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22 Nov 18. Kenya receives Bastion vehicles. The United States Government handed over 12 Mack Bastion armoured personnel carriers to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) on 19 November, the US Embassy in Kenya announced. The vehicles were officially handed over at the Kahawa Barracks in Nairobi. The US embassy said they will be used to improve border surveillance capabilities and will provide improved protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The vehicles are part of a batch of 62 procured for several African countries under an order announced by the US Department of Defense in 2015. The Bastions were manufactured in France by ACMAT, a subsidiary of Arquus (previously Renault Truck Defense) and handed over to Mack for delivery to the US government. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Nov 18. Thales opens defence facility in Denmark. Thales has opened its first defence facility in Denmark to provide services for the Danish armed forces’ Sotas vehicle communication system. Thales delivers Sotas systems for Danish forces’ tracked and wheeled vehicles under a contract signed in 2017 with the Danish Defence and Logistic Organization (DALO). The contract also includes services for Sotas systems. Thales’ Sotas communication system is based on modular and scalable open architecture. The modular components can be assembled and scaled to provide optimal system configurations for all vehicle types and missions. Thales will work with DALO at the new Danish facility to ensure smooth integration of Sotas with other types of equipment.
Martin Søegaard, responsible for Thales’ defence activities in Denmark, said: ‘Thales’ ambition is to provide efficient and high performance solutions including services to the Danish forces. DALO’s trust in Thales’ expertise is key for the opening of this facility in Denmark, which is the beginning of a new chapter in the relationship between the Danish defence and Thales.’ (Source: Shephard)
21 Nov 18. New Patriot 4×4 armoured vehicle under development. Excalibur Army of the Czech Republic has confirmed that it is developing a new version of its T815 Patriot 4×4 Medium Armoured Tactical Multi-Mission Vehicle (MATMMV), with the first example expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019. The original T815 Patriot MATMMV prototype is now being referred to as ‘Patriot I’ and the new version as ‘Patriot II’. They were developed using internal research and development funding.
The vehicles are based on a Tatra Force 4×4 platform that features a central backbone tube and independent swinging air suspended half-axles, providing cross-country mobility and an improved ride. Patriot I has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 12,000 kg, a crew of two as well as two dismounts, and a wheelbase of 3.50 m, and is now being offered with two engine options: a Cummins ISBe diesel developing 210 kW or a Tatra T3C-928 developing 230 kW. The engines are Euro III compliant and give a maximum road speed of up to 110 km/h.
Patriot II has a GVW of 15,000 kg, a crew of two as well as six dismounts, and a wheelbase of 3.65 m, and will be offered with a choice of two diesel engines: a Cummins ISBL developing 270 kW or a Tatra T3C-928-90 developing 300kW. These are also Euro III compliant and give a maximum road speed of up to 110km/h. Both Patriot versions have a welded steel hull in a bolt-together design that the company calls the “Kitted Hull Concept”.
Excalibur Army is also developing a new remote weapon station (RWS) called Gladius 12, which is armed with a 12.7mm M2 HB machine gun (MG) with a sensor pod on the left and a box magazine on the right. The sensor pod includes a day camera, thermal camera, and a laser rangefinder. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
19 Nov 18. Romania pursues replacement MBT. Romania is seeking a replacement for its existing TR-85 M1 main battle tank (MBT), Lieutenant Colonel Valentin Torcica, chief of the Romanian Ministry of Defence’s Armoured Office, announced on the last day of the Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability conference in London on 13-15 November.
