August’s top news stories

5 September 2019 (Last Updated June 1st, 2020 13:55)

The US and Russia withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that capped both countries’ nuclear arsenals and the UK Ministry of Defence reached a memorandum of understanding to provide continued military support to Iraq to enhance capabilities. Army-Technology.com wraps up key stories from August 2019.

August’s top news stories
US Soldiers fire an artillery round from an M777A2 howitzer at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Credits: DoD photo by Spc Ariel Solomon, US Army / Released.

US and Russia abandon Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The US and Russia withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that capped both countries’ nuclear arsenals.

The landmark deal signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev led to a thawing of Cold War relations between the USSR and the US.

The US first declared its intention to withdraw from the treaty in 2018 with President Donald Trump saying: “They’ve [Russia] been violating it for many years”.


UK confirms continued military support to Iraq with new agreement

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) reached a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide continued military support to Iraq to enhance capabilities.

Around 500 British personnel are stationed in Iraq to provide training to local security forces to efficiently tackle the insurgent threat from Islamic State (ISIS) and other terrorist groups.

The agreement signed in London, UK, mainly focuses on imparting military education.


US carries out first post-INF cruise missile test

The US tested a ground-launched cruise missile capable of covering ranges previously banned under the INF.

According to the Department of Defence (DoD), the cruise missile travelled 500km (310 miles) before ‘accurately’ hitting its target.

The DoD launched the cruise missile from San Nicolas Island, California. The distance the cruise missile reached fell within the lower end of the range of missiles previously banned from development and use by the INF.


Australia approves first stage of Project GREYFIN for special forces

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the government will invest A$500m ($338.15m) in advanced equipment to enhance the capabilities of the country’s special forces.

The funding is the first stage of Project GREYFIN, which will see spending of A$3bn ($2.02bn) over a period of 20 years.


Elbit Systems demos armoured fighting vehicle concept for Israeli MoD

Elbit Systems demonstrated its armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) solution for the CARMEL Future Combat Vehicle (FCV) project of the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD).

The company’s AFV solution will have improved operational abilities and will feature autonomous capabilities and artificial intelligence (AI).

Elbit noted that the use of such technologies will improve decision making and enable rapid target engagement.


Northrop and Raytheon to build laser prototypes for Stryker vehicles

Northrop Grumman and Raytheon were selected to build prototypes of 50kW-class lasers for integration into the US Army’s Stryker armoured vehicles.

The US Army awarded an other transaction authority (OTA) agreement to Kord Technologies to serve as the prime contractor for the Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (M-SHORAD) Directed Energy (DE) mission.

Under the $203m contract, Kord Technologies will integrate 50kW-class laser weapon systems on Stryker combat vehicles.


US Army confirms Iron Dome air defence system purchase

The US Army finalised a contract to purchase two Israeli Iron Dome missile defence system batteries to shore up its interim missile defence capabilities, potentially paving the way for a permanent solution.

The deal was revealed at the Space and Missile Defence Symposium in Alabama as reported by Defense News. The US Army first began looking into buying the platform in early 2019.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has used Iron Dome, jointly built by Raytheon, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, since 2011 to protect Israel from rocket attacks with a near 90% success rate.


Canada to purchase 360 combat support light armoured vehicles

The Canadian Government unveiled plans to buy 360 combat support Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV) from General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada (GDLS-C).

The LAV deal is intended to offer enhanced protection to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) against a range of threats.

The deal is expected to cost up to C$3bn ($2.26bn), including expenses for new infrastructure to store and maintain the vehicles.


US Army developing self-targeting AI artillery

The US Army is developing an AI-powered artillery shell capable of more accurate long-range fire. The Cannon-Delivered Area Effects Munition (C-DAEM) shell will be capable of locating and targeting moving vehicles.

C-DAEM is designed to replace the US Army’s current dual-purpose improved conventional munition (DPICM), which drops explosive charges across a target area to guarantee a target is hit by artillery.


Raytheon to provide aircraft maintenance training to Afghan Air Force

Raytheon received a $108m contract from the US Army Contracting Command to provide training to the Afghanistan Air Force in aircraft maintenance.

Under the contract, Raytheon is required to develop a new training programme for the US Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation.

The programme is known as Afghanistan Air Force Aircraft Maintenance Training (AMT).