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24 Aug 11. Force Protection Australasia Pty Ltd (FPA), a FORCE PROTECTION, INC. group company has submitted a bid to the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation for the manufacture of Special Operations Vehicles – Commando for the Australian Defence Force. The tender for Project JP 2097 Phase 1B (also known as Project REDFIN) is based on a variant of the company’s Ocelot vehicle, which is already being evaluated as part of the Australian Government’s Land 121 Phase 4 Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light (PMV-L) program. Force Protection Australasia Managing Director, Dave Miller, says the Commando variant continues the Ocelot’s core design concept whereby the crew and passengers sit inside a protective pod made of advanced composite materials while beneath them critical components such as the engine, fuel tank and transmission are contained in a V-shaped armoured spine that deflects a blast away from the vehicle.
“We’re very confident our team has produced the most highly protected and agile vehicle of its size and weight available on today’s market. One of the most attractive aspects of the vehicle, on top of its survivability levels which protect the crew and mission systems, is its unique modular construction which means that pods can easily be changed in theatre to suit the requirements of each mission,” Mr. Miller said.
The vehicle has already proven its worth when Force Protection was recently contracted by the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply its Ocelot for the MoD’s urgent operational requirement for the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle program (LPPV). The first of these vehicles, known as the Foxhound in the UK, is now in production and will be in service by mid-2012. Force Protection vehicles already represent some 46 per cent of the UK Army’s Protected Patrol Vehicle fleet. Force Protection Australasia is one of three companies selected for consideration to undertake the next phase of the Land 121 Phase 4 Manufactured and Supported in Australia (MSA) program, with the contract for the future production of up to 1300 vehicles valued at more than $A1bn by the Australian Government. The survivability and reliability of Force Protection’s range of vehicles globally is demonstrated by the fact they have survived in excess of 4,000 IED and land blasts, and that the majority of its vehicles in service since 2004 remain operational. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)
24 Aug 11. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) Ground Forces Technological Brigade has received a new all-terrain vehicle, the Sufa 3 jeep, to meet operational requirements. The Sufa 3 has a load capacity of 1,053kg, is capable of speeds of up to 130km/h and can accommodate five passengers. The IDF’s head of tactical vehicles Lieutenant Colonel Nissim Einat said that the automatic vehicle driven by a diesel engine featured an integrated and reliable radio system. Additional features of the vehicle include a communication system, a special snorkel, a night lighting system and front and rear towing hooks to rescue the vehicle during emergency situations. The vehicle, jointly developed by the IDF, Chrysler and Nazareth vehicle industrial plant, will replace the existing Sufa 1 and Sufa 2 all-terrain vehicles in the next two years. The IDF has plans to procure around 500 of the new jeeps. (Source: armytechnology.com)
22 Aug 11. Even though the Pentagon’s acquisition chief, Ashton Carter, approved the award of two technology development contracts worth almost $900m for the U.S. Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program last week, questions remain about the GCV’s future. As part of the Acquisition Decision Memorandum Cater signed, he instructed the Army to conduct two separate analysis of alternatives (AOAs), which will come on top of the AOA the Army has already completed to ensure that no ex