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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

26 September 2014

Four ATK News Items of Great Importance

Today’s battlefield is ever-changing in terms of terrain and engagement criteria. In terms of innovation, ATK comes right at you with four news items that are of great importance.
In short (more on these later next week, watch this space!),

  • ATK has recently qualified M829A4 penetrator for the ABRAMS on time and are beginning low rate initial production; 
  • Won an award of first-year Low Rip Initial Production (LRIP) order for the manufacture and production of the 105mm Kinetic Energy (KE) Training Round, used with the US Army’s STRYKER Mobile Gun System, closely replicating a tactical round to provide realistic training opportunities for STRYKER crews (the projectile is range limited which means it offers greater safety for use on training ranges), in a Fixed Price, Indefinite Delivery, Indefinitie Quantity (IDIQ) single award contract valued at $47.9 million should all options be exercised through 2019 (the new KE penetrator provides advanced armour penetration to defeat improved/advanced armour and high explosive reactive armour); and
  • Have demonstrated the Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) in a test with the German Army PZ2000 and DM111, showing PGK’s capability to precisely guide round (reliably) within 10m accuracy on multiple shots (best shots were two and 3m accuracy). 
  • Furthermore, ATK has received a $33.4 million contract, ensuring that XM25 development continues for two years and the programme is funded to get through final development steps and sets up the path to fielding. 

Saab’s Latest CARL-GUSTAF M4 System Impresses Customers in Live Fire Demo

Saab newly-developed and much sought-after CARL-GUSTAF M4 saw the debut. During a successful ground combat systems demonstration at the Saab Bofors Test Center the M4 was the clear highlight for everyone present.

Saab's new CARL-GUSTAV M4 (Photo: Saab)

Intelligent, lightweight and flexible; the CARL-GUSTAF M4 is the latest man-portable shoulder-launched multi-role weapon system from Saab. Weighing less than 7kg, the CARL-GUSTAF M4 is a future-proof design that provides users with flexible capability and helps troops to remain agile in any scenario.

Since the introduction of the M1 model in 1948, the dependable CARL-GUSTAF has become one of the most prestigious and battle-proven weapon systems in modern military history. It is now in service with over 40 countries around the world. Over the years, continuous evolution by Saab has ensured that the CARL-GUSTAF remains effective and relevant across all operational environments.

The M4 is a further development of today’s widely deployed CARL-GUSTAF M3. Although it looks reassuringly familiar to anyone acquainted with the earlier versions, the M4 is a completely new experience.

Its lightweight and shorter design, operational flexibility and high accuracy offer a truly powerful combination, not to mention it is as close to recoilless as you can get,” said Ulf Eriksson, product director at Saab and former infantry commander in the Swedish Army. “The M4 has been developed as a response to the evolving needs of our customers and we were very pleased to show the new capabilities to such a distinguished audience.”

To showcase the M4’s many design and capability enhancements a ground combat systems demonstration was held in Sweden on 24-25 September 2014. This customer-focused event was attended by about 120 guests from more than 20 nations. It was the first time the M4’s capabilities were revealed in front of an audience. Existing users and potential new customers could see for themselves how the CARL-GUSTAF M4 gives soldiers a true multi-role capability with a wide range of ammunition types.

The demonstration included a comprehensive series of successful firings with a range of ammunition types against moving and static targets. The demonstration also featured other renowned products from Saab including the AT4, NLAW anti-tank system and MAPAM mortar ammunition. Recently Saab unveiled the development of significant new capabilities for the AT4 family of disposable shoulder-launched weapons. These enhancements will deliver extended range (ER) and improved high explosive (HE) effects. This will allow the soldier to defeat enemy targets with much greater flexibility and in many more scenarios.

In addition to technical firings on the range the demonstration also incorporated a tactical scenario to underline the effectiveness and suitability of the systems in various demanding combat situations.

"We wanted our customers to see and know what to expect from our products and how they perform in a force-on-force situation. I am pleased to say that all products performed as expected and I am very happy with the outcome. Judging by the response from our guests the demonstration has proven to be a great success,” said Torbjörn Saxmo, head of Business Unit Ground Combat, Saab.

Saab sees great potential for all its ground combat systems in the coming years, not least for the new CARL-GUSTAF M4 which is already attracting a high level of interest. The M4 is the logical next step for users who already have great experience with and confidence in the CARL-GUSTAF system, according to Saab.

The official CARL-GUSTAF M4 product launch will take place at the AUSA exhibition in Washington D. C. on 13-15 October 2014.

Carl-Gustaf M4 Facts (+ comparison with previous models)

M2: Weight: 14.2kg Length: 1130mm
M3: Weight: 10kg Length: 1065mm
M4: Weight: <7kg Length: <1000mm

25 September 2014

Kärcher Futuretech's Current and Future CBRN Protection

In a world, where NATO cannot protect you, as seen in recent months, and where terrible accidents can occur, Kärcher Futuretech (KFT) forms the last line of defence.

Kärcher Futuretech’s TEP 90 during their Decon Symposium. (All Photos: Kärcher)

KFT, based in Schwaikheim, Germany is an internationally acknowledged specialist and a market leader in many aspects of protection and supply systems for mobile use in disaster and crisis zones. Using products and system solutions from KFT, civil defence, disaster relief, and military forces are able to supply large numbers of individuals with clean water and food, set up field camps, or carry out CBRN decontamination (decon). With its mobile, compact and modular solutions, KFT is a highly capable partner in the field of peace-keeping operations and disaster relief. Rounding off the company’s core areas of competence are highly competent advisory services for dealing with every kind of incident, worldwide servicing and a qualified training system.

KFT offers modern agents, devices and systems for the decon of personnel, equipment and infrastructure. Due to state-of-the-art decon methods and agents, e.g., the TEP 90 meets all technical requirements and the respective parameters required of a high-performance decon system. It has a consistent modular construction and includes all necessary components in the independently usable decon modules for mission-optimised thorough decon close to the affected troop. In addition to the TEP, the Bundeswehr has ordered seven (with an option of 10 more, up to 40) MEP Completely Modular Cage-based Decon Systems, in order to replace the E-Kfz Decon vehicles. Note: The Spanish have ordered the MEP as a stand-alone system for CBRN decon.

During the press-event of KFT's Decon Symposium, the company's Managing Directors Volker Welzenbach and Thomas Popp emphasised their other current developments as well, including the DSSM, the DSAP and the EDP, and the EDMP.

