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07 Jul 22. Stryker power problem uncovered in test of US Army network gear. The U.S. Army said it identified a power problem associated with new communications and network tools and Stryker combat vehicles during a live-fire exercise in Europe. One issue identified during the exercise was related to power — or lack thereof. The Strykers soldiers relied upon were power constrained during the event, hamstringing what could be accomplished in the field. Questions lingered about whether it was the newly fitted kit, the integrated tactical network, or the Stryker variant itself that sat at the root of the problem.
“The unit was saying they we’re having some issues with not being able to do silent watch for an extended duration, where, basically, the Strykers shut off and run on batteries while they’re doing night operations,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Judy, a product manager for capability set development, told reporters on a conference call. “They were having some difficulties there. That’s one of the things we took back.”
“We’re going to see if it’s ITN equipment on there that’s giving them some issues,” he said, “or if it’s the type of Stryker they have.”
Officials said the matter is under investigation and will be remediated, and that a solution may already exist with newer versions of the combat vehicle. The Army Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems, which works with Strykers, is looped in.
The Army is taking a stepwise approach to upgrade soldier communications and the grander network, the invisible threads that tie together and inform assets on the battlefield. The increments are known as capability sets, a meshing of off-the-shelf products and specialized military tech.
The capability set endeavor began in fiscal 2021 with a focus on infantry brigades. Additional goals were set for 2023, 2025 and 2027. The Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical, or PEO C3T, heads up the initiative with the help of several partners.
Capability Set ‘23 is tailored to Stryker brigades and uses its infantry-first predecessor as a springboard. The new capabilities include cellular hot spots for vehicles, improved GPS routing and multiple input and output radios for rapid exchanges with command posts, according to the Army.
Results from the testing in Germany, including input from soldiers, will be used to augment the networking technologies ahead of a second, larger demonstration months from now. Together, the two phases of real-world experimentation will inform a fielding decision for Capability Set ‘23 early next year, according to people involved in the effort.
“The goal is really to make sure that the kit that we have designed for Capability Set ‘23 will actually work in an operational context and supports and meets the soldiers’ needs,” said Matt Maier, a project manager at PEO C3T. “And I think the idea is to gather that feedback, see if there are any additional design changes that we need.”
Capability Set ‘23 kit passed a critical design review in April, signaling the suite of technologies is relevant, conceptually sound and cost effective. The positive mark also cracked open the door for procurement. The live-fire assessment in Germany represented a next step in the process. (Source: Defence Connect)
07 Jul 22. India outlines wheeled AFV acquisition. The Indian Army has detailed requirements supporting its acquisition of a wheeled armoured fighting vehicle (AFV), fitted with anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) capability. In an ‘acceptance of necessity’ (AoN) document issued by the army on 6 July, the service confirmed that the AFVs would be procured from local industry.
The AoN also stated that field trials of wheeled AFVs would start 36 months following the issue of the request for proposal (RFP). It said trials would be undertaken on a ‘no cost, no commitment’ basis.
The document did not clarify when the RFP would be issued but said potential suppliers can express interest in obtaining the RFP from the army and government bodies including the Directorate General of Mechanised Infantry and the Department of Defence Production.
The AoN document was issued one month after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that the procurement of “AFVs fitted with ATGMs” had been approved by its Defence Acquisition Council (DAC).
07 Jul 22. Slovakia expects to start receiving CV90 IFVs within three years. Slovakia expects to receive its first CV90 tracked infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) within three years, subject to the results of negotiations of the government-to-government contract with Sweden, the Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Janes on 4 July. The Slovak government approved the procurement of 152 CV90 MkIV IFVs with 35 mm guns on 28 June. The proposed timeline of deliveries is from the second quarter of 2025 to the third quarter of 2028, according to a May 2022 feasibility study by the ministry on the procurement of tracked armoured vehicles. The study rated CV90s armed with 30 mm and 35 mm guns above the General Dynamics European Land Systems-Santa Bárbara Sistemas ASCOD proposed by Spain and the Rheinmetall Landsysteme Lynx KF41F proposed by Hungary. In early 2022 Slovakia held trials of the three contenders to replace its BMP IFVs at the Military Technical and Testing Institute (VTSÚ) in Záhorie. (Source: Janes)
07 Jul 22. IAG showcases refined Rila 8×8. The Rila 8×8 armoured vehicle family was launched by the International Armored Group (IAG) at the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) 2021 in Abu Dhabi. However, an improved model featuring a new turret and redesigned hull showcased at both HEMUS and at Eurosatory 2022 in June presented significant refinement to the vehicle’s design.
