One of Northrop Grumman’s growing family of mine countermeasures has advanced to the flight-trial phase. The company installed the airborne surveillance, target acquisition and minefield detection system (ASTAMIDS) in a modified UH-1H Huey for its first flight, at Melbourne, Florida, on April 30, with the aim of achieving low-rate initial production next year.
Stable export sales and a growing defense budget at home have helped Russian bomb maker Bazalt make its products smarter. Historically, Bazalt has specialized in free-fall and cluster bombs. Today, compact sensors and processors have given those formerly “dumb” weapons a respectable IQ. Here at the show, visitors to Dubai can see some of the company’s most advanced designs yet.
As a choke point, the Malacca Straits must present a difficult challenge to those who may be tasked with finding mines, but the Mark 8X expendable mine destructor exhibited by ST Dynamics in the Singapore Technologies’ pavilion would ease the task of minehunters wherever they may be.
After a slow start, the merits of Raytheon’s Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) are becoming apparent. In U.S. service since 1997, the cost of the JSOW has been reduced and Greece, Turkey and Poland have recently chosen it for their F-16s, and Singapore for its F-15s. It is a precision weapon, winged but unpowered, that can glide over 60 nm to reach its target after launch from a combat aircraft. It can carry three different payloads.