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09 Apr 20. This upgrade will help Air Force convoys communicate at the edge. The WaRTAK program provides multi-domain communications and situational awareness system to Air Force convoys. (Persistent Systems)
Persistent Systems will receive $25m to upgrade hardware for the Wave Relay Tactical Assault Kit (WaRTAK) program, which provides multi-domain communications and situational awareness to Air Force convoys, the company announced April 8.
“It ties radio, GPS, cellular and satellite internet connections —everything—into our self-healing Wave Relay (Mobile Ad hoc Network),” said Adrien Robenhymer, vice president of business development for Persistent, in a statement.
The mobile ad hoc network allows users to share voice, video, text, GPS location and sensor data without any fixed infrastructure or a central node, providing resilient communications and situational awareness to the convoy. The system uses a shared digital map to allow users to coordinate with friendly units or identify unknown or enemy vehicles that may pose a threat to the convoy. WaRTAK is used by the 90th Missile Wing, 91st Missile Wing and 341st Missile Wing, according to the company.
The WaRTAK hardware―the MPU5 system—can be installed on ground vehicles and support aircraft or carried by dismounted individuals.
Persistent says it will supply 400 MPU5 systems under the four year contract, replacing and adding to the 350 MPU3 and MPU4 systems the company previously delivered to the Air Force. The company claims the fifth generation hardware will be 55 percent smaller than previous iterations while resulting in power savings of 30 percent. (Source: C4ISR & Networks)
08 Apr 20. Portugal seeks JLTVs. The Portuguese Army is seeking to acquire 4×4 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme starting in 2020, Lieutenant Colonel Ricardo Manuel dos Santos Camilo, head of the capabilities branch of the army general staff’s force planning division, told Jane’s on 3 April.
The JLTV acquisition effort, which is currently in its initial phase, is for 250 air-transportable multi-role vehicles in troop transport and ambulance configurations.
EUR79m (USD86m) was allocated in 2019 to the revised Portuguese Military Programming Law for the acquisition of JLTVs by 2030 for further army modernisation.
However, the total number of vehicles to be procured is currently under review and a final figure is to be set up by June, with other vehicle configurations being considered, Lt Col Camilo said.
Portugal has already received price and availability information concerning a potential JLTV buy.
The JLTV is intended to gradually replace unprotected tactical 4x4s, such as the Land Rover Defender series and the Toyota Land Cruiser HZJ73LV. (Source: Jane’s)
09 Apr 20. Nigeria takes delivery of first batch of Chinese VT4s. The Nigerian Army on 8 April received the first batch of 17 armoured vehicles from china. These included examples of the VT4 (MBT-3000) main battle tank, ST1 8×8 wheeled tank destroyer and SH5 105mm wheeled self-propelled howitzers from the China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO).
Nigeria’s Army Chief of Policy and Plans, Lt Gen Lamidi Adeosun, said the process of acquiring the new vehicles ‘has been on for some time’.
He added: ‘From this, you can see how serious the Federal Government of Nigeria is in making sure that the Nigerian Army is not only equipped but contains the problem of insecurity.’
The new equipment is to be used in the country’s far north where government forces continue to carry out counterinsurgency operations against Boko Haram. Shephard Defence Insight reports that a VT4 has a unit cost of $5.25m. Until now the only export customer outside China was Thailand, with 48 units from a total order of 52 having been delivered. (Source: Shephard)
08 Apr 20. German Army to procure 700 GreenLiner 4×4 vehicles. The German Army is set to procure 700 GreenLiner 4×4 vehicles to enhance its unprotected military vehicle fleet. The GreenLiner procurement programme began in August 2019 with initial delivery of the trucks set to begin from September 2020, according to the Bundeswehr website.
The design of the vehicle is based on the G-Class Mercedes-Benz with a six-cylinder 135kW engine. It offers all-wheel drive and automatic transmission making it suitable for exercises and operations including for off-road terrains. Full air-conditioning with cooling package and auxiliary heating makes it suitable use in a range of climatic environments. GreenLiner cabins can host up to four soldiers along with their equipment. Assembly of the GreenLiners is completed by Mercedes-Benz G Daimler and the Knapp Service in Graz, Austria whilst additional military technology is installed in Koblenz. (Source: Shephard)
08 Apr 20. Ukraine begins receiving BMP-1s. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have begun to receive deliveries of 37 BMP-1 units from the state-owned Ukrspecexport company. A technical inspection of the new units was carried out by officials on 2 April.
Aivaras Abromavicius, general manager of Ukrspecexport, said in a statement: ‘The Supplier and Defence Ministry have made the greatest contribution to the fulfilment of this contractually important defence state. Without the synergy of joint action, it is difficult to execute such orders under the current conditions.’
He added: ‘Markets where military equipment and weapons have traditionally been sold are unstable due to the closure of the borders of most countries of the world. The issue of physical international supplies is also much more complicated.’
