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MILITARY VEHICLE NEWS

29 Jun 20. Out go the MRAPS! In a PQ below the MoD has confirmed the disposal of the Mastiff, Ridgeback and Wolfhound fleets along with another 2,831 vehicles which we assume includes the Panthers. The disposal of the MRAP fleet has bene kept under wraps just when NP Aerospace revived a contract to support them under the PM SSS.

Q

Asked by Mr Kevan Jones

(North Durham)

[N]

Asked on: 29 June 2020

Ministry of Defence

Army: Vehicles

65952

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his policy is on the future of (a) Mastiff and (b) other legacy Army vehicles.

A

Answered by: Jeremy Quin

Answered on: 02 July 2020

The Army continues to rationalise its legacy vehicle fleets, work commenced in 2017 under the Land Environment Fleet Optimisation Plan. This work has already removed 2,831 vehicles from service and disposed of a number of legacy vehicle fleets. The next strand of this work seeks to remove several further legacy vehicle types from service, including the disposal of the Mastiff, Ridgeback and Wolfhound fleets.

What will replace the MRAP fleet is unclear although we assume it will be Boxer. In other vehicle news, sources suggest that the ongoing problem of sourcing spares for the Pinzgauer fleet has left the bulk off the fleet including the 6×6 variants off the road and thus the RA has few 105mm Light Gun tractors.

02 Jul 20. British Army To Lose MASTIFF And RIDGBACK. It has today been confirmed in Parliament that the MASTIFF and RIDGBACK plus WOLFHOUND fleets are being removed from British Army service. In response to a 29th June written question from Kevan Jones MP, former Shadow Minister for the Armed Forces, asking the Secretary of State for Defence” what his policy is on the future of (a) Mastiff and (b) other legacy Army vehicles,” the Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin MP, today answered:-

“The Army continues to rationalise its legacy vehicle fleets, work commenced in 2017 under the Land Environment Fleet Optimisation Plan. This work has already removed 2,831 vehicles from service and disposed of a number of legacy vehicle fleets. The next strand of this work seeks to remove several further legacy vehicle types from service, including the disposal of the MASTIFF, RIDGEBACK [sic] and WOLFHOUND fleets.”

Background: MASTIFF is a heavily armoured 6×6 PPV (Protected Patrol Vehicle) first deployed operationally to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK in late 2006. RIDGBACK is the smaller 4×4 variant introduced for better mobility in Afghan villages and WOLFHOUND is the 6×6 HTSV (Heavy Tactical Support Vehicle) variant. (Source: Joint Forces)

01 Jul 20. US buys additional 248 JLTVs from Oshkosh. The U.S. government has placed a new $127m order for 248 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles from Oshkosh, the company announced Wednesday.

The award would provide JLTVs for the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and State Department.

“The JLTV was designed to provide our troops with unmatched mission capabilities,” George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of joint programs for Oshkosh Defense, said in a statement. “And while adversaries, terrains, and tactics have all evolved immensely since the vehicle’s conception, the JLTV’s flexible design allows the light tactical vehicle fleet to evolve at a similar pace.”

This contract is the third order placed in the last seven months for JLTV production. A $407.3m package for 1,240 vehicles to the U.S. Marine Corps, Slovenia and Lithuania was awarded in February. In December, the company received a $803.9m award for 2,721 vehicles for the American military and ally Montenegro.

Oshkosh beat out Humvee-maker AM General and Lockheed Martin in 2015 to build the replacement for the Humvee for both the Army and the Marine Corps. The low-rate initial production contract was worth $6.7bn, and the entire program is estimated to be worth $30bn through 2024.

Since a production contract was awarded in 2015, Oshkosh says it has delivered 7,500 total vehicles to the U.S. and partners abroad.

