HSW presents Baobab-K scatterable mine-laying system prototype

by Jakub Link-Lenczowski

HSW presented the Baobab-K truck-mounted scatterable mine-laying system prototype in a video on 1 February. (HSW)

Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) presented the final prototype of the Baobab-K truck-mounted scatterable mine-laying system in a video on 1 February. The video shows the mine-cassette loading process and mine-laying operations on the factory training ground.

The system is undergoing qualification trials to certify the final prototype. The Polish Armaments Inspectorate (now Armaments Agency) awarded the PLN19.95 million (USD5 million) Baobab-K prototype development contract to HSW in December 2018. Krzysztof Cedrowski of HSW told Janes on 2 February that development is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Baobab-K is an automated system that can lay minefields of various sizes and densities. The platform is being developed by a consortium of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) subsidiaries HSW, Jelcz, and Belma; Poland's Military University of Technology; and WB Group. The system is mounted on a Jelcz 662D.43 8×8 high-mobility truck chassis with an armoured cabin and six launchers. However, Cedrowski said HSW can offer a tracked Baobab-G based on HSW's hydro-pneumatic chassis. The vehicle can carry 600 Belma MN-123.1 and MN-123.2 programmable anti-tank mines.

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AIM-120D AMRAAM launched from F-15EX Eagle II

by Robin Hughes

An F-15EX Eagle II, assigned to the USAF 40th Flight Test Squadron out of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, prepares to fire an AIM-120D AMRAAM during a Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) mission near Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, on 25 January 2022. (US Air Force)

The US Air Force (USAF) conducted the first release of an air-launched missile from a Boeing F-15EX Eagle II next-generation multirole combat aircraft over the Gulf of Mexico on 25 January.

Pursuing a Kratos Defense & Security Solutions BQM-167A Skeeter subscale aerial target drone, an Eagle II assigned to the USAF 40th Flight Test Squadron successfully launched an AIM-120D Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile as part of Combat Archer, a USAF 53rd Wing air-to-air Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) managed by the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group at Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) Florida.

“During the flight, the F-15EX detected the drone using onboard sensors, acquired a weapons-quality track and launched the missile at the target. After tracking the missile's release and flight toward the BQM-167, the shot was determined a WSEP success, at which point the missile flight was terminated,” the air force said in a statement.

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Israeli PM announces ‘laser wall' air defence plan

by Yaakov Lappin

A high-power laser burns through a target drone during a trial of an airborne system announced in June 2021. (Israeli MoD)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will field a laser interceptor on an experimental basis in the near future, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on 1 February.

“In about a year, the IDF will launch a laser interception system, at first experimentally and later it will become operational, first in the south and then elsewhere,” Bennett told a conference at the Institute for National Security Studies. “This will allow us in the medium to long term to surround Israel with a laser wall that protects us from missiles, rockets, UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], and other threats.”

Bennett said the use of lasers would reverse the current “economic equation” where Israel's Iron Dome batteries launch large numbers of missiles costing “tens of thousands of dollars” against cheap rockets during escalations with Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and will need even more interceptors if there is a conflict with the Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hizbullah.

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Australia readies for Enhanced NASAMS canister launcher deliveries

by Robin Hughes

Norwegian Technical Support Staff loading AMRAAM missiles into the Australian Army's NASAMS Mk 2 Canister Launcher as part of Factory Acceptance Testing in Kongsberg, Norway from October to December 2021. (Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace)

The first three Mk 2 Canister Launchers (CLs) for the Australian Army's future Enhanced National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) capability are expected to arrive in-country in April, following the completion of Factory Acceptance Tests at the Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace facility in Kongsberg, Norway from October to December 2021.

Approved in March 2017 as the preferred solution for the Australian Department of Defence's (DoD's) Land 19 Phase 7B requirement, Enhanced NASAMS will deliver a tactical mobile short-range ground-based air-defence (SRGBAD) system that will replace the Australian Army's legacy RBS-70 manportable short-range air-defence system. Land 19 Phase 7B is being delivered by prime contractor Raytheon Australia, with the support of Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and Kongsberg Defence Australia.

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Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) presented the final prototype of the Baobab-K truck-mounted scatterable mine...

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