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11 Dec 13. Rheinmetall delivers 40 new trucks to New Zealand Defence Force. Rheinmetall-MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) has delivered 40 new
medium-heavy operational vehicles to the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). Delivered as part of $113m order for 200 new trucks in May 2013, the received vehicles would be used to replace its old fleet comprising Unimog and heavier Mercedes trucks. New Zealand Defence Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman said that the new Rheinmetall-MAN military medium and heavy vehicles are designed for modern military operations and offer improved mobility and protection, enhanced technology, and greater capacity. “By purchasing these trucks off the same production line as the UK, the government has ensured value for money, and has achieved a fast delivery in record time,” Coleman said. “This project is a good example of smart and efficient procurement. The government is keen to work closely with our international partners to identify future procurement opportunities which could achieve similar results. The new trucks are part of a wider programme of equipment upgrades and investment into navy, army and air force frontline capabilities.”Ordered in sizes including 6t 4×4, 9t 6×6 and 15t 8×8, the trucks feature thigh capacity electrical systems, air conditioners and Euro 4 emissions compliant engines, which will facilitate efficient operations even if lower quality fuel is used. An additional $22m has been allocated for armour protection kits, weapons mounts, personnel modules and other particular military equipment, in addition to spares, logistic support arrangements and widespread training packages. The NZDF is planning to begin the training personnel in February-March next year, while the trucks will be introduced to Army and Air Force bases, with complete commissioning expected by the late-2015. (Source: army-technology.com)

10 Dec 13. The U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force is enlisting the help of an online community to find the best, fastest way to turn a standard Army lightweight tactical all-terrain vehicle into a mobile command post.
“For the REF, the hardest thing we have is time,” said Gary Frost, REF’s deputy director for futures. “(W)e have to figure out how in a very short period of time to get the most users and the most material solution providers together, so we can do a rapid prototype.” One way to do that would be crowdsourcing, so REF is staging a proof-of-concept “Make-A-Thon” at Fort Benning, Ga., and on its Army CoCreate webisite. The event, which drew more than 800 participants in advance, began Dec. 9 and continues to Dec. 13. A follow-up event Jan. 13-16 will refine the designs participants come up with and actually build the vehicle. The Make-A-Thon will take place in both the virtual and real worlds, with participants submitting ideas online while soldiers at Fort Benning implement them on a Kawasaki Teryx 750cc LTATV and provide feedback on how well the ideas are working. The goal is to create a mobile command post — with command, control, communications and computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability — fit for a platoon or company (30 to 150 soldiers), the Army said in announcing the event. And do it fast, to see whether, “in a very short period of time, can we generate enough users, and enough people who would be able to provide solutions, get them in a virtual room, and come up with a solution, and then be able to build something quickly,” Frost said. REF solicited ideas for potential challenges from Army CoCreate participants in advance of the event. The mobile command center was among the top vote-getters of about 120 suggestions submitted, and “made the most sense,” Frost said. The online participants and soldiers at Fort Benning’s Maneuvers Center of Excellence Capabilities Developme

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