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International MXT-MVA Extreme Armored Vehicle

August 15, 2006 The world’s most macho vehicle range has added an armoured variant in the form of the International MXT-MVA (Military Vehicle - Armored) shown for the first time yesterday at the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Grounds. The MXT-MVA is an all-terrain, armored wheeled vehicle platform designed to provide a new level of ballistics and blast protection on the battlefield and against the new threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). It is a derivative of the MXT 4x4 Pickup which makes an ideal base as it is so big that the crew cab can seat five sumo wrestlers with ease (providing one of them can drive) and the tray can carry a jet ski or a motorcycle with the tailgate up. Not surprisingly, the MXT-MVA can handle the weight of the armor with ease, especially over long distances, rugged terrain and when maneuverability is critical. Powered by a 300-horsepower International V8 diesel engine with 530 lb.-ft. of torque, additional armor does not adversely affect the vehicle's superior payload ability, towing capacity or durability. The cab can be configured to fit as many as six crew members in full gear, while the body of the MXT-MVA is versatile enough to accommodate an array of weapons, navigation and communications systems and applications such as convoy protection, field shelter, ambulance and communications units, which are seamlessly integrated with the company's proprietary multiplexed electrical system.  Read More

The Steerable Guided Gun Pod system

July 31, 2006 The Steerable Guided Gun Pod system is a vast improvement in capability for not much extra cost, as it enables the current non steerable, gun system (the last unguided weapon system used on modern aircraft), to be aimed very accurately without needing to direct the flight path of the aircraft towards the target. Modern aircraft guns are static (non steerable, or un-slaved) and require the pilot to fly the aircraft directly at the target. Accordingly, they have a poor hit rate and needlessly endanger the aircrew due to the requirements of close and slow flight pattern. The Steerable Guided Gun Pod system offers a steerable gun housed inside a rigid pod mounted on the aircraft's external store station. Barrel movement is controlled by the aircraft's Fire Control Computer (FCC) and system offers slaving capability to weapon sensors, such as Helmet Mounted Sight (HMS), RADAR, D.L and FLIR.  Read More

ThreatViewer enables you to see in all directions at once

July 24, 2006 It’s the one super ability which every security officer would choose first from SuperMan’s armoury of powers – to be able to see in all directions at once. As thousands gathered for Major League Baseball's All-Star game in Pittsburgh on July 11, a new technology known as ThreatViewer was being deployed for the first time that enables security personnel to do just that. Designed as a technology for critical asset protection and remote monitoring, ThreatViewer was used to enhance security surrounding the All-Star week events and monitor critical infrastructure in Pittsburgh. Typically in such circumstance, multiple cameras are utilized to monitor a location, each providing images within a narrow line of sight. ThreatViewer provides 360-degree, panoramic images from a single position, can be integrated with existing systems or used on a stand-alone basis and can be wireless or hardwired. Interestingly, developer Augusta Systems was recently awarded a US$750,000 grant to research automatic target recognition technology for UAVs. As the complexity of homeland security and military missions increase, both robotic vehicles and security systems will need the ability to instantly recognize relevant objects and behaviours on their own without the direction of human operators.  Read More

Paveway IV precision guided weapon tests successful

July 19, 2006 The Paveway IV dual-mode GPS/INS laser guided bomb moved a step closer to active service when it was successfully dropped from a Royal Air Force Harrier GR9 in a test over the U.K. Ministry of Defence’s Aberporth Range in Wales earlier this week. The Paveway IV is developed from the foundation of the combat-proven Enhanced Paveway II, the most widely used precision munition in Operation Iraqi Freedom, with more than 8,700 dropped so far. The Paveway IV offers expanded capabilities that include the highly lethal penetrating 500-pound MK82 warhead, height-of-burst sensor, advanced programmable fuze, in-weapon LAR (launch acceptability region) generation and advanced guidance algorithm that takes full advantage of the new warhead while maximising its fly-out performance. Paveway IV also features MEMS IMU (microelectro-mechanical space system inertial measurement unit) that provides required accuracy using a more compact, less expensive system. Also featured is the RAPToR (Raytheon Anti-jam Protection Technology Receiver), the most advanced military GPS technology available. Production deliveries are scheduled to begin in September and the unit is due to enter service with the British Royal Air Force in 2007.  Read More

Skyguard uses lasers to create a protective bubble that defends against rockets, missiles ...

