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01 Dec 21. Russia’s CMD troops receive Uran-6 mine-clearing robotic vehicle. The multi-functional robotic mine-clearance complex is designed to conduct operations on both urban and mountainous terrain.
Russia’s Central Military District (CMD) engineering troops have received the Uran-6 robotic mine-clearance vehicle.
This is the first time that this robotic vehicle has been used by the troops.
A total of four Uran-6 vehicles have been delivered to engineering units and military units of the CMD, stationed in Udmurtia, Tyumen, and the Bashkiria region.
Uran-6 is a multi-functional, mine-clearing robot developed by JSC 766 UPTK for the Russian Federation’s armed forces.
The vehicle can operate on both urban and mountainous terrains.
It can be deployed in mine-reconnaissance and area-clearance operations to identify and remove explosive ordnance, as well as anti-personnel and anti-tank mines.
The robotic system can also identify and neutralise explosive objects and is capable of withstanding explosions of up to 4kg of TNT equivalent. It can also be used to create passages in minefields.
In December last year, Uran-6 was used for the first time by Russian sappers during mine-clearance operations in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Uran-6 robots are being delivered under the Russian defence procurement plan.
The defence ministry said that ‘the engineering troops were set to receive 22 Uran-6 vehicles’ by the end of 2020.
As of May 2020, 12 upgraded robotic vehicles have been delivered to the engineering troops of the Western and Southern Military Districts.
This year, a total of 20 Uran-6 robots are scheduled to be delivered to Russia’s Corps of Engineers. (Source: army-technology.com)
03 Dec 21. China debuts Y-20U aerial tanker in latest Taiwan ADIZ buzz. Taiwan’s defence ministry announced on 28 November that the Republic of China Air Force (RoCAF) had scrambled its fighter jets to warn off a flight of 27 People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft off its southern air defence identification zone (ADIZ), while also deploying its missile defences as a precaution.
According to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the RoCAF had observed 18 combat aircraft comprising J-10, J-11, and J-16 types, a Shaanxi Y-9 electronic warfare aircraft, two KJ-500 airborne early warning platforms, and five nuclear-capable H-6 strategic bombers.
However, it was the aerial refuelling variant of the Xi’an Aircraft Corporation Y-20A transport aircraft – designated the Y-20U – that caught international attention because of its air-to-air-refuelling capability as well as the occasion of its public debut in international airspace.
Photographs and video footage posted around the same day on the Chinese Weibo social media channels, confirming that the new variant has entered service with the PLAAF.
Video footage showed a Y-20U aerial tanker in flight featuring low-visibility PLAAF markings as well as serial number 20241, indication that the type is being operated by the 13th Transport Division of the 37th Air Regiment at Kaifeng.
Based on visual analysis, the Y-20U is fitted with three hose-and-drogue refuelling pods with two mounted under the outer wings and the third on the rear fuselage. It also features a redesigned main landing gear sponson likely aimed at enhancing receiver stability during fuel transfer operations.