The BMP-1 is a tracked amphibious IFV originally developed in the Soviet Union during the 1960s. Shephard Defence Insight reports that Ukraine currently operates 2,525 BMP-1s whilst Russia operates 5,100.
Other significant operators of the IFV are the Czech Republic (1,181), Iraq (1,485), Poland (1,406) and Syria (2,310). (Source: Shephard)
07 Apr 20. Three of Russia’s European neighbors push for joint armored vehicle. Estonia, Latvia and Finland have signed a technical agreement for a jointly developed armored vehicle, with Estonia touting the plans as a means to jump-start the defense industry and maintain its security posture following the global coronavirus crisis.
The new pact enables Estonia to continue its participation in the tri-national effort to scope out requirements for the “potential” procurement of a fleet of armored vehicles featuring common components, the Estonian Defence Ministry wrote in a statement.
“We have to keep in mind that our primary goal here is to develop a platform that meets the requirements of Estonian Defence Forces with a favorable price,” Kristikan Prikk, permanent secretary at the ministry, was quoted as saying in the statement. “We see big potential in this project, especially as we are involved already in the development phase, which is the best way to secure that eventually we will have equipment that meets our needs.”
The technical arrangement, inked on Monday, follows a letter of intent signed in December that laid out the broader parameters for the joint project. Estonia aims to replace its 140 Pasi armored vehicles, made by Finland’s Patria and first fielded in the 1980s. The fleet is expected to reach the end of its useful life in 2024, according to the Defence Ministry. Initial results toward developing a prototype for a new vehicle are planned for this year, according to officials.
“It is important for us that international defense cooperation, which has a very clear economic dimension, continues,” Prikk said. “In the current crisis, it is also crucial that we continue to strengthen our defense capability and, if possible, lay the foundation for creating new jobs or maintaining existing ones in the Estonian defense industry sector.”
Estonia shares a border with Russia, as do the other two program members Finland and Latvia. Those countries have been nervous about the possibility of Russian military adventurism along its borders with the West. And with the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on national economies and testing international alliances, some issue experts believe there could be more reason to worry when the dust settles. (Source: Defense News)
06 Apr 20. Estonia Signs Technical Agreement to Develop Armoured Vehicles. Estonian Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary Kristjan Prikk has signed a joint technical arrangement agreement with Finland and Latvia, which enables Estonia to continue its participation in the programme to develop military requirements and platform for the potential procurement of armoured vehicles with a common armoured wheeled system.
“With the project that has several parties involved, we have to keep in mind that our primary goal here is to develop a platform that meets the requirements of Estonian Defence Forces with the favourable price. We see a big potential in this project, especially as we are involved already in the development phase, which is the best way to secure that eventually we will have equipment that meets our needs,” Permanent Secretary Kristjan Prikk said.
For Estonia, the development of armoured vehicles platform means the possible replacement of the older generation Pasi armoured vehicles currently used by its Defence Forces. The decision to replace the vehicles is scheduled to be made with the new Estonian National Defence Development Plan. “It is important for us that international defence cooperation, which has a very clear economic dimension, continues. In the current crisis, it is also crucial that we continue to strengthen our defence capability and, if possible, lay the foundation for creating new jobs or maintaining existing ones in the Estonian defence industry sector,” Prikk added.
Within the framework of the agreement, Finland, Latvia and Estonia agreed on common technical requirements for the armoured vehicles platform to be developed and on the development of a vehicle prototype, the first results are planned to be achieved this year.
Under the agreement, countries are free to choose their future partners for the vehicle maintenance, crew training and spare parts. Estonian Defence Forces currently have 140 armoured vehicles in their fleet, with approx. 100 that need to be replaced in the coming years. First vehicles will come to the end of their lifecycle in 2024. (Source: defense-aerospace.com/Estonian Ministry of Defence)
06 Apr 20. South Korea planning to upgrade RoKA’s K1A2 MBTs. The South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) is planning to improve the overall performance of the Republic of Korea Army’s (RoKA’s) K1A2 main battle tanks (MBTs) as part of an upgrade programme.
The Defense Agency for Technology and Quality (DATQ) announced in March that it will conduct “advanced research” between June and October 2020 to determine how best to enhance the platform’s performance in a number of areas.
Among the upgrades the agency is looking into is the installment of a situational awareness system to allow the crew to better monitor the battlefield situation from inside the vehicle. In addition, a thermal periscope for the driver is expected to be installed.
The agency is also looking to increase the platform’s protection against anti-tank missiles by removing the existing armour and installing a new high-performance special armour. Moreover, the DATQ is considering equipping the tank with an active defence system capable of intercepting such missiles.
To improve manoeuverability, the tank’s existing hydro-pneumatic suspension will likely be replaced with an in-arm suspension unit (ISU) similar to that used by the RoKA’s K2 MBT. Moreover, an auxiliary generator will be installed, and the engine’s output is expected to be increased, although it is undecided as to whether this will happen by upgrading the existing engine or installing a more powerful one.
