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29 Apr 20. Allison Transmission Awarded $162m Contract to Provide X1100 Transmissions to the U.S. Army Through 2021. The contract awarded to Allison Transmission will support the sustainment of the Army’s Abrams Main Battle Tank fleet. The U.S. Army selected Allison Transmission, the largest global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions for commercial and military vehicles, to provide the X1100-3B1 propulsion solution for the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank. The contract, valued at approximately $162M, includes transmission production, upgrades, sustainment kits and service support. Deliveries began in March 2020 and will continue through December 2021.
“Our support for the Army’s armored formations spans five decades,” said Dana Pittard, Vice President for Defense Programs at Allison Transmission. “This contract demonstrates that Allison’s long-term relationship with the Army is built on trust, partnership and a mutual commitment to the Abrams fleet.”
The X1100 cross-drive transmission is geared for heavy-tracked combat vehicles weighing 50 tons to more than 70 tons. Allison began producing the X1100 in 1979. Since then, the Abrams tank has been the cornerstone of American armored brigades. This contract supports the Army’s efforts to upgrade the Abrams tanks to the M1A2 SEP v3 configuration. Enhancements and upgrades to this battle-tested design will support the Army’s needs for decades to come.
Allison will complete all work at the Global Headquarters and manufacturing center in Indianapolis. “Our team of hundreds of dedicated men and women from the UAW Local 933 demonstrate a commitment to excellence daily,” said Pittard. “Many are veterans or have relatives who serve, and recognize the privilege and responsibility of providing quality products to our nation’s military.”
Allison’s commitment to product improvements, coupled with technical expertise and a skilled workforce, provides the military with powertrain solutions that assure mission success. Allison engineers work side-by-side with the Army Program Office to provide the technological edge, sustained performance and reliability to defeat the most advanced adversaries. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
29 Apr 20. Russian Ground Forces to receive new 4×4 armoured vehicles. The Russian MoD reported on 27 April that the country’s land forces are set to receive more than 30 upgraded Kamaz-53949 Taifun-K 4×4 armoured vehicles throughout 2020.
Taifun-K is designed by Remdiesel to travel through fords which are 1.5m deep without preparations and the vehicle can also climb 30° slopes.
The vehicle is powered by diesel engines which produce 350-450hp, allowing it to reach speeds of 100km/h on roads with a maximum range of 1000km.
Each unit is mine-resistant and offers the user ballistic protection. Specialised seating has been installed which mitigates the impact of explosive devices when detonated under the lower part of the chassis.
The only other known operator of the Taifun 4×4 other than Russia is Uzbekistan. (Source: Shephard)
28 Apr 20. China dispatches two customised VT4 MBTs to undisclosed foreign customer. China’s Inner Mongolia First Machinery Group released images on 20 April via its WeChat account showing what appear to be two customised China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) VT4 main battle tanks (MBTs) being transported on trucks to an undisclosed foreign customer.
The images, which show the MBTs featuring a new explosive reactive armour (ERA) fitted to the glacis and turret, indicate that these VT4s are slightly different from the ones exported to Thailand and Nigeria.
The factory did not provide further details about the platforms (which were painted in green-brown camouflage), the value of the contract, or the number of tanks set to be supplied, saying only that it had held a “launch ceremony” for the two VT4s, which were being delivered to an undisclosed country.
According to Jane’s Land Warfare Platforms: Armoured Fighting Vehicles, the export-only VT4 (formerly known as the MBT-3000) follows a conventional Soviet-layout MBT with a 125mm smoothbore gun and carousel automatic loading system.
For close support and anti-personnel fire, the VT4 carries a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and what is most likely the Type 88 12.7mm machine gun, which is cupola-mounted for the commander’s use.
