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07 Aug 19. Uzbekistan receives first Ejder Yalçin protected mobility vehicles. An Ejder Yalcin armoured vehicle at the IDEF 2019 defence exhibition. This vehicle is of a configuration similar to those received by Uzbekistan on 2 August. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

Uzbekistan has received 24 Ejder Yalçin 4 × 4 protected mobility combat vehicles from Turkish company Nurol Makina, Engin Aykol, the company’s general manager, confirmed to Jane’s on 6 August. Turkey’s Sabah newspaper reported on 2 August that the vehicles had been handed over to Uzbekistan’s armed forces that same day. Following a series of extensive tests, the Central Asian country had selected a variant of the vehicle type featuring an open turret mounting a 7.62 mm machine gun. The recently delivered vehicles are part of a contract signed between Uzbekistan and Nurol Makina in 2017 that covered the supply of Turkish-made Ejder Yalçins. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

07 Aug 19. Czech MoD launches RFP for tracked IFV procurement. The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on its website on 6 August that it had made a request for proposals (RFP) to four companies for the procurement of 210 tracked infantry fighting vehicles to replace its BMP-2s. The four potential bidders are BAE Systems Hägglunds with the CV90, General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) with the ASCOD, Rheinmetall with the Lynx, and Rheinmetall-Krauss-Maffei Wegmann 50:50 joint venture Projekt System Management (PSM) with the Puma. The Czech MoD said it expected the potential suppliers to show how the vehicles they are offering meet its requirements and delivery schedule; provide the price of the vehicles, training, life-cycle, and spare parts; and propose how to involve Czech industry. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

08 Aug 19. SAIC, Polaris to Team on Army Infantry Squad Vehicle. Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) and Polaris Government and Defense, a division of Polaris Inc., (NYSE: PII) announced today they are teaming up for the U.S. Army’s Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) vehicle program. SAIC, a leading technology integrator, joined with Polaris, the industry leader in ultralight mobility platforms, to offer the proven DAGOR® vehicle. DAGOR provides the warfighter superior operational capability, crew area, mobility and maneuverability in a tactical environment.

“SAIC has a long history of performing vehicle engineering and platform integration work, and the Army has a need for small-unit mobility and maneuverability that can be easily met with the proven DAGOR vehicle that has been deployed around the world,” said Jim Scanlon, executive vice president and general manager of SAIC’s Defense Systems Group. “Working with Polaris, SAIC will provide comprehensive systems engineering and integration using state-of-the-art tools and processes that leverage domain understanding gained through extensive field support and advanced experimentation in support of the Army to give the ISV a technological edge on the battlefields of tomorrow.”

“The DAGOR was designed to meet a squad’s payload and off-road mobility demands, while meeting weight and size restrictions that maximize air transportability,” said Jed Leonard, vice president, Polaris Government and Defense. “The lightweight and highly mobile platform supports the Army’s expeditionary missions providing a key capability needed on the ever-changing battlefield.”

The SAIC-Polaris team has delivered a baseline vehicle sample to soldiers in the 82nd Airborne Division for soldier assessment. The DAGOR vehicle can carry up to nine soldiers with their equipment and supplies. It provides the speed, mobility and communications support Army small units require to obtain and maintain situational awareness of the battlefield.

SAIC’s expertise in C4ISR integration onto ground vehicles could provide additional capabilities such as cybersecurity, enhanced surveillance, secure communications, and non-kinetic fires. The DAGOR ISV will leverage and further enhance the already proven, production-ready solution that has been tested, certified, and fielded to operational units in the U.S. Military and its Allies since 2015. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)

08 Aug 19. Seven companies selected to support major Army projects. Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price has announced seven small businesses that will support the delivery of LAND 400 Phase 2 and LAND 121 Phase 5B, two of the Australian Army’s major recapitalisation projects. Visiting the new headquarters of Supashock Australia in Adelaide, Minister Price said the seven companies will share in nearly $20m of work under the LAND 400 Phase 2 and LAND 121 Phase 5B.