The crew’s protection against chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) threats is set to be enhanced through a combined environmental control system that will moderate the temperature within the vehicle.
The DATQ is also examining the feasibility of a remote weapon station. If integrated into the commander’s sight, this would not only further enhance situational awareness but also provide the commander with the ability to engage some targets independently of the gunner. (Source: Jane’s)
06 Apr 20. Patria’s 6×6 vehicle platform interests also Estonia. Estonia to join Finland and Latvia in the vehicle development programme. Estonia has decided to join the Finnish and Latvian vehicle development programme for sustained mobility enhancement to which Patria is delivering the 6×6 vehicle platform. The countries have now signed a joint technical arrangement agreement. The joint development programme aims at common armoured wheeled vehicle system.
”Estonia joining the development programme is great news and naturally we hope to see Patria 6×6 in serial production. This means that the participating countries are to have very cost-effective solution, which surely is of interest alto to other countries keen on enhancing their army mobility. Though the current situation due to the corona epidemic is very exceptional, it is important that this programme will proceed as planned. We will build security of supply and set up a co-operation model to be prepared for crisis situations together with the local industry”, says Jussi Järvinen, President of Patria’s Land business unit.
The programme is also open for other countries by mutual consent of Finland and Latvia. In case the development will lead to actual vehicle system procurements in the future, the common system will enhance mobility, cost-efficiency, interoperability and security of supply of the armies in both countries
Patria launched its 6×6 vehicle in Eurosatory event in 2018. Patria 6×6 vehicle combines all the best features of Patria’s XA and AMV vehicles. It is simplified, reliable and designed to fill the highest requirements of customers. Its state-of-the-art terrain mobility is guaranteed by an efficient power unit and the independent suspension familiar from the Patria AMV vehicle. Due to the spacious cabin and well-defined functions it is easy to drive and user training simple. 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. The vehicle platform will be developed in this development programme according to the requirements of the countries.
The key areas in Patria’s Land business unit include armoured wheeled vehicles, mortar systems and related life cycle support services. Business unit employs 230 people in Hämeenlinna and Tampere.
06 Apr 20. ARQUUS progressively restarts its production activities on its four French industrial plants. In order to better serve its partners, starting with the French Army, currently committed in foreign as well as domestic operations, ARQUUS partially restarts its production activities as soon as this week. The step up will be conducted gradually on all of the four industrial plants, with a priority for all essential programs.
At the beginning of this week, the production activities linked to the EBMR (Engin Blindé Multi-Rôle) GRIFFON will thus be the first to restart. In Marolles-en-Hurepoix, the manufacturing of mechanical parts restarts, in close connection with the Limoges plant, which will resume the preparation of complete mobility kits for GRIFFON vehicles*.
Meanwhile, the finishing and delivery activities restart in Saint-Nazaire for the tactical and versatile VT4 vehicles for the Army. This reopening should allow for the delivery of more than a hundred more VT4 vehicles to the armies. The vehicles should reinforce the equipment committed in the framework of operations Sentinelle and Resilience on national soil. In Garchizy, the renovation of the Army’s Véhicules de l’Avant Blindés (VAB) also restarts, allowing for heavy maintenance activities.
These different reopenings are conducted with the utmost respect for the health recommendations against COVID 19. The organization of all production plants has been thoroughly changed in order to protect all the company’s employees. These protection measures, implemented in close links with our partners and approved by the authorities, notably include the use of individual protection equipment, the limitation of groupings, the implementation of precautionary measures, and a follow-up on their implementation.
All other activities will restart progressively, as all the company’s capabilities power up. This step up will be conducted in close links with all ARQUUS’ partners, thus allowing for a restart of all the company’s suppliers, and of a part of the Land Defense Technological and Industrial Base.
05 Apr 20. Argentine Army receives new vehicles. The Argentine Army received its first batch of 10 Ford Ranger 3.2 XLS 4×4 MT6 pick-up trucks on 31 March. The new vehicles will begin to replace the service’s old Mercedes-Benz 230Gs.
The pick-ups, which were built at Ford’s factory in Buenos Aires, were militarised by local company Igarreta. Modifications have included an air intake on the top, a large fender on the front incorporating a winch, reinforced suspension, a new electrical system, NATO-standard lights for night operations, fittings to carry a radio and four FAL rifles, roll protection, off-road tyres, a towing winch, tools, two 20-litre fuel drums, and additional coverings to accommodate troops or cargo in the rear. The purchase process for the new vehicles began in early 2019, when a request for proposals was issued and by mid-2019 Ford/Igarreta and Toyota Argentina had presented prototypes for evaluation, the latter with a modified Hilux. In December 2019, the Ranger was selected as the winning solution and the first order for 10 vehicles was placed. The aim is to continue testing the vehicles before a follow-on order is placed, with the army ultimately needing to replace what remains of 900 Mercedes-Benz 230Gs purchased in 1981. (Source: Jane’s)
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].
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