Sponsored by MILLBROOK
Tel: +44 (0) 1525 408408
04 Oct 19. Lynx 41 disqualified from Bradley replacement competition. Defense News reported tonight that he US Army has disqualified Raytheon and Rheinmetall’s bid for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle prototype competition, Defense News has learned. The OMFV is meant to replace the service’s Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. The Army’s plan was to choose a winner after two companies deliver 14 prototypes each for evaluation, with replacement of Bradleys happening in 2026.
The Army would not comment on the disqualification and said in a statement sent to Defense News that the solicitation for the OMFV prototyping effort closed on Oct. 1 and “we are now in the competition sensitive Source Selection Evaluation process.”
The service noted in the statement that it “remains committed to rapidly execute the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle program,” its number two modernization priority.
But multiple sources have confirmed that the bid — Rheinmetall’s Lynx 41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle — was disqualified and the bid sample, the only one in existence, remains in Germany at the company’s facility in Unterluss. The Army required the competitors to deliver a bid sample — a full-up working vehicle — to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, by Oct. 1.
The Lynx has left the Rheinmetall compound several times before, notably to travel to be unveiled in Paris at Eurosatory in June 2018 and again at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference last fall. Raytheon and the Rheinmetall announced at AUSA that they would partner on the OMFV program and submit Lynx as its offering. The disqualification of the team means that General Dynamics Land Systems’ offering is the only vehicle remaining in the competition.
According to sources, no other company submitted. Hanwha, a South Korean defense company, was interested in competing but chose not to participate, multiple sources claim. Industry sources have said that several companies who wanted to compete or submitted bids had asked for extensions, roughly 90 days in the case of Rheinmetall, to meet requirements.
According to multiple sources, potential bidders expressed concern to the service that meeting the requirements, the timeline and a combination of the two wasn’t possible.
What snarled Rheinmetall, for instance, according to sources, was the timeline it needed to get approvals from the local municipal government to transport the vehicle by tractor trailer or rail and then via air.
Sources said that the company had requested a four-week extension to deliver the vehicle to Aberdeen and also offered to hand over the vehicle to the Army under lock and bond in Germany by the Oct. 1 deadline and both were denied.
But a larger issue, multiple sources conveyed, was the clear differences between what the Army acquisition community and what Army Futures Command wanted to do. Sources confirmed that the acquisition side of the house was willing to agree to extensions, for instance, but AFC, who is in charge of rapid requirements development and prototyping efforts ahead of programs of record, insisted the Army must adhere to the schedule.
Industry also expressed concern to the Army over the roughly 100 mandatory requirements, with just six tradeable ones, expected to be met over 15 months using non-developmental vehicles.
Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, who is in charge of Next-Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) modernization efforts, said at the Defense News Conference in September that he was confident the requirements set for OMFV are appropriate and had no plans to change them.
Presently, the OMFV competition is on hold due to a congressionally mandated continuing resolution that prevents the effort from kicking off. The Army had planned to begin the $378m program in the first quarter after taking receipt of the bid samples at the start of the new fiscal year. As the Army enters its competition to build prototypes to replace the Bradley, Australia is running a similar effort and recently downselected to two competitors: Rheinmetall’s Lynx and an offering from Hanwha. GDLS was competing but did not make the final cut. Australia laid out just five mandatory requirements for its competition.
GDLS has not yet detailed its offering for OMFV but said it was “purpose built” for the U.S. Army. (Source: Defense News)
BATTLESPACE Comment: Will OMFV follow GCV to the scrapheap for the US army to think again? It looks that way tonight, unless GD can hold its nerve!
This decision underlines the concerns expressed in our Feature due to be released on Monday but which can be viewed on the BATTLESPACE website now.
The Perennial Problem of MTBF, Power-To-Weight Ratios and Mobility vs. Protection Return To Haunt APC Manufacturers
By Julian Nettlefold (See: BATTLESPACE ALERT Vol.21 ISSUE 24, 04 October 2019, Lynx 41 disqualified from Bradley replacement competition)
03 Oct 19. The old perennial problem of MTBF, Power-To-Weight Ratios and mobility vs. protection returns to haunt APC manufacturers worldwide.