In its fiscal 2021 budget request, the Army asked for $894.4m to buy 1,920 JLTVs. However, that number is down from what had initially been projected by the service; as part of the “night court” process, designed to reprioritize the service’s investments and projects, the Army is stretching its planned JLTV buy out in order to reinvest dollars to modernization priorities. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)

01 Jul 20. INEOS Automotive has today revealed the exterior design of the forthcoming Grenadier 4×4 as it draws closer to production. INEOS Automotive today reveals the exterior design of the Grenadier, its forthcoming, no-nonsense 4×4 vehicle for the world, another step on the road towards start of production.

  • ‘Form follows function’ in an engineering-led design process focused on delivering a vehicle to do a job
  • Development programme moving forward, with prototype testing now on the march towards accumulating 1.8 million kilometres on and off-road over the coming year
  • Created to fulfil the vision of adventurer and INEOS Group Chairman, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the Grenadier will be a capable, durable and reliable 4×4 designed and built to handle the world’s harshest environments

Built from the ground up on an all-new platform, the INEOS Grenadier has been designed on purpose: namely to meet the demands of its future owners for a rugged, capable and comfortable go-anywhere working vehicle.

“The brief was simple. We set out to design a modern, functional and highly capable 4×4 vehicle with utility at its core”, said Toby Ecuyer, Head of Design. “A design that is ‘easy-to-read’, with no ambiguity about the Grenadier’s role in life. There to do everything you need, and nothing you don’t. Nothing is for show. Modern engineering and production techniques ensure the Grenadier is highly capable, but we have been able to stay true to the essence of creating a utilitarian vehicle that will stand the test of time”.

Dirk Heilmann, INEOS Automotive’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to be able to share the design of the Grenadier so early in the process. Most manufacturers would hold back, but we are a new business, building a new brand, and we want to take people with us on this exciting journey.

“Showing the design now allows us to focus on the critical next phase of the vehicle’s development, testing its capability and durability. We have a very challenging programme ahead, as we put prototypes through their paces in all conditions, on the way to accumulating some 1.8 million test kilometres over the coming year. From today the covers are off. Testing ‘in plain sight’ without the need for camouflage wrapping, foam blocks or fake panels is an added benefit.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of INEOS, said: “The Grenadier project started by identifying a gap in the market, abandoned by a number of manufacturers, for a utilitarian off-road vehicle. This gave us our engineering blueprint for a capable, durable and reliable 4×4 built to handle the world’s harshest environments. But it had to look the part as well. As you will see today, Toby and his team have done a great job in delivering a design that is both distinctive and purposeful.”

Editor’s Comment: Considered by many to be a logical replacement for the original Land Rover Defender, which of course in Station Wagon form it bears more than a passing resemblance to, and its (also out of production) Santana Anibal / Iveco Massif derivatives, the INEOS Grenadier could fill a major gap in the military Light / Medium Utility Truck market which is currently being partially plugged by militarised Sports Utility Vehicles and which the New Defender is seen as being too expensive to fill. Several governments, including the UK, have large fleets of legacy Defenders which will soon need to be replaced as genuine OEM spares run out and as safety problems are encountered when certain substandard aftermarket mechanical parts are substituted. (Source: Joint Forces)

02 Jul 20. U.S. Army in Germany receives more fire trucks equipped with Allison transmissions. Eight new Rosenbauer-body Scania fire trucks with Allison fully automatic transmissions are in operation at U.S. Army in Germany fire departments.  The U.S. Army in Germany recently added eight Scania structural pumper P410 B4x4HZ trucks with Rosenbauer-body and Allison 4000 Series™ fully automatic transmissions to its fire fleet. The vehicles, featuring the new CP 31 Crew Cab, are powered by a 302 kW (410 hp) diesel engine combined with an Allison 4000 Series™ fully automatic transmission. They will be stationed at different locations across Germany.

The U.S. Army has procured this vehicle configuration for the last 10 years, partly because of the advantages of a standardised fleet for staff training and vehicle maintenance, but also due to its positive experience with Allison transmissions over the past three decades.

