Sponsored by Oshkosh
20 Feb 20. Mack Defense has selected XMCO INC., a wholly owned subsidiary of Koniag Government Services (KGS), as the Integrated Product Support (IPS) partner for the U.S. Army M917A3 Heavy Dump Truck (HDT) contract. In this capacity, XMCO is responsible for the preparation of all IPS deliverables required to support testing and full materiel release of the system to the U.S. Army.
“Building a reliable, durable and robust vehicle platform to the U.S. Army’s specifications was only part of the total package requirement to which Mack Defense had to respond,” said David Hartzell, president, Mack Defense. “Finding an IPS provider with a proven track record for on-time quality services was critical, since all IPS product data must be completed in military standard (MIL-STD) format before vehicles will be accepted by the Army and turned over to the user community.”
XMCO has a long history of developing, validating and verifying all support documents, such as Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETMs), training materials, provisioning documentation, Level of Repair Analyses (LORA) and other logistics product data that will pass rigorous government inspection. XMCO has more than 40 years of experience in this business sector, most of which includes being a supplier to OEMs, as well as to the Tank-Automotive & Armaments Command (TACOM) community, making XMCO a perfect fit for the Mack Defense HDT team.
“XMCO is excited and honored to be selected by the Mack Defense HDT team as a program partner,” said Linda Czajka, KGS ILS Operating Group president. “We believe our very targeted experience – on truck platforms in particular – will be a major benefit to the success of the IPS program for the M917A3.”
XMCO has been provided an M917A3 truck for the sole purpose of logistics data development. Having the vehicle on site at XMCO’s facility allows technical writers, illustrators and provisioning specialists the opportunity to prepare their products with “hands-on” access which contributes significantly to technical and graphic accuracy.
Mack Defense has been proactive in integrating the XMCO IPS team with their HDT technical team to ensure the groups are operating as a cohesive unit, thus contributing to high quality, technically accurate logistics data products.
19 Feb 20. Queensland government welcomes LAND 400 factory construction milestone. The Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, Minister for Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick and Shannon Fentiman, Minister for Employment and Minister for Training and Skills Development, have welcomed the next stage of Rheinmetall’s MILVEHCOE factory.
The production building that will be the engine room of military vehicle manufacturing at Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s new headquarters in Redbank is finished and ready for fit-out.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was a major construction milestone in the delivery of the $170m Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) for Rheinmetall.
“It has been one of my government’s top priorities to successfully deliver this facility to Rheinmetall as quickly as possible to ensure they can complete fit-out and commence production and manufacturing activities on-site without delay,” she said.
“With the site’s workforce hitting a peak of 365 tradies, apprentices and trainees in the month of November, Watpac’s sustained efforts has it well placed to have the entire MILVEHCOE facility completed by mid-year.”
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the completion of the production building meant Rheinmetall was a step closer to delivering on the LAND 400 Phase 2 contract.
“Delivering large and complex infrastructure projects and bringing them in on budget is one of our key capabilities, and under our long-term partnership with Rheinmetall, this has allowed Rheinmetall to remain focused on its core business,” Minister Dick said.
“Since winning the $5.2bn LAND 400 Phase 2 tender in February 2018, Rheinmetall has been busy building its Australian workforce, training them in Germany to manage the technology and skills transfer, and importantly delivering the first tranche of Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles to the Australian Army.”
The LAND 400 Phase 2 project will create up to 450 jobs with Rheinmetall and across the Queensland supply chain in the first 10 years, contributing up to $1bn to the state’s economy.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director Gary Stewart said the company was thrilled with the progress of the construction and the current 200-plus Queensland-based employees were keen to move into the new premises.
“Larger in size than four football fields, the production facility will be the beating heart of our operations and will accommodate many facets of our military vehicle operations,” Stewart added.
“In addition to three simultaneous vehicle production lines, the production facility will feature a weld shop, an armoury, prototyping workshop, turret and simulator assembly, paint booths, heavy maintenance and a large warehouse area.”
Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said TAFE Queensland, and particularly the SkillsTech campus at Acacia Ridge, was perfectly placed to deliver a full range of skills development programs to suit Rheinmetall’s current and future needs.
