Sponsored by TEK Military Seating Limited
19 Sep 22. Jankel establishes agreements with key UK defence industry partners to deliver the Oshkosh JLTV. Jankel, a British world-leader in the design, integration, manufacture, and support of high-specification defence systems, has announced the establishment of agreements with a number of key UK defence industry partners in order to create a team of experts to deliver the Oshkosh Defense Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to UK. The new partnerships follow on from the headline agreement with Oshkosh Defense announced in June 2022. These latest partnerships are being specifically formed to create a UK based team of defence vehicle subject matter experts that can deliver the Oshkosh JLTV vehicle to meet crucial protected mobility requirements of the British Armed Forces. Today’s announcement coincides with the DVD event taking place at Millbrook, 21/22 September, where Jankel and Oshkosh are displaying the Oshkosh JLTV vehicle and offering customer off-road demonstration rides.
A comprehensive partnership framework is being identified and developed by Jankel to establish a robust, UK-based, expert supply chain to deliver design, sub-system integration, manufacture, assembly and through life support services. The first agreements of this type to be put in place are with NP Aerospace in Coventry and Make UK Defence, a member-owned defence trade organisation. NP Aerospace are well-established suppliers to UK MoD and they bring with them expertise and pedigree across multiple UK defence vehicle projects. Jankel will be working in collaboration with Make UK Defence to access and leverage the full spectrum of UK defence industry expertise.
Jankel, working in partnership with Oshkosh Defense and supported by key UK defence vehicle industry experts, can provide a Land Industrial Strategy aligned mechanism for UK MoD to procure, support and spirally upgrade the JLTV, through life. The Oshkosh JLTV meets the requirements of the UK MoD for a role-versatile, common platform, next generation protected mobility solution. Jankel and partners, with JLTV, can deliver a low risk, technically mature, in-service and volume productionised solution matching outstanding performance with affordability. Oshkosh Defense has currently manufactured over 17,400 JLTVs and 2300 companion trailers. The JLTV has been fully validated and verified through independent testing to include 29 blast tests and 250,000 miles of reliability testing.
Andrew Jankel, Chairman at Jankel said: “I’m delighted to announce these key partnerships today with NP Aerospace and Make UK Defence that are the first of a number of this type that we will be establishing to enable the delivery of the Oshkosh Defense JLTV to UK MoD. We have so much talent present in the UK defence industry and to begin to bring it all together like this is very exciting and will give the MoD exactly what they need whilst remaining fully aligned with the Land Industrial Strategy.” He added, “Looking ahead and beyond JLTV, these partnerships could be further developed to support our long-term strategy of establishing a UK-based light vehicle centre of excellence that integrates and further develops the best of British technology and innovation into world-leading vehicle platforms, to meet future UK and global requirements.”
John Lazar, Vice President and General Manager International at Oshkosh Defense stated “Oshkosh Defense have been providing vehicles and through life support to UK MoD for nearly two decades for Wheeled Tanker, Heavy Equipment Transporters (HET) and Light Equipment Transporters (LET). We are proud to have demonstrated the capability and reliability of our Oshkosh military trucks through years of successful contracts and on operations abroad. We look forward to the next chapter of this relationship, meeting protected mobility requirements in cooperation with our partners at Jankel”.
15 Sep 22. INEOS Grenadier makes its military debut at DVD on the Off Road area near the Hobson Industries OR-35 stand. INEOS see the forthcoming Light Vehicle Requirement as an opportunity to offer a number of variants of its Grenadier vehicle in armoured and non-armoured configurations. The Grenadier is powered by a choice of BMW six-cylinder engines; the 3.0L B58 inline 6 petrol engine and the 3.0L B57 inline 6 diesel engine. In the Grenadier, B57 diesel engine makes 183kW of power (3250-4200rpm) and 550Nm of torque (1250-3000rpm). The B58 petrol engine makes 210kW of power (4750rpm) and 450Nm of torque (1750-4000rpm). Both engines come mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission (codenamed 8HP51 for the petrol, 8HP76 for the diesel), with what INEOS calls a new ‘heavy duty’ torque converter. All Grenadiers come standard with permanent four-wheel drive (4WD), with low-range accessed through a 2.5:1 Tremec two-speed transfer case.
The Grenadier is built on a box-section ladder frame chassis. There are heavy duty Carraro beam axles at each end, paired to five-link coil suspension supplied by Eibach offering nine degrees of front axle articulation and 12 degrees at the rear, and anti-roll bars for road handling. Various MoDs have shown interest in the vehicle including Norway and Poland and the UN which has an urgent Requirement for over 8000 4×4 Station Wagons with a Euro 6 engine.
15 Sep 22. Further Significant Landmark Achieved in UK Boxer Armoured Vehicle Journey. Another key milestone has been achieved in the UK production of Boxer Armoured Vehicles for the British Army. WFEL has now completed the first fabricated and painted Drive Module hull complete with spall liner materials and driver’s bay insulation. This hull is now available to proceed into the second major production phase – Assembly and Integration – and will be on display during the British Army’s DVD Exhibition at Millbrook Proving Ground next week, 21-22 September.
Drive Modules are common to all Boxer vehicle variants and ultimately contain the power pack, suspension and driveline, fuel system, electrics and driver’s station.
Further Drive Module hulls are already in progress at WFEL’s Boxer facility in Stockport and, following the painting operation, will also be available for assembly before the end of September.
This exciting landmark has been achieved following an in-depth technology transfer programme completed in conjunction with KMW, who have trained and liaised closely with WFEL’s Boxer production teams over the last two years.
Andrew Munt, Boxer Programme Director at WFEL, said, “The whole WFEL team is extremely proud to have reached yet another significant milestone in our UK Boxer Armoured Vehicle manufacturing programme for the British Army”.
He continued, “While we acknowledge the achievement our team has made with this first Drive Module hull, we now look forward to the next phase of the programme: the commencement of Assembly and Integration of our first complete vehicle”.
16 Sep 22. GDUK Not at DVD. A GD spokesman told BATTLESPACE that GD will not attend DVD this year to allow both GD and MoD teams to focus all attention on ongoing trials to ensure Ajax is delivered to the British Army as quickly as possible. BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold was due to visit GDUK on August 25th at the Oakdale plant for a brief on Ajax. The brief was: ‘This visit and briefing is for your background and knowledge only. The visit will provide plenty of information for your use at a future date once we can publicly say more on the Ajax Programme.’ The visit was cancelled, and BATTLESPACE is slated to revisit prior to DVD. However, GDUK told BATTLESPACE that at DVD GDUK will ‘brief you on how we manage Noise and Vibration on Ajax.’ Manage is not a solution, and sounds very much like a compromise which accepts noise and vibration? That confirms the existence of these issues and how GDUK will solve and manage through life, which gives a pointer that from GD’s point of view the programme will survive, facing headwinds from various parliamentarians to cancel. The cancellation of the visit was due to a high level visit from the USA. Gossip surrounds whether the Programme will survive, BATTLESPACE understands that lawyers have been appointed by both sides as to who will pay the bill. One pointer to ‘damage limitation,’ by the MoD in particular is the reluctance to discuss the GFE CT40 canon and the extra cost and delays incurred by design changes. As it is GFE, that gives GDUK big leverage over the cost overrun issue. A sources stated that GDUK will use DVD as a high profile re-launch of Ajax with all six variants being on display and with the MoD present on the Stand. Watch this space for a relaunch statement at DVD!
One reader has pontificated and given the views below:
Reasons to cancel:
- Cannot solve the vibration, noise and/or the flexing turret issues
- MOD and GD cannot agree who funds the solutions
- DVD will demonstrate how GDUK will manage Noise and Vibration on Ajax”. – cop out
- Save money and re-invest elsewhere
Reasons to keep
- Cancelled Warrior: the Army is internationally a joke already with tanks and no IFV – so to have no armoured recce would be even more ridiculous
- Army and MOD reputation – they cannot afford to have another major programme failure and wasted public money
“I’m not at all convinced GD will pay for it all, MoD will have to pay. This is one reason, I reckon, that we have not seen any new funded programmes or committing of funds announced by the Army for the last year (less more Boxer) – waiting to see how much of the Army budget will have to spent on AJAX.”
Waiting in the wings for funding:
- Tyro – new bridges contract for WFEL
- Trojan, Titan, Terrier MLUs
- 432 replacement
- AS90 replacement
- Mounted Close Combat Overwatch – anti-armour
- Counter air/UAS
The likelihood is that DVD will provide details on the way ahead for Ajax or cancellation.
Watch this space, the BATTLESPACE money is on saving the programme with a delayed ISD to 2032 and MoD paying most of the bill.
16 Sep 22. Everrati Advanced Technologies (EAT) partners with Hobson Industries.
* Everrati Advanced Technologies (EAT) partners with leading Land Rover engineering company, and security services supplier Hobson Industries
* New partnership will result in the production of electrified versions Land Rover based vehicles for security and defence projects
* Specialist in through-life support for Land Rover models, Hobson Industries offers OEM parts supply all the way to full vehicle builds, focusing on both armoured and soft skin variants
* EAT, a division of Everrati Automotive Ltd which futureproofs icons with state-of-the-art EV powertrains, will supply its leading EV technology, blended with in-house OEM-grade design, engineering and manufacturing expertise
* EAT provides customers with high-tech consultancy services from initial concept and feasibility studies through to scalable low-volume production
* New partnership with Hobson Industries is just one of multiple electrification programmes undertaken by EAT in recent months
Everrati Automotive Limited (Everrati), the leading global technology company specialising in the redefining and futureproofing of automotive icons, today announces a new partnership between Everrati Advanced Technologies (EAT) and Hobson Industries Limited, providing its industry-leading EV expertise in the production of electrified Land Rover vehicles. An internationally-renowned engineering-based company established in 1987 by Peter Hobson – who served as a Royal Navy Naval Weapon Engineer – Hobson Industries offers through-life support for heritage Land Rover models, encompassing everything from parts supply to full vehicle builds. These include armoured and soft skin variants of Land Rover models, all of which have had ICE powertrains up until now. As part of the new collaboration, Hobson Industries’ vehicle builds will benefit from EAT’s state-of-the-art electric powertrains – already proven in Everrati’s range of electrified icons, which include a Land Rover Series IIA. The electrified models developed with Hobson Industries will be used for security and defence projects. Drawing upon Everrati’s unique combination of engineering experience; amassed from more than 50 years of collective expertise working within automotive OEMs, EAT was established earlier in 2022 following rapidly growing demand for Everrati’s high-end EV solutions.
Its product line-up includes the redefined and electrified Land Rover Series IIA, which has been developed at the company’s technical centre in Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, and incorporates a brand-new EV powertrain courtesy of the company’s expert team of industry specialists from world-leading OEMs. The off-roader’s 60kWh battery pack has a power output of 150bhp and 300Nm of torque reinvigorates the car’s original character.
