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13 Dec 21. Hanwha contracted to supply self-propelled artillery systems to the Australian Army.
– The AS9 Huntsman self-propelled howitzer is the first major acquisition by Australia from an Asian defence prime contractor
– The highly protected AS9 Huntsman self-propelled howitzers will transform the Australian Army’s artillery capability
– The vehicles will be manufactured in Australia at a new Hanwha facility to be established in the Greater Geelong area of Victoria
Hanwha Defense Australia has signed a contract with the Commonwealth of Australia for the supply of its Huntsman AS9 self-propelled artillery system to the Australian Army.
The contract signature was announced earlier today by the Prime Minister of Australia The Hon Scott Morrison and the President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra.
This is the first major defence acquisition by Australia from an Asian defence prime contractor.
Also present for the ceremony was Mr Jaeil Son, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hanwha Defense, and Mr Richard Cho, Managing Director of Hanwha Defense Australia.
“I am enormously proud for Hanwha to be part of such a significant occasion. To see the Korean President side-by-side with the Australian Prime Minister makes the growing depth of the relationship between Australia and Korea clear to me,” Mr Son said.
“Both countries have much to gain from each other economically, but benefits are especially significant in terms of regional security. The long-standing trust and friendship between Australia and the Republic of Korea is a great asset,” Mr Son said.
“The team at Hanwha Defense Australia has worked hard for this day. It is an honour to be contracted to supply equipment to the Australian Defence Force,” Mr Cho said.
“The Hanwha team is now highly focussed on the seamless delivery of what will be a transformative capability to the Australian Army. We will be working closely with our Australian industry partners to ensure that we deliver on our promise to establish sovereign capability here in Australia,” Mr Cho said.
The procurement is part of Defence project Land 8116 phase 1 which will see the acquisition of 30 AS9 Huntsman self-propelled howitzers and 15 AS10 armoured resupply vehicles.
This highly advanced new equipment will bring a genuine transformation to the Australian Army’s artillery capability.
The vehicles will be manufactured in Australia at a new Hanwha facility to be constructed in the Greater Geelong area of Victoria.
“With Australia’s close proximity to Republic of Korea, and the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries, Hanwha’s Australian facility will also become a critical and important secondary line of supply back to South Korea. The Australian operation also help Hanwha fulfil contracts in other parts of the world and deliver capacity to engage with Five Eyes nations,” Mr Cho said.
Hanwha has taken a broad and inclusive approach to Australian industry and is intent on delivering a flawless capability to the Australian Defence Force and significant economic benefits and technology transfer to the Australian economy.
Australian companies involved with Hanwha on local manufacture and support of the new Howitzers include Kongsberg Defence Australia, ElmTek, Penske Australia, HIFraser, CBG Systems, TAE Aerospace, Bisalloy Steels, Thales Australia, Sigma Bravo and Elphinstone Pty Ltd.
The Hanwha AS9 Huntsman was specially developed for Australia to incorporate learnings and experience from the global fleet of over 2400 K9 howitzers. With the AS9 Huntsman, Hanwha is offering a proven 52-caliber 155mm gun system that is in-service with multiple nations around the world including the NATO alliance.
The AS10 Armoured Ammunition Resupply Vehicle is a highly protected and manoeuvrable ammunition resupply vehicle with a unique loading system that reduces risk to soldiers from enemy fire.
The Republic of Korea’s Army has offered to work with the Australian Army to share their experience to help expedite development and growth of local expertise in the self-propelled howitzer capability.
Local production of the AS9 and AS10 Huntsman vehicles will see Australia enter the global supply chain for the entire fleet with ongoing development of Australian Manufacturing and Supply Chain to global K9 user community. There will be full engineering support in Australia with reach-back to all original equipment manufacturers.
The AS9 Huntsman features the highest levels of protection and survivability for this class of vehicle. Its mission and fire control systems provide fully automated support for planning, coordinating, controlling and executing fire missions. Huntsman is a mature protected mobile fires platform that is low risk with proven ability to deliver.
Construction of the new Hanwha manufacturing facility is scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2022 and take 24 months to complete. Production of the AS9 Huntsman self-propelled howitzers is scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2024.
