Thursday, September 22, 2011

Best of Show From the World’s Largest Weapons Fair

Fox News - The Royal Marines stage a beach assault 
using the Griffon 2400TD -- an innovative new hovercraft 
that moves at an eye-opening 45 knots, even over land.

From grenades and rifles to drones, fighter jets and tanks, the 2011 Defense & Security Equipment International show (DSEi) held every two years in London had it all.

The show featured the latest and greatest from 46 countries and nearly 1,400 defense shopkeepers. While the camouflaged Vespa and the gold-plated machine guns scored points for creativity, they don’t exactly measure up to big boys toys. So what earned our best in show nod?

A Truly Amphibious Assault Hovercraft

Every DSEi features a water demonstration on the River Thames — and the Griffon 2400TD stole the water show this year.

Navies grapple with tides, which leave a very brief window of opportunity to land. The solution? The amphibious capability provided by a hovercraft, which isn’t limited by tides and can get onto the beach and beyond.

The Griffon 2400TD is a robust, flattened boat that hovers a meter or so above the water — essentially flying above the surface. That cushion of air means it doesn’t rock as much as a boat would, providing a very stable platform for weapons.

It can travel at 45 knots across not just water but land, mud, swamps, rapids and sand, unlike conventional vessels. Thirteen meters long, it can carry a crew of two plus 16 war fighters.

In addition to being arguably the most environmentally friendly craft out there, the Griffon 2400TD can operate in terrain where others can’t, from the high Arctic to the jungles of South America.
Next in the pipeline for Griffon Hoverworks is a game-changing hybrid, the company says — a very cool innovation.

A Target Destroyer

One next-gen weapon from Saab is far from your granny’s surface-to-air missile.

Revealed at the show with an unrivalled range and a new integrated sighting system, the Saab RBS 70 NG has significantly reduced weight and unjammable laser guidance, making it particularly useful in an urban area.

The new tracking system helps the operator aim it more accurately — far more exactly than a human being — with maximum range at a higher speed.

The integrated thermal imager, in addition to enabling operation in challenging weather conditions, gives longer detection range than the previous sight and far better than eyes or binoculars.

Using the Bolide laser guidance system, it has an effective intercept range of almost 5 miles and an altitude of approximately 3 miles.

The RBS 70 NG is capable of taking down small and big UAVs as well as armored ground targets, helicopters and combat aircraft. With a man in the loop, the operator can choose where to aim for maximum impact to take down those larger targets — an advantage not available with other systems.                    More