Founder and CEO of Everrati, Justin Lunny, said: “We are delighted to announce this new partnership with Hobson Industries, a globally renowned expert in every aspect of through-life management of classic Land Rovers. One of the most ubiquitous vehicles in active service in the security and defence sectors around the globe, these industries are increasingly embracing electrification and Everrati Advanced Technologies is expertly placed to support the transition of these older vehicles to a clean and sustainable future. The combination of Hobson Industries’ unparalleled reputation – and its connections to the security and defence sectors – with EAT’s state-of-the-art EV propulsion systems is unique.”
Founder and Managing Director of Hobson Industries, Peter Hobson, said: “Few companies can match Hobson Industries’ ability to offer through life support management and development of Land Rover heritage vehicles in both military and civilian platforms. Across the markets we serve in the UK and globally, we have established close relationships with the people that trust and depend on us. I am delighted to partner with Everrati Advanced Technologies. I have always said that thanks to us, the Land Rover need never die. With EAT that statement has never been truer.”
Utilising proven Everrati automotive EV propulsion system platforms as a starting point, EAT provides consultation on a suite of electrification solutions for commercial clients, from initial concept, analysis services and feasibility study to complete turnkey EV powertrain provision. In addition, EAT provides provide software and IP development for bespoke customer requirements.
Initially focused on the low-volume specialist and luxury vehicle sector, EAT provides design, development, engineering, and production consultancy services, enabling customers to create almost any bespoke EV powertrain solution they desire. Whether a redefined version of an existing vehicle or an entirely new electric propulsion system application.
15 Sep 22. Runflat CBR are at DVD (Stand OR33) to show their runflat product with all 4 tyres deflated driving around the Millbrook track with a 4×4 vehicle. Runflat CBR now offers a new category of runflat performance unattainable with conventional runflat inserts, whether they are fitted to single or two-piece wheels. We can exceed the capabilities of the best two-piece wheel with runflat bead-lock systems but in a significantly lighter and easier to fit package. This new class of runflat insert is unique in that it introduces the option of low-pressure operations and CTIS on the single piece wheel.
Integrated active bead-lock ensures significantly greater control than any other system used to date on the single piece wheel. Wide central support keeps the tyre centralised on the wheel when running flat and the tyre’s beads are locked on the wheel to prevent movement, instability and to increase runflat distances. CBR’s unique patented cantilever design brings shock absorbing flexibility to ensure excellent contact for best possible performance and control. This would assist in overcoming the issues you have been experiencing with damage to the wheels with the current runflat systems.
To be able to demonstrate the capabilities in performance we have surpassed all testing to date. CBR Extreme can complete A.20.A over 150km with 2 or all 4 tyres deflated and CBR Escape A.20.5 with 2 or all 4 tyres deflated, running on stock single piece wheels. Finabel tests require that two tyres are deflated on opposite corners of the vehicle, meaning vehicles on single piece wheels cannot be steered if both tyres of the steering axle are deflated. Traction would also be lost if both are deflated on a driven axle, which is not the case with our product.
15 Sep 22. HMG to attend DVD 2022. HMG Paints, will be attending the DVD2022 exhibition in September where Made UK Defence members and non-members can meet the HMG team face to face. The attendance at the show will allow engineers and specifiers to discuss in person their defence coating requirements. HMG’s Defence Technical Support team will be on stand C3-819 at the show which takes place between the 21st and 22nd September at UTAC Millbrook.
The DVD2022 show will give defence personnel the chance to discuss paint and coatings technical requirements directly with the HMG team. HMG Paints’ Technical Support service is aimed to take the hassle out of identifying and sourcing the correct products for Defence projects.
This includes the identification of Def Stan or NSN number or even developing bespoke solutions for OEM and manufacturers projects. If you’d like to book a meeting slot or require information on the HMG Paints products you can email and a member of the team will assist you.
15 Sep 22. Hydrogen Instead of Diesel. Freudenberg and ZF Friedrichshafen AG are joining forces to develop a fuel cell-based drive system for heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Technology supplier Freudenberg and ZF Friedrichshafen AG have signed a long-term strategic agreement for the development of a hybrid fuel cell/battery drive system for trucks and coaches that is sustainable and emission-free. The first prototype vehicles are expected to hit the roads by 2023 at the latest, using a high-performance fuel cell/battery system that completely replaces conventional diesel drives. The start of series production is scheduled shortly thereafter.
Saying goodbye to conventional diesel trucks – and the sooner, the better: The transport industry is under political pressure to meet obligatory targets for climate protection. Vehicle manufacturers and suppliers have already initiated numerous innovative concepts in their transition to CO2 emission-free freight traffic on the roads. In 2021, Freudenberg and ZF Friedrichshafen AG had already started the “HyFleet” research project to develop a fuel cell drive for new long-distance bus platforms. Now both companies are intensifying their efforts and combining their skills for the long term as well. The goal is to develop a highly integrated hybrid fuel cell/battery drive system and the balance-of-plant (BoP) components that are critical for its functioning, specifically for heavy-duty commercial vehicles. This will initially focus on truck & bus applications, but later it can also be extended to rail and special vehicle systems – such as construction and agricultural vehicles – as well as to marine applications.
“We are investing heavily in the mobility of the future. In battery, hydrogen and fuel cell technology as well as in the development of high-tech components for electric vehicles. The long-term cooperation with ZF agreed-upon today underscores the strategic importance and growth potential that we at Freudenberg see in this sector,” explained Dr. Mohsen Sohi, CEO of the Freudenberg Group.
“Freudenberg and ZF are longstanding, experienced players in the industry and have complementary technology know-how,” adds Dr. Max Kley, CEO of Freudenberg e-Power Systems. “Through our cooperation, we’re bundling this experience to develop clean e-drive solutions and thus provide targeted support to the industry in achieving its climate goals.”
The joint development of hybrid fuel cell/battery systems by Freudenberg and ZF contributes to an innovation-driven field with high relevance for all heavy-duty applications.
“Decarbonization is a major aim of the transport industry, and within this, fuel cell technology will be a game changer. Together with Freudenberg, we can offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution enabling manufacturers to quickly bring e-mobility solutions to market and supporting the industry’s transformation towards a more sustainable future,” said Wilhelm Rehm, ZF Board Member with responsibility for Commercial Vehicle Solutions, Industrial Technology and Materials Management. “ZF’s cooperation with Freudenberg will develop highly integrated fuel cell e-drive solutions for the commercial vehicle industry. By reducing manufacturers’ development and project costs, our powerpack solutions will also help to lower the Total Cost of Ownership.”
With its fuel cell system, Freudenberg e-Power Systems relies on a modular approach that can accommodate different performance categories depending on customer and application requirements while also offering simple vehicle integration (plug&play). The focus of the development is on the lifetime and efficiency of the individual components and the respective subsystems.
The fuel cell systems on the market today were originally created for passenger cars and the corresponding load profiles. For heavy-duty applications, however, all aspects of the system must be designed for a long service life and the highest possible system efficiency. While passenger cars run for about 8,000 hours during the vehicle lifetime, trucks spend at least 35,000 hours on the road. In addition, it is particularly important to achieve the highest possible overall system efficiency – at nominal load and taking into account the BoP’s energy requirement, Freudenberg’s fuel cell experts are striving for an overall efficiency of an industry-leading 50 percent. After all, high efficiency of the entire powertrain leads to less fuel consumption, which in turn reduces the total cost of ownership.
“Our goal is to design the fuel cell battery drive system for a long service life and real-world heavy-duty profiles. This ensures that our customers benefit not only from a sustainable, emission-free solution in heavy-duty transport, it also pays off economically for them throughout the lifetime of the systems,” says Dr. Kley.
When it comes to battery and fuel cell systems, Freudenberg has a depth of value creation that is unique in the industry: The in-house production of gas diffusion layers, permeation-optimized sealing materials and catalysts forms the basis for a fully integrated membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) and is the starting point for the commercial and technical competitive edge of the truck fuel cell.
“We have the complete technological understanding of the functionally critical components in-house, ranging from the raw material to the finished system,” notes Kley. “The combination of our comprehensive fuel cell expertise and our over 25 years of experience in the large-scale industrialization of the essential components enables us to play a key role in shaping the development of an entire industry in the direction of emission-free mobility.”
Since 2018, Freudenberg has already launched various cooperation projects with renowned partners to develop fuel cell systems for heavy-duty applications. Among other things, the company is a technology partner in the “Pa-X-ell2” project. The goal is to develop a new generation of fuel cells to be used for passenger ships on the open seas. In addition to Meyer Werft, the project consortium includes Lürssen Werft, the classification society DNV GL, the German Aerospace Center, AIDA Cruises represented by Carnival Maritime GmbH, besecke and EPEA GmbH.
Freudenberg also has many years of experience with battery systems in the heavy-duty sector and is among the market leaders in its target segments. Well over 60 m kilometers driven with Freudenberg’s battery systems illustrate this success. Longevity and low total cost of ownership of the systems over their lifetime are top priorities here as well. Its competence and innovative strength in both fuel cell and battery technologies distinguish Freudenberg e-Power Systems as a pioneer of electromobility in the heavy-duty sector.
12 Sep 22. MSPO 2022: Concept showcases Wirus 4 SOF. Polish manufacturer Concept showcased the lightweight 4×4 Wirus SOF vehicle at the International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO 2022 held in Kielce from 6 to 9 September. The Wirus SOF is based on the Polish army’s Wirus 4 Żmija light, long-range reconnaissance vehicle. It was developed, after receiving feedback from the Polish Ministry of National Defence (MND), as a multirole platform capable of supporting missions such as long-range reconnaissance, special forces operations, and command-and-control.
The 3.5 tonne vehicle is based on the commercially available Mitsubishi L200 chassis, with the 180 hp Mitsubishi 2.4 litre turbo-diesel engine, producing a speed of more than 100 km/h. Concept is responsible for constructing the body using light composite materials. The vehicle in its basic form is unarmoured, but customers can request anti-mine protection of its underbody from roadside mines up to NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG) 4569 level 1. (Source: Janes)
13 Sep 22. MSPO 2022: Poland’s AMZ unveils TUR 7 armoured vehicle. AMZ-Kutno unveiled the TUR 7 4×4 armoured vehicle at the International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO 2022 held in Kielce from 6 to 9 September. The TUR 7 was shown in a light medical transporter configuration and joins the large TUR family of vehicles produced by AMZ-Kutno. The medical transporter version can carry up to seven personnel, including the driver and a wounded passenger placed on a stretcher. Passengers can disembark the vehicle from the rear exit through a pair of hinged armoured doors. The vehicle is configurable, and as is typical of its class, weaponry can be mounted on a remotely operated weapon station integrated on its roof. (Source: Janes)
14 Sep 22. American Rheinmetall Vehicles signs Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center. American Rheinmetall Vehicles (Sterling Heights, MI) has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Develop¬ment Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center (DEVCOM GVSC). The CRADA allows American Rheinmetall Vehicles and DEVCOM GVSC to collaborate on a regular basis to develop integrated combat vehicle suspension, track, and running gear technologies.
