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11 Mar 22. US Army to award production contract for light tank this summer. The U.S. Army is comfortable with the way its light tank competition is progressing and plans to award a production contract this summer, according to service acquisition and program officials.
Recent reports indicate the service may have already eliminated one of the two competitors from the Army’s Mobile Protected Firepower competition. Janes Defense first reported earlier this month that BAE Systems had been eliminated from the competition, leaving just General Dynamics Land Systems in the mix, with a few months left before the Army plans to select a winner.
The Army would not confirm the validity of the reports but the service’s program executive officer for ground combat systems, Brig. Gen. Glenn Dean, told Defense News the Army is committed to the MPF program to fill a capability gap to provide mobile, protected, direct-fire capability to infantry soldiers.
Dean said the source-selection phase of the competition is ongoing and the program is on schedule for a production decision in the third quarter of fiscal 2022 — around June. The plan is to equip the first unit with MPF by the fourth quarter of FY25.
The Army plans to initially build 26 vehicles, with an option to build 28 more and retrofit eight prototypes.
When asked about the status of the MPF program and the possible elimination of BAE Systems’ offering from the competition, Doug Bush, the Army’s acquisition chief, said he was satisfied with the MPF competition.
“You always end up with one at some point. [There are] not two people making Abrams tanks,” he told a group of reporters at the McAleese & Associates defense conference in Washington on March 9.
“We got what we needed out of the competition, which was prototypes that went through a full range of testing, limited-user testing, soldier touch points,” he added. “The benefits of competition, the Army realized them already, and once we are able to explain everything that happened, I think you’ll see that we had competition a long way into this. So I think we got there pretty well.”
Dean confirmed to Defense News that the Army recently completed an Army Requirements Oversight Council review on MPF, which “validated the requirements and Army acquisition objective for that program.”
Bush noted the MPF program has undergone several oversight council reviews, and that this time the Army assessed quantities and types of units to which the service would field MPF.
In 2021, the systems went through a soldier vehicle assessment with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, during which soldiers were tasked with validating the MPF concept and providing feedback on how the service should develop tactics, techniques and procedures for fighting with this capability.
Later that year, in the fall, the competing light tank prototypes moved into the Army’s limited-user test, which marked the final step before the service would be able to decide on a winner. Both teams were selected in December 2018 to build and deliver 12 MPF prototypes.
The two prototypes differed significantly. GDLS offered a new, lightweight chassis with a high-performance power pack and an advanced suspension, combined with a turret featuring the latest version of the fire control system found in the Abrams main battle tank.GMLS’ Mobile Protected Fire Power entry features the Ajax chassis and a turret with the same fire control system as the M1 Abrams tank. (Courtesy of General Dynamics Land Systems)
BAE Systems’ design is an updated M8 Buford armored gun system with new capabilities and components. The company experienced some prototype production delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it delivered systems for the soldier evaluation months later than GDLS.
Soldiers wrapped up that portion of the assessment in early August 2021, according to Jim Miller, BAE’s senior director of business development for combat mission systems, who spoke to Defense News in October that year.
While BAE struggled to get its prototypes to Bragg, once there, “everything went great,” Miller said. “We got really great feedback on the vehicle from the soldiers that operated it.”
Soldiers made some minor suggestions, but overall “we had positive feedback about the performance of the vehicle,” Miller added.
Bob Lennox, GDLS’ vice president of strategy and global growth, told Defense News last fall that the soldier assessment “was very valuable to us … because we were there earlier than others, we were able to get the full benefit of that time of having the soldiers on the vehicle.”
(Source: Defense News)
11 Mar 22. WDS 2022: SAMI, NIMR sign manufacturing agreement for JAIS 4×4. Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and the United Arab Emriates’ (UAE’s) NIMR announced the signing of a manufacturing agreement for the NIMR JAIS 4×4 at the World Defense Show (WDS) in Riyadh on 10 March. Under the agreement between SAMI and NIMR, licensed manufacture of the vehicle will be undertaken in Saudi Arabia as part of the country’s efforts to increase domestic defence procurement by the end of the decade.
