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28 Dec 21. Poland receives the last batch of RPP EOD/IED tracked UGV. The 17 UGVs will equip engineering units of the Polish Armed Forces and will support EOD/IED missions of removing dangerous materials.
The Polish MND Armament Inspectorate has announced on 27 December the delivery of the last batch of Patrol-Portable Robot (RPP) tracked UGVs to support EOD/IED missions of removing dangerous materials. The 17 units will equip engineering units of the Polish Armed Forces.
With a 75 kg mobile base, these platforms can be used to detect, remove and neutralise mines, EODs and IEDs in combat operations and stabilisation missions. It features devices for identifying pyrotechnic materials and chemical agents.
Controlled wirelessly, this system is also equipped with sensors for image and object recognition and provides high-resolution images in a day and night conditions.
Caterpillar tracks enable it to run on paved, dirt and off-road surfaces, as well as in urban areas at a maximum speed of 10km/h.
These systems were acquired by the Polish MND Armament Inspectorate in November 2018. The first batch was handed over in January this year.
According to Shephard Defence Insight, the PLN80.7m (US$20.9m) contract with the ?ukasiewicz Research Network – Industrial Institute of Automation and Measurements (PIAP) comprised the procurement of 35 UGVs.
The agreement also included the training of operators, service technicians and instructors, spare parts, maintenance and repair kits as well as ammunition and consumables. (Source: Shephard)
28 Dec 21. Production of Spain’s Dragón IFV begins. Production of the Dragón 8×8 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) began at General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS)-Santa Bárbara Sistemas with the cutting of the first armour steel plate for the vehicle at the Trubia factory, the company announced on its website on 17 December. The company said the first vehicles would be available during the second semester of 2022. GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas told Janes on 20 December that the first production vehicles would be the combat engineering version. The Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on 29 November that seven Dragón IFVs would be delivered in 2022. GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas managing director Juan Escriña said during the steel-cutting ceremony that the vehicle “represents not only new capabilities and better protection for our soldiers but also a very significant technological leap. It must serve us as a lever for transformation”. (Source: Janes)
22 Dec 21. What the US Army’s Bradley replacement will look like may be decided in 2022. Big decisions for the Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle replacement are happening in 2022. The armored, tracked troop carrier that’s been covering ground since 1981 is on its way out. And the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle is being designed by multiple companies, all expecting the Army’s design decision by early 2023, according to service officials. But the OMFV is more than a better ride for troops. That’s kind of in the name, especially the “optionally manned” part.
The Army wants a vehicle that can be driven by soldiers or by a command vehicle at a distance that will also include on-board sensors and communications platforms to work in a network of ground combat vehicles.
Army Times sister publication Defense News reported in 2021 that the service had chosen five teams to compete for the OMFV design. Point Blank Enterprises, Oshkosh Defense, BAE Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems and American Rheinmetall Vehicles all put together concepts for the OMFV.
That’s after a kind of false start when in 2019 only General Dynamics was able to deliver a physical example of the prototype vehicle.
The Army plans to spend up to $4.6bn on developing the vehicle between 2022 and 2026. The Army is giving companies until 2025 to deliver prototypes, with vehicle testing scheduled the following year. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Army Times)
21 Dec 21. Former Dutch Armed Forces Geländewagens acquired by Lithuania have been issued to the National Defence Volunteer Force on the Belarus border. Back in November the Defence Materiel Agency under the Ministry of National Defence signed a contract on acquisition of 356 items of second-hand military transport equipment from the Netherlands. As it has been agreed, the Netherlands Armed Forces will deliver to Lithuania 125 items of Mercedes-Benz GD 290 before the end of this year, most of the shipment will be given to National Defence Volunteer Force territorial units for state border guard operations. The volunteer troops are foreseen to ride the new purchase to serve in the border area with Belarus as soon as starting December 20.
“Our cooperation with the Netherlands Armed Forces is a long-standing and meaningful one. This contract will not only expand general-purpose Lithuanian Armed Forces capabilities but will also add efficiency to the patrols on the border area and response to the hybrid activity. At the same time, we are getting the equipment for the minimum price,” says Vice Minister of National Defence Vilius Semeška.
For the total sum of approx. EUR6m, the Netherlands Armed Forces will hand over the already used Mercedes-Benz GD 290 all-terrain vehicles, DAF trucks, trailers. The remaining part of the purchase – 165 Mercedes-Benz GD 290, 25 items of various DAF modifications, other equipment – will reach the Lithuanian Armed Forces in two parts next spring and autumn.
The Mercedes-Benz GD 290 has a high cross-country capability and reliability. The vehicles were first used in the Netherlands Armed Forces but they are in a good technical condition. The Lithuanian Armed Forces already operate 400 items of such vehicles, purchased from the Netherlands as well, so the equipment has been tested in training and in domestic support operations already. The Netherlands Armed Forces sold pre-used equipment, approx. 400 ATVs and approx. 200 DAF trucks, to Lithuania in the past as well. (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
23 Dec 21. UK Royal Navy’s support unit explores drone use to deliver supplies at sea. The use of drones is expected to save time, money, sailors and free up helicopters for other works. UK Royal Navy’s support unit, Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), is exploring the use of drones to deliver lightweight supplies to vessels at sea.
