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  • Le Rafale toujours en lice pour le remplacement des F-16, malgré une offre "hors procédure"

    26 juin 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Le Rafale toujours en lice pour le remplacement des F-16, malgré une offre "hors procédure"

    C'est toujours le flou autour des offres pour le remplacement des F-16. Pour rappel, trois avions sont sur la table du gouvernement : le F-35 américain, l'Eurofighter Typhoon européen et le Rafale français qui lui, est "hors procédure" — c'est-à-dire que l'offre n'a pas été faite dans le cadre de l'appel d'offres officiel. Une situation qui a déjà donné naissance à quelques cacophonies au sein du gouvernement, le ministre de la Défense voulant privilégier les offres rendues en bonne et due forme, et le Premier laissant entendre que l'offre française (plutôt alléchante) serait examinée, malgré le fait qu'elle n'ait pas respecté les procédures. Et quatre mois avant que le gouvernement ne doive rendre sa décision, rebelote. Le ministre de la Défense Steven Vandeput (N-VA) a déclaré dans dans les pages du Morgen que la proposition de la France pour le remplacement des F-16 était exclue, "On ne peut pas faire comme si les Français faisaient partie de la procédure", affirme Steven Vandeput , vendredi. La décision est bien entendu à prendre au sein du gouvernement et le ministre a toujours dit qu'il y présenterait les éléments concernant ce dossier, a indiqué vendredi le cabinet de Steven Vandeput (N-VA), tout en rappelant que les Français n'ont pas introduit leur offre dans le cadre de la procédure officielle. Paris toujours en lice Sa sortie dans le Morgen a rapidement conduit le Premier ministre Charles Michel à réagir en soulignant que l'offre de Paris était toujours en lice et que la décision finale serait "prise au sein du gouvernement et nulle part ailleurs". "L'offre des français est sur la table du gvt. Nous devons encore discuter. Les discussions ne sont pas closes. Il y a toujours trois candidats constructeurs, deux dans la procédure classique et une autre proposition émanent des français", a alors précisé Steven Vandeput à l'entrée du conseil des Ministres Interviewé sur Radio 1, M. Vandeput a précisé qu'il ne voulait pas envoyer un message au Premier ministre avec son intervention dans la presse, mais uniquement "mettre les points sur les i" après que le constructeur français Dassault - qui produit le Rafale - a lancé une large campagne de communication sur son offre. Sur la question d'un contexte géopolitique européen, avec le projet d'une Europe de la Défense qui pourrait influencer le choix du gouvernement, le ministre de l'Intérieur Jan Jambon répond : "Ce projet là est très important, mais il est pour l'horizon 2045. D'ici là, nous devons acheter de nouveaux avions et on ne peut pas attendre." "On n'achète pas des bicyclettes, il faut tout analyser : le prix, les éléments techniques... On doit maintenant envisager toutes les options, même celle du prolongement éventuel des F-16" a quant à lui déclaré le vice-Premier Didier Reynders. https://www.rtbf.be/info/belgique/detail_remplacement-des-f-16-la-proposition-francaise-est-exclue-pour-steven-vandeput?id=9952799

  • Security and defence cooperation: EU will enhance its capacity to act as a security provider, its strategic autonomy, and its ability to cooperate with partners

    26 juin 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Security and defence cooperation: EU will enhance its capacity to act as a security provider, its strategic autonomy, and its ability to cooperate with partners