About Hanwha Defense Australia
Hanwha Defense Australia is a subsidiary of Hanwha Defense Corporation which is a division of the vast Republic of Korea Fortune 500 conglomerate Hanwha Corporation. Hanwha Corporation has been operating in Australia since 2005 in areas including mining equipment, logistics and alternative energy.
Headquartered in Melbourne, Hanwha Defense Australia was established in 2019 with an initial focus on Land Systems. The company has been contracted for project Land 8116, a $0.9 to $1.3 billion project which will see the Commonwealth acquire self-propelled artillery systems to be manufactured in the Greater Geelong area of Victoria.
10 Dec 21. Merthyr: Make or break for Army Ajax armoured vehicles? The Ajax was intended to be “fully digital” and provide the Army with modern armoured fighting vehicles
An announcement on the troubled Ajax fighting vehicle being built in Merthyr Tydfil looks set to be made on Tuesday by the MoD.
The multi-billion pound project has been delayed after several hundred soldiers who tested the armoured vehicle were assessed for vibration injuries, or suffered hearing loss.
Ajax helps sustain hundreds of jobs in Merthyr and Oakdale, Caerphilly county.
Its scrapping would be a huge blow to the towns and an embarrassment for the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
It would also leave the Army with a big hole in its plans, as it is said to be one of the cornerstones of the Army’s restructure.
The MoD signed a contract for 589 of the Ajax vehicles in 2014 and has spent nearly £3.5bn on the programme.
The fully digital vehicles, being assembled by US-based defence contractor General Dynamics in Merthyr, were promoted as the “next generation” of armoured vehicles.
In October the MoD appointed a senior official to get the project back on track.
David Marsh also has the power to recommend that Ajax be scrapped.
Earlier this year UK Defence Minister Jeremy Quin told the Commons he could not “100% promise” that a solution would be found.
He warned that the UK government would “never accept” a vehicle that did not meet its testing requirements.
Labour said the minister had placed Ajax on an “end-of-life-watch”.
Trials have since been underway to see if the vibration issue can be put right.
If it can, it would represent a huge turnaround. The mood music up until now has been pessimistic. (Source: BBC)
09 Dec 21. Lynx, Redback complete sea transportability trials. Sea transportability exercises marked an end to the test and evaluation stage of the LAND 400 Phase 3 tender process. Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s KF-41 Lynx infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) and Hanwha Defense Australia’s Redback IFV — competing for the LAND 400 Phase 3 contract — completed sea transportability trials on Sydney Harbour as part of the two-year risk mitigation activity.
The vehicles’ interoperability with naval assets was put to the test at HMAS Penguin and Garden Island naval bases, with Royal Australian Navy amphibious landing ship dock HMAS Choules and landing helicopter dock HMAS Adelaide supporting the exercises.
Stakeholders assessed the vehicles’ ability to operate on and off the landing craft and ships, including transfers between Navy assets.
The trials aimed to ensure both the Lynx and Redback IFVs could effectively operate as part of a wider joint force.
“These trials have proven that these vehicles can be moved on a variety of Navy landing craft and ships, which will allow this capability in the future to be deployed by both strategic lift and tactical maritime platforms,” Major General David Coghlan, head of the armoured vehicle division at the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, said.
The sea transportability trials marked the end of the test and evaluation program, designed to inform a final government decision on the $18.1-$27.1bn contract. The chosen platform is set to replace the Australian Army’s ageing M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier fleet. The government is scheduled to announce the award of the contract next year. Both Rheinmetall and Hanwha have actively engaged with local industry to support their respective bids for the contract. Rheinmetall recently confirmed it has agreed to build and export the Lynx IFV test chassis to the US, with components expected to be built in the company’s Queensland factory. This is expected to provide additional design and manufacturing deliverables to the company’s Australian industry network. (Source: Defence Connect)
08 Dec 21. Proforce launches new Viper APC. Proforce Defence has unveiled its new Viper armoured personnel carrier (APC), a lighter, faster and more manoeuvrable version of its Ara vehicle. The company said the Nigerian Army’s Chief of Defence Staff (Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya) commissioned the Viper at the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) 2021 conference earlier this week. The vehicle is ideal for special forces use and can support a wide range of military, counter-terrorism, and police operations. Proforce literature states the vehicle offers excellent protection against both ballistic and blast threats, with the crew compartment protected to CEN Level BR6 up to BR7.
