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28 Jul 22. Uganda opens armoured vehicle plant. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has formally opened a new armoured vehicle manufacturing and assembly facility that was built in Nakasongola as a joint project by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces’ (UPDF’s) National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) and the Streit Group, a company based in the United Arab Emirates.
During the televised opening ceremony on 27 July, NEC managing director Lieutenant General James Mugira said the project began with a meeting in March 2018, during which, Streit chairman Guerman Goutorov proposed establishing the plant at the company’s cost.
“It’s a full-fledged manufacturing facility, not just [for] assembly,” Goutorov said. “All the products it will produce you can proudly say: made in Uganda.”
He added that Streit wants to share the products it has been developing that are not land vehicles, which he listed as unmanned aircraft, communications, armoured boats, and cyber security. “We are here for you; anything you need, we are here to accommodate you.”
UPDF chief General Wilson Mbadisaid the plant would produce vehicles for Uganda’s military, police, VIPs, and regional requirements. (Source: Janes)
27 Jul 22. American Rheinmetall Vehicles opens new facility in Sterling Heights, MI and secures $1.5m grant to grow workforce. American Rheinmetall Vehicles (Sterling Heights, MI), a leading developer of tactical wheeled and tracked combat vehicles and systems, is proud to announce the opening of a new 46,669 sq. ft. facility in Sterling Heights, MI. The new location is a demonstration of the business’ continued investment into the US, bringing new technologies and highly skilled jobs into the region in support of a number of the U.S. Army’s modernization programs. The new facility includes an extensive, state-of-the art digital engineering, prototyping and system integration lab to enable deep customer engagement into every stage of vehicle development. Additionally it will bolster American Rheinmetall Vehicles ongoing design and development work including for its next-generation infantry fighting vehicle the Lynx OMFV, and other programs supporting the U.S. Army’s highest vehicle modernization priorities.
American Rheinmetall Vehicles won support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) – a company with more than 100 economic development partners that assists businesses in their growth strategies and fosters the development of vibrant communities across the state – that will assist with standing up the new facility. American Rheinmetall Vehicles leveraged the Michigan Business Development Program (MBDP), an incentive program available from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) in cooperation with MEDC to assist in American Rheinmetall Vehicles‘ effort to grow its business and keep it local. The program is designed to provide grants, loans, and other economic assistance to businesses for highly competitive projects in Michigan that create jobs and/or provide investment that result in a net-positive return to Michigan. American Rheinmetall Vehicles was awarded a grant expected to total $1.5M in support of the creation of 125-150 quality jobs that the company plans to bring to the area in the next three years as it continues its commitment to providing next-generation solutions to the U.S. Army. These job opportunities include positions in Project Management, Engineering, Finance, Supply Chain, Quality, IT, Administration and Manufacturing. Apply today!
“We’re very grateful for all that MEDC has done to support our effort to grow our business here in Michigan. This new facility allows us a growth path that positions us to increase critical capacity and competition in the combat vehicle defense industrial base in Michigan and the U.S. as a whole,” stated Matt Warnick, Managing Director for American Rheinmetall Vehicles.
American Rheinmetall Vehicles is excited to grow in Michigan. The availability of engineering, program management, and professional talent, the proximity to the U.S. Army TACOM, and support from the MEDC made Michigan the ideal location for expansion.
“Congratulations to the team at American Rheinmetall Vehicles on your growth and success. We appreciate this continued vote of confidence in Michigan’s talented workforce and advanced manufacturing expertise, ”said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “We are pleased to work with our local partners to bring these high-wage jobs to the area, and we look forward to working with American Rheinmetall Vehicles as it continues to grow in Michigan.”?
American Rheinmetall Vehicles delivers next-generation, advanced tactical wheeled vehicles and innovative tracked and wheeled combat vehicles in support of today’s highest combat vehicle modernization priorities. The company offers forward thinking capabilities such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Automated Load Handling Systems (ALHS), and supporting open system architectures that enable rapid insertion of new technologies. Rheinmetall’s collaborative global structure allows for the maturation and strengthening of the U.S. Industrial Base now and into the future.
American Rheinmetall Vehicles is part of the American Rheinmetall family of U.S. companies including American Rheinmetall Munitions in Stafford, VA, American Rheinmetall Systems in Biddeford, ME, and U.S. corporate parent American Rheinmetall Defense in Reston, VA. (Source: ASD Network)
26 Jul 22. U.S Army’s Newest Armored Combat Vehicle Powered By Allison Transmission. Allison Transmission, the largest global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions for commercial and defense vehicles will provide the transmission for the U.S. Army’s first newly designed armored combat vehicle fielded in more than four decades. The Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program is one of the U.S. Army’s highest priority modernization initiatives. The Army is expected to purchase more than 500 MPF vehicles through 2035, collectively representing approximately $250m in revenue for Allison’s defense end market.
