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29 Jan 14. Uparmored Bradley Could Be Tough Enough For AMPV: Testers. Massive government documents typically hide some gold nuggets of information. In today’s report from the Pentagon’s independent Director of Operational Test & Evaluation, a famously tough grader known as DOT&E, there’s one detail that is going to make defense contractor BAE Systems very happy: “Results from the third underbody blast test also demonstrate that the Armored Multi-purpose Vehicle survivability requirement is achievable with a Bradley-like platform.” Why should BAE care? Well, because BAE builds the M2 Bradley, a tank-like troop carrier, and because they’re entering a Bradley variant in the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle competition. With the much heavier, more powerful, and more expensive Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) apparently in programmatic limbo due to budget cuts, the humble AMPV is the biggest game left in town for anybody who builds armored vehicles for the US military. That boils down to BAE and its competitor General Dynamics, which is offering a variant of its Stryker vehicle. (Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)

04 Feb 14. France has completed its upgrade of 54 EBG Val engineering vehicles. Nexter has completed the upgrade programme for the French Army’s Engin Blindé du Génie Valorisé (EBG Val) engineering vehicles, with final deliveries on 5 February. The programme covered the upgrade of 54 vehicles: 42 of the EBG F1 (initial version) and 12 of the Système de Déminage Pyrotechnique pour Mines Antichars (SDPMAC) mine-clearing variant. The programme both upgraded the capabilities of the vehicles, and extended their service life through 2020 to 2025. As part of the upgrade the vehicles have been fitted with a new day-night infrared camera, laser rangefinder, and improved operational situational awareness through the installation of the Système d’information réglementaire (SIR) allowing digital data transfer via a Thales PR4G tactical radio. The vehicles have also been fitted with a new saw, doubling its working range and including a diamond coated cutting disc to enable it to cut through steel and concrete. The EBG Val’s armament has also been improved with 7.62 machine guns (MGs), while protection has been upgraded with improved armour and fitted for additional, modular, armour packages. Additionally the vehicles have been fitted with a new electromagnetic decoy system and GALIX decoy launchers equipped with GALIX 4: self-protection rounds, GALIX 13: infrared wideband smoke screen rounds, and GALIX 46: limited lethality peacekeeping rounds. The upgrade has also improved the internal ergonomics of the vehicles and limited the crew to two (chief and driver): with the gunner position being removed. Based on the AMX-30B2 chassis, the 45 tonne EBG Val is intended to support French forces and combat vehicles through mine-clearing, mining, front-line engineering construction, and the destruction of obstacles. It can reach a top speed of 65 km/h. The contract for the EBG upgrade was signed with Nexter in 2006, with deliveries beginning in September 2011 to the French Army Engineer Corps. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

04 Feb 14. Three French companies are discussing a bid to replace the AMX 10RC and other French armored vehicles. Systems specialist Thales has entered talks with armored vehicle builders Nexter and Renault Trucks Defense (RTD) as the three French companies seek to make a joint offer to build a new multirole combat vehicle and light tank that could be worth about €4bn (US $5.5bn), industry executives said. The talks come as the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the French government’s arms procurement office, has launched a tender restricted to the three companies for 2,080 units of the Véhicule Blindé Multirole and 248 of the light tank, Engin Blindé de

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