Sponsored by Oshkosh
17 Sep 18. Rheinmetall modernizes British logistic vehicles fleet – supply of 382 EPLS retrofit kits. Rheinmetall, through its joint venture Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV), is supporting the programme to modernize part of the British military’s fleet of logistic vehicles with a new loading system. A total of 382 retrofit kits for the Enhanced Pallet Loading System, or EPLS, will be supplied and integrated into the tried-and-tested HX trucks of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. Booked in the first half of 2018, the RMMV contract is worth over €43m. Shipping and retrofitting are to be completed by the end of January 2021. During the period 2005 to 2013, the British Army procured more than 7,500 HX logistics vehicles. As the backbone of the Royal Logistics Corps, this “military off the shelf” family of vehicles has proven highly effective. However, the growing demand for transport solutions for containers has continued to rise. Based on operational experience, RMMV, MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd and British Ministry of Defence (MOD) officials drew up a plan to retrofit existing flatbed vehicles with a hook lift system. The modernization programme is a team solution. The contract with the MOD has been entered into by MAN Truck & Bus UK Ltd, who will lead the project management and undertake the conversion of the vehicles in the UK. RMMV are responsible for supplying the conversion kit, which will be produced by the company’s plant in Vienna. The hook loading system is made by HIAB, a company Rheinmetall has cooperated with in many comparable international projects, e.g. in Australia, Norway, Sweden and New Zealand.
The programme is a compelling example of the close partnerships RMMV and MAN maintains with its customers, encompassing post-design service throughout the product’s entire lifecycle. It also highlights the prolonged supportability of the HX family of vehicles, which set the global standard for robustness, mobility, performance, flexibility and modularity. Rheinmetall’s subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles UK (RMMV UK) and Rheinmetall Defence UK (RD UK), are well-established suppliers to the MOD. They support the British military in a number of areas, including vehicle systems, ammunition and technical assistance. In addition to providing support services for tactical logistic vehicles during deployed operations, the team is currently working on a proposal for enhancing the combat effectiveness of the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank, and with Artec GmbH, is working to propose the Boxer 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicle to meet the requirements of the UK’s Mechanized Infantry Vehicle (MIV) procurement programme.
12 Sep 18. Supacat announces ATMP Modernisation Programme to future hybrid and autonomy. UK creator of high mobility vehicles, Supacat, has announced the modernisation programme of its highly successful All Terrain Mobility Platform (ATMP) at DVD 2018. The original vehicle has been in service with the UK MOD, foreign militaries and other non-defence sectors since the early 80’s and remains the reliable, flexible and capable workhorse that it was designed to be. The vehicle is undergoing a modernisation programme to initially manage obsolescence issues whilst also supporting the future hybrid development and automisation of the platform.
The ATMP can carry a substantial payload of 1600kg which, combined with its “go anywhere” ethos, has made it the vehicle of choice for many years. Already proven on a variety of military and humanitarian operations in locations such as the Gulf, the Falklands, Bosnia, Kosovo, Canada, Malaysia and Afghanistan, the ATMP can be transported within or underslung below a range of air platforms providing instant mobility support for light forces on the ground.
The modernisation programme will involve updating the engine and drive train whilst also managing legislative requirements and Human-Machine Interface. It will also integrate a hybrid drive train into the platform. Supacat and the University of Exeter are working together as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to develop the alternative drive solution, and have made good progress. Matthew Harvey of the University of Exeter comments, “The Knowledge Transfer Partnership is an exciting opportunity for us to use the latest academic research in industry to improve and modernise what is already a hugely successful vehicle. It is fantastic to work with a company like Supacat who have a huge wealth of experience and a really agile approach to engineering.”
The hybrid ATMP offers a number of benefits to the user. These include a reduced logistic burden, a silent running mode and a mobile battery charging platform. The hybrid ATMP will not compromise on the existing capability of the vehicle, aspiring to improve on what has been a timeless, hugely successful product. Supacat intends to fully autonomise the ATMP, developing the mule concept of follow on vehicles and opening up a number of capability options. A technical demonstrator with hybrid drive and novel fuel cells will be built in the first half on 2019.
A second KTP, starting in October 2019, will create an ‘optionally manned’ demonstrator, leveraging off the development of the hybrid demonstrator. This will incorporate elements of autonomous operation which will be of benefit to both defence and other users operating in dangerous or challenging environments.
Steve Austen, Engineering Director said, “This is an exciting time for Supacat as we seek to harness the rapid advances in hybrid propulsion and autonomous technologies made over the last few years to enhance the capabilities of our products and team for the benefit of our defence and non-defence customers.”
About Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense is a leading provider of tactical wheeled vehicles and life cycle sustainment services. For decades Oshkosh has been mobilizing military and security forces around the globe by offering a full portfolio of heavy, medium, light and highly protected military vehicles to support our customers’ missions. In addition, Oshkosh offers advanced technologies and vehicle components such as TAK-4® independent suspension systems, TerraMax™ unmanned ground vehicle solutions, Command Zone™ integrated control and diagnostics system, and ProPulse® diesel electric and on-board vehicle power solutions, to provide our customers with a technical edge as they fulfill their missions. Every Oshkosh vehicle is backed by a team of defense industry experts and complete range of sustainment and training services to optimize fleet readiness and performance. Oshkosh Defense, LLC is an Oshkosh Corporation company [NYSE: OSK].
To learn more about Oshkosh Defense, please visit us at www.oshkoshdefense.com.