The MEP Cage Module System is a unique cage system, according to the company, feasible for most transport options. It has a low centre of gravity and a huge water volume. Also known as the Cage Based Modular Decon System, KFT is extending its existing range with it to include a modular decon system. The flexible configuration of individual modules known as cages allows this new system to be deployed in line with changing demands. The modules can be simply mixed and matched, offering space for whichever devices, chemicals or accessories as the scenario requires. Thanks to the use of an internally developed fixing system, the modules can be quickly and securely fixed together and onto a platform.

The new Cage Based Modular Decon System can be based either on a 10 or a 20 foot transport platform. Using the newly developed fastening concept, the modules can be quickly and simply linked together and fastened onto the platform, which can be mounted on different vehicles for optimum mobility. Fastening on the carrier vehicle is carried out using the internationally standardised twist lock system for the connection of containers.

Open Cage.

The system encompasses a variety of elements for the decontamination of items such as vehicles, road sections, interior spaces or individuals. A generator module is also provided for an independent power supply. Another unit is used as a water tank with a volume of around 1,500 litres. Standardised, simple controls ensure the utmost operating simplicity, while a central power connection also allows the operating output of the individual modules to be registered. The frames of the compact cage are made of aluminium, and their lightweight design even makes the system suitable for air transportation.

The MEP being unloaded from vehicle.

KFT has developed a new decon system for items of equipment in a French-German joint project. The DSSM (Decontamination System for Sensitive Material) is up and ready to operate within less than an hour following an atomic, biological or chemical incident. It comprises two modules, each capable of independent operation, which can be used to decontaminate both hardwearing items of equipment and also sensitive material such as electronic devices.

The system comprises two container modules: The CPE (Container Personal Equipment) and CSE (Container Sensitive Equipment), which are deployed depending on the equipment material and type of contamination involved. In the CPE unit, biological and chemical decontamination of thermally resistant objects is performed using the hot gas or hot steam method. Wet chemical treatment of moisture-resistant A, B and C-contaminated materials is also possible. Sensitive optical and electronic devices are treated in the CSE module in two vacuum chambers following a B or C incident.

The system is designed for particularly rapid deployment: Trained users are capable of erecting and commissioning the decontamination station in response to an emergency within just 15 minutes. The standardized size (each module is a 10ft ISO container) also ensures extreme ease of mobility, facilitating simple transportation of the containers by land, sea or air.

KFT’s new flexible solution for personal decontamination is the DSAP (Decontamination System for Ambulatory Persons), which is a container-based system capable of decontaminating up to 180 individuals an hour following atomic, biological or chemical incidents. The system even offers sufficient space for treating the injured. It permits flexible configuration, is quickly ready for deployment and is also simple to operate.

Kärcher FutureTech's DSAP.

Depending on requirements, the system is available in a variety of different versions: The basic container houses three shower lines. The version with four shower lines is capable of decontaminating up to 180 persons every hour. To treat non-ambulatory subjects, two lines can be connected together. Air-supported tents are connected both in front of and behind the container for undressing and undressing and for registration of individuals being treated. The number of tents can be increased to as many as four, simplifying adjustment to country-specific circumstances and creating a private space. Self-decontamination of personnel takes place in additional add-on tents. The DSAP and was born out of a requirement with the Spanish Armed Forces.

Anther new system is the DSVP, a decon container still in R&D with the Netherlands.

Future outlook according to the managing directors include semi-automatic decon and further development of decon agents.

Micro Systems Demos Universal C2 System for Ground Vehicles

Micro Systems, a Kratos company based in Fort Walton Beach, FL/USA, recently demonstrated its new command and control (C2) system that is capable of controlling air, ground and unmanned surface vehicles (USV) from a single station, as well as an applique kit that can convert manned ground vehicles into remotely operated systems.

 The US Army Target Management Office (TMO) initiated the expo in support of their Army Ground and Aerial Target Control System and Tri-Service and Industry Aerial Demonstration programmes. Visitors from the TMO as well as various governmental and industry organisations interested in the technology attended the event.

Attendees were able to get up close to a number of static aerial, ground, and sea surface vehicles — including the MQM-178 FIREJET, built by CEi, sister company of Micro Systems — but the highlight of the day were the live demonstrations.

The live demonstrations consisted of the Micro Systems’ Universal Command and Control system remotely controlling four different ground vehicles that had been converted from standard manned vehicles into unmanned systems using a vehicle appliqué kit integrated by Micro Systems’ engineers. Additionally, the engines of an unmanned sea surface vehicle, known as a High Speed Maneuverable Seaborne Target in the US Navy, were powered on and controlled to display the versatility of the Universal C2 for multiple platforms.

The systems that were displayed and demonstrated are actively used to support advanced training and weapon evaluation missions for all branches of the US Armed Forces and allied countries worldwide.

Universal C2

The Universal C2, designed by Micro Systems, is a robust and flexible system that supports air, land, and sea surface vehicle platforms. It can be configured to control a maximum of eight jet powered air vehicles, one rotary winged aircraft, forty seaborne vehicle, forty ground vehicles and a minimum of any single vehicle type or any combination of up to the maximum. The Universal C2 is field expandable via plug-and-play interface with no software changes necessary.

It also supports different data link options including UHF FM, L-Band Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum, 2.4 Giga-hertz ISM, Iridium Satellite, and custom data links. The system is adaptable to a variety of unmanned vehicle applications and currently supports missions for the US Navy’s System for Naval Target Control and US Army’s Army Ground and Aerial Target Control System and Tri-Service and Industry Aerial Demonstration, as well as several international defense organizations.

The demonstration vehicles included a High Mobility Maneuverable Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), 2.5t Light Medium Tactical Vehicle, a commercial Nissan FRONTIER pickup, and a John Deere GATOR all-terrain vehicle (ATV) that Micro Systems converted into unmanned systems using their vehicle appliqué kit.

Once the kit is installed the vehicle can be driven normally with a human driver, teleoperated using the Universal C2, or fully autonomous using  path following.  An advanced sensor package that includes components such as radar, lidar and a full GPS/INS system can also be integrated for high-precision autonomous mission support.  The kit takes four hours or less to install and can be uninstalled from one vehicle and reinstalled on another.

The vehicles were controlled on a closed course at the Micro Systems facility in teleoperational mode using the Universal C2 from inside a transportable shelter. Operators issued commands and received telemetry and position data as they drove the vehicles several laps around the course.