The two companies first announced a teaming agreement at the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) in February 2021 to pursue opportunities for the JAIS 4×4, as well as an agreement to form a potential joint venture for manufacturing the vehicle in Saudi Arabia. (Source: Janes)
11 Mar 22. WDS 2022: Rabdan Ambulance variant breaks cover. A new ambulance variant of the Al Jasoor Rabdan 8×8 armoured vehicle was displayed for the first time at the World Defense Show (WDS) in Riyadh on 6–9 March 2022.
The vehicle can be configured to carry two medics, two stretchered patients, and three sitting patients, or two medics and three stretchered patients. Specialised medical equipment that can be carried includes a ventilator and oxygen system (both fixed and portable) and it features an elevated roof to allow the medical team to move more freely within the cabin while remaining protected.
Following on from the Rabdan baseline vehicle, the ambulance features an amphibious capability, as well as the ability to climb slopes with a 60% gradient. Trenches 2 m wide can be crossed, and the vehicle has a cruising range of 800 km with a maximum speed in excess of 100 km/h. (Source: Janes)
11 Mar 22. NAO Issues Ajax Armoured Vehicle Report. The Ajax programme. This report assesses the problems that the Ajax programme has encountered and the challenges the MoD faces in delivering it.
Background to the report
Ajax is an armoured fighting vehicle which should provide the Army with its first fully digitised platform. The Ministry of Defence (the Department) has a £5.522bn firm-priced contract with General Dynamics Land Systems UK (GDLS-UK) for the design, manufacture and initial in-service support of 589 vehicles. At December 2021, the Department had paid GDLS-UK £3.167bn and, at this point, GDLS-UK had designed the vehicles, built 324 hulls and assembled and completed factory acceptance testing of 143 vehicles. The Department had received 26 Ajax vehicles, as well as associated training systems and support.
The programme has encountered significant problems. In 2014, the Department extended its expected in-service date by three years when it set an initial operating capability (IOC) of July 2020. The programme subsequently missed a revised target date of June 2021. In 2021, the Department publicly acknowledged concerns about excessive levels of noise and vibration on the Ajax vehicles, leading the minister for defence procurement to make regular statements to Parliament on the programme’s progress and the possible impact on the health of its crews who had been testing the vehicles. These issues remain unresolved, and the Department has not yet set a new target date for IOC.
Scope of the report
This report assesses the causes of the problems that the Ajax programme has encountered since 2011 and considers the challenges that the Department now faces in delivering the intended capability. We set out:
- an overview of the Ajax programme, including the Army’s vision and objectives (Part One);
- our assessment of the underlying causes of difficulties on the Ajax programme (Part Two); and
- the challenges that the Department faces in delivering the programme (Part Three).
The Department expects Ajax to improve its armoured vehicle capability significantly. So far, it has insisted that GDLS-UK will deliver 589 Ajax vehicles for the agreed contract price of £5.522bn. But the in-service date has already increased by four years and the Department does not know when it will be able to start using the vehicles. The programme continues to face significant problems and there is not yet agreement on the causes of critical safety issues or how these will be resolved. There are other technical issues which still need to be addressed and wider problems in developing the enabling capabilities that will allow Ajax to achieve full capability. These problems mean that the Department has not demonstrated value for money on the £3.167bn it has spent so far through this contract.
The Department’s and GDLS-UK’s approach was flawed from the start as they did not fully understand the scale or complexity of the programme. A series of programme management failures have since led to missed programme milestones and unresolved safety and technical issues. The two parties remain in dispute over unresolved contractual, safety and technical issues. The Department faces a significant challenge and difficult decisions if it is to deliver the programme, with a risk that the problems might prove insurmountable. To deliver value for money from the programme, the Department must introduce the capability that it set out to achieve, without costs escalating or further delays in introducing the capabilities. We have seen similar problems on other defence programmes, and the Department must ensure that it learns lessons to prevent a reoccurrence of failings across its £238bn equipment programme.