The TR-85 M1 has been service in 1997. The main requirements for the future Romanian MBT is to have a day/night all-weather hunter-killer capability, a 120mm smoothbore main gun, and modern command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence mission systems. Other requirements include three or four crew members, a secondary armament with an elevation up to 70°, high survivability, and good sustainability. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/IHS Jane’s)
19 Nov 18. Czech MoD seeks light 4×4 vehicles for airborne battalion. The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) plans to procure a fleet of 4×4 lightweight vehicles to fulfil an urgent requirement for the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR) to equip an airborne battalion planned for activation in 2020. The ACR is considering the Gepard, a new 4×4 vehicle based on the Toyota Land Cruiser Model 70 being offered in a rapid-deployment version and long-range patrol version by a Czech consortium of indigenous vehicle suppliers Dajbych, Tatra Defence Vehicles, and Optokon. The criteria for the platform include that it can accommodate six fully equipped personnel and can be fitted with modular ballistic protection. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
21 Nov 18. Iran producing Typhoon MRAP copy. Iran is producing a copy of the Typhoon 4×4 mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle made by the Streit Group, it was revealed on 20 November. The Iranian Ministry of Defence held a ceremony at the production facility for the Toufan (or Toofan) to unveil the new vehicle. Five completed Toufans were seen in the Iranian media coverage of the event and at least eight more were seen on the production line. The Fars News Agency reported that the vehicles would be delivered to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corp (IRGC) Ground Force and the police. Minister of Defence Amir Hatami said similar vehicles cost around USD500,000 on the international market but Iran is able to produce the Toufan at a much lower cost. (Source: News Now/IHS Jane’s)
19 Nov 18. Bogdan Ambulances And Transport Vehicles. The Ukrainian Bogdan Corporation has handed over 50 Bogdan 2251 ambulances and 50 Bogdan 6317 multipurpose trucks from its Cherkasy automobile plant to the troops. The Bogdan 2251 ambulance vehicles have been revised according to the findings of the last missions. Up to four severely wounded and eight slightly wounded can be transported under medical supervision. The vehicle, which is based on the Chinese Wingle-5 pickup, is powered by a 105 kW turbo diesel. The vehicle is driven via the rear axle and can be switched to four-wheel drive if required. The 6×6 Bogdan 6317 with a payload of eleven tons is powered by a 280 kW diesel engine and can travel well over 1,000 km with one tank. The truck series is to replace the Ural and Kamaz trucks from Russia in the medium term. The new vehicles took part in the NATO exercise “Rapid Trident – 2018,” which was carried out in the Ukraine with a focus on evacuating wounded people. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
19 Nov 18. Australian Army CRV project breaks ground with program landmark. Friday’s sod-turning on the new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) marks a milestone for the Australian Army and the nation’s developing defence industry.
Defence Minister Christopher Pyne said he was pleased to see the ongoing development of Australia’s defence industry sector, and the key next step in the over $5bn LAND 400 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle program.
Located in the Ipswich on the outskirts of Brisbane, the new centre is a vote of confidence in Australian industry. The Ipswich facility will be home to the production line for the Boxer 8×8 CRV, which is being delivered under Defence’s $5.2bn LAND 400 Phase 2 project.
“This is a nation-building effort involving 1,450 jobs across Australia for our newest armoured vehicles alone and reinforces the federal government’s drive to support the workforce behind the Defence Force,” Minister Pyne explained.
The MILVEHCOE in Ipswich will include:
- Manufacturing and administration buildings;
- A corporate function centre;
- A vehicle compliance testing track;
- An electromagnetic compatibility chamber;
- A fully-enclosed weapons test firing tunnel; and
- Car parking for employees and visitors, vehicle storage, refuelling and wash-down bays, water storage tanks, waste and recycling facilities.
The workforce that will deliver the Boxer vehicles will continue to be used to support sustainment, progressive development and upgrades, as well as potential export opportunities. The Boxer CRV will enable Army to locate, monitor and engage with enemy forces and ensure Australian soldiers are protected in combat. The vehicles will fill seven different roles on the battlefield: reconnaissance, command and control, joint fires, surveillance, ambulance, battlefield repair and recovery.
Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo highlighted the role of MILVEHCOE in establishing a viable advanced manufacturing sector in Queensland.