    Today, foreign affairs ministers and defence ministers discussed the implementation of the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence. The Council then adopted conclusions which highlight the significant progress in strengthening cooperation in the area of security and defence and provide further guidance on next steps. Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) The Council adopted today a common set of governance rules for projects within the PESCO framework. The sequencing of the more binding commitments undertaken by member states participating in PESCO is expected to be defined through a Council recommendation, in principle in July 2018. An updated list of PESCO projects and their participants, including a second wave of projects, is expected by November 2018. The general conditions for third state participation in PESCO projects are expected to be set out in a Council decision in principle also in November. Capability development plan and coordinated annual review on defence (CARD) The Council approved the progress catalogue 2018, which provides a military assessment of the prioritised capability shortfalls and high impact capability goals to be achieved in a phased approach. It forms a key contribution to the EU capability development priorities. These priorities are recognised by the Council as a key reference for both member states' and EU defence capability development initiatives. The aim of CARD, for which a trial run is being conducted by the European Defence Agency, is to establish a process which will provide a better overview of national defence spending plans. This would make it easier to address European capability shortfalls and identify new collaborative opportunities, ensuring the most effective and coherent use of defence spending plans. European defence fund The European Defence Fund is one of the key security and defence initiatives by the Commission, reaffirmed in its proposal for the future multiannual financial framework (2021-2027), with a proposed envelope of €13 billion. The European Defence Fund aims to foster innovation and allow economies of scale in defence research and in the industrial development phase by supporting collaborative projects in line with capability priorities identified by Member States within the CFSP framework. This will strengthen the competitiveness of the Union's defence industry. Under the current financial framework, with the same objectives, the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) was agreed by the representatives of the co-legislators on 22 May 2018. The Council welcomes this agreement. The EDIDP should aim at incentivising collaborative development programmes in line with defence capability priorities commonly agreed by EU member states, in particular in the context of the capability development plan. European peace facility The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy proposed the creation of a European Peace Facility in the context of the future multiannual financial framework, an off-EU budget fund devoted to security and defence. The aim of the facility would be: funding the common costs of military operations under the Common Security and Defence Policy (currently covered by the Athena mechanism); contributing to the financing of military peace support operations led by other international actors (currently covered by, for example, the African Peace Facility); and providing support to third states' armed forces to prevent conflicts, build peace and strengthen international security. The Council takes note of the proposal and invites the relevant Council preparatory bodies to take the work forward and present concrete recommendations on the proposed facility. Military mobility The aim of improving military mobility is to address those obstacles which hinder the movement of military equipment and personnel across the EU. The High Representative and the Commission presented a joint communication on improving military mobility in the EU on 10 November 2017 and an action plan on 28 March 2018. The Council welcomes this action plan and calls for its swift implementation. As a first step in this direction, the Council approves the overarching high-level part of the military requirements for military mobility within and beyond the EU. The Council also stresses that improvement in military mobility can only be achieved with the full involvement and commitment of all member states, fully respecting their national sovereignty. The conclusions also touch on other strands of work in the field of EU security and defence, including strengthening civilian CSDP, developing a more strategic approach for EU partnerships on security and defence with third countries, and increasing resilience and bolstering capabilities to counter hybrid threats, including further developing the EU's strategic communication approach together with member states. Background On 14 November 2016, the Council adopted conclusions on implementing the EU Global Strategy in the area of security and defence. These conclusions set out three strategic priorities in this regard: responding to external conflicts and crises, building the capacities of partners, and protecting the European Union and its citizens. Since then, the EU has significantly increased its efforts in the area of security and defence. Progress was noted and further guidance provided through Council conclusions on 6 March 2017, on 18 May 2017 and 13 November 2017. Council conclusions on strengthening civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) were adopted on 28 May 2018. At the same time, the EU has also increased its cooperation with NATO, on the basis of the joint declaration on EU-NATO cooperation signed by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and NATO Secretary-General on 8 July 2016 in the margins of the Warsaw summit. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2018/06/25/security-and-defence-cooperation-eu-will-enhance-its-capacity-to-act-as-a-security-provider-its-strategic-autonomy-and-its-ability-to-cooperate-with-partners/

  • The Countries Where F-35 Sales Are Taking Off

    26 juin 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    The Countries Where F-35 Sales Are Taking Off

    Since the first F-35 rolled off Lockheed Martin's production line in 2006, the fifth-generation multirole stealth fighter has taken the world by storm. U.S. F-35s deployed to Europe and the Pacific in 2017, and Israel has reportedly already used its jets in combat in the Middle East. Soon, the Arab world might get its first F-35 — the United Arab Emirates is in talks with the United States about buying the aircraft. To date, the program's reach has expanded to 12 nations around the globe, and all signs point to the F-35 continuing to dominate the Western fighter market for decades to come. But tensions between historically close NATO allies could threaten the fate of one partner nation's F-35 fleet: Turkey. Here's the breakdown of the global F-35 fleet. https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/06/22/the-countries-where-f-35-sales-are-taking-off/

  • Future US Navy weapons will need lots of power. That’s a huge engineering challenge.

    26 juin 2018 | International, Naval

    Future US Navy weapons will need lots of power. That’s a huge engineering challenge.

