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06 Sep 19. General Dynamics Land Systems–UK establishes “unique UK national capability” for Armoured Fighting Vehicle design and production. General Dynamics Land Systems–UK is demonstrating its ability to deliver a “unique national capability” for UK Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) design and production at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2019.
The company has delivered to the British Army the Cougar-based Mastiff, Ridgeback and Wolfhound fleet to meet Urgent Operational Requirements, alongside 400 Foxhound vehicles, which meets its Protected Mobility requirements. Currently, General Dynamics Land Systems–UK is in-production for the best-in-class fully-digital AJAX Family of AFVs for the British Army, and has invested significantly in Centres of Excellence at Oakdale and Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales.
The facility at Oakdale is an engineering hub with more than 300 highly-skilled engineers across all disciplines, including software, electrical and mechanical, who have the skills and knowledge needed to design, deliver and ensure the Through-Life Capability of the AFVs of today and the future. In addition, Oakdale features a high-tech Systems Integration Laboratory and a range of test facilities to support the development and sustainment of AFVs. At Merthyr Tydfil there is a growing team of highly-trained production specialists, including graduates and apprentices, at a facility that has been designed at the outset to meet future requirements, including the ability to handle Main Battle Tanks.
Carew Wilks, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Land Systems–UK, said: “General Dynamics Land Systems–UK has invested significantly in the UK, which is testament to our commitment to the British Army and the UK’s economic prosperity. We are developing the team and facilities needed to ensure the UK retains a world class and national AFV design and manufacturing capability. Merthyr Tydfil, for example, is the largest AFV production site of its scale in the UK. In addition, we are working closely with businesses, large and small, right across the UK as we develop the cutting-edge supply chain that will mean the British Army remains at the forefront of AFV capability for the decades ahead. We have an on-going dialogue with our customer about how we can sustain this national and unique AFV capability, available to the nation in times of crisis, for the years ahead.”
General Dynamics has been in the UK for more than 50 years and employs more than 1,500 highly-qualified people across multiple locations, including Oakdale, Merthyr Tydfil, Royal Leamington Spa and Hastings.
06 Sep 19. AJAX showcases its transition into service with the British Army at DSEI 2019. General Dynamics Land Systems–UK will demonstrate the capabilities of the AJAX Family of Vehicles at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2019. The AJAX Programme, a £4.5bn programme to deliver 589 vehicles in six variants to the British Army, has begun the transition of vehicles into service ahead of the planned Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in 2020. The first six ARES vehicles were delivered to the British Army in February this year, and desktop training equipment and full-motion driver training simulators have been installed at the Armour Centre in Bovington and at Ministry of Defence Lyneham to support advanced training of British Army soldiers. In parallel, eight production and seven prototype vehicles continue to demonstrate the capabilities of the AJAX Family of Vehicles, through trials including live fire, cold-weather, Equipment Support-specific trials (such as ATLAS successfully recovering a 60-ton Challenger Main Battle Tank) and through ongoing reliability trials in which two ARES production vehicles have run more than 10,000 kilometres to date.
Carew Wilks, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Land Systems–UK, said: “The transition of AJAX into service with the British Army is a significant milestone for the AJAX Programme. The provision of highly-intuitive training assets, alongside vehicle deliveries, will allow the British Army to get to grips with this world-leading capability and enable them to use this fully-digital Family of Vehicles effectively as part of Strike. Through its advanced open and secure Electronic Architecture, AJAX will remain at the forefront of technology and survivability, ensuring it will be the vehicle of choice for British Army soldiers on operations.”
06 Sep 19. Saab develops ARCASe reversible camouflage system. Swedish firm Saab has developed a reversible camouflage system for the protection of military vehicles and other assets. Known as Advanced Reversible Camouflage Screen emissive (ARCASe), the system is designed to offer multispectral protection and protect the users in all settings, including changeable environments. The reversible thermal pattern camouflage system masks and disrupts thermal signature of the assets.
The ARCASe’s visible pattern features different colours on each side.
Saab business area Dynamics head Görgen Johansson said: “Saab has a long and distinguished history in development of camouflage systems. The ARCASe is our best camouflage for use in broken terrain and is a valuable addition to our broad camouflage portfolio.”