This latest iteration of the design showcased the Rila 8×8 in an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) configuration, utilising the Spanish-made Guardian 30 remotely operated weapon system armed with the MK44 Bushmaster II 30 mm cannon. The turret is equipped with 12 smoke grenade launchers, Elbit laser-warning receivers, a meteorological sensor, and a PILAR acoustic array. The gunner and commander each have a fully stabilised third-generation thermal sight with CCD TV cameras, with the commander’s panoramic sight located on the turret’s roof. The Guardian 30 features a laser rangefinder and is suitable for hunter-killer operations. (Source: Janes)
07 Jul 22. PSNI Pangolins to be replaced. Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that the PSNI in Northern Ireland is about to issue a Requirement for 250 vehicles to replace part of its fleet of 400 protected Land Rovers. The process has already commenced to replace the Ovik and Penman Pangolins with a new fleet. Suppliers expected to bid include Mercedes with ‘G’ Wagen, INEOS with the Grenadier via an armour specialist, Jankel, Ford with F350, Ricardo, Hobson Industries, Marshalls, Guardian from Bulgaria and SandCat. The vehicle will be required to provide protection levels above the current protection levels provided by the Pangolin vehicles.
06 Jul 22. Honeywell, a world-leading manufacturer of electronics, engines, and mechanical systems for aircraft, and Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ), a Polish-state owned defense company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding local maintenance capabilities of mission critical systems and military infrastructure projects in the areas of engines, propulsion systems and vehicle electronics for Polish Armed Forces.
“This memorandum will allow our group to open the door to Honeywell’s knowledge and experience in the field of vehicle and aerospace electronics. The result of our cooperation will be the ability to work with modern military ordnance acquired by Polish Armed Forces”, said Sebastian Chwałek, chief executive officer, PGZ.
“Honeywell’s commitment to cooperation with PGZ in strategic defense programs is not only about increasing capabilities of Polish Armed Forces, but also about bringing technologies, skills and expertise to the local Polish defense sector which can enable it in providing modern and NATO aligned defense solutions in the Central & Eastern Europe region and beyond,” said Mark Loughran, Honeywell President, Central & Eastern Europe.
“Honeywell is investing significant talent and resources in aerospace and defense industry around Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Supporting customers in the region, like those in Poland, is paramount to this focus,” said John Guasto, vice president, Defense and Space International, Honeywell Aerospace. “As we continue to strengthen these key relationships, we are proud to work with our customers to develop local expertise, to improve regional aftermarket support, and provide faster, more efficient services.”
The memorandum will allow PGZ to support and operate systems driven by Honeywell technology through their full life-cycle. It will enable Poland Armed Forces to achieve mission readiness and platform availability at a lower cost while increasing local technical knowledge of military platform engines. Once the maintenance facilities are established, engines will be serviced in country which will drastically reduce turnaround times and increase platform availability.
Poland has committed to the purchase of over 250 Abrams M1A2 SEP v.3 from the United States of America. These modern main battle tanks are capable of achieving their goals thanks to the AGT1500 Gas Turbine Engine powering the vehicle and other components that have been designed and manufactured by Honeywell. The partnership focuses on providing knowledge and technology which will allow PGZ companies to maintain and service these units. The memorandum also includes other platforms that use solutions based on Honeywell’s product portfolio.
05 Jul 22. For next OMFV phase, new competitors could join contest to replace Bradley. The Army released the RFP for the next two phases of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle on July 1, which could see some new entrants from abroad.
With the release of a new request for proposal, the US Army has signaled that there may be other companies interested in competing for its future Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, outside of the five that participated in the last phase of the contest.
On July 1 the service announced the RFP for the third and fourth phases of the OMFV, which will replace the decades-old Bradley Fighting Vehicle, formally opening up the competitive phases of the contest. The competition will be full and open as Army acquisition leaders said they believe there are other companies, including some abroad, that may want to join the lucrative race.
“There are some combat vehicle original equipment manufacturers, non-US, that are not participating in the competition and have continued to follow the program, so they may choose to throw their hat in the ring,” said Brig. Gen. Glenn Dean, program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, told reporters during a roundtable today. “We wanted to keep that option open.”
Dean said that some “major primes” that did not participate in phase two of the competition also have developed design concepts that are “very close to what we’ve arrived at with the current design concepts in phase two.” The one-star referenced one firm that was at Eurosatory, the defense trade show in Paris last month, that was “pretty close” to current participants’ concepts. He declined to name the company, which hasn’t yet entered the competition.
The OMFV is one of the Army’s top 35 signature modernization priorities, and the current competition is the third time the Army has tried to replace the Bradley. The service is working through a five-phase acquisition timeline and plans to wrap up the second phase, the concept design phase, by December.