The vehicle has a 7 ton curb weight and payload of 1 500 kg. It can accept nine occupants, including a gunner. The Viper can be configured with a range of weapon platform options, including a manual or electric rotating turret. It is powered by a 6.7 litre V8 engine developing more than 300 hp and giving the 4×4 vehicle a top speed in excess of 120 km/h.
The company’s flagship APC is its PF2, which has been exported to Rwanda, the Central African Republic and South Sudan (it is used for United Nations peacekeeping missions in the CAR and South Sudan). At home, the Nigerian Police Force has acquired a number of PF2 APCs, and this includes by Rivers State and Lagos State.
On the larger end of the scale, Proforce’s flagship MRAP is its Ara (Thunder), which is designed and manufactured in Nigeria. The latest version of the Ara features a fully monocoque hull and is built to STANAG level 4569 standards with double skin protection of Level 3A and 3B, and an underbelly of 4A and 4B. This protection level ensures an underbelly with a V-shaped hull design that can withstand a 100 kg mine.
With the capacity to carry up to 12 personnel plus equipment, the 15 ton Ara can be configured into multiple variants including recovery, command and control, ambulance, field kitchen and reconnaissance. A 12.7 mm machinegun can be mounted on a 360 degree roof turret, which can be open or fully enclosed.
The Nigerian Army has placed large orders for the Ara and has used the vehicles in combat against Boko Haram insurgents, particularly in the northeast of the country. Deliveries began in 2018, and in mid-2019 Proforce secured an order from Chad for 20 improved Ara 2 armoured personnel carriers – these have been delivered and are in service with Chad’s military.
In addition to its flagship Ara and PF2 vehicles, Proforce has a steadily growing product portfolio that encompasses land, air and sea. This includes armoured Toyota Hilux vehicles, Special Combat Vehicles (Hilux type vehicles with armour and weapons turrets), armoured patrol boats between 9.5 and 11 metres long, cash in transit vehicles (Toyota Hiace, Hilux, Isuzu etc.), armoured SUVs (e.g. Land Cruiser, Mercedes, Lexus LX570, Cadillac Escalade, Range Rover, FJ Cruiser), armoured passenger busses (Mercedes Viano, Toyota etc.) and armoured sedans.
The Nigerian military is investing heavily in indigenous armoured vehicles, and in September it emerged that it had acquired a 15% stake in Proforce.
Another locally manufactured vehicle being taken into Nigerian Army service is the Ezugwu, which was also on display at the COAS conference this week. This is manufactured by the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), which in January received an order for 52 of the vehicles from the Nigerian Army.
The Ezugwu was unveiled in September 2019 at the Abuja International Trade Fair Complex during a Nigerian Army Day event. It appears the first batch of 25 Ezugwu vehicles delivered to the Nigerian Army in December 2019 were of the original configuration with two turrets, 4×4 drivetrain and no windscreen. In June 2020, it emerged that 47 Ezugwu vehicles were being produced by DICON. Later versions are in 6×6 configuration.
Other domestically produced vehicles include Conqueror and Champion armoured personnel carriers that were designed and built by the Army’s engineering unit. Meanwhile, the recently established Nigerian Army Vehicle Manufacturing Company (NAVMC) is developing the Infantry Patrol Vehicle (IPV) fitted with a mounted heavy machinegun; a Tactical Patrol Vehicle with seating for eight personnel, and a Light Tactical Vehicle armoured personnel carrier. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
08 Dec 21. Finland to modernise the Leopard 2 main battle tanks’ fire control system. The upgrade work on the Leopard 2 A4 and 2 A6 battle tanks is scheduled to commence early next year. The Finnish Defence Forces are set to sign an agreement for the upgrade of the Leopard 2 main battle tanks’ (MBT) fire control system. The signing follows has been authorised by Finland’s Defence Ministry. German firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) will undertake the work on the Finnish Army’s Leopard 2 A4 and 2 A6 MBTs, which were originally procured from Germany and the Netherlands.
Finnish Army Command Infantry Inspector colonel Rainer Peltoniemi said: “The upgrade will incorporate into the Leopard MBT fleet the ability to fire new HE/FRAG projectiles in addition to the ammunition already in place.