The turret also carries eight 76 mm smoke dischargers and four dischargers of 76 mm high-explosive fragmentation grenades. In 2014, an enhanced version of the platforms was shown featuring a remote weapon station, believed to be the UW1, which can mount a 7.62mm or a12.7mm machine gun. The protection afforded to the VT4 has yet to be disclosed, and it is unclear whether the base armour design is a close copy of the T-72B or the T-90A MBTs, as Samuel Cranny-Evans, senior research analyst and editor of Jane’s Land Warfare Platforms: Armoured Fighting Vehicles, pointed out. (Source: Jane’s)
28 Apr 20. UK MOD begins Warrior CSP contract negotiations. The upgraded Warrior is set to form the corner stone of British armoured division through till past 2040. The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced it will negotiate a sole-source contract with Lockheed Martin to manufacture the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP).
The information, unearthed via voluntary transparency notice, details plans to progress negotiations on the final contract to produce the Warrior CSP vehicles. The transparency note added that the MOD estimates the final contract will be worth around £800m.
Warrior CSP aims to extend in-service life and improve on the capabilities of the Warrior tracked armoured vehicle, which was first brought into service in the 1980s. The CSP began in earnest in 2011 when Lockheed Martin won the competition to upgrade the vehicle and keep it in service until at least 2040.
In a statement, Lockheed Martin told Army Technology: “The MOD has published a Voluntary Transparency Notice stating their intent to enter into negotiations for a single-source contract with LMUK for WCSP Manufacture. A Voluntary Transparency Notice is used to announce a procurement decision that the authority intends to place a non-competitive contract under OJEU (Official Journal of the EU) procedures.
“Lockheed Martin is pleased to confirm that we continue to work closely with MOD to bring the essential WCSP capability into service. The MOD will publish a Contract Award Notice if negotiations are successful and a contract is awarded to LMUK for manufacture.”
The notice signifies that the UK intends to move forward with a non-competitive contract to procure the Warrior CSP that will extend the vehicle’s service life to 2040 and beyond. The notice does not guarantee a final contract will be signed; the MOD told Army Technology that a contract award notice would be released when negotiations are wrapped up.
The MOD has spent £431.9m on the programme since 2011. In March, the MOD acknowledged that there had been “challenges to the Warrior upgrade programme” after it emerged the vehicle still do not have a planned in-service date and that commercial discussions were still ongoing despite over eight years of work.
As of January this year, Warrior CSP had completed 40 battlefield mission trials and fired over 3,000 rounds. At last year’s DSEI, Lockheed Martin said it expected to see final design acceptance in 2021. (Source: army-technology.com)
29 Apr 20. Russia’s Rosoboronexport marketing Bumerang AFV version for export. Russia’s Rosoboronexport export agency (a subsidiary of Rostec) has introduced an export-oriented variant of the Bumerang (Boomerang) armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) developed by the Military-Industrial Company (VPK), Rosoboronexport said on 23 April. The vehicle is based on the standard Bumerang that has been developed for the Russian Ground Troops. The first series of prototypes are to be heavily revised, as Russia has requested modifications to the design which have led to a wider and more buoyant vehicle. VPK Director Alexander Krasovitskiy told Jane’s on 27 April that the command-and-control suite will be the main difference between the export-oriented and the domestic variants of the Bumerang. (Source: Jane’s)
28 Apr 20. Ground Combat System Agreement Signed. With the signing of two agreements, Germany and France have reached another milestone in the development of a new, innovative Main Ground Combat System (MGCS). The Main Ground Combat System project, to be implemented under German leadership, is to replace the German Leopard 2 main battle tanks and the French Leclerc main battle tanks from the mid-2030s. With the project, Germany and France are sending an important signal for European defense cooperation.
Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and her French counterpart Florence Parly have signed a framework agreement that sets out project organization and management structures. Due to the corona situation, the ministers could not meet to sign together.
System architecture study
Both countries should benefit equally from the cooperation, which is why the contracts to be concluded are based on 50 percent financing between Germany and France. In addition, both nations should receive sufficient intellectual property rights for the future intended use of the work results.
The ministers therefore also signed an Implementing Arrangement 1, which forms the basis for the commissioning of a system architecture definition study.
The budget committee of the German Bundestag has only recently cleared the way for the commissioning of this two-year study. Here, too, Germany and France share the costs.
