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20 Sep 19. Hawkei success for Thales procurement team. Thales Australia’s procurement team has met with success at the ASCI2019 conference for its efforts in supporting the Australian Army’s Hawkei development and acquisition program.
Procurement director Michelle Richard congratulated the team on the achievement and recognition, saying, “It’s been a tremendous effort over several years. We knew that we were doing something great, but it’s always nice to receive an accolade from the Australasian Supply Chain Institute.”
Thales is delivering a new generation of protected vehicles. Hawkei meets the requirements of global defence forces for a highly protected, mobile and integrated vehicle able to operate in an environment under threat from improvised explosive devices, mines and ambushes.
- Hawkei is a 10-tonne, 4×4, new-generation protected vehicle with a 3-tonne payload, designed to meet the demanding requirements of land forces worldwide.
- Hawkei delivers class-leading protection, mobility and payload with unparalleled levels of blast and ballistic protection for a helicopter transportable vehicle.
- Highly effective across a diverse range of mission profiles. Roles include troop movement, command and control, electronic warfare, liaison, surveillance and reconnaissance.
“Several members of the team were part of this journey. But I would like to especially thank Alex Wootton, who was the first to introduce the PVets at Thales Australia on this program. This was more than just a process, it was instrumental to drive the cultural change required to shift our engagement from transactional to strategic,” Richard said.
The recognition comes following major testing milestones earlier this year, including:
- A blast test of the two-door vehicle was undertaken on 2 March 2017 at Proof and Experimental Establishment Graytown, followed by the blast test for the four-door vehicle on 17 March 2017. Both tests were successful. A two-door vehicle successfully underwent additional blast testing on 17 May 2018.
- A two-week user trial with Army and accredited test services was conducted at Townsville Field Training Area from 6-17 February 2017 employing prototype Hawkei vehicles. A second user trial, employing low-rate initial production Hawkei vehicles that are more representative of the final build state, was also conducted with the 3rd Brigade in Townsville from 8-25 October 2018. Feedback from the user trials is being incorporated into the vehicle design.
- A successful external air lift trial was conducted over June-July 2017 in Townsville on both the two-door and four-door vehicles in various load states.
- Defence conducted a formal trial involving the deployment of two Hawkei vehicles to Iraq and Afghanistan from December 2017 to August 2018. The key trial objectives included the identification of operations and support issues and evaluating the deployment considerations for the Hawkei capability.
Stage three of the program is “full-rate production”, with the remaining 1,000 vehicles and 958 trailers to be delivered to Defence by 2022.
“I would also like to thank Peter Goodwin for his support throughout this journey. And finally, thank you to all the category buyers for their effort and resilience, sometimes under challenging conditions,” Richard said.
The government signed an agreement with Thales Australia in October 2015 for the acquisition and support of 1,100 Hawkei vehicles and 1,058 companion trailers, for use in “command, liaison, utility and reconnaissance roles”.
The vehicles are being specifically developed to meet the ADF’s requirements for survivability, mobility, payload, communications, useability and sustainability. (Source: Defence Connect)
19 Sep 19. Could autonomous vehicles save the lives of forces personnel? This was just one of the questions being answered during a joint experiment recently between the UK and US Armed Forces. The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), and the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Ground Vehicle Systems Centre (formerly known as TARDEC), have hosted an experiment of prototype semi-autonomous logistic convoys, along with ground and aerial autonomous resupply systems at Camp Grayling Joint Manoeuvre Training Centre, Grayling, Michigan.
It’s the first time these British-designed autonomous systems have been operated and demonstrated in the US and is the culmination of a three year collaboration between coalition forces and technologists which has seen the testing of a range of driverless vehicles and novel unmanned aerial systems.
Peter Stockel, Dstl’s Autonomy Innovation Lead, said: “This has been a journey in understanding, not only how to integrate technically the different capabilities, but importantly to help the British and US Armies understand and develop the potential concepts of use, tactics and procedures together in the representative battlefield environments. We have gained hugely valuable insights into the reliability and maturity of ‘state of the art’ technology and how to operate these systems as a UK/US coalition. This is about two major Western partners working together to make future battlefield operations less risky, more effective and efficient.”
