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26 Jul 18. Italy buys new tank — and it’s got much more going for it than its predecessor. The Italian Army has signed a €159m (U.S. $186m) contract to acquire 10 Centauro II wheeled tanks, the first tranche of a planned 136-vehicle order. Manufactured by a consortium grouping Italian firms Leonardo and Iveco, the Centauro II is faster, more powerful and better protected than the Centauro tank already in service with the Italian Army, which it will replace. The new 30-ton Centauro features a 120mm cannon, digital communications and a 720-horsepower engine, and is seen by planners as a lightweight tank able to complement the Freccia armored troop carrier on which the Army is basing its new medium brigades. The new tank’s enhanced digitalization means it will work better with the digital capabilities of the Freccia, and it provides 24 horsepower per ton compared to 19 for the old Centauro. Generals see the new Centauro as lighter and more flexible than a traditional tank, but with the same destructive power. The eight wheels of the new Centauro, which make it better suited for peacekeeping operations than a tracked vehicle, extend farther out from the hull of the vehicle than its predecessor to give it greater stability. The new design also means that any mines triggered by the pressure of the tire will detonate further from the hull. The Iveco-Oto Melara Consortium, or CIO, was established in 1985 on a 50-50 basis between Iveco and Oto Melara, which is now part of Leonardo. Leonardo said it was responsible for the vehicles’ turret, including observation, targeting and communications systems, and was responsible for a €92m share of the €159m contract. (Source: Defense News)
24 Jul 18. Rheinmetall to supply more than 1000 logistic trucks to the Australian Defence Force. Rheinmetall today welcomed the Commonwealth of Australia’s announcement for the future delivery of new military trucks and modules to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) under the LAND 121 Phase 5B program. Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia (RMMVA) will deliver more than 1000 high mobility logistics trucks and more than 800 modules to the ADF under the new program, which is an extension of the current LAND 121 Phase 3B Project. Deliveries will start in 2019 and will run to 2024. Michael Wittlinger, the Head of the Rheinmetall’s Logistics Vehicles business unit and a member of the Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Board, said the company was committed to establishing a high quality logistics backbone for the ADF.
“We are proud to continue our successful cooperation with the ADF. We will work with our network of Australian partners and suppliers to ensure the Australian Army can deploy these high mobility trucks, modules and trailers to military operations across Australia,” Mr Wittlinger said.
Under the LAND 121 Phase 3B program, RMMVA is currently delivering protected and unprotected military logistic trucks and modules from its Brisbane-based integration facility. The vehicles are tested and verified at the Australian Automotive Research Centre’s 1000 hectare site near Anglesea, 125km south-west of Melbourne. Marco Van Lieshout, the Chief Operations Officer of Rheinmetall’s Australian business, said the vehicles, trailers and modules delivered to the Commonwealth would see continued close collaboration and expertise supplied by all partners to the LAND 121 Phase 5B program.
“Australian content is a critical part of the Project LAND 121 Phase 5B program, and will see the involvement of SMEs from across Queensland, NSW, South Australia and Victoria,” Mr Van Lieshout said.
Rheinmetall Defence is one of the world’s leading suppliers of defence technology, including wheeled and tracked military vehicles, weapons, ammunition, simulation solutions, command and control technology, force protection systems and sensor technologies. RMMVA has more than 150 employees in four locations in Australia delivering defence services to the ADF including project management, systems engineering and integration, through life support, repair and maintenance as well as spares management.
25 Jul 18. Rheinmetall to supply more than 1,000 logistics trucks to ADF. Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia (RMMVA) has been awarded a contract to deliver more than 1,000 high-mobility logistics trucks and more than 800 modules to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) under the Land 121 Phase 5B programme, which is an extension of the current Land 121 Phase 3B project, Rheinmetall Group announced in a 25 July statement. Deliveries will start in 2019 and will run to 2024, the company said, adding that it is committed to establishing a “high-quality logistics backbone for the ADF”.
In a separate statement Australian Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said the country is purchasing 1,044 additional new-generation medium and heavy trucks, 872 modules, and 812 trailers for AUD1.4bn (USD1.04bn) to facilitate logistics support and enhance the ADF’s land capabilities. The country is purchasing 1,044 additional new-generation medium and heavy trucks, 872 modules, and 812 trailers for AUD1.4bn (USD1.04bn) to facilitate logistics support and enhance the ADF’s land capabilities.
“These modern trucks will be used for a broad range of military contingencies, from resupplying combat operations to supporting the ADF’s assistance to Australian and regional communities after natural disasters such as floods, fires, and cyclones,” said Pyne, adding “We’ve already got more than 1,000 of these trucks in service and they have proved their value, exceeding user expectations in disaster relief, training, and on exercises.”
