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08 May 19. Dutch Korps Mariniers receive final Anaconda light vehicles. Dutch armed forces received the final 11 of 46 Anaconda light tactical vehicles on 7 April. The first 35 were delivered to troops in the Dutch Antilles on 31 January, about six months after the contract was signed.

The formal light tactical vehicle requirement traces to January 2018, with a tender released by the Dutch Defense Materiel Organisation (DMO) on 15 May 2018. A deadline for initial responses was 11 June and five responses had been received when the tender closed on 29 June. The DMO declined to disclose the respondents, citing confidentiality.

On 11 July 2018 Dutch armed forces announced a decision to award the contract to Dutch Military Vehicles (DMV). DMV, which is a division of Dutch Iveco/Fiat main dealer DEBA Bedrijfswagens, was established in the same year to respond to the tender. The contract was signed on 2 August 2018 and included a separate 10-year maintenance award. There are no contract options.

The Anaconda is based on a 7-tonne gross vehicle weight-rated (GVWR) Iveco Daily commercial van chassis that is modified, militarised, and converted to a four-wheel drive configuration by Austria’s Achleitner.

The conventional 3.45 m wheelbase C-section ladder frame-type chassis is lengthened by 10 cm to a 3.55 m wheelbase. The standard rear drive axle and leaf spring suspension is retained, but the front axle and suspension is replaced by a 2.5-tonne rated Achleitner independent torsion bar sprung units. The front and rear axles are fitted with driver-controlled differential locks. Technically the GVWR of the Anaconda is 7.1 tonnes, but this is limited to 6.1 tonnes primarily by the single rear wheels and LT315/75 R 16 cross-country tyres.

Motive power is provided by the standard Daily’s most powerful engine option, the 3-litre F1C, which develops 180-hp (132-kW) and 430-Nm torque. To meet operational requirements, the engine is de-rated from Euro 6 to Euro 3 emissions compliance and associated components, such as the Adblue tank, are removed to save weight and free up space. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

08 May 19. NSS showcases Pars 8×8 engineering vehicle. FNSS revealed its combat engineering variant of the Pars III 8×8 armoured vehicle, which was developed specifically to meet the requirements of Oman, at the 2019 IDEF exhibition. The vehicle is undergoing qualification tests for Oman and is expected to complete all testing by mid-2019, at which point deliveries are expected to commence. The contract with Oman covers delivery of 172 Pars III vehicles in 13 configurations. Of those vehicles, 145 will be based on the 8×8, and the remaining 27 on the 6×6 variants. The contract for the combat engineering variant covers eight vehicles. It is designed to perform a number of combat engineering operations including mine clearance, obstacle clearance, obstacle creation, and constructing bases and defences. It is crewed by a driver/operator, commander, gunner, and four dismounts. The vehicle is based on the standard 8×8 Pars III. FNSS has worked in collaboration with UK-based Pearson Engineering to develop and integrate mission-specific equipment onto the vehicle, which is designed to be rapidly dismounted and swapped for other systems as the situation dictates.

The engineering functionality is provided by a Pearson Universal Connection Kit (Jettison Kit) that is fitted to the front of the vehicle. The Jettison Kit employs existing Pearson technology to enable the rapid changing of attachments, but is customised to fit the Pars III. Gökhan Tekin, Oman Pars III WAV programme manager, explained that the front attachment can be changed in five minutes by a single crew member – using the vehicle to move from attachment to attachment, and no specialist tools or crane are required. He added that this can be reduced to four minutes with two crew members. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

08 May 19. Indian Army to induct 464 upgraded T-90 Bhishma tanks. The Indian Army has decided to induct 464 Russian-origin upgraded T-90 Bhishma main battle tanks at a cost of Rs134.48bn ($2bn) during 2022-26 as part of the modernisation of the armed forces. According to a report in The Times of India, the move to induct the T-90 Bhishma main battle tanks is aimed at enhancing the army’s ‘shock and awe’ capabilities and combat prowess along the Pakistan border. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has cleared the licence acquisition from Russia more than a month ago and an ‘indent’ to produce the T-90 tanks is expected to be placed on the Avadi Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) in Tamil Nadu under the Ordinance Factory Board shortly, the report stated.

Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat announced in January that the armed forces would implement major reforms and organisational restructuring in the next few months. An Integrated Battle Group (IBG) will be rolled out as part of the overall plan to improve the combat capability of the army.

“The highly versatile modern Bhishma battle tank will be produced at the HVF under licence from Russia to meet the needs of the Indian Army.”

Modernisation of infantry and procurement of missiles, attack helicopters and other key platforms will continue to be priority areas for the Indian Army for the next year.

The decision to establish Integrated Battle Groups consisting of various arms of the force, including air, artillery and armoured corps, is said to be a major leap forward in boosting the army’s fighting capability.

The first T-90S tank Bhishma rolled out of the assembly line in the Avadi Heavy Vehicles Factory (HFV) on 7 January 2004.

The highly versatile modern Bhishma battle tank will be produced at the HVF under licence from Russia to meet the needs of the Indian Army.

Bhishma features enhanced mobility, lethal firepower, surprise-hit at first sight and self-protection.

The Bhishma battle tank also has an upgraded 1,000hp engine for improved mobility, ballistic computers for sight and accuracy and the capability to fire all types of ammunition, including guided missiles. Source: army-technology.com)

06 May 19. Turkish, Indonesian firms team up on medium-weight tank. Turkish armored-vehicles manufacturer FNSS and its Indonesian partner PT Pindad have signed a contract to co-produce scores of medium-weight, new-generation battle tanks for the Indonesian army. The deal was signed during this year’s IDEF defense and aerospace show in Istanbul Apr. 30-May 3. The companies will initially produce a batch of 18 Kaplan MT tanks within two years. The second stage of the contract involves mass production of the Kaplan MT. FNSS and PT Pindad have designed, developed and built two prototypes of the Kaplan MT under a 2015 deal. The prototypes have passed field tests in Turkey and Indonesia and were certified by the Indonesian military. The deal is part of a defense industry cooperation agreement between Turkey and Indonesia.

The first prototype of the Kaplan MT tank was exhibited during IDEF’17. The tank was showcased in Indonesia during a military parade on National Armed Forces Day in October. The Kaplan MT is equipped with a battlefield management system, a wireless crew intercom system, a navigation system and an automatic fire extinguishing system.

The tank is fitted with a CMI Cockerill 3105 turret mounting a Cockerill 105mm high-pressure gun. The lightweight gun features an advanced autoloader to deliver rapid fire.

The 105mm gun can fire NATO-standard ammunition and can engage targets at a maximum distance of 10 km. The secondary weapon system includes a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun mounted to the left side of the main gun.

The Kaplan MT is powered by a new-generation diesel engine coupled to a fully automatic electronic-controlled transmission. The fuel is supplied from two separate fuel tanks.

The tank has a maximum road speed of 70km/h and a minimum operating range of 450km. It can negotiate a gradient and side slopes of 60 percent and 30 percent, respectively. It can climb a vertical obstacle of 90 cm and can cross a trench of two meters. (Source: Defense News)

06 May 19. Pratt & Miller Engineering debuts Light Flexible Robotic Platform. Pratt & Miller Engineering (PME) has developed a family of three unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) comprising the Light, Heavy, and Extreme Flexible Robotic Platforms. The company displayed the Light Flexible Robotic Platform for the first time in public at the 2019 Xponential exhibition held in Chicago from 30 April to 2 May.

The system was originally equipped with heavy armour protection for its role as a robotic infantry target used in marksmanship training.

However, the platform’s payload capacity has increased significantly by removing the armour package, enabling it to be reroled for other unmanned robotic applications.

“We designed all of these platforms from the ground up, with the light and heavy versions being initially designed to meet a rigorous set of requirements for live-fire marksmanship training under an SBIR [Small Business Innovation Research] programme with the US Army PEO STRI [Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation],” Jim Fontaine, product director of Ground Robotics, told Jane’s. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

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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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