In 2010 BATTLESPACE published a feature on Advanced Armoured Personnel Carrier Designs along with an interview with BAE Systems. We said that that, in our view, the current design for APCs had reached its zenith. What was required was new processes to allow for better protection and better mobility to combat the new range of overmatched IEDs and other weapons.
What was required was new processes to allow for better protection and better mobility to combat the new range of overmatched IEDs and other weapons. If you cannot provide the mobility, you have to keep to the zones and roads where the IED threat is greatest. Thus, you have to increase the protection levels to keep your troops safe from IED and other attacks. What does that do? It brings down the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) Rates to unacceptable levels below which troops cannot operate in fast Pursuit Operations, particularly under the new UK Strike Brigade Concept.
It also showed another problem. If you add weight to vehicles you need bridges with higher weight-carrying potential, hence a number of new bridging solutions on display at DSEI from GDUKLS and Pearson Engineering and WFEL amongst others.
But, once disembarked, those troops require better protection on the battlefield with new body armour and helmet systems which weigh more and take up more space. Result – a bigger, longer vehicle to accommodate your section.
A recent Eastern European Exercise showed the effect of breakdowns on the ability to move fast to protect vulnerable incursion spots. So, the weight is increased, the MTBF goes up, what happens next? The existing drive train, torsion bar design, suspensions and wheel layout are not man enough to take the extra weight and they break or snap. The Recovery vehicle is called in but, given the extra weight of the vehicle it is servicing it has to be modified, as we saw last week with the BAE Systems contract for M88 Hercules Recovery Vehicle upgrades.
The US Future Combat Systems concept in the 1990s, with the UK Tracer/MRAV equivalent failed because the battlefield doctrine then was fight at a distance using long range canon and missiles to engage the enemy. The IED changed all of that. The British Army is in the process of a huge upgrade programme to meet these challenges with Challenger 2 LEP(although not automotive), Warrior and Ajax. To allow these vehicles to engage at distance to defeat the up-armoured enemy vehicles, both Warrior and Ajax required a canon with greater killing potential, CT40 was chosen. CT40 also required advanced optics and with new Active Protection systems. The choice of CT40 over the Bushmaster 44 required new turret designs for Warrior and Ajax. Trials showed that the recoil, 20,000lbs, caused a huge pressure on the turret ring and hull, causing problems for both vehicles. Result – beef up your turret structure to make it more robust. Result of this change – more weigh on the suspension and drive train. Result – breakdowns and more MTBF below that forecast in the bid.
Below we have the feature about the US Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, Bradley Replacement Programme. Note that BAE Systems has declined to bid. Is this because they know that the current design and technology available for a new APC cannot meet the design and performance criteria without a huge redesign and technology investment which the DoD may be reluctant to pay for. BAE was bitten by liquidated damages from the MoD in its Terrier Engineer Vehicle bid, which resulted in it being very conservative with its Warrior WCSP which Lockheed won. They don’t want to be bitten the same way in the US!
The previous attempt to replace the Bradley, Ground Combat Vehicle, ended in the cancellation of the Program in 2014, with BATTLESPACE suggesting that the BAE offering looking more like a battleship on tracks than an APC!
In the UK GDUK is progressing albeit at a slower than recorded progress for its Ajax vehicles, with reports of wheel and suspension failures as is Lockheed with WCSP. GDLSUK pitched the ASCOD design to accommodate a larger engine to allow for the growth described above. But, a larger engine puts more strain on the gearbox and the suspension, for obvious reasons as it can travel faster cross-country. The drive systems breakdowns just progress down the drivetrain.
In Spain ASCOD 2, on which the Ajax vehicle is based, is still not in service. Answer? Look at a whole new technology involving more composites and advanced automotive and suspension for the next iteration of vehicles, which will take a decade.
In the meantime accept that higher MTBF and drivetrain failures are the name of the game if you want to protect your troops on today’s battlefield. What that does to the existing contracts in place where MTBF has been part of the process will no doubt end in disputes with the lawyers always winning!
More Engineer and Recovery Regiments with new Repair and Recovery vehicles and systems and a streamlined Base Repair Process. It is interesting to note that the MoD had a bid in its hand to do exactly the above from Dyncorp in its bid for DSG. They would have torn up the existing rule book and built new and advanced service facilities. But the MoD took the higher more moribund bid from Babcock who claimed an expertise in Through Life Support for the Royal Navy in particular.
