11 Sep 20. Belgium Orders 322 OSHKOSH JLTV CLV. The Belgian Government has given the green light for the acquisition of 322 Oshkosh JLTV CLV (Command and Liaison Vehicles). On Friday 11 September, the Council of Ministers gave the green light to the acquisition of 322 Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLVs), as well as to an open multi-year agreement for technical assistance. The American company Oshkosh has won the €135 million contract with its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). The delivery of the first vehicles is scheduled for 2023. In accordance with the strategic vision, the CLV will succeed the current Iveco LYNX. The new CLV will dramatically increase occupant protection and equip Défense with vehicles suited to current and future threats when deployed. These vehicles will be used for command and liaison missions and will better protect personnel against mines, ballistic missiles and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The integration of a Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS), the FN DeFNder Light 7.62 from FN Herstal, is planned on 135 of these vehicles.
Quality: La Défense sought a Military Of The Shelf (MOTS) product to avoid unnecessary development costs. The programme was therefore looking for a mature vehicle that had already been delivered to partner countries. This means that the vehicle has undergone an in-depth lifetime charge analysis in a partner country (USA). Among other things, payload, tactical mobility and passive occupant protection were taken into account.
CaMo: Within the Land Component, the need was aligned with the CaMo programme. 302 CLV and 90 LMV will ensure the Belgian level of ambition. The Medical Component will be able to count on 20 highly protected CLVs. (Source: Joint Forces)
11 Sep 20. Flyer Defense Delivers Vehicles for General Dynamics Mission Systems TEWL Integration. In August, Flyer Defense, LLC (Flyer) delivered vehicles contracted by General Dynamics Mission Systems for integration with the Tactical Electronic Warfare Light (TEWL) system which fills a critical electronic warfare requirement for U.S. Army airborne units.
In May, Flyer received a contract to build Army Ground Mobility Vehicles (A-GMV). All vehicles were delivered more than a month earlier than the contractual due dates.
The vehicles have been shipped to General Dynamics Mission Systems in Scottsdale, AZ where they will be outfitted with the TEWL system and shipped directly to U.S. Army airborne units. (Source: PR Newswire)
10 Sep 20. Poland and Czech Republic work on a new 4×4 platform. Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) subsidiary Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) is to work with Czech firm Tatra Export on designing a new 4×4 armoured vehicle.
HSW and Tatra signed a cooperation agreement during the MSPO exhibition in Kielce on 8-10 September.
The new platform will be manufactured in Poland and offered for a number of procurement and modernisation programmes in the country. The agreement also allows the vehicle to be offered to other export markets.
The new Polish-Czech 4×4 vehicle could replace existing obsolete, Soviet-era wheeled platforms still in service with Polish units.
For example, it could be fielded as a command vehicle for rocket artillery regiments equipped with Langusta WR-40 self-propelled multiple rocket launchers, or for future artillery units armed with the 155mm wheeled self-propelled Kryl howitzer, which remains under development.
‘Obtaining the rights to produce a 4×4 vehicle in Poland significantly expands our ability to provide the Polish Armed Forces with solutions tailored to their needs in artillery programs and more.’ said Bartłomiej Zając, board president of HSW.
The Polish company and Tatra Export have also formed a consortium to bid on the Pegaz (Pegasus) programme to procure a new 4×4 vehicle for Polish SOF. (Source: Shephard)
10 Sep 20. Poland opens tender for armoured recovery vehicles. Focused on improving the mobility of its ground troops, the Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD is running a €428,000 ($506,000) tender to procure 29 armoured recovery vehicles (Kajman in Polish).
An MoD spokesperson told Shephard that the tender includes the option to acquire another 37 of these tracked armoured vehicles. Defence companies must submit applications to join the competition by 28 September.
The contract notice was published on the EU online tender database in late August.
Kajman will replace WZT-2 and WZT-3 vehicles currently in service with the Polish Armed Forces. Delivery of the new platforms is envisaged to be completed by November 2035.
Poland intends to field the vehicles for technical reconnaissance missions and recovery of heavy tracked platforms weighing more than 63t. As such, Kajman will operate with Leopard 2PL and Leopard 2A5 MBTs, as well as with Krab self-propelled howitzers.
Also, Kajman crews must be able to perform repair tasks of damaged military vehicles as well as to provide first aid to the wounded and injured.
Equipment on Kajman must include: a rotary lifting device; a ploughshare for removing damaged vehicles; two winches (main and auxiliary); an air-conditioning and heating system; an additional power generator; day-night observation and targeting devices; and an internal and external communication system.
In terms of lethality and protection, the MoD stipulates a remote-controlled armament module; a ‘counter weapons of mass destruction system’; a contamination detection and filtering system; a ballistic and fire protection system; a combat recovery system; and an omnidirectional observation system.
The MoD spokesperson explained that, at this point, Poland has not a preferred model or supplier in mind for Kajman.
‘Due to the competitive tender procedure, the identification of potential contractors shall be possible after the deadline for submission of applications for participation in the procedure,’ the spokesperson pointed out. (Source: Shephard)
10 Sep 20. Supacat successful in Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant. The Minister for Defence Industry, The Hon Melissa Price MP yesterday announced that Supacat has been awarded a Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant in the Land Combat Vehicle and Technology Upgrade category.
The grant will be used by Supacat to further develop its capabilities in ICT security infrastructure, design lifecycle management and supply chain integration with particular focus on enhancing its integration with Rheinmetall on the LAND400 program and growing its presence within the Rheinmetall global supply chains.