Delivering supplies to the front line is dangerous and often relies on manual delivery through troops moving backwards and forwards under fire. This experiment shows how unmanned systems will potentially allow the distribution of supplies directly to forward combat areas with fewer personnel at risk and to allow them to concentrate on winning the battle. During the Afghanistan conflict, UK and US troops were injured or killed while trying to deliver convoy logistic patrols. Innovative autonomous systems technologies could allow these missions to take place with fewer soldiers exposed, resulting in fewer casualties and freeing up troops to join the fight and increase the firepower.
Brigadier Darrell Amison, the British Army’s Head of Capability Combat Service Support, said:
“CAAR is a great example of successful US/UK Science and Technology and warfighter collaboration. Over 3 years of trials and experimentation CAAR has rapidly developed the Army’s thinking around the use of autonomous capability within an information-led, integrated and technology enabled supply chain. Exploitation into the Army’s core Combat Service Support modernisation and transformation programmes is now a priority and we’ll seek opportunities for collaborative capability development where it makes sense to do so.”
During the Michigan experiment, a multi-vehicle fully integrated UK/US convoy was operated, with the lead vehicle in various modes, including controlled semi-autonomously through the use of designated way points, with the following vehicles operating only from data sent by the lead vehicles and their own sensors. Researchers used UK and US tactical resupply vehicles together in the convoy, with both sets of vehicles being equipped with the US research centre’s autonomous technology. During the final end-to-end demonstration event, robotic and autonomous systems for many parts of the deployment supply chain were showcased; including operation and mission logistic planning tools, robotic and semi-autonomous load handling vehicles, semi-autonomous leader-follow logistic convoy and autonomous ‘last mile’ resupply capabilities.
In three weeks of experimentation prior to the demonstration event, smaller unmanned ground vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles developed under the UK’s ‘Last Mile Challenge’ were tested, undertaking autonomous delivery missions to remotely deliver a variety of representative payloads including ammunition, food and medical supplies.
Major Andrew Scruggs from the US Army said: “The collaboration is vital and has been one of truly mutual support and burden sharing. Both nations have put their expertise and resources together to learn and create new ideas and approaches for Army logistic operations of the future. We have been able to look at the challenges of working with how you take different systems from different nations and different companies and get them all to talk together.”
19 Sep 19. General Dynamics UK selected for Army Warfighting Experiment 2019. General Dynamics UK has today announced that it has been selected to participate in the British Army Warfighting Experiment 2019 (AWE’19) following the acceptance of its proposal for Manned Unmanned-Teaming (MUM-T), which was submitted to the UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) earlier this year. General Dynamics will deliver and demonstrate its Multi-Utility Tactical Transport (MUTT) 6×6 Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) and an optionally-tethered Unmanned Air System (UAS), deployed from the company’s AJAX reconnaissance vehicle during the AWE’19 experiment in March 2020. The remote assets will be controlled, and have imagery displayed directly to the current AJAX Commander’s crew station, with a dismounted option.
David Hind, Strategy Director (Land) at General Dynamics UK, said: “Through AWE’19 we will demonstrate that AJAX is the first of a generation of digital Armoured Fighting Vehicles that have the flexibility and the openness in their architecture to rapidly integrate third-party technology and, in doing so, readily contribute to the British Army’s plans for ‘prototype warfare’.”
During the experiment, which will be run by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory for Army HQ, the British Army will assess the Commander’s cognitive burden over a range of representative vignettes. Several innovative technologies will be used during the demonstration.
The MUTT is a rugged, reliable small-unit force multiplier providing increased persistence, protection and projection. As a controllerless small-unit robotic follower, it lightens the load throughout the full gamut of combat operations. As a remote-controlled or teleoperated teammate, it provides stand-off from threats or increased projection of combat power. The MUTT is engineered to easily evolve to accommodate new payloads, new controllers and increased levels of autonomy. MUTT provides MUM-T 1.0 capability today.