The system architecture is a prerequisite for the development of a technology demonstrator with which the German and French requirements for the MGCS Main Ground Combat System can be evaluated. (Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)(Source: defense-aerospace.com/German Ministry of Defence)
28 Apr 20. Fit at forty: Rheinmetall’s Fuchs/Fox wheeled armoured transport vehicle remains a top performer. With over 1,400 units built, Rheinmetall’s 6×6 Fuchs/Fox armoured transport vehicle is one of the world’s most widely used tactical wheeled vehicles, having accumulated enormous operational experience. The armed forces of numerous nations deploy multiple variants of the Fuchs/Fox, which, among other things, can be variously configured as an armoured personnel carrier, a command post, a field ambulance or for a mobile CBRN reconnaissance role.
The CBRN reconnaissance version has been successfully deployed in a number of crisis regions around the world, countering numerous threats. Nearly 300 of these CBRN recce vehicles have been built so far and have proven their reliability in service with the US Army, the German Bundeswehr as well as the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Kuwait, the Netherlands and Norway. The heart of the CBRN reconnaissance version of the Fuchs/Fox is a fully integrated suite of sensors and equipment for detecting and identifying nuclear, biological and chemical warfare agents.
The Bundeswehr has been operating numerous variants of the Fuchs/Fox ever since 1979. Underscoring the Germany military’s trust in the robust reliability of the Fuchs/Fox, it plays an important role in international peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and Mali. Compared to its predecessors, the Fuchs/Fox 1A8 – the Bundeswehr’s most advanced version of the vehicle – delivers considerably improved protection against ballistic threats, landmines and IEDs. Among the principal modifications of the Fuchs/Fox 1A8 are structural changes to the hull, new axles, reinforced wheel housings, doors and window frames as well as additional stowage compartments and other external reinforcements. Rheinmetall will be upgrading a total of 272 Bundes¬wehr Fuchs/Fox vehicles to the current 1A8 standard by the end of 2020.
Furthermore, Rheinmetall has developed an even more advanced version of the vehicle, which features a new power pack, a new transfer case, a new brake system, an improved steering system as well as improved digital camera and visualization systems. This makes the Fuchs/Fox even more manoeuvrable in off-road terrain and considerably easier to handle. With a fleet availability ratio of over 90%, the Fuchs/Fox delivers an unmatched level of operational readiness, making it one of the most reliable and popular vehicles in the German Army’s inventory.
Deriving from the Fuchs/Fox 1, Rheinmetall’s Fuchs/Fox 2 is an advanced export version of the original vehicle. Among other things, it features increased roof height for a roomier interior, a more powerful engine, a modernized drivetrain and suspension system as well as a digital electric backbone. The Fuchs/Fox 2 is in service with the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and one other customer in the MENA region.
Its great popularity with a wide range of international users, and the related continuous product care by Rheinmetall, assures that the Fuchs/Fox can be sustained and kept operational well beyond the year 2035.
28 Apr 20. General Dynamics presents Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) contender. General Dynamics unveiled the vehicle it is pitching for the U.S. Army’s MPF programme on 23rd April 2020, during a visit by the Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy and U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff General Joseph M. Martin. The MPF is part of the overarching New Generation Combat Vehicle programme which aims to fundamentally renew the equipment of the U.S. Army in the short term. MPF is intended to support the infantry as a heavy weapon where a company will be equipped with 14 MPFs and assigned to an Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT). No details about the vehicle were given at the presentation but a picture showed a tracked vehicle with six track rollers and a turret, which seems to be derived from the M1 Abrams, while reports indicate that the turret will be more heavily armoured and equipped with a 105mm cannon as a main armament in addition to a coaxial machine gun. On 18th December 2018, the U.S. Army commissioned General Dynamics and BAE Systems to produce 12 prototypes each, to be delivered by September 2020 while there will be two turrets and two hulls for ballistic testing. Once a manufacturer has been selected, a total of 504 MPFs will be produced and a first unit equipped by 2025. (Source: ESD Spotlight)
28 Apr 20. Thales announces $14m contract to supply Dutch Bushmasters. Thales Australia has announced a $14m contract with the Royal Netherlands Army to design and deliver a specialist Dutch Medevac-variant of the Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle, supporting more than 60 Australian businesses while securing jobs and investment along the extensive Bushmaster supply chain.