July 14, 2006 Northrop Grumman unveiled its Skyguard laser-based air defense system yesterday offering near-term defense against short-range ballistic missiles, short- and long-range rockets, artillery shells, mortars, unmanned aerial vehicles and cruise missiles. Derived from the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL), one Skyguard system is capable of establishing a protective shield roughly 10 kilometres in diameter over an airport, military installation, small city or deployed forces.  Read More

Electric military vehicle system of the future

July 12, 2006 Swedish BAE Systems subsidiary Hagglunds AB offered a glimpse of the future of military land systems at the recent Eurosatory military equipment exhibition in Paris when it showed a completely reconfigurable electrical vehicle with interchangeable, specialized mission modules, and a choice of wheeled or tracked drives, both electrically driven. SEP has a low total weight of just 17 tonnes and an ingenious load changing system which enables a vehicle to be quickly refitted with specialized mission modules suitable for different tasks (from towing and ambulance through to troop carrier, rocket launcher, command centre, etc). The vehicle can run in stealth mode on the battery in complete silence and the electrical drive and electrical gearbox enable a number of new capabilities not possible with a traditional diesel power. For example, with the 6X6 configuration, the six wheels can be controlled individually which enables the vehicle to turn on the spot. An 8X8 version is under development and expected by the end of the year.  Read More

The electro-magnetic gun program gets US$14.7 million

July 7, 2006 The United States Navy has awarded two contracts for the development of an electro-magnetic gun system capable of deployment on board naval surface combatant ships. The development work preliminary design for an Electro-Magnetic (EM) railgun prototype and the preliminary design of the U.S Navy's 32 megajoule (MJ) Laboratory Launcher. An electro-magnetic railgun uses electrical energy to accelerate projectiles to extreme velocities. Railguns do not require powders or explosives to fire the round and therefore free magazine space for other mission areas. In addition, electro-magnetic guns provide a highly consistent and uniform explosive charge that gives much greater accuracy. Thirty-two megajoule is equivalent to a firing speed of Mach 8 or eight times the speed of sound. This will be an intermediate step on the road to a 64-MJ Tactical System capable of deployment on-board naval surface combatant ships.  Read More

New kit converts earthmovers to full remote control

July 7, 2006 If you're a remote control enthusiast seeking the ultimate toy, the birthday present wish list will become frightfully expensive by the end of this paragraph. Defence technology specialist QinetiQ has launched a range of Applique Robotic Kits (ARKs) that convert the current in-service military JCB 4CXM or Caterpillar CAT320B families of vehicles into fully integrated remote controlled units for use by the military in hazardous environments. Operators can be up to a kilometre away and don't even need to directly see the vehicle they are operating, but still have full control of it. By simply flicking a switch, existing vehicles can change between full remote or manual mode, immediately reducing potential dangers to the operators but still enabling it to be fully used for the tasks for which it was designed.  Read More

Cannon artillery to get precision guidance too

July 6, 2006 The advent of precision guided munitions has completely changed the battlefield inside a few decades. Once bombs were dropped in vast numbers, as each one had a small probability of hitting its target. once computers and advanced guidance entered the fray, bombs became deadly accurate. Now the artillery section is getting in on the act. BAE has received a contract from U.S. Army Combat Ammunition Systems to participate in a competitive technical development program of a Precision Guidance Kit for use with Army cannon artillery ammunition. The guidance kit is a low-cost system that will improve the accuracy of conventional 105 mm and 155 mm artillery projectiles. The BAE Systems-led team received the award after demonstrating a two-directional precision guidance kit solution referred to as the Course Correcting Fuze (CCF). The fitting of the low-cost CCF kit makes conventional cannon projectiles at least three times more accurate.  Read More

Airborne Laser demonstrates optical beam train

June 27, 2006 The United States’ Airborne Laser (ABL) program sounds so fantastic that it’s hard to believe that it’s on track to be operational within two years. ABL will feature the world's first megawatt-class laser weapon system integrated on a specially configured aircraft to autonomously detect, track and destroy all classes of hostile ballistic missiles at the speed-of-light. The ABL team and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) took a major step toward demonstrating the capability of ABL this week by successfully firing surrogate lasers from inside the aircraft. The high-energy laser, which achieved lethal power and run-times in a ground laboratory, will be installed in the ABL aircraft in 2007 to prepare for the program's first missile shoot-down test, slated for 2008.  Read More

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