Pyne also pointed out that this project marks the final government approval for the Land 121 programme designed to replace the ADF’s legacy fleet of ageing vehicles and trailers, many of which are more than 30 years old and becoming increasingly costly and difficult to maintain. Pyne said that while the trucks are to be manufactured on an existing production line in Austria, Australian industry would play a major role in the project, with RMMVA partnering with a range of Australia-based companies such as Varley in Newcastle, Holmwood Highgate in Brisbane, and ECLIPS in the Australian Capital Territory to supply the modules and trailers. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Jul 18. KMW expands Dingo protected vehicle family. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) has updated its Dingo family of protected vehicles with the 6×6 Dingo 2 Heavy Duty (HD) platform. The original Dingo is a 4×4 vehicle based on the Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG chassis. More than 1,000 vehicles have been manufactured for the home and export markets with customers in seven countries. In contrast, the Dingo 2 HD is based on the UNIMOG FGA20 chassis and features increased payload with a maximum gross vehicle weight of up to 20,000kg. A raised roof line to the rear of the commander’s and driver’s position increases its volume for mission flexibility, while a central tyre inflation system is fitted as standard to improve cross-country mobility. The first example of the Dingo 2 HD has been shown configured as a troop carrier/ambulance platform, which features a rear-mounted power-operated ramp that enables the dismounts to rapidly enter or leave the vehicle as well as load and unload stretchers. The protected engine compartment houses a 240kW diesel engine coupled to a fully automatic transmission. The vehicle can carry a maximum of 10 dismounts in the rear – seated on inward-facing blast attenuating seats – when configured as an armoured personnel carrier (APC). Communications and weapons fit is normally specified by the customer, but a typical weapons fit comprises a roof-mounted remote weapon station (RWS) armed with a 5.56mm, 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun (MG), or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher (AGL). The baseline steel hull is fitted with an appliqué armour package. Qatar is the launch customer for the Dingo 2 HD, having taken delivery of 14 vehicles in three versions, ambulance, command post, and radar reconnaissance vehicle. These vehicles have also been optimised for use in high-ambient temperatures. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Jul 18. Lithuanian Boxers enter trials. The Lithuanian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on its website on 18 July that the country’s first two Boxer infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) prototypes have entered trials in Germany under the leadership of the Artec industrial consortium between Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW). The MoD stated that the main goal of the trials is to identify any weaknesses or defects in the vehicles, which it considers integral to Lithuania’s military modernisation. The trials will test the electronic and mechanical elements of the Boxer to the maximum possible levels to assist in the identification of any deficiencies and allow for adjustments before full-scale production begins. Members of the Lithuanian armed forces will take part in the trials, providing them with the opportunity to gain experience in the operation of the vehicles. Prior to this, the Lithuanian forces only had access to driver training variants.
The project manager, Lithuanian Army Major Nerijus Šivickas, said, “Compared to last year’s driver training vehicles, these combat vehicle prototypes are much more complex, [and] they have more and different equipment.” Once the trials are completed, the vehicles will be returned to factory conditions and delivered to the Lithuanian Army in early 2019, provided no adjustments are required. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
24 Jul 18. LMUK takes charge against Warrior WCSP Programme. Included in Lockheed Martin’s 2018 results was a comment regarding a charge against the Warrior WCSP Programme which was rumoured at Eurosatory. MFC’s operating profit in the second quarter of 2018 increased $26m, or 10 percent, compared to the same period in 2017. Operating profit increased approximately $35m for sensors and global sustainment programs due to increased risk retirements and higher volume (primarily LANTIRN® and SNIPER®); and about $35m for air and missile defense programs due to increased risk retirements and higher volume (primarily THAAD and PAC-3). These increases were partially offset by a decrease of $50m for tactical missile programs primarily due to a charge recorded in the second quarter of 2018 of approximately $65m for performance matters on the Warrior Capability Sustainment Program, which relates to designing, developing and installing an upgraded turret. Adjustments not related to volume, including net profit booking rate adjustments, were comparable in the second quarter of 2018 to the same period in 2017. A Lockheed Martin spokesperson said: “Lockheed Martin have completed all vehicle builds as part of the development phase (including the key customer milestone recognizing delivery of the first eight turreted vehicles to the Army at the end of 2017). Test activities are now underway and we continue to work with the MoD to deliver this important capability. As a result of some design challenges and previously incurred losses, we recently revised our estimated costs to complete for the program which has been reflected in the released financial statements.” (See: FEATURES – ‘US Majors Report Results In Line With Expectations’)
20 Jul 18. Netherlands to receive final Boxer APC. The 200th and final Boxer armoured vehicle has rolled off the production line at RMMV-Nederland for delivery to the Netherlands armed forces. The 8×8 Boxer, produced by ARTEC, a joint venture between KMW, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles and Rheinmetall Military Vehicles Nederland, was originally developed to meet the requirements of the German and Dutch armies for a highly protected APC. The Dutch forces ordered 200 vehicles in five configurations. This final delivery, a cargo variant, comes five years after the first delivery to the Netherlands in August 2013. (Source: Shephard)
20 Jul 18. KADDB unveils weaponised UGV. Jordan’s King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) has developed a weaponised unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) under a private venture. A complete system comprises the UGV, handheld control unit and a lightweight communications backpack. According to company specifications, the 250kg UGV is 1m long, 0.78m wide, and 0.34m tall without a weapon. It has been shown armed with a FN 7.62mm M240 machine gun (MG) with an effective range of 800m, which is provided with 200 rounds of ready use ammunition. Other weapons such as a FN Minimi 5.56mm MG can also be installed. The weapon mount has electric traverse through 180° in the azimuth and electric elevation from -20 to +45°. The sensor pod is mounted above and to the rear of the weapon and currently includes a day camera with a x30 zoom. Four daylight cameras are also mounted on the chassis. It can be operated by remote control up to 3 km away. However, it can also be controlled via a fibre-optic communications link with a stated maximum range of up to 400m. The UGV is battery powered with an endurance of up to 1.5 hours in continuous operation, with a quoted maximum speed of 10km/h in forward and reverse. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
20 Jul 18. Portugal to send armoured vehicles to CAR. Portugal will deploy six Pandur II 8×8 armoured vehicles and an additional 45 troops to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) to provide additional mobility and protection for its contingent. Plans are being made to deploy the vehicles with the fourth rotation of troops, but a schedule has yet to be fixed, the Portuguese Army told Jane’s. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
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.