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Successful Compact Kinetic Energy Missile Test

September 21, 2005 Lockheed Martin has successfully conducted a sled test of its Compact Kinetic Energy Missile (CKEM) recently at the High Speed Test Track at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The test evaluated penetration data and the lethality mechanism of the CKEM missiles' design. Test objectives were achieved. The missile was accelerated by test track rocket motors to a velocity representing a long-range mission, and was tested against an armored tank turret. A second lethality test is scheduled for later this year, and will be against an up-armored tank. Lockheed Martin is co-funding the tests with the U.S. Army Aviation Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) in Huntsville, AL.  Read More

NSA SME-PED - the handheld for spooks

September 16, 2005 The United States National Security Agency (NSA) is planning to build its own secure wireless handset capable of voice and data communications over public networks, including CDMA, GSM and Wi-Fi. The handset which is currently going under the name of "secure mobile environment - portable electronic device," (SME-PED) is a secure wireless product that will provide users with voice and data communications supporting security levels up to Top Secret, as well as e-mail communications supporting security levels up to Secret. The SME-PED also provides Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) functionality. The SME-PED will provide the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and other U.S. Government users with a converged voice and e-mail communications device similar to commercially available devices such as BlackBerry, SideKick and Treo 650. Two companies have been awarded US$18 million dollar multi-year contracts to develop the SME-PED.  Read More

EDO Introduces Rugged Mini Tablet Computer: Situational Awareness in the Soldier's Pocket

September 13, 2005 EDO Corporation is introducing its new MINI-T Rugged Mini-Tablet Computer at the Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi) Exhibition, which is being held this week in London. The one-kilogram, personal-digital-assistant (PDA) design offers "situational awareness in the soldier's pocket" that is useable from the Antarctic to the desert. Typical PDA screens tend to be too small for situational awareness information needed in the battlefield and thus have been limited mainly to sending messages. The MINI - T rugged computer solves this problem with as much as twice the usable screen area as a PDA, powered by substantially faster digital-signal processing. It includes a 6.4 inch sunlight-readable touch screen and dual processing with a 200MHz RISC/DSP.  Read More

Vehicle-mounted Acoustic Sniper Detection System

August 28, 2005 If there’s one thing worse than having snipers shooting at you, it’s getting shot at and not knowing. That’s the bizarre situation US Forces have encountered in both Iraq and Afghanistan as they travel the vast distances in convoys, unable to tell if a bullet has just flown past amidst the noise, dust, and rumble of up to 100 war machines around them. DARPA and BBN Technologies decided to tackle this increasingly common problem and came up with the device pictured. It’s called the Boomerang Mobile Shooter Detection System and alerts soldiers of incoming sniper fire to give them the opportunity to retreat to safety or return fire before they are hit. The Boomerang units attach to a vehicle and use seven small microphones, arranged like the spine of a sea urchin, to detect both the muzzle blast and the shock wave from a speeding bullet. Once a sniper's bullet is detected, Boomerang's display panel, which is located inside the vehicle, alerts soldiers through audio and visual signals that a bullet has been fired, its direction and elevation. Boomerang is currently being trialled on 50 Humvees in Iraq.  Read More

The Gladiator: US Marines' Unmanned Ground Vehicle

UPDATED August 28, 2005 NEW IMAGES It’s smaller than the smallest car and it may look harmless and cute but pray you never get on the wrong side of the aptly named Gladiator – last week Carnegie Mellon University and BAE Systems North America (formerly United Defense Industries) gave the world its first glimpse of the battlefield future when it held the first public demonstration of Gladiator, the first tactical unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps, demonstrating what the combat UGV might look and act like. It is anticipated that the Gladiator will be deployed for a wide range of dangerous situations where it can do the same job as a soldier without risking a life – things like carrying out search-and-discovery missions in hostile areas, urban battlefields, mine fields, or when there is a high possibility of chemical or biological weapons being used. The Gladiator is also capable of bearing arms so it can eliminate threats when necessary.  Read More

Small Diameter Bomb likely to become one of the most successful weapons development progra...

