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26 Jun 12. Texas Armoring Corporation (TAC), producer of the world’s finest lightweight armored passenger vehicles, announced a new line of special explosion-resistant SUVs in response to the recent string of bombings and terrorist attacks across West Africa and the Middle East. TAC officials reported that the new line of armored, blast-mitigating vehicles will be based on the Toyota Land Cruiser platform and will offer clients in areas like Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen an unprecedented amount of protection against undercarriage blasts, roadside explosions, IEDs, anti-personnel mines, and car bombs. According to TAC, the vehicles and corresponding protection levels will be available as follows: The LC50 will feature TAC’s ground-breaking T6 ultra-lightweight armoring package along with a specially angled ballistic-steel undershield and spall liner to protect occupants against high-power rifle fire (7.62×39, .223. 7.62 NATO munitions), fragmentation mines, and small explosions. While all TAC armored vehicles offer protection against small explosives via the floorboards of the cabin area, the LC50 will provide an additional layer of protection on the outside of the vehicle to help dissipate the blast and more fully protect the occupants. The LC100 will feature TAC’s T7 ultra-lightweight armoring package along with a premium composite undershield co-developed with Bravo Zulu Services, Inc. While the LC50 will only be rated for the explosive equivalent of 3-4 hand grenades, the LC100 will boast stopping power of over 20 grenades (approx. 4 lbs. of high-explosive C4) and is designed to absorb the shockwave of the explosion so that it can’t pass through into the passenger compartment. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
20 Jun 12. Terrier Combat Engineer Vehicle (CEV): Entering Service. The BAE Systems’ Terrier CEV was on public display for the first time at DVD 2012 (Defence Vehicle Dynamics – 20/21 Jun 12). Terrier is now in service with the Army under a £328m demonstration and manufacturing contract. The first 20 vehicles should be delivered in 2013 and all 60 are due to be in service by 2015.
Comment: Terrier has been procured to replace the Combat Engineer Tractor, which has been removed from service. Terrier should have entered service with the first 20 vehicles in late 2008 but it was delayed by development difficulties. BAE Systems has drawn attention to a French Army requirement for a CEV. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/26, 02 July 12)
21 Jun 12. Viking All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV): Withdrawn from Service. The Defence Equipment Minister said (21 Jun 12) that the Viking ATV has been successfully deployed on OP HERRICK prior to being gradually withdrawn and replaced by the Warthog vehicle. Warthog was designed specifically for use in Afghanistan. Subsequent close inspection of the Vikings revealed “accelerated mechanical fatigue compromising the structural integrity and safe operation of the vehicle”. All Vikings have been withdrawn from the Royal Marines until such time as they have been “regenerated”, because they are now unsafe.
Comment: The Viking ATV entered service with 3 Commando Brigade in 2005, “to provide an amphibious protected mobility capability for the Lead Commando Group”. In October 2006 Viking was committed to
OP HERRICK and eventually all 108 in UK service were deployed. The Royal Marines have had to manage without their Viking ATV for recent Exercises while 99 of the vehicles await updating by BAE Systems. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 12/26, 02 July 12)
27 Jun 12. India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has started developmental trials of the new Arjun Mark II main battle tank (MBT) at Pokhran field firing range in Rajasthan, India.
DRDO spokesperson Ravi Gupta was quoted by Press Tru