Spectators watched as the unmanned vehicles maneuvered the course and were also able to view video screens displaying the operators controlling the vehicles from inside the shelter. Additionally, video cameras mounted inside the vehicles transmitted a live video feed that could also be seen from monitors set up near the command shelters.

During the demonstration, the vehicles were controlled one at a time due to the limited size of the closed course and the close proximity of the spectators. On the following day a private demonstration was successfully conducted as a proof-of-concept with three-vehicles in a convoy configuration using the HUMVEE, Light Tactical Vehicle and Nissan truck.

Future demonstrations are planned for semi-autonomous operations using path following methods, full autonomous operation using the advanced sensor kit, and formation, swarm, and coordinated time of arrival operations.

Advanced Training Need

The demonstration was an important step to fulfilling the US Army TMO’s need for advanced test and training mission requirements.

These training missions are critical for proper preparation of soldiers to familiarise themselves with the sophisticated equipment they use on a daily basis and the Universal C2 allows for multi-service support of air, land and sea surface vehicles.

Additionally, the vehicle appliqué systems used to convert standard manned vehicles into unmanned systems are also a cost-effective means of reallocating aging military assets that might otherwise have ended up in a scrapyard.

Modern Day Marine 2014: Amphibious Combat Vehicle Candidates Line Up

US defence budget constraints were well reflected at the 2014 Modern Day Marine Exposition, held at US Marine Corps (USMC) Base Quantico.  From 23-25 September, vendors displayed equipment currently in use.  New systems bidding for the very few new major acquisition programmes underway were present, among these, candidates vying for the USMC number one stated priority, the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV), attracted much interest among attendees. Highlighting the importance of the pending acquisition, on 24 September, MT observed outgoing USMC Commandant, Gen. James Amos, making extended visits to each ACV exhibit.

USMC Commandant General James Amos visits ACV exhibitors (Photos: Josh Cohen)

Among the four contractor teams competing for the initial down select: Lockheed-Martin-Patria Land Systems Armored Modular Vehicle (AMV) entry dubbed HAVOC 8x8 was presented.  The version, a standard AMV, was representative of models currently in use by the Armed Forces of Finland, Sweden, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and South Africa. On 24 September, Frank Bohlmann, Lockheed Martin’s Director Ground Vehicle Weapons Systems, explained should HAVOC win the initial down select, prototypes based on the AMV chassis will be assembled in the US specifically to meet USMC requirements, although he said the basic design will remain the same.  Polish forces have deployed to Afghanistan with up armored Patria AMVs, rendering the type a combat-area proven veteran.

Patria 8x8 AMV as a contender for the USMC's ACV programme.

BAE Systems and Iveco are teaming to provide an extensively modified version of Iveco’s SUPERAV 8x8.  Based on the same vehicle used by the Italian Army, BAE is modifying Iveco’s SUPERAV to accommodate the larger physical size of the typical US Marine infantryman, according to Jared Nunn, Mechanical Engineer with BAE’s Ground Systems Division.  Nunn told MT, the BAE-Iveco candidate has undergone extensive design alterations enabling the vehicle to exceed stated USMC requirements in anticipation of future needs.  In particular, Jared mentioned the ability to transport 13 Marines, a full infantry squad, in addition to a three-Marine vehicle crew. Current requirements call for only ten passengers; a benefit Jarred believes places the SUPERAV above the competition by anticipating and meeting likely requirements while surpassing expectations.

Front view of the Iveco SUPERAV.

Singapore Technologies Kinetics (ST Kinetics) and SAIC have responded to the USMC's RfI for the USMC ACV Increment 1.1 programme, and will be submitting a modified version of ST Kinetics' TERREX for the down select phase. The TERREX is currently in service with the Singapore military and a modified version met initial USMC thresholds during a series of operational testing at USMC Base Camp Pendleton in 2013. A concept model of the ST Kinetics-SAIC ACV candidate, complete with a remote operated 30mm turreted cannon was on display. Major differences were said to be within the vehicle interior; outwardly, the ST Kinetics-SAIC candidate appeared to have a more streamlined exterior. When approached, company representatives did not provide further details on the prototype, citing confidentiality reasons.

Gary O’Brien, Capture Manager with General Dynamics Land – Systems Canada, explained the company would present a modified version of the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) 6.0, similar to those in use by the Canadian military, O’Brien explained the vehicle combines LAV chassis with a purpose-built ACV demonstrator unit, has successfully completed initial testing by the USMC Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch.
Josh Cohen

Modern Day Marine 2014: AeroVironment Receives $22 Million RQ-12 WASP AE Small UAS Order

At Modern Day Marine, AeroVironment has received a firm fixed-price order valued at $21,779,408 for RQ-12 WASP AE small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and initial spares packages for the US Marine Corps (USMC).

AeroVironment WASP AE UAS (Photo: AeroVironment)

The USMC, which recently unveiled its next generation small UAS family of systems, is adding RQ-12 WASP AE as the short-range, or micro, solution to the existing small UAS portfolio made up of the AeroVironment RQ-11B RAVEN and RQ-20A PUMA AE, the latter being the USMC's long-range solution.

"Together with the professionals at ADS, whose military-experienced personnel procured this order by demonstrating a clear understanding of the customer's mission and requirements, we are confident that WASP AE will provide deployed Marines with valuable situational awareness that will help them operate more safely and effectively," said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.

AeroVironment received the order from ADS, Inc. on behalf of the USMC through the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Tailored Logistics Support (TLS) programme.  Delivery is scheduled within 12 months.

Previously procured by the USMC and the US Air Force (USAF), the WASP AE weighs 2.8lbs, operates for up to 50 minutes at a range of up to 5km and delivers live, streaming color and infrared video from its pan-tilt-zoom MANTIS i22 AE gimbaled payload.  Launched by hand and capable of landing on the ground or in fresh or salt water, the WASP AE provides portability and flexibility for infantry, littoral or maritime reconnaissance operations.

"Wasp AE delivers unmatched portability and flexibility with its small size, all-environment operation and advanced capabilities," Minson said.

17 September 2014

A Fifth Armed Service for China

Increasingly strong reports continue to circulate that China is in the process of creating a fifth service within the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) structure – a force devoted to space operations. Unconfirmed reports, to be sure, but on the grounds there is rarely any smoke without fire it is worth examining the issue in more detail.

