Sponsored by MILLBROOK
Tel: +44 (0) 1525 408408
13 Dec 18. Slovakian military police receive new vehicles. The Slovakian Ministry of Defence has handed over 21 new pick-up vehicles to the country’s military police force. The vehicles have been procured under a wider modernisation effort. Military police will use the new vehicles for incident response to support investigation teams, crime technicians, military working dog handlers and patrol teams as they conduct preventive law enforcement, inspections of offence and crime scenes, detection and collection of trace evidence and patrol.
Peter Gajdoš, Defence Minister of Slovakia, said: ‘Our soldiers and military policemen, who are very well trained for their job, need modern and reliable equipment in order to perform their tasks. And our task is to provide them with such equipment. I am very pleased to have handed over new vehicles to military policemen, to replace the old ones whose cost of repairs would have exceeded their residual value.’ (Source: Shephard)
12 Dec 18. Milrem Robotics UGVs Successfully Tested by British Troops. Four Milrem Robotics’ and QinetiQ Titan unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) were put through three weeks of rigorous tests by British troops during the Army Warfighting Experiment 2018 (AWE18) – Autonomous Warrior (Land). With four vehicles, Milrem Robotics was the most represented UGV manufacturer in the exercise.
“The main goal of the experiment, which concluded last week, was to determine how new unmanned technologies can enhance soldier’s survivability and effectiveness on the modern battlefield,” explained (Cpt, ret) Juri Pajuste, Program Director at Milrem Robotics, who took part in the exercises.
The test was conducted in three phases: conduct combat operations without the benefit of new technologies; conduct combat operations using new technologies but without changing tactics; and lastly, conduct combat operations using new technologies and adapting tactics according to the capability that the new technology provides. The UGVs were used in a number of different roles with missions conducted in urban, open and forested terrain.
“The feedback from the users was very positive and they were surprised how agile and durable Milrem’s UGV is,” Pajuste added. Of the four Milrem Robotics developed UGVs, two were deployed by Milrem Robotics and two by QinetiQ. The Milrem fielded systems included one configured as a casualty evacuation and logistical support unit and a second unit equipped with a tethered multi-rotor drone pod provided by Threod Systems.
One of the four UGVs was TITAN Strike, a prototype system carrying a Kongsberg remote weapon station, fully controlled by a remote operator and using QinetiQ’s Pointer system as a means of integrating the capability with dismounted infantry. The second system, TITAN Sentry, also enabled with Pointer, featured a Hensoldt provided sensor suite including electro optical and thermal imaging cameras and a battlefield radar.
Keith Mallon, campaign manager at QinetiQ, said: “AWE 18 is the conclusion of months of hard work, maturing TITAN Sentry and TITAN Strike. We have enjoyed working closely with Milrem Robotics and are looking forward to future collaboration, working together with the world leading THeMIS platform.”
QinetiQ also utilized one of the 2 TITAN platforms in a logistics configuration as part of its work on the UK’s Autonomous Last Mile Resupply challenge, with demonstrations taking place alongside AWE18.
12 Dec 18. Alcon announces significant order intake milestone with over 5000 brake upgrade kits having been delivered to the armoured, military and specialist vehicle sectors. Alcon Components Ltd, the highly acclaimed UK-based brake and clutch company, have announced that they will be celebrating their milestone achievement of the delivery of over 5000 brake upgrade kits to the civilian and military armoured and specialist vehicle sectors with a one-off special offer. Alcon are offering a 25% discount for any new enquiry for trial brake upgrade kits, received before 28 February 2019.
Alcon brake kits are available for a wide range of armoured and specialist SUV’s, including, but not exclusively: Ford’s F550 and F150-based Raptor and Ranger platforms; Chevrolet’s Suburban and Suburban HD; GM’s GMT K2-based platforms Tahoe and Escalade; Toyota’s LC 200, LC78-79 and Hilux; Mercedes’ Sprinter; and VW’s Amaroc and Crafter. All of the armoured variants of these base platforms have significantly increased Gross Vehicle Weight, often by over 30%. Alcon are able to offer a ready-made solution for the essential brake upgrade required to accompany armoured modifications and other specialist and performance vehicle applications, where the stock braking systems become challenged.
Alcon has over 25 years of experience in engineering brakes and clutches for specialist vehicles; from F1, World Rally and prestige performance cars to 30T-plus military armoured vehicles. This places them at the forefront of developing and delivering high performance braking solutions for sectors where only the absolute best can be accepted. Alcon’s off the shelf brake kits allow both OEM’s and vehicle modification companies to overcome the challenges posed by up-armouring vehicles for both defence, security and specialist purposes. The kits are compatible with stock OEM actuation, so are easy to fit but have been fully “ruggedised” to ensure extreme levels robustness and performance balanced with the requirement to keep weight to a minimum.