In addition to the defined research and development tasks, the CRADA provides a conduit for the team to explore integration of the U.S. Army’s Advanced Lightweight Track and improvements in running gear systems and configurations on platforms that are potential candidates for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program and other critical vehicle modernization programs.
American Rheinmetall Vehicles and DEVCOM GVSC will leverage their respective expertise to improve track, suspension, and running gear solutions, which may also be applicable to future weapons systems for broader military services, international military markets, and further spin-off applications. The effort may include, but is not limited to, modeling and simulation, development, and testing of track, running gear, suspension, road wheels, and subsequent developments to improve these systems and sub-systems in harmony for best-in-class ride quality for tracked combat vehicles.
“The CRADA is the start of a budding relationship to research, develop, and integrate the newest technologies into modern combat vehicles,” said Mike Milner, American Rheinmetall Vehicles Director for Business Development and Strategy. “Specifically, efforts on integration of the Advanced Lightweight Track will provide ride quality improvements and room for growth without reductions in performance on tracked combat vehicles.”
26 Aug 22. Under one roof – vehicle architecture and SitaWare.
Modern armoured vehicles are becoming increasingly complex platforms, as an ever-growing number of sensors, effectors, communications systems, and more are being added. But how to make the most efficient use of them, and ensure they all work together?
Underpinning modern armoured vehicle design is a common principle, referred to as a generic vehicle architecture (GVA). The overarching aim of a GVA is to help deliver common standards, ease system integration, and reduce risks and costs, while also ensuring that future upgrades can be undertaken easily. This helps end-users avoid vendor lock-in, as well as migrating new and legacy subsystems to support cross-fleet interoperability.
Work on a formalised GVA standard began in the United Kingdom and has continued over the past 20-30 years to develop a baseline GVA standard, with NATO also developing a standard, NATO GVA (NGVA), and Australia also creating their own standard (AS-GVA). Early efforts at delivering this standard focused on the power and electrical systems within a vehicle, before evolving to include data systems and subsystem integration.
GVA now promotes the idea that data is to be in the centre, and systems and applications can be both consumers and providers of data. The design seeks to lay the foundation to avoid direct system-to-system, system-to-sensor integrations by describing a common approach based on data, use cases/workflows, and using the same technology for exchanging data.
“Under earlier vehicle design and subsystem integration practices, systems sometimes each required their own sensor for essentially the same data, which also meant duplicated integration into the overall vehicle architecture,” Christoph Pauls, Business Product Manager at Systematic, said. “Under the concept of GVA, this could be simplified. For example, a vehicle may have had multiple GPS receivers to provide the position to the radios, battle management system, inertial navigation system, remote controlled weapons stations, and so on. Under GVA principles only one GPS receiver system is needed, and its data is easily shared out to each subsystem through a common software data bus.”
This means that there is a reduction in cabling and external antennas, as well as reduced power consumption to support these common subsystems. This can support positive changes in other areas such as reductions in overall vehicle weight, added space availability for extra loads, increased protection, or improved ergonomics for passengers. Other benefits can include easier maintenance and a reduced number of components that can break and potentially undermine vehicle availability.
Data communication under GVA
Data exchange is governed through the Land Data Model, allowing for specified information to be transferred over standardised interfaces such as ethernet cables. Enabling an open systems architecture allows for “interoperability by design,” which can mean both within the vehicle’s own subsystems, as well as in sharing data with other vehicles and units.
SitaWare Frontline, the battle management system (BMS) designed for mounted commanders, has been designed from the outset as a modular and extendable system to allow for easy integration with various radios, sensors, and vehicle and weapons stations. A public API and software development kit also allows original equipment manufacturers to smooth the integration journey, and supports customer choice in vehicle subsystems and equipment, while futureproofing SitaWare Frontline equipped vehicles.
SitaWare Tactical Communication acts as the core backbone underpinning the integration between the BMS, radio systems, and vehicle, weapon, and sensor interfaces. Integrations with external sensors and systems can be saved and reused on other GVA-compliant vehicles, thereby reducing the costs of redevelopment on vehicles developed to the same GVA standard.
Upgrade and update cycles
The process of upgrading and updating the technology within a military vehicle is made even more complicated by the different timeframes for technology refreshes, Pauls said.
“We typically see the IT side of a vehicle platform or subsystem going through an innovation cycle every one to two years. For the electronics side – the networking infrastructure, power interfaces, plugs, and cabling, and so on – this goes through an innovation or replacement cycle every four to six years. The mechanical componentry, which brings in new mounts and cabling, as well as other interfaces or entirely new systems, could only be really changed every 10-20 years.”
As a result, the IT systems within an armoured vehicle are usually added in at the end of the initial development cycle to ensure that all the planned subsystems can be integrated together. However, with the IT environment constantly evolving to account for a range of factors such as cybersecurity, changing interoperability requirements, and new subsystems and payloads, it is essential to keep updating it.
Working with an agile open architecture software system such as SitaWare Frontline that can be easily upgraded and patched as necessary is essential. If changes and upgrades to the software system deployed through a vehicle requires a corresponding significant hardware refurbishment, then costs can rapidly increase. More extensive and invasive works can reduce the availability of vehicles, and potentially require further re-integration work of existing subsystems. The ability to migrate an IT system to a broader fleet is also a key part in ensuring that a national operating capability can be maintained, and supporting interoperability across vehicles undertaking different roles in support of operations.
Current methods employed for fleet software upgrades help to ensure that vehicles equipped with SitaWare Frontline can operate the latest technology quickly, and that user profiles can be easily transferred from one SitaWare Frontline-equipped vehicle to another. New technology is being developed by Systematic to further improve the ease of system upgrades and support, allowing for rapid deployment of new software, drivers, and firmware.
SitaWare Frontline as an ISR tool
As the variety of sensor and effector systems are integrated, the ability for the vehicle commander to improve their situational awareness through a single screen is dramatically increased.
Sensor data gathered by a vehicle can be rapidly disseminated automatically to SitaWare Insight, feeding into a data lake and being assessed as part of a regular intelligence cycle by analysts. Vehicle commanders operating SitaWare Frontline are then able to take advantage of the resulting analysis to change mission plans dynamically or reorient rapidly to address new threats. As a result, a SitaWare Frontline equipped armoured vehicle can be a powerful asset to any mission, being able to rapidly improve and support situational awareness.
09 Sep 22. Supacat and MBDA launch concept demonstrator of new Brimstone HMT Overwatch capability for Light Forces at Army Expo. Supacat and MBDA are jointly launching Brimstone HMT Overwatch, a concept demonstrator of a new tactical capability for Light Forces, at Army Expo 2022 on 9 September 2022. The UK high mobility defence vehicle specialist and European missiles group have collaborated to integrate MBDA’s Brimstone precision weapon onto Supacat’s HMT vehicle to equip the Light Forces tactical commander with the organic capability to deliver precision anti-armour effects at long ranges and in volume.
Phil Applegarth, Director of Supacat, said, “Overwatch creates a potent new capability for Light Forces, combining HMT’s all terrain agility with Brimstone’s precision effects, and demonstrates the versatility of both elements”.
Mike Mew, UK SBD Director MBDA UK, said: “This Light Overwatch concept showcases how we can take an in-service platform and rapidly deliver an operational capability that provides a major lethality boost to the front-line, while learning lessons to spiral capabilities for the future. This is a great UK industry example of experimentation, supporting Op MOBILISE, accelerating Future Soldier and alignment with the Land Industry Strategy”
Supacat’s HMT (High Mobility Transport) platform is designed for modularity and equipment integration while Brimstone’s ‘one missile, multi-platform’ versatile design can be integrated onto helicopters, fixed wing aircraft (including fast jets), land vehicles, naval platforms and UAVs.
Brimstone HMT Overwatch provides an all-weather fire-and-forget capability and with low collateral damage in restrictive engagement scenarios. It allows for quick and effective engagement and for enhanced flexibility in mission fit capability options to repel adversary formations and single point targets. It has a salvo launch option to achieve co-ordinated effects on multiple targets during a single mission and includes line-of-sight or non-line-of-sight engagements, third-party targeting and high off-boresight agility. Brimstone also provides best-in-class Insensitive Munitions-compliance for safety.
Brimstone and HMT are each battle-proven with Brimstone achieving over 98% operational success rate in defeating static, moving and manoeuvring target sets including MBTs and other armoured vehicles. HMT is operated by British Forces as `Jackal` and `Coyote` and globally by numerous special forces.
27 June 22. Jankel and Oshkosh Defense sign UK teaming agreement. Jankel, a British world-leader in the design, integration, manufacture, and support of high-specification defence systems, has signed a teaming agreement with the US defence company Oshkosh Defense to harness the joint capabilities and strengths of both companies for the UK defence market. The collaboration has been specifically formed to lead a UK based team of subject matter experts that delivers the Oshkosh JLTV vehicle to meet crucial protected mobility requirements of the British Armed Forces.
Oshkosh and Jankel are ideally suited to work together – bringing the global market presence, extensive portfolio of past performance, and cutting-edge technology of Oshkosh together with the flexibility, pedigree, and UK customer focus of Jankel. This agreement sees the initiation of a dynamic team of Britain’s leading experts in vehicle design, integration, support, and project delivery with significant experience in repeatedly solving UK specific defence vehicle related challenges.
The teaming agreement not only ensures that the UK Armed Forces get access to the world leading Oshkosh Defense JLTV to meet future Protected Mobility requirements, but it also unleashes the potential of UK defence industry and delivers on the recently launched Land Industrial Strategy (LIS). By procuring the JLTV through this newly formed team, the UK MoD maintains the economies of scale offered by the sizeable US JLTV programme whilst also leveraging local manufacture, design, integration, on-shore SME supply chain, and through life support capabilities.
John Lazar, Oshkosh Defense Vice President & General Manager, International Programs said: “We have been providing vehicles and support to the UK MOD for over 20 years. Our collaboration with Jankel leverages the successful innovation of UK industry to provide the UK Armed Forces the enduring capabilities required for the modern battlefield.”
Andrew Jankel, Chairman at Jankel said: “Jankel has been providing protected vehicles to the British Forces for many years and we are extremely excited to be teaming with Oshkosh Defense, working together to provide innovative solutions to meet the UK’s defence equipment challenges. This partnership allows us to deliver an enduring multi-year programme with an agile UK team.” He added, “Looking ahead, this partnership supports our long-term strategy to develop a UK based centre of excellence that integrates the best of British technology and innovation into world-leading vehicle platforms.”
12 Sep 22. The UK MoD recently issued a Request For Information (RFI) for a GSUP – General Support Utility Platform (GSUP) for the British Army, writes Bob Morrison.
According to the RFI: “The [British] Army are seeking market information as to military light utility platforms as part of an initial scoping of options to replace Land Rover and other similar vehicles as part of the General Support Utility Platform Programme. Companies are invited to provide information on current and developing military utility platforms. Variants of interest include General Support, Ambulance and Fitted for Radio particularly when these are all included within the same vehicle family. Platforms should be no more than 3.5T and be driven on Cat B licence (potentially less ambulance variant).”
