MILITARY VEHICLE NEWS
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Millbrook, based in Bedfordshire, UK, makes a significant contribution to the quality and performance of military vehicles worldwide. Its specialist expertise is focussed in two distinct areas: test programmes to help armed services and their suppliers ensure that their vehicles and systems work as the specification requires; and design and build work to upgrade new or existing vehicles, evaluate vehicle capability and investigate in-service failures. Complementing these is driver and service training and a hospitality business that allows customers to use selected areas of Millbrook’s remarkable facilities for demonstrations and exhibitions.
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09 Jun 09. Tougher vehicles to deal with the harsh Afghanistan terrain have been put to work on frontline operations. The first batch of more than 300 new Mastiff 2 and Ridgback armoured vehicles are now in Afghanistan and operational with trained crews, giving troop commanders better capability for battlefield tasks. The vehicles have been given a number of upgrades including:
— explosive attenuating seats to provide better protection to the soldier on
— improved armour;
— improved axles and suspension to cope with the difficult terrain;
— better thermal imaging for the drivers;
— greater crew capacity.
Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies said:
“The Mastiff is already giving troops a battle-winning edge in Afghanistan and Mastiff 2 is even better as we have improved the vehicle in line with comments from personnel on the frontline.
“Ridgback will supplement the excellent work currently carried out by its bigger brother Mastiff and offer our forces first-rate protection with greater manoeuvrability and easier access to urban areas.”
With a maximum speed of 90 kph for Mastiff 2 and 40mph for Ridgback, both
vehicles will be armed with the latest weapon systems, including a 7.62mm general purpose machine gun, 12.7 mm heavy machine gun or 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. Both vehicles have a redesigned interior makes it the vehicle of choice for protected mobility troops in Afghanistan.
The vehicles are based on the US Cougar made by Force Protection with the UK integration work carried out by NP Aerospace, based in Coventry. All training on the vehicles has been carried out at the Defence School of
Transport (DST), based near Hull which is the largest driver training school in Europe.
10 Jun 09. Marshall Land Systems is using DVD, the defence exhibition focused on equipment and support for the UK’s Armed Forces, to display two new support solutions for the first time together with its range of capabilities in protected logistics, protected workspaces and capability management. At the front of the display on Stand SP6, the Cambridge based company will be showing an example of how it has taken its knowledge of load beds, chassis dynamics and systems integration to demonstrate how an in-service chassis can be put to different uses. Featured is one of the possibilities, a new Gun Towing Vehicle, others include radar towing vehicle or mobile command centres. This new vehicle, which has been developed as a private venture, is based on the six tonne MAN HX60 Support Vehicle, which is entering service with British Forces, though the capability could equally apply to the nine and 15 tonne variants. It carries a detachment of eight together with two 1.86 tonne NATO ammunition pallets and is fitted with a crane. The load bed has been configured to accommodate the human factor requirements for a prime mover allowing it to tow guns, radars or similar. The recently announced tail lift variant of the UK’s Support Vehicle fleet is also publically on show for the first time. The can