Long term Australian suppliers including Wollongong-based Bisalloy Steels, AME Systems, Melbourne-based DVR Engineering and KAB Seating in Dandenong will be joined by a substantial number of additional Australian SMEs and Dutch company Visser Horti Systems, which specialise in the design of clinical white space capabilities for the RNLA. The vehicles are scheduled for delivery in 2021.
The Royal Netherlands Army now operates a fleet of almost 100 Bushmasters after an initial purchase of 25 vehicles as an urgent operational requirement in 2006. Additional vehicles were acquired between 2007 and 2016.
Chris Jenkins, chief executive of Thales Australia, welcomed the announcement, saying, “This recent order is a tribute to the skills and expertise not only in Thales’ Protected Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Bendigo, but in the Australian industry that are our critical partners in manufacturing this world-class vehicle.”
The vehicles have been in service within the Royal Netherlands Army for over 10 years, with an outstanding operational record where the Bushmaster’s superior protection, mobility and combat effectiveness were proven to be critical.
To date, 171 Bushmasters have been exported to seven countries, including: the Netherlands, Fiji, Japan, Jamaica, Indonesia, New Zealand and the UK.
The Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle – medium (PMV-M) is sustaining jobs in Australia and saving lives on deployment in dangerous environments.
The Bushmaster uses an armoured v-shaped hull to protect its passengers from landmines and other explosive devices. The sloped sides on the bottom of the hull act to deflect blasts upward away from the vehicle.
The vehicle’s welded one-piece shell is designed to protect troops against all small arms fire. Windows also carry similar ballistic protection.
The Bushmaster’s fuel and hydraulic tanks are positioned outside the crew’s compartment to protect troops from possible fires. There is also a protected emergency fuel tank so the vehicle won’t be left stranded.
The Defence Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG) is responsible for purchasing and supporting the Bushmaster PMV under LAND 116 Project Bushranger. These vehicles are being built in Bendigo in country Victoria.
It is delivering over 1,000 PMV-Ms to Army and Air Force. Seven variants of the Bushmaster have been purchased: troop, command, mortar, assault pioneer, direct fire weapon, ambulance and air defence.
A new general maintenance variant is being created by modifying the assault pioneer variant and an electronic warfare variant is also being developed. (Source: Defence Connect)
24 Apr 20. US donates five HMMWV military ambulances to Slovenia. Slovenia received a donation of five specially adapted HMMWVs from the US, according to a 22 April announcement by the US Embassy in Ljubljana.
The shipment arrived at the port of Koper and was welcomed by Slovenian Minister of Defence Matej Tonin and US Ambassador Lynda Blanchard.
The HMMWVs have been adapted for use as military ambulances and will help support the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) support the Balkan Medical Task Force, whilst strengthening the ability of the SAF to contribute to NATO operations in the future.
The HMMWV can reach speeds of up to 113km/h with a maximum on road range of 400km. Other NATO operators include Hungary, Latvia, North Macedonia and Romania. (Source: Shephard)
27 Apr 20. Russian reconnaissance units to receive Tiger-M APCs. The Russian Ministry of Defence on 24 April confirmed that army reconnaissance units are to receive 15 Tiger-M 4×4 armoured vehicles.
Each Tiger-M is armed with an Arbalet-DM remote-controlled combat module designed for mounting on wheeled and tracked vehicles, surface vessels and fixed locations. It allows the operator to fire at enemy positions whilst both stationary and on the move.
Additionally, the reconnaissance units will be equipped with Aistenok and Fara-VR portable radars for surveillance on enemy targets and firing positions. Both are fully operable in all weather conditions.
Shephard Defence Insight reports that the Russian military has ordered 2000 Tiger-M units and has so far received 1000 from the Military Industrial Company based in Moscow. (Source: Shephard)
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.