The Y-20U is a second generation aerial tanker and is expected to become PLAAF’s mainstay aerial refueller, gradually replacing the service’s increasingly obsolescent H-6U and Ilyushin Il-78M platforms. The Y-20U is expected to provide support to the latest aircraft being fielded by the PLAAF, including the J-20 stealth fighter, the H-6N strategic bomber, and the KJ-500 AEW aircraft. (Source: AMR)
01 Dec 21. Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE), the joint venture between the global aerospace and technology business, Paramount Group and one of Kazakhstan’s leading defence and engineering companies, Kazpetromash, has announced that the company has commenced production of the advanced Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), the Barys 6×6, with first deliveries expected by the end of the year to the Armed Forces Special Units of the Republic of Kazakhstan. A highly agile infantry combat vehicle, the Barys 6×6 is being manufactured entirely from within Kazakhstan, utilising next-generation MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) technology, providing unrivalled protection against landmines, IEDs, side-blasts and RPG attacks in the process. The Barys 6×6 accommodates two crew members, up to eight troops, and can be utilised for a myriad of defence and security operations, including border patrol, armoured ambulance and infantry fire support. In accordance with the requirements of the Kazakhstan Armed Forces, the Barys 6×6 has been additionally equipped with fire extinguishing systems, modified hatches, an upgraded mechanical turret, and various systems for attaching and storing weapons and ammunition, both internally and external to the IFV. The Armed Forces Special Units of the Republic of Kazakhstan recently carried out a series of trials of the Barys 6×6 in diverse and very rugged conditions, during the extreme winter and summer conditions of Kazakhstan, which were successfully completed. The Barys (‘snow leopard’ in Kazakh, the winterised variant of Paramount Group’s Mbombe 6) notably maintains a commonality of components across the entirety of the Barys fleet, ensuring affordability while reducing costs associated with maintenance, repairs and operations. The Barys’ 8×8 variant recently successfully concluded a four-year series of trials conducted by the Ministry of Defence of Kazakhstan, covering a total distance of 25,000 km.
John Craig, Executive Chairman of Paramount Land Systems, stated that, “This order for the Barys 6×6 by the government of Kazakhstan is a very important achievement for Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering and the country’s defence industrial capabilities. This is laying the foundation for ramped up production of the Barys range of vehicles for years to come. The indigenous production of the state-of-the-art Barys 6×6 emblemizes the country’s advanced industrial and engineering capabilities. It is a proud moment for the country and every employee of KPE.”
Over two-hundred Kazakhstanis are employed by Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering. The factory is a center for excellence and sustainable, high-skills employment with the capacity to produce hundreds of armored vehicles per year. The company looks to bolster the Eurasian nation’s industrial capacities further in the future by expanding into new land, aerial and maritime production lines.
30 Nov 21. Jankel achieves Preliminary Technical Acceptance (PTA) with Belgium MoD and enters into production with their LTTV. Jankel, a world-leader in the design and manufacture of high-specification vehicle conversions and protection solutions to defence, security and NGO Customers worldwide, has successfully passed the Belgium MOD’s (BeMOD) Preliminary Technical Acceptance (PTA) project milestone with their new Light Tactical Transport Vehicle (LTTV) and is now entering into high volume production. The LTTV programme will deliver 199 of the Mercedes UNIMOG based vehicles to the BeMOD. The PTA milestone provides sign-off of the first of type vehicles against the contracted requirements, allowing commencement of the full production programme. Included in the PTA review is the quality plan for production, proof of compliance with European legislation, and an in-depth technical compliance review against the detailed customer requirement documents. Now PTA has been achieved, Jankel will commence the full production programme that will deliver 199 vehicles across the first quarters of 2022. In order to deliver this programme, Jankel has established a dedicated and state-of-the-art production capability based in the Midlands that was the subject of a company announcement in September 2021.
The LTTV order follows the earlier production contract to supply the BeMOD with over 100 FOX Rapid Reaction Vehicles (RRV), based on a modified COTS Toyota chassis system. Unveiled at DSEi in September 2019 and also displayed at DSEi in September 2021, Jankel’s LTTV is designed to provide a modular and configurable tactical support vehicle that benefits from unique, removable mission modules that enable the vehicle to be re-roled rapidly for operational platform versatility. With a payload of over 3 tonnes, dependent on the final vehicle specification, the LTTV has 3 core variants for Special Operations support, including an ambulance variant. Alongside a user-configurable, fully integrated suite of military sub-systems that includes a removable ballistic protection kit, a Roll-Over-Protection-System (ROPS), weapon mounts and communications fit, the platform will provide full interoperability with the Fox fleet of tactical vehicles.
The LTTV’s versatility already promises to be a world-leader, literally able to plug and play between rear bed configurations. Combining the strengths of a trusted and highly capable OEM platform with militarised and mission specific tactical enhancements, Jankel’s LTTV has already attracted the attention of several other countries and is of particular interest to those already operating with the Mercedes Benz UNIMOG platform.
