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India Conducts Third Successful SMART Missile Test

The Supersonic Missile-Assisted Release Torpedo (SMART) is an anti-submarine missile being developed by India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) for the Indian navy. This canister-based missile system consists of several advanced sub-systems, including a two-stage solid propulsion system, electromechanical actuator system, and precision inertial navigation system. The system carries an advanced lightweight torpedo as a payload along with a parachute-based release system. When launched from a warship or a truck-based coastal battery, SMART takes off like a regular supersonic missile. However, most of its flight is conducted at lower altitudes, guided by a two-way data link from the launching platform or an airborne submarine detection system. This allows for precise targeting and adjustments to its flight path. The missile carries a battery-powered torpedo with a 110-lb (50.0-kg) warhead and a range of about 12.5 miles (20 km), according to Indian defense industry reports. The system has a maximum range of 403 miles (650 km).

India’s DRDO successfully tested the SMART missile for the third time on May 1, 2024, off the coast of Odisha. The test validated the use of symmetric separation, ejection and velocity control. Once in service, the system is expected to be a key part of the Indian navy’s anti-submarine warfare arsenal.

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Guyana Upgrades Maritime Capabilities With BERBICE Offshore Patrol Vessel

The South American nation of Guyana received its newest vessel in April 2024, the U.S.-made offshore patrol vessel, BERBICE. The 114-ft 10-in (35.0-m) ship will serve with the country’s coast guard, and be used for border security, law enforcement, and protection of maritime resources including oil and natural gas. The ship is fitted with an aluminum rigid inflatable boat on the aft deck, along with a marine crane for deployment and retrieval. The sensors and armaments of the ship have not yet been publicly disclosed.

Under construction by Louisiana shipbuilder Metal Shark Boats since August 2022, the BERBICE was procured as part of an ongoing modernization and expansion of the Guyanese armed forces. Since major discoveries of oil and gas in the country in 2015, border tensions with neighboring Venezuela have threatened Guyanese security on land and at sea. In December 2023, the Venezuelan government held a public referendum on the annexation of the oil-rich, disputed territory of Essequibo, sparking fears of future conflict.

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Greek Special Forces Boat May Boast New Variants

The Greek vessel AGENOR is the country’s first domestically designed and built special forces craft, as well as the first to feature a remote-weapons system, the Shark RWS. Displacing 25 tons with a top speed of over 50 knots, the boat is designed for fast insertion and extraction of commando forces. AGENOR is deployed with the elite Underwater Demolitions Command of the Greek navy.

In service since May 2022, the AGENOR’s success has led consortium Phi-Mechaniseas to partner with the DIAPOLOUS group to market new variants of the vessel to the Greek armed forces. Combat transport and interceptor models are reportedly under consideration by the Greek navy, which may seek to field more of these agile special forces craft in the future.

Check Out What Else is New

Other updates this month include the Franco-Japanese H145 multirole helicopter, U.S. F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighter, Italian P2800 Grifo airborne radar, U.S. AN/AAQ-33 Sniper targeting pod, French ATR 72 transport aircraft, Russian Su-35 Flanker multipurpose fighter, U.S B-52 Stratofortress bomber, U.S. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, Russian 220-mm TOS-1 Buratino MLRS, French ASMP air-launched nuclear missile, U.S. AGM-158 JASSM and U.S. AN/APG-79 airborne AESA radar.

Naval updates include India’s VIKRANT and VIRAAT aircraft carriers, the Kenyan NYAYO-class patrol boat, Russian UDALOY-class destroyer, Vietnamese YURKA (HQ-851)-class mine warfare vessel, Chinese HOLA-class missile boat, Cypriot KIMON-class patrol boat, Russian Pot Head naval radar and German PRS 3-4 sonar.

Special Reports:

Nauru’s Diplomatic Shift Signals Increasing Chinese Dominance in the Indo-Pacific

As tensions rise between Taiwan and China, Beijing has sought to use its economic and political weight to isolate Taipei from international partners. With the Pacific nation of Nauru’s termination of formal ties with Taiwan earlier this year, only 11 nations now recognize the island’s sovereignty. Particularly in the Pacific Ocean, Chinese overtures to distance the international community from Taiwan have borne fruit. Read Weapons Editor and Analyst Aja Melville’s breakdown in “Nauru’s Diplomatic Shift Signals Increasing Chinese Dominance in the Indo-Pacific”.

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