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12 May 16. SOFEX 2016: KADDB unveils light ATV. The King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) of Jordan has developed a new light all-terrain vehicle (ATV) called the Al Washaq. The pre-production vehicle is intended to fill the gap at the lower end of KADDB’s product range. The Al Washaq ATV, which is displayed at SOFEX in the left-hand drive configuration, has a gross vehicle weight of only 3,000 kg.
The vehicle is largely unarmoured to save weight, although the central citadel features basic B6 level armour protection. If required the bullet/splinter proof windows can be complemented with wire mesh protection. The front-mounted engine and payload compartment at the rear are not protected in order to save weight. The vehicle is powered by a Toyota diesel developing 105hp coupled to a manual transmission with five forward and one reverse gears, providing a maximum road speed of up to 90km/h. It features permanent four-wheel drive and the independent suspension is claimed to provide a high level of cross-country mobility although its ground clearance is only 300mm. The vehicle intercom and radio communications will be determined by the end user.
The Al Washaq shown at SOFEX is fitted with a locally developed remote weapon station (RWS) armed with a .50-calibre machine gun mounted in the rear. This is laid onto the target using a flat panel display at the commander’s position. According to KADDB, the vehicle can be fitted to a range of weapons including a 106mm recoilless rifle or a GAU-type Gatling gun. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 May 16. US Army Ground Mobility Vehicle Program Stalled Until Congress Passes Budget. The Army is nearly ready to move forward with a new ground mobility vehicle and a fleet of new logistics watercraft, but both programs depend on Congress passing a 2017 budget, a senior Defense Department official said May 10. However, the prospects for that happening look bleak, he added.
“The Army has a very real chance of doing something quick and effective and innovative if we are careful in both defining our requirements and not putting too many processes in the way,” James MacStravic, principal deputy secretary of defense for acquisition, said of the GMV program. The best thing the DoD can do for the program is to stand out of the way and let the Army proceed with as little involvement from his office as possible, he said.
The Army is completing an analysis of alternatives and there is funding in the 2017 budget if Congress allocates it, he said at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Tactical Wheeled Vehicles conference in Reston, Virginia. There should be a full and open competition for the GMV in 2017. However, he predicted that Congress will pass a continuing resolution in place for the fiscal year 2017 budget, which means those funds would be put on hold. “I strongly expect that we are going to get a continuing resolution for FY 2017, more than the traditional three months. We could have a year-long CR based on the results of this election,” he added. “That program could be ready to run with no fuel in the tank.”
The GMV is envisioned for light infantry airborne forces and would sacrifice protection for speed and mobility and could seat five to nine soldiers. The Army is requesting $5m to buy 10 GMVs in 2017 with an eye toward eventually buying 250 vehicles. A panel of congressional staffers at the conference also sounded a pessimistic note on the prospects of a budget being passed by the end of the fiscal year. While none mentioned a continuing resolution lasting as long as a year, two out of three said the impasse may last until April. The staffers declined to be named.
The Army is also ready to proceed with a new boat to replace two Vietnam War-era watercraft that are now obsolete, MacStravic said.
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