The five companies that participated in phase two are Point Blank Enterprises, Oshkosh Defense, BAE Systems Land and Armaments, General Dynamics Land Systems and American Rheinmetall Vehicles. According to Dean, the five vendors have taken different approaches to the Army’s desired characteristics but have come to final designs that are similar in both size and level of protection.
The Army plans to select up to three vendors for phases three and four, which are the detailed design phase, and prototype build and test phase, respectfully. Phase two helped “refine” the requirements in the new RFP, according to Maj. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team.
“This request for proposal is born from phase two and what we’ve learned from industry and what industry has iterated with us,” Coffman said.
Proposals are due in early November and the Army plans to choose winners in the third quarter of fiscal 2023. The winners will build up to 11 prototypes, seven mandatory builds and four optional, according to Dean. The companies will also be required to build two ballistic hulls and turrets, armor samples and digital engineering data.
Dean said that OMFV is a best value competition that hinges on three overall criteria. The first is projected performance, which includes mobility, lethality and protection of the vehicle. Second, the offerings’ open architecture approach, which must allow the Army to easily upgrade the vehicle over time. And last, the companies will be evaluated on their “value added to total evaluated cost,” meaning an offering’s total price can be adjusted based on the value demonstrated by performance.
The phase three and four contract is worth $903 m if all options and adjustments are exercised.
The Army still plans for the OMFV to be able to operate autonomously or optionally manned, but is not mature yet in the autonomy domain, Coffman said. He noted that the teleoperating capability, in which a solider operates the vehicle from a remote location, is “very mature.” However, he said the vehicle’s ability to guide itself from one location to the next, or waypoint navigation, still needs further work.
“We are more than capable of doing that, but it really comes down to the obstacle avoidance and the algorithmic solutions of how you move between waypoints and avoid obstacles,” Coffman said.
He added that some companies are further ahead than others, but declined to name them.
Each OMFV is designed to have a two-person crew and carry six soldiers in the back. Under current plans, according to Coffman, there will be six OMFVs per platoon, to carry a minimum of 30 soldiers total, or five each, meaning another seat will be available to transport an additional soldier, such as a medic or interpreter, or other equipment.
The Army plans to select a winner of the overall competition to move forward into low-rate production at the end of fiscal 2027, with first unit equipped scheduled for FY29, according to the service’s press release. The Army will set a final acquisition object midway through phase three and four, Dean said, contingent on how it revises its formations.
“The Army is still kind of working through some reorganization constructs for its Armored Brigade Combat Team,” Dean said. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
04 Jul 22. KMW and DEFENTURE Sign MoU. KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann) and DEFENTURE have stepped up their cooperation in the German – Dutch procurement project for a new airborne platform (LuLa) even further by signing an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding).
The LuLa system is to replace the airborne forces’ existing vehicles and is part of the €100 bn special fund.
DEFENTURE’s Groundforce (GRF) system has already been introduced in and is fully verified by the Dutch Army and forms the basis for the planned LuLa vehicle family. The GRF is a truly MOTS (military of the shelf platform) with a weight of five tons and a payload of two tons, the platform is certified air-transportable (CH-47F Chinook). The platform gives full configuration freedom and offers integrated and modular ballistic protection. Its agility is underscored by its turning radius of just nine meters with a battlefield proven 4-wheel steering system KMW is in charge of the various equipment kits, which can be changed without the use of special tools.
KMW is Europe’s leading provider of on-site services for military vehicles, training systems and civilian simulators. Predictive service measures prolong the operating life and ensure maximum availability.
Henk van der Scheer, CEO of DEFENTURE: “We are glad to be working with KMW, which has exceptional experience, competencies and expertise as a systems house.”
“Our German-Dutch cooperation sets a strong signal that European cooperation can work – also in the participation of national industries, like in this German-Dutch procurement project,” says Ralf Ketzel, CEO of KMW. (Source: ASD Network)
04 Jul 22. Australia gifts more APCs, Bushmasters to Ukraine.
The military vehicles form part of a new $100 m military support package announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese following his visit to Kyiv. In response to a request from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Commonwealth government has committed $99.5 m in additional military assistance to Ukraine, including the delivery of 14 M113 armoured personnel carriers and 20 Thales-built Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles.
These are in addition to the vehicles pledged by former prime minister Scott Morrison ahead of the federal election — taking Australia’s total contribution of military vehicles since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine to 88 (60 Bushmasters and 28 M113 APCs).
The Albanese government’s latest military support package also includes other unspecified military equipment supplied by Australia’s defence industry, and a financial contribution to NATO’s Ukraine Comprehensive Assistance Package Trust Fund.
The value of Australia’s military assistance to Ukraine now totals approximately $388m.
