SPECIAL REPORT

9

PRECISION STRIKE
January 20, 2014 www.defensenews.com

Shared Precision
NATO Nears Standard on Cross-platform PGM Use
By JULIAN HALE BRUSSELS — Development of a NATO standard allowing aircraft from different nations to use precision-guided munitions (PGMs) from various sources and countries could reach a draft memorandum of understanding this year. A multinational NATO Universal Armaments Interface (NUAI) group is scheduled to meet in the UK in mid-February to look at progress on the Canadian-led NUAI work, and officials say the aim is for a draft memorandum on an agreement to be released early this year and for approval in 2015. The weapons standardization effort is part of a two-prong NATO initiative to avoid the problems highlighted in the 2011 mission against the Gadhafi regime in Libya, where some coalition air forces ran low on precision weapon stocks during the seven-month campaign. The second study, led by DenMBDA

mark, is looking at establishing a framework to strengthen international cooperation in procuring, storing and maintaining weapons. “The concept work is the theoretical superstructure under which now specific individual projects can be realized,” said a spokesman for the German Defense Ministry, one of the participants in the project. The German spokesman said a project bringing together two national armored vehicle ammuni-

tion procurement programs is already underway between the Netherlands and Denmark, involving 35mm ammunition for CV90 infantry fighting vehicles. With a draft memorandum possibly just weeks away from release to NATO nations, it’s the NUAI work rather than the munitions cooperation scheme that is likely to attract immediate attention. The NUAI is based on US-developed UAI software that has been
See NATO PGM, Page 13

Joint Munition Arsenal: A Taurus cruise missile is launched from a German Typhoon fighter jet. A NATO effort would allow fighters from various countries to quickly employ numerous precision-guided munitions.

INSIDE US Getting Precise With Close-Air Support 10 ISRAEL Precision Arsenal Goes Worldwide 12 TURKEY Local Industries Increasingly Provide the Answer 12