LAND 400 Phase 2 will provide Army with 211 Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles – which Rheinmetall will assemble at its facility in south-east Queensland – while LAND 121 Phase 5B will provide heavy and medium logistics vehicles and modules.

Minister Price said, “I congratulate them on the opening of their new facility, and thank Premier [Steven] Marshall for his government’s support of this project. This is an excellent example of how the big defence companies are working with local businesses on these large projects.”

The seven contracts are the initial contracts as part of around $1.9bn of work to be undertaken by Australian industry. Each company will be part of a growing cohort of local small businesses already delivering parts and services to Rheinmetall as the company builds its network of suppliers across Australia and establishes a local capability to underpin a national military vehicle industry.

The companies include:

  • Melbourne-based Cablex: vehicle systems and C4I cabling for the first 25 Boxer vehicles;
  • Sydney-based Eylex: crew communications equipment including headsets for the first 25 Boxer vehicles;
  • Melbourne-based Tectonica Australia: driver’s aids for night time situational awareness for the first 25 Boxer vehicles;
  • Brisbane-based ABI Coating Specialists: paint and finish for the first 25 Boxer vehicles;
  • Ballarat-based Bartlett: tarpaulins for selected Rheinmetall MAN high mobility logistics vehicles;
  • Adelaide-based Supashock: spare wheel carriage system for Rheinmetall MAN Heavy Transport vehicles; and
  • Newcastle-based Varley: various modules for the Rheinmetall MAN high mobility logistics vehicles.

Minister Price welcomed the opening of Supashock’s new facilities today, which marked the expansion of the company into Australia’s defence industry and the creation of 60 new jobs.

“Supashock is a shining example of how our investment in Australia’s defence industry is creating new opportunities and more jobs for small businesses across Australia,” Minister Price said.

The $5.2bn LAND 400 Phase 2 program will have Rheinmetall deliver 211 8×8 Boxer CRVs to the Australian Army.

Under the company’s offering to the Commonwealth, Rheinmetall will build a majority of the vehicles at the company’s specialised Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Queensland.

The first 25 vehicles will be built in Germany as part of the technology transfer process, with the remaining vehicles to be built in Australia. The Boxer CRV will support Australian industry, sourcing specialised armoured steel from Australian steel companies BlueScope Steel and Bisalloy, with engineering support provided by Melbourne-based Supacat Asia-Pacific. (Source: Defence Connect)

07 Aug 19. Rolls-Royce rebrands its power systems business. Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems business unit is restricting its brands around its core brand, MTU. Under the changes, the current MTU companies will now include Rolls-Royce in their names, and MTU will remain the brand name for products and solutions.

Four operating companies that manufacture products and solutions will be renamed: MTU Friedrichshafen will become Rolls-Royce Solutions in Autumn 2019; MTU America will become Rolls-Royce Solutions America; MTU Onsite Energy in Augsburg will become Rolls-Royce Solutions Augsburg; and MTU Onsite Energy Systems in Ruhstorf will be renamed Rolls-Royce Solutions Ruhstorf.

The remaining subsidiaries will successively be given new designations. The products of Bergen Engines will also be part of the new brand architecture.

Andreas Schell, CEO Rolls-Royce Power Systems, said: ‘The new brand architecture will provide clarity and improve the recognition of our company and its products. Our new profile is a clear commitment to Rolls-Royce, as its second largest business unit. By the same token, Rolls-Royce is committed to our MTU brand, which is something we are proud of.’ (Source: Shephard)

07 Aug 19. Palomar to deliver display systems for M1A Abrams tank. Palomar Display Products has received three contracts to deliver military display systems for the M1A Abrams tank and Bradley M2/M3 Fighting Vehicle. The total cost of the firm fixed-price contracts from three undisclosed customers is valued at around $10.2m. Palomar Display stated that it has designed and tested the optically coupled display systems intended for installation on vehicles delivered to the US Army.

The company will make deliveries for the contracts throughout 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Palomar Display Products president Paul Bell said: “These latest orders fulfil our 2019 and 2020 backlogs and contribute to our 2021 backlog.

