28 Feb 08. BAE Systems showed the latest version of its SRATS (Specialized Reconnaissance Assault Transport System) vehicle at AUSA. In its latest ELSORV (Enhanced Logistical Off-road Vehicle Variant) guise, SRATS has been configured to carry 4 personnel and a stretcher in an armoured cab with the ability to travel at speeds in excess of 100mph and the ability to climb a one-in-one gradient! Four systems are in service in Afghanistan. BAE hope to show the vehicle at this year’s DVD.
28 Feb 08. Northrop Grumman told BATTLESPACE that the company now had requirements for 750 Fire Scout UAV helicopters up from the 120 envisaged two years ago. The reason for this huge change was the FCS team decision to cancel the Class II & III UAVs and the U.S. Coast Guard’s termination of the Bell UAV helicopter chosen by Lockheed Martin. The U.S. navy also has an increased Requirement for 137 systems to be used on a number of platforms whilst the Coastguard Requirement is for 24 systems. Spain, the UAE and Germany are also showing keen interest. The Fire Scout has a much smaller maintenance schedule over a manned rotary platform thus giving greater availability.
28 Feb 08. Oshkosh Defense showed the first palletized load system (PLS) vehicle dedicated to the recovery of heavy and other difficult-to-recover armoured vehicles at AUSA. The PLS/R is designed with a towing and recovery device to operate in a tactical environment and recover and evacuate vehicles without causing additional damage to the suspension and axles of heavily armoured wheeled vehicles. The Tru-Hitch system, already in service with the U.S. Army, can flat-tow, lift-tow and overturn vehicles stuck in water, mud, sand or snow without causing any additional damage. The vehicle also has equipment and features to assist with maintenance functions.
28 Feb 08. Flir Systems Inc. showed BATTLESPACE its HISS long-range cooled IR sniper scope which can be easily retrofitted to standard sniper scopes. HISS is used for target acquisition and recce uses. The system can see targets in total darkness, through smoke, fog, and most obscurants and engage targets at ranges up to 1500m. HISS Runs more than seven hours on six CR-123A batteries and, weighing less than 4.0 lb. (1.8 kg), HISS is highly portable
HISS has been successfully tested on weapons up to and including .50 ca. It is easily clipped on in front of day scope with no re-alignment or re-zeroing of weapon. Its capabilities include:
High sensitivity mid wave thermal imaging
240 mm long range optics
Operates on standard CR-123A batteries
Rugged and field-tested
Compatible with standard scopes up to 15x
Dave Strong of Flir told BATTLESPACE that the company is in advanced development of the next generation of HISS with digital capabilities for an unnamed customer.
Commenting on the excellent results, Dave Strong said that 2008 revenues were expected to be $1bn with a staggering market cap of $4.ibn, all through the development and sales of IR Products. “What do you attribute this success asked the Editor?” “We spend 10% of revenues on R&D and have a team of 4-500 engineers developing new products and systems. We have developed the world’s smallest cryocooler which we not only sell to other users but incorporate in our own products giving us the engineering advantages we need.” “Is Flir for sale?” “Earl Lewis our CEO said last year that he is not interested in selling Flir, period.” Strong said.
28 Feb 08. Boeing told BATTLESPACE at AUSA that it has flown its first Block III Apache helicopter. The Block III incorporates important C4I capabilities for FCS under the SOSCO for aviation compatibility. This enables the Apache to have a JTRS AMF radio with WNW and SRW waveforms to enable targeting information to be passed seamlessly across the battlefield. In addition the Block III has an open architecture software system which enables changes to be made in two weeks arther th