The PLA currently consists of ground, air and naval services as well as the curiously named Second Artillery service, which controls China’s ballistic missiles and nuclear arsenal. Reports now claim a fifth service dedicated to space operations is being created as a focus around which to integrate some of the partial initiatives taken in recent years. The latest report surfaced in Japan’s respected national newspaper Yomihuri Shimbun in August and, although the story has subsequently been deleted from the journal’s website, the claims that President Xi has ordered the action do seem credible.

In April, the English language paper China Daily reported a speech made by Xi to PLA Air Force officers, urging them “to speed up air and space integration and sharpen [their] offensive and defensive capabilities,” and to create “a new type of combat unit” to act as the platform in which to achieve the ambition. "The US has paid considerable attention and resources to the integration of capabilities in both air and space, and other powers have also moved progressively toward space militarization. Though China has stated that it sticks to the peaceful use of space, we must make sure that we have the ability to cope with others' operations in space,” he said.

Chinese academic literature also provides some food for thought. One recent report correlates the issues of space warfare and cyber warfare, making the statement that “space will surely be the main battlefield of cyber warfare.” Taken in conjunction with US claims that China has concentrated massive efforts on hacking into and stealing information from prominent companies in the US and European satellite and aerospace industries, it would certainly make sense that China is carefully managing the creation of an organisation to integrate and exploit its growing capabilities in this area.
Some of these capabilities include an already developed anti-satellite system, tested in 2007, 2013 and this year, which in Chinese eyes is an essential capacity that would help counter American GPS capabilities in the event of an open conflict. A US DoD report to Congress in 2013 observed that China’s space programme had produced 18 separate launches the previous year, many of which placed new space-based intelligence and communications satellites in orbit. The report also made the point that China is developing anti-satellite technologies.

Furthermore, rather vaguer rumours centre on the purported development of a space plane, the so-called Shenlong or ‘Divine Dragon,’ which supposedly flew its first flight test in 2011. The spacecraft is seen by some observers as a response to the equally shadowy US X-37B space plane programme.

As is usual with China, hard, verifiable fact is hard to come by. But the preponderance of evidence does seem to suggest a coalescing of separate strands of activity to provide a cohesive and potentially powerful integrated space force to strengthen the 2.3 million members of the PLA.

Tim Mahon

11 September 2014

Nowhere to Hide - NAMMO's 13th Multipurpose Symposium

Two days ago, NAMMO CEO Edgar Fossheim kicked off the 13th and latest edition of the company's Multipurpose Symposium. The three day event derives its name from the Multipurpose Concept that was initiated by the company in 1970. Enabling penetration, delayed action, fragmentation (HE), blast and incendiary effects, NAMMO's Multipurpose family comprises ammunition ranging from 12.7mm to 40mm with the last caliber to enter being the 30mm x 173 MP-T/SD (Multipurpose - Tracer/ Self Destruct) round.  The MP concept uses a pyrotechnical ignition train instead of the traditional mechanical safe & arm device found on medium caliber ammunition, hereby enabling a deflagration instead of a detonation. As a result, larger fragments are created.

Established in 1998, NAMMO is jointly owned by the Finnish company Patria and the Norwegian ministry of trade, industry and fisheries with each having a 50 percent stake in the ammunition company.

"Securing the future" is the motto of this Nordic company which states its mission is to "protect national and allied forces with high quality defence products". This was underlined by Fossheim in his opening speech when he made clear that this means the armed forces of the free world. The company's position correlates with the policy of the Norwegian government with regard to the export of defence equipment as the country has strict export rules. Issues such as democratic rights and fundamental human rights are considered during the export process and in general it can be said that the Norwegian government is very reluctant when it comes to possible exports of weapons and ammunition or dual use technology to countries which are not member states of NATO or like minded countries.

Employing some 2,200 employees in twenty-two production units in nine countries (US, Canada, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Australia), NAMMO gets 77 percent of its turnover from countries outside the Nordic region. Operating income in 2013 amounted to NOK 3,703 million which is up almost twelve percent when compared to the results of 2012. Production of defence materiel accounts for eighty-five percent of the company's revenues. Core businesses include shoulder launched munitions (M72 family, BDM M141 and SMAW ammunition) and ammunition, with the company's strength lying in medium caliber rounds although being "not so strong in 35mm" according to Fossheim. With countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands having opted for 35mm automatic guns on their CV90 IFVs in recent years, it appears that might warrant the development of more advanced 35mm rounds though. For instance, the Dutch military is currently looking into enhanced ammunition for its CV9035NLs to better enable operations in urban terrain and also in order to replicate some of the weapon effects of a 120mm gun. This is due to their Leopard 2A6 MBTs having been withdrawn from service due to austerity measures. NAMMO's small caliber ammunition (4.6mm, 5.56mm, 7.62mm, .308, .338 Lapua, 9mm) has meanwhile proved to be popular at home and in countries such as the US with the company being one of the main suppliers of tracer rounds to the US Army. In addition, larger caliber ammunition (120mm, 155mm) is also being offered by NAMMO.

Speaking about the company's third core business, Fossheim indicated : "there are synergies between producing ammunition and producing rocket motors" and today NAMMO is a major producer of motors for missiles including Raytheon's AMRAAM and ESSM. Demilitarization meanwhile is a growth industry with NAMMO being specialized in destroying excess, outdated and obsolete conventional ammunition including cluster bombs. NAMMO's CEO explained: " the mount of obsolete ammo in the US is growing despite operations which are ongoing".  He boasted that NAMMO "is the biggest industrial demilitarizer" while mentioning that his company is involved in demilitarization programmes for the US, UK, German and Japanese governments. The Nordic company has plants in Germany, Norway and Sweden for the purpose of destroying obsolete, aged or surplus ammunition although countries such as Finland and Norway itself still use open pit burnings according to Fossheim.

More detailed information on some of NAMMO's most recent defence product innovations will soon appear in the pages of MT.
Pieter Bastiaans

10 September 2014

Sinus Electronic Developing and Manufacturin specific Ruggedised Applications for Military Support

During the past 28 years, Sinus Electronic, a corporate division of the Nucletron Electronic Group, has designed, developed and manufactured application specific ruggedised outdoor equipment, such as connecting interfaces for power, signal and data lines, network switches and media converter to support the German Military. This level of advanced technologies positions Sinus as a provider to the military market in the field of total protection against all kinds of interference in compact package solutions manufactured to the highest quality standards: VG (Bundeswehr), STANAG (NATO), and MIL-STD (US DoD).