The company will provide further details on the ARCASe product at a briefing at the upcoming annual Barracuda User Group at the DSEI 2019 defence and security event in London, UK, to be held next week. Also on display at the exhibition will be Saab Barracuda’s multispectral camouflage systems. Saab’s portfolio of camouflage systems is intended to protect camps, vehicles and personnel by reducing an enemy’s detection capabilities.
The company has supplied camouflage technology products to over 50 countries. In April, Saab received an order to produce multispectral static camouflage systems for the Canadian Army. Pursuant to the contract, the firm will deliver a customer-specific woodland version of the Ultra-Lightweight Camouflage Screen (ULCAS). The order came after the US Army ordered Saab’s ultra-lightweight camouflage net systems (ULCANS) in November. (Source: army-technology.com)
04 Sep 19. Jankel launches new Light Tactical Transport Vehicle (LTTV) at DSEi 2019. Jankel, a world-leader in the design and manufacture of high-specification defence, security and NGO protection systems, will be launching their new Light Tactical Transport Vehicle (LTTV) at DSEi 2019, taking place at Excel London 10-13 September 2019.
The unveiling of the LTTV at DSEi follows on from the recent contract award for Belgium which will see Jankel deliver 199 of the Mercedes UNIMOG based vehicles to the Belgium Ministry of Defence (BeMOD). This contract follows the earlier production contract to supply the BeMOD with over 100 FOX Rapid Reaction Vehicles (RRV), based on a modified COTS Toyota chassis system.
Jankel’s LTTV is designed to provide a modular and configurable tactical support vehicle that benefits from unique, removable mission modules that enable the vehicle to be re-rolled rapidly for operational platform versatility. With a payload of over 3 tonnes, dependant on the final vehicle specification, the LTTV has 3 core variants for Special Operations support, including an ambulance variant. Alongside a user-configurable, fully integrated suite of military sub-systems that includes a removable ballistic protection kit, a Roll-Over-Protection-System (ROPS), weapon mounts and communications fit, the platform will provide full interoperability with the Fox fleet of tactical vehicles.
The LTTV’s versatility already promises to be a world-leader, literally able to plug and play between rear bed configurations. Combining the strengths of a trusted OEM platform with militarised and mission specific tactical enhancements, Jankel’s LTTV has already attracted the attention of several other countries and is of particular interest to those already operating with the Mercedes Benz UNIMOG platform.
Dan Crosby, Commercial Director at Jankel said: “Our team is very excited to be showcasing the LTTV at DSEi this year. Having achieved Mercedes Benz Direct Partnership certification, the LTTV is a great example of Jankel’s ability to offer armoured, tactical and utility vehicles based on modified Mercedes Benz chassis systems.” He added: “We believe that the exceptional modular functionality of the LTTV will allow us to build on the significant milestone successes that Jankel has achieved in recent years”.
At DSEi Jankel will be exhibiting at Stand N6-350. As well as the LTTV, Jankel will have on display a Fox RRV and a wide range of BLASTech specialist seating solutions.
04 Sep 19. Jankel Tactical Systems announce the delivery of their largest ever single armored vehicle order. World-class specialists in the design and production of high-specification armored vehicles, US-based Jankel Tactical Systems (part of the global Jankel group of companies), has announced the successful delivery of their largest ever single order for armoured vehicles. The order for Chevrolet 3500 HD Suburban vehicles was called up off a 10-year Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) that was awarded to Jankel in 2017. This announcement coincides with the DSEi 2019 exhibition, taking place at Excel London 10-13 September 2019.
Jankel Tactical Systems is already well-established in North America. This order has seen Jankel’s already strong Civilian Armored Vehicle (CAV) business grow by a tremendous 250% in 2019. Also, this delivery secured a 130% growth in Jankel’s overall CAV production. Whilst Jankel are unable to specify vehicle numbers nor the exact end-user to whom this order has been delivered, Jankel’s core clients include the US Department of Defense; US Department of State; the Canadian Department of National Defense; and Global Affairs Canada. In addition, Jankel has secured new customer opportunities with the US Customs and Border Patrol, US Marshalls, and the US Drug Enforcement Agency.
Prior to acceptance, Jankel had to complete rigorous First Article Testing (FAT). This involved the production and delivery of one complete vehicle built to the demanding customer specification. The vehicle was then put through a series of mobility tests followed by blast and ballistic destructive testing. This process confirmed Jankel’s ability to deliver full compliance against the specification prior to the commencement of series production.