with a long time of fall.” said one B-1 pilot with extensive CAS experience. the “danger close” range for the A-10’s gun is listed at 90 meters. “Precision-guided munitions have changed the way we have traditionally thought about CAS. the weapon was displayed Jan. you can cue up targets. He also points out that high-tech weaponry is reliant on data links that could fail at a critical time for American forces on the ground. “A-10s are fantastic CAS platforms. WENDELL MINNICK/STAFF New Capability: The Wan Chien improves Taiwan’s ability to defeat enemy air defenses. The newest version of the small diameter bomb — the SDB-II — could help with issue. the turbojet Wan Chien is guided to its target by a GPS receiver and an inertial navigation system. With a range of 200 kilometers.” said Fu Mei. N Email: amehta@defensenews. with the technology now available. dedicated close-air support platforms are no longer needed. irrespective of its actual overall performance. anti-aircraft missiles and electronic intelligence facilities. that were supposed to be bombs to use the gun because it was too close to our troops or civilian structures. an MND source said. The indigenous defense fighter “Gohawk” combat jet includes new avionics. F-35. and Congress inserted language into last month’s National Defense Authorization Act prohibiting the Air Force from cutting the platform. would go during a firefight could limit use of the weaponry. B-1 or. but Taiwan has two wings (443/427) of indigenous defense fighters totaling 126 fighters.” That lag time diminishes the closer the plane is to the ground. “So you can see why it would make sense in the future to emphasize designing weapons packages for multimission aircraft. if the capability should ever have to be used in anger. a defense expert said. The Wan Chien gives Taiwan an advantage. “The A-10 was designed for when you need to do visual map-toground. “With helmetmounted data. which would include runways. Gunzinger said. Shih compared the glide bomb to the USbuilt AGM-154 JSOW and the European-built Storm Shadow. a decadesold plane designed for close-air support (CAS) missions. command and precision. is intended to suppress enemy air defenses and should complicate any invasion plans China might have in mind. Pilots who have flown those planes into CAS situations argue that. Dubbed the Wan Chien (Ten Thousand Swords). and the GBU. A 2009 Pentagon document defines the “danger close” range for forces standing on the ground — the range at which there is an increased chance of friendly fire — as 200 meters for a GBU-39 small diameter bomb. radar. The Wan Chien follows the recent deployment of Taiwan’s first land-attack cruise missile. an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments who served in a number of Pentagon roles.10 January 20. including precision weapons. way of delivering CAS anymore.” said Mark Gunzinger. rather than developing platforms specialized for single missions. and that’s not our primary. or preferred. which gives Taiwan an added degree of independence of action. “I’ve watched guys drop GBUs from medium altitude on a group of bad guys.” Gunzinger noted that sensors. not the platform itself. Proponents of the A-10 claim precision munitions pose a danger to friendly forces on the ground.” Washington has resisted selling Taiwan what it terms “offensive” weapons.” One veteran A-10 pilot argued that the time between launch and impact of precision weapons can be taken advantage of by enemies on the ground. But supporters of the plane have rallied against the service. President Ma Ying-jeou attended the ceremony. the US Air Force is eyeing vertical cuts — the removal from service of single-mission aircraft to save money that can be invested toward readiness and modernization.” But the service will likely never move away from the gun entirely.” with MND officials complaining the US has refused to provide Taiwan with new F-16 fighter jets to replace its fleet of aging Mirage 2000 and F-5 fighters. Service officials and analysts debate whether precision weapons can replace close-air support platforms such as the A-10. One target is the A-10. Those multimission aircraft include the B-1 and F-15E.” Fu Mei said.” the pilot said. in the future. “China should be afraid” should it decide to invade. The new upgrades indicate the self-ruled democracy intends to take Chinese invasion threats seriously. he said.com. Taiwan Unveils First JSOW By WENDELL MINNICK TAINAN AIR FORCE BASE.” the F-15E pilot said. The disagreements over precision weapons run parallel to the arguments around the continued use of the A-10. radars. . but just how low an F-15.com. a head-up display and the air-launched Wan Chien. see much more than you were able to before. as it is an “indigenously developed capability. “It’s a smaller weapon and can create effects with more precision and lower probability of unintended damage to close-in troops.” he said. outfitted on mobile trucks. director of the Taiwan Security Analysis Center. but our other multirole aircraft are pretty darn good. Taiwan — The Taiwan Air Force’s first joint standoff weapon (JSOW). the Wan Chien could be used against a broad range of targets. “Being a powered and guided munitions dispenser.” the F-15E pilot said.” added an F-15E pilot who has flown numerous CAS missions. data links and targeting pods have as much of an impact as weapons like the GBU-38 used for CAS missions on the B-1 bomber. unveiled at a ceremony last week. the battle has created discussion about the future of CAS and how best to perform the mission. “Increasingly. Proponents of using other platforms for CAS point to precision weaponry.” the A-10 pilot said. In comparison. too. While the fate of the A-10 is unclear. A US defense industry source said the MND has reached a “state of panic. This is the first precision weapon of its kind for Taiwan. The state-run Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. Developed by the military-run Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST). including ones deeper inside the Chinese mainland. 16 at the airbase here in southwestern Taiwan during the inauguration of recently upgraded indigenous defense fighters under the 443 Tactical Fighter Wing. the Wan Chien has been compared to a cluster bomb used to destroy runways. “I’ve switched up attack runs US AIR FORCE Close-air Battle: An F-15E Strike Eagle drops a GBU-28. which began entering service in 1994. The trucks have been disguised as commercial delivery vehicles. “Smart enemies move. “I think that is going to be a very valuable weapon in the future. It is unclear how many Wan Chiens will be built. N Email: wminnick@defensenews. only to have the group split up or move. You always know where the target is. miss the target completely. 2014 PRECISION STRIKE China deploys many against Taiwan. built 130 aircraft.” he said. a Taiwan defense specialist. a Taiwan Ministry of National Defense source said. All indigenous defense fighters under the 443 Wing can be outfitted with the weapon and are ready to defend Taiwan. said Eric Shih. Indigenously produced weapons could be Taiwan’s only answer to continued lobbying by China in Washington to suspend future arms sales to Taiwan. the Hsiung Feng 2E. The US has withheld fulfilling Taiwan’s request for 66 new F-16C/D fighters since 2006. and the 2011 release of an upgrade package for 145 F-16A/Bs could be derailed by US defense budget cuts that endanger the US Air Force’s Combat Avionics Programmed Extension Suite program for its own F-16s. “It’s about communication. “New technology doesn’t change the tactics. what really matters is the munitions and other weapons systems that can be carried by an aircraft. although Is Precision the Future of CAS? By AARON MEHTA WASHINGTON — With budgets slashed due to sequestration. But Shih insists its basic mission is the suppression of enemy air defenses. “I don’t think you can build a bomb small enough to match the gun. These will “definitely provide a meaningful new capability for Taiwan.