“This will significantly improve the MBTs firepower, utilisation opportunities, and ability to provide support to army troops.”
According to the Finnish Defence Forces, the procurement marks a new capability, and the ballistics upgrade will allow for the use of ‘multipurpose HE/FRAG rounds’ in training as of 2023.
Implementation of the contract will also involve contributions from the Defence Forces’ strategic partner Millog, who will provide expert resources for logistics and installation work.
The total value of the procurement stands at €10m.
The upgrade work is scheduled to begin early next year and run through to 2026. Developed by KMW, the Leopard 2 MBT is a successor to the Leopard 1. (Source: army-technology.com)
08 Dec 21. Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles completes handover of HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicles to New Zealand Defence Force. Rheinmetall is pleased to announce the official handover of three HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicles to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) at an official ceremony on November 25th 2021 at the Trentham Military Camp in Wellington, New Zealand.
Colonel Ben Bagley, Director of Land Domain for NZDF attended the ceremony to accept handover of the vehicles from Marty Roelofs, New Zealand Manager at Rheinmetall.
Mr Gary Stewart, Managing Director Rheinmetall Defence Australia, had planned to personally attend this ceremony to mark its importance however was hampered by COVID travel restrictions.
“Although it is very disappointing not to be back in New Zealand for this important event marking the joint achievement of the handover of the HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicles, we are still very proud of this milestone,” Mr. Stewart said.
“The HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicle is another example of our commitment to providing sustainable design, development and manufacturing that delivers world leading products and services to the NZDF.”
“Delivery of this enhanced recovery capability, complementing the already delivered Medium-heavy Operational Vehicles fleet, in the midst of global COVID challenges is a testament to the relationship between Rheinmetall and the NZDF.”
The successful delivery of the vehicles to the NZDF provides the New Zealand Army with important new capabilities, with the HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicles having enhanced recovery and mobility capabilities specifically developed to meet the current and future operational needs of the NZDF.
The purchase of the HX 8×8 adds to the in-service medium and heavy operational vehicle fleet with NZDF. The Medium-heavy Operational Vehicles (MHOV) fleet which was supplied by Rheinmetall has had significant use already with NZDF, in training, operations and disaster relief both in New Zealand and offshore.
The HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicles delivered to the NZDF are the first in the world to use the Integrated Armoured Swap Cabin which allows easy configuration of the vehicles to suit the operational need. Rheinmetall will also provide a dedicated training team to conduct initial training on the vehicle with the NZDF.
At just 2.55 metres wide, the HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicle allows greater accessibility and operates exceptionally in difficult terrain with an ability to cross ditches of 1.4 metres wide and cross flooded areas of 1.5 metres in depth, as well as scale gradients of up to 60 per cent and side slopes of 30 per cent.
The HX 8×8 Heavy Recovery Vehicle is also able to operate in a range of radically different environments, operating in cold conditions as low as -32°C and in hot conditions all the way up to 49°C.
06 Dec 21. Mali welcomes new vehicles. Has Mali become the first customer for the Chinese-made VN2C 6×6 armoured personnel carrier? The Malian Armed Forces (Forces Armées Maliennes – FAMa) on 3 December announced it has taken delivery of several dozen new armoured vehicles, as it continues to battle Islamic terrorism in the country.
‘This batch of rolling stock and military equipment is equivalent to the endowment of 16 companies, or four combined arms battle groups,’ FAMa stated on its website. ‘The lot includes tactical combat vehicles, armoured vehicles, logistics trucks, [and] ambulances, among others.’
FAMa did not specify the number and type of vehicles, but Shephard Defence Insight analysis of imagery accompanying its statement suggests that among them are 4×4 tactical armoured vehicles (the Kia KM450 from South Korea, the Dongfeng EQ2050 Mengshi from China and the BRDM-2 from Russia), BTR-70 8×8 amphibious APCs from Russia and Puma M36 mine-protected vehicles.
Also pictured was what appears to be a Chinese 6×6 armoured vehicle (possibly the VN2C, making Mali the first known customer of this mine-protected export variant of the WZ551 amphibious APC). (Source: Shephard)
07 Dec 21. Another UK SME signed up to supply further Components for UK Boxer MIV Programme. As production of Boxer vehicles is now well underway at WFEL’s new state-of-the-art Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle production facility in Stockport, a further UK supply chain contract has been signed for the provision of Periscopes and Windows.