Jankel’s rapid growth in North America has focused on ‘Hot Formed Armored’ discreet platforms and the delivery of niche armor requirements for platforms indigenous to the country within which they operate; including the Chevrolet 3500 HD Suburban, Toyota Land Cruiser 79 Series Double Cab (4×4 and 6×6) and Mercedes Sprinter 3500 XD. In addition to their wide range of vehicle protection capabilities, Jankel is targeting the provision of specialist seating and survivability systems. Jankel sales programs increased significantly in 2018/19 with the provision of BLASTech Seating solutions for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) and new production vehicles for the US and allied nations.
Cody Baker, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Jankel Tactical Systems said: “delivering this order and achieving such growth is the result of a monumental effort from our entire team here at JTS as well as our ever-supportive supply chain. I’m very proud of all those involved”. He added: “The successful delivery of a major order such as this further underlines Jankel’s agility, reliability and understanding of our clients’ needs and priorities. We’re looking forward to continuing this growth trend as our North American and global client base increases”.
At DSEi Jankel will be exhibiting at Stand N6-350.
04 Sep 19. BAE Systems unveils improved version of new U.S. Army armored vehicle. British multinational defense, security and aerospace company BAE Systems has unveiled the improved version of Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle during the 141st General Conference & Exhibition in Denver.
The new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) is designed to replace the 5 variants of the U.S. Army’s M113 Armored Personnel Carrier family of vehicles, which have been in service since the Vietnam-era.
First fielded in 1962, the M113 was ubiquitous during the conflict in Vietnam and has seen service in virtually every American military action in the ensuing decades. Though largely surpassed in both use and operation by the M2 Bradley, variants of the M113 continue in operation to this day.
The AMPV will replace the M113 in five mission roles: general-purpose, medical evacuation, medical treatment, mortar carrier, and mission command. The Army determined that development of the AMPV is necessary due to mobility, survivability, and force protection deficiencies identified with the M113, as well as space, weight, power, and cooling limitations that prevent the incorporation of future technologies.
The AMPV’s five variants: a general-purpose vehicle, mission command vehicle, mortar carrier, and medical evacuation and treatment vehicles– have nearly 80% more interior volume than their predecessor, and significantly more power and survivability. Cooling and electrical systems are also upgraded to accommodate both existing and future upgrades.
Although the AMPV uses a new hull design, a majority of subsystems are derived from existing vehicles. For example, the AMPV uses a common powertrain with the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. The AMPV program entered low-rate initial production in January 2019. (Source: Google/https://defence-blog.com)
04 Sep 19. Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS UGV passes air transportability tests. The THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) by Milrem Robotics, the leading European UGV manufacturer and developer of robotic warfare solutions, passes air transportability tests that adds one more option for it to be deployed to operation areas.
“The most common question about THeMIS size class unmanned ground vehicles is how do you get them to where you need to use them,” explained Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. “We have tackled this question during development of the newest – fifth generation THeMIS – and added a number of options: towing, hauling, following a convoy autonomously and now airlifting,” Väärsi added.
The air transportability tests were conducted according to NATO standard STANAG 3542 and was facilitated by the helicopter crew of the Estonian Police and Border Guard.
The THeMIS is a multipurpose tracked vehicle that can be equipped with other warfighting technology such as weapon systems, tethered drones, IED detection devices and much more. It can carry a payload of up to 1200kg, move 25km/h and pull other equipment with a force of 21 000 N.
The THeMIS can be remotely operated via cameras or using autonomous functions such as waypoint navigation, follow-me etc. The intention is to keep soldiers safe, increase their capabilities and in addition lighten their load.
Thanks to the systems modularity it has become a very popular choice for different payload integrations and Milrem Robotics has already integrated a dozen different systems with industry partners like Kongsberg, FN Herstal, MBDA, ST Engineering etc.
Please have a look at the THeMIS’ air transportability tests here – https://youtu.be/t6Gf7tBf0qw
The THeMIS will be exhibited at DSEI in London from September 10 to 13 and can be found in the following locations:
- At the Estonian Pavilion (N3-320) where we will be unveiling the fifth generation THeMIS UGV. The UGV will be equipped with FN Herstal’s deFNder® Medium RWS;
- At Kongsberg’s stand (S6-145) where another fifth generation THeMIS will be displayed equipped with Kongsberg’s PROTECTOR RWS-LW30;
- At the Land Ceptor Stand (N10-260) where we will be unveiling a new integration project with MBDA – the THeMIS with the Brimstone ultra-high precision missile system;
- At QinetiQ’s stand (S3-400) another force multiplier will be exhibited. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
03 Sep 19. Rheinmetall presents the world’s first unmanned ground vehicle equipped with micro combat unmanned air vehicle at MSPO 2019. One of the most innovative systems on display at this year’s MSPO exhibition is the latest version of the Mission Master UGV from Rheinmetall, armed with the WARMATE Loitering Munition System. Rheinmetall has partnered with WB GROUP, Poland’s foremost defence contractor in the field of advanced technologies, to provide dismounted troops with high-precision strike capabilities.
