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24 Jan 19. Nexter tests 140mm gun on Leclerc MBT. Nexter has fit a 140mm gun on a Leclerc main battle tank (MBT) to gather data for the Franco-German Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) programme to replace it and the Leopard 2, Jane’s learned at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2019 conference held in London on 21-24 January. This is understood to be the first time that a 140mm gun has been successfully integrated onto a 50-tonne MBT and conducted over 200 firings. It is expected to provide a 70% increase in firepower over a NATO standard 120mm gun. Nexter has resurrected past efforts to develop a 140mm main weapon to establish which firepower solutions are best suited to meet the MGCS requirement. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Jan 19. Rheinmetall unveils proposal for Challenger 2 LEP. At the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2019 conference held in London on 21–24 January, Rheinmetall unveiled details of its proposal for the Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme (LEP). The company’s solution has been to develop a completely new turret for the Challenger 2, which has a fully digital electronic architecture, new day and night sights for the commander and gunner, and a Rheinmetall L55 smoothbore 120 mm gun. The L55 gun is capable of firing Rheinmetall’s 120 mm ammunition family, and the typical loadout would include the DM63 armour piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) for armoured targets, and a DM11 programmable high-explosive round with impact, delay, and air-burst settings. The commander is provided with a panoramic sight.
Although the Rheinmetall proposal does not feature an active protection system (APS), a company representative told Jane’s the new turret is capable of mounting such a system according to user requirements. He added that the turret also contains under-armour links, as well as having increased power and weight capacity, which would enable a customer to fit the vehicle with an electronic warfare system. It is likely that when mounted on the Challenger 2, such a system would be intended to disrupt the remote detonation signals of improvised explosive devices. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Jan 19. ProTEK® – the brand grows. TEK Military Seating is showing several new innovations at IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi, from 17th- 21st February – continuing its investment and growth of the ProTEK® brand of military vehicle seating. ProTEK® is fast becoming the brand of choice across the globe because of its innovative design, improved functionality and the protection levels offered. Military seating has come of age, seldom do vehicle builders, integrators and users view seating as a low-cost necessity anymore. Modern military vehicles fully utilise GVA, with seating being an important element within each platform – the importance of seat ergonomics, safety and protection are all vital considerations when designing and formulating the modern MRAP vehicle. To that end ProTEK® offers a bespoke answer, based on well-engineered modular seating solutions which can be tailored to meet most requirements.
Protection from the effects of IEDs and land mines remain an area where seating can offer life-saving protection levels. Blast attenuating seating has been formulated to reduce ‘G’ forces to survivable levels – as our understanding and experience has grown, modern seating is tailored to complement vehicle velocity rates which has resulted in even greater protection for our troops. The use of innovation technology such as ProTEK® SV has revolutionised blast protected seating – so much so that today fully certified Stanag 4569 AEP55 Vol 2 protection levels can be achieved without the need to have stroking seats within some vehicles.
Typical MRAP vehicle fitted with ProTEK® DC Commander and Driver and crew seats
ProTEK® DC Driver and Commander blast seat
Blast matting system
New for the show will be our blast matting system. ProTEK® and SKYDEX Technologies, Inc. have developed a new vehicle floor matting system designed to offer superior blast protection. The unique and specially engineered geometry has been designed to absorb and dissipate energy during a blast event and reduce trauma to lower limbs. The maintenance-free matting is supplied in vehicle kits, waterjet cut, ready to fit into vehicles and features a non-slip surface and FMVSS302 flame protection.
Shock reduction engineered geometry of the ProTEK® SKYDEX Protected Matting
The modular Troops Roll-over Protection System (ROPS) evolved from our successful welded ROPS system which has greatly improved troop safety during transportation on flatbed vehicles. The modular system consists of two seat modules which can be bolted together to meet the configuration requirements of the user – 2, 4, 6, 8 seat solutions or more can be created and removed as required. This improved modularity enables users to convert any flatbed vehicle into a troop-carrying role with ease, greatly improving logistics and stowage.
The ProTEK® range offers a wide variety of modules which can be added to the seat without any loss of safety, greatly increasing flexibility and the requirements of the platform. These modules can be fitted and removed as the operational conditions demand – even our blast attenuation units are modular so they can be fitted as needed and seats can be upgraded to full blast protection when the demand requires.
ProTEK® HMT 6 seat units on transit pallets and protective covers, fitted with ProTEK® Light Crew seats
The benefit to the user is that vehicle seating is more tailored to the requirements and not just a ‘one fit for all’ solution. The ProTEK® range offers unrivalled modularity, flexibility and cost effectiveness for most types of military vehicles – unlike many of our competitors, vehicle seating is our core product where investment in innovation is a constant.
