Sponsored by Oshkosh
03 Apr 20. FFG wins upgrade work for German Wiesel 1 weapon carriers. The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) in December 2019 awarded Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) a contract to upgrade 181 deployed Wiesel 1 Armoured Weapon Carrier (AWC) vehicles to extend their operational life to at least 2025. The company declined to disclose the value of the contract and delivery schedule.
In June 2017, following a competition, FFG was awarded a contract to build three prototypes of the upgraded Wiesel 1 AWC; these were completed in 2018 and handed over to the German Army for extensive troop trials.
Benjamin Lindsay, senior manager for sales and project development with FFG’s Military Programs Division, told Jane’s the company will receive batches of 25 Wiesel 1 AWCs without weapons, which will then be upgraded by FFG and returned to the German Army, which will fit government furnished equipment (GFE) such as radios and weapons.
All three deployed versions of the Wiesel are to be upgraded by the company: one fitted with the E6-II-A1 turret armed with the Rheinmetall 20 mm MK 20 Rh 202 dual-feed cannon, with one becoming an anti-tank version and one becoming a reconnaissance version, according to FFG.
The anti-tank version was originally fitted with a pedestal-mounted Raytheon TOW A1 anti-tank missile (ATM) launcher but this is to be replaced by the Eurospike MELLS ATM that is deployed by the German Army in several applications. MELLS is the German version of Rafael’s Spike-LR. (Source: Jane’s)
03 Apr 20. First LRIP Hawkei vehicles delivered to Australian motorised infantry battalion. vehicles. An Australian Army motorised infantry battalion has taken delivery of several Hawkei Protected Mobility Vehicles – Light from what is believed to be the first low-rate initial production (LRIP) batch of the 4×4 vehicles.
The 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) based in Townsville, Queensland, disclosed on its website that it had formally taken delivery on 24 March of at least five Hawkeis to complement its current motorised capability of Bushmaster Protected Military Vehicles – Medium.
Under an AUD1.3bn (USD975m) contract signed in October 2015 Thales Australia was to supply 1,100 of the seven-tonne vehicles – along with 1,058 companion trainers – to replace the majority of the army’s blast-protected Land Rover fleet in command, liaison, utility, and reconnaissance roles.
The Hawkei project has been delayed because of reliability and design issues. In July 2019 Thales bought bankrupt Hawkei engine manufacturer Steyr Motors after the Austrian company went into receivership in February 2019, putting at risk the supply of engines to the Hawkei programme. (Source: Jane’s)
30 Mar 20. Oshkosh Defense Awarded $346.4m to Modernize Vehicles in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve FHTV Fleets. Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, announced today that it has been awarded delivery orders totaling $346.4m from the U.S. Army Contracting Command – Warren to modernize vehicles in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve Heavy Tactical Vehicle (FHTV) fleets.
Under the delivery orders, Oshkosh will recapitalize Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT) and Palletized Load System (PLS) trucks as well as manufacture new PLS trailers.
The FHTV fleet is designed to accommodate many mission packages, allowing it to support multi-domain operations as the battlefield continues to evolve.
“Whether they’re hauling rocket launchers and missile defense systems, or transporting mission-critical equipment, the HEMTT and the PLS will continue to be an integral part of the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve heavy vehicle fleets for years to come,” said Pat Williams, vice president and general manager of U.S. Army and Marine Corps Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “As the military pivots its focus to near-peer adversaries, they can be confident that the FHTV fleet will continue to serve as a key enabler for combat missions,” Williams continued. “We look forward to supporting the Army’s modernization priorities now and well into the future.”
Recapitalized vehicles are rebuilt with the latest technology and safety upgrades and quickly returned to field operations with the same warranty and life cycle cost advantages of a new vehicle. Since 1995, Oshkosh Defense has recapitalized over 13,700 HEMTTs and 3,400 PLS vehicles. (Source: ASD Network)
02 Apr 20. Axeon Optics continues to focus on bringing the sporting world tools that can be used to their advantage. With this in mind Axeon Optics is thrilled to announce the Axeon NightVue, a binocular mounted green laser illuminator that transforms the standard binocular from a daylight only tool into an optic that can be used around the clock.
The Axeon NightVue mounts to most porro and roof prism binoculars and beams a powerful 520 nm green laser out to distances up to 250 meters. The green color of the NightVue emitter cuts through haze and fog while also having a low effect on personal night-time vision and it doesn’t disturb any animals in its path. Once mounted onto the binoculars, use the beam adjustment wheel to adjust the angle of the light output to closely match the magnification range of the binoculars and distance of the subject from you.
Set up of the Axeon NightVue is a simple affair with the included mounting hardware. Once mounted to the optic, the locking knob on the mounting stem can be loosened so the green laser beam can be aligned with the line of sight of the binoculars. The Axeon NightVue has both a weather sealed body and USB charging port located on the bottom side of the back portion of the light. The powerful, yet eye safe, green laser illuminator of the Axeon NightVue is the ultimate night vision solution for just $149.99.
01 Apr 20. Top US Marine says Light Armored Reconnaissance is outmoded on future battlefield. The top Marine told reporters Wednesday that current layout and organization of the Corps’ Light Armored Reconnaissance units were better equipped to handle another conflict in the Middle East instead of rising near-peer rivals.
The comments from the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger come as the Corps announced it was axing all of its tank battalions as part of an effort to modernized and redesign the force to contend with more sophisticated enemy forces.
“Light Armored Reconnaissance today is built great for another Desert Shield, Desert Storm,” Berger said Wednesday. “I don’t see that likelihood as being very great.”