ISBN: 9781786044198 [Buy a hard copy of this report]
HC: 1142, 2021-22
Published date: March 11, 2022
BATTLESPACE Comment: This is a damning indictment on a major UK Defence Programme and demonstrates how a programme can lose its way when there are people on both sides of the programme who do not possess an in-depth expertise in Tracked Vehicle Programmes. The closure of the MoD’s Fort Halstead and MVEE Chertsey facilities caused a huge drain in capability for armoured vehicle programmes, armour and ballistics. The other issue sis the disparate teams at GD where the vehicle was produced at the GDELS Santa Barbara Spanish facility and supplied to the GDUK in wales often in differing dimensions due to build issues. At the time of the bid, GDUK promised that the vehicle would be ‘British to its bootstraps,’ creating 10,000 jobs. In the event it was a UK version of the Spanish vehicle using those components for a 23 tone vehicle with little growth to the eventual 41 tonne vehicle. GDUK’s Welsh facility was corrigibly established as a facility for the Bowman Project. GDUK it is suggested, found it hard to retain key personnel who had armoured vehicle expertise.
Sources told BATTLESPACE that the ATDU Team at Bovington sent a list of at least 21 changes in the first Capability Drop and it appears that all of these were ignored by GDUK who pressed on with the Programme.
The main issue appears to be the weight of the turret which was placed in a turret ring designed to accommodate a 120mm canon, which was considered a future requirement. The weight of the turret, the ISTAR package is reputed to weigh 3 tonnes, along with the 5 tonne turret, put stress on the running gear which was designed for a 23 tonne, not 41 tonne vehicle. To alleviate the vibrations caused by this, GDUK is believed to have instituted a weight loss programme to cut the weight of the chassis by a new honeycomb system which was not fitted with shock absorbers to mitigate the harmonics which rush round the hull causing hearing and health problems for the crew. Another issue appears to be the lack of EMC shielding of the systems which caused interference when the radios were used. Finally, when the 40mm canon was fired, in static basis and on the move, the vibration caused by the 20,000lb recoil caused the fire control computer to shut down and thus the second round could not hit the target. In addition, that recoil spread right through the whole vehicle which caused further vibration issues with all the electronic servers on the turret fighting to keep the system stable. Our readers know the Editor’s view of the CT40 canon which has costs millions to the taxpayer and still does not perform to the Requirements.
A tale of woes which, if it can be fixed would see the vehicle ISD in 2032 earliest. However once problems are identified and fixed, it often raises new issues which could lead to outright cancellation. One fix could be the removal of the current turret and retrofit a new lighter turret such as the Moog RIwP turret.
At the time we wrote an article, ‘Did The MoD Cancel The Wrong Armoured Vehicle Programme?’
Did The UK MoD Cancel The Wrong Armoured Vehicle Programme? By Julian Nettlefold
It looks like we may have been right, and this may see the resurrection of a Warrior Life Extension programme with a new hull and turret, particularly given the Ukraine situation.
11 Mar 22. Deafening vibrations mean Army’s £5.5bn Ajax tanks may never get back on track. Project, which is more than four years behind schedule, was ‘flawed from the start’ and could jeopardise Army restructuring plans, says NAO. The Ajax tanks are more than four years behind schedule and have been plagued with safety problems CREDIT: Richard P Walton
Problems with the Army’s vibrating Ajax tanks may never be resolved, a report from the Whitehall spending watchdog has warned.
In a scathing report, the National Audit Office (NAO) said that the £5.5bn project was “flawed from the start”, and that the Ministry of Defence failed to understand the scale and complexity of the work it was undertaking.
It added that delays to the programme, which is already more than four years behind schedule, could now jeopardise plans to restructure the Army around a new generation of digitally enabled armoured fighting vehicles.
Gareth Davies, the head of the NAO, said: “A series of failures have led to delays and unresolved safety issues that will have a significant impact on the Army’s ability to use the vehicles.”
Ministers publicly acknowledged last year that the programme was in trouble. They included problems with excessive noise and vibration, which have left dozens of troops needing urgent hearing assessments after taking part in trials on the vehicles.