Separately, the government has pledged:
- $8.7m to assist Ukraine’s Border Guard Service, funding upgrades to border management equipment, improvements to cyber security and enhancements border operations in the field;
- duty-free access for Ukrainian imports to Australia, complementing similar trade measures taken by our partners, including the UK and the EU;
- to intervene at the International Court of Justice in support of Ukraine in its case against Russia;
- targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on 16 additional Russian ministers and oligarchs; and
- to prohibit imports of Russian gold to limit its capacity to fund the war, building on bans from Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and United States.
These latest announcements were made following Minister Albanese’s visit to Kyiv, where he met with President Zelenskyy as a gesture of support for the nation’s ongoing resistance.
The prime minister visited sites devastated by attacks from the Russian onslaught.
“Russia’s brutal invasion is a gross violation of international law. I saw first-hand the devastation and trauma it has inflicted on the people of Ukraine,” PM Albanese said.
“My visit to Kyiv and recent visits by other world leaders sends a clear message that democratic nations like Australia will stand side-by-side with the Ukrainian people in their time of need.”
The prime minister went on to laud the efforts of President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine.
“President Zelenskyy’s leadership has rallied the Ukrainian people to defend their country and inspired the world to support humanity and freedom,” he said.
“The road ahead is hard but I am confident Ukraine will prevail.” (Source: army-technology.com)
18 June 22. Recently rebranded IDV, Italy’s Iveco Defence Vehicles presented the new Modular Military Range including the Medium Tactical Vehicle at Eurosatory. On display at the IDV booth at Eurosatory is an MTV (Medium Tactical Vehicle) model for Dutch Armed Forces, the vehicle platform selected by the Dutch Defence Materiel Organization (DMO) within the ’12 kN & RCWS’ programme. For IDV, in terms of both budget and number of vehicles, the project ’12kN’ has been the biggest procurement in Europe for multirole vehicles over the last 10 years.
On November 28th, 2019, IDV signed the contract with the Defence Materiel Organization (DMO) to initially provide 918 medium multirole vehicles (in several configurations, protected and unprotected). In December 2020, an additional batch of 267 vehicles has been ordered by the DMO, increasing the fleet to a total of 1185 units. The 12 kN contract consists of a family of 4×4 vehicles, based on IDV’s brand-new MTV platform. The different versions can either be protected and unprotected and can as well be equipped with different cabins: pick-up, soft-top, hard-top and full body monocoque.
IDV benefits from a consolidated experience in the domain of multirole protected vehicles with the best seller LMV (Light Multirole Vehicle), adopted by 14 countries, and the heavier MPV (Medium Protected Vehicle). Both vehicles have already been extensively deployed in high-threat operations where a great number of soldiers have been saved during ballistic / mines / IEDs attacks, thus fulfilling one of the primary goals required by any Customer: survivability.
With a GVW starting from 12 tons, the MTV fills a gap much requested by the market between LMV and MPV. MTV is a modular and versatile vehicle platform, common base for all its variants, both protected and unprotected. This high-performance vehicle efficiently adapts to a variety of users: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Special Operations Units and Military Police. The common elements of the different variants are the 6-cylinders 6.7 litres diesel engine, able to reach 207 kW of power and 1000 Nm of torque, the automated transmission and the permanent 4×4 wheel-drive with 3 fully lockable differentials and high and low gears. Moreover, the MTV benefits from the latest digital systems, with CANBUS J1939, ready for C4I systems, in combination with EMI/EMC according to standards MIL-STD 461 and AECTP 500.
Protection is a fundamental feature as well: IDV has made use of its deep expertise gained with LMV and MPV platforms. MTV variants, short and long cab and monocoque, are manufactured from ballistic steel and benefit from an add-on steel protection kit, which increases the ballistic and blast protection levels.
In terms of crew transportation, the Soft-Top and Hard-Top versions can accommodate a team of 4/5 people. The Pick-up can accommodate a crew of 2. The Casualty Transport can accommodate a crew of 2 and 2 lying or 4 sitting. The Military Police / Air Force Security Vehicle can accommodate a crew of 2+6.
- Wheelbase: 3460mm
- Track: 2015mm
- Overall length: 5760mm
- Overall width: 2430mm
- Overall height: 2760mm
- Ground clearance: 350mm
- Approach angle: 45°
- Departure angle: 35°
- Unprepared fording depth: 750mm
- Max Gradient: 60%
- Max side slope: 30%
- Turning circle: <16m
- Payload: >2000kg
- Gross Vehicle Weight: >12000kg
- Towing capability: 3500kg
- Top speed: 90 km/h
- Tyres: 365/85R20
Footnote: The IDV MTV is known as MANTICORE in Dutch service.
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Contact: David Parkman