If a kit is not available off the shelf, Alcon have a bespoke design service that can deliver a similar offering for any platform of the customer’s choice including vehicles all the way up to 30+ tonne heavy armoured variants. This bespoke engineering offering, from order to production, can provide tailored, performance braking systems to the customers’ exact requirements within an exceedingly short time-frame.
Alcon’s discretion, performance and reliability have led to the company becoming the braking system provider of choice for defence, special-forces, security and specialist sector armoured SUV users worldwide. It is Alcon’s global success that has enabled the significant achievement of the delivery of over 5000 brake kits; with this trend only set to continue.
“Alcon are incredibly proud of our success in providing the best braking solutions and service to our defence and civilian armoured vehicle customer base” said Jonathan Edwards, Sales Director at Alcon. “We have worked extremely hard to develop off the shelf solutions to meet the requirements of OEMs and vehicle modification companies. The continuing strength of our world-wide sales confirms that Alcon brake kits meet the necessarily demanding requirements of the defence and security armoured vehicle sector as well as other specialist users. We are delighted to be able to announce this special offer for all new enquiries made before the end of February 2019.”
11 Dec 18. Brazil transfers M41C light tanks to Uruguayan Army. The Brazilian Army completed the transfer of 25 M41C light tanks to its Uruguayan counterpart in Rivera, Uruguay, on 7 December, according to sources from both nations’ armies. Of the 25 vehicles, 15 were completely refurbished by Brazil while the remaining 10 will be used for parts. Those that will remain intact will be assigned to armoured infantry units, which currently use M24 light tanks. While the M41Cs are also legacy vehicles, they will enhance the capabilities of the Uruguayan Infantry. Brazil modernised its M41C variant tanks several decades ago with new engines and a recalibrated gun that allowed it fire standard 90 mm ammunition instead of the original 76mm used by other armoured vehicles in the country. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 Dec 18. British Army demos new Challenger 2 urban operation tank concept. The British Army’s Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) has developed a new Challenger 2 MBT demonstrator to highlight modifications that could be made to the platform for urban operations. The RTR will be demonstrating the vehicle during the Army Warfighting Experiment held in December 2018.
Speaking to Shephard, 2nd Lt Nicholas Warren-Miller, 3 Tp Ldr RTR, said that the team has worked over the past two months to add ‘low-level, low-cost modifications that can be done very quickly’ on the tank.
One of the key areas of modification was to enhance situational awareness in urban environments which Warren-Miller said was particularly limited in the Challenger 2 during urban operations when in close-down and inside the tank. Infantry-tank cooperation is another key area of focus for the RTR, which will make the Challenger 2 ‘more effective’ in the urban environment, according to Warren-Miller.
‘We’ve essentially increased the firepower of the tank and we have created a local area network into the tank which streams camera feeds. So in theory the infantry can use an Android tablet or phone and actually view what we are seeing and what our cameras are seeing,’ Warren-Miller explained.
This has been achieved through the use of fixed cameras and panoramic 360˚ thermal imagers, barrel cameras to see left and right at junctions without exposing the platform and camera feeds streamed to dismounted soldier systems.
The RTR has worked with an industry team, led by Ultra Precision Control System (PCS), to carry out the improvements. Warren-Miller emphasised that this project has been completed completely outside of the Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme which is currently being competed between BAE Systems and Rheinmetall.
‘It comes from the Hobart committee…when everyone in the regiment gets to make recommendations for Challenger 2. And we’ve been given as a squadron the urban environment to adapt our vehicle to,’ Warren-Miller explained.
Through the Hobart committee the team has been given funding to carry out the work. Ultra PCS lead a team that includes FN Herstal UK, Mildef, Esterline, Istec and Ultra Lynx. Other modifications include external storage for breaching tools and dismounted equipment; turret mounted mortar; commanders GPMG and loaders HMG. Warren-Miller suggested that this will be an ongoing project as the RTR has more ideas for long-lasting modifications. For now though these technologies will only be demonstrated on the one experimental platform. (Source: Shephard)
11 Dec 18. Bulgaria invests in its T-72 tanks. The Bulgarian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is set to invest BGN13.6m (USD8m) in the overhaul of some of its T-72M1 main battle tanks (MBTs) while considering launching an upgrade programme for its armour inventory in 2019. A contract is expected to be signed by the end of the year covering the general overhaul of 13 T-72s for BGN10.7m, while 60 TPD-K1 day laser range finder gunner’s sights, also used on the T-72, will be refurbished for BGN2.9m. The Bulgarian state-controlled TEREM EAD holding company was selected on 28 November as the preferred contractor. Its subsidiary, TEREM-Khan Krum in Targovishte, will perform the tank and sight work. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Dec 18. Italian Army receives its first LMV 2s. The Italian Army has received its first examples of the latest-generation Iveco Defence Vehicles Light Multirole Vehicle (LMV) Lince 2 in Networked Enabled Capability (NEC) configuration, with the first batch consisting of 34 units out of an initial requirement for 400.