General Dynamics UK was contracted to supply 589 Ajax armoured vehicles, which were originally supposed to enter service in 2017. However, despite receiving more than £3bn, only 26 have been delivered so far.
The NAO said that the concerns about noise and vibration have still to be resolved, and continued to represent a “significant risk” to the programme.
While trials with Army crews have been halted, the NAO said that the company has continued production without receiving any payment in 2021.
However, the Ministry of Defence has yet to set a revised date to get the first tranche into service and has no confidence that an April 2025 target date for the full operating capability can be met.
The Army has to rely on its ageing fleet of Warrior armoured fighting vehicles as a result.
“It is not yet clear whether the programme’s issues are resolvable,” the NAO said.
‘Everything that can go wrong did go wrong’
Dame Meg Hillier, the chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, said: “The NAO report reads like a checklist for major project failure where almost everything that can go wrong did go wrong.
“It means Ajax has now joined the sorry pantheon of government projects which have gone off the tracks.”
She added: “The Army is forced to continue using increasingly old and obsolete equipment which, aside from adding cost, reduces our capability at a time when dangers are only increasing.
“Both parties must find a way out of the deadlock, work together to rescue the programme and ensure the Army gets the equipment it needs.” (Source: Daily Telegraph)
09 Mar 22. BAE Systems Hägglunds outlines its ‘Indian family of vehicles’ offer for the Indian Army. BAE Systems Hägglunds believes it can provide a single baseline platform that meets multiple requirements of the Indian Army.
Darren Restarick, region sales director for BAE Systems Hägglunds and platform manager for BvS10 and Beowulf, told Janes that the CV90 family of armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) can meet the Indian Army’s light tank, Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV), and Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) requirements.
Restarick said, “You have three platform [requirements]. Under the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 rules, you will have three times the transfer of technology, development, procurement and support, and training costs. This is not a small amount of money, complexity, or time. And what we’re saying is we have a baseline platform that can meet all three capabilities with a modular armour system and interchangeable turrets. You can then have a light tank, an FRCV medium tank, and an FICV with one chassis, logistical supply chain, simulation support, and training [for all requirements].” (Source: Janes)
08 Mar 22. John Cockerill Defense is proud to present, at WDS : 2022, its new product which combines extreme velocity, high firepower and adaptative stealth, the Cockerill i-X. With this world first, John Cockerill Defense is revolutionising the rules of land engagements.
John Cockerill Defense is also exhibiting, on our booth, the Cockerill 1030, its compact and lightweight turret that very successfully completed firing sessions last month. In addition, John Cockerill Defense also presents the Cockerill 3105 on the GDLS booth, one of many hundreds of 3000 series turrets that have been delivered to the Middle East in recent years, the Cockerill CPWS on the SAMI booth and its range of simulators of its subsidiary Agueris on the Life Shield booth.
World Defense Show 2022 is the opportunity for John Cockerill Defense to present, for the first time in the world, its new product called Cockerill i-X (‘i’ for interceptor and ‘X’ for modular multi- weapons system). It’s the first ever ground interceptor and is a breakthrough combat system for territorial defence interception: engage and defeat incoming threats before they reach their objective.
The Cockerill i-X is born from the merger of the technological excellence of weapon systems and the expertise of rally raid performance, the Cockerill i-X represent a break with traditional concepts and imposes a new paradigm of military land operations. The vehicle is capable of moving at very high speeds on-road and off-road (with a thermal or hybrid thermal-electric drive train), light, stealthy (appearance management with adaptive camouflage, and modification of IR and acoustic signature), integrating multi sensor data fusion technology (Smart Helmet, on-board intelligence AI, cameras, sensors : LWS, Acoustic Gunshot detection and localisation) and capable of integrating a suite of effective weapons (such as 25mm, 30mm, Missiles, Rockets…) depending on the threat to be neutralised, as well as to foresee the integration of a new generation of effectors.
Other striking innovative aspects concern the weapon system which will be completely retractable to ensure its stealth and speed. The vehicle will be quickly transportable by Air (plane, helicopter, droppable by parachute), Sea and Land (train, truck).
