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Team LM Fires Fire Shadow Loitering Munition

This successful first flight represents a key milestone towards the radically reduced delivery timescale of a new weapon system capable of engaging fixed and moving targets at depth in a complex battlefield environment that is relevant to current operations.
by Staff Writers
Richmond VA (SPX) May 21, 2008
Team LM, which comprises traditional complex weapons suppliers, non- traditional complex weapons defence companies, SMEs (Small and Medium size Enterprises) as well as academia, began design work on the new Fire Shadow weapon system in January 2007.

The weapon is being presented as a solution for the UK ground forces' requirement for a low cost, all-weather, 24 hour capability to carry out precision attacks against surface targets which may be difficult to engage and time sensitive.

With MBDA at its head, Team LM comprises Blue Bear Systems Research, Cranfield Aerospace, Cranfield University, Lockheed Martin UK INSYS, Marshalls SV, Meggitt, QinetiQ, Roxel, Selex SAS, Thales UK, Ultra Electronics and VEGA.

The firing of Fire Shadow was carried out at the QinetiQ-managed UK Ministry of Defence Aberporth trials range in West Wales. The firing demonstrated launch, separation, flight and terminal manoeuvre of the innovative design concept incorporating a forward swept wing.

Following the boosted launch and problem-free separation, the munition climbed to altitude and flew a pre-planned flight path. After completing this sequence the munition then executed a terminal dive incorporating a high-g manoeuvre to represent a simulated target engagement.

Throughout the flight trial, onboard video imagery and position data was transmitted from the munition via a datalink and successfully received and displayed in the ground station at the Aberporth range.

Fire Shadow has been the focus of an intense Industry/MoD funded rapid development programme executed by Team LM in response to some of the specific challenges set out within the UK MoD's Defence Industrial Strategy.

In order to achieve this first successful firing of a completely new design in such a short timeframe, the team pioneered a new approach incorporating considerable re-use of proven technology integrated with new innovative technology, without compromising technical integrity and safety.

This successful first flight represents a key milestone towards the radically reduced delivery timescale of a new weapon system capable of engaging fixed and moving targets at depth in a complex battlefield environment that is relevant to current operations.

Steve Wadey, MBDA's Executive Group Director Technical and Managing Director UK, said: "The successful Fire Shadow firing provides tangible evidence that the UK Complex Weapons Industry, led by MBDA, has responded to the challenges of MoD's Defence Industrial Strategy by adopting new and innovative ways of delivering Military Capability.

This firing is an outstanding achievement for all those involved in Team LM and also underpins the strategic partnering relationship with MoD for the Complex Weapons sector through Team CW".

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Thompson Files: Defense consensus
Arlington, Va. (UPI) May 20, 2008
The conventional wisdom about American politics is that the nation has become deeply polarized since the Vietnam War, with voters increasingly crowding to opposite extremes of the political spectrum. For example, the May 11 New York Times contained an essay by William A. Galston and Pietro S. Nivola of the Brookings Institution that stated in its opening paragraph, "Our research concludes not only that the ideological differences between the political parties are growing but also that they have become embedded in American society."

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