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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13 Sep 09. The prototype of the British-built Ranger vehicle offers a “massive step change in capability” that has been designed from scratch to specifically counter the dangers faced on today’s operations. The MoD argues that it has spent billions purchasing hundreds of vehicles mainly from the American company Force Protection with its Mastiffs and Ridgback
trucks. But British troops are in danger of losing out to foreign forces with Canada’s military, which is also fighting in southern Afghanistan, expressing a strong interest in the Ranger as part of a 500 vehicle package. Universal Engineering, based in Weymouth, Dorset, said it would be able to produce the first vehicle within six months of an initial order and then produce six a week if its factory worked flat out. The £1 million Ranger is unique in armoured vehicles in that it has no chassis allowing for a crew safety capsule not directly connected to the engines, gear box or wheels providing immense protection from blast. Universal, which has spent £3.5 million building the prototype, has carried out
a test using a quantity of TNT equivalent to double the average size of explosive found in Afghanistan, without the hull being breached.
There is also an air gap of 5in between the V-shaped hull and the plate inside the capsule allowing for a “floating floor” which will absorb the shock from an explosion. Seats inside the Ranger are suspended from the roof rolling up and down on metal bars that give several inches of leeway from a blast. The shock from a bomb is said to be equivalent of ejecting out of a fighter. (Source: Daily Telegraph)
16 Sep 09. Carl Zeiss Optronics is to equip the German Army’s infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) Puma with state-of-the-art optics and optronics.
The company will start the production of the commander’s periscope and the weapons system optronics for more than 400 Pumas, to enhance the ability of German soldiers to provide protection and reconnaissance. Once the intelligent combination of optics and optronics is operational, German soldiers will be able to maintain an overview and recognise approaching enemies or irregular forces quickly and with improved accuracy. The Puma, which is currently in the preproduction stage, will be eqiupped with state-of-the-art thermal imagers, daylight cameras and a direct optical channel for the vehicle commander. The vehicles are scheduled to enter service in 2010 and will replace the aging Marder IFVs. The 31.5t vehicle has a operational range of 600km and can move at
a speed of 70km/h. The optical and optronic systems are being assembled at the company’s facility in Oberkochen and the first integration-ready system is scheduled to be delivered in mid-2010.
08 Sep 09. At the BAE Systems plant in Ornsköldsvik, Sweden, the workers tap away at green turtle-like cases of metal. They will eventually become ferocious CV90 armoured vehicles, capable of firing 200 rounds a minute, travelling at 70km per hour and carrying a squad of troops. The factory is quiet and production of the CV90s at a