“The recurring selection of Palomar Display Products as a sole supplier of such vital equipment to the most advanced fighting vehicles in the world reinforces Palomar’s position as the sole source supplier of thermal sight displays for the US and international armoured vehicle market.”

In 2017, the company secured two separate contracts to provide display systems for the US military’s M1A battle tank.

General Dynamics Land Systems builds the M1 Abrams heavily armoured battle tank for the US Army and US Marine Corps.

The battle tank is also used by land forces in Kuwait, Egypt, Australia, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. The M1 Abrams entered service with the US Army in 1980.

It is equipped with a 1,500-horsepower turbine engine, 120mm main gun, and special armour.

The army’s Abrams fleet consists of the M1A1 SA and the M1A2 SEP version 2 variants. Earlier this year, the service released the first images of the latest M1A2C Abrams main battle tank. Palomar Display also won an add-on modification contract to deliver gunner display systems for the tank. (Source: army-technology.com)

07 Aug 19. Rheinmetall strengthens Australian industry ties. Rheinmetall Defence Australia (RDA) has entered into agreements with a host of small local businesses in support of its programmes to supply military vehicles to the Australian Army. The partnerships were announced by the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) on 7 August. According to a DoD statement, seven small companies have been selected to partner RDA on its contracted projects to build and supply Rheinmetall Boxer 8×8 combat reconnaissance vehicles under Land 400 Phase 2 and logistics trucks under Land 121 Phase 5B. The seven new subcontracting agreements are worth a total of about AUD20m (USD13.4m), according to the DoD, and represent a small portion of the work to be allocated to local industry under the Land 400 Phase 2 and Land 121 Phase 5B procurement projects. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

 

07 Aug 19. MILVEHCOE construction supports job opportunities for Queensland. Jobs and manufacturing in Queensland’s new industries are at the fore as construction of Rheinmetall’s $170m Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) at Redbank ramps up, with more than 240 tradies, apprentices and trainees on site.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and State Development Minister Cameron Dick have hosted Rheinmetall Group chief executive, Armin Papperger, on a site tour of the company’s new manufacturing facility, which is set to be at the forefront of a high-tech Queensland jobs boom when it becomes operational from mid-next year.

Located in 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.

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.

Premier Palaszczuk said, “When I met with Mr Papperger in April in Berlin, as part of my trade mission to the United Arab Emirates, Germany and the United Kingdom, I invited him to Australia to inspect the impressive construction work here at the MILVEHCOE.”

The Premier said the construction site now has 240 trade workers on-site and has awarded trade packages to 60 south-east Queensland businesses worth more than $100m.

“Rheinmetall has also been steadily recruiting their permanent workforce since its selection as the successful tenderer with over 60 new employees now based in Brisbane, expanding to 200 permanent Brisbane staff by the end of the year,” Premier Palaszczuk added.

Minister Dick said the Palaszczuk government also strongly supported Rheinmetall’s bid for the $10-$15bn LAND 400 Phase 3 project that will deliver up to 400 infantry fighting vehicles for the Australian Army.

“Attracting a global defence giant like Rheinmetall to Queensland, and the defence projects they secure, are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to drive the expansion of the state’s manufacturing and defence industries and their capabilities, and create the high skilled jobs of the future that our state needs,” he added.

“While the tender evaluations are firmly centred around vehicle capability of which Rheinmetall’s Lynx KF41 is a strong contender, the MILVEHCOE will also be a compelling consideration.”

Papperger said the Queensland MILVEHCOE will be Rheinmetall’s largest presence outside of Germany.

“The MILVEHCOE will be unique within Rheinmetall, as the one site will house some of the best technologies from across our entire defence business – electronics, electro-optics, armour, turrets, vehicles and simulators in addition to an impressive range of development and test facilities,” he said.

These comments were echoed by managing director of Rheinmetall Defence Australia Gary Stewart, who said he expected the MILVEHCOE and its impact across the local supply chain would create more than 450 jobs for Queenslanders.