(one AC plug) stationary telephone (Photos: Sinus Electronic)

The company has been able to maintain continuous growth in the field of tactical military programme support. Sinus Electronic has a proven pedigree supporting several major military programmes including: AutoKo 90, PATRIOT, BigStaff, SATCOM, FüInfoSys and many more...

Sinus has supplied in excess of 20.000 connecting interfaces to prime customers such as: Rheinmetall, Thales, KMW, BAAINBw, Zeppelin, EADS, and many more... Sinus also has a long history of supporting NATO programmes and operates under the suppliers code C 3563. This code enables both Sinus and its NATO Partners to provide full traceability on all products supplied back to the company’s manufacturing source.

Sinus a DIN EN ISO 9001:2008 registered company is now restructuring the organisation to a new total package solution to the wider European military market. The newly structured operation is focussed towards providing the increasing demand for application led technical consulting and increasing military specialisation.

MDPL (Military-Data-over-Power-Line) cable drum

The company’s new ruggedised equipment line for communication and data transmission for field camps include the patented MDPL (Military-Data-over-Power-Line) cable drum, with its build-in technology one can manage up to 100 IP phone + 16 ISDN phones and it also provides Power (250V/16A AC), all this with only one easy to deploy cable. The maximum cable length for transmitting Ethernet is 350m, with a transmission rate of up to 1Gbit/s. For more flexibility one can daisy change the MDPL as required. Sinus offers easy to install (one AC plug) stationary telephones and their newest inductively coupled military telephone. To make a connection to the system, the phone is simply inductively coupled to the deployed cable from the MDPL reel, at any convenient location along the cable`s path throughout an entire field camp. The communication data is encrypted twice (no interception and disturbing possible). For longer distance (up to 1km) Sinus also offers its ruggedised self-powered LAN cable drum with build in media converter. The reel offers 8x Ethernet LAN there of four POE connection and is available in single and multimode (SM + MM) one can daisy chain the drum and it is also 100% compatible with Sinus’ system.

LAN cable drum

04 September 2014

MSPO 2014: TIGER Makes its Debut

During MSPO 2014 the French EC665 TIGER HAD assault helicopter made its Polish debut. The main reason for its arrival in Poland is the Polish Kruk project, which aims to procure 30-32 new assault helicopters for the Polish Army. It will replace aging Mi-24D/W helicopters. According to Poland’s Ministry of National Defence (MoND), Kruk is one of the most important modernisation projects of the Polish Armed Forces. This programme was sped up in 2014 as a result of the Ukrainian crisis and emerging threat near Polish borders. According to the initial strategy, Poland wanted to acquire a new helicopter in 2020. Now the MoND wants a new generation helicopter in service two or three years earlier.

The TIGER shown in Poland had desert camouflage and SPIKE-ER anti-tank missiles. It arrived from a factory of Airbus Helicopters in Marigne. During MSPO 2014, the TIGER HAD was presented by French personnel of 1er Régiment d’Hélicoptères de Combat. The French were the first to deploy those helicopters in combat conditions – in July 2009 three helicopters were sent to Afghanistan (until 2013). Later they were used in Libya and Mali.

As for the Kruk project, it is believed that the first tranche will cover 12 helicopters and the process of acquisition might even be launched this year, which will allow them to replace Mi-24Ds. The remaining 20 helicopters might be acquired by 2022.

Among potential contenders are: AgustaWestland AW129 MANGUSTA, TAI T129 ATAK, Bell AH-1Z COBRA, Boeing AH-64E GUARDIAN(with AH-6i) and the above-mentioned EC665 TIGER.

It was not the only helicopter presented during MSPO 2014. Visitors had an opportunity to see all three helicopters offered in a tender for 70 multi-role helicopters for the Polish Armed Forces: Airbus Helicopters EC-725 Caracal, AgustaWestland AW-149 and two Sikorsky’s BLACK HAWKs: one UH-60L BLACK HAWK of US Army and one manufactured in Poland’s Mielec S-70i International HAWK. A contract with the winner should be signed in early 2015. Deliveries should start from 2016.
Robert Czulda

MSPO 2014: New RWS for Polish Vehicles Revealed

During MSPO 2014 a new remotely-controlled turret for ROSOMAK wheeled vehicles and new tracked infantry armoured vehicles (as a replacement for BMP-1s) was revealed.

This turret, jointly produced by WB Electronics and Huta Stalowa Wola, is being developed for the Ministry of National Defense (MoND) under ZSSW/Zdalnie Sterowany System Wieżowy (Remotely Controlled Turret System). Poland wants to equipped not only ROSOMAK vehicles (this configuration was shown at MSPO 2014), which are already in operational service, but also future infantry armoured vehicles, which will likely be manufactured by Huta Stalowa Wola. Unfortunately, any details on both ZSSW and BMP-1 replacement are undisclosed. The MoND states that more information will be announced in 2016 when research on a prototype is completed.

At the current stage it is known that the technology integrator and project leader is Huta Stalowa Wola while WB Electronics is responsible for opto-electronic sensors, communications, command and control, and fire management systems (vehicle shown at MSPO 2014 had sensors of Selex ES). It is also known that at the current stage the main armament of ZSSW is an ATK Mk44 BUSHMASTER II 30 mm cannon with a co-axial UKM-2000C 7,62 mm gun and two SPIKE-LR anti-tank missiles (installed on a right side). ZSSW will be equipped with SSP-1 OBRA-3 Laser Warning System.

This was not the only ROSOMAK presented in Kielce. A second premiere was that of the WILK fire support vehicle with a technology demonstrator of CMI Defence’s XC-8 105mm turret. In the past the WILK vehicle has been integrated with CT-CV 105HP turret (designed for wheeled and tracked vehicles of weight between 18 and 30 ton).

XC-8 is a lightweight turret for vehicles of 15t or more. Its design is based on CT-CV105HP’s but the new turret is mainly destined for medium tracked combat vehicles. The XC-8 can be reinforced by additional plates which enables level 4 ballistic protection (STANAG 4569A).

Robert Czulda

US DoD Prioritises Key Investments

To maintain its technological advantage and stay on the cutting edge of technology, the US must be willing to take risks in innovation and creative thinking, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said yesterday at a conference. Despite ongoing national security challenges and uncertainty in Ukraine, Belize, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and growing tension in the South China Sea, innovation challenges remain and must be addressed, he said.