Andrew Jankel, Chairman at Jankel said: “I am very proud indeed of my team for having achieved this significant project milestone with our client, the Belgium MOD. Achieving PTA allows us to progress into a production programme that will see us delivering 199 LTTV’s”. He added: “We are one of the very few UK based military vehicle manufacturers left that can offer genuine on-shore vehicle production capability right now. Of particular note is the fact that we have been working on much of this programme during a period made more difficult by the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. It has demonstrated that there can always be a way forward and that Jankel can continue to deliver, whatever the barriers – Driving Mission Success”.
29 Nov 21. Warrior Clinging on? We said in our piece Ajax fixed by 2032? (See: MILITARY VEHICLE, LOGISTICS AND THROUGH LIFE UPDATE BATTLESPACE Update Vol. 47) that There were rumours that Warrior may be staying in core and not scrapped in 2025. One of the reasons is believed to be because the UK has a commitment to provide two NATO Battlegroups in the mid 202s and a Warrior type vehicle will form part of that requirement. There is also the threat emanating from Russia in Ukraine which will require confrontation with armoured units.
29 Nov 21. The U.S. Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal (ACC-DTA) announced that it has awarded Oshkosh Defense, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK), a $591.6m order for 1,669 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV), 868 companion trailers, and associated packaged and installed kits. The order includes Oshkosh Defense JLTVs for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Navy. As part of the order, 125 vehicles will also be delivered to NATO and allied partners, including Brazil, Lithuania, Montenegro, and Slovenia. Since winning the competitive JLTV contract in 2015, Oshkosh Defense has built over 14,000 JLTVs, and that number continues to grow every day.
“Our team takes great pride in designing and building a versatile platform that can survive the extreme demands of future combat,” said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “That’s what we do and what we’ve been doing for decades. And Oshkosh’s vast tactical wheeled vehicle (TWV) experience, expertise and knowhow grows with every vehicle that comes off our production line.”
International momentum surrounding the Oshkosh Defense JLTV also continues to grow as customers seek a light tactical vehicle with lethal capabilities, fleet commonality attributes, and design flexibility.
“Integrated lethality on an agile and protected vehicle like the Oshkosh JLTV is quickly filling capability gaps that exist in many international militaries,” said John Lazar, Vice President and General Manager of International Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “This past year, we’ve seen an increased interest in the Oshkosh JLTV from international customers with dynamic demonstrations and live fires across Europe with more planned for 2022.”
24 Nov 21. Iveco Defence Vehicles delivers 500th Guarani and LMV-BR batch to Brazilian Army. The official ceremony, held at the company’s plant in Sete Lagoas (MG), has brought together Iveco Defence Vehicles executives and military authorities. In 2006, the Brazilian Army started the acquisition process of new units of wheeled armored vehicles for the transport of personnel and Iveco Defence Vehicles succeeded in winning the tender with its Guarani VBTP-MR 6×6. In 2013, the brand’s first non-European armored vehicle plant, located in Sete Lagoas, was inaugurated and, in 2014, the first 86 Guarani units were delivered. Today, seven years later, Iveco Defence Vehicles is honored to deliver the 500th unit of the Guarani to the Exército Brasileiro. The official ceremony to celebrate this important occasion took place at the Iveco Defence Vehicles plant in Sete Lagoas. The event was attended by brand executives, civil and military authorities, including the Army Commander, General Paulo Sérgio Nogueira de Oliveira. Another milestone celebrated today was the symbolic delivery of the 31 LMV-BR 4X4 units, thus ending the contract for the acquisition of the 1st lot (32 units) of the new “Viatura Blindada Multitarefa, Leve de Rodas” (VBMT-LR 4×4). The partnership between Iveco Defence Vehicles and the Exército Brasileiro contributes to the growth of the national defense industry and strengthens the strategic development of the Brazilian Ground Forces.