The Corps’ light armored vehicle, or LAV, is decades old and the Corps has spent years slapping new upgrades and weapons to help boost survivability of the vehicle. The Corps is looking at potential prototypes to replace its LAV fleet, but that could be a decade away.
The future of LAR rests within manned and unmanned teaming, the ability to do collections at sea and operate autonomously or semi-autonomously with a lighter footprint, Berger explained. The top Marine noted that reconnaissance and counter reconnaissance was vital to a fight against near-peer rivals.
“No question in my mind” when going up against a capable adversary “that it pays to be spread out and dispersed,” Berger told reporters Wednesday.
“What we have to do now is transition to a lighter footprint, more expeditionary, more in support of a littoral environment,” Berger said. Can that unit “collect forward of itself even if offshore into the water.”
As part of the Corps’ effort to redesign the force over the next 10 years, the Marines are cutting tanks, reducing F-35 squadrons from 16 to 10 aircraft, cutting some rotary wing assets and cannon artillery, among others. The Corps says it plans to cut 12,000 personnel over the 10-year period.
A series of wargames conducted between 2018 and 2019 helped inform the Corps’ decision to divest of tanks and outmoded units and equipment that will have trouble surviving in fight with peer adversaries like China, according to a Marine Corps force redesign report.
From those wargames the Corps learned that the unit that shoots first has a “decisive advantage” on the battlefield and forces that can operate inside the range of enemy long-range precision fires “are more operationally relevant than forces which must rapidly maneuver to positions outside the ”weapons engagement zone, the report reads.
The Corps’ decision to divest of tanks, cut ground cannon artillery and light attack air platforms has stoked some criticism. Tanks historically have had success in high-end and urban warfare for decades boasting devastating firepower highly lethal to ground forces.
But tanks and armored vehicles have had trouble surviving against the threat of precision strike and the plethora of drone and reconnaissance systems flooding conflict zones across the Middle East.
“Mobility inside the WEZ [ weapons engagement zone] is a competitive advantage and an operational imperative,” the Marine Corps report reads.
The Corps instead is looking for mobile systems and units that can survive within the reach of precision fires to “attrit adversary forces,” create dilemmas for the enemy and “consume adversary ISR resources,” according to the report. (Source: Defense News)
01 Apr 20. Czech Republic to begin work on 23 Pandur II IFVs for Indonesian Army. Czech companies Excalibur Army and Tatra Defence Vehicles, both of which are members of the Czechoslovak Group (CSG), are set to begin work on 23 8×8 Pandur II amphibious infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) for the Indonesian Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Darat: TNI-AD).
The vehicles were ordered under a contract signed in December 2019 between CSG and the Indonesian Ministry of Defence (MoD), according to a recently issued statement by the group. The Indonesian Army will receive the armoured IFVs between 2021 and 2022, said the statement, adding that each of the vehicles will be equipped with the Ares UT30MK2 unmanned turret mounting a 30mm cannon. (Source: Jane’s)
30 Mar 20. Brazilian Army releases requirements for its new MBT project. The Brazilian Army has recently published two documents, one outlining operational requirements and the other technical, logistical, and industrial requirements, that will lead to the potential future acquisition of a new main battle tank (MBT).
Project ‘Viatura Blindada de Combate-Carro de Combate’ (VBC-CC) points to an armoured fighting vehicle manned by a crew of four with a combat weight of less than 50 tonnes and maximum dimensions of 12 m in length and 4m in width with a maximum hull height of 3 m. It is expected to have a top speed exceeding 60 km/h, a range of 400 km, and the ability to ford to a depth of 1m and to be able to traverse a ditch or trench up to 2.5m wide at maximum load.
The army is seeking a tracked chassis with a multi-fuel engine and semi-automatic or automatic transmission and a turret with manual and electric drive, with both offering low thermal and radar signatures. The turret must be armed with a stabilised, low-recoil 120mm smoothbore main gun, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, a remote-control weapon station armed with a 12.7mm machine gun, and eight 76mm smoke grenade launchers.
Mandatory items would include a 24V electrical system; an automatic fire suppression system; a fire control system with ballistic computer, weather station, target auto-tracking, laser rangefinder and thermal imager for commander and gunner; an air conditioning unit; a command-and-control system comprising a radio, intercom and battle management system (BMS); an auxiliary power unit; a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection kit; a hard- or soft-kill protection system; an external rear-mounted telephone; and provisions for frontal obstacle-breaching components, a signature management system, additional armour and an internal spall liner. (Source: Jane’s)
27 Mar 20. Milrem Robotics Will Deliver UGVs to the UK. Milrem Robotics will deliver two unmanned ground vehicles to the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) of the United Kingdom.
DSTL whose purpose is to maximise the impact of science and technology for the defence and security of the UK, is procuring the unmanned vehicles to explore the capabilities and limitations of these autonomous systems in areas such as mobility, vulnerabilities and safety.
Milrem Robotics supplies the vehicles to DSTL in partnership with QinetiQ who will integrate autonomous functions to the vehicles and arrange transfer to the end user. In cooperation with QinetiQ, Milrem Robotics is participating in two UK’s large-scale robotic programs – JTARR (Joint Tactical Autonomous Resupply and Replenishment) and RPV (Robotic Platoon Vehicle), both worth over £50m per program.
“The United Kingdom has a clear view on the importance of robotics on the battlefield and its impact on defence capabilities. This is illustrated by the two large-scale robotics programs in which Milrem Robotics is currently participating in the UK,” said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.
Milrem Robotics THeMIS unmanned vehicles have already been sold in the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Indonesia, the UK and the United States. (Source: ASD Network)
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.