In the US 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review and the US president’s fiscal 2015 budget request, Hagel explained, the US DoD prioritised key investments in submarines, cyber, next-generation fighter and bomber aircraft, missile defense, and special operations forces, putting a premium on rapidly deployable, self-sustaining platforms that can defeat more technologically advanced adversaries.

The Better Buying Power 3.0 initiative, Hagel explained, will strengthen DoD’s efforts to incentivise innovation in both industry and government while using more modular and open systems architectures, will provide industry with draft requirements earlier, will remove obstacles to procuring commercial items, and will improve technology search and outreach in global markets.

With 20%  of DoD acquisition dollars devoted to small businesses, Hagel noted, niche areas within industry can be particularly vulnerable when production rates decline.

More on this here

MSPO 2014: Photographic Recap of Day Three



KMW Special Operation Vehicle (SOV)

KMW Special Operation Vehicle (SOV)

KMW Special Operation Vehicle (SOV)

Roketsan's SOM

Roketsan's MIZRAK-U

Polish Poprad air-defense system (VSHORAD)

Polish GROM (VSHORAD) missile


MSPO 2014: Roketsan Exhibiting Excellence in Poland

(Photos: Robert Czulda)

MSPO 2014: Raytheon Incorporating Poland's Defence Industry to Provide a Balanced Capability

At MSPO 2014, Ralph Acaba, Vice President of Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems informed MT correspondent Robert Czulda on Raytheon's offer to Poland, Polish workshare, and PATRIOT’s modernisation potential for the future.

Ralph Acaba, Vice President of Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems interviewed by MT correspondent Robert Czulda. (Photos: Raytheon)

MT: Recently Raytheon’s officials stated that no one has ever been offered such a level of cooperation as Poland. Could you please elaborate on that?
R. Acaba: Our offer to Poland is unique because we are able to provide initial capability based on the latest advanced technology while developing in parallel (with Polish industry) the next generation PATRIOT system. The next generation PATRIOT that is co-developed with Poland, built in Poland, is what will be the final delivered solution to Poland.

MT: Due to the current political and military situation Poland might speed up the Wisla project. Is Raytheon capable of delivering PATRIOT earlier?
R. Acaba: Yes. We have declared in the past that we will be able to provide the initial operational capability to Poland within three years from the contract signing, so if the contract is signed in 2015, we will deliver the system by 2018. It will be delivered as new and based on the latest advanced technology. At the same time, we will be working with Polish industry on co-development/production of a next generation PATRIOT solution incorporating the solid state advanced 360 degree radar, common command & control system (C2) and the Low Cost Interceptor (LCI).  All of which will be incorporated into the Final Operational Capability (FOC) by 2022.

MT: Poland seeks a high level of industrial and technical cooperation with Polish defense companies. What can Raytheon offer at this stage?
R. Acaba: Poland will have major involvement in the co-development (design, engineering, software) of the Next Generation PATRIOT system, including co-production of a large portion of this future capability for both Poland and export to other nations for the radar, command and control and missiles. This will include transfer of technology with design, manufacturing, integration, assembly, system validation and test, training, service and sustainment, a joint/NATO training center, and a missile integration/assembly and certification facility.

MT: As far as I know Raytheon examined the Polish defense industry potential very well. Can you please tell us how many Polish companies are already able to meet Raytheon’s quality requirements in terms of designing, producing and assembling? Do you think that they will not fall short?
R. Acaba: We have met with more than a hundred Polish companies, many of which have outstanding technical capabilities. Right now we foresee the biggest challenge being capacity but we are having productive conversations and working through this. We are also speaking with universities and see the possibilities for broad cooperation there.

PATRIOT launcher

MT: The PATRIOT system can be considered as highly advanced and sensitive equipment which falls under the US export regulations. Can this be a problem in terms of technological transfer to Poland? Has the US government already approved transferring technological know-how to Poland? Will Raytheon give access to technology or source codes to Poland?
R. Acaba: The US government has already provided approval for the majority of the current modernised PATRIOT configuration being built today and is working to obtain the required release and technology transfer needed to satisfy the next generation Patriot program needs for Poland, particularly in the radar and missile areas.  This should also allow the right levels of polish industrial participation.

MT: What is PATRIOT’s modernisation potential for the future? Poland needs a system that will remain technologically advanced and modern for the next few decades.
R. Acaba: The US continually evaluates all potential future threats and PATRIOT’s performance against those threats to determine if upgrades are required in either hardware, software or both. This becomes the basic modernisation plan for PATRIOT, which is cost shared among the 12 member nations that currently own the system. There is nearly half a billion dollars annually to upgrade, modernise and test the system so that it can continually defend against the toughest and ever-evolving threats. No other nation or group of nations can match that resource base for continuous modernization and testing.  PATRIOT is also the system of choice by some of the most developed and well resourced countries of the world - ones who exist in the presence of active ballistic missile threats.

MT: Poland was offered participation in the LCI project. Could you please elaborate more on that? Is LCI a completely new missile or is it going to be based on an already existing missile? 
R. Acaba: Raytheon has provided several options that could be considered for the LCI and has offered to work with the MoND on a specific trade study across these options considering different levels of maturity and development for the LCI. In partnership with the MoND, we will analyse the specific requirements required to meet Poland’s operational needs and determine the best possible approach.  The LCI is one opportunity for Raytheon to partner with Polish industry in the areas of design, development, production, and export.

MT: Is it possible to use other missiles, for example Polish-built VSHORAD missiles, in the PATRIOT system?
R. Acaba: PATRIOT is the only operational air and missile defence system that is already using a missile mix to allow for the optimum matching of missile capabilities/cost to threat. Additional missiles could be considered for integrated into the Patriot missile mix if it makes operational and technical sense. PATRIOT also has extensive interoperability with other systems, which will be enhanced with the development of the Common Command and Control (CC2).  Other missiles such as the Polish built VSHORAD would most likely be integrated with Patriot through the CC2 as the most logical operational situation all of which will be worked with the MoND.

MT: According to many Polish experts the biggest problem of PATRIOT, apart from a high price, is the radar which does not have 360 degrees capabilities. Do you have any solution to that issue?
R. Acaba: We are offering a next generation PATRIOT radar using fixed “staring” arrays. The main array is oriented toward the primary target line (azimuth of expected threat origins) while 2 rear arrays have the same functions as the main array through the use of improved high energy waveforms. Raytheon's radar is 360 degree fixed "staring" (i.e. non -rotating). This type of radar has inherent performance benefits against specific highly maneuvering threats. Additionally, we are incorporating Poland defence industry radars as part of the overall architecture to provide a balanced capability.