The Guarani Project was conceived by the Brazilian Army’s Science, Technology and Innovation System in partnership with Iveco Defence Vehicles. With an estimated duration of 20 years, it includes more than 1,500 vehicles. A few dozen units of the Guarani 6×6 have already been exported to other countries.
The LMV-BR project began in 2015 when Iveco Defence Vehicles won the tender for the delivery of 186 units to the Brazilian Army. In 2019, the 1st contract between EB and Iveco Defence Vehicles was signed, and, by December 2021, all 32 units of the LMV-BR will be delivered. While the units have been manufactured in Italy, the integration of weapons, command posts and control systems as well as the assembly of several national components have been carried out at the company’s plant in Sete Lagoas.
26 Nov 21. IMUGS consortium showcases tactical 4G/5G communications networks and UGS. The demonstration involved the use of two THeMIS UGVs and was conducted in Latvia. An integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS) consortium led by European developer Milrem Robotics, showcased crewed units working alongside uncrewed systems.
In the demonstration, tactical 4G/5G communications networks and uncrewed ground systems (UGS) fitted with a specific list of payloads were used.
The UGSs were equipped with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and signal intelligence (SIGINT) payloads, acoustic sensors, and various other technologies.
The demonstration took place in September in Latvia and was led by consortium member ‘LMT’. The event was supported by project coordinator Milrem Robotics.
The €32.6m iMUGS project is aimed at developing the European standard UGS.
Milrem Robotics CEO Kuldar Väärsi said: “The displayed scenarios showed that unmanned systems, enhanced with innovative communication systems and various defence technology, can be used for collecting and sharing tactical information, improve situational awareness, decrease troops physical load, and increase force protection.”
Latvian National Armed Forces used two Milrem’s THeMIS UGVs in two scenarios to demonstrate the advantages of combining crewed and uncrewed systems.
During the demonstration, one THeMIS UGV was equipped with an ISR payload, SIGINT, a Rapid Obscuring System (ROSY) Smoke Grenade Launcher, Bittium’s Vehicular Software Defined Radios (Tough SDR Vehicular), and deFNder light remote weapon stations (RWS).
Meanwhile, the second THeMIS was fitted with an improvised explosive device (IED) jammer and Tough SDR Vehicular.
Milrem stated that the units and UGVs in the demonstration used Bittium’s tactical communication network TAC WIN integrated with LMT’s commercial 4G and a tactical 5G-SA bubble.
Furthermore, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann’s (KMW) Dingo infantry mobility vehicle (IMV) was used as the command centre from where UGVs were operated in LOS and BLOS mode.
LMT vice-president and management board member Ingmars Pukis said: “For the first time ever, in a special network, a tactical network was connected with a standalone 5G network.
“This allowed communication between units and robots, as well as collecting information from sensors and placing this information into LMT’s Battle Management System ‘Viedsargs’”.
In September this year, Milrem Robotics announced that they would be supporting the upgrade of the Estonian Defence Forces’ CV90 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs). (Source: army-technology.com)
24 Nov 21. NSPA, the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, has delivered the last batch of 139 armoured vehicles to the Portuguese Army. The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has delivered the last batch of 139 armoured vehicles to the Portuguese Army, consisting of eight Emergency Response Vehicles, under the Light Armoured Tactical Vehicle programme or Viaturas Taticas Ligeiras Blindades (VTLC). The delivery concludes a multi-year acquisition project aimed to provide the Portuguese Armed Forces with a fleet of armoured vehicles composed of 107 troop transports, seven command vehicles, 13 medical evacuation and 12 special operations vehicles. The contract was awarded to the Spanish company Urovesa in 2018 and included the supply of the vehicles a weapon station, training, documentation and special tools. The first batch of vehicles were delivered in October 2020 and has been deployed in support of Portuguese commitments to United Nations operations in the Central African Republic. In September 2021, the Portuguese Army and NSPA project team participated in the First Article Testing and Acceptance of the configured ambulance vehicles at the contractor’s production facility in Pontevedra, Spain. The process involved the physical inspection, trials and verification of the vehicles performance and characteristics against the Portuguese Army’s specific requirements. The medical units have been designed to operate in deep fording areas and are equipped with collective Nuclear, Biological and Chemical protection systems. They also have a sanitary cell equipped with electromedical, immobilisation and communications equipment, as well as diagnostic and treatment material. In addition, the medical units are highly armoured and protected against ballistic and mine threats.