When we published the UK Military Medium Utility Vehicle Doldrums feature last month we were unaware that an RFI had been circulated, which is unsurprising as not only was no Public Sector Notice published on the Government’s Find A Tender website, but even some potentially interested suppliers appear not to have been aware. It will be interesting to see which companies receive formal Invitations To Tender.
Some potential candidates which I did not cover in my last article could include the Ford Ranger, the Jeep J8 and the STI Steyr LMV which are all already in military service. I photographed the Ford and the Steyr, which are two different approaches to the same utility vehicle requirement, at MSPO 2022 earlier this week and plan to produce a brief article on the latter in due course. The Jeep J8 featured here was displayed by Spanish company EINSA at FEINDEF 2021 in Madrid last November.
Incidentally Supacat yesterday announced via social media that they will be displaying a J8 at Defence Vehicle Dynamics 2022 later this month: “Working closely with AADS-Gib, we will be presenting the J8 Light Patrol Vehicle at DVD, an affordable solution to Light Mobility Requirements.”
Some might have spotted that the RFI only mentions the Army and not the Royal Marines and the RAF Regiment, who both also use the ageing Land Rover ‘Wolf’ Defender. We suspect the Marines might be going down the NSPA route, as they did with the Polaris MRZR. We believe there is also a separate requirement for UK SpecOps vehicles, including a replacement for the WMIK Wolf variants, but that is another story. Interesting 4×4 times ahead? (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
12 Sep 22. As the British Army looks to replace much of its TUM fleet with the GSUP might the STI-Steyr Light Multi-Mission Vehicle fit the bill, ponders Bob Morrison. Many armies are moving away from the traditional and conventional rugged 4×4 utility vehicles, like for example the Land Rover or Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen or Steyr-Daimler-Puch Pinzgauer, in favour of mass-produced five-dour Sports Utility Vehicles and/or their two-door pick-up truck siblings, but might there still be a case for running a less technically advanced and therefore easier to operate and maintain fleet of more basic specification light trucks? After all, does a soldier operating in the back of beyond really want to have to rely on the very latest electrickery to get him or her out of an off-road pickle and do they have the time to wait around for a representative from the ‘fourth emergency service’ to turn up with a diagnostics laptop to get the wheels rolling again if their truck breaks down or throws an electronic tantrum? Forty years ago when the One-Ten and G-wagen were new kids on the block they could still often be fixed with a Swiss Army knife, baling twine and a length of wire, a lump of chewing gum, and some basic mechanical and electrical knowledge. But I digress.
The STI-Steyr LMV or Light Multi-Mission Vehicle, produced by Austria’s internationally famous manufacturer of road maintenance machines, which also operates and manufactures in the Emirates as STI (Steyr Trucks International) Defense, is a 3,500kg to 4,500kg gross weight 4×4 no-frills utility vehicle offering a payload of 1000kg to 1900kg dependent on body configuration. In five-door configuration as seen here the LMV measures 5100x1880x1850mm high, but three-door high-line ambulance / communications bodies and soft-top troop carrier versions are also available, as is an open Special Operations Vehicle version. Top speed is stated as being 140km/hr and road range is up to 1200km, dependent on variant.
Although very much a Hum-vee, or even a VAMTAC, look-alike the STI-Steyr LMV has a much more conventional interior layout than the American military utility and as a result it is more capacious and has a load bed large enough to accept a standard cargo pallet behind the second pair of seats; though it is more likely that such a load would be carried in a crew cab version to allow full pallet height. Confidentiality clauses prevented representatives at MSPO 2022 confirming which countries this vehicle is in service with, other than saying it has been sold in bulk in the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) Region and in Asia, but company military sales literature has photos of quantities of vehicles in different configurations sitting side-by-side which bear out these claims.
Unfortunately the STI-Steyr LMV, which appeared on static display at Eurosatory in Paris in June and then at MSPO in Poland in early September, is unlikely to be able to make it over to DVD 2022 later this month, which is a pity as it would be interesting to see how it fares around the Millbrook off-road tracks (on decent off-road tyres of course). (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
05 Sep 22. Project: General Support Utility Platform RFI – General Support Utility Platform RFI The Army are seeking market information as to military light utility platforms as part of an initial scoping of options to replace Land Rover and other similar vehicles as part of the General Support Utility Platform Programme. Companies are invited to provide information on current and developing military utility platforms. Variants of interest include General Support, Ambulance and Fitted for Radio particularly when these are all included within the same vehicle family. Platforms should be no more than 3.5T and be driven on Cat B license (potentially less ambulance variant).
CONTRACT NOTICE – NATIONAL
Notice Type: SUPPLIES
Official Name: Ministry of Defence
For the attention of: Maj Tom Murphy
Internet Address (URL):
- Project Code
General Support Utility Platform RFI
- Project Title
General Support Utility Platform RFI
05 Sep 22. Ricardo demonstrates militarized version of Ford Ranger 2019. Looking at the above Spec, as a reader pointed out, this looks very much like the Ricardo version of the Ford Ranger will be one of the major contenders for this Requirement.
- Ricardo has produced a highly versatile and cost-effective general service defence adaptation of Ford’s iconic Ranger product, Europe’s best-selling pickup
- The demonstrator is ideally suited as a flexible application, general purpose utility vehicle for defence, policing, security and rescue services roles
Ricardo has a longstanding and well-deserved reputation for the creation of high quality, cost-effective special vehicles for the world’s armed forces, based both on bespoke concepts and on the adaptation of existing automotive platforms to meet the required level of robustness and in-field serviceability. The company was responsible, for example, for the design and construction of a fleet of WMIK light attack Land Rovers and the all-new Foxhound vehicles, both of which are in successful ongoing use by the British Army.
Ricardo’s modification/adaptation demonstrates a militarized adaptation of Ford’s Ranger product, to show how this workhorse of industries from construction to agriculture can offer a highly cost-effective multi-role transportation product for defence and other security-related applications. The general service Ranger concept created by Ricardo is intended to be available with a range of powertrain options, including Ford’s powerful and refined 213 PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue Bi-turbo diesel powertrain, which produces 500 Nm of torque for excellent load-hauling capability. This is mated to an advanced new 10-speed automatic transmission for easy, economical driving.
Key features of the adaptation designed by Ricardo include options for a rollover protection system; a ring mounted weapon system, similar to that used in the WMIK; an armoured ballistic underfloor and armoured glass; lightweight but heavy-duty front and rear bumpers; skid plates for the radiator, powertrain and fuel tank; rock sliders and improved wading/fording protection; NATO IRR paint/camouflage and 4-point seat harnesses. In addition, the 24V electrical system is enhanced to provide the power requirements and EMC protection expected of modern defence vehicle applications, and the chassis can be equipped with upgraded springs, dampers, brakes, heavy-duty wheels and all-terrain tyres, offering greater ride height and more versatile towing capacity. In delivering this project Ricardo has worked closely with Polaris Government and Defense, in particular for support in the areas of onboard power management and C4i (command, control, communications, computers and intelligence) integration.
“Ricardo is pleased to have created this general service demonstrator based on the Ranger vehicle,” commented Paul Tarry, special vehicles director, Ricardo. “The adaptation of existing and well-proven automotive platforms for defence roles provides an opportunity to deliver a robust, fit-for-purpose and highly cost-effective package that is easy to maintain, benefitting as it does from an established international supply chain of parts and service. However, it is also crucial in such adaptations to engineer a solution that meets the exacting requirements of the intended applications; even the most robust of commercially available vehicles is unlikely to meet this threshold without careful, role-specific adaptation of the type that Ricardo is ideally placed to provide. The militarized Ranger that Ricardo has created with the support of Polaris Government and Defense, thus demonstrates the flexibility of this robust and versatile platform – as developed, re-engineered and re-imagined to fulfil multiple defence roles in an effective and very cost-efficient manner.”
05 Sep 22. South Korea approves funding for third batch of K2 MBTs. South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has allocated funding for a third batch of Hyundai Rotem K2 main battle tanks (MBTs). Funding for the programme was contained in South Korea’s 2023 defence budget, which was announced in late August. Funding for the third K2 batch was part of a KRW6.64trn (USD4.8bn) package contained in the budget to strengthen “operational response capabilities”, the MND said. The package also includes the procurement of additional Ulsan-class Batch III frigates and ammunition. The total 2023 defence budget is KRW57.1trn.
Citing sources, Janes has previously reported that the third K2 batch could comprise a total of 54 MBTs, with the new tanks expected to feature a locally developed engine and a German-made transmission system, like those made in the second batch. However, Hyundai Rotem and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) have not yet confirmed this, and had not responded to Janes questions about the third batch, at the time of publication. (Source: Janes)
01 Sep 22. Czech Republic and Slovakia co-operate on CV90 MkIV IFV procurement. Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď and his Czech counterpart, Jana Černochová, signed a co-operation agreement on the procurement and operation of the CV90 MkIV tracked infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) during the Slovak International Air Fest (SIAF) 2022 at Malacky-Kuchyňa Air Base on 27 August.
Naď said the two countries would support each other in the operation of the IFVs, training and exercises, and the delivery of spare parts and ammunition, as well as exchange experiences in using the vehicles.
Černochová added, “Given the benefits of lower prices and the fact that more such vehicles will be in the region, we can join forces to contract companies to deliver maintenance and repair services for the vehicles and to produce spare parts… What matters to our country is not only the number of vehicles, but also the price, the speed of delivery, and local industrial content.” (Source: Janes)
06 Sep 22. Milrem Robotics delivers the THeMIS UGV to Ukraine.
The European leading robotics and autonomous system developer Milrem Robotics delivered the THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) suited for casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) and transportation of supplies to Ukraine.
The THeMIS equipped with stretchers for rapid CASEVAC was delivered to a Ukrainian charitable organization. Onsite training was provided upon delivery for the quick deployment of the system.
“Casualty evacuation is one of the most crucial and labour-intensive activities in conflicts. Traditionally, it takes several people to carry a stretcher and required medical equipment. However, it would require only one to operate a UGV, which can accommodate several wounded and a lot of equipment. This means that more personnel are available to help more people,” explained Captain (res) Jüri Pajuste, Defence R&D Director at Milrem Robotics.
The THeMIS UGV is a multi-mission vehicle with an open architecture that enables it to be rapidly configured from having a transport function to being weaponized, performing ordnance disposal, or supporting intelligence operations according to the nature of the mission.
THeMIS UGVs have been acquired by 16 countries, 8 of which are members of NATO, including Estonia, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK, and the US.
01 Sep 22. Prospeed Motorsport are exhibiting the HILOAD 6×6 at the DVD exhibition to be held at Millbrook Proving Ground in the UK on 21st/22nd Sept 2022.
Outdoor stand SP-19
Prospeed developed HILOAD to unlock the possibility and capability for Light Utility Vehicle users.