“So far, the transmissions have fulfilled all requirements of the U.S. Army with regards to performance, operation and maintenance,” said Sigurd Mack, Fire Protection Specialist at the U.S. Army Installation Management Command’s European Headquarters in Sembach near Kaiserslautern. “This also applies to the integrated hydraulic retarder and the Power Take-Off with the pump and roll function. It enables us to manoeuvre the vehicle safely and, at the same time, operate the water pump via the Power Take-Off – which is indispensable for efficient firefighting. For our operations and emergency responses good acceleration, easy handling and robustness are essential.”

According to the American NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 1901 (Standard for Fire Apparatus) directive for firefighting vehicles, fully automatic transmissions are mandatory for heavy firefighting vehicles. In its solicitation, the U.S. Army does not only specify fully automatic transmissions, it also identifies bespoke emergency vehicle transmission software. “A fully automatic transmission will only properly benefit the driver during operation if the shift pattern is tuned to the vehicle and the transmission works together effectively with the driver. It has to meet the specific mission for emergency response,” said Mack.

Allison fully automatic transmissions differ from other technologies. Among other factors, they have specially developed shift calibration programmes for the fire and rescue application. When combined with continuous powershifting, this results in improved acceleration, higher average speed and faster response times.

The fully automatic Allison transmission with its patented torque converter and Continuous Power Technology™ multiplies engine torque during vehicle start-up and acceleration. Gear changes are made without interruption, resulting in the smooth transfer of power to the drive wheels and maximum efficiency between engine and transmission.

“The transmissions shift smoothly at precisely the right moment, allowing the driver to concentrate fully on the road, which contributes significantly to accident prevention,” said Mack.

“In addition, to have competent and highly skilled service technicians, as well as spare parts service locally available greatly limits down time and contributes to our readiness,” said Mack. “The transmission manufacturer infrastructure has also supported our goals so far in this regard.”

Allison fully automatic transmissions have demonstrated their outstanding reliability and durability under extremely difficult conditions and are consequently used by numerous fire brigade fleets worldwide. There are currently about 70 Allison fully automated vehicles in the fire truck fleet of the U.S. Army in Germany.

The oldest Allison transmissions in the fire brigade of the U.S. Army in Germany have clocked up over 30 years of service. In 2007, the drivetrain components from 12 older Amertek 2500L trucks were removed and installed into 12 overhauled firefighting trucks, so called “glider kits.” The Detroit diesel engines and Allison HT 750 DRD transmissions of the Amertek 2500L trucks, which at that time were already around 25 years old, were fitted to a new HME 1871 SFO chassis with a body made by Hensel.

“In the USA, general vehicle overhaul is a recognised procedure for vehicle maintenance and service life extension. The engines and transmissions, especially in fire trucks, are still in relatively good working condition and have proven to be very reliable, even after a long period of time. This contributed to the decision for a service life extension,” said Mack.

Compared to a new purchase, the “glider kits” helped to save approx. 80,000 – 100,000 USD per vehicle without compromising the functionality. The “glider kits” are used as multi-purpose vehicles for firefighting and for providing technical assistance.

About U.S. Army fire brigades in Germany

The U.S. Army independently provides preventive fire protection for their sites. Presently, the U.S. Army operates fire brigades at seven garrisons, some of which have several fire stations. Protective objectives are defined in the NFPA and the corresponding implementation regulations of the U.S. Department of Defense. Although the standards of the American and German fire brigades differ, they work together closely supporting each other well. On the one hand the equipment is specially designed for this cooperation, on the other hand all firefighters of the U.S. Army are German employees and have already completed a basic German firefighter training prior to their training according to U.S. standards. There is a specific U.S. Army Firefighting Training Centre in Ansbach, Bavaria, for training and certification according to U.S. standards. Further information about the U.S. Army in Europe is available at: http://www.eur.army.mil/

01 Jul 20. 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 248 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) and associated kits.

Today’s announced order is valued at $127m and includes vehicles for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of State.