Vehicle Features & Specs
- Payload (lbs): 600
- GVW (lbs): 1450/1700
- Length (in): 66/84
- Width (in): 54/60
- Max Range (mi) (GENSET +5gal): 60/36
- Amphibious: Yes/No
- Export Power (W): 1500
- Tether Control: Yes
- Remote Control: 200m LOS
- Tele-Operation: Operational
- Semi-Autonomy: Optional
- Payload (lbs): 900
- GVW (lbs): 2300/2700
- Length (in): 93
- Width (in): 60/70
- Max Range (mi) (GENSET +5gal): 60/36
- Amphibious: Yes/No
- Export Power (W): 3000
- Tether Control: Yes
- Remote Control: 200m LOS
- Tele-Operation: Operational
- Semi-Autonomy: Optional
- Payload (lbs): 1200
- GVW (lbs): 3000/3500
- Length (in): 116
- Width (in): 60/70
- Max Range (mi) (GENSET +5gal): 60/36
- Amphibious: Yes/No
- Export Power (W): 3000
- Tether Control: Yes
- Remote Control: 200m LOS
- Tele-Operation: Operational
- Semi-Autonomy: Optional
18 Sep 19. Three companies get shortlisted for Japan armored vehicle competition. Japan shortlisted three potential suppliers for a new wheeled armored vehicle, pressing forward with a program that had been held up following the decision by the previous contractor to exit the armored vehicle business. The Ministry of Defense’s Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics Agency, or ATLA, said in an announcement posted on its website on Sept. 10 that the General Dynamics Land Systems LAV 6.0, the AMV by Finland’s Patria and an entrant from Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, or MHI, will be evaluated to be the potential replacement for the Type 96 8×8 armored personnel carrier or APC. This follows the announcement by ATLA in July 2018 that development of the Wheeled Armoured Vehicle (Improved) by Japanese company Komatsu had been discontinued over what ATLA said was issues with the quality of the armor.
Komatsu subsequently announced in February that it would end its involvement in the development and manufacturing of armored vehicles entirely, save for the continued production of nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance vehicles already on contract.
The company cited slim profit margins for the sector as the reason for its decision, although it had also been encountering difficulties developing a new light armored vehicle for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force or JGSDF, with costs and the use of foreign components reportedly being some of the sticking points.
“Our LAV 6.0 is a tried, tested and trusted vehicle that has been extensively used on operations and fielded in multiple configurations to meet the user’s specific mission-role requirements,” said Kevin Connell, General Dynamics Land Systems vice president and general manager for Australia and Indo-Pacific. “We appreciate this opportunity to demonstrate its capabilities to our friends in Japan.”
It is unclear what MHI would be offering for this program. The company is already supplying the JGSDF with the Type 16 maneuver combat vehicle, an 8×8 wheeled armored vehicle equipped with a 105m main gun used in the tank destroyer role. A development using the Type 16 chassis and components would appear to be the most logical choice.
MHI had also previously displayed a scale model of an 8×8 APC at defense shows, although there have so far been no takers both domestically or internationally. The JGSDF currently has over 360 Type 96s APCs in its inventory. The vehicle is also built by Komatsu, and the oldest vehicles entered service with Japan in 1996. (Source: Defense News)
17 Sep 19. HIPPO Multipower pitches ATSV-E for British Army’s RPV programme. HIPPO Multipower will push an electric-powered version of its 6×6 All Terrain Support Vehicle (ATSV) as a candidate for the British Army’s Robotic Platoon Vehicle (RPV) programme, Rob O’Connor, international business development representative at HIPPO Multipower, revealed to Jane’s at DSEI 2019. The amphibious ATSV-E is a clean-sheet design that the company claims will provide “an extremely low acoustic and thermal signature” when stealth is required.
