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09 Jun 12. As is so often the case, just as the DVD issue of BATTLESPACE was off to press there was movement with two of the programmes covered in the feature by Shaun Connors which will be published in our Updates in due course. In brief, the Dutch have issued an update regarding their DVOW programme, this suggesting that while lighter vehicles (7.5 kN and 12 kN) will now be procured in 2013 and 2015 respectively, heavier trucks (50 kN and 100 kN) will now follow from 2016. As expected, numbers required have reduced, and may reduce further still. It was disclosed recently that the Bundeswehr had signed a contract with Daimler AG for the delivery of 110 Mercedes-Benz (4×4) 5-tonne trucks with armoured cabs. The first 25 trucks will be delivered this year for training and initial deployment, with fielding of all 110 vehicles planned for completion by mid-2014. (Source: Shaun Connors)
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-