Defence has limited options in 2022 for an LUV platform, often using pick-up trucks which offer limited payload, a compact load-space and suffer with mobility and durability in an enhanced military role.
However, the user does like them, and it is known that many examples have found service in UK Armed Forces.
It is HILOAD that evolves this capability towards a truly militarised Light Utility Vehicle that is a credible option to replace Defender and Pinzgauer in the UK Armed Forces,
The core of HILOAD is a complete replacement HD chassis, driveline, and diff-locker set-up that provides an un-matched capability in the marketplace.
HILOAD 6×6 GVW is 6500Kgs, optimised 1820mm width for CH-47 internal, increasing All Up Weight with 6 contact points on re-enforced walkways.
HILOAD 6×6 uses lower ground pressure and 6 contact points to boost mobility.
HILOAD 4×4 GVW is 5000Kgs on a 130” wheelbase.
Operational payload in the WMIK type on 6×6 estimated at 3000Kgs and 4×4 at 2000Kgs.
HILOAD is currently on HILUX which offers automatic gearbox, LHD/RHD and a variety of emissions standards to enable useage of defence fuels.
We work with primes who transform HILOAD into the customer LUV specification.
HILOAD is truly the HD militarised upgrade for a pick-up truck into the LUV role.
30 Aug 22. Two new Mercedes-Benz models to make defence show debut at DVD Millbrook. With the much-anticipated return of DVD to Millbrook in September, Mercedes-Benz will be exhibiting two new trucks to the UK defence industry for the first time:
The next-generation Zetros
The Mercedes-Benz Zetros can effortlessly overcomes potholes and muddy ruts, mountains and hills, sand, dust, and cold and heat, whilst impressing driver and crew alike with its comfort and safety. That is why the Zetros is the perfect vehicle not only off-road but on the road too.
Wherever a conventional truck reaches its limits, the new Zetros simply continues its journey thanks to proven electronic systems and easily accessible technology.
Don’t take our work for it, try it for yourself.
The all-electric eActros
The ground breaking Mercedes-Benz eActros is sustainable, future-oriented and driven by innovation.
Featuring technologies such as the Mercedes-Benz eAxle, the eActros is available in two versions with three or four batteries. This enables the eActros to travel distances of up to 300 km1 and 400 km2 respectively, free of local emissions.
For more information, visit our DVD stand or contact our team.
Daimler Truck reaches its next sustainability milestone with hydrogen-based drive
Since last year, a Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck hydrogen fuel-cell prototype has been undergoing intensive testing – both on the in-house test track and on public roads. The development objective of the series-ready GenH2 Truck is a range of up to 1,000 kilometres and more. This makes the truck suitable for flexible and demanding applications, especially in the important segment of heavy-duty long-haul transport.
On its path towards a CO2-neutral future, Daimler Truck (the parent company of Mercedes-Benz Trucks) has clearly set its strategic course and is consistently pursuing a dual-track strategy in the electrification of its portfolio with both battery-electric and hydrogen-based drives.
30 Aug 22. Slovakia and Finland with Patria signed an agreement on Patria AMVxp 8×8 vehicles. Slovakia and Finland with Patria have signed a comprehensive government-to-government (G2G) agreement to purchase 76 armored combat vehicles (ACV) from Patria.
Within Slovakia’s BOV 8×8 programme Patria will contribute to the development of the local engineering and defence industry with transferring high-end armored modular vehicle technical experience and innovations. Geographically, the industrial cooperation covers Slovakia widely. The programme will create educational benefits and jobs that provide work for decades, including life cycle services that come after the project.
“Patria is proud to provide the most modern spearhead combat vehicle solution for Slovakian Land Forces. We’ve had intensive and productive negotiations with Slovakian Ministry of Defence and Slovakian industry. Together with Konštrukta Defence, EVPU and CSM, as well as with other local companies, we have created a long-term solution that provides Slovakia sustainable security of supply. Additionally, this agreement provides Slovakia the possibility to continue stable acquisition of vehicle variants and related support of full lifecycle services under the same contract”, states Jukka Holkeri, Executive Vice President for Global Division in Patria.
In March 2022 the Slovakian Ministry of Defence selected Finland and Patria AMVxp 8×8 as BOV 8×8 programme tender winner. Patria AMVxp 8×8 came out on top after system tests and feasibility study evaluation. In the end of March, the Slovakian government announced approval for the Slovakian Ministry of Defence to start contract negotiations with Finland and Patria. The agreed purchase consists of 76 armored combat vehicles, with three vehicle variants.
26 Aug 22. New grants program targets Hanwha supply chain. The Victorian government has launched a new grants program aimed at supporting local SMEs looking to contribute to Hanwha Defense Australia’s land systems projects.
The Andrews Labor government has unveiled the Victorian Land Systems Fund — a $10 m grants program aimed at supporting local firms looking to join Hanwha Defense Australia’s (HDA) supply chain.
Up to $100,000 would be offered to each eligible applicant in support of bids to support HDA’s $1 bn LAND 8116 Self- Propelled Howitzer program, which involves the delivery of 30 self-propelled artillery systems and 15 armoured ammunition resupply vehicles to Army.
The grants are set to be offered through a targeted investment stream as part of the Supply Chain Uplift Program.
This is tipped to fund improvements to SME capability, including upgrading business systems and facilities, gaining international accreditations and certifications, or undertaking research and product development.
Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Ben Carroll noted the benefits of the new grants program for the state’s defence industry.
“This funding is about maximising opportunities for local businesses and manufacturers to enter Hanwha’s supply chain, ensuring more Victorian-made components are used in the company’s products worldwide,” Minister Carroll said. (Source: Defence Connect)
28 Aug 22. Land Rover New Defender In Military Service? Some have asked if we are likely to see the New Defender model from Land Rover in military service and in my opinion the answer is yes, writes Bob Morrison.
No doubt some traditional Land Rover purists will be spitting feathers at the idea of a unibody (i.e. monocoque construction with no ladder chassis) vehicle with comfortable seating and no propensity to leave an oil trail or let in the elements, which most Defender and pre-Defender Land Rover models almost invariably did, being issued to the armed forces… but these are the same type of people who almost 40 years ago baulked at the idea of coil springs on the then new One-Ten model.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that UK MoD is likely to buy several thousand of the New Defender model, built in Slovakia and known by the company as the L663 model as opposed to the earlier L316 model built in Solihull, to replace the roughly 6,400-strong current military TUM (Truck Utility Medium) or Wolf 110 fleet which has been in service since 1996. However as the MoD has procured various Range Rover models almost since its inception in the early1970s, and many different Land Rover Discovery models since the 1990s*, for mostly specialist uses it is a near foregone conclusion that a role will be found somewhere for Land Rover’s latest model bearing the Defender name. Indeed the New Defender might even be in service right now, as trusted sources told me some time ago that the company had already presented the L663 ‘behind closed doors’ to the British Army.
The vehicle featured on this page is a slightly militarised New Defender 110 model which was presented last November by Jaguar Land Rover España at the FEINDEF 2021 defence expo in Madrid. Available in 90, 110 and (since 01 June 2022) 130 wheelbase versions, the New Defender is currently only produced in 3-door and 5-door SUV variants but it is anticipated that Pick-Up Truck versions will also be introduced in the not too distant future to complete the family. Both coil-sprung and air-sprung (i.e. variable ride height) versions are in production and diesel, petrol and hybrid alternatives are already produced with an all-electric version under developed; incidentally, Land Rover actually produced several electric prototypes of the original Defender 110 a decade ago.
Underneath the NATO Green colourscheme was a civilian spec New Defender 110 but it would not take too much work to add military-specific extras such as a comms fit, convoy lighting and mesh protection panels for the glass and lights, in similar fashion to what ARQUUS have done to the Ford Everest for the new French MoD VT4 ~ note that a self-recovery winch and steel wheel rims are already fitted to this vehicle displayed by JLR Spain at FEINDEF 2021 [©BM]
For those interested in technical details, the New Defender 110 measures 2008mm wide by 4758mm long (excl spare wheel) by 1967mm high and offers a load bed measuring 1211mm wide by 1763mm (2-seat configuration) or 919mm (5-seat configuration) in current 5-door SUV configuration; kerb weight is 2415kg. For the coil-sprung version, which is most likely what military specifiers would opt for, Approach Angle is given as being 31.5°, Departure Angle is 35.5°, Ramp Angle is 27.8° and Unprepared Fording Depth is 850mm. With suitable tyres fitted a 45° or 1-in-1slope can tackled and kerb-to-kerb turning circle is 12.84m. If the 2966 diesel engine is fitted, maximum road speed is 188km/h or 117mph and range is just over 1,000km.
Already spotted in police livery in the UK and, as passengers recently passing through Heathrow might have spotted, at Britain’s flagship hub airport, the New Defender has also been ordered by the Czech Police. Supplied by local authorised agents Dajbych of Prague, who also tendered for the (subsequently cancelled) Czech Military Police requirement, it is reported the first batch of 30 NATO green vehicles are intended primarily for border patrol duties.
The nearest straight competitor to the New Defender is possibly the visually quite similar Ford Bronco, redesigned and relaunched in 2021 after 25 years out of production. However this ladder frame chassis construction 4×4 SUV, produced in both hard top and soft top 3-door and 5-door versions, is only currently available in Europe through niche-market importers. (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
24 Aug 22. GDLS offers glance at Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle prototype design. General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) is disclosing additional details about its ‘new, purpose-built’ prototype designed to win over the US Marine Corps (USMC) leaders who are on the hunt for a future Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV).
Phil Skuta, the GDLS director for USMC programmes, provided Janes with an update on the company’s ARV prototype. The company plans to deliver this initial platform to the service in December along with a blast hull for survivability testing and a system integration lab, but has not released photos of what this vehicle looks like.
“This was purpose-built. It will pass and disseminate the data that will be going through their intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance network,” he told Janes during a late July interview. “[The prototype is] connecting both to the onboard and offboard sensors, to the uncrewed air, and eventually, ground robotic systems and sensors.” (Source: Janes)
25 Aug 22. Allison Transmission Awarded $6.55m Contract to Deliver Next Generation Electrified Transmission to U.S. Army.
Allison Transmission, a leading designer and manufacturer of conventional and electrified vehicle propulsion solutions for tactical wheeled and tracked defense vehicles, and medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, has been awarded a $6.55m contract by the U.S. Army’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center to design, develop and test an electric hybrid sub-system in Allison’s Next Generation Electrified Transmission for armored combat vehicles.
The Next Generation Electrified Transmission is the newest product in Allison’s tactical ground combat vehicle portfolio. It features a 220 kilowatt electric motor and associated inverter for on-board vehicle power and parallel electric hybrid operation. Beyond power generation for auxiliary system capability development, the propulsion solution provides benefits realized in enhanced mobility performance and efficiency with a significant reduction in fuel consumption and reduced thermal and acoustic signatures.
