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24 Oct 22. Indian Army Inducts Kalyani M4 Protected Vehicle.
The Kalyani Group’s Bharat Forge Ltd, on 11 October 2022, handed over sixteen M4 Quick Reaction Fighting Vehicles to the Indian Army for use by its deployed United Nations Peacekeeping force.
The M4, a license built version of the South African Paramount Group M4 Mbumba, was selected following extensive Army trials. An emergency procurement contract of ₹177.95 Crores ($US23.6 million) was awarded. M4 which emphasizes both ballistic and mine/blast protection and is intended for troop transport, although command and ambulances are also possible.
Mr. Amit Kalyani, Deputy Managing Director, Bharat Forge Ltd. explained, “Keeping crew safety and vehicle performance as paramount factors, Kalyani M4 has been ergonomically and aesthetically designed to allow the crew to perform their duties in an optimum manner.”
At 16 tons overall weight it uses a monocoque hull which will resist 7.62mm armoured piercing shots at 30 meters range and 14.5 mm AP at 200 meters. It will also resist a blast of 10 kg under any wheel or 50 kg blast alongside. Run Flat tires and central tire inflation (CTI) allow retaining mobility despite combat puncture. Power is provided by a turbocharged six-cylinder 347 kW/465 hp diesel engine linked to an automatic transmission.
The M4 has a 2.3 ton payload and capacity for eight embarked soldiers who exit through a powered rear ramp. The troop compartment is equipped with ballistic resistant vision blocks and gun ports allowing soldiers some degree of outside awareness. The interior is fully climate controlled by a 16kW air-conditioning and offers chemical agent protection with HEPA filtered air.
As first displayed at the 2020 DEFEXPO it mounted a .50 calibre heavy machine gun on the roof accessed via a hatch.
The principal function of the Kalyani M4 with the Indian Army is to provide a well-protected means to move troops with lower risk of casualties when operating in unsecured or hostile areas. They also can perform patrol and offer a force presence while reducing the exposure of soldiers. It is currently unclear if the Army intends to acquire additional M4s or if this fielding is limited to meeting the specific demands of its UN continents. (Source: AMR)
28 Oct 22. China’s First Four-Engine Large Drone Makes Maiden Flight. The Twin-Tailed Scorpion D, a four-engine large drone independently developed by China, made its maiden flight on Tuesday and will make its public debut at the upcoming Airshow China 2022, the aircraft’s developer announced on Wednesday.
Capable of carrying heavier and larger payloads, the new drone has enhanced transport capability compared with its predecessors in the Twin-Tailed Scorpion series, analysts said.
Independently developed by Sichuan Tengden Sci-Tech Innovation Co, the Twin-Tailed Scorpion D successfully completed its first flight at an airport in Zigong, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Tuesday, according to a press release the company sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.
This multipurpose, medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle system with fixed wings and four engines is the first of its kind in the world, Tengden said.
The aircraft will make its public debut at the Airshow China 2022, which will be held in November in Zhuhai, South China’s Guangdong Province, according to the press release.
Developed based on the original Twin-Tailed Scorpion drone, the new aircraft can carry heavier and larger payloads, provide enhanced power support, and offer higher system reliability and flight safety thanks to the extra engines and power generators.
It is a new type of support aircraft capable of carrying more mission payloads with high performance in transport, airdrop and other tasks.
The drone has a wingspan of 20 meters, a length of 10.5 meters and a height of 3.1 meters. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 4.35 tons, a maximum payload weight of 1.5 tons and a maximum cargo space of 5 cubic meters, the company said.
According to a video obtained by the Global Times, the drone has two hatch doors on its chubby fuselage, through which cargos can be loaded.
This means the Twin-Tailed Scorpion D focuses more on transport capability, as it can host more cargos and other payloads within its fuselage very flexibly, in addition to carrying them under the wings like other Twin-Tailed Scorpion series drones, an aviation expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Other members of the Twin-Tailed Scorpion series include the original Twin-Tailed Scorpion (TB) with two engines and the Twin-Tailed Scorpion A (TB-A) with three engines.