The vehicle features a steel hull and body measuring 3.6 m long with a width of 1.5m or 1.7m wide when fitted with narrow or wide tyres, respectively. It can be internally transported by a CH-47 heavy lift helicopter and, when fitted with narrow tyres, carried within a V-22 tiltrotor aircraft.
The vehicle is equipped with an electric drivetrain powered by batteries that are charged by a diesel engine. It can carry a 900 kg or tow a 2,000 kg load, as well as export 5kW of power.
“The change from the hydraulic motors of the ATSV to the electric motors of the ATSV-E brings with it a number of opportunities,” O’Connor said.
“The most important is that it allows the end user to operate the vehicle under pure electric power. This enables near silent operation with virtually no thermal signature, critical when stealth is required.”
O’Connor explained that the ATSV-E can be rapidly configured for a variety of tasks, including fire support; tactical resupply; intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR); casualty evacuation (CASEVAC); and engineering and disaster relief. The vehicle can be delivered as a manned, unmanned, or optionally manned platform. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
18 Sep 19. BAE Systems designing eight M88A3 prototypes. The US Army has awarded BAE Systems with a USD318m contract to upgrade its M88 recovery vehicles into a M88A3 configuration. Under the 44-month contract, the company will delver eight M88A3 prototypes to the service by 2022 for testing, BAE Systems told Jane’s. The new configuration is expected to eliminate the need for two vehicles to raise and move a single Abrams Main Battle Tank.
“We have partnered closely with the army and industry partners to develop a solution that addresses the single-vehicle recovery gap. We are proud to continue to support the Army’s recovery needs by providing a next-generation solution to effectively rescue disabled tanks from the battlefield,” Dennis Hancock, the recovery programmes director for BAE Systems’ Combat Vehicles business, said in a recent announcement. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
18 Sep 19. Five things operators can put on a THeMIS UGV. The Milrem Robotics THeMIS Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) was everywhere at this year’s DSEI event, with companies from across the defence sector racing to show what they could do with the platform. Army Technology has rounded up five things you can mount on the UGV. Manufactured by European technology company Milrem, the Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) has proven popular in recent years. The platform’s modular design enables it to be used for a range of missions from transport through explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) to offensive abilities and more.
Clocking in at 2.4m long and 2m wide, the almost-square UGV can carry a 750kg payload at speeds of 25km/h up to 1.5km away from its operator. It also comes in two colours, green and sand, to blend into different backgrounds.
In response to the British Army’s ‘Prototype Warfare’ push, MBDA Missile Systems showcased a THeMIS UGV fitted with a Brimstone missile system capable of carrying six missiles per vehicle. The MBDA system uses digital targeting data to allow the operator to fire the UGV’s payload on line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight targets.
MBDA UK Head of Land Domain Sales and Business Development Andy Allen said: “This cassette magazine, with its high weapon loadout, is optimised to counter mass armour. Pairing the combat-proven MBDA Brimstone missile with a flexible and mission deployed UGV such as the Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS provides the tactical commander with the capability to rapidly and remotely deliver high volumes of precision anti-armour effects, importantly in all weathers, against all known DAS and at extended ranges.”
MBDA said equipping the UGV with the Brimstone highlighted the missile’s ‘One Missile, Multi-Platform’ design. The UGV-mounted Brimstone is capable of targeting using radar and semi-active laser systems.
In the run-up to DSEI, Kongsberg showcased a Javelin missile being fired on the move from a THeMIS platform. The company had a UGV on its stand fitted with both the missile system and a conventional .50 calibre machine gun.
During the tests, Kongsberg fired both the missile and the machine gun showcasing the offensive capabilities of the UGV system. Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS executive vice president Pål Bratlie said: “The combination of a wireless and remotely controlled weapon system, integrated on an unmanned vehicle, introduces capabilities that will secure our soldiers’ mission and safety to an even greater extent.”
The Javelin was fired from the UGV using fire control technology developed by QinetiQ to allow for remote and wireless operation of the system. The company called the event ‘ground-breaking’.