John Cockerill Defense also presents the Cockerill 1030. Lightweight, precise, multi-mission, including fully amphibious, and with high firepower, the Cockerill 1030 is the answer to the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s armed forces. Lightweight (<1.5t with level 2 ballistic protection) and compact (1.5m ring diameter) with a capacity of up to 200 rounds, equipped with 2 digital sighting systems, able to elevate to 70°, and with the ability to integrate a wide range of accessories such as AT missiles, rockets, APS, 360° close observation… it is the ideal weapon system for all types of vehicles and missions (APC, IFV, anti-UAV, amphibious …).
Thanks to more than 1,000 turrets in service around the world today, the John Cockerill Defense team has acquired a unique experience in terms of reliability and performance from which the Cockerill 1030 benefits.
In February, the Cockerill 1030 successfully completed two customer demonstrations, with great distinction. Whether in static or moving mode, the 1030 hit the target with every shot. This again demonstrates the reliability and accuracy of our products, which are the result of our 200 years of experience in manufacturing weapon systems. The Cockerill 1030 is presented on our stand and integrated into Rabdan vehicle on the Edge booth.
In addition, John Cockerill Defense also presents the new Cockerill CPWS. Lightweight, remotely operated and equipped with a single hatch known as a ‘convertible roof’ that can be positioned in four different modes (closed for protection, slightly open for ‘sniper’ operations, monitoring in the raised position and fully open for emergency exits or maintenance).
The Cockerill CPWS is a modular turret that allows the integration of several weapons such as a 25x137mm (e.g. M242) or a 30x113mm (e.g. M230LF) accompanied by a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. On the occasion of WDS, the Cockerill CPWS is integrated on the NIMR vehicle on the SAMI booth.
WDS is also an opportunity to (re)discover the Cockerill 3000 Series modular turret and its five different calibre guns that it can integrate: 30x173mm, ‘super 40mm’, 90mm, 105mm and 120mm. Recently delivered in hundreds of examples worldwide, the Cockerill 3105 is integrated into LAV700 vehicle and present on the GDLS booth.
The Cockerill Combat Boat is also presented in a 30x173mm version to meet the needs of armed forces to guarantee the safety of their waterways and coastlines.
Also at WDS, Agueris, a subsidiary of John Cockerill Defense, and a specialist in training and simulation, is presenting its complete range offering simulation solutions (immersive and onboard virtual) and training (in virtual maintenance and UAV piloting). Agueris is present on the Life Shield stand.
Thierry Renaudin, President of John Cockerill Defense: “These four days at WDS are an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate the consistency, breadth and innovative nature of John Cockerill Defense’s offer.
“We are very proud to present, for the first time in the world, our new Cockerill i-X which embodies the essence of the operational superiority factors to be mastered on the battlespace using higher velocity, firepower, stealth and embedded intelligence. It will change the rules of land engagement.