“Good reconnaissance and intelligence. also developed by TÜBÍTAK-Sage. long-range. according to industry sources. Gen. its Fort Worth. one-kill” precision strikes through radio frequency communication links that download images from the missile’s seeker directly to gunners. said its precision rockets and tank rounds are operational in 10 countries. Cirit is one of several programs launched by Turkey to equip the Army’s T-129. especially satellite imagery. The HGK is a GPS/INS guidance kit with flap-out wings that converts 2. our systems engineering expertise. and IMI is vectoring our proven combat experience. In a Jan. precision tank rounds and a host of other weapons initially developed for the Israeli military are proliferating on the global market as demand grows for operationally proven precision strike capabilities. South Korea and Brazil. the SOM is Turkey’s first domestic weapon to attack stationary and moving targets at a standoff distance of more than 180 kilometers. Israeli industry executives cite an expanding roster of international customers and strategic partners seeking accurate. “Like most other militaries with regional or global defense ambitions. where government contracts and strategic partnerships with US industry are managed by Elbit USA. “Countries like Turkey facing multiple conventional and asymmetrical threats at the same time in a relatively large and unstable geography must economize militarily and financially unless they spend tens of billions in armament. Bezhalel “Butzi” Machlis. The SOM has been developed since 2006 by TÜBÍTAK-Sage. signed in 2013 a contract to deliver advanced dual band-110 (DB-110) airborne reconnaissance systems for integration into Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jets. The DB-110 is an advanced electro-optical infrared pod designed to provide pilots with real-time. UTC Aerospace Systems. a bomb able to destroy buried targets by penetrating protective reinforced concrete and detonating at a desired time (it is compatible with the HGK). which converts the GPSguided weapon to full dual-mode capability. Turkey’s first locally developed unmanned aircraft. In addition. Italy. precision strike. Officials in Seoul quoted by the South Korean press said the Israeli missiles launched from helicopters or Humvees would support targeting operations against rocket launchers.” This underscores a pressing need for smart. In fact. in addition to infantry. Retired Maj. the electro-optically guided Spike NLOS offers three types of warheads — anti-armor. . India. 10 it would equip new AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat maritime attack helicopters with Rafael’s non-line-of-sight (NLOS) Spike missiles. he said. and the KGK guidance kit. “That’s why we have several satellite and space-related programs. sea and air platforms. the Netherlands and Poland.” Kaplan said. Rafael’s Tammuz. Roketsan officials said the system is going through further technical tests and tests for compatibility with environmental conditions. AH-1P Cobra and AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters with low-cost precision strike capabilities. penetration blast fragmentation and fragmentation — for fire-and-forget strikes from ranges up to 25 kilometers. Spike NLOS enables “oneshot. used in Israel Air Force strikes on Gaza weapons warehouses. selected the Cirit for a test and integration program to equip the company’s EC635. Another program is the HGK guidance kit. the international brand name for the Israeli Tammuz.12 January 20. 13 interview.com. this extra one kilometer makes it a very attractive.” he said.000-pound Mark 83 bombs and 500-pound Mark 82 bombs into long-range fire-and-forget smart weapons. which makes it easier to engage in some scenarios where targets may be outside the seeker’s field of view.com.” he said. Roketsan also has been tasked with producing and marketing the SOM cruise missile. Turkey’s local industry also is quickly progressing toward serial production of the Atmaca. declined comment on the South Korean program. It’s the same configuration and same weight as existing Spike LRs … and for many users. artillery tubes and commando forces attempting to invade from the north. support precision strike efforts. we’ll have a mature system of Spike LR to be fired on helicopters.” he said. “Gunners see exactly what the missile sees all the way to the final fraction of a second before impact. RAFAEL chief executive. Roketsan also has developed an anti-tank missile. The contract was awarded by Turkish military electronics specialist Aselsan. chairman of the board at Israel Military Industries (IMI). For Turkey. Turkey traditionally spends $3 billion to $4 billion annually for new equipment and modernization programs. According to a London-based Turkey specialist. where Lizard laserguided bombs and other precision targeting systems are operational on Brazilian AMX fighter jets and other platforms. The captured data is then relayed to analysts on the ground but can also be displayed on the aircraft’s cockpit video display to help pilots verify targets and conduct battle damage assessment. N Email: bbekdil@defensenews. called Spike LR. The two companies are in full-scale production to supply Laser JDAMs to the US Air Force. and is part of the Turkish Airborne Reconnaissance