Milrem Robotics CEO Kuldar Väärsi praised the range of uses for his companies THeMIS UGV saying: “Combing unmanned ground vehicles with modern weapon systems will bring disruptive capabilities to the battlefield. Milrem Robotics has experienced this effect already with several armies using the THeMIS with an integrated heavy machine gun. Adding such a capable antitank missile as the Javelin will significantly increase the disruptive effect”
GroundEye for EOD
The UGV’s versatility allows for explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) applications. Developed in partnership with Raytheon’s UK division GroundEye allows for day or night detection of IEDs, mines and other explosive ordnance.
THeMIS equipped with GroundEye can geotag the location of threats, allowing operators to neutralise them before they cause damage. With the system mounted on an unmanned vehicle, operators can work at a safe distance.
The system locates explosive threats using a mix of ground-penetrating radar, command wire detection and more, with the THeMIS-mounted version equipped with an EOD arm to disarm dangers from a distance.
Raytheon did not have GroundEye on show at DSEI as the product was announced far earlier at 2016’s Eurosatory in Paris.
Built for the Estonian Defence Forces by ST Kinetic, the ADDER was the first weapons system to be mounted on THeMIS.
Featuring a stabilised gun and lock-on targeting, the system proved the ability of the UGV to carry a weapons systems paving the way for heavier-duty weaponry.
The ADDER Remote Weapons System allowed the UGV to be fitted with a range of weapons from general-purpose machine guns to 40mm grenade launchers, transmitting live feeds from a range of cameras that work at night and day with a laser ranger fire for increased accuracy.
Search and Rescue equipment
Milrem is also developing THeMIS’s search and rescue capabilities for civilian and defence purposes. For fires that are too dangerous for humans to approach THeMIS can be equipped with a water tank and remote-controlled water cannon.
The UGV’s ability to carry out the 3Ds – dull, dirty or dangerous missions – makes it well-suited for search and rescue and firefighting as the vehicle can go where people cannot. The search and rescue variant was developed under the name of ‘Multiscope Rescue Systems’ but borrows heavily from the military THeMIS platform.
This variant of the UGV has also been augmented for mining operations transporting heavy equipment and materials in and out of mines, with another variant using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDar) to determine the condition of mines before humans enter them. (Source: army-technology.com)
18 Sep 19. BAE Systems unveils new ACV configuration: anti-tank missile carrier. British multinational defense, security and aerospace company BAE Systems has unveiled new configuration for the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) called the Anti-Tank Non-Line-of-Sight.
BAE Systems portfolio continues to expand and the company showcased the demonstrator of anti-tank missile carrier during the Modern Day Marine Expo. The demonstrator was fitted with remotely operated weapon station armed with NLOS long-range, electro-optically guided-missile launcher, Javelin anti-tank guided missile, precision-guided munitions and smart sensors. All weapon systems based at modular ACV platform that designed from the ground up to fulfill the complex mission objective of deploying Marines from ship to shore.
Also, the vehicle received a special modular platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Vision 60 ground all-weather long-distance recon bot.
According to Defense Daily, BAE Systems has started soliciting offerings to find an unmanned weapon system for the turreted variant of the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV), with plans to award up to three contracts to evaluate options.
The ACV 8×8 platform offering is a unique mix of true open-ocean amphibious capability, land mobility, survivability, payload, and growth potential to accommodate the evolving operational needs of the United States Marine Corps.
The ACV program was initiated by the U.S. Marine Corps in 2011 to replace its age-old amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) family, which entered service in 1972.
The Assault Amphibious Vehicle has been in service for more than 40 years, and many of its components and parts are obsolete and no longer manufactured. Because of this, the vehicles are becoming increasingly costly and difficult to maintain. That and the changing environment in which Marines find themselves plagued by the improvised explosive device threat has produced a need for a new, more survivable combat vehicle that can maneuver from ship to shore and beyond. (Source: Google/https://defence-blog.com)
17 Sep 19. BAE Systems’ Selected to Integrate Active Protection System Solution into Dutch CV90s. The Dutch Army has selected BAE Systems to integrate the Elbit Systems’ Iron Fist Active Protection System (APS) solution into its fleet of CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicles following successful testing to integrate it onto the platform. Iron Fist is an advanced technology that automatically detects, tracks and neutralizes incoming threats to protect the vehicle and its crew.