ProTEK® range is on stand 05-C21 – just look for the ProTEK® brand.
23 Jan 19. Rheinmetall shows details of new PV Challenger 2 turret at IAV. Rheinmetall showed photographs of its private venture Challenger 2 turret at the IAV Conference at Twickenham, London, UK this week. The turret is a four man turret featuring advanced systems, optics and sensors, together with a smooth bore L-55 A1 gun. There is no autoloader and the bustle can accommodate the one piece 120mm shells.
22 Jan 19. Leonardo develops M60A3 MBT upgrade. smoothbore gun. Leonardo has developed and tested a major upgrade package for the US General Dynamics Land Systems M60A3 main battle tank (MBT). This M60A3 upgrade was developed and tested using internal funding for the export market, according to Massimo Gualco, director of marketing and sales at Leonardo Defence Systems. The Leonardo upgrade covers the M60A3’s armour, mobility, and firepower, and is being marketed as a cost-effective upgrade package. The M60A3 MBT has a hull and turret of cast and welded armour and over the turret frontal arc new passive armour has been fitted that is understood to provide protection up to STANAG 4569 Level 6.
A similar level of ballistic protection has been provided over the frontal arc of the hull and up to the third road wheel station on either side. Bar/slat armour is fitted over the turret’s rear to provide protection against anti-tank weapons fitted with a single high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead. The crew and power pack compartments are given an automatic fire and explosion sensing and suppression system. The existing fire-control system (FCS) has been replaced by the Leonardo TURMS (Tank Universal Modular System) digital FCS, which has been installed in several other armoured fighting vehicles.
The new FCS includes a video tracker and a stabilised sight for the gunner that features Erica third-generation thermal cameras and an eye-safe laser rangefinder. If required, the tank commander can also aim and fire the main armament. The original M60A3 has electro-hydraulic gun control equipment (GCE) that could be replaced by an all-electric GCE but to maintain a lower price the existing GCE was kept for the upgraded M60A3. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Jan 19. USMC issues Next Generation Armoured Recce Vehicle Requirement launched in February. A brief was given at the IAV Conference at Twickenham, UK, outlining the upcoming Requirement for the USMC Next Generation Armoured Recce Vehicle to replace the current LAV vehicle. Two demonstration platforms will be required and an Office of Naval Research Trade Study is underway which will start in March 2019 and take 8-9 months. Various calibres of weapons are being looked at from 30mm upwards. The USMC is looking to replace the existing 650 vehicle fleet with 500 vehicles.
22 Jan 19. Latvia halts $206m armored vehicle contract amid controversy. Latvia’s public procurement watchdog IUB has stopped the defense ministry from signing a contract worth about €181m ($206m) to buy four-wheel-drive armored vehicles from Finland’s Sisu Auto after two bidders, AM General from the United States and SouthAfrica’s Paramount Group, filed complaints on the tender. Auditors have given the the ministry three months to overhaul the procedure of evaluating all vendors’ offers. The development follows another round of controversy surrounding the procurement, as state-run broadcaster LSM reported that an adviser to Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis had lobbied for Paramount Group. The aide denied the allegations, saying he was not a member of the tender committee and he had not lobbied for the company since the procedure was launched.
Bergmanis said he trusted the source-selection committee and had “no doubt about the persons that implemented the tender”.
The defence ministry ranked Sisu Auto’s offer as first, followed by the bids submitted by AM General, Turkey’s Otokar, and Paramount Group, respectively. Sisu Auto offered its GTP 4×4 vehicle, AM General said it would supply the High Mobility Multi-PurposeWheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), Otokar offered the Cobra, while Paramount Group had offered its Marauder. (Source: Defense News)
22 Jan 19. More than 40 years after revolutionizing the boating industry, Johnny Morris is aligning with Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, to do the same thing again in the ATV and side-by-side industry. TRACKER today announced a memorandum of understanding to form a game-changing new partnership with Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc., to introduce TRACKER OFF ROAD. This bold new line of high-performance all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and side-by-sides will offer breakthrough performance, service and value.
Union of two legendary American Brands is a game changer for the ATV category
The powerhouse partnership will bring together TRACKER, part of Bass Pro’s White River Marine Group and the undisputed world leader in boating – with Textron – a global leader in innovation and technology.
“We’re extremely excited to extend the TRACKER legacy of delivering unmatched breakthrough value and quality for a whole new category of outdoor recreation and fun with TRACKER OFF ROAD,” said Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and leader of The Great Outdoors Group that includes iconic outdoor brands like TRACKER, Ranger, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. “These vehicles are designed and manufactured to deliver the industry-leading quality our customers have come to expect from the TRACKER brand. Our incredible partners at Textron are forging TRACKER OFF ROAD vehicles with the same levels of deep expertise that goes into building state-of-the-art business jets, marine assault vehicles and military helicopters.”