The continued development of different drones in the Twin-Tailed Scorpion series has diversified the application of commercial large drones, and it showed that China’s large drone industry can quickly respond to market demand for new drones, Tengden said. (Source: UAS VISION/The Global Times)
28 Oct 22. Fully indigenous K2 MBT powerpack still some ways off. Germany’s Renk Group announced on social media on 23 October that it has signed a contract with the South Korean manufacturer of the K2 ‘Black Panther’ main battle tank (MBT), Hyundai Rotem, to supply 197 power transmission systems from 2023 to 2025 with an option for the delivery of 800 more from 2026.
The new transmissions have been earmarked for the 180 MBTs worth up to US$3.37 billion ordered by Poland on 26 August. Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed earlier in July with the central European country, South Korea will transfer technology for licensed production of up to 820 upgraded K2 MBTs designated K2PL in Polish armed forces service.
The first 10 K2 MBTs have already been formally handed over to Poland at Hyundai Rotem’s Changwon manufacturing facility on 19 October.
The selection of the German-made power transmissions came after South Korean industry highlighted the maturity of a domestically developed system at the DX Korea 2022 exhibition in September, casting further doubts on the maturity of the indigenous transmission system is being developed by SNT Dynamics, which told AMR at the event that its 1,500 hp-class EST15K transmission system has entered the final stages of development and that it is aiming to supply the transmission for integration to the third or fourth batches of K2 MBTs that will be manufactured from 2023 onwards.
Despite its successes in producing what has been widely seen as a world-class MBT with the K2 platform, South Korea has nevertheless faced considerable technical challenges with the tank’s powerpack development – which comprises the engine and transmission system – for at least 15 years.
The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced in March 2011 that mass production of the K2 MBT for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) would be delayed due to the unsatisfactory performance of the local powerpack then under development by Doosan Infracore (now Hyundai Doosan Infracore) and SNT Dynamics. The first production batch of K2 MBTs were thus equipped with Renk HSWL 295 transmissions coupled to the German MTU MT883 Ka-500 V12 diesel engine as a stopgap measure.
Hyundai Rotem was able to equip tanks from the second production batch with the Hyundai Doosan Infracore DV27K engine, although the SNT Dynamics was again unable to prove the maturity of its EST15K transmission and the resultant powerpack for this production tranche combined the local DV27K engine with Renk’s HSWL 295 transmissions. The second batch of K2 MBTs were delivered in 2019.
According to SNT Dynamics, the EST15K transmission has a dry weight of 2,500 kg and features six forward and three reverse gears and can support engines rated at between 1,500 and 1,650 hp at a maximum input speed range of 2,000 to 3,000 rpm. AMR understands from the company that it aims to introduce the new transmission in the latter stages of the third K2 production run, and fully from the fourth batch of tanks although this ultimately depended on DAPA’s decision.
The repeated delays of a fully indigenous powerpack for the K2 MBT has become a concern for DAPA, given that the effort is closely linked to broader imperatives to reduce reliance on foreign components and systems for critical military programmes.
“The transmission is a key component of [MBTs],” said former DAPA Minister Wang Jung-hong in 2020.
“If the domestic development and production of the local transmission is achieved in the K2 tank it will [enhance] military operations as well as domestic revenues, job creation, and future export opportunities,” added Wang. (Source: AMR)
25 Oct 22. DRDO unveils Zorawar tank concept for Indian Army. Indiaʼs Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) showcased a scale model of Zorawar light tanks at the Defexpo 2022 held from 18 to 22 October in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The DRDO is developing Zorawar light tank with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for the Indian Army. A DRDO official told Janes that the prototype of the new tank is expected to be unveiled in late 2023. Jayant D Patil, L&T’s senior executive vice-president for defence, told Janes on 16 September, “L&T is selected as a development partner as of now.”
He added that while the company is involved in the platform’s development, L&T is not assured of a role in the tank’s production phase.