“TAFE has already been training experienced welders to the international standards demanded by Defence following the purchase of 15 augmented reality welding simulators. The partnership with Rheinmetall Defence Australia and the delivery of the LAND 400 Phase 2 project is creating the high skilled, knowledge-based jobs of the future right through the supply chain,” Minister Fentiman said. (Source: Defence Connect)
18 Feb 20. After protest, US Army launches new competition for robotic mule. The US Army has renewed a competition to acquire a robotic mule for light infantry after it canceled its previous award following a protest.
The service posted a new Request for Proposals (RFP) on Feb. 14, allowing the four finalists in the original competition to recompete for a chance to build its Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) ground robotic vehicle. (The original name for the program was the Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport).
General Dynamics Land Systems’ Multi-Utility Tactical Transport, or MUTT, won the original contract to build SMET at the end of October 2019, but Textron, one of the other three companies to compete for the chance to build the system, filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office over the award.
In the protest, Textron claimed GDLS had been allowed to change its vehicle significantly following a soldier evaluation phase, which made the evaluation invalid even though an award was contingent on such an assessment from users.
Four companies were chosen from a larger pool in 2017 to compete to build the robotic vehicle: GDLS, a Textron offering from its subsidiary Howe & Howe, a team of Applied Research Associates and Polaris Defense, and HDT Expeditionary Systems. Each team built 20 platforms issued to infantry brigade combat teams for testing and analysis.
The Army terminated the program in December before the GAO made a ruling and said it planned to hold a new competition among only the four systems downselected as finalists in the previous competition.
According to the RFP, those four companies will have a chance again to compete, under revised evaluation criteria.
The systems were originally assessed using four factors: soldier feedback, system reliability, system delivery and cost and price. The new evaluation will rely on two factors, the RFP notes, which are a “Phase III System Design” and cost and price.
“The driving rationale for the change in the criteria was based on consistent feedback from soldiers during mission exercises regarding the noise signature of the systems, specifically the generators and powertrain,” the RFP states. “Furthermore, payload and operation range in silent mode are essential characteristics of the system based on the intended use of the S-MET amongst Light Infantry and were also determined to be of great criticality.”
The RFP explains the system reliability factor was removed because of “a lack of recorded hours.”
The Army plans to award one 5-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) production contract to buy both new and refurbished systems procured under the prototyping effort.
The award, according to the RFP, will come in May 2020 and systems will be delivered through October 2024, with all vehicles fielded by the following October.
The service’s target price per system is $112,000 with a maximum ceiling for the contract set at $249m, according to the RFP.
GDLS’ initial contract totaled $162.4m to produce 624 vehicles with the contract wrapping up in October 2024. Delivery was to begin in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.
The Army has been working through the acquisition of a vehicle that can carry about 1,000 pounds worth of soldier equipment for many years. The goal is to lighten the load of nine soldiers across an infantry squad. The Army wanted the robots to be able to travel 60 miles over three days and to be able to provide a spare kilowatt hour of power while moving and at least 3 kilowatt hours while stationary. (Source: Defense News)
17 Feb 20. Oshkosh Defense Receives $407.3m Order for Joint Light Tactical Vehicles. Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, announced today that the U.S. Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal has placed an order for 1,240 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) and associated kits.
This order includes JLTVs for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), Slovenia and Lithuania and kits for the U.S. Army, USMC, Slovenia and Lithuania.
“We work side-by-side with the Joint Program Office to give the military the necessary technological edge to compete with and defeat the most advanced adversaries,” said George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of joint programs for Oshkosh Defense. “Without sacrificing mobility or transportability, the JLTV can accommodate over 100 mission package configurations, a true testament to its agility and modularity.”
The Oshkosh JLTV is the only light tactical vehicle with the protection and extreme off-road mobility to maneuver with combat formations against great power adversaries. The vehicle’s digital architecture allows incorporation of advances in weapons, lasers, sensors, networking, and communications. It is designed to meet the requirements for the threats faced today and the decades to come.
Additionally, foreign interest in the highly capable JLTV platform continues to grow. The award includes orders for JLTVs to Slovenia and JLTVs to Lithuania through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process.
“We are proud of our vehicle and proud of this program,” continued Mansfield. “The JLTV stands out as one of the few major programs delivering on its promises – it is on time, on budget, and delivering against all program requirements. Our mission is to enable the brave men and women of our Armed Forces and our allies to complete their missions and return home safely.” (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
18 Feb 20. Liberian army fields Cougar vehicles. The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) paraded Streit Cougar protected-mobility vehicles during the Armed Forces Day celebration on 11 February. The AFL was not previously known to have any operational armoured vehicles since the end of the second civil war in 2003.