“The JLTV was designed to provide our troops with unmatched mission capabilities,” said George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of joint programs for Oshkosh Defense.  “And while adversaries, terrains, and tactics have all evolved immensely since the vehicle’s conception, the JLTV’s flexible design allows the light tactical vehicle fleet to evolve at a similar pace.”

One such example of the JLTV’s flexibility, is its capability to accept any number of advances in weapons, lasers, sensors, networking, and communications.

To date, Oshkosh has successfully integrated multiple weapons on the JLTV such as Remote Weapon Systems up to 30mm, anti-tank missile systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems, and Counter-UAV systems. These systems on the JLTV offer both the protection and the highly reliable defense technologies needed for troops to defeat near-peer adversaries.

Over 7,500 total vehicles have been delivered to the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Navy since the production contract was awarded in 2015. Additionally, foreign interest in the JLTV continues to grow. Several NATO countries have publicly expressed interest in procuring the vehicle, including Lithuania, Slovenia, United Kingdom, and Montenegro.

30 Jun 20. Italian 3.0 Centauro II procurement remains unfinalized. As the Italian MoD and the Iveco-Oto Melara (CIO) consortium continue negotiations, details remain undefined of a plan to acquire 40 8×8 Centauro II armoured vehicles in the 3.0 integrated configuration for the Italian Army.

A spokesperson for CIO (a 50:50 partnership between Iveco Defence Vehicles and Leonardo subsidiary Oto Melara) confirmed to Shephard that the consortium cannot forecast when the agreement is likely to be signed, adding: ‘The contract is still in the phase of negotiation and, nowadays [in the economic context of COVID-19], we still do not know how long this negotiation is going to be.’

CIO and the MoD have been discussing the agreement since late May when the Italian General Secretariat of Defence issued a EUR 1.16bn (US$1.79bn) contract authorisation to acquire 40 Centauro IIs armed with a 120mm gun. This deal also includes the option for the procurement of additional 56 platforms.

Centauro II will replace the Centauro I, which was designed in the 1980s and has equipped the Italian Army since the 1990s.

The 3.0 integrated configuration features a more compact antenna for the counter-radio controlled IED system, and modifications to the fire-control system to allow the use of Rheinmetall DM11 programmable 120mm HE round. In contrast, the older Centauro I is armed with a 105mm gun.

The 120mm HE round consists of warhead with a programmable fuse as well as a ballistic cowl, tailfin assembly, drive band, combustible casing with propelling charge and an integrated data cable for programming.

Compared to the previous 2.0 configuration, the new version also enhances driver vision. Other features include Rheinmetall ROSY smoke dischargers and a new position for the Leonardo Hitrole Light RWS, in order to improve vision from the Leonardo Attila D panoramic sight.

Although CIO has conducted tests with the 3.0 vehicles, the spokesperson explained that the consortium cannot predict when the 8×8 wheeled platform will qualify for entry into service. (Source: Shephard)

30 Jun 20. Iran displays BTR-50 modified with BMP-2 turret. Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has modified an BTR-50 armoured personnel carrier by altering the shape of its hull and fitting the turret from a BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).

Unveiled as part of an exhibition put on by the IRGC Land Forces’ Self-Sufficiency and Research Jihad Organisation on 27 June, the modified BTR-50 was identified as the Makran amphibious armoured vehicle.

The Makran’s hull was built up over the frontal glacis and rear engine compartment, where a new snorkel exhaust/air intake had been added, possibly for a new engine.

A poster displayed next to it confirmed it was fitted with a BMP-2 turret armed with a 30 mm 2A42 main gun and coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun. Like the hull, this also had an additional metal structure installed around it, as well as a new electro-optical system that the Fars News Agency reported included day and thermal cameras and a laser rangefinder.

