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25 Nov 21. Land Rover R-WMIK Out of Service Date is 2030.
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Question for Ministry of Defence
Wentworth and Dearne
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the length of time that the British Army’s RWMIK Land Rovers will remain in service.
23 November 2021
The Land Rover R-WMIK Out of Service Date is 2030.
25 Nov 21. Recently, Chaiseri Metal and Rubber Company Limited, under close cooperation with the Ministry of Defence, constructed and delivered 15 military 4×4 armored vehicles to the government of Bhutan. The Thai-made armored vehicles will be serving in the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in central Africa next month. The Bhutanese government decided to buy the armoured vehicles from the Thailand-based company because it was confident in the quality of the products and the company’s capabilities. The government has a policy to develop Thailand’s defence technology capability to achieve self-reliance in the local defence industry, reduce the country’s dependence on imports, promote technology transfer and export locally made military equipment. The Thai Ministry of Defence aims to develop the local defence industry via a public-private partnership through which the government will collaborate with local and foreign companies in investing in infrastructure, facilities and establishing networks within the local defense industry. The steady progress of Thailand’s defense industry presents business opportunities for related supply chains such as steel, paint, management systems, machinery, parts, and many others used in the assembly of armored vehicles, rockets, drones, electronics and more!
The Bhutanese government decided to buy the armoured vehicles from the Thailand-based company because it was confident in the quality of the products and the company’s capabilities. The government has a policy to develop Thailand’s defence technology capability to achieve self-reliance in the local defence industry, reduce the country’s dependence on imports, promote technology transfer and export locally made military equipment. The Thai Ministry of Defence aims to develop the local defence industry via a public-private partnership through which the government will collaborate with local and foreign companies in investing in infrastructure, facilities and establishing networks within the local defense industry.
The steady progress of Thailand’s defense industry presents business opportunities for related supply chains such as steel, paint, management systems, machinery, parts, and many others used in the assembly of armored vehicles, rockets, drones, electronics and more!
The delivery of 15 Thai-made rubber tire-wheeled 4×4 armored vehicles to the government of Bhutan is just one example of success for the Thai defense industry. Defense & Security 2022 is ASEAN’s leading Tri-Service Defense & Security Exhibition, Conference and Networking Event that offers to take your business to the next level of success. The show will present an outstanding platform to further expand your business and establish business linkages with both the private and public sector. The 2022 show is expected to host over 480 major local and international defense and security manufacturers and also decision makers that are willing to connect with you for potential business partnership.
24 Nov 21. Prototype Aims to Reduce Fuel Use, Improve Tactical Vehicle Performance. A prototype for a commercial, hybrid-conversion kit for military tactical vehicles has been designed to reduce fuel consumption, improve performance and decrease logistics demand.
The Defense Department operates a fleet of more than 250,000 tactical vehicles, which frequently operate in austere conditions. These vehicles often spend as much of their operational time stationary as they do in motion, said Ben Richardson, director of the Defense Innovation Unit’s advanced energy and materials portfolio.
However, even when stationary, the engines must run in order to power the essential onboard electronics, as well as the heating and cooling systems in the crew compartments. This results in significant fuel consumption while the vehicle idles, he said.
“By integrating an anti-idle capability into our existing fleet of tactical vehicles, the DOD has the opportunity to meaningfully reduce fuel consumption by its operational forces, enabling them to operate longer between refueling,” Richardson said. “This also promises to reduce the amount of fuel that must be transported into combat zones, reducing the demand on, and risk to, logistics supply chains.
“This challenge and opportunity are not unique to the military. For years, commercial long-haul, utility, and emergency trucking fleets have been converting their existing trucks into hybrid and full-electric vehicles to save money and reduce emissions.”
In August, the DIU and the Army’s Project Manager Transportation Systems — part of the Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support — issued awards to XL Fleet and Volta Power Systems to integrate their commercial solutions into prototype to idle-reduction some two-and-a-half to 10-ton trucks.
Idle reduction technologies reduce fuel waste and engine wear.
After demonstration and evaluation of the prototypes, the companies will be asked to develop and deliver a retrofit kit for fielding and easy installation by soldiers operating at logistics depots and motor pools across the force, Richardson said.