“The Next Generation Electrified Transmission will provide far more than power generation. Our technology will deliver electric hybrid propulsion using blended torque that provides edge-of-the box performance or true engine-off silent mobility,” said Dana Pittard, Vice President Defense Programs at Allison Transmission. “Allison has two decades of expertise with electric hybrid propulsion technology. We’re committed to continuing to lead the way in developing innovative technology that will help the U.S. military to successfully accomplish the mission.”
With the Next Generation Electrified Transmission, Allison anticipates meeting requirements across a wide spectrum of applications, including the U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) and Main Battle Tank markets in the United States and around the world. The OMFV program will replace nearly 3,000 aging legacy Bradley vehicles, which will be the Army’s largest armored vehicle procurement since the 1980s.
Specifically, the Next Generation Electrified Transmission has been selected by American Rheinmetall Vehicles (ARV) for integration into its OMFV offering. The ARV vehicle delivers best-in-class mobility and unmatched power in a highly maneuverable and modern chassis designed to meet the U.S. Army’s combat vehicle modernization priorities.
“Since 1946, Allison has partnered with the 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 a transmission, electric hybrid or electric propulsion solution specifically for that application,” said Pittard. “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 Aug 22. General Dynamics Land Systems to Provide Abrams Tanks to Poland Under $1.1bn Foreign Military Sales Order. General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), announced today that it has been awarded a Foreign Military Sales order from the U.S. Army worth up to $1.148bn to deliver 250 M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams main battle tanks to Poland.
The state-of-the-art M1A2 SEPv3 configuration features technological advancements in communications, fire control and lethality, reliability, sustainment and fuel efficiency, plus upgraded armor. Additionally, the SEPv3 Abrams is designed to seamlessly accept future upgrades.
“We are pleased to have been chosen to provide this critical armored capability to our allies in Poland,” said Chris Brown, vice president of global strategy and international business development at General Dynamics Land Systems. “The M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams is the most advanced main battle tank in the world, and we look forward to getting it into the hands of Polish Soldiers.” (Source: PR Newswire)
24 Aug 22. Paramount unveils upgraded Marauder. Paramount Group has unveiled its upgraded Marauder ‘Mark 2’ armoured vehicle model, which features updated driver ergonomics and hull changes that will speed up production.
The company said the upgrades include the introduction of a universal hull, interchangeable dashboard modules and steering wheel components. These latest enhancements will enable the Marauder to be manufactured in either Left or Right-Hand Drive configurations, from the same hull and component sets on the same production line.
The vehicle can be converted to Left or Right-Hand Drive version in under two hours, should operational needs (such as peacekeeping deployments in foreign countries) require, making the Marauder highly-applicable to the asymmetrical challenges of the modern battlefield, wherever in the world that battlefield may reside, Paramount said in a statement.
Deon Grobler, CEO of Paramount Land Systems, stated: “The Marauder is one of world’s most iconic and toughest armoured vehicles, often described as best suited for an apocalyptic environment. We are very proud of its well-deserved reputation and our latest advancements present significant benefits to its performance, crew capability and the customer.
“Impressive developments in man-machine interfaces often go unnoticed, however the systems which we have incorporated within the new Marauder ‘Mark 2’ have made great strides in improving ergonomics, comfort and functionality. The improvements in the Marauder’s operator interfaces will increase usability when operating in rugged conditions, while at the same time reducing driver and crew fatigue, making the platform more comfortable and user-friendly, keeping troops safe and battle ready.”
“In keeping with our 27-year track record of manufacturing innovative solutions to optimising our customers’ response capabilities to the threats faced in Africa and around the world, we are also pleased to report that we have today increased our own speed of production. We can now manufacture vehicles for stock purposes as opposed to manufacturing based on customer orders, delivering faster solutions for those partners with urgent demands, whether they are operating right or left-hand drive vehicles,” Grobler concluded.
The Marauder features double-skin armour, a burst speed of 110 km/hr and ability to operate in conditions from – 20 to +50 Degrees Celsius. Day/night vision devices and extra sensors can also be fitted to provide 24/7 operability. The mine-protected vehicle can carry two crew and up to eight fully equipped soldiers in the rear.
The Marauder was launched at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi in February 2007, and has since been supplied to customers around the world, including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Congo, Gabon, Malawi, Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique and Singapore. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
24 Aug 22. Gabon parades Norinco VP11 MRAPs. The Gabonese Republican Guard (GR) displayed its Norinco VP11 mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles publicly for the first time when 13 were used in the 17 August Independence Day military parade in Libreville.
The GR is an armed forces branch responsible for presidential security and supporting the rest of the military. The commentator for the television coverage of the parade said the VP11s are part of the 2nd Reconnaissance and Combat Squadron of the GR’s Armoured Intervention Group and were used by the Gabonese contingent that served with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
The 4×4 VP11 has a combat weight of 10 tonnes and can accommodate up to eight personnel, including a driver and a gunner. According to the manufacturer, it offers all-round STANAG Level 1 protection, which can be increased to Level 2 using add-on armour, and has a V-shaped hull to mitigate mines and improvised explosive devices. (Source: Janes)
24 Aug 22. US Army conducts low-velocity airdrops on infantry squad vehicles. The testing follows structural and mechanical changes made to the ISVs produced by General Motors Defense. The US Army Operational Test Command’s Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate (ABNSOTD) has carried out low-velocity airdrops of infantry squad vehicles (ISVs).
The ISV is designed to enable the Army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) personnel to cover tough terrains in a short span of time.
The vehicle also allows the soldiers to carry adequate personal and squad provisions to survive for several days.
ABNSOTD Test Division chief lieutenant colonel Derek Johnson said: “Testing centred around determining if production representative mode ISVs could tolerate the forces experienced during low velocity airdrop operations.”
ABNSOTD Electronics engineer Michael Estremera added: “During the execution of the SAITs, high-speed video, photography, and instrumentation [accelerometers and impact data recorders] were employed to assess the PRM ISV’s reaction to the forces experienced during LVAD operations.”
The ISVs also underwent a 50km road test on improved, semi-improved, and unimproved roads, as well as off-road routes. The vehicles were then inspected by ABNSOTD, General Motors Defense, and ISV Program Office personnel. This testing will ensure that the PRM ISVs are mission capable. (Source: army-technology.com)
22 Aug 22. Oshkosh Defense Receives 5 New Patents on Hybrid Electric JLTV. Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, today announced that it was granted five new patents for the Oshkosh Defense hybrid electric Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or eJLTV, strengthening the company’s intellectual property position in hybrid-electric technology. The Oshkosh eJLTV was unveiled in January 2022 as the first-ever silent drive hybrid electric Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. These recent patents relate to the accessory drive approach, battery and inverter integration, and the range and capability of the Oshkosh vehicle.
“Hybrid electric vehicle technology provides silent drive, extended silent watch, enhanced fuel economy, and increased exportable power that enables it to be used in combat and reconnaissance scenarios,” said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “The addition of these recent patents underscores our unique ability to deliver innovative solutions that meet the needs of our customer and advance technology for the tactical wheeled vehicle fleet.”
Oshkosh has a robust portfolio of 115+ patents and pending applications for the JLTV, the eJLTV, and related technologies. (Source: ASD Network)
23 Aug 22. BAE Systems wins US Army deal for Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle. The U.S. Army has selected BAE Systems to produce its new Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle, picking the contractor over an Oshkosh Defense-ST Engineering team.
The service awarded BAE’s U.S. unit and its Swedish business a $278 m contract that includes production units, spare parts and contractor logistics support, according to an Aug. 22 company statement.
To replace its aging Small Unit Support Vehicle, known as SUSV, the Army evaluated both offerings in Alaska’s Cold Regions Test Center from August to December 2021.
The SUSV — also built by BAE Systems — is based on 1960s and 1970s technology and was last procured in the early 1980s. The Army plans to buy 163 Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicles.
BAE submitted to the competition Beowulf, an unarmored, tracked vehicle that can carry people and payloads in either of its two compartments.
“Beowulf can traverse snow, ice, rock, sand, mud, and swamp conditions, and can operate in steep mountain environments,” the company statement says. “Its amphibious feature also allows it to swim in flooded areas or coastal waters.”
The Army is the first customer for Beowulf, which is based on the BvS10 armored variant used by five European countries: Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Austria.
The U.S. military is increasingly focusing on its preparedness for the Arctic region. The Army released its Arctic strategy last year, which stresses the need to modernize and ramp up the service’s presence as Russia and China continue to assert dominance in the region.
The strategy outlines how the Army will generate, train, organize and equip its forces to partner with allies, secure national interests and maintain regional stability.
Earlier this year, the Army announced it will reactivate the 11th Airborne Division in Alaska and remove Stryker combat vehicles from the force structure there. And it plans to install one of its five Multidomain Task Forces in the Arctic. (Source: Defense News)
22 Aug 22. BAE Systems wins U.S. Army’s CATV competition, receives $278m contract. BAE Systems’ Beowulf has won the U.S. Army’s competition for its Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle (CATV) program, and the company has received a $278m contract for production units, spare parts, and contractor logistics support. The win further confirms BAE Systems as the industry leader in the design and production of military all-terrain vehicles for operations in harsh terrains and in the toughest weather conditions.
Beowulf is an unarmored, tracked, and highly versatile vehicle for carrying personnel and a variety of payloads in either of its two compartments. Beowulf can traverse snow, ice, rock, sand, mud, and swamp conditions, and can operate in steep mountain environments. Its amphibious feature also allows it to swim in flooded areas or coastal waters. This marks the first sale of Beowulf, which is based on its sister BvS10 armored variant in service with several European nations.
As the focus on Arctic Mobility operations grows, we see increasing opportunities in other markets for the BvS10 and Beowulf with an emerging demand to replace legacy BV206s.
“Beowulf is a highly capable solution to meet the US Army’s requirement for Arctic operations. We look forward to providing our soldiers operating in challenging terrain and environments with this highly capable vehicle,” said Mark Signorelli, vice president of business development at BAE Systems Platforms & Services. “We have been maturing and modernizing cold weather all-terrain capabilities for decades, bringing advanced capabilities to the United States and numerous other countries. This contract means we will continue to do so for many years to come.”
Beowulf’s articulated mobility system is key to its effectiveness, providing optimal maneuverability across varying surfaces. Its modular design can be reconfigured for multiple missions, such as logistical support, disaster and humanitarian relief, search and rescue, and other missions as required.
Its large windows and spacious cabin make Beowulf suitable to the tasks for the CATV program, including search and rescue, defense support to civilian authorities, and homeland defense. Its modern, commercial design ensures soldiers’ operational effectiveness in executing a wide variety of difficult missions.
Beowulf successfully completed the prototype evaluation phase of the CATV program earlier this year in Alaska. It performed in multiple tasks while remaining fully mission capable. The testing included amphibious operations, navigating terrain with varying levels of complexity, starting and operating in extreme cold weather, and most critically, user assessment by soldiers.
