Ushering in a new era of capability for the UAE’s growing defense business is the Al Tariq glide-bomb kit family produced by Tawazun Dynamics. The joint venture between Tawazun (51 percent) and South Africa’s Denel Dynamics (49 percent) was announced in September 2012 at the AAD show in Pretoria. Based on Denel’s Umbani weapon, Al Tariq is a modular family of bomb kits that turn regular freefall bombs into stand-off precision-guided weapons.
Making its public debut at the Dubai Airshow is the Air Tractor AT-802i, an agricultural aircraft heavily modified for counter-insurgency/light attack/ISR missions. The aircraft were purchased by the UAE with a mission system integrated by Iomax, and it is believed that a batch of 24 is nearing the end of delivery after the first arrived at the end of 2010. The U.S.-based company has now migrated the mission system from the Air Tractor AT-802 to the outwardly similar Thrush 510P airframe and launched the aircraft as the ArchAngel at this year’s Paris Air Show.
The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) last week notified Congress of another massive sale to Gulf countries by American companies. Saudi Arabia is buying air-launched weapons worth $6.8 billion for its new F-15SA Strike Eagles; the UAE is buying air-launched weapons worth $4 billion for its F-16s. The main U.S. contractors to benefit are Boeing (providing SLAM-ER and Harpoon missiles and small-diameter bombs) and Raytheon (providing JSOW missiles and Paveway “smart” bombs).
On Wednesday, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will demonstrate a new radar device capable of detecting human heartbeats trapped behind as much as 20 feet of solid concrete rubble. The device, called Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (Finder), will be shown at the Virginia Task Force 1 Training Facility at 9850 Furnace Road (use 9900 for GPS) in Lorton, Va. beginning at 10:30 a.m. on September 25. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., developed Finder in collaboration with the DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate.
At MAKS 2013 the Russian air force exhibited Red 33, its second upgraded Beriev A-50U Awacs aircraft. Built in 1984, it was modernized from the A-50M standard last year and redelivered in February this year. Work on the A-50U began in 2008. Aerial trials followed in 2009 on the industry-owned prototype Side 37.
The U.S. Navy’s estimated $7 billion Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) development does not duplicate any existing airborne electronic attack capability. But the potential exists for some “overlap” with electronic attack systems being developed by other U.S. military services, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) advises.
Raytheon Systems revealed a series of planned upgrades to the Paveway IV “smart” 500-pound bomb for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF). In British service since 2008, the weapon has been dropped more than 1,000 times, said T.J. Marsden, chief engineer of weapons systems for Raytheon’s UK subsidiary. He described Paveway IV as the UK’s primary air-to-ground weapon.
Plenty of new and unique equipment is on display in and outside the Elbit Systems pavilion (Chalet A198), according to the Israeli company’s new president and CEO Butzi Machlis. This includes the SPS-65-V5 self-protection system for the Hermes 900 and other UAVs; a wide-area full motion video sensor for the same drone; unattended ground sensors; and a ‘mini’ version for helicopters of Music, the Elbit DIRCM system that protects airliners from ground-launched missiles. Meanwhile, the company’s U.S.
Italian avionics group Elettronica is demonstrating the Virgilius integrated electronic warfare (EW) architecture system at its Paris Air Show exhibit (Hall 1 E294), as well as the ELT/572 directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system for protecting against man-portable air defense (Manpad) weapons. It has also unveiled its latest self-protection suite for combat search-and-rescue helicopters.
Here at Le Bourget, Rafael is launching the latest member of its Spice (smart, precise impact, cost-effective) family of precision-guided glide bombs, the Spice 250. The company’s Spice 1000 and 2000 have now been in service for some time with several customers, and they are combat-proven. These Spice variants comprise guidance and wing kits that are applied to standard Mk 83 1,000-pound and Mk 84 2,000-pound warheads, the wings giving them a range of around 60 km for the Spice 2000 and 100 km for the Spice 2000.
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