The Makran was displayed next to a T-72M tank upgraded with what appeared to be new explosive reactive armour and a remote weapon station, making it look superficially similar to the Karrar, a tank derived from the T-72 and supposedly being produced in large numbers for the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. (Source: Jane’s)

01 Jul 20. The FT Reported today that Ineos has launched its carmaking ambitions with the Grenadier off-roader. Jim Ratcliffe unveiled the successor to the Land Rover Defender in first of ‘family’ of cars. The Grenadier has received more than 50,000 expressions of interest.

Ineos underlined its long-term ambitions to become a fully fledged carmaker with a “family” of vehicles, as the chemicals conglomerate unveiled designs for its first car, a successor to the original Land Rover Defender. The Grenadier, which will be a “rugged, uncompromised off-roader”, marks the brand’s first foray into the automotive world, an industry with high costs and ferocious competition that is dominated by century-old businesses. Last year Dyson pulled plans to enter the market with an electric car, but Ineos, backed by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, believes its first niche vehicle will be able to generate a profit for the company. The group has received more than 50,000 expressions of interest in the vehicle, before even showing the designs on Wednesday, Mark Tennant, commercial director of Ineos Automotive, told the Financial Times. Production begins late next year, with a plant in Portugal making body parts and a new factory at Bridgend in South Wales assembling the final vehicle. Other versions of the Grenadier, including a pick-up derivative, will follow, he added.

The company expects to use the site to make additional vehicles in future, though would not be drawn on timings or how wide its eventual portfolio may stretch.

“We are establishing Ineos Automotive as an OEM [original equipment manufacturer — industry shorthand for a carmaker], and we should probably not expect this model to be the final word,” said Mr Tennant. The brand expects to turn out 25,000 Grenadier models a year at capacity, but Mr Tennant said: “If you’re putting in paint shops and facilities, you can potentially do something else later.” He added that the company was “in this for the long haul”. It is the latest attempt by the business to emerge from its background in chemicals into other, more glamorous sectors, after its purchase of two football teams and sponsorship of the British cycling team. “We are a new brand, we know what a huge job there is to do to raise awareness,” said Mr Tennant. Sir Jim previously intended to launch an automotive project by buying the designs for the Land Rover Defender when the car was withdrawn from production in 2016 by Jaguar Land Rover, citing difficulties meeting new crash and emission regulations.

A totally revamped Defender model was launched by JLR this year, but it has experienced slow initial orders amid the global pandemic. The Ineos model is built using the traditional “body on frame” design of the original Land Rover that gives it the distinctive box shape. Almost all new sport utility vehicles use an integrated design that makes them look “like jelly moulds”, Mr Tennant said. “Most 4x4s today aren’t ‘off roaders’, they are ‘soft roaders’ more focused on the ability to deal with the largest pavements their owners can throw at them,” he added. The Grenadier is aimed at a range of buyers from farmers and safari operators to off-road enthusiasts. The company is targeting sales in North America and Europe, as well as big markets across Africa, Australia and Asia. While it retains many of the features familiar to previous Land Rover owners, there are modern features that bring the vehicle up to date. For instance, the bump above the bonnet aides pedestrian safety in a collision, something required in European crash tests. The scheme was derided as a “vanity project” in its early phases, but Mr Tennant insists the model will return a profit once production has increased to its full level. Ineos has teamed up with several established manufacturers for core components, including a 3-litre, straight-six petrol or diesel engine from BMW, a transmission system from German group ZF and axles from tractor company Carraro.  (Source: FT.com)

BATTLESPACE Comment: This is a smart move by Ineos, taking the Grenadier into the slot relinquished by JLR’s former Defender model which has now gone up market. The Grenadier will attract considerable interest from military customers given its traditional ladder chassis design which allows systems integration and armouring which proves problematic with monocoque designs such as that utilised with the new Defender.

