Category Archives: Aerial Warfare

Profense PF M134 Minigun Weapon Systems

Profense PF M134 Minigun Weapon Systems

Profense PF M134 Minigun Weapon Systems is an electrically driven, (28 VDC) automatic Gatling machine gun style with a sustained rate of fire in excess of 3,000 rounds per minute (rpm) (+/- 10%). Optionally, the minigun can be equipped with a “Dual Rate” digitally controlled GCU that allows the user to select either a 1500 RPM or 3000 RPM rate of fire. The M134 fires the standard 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge and utilizes a link-fed ammunition system (M13 Link). The M134 is driven from a self-contained battery power supply, or power provided from the platforms vehicle electrical system.

Profense PF M134 Minigun Weapon Systems

Profense PF M134 Minigun Weapon Systems

The Profense M134 is the most technically advanced M134 Weapon System available supporting U.S. Defense Forces as well as NATO and non-NATO allies. The Minigun exceeds the performance requirements defined in MIL-M-45920 for the U.S. Army and provides “State-of-the-Art” feature enhancements that separate Profense M134 minigun weapon system from the competition.To achieve these objectives, Profense has meticulously inspected each aspect of this gun and designed system level improvements centered on performance, readiness, ease of use and long-term sustainability. they are actually manufacturing their own version of the M134 with several significant design differences from the currently fielded Dillion M134 that is in service all over the world.

Profense PF M134 Minigun Weapon Systems

Profense PF M134 Minigun Weapon Systems

The unique feature enhancements and product improvements to the Profense™ M134 are:

  • Improved Feeder Sprocket to Eliminate Handover Failures
  • Improved Splined Feeder Shaft to Eliminate Roll-Pin Failures and Misalignments
  • Improved Feeder Door to Simplify Ammunition Loading Procedures
  • Single-Tang Bolt Assembly to Reduce Operational Readiness Inspections
  • Aero-Clamp Flash Suppressor Introducing Thermodynamic Cooling Processes’
  • Multi-Functional Gun Control Unit (Ammunition Status/Rounds Counter)
  • Improved Manufacturing Procedures
  • Improved Manufacturing Coatings
  • USG Tier 1 Supply-Chain
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Elbit Systems Hermes 45 Unmanned Aircraft System

Elbit Systems Hermes 45 Unmanned Aircraft System

Elbit Systems has developed a multi-mission small tactical unmanned aircraft system (STUAS) designed for land and maritime operations dubbed Hermes 45 that has a maximum operating endurance of more than 24 hours. The new system has a blended wing design with a combustion engine driving a pusher propeller. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 65 kg, including a payload capacity of up to 15 kg, and can simultaneously operate with up to three payloads. Hermes 45 has a maximum operating endurance of more than 24 hours, a maximum takeoff weight of 65 kg, and can simultaneously operate with up to three payloads. Hermes 45 leverages Elbit Systems’ extensive experience indeveloping unmanned aircraft – including the Skylark UAS andHermes UAS suites – which are fully operational by land and airforces, navies and intelligence services worldwide

Elbit Systems Hermes 45 Unmanned Aircraft System

Elbit Systems Hermes 45 Unmanned Aircraft System


Hermes 45 offers a unique combination of extended range and duration with point launch and recovery, to and from land and maritime platforms thus enhancing Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities at the brigade and division levels and also for naval squadron units. Hermes 45 features flight range of 200km or an extended Beyond Line of Sight range (via Satellite Communication) and an internal payload bay that supports multi-payload operation, including EO/IR, Marine-Radar, Terrain Dominance, Electronic Warfare (EW) and communications. The Hermes 45 is operated by a two-person crew, launched from a short onboard platform rail, and is recovered by an automated spot landing system.