Beyond the fuel savings to be gained from the introduction of anti-idle capability, officials in the Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support also see this as a step toward further hybridization and electrification efforts.
Steve Roberts, the PEO CS&CSS project lead for integration, said collaboration has been key. “The collaboration between DIU and PEO CS&CSS is proving to be invaluable. Their industry connections and contracting flexibilities greatly shortens the time to bring capability to the warfighter. These kits are the first step to a game changer across the tactical, wheeled-vehicle fleet in not only decreasing fuel demand, but also bringing new capability in the form of increased electrical power.” (Source: US DoD)
23 Nov 21. XL Fleet Awarded Pilot Project With Department of Defense to Prototype Fuel-Saving Technology for Tactical Vehicles. Department of Defense pilot program is part of a future contract opportunity to leverage the hybrid conversion technology for tens of thousands of vehicles in a variety of U.S. military applications As part of a DoD pilot program, XL Fleet is developing a retrofit idle reduction technology for use in the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV). (Photo: U.S. Army Program Executive Office Combat Support & Combat Service Support)
XL Fleet Corp. (NYSE: XL) (“XL Fleet” or the “Company”), a leader in vehicle electrification solutions for commercial and municipal fleets, today announced it was awarded a contract by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and The U.S. Army’s Project Manager Transportation Systems (PM TS) to prototype a fuel-saving technology for military vehicles. After earning the opportunity through a highly competitive bidding process, XL Fleet is one of two companies awarded a contract to develop a pilot technology project over the course of the next year. This technology has the potential to be applied to tens of thousands of existing vehicles across a wide range of military applications. The pilot program began on October 1, 2021, and will run for 13 months.
The Department of Defense (DoD) announced the pilot program contract award on November 22, 2021, accessible here: https://www.diu.mil/latest/department-of-defense-to-prototype-commercial-hybrid-conversion-kits-for.
XL Fleet’s contract is a part of the DoD’s ongoing efforts to address some of the key fuel-saving efforts for its fleet of more than a quarter million military tactical vehicles. As these vehicles spend more than half of their operational time idling, they currently require significant amounts of fuel to run onboard electric power systems and to maintain cabin climate control. This reduces vehicles’ range, creates significant costs, and drastically increases thermal and acoustic signatures of the vehicles, putting them at greater risk of detection in the field. Additionally, by enhancing fuel efficiency and limiting the amount of fuel consumed by its vehicles, the U.S. military can significantly reduce the logistical and transportation requirements of its fuel supply chain – a key source of logistical complexity and safety risk to personnel.
As part of the DoD pilot program, XL Fleet is currently developing a retrofit idle reduction technology for use in the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), the U.S. Army’s standard two-and-a-half to 10-ton trucks. The hybrid conversion kits would be delivered to the DoD for installation by Soldiers on vehicles in the military fleet. The Program Executive Office for Combat Support & Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS), which includes PM TS, has expressed that this program may be a step toward further hybridization and electrification efforts, as the U.S. military moves toward sustainable energy solutions to extend the operational range of its tactical vehicle fleet, among other benefits.
“We are honored by the opportunity to compete for this highly selective U.S. Government contract to develop fuel-saving solutions for a wide range of applications for tactical military vehicles,” said Tod Hynes, Founder and President of XL Fleet. “XL Fleet’s proven technology, flexible platform and deep experience in applying sustainable technologies to fleet vehicles make us an ideal fit for the U.S. military’s specialized needs for this project. We can help extend the operational range of their tactical vehicles, while supporting our troops’ safety and providing significant fuel and operating cost savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
About XL Fleet Corp.
