Prime contractor Raytheon expects that the U.S. Army will begin an operational evaluation in the coming fiscal year of its joint land attack cruise missile defense elevated netted sensor system (JLENS), an aerostat-based surveillance system that will monitor a sizeable chunk of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region.
The integration of the Indo-Russian BrahMos missile on 40 of the Indian air force (IAF) Su-30MKI fleet of combat aircraft is proceeding this year. The land- and ship-launched version of the highly maneuverable, supersonic, anti-ship cruise missile have already been tested successfully.
The integration of the new BrahMos missile on to Sukhoi’s Su-30MKI long-range fighter is due to reach a key milestone this year with integration of the weapon on test aircraft, ahead of planned first deliveries to the Indian Air Force (IAF) next year.
UAV Navigation, a developer of flight-control avionics and motion sensors for unmanned aircraft, said it demonstrated its LCAP autopilot system in a “sea-skimming” target UAV designed to mimic the threat of an incoming missile.
Pakistan’s defense ministry announced another test flight on May 31 of the locally developed air launched cruise missile (ALCM). The Hatf-VIII, also known as Ra’ad (Thunder), is a “low-altitude, terrain-hugging missile with high maneuverability” and a range of 350 km (217 miles), according to the ministry. It can accurately deliver conventional or nuclear warheads, the ministry added. The launch aircraft was not identified, but three previous launches since 2007 have been reported from Mirage III fighters.
Turkey has designed and test-flown an air-launched cruise missile. The stand-off missile (SOM) was launched from a Turkish Air Force F-4E Phantom on August 9. It flew for more than 100 nm before hitting its target “with high accuracy,” according to Tubitak-SAGE, the state-owned Defence Industries Research and Development Institute.
The coalition of nations flying over Libya to protect civilians under UN Resolution 1973 is still flying some 150 sorties daily. Countries contributing aircraft are Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Qatar, the Netherlands, Spain, the UAE, the UK and the U.S.
In the quarter century since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has established in-house capability for the development and production of cruise and ballistic missiles. To cope with the effect of the military equipment sales embargo on the country, Iranian specialists have mastered reverse-engineering methods.
A complex chain of illegal sales, technology proliferation and cooperation between countries the Bush Administration regards as rogue states has produced what some fear may have increased the threat to naval vessels operating in the Arabian Gulf.