Home SPECIAL COVERAGES Nero Industries’ UMAY Smoke Grenade Launcher Achieves Second Export Success

Nero Industries’ UMAY Smoke Grenade Launcher Achieves Second Export Success

by MSI

Alper ÇALIK / a.calik@milscint.com

Nero Industries has recently signed the second export contract for the sale of UMAY Smoke Grenade Launchers, which achieved its first sales success last year. This new contract for the product, developed indigenously by the company, represents its second sale and second export success. Launched in 2019, UMAY found its first customer abroad soon after its launch, and contrary to ordinary practice in the sector, was one of the rare products that was sold abroad before being sold in the domestic market.

The new user of UMAY is an unnamed Far East Asian company. Under the new contract, Nero Industries will produce UMAY systems for the 4×4 armoured security vehicles that will be modernised and offered to service locally by the purchaser company. The product, which is being provided in an automatic smoke grenade launcher configuration, consists of six 76 mm launchers located on both the right and left sides of the vehicle, and a control unit. The smoke grenade launchers are able to launch all NATO-standard 76 mm ammunitions. The first UMAY system has already been delivered to the purchaser company and has been integrated onto the modernised prototype platform.

User-Oriented Solutions

Speaking to MSI TDR about the development, Alican Ökçün, Chairman of the Board of Nero Industries, said: “We have always been a customer-oriented company, and this is mirrored in our approach to the requests of our new customers. Featuring laser sensors, UMAY is a comprehensive solution that we have developed to counter many different threats, such as guided missiles. Our new customer, however, was looking for smoke grenade launchers rather than laser sensors. Instead of turning down their request, we offered a different configuration that consisted only of the control unit and the smoke grenade launchers. The fact that our product has achieved its second sales success once again in another country is a special source of pride for us.”

UMAY’s LW180 (left), LW360 (centre) and LW1000 (right) Laser Threat Detection Sensors.

One of the new solutions being offered to the user by Nero Industries is the updated control unit, which has been given a more user-friendly interface that allows the user to see the status of all launchers instantaneously. In addition, the location, number and angles of the launchers have been rearranged in line with user needs. Possible scenarios regarding the operations concept of the customer were evaluated, and the simulation skills of Nero Industries’ experienced staff were utilised for this rearrangement.

Third Export Success around the Corner

Nero Industries is also in talks with a third country for the sale of UMAY. In addition, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) has put the system through its paces for the first time in Turkey. Commenting on the development, Ökçün said: “The ARES, ARMA and MARS systems in our product range have been operated by many domestic users for many years. Although our UMAY systems have not yet entered the inventory in Turkey, the feedback we received from TAF after its tests of UMAY signals that the product has been highly appreciated. So far, no projects aimed at addressing such a need have been launched by users in our country, although we believe UMAY will be the strongest candidate should such a demand come up. We will be delighted to see UMAY enter the inventory in our country, as with our other products that have already entered the inventory.”

Cost-Effective Laser Sensing Solution

UMAY is a Laser Warning and Smoke Grenade Launcher System that provides protection not only to main battle tanks, but to all types of armoured land vehicles, at low cost and with a broad detection spectrum. It provides protection against a broad range of threats, particularly against guided anti-tank missiles. Comprising three main components: the Laser Threat Sensors, a Control Unit and the Smoke Grenade Launchers, the system detects and classifies any laser signals directed at the vehicle for different purposes, and informs the vehicle commander. When required, the product can automatically fire its integrated smoke grenade launchers in the direction of the threat, creating a curtain of smoke between the threat and vehicle that effectively provides invisibility to the vehicle and breaks the laser contact.

Detection in 50 Milliseconds

UMAY, developed indigenously by Nero Industries, operates almost instantaneously, such that a laser signal directed at the vehicle is detected by the Laser Detection Sensors within 10 to 50 milliseconds, and the necessary information is passed on to the Control Unit. In the following 50 milliseconds, the Control Unit identifies and classifies the laser threat. When operating in automatic mode, the UMAY system makes a decision within the subsequent 400 milliseconds and deploys the necessary measures. In short, the necessary measures are launched within half a second of the identification of the laser threat.

UMAY’s Smoke Grenade Launchers of various types

Laser Rangefinders are also Detected

Military-purpose laser systems operate at different wavelengths, based on their intended use. The UMAY has a very comprehensive built-in library that allows the recognition of many different types of lasers. Referencing this integral library, the system analyses and classifies the wavelength of the laser directed towards the vehicle, allowing the vehicle commander to make an informed decision on how best to counter the threat. The threats that UMAY can identify are listed as follows:

  • Laser designators: Weapon systems (with active laser seekers), such as anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), air-to-ground guided missiles and laser-guided bombs, follow laser beams directed at and reflected by the target. Attack aircraft, attack helicopters and UAVs direct laser guided weapons using these types of lasers.
  • Laser rangefinders: All weapon systems, from tank guns to machine guns, that fire with a flat trajectory need the range data of the target in order to make a direct hit on the first shot. Many of the most common remote-controlled weapon systems are equipped with laser rangefinders. UMAY detects these lasers and informs the commander that the vehicle may soon come under attack.
  • Guiding lasers: These lasers are used to direct Laser Beam-Riding Missiles that are seeing increasing use in the battlefield. These missiles detect low-power guidance lasers directed at the target using sensors located in their tail sections, and proceed to the target by striving to stay within the laser beam.

All-around Protection

The resolution accuracy of UMAY’s LW180 and LW360 laser threat detection sensors with 180 and 360 degree viewing angles on the horizontal axis is ±15 degrees. In addition, with its newly developed high-technology LW1000 series laser sensors, Nero Industries provides high-precision sensing by lowering the resolution accuracy of sensing to ±1 degree.

These sensors are optimised to suit the dimensions and geometry of the vehicle, and are installed at points where the highest detection capacity will be achieved. These standard configured sensors have an angle of view of -5 to +80 degrees on the vertical axis. However, this can be extended to a range of -5 to +90 degrees, depending on the user requirements. This means that a UMAY-integrated vehicle has no blind spots in its upper hemisphere, and can easily detect lasers directed toward it by attack aircraft, attack helicopters or UAVs.

The Control Unit offers automatic or manual operation modes, and can control eight separate smoke grenade launcher groups. Each smoke grenade launcher group has more than one launcher. The system, when operating in manual mode, communicates to the vehicle commander the direction of the source of the laser, and permits the launch either of all smoke grenades or only those facing a certain direction.

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