No improvement and drastic reduction in the Land Rover fleet availability in particular. (See Features: The Perennial Problem of MTBF, Power-To-Weight Ratios and Mobility vs. Protection return to haunt APC manufacturers By Julian Nettlefold)
02 Oct 19. Pencils down: Bids are in to replace the US Army’s Bradley fighting vehicle. The bids are in for a chance to build prototypes for the Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle that will replace its Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
Among them is a Raytheon and Rheinmetall team putting forward Rheinmetall’s Lynx 41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle, and General Dynamics Land Systems, which showcased its Griffin III technology demonstrator equipped with a 50mm cannon a year ago at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual exposition.
It is currently unknown if any other teams submitted bids by the service’s set deadline of Oct. 1. None have come forward publicly despite rumors of a dark horse or two.
Absent from the usual brood of combat vehicle manufacturers is BAE Systems. Defense News broke the news earlier this year that the company wouldn’t compete in the OMFV competition.
Textron has joined the Raytheon and Rheinmetall team with plans to, if chosen to build the new vehicle, build Lynx here in the United States at its Slidell, Louisiana, manufacturing facility. Raytheon and Rheinmetall announced a joint venture Oct. 1 — calling it Raytheon Rheinmetall Land Systems LLC — to pursue the OMFV competition.
“General Dynamics Land Systems submitted our OMFV proposal and bid sample to the US Army on 27 September. GD’s bid sample was purpose built to address the desired system lethality, survivability and mobility as substantiation of our response to the Army’s request for proposal,” the company said in a statement sent to Defense News. The company did not provide details on the submission.
GDLS did note, however, that it is proposing a “purpose built vehicle” using technologies from other platforms and “years of investment in advanced capabilities to include a 50mm cannon,” according to the statement.
The Army released its request for proposals in March opening a competition to build prototypes. The service plans to choose from the pool of bidders up to two teams to build 14 prototypes each.
The service will choose a winner that will start replacing Bradleys in 2026 that is designed to better operate in future environments that would allow soldiers to maneuver to a position of advantage and “to engage in close combat and deliver decisive lethality during the execution of the combined arms maneuver,” according to an Army statement issued along with the RFP release.
Some of the threshold requirements for OMFV are a 30mm cannon and a second-generation, forward-looking infrared system, or FLIR. Objective requirements are a 50mm cannon and a third-generation FLIR.
Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, who is in charge of Next-Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) modernization efforts, said at the Defense News Conference in September that he is confident the requirements set for OMFV are right and had no plans to change them. The selected prototypes will go through “rigorous” operational testing and soldier assessments. The Army plans to downselect to one vehicle for low-rate initial production following the assessments and testing. (Source: Defense News)
(Since this piece was published, the Lynx has been excluded from the OMFV Program)
02 Oct 19. Lithuania receives more Unimog trucks. Daimler has delivered 110 more Unimog U5000 trucks to the Lithuanian armed forces, adding to 88 examples already delivered under a 340-unit order for the vehicle.
The vehicles are being delivered under the terms of a contract signed with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), which is valued at EUR70m and will include logistical support from Daimler over the first 15 years, as well as tooling and testing equipment.
‘The NSPA collects demand applications from all NATO allies and is able to carry out acquisitions in bulk which cuts the price of one unit significantly,’ Sigitas Dzekunskas, director of the defence materiel agency that falls under the ministry of national defence, said.
Daimler is expected to deliver the remaining 142 trucks to fulfil this order in 2020-2021, and the new tactical 5-tonne vehicles will be assigned to the Lithuanian land forces and other units to supplement equipment fleets. (Source: Shephard)
02 Oct 19. Jacobs Vehicle Systems®, a worldwide manufacturer of diesel engine retarding systems and valve actuation systems, has introduced its Fulcrum Bridge technology to the off-highway market. The technology eliminates the need to periodically adjust an engine’s lash settings, reducing inconvenience and total cost of ownership, while making conventional engine braking compatible for the first time with lashless technology, which is widely used by heavy-duty engines in off-highway applications.
The company will exhibit the new Fulcrum Bridge technology for the first time at Agritechnica 2019 (November 10-16; Hanover, Germany), joining the booth (no. G24) of Jacobs’ parent company, Altra Motion.