    David B. Larter WASHINGTON ― The U.S. Navy is convinced that the next generation of ships will need to integrate lasers, electromagnetic rail guns and other power-hungry weapons and sensors to take on peer competitors in the coming decades. However, integrating futuristic technologies onto existing platforms, even on some of the newer ships with plenty of excess power capacity, will still be an incredibly difficult engineering challenge, experts say. Capt. Mark Vandroff, the current commanding officer of the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center and the former Arleigh Burke-class destroyer program manager who worked on the DDG Flight III, told the audience at last week's American Society of Naval Engineers symposium that adding extra electric-power capacity in ships currently in design was a good idea, but that the weapons and systems of tomorrow will pose a significant challenge to naval engineers when it comes time to back-fit them to existing platforms. “Electrical architecture on ships is hard,” Vandroff said. Vandroff considered adding a several-megawatt system to a ship with plenty of power to spare, comparing it with simultaneously turning on everything in a house. “When you turn everything on in your house that you can think of, you don't make a significant change to the load for [the power company],” Vandroff explained. “On a ship, if you have single loads that are [a] major part of the ship's total load, [it can be a challenge]. This is something we had to look at for DDG Flight III where the air and missile defense radar was going to be a major percentage of the total electric load ― greater than anything that we had experienced in the previous ships in the class. That's a real technical challenge. “We worked long and hard at that in order to get ourselves to a place with Flight III where we were confident that when you turned things on and off the way you wanted to in combat, you weren't going to light any of your switchboards on fire. That was not a back-of-the-envelope problem, that was a lot of folks in the Navy technical community ... doing a lot of work to make sure we could get to that place, and eventually we did.” In order to get AMDR, or SPY-6, installed on the DDG design, Vandroff and the team at the DDG-51 program had to redesign nearly half the ship — about 45 percent all told. Even on ships with the extra electric-power capacity, major modifications might be necessary, he warned. “We're going to say that in the future we are going to be flexible, we are going to have a lot of extra power,” Vandroff said. “That will not automatically solve the problem going forward. If you have a big enough load that comes along for a war-fighting application or any other application you might want, it is going to take technical work and potential future modification in order to get there.” Even the powerhouse Zumwalt class will struggle with new systems that take up a large percentage of the ship's power load, Vandroff said. “Take DDG-1000 ― potentially has 80-odd megawatts of power. If you have a 5- or 6-megawatt load that goes on or off, that is a big enough percentage of total load that it's going to be accounted for. Electrical architecture in the future is still an area that is going to require a lot of effort and a lot of tailoring, whatever your platform is, to accommodate those large loads,” he said. In 2016, when the Navy was planning to install a rail gun on an expeditionary fast transport vessel as a demonstration, service officials viewed the electric-power puzzle as the reason the service has not moved more aggressively to field rail gun on the Zumwalt class. Then-director of surface warfare Rear Adm. Pete Fanta told Defense News that he wanted to move ahead with a rail gun demonstration on the JHSV because of issues with the load. “I would rather get an operational unit out there faster than do a demonstration that just does a demonstration,” Fanta said, “primarily because it will slow the engineering work that I have to do to get that power transference that I need to get multiple repeatable shots that I can now install in a ship.” https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/06/24/future-navy-weapons-will-need-lots-power-thats-a-huge-engineering-challenge/

  • US Air Force announces rocket deal with SpaceX for military satellite

    26 juin 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    US Air Force announces rocket deal with SpaceX for military satellite

    By: Andrew C. Jarocki WASHINGTON — U.S. Air Force Space Command will send a new military satellite into space in 2020 with the help of SpaceX. The AFSC's Space and Missile Systems Center announced Friday a $130 million contract with the rocket design and manufacturing company. The relatively low-cost price tag secured the deal for SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, beating out main rival United Launch Alliance (composed of Boeing and Lockheed Martin) by tens of millions of dollars and earning praise from the Air Force. Lt. Gen. John Thompson, program executive officer for the Space and Missile Systems Center, approved the contract, saying it “directly supports [the Center's] mission of delivering resilient and affordable space capabilities to our nation while maintaining assured access to space.” The agreement for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle service contract includes “launch vehicle production, mission integration and launch operations” from SpaceX, according to a news release. The Heavy Falcon can deliver a payload of 70 tons to low-Earth orbit. SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell highlighted the price savings in a statement, saying her company's services offer “the American taxpayer the most cost-effective” and “reliable” services for national space missions. https://www.defensenews.com/space/2018/06/22/us-air-force-announces-rocket-deal-with-spacex-for-military-satellite/