“[The] Indian process cannot place development and production contracts in one,” he said. “Developed equipment has to undergo field evaluation trials and emerge successful for the induction clearance, and then [the] production ordering process begins.” (Source: Reuters)
26 Oct 22. `Electric Off Road Vehicle` KTP project wins national award for SC Group – University of Exeter partnership. The SC Group – University of Exeter Knowledge Transfer Partnership led by KTP Associate Matt Harvey have won the national Innovate UK KTP 2022 Award for Business Impact & Transformation for developing an electric drive version of the company’s ATMP (All Terrain Mobility Platform) – an industry first for the propulsion and control of a high mobility off road vehicle, which is used in defence or other hazardous operating environments, including search and rescue and utilities support.
The award recognises how the two-year KTP has developed the expertise and knowhow to make military and off highway vehicles more capable and environmentally sustainable, and transformed SC Group’s capabilities to create new commercial opportunities. These include the Group’s Supacat business converting its HMT `Jackal` to hybrid electric drive for the British Army and contributed to a number of high mobility system projects outside of the defence sector via the Group’s SC Innovation business.
Design Engineer Matt, who joined the Devon high mobility vehicle specialist full time on completion of the KTP, also has a BEng in Motorsport Engineering. Matt said, “‘The award was a fantastic way to summarise the work done during and since the KTP to establish a technology within a sector that hadn’t previously been exploited. I’d like to thank the University of Exeter’s KTP team along with Professor Chris Smith as well as everyone from SC Group that assisted in making the KTP a reality, especially Steve Austen, Simon Turner, Mark Field and Yash Katare”.
Steve Austen, Engineering Director, SC Group, said, ‘This is a prestigious award as it recognises the impact the project has had on the company. We have translated its outcomes into profitable, sustainable business with a number of new customers and sectors through embedding the knowledge and expertise gained by Matt Harvey and Yash Katare (our second project associate working on optionally crewed vehicles) into the company, in keeping with the core principles of the KTP scheme.
‘Congratulations to Matt, who led a brilliant project and to Yash, Simon Turner and Mark Field for providing such sterling support and company supervision of these projects. I should also like to extend my sincere thanks to Prof Chris Smith and Sophie O’Callaghan at the University of Exeter and to Dr Andy Treen at Innovate UK for making this such a successful and enjoyable team effort – the impact of this project will shape the business for years to come.’
Innovate UK’s Andy Treen, Knowledge Transfer Adviser for Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, said, “It was fantastic work on such an interesting project with Supacat and Exeter University. The project has more than delivered on its ambitious goals with every partner gaining significant benefits. The KTP associate, Matt Harvey, was central to the project and his skills, enthusiasm and dedication have been rightly recognised by the KTP Award.”
Prof Chris Smith, Director of the Centre for Future Clean Mobility, who was lead supervisor for Matt Harvey whilst he was KTP Associate working between the University and Supacat, said, “Matt was an outstanding employee, calmly and steadily working out how best to electrify the ATMP vehicle. This was a first in class, so nobody knew the answers beforehand. What Matt achieved in the end worked incredibly well from both the engineering and the business points of view. This work is helping shape the progress of electrification of defence vehicles in the UK and beyond.”
21 Oct 22. Defexpo 2022: Bharat Forge showcases THeMIS and ECARS UGVs.
Bharat Forge Limited (BFL) has showcased the THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) at Defexpo 2022, being held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, from 18 to 22 October. According to BFL, the company, in partnership with Estonia-based Milrem Robotics, has developed a tracked version of the THeMIS UGV for the Indian Army. Milrem THeMIS is a multirole, modular UGV with an open architecture that enables it to be rapidly configured from transport to ‘strike’ (weaponised), ordnance disposal, or to support intelligence operations according to the nature of the mission.