Jacobs’ Fulcrum Bridge removes the traditional need to set and adjust the mechanical clearance in the valve train between valve and camshaft, known as lash, by employing Hydraulic Lash Adjusters (HLA). Hydraulic lash adjustment allows for more consistent valve motions throughout all engine operating conditions and wear over the engine lifetime, enhancing engine performance and fuel economy.
HLA technology has advantages for engine manufacturers because setting lash on engine assembly lines can cause bottlenecks, and advantages for engine operators as they benefit from a reduction in vehicle downtime because the need to check and adjust lash is eliminated for intake and exhaust main events. This servicing requirement can be especially inconvenient where engines are in use in specialty off-highway applications because a clean environment is needed when accessing the overhead and opening the valve cover, and when getting access to the engine may require significant vehicle disassembly.
Another disadvantage of traditional, manually-adjustable lash is that the adjustments are often set with slight inaccuracies, with a detrimental effect on exhaust emissions and fuel consumption. Variance from the optimum setting by as little as 0.01 cm may be enough to negatively affect engine breathing and efficiency.
By making conventional engine braking compatible with HLA technology, Jacobs’ Fulcrum Bridge enables all the benefits noted above. Conventional engine brakes were previously incompatible with HLAs because as the engine brake holds the exhaust valve open, the HLA will over-extend, possibly causing valve-to-piston contact once engine braking is turned off. Jacobs’ solution applies a reactive load to the HLA during an engine braking event to prevent this over-extension.
“It was previously thought to be impossible to use Hydraulic Lash Adjustors and engine brakes together, forcing engine makers to choose between HLA’s and a Jake Brake®. Jacobs’ Fulcrum Bridge system means you can have both, bringing the many vehicle performance and efficiency advantages of both technologies to off-highway operators. With the Fulcrum Bridge, the lash setting is good for the life of the engine,” said Steve Ernest, Vice President of Engineering & Business Development at Jacobs Vehicle Systems.
01 Oct 19. Estonian Infantry Platoon Deploys Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS UGV on Patrol for the First Time in Mali. The Estpla-32 infantry platoon currently serving in Mali deployed for the first time the Milrem Robotics THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) during a military operation, testing its implementation in support of infantry in the conflict area from both a tactical and a technical viewpoint.
“Deploying an unmanned vehicle will allow units to increase their combat power, as it reduces the physical load to soldiers and allows additional supplies to be included in an operation such as heavy weaponry, additional water and ammunition that could not be transported without the vehicle,” said 2nd Lieutenant Madis Pärnpuu, the second-in-command of Estpla-32. “We are currently using the UGV on patrols to identify and eliminate both technical and procedural bottlenecks, and test different ways of using it and integrating it into our tactics,” he added.
In the past, THeMIS has been used to transport equipment needed by the unit in Mali both at and near their base.
Mali is one of the toughest regions in the world with lava rock soil, loose sand and high temperatures that can reach 50 degrees in the shade. Such conditions test the capabilities of the THeMIS but also other technology available to units like radio stations, GPS equipment, etc. Despite the difficult circumstances, the THeMIS has proven itself reliable.
“Mali is the perfect place to test new technology. In addition to supporting our troops, we have received a great deal of valuable feedback from Operation Barkhane on the reliability, ease of use and tactical use of the vehicle,” said General (Ret) Riho Terras, President of the Defence Division of Milrem Robotics. The company will use the information collected from Mali for further development to improve the UGV and make it an even better tool for dismounted units.
Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS is currently the only tracked UGV of its size class deployed in the operational area. Milrem Robotics’ UGVs will also support the Mali mission in 2020.
THeMIS is a multi-purpose tracked vehicle that can be equipped with a range of different combat systems. The THeMIS in Mali can be used for support and observation. The vehicle can transport equipment such as water and ammunition and thanks to its cameras increase situational awareness and allow for an overview of dangerous areas without endangering soldiers. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
01 Oct 19. Supacat contributes to first Boxer CRV for Australian Army. Supacat was represented at the ceremony handing over the first Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle to the Commonwealth at Gallipoli Barracks as part of the $5.2bn LAND 400 Phase 2 program.
Supacat has been involved with Rheinmetall on the LAND 400 program since 2015. To date the contribution has largely been on engineering, trials, prototyping and testing, but as the program has moved into the production element, Supacat has commenced design and build activities.
