afghanistan and was also invaluable during the successful air campaign in Libya.” said RAF Wing Commander Andy Turk, commander of IX (Bomber) Squadron “It is very popular with our air crews because of its flexibility, accuracy and reliability – they have real confidence that the weapon will deliver the effects required.” Turk led the initial Tornado operations over Libya and is currently deployed in Afghanistan.
While laser designation is effective in cluttered scenes, where targets are not easily separated from their surrounding, the MMW is considered effective against moving targets. MMW guidance techniques were developed in the late 80s and 90s, to enable outnumbered NATO forces to defeat numerically superior Russian and Warsaw Pact armor forces. The use of ‘fire and forget’ (MMW) in the current asymmetric warfare environment is limited due to the illusive nature of potential targets and lack of clear signature the missile can lock on (in short, absence of enemy tanks). Nevertheless, when circumstances provide such operation, such capability can contribute to operational flexibility, particularly in limited visibility conditions.
Brimstone is in service aboard Royal Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Forces’ Tornado strike fighters, It is expected to be integrated onto the Eurofighter Typhoon combat jet, but has not been deployed with the British Apaches or MQ-9 Reaper. MBDA also stated the weapon is suitable for integration on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The weapon came to prominence during the Libya campaign in 2011, when it was used to destroy targets hiding among houses without damaging the dwellings. It also has been successfully used for several years against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Royal Air Force chiefs revealed during the height of the Libyan campaign that the US and France had expressed an interest in Brimstone.
In January 2013 the British Ministry of Defense (MOD) has awarded MBDA £14 million to replenish the Brimstone missiles stocks used during the Libyan campaign, the contract will deliver hundreds new missiles. The British acquisition came weeks after the MOD contracted Raytheon £60 million for replenishing stocks of Paveway IV GPS/laser bombs.