It is unclear how many Cougars have been acquired, with only three seen taking part in the parade. All three had protected weapon stations, but the PKM-type machine gun held by the soldier manning at least one of them did not appear to be attached to the mount. The Cougar is built on a Toyota series 79 chassis and can accommodate up to six dismounts in the back in addition to a driver and front passenger. (Source: Jane’s)
18 Feb 20. Rheinmetall MAN Survivor R special protected vehicle on show at GPEC 2020 international security exhibition in Frankfurt/Main When it comes to equipping the men and women who protect our liberty and security, only the best will do. From 18 to 20 February 2020, Rheinmetall will be on hand at the GPEC international security conference and exhibition in Frankfurt, displaying the Survivor R special operations protected vehicle.
The Survivor R epitomizes Rheinmetall’s commitment to the twin imperatives of security and mobility. It is extremely well suited for police special operations. In Germany, state-level police forces in Berlin, North Rhine Westphalia and Saxony have already opted to equip their SWAT teams with the Survivor R. Meanwhile, the vehicle has proven itself several times in operations. The Survivor R is now in the running to become the standard special operations vehicle for Germany’s federal and state police agencies.
Developed in cooperation with special vehicle maker Achleitner and based on a high-performance 4×4 MAN truck chassis, the Survivor R is fitted with a steel armour cab. Capable of reaching speeds of over 100 km/h, the vehicle combines tried-and-tested automotive technology from major production runs with the latest force protection concepts from Rheinmetall.
Systematic use of off-the-shelf civilian parts and serially produced military components make the vehicle an affordable option, while users can rely on Rheinmetall MAN’s global service network for maintenance and repairs. This makes the Survivor R a cost-effective, easy-to-maintain vehicle platform with low lifecycle costs and a high level of operational readiness.
An armoured monocoque cab with add-on protection elements can be individually and discreetly modified to meet evolving threat situations, while a ventilation system for filtering out nuclear, biological and chemical agents is standard equipment in every Survivor R vehicle. Well-lit and ergonomically designed, the interior is spacious enough to seat up to eleven personnel with their personal equipment as well as extensive C4I and communications equipment. An engine-independent auxiliary heating and a powerful air conditioning system ensure a comfortable operating environment for the crew all year round.
This versatile vehicle can also be equipped with remotely operated weapon stations. A variant fitted with Rheinmetall’s Fieldranger weapon station is designed for protecting airports, for instance, as well as for operations against terrorists employing military tactics and equipment.
17 Feb 20. Alcon braking systems to be part of Patria’s breakthrough into widening military markets. Patria, a global market leader in the production of armoured wheeled vehicles, have been selected with their 6×6 platform to be part of a joint programme to develop sustained mobility enhancement for the Finnish and Latvian Armies. Alcon Components Ltd, world-class specialists in brake and clutch systems, is the principal supplier of braking components for Patria’s heavy armoured vehicle range, and specifically the Patria 6×6.
Alcon has worked closely with Patria to determine the specific requirements aligned to vehicle specification, usage profiles and operating environment; developing a bespoke braking system to match the needs of high-performance defence vehicles. With the exceptional performance of Patria’s wheeled vehicle range creating conditions close to that of a rally car in terms of disc and pad temperature cycling, Alcon were able to draw on their pedigree of providing braking solutions for the top echelons of motorsport to develop exclusive calliper and disc mounting concepts for Patria; a fusion of those seen on heavy commercial vehicles and high-performance motorsport.
The Patria 6×6 is acknowledged as being unrivalled in performance and mobility, setting new standards for all future armoured wheeled vehicles. Reliability is underlined by the multitude of commercial components used in the vehicle. Commercial components, long life-span and easy maintenance make the vehicle extremely cost-efficient; ideally matching the Finnish-Latvian programme’s aim to develop a common armoured wheeled vehicle system with enhanced mobility, cost-efficiency, interoperability and security of supply.
Alcon braking solutions have been sought out by some of the world’s finest defence industry vehicle OEMs. Amongst 18 defence and security equipment OEMs currently using or assessing Alcon systems, as well as Patria, Supacat, the designers of the Jackal, BAe, Ricardo and Jankel have turned to Alcon to deliver bespoke braking systems that fully meet the demanding requirements of the challenging, high-performance, modern-day battlefield.