MT: Poland was offered a mix of missiles. Why?
R. Acaba: For initial capability in 2018 we are offering a mix of PAC-3 MSE, PAC-3, and GEM-T missiles, all based on the latest design. Why a mix? Because one missile cannot defeat every type of threat, so there is an optimum missile type to achieve the best performance at the lowest cost. For example, PAC-3 and PAC-3 MSE use “hit to kill” technology and are thus, unlike competing interceptors, capable of destroying targets such as medium range ballistic missile carrying weapons of mass destruction. GEM-T missile, with a longer range and large warhead, is more effective at destroying targets such as short range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, aircraft, and UAVs.

MT: What experience does Raytheon have in Poland so far?
R. Acaba: Raytheon has worked in Poland in the commercial training market through our Raytheon Professional Services (RPS).  Additionally, the Polish Air Force employs Raytheon’s air-to-air missiles, AIM-9X and AMRAAM. In June 2012, the company opened a new site in Warsaw that not only serves as the Raytheon office for Poland but also as the regional hub for Central Eastern Europe and the Baltics. While Poland is one of Raytheon’s newer partners, the company has had a presence in Europe for decades and currently has more than 3,000 employees and 500 partners in the region. Raytheon has already started working with Polish industry on specific PATRIOT upgrades such as the IFF antenna upgrade that was previously announced. This provided the opportunity for both Raytheon and Polish Defense industry to work on directly related projects prior to starting the Wisla programme.

MT: Thank you.

MSPO 2014: Tytan Almost Ready for Trials

During MSPO 2014 it was confirmed that the Tytan programme is on its way - according to the latest plan Poland wants to finish the R&D phase by 2017. By 2018, the Polish Army will start receiving approximately 2,000 sets for PLN600 million. Ultimately, Poland is committed to acquire up to 14,000 sets and an additional 150 for training purposes. A contract between the Armament Inspectorate of Polish Ministry of National Defense and a consortium of 13 companies (led by Przemysłowe Centrum Optoelektroniki -PCO) was signed in late June 2014.

This project was started by government-run and private defence companies of Poland in 2007. Tytan includes new uniforms, personal armaments and equipment – everything composed of modules. Arms will be provided by Fabryka Broni Lucznik-Radom, Radmor, Bumar Elektronika, and WB Electronics will provide personal communication, data transfer, IFF sensors and detection warning systems. Soldiers will be able to communicate not only by voice with other soldiers, but also to send in real time data from helmet-mounted camera, to receive tactical data from other soldiers, C2 posts, UAVs and helicopters.

Tytan soldiers will use the SCT RUBIN (Ruby) thermal imaging sight manufactured by PCO in Warsaw.  (Photos: Robert Czulda)

Tytan soldiers will use the SCT RUBIN (Ruby) thermal imaging sight manufactured by PCO in Warsaw. It will be augmented by MU-3M Koliber miniature night vision monocular (without batteries it weighs only 250 g). MU-3M night vision device can work with an infrared attachment ClipIR, thus allowing observations of the scenery in fusion mode: night vision and thermal modes blended together. Uniforms will be provided by Maskpol. Soldiers will receive new HBKO-1 helmets, multi-layered vests protecting from a direct fire and shrapnel. In the future Tytan system will be also equipped with life monitoring system and active masking of uniforms (able to adapt to the surrounding environment). In total 13 Polish companies are involved in this project.

Tytan soldiers' Fabryka Broni Lucznik-Radom MSBS 5,56mm assault rifle

Beryl wz. 96C 5.56 mm, currently the main assault rifle of Polish Army, will not be the main armament of the Tytan system. Fabryka Broni Lucznik-Radom has been developing two arms: MSBS 5,56mm assault rifle and PR-15 Ragun pistol (9 mm x 19 mm Parabellum). The latter is intended as a replacement of P-64 and P-84 pistols which both use Makarov 9 mm x 18 mm ammo. While PR-15 will supplement P-94 WIST pistols, the MSBS is intended as a full replacement of the Beryl rifle. MSBS will be available in different configurations: a standard assault rifle, with a 40 mm grenade launcher, a sniper rifle or light machine gun. MSBS will be available in both classic and bull-pup versions.

A total cost of the Tytan system can reach PLN5 billion.

Robert Czulda

MSPO 2014: IAI Promotes B767 MMTT in Poland

During MSPO 2014 in Kielce, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) promoted the MMTT (Multi Mission Tanker Transport) aircraft, which is a pre-owned Boeing B767 developed and converted by IAI's Bedek Group.

(Photo: IAI)

IAI’s B767 MMTT can be configured for a variety of configurations: Air Refueling, Cargo, VIP, Passengers/Troops Medevac and ISR systems as desired by the operator. A special cargo door and cargo pallet capabilities are built in. Passenger seats and consoles can be rapidly installed or removed.

IAI proudly announced that it has recently performed a successful test-flights of B767-300ER aircraft, equipped with an advanced Fly-by-Wire (FBW) boom system. The new added FBW boom capability is a part of IAI’s experience of converting tens of aircraft (B767, B707, C130, and Il-78) to tankers or multi mission tanker/transport (MMTT) platforms, for more than 12 customers worldwide, including Israel.

It was no surprise that IAI promoted the MMTT during MSPO 2014. Poland’s Ministry of National Defense (MoND) signaled on multiple occasions that the Polish Air Force (PoAF) wanted to procure strategic airlift capability aircraft along with an aerial refueling tanker aircraft. Acquiring such capabilities is an important step in the development of the PoAF, as it currently has in service smaller transport aircraft, such as the C-295M and M-28 BRYZA. Poland also uses ex-US old C-130E HERCULES aircrafts, which can accommodate up to 92 troops or 20t of cargo. Poland would like to procure two big MRTTs, which would be used for transporting  cargo, troops and occasionally VIPs.

IAI is one of the major contenders in this project. Together with PHO (former Bumar) and LOT Aircraft Maintenance Services, it has offered a procurement and structural rebuild of used Boeing B767 passenger airplanes. Before that, PHO and LOT Aircraft Maintenance Services considered offering an Airbus A310. It was officially assumed that procured airplanes from a civilian market could not be older than 20 years.

