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15 Mar 17. Russians test military hardware in first ever drive to Arctic island. An Arctic expedition by the Russian military has become the first ever research mission to drive by vehicle from Russia’s east Siberian coast to Kotelny Island in the New Siberian Islands archipelago, according to Russian deputy defence minister General Dmitry Bulgakov.
“Members of the expedition became the first in the world to drive on vehicles from the mainland to Kotelny Island,” said Gen Bulgakov, giving an update on the mission’s progress on 13 March. “Representatives of the Russian defence ministry and industrial enterprises used modern snow and swamp-going vehicles to drive 1,140 km on the ice of the Laptev Sea and the coastal zone to the destination,” he added.
The expedition, which began on 20 February, will ultimately cover more than 2,000 km. The journey is being used to assess the ability of various equipment to operate in temperatures below freezing (down to -60°C) and involved close to a hundred various research and laboratory tests.
Vehicles tested included army snow-going vehicles, special low-pressure wheeled transportation hardware on Trekol all-terrain vehicles, as well as DT-10PM and DT-30PM tracked two-unit articulated vehicles. Assessments have been made of the vehicles’ operating capabilities, technical readiness, crew comfort, and their overall ability to negotiate ice and deep snow in the most extreme conditions of the High North. The expedition is soon scheduled to drive back on the Laptev Sea’s ice cover to Tiksi on the northern coast of Russia’s Sakha Republic, arriving there at the end of March. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
15 Mar 17. Brazil to soon receive its first AAV7A1 RAM/RS amphibious vehicles. The Brazilian Marine Corps (Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais) is to receive its first updated AAV7A1 armoured amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) (locally designated as Carro-Lagarta Anfíbio: CLAnf) in the second quarter of 2017, the Brazilian Navy told Jane’s on 13 March. One CLAnf-P troop carrier and one CLAnf-C command vehicle will be received initially.
Deliveries of 23 vehicles to the Marines Fleet Force (Força de Fuzileiros da Esquadra: FFE) comprising 20 CLAnf-Ps, 2 CLAnf-Cs, and 1 CLAnf-S recovery vehicle are to conclude in late 2018, the navy said.
Brazil ordered the modernisation of 23 AAV7s, formerly in the US Marine Corps inventory, to a Reliability, Availability, Maintainability/Rebuilt-to-Standard (RAM/RS) configuration as part of a USD117.517m foreign military sale in 2014. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
15 Mar 17. Tank 2022: Demos & Decisions For Army’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle. 2022 will be the year of decision for the Army’s nascent Next Generation Combat Vehicle, officials told the Association of the US Army conference here today. That’s when “at least two” NGCV demonstrators get field-tested by real troops. Those soldiers’ feedback, in turn, will inform Army leaders’ decision: whether to fund a full-up program to field a new armored vehicle by 2035, or put off a fresh start — again — and just keep updating 1970s designs.
There’s a long and painful history of cancelled programs here, from the Crusader howitzer in 2002 to the Future Combat Systems vehicle family in 2009, to the Ground Combat Vehicle in 2014. Meanwhile, the M1 Abrams battle tank and M2 Bradley troop carrier designed in the 1970s have fought well for decades, and they’ve been repeatedly upgraded, almost beyond recognition, but there limits to what an old design can do. With Russia deploying its latest hardware to devastating effect in Ukraine, many Army leaders fear — in the words of Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, now National Security Advisor — that “we are outranged and outgunned.”
Piecing together statements from several service officials today, it’s possible to put together the m