  • Airbus threatens to leave Britain over Brexit trade relations

    26 juin 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Airbus threatens to leave Britain over Brexit trade relations

    By: Danica Kirka, The Associated Press LONDON — Aviation giant Airbus is threatening to leave Britain if the country exits the European Union without an agreement on trade relations, underscoring the concerns of business leaders who say the government is moving too slowly. Airbus, which employs about 14,000 people at 25 sites in the U.K., said it needs to know by the end of the summer what rules will govern its operations, or the company will “reconsider its long-term footprint in the country.” Airbus also says a proposed transition deal that runs through December 2020 is too short for the company to reorganize its supply chain. “While Airbus understands that the political process must go on, as a responsible business we require immediate details on the pragmatic steps that should be taken to operate competitively,” Tom Williams, CEO of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, said in a statement. “This is a dawning reality for Airbus. Put simply, a no-deal scenario directly threatens Airbus' future in the U.K.” While many business leaders have demanded clarity about the future with Britain set to leave the EU in nine months, Airbus' sheer size and role in the economy make it an influential voice in the Brexit debate. Airbus is the U.K.'s largest commercial aerospace company, a leading provider of military satellite communications and the biggest supplier of large aircraft to the Royal Air Force. It also has a significant impact on other companies, funneling an estimated £5 billion (U.S. $6.6 billion) to 4,000 U.K. suppliers, including big names like Rolls-Royce, as well as many smaller businesses. Darren Jones, the member of Parliament for the community where Airbus makes wings, attacked the government for listening to those who want the most hard-line form of Brexit and “not to the businesses that employ thousands of British workers, including Airbus.” “Thousands of skilled, well-paid jobs are now on the line because of the shambolic mess the government have created over the Brexit negotiations,” he said. Airbus, the biggest rival to U.S.-based aircraft-maker Boeing, has been a prime example of how European cooperation could lead to success in business. The German, French and Spanish governments own 26.4 percent of Airbus, which was created through the merger of German, French and Spanish aerospace companies. Prime Minister Theresa May's government reacted quickly to the Airbus statement, saying it was confident of getting a good deal and “we do not expect a no-deal scenario to arise.” But Williams said Airbus is frustrated after it tried to discuss its concerns with the government for 12 months and made little progress. “We've got to get clarity,” he said in an interview with the BBC. “We've got to be able to protect our employees, our customers and our shareholders, and we can't do that in the current situation.” The comments came as Airbus published an assessment of the risks Brexit poses to the company. The report shows that Airbus, like many modern companies, is particularly vulnerable to Brexit because of its international supply chain. Plants in several countries make specialized components, which are shipped back and forth across international borders as aircraft are assembled. Britain's membership in the EU makes this easy because goods move freely between the 28 member states, with no tariffs or other trade barriers. That will change after Brexit because Britain will not be a member of the EU's single market and customs union. While the U.K. government says it wants trade to be as frictionless as possible after Brexit, manufacturers are running out of time to plan for the future. Airbus said it is facing a variety of decisions, including whether to invest in future manufacturing capacity, the need to build up stocks of components in the event of border delays and how to ensure parts are certified by aircraft regulators in the future. Delays caused by a no-deal scenario could cost Airbus as much as €1 billion euros (U.S. $1.2 billion) of revenue a week, according to the risk assessment. “This scenario would force Airbus to reconsider its investments in the U.K., and its long-term footprint in the country, severely undermining U.K. efforts to keep a competitive and innovative aerospace industry, developing high-value jobs and competences,” Williams said. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2018/06/22/airbus-threatens-to-leave-britain-over-brexit-trade-relations/

