April’s top stories: Egypt’s Coptic church attacks, US THAAD in South Korea

The Egyptian Government has declared a three-month state of emergency following two ISIS-claimed explosions at Coptic churches on Palm Sunday and the US has started moving THAAD equipment to the South Korean site. Army-technology.com wraps up key headlines from April.


Egyptian Government declares three-month state of emergency after terror attacks

The Egyptian Government declared a three-month state of emergency after two explosions at Coptic churches on Palm Sunday killed at least 44 and injured several others.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb blasts at Mar Girgis Coptic Church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta and St Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria, according to media sources.

Reuters quoted ISIS as saying: "Crusaders and their apostate allies should know the bill between us and them is very big and they will pay it with rivers of blood from their children, god willing. Wait for us, for we will wait for you.”

US begins moving THAAD equipment to South Korean site

The US military reportedly started moving Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) equipment to the designated site in Seongju county, South Korea, amid protests from local residents.

The planned THAAD deployment, agreed by the US and South Korea in July 2016, was aimed to counter North Korean missile threats.

Operated by the US Forces Korea, the THAAD will be able to shoot down short and medium-range ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final flight phase.

Lockheed wins $1.6bn US Army contract for additional AN/TPQ-53 counterfire radars

Lockheed Martin secured a $1.6bn contract to produce additional AN/TPQ-53 counterfire radar systems for the US Army.

Using the Q-53 radar system, troops in combat will be able to detect, classify, track and identify the location of enemy indirect fire in either 360° or 90° modes.

The radar system can be readily adapted to provide both air surveillance and counterfire target acquisition in one tactical sensor, Lockheed stated.

IAI receives more than $1.6bn contract to deliver MRSAM to Indian Army

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) received a contract worth more than $1.6bn to deliver advanced medium-range surface-to-air missiles (MRSAM) to the Indian Army.

The air and missile defence system was co-developed by IAI and India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in collaboration with Rafael and IAI / Elta.

The MRSAM is equipped with an advanced phased-array radar, command and control, mobile launchers and missiles with advanced RF seekers.

Australia to invest $1.5bn in new short-range ground-based air defence system

The Australian Government will invest up to A$2bn ($1.5bn) to develop a new short-range ground-based air defence system for the country's Army.

The ground-based air defence capability will be developed using Kongsberg's national advanced surface-to-air missile system (NASAMS), which has the ability to integrate with networks and a variety of sensors and weapons.

The NASAMS-based capability will be delivered to the Australian Army through a single supplier limited tender process to Raytheon Australia, which will serve as the prime system integrator for the programme.

Leidos wins $900m contract to support US Army's TUAS

Leidos secured a prime contract from the US Army to provide technical services and field support for the service's tactical unmanned aircraft systems (TUAS).

The company is one of three contractors eligible to compete for work under the contract, valued at $900m.

The contract requires Leidos to provide worldwide technical services and field support for TUAS as well as ground control stations, and universal ground data terminals.

General Dynamics wins £330m UK MoD contract to develop battlefield network

General Dynamics UK secured a £330m contract to develop the next-generation battlefield network for the British Army.

The contract was awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) in support of the initial phase of the MORPHEUS programme.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "This £330m contract for the next generation of battlefield communications, supporting 250 high skilled jobs, underlines the importance of Wales to our armed forces."

MBDA wins £323m contract to supply CAMM for UK Armed Forces

MBDA was awarded a £323m contract to supply air defence missiles for the British Army and the UK Royal Navy.

Under the contract, MBDA will deliver common anti-air modular missile (CAMM) to enhance the British Army’s ground-based air defence system.

The 3.2m-long missile will be deployed using Land Ceptor weapon system that will replace the Rapier weapon system in service with the British Army and contribute technology to the replacement of ASRAAM in service with the Royal Air Force.

French DGA places order for Griffon and Jaguar military vehicles

The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) placed an order with Nexter, Renault Trucks Defense and Thales for Griffon and Jaguar vehicles, in support of the Scorpion military modernisation programme.

The programme provides for the delivery by the Temporary Business Grouping, of 1,668 Griffon vehicles and 248 Jaguar engines to the French Army, as well as the associated logistic support facilities.

The latest production order, which has been placed as part of the multi-role armoured vehicle contract, will cover delivery of 319 Griffon and 20 Jaguar vehicles.

Iraq takes delivery of counter-IED equipment from Nato

Iraq’s Ministry of Interior received counter-improvised explosive device (IED) equipment from Nato.

The delivery included 160 sets of counter-IED equipment, which will support Iraq’s efforts to fight terrorism and safeguard civilians.

The equipment was financed by Nato's Defence Capacity Building Trust Fund.

Commenting on the counter-IED equipment delivery, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “One of our best tools in the fight against terrorism is training local forces… this equipment will help save lives.”