August 27, 2005 The US Air Force’s Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) is designed to help the airforce fly fewer sorties and hit more targets and looks likely to become one of the most successful weapons development programs ever. Essentially, the idea is to reduce the size of the bomb so planes can carry more of them and with final testing finishing this week and proving devastatingly accurate, the SDB will now begin operational service deployed on the F-15E Strike Eagle in early 2006. The all-weather SDB weapon system includes four bombs and is compatible with every U.S. fighter and bomber aircraft. It has a standoff range of 60 nautical miles. At 71 inches long, this 250-pound class weapon quadruples the number of weapons every aircraft can carry.  Read More

Australian Army scores Bulls-Eye with first Hellfire II launched from a Eurocopter Tiger A...

August 11, 2005 The Australian Army scored a first when it performed the first successful firing of a HELLFIRE II missile from Australia's Eurocopter Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH), at the Woomera test range in Australia's southern desert earlier this week. The Tiger is the first non-U.S. platform to integrate the HELLFIRE II missile. The missile was equipped with an inert warhead and was launched in the lock-on-before-launch mode by a Eurocopter test pilot, targeting a simulated armored personnel carrier (APC) target six kilometers downrange. The target was designated by the launching ARH helicopter. The missile struck dead center, leaving a gaping hole in the target. The Hellfire II comes in four models: the high-explosive anti-tank missile, the blast fragmentation missile, the millimeter-wave radar Longbow missile and the thermobaric Hellfire missile. Watch the videos inside to understand the differences between each lethal variant.  Read More

Airborne Laser Team Completes New Phase of Payload Testing

August 5, 2005 The Boeing Airborne Laser (ABL) team has completed flight testing of the system’s passive mission payload, moving the program through another phase of critical testing. This test event, called the Low Power Systems Integration-Passive test, included ground and flight tests of ABL’s battle management command and control system and the Beam Control/Fire Control segment. The Airborne Laser is an intregal part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System designed to protect the United States, its allies, and its deployed troops from ballistic missile attack. Using a megawatt-class Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser housed aboard a modified Boeing 747-400 Freighter, the Airborne Laser’s mission is to detect, track, target and destroy ballistic missiles during their boost-phase, or shortly after launch. Its revolutionary use of directed energy makes it unique among the world’s weapon systems, displaying a capability to attack at the speed of light at a range of hundreds of kilometres.  Read More

First Round fired from 38-Calibre NLOS Cannon

UPDATED August 3, 2005 The Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) Concept Technology Demonstrator is the next generation advanced cannon artillery solution for the US Army and it has been clocking up milestones on its fast-tracked road to deployment recently. Designed to move rapidly and set-up quickly, the Non-Line of Site cannon is capable of firing a round every 10 seconds and maintaining a sustained rate of six rounds per minute at ranges of nearly 15 miles. The NLOS-C is a hybrid-diesel aluminium-armored vehicle with extremely quiet 18-inch band tracks. Most significantly, it is far more automated than any mobile cannon in history, with an automatic ammunition-handling system laser igniter and enough robotics to reduce the crew from four to two compared to the Crusader it will replace. It is also half the weight of a Crusader, 30 percent more fuel-efficient and the lead manned ground vehicle system of the US Army's Future Combat Systems program.  Read More

Javelin Enters Service Four Months Early

August 2, 2005 UK Javelin, developed and produced by the Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin Joint Venture for the UK's Light Forces Anti-Tank Guided Weapon (LFATGW) program, has been declared operational four months ahead of schedule. The world's premier shoulder-fired anti-armor system, Javelin automatically guides itself to the target after launch, allowing the gunner to take cover and avoid counterfire. Soldiers or Marines can reposition immediately after firing, or reload inside 20 seconds to engage another threat. Using an arched top-attack profile, Javelin climbs above its target for improved visibility and then strikes where the armor is weakest. To fire, the gunner places a cursor over the selected target. The Javelin command launch unit then sends a lock-on-before-launch signal to the missile. With its soft launch design, Javelin can be safely fired from inside buildings or bunkers. Check out these video links of the Javelin proving how devastating it is in action.  Read More

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