  • Update: Norway cancels tank upgrade

    26 juin 2018 | International, Terrestre

    Update: Norway cancels tank upgrade

    Tim Fish, London Plans to upgrade the Norwegian Army's Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks (MBTs) have been abandoned following the publication of the government's revised budget in May, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed. “Through the examination of the Land Power Proposition in the autumn of 2017, it was decided to suspend the planned and approved upgrade project for existing tanks (Project 5050) based on the recommendations in the National Power Assessment,” the MoD told Jane's. The MBTs “would not provide sufficiently capable tanks to meet developments in the threat of modern weapons and ammunition types”, the ministry explained. A reduced MBT capability will be retained until 2025, when a new tank or an interim solution will be introduced. Only 30 of the 52 tanks in the Norwegian Army inventory are operational. Upgrade proposals have included adopting Germany's Leopard 2A7V or a development of the CV90 infantry fighting vehicle, but the latter was rejected. The 2A7 option remains under consideration for 2025 and measures to maintain the Leopard 2A4s until then “are being investigated”, the MoD added, while admitting that the Norwegian tank fleet's operational capabilities will be gradually reduced and its numbers may be slightly reduced. http://www.janes.com/article/81336/update-norway-cancels-tank-upgrade

  • Tank makers steel themselves for Europe’s next big land-weapon contest

    26 juin 2018 | International, Terrestre

    Tank makers steel themselves for Europe’s next big land-weapon contest

    Sebastian Sprenger PARIS ― European manufacturers of armored vehicles are jockeying for position in what looks to be the most expensive land program for the continent in decades. The industry activity follows plans by France and Germany, reiterated this month, to build a Main Ground Combat System that would replace the current fleet of Leopard 2 and Leclerc tanks. While conceived as a two-country project for now, the hope is to develop a weapon that other European land forces will also pick up. Details remain murky about exactly what the new vehicles must be able to do, though the job description includes something about manned-unmanned teaming. Perhaps that's why officials chose an amorphous name for the project, as it could be anything from a nimble, autonomous fighter to the type of human-driven steel beast of today's armies. The target date for introducing the new platform is set at 2035, and Germany has picked up the lead role for the project both on the government and the industry side. KNDS, the Franco-German joint venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Nexter, put the program on the radar of visitors of the Eurosatory trade show in Paris earlier this month. The companies mated the chassis of a Leopard 2 tank to a Leclerc turret ― and voila, a European Main Battle Tank was born. Company officials stressed that the hybrid behemoth is only a stepping stone on the way toward a full-blown European tank offering under the Main Ground Combat System banner. But the product might interest Eastern European nations looking to divest their Russian legacy fleets for a good-enough, Western-made tank that ― presumably ― doesn't break the bank. The marriage of KMW and Nexter saves the two companies from having to compete against one another for the next-generation tank. It also creates the appearance that Paris' and Berlin's love for a future tank is happily echoed by their industries. “Let's assume we wouldn't have joined forces,” said Frank Haun, the CEO of KMW. Both he and his Nexter counterpart, Stephane Mayer, would have had to lobby their respective governments for a purely national solution, pulling the old argument of keeping jobs in the country, Haun said. The two companies hailed an announcement last week about a new Franco-German deal aimed at examining possible program options for the future tank. “The Letter Of Intent signed yesterday is a significant step forward in the defense cooperation between the two countries and in Europe,” reads a June 20 statement. “This close cooperation was the key motivation for the foundation of KNDS in 2015, where Nexter and KMW cooperate as national system houses for land systems.” But the binational industry team is far from the only game in town. Take Rheinmetall, for example, which is KMW's partner in the Leopard program. Company executives at the Paris weapons expo were tight-lipped about their strategy toward the Main Ground Combat System, or MGCS. But it's probably a safe bet to presume the Düsseldorf, Germany-based firm won't cede a market of tens of billions of dollars without a fight. “Come back and see me in December in Unterlüß,” Ben Hudson, head of the company's vehicle systems division, told Defense News during an interview in Paris. He was referring to a small German town one hour south of Hamburg where Rheinmetall runs a manufacturing plant. Hudson declined to say more about what the company would roll out at that time. “I can't mention it just yet,” he said. “Expect more surprises in the future. We're already working on some other things in the secret laboratories of Rheinmetall.” Either way, officials were eager to note that KNDS, despite its industrial alignment alongside the two governments in charge, is only one bidder in a field that has to fully emerge. “I think there is still a lot of water to flow under the bridge on this program, as it is only in its early days. However, with the technology in the Rheinmetall Group, we have a significant interest in playing a key role in MGCS,” Hudson said. He argued that developing the next-generation tank must begin with considering the “threat” out there, namely the Russian T-14 and T-15 tanks, which are based on a common chassis dubbed Armata. Those vehicles' characteristics, or at least what is known about them, dictate “high lethality” be built into the future European tank, according to Hudson. “How do you defeat a tank that has four active defense systems on it?” he asked. And then there is General Dynamics European Land Systems, the Old World's offspring of the U.S. maker of the Abrams tank and Stryker vehicle. The company is careful to note its European roots: a consolidated mishmash of formerly independent armored-vehicle makers from across the continent. Manuel Lineros, vice president of engineering, told Defense News that the company's Ascot vehicle will be the GDELS offering for the European next-gen tank. Advertised for its mobility and weighing in at roughly 45 tons, the tracked vehicle falls in the class of infantry fighting vehicles, putting it one notch below the heaviest battle tank category. “I understand the battlefield has changed,” Lineros said in an interview at Eurosatory. “We have to abandon the ideas of a combat vehicle versus a classic main battle tank. Everything is so mixed up now.” Whatever the Ascot lacks in sheer mass against projectiles aimed at its shell could be compensated with an active protection system and the ability to move quickly on the battlefield, argued Lineros. “We have to be flexible in this way of interpreting the requirements.” That includes defending against drone swarms, which could become the peer-to-peer equivalent of improvised explosive devices designed to rip open the underbellies of vehicles, he said. Unlike the recent countermine vehicle architecture, that type of aerial threat could mean the top surface of future vehicles will be a weak point requiring special protection, he added. Though adding armor plates remains the industry's first instinct in responding to new threats, Lineros said there is a limit to what he called an “addiction” to steel. “More and more we'll be moving out of this sport.” https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/eurosatory/2018/06/25/tank-makers-steel-themselves-for-europes-next-big-land-weapon-contest/