“Our ambition is to remain at the forefront of technological developments and to meet the growing need for versatility of increasingly mobile armies. Therefore, we continue to improve our technology, consisting of modular turrets, coupled with UAVs, capable of firing missiles, connected with simulators, and all associated training and support services”. (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
09 Mar 22. WDS 2022: Navistar, ERAF team up for MaxxPro manufacturing. US firm Navistar signed a teaming agreement with Saudi Arabian firm ERAF on 8 March at the World Defense Show (WDS) in Riyadh. The company is bidding the MaxxPro mine-resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle as part of a potential order for the Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF), Royal Saudi Naval Force’s (RSNF) Naval Infantry, and the Presidency of State Security (PSS). The requirement ranges from 500–900 vehicles across the RSLF and RSNF, with Navistar working to do full production in Saudi Arabia through ERAF. An estimated 20–25 vehicles will be produced in the US, with production from knock-down kits being performed before the full transfer of technology for licensed production in the Kingdom. A command-and-control version of the vehicle has been built in the country by the two parties. Maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of the vehicles will be performed by ERAF and other supporting firms in Saudi Arabia. (Source: Janes)
08 Mar 22. WDS 2022: CLS readies Light Reconnaissance Vehicle 20 for user trials. Calidus Land Systems (CLS) has completed internal evaluation and testing of its 4×4 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle 20 (LRV-20), and the platform is now ready for evaluation by potential customers, company representatives told Janes at the World Defense Show (WDS) in Riyadh. Speaking to Janes at the WDS, CLS operations director Rashed Ahmed Al Mazrouei said that the LRV-20 had been designed to support reconnaissance and border security missions. First unveiled at IDEX in 2021, the LRV-20 features a commercial off-the-shelf chassis and is designed and manufactured in the United Arab Emirates. Measuring 1.89 m in width, a single LRV-20 can be carried as an underslung load beneath a UH-60 helicopter, while a pair of LRV-20s can be carried in the cargo hold of a CH-47 helicopter, Al Mazrouei noted. With a gross vehicle weight of 3,450kg, the vehicle has a maximum speed of 160km/h and a range of 750km on a single tank of fuel. (Source: Janes)
07 Mar 22. Wheels vs Tracks- Urgent Warning! Every day Reports and photos of the developments of the huge Russian 40 mile convoy stuck in the mud plaster the international media. These pictures should shed a stark warning to those pundits and salesmen promoting wheeled vehicles such as Boxer to undertake the roles of tracked vehicles such as Warrior and AS90. Studies at the Tank Museum in Bovington showed that although wheeled vehicles are cheaper to develop and run, they lack the cross-country capability to keep up with Main Battle Tanks in the new UK Battlegroups. For the Mobile Fires Requirement to replace the ageing AS90 Howitzer’s there is only one tracked offering, K9/K10 from Hanwha. Given these phots coming from Ukraine, it will be a brave decision to ditch this offering in favour of a ‘wheels only’ fleet. A likely solution would be a mixed wheeled and tracked fleet. These pictures may also reflect on the decision to scrap Warrior and replace some of the capabilities with Boxer. Will the resurgence of a new upgraded Warrior be a consequence of the Ukraine conflict and a further life extension for Scimitar? Sources state that the Russians are using their latest T72B3M alongside other T72 marques and a few T90s, there are minimal amounts of T-14 Armata tanks. The Ukrainian Army is using T72 tanks. Russian tanks, artillery and military vehicles that have been crossing Ukraine’s border for days now are adorned with a series of symbols drawn in white paint. These symbols range from letters to geometric figures and even combinations of the two. In fact, more than ten different combinations have been seen on the bodies, both front and sides, of these war vehicles. But what do they mean? From all the footage that has been observed to date, it would appear that the most commonly seen is the letter ‘Z’, framed within either a square, rectangle or triangle. One theory put forward as to why these symbols are painted on the vehicles is that they can reduce the chances of being hit by friendly fire. For example, both the Russian and Ukrainian forces use the same model of tank, and so they use this personalised symbology to distinguish themselves from the enemy. Another reason, however, is that they may pertain to the locations where the units are stationed. Michael Clarke, former director of the defence think tank RUSI, explained this idea to Sky News. “Often these symbols will be location-based: they will communicate where the unit is going,” he said, pointing to the various designs seen in recent days. “These are probably symbols that say which units are heading northeast or northwest in a region, for example.” (Source: https://en.as.com/)
07 Mar 22. UAE operating GD-OTS Flyer vehicles. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces displayed General Dynamics Flyer 72 light tactical vehicles for the first time during their annual ‘Union Fortress’ public demonstration. Held near Dubai’s Expo 2020 venue, the dramatic show simulated a terrorist attack on a mall that required the intervention of a broad range of the Emirati military and security forces’ capabilities. The television coverage of the event showed four Flyers armed with .50 calibre machine guns were the first military ground units on the scene, forming a cordon around a building that was stormed by counter-terrorism forces. CH-47 Chinook helicopters then landed to disembark Light Tactical All-Terrain Vehicles (LTATVs) made by the Italian company Aris and driven by soldiers wearing the badges of the elite Presidential Guard. LTATVs were first seen in the ‘Union Fortress 7′ held in December 2020. (Source: Janes)
07 Mar 22. Digital Transformation • Logistics • Sustainment, Modernization and Engineering. Sustainment is a vital element of any product’s lifecycle. Keeping systems operational and mission ready requires a Digital Logistics Environment (DLE) — an ecosystem of applications, tools and practices that utilize innovative digital capabilities to manage and track key elements of the sustainment system and operational support pipeline.
