The CALM System
- Recently, the Army issued a RFI for the Cannister Launched Anti-Armour Loiter Ammunition (CALM) System.
What exactly is a CALM System?
- The CALM System is a pre-loaded canister with loiter ammunition or a drone which once fired can remain aloft for a period of time over the area of operation, and when a target is sighted it can be guided down to destroy the target with the explosive payload that it carries.
- Usually, loiter ammunitions carry a camera which is nose-mounted and which can be used by the operator to see the area of operation and choose targets.
- These munitions also have variants which can be recovered and reused in case they are not used for any strike.
- The CALM Systems will be used in the plains and deserts of the Western parts of the country as well as the Northern high altitude areas of heights up to 5,000 metres.
- In the plains and deserts, the system should be able to operate between the temperature of zero degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius while in high altitude it should be able to operate between minus 15 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius.
- It will be employed by the Mechanised Infantry units of the Army for surveillance of beyond line of sight targets by day and night in real time and beyond visual range engagement of enemy armoured fighting vehicles and other ground based weapon platforms over extended ranges.
- The CALM System had been very effectively used in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in 2021 where the Azerbaijan forces made extensive use of Israeli systems to wreak havoc on Armenian tanks, radar systems, communication hubs and other military targets. The top down attack capability of the loiter ammunition gives it a big advantage over targets such as tanks which are vulnerable to any attack on the top where the armour protection is weak.
What exactly are loitering munitions?
- Loitering munition is a category of weapon systems, the main elements of which are an unmanned platform with a warhead. Simply put, they are a mix of a surface-to-surface missile and a drone.
- While a missile, once fired heads straight to its target after a flight of usually a few minutes, loiter munitions are launched in a manner similar to a drone and they stay aloft for a longer time, surveying a designated area and seeking targets. Once a target is identified and locked on, they act as a missile to destroy it.
- If a mission is aborted or there are no suitable targets, loiter munitions can be recovered. Loiter munitions, however, are smaller, cheaper and less complex systems than combat or armed drones.
- Loitering munitions are an asset to the artillery branch of the Army as they are able to detect and take out static and moving targets across all types of landscape — from mountains to deserts.
- The weapons systems is able to destroy radar installations, air defence systems and communication centres and dynamic targets such as enemy vehicles and troops.
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