About Me

My photo
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

25 February 2015

General Dynamics OTS witnessing uplift in demand for arms

The ongoing security situation in Northern Iraq and Syria has created an “urgent demand environment” in the Middle East regarding munitions, industry sources suggested today.

Speaking to Military Technology at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi on 24 February, sources described high demand in the region following Islamic State’s (IS) advance from Syria into Kurdish-controlled Iraq.

One company executive explained how particular emphasis was being paid to artillery and mortar munitions as well as “aerial bombs” with many Middle Eastern air forces seeking munitions compatible with US-manufactured jets including the F-15 and F-16 aircraft.

A coalition of Middle Eastern and NATO countries have been conducting air raids against IS insurgents since 10 August with partner nations include Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, the UK and US.

A spokesperson for General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GDOTS) explained how the company had also witnessed a similar uplift in demand for small arms training ammunition in France following the terrorist attack on the office of Charlie Hedbo magazine in Paris on 7 January.

“We are working on stuff as part of a wider reaction to Islamic State,” he explained while referring to ongoing US government efforts to supply Jordan’s armed forces with bombs under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) initiative.

“There is an urgent demand environment but we are still seeing the bureaucracy to get things done,” he added.

Meanwhile, GDOTS also stressed the importance of ongoing internal research & development (IRAD) efforts to continue manufacturing of precision-guided systems, especially 81mm and 120mm mortar systems. The company is working up plans to roll out a ‘strap-on’ GPS or laser-guided system  to allow for more accurate support fires from such mortar platforms.

The spokesman said the product had already been demonstrated although it remains in developmental stages.

“Armed forces want more capability and precision and demand is pretty huge in this area,” he said.

Finally, GDOTS is pushing its fleet of Internally Transportable Vehicles (ITVs) in the Middle East market with the UAE expected to conduct a series of trials within the next six months. The UAE Armed Forces are understood to be seeking a platform capable of rolling out the back of a CH-47 helicopter.

Additionally, industry sources have suggested the UAE Special Operations Command is also considering procurement of the CV-22 Osprey. A spokesman for manufacturer Bell Boeing, however, was unable to confirm specific interest in the platform, saying only that the joint venture had received enquiries and helped the US government to reply to these.

GDOTS’s Flyer 72 ITV has already been selected by the US Special Operations Command for its Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 programme. The first 9 vehicles are due to be delivered to two facilities in the US to begin Production Qualification Testing ahead of proposed Low Rate Initial Production which is slated to begin in September. This will also signal the start of the Initial Operational Training and Evaluation (IOT&E) phase with USSOCOM.

No comments:

Post a Comment