XL Fleet is a leading provider of vehicle electrification solutions for commercial and municipal fleets in North America, with more than 170 million miles driven by customers such as The Coca-Cola Company, Verizon, Yale University and the City of Boston. XL Fleet’s hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric drive systems can increase fuel economy up to 25-50 percent and reduce carbon dioxide emissions up to 20-33 percent, decreasing operating costs and meeting sustainability goals while enhancing fleet operations. For additional information, please visit www.xlfleet.com. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
22 Nov 21. Turkish lawmakers criticise government for delays in Altay MBT. Opposition lawmakers criticised the Turkish government for the delay in the production of Altay main battle tanks (MBTs) during a debate on the Ministry of National Defence’s budget in the parliament’s plan and budget committee on 16 November. Özgür Ceylan and Polat Şaroğlu, deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), recalled that Turkey’s Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) said that Altay deliveries to the army would begin within 18 months of the 9 November 2018 contract signature with Turkish-Qatari joint venture BMC.
Since then, the delivery dates have been continually changed and there is still no tank, they complained.
They also repeated CHP’s long-standing criticism of the transfer of the right to operate Turkey’s national tank and pallet factory to BMC for 25 years.
The Altay is to be produced at the factory in Sakarya in the Marmara region, where Fırtına self-propelled howitzers are produced and which conducts military equipment maintenance.
Ahat Andican from the opposition Good Party dismissed the possibility of powering the Altay with engines and transmissions developed in South Korea as technical problems have precluded their use on the K2 Black Panther MBT.
Turkey and South Korea signed a letter of intent for Korean engines for Altay tanks, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu tweeted on 22 October. Under the deal, South Korea’s Doosan Group and S&T Dynamics will initially transfer a limited number of engines and transmissions for testing on Altay prototypes. (Source: Janes)
23 Nov 21. QinetiQ and AM General develop new hybrid electric HUMVEE concept. Partnership designed to explore electrification technologies to support next generation of more efficient and innovative land vehicles for battle-winning advantage. QinetiQ has entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with automotive manufacturer AM General to accelerate the development of electrification technologies for military vehicles. The partnership has begun with the development of a hybrid concept of the globally iconic HMMWV (High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle often referred to as ‘HUMVEE’) – demonstrating the viability of electrifying military land vehicles to deliver enhanced performance while decarbonising military operations. The collaboration was initiated and its development facilitated by the JV & Partnering (JV&P) Advisory team at Lincoln International, a global investment bank.
The HUMVEE vehicle concept is the first step of a highly ambitious programme in which QinetiQ and AM General are exploring how electrification can transform competitive advantage in the land domain. This collaboration will lay the foundation for further research into electrification capabilities for land vehicles, for example autonomous systems, increased situational awareness through enhanced sensor capability and optical communications.
The new collaboration recognises the need for countermeasures, platforms and situational awareness tools to evolve at an astounding pace in response to changing threats and tactics from adversaries. In addition to this, the growing financial, environmental and human costs of transporting and burning fossil fuels – as well as the critical push towards Net Zero – are forcing governments to seek more sustainable energy sources that create smaller logistical and carbon footprints.
By applying a hybrid electric drive system to defence’s most iconic HUMVEE family of vehicles QinetiQ and AM General are laying the foundations for the future of electric-powered land combat vehicles which will enable the delivery of next generation technologies while driving down carbon emissions in the defence sector.
Due to the restrictions of the pandemic, delivering a physical prototype model has been challenging. However, by using existing collaboration tools, the joint team have created two fully interactive and immersive Virtual Reality models of HUMVEE vehicles showing how QinetiQ’s innovative electric drive technology is integrated with minimal disruption to the vehicle. The two different models can be individually adapted and then compared side by side to immediately see the impact of the changes made. The motors draw power via cables from a battery which can be positioned almost anywhere within the vehicle to give ultimate flexibility over the use of space. The hybrid electric drive system will enable the vehicles to tackle more hostile terrains, while increasing lethality by giving it the ability to conduct extended periods of silent watch and silent running. This includes minimising the vehicle’s acoustic and thermal signatures.
Critically, as the defence industry must accelerate towards Net Zero, QinetiQ’s hybrid electric drive system also provides up to 30% less fuel consumption than purely combustion-powered alternatives, reducing fossil fuel dependency and decreasing emissions on the battlefield. This improved fuel efficiency will also extend the vehicle’s operational range.