The first Boxer CRV is fitted with external racks designed by Supacat specifically to cater for the Australian Army’s requirements. The racks were designed by the Supacat engineering team in Port Melbourne and have been delivered from Supacat’s assembly facility in western Sydney.
Michael Halloran, managing director, Supacat, said, “It’s an exciting day for all of the members of the Rheinmetall LAND 400 team. This is just the start of a long production run, and as MILVEHCOE opens in 2020 and the full production capability evolves on Australian soil, we look forward to growing our part in the program.”
In delivering these first parts, Supacat drew on the expertise developed through the delivery of its HMT programs in Australia and New Zealand in partnership with Australian SMEs under the Supacat Team Asia Pacific banner. These first deliveries exercised the skills of a number of Australian SMEs including Able Industries, Hoffmann Engineering and C.E. Bartlett.
Supacat’s involvement in the program clearly illustrates the benefits of the enduring capability developed as a result of defence industry policy.
Halloran added, “We are also very excited to be entering the RMA stage of LAND 400 Phase 3 and supporting the Rheinmetall team through that process.”
Supacat is an innovative producer of high mobility military vehicles, specialist vehicles and maritime products. From its Australian offices, its primary focus is to act as a compact prime, delivering through life capabilities to its customers in specialist and niche applications with both Supacat and other OEM equipment throughout the Asia Pacific.
Supacat has an established presence in Australia, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.
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 (MILVEHCOE) 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. Boxer will replace the ageing ASLAV vehicles that have served with the Australian Army in East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Army will accept 133 reconnaissance variants of the Boxer, which will be equipped with Rheinmetall’s cutting-edge Lance 30mm automatic cannon turret system, among a number of other variants.
Joint venture partners Varley Rafael will supply the Spike LR2 Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) system for the Boxer CRV. The Spike LR2 is a fifth-generation ATGM system, originally developed as a fire-and-forget system.
The vehicle-mounted extended-range variant has a range of eight kilometres, while the non-line-of-sight variant can hit targets up to 25 kilometres away.
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)
30 Sep 19. Moog and Voith intend to establish a strategic partnership. The global technology company Voith Group and Moog Inc., both developers, manufacturers and suppliers of electric, hydraulic and hybrid drive solutions, are currently in talks to form a joint venture based in Rutesheim. The project provides for a strategic partnership to expand the hydrostatic servo-hydraulics business in various industrial markets.
The proposed joint venture aims to combine the solid expertise of both companies in the field of hydrostatic servo drives and leverage synergies to enter new markets. The new joint venture would focus on research and development, design and assembly as well as service.
In 1965, the Voith subsidiary Hartmann & Lämmle, which belongs to the Voith Turbo division, was founded in Rutesheim by Hans Hartmann and Franz Lämmle. Here, the technology group develops, designs and manufactures innovative components and systems for fluid power drive, control and regulation technology, especially for the mechanical engineering industry for sheet metal and material processing. Rutesheim is the competence center for hydraulic drive systems.
Moog GmbH in Böblingen was founded in 1965 as the first subsidiary of Moog Inc. outside the USA, and specializes in the development of hydraulic, electric and hybrid drive solutions. Moog GmbH is the main order, logistics, service and repair center in Europe, and is also responsible for German and Eastern European product sales.
Today, both companies informed their economic committees, workers councils and employees about the ongoing discussions, which should be completed in the coming months, subject to the approval of all necessary bodies and competent authorities.
30 Sep 19. Multimillion-euro order from Hungary – Rheinmetall to manufacture main armament and hulls for PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer and Leopard 2 main battle tank. Rheinmetall is taking on an important role in the modernization of the Hungarian Army. The Düsseldorf-based Group is producing the main armament and fire control technology for forty-four Leopard 2 main battle tanks as well as the main armament, fire control technology and chassis for twenty-four PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers. The package also encompasses thirteen HX and TGS logistic trucks. The contract, worth around €300m, was recently signed. Delivery begins in 2021 and will be completed in 2025. Rheinmetall has partnered with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) to carry out the project. In December 2018 KMW won an order from the Hungarian armed forces for forty-four new Leopard 2A7+ tanks and 24 new PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers. This will make Hungary the 19th Leopard 2 user nation and the eighth nation to opt for the PzH2000.