TDA Armements Telson Rocket Launcher and Aculeus Laser Guided Rocket

TDA Armements Telson Rocket Launcher and Aculeus Laser Guided Rocket

TDA rocket systems have been deployed by Tiger helicopters in recent conflicts, demonstrating the versatility of these advanced weapon systems and their reliability in all operational scenarios and environmental conditions. Two major products of the France-based TDA Armements, part of Thales Group, are Telson 2 digital rocket launcher and Aculeus LG Laser Guided Rocket. In Afghanistan between 2009 and 2012, the weapon system was confronted to the altitude and cold weather conditions, in order to support by fire ground troops operating in the mountains and to protect the convoys between the capital, KABUL, and the Kapisa and Surobi provinces

TDA Armements Aculeus Laser Guided Rocket

TDA Armements Aculeus Laser Guided Rocket


Appointed under the Trade Mark TELSON, TDA’s digital rocket launchers are available in a range of sizes including 22, 12, 8 and dual-tube models. They are designed for latest-generation combat aircraft, combat helicopters, light reconnaissance and liaison helicopters, operational light aviation and unmanned air systems. TDA has developed the dual-tube rocket launcher version (TELSON 2) for piston-engined light aircraft such as the CHEELAR from ISSOIRE AVIATION, or fixed winged drones. This solution provides emerging powers as well as established forces with more affordable access to effective, combat-proven technology for a broad spectrum of missions ranging from air patrol to airspace, maritime and territorial surveillance.
TDA Armements  Telson Rocket Launcher

TDA Armements Telson Rocket Launcher


The ACULEUS LG warhead, part of TDA’s Induction Laser Guided Rocket system, has been conceived to limit the collateral damages to a 20 meters radius. The projectile is able to destroy light vehicles of the pick-up type (and all the on board fighters) and to damage, or to neutralize, light armoured vehicules, static or on the move. The Aculeus LG has sub-metric precision capability on static and moving target, as well as lock-on after launch capability. The Aculeus LG has total weight of 8,8 kg, making it easily transportable for support troops. Its firing range is comprised between 1,000 m and 5,000 m. TDA’s ILGR rocket system will come into service in the French armed forces in 2019. The first platform to be equipped with will be the Tiger attack helicopter, but the rocket system can also be fitted on every aircraft capable of carrying the Telson rocket launcher.

Leonardo unveils its largest-ever drone, the Falco Xplorer

Leonardo unveils its largest-ever drone, the Falco Xplorer

Today, at an unveiling event at the Paris Air Show, Leonardo introduced its largest-ever Remotely-Piloted Air System (RPAS), the Falco Xplorer. Building on the success of the Company’s Falco family of tactical-class RPAS, the new drone features a payload capacity of 350kg, more than 24 hours flight time and a satellite communications capability for beyond-radio-line-of-sight operations, all within a 1.3 ton maximum take-off weight (MTOW). Everything is designed in-house by Leonardo, from the aircraft itself to the sensor suite, mission system and ground control station and the Falco Xplorer will be offered as both an integrated platform and as a fully-managed information-superiority service. In the latter model, Leonardo will operate the aircraft and its sensors and manage logistics to provide actionable information directly to the customer.

“Leonardo invests continuously in new capabilities to ensure we position the right products in the right markets”, said Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo, who presented the Falco Xplorer at its unveiling. “The Falco Xplorer is designed to be extremely competitive in its category, building on the experience we’ve gained working with Falco family customers over a number of years and our Company’s strengths in the unmanned domain. By understanding and being able to meet our customers’ needs, we expect to increase our share of the unmanned systems market.”

The Falco Xplorer has been designed from the ground-up to access the widest possible market. It is undergoing certification for flight in non-segregated airspace, meaning Leonardo will be able to pitch it to civil customers such as coast guards and emergency responders as well as the military market. Because the Falco Xplorer system is entirely designed and manufactured in Europe, it is not subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) restrictions and its technical characteristics place it within the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) class II category. Together, these make the Falco Xplorer readily exportable around the world.

Leonardo unveils its largest-ever drone, the Falco Xplorer

Leonardo unveils its largest-ever drone, the Falco Xplorer


Following the unveiling, the new RPAS is expected to embark on its maiden flight in June from Trapani Airport in Italy. A series of trials will then take place throughout the year, capped off by a flight campaign with the platform’s fully-integrated sensor suite on-board. The RPAS could then be delivered to its launch customer as early as 2020. The drone will be certified according to NATO STANAG4671, meaning that it will be readily approved to fly for NATO countries.

