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22 Dec 11. The U.K. Defence Secretary announced a £400m package of protected vehicles and Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) technology to further improve the protection of British Forces in AfghanistaThe package includes around 100 additional Foxhound protected patrol vehicles. Foxhound is at the cutting edge of protected patrol vehicle technology and will provide unprecedented levels of blast protection for its size and weight. Today’s announcement will take the total number of Foxhound vehicles available to our Armed Forces to around 300. The first of the 200 Foxhounds already ordered by the MoD are due to be delivered for military training over the next month, and will be available for deployment to Afghanistan during 2012. This announcement also includes over £200m of advanced C-IED technology, giving British Forces a major boost in the battle against the insurgency.

22 Dec 11. The Indian Army has received its first indigenous remotely operated vehicle (ROV), capable of diffusing improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The delivery of the initial batch of six units follows limited series production (LSP) for 20 Daksh units awarded to DRDO’s Research and Development Establishment (R&DE – Engineers) in September 2010. The robot has been developed by R&DE – Engineers in collaboration with Tata Motors, Dynalog (I), Theta Controls and Bharat Electronics. The battery-operated robot on wheels is primarily designed for the safe handling and destruction of IEDs using multiple cameras, X-ray devices and a strong manipulator arm with six degrees of freedom. The ROV can be armed with an on-board shotgun for blasting through door locks when tackling car bombs and will be useful for route clearance operations on borders prone to terror attacks. Indian Army Combat Engineers director general major general Rakesh Bassi said the robot will be an important asset for the army’s bomb disposal units and will also be crucial for anti-terrorist operations. The ROV package includes a carrier vehicle to carry the robot, six personnel, a master control station, accessories and spare parts. The army is scheduled to receive the remaining 14 units by the end of 2012 and is also planning to purchase an additional 100 ROVs in future. (Source: armytechnology.com)

15 Dec 11. UK issues urgent UGV Scout requirement. The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued an urgent operational requirement (UOR) notice in early December for the supply of a remote-controlled, autonomous, mobile ground-surveillance system. The UOR called for an unspecified number of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to act in reconnaissance and patrol roles. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

08 Dec 11. DARPA to use Adaptive Vehicle Make technology in ACV contest. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced it will participate in the US Marine Corps’ (USMC’s) effort to rapidly field new amphibious tractors by trialling an agency programme meant to revolutionise how complex systems are designed and produced. DARPA officials on 5 December said they would use a project called Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) to build a platform that could compete for the USMC’s Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) programme. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

22 Dec 11. Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV): Second Tranche Agreed
The Defence Secretary announced (22 Dec 11) a £400m order for Counter-Improvised Explosive Device(C-IED) technology and “around” 100 additional Foxhound LPPV. The C-IED element of the package is said to be worth “over £200m”.
Comment: Announcement of the procurement of an initial tranche of 200 Foxhound (known as Ocelot commercially), for £180m from Force Protection Europe, was made on 30 Nov 10. Initial vehicles are due to be delivered for training during January 2012, prior to deployment to Afghanistan. F

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