“Rheinmetall will be growing here in Queensland for decades to come and we are building up an advanced manufacturing workforce that will include a range of highly skilled and qualified workers across a range of specialist disciplines. Jobs will include welders, systems and integration engineers, electro-optics technicians, software coders and developers and other specialisations,” Stewart said. (Source: Defence Connect)

06 Aug 19. Mack Defense is partnering with Crysteel Manufacturing on the U.S. Army M917A3 Heavy Dump Truck (HDT) contract to provide specialized dump bodies that provide several key safety and functionality features to meet the specialized needs of the U.S. Army.

“We needed partners that could engineer and build components tough enough to pair with the Mack Defense M917A3 and meet the U.S. Army’s demanding applications,” said David Hartzell, president, Mack Defense. “Crysteel Manufacturing fits the bill, thanks to their decades of leadership in their industry, and we’re proud to have them as a partner on this project.”

Developed in close collaboration with Mack Defense, the Crysteel dump body for the M917A3 provides maximum durability, safety and functionality in the field. Crysteel engineers developed an integrated touchscreen control module, which gives the operator key safety and functionality information at their fingertips. From this integrated hub, the driver is able to control the hoist, tailgate, tarp, thermostatic body heater system, material control system, the inclinometer and the on-board weigh scale.

“Developing the dump body for the M917A3 Heavy Dump Truck for our country’s military is a project Crysteel is proud to be a part of,” said Brett Hart, general manager, Crysteel Manufacturing. “Our team has worked with Mack Defense to bring the highest level of innovation in durability, safety and functionality in order to develop a dump truck that supports and exceeds the U.S. Army’s requirements.”

The Mack Defense M917A3 HDT is based on the commercial Mack Granite model and has been optimized to meet the current needs of the U.S. Army. Mack Defense added heavier-duty rear axles, all-wheel drive, increased suspension ride height and other rugged features to ensure the M917A3 is capable of meeting the demanding payload and mobility requirements set by the U.S. Army HDT program.

06 Aug 19. Bulgarian MoD sends RfPs for procurement of wheeled armoured vehicles. The Bulgarian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on its website on 5 August that it had sent requests for proposals (RfPs) to four companies for the procurement of 150 wheeled armoured vehicles to equip battalion-size battlegroups for a mechanised brigade.

The four companies – Rheinmetall-Krauss-Maffei Wegmann joint venture ARTEC, Patria, Nexter, and General Dynamics European Land Systems-Mowag – have until 31 October to submit their bids. An interdepartmental task force has until 20 December to complete its analysis and evaluation of the bids.

Analysis

The Bulgarian MoD said on 19 July that the task force would submit a report to Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov, after which a winner would be selected. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

06 Aug 19. China’s VT5 tank to be fitted with active protection system. The China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) VT5 light tank is expected to be fitted with an active protection system (APS) to enable the tank to “significantly expand its defence capability”, the Global Times newspaper quoted state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) as saying on 4 August.

The system will be small and light and is expected to function by detecting incoming projectiles and intercepting them with a rocket, said the newspaper without providing further details about the APS.

The VT5, which has been developed specifically for the export market, is armed with a 105 mm-rifled gun derived from the Royal Ordnance L7 gun that was used to equip NATO tanks during the Cold War. (Source: IHS Jane’s)

05 Aug 19. Israel’s Carmel program: Envisioning armored vehicles of the future. Israel is developing combat vehicles of the future that will use the latest in artificial intelligence technology to reduce collateral damage and enable formations of manned and unmanned vehicles working in concert. The director of defense research and development at Israel’s Ministry of Defense revealed the Carmel program concept behind the multi-year initiative, showcasing new technologies at a base in northern Israel Aug. 4. Carmel is a “revolutionary program,” said head of R&D, Brig. Gen. Yaniv Rotem, in an interview during a visit by Defense News. The goal is to reduce the number of soldiers inside armored vehicles from the usual four to two while enhancing mission performance, all in a closed cockpit or turret. The system uses the latest optics outside and screens inside to allow maneuverability and a 360-degree view.

