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25 May 12. UK BvS 10 reset project in limbo. Ambitions by the UK Royal Marines to reset its fleet of BAE Systems BvS 10 Viking tracked all-terrain vehicles have been put on hold, after the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) 2012 spending round (PR12) failed to give it approval. The project to re-build and upgrade 99 Vikings would have returned the vehicles to operational status, after heavy wear and tear in Afghanistan between 2006 and 2011 took a toll on their readiness to serve with front line Royal Marine units. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)
06 Jun 12. WhisperPower introduces new battery charger label to the market. WhisperPower in the Netherlands has launched its new Orange Label concept. Equipment bearing this label is: small, light in weight, easy to operate and available at an attractive price. As part of the new label, WhisperPower is introducing the Handy portable battery charger range. The Handy fully automatic 5-stage chargers are universally applicable for GEL, AGM or open lead batteries, with a charge current/charge capacity that can easily be adjusted. The available models are 2, 7 and 15 amperes for 12 VDC batteries up to 300 Ah. Featuring automatic temperature compensation, the chargers will be easy to start up in winter and not face the problem of overcharging in summer conditions. The Handy also includes a flashing light that warns users when the charger has been incorrectly connected. The charger can be used as a portable unit, or be installed permanently with the included installation kit. The Handy charger also has a built-in searchlight that can serve as a torch.
08 Jun 12. ReconRobotics, Inc., the world leader in tactical micro-robot systems, announced today that it will introduce an advanced military and police robot with state-of-the-art reconnaissance capabilities at the Eurosatory defense and security exhibition to be held June 11-14 in Paris. The Throwbot® XT is a throwable, mobile micro-robot that provides both audio and video reconnaissance of dangerous environments. Military fire teams and SWAT personnel will use the new micro-robot to quickly gain situational awareness during high-risk operations and surveillance missions. The Throwbot XT is inherently water and dust resistant, weighs just 1.2lbs (540g), and can be thrown up to 120 feet (36m). It is also exceptionally quiet and is equipped with an infrared optical system that activates automatically when the ambient light is low, enabling the operator to see in complete darkness. Once deployed, the micro-robot can be directed by the operator to quietly move through a structure and transmit video and audio to the handheld Operator Control Unit II (OCU II). These stealth capabilities can be utilized to locate armed subjects, confirm the presence of hostages or innocent civilians, listen in on conversations, and reveal the layout of rooms – information that can save lives and increase the success of high-risk operations. The robot may be specified in any of three predetermined transmitting frequencies, enabling operators to use up to three robots in the same environment at the same time.
Millbrook, based in Bedfordshire, UK, makes a significant contribution to the quality and performance of military vehicles worldwide. Its specialist expertise is focussed in two distinct areas: test programmes to help armed services and their suppliers ensure that their vehicles and systems work as the specification requires; and design and build work to upgrade new or existing vehicles, evaluate vehicle capability and investigate in-service failures. Complementing these is driver and service training and a hospitality business that allows customers to use selected areas of Millbrook’s remarkable facilities for demonstrations an