The Royal Netherlands Army has been working closely with BAE Systems Hägglunds to study the implementation of the Iron Fist APS onto the CV9035NL since 2015. The first phase evaluated the feasibility of five systems. The second phase focused on the inherent performance and high level integration of the APS. With the first layer of soft-kill technology integrated onto the Dutch Army’s CV9035NL fleet, plans are underway to add the Iron Fist’s final layer.
“Over the last couple of years, we have done a thorough job in studying the integration and conducting system tests with the Active Protection System for the CV90 platform. We are now confident that it will provide the capability we need. The APS will give us a significant combat advantage and will improve tactical operation,” said Joost Vernooij, Dutch Project Manager for CV90. “I look forward to the next phase in our Mid-Life Upgrade program of the CV9035NL, with focus on integration, Human Machine interfacing and performance optimization.”
“This development is a strategic milestone in the CV90’s holistic survivability approach. It complements the already existing, stealth- and non-kinetic layers with further means to defeat the incoming threat, making survivability even more achievable,” said Dan Lindell, the CV90 platform manager at BAE Systems Hägglunds, the manufacturer of the vehicle.
The survivability of the CV90 can be seen in all of its iterations and is one of the vehicle’s most advanced features. In addition to armored protection, the vehicle’s overall survivability is enhanced by superior mobility, advanced signature management features, ease-of-use and maintainability, and high degree of design efficiency. The CV90 is operated by six other European nations who participate in the development of the vehicle through the CV90 User Club. The APS installation on the Dutch CV90s marks a critical addition to the vehicle’s already impressive array of iFighting® combat enhancing features. The installation of the Iron Fist system developed with Elbit will provide Dutch Army with a highly defensive tool to counter threats and deliver the required protection for the CV9035NL crews. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
13 Sep 19. Athena C2 vehicle revealed. General Dynamics Land Systems-UK (GDLS-UK) presented the Athena command-and-control (C2) variant of the Ajax AFV family for the first time at the 2019 Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London, held on 10-13 September. The Athena variant is designed to provide digital C2 for the UK’s future Strike Brigades, which will consist of the tracked Ajax and wheeled Boxer AFV families. The Ajax family will consist of six variants and “all variants are now in the initial production phase”, GDLS-UK vice-president Carew Wilks told Jane’s at DSEI.
The first Ares armoured personnel carriers (APCs) have already been delivered to the British Army for initial training and reliability growth trials ahead of the family’s initial operational capability (IOC), which is expected by 2021, Wilks added.
“As we head towards IOC, we will deliver all variants to enable the British Army to initiate training and prepare for the deployment of Strike Brigades,” he said.
The primary variant of the Ajax family is the turreted reconnaissance variant, which carries a Lockheed Martin UK turret armed with a CT40 cannon from CTA International. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
17 Sep 19. Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, will display two Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) at the Modern Day Marine Expo 2019. The vehicles will be on display at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia from Tuesday, September 17 through Thursday, September 19. A 4-door General Purpose JLTV will be equipped with the Javelin Integration Kit (JIK), LW30 Remote Weapon Station (RWS), and for the first time, a Black Hornet Vehicle Reconnaissance System (VRS). A 2-door Utility JLTV will be outfitted for the first time with the Uvision Hero-120 Tactical System.
“As the military pivots its focus from counter-insurgency threats towards near-peer adversaries, so too must industry,” said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “We designed the JLTV with the unpredictability of the future in mind, bringing the Warfighter unprecedented lethality capabilities along with scalable levels of protection to meet virtually any mission need.”