Mr. Janne Räkköläinen, Vice President Vehicles, at Patria Land said: “Our 6×6 vehicle is designed to be operated in all conditions and it needs to deliver the solid performance throughout the various missions and operations. In addition to the performance, braking systems are safety critical elements of the vehicle so the complete reliability and fulfilment of requirements are top priority for us. We know we can rely on Alcon’s support and performance”.
Jonathan Edwards, Group Sales Director at Alcon said: “Alcon’s previous selection by Patria is an unqualified confirmation of Alcon’s status as a company that provides the finest bespoke braking systems to the global defence markets. We’re delighted that the Patria 6×6 has been selected for this programme and we look forward to a continued strong relationship with Patria as the programme evolves.” He added: “It is a key strategic company aim for Alcon to become the first-choice braking system supplier to defence vehicle companies across the globe. This recent announcement underlines our ability to deliver and become exactly that.”
17 Feb 20. Milestone delivery for new Australian defence industry hub. Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price have welcomed the delivery of the next-stage of critical infrastructure for the delivery of the Boxer CRV under the $5bn LAND 400 Phase 2 project.
The first elements of the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) will be handed over to Rheinmetall Defence Australia in Queensland today.
Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said this is a next step in the federal government’s over $5bn investment in the Army’s armoured vehicle capability under LAND 400 (Phase 2).
The MILVEHCOE will be capable of the design, manufacture, sustainment and export of military vehicles, turrets and tactical systems, including the combat reconnaissance vehicle (CRV) program.
“These facilities will be used to support some of the Australian Defence Force’s major new capabilities being delivered under the Commonwealth’s Integrated Investment Plan,” Minister Reynolds explained.
“This includes the maintenance of Defence’s new fleet of logistics vehicles, and the production and maintenance of the new Boxer 8×8 combat reconnaissance vehicle capability.”
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the economic benefit to Australia resulting from the federal government’s investment in the project, and the 30-year life of the Boxer capability, will be over $10bn.
“The MILVEHCOE will draw on an extensive Australian supply network to deliver products and services from local industry into Rheinmetall’s global supply chain,” Minister Price said.
“This significant $5bn program is creating an estimated 1,450 jobs across the country, including 330 jobs in Queensland.”
Initially, the facility will be used by Rheinmetall to conduct heavy grade repair, integration and support to Defence’s new logistics vehicles, being delivered under LAND 121 Phase 3B/5B.
Commencing in 2022, the facility will produce and maintain the Boxer 8×8 CRV capability. The facility is expected to be officially launched in July 2020.
The $5bn 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 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)
14 Feb 20. US Army Will Share Oshkosh’s JLTV Designs With Competitors. The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is currently built by Oshkosh but the Army is seeking alternative manufacturers, who will get the government-owned Technical Data Package required to build it. The Army’s also reviewing how many JLTVs it really needs, Secretary Ryan McCarthy says. The Army is about to blow the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program wide open. In public remarks today by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and a notice to industry quietly updated online, the service made clear it is reopening two multi-billion-dollar questions that were supposedly settled by the 2015 award of the hotly contested JLTV contract to Oshkosh: How many 4×4 offroad trucks does the Army really need, and who should build them?
Originally intended to replace the underarmored Humvee and the lumbering MRAP with a nimble and well-protected vehicle, the JLTV has suffered major cuts in the last two budgets. At the same time, each budget document also insists the Army hasn’t changed the total number it plans to buy. It’s just spreading that buy out over a longer term. But McCarthy made clear today the total number may change.
“When you look at our vehicle portfolio, we’ve got about 48, 49 thousand Humvees; program of record for JLTV is about 49,000 JLTVs. And Infantry [Squad] Vehicles, we’re going to have about a thousand of those,” McCarthy said at a National Press Club luncheon. “That’s a breathtaking amount of vehicles, even for an organization as big as us. What we’ve asked for is a study of just how many do we need, and what is the appropriate mix?
“We treat taxpayer dollars like we treat our ammunition,” the secretary said. “Every bullet counts, and it’s aimed against a target.”
Now the service has already said this, sort of. Last year, McCarthy – then the undersecretary – and the four-star chief of Army Futures Command, Gen. Mike Murray, acknowledged the total number of JLTVs procured was under review. But this is the first I’ve heard of that review since then, and McCarthy’s language is much more definitive this time.