Plans for an overhaul

Several years ago Israel reached out to its three biggest defense industry companies — Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael — with the challenge to develop the concept and present their ideas. The goal was to create a major update for armored vehicles after decades of stagnant development throughout the world. Israel’s armored corps, once the centerpiece of the military in the 1960s, now is looking toward an overhaul in the next years and decades, with Carmel playing a key part.

The IDF spotlighted five major issues it wanted addressed, from identifying low signature targets, to an artificial-intelligence based support system and autonomous driving capabilities. That means giving the crew the ability to point and click on a screen and have the vehicle identify the best route or waypoints along the route.

“Upon the completion of a month of trials, three major technological concepts have been presented, among others,” a spokesman from Israel’s Defense Ministry said.

With a simulated war-zone village in the far background mocked up to look like a Hezbollah-held urban environment, Rotem discussed how U.S. and foreign countries have been invited to tour the prototypes the three companies have designed. The only part of the program that will definitely be incorporated already is Elbit System’s IronVision Helmet Mounted Display, which will be deployed fully by 2021 in Israel’s Merkava Mark 4 tank.

Israel is using the technology being developed through Carmel to update its existing armored vehicles as well as develop a potential family of future combat vehicles. The hope is that these technologies will also meet the needs of foreign militaries, especially the U.S. where Israeli technology such as Trophy already has found a place.

The challenge on the future battlefield for armored vehicles is to be able to operate with agility and also detect and identify threats, some of which might be hiding among civilians or in civilian homes. That is a major difference from the conventional battlefield that armored corps once encountered. In addition, the kinds of anti-tank weapons being developed have made operating in urban environments difficult for armor.

The vision

Here Israel’s companies envision using the 360 technology with AI to identify threats and use a formation of manned and unmanned vehicles, all sharing information in real time, to select the best way to neutralize a threat. Imagine one tank being targeted by a Kornet missile while a second and third vehicle with a better view can use guns or missiles to take out the Kornet team. While two soldiers share the burden of driving the vehicle or firing the weapon systems, a third could coordinate between vehicles, perhaps from a mother ship vehicle in the rear. Israel also wants its future combat vehicles to have hybrid propulsion and low signatures, two technologies that seem years in the future and which were not unveiled on Aug. 4.

Rafael and IAI both constructed an internal suite that involves the use of panoramic displays in front of the two-person crew. IAI gave the crew Xbox-style controllers while both IAI and Rafael used a touch screen.

Elbit incorporated the IronVision helmet and a joystick, which has the feel more of sitting in the cockpit of a jet fighter, as well as more than forty cameras around the armored vehicle. The two crew members have identical suites in front of them where they can each choose who will do what task. A divider can be drawn so that one could be viewing terrain from the hull while the other’s screens show a turret 360 degree view.

Israel tested each vehicle for a week against four different scenarios involving both night and day operation.

The tests “changed our state of mind about ground force maneuvering,” said Rotem, who pointed to the potential impact of AI and autonomous capability and multi-sensor fusion of a variety of sensors. He hopes that a quick decision about the technologies could lead to integration on existing platforms, such as Merkava, Eitan and Namer.

There is no decision about building a new vehicle at this time and the MoD has not put a price tag on the program.

IAI’s Zvi Yarom, vice president and general manager of the land systems division, says that after three long years of development, little doubt remains that the future will trend towards full automation or unmanned vehicles.

“We need to understand the technology is ready and we need to show that it is ready,” he said. “This project put the signs where to go.” (Source: Defense News)

04 Aug 19. Israeli army in no rush to go fully robotic. Israel, a world leader in hi-tech, is around 30 years away from its ambition of deploying robot forces, and for now will chose between three prototypes of semi-automated armoured vehicles to cocoon its troops in battle, defence officials said on Sunday. Israel has long eyed a future robot army as a means of reducing the use of soldiers on its combustible fronts with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, just as its air force has increasingly relied on pilotless drones. The country draws most of its military personnel from teenage conscripts. An unveiling of Israel’s newly-developed operating suites for ground fighting vehicles made clear it plans to keep soldiers at the controls, albeit entirely insulated from the outside: Hatches battened, the cabins will have smart-screens, fed by outside cameras and sensors, instead of windows or ports.