Program.” In February. a procurement official said. Kaplan said Rafael recently added a laser detector to the electro-optic seeker to improve effectiveness against time-sensitive. formerly Eurocopter.2 million contract from the United Arab Emirates for its Cirit laser-guided rocket system. But he said the company has 20-some customers for original.” the official said. The company maintains strong joint ventures in India. Texasbased subsidiary. with its infrared imaging and laser-seeker options. whose first deliveries Turkey’s procurement bureaucracy awaits. and our portfolio of multidimensional systems to meet growing market demand. He said Rafael recently completed an upgrade to its groundlaunched.” one senior officer at the Turkish military’s doctrine unit said. Like other versions of the company’s Spike line of anti-tank missiles.” he said. precision forces. But aside from Israel. Elbit’s Global Demand: Rafael’s Spike anti-tank guided missile launches from a Samson remote weapon station. including Chile. “The concept itself was luxury thinking for the Turks. “The world is moving toward lighter. and vice versa. It enables precision strike in all weather conditions with long range at a dispersion of six meters. three fixed/transportable imagery exploitation systems. which extends striking distances from four to five kilometers. a radar-guided anti-ship cruise missile. “And Turkey is not one of those spending-rich countries. Together with Boeing. “But with the newfound confidence in their local industry they are now investing impressively in new technologies. more maneuverable. and torpedoes. high-resolution video imagery during day and night tactical reconnaissance operations. a defense research and development institute. a joint venture between Goodrich and Hamilton Sundstrand. Other major TÜBÍTAK-Sage innovations include the NEB bunker buster. are like the fuel for a missile. lethal and low-cost tools for combating urban insurgents and so-called disappearing targets with minimal damage to uninvolved civilians. Israeli industry is finding increasing global markets for its precision arsenal. said it won a $196. the UMTAS. is an anti-tank missile with a range of eight kilometers that can be used in air-to-ground and ground-to-ground operations. “Within a year. the Turks were hardly aware of the merits of precision strike until a few years ago. given our budgetary constraints. laserguided bombs.000-pound Mark 84 bombs into smart weapons. there is a policy directive to boost programs aiming at maximum lethality with minimal costs. N Email: bopallrome@defensenews. Roketsan. said the company is consistently expanding its portfolio of precision strike and networked command-and-control systems to meet global demand for sensor-to-shooter capabilities. the stateowned company slated for privatization this year. long-range Spike. so-called targets of opportunity. the company’s largest market is the United States. Roketsan is also producing canisters for Lockheed Martin’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile. are just two of the many locally developed systems deployed by militaries on nearly every continent. low-cost option for attack helicopters operating at closer range. Elbit’s precision strike air-. and Elbit Systems’ Lizard laser-guided bombs. Turkey’s state-run missile maker. Designed for launch from wheeled or tracked ground vehicles and a variety of helicopters. Minimum Cost By BURAK EGE BEKDIL ANKARA — Turkish interest in precision strike has increased sharply in recent years with local industry steadily becoming more active in providing those capabilities. Ron Kaplan. marketing manager for Rafael’s Tactical Precision Weapon Systems Directorate. Under the contract. Finland. 2 and 3. landand sea-launched systems are operational in dozens of countries. a high-precision missile that can be launched from land. The missile has had several successful field tests. and training and logistical support to the Air Force. Elbit de- veloped the seeker for the Laser joint direct attack munition (JDAM). “We’re augmenting all the advantages of our electro-optical seeker with laser homing. The UMTAS is considered the official antitank system for the T-129 and the Anka. The UMTAS. Germany. The 70mm rocket has a range of eight kilometers.” Kaplan said. Goodrich and Hamilton Sundstrand are providing four DB-110 reconnaissance pods. Turkey’s is targeting maximum lethality with minimum costs. South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced Jan. 2014 PRECISION STRIKE Israel’s Precision Strike Portfolio Grows Worldwide By BARBARA OPALL-ROME TEL AVIV — Standoff artillery. Precision Is Maximum Lethality. long-range and NLOS versions of Spike. Gokturk 1.” Three satellite programs. Udi Adam. a precision guidance wing kit that converts 1. Airbus Helicopters. a standoff missile used to target rocket-launching squads and renegade crossborder fire from Syria. Armored land vehicles and naval vessels are other potential UMTAS platforms. Revealed in 2011. which they hope would earn them smart capabilities for better and cheaper hit. Rafael is under contract with two customers to integrate the Spike LR on helicopters. But the military official said that such smart weaponry would be inadequate unless well supported by solid reconnaissance and intelligence.