26 Jun 20. Plasan highlights new capabilities for StormRider vehicle. Israel’s Plasan has developed a new version of its 4×4 SandCat light armoured vehicle (LAV) called the StormRider with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of up to 11.5 tonnes. The company had earlier planned to launch the new vehicle at Eurosatory 2020 in April. Developed in the early 2000s and unveiled in 2005, the SandCat LAV is based on a shortened Ford F-350 chassis. The vehicle received several upgrades since its introduction although its original structural configuration – comprising a separate chassis that supports a protected cabin – was retained.

The StormRider, however, features a monocoque hull that is fitted with an independent suspension system comprising coil springs over shock absorbers. It is 6.03 m long, 2.53 m wide, and 2.62 m tall, with a track and wheelbase of 2.13 m and 3.68 m, respectively.

is powered by a Ford 6.7-litre V8 OHV Power Stroke turbodiesel engine rated at 330 hp and this is coupled to a TorqShift 10-speed automatic transmission.

The vehicle has a stated maximum road speed of 105 km/h and is fitted with an electronically operated two-speed transfer case that complements the 10-speed gearbox, enabling the engine to generate 1,010 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm and a power-to-weight ratio exceeding 30 hp/tonne.

Several other mobility enhancements have also been incorporated, including an increased fuel capacity of from 150 to 200 litres, and larger 365/80 R20 tyres as opposed to the 285/70 R19.5 used on earlier SandCat models. (Source: Jane’s)

29 Jun 20. GM Defense wins Infantry Squad Vehicle production contract. The Army has awarded GM Defense a $214.3m contract to produce the service’s new Infantry Squad Vehicle. The contract covers the cost of the first 649 vehicles, with work to be completed by June 24, 2028. The service hopes to eventually procure 2,065 of the ISVs.

“Winning this Army award is well-deserved recognition for the hard work and dedication of our GM Defense team and their production of a fantastic vehicle. We are confident the GMD ISV will meet and exceed all of our customers’ requirements,” David Albritton, president of GM Defense, said in a statement. “It’s indeed an honor to leverage our parent company’s experience as one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers to design, build and deliver the best technologies available to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and our allies.”

The ISV, designed to carry a nine soldier squad, was specifically put together to be light enough to be sling loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk and small enough to fit inside a C4-47 Chinook, to provide maximum flexibility for deployment.

GM’s design is based off the company’s 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize truck and use 90 percent commercial parts, according to the company, including a 186-horsepower, 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel engine.

The attempt to procure a light infantry vehicle goes back to 2015, but nothing truly materialized until Congress forced the Army to launch the competition as part of the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Last August, the Army awarded $1m contracts to three teams — GM Defense, a team-up of Oshkosh Defense and Flyer Defense LLC, and a SAIC and Polaris team-up — to develop their offerings for the ISV program. (Source: Defense News)

29 Jun 20. Met Police to replace Guardian M-RAV. Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that the Met Police is close to issuing a tender for the replacement of its fleet of 18 Jankel Guardian vehicles.

The Guardian offers protection and capabilities in excess of other vehicles currently used by Law Enforcement Agencies in such roles, whilst still maintaining a discreet appearance. The Guardian has been conceived and designed as a multi role armoured 4×4 vehicle, to fulfil a number of operations roles including:

  • High readiness fire-arms support and patrol vehicle
  • Hostage negotiation
  • High threat containment vehicle
  • High threat area control and patrol vehicle (airport control)
  • Public order / riot control vehicle (when fitted with the modular Riot Protection System [MRPS])
  • Overt Observation Post (OP)
  • Overt Sniper Position
  • Counter Terrorist (CT) and hostage rescue intervention vehicle (when fitted with elements of the Reactive Intervention System [RIS])
  • High threat emergency evacuation vehicle
  • High risk (Cat ‘A’) prisoner conveyance vehicle (when fitted with the prisoner handling cage)

Other Police forces are keen to buy the same vehicle as the Met so will be looking at the result of the tender closely. Bidders for the Guardian replacement will be the usual suspects, Jankel, Ricardo, Mercedes, and Babcock MacNeillie.

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