The U.S. Marine Corps recently announced that they plan to increase their Approved Acquisition Objective (AAO). “We’re incredibly pleased to hear that based on their own evaluation, the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) is now planning to field 15,390 JLTVs, replacing all HMMWVs in the Corps’ legacy fleet in a one-for-one swap,” said Mansfield. “We will continue to work with both the U.S. Army and the USMC to align and deliver against key military modernization priorities.” With this increase, the Marines have nearly tripled their original AAO, up from an original 5,500 quantity.
The Marine Corps also recently announced that the JLTV program has reached Initial Operational Capability (IOC), nearly a year ahead of schedule.
Oshkosh Defense leadership will be available to discuss the Oshkosh JLTVs on display as well as the company’s entire portfolio of vehicles, technologies, and integration capabilities. Visit us at Modern Day Marine 2019 booth 1703.
17 Sep 19. Rheinmetall’s Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle downselected for Australian’s Land400 Phase 3 program. Rheinmetall is pleased to confirm the Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) has been selected by the Commonwealth of Australia to compete in the Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA) trials for the $15bn LAND 400 Phase 3 program.
Lynx KF41 is a next generation tracked, networked and highly protected IFV which meets the stringent military requirements of LAND 400 Phase 3. The Australian Army needs a networked, protected and enabled IFV for close combat – to close in and defeat an enemy in the most dangerous and lethal environments for Australian soldiers.
Rheinmetall will deliver three Lynx IFVs to compete in RMA trials to be conducted in Australia. If successful, the Lynx IFV fleet will be manufactured in Queensland at Rheinmetall’s new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence at Redbank south west of Brisbane.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director, Gary Stewart, said: “We welcome the Commonwealth’s decision to select Lynx KF41 for the RMA trials and look forward to demonstrating the capability of our next generation infantry fighting vehicle.”
“We believe Lynx is the best vehicle in its class for Australian needs and it sets new standards in protection, mobility, lethality and knowledge needed to survive and defeat any adversary,” Mr Stewart said.
“Rheinmetall has developed this vehicle so it is positioned at an ideal level of maturity when Australia needs it to enter service in 2026 – and it has the inherent growth capacity and a growth path to extend these capabilities through its 40+ year life.”
Rheinmetall is already delivering an Australian Industry Network for Land 400 that builds an industrial capability in Australia. This includes creating high technology enduring jobs for hundreds of Australians by localising design and manufacturing expertise in electro-optics, weapon systems, fire control and sensor systems, turret manufacturing, variant design and manufacture, integration, armour systems, simulation, training and fleet sustainment.
Ben Hudson, Global Head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division, said: “We are delighted to have been selected in Australia for the next phase of this important program.”
“Design, development and manufacture of the Lynx in Australia for the Australian Defence Force will build on the advanced manufacturing jobs at our new MILVEHCOE as well as a strong national industrial network of Australian small and medium businesses across Australia,” Mr Hudson said.
Rheinmetall is delivering 211 8×8 BOXER Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) to the Australian Army from 2019 after the vehicle was selected by the Commonwealth after 12 months of RMA trials by ADF personnel in 2016-2017.
Both the BOXER and Lynx are modular. That means the vehicles can be reconfigured to achieve many different missions with high commonality. This allows for reconfiguration of the fleets for emergent operational needs, providing greater mission flexibility, reducing through-life costs, enabling faster introduction of new technology, and optimising ongoing fleet management.
“Rheinmetall has taken all of the significant benefits of BOXER and ensured they are part of the Lynx KF41 package,” Mr Stewart said, “with significant commonality between the vehicle fleets.”
“Extending our partnership with Army and the Commonwealth to deliver the Lynx for Land 400 Phase 3 would deliver a fully integrated armoured vehicle fighting force for the ADF.”
17 Sep 19. Paramount Group, the global technology and aerospace business, has announced that the Mbombe 4×4, the newest addition to its advanced Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) family of vehicles, has received final certification for the independently verified blast tests which exceeded the criteria for NATO STANAG 4569 – one of the highest levels of protection that can be achieved by an armoured vehicle in its class.
This announcement follows the exceptional performance of the Mbombe 4×4, which features unique flat-floor mine protection technologies pioneered by Paramount Group, during a series of explosives tests designed and executed by Landward Sciences, a programme of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa’s leading and independent scientific research body.
