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19 Apr 12. Panhard has presented to the French Army chief of staff and senior procurement officials a concept for a high-mobility armored vehicle with aggressive firepower, dubbed the Combat and Reconnaissance
Armored Buggy (CRAB), executives of the armoured vehicle maker said April 17. Drawings and a small-scale mock-up of the CRAB were shown to Army Gen. Bertrand Ract-Madoux in late February and Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) procurement officials in early April, an executive said.
The CRAB, intended as a highly capable successor to the Army’s véhicule blindé leger (VBL) scout car, is seen as the key to maintaining a combat vehicle business, an activity viewed as part of Panhard’s corporate DNA. For firepower, the CRAB could be armed with a 12.7mm machine gun, 25mm or 40 mm gun, or missiles. Thales would supply the man-machine interface and electronic systems. Panhard will unveil a full-scale mock-up of the eight- to 10-ton vehicle at the Eurosatory trade show, hopeful for a launch customer or an industrial partnership. Panhard is in merger talks with Renault Trucks Defense.
(Source: Defense News)

17 Apr 12. The Australian Defence Material Organisation (DMO) has selected Supacat as Preferred Bidder for the Special Operations Vehicle element of the Project Definition and Evaluation phase (PD&E) of JP2097 Ph 1B (REDFIN) program and has awarded Supacat an initial contract for this phase. Supacat’s successful bid offered the latest version of its Special Forces HMT Extenda vehicle. When approved, JP2097 Ph 1B (REDFIN) will provide the Australian Defence Force with a new family of Special Operations Vehicles. On completion of the PD&E phase the DMO is expected to acquire a fleet of vehicles under a separate contract.
The new vehicle, while retaining a high level of commonality with the Australian Army’s existing `Nary` HMT fleet, delivered by Supacat in 2009, provides improved capabilities, particularly, in the areas of crew protection and vehicle versatility. Supacat’s HMT is the most capable vehicle in its class with proven operational experience. It combines high levels of performance in the areas of mobility, protection, payload and firepower into an intuitive vehicle to operate and maintain. It has demonstrated its reliability, flexibility and capability on extended operations around the world and is the vehicle of choice for the elite land forces of the world’s most active and influential armies.
Supacat will deliver the program through the Supacat Team Australia program office based in Melbourne. Supacat Team Australia is made up of 14 Australian industry partners who will provide the capabilities to deliver the production vehicles and the ongoing through life support of the fleet.
Mick Halloran, Managing Director, Supacat Pty Ltd, said, “Being selected for this key Australian program is a huge achievement for Supacat. We are looking forward to working with the Commonwealth, their preferred prime systems integrator for the command and control element, Elbit Systems of Australia, and our Supacat Team Australia partners to successfully deliver this first phase of REDFIN 1B. It is the launch pad for Supacat Pty in the Australian defence market”.
Nick Ames, Managing Director of Supacat Ltd, said, “The REDFIN 1B award is pivotal to Supacat’s expansion and confirms the superiority of our HMT series as the Special Operations `vehicle of choice`. With our development of an in-country design and engineering capability, it positions Supacat to access future opportunities in the expanding Australian defence market as well as in diversified industry sectors in the Asia Pacific region”.
Designed for use by Special Forces, the HMT Extenda is unique in being convertible to either a 4×4 or 6×6 configuration to meet different operational requiremen

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