That’s just part of the bad news for Oshkosh. While the company currently has an exclusive contract to manufacture the JLTV, that contract also includes an option for the government to buy what’s called a Technical Data Package. Briefings provided to industry say the program office exercised that option in 2016.
“TDP covers all the specification and drawings necessary for a new contractor to build an identical truck,” one slide says. “TDP provides the Government the ability to conduct a full and open re-compete for follow-on production contract.”
The 2021 budget request makes clear that the Army is now considering conducting such a competition, as we reported Tuesday. An online notice to industry – originally posted Jan. 31st but updated last week – makes clear the government is now actively convening interested companies 10 days from now and will provide them the Technical Data Package next month.
“The Government will hold an Industry Day event on 24 and 25 February to provide an understanding of the JLTV design and provide early insight into the Government’s planned approach to awarding a best value contract for the Follow-On JLTV Family of Vehicles (FoV) production contract,” runs the notice on SAM.gov. “After… the Government will make the current Technical Data Package (TDP) and the first DRAFT RFP available to interested prime contractors and subcontractors[;] anticipated release date for these documents is March 2020.”
The industry “day” – actually two days – will consist of government briefings for the assembled companies on Feb. 24th and then one-on-one meetings with individual companies on the 25th. Sometime afterwards, the military will publish a formal Request For Information (RFI) that will include a process for companies to lease JLTVs so they can examine and assess them.
In the long term, the document stays, the Army-led Joint Program Office for JLTV “intends to competitively award the follow-on JLTV FoV Production contract as a single award five-year requirements contract, with five additional one-year options.”
Oshkosh Says Bring It On
What does Oshkosh say to all this? In a nutshell: Bring it on.
“Oshkosh Defense is well positioned to continue being the preferred manufacturer for the JLTV platform,” VP George Mansfield said in a statement to Breaking Defense. “Oshkosh has spent over a decade working closely with the Joint Program Office to optimize the vehicle design, manufacturing process and supply chain to ensure the highest level of protection and off-road mobility for our Warfighter, and the lowest cost for the taxpayer. The program remains on time and on budget, with nearly 6,000 vehicles delivered to the US Army and Marine Corps customer. Oshkosh Defense is committed to building TWVs [Tactical Wheeled Vehicles] that can protect our Warfighters in both hostile insurgency and near peer threat environments, so that they may complete their missions and return them home safely.”
Yes, Oshkosh acknowledges that the Army is now taking longer to buy the JLTV. “The changes extend JLTV Full Operational Capability from the mid 2030s to the early 2040s,” Mansfield’s statement ran. “While year-to-year funding instability hinders programs, the JLTV stands out as one of the relatively few major programs delivering on its promise. It is on schedule and under budget. The JLTV is also the only light tactical vehicle with the protection and extreme off-road mobility to maneuver with combat formations against great power adversaries.”
In other words? Some military leaders – including former Army Secretary Mark Esper, now Secretary of Defense – have said the JLTV was designed for the last war, optimized for surviving roadside bombs in a counterinsurgency campaign. But Oshkosh is arguing that you’ll need something equally survivable to deal with, say, Russian artillery-scattered minefields in a conventional war — and since you can’t put the entire force in heavily armored tracked vehicles, you’d better have some pretty tough trucks.
“We take great pride in working with the US Army and Marines to give the warfighter a technological edge at the best price,” Mansfield said. “We never forget that our core purpose is enabling the brave men and women of the Armed Forces who rely on our products and services to perform their missions and return home safely — and that will never change.” (Source: Breaking Defense.com)
About Oshkosh Defense
Oshkosh Defense is a leading provider of tactical wheeled vehicles and life cycle sustainment services. For decades Oshkosh has been mobilizing military and security forces around the globe by offering a full portfolio of heavy, medium, light and highly protected military vehicles to support our customers’ missions. In addition, Oshkosh offers advanced technologies and vehicle components such as TAK-4® independent suspension systems, TerraMax™ unmanned ground vehicle solutions, Command Zone™ integrated control and diagnostics system, and ProPulse® diesel electric and on-board vehicle power solutions, to provide our customers with a technical edge as they fulfill their missions. Every Oshkosh vehicle is backed by a team of defense industry experts and complete range of sustainment and training services to optimize fleet readiness and performance. Oshkosh Defense, LLC is an Oshkosh Corporation company [NYSE: OSK].
To learn more about Oshkosh Defense, please visit us at www.oshkoshdefense.com.