On June 28, 2022, the U.S. Army awarded General Dynamics Land Systems (GD) the initial production contract for up to 96 MPF combat vehicles. The MPF is designed to increase the combat power of the Army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Teams.
Equipped with the Allison 3040 MX transmission, the new vehicle will provide the Army’s Infantry Brigades the ability to move faster across difficult off-road terrain, all while enhancing soldier protection.
“We are extremely proud to be part of the General Dynamics team that will provide the U.S. Army with the transformational technology necessary to fight and win on future battlefields,” said Dana Pittard, Vice President for Defense Programs, Allison Transmission. “As we continue to support the military’s missions through our world-class fully automatic transmissions, Allison is honored that the 3040 MX is the propulsion solution of choice for the Army’s critically important MPF program.”
Allison’s 3040 MX cross-drive transmission, designed for medium-tracked combat vehicles, will provide the propulsion, steering and braking functionalities of the MPF vehicle. Leveraging decades of product development experience, Allison has designed the 3040 MX to accommodate future controls platform evolutions, enabling advancements in system performance over the life cycle of the vehicle. The 3040 MX will be manufactured by Allison’s highly skilled workforce on the campus of the company’s global headquarters in Indianapolis.
Since 1946, Allison has partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop propulsion solutions that deliver in the toughest conditions. For fleets that are developing new wheeled or tracked vehicles, Allison can tailor conventional, electric hybrid and fully electric propulsion solutions to meet the specific needs of individual applications. Allison engineers and manufactures reliable and fully customizable propulsion solutions, so customers experience reduced downtime and increased ability to accomplish mission objectives. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
25 Jul 22. AAR announces implementation of Airvolution® digital repair cycle management tool with Textron Aviation Defense. AAR CORP. (NYSE: AIR), a leading provider of aviation services to commercial and government operators, MROs, and OEMs, announced the implementation of Airvolution® — AAR’s customizable, cloud-based, end-to-end repair cycle management (RCM) tool focused on optimizing the administration of aircraft component repairs — at Textron Aviation Defense.
Airvolution® was designed by AAR to meet the demands and challenges of the aviation supply chain by enhancing aviation repair teams’ management efficiencies, reducing operational costs, maximizing productivity, improving component availability, and streamlining supplier performance management.
“Airvolution® incorporates AAR’s decades of industry expertise into an easy-to-use SaaS platform,” said Matt Kammerait, AAR’s Vice President, Strategy, Planning, and Innovation. “Textron Aviation Defense is an industry leader with a well-known track record for innovation. They were a natural fit for our product launch.”
Textron Aviation Defense LLC — a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company — will rely on Airvolution® to supplement and modernize current workflows for its repair orders. Textron Aviation Defense will leverage such features as straightforward quote processing, enhanced reporting and data analytics, standardized order management, and comprehensive repair status communications with end-customers and suppliers.
“The launch of Airvolution® is the most recent example of AAR’s focus on developing digital technologies to increase efficiencies and decrease operational costs of our customers,” said Rahul S. Ghai, AAR’s Chief Digital Officer. “Implementation of this product with Textron Aviation Defense demonstrates AAR’s commitment to helping our customers better achieve their goals by providing cutting-edge applications, and we look forward to offering the product to AAR’s other customers and end users.”
25 Jul 22. British Army Light Vehicle Programme Update. The Requirement is believed to be divided into several parts, 1000 JLTV vehicles built in the UK, up to 600 light vehicles to replace the Pinzgauers used by the 16th Air Assault Brigade and the Royal Marines, with a new fleet for the Ranger Battalions, 200 armoured civilian pickups, with 200 vehicles required in the current financial year. The announcement of an RfP is likely to be made during DVD in September. Other demos in 2022 will be live firing from a Robotic Vehicle in September and a Light Mobility Squad vehicle, similar to the US GM Defense Infantry Squad Vehicle in 2023.
23 Jul 22. The UNAC RIDER Fardier ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) is now in use with French Army Airborne Commando Groups and Special Forces, writes Bob Morrison. At the Eurosatory 2022 defence and security expo the French Army laid on a combined multimedia presentation and dynamic display of some of their latest vehicles and equipment. Two command post variants of the new VBMR Griffon 6×6 were on static display at the start of the demo but the first Army vehicles to enter the arena were a pair of UNAC RIDER Fardier ATV prime movers.