As well as having design authority, Rheinmetall is the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the 120mm smoothbore technology used in all versions of the Leopard 2 tank. The same is true of the 155mm L52 main gun of the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer.
Tried and tested around the globe, the Group’s 120mm smoothbore gun and ammunition have been continuously perfected right from the start. The higher-pressure 120mm L55A1 gun earmarked for the Leopard 2A7+ was successfully qualified at the end of 2017, and already supplied and installed for two Leopard 2 user nations in mid 2018. Moreover, the L55A1 tank gun is capable of firing the programmable DM11 multipurpose round.
In addition, Rheinmetall possesses comprehensive expertise in the field of tracked armoured vehicles, including as an OEM. The Group developed the chassis of the PzH self-propelled howitzer.
26 Sep 19. Mack Defense and Sherwin-Williams General Industrial Coatings have partnered to implement multiple solutions for applying Chemical Agent Resistant Coatings (CARC) for use on the Mack Defense M917A3 heavy dump truck (HDT) model. These coating solutions are designed to meet the demanding requirements of the U.S. Department of Defense’s CARC process specifications MIL-DTL-53072F.
“Sherwin-Williams was the clear choice to work with on the CARC application,” said Wayne Vaupel, supplier quality engineer, Mack Defense. “They are a trusted supplier of military grade coatings, and we knew we could count on their expertise and knowledge for the specialized requirements of the M917A3 HDT.”
The CARC applications used on the M917A3 HDT are designed to protect the vehicle from corrosion, wartime chemical and biological weapons, provide specific camouflage properties for added protection for the operator and extend the vehicle’s life cycle in the field.
“Like Mack Defense, Sherwin-Williams is proud of our current and past support of our armed forces,” said Craig Morris, marketing manager, Sherwin-Williams Industrial Defense Coatings. “We have built a thorough understanding of the MIL-DTL-53072F specification for the CARC application process, and we were able to provide both product and technical support to Mack Defense.”
The M917A3 program is currently on track and proceeding in accordance with all activities required by the U.S. Army. The contract to supply these vehicles to the military extends through May of 2025.
26 Sep 19. MIV delivery team sees Boxer put through its paces. As part of the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) Programme Assessment Phase being led by DE&S, two Boxer vehicles were put through a series of technical trials. The trials, at the British Armoured Trials and Development Unit in Dorset, were to assess their supportability and recoverability using British Army’s in-service repair and recovery assets. Roddy Malone, head Land Concepts and Assessment at DE&S, said: “These assessments, which went very well, are an important part of the forthcoming preparations, essentially confirming some of the key inservice supportability logistics of Boxer in the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle role.” As seen here, the vehicles were driven hard over the Bovington courses over three days to ensure the complete running gear and drive trains had been exposed to the natural operating environmental such as mud, deep water crossing, heavy dust and loose stones. A series of repair and recovery exercises were also carried out on the vehicles. (Source: U.K. MoD desider)
26 Sep 19. Kuwaiti, Saudi Abrams tank programmes move forward. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia’s plans to acquire new Abrams main battle tanks appear to be progressing after the US Department of Defense awarded a USD21m contract to Honeywell International on 24 September to deliver parts for what it described as the “Advanced Gas Turbine-1500 engine rebuild” for the two Gulf countries. The AGT-1500 is the powerplant for the Abrams.
It was announced in 2016 that Kuwait had requested upgrades for its 218 M1A2 Abrams tanks for an estimated USD1.7bn and that Saudi Arabia had requested another 153 M1A2Ss worth USD1.1bn. Kuwait subsequently decided to acquire 218 new M1A2s, which, like the Saudi tanks, will be made by refurbishing and modifying surplus US military vehicles. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
01 Oct 19. US Army weighing Bradley replacement bids. Industry proposals to build the US Army’s M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle replacement are in for service leaders to evaluate and, potentially, make an initial downselect early next year. On 1 October, Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) bids were due to the army and so far, General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) and Raytheon Rheinmetall Land Systems have announced that they are vying for prototype contracts.
Don Kotchman, GDLS’s vice-president and general manager of the US market, told Jane’s that the company submitted its OMFV proposal and bid sample on 27 September. “GD’s bid sample was purpose built to address the desired system lethality, survivability and mobility as substantiation of our response to the army’s request for proposal,” Kotchman wrote in a 1 October email. (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.