“These are the jobs of the future – working on highly advanced military vehicles with advanced complex systems,” Minister Ciobo said.
The Boxer vehicles replace the ASLAVs (Australian Light Armoured Vehicle), which are more than 20 years old, and will ensure Australian soldiers have the best possible chance of completing their missions successfully and returning home safe to their families.
“The LAND 400 Phase 2 project is being used as an exemplar in Defence to highlight the mutual benefits resulting from Defence and industry working together for a better outcome. Working together, the two entities were able to significantly raise the Australian industry content for the project,” Minister Pyne said when signing the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract. (Source: Defence Connect)
19 Nov 18. US Marines seek new UVS capability. The US Marine Corps Rapid Capabilities Office (MCRCO) is interested in lightening the load that infantry marines currently carry by equipping squads with new unmanned vehicle technologies. In a recent request for information posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the MCRCO said it is investigating unmanned vehicle system (UVS) capabilities to transport infantry marines’ individual combat load at the squad level. Marines typically carry two loads totalling between 183 pounds (83 kg) and 236 pounds – an assault pack with a weight of between 96 pounds and 149 pounds and a main (sustainment) pack that weighs approximately 87 pounds.
“The intent is to evaluate systems capable of manoeuvring with a foot-mobile squad [2 to 15 marines] from the Assembly Area to the Objective Area,” the service wrote. “In addition, systems capable of conducting intra-squad resupply will be of significant interest to the MCRCO.”
Specifically, the MCRCO is reviewing ground vehicles with a “tele-operation capability, robotic appliqué capabilities on existing systems, and fully autonomous operation”. Furthermore, the service is ideally looking for UVSs capable of operating off-road autonomously, able to carry up to 1,000 pounds while maintaining a 3.5 mph (5.6 k/h) speed, operate in a contested environment where GPS is denied, and more. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
16 Nov 18. Berlin Police take delivery of Rheinmetall Survivor R special operations vehicle. Rheinmetall has formally handed over a heavily protected Survivor R special operations vehicle to the Berlin Police Department. Dr Barbara Slowik, Chief of the Berlin Police Department, symbolically handed over the keys to the Operations Directorate, represented by Criminal Investigation Division Director Martin John. This versatile vehicle, ordered as part of a package of counterterrorism measures in late September 2017, is specially configured to meet the needs of the Operations Directorate of the Berlin Police. Berlin follows Saxony as the third German state to equip its police special operators with the Survivor R.
Made by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles, the Survivor R epitomizes Rheinmetall’s commitment to the twin modern imperatives of security and mobility. Developed in cooperation with Austrian special vehicle maker Achleitner, the Survivor R is superbly suited to police SWAT team-type operations. Vehicles of this kind are particularly important in high-risk situations when special operators need to be transported safely to the area of operations, or for evacuating persons from the danger zone.
The Survivor R is based on a high-performance 4×4 MAN truck chassis, outfitted with a steel armour passenger compartment. Capable of reaching a top speed of over 100 km/h, this high-mobility vehicle combines tried-and-tested automotive engineering from large-scale production runs with state-of-the-art force protection technology from Rheinmetall.
Systematic use of civilian off-the-shelf and standard military components results in a sensibly priced vehicle, while simultaneously benefitting from Rheinmetall MAN’s global service and maintenance network. This makes the Survivor R a cost-efficient, easy-to-maintain vehicle with low lifecycle costs and high operational readiness.
Rheinmetall – a powerful partner of the police and security services
Headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, Rheinmetall AG is a publicly traded, globally operating high-tech enterprise. The Group consists of two operational units: Rheinmetall Defence und Rheinmetall Automotive. Last year, its roughly 23,000-strong workforce generated sales of around €5.9bn. Rheinmetall is committed to making the best-possible equipment available to the men and women whose job it is to protect our society and way of life. Rheinmetall’s Public Security product portfolio covers an extensive array of relevant capability categories, including reconnaissance and surveillance, command and control, cyber security, kinetic solutions, force protection and tactical mobility.