Mike Sewart, Chief Technology Officer, QinetiQ said: “Advances in hybrid electric drive systems specifically for military vehicles mean there is now a credible alternative to conventional mechanical designs, revolutionising the way armed forces move and operate on the battlefield while reducing reliance on fossil fuels. This collaboration is a critical step for driving defence into a new age of sustainable, more versatile land combat vehicles, capable of tackling complex threats whilst minimising the impact on the environment. The use of VR immersive technology to co-create an interactive solution has been an important step in the journey we are taking together.”
Regis Luther, Senior Vice President Engineering & Chief Technology Officer at AM General said: “Integrating electric drive technology into the HMMWV is an exciting first step in how we expect to deliver on the battlefields of the future. By working with QinetiQ, we’re looking at innovative ways to meet the future requirements of our customers around the world, for sustainability and performance through electrification.”
Emma Blackley, JV&P Director at Lincoln International said: “We are delighted to have originated and nurtured this complementary relationship over the past months. We are confident that today marks a significant milestone for both parties, powerfully illustrating the value of business collaboration in evolving markets.”
22 Nov 21. RAF Voyager undertakes air-to-air refuelling with Qatar’s Rafale jets. It is the first time for the RAF to conduct air-to-air refuelling with the Qatar Emiri Air Force. The Royal Air Force Voyager tanker has undertaken air-to-air refuelling (AAR) with Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) Rafale fighter jets. The refuelling took place during a one-week exercise, dubbed ‘Exercise GALWAY’, in Qatar. It is the first time for the British Air Force to conduct AAR with the Qatar Emiri Air Force. The Voyager Tanker that refuelled the Rafale fighter jets of QEAF during the exercise is from the RAF’s 83 Expeditionary Air Group (EAG). Exercise GALWAY provided an opportunity for the existing Operation Shader Voyager Detachment from 903 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) to undertake Partner Nation Integration on ‘discreet, agile’ activity. The exercise further showcased 83 EAG’s ability to operate across the broader Middle East.
UK Detachment Commander squadron leader Prager said: “It has been a privilege to work with our Qatari allies working up their Rafale capability for air-to-air refuelling. We have had some fantastic moments this week, with the Rafale pilots integrating and debriefing with our crews understanding how well they’ve done in the air and developing their capability as air-to-air refuelling receivers has been a great opportunity.”
Exercise GALWAY was the latest bilateral training activity involving the QEAF and RAF.
The RAF noted that the deployment of the Voyager tanker provided a training opportunity for both air forces and helped to enhance interoperability between the two nations.
This AAR exercise proved that Qatar and the UK share mutual interests to ensure stability in the Middle East.
It also aimed to boost Qatar’s ability in managing the shared security challenges.
In October 2020, UK and Qatar signed a statement of intent to enhance defence ties between the two countries. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
19 Nov 21. Autonomous M113 variants put to the test. A fleet of optionally crewed M113 AS4 vehicles, delivered by BAE Systems Australia, have undergone testing with the Australian Army.
BAE Systems Australia has delivered 20 M113 AS4 Optionally Crewed Combat Vehicles (OCCVs) to the Australian Army — fitted with a vehicle management system leveraging domain agnostic autonomy technologies.
The demonstrator vehicles will be used to provide Army with insights into the capabilities of integrated autonomous technologies in the future battlespace.
Four OCCVs were recently trialled as part of Exercise Koolendong — a high-end live-fire warfighting exercise in the Northern Territory.
Army tested the autonomous vehicle in challenging conditions within the combat environment.
“It’s exciting because we have a unique opportunity to partner and work with Army to develop this technology together. This way we can ensure the best capability and value for money,” BAE Systems Australia director of Red Ochre Labs Adam Watson said.
The project commenced in 2019, with BAE Systems installing new hardware and software into two M113 AS4 Armoured Personnel Carriers.
The project was expanded in 2020, with a further 16 M113 AS4 vehicles converted to OCCVs.
The next phase of the project is set to involve tests and trials of the fleet of OCCVs through a range of varying battlespace activities, with BAE Systems expected to collect feedback to enhance the autonomous capability.
BAE Systems Australia is investing in Australia’s next-generation capabilities via the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre. (Source: Defence Connect)
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