Cwmbran-based GuS Periscopes will supply WFEL with Periscope and Window Systems for the Boxer vehicles, to be incorporated into both the Boxer Drive Module chassis and also the Mission Modules which WFEL will ultimately supply to the UK MoD. The systems from GuS were chosen for this programme because of their mission-proven safety, durability and quality and ensuring minimal technical and commercial risk to the Boxer Programme.
Ian Anderton, WFEL Managing Director, commented, “We are delighted to join forces with GuS Periscopes in Wales as part of our UK-wide supply chain roll-out for the MoD’s Boxer Programme and look forward to a successful partnership supporting our joint UK MOD customer”
This £ multi-million contract with WFEL will run for 10 years and will help to sustain a number of jobs at the GuS Periscopes site in Cwmbran, as well as supporting two new Engineering Apprentice roles starting in 2022.
Managing Director of GuS Periscopes, Anthony Caruana, said, “Our proven Periscopes and Windows for the UK Boxer vehicles will be manufactured to unrivalled levels of quality and durability to fulfil the needs of the British Army MIV program, to ensure service personnel survive the rigours and hazards of combat and fulfil their critical missions. We are excited and proud to be supporting WFEL and to be fulfilling our purpose of ‘protecting those who protect us’.”
There has been £multi-million investment in the GuS site at Cwmbran, to support the delivery to WFEL of these niche military products over the life of the contract and GuS is also now working closely with the Welsh Government to explore future export opportunities which would also be serviced from this site.
The Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicles are highly mobile, wheeled armoured combat vehicles which combine long distance road deployment with all-terrain mobility, bringing new capabilities to the British Army. The common Boxer base platform, with its interchangeable Mission Modules, can cover a range of capabilities, from infantry personnel transportation around the battlefield to highly equipped mobile medical facilities.
06 Dec 21. Future of MRV-P remains unclear. Procurement of the Multi-Role Vehicle – Protected was not mentioned in the recent Future Soldier plan or the earlier Integrated Review, but the MoD claims that plans have not yet been finalised.
Doubt surrounds the future of the British Army’s Multi-Role Vehicle – Protected (MRV-P), amid social media speculation that the procurement programme would be scrapped.
A spokesperson for the UK MoD told Shephard that the army is still analysing the future of the programme. Plans for the MRV-P ‘have not yet been finalised’ and ‘a decision will be announced in due course’, the official added.
Two omissions support the belief that the MRV-P programme will be discarded: it was mentioned neither in the Integrated Review (IR) published in March 2021 nor in the Future Soldier announcement on 25 November. (Source: Shephard)
07 Dec 21. USAF’s KC-46A can support 70% of all receiver aircraft with fourth ICR. The KC-46 can now refuel AC-130J, HC-130J, MC-130J, C-5M and E-3G aircraft. The US Air Force’s (USAF) KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling aircraft has achieved a fourth Interim Capability Release (ICR) decision milestone.
With this approval, the tanker will be able to refuel the AC-130J Ghostrider, C-5M Super Galaxy, HC-130J Combat King II, MC-130J Commando II and E-3G Sentry during missions tasked by the US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM).
The move means that the KC-46 can now refuel nearly 70% of the receiving aircraft requiring in-flight refuelling.
In July, the US Air Mobility Command (AMC) approved the KC-46A Pegasus tanker’s Centerline Drogue System mission set as the first ICR.
The second ICR decision approved the KC-46A to refuel the B-52, C-17 and other KC-46 aircraft using its boom in August while the third decision in October allowed the KC-46A to refuel all variants of the F-15 and F-16.
AMC Deputy Aircraft Chief and Logistics Requirements Division and KC-46A Cross-Functional Team deputy lead lieutenant colonel Kevin White said: “The KC-46A can now support nearly 70% of all receiver aircraft that request air refuelling support from USTRANSCOM.
“In addition, we are putting the Pegasus against our highest priority missions such as direct Presidential support.”
The AMC noted that the ICR plan enables Pegasus to take over operational taskings conducted by the KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-10 Extender tankers.
