AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan's defense industry is cooperating with Belarus and Russia to develop remotely operated and vehicle-launched versions of the Russian-designed RPG-32 for counterterrorism missions, according to industry executives here at Special Operations Forces Exhibition (SOFEX).

Through parallel partnerships with Russia's state-owned Bazalt, designers of the RPG-32, and the SRPC Research and Production Center of Belarus, Jordan's Jadara Equipment and Defence Systems recently completed testing of a remotely operated system that launches four rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) simultaneously.

The tripod-mounted system is called RPG-32 Quad-1 Nashshab, which is Arabic for "Archer" and the name given to the Russian-designed RPGs produced under license in Jordan. A vehicle-mounted version has been installed on a four-wheel drive, special-purpose, light-armored vehicle developed by Jordan's King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau.

Retired Jordanian Armed Forces Col. Ayman Mashouqah, director-general of Jadara, said the tripod-mounted and vehicle-mounted system were officially presented this week to Jordanian military leaders attending SOFEX.

"This is the first time we've presented this system, which is the first fruit of our cooperation," the Jadara executive said.

In an interview at SOFEX, Mashouqah said Quad-1 Nashshab is the product of parallel cooperation with the original Russian manufacturer and the Belarusian company, partners with Jadara in a new factory established in Jordan to produce the system's day/night sights.

"We've completed testing [on the tripod-based Quad-1 Nashshab], but with the vehicle-mounted version, we expect to finish testing by the end of this year," Mashouqah said.

The Jadara executive said his firm is working with the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau on a second phase of the vehicle-mounted Nashshab, which will enable the entire system to be submerged within the body of the vehicle during fast-speed travel.

Dmitri Semerikov of the SRPC Research and Production Center said the vehicle-mounted Quad-1 answers requirements for multiple missions, depending on the type of warhead.

"It's a very versatile, counterterror system for use against dismounted personnel, vehicles or pillboxes," he said.

Email: bopallrome@defensenews.com

Opall-Rome is Israel bureau chief for Defense News. She has been covering U.S.-Israel strategic cooperation, Mideast security and missile defense since May 1988. She lives north of Tel Aviv. Visit her website at www.opall-rome.com.

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