“Aircraft and weapons systems lifecycles are increasingly extended far beyond anything ever anticipated, and sustainment costs are on the rise,” said Kenn Todorov, vice president and general manager, sustainment and modernization, Northrop Grumman. “At Northrop Grumman, we’re making investments in innovative technology and digital sustainment tools to enhance operational efficiency, forecasting, performance and affordability — and ultimately improve mission and warfighter readiness.”
Planners consider a multitude of data to customize and deliver successful sustainment support at the right time and place. To make informed decisions, each support function has to communicate and share data, so all team members have a timely, coherent picture of what is happening to the platform.
“There is a lot of data that needs to flow in order to enable sustainment,” said Philip Hammar, system architect and technical fellow, Northrop Grumman. Scheduled maintenance, condition-based maintenance, the supply chain and the availability of qualified personnel, along with data validating those qualifications — all need to be tracked and coordinated. “Digital information and analytics help you understand what’s going on so you can be ready to execute the mission.”
Model-based digital engineering and innovative technologies are also changing how legacy systems are maintained, repaired, overhauled and upgraded now for the future to ensure mission readiness. Aging platforms naturally carry more maintenance program execution risk, as modifications and repairs made over that lifecycle may have altered the original configuration, making it challenging to conform to standard service requirements.
“Through the application of model-based engineering and digital technologies, we can rapidly create digital twins of parts in need of repair, for example,” said Marc McChesney, systems engineer and technical fellow, Northrop Grumman. “This helps us accurately diagnose the issue and develop a rapid and robust solution at a more affordable cost.”
An integrated digital environment also enables planners to take a model-based approach to sustainment. The model can be used to spell out policies around what needs to happen and when, define certifications needed among sustainment personnel and organize the movement of parts and materials.
By tracking and providing real-time information, a DLE helps teams update their models as demand changes. This optimizes the entire support ecosystem to deliver greater value at less cost. This is especially helpful in supporting sustainment of legacy systems, where replacement parts may be increasingly hard to come by.
“Using a DLE also allows the people who are running the program to spend more time doing the things that humans are really good at doing,” Hammar said. “When you are working close to capacity and there’s a problem — where there’s a change in op-tempo or some resource conflict — it takes a human to balance that in order to have those assets ready. With automation and other digital tools, the experts are free to focus more of their energies on those kinds of problems.”
Northrop Grumman’s sophisticated enterprise intelligence and reporting tools tie all this together on the back end. These analytics capabilities give military planners the insights they need to support greater transparency and accountability because they can see the correlations, how data in one function relates to data in another area.
“With enterprise intelligence tools, they can look across the whole of the problem, the maintenance activities and the maintenance program itself,” Hammar said. “Then they can see the trends that might indicate where there is an opportunity to re-engineer something, to change the instructions or change how they run the supply chain that makes it more efficient at the point of service, where they’re actually delivering the sustainment to the platform.”
With greater transparency, planners can get ahead of sustainment. They can leverage digital tools to make preemptive decisions, drive predictive activities and add a higher level of resilience to mission-critical and time-sensitive sustainment activities. These capabilities deliver the transparency, efficiency and performance needed to increase aircraft availability and enable mission success. For additional information about how Northrop Grumman is harnessing integrated digital technologies to sustain value-driven solutions, visit Northrop Grumman.
07 Mar 22. SVI Engineering expands into Saudi Arabian market. Special Vehicle Innovation (SVI) Engineering, which manufactures a range of commercial and military armoured vehicles, has expanded into Saudi Arabia, where it plans to develop and manufacture a variety of armoured vehicles and military solutions.