Beowulf is built by BAE Systems Hägglunds in northern Sweden, adding firsthand experience in operating in an arctic environment. The platform includes several key components from U.S. suppliers, such as its engine, transmission, and hydraulic system. The CATV program will replace the legacy fleet of Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUSVs), also built by BAE Systems Hägglunds, and known internationally as the BV206. The BV206 has been in service globally, including with the U.S. Armed Forces, since the early 1980s. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
23 Aug 22. Challenger 3 tanks reach the next milestone.
- Milestone reached for Europe’s most lethal tank with turret steel cut
- Upgrades to lethality, surveillance and versatility
- £25m contract to sustain 285 jobs in the North East
The most lethal tank in Europe, Challenger 3, has become a step closer to entering the battlefield following the steel cut on its more powerful and advanced turret.
The Challenger 3 tanks are being upgraded by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) under an £800m contract, which will deliver 148 Challenger 3 tanks and equip the British Army with this modern capability until 2040.
Constructed as part of a £25 m sub-contract with Pearson Engineering in Newcastle, the new turret will ensure the Challenger 3 tanks are equipped with state-of-the-art lethality, upgraded survivability, and world-class surveillance and targeting technologies.
Officially announcing this milestone at Pearson Engineering, Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said:
“Challenger 3 tanks will be at the forefront of the British Army’s ground force deterrent against our adversaries. They will be equipped with the latest digital enhancements and weaponry, providing support and reassurance to our allies.
“This steel cut represents progress on delivering on our ongoing upgrade to British Army capabilities and on investment in skills and manufacturing in the North East and across the U.K.”
This valuable investment for Pearson Engineering will sustain 285 skilled roles and will help the company recruit several new technical roles across project management, engineering and design, as well as 20 apprentices under an expanded science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach programme.
Challenger 3 tank upgrades include:
- High velocity ammunition with faster speeds and increased range
- Digitally programmed ammunition in a 120-millimetre smoothbore gun
- A versatile turret that can be fitted to the tanks of allies and global partners
- A new engine cooling system and suspension to increase accuracy for firing in transit
- A new automatic target detection and tracking system to identify threats
- New thermal long-range cameras, modernising the day/night image system
Challenger 3 Senior Responsible Owner, Brig Nick Cowey, said: “I’m really excited at this key milestone in the Challenger 3 programme being achieved on schedule. The turret fabrication being conducted here by Pearson Engineering is crucial for the delivery of a fully digitised turret, ensuring that our modernised Main Battle Tank is the most lethal in Europe.”
The steel cutting milestone reaffirmed that warfighting remains the cornerstone of deterrence and the bedrock of the British Army. The investment into our renewed Challenger 3 tank is a clear example of implementing the Defence Command Paper ambition and endorses our commitment to invest £3-bn into Army equipment over the next decade, delivering a modernised, adaptable and expeditionary fighting force.
17 Aug 22. American Rheinmetall Vehicles and GM Defense Team to Pursue U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck Program. American Rheinmetall Vehicles, a leading developer of tactical wheeled and tracked combat vehicles and systems has formed a strategic collaboration with GM Defense LLC, to compete in the U.S. Army’s Common Tactical Truck (CTT) program. The CTT program seeks to identify a replacement platform for the Army’s Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles.
The Army expects to execute multiple Prototype Projects before determining whether to proceed to initial production that could entail purchase of approximately 5,700 vehicles at a value of around $5 bn. A Request for Prototype Proposals for the first phase was issued in late June with an expected Contract Award in December 2022.
Rheinmetall, with its subsidiary Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV), is a global leader in tactical military truck development and manufacturing. The Group’s HX family of trucks have been sold to 20 customers globally including an active Allied user group consisting of Germany, Australia, United Kingdom, Austria, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Rheinmetall recently unveiled its HX3, next-generation series of truck with advances in power, mobility, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and an open systems architecture with pathways to hybrid technology incorporation, leader follower driving, and autonomous operations. The militarized HX3 series incorporates substantial commercial technologies reflecting Rheinmetall’s joint venture with MAN Truck & Bus which streamlines logistics and sustainment burdens and provides benefits in vehicle upgrades. An Americanized HX3 forms the basis of what the American Rheinmetall Vehicles and GM Defense team will offer the Army in the first phase of the CTT program. Combined with an open architecture, the commercial backbone of the HX3 will support persistent modernization and allow for increases in capability as technologies mature. This will reduce obsolescence issues and overall lifecycle costs.
GM Defense is a rapidly expanding, wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors — one of the largest automotive producers in the world, delivering 2.2m vehicles in 2021 alone, and remains the largest commercial provider of military vehicles in history. As GM’s purpose-built government-facing entity, GM Defense will bring its formidable manufacturing capabilities and technological excellence to the CTT team, leveraging GM’s innovation and portfolio of commercial technologies to advance customer capabilities. Having been selected to deliver the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to the Army under an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) contract, GM Defense understands rapid prototyping, agile design and engineering, and rapid delivery.
The CTT Program is a rapid prototyping effort that uses a middle tier acquisition strategy and OTAs to enable the Army to quickly procure and test tactical truck prototypes to replace its family of heavy tactical trucks. The Army is seeking a modern platform featuring advanced driver safety systems, increased off-road mobility, cybersecurity, machine learning, artificial intelligence, improved survivability, and fuel efficiency among other emerging technologies. The program will enable the Army to replace legacy vehicles like the Palletized Load System (PLS), Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), M915 Line Haul Tractor, and other platforms in the current heavy and medium tactical wheeled fleet. A truck with maximum commercial elements, able to perform military missions, and that can bring commonality among mission roles are top priorities for the Army in the program.
“American Rheinmetall Vehicles is a committed partner to the Army, bringing next-generation capability, technology and competition to high priority Army modernization programs like CTT. GM Defense shares our commitment, and together our team will provide a transformational truck to support the Army and its Soldiers,” said Matthew Warnick, managing director for American Rheinmetall Vehicles. “General Motors has a century of experience supporting the Department of Defense with a remarkable heritage in design, engineering and manufacturing. GM Defense continues that heritage with the ability to rapidly develop and deploy advanced technologies, bringing an important capability to the American Rheinmetall Vehicles team and our exceptional CTT offering.”
“On the heels of successfully delivering the ISV to our Army customer, GM Defense is excited to join American Rheinmetall Vehicles on the CTT program to deliver another exceptional mobility solution for our Soldiers,” said Steve duMont, president of GM Defense. “This strategic collaboration enables GM Defense to continue showcasing our advanced capabilities, leveraging GM’s innovation and proven commercial technology. With American Rheinmetall Vehicles’ HX3 as the starting point, I’m confident that together we will deliver a winning solution that meets or exceeds the Army’s requirements and provides a platform for growth and technology insertion to support our warfighters well into the future.”
HX3 Common Tactical Truck (HX3-CTT)
Technology for the future: The HX3-CTT features an advanced, interchangeable protected cab design, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and drive by wire operation. The new open systems electrical architecture allows rapid integration of leader follower and autonomous capabilities that focus on protecting our most valuable combat asset – the Soldier.
Common Platforms and parts to support a family of vehicles: The HX3-CTT is the new, next-gen variant of the globally successful HX family of military-off-the-shelf tactical trucks. It possesses an extremely high level of commonality and modularity across variants: cargo, load handling systems, tankers, and line haul tractors. With an HX family that can scale from 4×4 to 10×10, the HX can meet any military need.
Commerciality in its DNA: The HX3-CTT leverages best-in-class advances in commercial truck technology, safety, fuel efficiency, and emissions reduction. Ruggedized for the stresses of military service, the HX family provides an “off the shelf” capability. This commercial backbone reduces obsolescence risk/cost, expands parts availability, and reduces sustainment demands.
Allied Interoperability: The HX family of trucks have been sold to 20 customers globally including an active Allied user group consisting of Germany, Australia, United Kingdom, Austria, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, creating common global supply chains, training opportunities, and integrated operations among key allies operating around the world.
About American Rheinmetall Vehicles
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. 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. www.rheinmetall.com/arv
About GM Defense, LLC.
GM Defense delivers integrated vehicles, power and propulsion, and mobility and autonomy solutions to global defense, security, and government markets. The exceptional reliability of GM Defense’s technologies results from decades of proven performance and bns of dollars spent in independent research and development by its parent, General Motors, a world leader in global design, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. For more information, please visit www.gmdefensellc.com.
11 Aug 22. Testing of the Army’s first autonomous vehicle speeds ahead.
Engineers at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, or AvMC, don’t have to imagine it, they are building it. The Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher takes a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System — or HIMARS — and modifies it with hardware and software to be controlled remotely and driven autonomously.
“[The Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher] represents a significant and exciting modernization improvement for the Army,” said Christi Dolbeer, director of DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center’s Technology Development Directorate. “Adding autonomy to drive mobile launchers and increasing the firing power of those launchers represents a powerful combination. I am very proud of the DEVCOM AvMC and DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center teams working together to give Soldiers even greater capabilities.”
While it resembles the self-driving cars in the news, the Autonomous Multi-Domain Launcher — or AML — will have capabilities that those vehicles will never possess — but also challenges. Regular autonomous autos operate on established roadways, they aren’t navigating a sometimes treacherous terrain. They also aren’t being fired upon by enemy combatants. Then there is the matter of size.
“We are talking about putting a 36,000-pound vehicle in an area where there will be humans running around,” said Lucas Hunter, AML project manager for AvMC. “Tesla and other companies are working on vehicles that can sense cars in front of them and behind them; they have these nice stripes on the road that tell it, ‘I am getting out of my lane.’ Well, we are driving through open country, we don’t have stripes — we have holes, we have cliffs.”
AML in its current incarnation will look notably different than the final system as the existing cab will eventually be eliminated from the vehicle. Later iterations will also boast a new launcher and increased firing power.
AML was conceptualized as a tool to increase mass fires and “thicken the force,” but what exactly does that translate to in theater?
“AML applies a wingman concept to the Soldiers we already have on the battlefield,” Hunter said. “That spreads out capabilities. So more targets have to be addressed by the enemy. At the same time, it increases the number of rounds that our Soldiers have available which keeps them in the fight longer. With HIMARS, once they fire their six rounds, they have to reload. If you add 12 more, now they are able to support frontline troops three times as long.”
How this new capability will be utilized is currently being explored by the Fires Center of Excellence and the Strategic and Operational Rockets and Missiles Office. Concept testing was conducted in 2021 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to demonstrate how the wingman concept might look, emulating a mission with the Precision Strike Missile — the missile being part of the Army’s Long-Range Precision Fire cross-functional initiative and also in the AvMC portfolio.
For Hunter, AML marks not just a landmark paradigm shift for Army battlefield technology, but for the world of robotics itself. With the strides already made in breaking the manual chain and developing the robotic applique kit, it is easy to forget that AML has only been in existence since February 2020.
“There are all kinds of situational awareness challenges that the robotics industry is just now starting to look at,” Hunter said. “AML, which will be called HIMARS Increment 2, has to be able to travel wherever it is told to travel. It has to be able to tell, ‘Hey, there is a cliff right here.’ It has to be able to recognize whatever terrain it is on.