16 Nov 18. FNSS to show Marine Assault Vehicle in 2019. The first examples of the Turkish Marine Assault Vehicle (MAV) – called the Zaha project – are to be unveiled at the IDEF Defence Exhibition to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2019, Jane’s has learnt.
FNSS Savunma Sistemleri and the Undersecretariat of Defence Industries (SSM) signed a contract in March 2017, to design, develop, and manufacture 27 MAVs for the Turkish Naval Forces Command’s new landing helicopter dock (LHD). Four vehicles will be command post (CP) and armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) configurations – two of each – and the remainder will be configured as armoured personnel carriers.
The MAV hull is a sealed, hydrodynamic design made of all-welded aluminium armour that can be bolstered with appliqué armour kits and boasts a self-righting capability. It has a combat weight of 30 tonnes and a maximum road speed of 70 km/h and 7 kt in water.
The diesel powerpack is mounted at the front right of the vehicle, driving the tracks and a pair of rear-mounted waterjets through an automatic gearbox. Each side has six dual rubber-tyred road wheels, with the drive sprocket at the front and the idler at the rear. The upper part of the torsion bar suspension is covered with a skirt to reduce water resistance while afloat.
The driver is seated front left with the commander to the immediate rear, each position having a rearward-opening hatch and day periscopes.
An FNSS-developed remote-controlled turret (RCT) – armed with a stabilised .50-calibre M2 HB machine gun and a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher – is mounted on the right-hand side of the hull behind the powerpack. The rear compartment has seating for 21 dismounts and can be accessed by roof hatches – which open towards the nearest flank, offering a modicum of protection – a powered ramp, or an emergency door. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
15 Nov 18. Russian Army to induct 30 T-72B3 tanks. The Russian Army’s 2nd Combined Arms motorised rifle brigade in Orenburg will receive 30 modernised T-72B3 tanks in the first half of 2019, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence. The upgraded tanks are equipped with new generation radio stations, gunners’ multi-channel stabilised sights with a thermal imaging channel, and new high-power ammunition. The tank’s new fire control system enables troops to conduct accurate firing in any weather conditions day and night. Digital ballistic computers decrease fire calculation time. (Source: Shephard)
15 Nov 18. Russian deploys new CBRN vehicle to Syria. Russia has deployed its newest chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) reconnaissance vehicle to Syria to operate with military police units patrolling the Idlib de-escalation zone. An RKhM-6 vehicle was seen in footage shown by the Russia 24 television network on 7 November that was filmed near the Syrian town of Muhradah, which is on the southern boundary of the de-escalation zone to the west of Hamah city.
Russian soldiers were seen using the vehicle’s thermal imaging system to monitor and displaying the vehicle’s CBRN sensors to the camera crew. The RKhM-6 appeared to be assigned to work with a platoon-sized unit of Russian Military Police personnel, who were based within a Syrian army position. The Arzamas Machinery Plant has been delivering RKhM-6 variants of the BTR-80 series armoured personnel carrier to the Russian army since 2012. It has not previously been seen in Syria and the Russian soldiers interviewed by Russia 24 said this was the system’s “first test under combat conditions”. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
14 Nov 18. USMC readies for Ultra-Light Tactical Vehicle competition. US Marine Corps (USMC) officials are interested in buying a new Ultra-Light Tactical Vehicle (ULTV) for a host of activities, including electronic warfare, and are moving ahead with plans to host a competition. In a 9 November request for information posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the USMC’s Program Executive Officer Land Systems (PEO LS) asked potential sources to step forward with prospective commercial off-the-shelf, modular, and off-road utility vehicles transportable on MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, as well as CH-53E and CH-53K King Stallion aircraft. Marines will use the ULTVs for casualty evacuation, command and control, electronic warfare, logistics support to infantry units, and to carry crew-served weapons. (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.