The advantage of the THeMIS UGV is that it enables operations in situations that may be impossible, difficult, or dangerous for the soldier or operator, BFL said. BFL added that the UGVs can provide the commander with valuable means to improve mission performance and ensure the probability of success, increasing force protection and survivability, while reducing logistical support and manning requirements. The weight of the THeMIS UGV is 1,630kg and the maximum payload is 1,200kg. The pulling force of THeMIS is 21,000 N. (Source: Janes)
21 Oct 22. Defexpo 2022: Mahindra upgrades LSVs with 81/120 mm mortars.
Indian company Mahindra Defence Systems Ltd (MDSL) has showcased 4×4 Light Specialist Vehicles (LSVs) with 81/120mm mortars at Defexpo 2022, being held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, from 18 to 22 October.
According to MDSL, the LSVs with 81/120mm mortars are high-mobility, high-firepower, shoot-and-scoot vehicles. LSVs with 81/120 mm mortars, which MDSL claims to be the world’s lightest mortar carrier system, provides high-mobility capabilities to fighting units.
The vehicles are equipped with an electro-mechanical aiming system to provide a fast and accurate orientation mechanism, MDSL said.
LSVs with 81/120mm mortar software incorporate geographic information system technology and features such as zonal shooting and multiple rounds. The vehicle is equipped with simultaneous impact functions to facilitate operations and increase the firepower effect over the target.
LSVs with 81/120 mm mortars also integrate a fire-control system.
The vehicle can deploy the mortar and aim the target in 30 seconds and re-aim it automatically in five seconds. (Source: Janes)
21 Oct 22. More AMPVs for US Army after Ukraine M113 provision.
The US provided 200 M113 armoured personnel carriers from active units, which will now be allowed to be replaced by the AMPV.
The US Army will be permitted to increase its purchase of Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicles (AMPV) following the provision of around 200 in-service M113 armoured personnel carriers to Ukraine to aid Kyiv in its fight against Russia.
A further 1,900 M113 vehicles will be retained for use in roles referred to as Echelon Above Brigade, which have not been included in the US Army’s modernisation plans, according to a US Congressional Research Service (CRS) report from May 2022.
US Army officials speaking at AUSA in Washington, DC, this month said that the unit equipped with the platform will receive around 130 vehicles starting from January 2023.
Final testing for the AMPV began at the start of Q2 this year, concluding in mid-Q3, with production now ramping up to 12 units per month from manufacturer BAE Systems, which is planned to rise to 16 units per month to take into account the Ukrainian M113 recapitalisation.
US Army officials said that they are targeting the replacement of all M113 platforms that were taken from frontline units with the AMPV. The AMPV platform entered low-rate initial production (LRIP) in 2019.
According to the CRS report manufacturer BAE Systems did not meet the LRIP targets due to difficulties encountered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It failed to meet its July 2020 first vehicle delivery date, and was more than six months behind the original schedule to deliver vehicles to support AMPV initial operational testing and evaluation and live-fire test events. BAE Systems reportedly delivered the first LRIP AMPV to the US Army in August 2020.
The US Army is currently undergoing an extensive recapitalisation programme of its armoured mobility fleets, with the AMPV replacing the legacy M113 platforms, while the future Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) will in turn replace the Bradley vehicles. The OMFV contract to take forward three proposals into the concept design phase is expected to be awarded in November. (Source: army-technology.com)
TEK Military Seating Limited
TEK Military Seating Limited is a UK based designer and manufacturer of ProTEK military vehicle seating which offer the highest standards of safety and protection. The ProTEK brand is well respected across the globe for its robust construction, innovative design, built in modularity and cost effectiveness. Our superior products are supported by our experienced team who endeavor to offer unrivalled service to our customers from enquiry, through design and acceptance, to through life support.
From its inception ProTEK seats have been designed around a family of innovative seat frames onto which tested and certified modules can be fitted to create a bespoke solution for the user. These include Blast protection to Stanag 4569 standards, vibration reduction, head and body protection, seat risers and turntables, fore & aft adjustment, and seat back rake along with viable seat dimensions without the need for additional tooling costs.
Contact: David Parkman