RFA has been supporting operations of the Royal Navy since 1905 with food, spare parts, fuel, ammunition and other supplies.
Sailing in parallel with a warship, RFA’s tankers either pump fuel through a hose, or transfer supplies in crates and on pallets on a jackstay line between the two vessels.
To move loads around the fleet, helicopters are also deployed.
Given that seven out of ten resupply missions involve carrying of loads of up to 100lbs, the RFA plans to explore the use of drones to save time, money, sailors and free up helicopters for other works.
Currently, Naval Air Systems Command of the US Navy is trialling an uncrewed aircraft to move supplies of up to 25lbs between vessels, but over distances of more than 200 miles.
Trials conducted over the summer had indicated that this concept was successful in transporting a small cargo for repairs between a warship and an auxiliary of the Military Sealift Command of the US Navy. (Source: naval-technology.com)
23 Dec 21. Dutch Army plans Bushmaster fleet upgrade. The Dutch Army plans on a MLU to upgrade 102 Bushmasters. The platforms will feature reversing cameras, increased payload capacity, an upgraded onboard weapon station and an extra layer of armour. In order to maintain ground troop mobility, the Dutch Army intends to introduce an MLU of its Bushmaster fleet, and upgrade the 102 in-service vehicles by 2027. The MoD expects to start operating the first improved platforms in early 2024.
A press release from the Dutch MoD, released on 14 December, stated that the service plans on awarding a contract for the modernisation process to Thales Australia, the Bushmaster’s OEM.
New vehicle features are to include a reversing camera, better coupling for transmission and command systems, and an increased payload capacity.
The onboard weapon station will also be upgraded, enabling it to face current and future threats, and parts of the platform’s armour will receive an extra layer to better protect soldiers.
These vehicles were first acquired by the Netherlands in 2006 with an expected lifespan of about 30 years. They have been used extensively during missions in Afghanistan and Mali.
Shephard Defence Insight notes that the Bushmaster was developed in 1995-99 to meet the Australian Army’s need for an Infantry Mobility Vehicle (later changed to Protected Mobility Vehicle) with high levels of protection, sustained speed, tactical mobility, endurance, ergonomics and situational awareness. Apart from the Netherlands and Australia, the Bushmaster is also in service with Fiji, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand and the UK. (Source: Shephard)
22 Dec 21. Slovakia advances acquisition of IFVs and AFVs. The Slovak MoD is on track to receive proposals for the supply of 76 8×8 AFVs and 152 IFVs to replace an ageing fleet of BMP-1, BMP-2 and modernised version of the BMP. Unaffected by the same problems its Czech neighbour is experiencing, Slovakia will receive proposals for the supply of 76 8×8 armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) by 31 December 2021 and for 152 IFVs by 31 January 2022.
Slovak MoD spokeswoman Martina Kova Kakašíková told Shephard that the country will acquire the platforms under separate government-to-government (G2G) agreements to enhance military and industrial cooperation with international allies.
The MoD released tenders for both the IFVs and AFVs in September 2021 and it sent requests for government proposals to 33 countries (Source: Shephard)
23 Dec 21. South Korea unveils new CBRN-resistant armoured personnel carrier. South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense has unveiled a new armoured personnel carrier (APC) concept that can better withstand chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats.
Details of the new vehicle type was disclosed by the country’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in a media release on 22 December. To reduce the country’s defence budget, the new APC is being developed with components from two older vehicle types that are in service with the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA), the agency added. A computer-generated image that accompanied DAPA’s media statement indicates that these older vehicles are namely a biological reconnaissance variant of the Kia K311 all-terrain military truck, and a nuclear, biological, and chemical-resistant variant of the Doosan K200 APC. The new vehicle will be able to monitor airborne chemical agents from a distance and detect the sources of these agents via specialised equipment, DAPA said, without disclosing further details of these systems. (Source: Janes)
TEK Military Seating Limited
TEK Military Seating Limited is a UK based designer and manufacturer of ProTEK military vehicle seating which offer the highest standards of safety and protection. The ProTEK brand is well respected across the globe for its robust construction, innovative design, built in modularity and cost effectiveness. Our superior products are supported by our experienced team who endeavor to offer unrivalled service to our customers from enquiry, through design and acceptance, to through life support.
From its inception ProTEK seats have been designed around a family of innovative seat frames onto which tested and certified modules can be fitted to create a bespoke solution for the user. These include Blast protection to Stanag 4569 standards, vibration reduction, head and body protection, seat risers and turntables, fore & aft adjustment, and seat back rake along with viable seat dimensions without the need for additional tooling costs.
Contact: David Parkman