It was announced recently that Poland received six offers including: the Airbus Military/Airbus Defense & Space (A330 MRTT); the Israel Aerospace Industries Limited Bedek Aviation Group, in cooperation with Wojskowe Zaklady Lotnicze Nr 2 from Bydgoszcz (B767 MRTT); and Boeing (B767A/KC-46). Other proposals were sent by Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT, Instytut Metali Nieżelaznych oddział w Poznaniu, and Megmar Logistic & Consulting. No details have been revealed at this time.

(Photo: Robert Czulda)

However, a decision to acquire tankers has not yet been made and it is uncertain if Poland will do that. Poland, along with Spain, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands, is interested in joint procurement and using between eight and ten multi-role tankers/transports. On behalf of those states, the EDA (European Defence Agency) has sent a request for information to Airbus (A330MRTT) and Boeing (KC-46A). A contract may be signed in mid-2015. Joint aircrafts would be declared operationally ready in 2020.
Robert Czulda

03 September 2014

MSPO2014: AmSafe Bridport to Work with UMO for TARIAN RPG Armour

AmSafe Bridport (stand D88) signed a cooperation agreement with Polish defence company UMO, to work together to launch AmSafe Bridport's TARIAN rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) armour system into the Polish defence and security market.

AmSafe Bridgport's TARIAN RPG Armour (Photos: AmSafe Bridgport)

AmSafe Bridport’s experience in developing Tarian, a revolutionary, lightweight and flexible RPG vehicle armour system, combined with UMO’s track record in establishing advanced, specialised military hardware products into Poland’s Special Operations Command and Police units, means that this agreement will offer UMO’s customers the latest in RPG protection technology for defence and security vehicles, both within Poland and on international peace-keeping missions.

TARIAN is a highly effective solution for protection against RPGs and also the world’s lightest. Developed in close collaboration with the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the TARIAN system has been extensively tested – including over 750 live shots – in the UK, France and the USA. This testing verified TARIAN’s high level of performance and multi-hit capability. TARIAN was launched in 2009 and it is now fitted to a variety of British military vehicles, including those in service in Afghanistan, following a £10.6 million order from the MOD in 2012.

Ian Kentfield, President of AmSafe Bridport said: “AmSafe Bridport is delighted to appoint UMO as our representative in Poland. UMO is superbly placed to help us explore opportunities in the Polish market and Tarian fits in extremely well with the other products and services UMO offers.

Arkadiusz Szuba, CEO at UMO, commented: “UMO is very excited to be working alongside AmSafe Bridport to offer Tarian’s innovative technology to our Polish defence and security forces. We look forward to a fruitful future together.”

AmSafe Bridgport's TARIAN RPG Armour on FOXHOUND vehicle. 

What is Happening in Africa

Africa remains to be one of the hotspots of the world with things turning ugly.

US Attacks al-Shabab in Somalia

On 2 September, US military forces conducted an operation against units of the al-Shabab militia in Somalia seeking a particular individual but provided little data on the assault (sources report the target was top al-Shebab commander Ahmed Abdi Godane). A spokesman from the Pentagon said that more details would be revealed at their discretion following a thorough assessment of the operation and feedback from the human and electronic intelligence sources at their disposal.

al-Shabab insurgents.

A senior US official quoted by the American media confirmed that a specific al-Shabab individual had been targeted. It is suspected that the attack may have taken place in retaliation for an attack by al-Shabab terrorists on a detention centre in Mogadishu, which occurred on the evening of 31 August.

The US military and its semi-civil contracting force has proven to be the backbone of the 22,000 man mission to Somalia, which earlier successfully restored a degree of law and order to the anarchy that had up until recently characterised Somalia as a failed state. Nonetheless a degree of instability remains thanks to the survival of al-Shabab elements in the north of the country and in certain urban areas. The aim of the rebels is to overthrow the internationally established government and replace it with a Jihadist Islamic fundamentalist regime.

Africa Must Tackle Terrorism, Leaders Warn

African leaders went as far as saying the continent must work together to end the plague of terrorism, amid fears of a growing extremist threat on the continent. The African Union (AU) summit in the Kenyan capital began hours after a US air strike in neighbouring Somalia.

We are concerned about the peace and stability of our continent,” Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno said, as he opened the summit as chairman of the AU Peace and Security Council. “The attacks in the Sahel region, terrorist acts of the Boko Haram in Nigeria and other parts of west Africa... only motivate us to intensify efforts to combat this scourge. Terrorism and organised crime compels us to take common action.”

Hosted by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, heads of state at the summit include Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who both face Islamist insurgencies in their nations.

Boko Haram Pre-Dawn Raid on Nigerian Troops

Boko Haram militants on Monday launched a pre-dawn raid on Nigerian troops as they prepared for a major offensive to retake a town that the group's leader declared part of his Islamic caliphate. Scores of Boko Haram fighters stormed the town of Bama as soldiers readied for an attack on the nearby town of Gwoza, which was seized by the Islamists on 7 August.

Boko Haram militants.

Bama is just 70km by road from the Borno state capital, Maiduguri. The city is the radicals' spiritual home but they were chased out by the military when a state of emergency was declared in May last year.
Boko Haram has seized a number of towns and villages in southern Borno and near the border with Cameroon in recent weeks, leading to claims that it is planning to encircle Maiduguri and make it the centre of a hardline Islamic state.

The fighting forced hundreds of residents to flee, adding to increasing numbers of displaced people forced out of their homes across Nigeria's far northeast because of the violence.

Libyan Clashed with Jihadists

Jihadist gunmen clashed on Monday with Libyan troops in Benghazi, killing 10 soldiers, as the Islamists tried to advance on an airport in the eastern city. The fighting came as Libya's outgoing government said that armed militias were in control of the capital Tripoli, days after Islamists seized its international airport as the oil-rich North African nation further slipped into chaos.

On 22 August, the Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) mainly Islamist alliance seized Tripoli airport after weeks of fierce fighting with nationalist rivals. And on Monday, the government said Tripoli was in the hands of armed militias.
In Benghazi, birthplace of the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi, a spokesman for the Libyan Army's Special Forces said the jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia took part in the clashes.

Ansar al-Sharia, which classifies as a terrorist organisation, is based in Benghazi and said to control 80% of Libya's second city. It is part of the Shura coalition of jihadist fighters who tried to advance on Benina, which is both a civilian airport and an air force base, Zawi said.The situation is now under control, the Army repelled the attack with help from the Air Force which bombarded a column of advancing jihadists. In May a rogue general, Khalifa Haftar, launched an offensive dubbed Operation “Dignity” against radical Islamists in Benghazi, vowing to press his campaign until they are crushed.