As with other versions of Rheinmetall’s flagship autonomous vehicle, this new Mission Master – Protection is based on an 8×8 all-terrain platform capable of performing dangerous missions in hostile weather conditions, with the specific purpose of enhancing combat effectiveness. The integrated WARMATE micro combat unmanned air vehicle (UAV) opens up a range of new offensive and observation capabilities. It is capable of scanning the battlefield, detecting and determining exact enemy positions and, when the decision is made, engaging them. When an attack is aborted, the WARMATE can be recalled, can continue loitering, or be directed at another target.
Even more exciting, the new Mission Master – Protection features the first ever tube-launched system equipped with several WARMATE UAVs for performing surgical swarm attacks. This dramatically increases the unit’s combat power, while simultaneously augmenting the safety of dismounted troops in close combat operations as the whole system can operate out of the line-of-sight. “The use of micro combat UAVs on our Mission Master UGVs is an incredible opportunity for ground commanders” says Alain Tremblay, Rheinmetall Canada’s vice-president for business development. “Being able to observe hidden targets and conduct precise identification before initiating a surgical strike with minimal collateral damage is a real tactical advantage on today’s battlefield. And since both the Mission Master and the WARMATE are able to conduct certain autonomous operations, it reduces the number of military personal required and lets troops focus on mission success”, explains Tremblay.
Operators can command both the UGV and UAV from a mobile ground control station; a modern soldier system such as Rheinmetall Argus; or with Rheinmetall Command and Control Software installed in any user’s battle management system.
Visitors to MSPO 2019 won’t want to miss this opportunity to see for themselves the brand-new version of the Rheinmetall Mission Master – the future of unmanned ground vehicles, on display today.
03 Sep 19. New militarised Land Rover Defender breaks cover! Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that after many years of design changes and enhancements, the new militarised Land Rover Defender, code named 663 has been shown to the UK MoD at Goodwood last month. 663 is a monocoque design, believed to be based on a Discovery. JLR are apparently very pleased with the vehicle and have offered it to the MoD to replace the ageing Land Rover Wolf fleet, which, as we reported last week is suffering reliability problems. No doubt JLR will provide a number of carrots to the MoD to be its military launch Customer and persuade them to replace the Wolf’s with a new fleet of 663 vehicles, maybe by offering ton take the old fleet off the MoD’s books, refurbish it and sell abroad or as a Land Rover Classic vehicle in the UK. However JLR will have rivals to replace the ageing 6000+ Wolfs in the form of Mercedes Benz with G Wagen, Ford/Ricardo with the Ford f350 they are showing at DSEI and Toyota teamed with Jankel.
03 Sep 19. BAE Systems links with Australian Army to undertake autonomous vehicle conversion. The Australian Army’s armoured personnel carriers are soon to undergo an intriguing demonstration project that could have a dramatic impact on the future of warfare. The Army will combine with BAE to convert two M113 AS4 Armoured Personnel Carriers at its Edinburgh Parks facility in order to conduct experiments “to better understand the opportunities to employ autonomy on the battlefield and implementing its recently released Robotics and Autonomous Systems Strategy”.
Following the demonstrations, the converted M113 AS4 will be made available to BAE Systems, as well as other Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre partners, to be used as a test and demonstration vehicle for the company to use to develop autonomous technologies.
“Autonomous technology will assist soldiers to respond in an accelerating warfare environment – increasing their speed of initiative to outpace, outmanoeuvre and out-think conventional and unconventional threats,” BAE Systems Australia chief technology officer Brad Yelland said.
“The Australian Army Robotic and Autonomous Systems Strategy highlights the goals that Army is seeking from this disruptive technology.
“Through this demonstration and the CRC program, we will help the Army achieve that.” (Source: Defence Connect)
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.