New vehicles will be on display for millions of potential buyers across international network
TRACKER Off Road vehicles will be sold through the world’s leading independent boat dealer network of select Ranger, Triton, and Tracker, and other independent dealers, as well as at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s locations, which host more than 200 million outdoor lovers annually. Proudly manufactured in the United States, TRACKER OFF ROAD vehicles are now in production and expected to make their debut this spring.
American legends of innovation and technology ensure a bright future for riders everywhere
The new models will be designed in partnership with Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc., known worldwide for its brands and products that serve numerous industries. TSV product lines include Arctic Cat snowmobiles, side-by-sides and ATVs; Cushman utility vehicles, E-Z-GO golf cars, Jacobsen professional turf care equipment, and Textron GSE ground support equipment. TSV will manufacture TRACKER OFF ROAD vehicles at its facility in Thief River Falls, Minn.
“We are thrilled to partner with Johnny Morris and TRACKER to launch this amazing new line of products,” said Scott Ernest, president and CEO of Textron Specialized Vehicles. “The TRACKER brand is renowned and respected by lovers of the outdoors all over the world, and we are proud to design and manufacture this new line of side-by-sides and ATVs that will extend its reach and reputation into the off-road industry. These rugged, reliable and versatile vehicles are worthy of the TRACKER brand and wear it with pride.”
America’s biggest celebrities and conservationists kick off blockbuster brand launch
TRACKER OFF ROAD will be marketed to Bass Pro’s large database of outdoor sportsmen. To kick off the campaign, the two American icons introduced the new off-road line with high-profile celebrities and sportsmen including NFL Super Bowl Champion Peyton Manning, country music star Luke Bryan, Professional Bull Riding legend “Cool Hand” Luke Snyder and fishing legend Jimmy Houston. They joined Johnny to help unveil the new vehicles for more than 2,000 team members, dealers, and special guests at Bass Pro Shops headquarters in Springfield, Missouri. The event was broadcast live Jan. 17 to all Bass Pro and Cabela’s stores and more than 600 independent dealers worldwide.
As part of the launch event, NASCAR champion Martin Truex, Jr. made a special appearance to unveil the new No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota Camry paint scheme for the 2019 season as part of Joe Gibbs Racing. TRACKER Boats and ATVs will be prominently displayed on the car throughout the 2019 season as part of an ongoing partnership between Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, TRACKER and the avid outdoorsman.
TRACKER OFF ROAD to support leading conservation groups to continue winning tradition.
In keeping with Johnny Morris’ lifetime commitment to conservation, TRACKER OFF-ROAD will also help support several of the nation’s leading not-for-profit conservation organizations as the Official Off-Road Vehicle of both the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Quality Deer Management Association. Becky Humphries, CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation, was on-hand for the announcement and to discuss its role in advancing conservation.
TRACKER’s legendary revolution rolls on…
The TRACKER Off Road announcement is considered to be among the most significant since the company’s historic launch more than 40 years ago. In 1978, avid young angler and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris revolutionized the marine industry when he introduced the world’s first professionally rigged and nationally marketed boat, motor and trailer packages. The innovative approach suddenly made the joy of fishing and boating more affordably available to millions of families. TRACKER Boats quickly became and has remained the number one selling fishing boat brand in America.
Today, the company’s marine manufacturing division – now known as White River Marine Group – is the largest manufacturer of boats in the world by volume, manufacturing quality boats offering performance, innovation and value with world-class service with an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading brands.
The legend lives on as TRACKER OFF ROAD customers will be able to rely on the brand’s renowned customer friendly shopping process, extensive network of authorized service centers for all their vehicular needs, from the purchase and installation of TRACKER OFF ROAD accessories to maintenance, service and support for their vehicles. More information will be available in the coming weeks and months.
21 Jan 19. Latvian regulators put brakes on 4×4 contract. The Latvian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been ordered to halt the EUR200m (USD228m) procurement of the Finnish-built Sisu Auto GTP for its long-running 4×4 tactical vehicle requirement following formal protests by two contractors in December 2018. Latvia’s Procurement Monitoring Bureau, which oversees government procurement for the Ministry of Finance, issued a detailed 31-page report on 16 January that effectively prohibited the MoD from concluding an agreement with Sisu Auto, citing “irregularities” in the tender process. According to the bureau’s decision, the MoD’s procurement committee now has three months “to eliminate the irregularities” identified in its reassessment of the negotiated procedure. (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.