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21 Jun 17. SISU 8×8 hook-lift truck Sisu Auto has participated a live firing exercise, during which the armoured SISU 8×8 hook-lift truck served as a platform for a 120mm mortar turret container. The combination is a flexible, highly mobile source of fire support, wherever required. During the exercise, the mortar provided both direct and indirect firing, successfully. As a result of the exercise, the armored SISU 8×8 vehicle is a ready and proven mortar platform, in addition to the numerous other duties in which the truck is reliably serving in operational use. Sisu off-road trucks are designed for military use and for operating in particularly severe off-road conditions. Sisu’s special expertise in the development of off-road vehicles has resulted in significant benefits by utilising selected civilian truck technologies with military trucks. Frame solutions, chassis components, as well as power lines, are techniques used in civilian vehicles, which mean significant cost savings when acquiring the vehicle and spare parts. (Source: ESD Network)
21 Jun 17. Speed Up Light Tank, Heavy Armor Modernization, HASC Tells Army. Congress wants the Army to get its tanks in gear. Today, the House Armed Services Committee released its draft of the 2018 defense policy bill, which all but begged the Army to accelerate its air-deployable Mobile Protected Firepower vehicle. MPF would fill a void in light tanks that’s existed since the M551 Sheridan was retired in 1996. A separate provision would order the Army to report on its plans for modernizing its heavy armored forces across the board, including “the development of a next generation infantry fighting vehicle and main battle tank” to replace the M2 Bradley and M1 Abrams respectively.
By contrast, the Army’s current focus is low-cost, short-term upgrades of existing weapons. Incrementalism has been the Army’s strategy for at least four years, since it had to cancel the Ground Combat Vehicle program and replace it with a Next Generation Combat Vehicle initiative that may or may not deliver a new design in 2035. That’s too slow for HASC, which wants the Army report to include “an accelerated long-term strategy for acquiring next generation combat vehicle capabilities” (emphasis ours).
HASC’s call for a review echoes a white paper released by Senate Armed Services chairman John McCain in January. McCain urged the service invest in new technologies and new designs for its Armored Brigade Combat Teams. The Senate hasn’t released its draft bill yet, but we imagine the two chambers will easily come to agreement on this provision.
McCain’s white paper did not address the Mobile Protected Firepower vehicle, however. That’s in part a matter of focus: MPF would bulk up airborne brigades and other light infantry units, rather than serving with the heavy armor brigades, which McCain — and for that matter HASC — see as critical to deterring high-end adversaries like Russia.
HASC, however, is clearly enthusiastic about the light tank, too. “The committee recognizes that the Army Chief of Staff has made MPF a high priority modernization program (and) believes the Army is developing strategies to potentially accelerate the MPF schedule given that the current projected schedule has MPF fielding beginning in 2024,” the draft language states. “Therefore, the committee directs the Secretary of the Army to provide a briefing… by October 5, 2017, that outlines potential opportunities for MPF program acceleration. The briefing should include a review of testing requirements and potential areas for consolidation; funding required in fiscal year 2018 and beyond to accelerate the program; and any areas of legislative relief that would be required in order to accelerate the program.” In congressional terms, that’s a wide-open invitation to ask f