“This is a career field in robotics — how to enhance that situation awareness and do so in passive manners. We need sensors that collect situational awareness data without emitting detectable energy like light or sound. Because you don’t want this to light up like a Christmas tree when the enemy is looking.”
The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams. (Source: https://www.army.mil/)
17 Aug 22. Rheinmetall delivers AI-based navigation system for UK project. Polaris MRZR D4 will be integrated with the Rheinmetall PATH Autonomy Kit to support Project Theseus 2.2. Rheinmetall has announced the delivery of the first batch of artificial intelligence-based (AI) navigation systems to support the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Project Theseus 2.2.
The delivery is part of a contract awarded by the UK MoD on 21 February 2022 to support its initiative to automate supply delivery to soldiers deployed in tough terrains.
Prime contractor Rheinmetall is working in collaboration with its Ottawa-based robotics division Rheinmetall Provectus, and Polaris subsidiary Polaris Government and Defense.
Polaris Defence United Kingdom will deliver in-country support.
As part of the contract, Rheinmetall Group’s subsidiary Rheinmetall Canada, and Polaris Government and Defense are working to modernise the Polaris MRZR D4 ultra-light tactical vehicle with the Rheinmetall PATH Autonomy Kit (A-kit).
The PATH A-kit is an AI-powered navigation system that converts a crewed vehicle into an optionally crewed ground vehicle (OCGV).
It uses sensor fusion and environment mapping to help vehicles navigate autonomously. The system enables vehicles to easily move in challenging terrains and rough weather conditions, thus keeping troops safe. (Source: army-technology.com)
15 Aug 22. The ‘Boxer Village’ will display a wide range of Boxer platforms at DVD2022. On 21st and 22nd September 2022, industry and Defence in the Land Equipment sector will meet at UTAC Millbrook for the biennial Defence industry exhibition, DVD2022. This year’s focus ‘Mobilise and Modernise – A Decade of Delivery’ will see the themes brought to life through presentations, demonstrations and a ‘Boxer Village’
Boxer, the state-of-the-art wheeled armoured vehicle, designed to allow role specific Mission Module configuration, will be displayed with a variety of Modules. The off-road exhibition will enable visitors to see kit, meet the people behind it, and find out more about future innovations available for UK Boxer.
Defence industry, DE&S Delivery Teams, Army HQ staff and other Defence community users of Land Equipment will have an opportunity to learn more about how collaboration on Boxer’s Strategic Pipeline project is influencing the ongoing Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme.
The DVD2022 theme aims to ‘Mobilise the Army’ to meet the threat in Europe and meet the NATO Model 24 by increasing readiness and competitiveness of the Army today and accelerating delivery of Future Soldier. ‘Modernising through a Decade of Delivery’ will see the implementation of major equipment programmes, streamlining support and collective training, the exploitation of future technology and it will light the forges of industry through the Land Industrial Strategy (LIS).
Lt Col Hugh O’Neil Roe, who is helping to deliver the programme on behalf of DE&S, said:
“The aim of DVD2022 is for the Army and DE&S to explain known capability requirements and future intent, to influence industry research and development and for industry to demonstrate current products and explain their development plans”
“We’re looking forward to seeing a number of platforms within our ‘Boxer Village’ and to demonstrating how the team is working together to bring Boxer into UK service, whilst keeping an eye to meeting emerging requirements.”
For those involved in Land Equipment for Army Headquarters, DE&S and Front-Line Commands DVD2022 provides an ideal opportunity to identify innovation, develop ideas and generate a greater understanding of technologies, capabilities and requirements. To register as a visitor please visit www.theevent.co.uk/visitor.
12 Aug 22. Reader comment from Ajax vibration issues update (See: BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.24 ISSUE 32, 08 August 2022) ‘I keep wondering if they’ve done testing with the turret system turned off? Lock turret, shut off turret electronics. Run vehicle through performance/mobility tests. Instrument everything. Is there noise and vibration signatures similar or different from fully operational vehicle? I suspect they have, but won’t make any of that public. I still suspect as you indicate. The heavy turret, size of the ring, lack of hull rigidity combined with very high frequency elevation and azimuth electric drives just combine to create this noise/vibration scenario. Additionally, the suspension isn’t well designed. GDELS went cheap on that system. So it doesn’t help matters either.
09 Sep 22. Is the Added Armour Package on Ajax causing the weight and vibration issues? The original Pizarro design was based on a24 tonne chassis with the accompanying suspension system. The UK Ajax weight is now up to 44 tonnes which includes the added armour packages, one, a lighter version for urban warfare and heavier battlefield package with a blast belly plate. Sources suggest that the Plasan package was seen as too heavy with another lighter Israeli system requested but refused. This added weight will put considerable stress on the existing suspension system for which Horstman offered an upgrade package which was refused, given that the vehicle would have to be requalified. In other news, a source suggested that one of possible source of the noise issues could be a problem identified in the engine bay but left unsolved.
10 Aug 22. Bushmaster Goes Green. The Australian Army is looking to the future, unveiling an ‘electric Bushmaster’; the electric Protected Military Vehicle (ePMV). Assistant Minister for Defence the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite MP said the ePMV was a key part of Army’s efforts to become Future Ready.
“We have seen great success with Australian designed and built vehicles keeping personnel safe under fire and the new ePMV represents the next innovative stage in that tradition,” Assistant Minister Thistlethwaite said.
“This ePMV brings the benefits of electric vehicles to the battlefield, particularly being quieter than its combustion counterparts, and I look forward to seeing it perform in field trials.”
The ePMV is being showcased at the Chief of Army Symposium, a three day event bringing together Australian-led technology, industry partnerships and innovation.
Assistant Minister Thistlethwaite said the symposium would give Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and industry partners the chance to get hands-on with the latest technology to support the ‘Future Ready’ Army.
“As we are seeing around the world today, modern military personnel are joined on their missions by machines. This symposium enables Army to work with industry to explore new and emerging technologies,” Assistant Minister Thistlethwaite said.
“It is vital we support the exploration and development of these technologies, creating innovative advantages for the Australian Defence Force while supporting Australian industry and jobs.”
The symposium includes the Army Innovation Day, Army Future Forum, Army Robotics Exposition and the Army Quantum Technology Challenge, bringing together industry, academia and the ADF. It is running from 9-11 August in Adelaide. (Source: ASD Network)
12 Aug 22. USMC CH-53E marks first transport of JLTV to ship and back to shore. The US Marine Corps (USMC) used a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter to transport a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to a ship and back to shore for the first time.
Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit logistics combat element and Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, along with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (Reinforced), transported the JLTV from a beach at a training area in Okinawa, Japan, approximately 13 n miles, to USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5). The CH-53E performed two lifts at the beach landing zone and two lifts aboard Miguel Keith before transporting the vehicle back to the beach, Captain Pawel Puczko, director of communication strategy at the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, told Janes via email.
“The CH-53 and Helicopter Support Team provide a pretty unique capability to get those systems to otherwise inaccessible locations,” said Captain Tyler Hopping, CH-53E pilot with VMM-262 (reinforced), in a statement.
07 Aug 22. Spanish truck manufacturer UROVESA has unveiled a Special Operations Vehicle (SOV) variant of its VAMTAC LTV (Light Tactical Vehicle) model, writes Bob Morrison. Ready for production in 2018, the URO VAMTAC (Vehículo de Alta Movilidad Táctico or High Mobility Tactical Vehicle) LTV variant was publicly displayed at the FEINDEF defence and security expo in Madrid in November 2021 and the new SOV (Special Operations Vehicle) version was shown at Eurosatory 2022 in Paris this June.
The original VAMTAC, a Hum-vee / HMMWV lookalike produced in both softskin and armoured versions over the last 25 years, has evolved into quite a heavy vehicle (up to 8500kg for some armoured versions) with many of its variants unable to be driven by soldiers who do not possess a truck category entitlement on their driving licence. The LTV (Light Tactical Vehicle) variant, recognisable from the frontal arc by its higher and more rounded bonnet / hood plus its one-piece windscreen, was designed from the outset to have a maximum GVW under 4500kg. Presumably UROVESA are aiming at a SANTANA ANÍBAL MILITAR 4×4 potential replacement as the utility vehicles batch ordered for Spanish Army service in 2007 is reaching the end of its planned 15-year service life. The Ejército de Tierra is currently in the throes of long-term modernisation, with both early VAMTAC versions and the ANÍBAL fleet earmarked for replacement in the not too distant future.
The standard VAMTAC LTV (Light Tactical Vehicle) displayed at FEINDEF 2021 was not exhibited at Eurosatory 2022 but a hitherto unseen LTV SOV (Special Operations Vehicle) variant was shown on the UROVESA stand, along with a VAMTAC ST5 Armoured Ambulance developed for a Portuguese Army contract and a forward control VAMTAC SK cargo / troop carrier variant. This minimalist four-seat SOV shares the same front end, from engine compartment bulkhead forward, plus floor pan and rear cargo tray as the basic LTV but its upper hamper is tubular with a simple canopy for foul weather protection. A machine gun or grenade launcher can be mounted on a pulpit ring on the roll cage, which can be folded to allow transportation inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter or C-295 transport aircraft.
The SOV prototype displayed in Paris this June had simple independent suspension but a hydraulic suspension system allowing variable ride height is also an option, and another option is hybrid propulsion. Traction is permanent 4×4 with differential locks on both axles plus the transfer case. This prototype was fitted with tubular gates instead of side doors, but lightweight fabric doors and side panels can be fitted if deployed in cold / wet operational theatres, and webbing mesh doors are also shown on one company photo of the SOV. A lightweight appliqué armour package bringing protection up to STANAG 4569 level can also be fitted, though of course fitting this would either reduce the ability to carry 1000kg of payload or would push the vehicle’s GVW above 4500kg.
At time of writing I have not been able to source accurate SOV dimensions from the manufacturer. Photographs of three-door van body and four-door crew cab versions of the LTV, including an air defence version with firing post and flat folding gunner’s platform at the rear, have been displayed on the the UROVESA expo stand since late 2021. (Source: www.joint-forces.com)
12 Aug 22. Details emerge on mesh hybrid networking system for EU’s UGV programme. Details on the mesh communications system in development as part of the Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS) programme, the European Defence Fund’s (EDF) project for a common unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), have been revealed to Janes. Speaking to Janes, an industry source familiar with the iMUGS communications effort provided details on the objectives and testing of the hybrid networking system.
The iMUGS sub-project for a mesh communications system is being undertaken by Finnish telecommunications company Bittium, part of the consortium of companies led by Estonia’s Milrem Robotics.
“We are developing communications, which is based on mesh technology and which allows all the vehicles, the troops … [to be] part of one big network, and all the traffic is based on IP [internet protocol traffic],” the source told Janes. “There’s no predefined structure, so you can add vehicles or nodes, and you can remove [them],” he added. (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