“Identified by its Saudi partners – Shamal Commercial Investments and Hala Auto – as a world leader in the vehicle-armouring industry, the South African firm forms an integral part of the newly established SVI Saudi Industries company, which is fully registered in the region and already in the process of setting up a factory,” SVI said a day after the World Defence Show opened in Saudi Arabia. The exhibition runs from 6 to 9 March.
“Benefiting from SVI’s extensive experience in perfecting products designed to combat crime and ultimately save lives in South Africa, the newly created company will focus its efforts on the growing military, security and civilian sectors in Saudi Arabia,” SVI said.
SVI Saudi Industries marks its official launch at the inaugural World Defense Show 2022 in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where it is displaying the MAX 3 light armoured vehicle, the MAX 9 armoured personnel carrier (APC) and the popular semi-discreet Stopgun V2.0 armouring package.
The MAX 3 was developed to provide security forces with the required equipment to deal with crime, terrorism, violent demonstrations and regional conflicts. Based on the Toyota Land Cruiser 79 chassis (and inheriting its powertrain), the MAX 3 is available in various body configurations, including an eight-seater called the Troopy. The light and low cost armoured vehicle is fitted with an armoured cab with B6 ballistic protection, but this can be upgraded to B7. It can be fitted with a Reutech Rogue LITE 12.7mm remotely operated weapon station, amongst others. The vehicle has been in production for a number of years and was recently revised with a more aggressive body style, increased internal space and other changes.
The latest version of the MAX 9, meanwhile, is a military solution yet likewise adaptable to a multitude of roles. It can be used to transport personnel, serve as a weapons platform, be employed in law enforcement or peacekeeping and even configured into a battlefield ambulance. Power comes courtesy of a Cummins 6.7-litre turbodiesel engine, which drives a five-speed Allison automatic gearbox. The MAX 9, development of which was completed in 2017, has unique features such as a digital dashboard and single-piece curved armoured windscreen. The 7 500 kg vehicle features Stanag 4569 AEP 55 Level 3A/3D landmine protection using a V-shaped hull. It seats seven in addition to the driver.
In addition to the discreet armouring of civilian vehicles, SVI’s semi-discreet Stopgun V2.0 kit will be offered in Saudi Arabia. A popular choice in South Africa’s mining, security and valuables-in-transit industries, this package delivers B6 armouring solution offering protection against assault rifles (including the AK-47 and R1).
“SVI’s expansion into Saudi Arabia is the latest evidence of the company’s global standing in the industry and ultimately allows it to broaden its overarching mission of saving lives to even further beyond South Africa’s borders,” the company concluded.
SVI was formed in 2004 and specialises in mechanical engineering, product development and manufacturing, and protected vehicles, including armoured civilian vehicles, armoured luxury vehicles, remanufactured military and police vehicles, asset protection vehicles, guard houses and towers.
In 2018 SVI launched a new systems integration division called SVI Systems and Solutions, specialising in Level 5 system integration with qualified products. It is aimed largely at new and vehicle upgrade programmes. Systems and solutions on offer include ambulance, jammer, communications, protection and smoke launcher systems. SVI also offers the Pathfinder seismic/acoustic sensor and a thermal radar for surveillance – this has proven popular with mining companies.
On the weapons side, SVI can supply its vehicles like the Max 3 with Thales Scorpion 60/81 mm automated mortar, 12.7 mm pintle mounted machinegun or 12.7 mm Rogue Lite remotely operated weapon station. Other options are fire extinguishing systems, long range acoustic devices (such as the Genasys LRAD 450XL) for crowd control, and less lethal solutions.
In 2019 SVI launched SVI Secure, an armoured vehicle rental division that offers modified commercial vehicles like saloons and SUVs as well as armoured personnel carriers. The rental business is so successful that all rental vehicles are currently in use by customers and SVI wants to expand the rental vehicle fleet as there is big demand for such a service.
Since being established in 2004, SVI has put more than 2 500 vehicles and products in the field, with customers in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The company also has offices in three countries. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
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