The KC-46A continues to showcase its operational capabilities irrespective of the existing restrictions and deficiencies.
Pegasus has so far completed more than 6,000 missions, offloading nearly 37.8 million pounds of fuel. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
02 Dec 21. US Army donates M1117 armoured security vehicles to Greece. The first 44 M1117 wheeled armoured security vehicles (ASVs) donated by the US Army to Greece arrived in Athens on 26 November. The vehicles are part of a total of 60 stationed in Germany that were audited by a Hellenic Army committee. They were sent to Greece by rail via central Europe and Bulgaria. The official acceptance ceremony for the vehicles took place on 2 December at the 301 Military Factory in Agioi Anargyroi near Athens. The ASVs, which were donated without weapons and communication equipment, will be fitted with TRC 92000 radio sets already possessed by the Hellenic Army. They will be armed with M2HB 12.7 mm, M85 50-cal or M-60A1/A3 7.62 mm machine guns. A second batch of M1117 ASVs will be sent to Greece from the United States. A total of 1,200 vehicles are being audited by Hellenic Army officers and around half are expected to be accepted for Greece. The 44 M1117s delivered will be deployed to special forces and the next 250 to infantry battalion reconnaissance platoons. (Source: Janes)
03 Dec 21. Ukraine modernises T-64BVK. Kharkiv Armoured Plant has developed an upgrade package for Ukraine’s T-64BVK, a command variant of the T-64 main battle tank (MBT), which has successfully completed an initial round of tests, state-owned conglomerate Ukroboronprom (UOP) announced on its website on 30 November.
Kharkiv Armoured Plant director Herman Smetanin said the upgrade “is necessary not only to significantly improve the existing technical characteristics [of the vehicle], but also to create all the appropriate conditions for effective control over a [tank] unit”.
The T-64BVK has received a thermal imager, a satellite navigation system, and new optics for the commander providing a detection range of 2,000 m. The vehicle has also received a new radio system, intercom, and driver’s rear-view camera under the upgrade.
The commander’s cupola is fitted with a protected mount for an NSV 12.7×108 mm heavy machine gun, UOP said. Additional improvements include a new fuel filter, enhanced protection for the fuel tanks, and composite rubber-metal screens added to the sides of the tank. (Source: Janes)
03 Dec 21. RBSL-led consortium to explore concepts for British Army’s future UGVs. Dstl and the consortium are working together on concept development, analysis, and technology risk reduction. A consortium led by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) is working to explore new concepts for a highly capable uncrewed ground vehicle (UGV) for the British Army. This comes after the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), an agency under the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), started a new study to assess different approaches to UGVs. The study is part of the larger mounted combat systems research project. Under the initiative, Dstl and the consortium will be focusing on concept development, analysis, and technology risk reduction.
The aim of the project is to develop an agile UGV platform with amphibious capabilities that is able to traverse through different terrains.
The study will also evaluate the feasibility of integrating UGV capabilities with other crewed platforms in manoeuvre warfare.
Dstl project manager for the study Matt Ackroyd said: “In order to meet demanding and conflicting requirements, novel modular concepts have been developed which would allow platforms to be configured in theatre to meet specific mission requirements.
“We are thrilled to be working with RBSL and the wider consortium to explore new ways to meet these requirements and enable the spectrum of operations that UGV must deliver.”
Alongside RBSL, the other partners in the consortium are Prodrive, ARKE, Think!Creative, Cranfield University and BAE Systems.
The partners aim to develop solutions in two phases, firstly by using currently available or mature technologies and then using technologies that are expected to be available after ten years for the second phase.
The initiative will primarily focus on medium-weight platforms weighing approximately 2-5 tonnes. These UGVs can be used for casualty evacuation, re-supply mission, reconnaissance and communication, and other operations.
RBSL mobility head Dr Marcus Potter said: “Not only will this study deliver exciting results for UGV development, it also provides an opportunity to develop new technologies for UK defence.
“RBSL is proud to be leading the consortium on this work and exercising our significant capabilities in mobility and survivability.”
Earlier this year, RBSL secured an £800m contract with the MOD to upgrade 148 Challenger 3 main battle tanks. (Source: army-technology.com)
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