“NUAI weapons could be integrated quickly [probably in a matter of weeks] on an NUAI platform. For the moment. as the maritime surveillance plane lacks an onboard targeting system. who became Italy’s chief of staff after running the Air Force. Albrecht Müller in Bonn and Pierre Tran in Paris contributed to this report. “Bureaucracy will be the main hurdle here. European and US companies are following developments closely. such as MBDA. The project has attracted the attention of many of NATO’s key air forces.e.” A former Italian Air Force chief warned that any NATO plan to share munitions and convert aircraft to carry them would run up against a tough opponent. if it can be established as a project. and several helicopter-launched weapons. Diehl and Boeing. it could lead to an unguided or faulty weapon. “This idea has been around for awhile. Lockheed Martin. not just fighters. The conversion of existing aircraft and their weapons will be cost-intensive. and at low cost. the senior air analyst at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London. “We need to be certain the software won’t malfunction. a French Navy crew flying a Dassault Atlantique 2 aircraft launched a Raytheon GBU-12 Paveway bomb against a target in Mali.” he said. such as airto-air weapons and those carried by UAVs could be added if desired. the NUAI covers only air-to-ground weapons. a second executive said. Turkey and the US are involved.” he said. “It does not reduce requirements for hardware integration. moving from ambition to implementation can be tough. Raytheon reported in a statement at the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow. and with the umbilical cord attached.” said retired Gen. everything works in the same way. rather than going through the aircraft. Aside from Canada. “NUAI is essentially ‘plug and play’ from a software perspective. That allows data to go straight to the cockpit. But Doug Barrie. The project for interface standardization is of interest to MBDA. France and Italy and the German equivalent.PRECISION STRIKE R1 January 20. but these things never turn out to be particularly easy to do. There are a lot of advantages. Industry will focus on a smart bomb’s interface to fit it on a variety of aircraft. otherwise. Some countries think the standardization work is a step forward but worry about the cost. Italy. and most of the leading suppliers.” the NATO official said. Taurus. The PGM framework is expected to be useful for all nations involved. but future capabilities. was guided by a laser on a Harfang drone. an industry executive said. This saves time and cost. but particularly for countries that fly a single fighter type that use precision-guided munitions because it will give them the flexibility to use weapons from other nations.” he said. Barrie said the benefits could outweigh the costs if countries are confident they can reduce their weapon stocks in the knowledge that allies could top up their requirements in an emergency. Storm Shadow and Scalp cruise missiles for Britain. In essence. an industry executive said. “If you can quickly get your hands on another country’s stock knowing you can wheel a plugand-play weapon on the aircraft. the UAI will ensure that software in the aircraft’s targeting systems and weapons can talk to each other. 2014 13 NATO PGM From Page 9 tested on a Turkish F-16 fighter. For example. but is not yet operational. Norway. such as Raytheon. a German Defense Ministry spokesman said. “MBDA is following the two NATO projects closely. as the Safran group company builds the armement air-sol modulaire. sit in on the NUAI work. Such a direct interface through a wireless system allowed a French Navy Rafale fighter to testlaunch a GBU-49 enhanced Paveway bomb on the Biscarosse range in France. The door also is open to other countries to join the project. which is leading the effort.” he added. Spain. Following the alliance’s thinking on standardization allows MBDA and other contractors. A NATO official stressed that a lot of technical work was involved to ensure the software enabled different PGMs to be strapped to different aircraft. that may be something worth paying an overhead for. France. . “The NATO Industrial Advisory Group looked at aircraft launcher weapon interoperability and common interface in 2007. defense blog Mamouth and the weekly Air & Cosmos reported in January 2013. French precision-guided bomb maker Sagem is another participant in the NATO project. N Andrew Chuter in London. plus nonmember Sweden. but new developments should take into account NUAI. flying in the early days of the campaign against jihadist rebels. The Atlantique. particularly on existing aircraft. and is now a vice president at Italian think tank Istituto Affari Internazionali. NATO nations Britain. Vincenzo Camporini. where most of the work would be on minimal hardware integration.” a spokesman for the missile maker said in Paris. a much tougher problem than any technical issues.” he said. down from months as things stand to a matter of weeks. since no [or minimal] change to aircraft and weapons operational flight pro- grams [i. etc.. Germany. such as safe separation.” he said. laptop or tablet computer without having to change the aircraft’s cabling and electronic system. as Europe’s dominant missile maker supplies the Brimstone air-toground missile for British Tornado fighters. warned that while the standardization effort makes sense. NATO officials said. fit and function. “The idea behind the project is also to cut the time needed to fit a PGM to an aircraft. aircraft and weapon software] would be needed. to develop future concepts for smart weapons and to take part in shaping the market. form. One aim is to simplify the link between the weapon and the user by plugging the crew more directly to the weapon.

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