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04 Dec 12. The Blindé Moyen Experimental (BMX) test bed vehicle programme, sponsored by the Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) as a research tool for the French Army’s future SCORPION networked battle group concept, is serving as a springboard for Renault Trucks Defense (RTD) next-generation armoured vehicle development effort. Step one of the SCORPION programme includes command-and-control and vehicular elements, among them the Véhicule Blindé Multirole (VBMR) intended to replace the in-service VAB 4×4 wheeled vehicle family, developed by RTD. In outline the French Army has been calling for a 6×6 wheeled design in the 20-tonne weight range as its VBMR platform, with integral STANAG 4569 Level 3 ballistic and mine protection, upgradeable to Level 4 using add-on armour kits to a maximum gross vehicle weight of 25 tonnes. To be able to examine design and materials options for the VBMR, the DGA commissioned BMX test beds from Nexter and RTD in 2010. Nexter is understood to have produced demonstrators for three different 6×6 design solutions, its private-venture XP2, revealed in June 2010, being just the first. (Source: Jane’s)

26 Nov 12. L-3 Combat Propulsion Systems (CPS) has developed a major pre-production standard upgrade package for the General Dynamics Land Systems M60A1/M60A3 main battle tank (MBT). The M60-series was built in large numbers for the US Army and was subsequently replaced by the M1 Abrams. Surplus M60A1/M60A3 MBTs were exported in vast quantities and many remain in service. The first example of the L-3 CPS is based on the final production version of the M60A3. An upgraded vehicle ran for the first time in 2011 and has since completed initial contractor mobility and firing trials. The CPS includes an appliqué armour package for the front of the standard M60A1/M60A3’s cast and welded conventional steel armour hull, and another for the turret. Side skirts have been fitted that extend to the hull rear to provide a higher level of ballistic protection, while bar/slat armour along the sides and rear protects against rocket-propelled grenades. Spall liners can also be trimmed inside the vehicle. The legacy M60A1/M60A3 is powered by an L-3 CPSs AVDS-1790-2 series V12 diesel coupled to a General Motors Corporation automatic transmission. CPS replaces this with a new L-3 diesel developing 1,200 hp at 2,400 rpm coupled to an Allison automatic transmission derived from the X-1100 and new final drives. (Source: Jane’s)

06 Dec 12. BAE Systems plans to complete low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) 155mm self-propelled howitzer system at the Elgin, Oklahoma facility located in the Fort Sill Industrial Park, home of the U.S. Army field artillery. The PIM LRIP award is slated for the third quarter in 2013 and follows the successful design and development work at BAE Systems’ York facility and recent limited user tests conducted by the company and the Army in Yuma, Ariz. As part of the PIM LRIP program, BAE Systems will focus on the final integration, assembly and test of 72 PIM systems. Key components of the PIM production vehicles, including the chassis, will be sent to the Elgin facility from BAE Systems manufacturing facilities and suppliers. As part of final assembly and checkout, BAE Systems will use Fort Sill where they will undergo mobility and firing verification. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)

06 Dec 12. Research and Markets announced the addition of the “Global Defense Land Vehicle Industry 2012-2017: Trend, Profit, and Forecast Analysis” report to their offering. Continued uncertainty in global geopolitics, the ongoing threat of terrorism, and instability in the Middle East are some of the factors that are anticipated to influence the defense land vehicle industry. The market witnessed exceptional

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