Leonardo believes that an unmanned capability goes beyond the aircraft, so the baseline ‘Block 10’ equipment fit for the new RPAS takes advantage of Leonardo’s world-class in-house electronics portfolio to offer a comprehensive Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability over land and sea. This high level of integration has a dual benefit for customers who will be able to acquire a highly capable and effective system at a competitive price. The platform will come equipped with a Gabbiano T-80 surveillance radar, LEOSS electro-optical turret, SAGE electronic intelligence (ELINT) system and an automatic identification system (AIS) for maritime use. The sensors will be integrated through Leonardo’s powerful mission management system, which draws on the Company’s experience in both the manned and unmanned domains and includes protection from cyber-attacks as standard under the Company’s ‘secure by design’ philosophy. Leonardo can also flexibly modify the sensor suite in-line with customer requirements, including integrating third-party sensors. The platform’s Ground Control Station (GCS) allows operators to control the aircraft and its sensors and incorporates data exploitation tools, enabling the dissemination of useful information to wider C5I systems. It also provides mission data analysis, mission planning, training and simulation capabilities.

The new platform joins Leonardo’s successful Falco family of tactical RPAS. The original Falco was chosen by five nations, while its successor, the Falco EVO, has been chosen for the United Nations MONUSCO humanitarian mission and has been deployed for the European Union’s Frontex surveillance research programme. Today more than 50 Falco family RPAS are currently engaged on operations around the world, some being operated by customers directly and some being owned and operated by Leonardo on behalf of customers as a managed service.

Milkor MA18 UAV

Milkor MA18 UAV

South Africa is well on its way to entering exclusive defence industry terrain through Milkor. For nearly 40 years Milkor has been world-renowned for its grenade launchers – more than 60 000 launchers have been delivered to over 60 customers around the world. Milkor is now part of a handful of elite companies around the world producing armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The largest drone of the group – the Milkor MA380 – was designed for long-endurance missions such as search-and-rescue operations, ISR, and maritime patrol. The smaller MA80 is similar in design, with greater endurance of 24+ hours, but a maximum range of only 250km.

Milkor MA18 UAV

Milkor MA18 UAV


The hand-launched Milkor MA18, is built for tactical surveillance and is unarmed. Apart from weapons, mission equipment on the larger UAVs includes electro-optical/infrared sensors, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and communications/signals/electronic intelligence payloads. The hand-launched MA18 can be easily disassembled and carried around in a backpack. While the MA18 only weighs 3kg, it can carry small payloads of 300g. It has an endurance of around 90 minutes at a range of less than 30km and can cruise at a speed of around 50km/h.
Milkor MA18 UAV

Milkor MA18 UAV


These projects are purely South African initiatives, using the majority of locally-sourced components. Milkor sees this as helping develop the local defence industry, boosting the economy and benefiting the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). The SANDF already proudly uses Milkor’s grenade launchers. Milkor has built up an international reputation with its grenade launchers, and aims to create a similarly solid reputation with the design and manufacture of armoured vehicles, UAVs, naval systems, sniper rifles and cyber security products.

Lockheed Martin Develops Advanced Visualization Training Tool for Apache Flight Line Maintainers

Lockheed Martin Develops Advanced Visualization Training Tool for Apache Flight Line Maintainers

Lockheed Martin has launched the latest version of RELY3D®, an advanced visualization and training tool for Apache AH-64 sensor system maintainers. RELY3D originated from an employee idea to improve maintenance efficiency through interactive training content. The tool leverages capabilities from popular commercial gaming technology to transform training into advanced visualization modules, reducing training time by up to 60 percent. “RELY3D is an invaluable tool for our new employees who are just learning about our sensors, as well as field maintainers. With this tool, maintainers can troubleshoot and perform maintenance on the flight line, dramatically reducing cost and increasing system availability,” Lockheed Martin Apache Fire Control Program Director Matt Hoffman said. “As the industry pushes to advance training capabilities, we continue to innovate advanced technology and deliver affordable solutions for the Apache aviation community.”