The blast tests are performed in accordance with the highest international specifications, namely, STANAG 4569, a NATO standardisation agreement that institutes benchmarks for occupant protections in vehicles such as the Mbombe 4×4, in this case including three 10 kg TNT explosions under the wheels and the hull, and one 50kg side blast test, carried out at a 5 meter distance to imitate an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
The Mbombe 4 was designed and developed specifically for local manufacturing in customer countries, in response to the increasing requirement from Governments for the development of their own defence industrial capabilities.
The vehicle has successfully completed a series of summer trials with several armed forces around the world. Featuring next-generation design, advanced technologies and highest levels of protection, the result of decades of real-world battlefield and asymmetrical warfare experience, the Mbombe 4×4 is ready to serve customers.
Though the Mbombe 4 is equipped for full mission capability and maximum versatility, it has a singular mission – soldier survivability. Protecting the lives of combat personnel is our utmost priority; our commitment to this cause is reflected throughout our entire portfolio. In doing so, we today serve proudly as world leaders in the research, development and manufacturing of protection technologies.
As part of the blast testing programme, the integrity of the Mbombe 4 was subjected to both intense experimentations and post-test evaluations that took several months to complete, with final inspections of the Mbombe 4 yielding outstanding results. Each of these tests is intended to validate explosives resistance and occupant protection capacities for logistics and light-armoured vehicles by pushing unmodified units to their functional limits, using expertly controlled trials and post-test evaluations.
Key features of Mbombe 4 also include an unique, rear-door ramp design, which has been proven in combat on 6×6 and 8×8 IFVs. The ease of access provided by the rear-door ensures the rapid deployment of the crew while the vehicle is static or on the move.
The Mbombe 4 performs with a burst speed of 140km/hr, an 800km operating range and an independent suspension system designed to optimally meet the increasing demand for outstanding protection yet adaptability in conventional and asymmetrical warfare alike. The mine resistant carrier is functionally versatile over challenging terrains and fully operational across a myriad of contemporary and diverse counter-terrorism, border patrol, counter-insurgency, internal security and peacekeeping missions.
Both the launch of Paramount Group’s Mbombe 4 and its first customer, the United Arab Emirates were announced at the 2019 International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi.
17 Sep 19. Ineos is close to a deal to build its “spiritual successor” to the Land Rover Defender (aka an SUV) in Bridgend, Wales — the town where Ford is closing its factory. Jim Ratcliffe’s petrochemicals giant plans to build parts of the vehicle in Portugal before shipping them to the UK for final assembly, according to people briefed on the plans. The investment is a rare piece of good news for the industry which has suffered not only Ford’s decision to close its Bridgend engine plant but also Honda’s closure of its Swindon plant. Though some might question the wisdom of getting in to the car-building industry just as everyone else is getting out. (Source: FT.com)
15 Sep 19. QinetiQ unveils Squad Packable Utility Robot. QinetiQ North America (QNA) displayed its Common Robotic System-Individual (CRS-I) offering for the first time at the DSEI 2019 exhibition held in London from 10–13 September. The backpackable robot is called the Squad Packable Utility Robot (SPUR). The system provides a common platform and open interoperability profiles that enables it to be quickly reconfigured for various missions by adding or removing modules and/or payloads. The robot is equipped with various sensors including three high-definition cameras and a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) colour camera that includes thermal vision for night-time operations. The compact form factor of SPUR – which measures 41 cm long, 36 cm wide, and 13 cm high – enables the robot and its controller, PTZ camera, and manipulator arm to be easily transported in a single MOLLE II Assault Pack.
Its small size ensures that it can operate in confined spaces such as sewer pipes, although it has also been designed to be able to climb stairs and navigate other obstacles.
The complete system weighs less than 12 kg and includes a universal controller that can maintain active or passive control of other unmanned systems, including the Puma and Raven unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), the Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc II), and Ground Sensor System (GSS). (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.