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19 Mar 13. Faced with mounting casualties among security forces from roadside bomb attacks in its Tribal Areas, Pakistan is set to reveal an indigenous mine-resistant vehicle. A spokesperson for Pakistan’s state-owned vehicle manufacturer, Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT), has confirmed that its Burraq mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle is nearing the end of its prototype phase and will be unveiled in “three to four months.” The announcement comes after years of development and failed efforts to acquire such a vehicle from other sources. The need for an MRAP is great, and the military has acknowledged the considerable menace improvised explosive devices (IEDs) pose to security forces, particularly in the Tribal Areas along the Afghan-Pakistan border in fighting with the Taliban. In what was perhaps the largest loss of life from an IED attack to date, 14 soldiers were killed and 25 wounded during a Jan. 13 attack on a Pakistani Army convoy in Waziristan. Pakistan has reportedly sought better protected vehicles from as far away as Germany, Turkey and the U.S. However, a lack of financial resources seems to have hampered those efforts. Failure to acquire an off-the-shelf solution ultimately led to the development of an indigenous answer. However, as of November, with no news of the Burraq entering production and its non-appearance at Pakistan’s biannual exhibition, IDEAS2012, many analysts began to believe it had been quietly shelved. An order for an undetermined number of Poly Group Corporation Type CS/VP3 MRAP vehicles from China at IDEAS2012 reinforced that notion. (Source: Defense News)

12 Mar 13. Ukraine rolls out Typhoon 2 MBT upgrade. Ukrainian enterprises have leveraged their experience in upgrading Russian-designed T-72 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and the local production of the T-64, T-80, T-84, and Oplot MBTs to develop a major upgrade package for the still widely deployed Russian T-55 MBT, specifically targeting the export market. Designated the Typhoon 2, this latest upgrade has been developed by the Kharkov Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau and the State Enterprise Malyshev Plant, also based in Kharkov. Development of the Typhoon 2 upgrade is stated to be complete, and older T-55 MBTs could be returned to Ukraine for the work to be carried out. It is understood that the latest Typhoon 2 is a further development of the T-55AGM MBT developed in Ukraine that was offered on the export market fitted with 125 mm or NATO type 120 mm smoothbore guns. One potential customer has been identified as Peru, which evaluated five China North Industries Corporation VT1A MBTs; these were subsequently returned to China. The Typhoon 2 upgrade covers the three key areas of MBT technology: armour, mobility, and firepower. (Source: Jane’s)

25 Mar 13. US Army restructures AMPV programme. The US Army is moving forward with a restructured Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) programme that will downselect to one contractor sooner, according to a new draft request for proposals (RfP). AMPV platforms are to be non-developmental vehicles that could replace the army’s fleet of tracked M113-series armoured personnel carriers (APC) – first developed in the 1950s – within its armoured brigade combat teams. Under its revised plan, the service expects to hold an industry day in April before the scheduled release of a final RfP in June. The army intends to conduct a full competition and then select one vendor for an Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase. In an earlier draft RfP, released in November 2012, the government said it expected to award “up to two contracts for EMD”. Instead, a ‘cost-plus-incentive fee’ contract for EMD, with three years of fixed-price incentive-fee lo

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