Lockheed Martin Develops Advanced Visualization Training Tool for Apache Flight Line Maintainers

Lockheed Martin Develops Advanced Visualization Training Tool for Apache Flight Line Maintainers


RELY3D reduces maintenance and repair time through its intuitive interface on the Apache Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight and Pilotage Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) and LONGBOW® Fire Control Radar (FCR) systems by placing high fidelity, technically accurate 3-D models into the hands of maintainers via a mobile tablet or laptop. The tool is also being developed for use on other rotary and fixed-wing aircraft sensors and weapons systems. M-TADS/PNVS provides Apache helicopter pilots with long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities for mission success and flight safety during day and night, and in adverse weather conditions. To date, Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 1,400 M-TADS/PNVS systems and spares to the U.S. Army and 16 international customers in 15 nations.
Lockheed Martin Develops Advanced Visualization Training Tool for Apache Flight Line Maintainers

Lockheed Martin Develops Advanced Visualization Training Tool for Apache Flight Line Maintainers


LONGBOW® FCR, developed by the LONGBOW Limited Liability Company (LBL) – a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman – automatically searches, detects, locates, classifies and prioritizes multiple moving targets to 16km, or stationary targets, on land, on the water, or in the air, in clear or adverse weather, and in obscured battlefields – giving commanders the precision engagement capabilities necessary to win the battle. LONGBOW has delivered nearly 500 systems to the U.S. Army and 13 international customers in 12 nations. Lockheed Martin also provides training and simulation systems for aircraft maintainers supporting numerous U.S. and international platforms including the C-130J, F-16, F-35, and basic flight training courses in countries such as Australia and the U.K.

582nd Helicopter Group

582nd Helicopter Group

The 582d Helicopter Group was activated in January 2015 at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming to provide a unified headquarters for the helicopter squadrons located on the intercontinental ballistic missile bases of Air Force Global Strike Command. The group was first activated in 1943 as the 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron at Hamilton Field, and after training, moved to the South Pacific Theater, where it served until the end of World War II, earning two Distinguished Unit Citations and a Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation for combat search and rescue and special operations missions. Following the end of the war, the squadron served as part of the occupation forces at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa from 1947 until 1950. In May 1950 the squadron, now designated the 2d Rescue Squadron moved to Clark Air Base in the Philippines.

Air Rescue Service SH-19

Air Rescue Service SH-19


Although combat search and rescue during the Korean War was the responsibility of the 3d Air Rescue Squadron, the 2d Air Rescue Squadron was tasked with providing escort coverage with its SB-29s for bombers based in Okinawa striking targets in North Korea. In 1952, the unit was expanded to group level as the 2d Air Rescue Group and its lettered flights became air rescue squadrons. The group provided rescue support for units of Thirteenth Air Force and the southwest Pacific until 1955, when it moved to Wheeler Air Force Base, where it became the headquarters for all rescue units in the Pacific. The group was inactivated at Wheeler in June 1958 and its component squadrons were assigned directly to Air Rescue Service.
582nd Helicopter Group Bell UH-1 Huey

582nd Helicopter Group Bell UH-1 Huey


On 1 August 2014, the 20th Air Force Helicopter Operations Group (Provisional) stood up at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming to support the three USAF intercontinental ballistic missile wings. Prior to the activation of the provisional group, helicopter units supporting Minuteman missile wings were assigned to the missile wing’s operations group; the 37th Helicopter Squadron at F. E. Warren to the 90th Operations Group, the 40th Helicopter Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana to the 341st Operations Group, and the 54th Helicopter Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota to the 91st Operations Group.
582nd Helicopter Group Bell UH-1 Huey

582nd Helicopter Group Bell UH-1 Huey


The formation of the group followed a recommendation from the Air Force Global Strike Command Force Improvement Program. It created an aviation-focused headquarters to support the missile mission for the first time. One hoped-for side effect was to improve morale in the helicopter crews that have been performing the nuclear support mission with the Bell UH-1 Huey since 1969. UH-1s would be used for by missile support units for the foreseeable future due to the cancellation of the Common Vertical Lift Support Platform in 2013. In 2015, the 2d Group was redesignated to its current name and activated at F. E. Warren, and the 37th, 40th, and 54th Helicopter Squadrons were relieved of attachment to the provisional group and became the new group’s first units.