“The completion of this project represents an important milestone for NSPA and is the result of several months of intense work in a close cooperation with the Portuguese Army. We are grateful for the trust placed on our Agency to manage this major acquisition programme and proud to enable the Portuguese Army’s future operations with the vehicles we have delivered”, assured Ian Bonallo, NSPA Senior Technical Officer, who managed the project.
All vehicles are configured for a variety of roles and missions and provided with ballistic, blast and mine protection while providing high dynamic performance in terms of capacity loading and mobility on all types of roads and terrain. (Source: Joint Forces)
15 Nov 21. Defence organisations concerned over inability to support growing number of disconnected operations.
- New research shows over half of respondents (54.5%) need better support for missions taking place in disconnected scenarios; many have concerns that software infrastructure is not keeping pace
IFS, the global cloud enterprise applications company, has today shared research revealing that military operators and defence in-service support providers consider disconnected operations a priority to effectively assist missions that take place with minimal or no information system connectivity.
In a recent poll* of military forces, in-service support providers and defence manufacturers, over two thirds agreed that the ability to operate in a disconnected, intermittent, and limited bandwidth (DIL) operational environment is essential to military operations.
When asked what aspect of disconnected operations require the most improvement, 54.5% of respondents highlighted the need to maintain a single version of truth and keeping an asset’s status in sync. This was followed by keeping consistent connectivity between a main operating base (MOB) and distributed forward operating bases (FOBs) at 23%.
Yet the findings exposed a stark gap between the need to perform mission-critical operations in “dark-mode” and the ability of existing software to facilitate asset information in disconnected settings. Around one fifth of the respondents believe their current software infrastructure is incapable of aggregating, consolidating and storing data in a disconnected setting, while also providing physical and software-based hardening against attack.
Respondents identified the three main driving forces behind the growth in disconnected operations. Unplanned connectivity interruptions ranked highest, cited by 41% of respondents, followed by planned instances of disconnected operations as part of the normal day-to-day business, and a shift to a more distributed operational model (both at 23%).
“These findings show that disconnected operations is a nascent and growing field that is gaining more attention from all types of defence organisations—from military operators through to in-service support providers and manufacturers themselves,” said Matt Medley, IFS Defence Manufacturing Industry Director. “Re-syncing information such as engineering and maintenance data, technical records and more may sound simple, but this is a very difficult task to manage from a data architecture perspective. Supporting software must prove it is up the challenge to mitigate any outage and keep a single picture of the truth between operating bases during mission-critical disconnected operations.”
25 Nov 21. Elta’s Zibar vehicle attracts interest in Dubai. The Zibar tactical utility vehicle made by Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI’s) Elta division attracted attention from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the Dubai Airshow held earlier in November, Elta CEO Yoav Turgerman told Janes. Designed for off-road performance, the Zibar is part of the Z family that Elta has developed to become the new standard 4×4 for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). “The working conditions of the UAE Armed Forces are very similar to those that the IDF operate in,” Turgerman said. “Hence it attracted attention. The complementary capabilities interested them as well.” “What makes it unique is its all-conditions manoeuvrability. It can climb cliffs and the structure is simple, making it highly reliable,” he added. “The vehicle weighs a little more than 2.5 tonnes and it can carry 2.5 tonnes. This gives it added flexibility when it comes to adding armour.” (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