According to the Italian Army, the latest LMV Lince 2 NEC has a payload of 1,500kg, an 87% increase over the earlier LMV, and a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 8,100kg. It has a higher level of ballistic protection as well as protection against mines and improvised explosive devices, and all five crew are provided with blast attenuating seats. The lower part of the hull is in a V-shape, and the roof line has been increased to provide more internal volume. The new front-mounted powerpack consists of an IVECO F1C turbocharged diesel developing 220hp, coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission with hydraulic torque converter and a two-ratio permanent transfer case. This gives a maximum road speed of 90 km/h, which is electronically limited but with a battle switch can increase to 110km/h. A new suspension system provides a better ride for the crew, and standard equipment now includes automatic drive train management (ADM), electronic stability programme (ESP), new tyres, and a central tyre-inflation system.
For self-defence, the LMV Lince 2 NEC is fitted with a roof-mounted Leonardo Defence Systems HITROLE remote weapon station (RWS) that can be armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher. There is also a bank of eight electrically operated smoke grenade launchers mounted above the bullet/splinter proof front windscreen. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Dec 18. Belarus upgrades APC fleet with new BTR-70MB1 variant. The Belarusian armed forces are upgrading their fleet of armoured personnel carriers (APCs), a Belarusian military source told Jane’s.
“The military’s BTR-70 APCs are being modernised to the BTR-70MB1 level, and 32 more carriers will have been delivered to the troops by the end of 2019,” the source said. The BTR-70MB1s will replace older APCs, such as the BTR-70 and BTR-60PB, in the Belarusian army’s first-tier units.
The BTR-70MB1 is an upgraded variant of the BTR-70, and the upgrade converts it to a standard similar to the BTR-80, Jane’s has learned. “Belarusian industry produces no armour hulls, and we have to rebuild aging APCs, bringing them to a relatively modern level,” a source from 140 Repair Plant, the manufacturer of the BTR-70MB1, told Jane’s.
The BTR-70MB1 weighs about 13 tonnes and is 7.7m long, 2.9m wide, and 2.32m high. The troop compartment has protection to Level 1/Level 2 STANAG 4569, and the 14.5mm KPVT and Kalashnikov 7.62 mm PKT weapons have remained the same from the original. Compared with the baseline BTR-70, however, the BTR-70MB1 replaces the legacy two ZMZ-4905 petroleum engines with a 260-hp KAMAZ-7403 Russian-made diesel engine that also powers the BTR-80. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Dec 18. EDEX 2018: IMUT says new MRAP close to Egyptian order. The International Marathon United Technology Group (IMUT), an Egyptian company, displayed two 4×4 armoured vehicles during the EDEX show held in Cairo from 3 to 5 December.
IMUT President Michel Knight told Jane’s that the Egyptian Armed Forces has shown serious interest in the larger of the two, the ST-100 mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle, saying it has requested modifications before ordering it. He said he expects a contract to be signed very soon.
Reham Fahmi, IMUT vice-president for strategic alliances, said the MRAP has already passed extensive protection tests carried out by the Egyptian Armed Forces. The IMUT specification sheet lists the vehicle as having a curb weight of 14,500 kg and a payload of 3,500 kg. It is powered by a 450hp Cummins engine. Another specification sheet released by the Egyptian Tank Plant said the vehicle has four-wheel steering, anti-lock braking, and automatic fire suppression systems. It has STANAG Level 4 protection at the front and underneath, with Level 3 on its sides and roof. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Dec 18. Kazakhstan receives new batch of Arlan, Alan armoured vehicles. Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE) has revealed it has delivered another batch of Arlan and Alan vehicles to the Kazakh Ministry of Defence (MoD). KPE noted in a release that it had integrated a new chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) protection system into the Arlans, as well as improving ergonomics and adding a modernised heating system. Further details of the onboard CBRN protection system were not disclosed but KPE said that the ventilation filters were able to clean the vehicle’s air for “several hours”.
The company also stated that the local content in the Arlan’s production had reached 70%. Kazakh-manufactured or -designed subsystems, ranging from radios to remote-controlled weapons stations (RCWSs), have been installed on the vehicles, with companies such as Kazakhstan Aselsan Engineering (KAE) being involved in the supply chain for the vehicles. (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.