“Now the people will be sitting in the tank, it’s closed, they are far better protected, and they can advance without worrying about snipers or other things,” said Brigadier-General Yaniv Rotem, head of the Defence Ministry’s development unit.

The prototype suites, designed by Israel’s top three defence firms as they compete for an army tender, include artificial intelligence systems billed as spotting enemy fighters and directing the vehiuknewscle’s counter-fire at them automatically.

Asked why Israel was not eliminating human involvement entirely and operating the vehicles remotely, Rotem told reporters: “At the end of the day, it is the man in the vehicle who takes the decision. You need someone who thinks more than a machine.”

The Defence Ministry, he said, was separately devoting “a lot of discussion” to a potential robot army of the future.

“Our vision (is), 30 years from now, a lot of autonomous capability,” he said.

A second defence official said that while the suites could in theory be remote-operated, disruptions or delays in the signal would potentially impede their effectiveness in battle.

Two of the competing systems appeared inspired by video games and other home technologies, appealing to young soldiers.

State-owned Israel Aerospace Industries’ has Xbox-style controls. Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, also state-owned, has a vehicle simulator with touch-screens and animation whose terrain and characters’ garb recall Afghanistan – a nod to the U.S. Army, whose officers also inspected the display on Sunday.

The third Israeli bidder, Elbit Systems Ltd., came up with adapted air force helmets whose inside visors provide a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s exterior. Rotem said Israel was already incorporating the helmets among its Merkava tank crews. (Source: Reuters)

04 Aug 19. Elbit Systems has concluded extensive testing and carried out a series of successful capability demonstrations of its innovative Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV), as part of the CARMEL Future Combat Vehicle project of the Israeli Ministry of Defense.  The innovative AFV introduces a step change in the operational capability of combat vehicles. This is underpinned by applying autonomous capabilities and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to accelerate decision making and facilitate target engagement with dramatically increased rapidity and accuracy. Using a Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) a crew of two warriors operates the AFV under closed hatches, further enhancing capabilities and survivability. The AFV successfully demonstrated its capacity to function as an independent high fire-power strike cell, as a networked station for multi-spectral sensing and information fusion, as well as a base platform for operating additional unmanned systems.

The capabilities were exhibited by a technology demonstrator integrating a range of the Company’s systems, among them: UT30 unmanned turret, Iron Vision HMD, a land robotic suite, TORCH Command & Control (C2) system, E-LynX software defined radios, SupervisIR terrain dominance system, MAY acoustic situational awareness system, AI applications, THOR Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) and Pioneer fighting Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV).

The AFV is capable of performing key combat tasks with high level of autonomy – off road driving, rapid target acquisition and prioritization, as well as fast, high precision fire missions, in day and night. The AFV is networked allowing it to carry out missions ordered by Headquarters and other fighting platforms as well as to transmit missions and intelligence to other forces. Additionally, the AFV is capable of operating other unmanned platforms such as a VTOL to feed intelligence into the crew’s operational picture or a fighting UGV to perform high risk missions.

Using the Iron Vision ‘See-Through’ HMD, a crew of two is capable of operating the AFV entirely under closed hatches. The system transmits real-time, high resolution video to the crew’s helmet mounted display, providing them with a 360° view of the surroundings, together with relevant symbology and C4I data. In addition, Iron Vision enables the crew to acquire targets, conduct line-of-sight (LOS) driving and navigation and enslave the AFV’s weapons systems to their LOS.

02 Aug 19. BMD-2M enters state trials. The BMD-2M air-deployable infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) has entered state trials with the Russian Airborne Troops (VDV), the TASS news agency reported on 31 July, citing Russian defence industry sources. Russia’s Instrument Design Bureau (KBP) is in the process of upgrading a large number of BMD-2s to the BMD-2M standard under a contract awarded in 2017, which also includes BMP-2s, for a total of 540 vehicles. “During their upgrade, they are being equipped with the Bereg combat module [that is] unofficially dubbed ‘mini-Berezhok’. Now the BMD-2M’s new combat compartment is undergoing state trials,” TASS reported. (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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