UNAC RIDER Fardier ATVs in use with French Army GCP [© Bob Morrison]
These compact air-droppable vehicles were used by a four-man Commando Parachute Group (Groupement des Commandos Parachutistes or GCP) team from 35th Parachute Artillery Regiment (35e Régiment d’Artillerie Parachutiste or 35e RAP) of the 11th Parachute Brigade (11e Brigade Parachutiste or 11e BP). (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
23 Jul 22. BATTLE GROUP ESTONIA Defenders At 25. Some 25 years after entering service the British Army fleet of Defenders, in both 110 and 130 variants, is serving with Battle Group Estonia, writes Bob Morrison.
During Exercise SIIL (HEDGEHOG) 2022 in Estonia early this summer our Senior Correspondent Carl Schulze, himself a former owner of an ex-British Army Defender One Ten, made a point of photographing Defender 110 TUM (Wolf) and Defender 130 Battle Field Ambulance (Pulse) Land Rovers in the field to ensure we continue to document the marque in service. Although the changing nature of military operations, not to mention the draconian downsizing of the British Army since the end of the Cold War and dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, has seen a drastic reduction in the number of softskin (i.e. unarmoured) military utility vehicles in use there is still a requirement for comparatively small numbers of these workhorses in peacetime.
Of the 8,000 or so full military specification Land Rover Defender utility vehicles ordered by UK MoD in 1996, the vast majority of which entered service in 1997 and 1998, roughly four out of five were long wheelbase 110 models, designated Truck Utility Medium Higher Specification or TUM HS, with the remainder being short wheelbase 90 models, designated Truck Utility Light Higher Specification or TUL HS. Nicknamed the Wolf, as that was Land Rover’s codename when the vehicle was under development, both TUM HS and TUL HS models were produced in both hard top and soft top variants but the majority deployed to Estonia on Operation CABRIT are hard topped; unsurprisingly at the eastern Baltic can get very cold indeed in the depth of winter.
Going off temporarily at a tangent, the shorter TUL HS or Wolf 90 model (which was originally specified back in 1991 primarily to meet specific air transportation and landing craft dimensional envelopes for specialist users such as the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Marines) has been gradually phased out since the widespread introduction of the BOWMAN communications package. Although this tactical voice and data system, which eventually entered service in 2004 after several years delay plus a change of supplier, is too bulky and heavy for the full package to be fitted in the rear compartment of the Wolf 90 while still allowing a radio operator sufficient space to work, a small number of vehicles were converted for it; however I do not believe I have ever seen one of these short wheelbase Defenders operationally deployed on the NATO eFP mission in Estonia.
The Wolf 110 was produced in both left hand drive and right hand drive variants, with the only external difference usually (though as you will see from the photos not always) being the positioning of the spare wheel behind the passenger door (i.e. on the opposite side from the driver) to reduce obstruction of view. One might have presumed that because Estonia, like the rest of continental Europe, is a left hand drive country the UK MoD supply chain would have ensured that only LHD vehicles were deployed on Op CABRIT… but one can never accuse UK MoD of possessing an over abundance of common sense. With drivers sitting on the ‘wrong’ side of the vehicle for Continental driving the spare is often repositioned on the driver’s side to give him or her at least a a little bit of rear vision, which of course is even more important when the back compartment is full and there is no view through the rear door window.
Fardier is a very old French military term for a horse-drawn dray used for transporting heavy artillery, but the designation has been adopted for the RIDER (Rapid Intervention Droppable Equipment for Raiders) ATV recently produced for the French MoD by UNAC, who are probably best known on the military side for their compact bulldozers and earthmovers. It is believed around 300 RIDER ATVs were ordered for Army Special Forces and 11e BP in 2020. An early example was exhibited at the SOFINS 2021 Special Forces expo, which I was regrettably unable to attend as all flights were cancelled at the last minute due to a pandemic spike, so Eurosatory 2022 was my first chance to photograph this interesting little vehicle. For the Army demo, after film clips were shown of first a GCP team parachuting and then a Fardier with 120mm mortar being air-dropped from an A400M, two of these nimble vehicles drove into the arena towing a 120mm mortar and a UNAC 400kg cargo / ammunition trailer; due to the Parc des Expositions display arena being under a Le Bourget airport flightpath and little more than a couple of kilometres south of one of the Paris CDG airport runways, live aviation displays are unfortunately not possible at Eurosatory).
According to the manufacturer the UNAC RIDER Fardier measures 2600mm long by 1600mm wide by 1900mm high to top of cage and it has 300mm ground clearance. Empty weight is 1000kg with a GVW of 1900kg and either a 400kg payload trailer or an MO-120 RT 120mm mortar (weighing around 600kg) can be towed. A Caterpillar Tier 3 60hp diesel engine powers the vehicle through a 2-speed dog clutch and lockable axle differentials are fitted front and rear. Tyres are 215/75R15 4×4 All Terrain or Mud Terrain, dependent on operational theatre. Neither top speed nor range are quoted on the sales literature. (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
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