  • US Army’s long-range, surface-to-surface missile getting new life with $358M contract

    26 juin 2018 | International, Terrestre

    US Army’s long-range, surface-to-surface missile getting new life with $358M contract

    Jen Judson WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has awarded Lockheed Martin a $358 million production contract for the Army Tactical Missile System, which allows for a service life-extension program for old missiles, the company announced Monday. The firm will also produce new missiles for a Foreign Military Sales customer, Lockheed added. ATACMS is the Army's only surface-to-surface, long-range, 300-kilometer missile system. According to a Lockheed spokesperson, the missile system performs well in operations and is highly reliable. But the Army is burning through a variety of its precision missiles in operations that have been heating up in various theaters, and the service is taking steps to ensure its inventory is refreshed and robust going forward. The service life-extension program, or SLEP, will allow customers to be able to upgrade existing Block 1 and Block 1A missiles with new technology and double the range, a Lockheed statement notes. When an old ATACMS comes through the SLEP line, it's “essentially a brand-new missile, and it's reset to [a] 10-year shelf life,” a Lockheed spokesperson told Defense News. By: Jen Judson In December 2014, the Army awarded Lockheed a contract to modernize the ATACMS weapon system, and the company embarked on an effort to upgrade and redesign all the internal electronics, developing and qualifying a new capability for a proximity sensor that enables ATACMS to have a height of burst. ATACMS has a 500-pound class Harpoon warhead intended for point detonation, but giving the missile a height-of-burst capability increases its area effects for imprecisely located targets, the spokesperson said. As part of the SLEP program for expired or aging ATACMS, Lockheed will clean up the old motors and then go through a remanufacture and final assembly process that incorporates the installation of the upgraded electronics. Lockheed is set up, under the current contract, to update or build new missiles at a rate of 320 a year at its Camden, Arkansas, Precision Fires Production Center of Excellence, but there is a surge capacity of 400. Still, the company is posturing to reach a rate of 500 new and upgraded ATACMSs per year based on interest and anticipated orders, the spokesperson said. Lockheed has produced over 3,850 ATACMS missiles, and more than 600 of them have been fired in combat. ATACMSs are packaged in a Guided Missile Launch Assembly pod and is fired from the Multiple Launch Rocket System family of launchers. https://www.defensenews.com/land/2018/06/25/armys-long-range-surface-to-surface-missile-getting-new-life-under-recent-contract-award/

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