Michael Halloran, Managing Director Asia Pacific said, “We are delighted with yesterday’s announcement and grateful for the funding received [SB1][SB2][SB3]from Defence and the government. Along with a significant investment by Supacat, this grant improves our ability [SB4]to integrate with partner companies to develop capability in Australia and increases our opportunities to enter the global supply chains of Primes and OEMs.”
Since commencing operations in Australia in 2012, Supacat has delivered a number of acquisition and export programs, established through life support capabilities around the region and supported the LAND400 program as a Tier 1 supplier. In doing so, it has established itself as a significant contributor to the Land Combat Vehicle Sovereign Industrial Capability in Australia.
This grant will enhance Supacat’s ability to continue to develop capability for Defence in Australia and to develop future export opportunities.
09 Sep 20. Soldiers Have Ideas for the Army on How to Improve the Future Robotic Combat Vehicle. Soldiers at Fort Carson, Colorado, want improvements added to the Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicle prototypes to make them easier to control on the future battlefield.
Soldiers from Comanche Troop of the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, recently completed the first Robotic Combat Vehicle Soldier Operational Experiment using two-soldier crews in specially modified Bradley fighting vehicles to control robotic surrogate vehicles fashioned from M113 armored personnel carriers.
Operating in the rugged terrain of Fort Carson, the soldiers performed cavalry-style missions while testing different technologies to control the robotic vehicles, sending them out hundreds of meters ahead to scout for enemy positions.
Overall, the soldiers said the RCV surrogate vehicles were easy to learn how to control, but they found problem areas that need fixing as the prototypes continue to develop, according to a recent Army news release.
Soldiers want better visibility, ranging from optics for sighting threats to camera positioning for detecting terrain.
“For me, specifically, I think that the ability to see downward once we approach certain inclines and declines would probably be an astute upgrade that would push us forward in the right direction,” Sgt. Matthew Morris said in the release.
Sgt. Scott Conklin said shifting from a standard three-soldier crew to two soldiers was manageable, but the “frenetic pace” of using the 360-degree cameras presented a challenge.
The Army announced in January that it had selected QinetiQ North America to build four prototypes of the Robotic Combat Vehicle-Light, and Textron to build four prototypes of the RCV-Medium. Both companies were present at the experiment, but their prototypes are still being finalized and did not participate.
Soldiers used a controller based on an Xbox gaming system to control the surrogate vehicles.
“If you can play Mario Kart, you can drive a RCV,” said Michael Rose, lead of the manned-unmanned teaming soldier operational experiment. “There’s no handbook on this, so we’re not only assessing the maturity of these technologies, but we’re also writing the playbook on how we are going to fight with robots in the future. These soldiers are the first step in that process.”
Another challenge to overcome is perfecting technology that will allow the control vehicle and the robot vehicle to communicate adequately beyond 1,000 meters in dense, forested terrain.
Several defense firms participating in the experiment have created radio waveforms capable of extending the range for better communications, Army modernization officials say.
“This is an experiment, and we chose that word very specifically: We have a hypothesis that manned-unmanned teaming will enable soldiers and leaders to more effectively fight on the battlefield,” Brig. Gen. Richard Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross-Functional Team, said in the release.
The next round of unmanned vehicle testing — this time at the company level — is scheduled to take place at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2022. The service also plans to conduct a third experiment in the future that will focus on more complex, company-size operations.
The Army is scheduled to make a decision in fiscal 2023 on when manned-unmanned teaming with RCVs will become a program of record, Coffman said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Military.com)
10 Sep 20. Major defence deal: NATO member Hungary orders 218 Lynx infantry fighting vehicles from Rheinmetall worth more than €2bn. Hungary is the first NATO and EU member nation to order Rheinmetall’s newly developed Lynx infantry fighting vehicle. This important contract represents a major breakthrough in the global defence market for the Düsseldorf-based technology group’s innovative new combat vehicle.
The Hungarian Ministry of Defence has awarded Rheinmetall an order to supply tracked armoured vehicles and related products and services with a total value of more than €2bn. The contractual agreement, which has now been signed in Budapest, encompasses 218 Lynx KF41 infantry fighting vehicles and nine Buffalo armoured recovery vehicles. The contract includes additional products and services such as simulators, training and instruction, plus an initial supply of spare parts as well as maintenance support. The Lynx IFVs will be equipped with a manned 30mm Lance turret, likewise developed by Rheinmetall.
Looking ahead, Rheinmetall sees further potential orders stemming from this contract. Given an expected service life of several decades, the Lynx will require spare parts and regular maintenance in order to remain operationally ready.
During a first phase of production, Hungary is to receive forty-six Lynx infantry fighting vehicles as well as nine Buffalo armoured recovery vehicles, all built in Germany; delivery is to be complete by the start of 2023.
In the second production phase, an additional 172 Lynx vehicles built in Hungary will meet in full the needs of the country’s armed forces.
To this end, the Hungarian government and Rheinmetall agreed in August 2020 to establish a joint venture responsible for creating a Lynx production facility in Hungary, to be financed by a local company.
As Armin Papperger, chairman of the executive board of Rheinmetall AG, explains: “The Lynx’s market breakthrough is a major success for us. And the fact that we were able to convince Hungary – an important EU and NATO partner – to choose this innovative vehicle makes this success all the greater. In making this forward-looking procurement decision, Hungary’s top political and military officials have demonstrated real leadership. Not only does the move place Hungary at the forefront of European army technology. It reaffirms the Hungarian government’s commitment to being a reliable, more militarily effective partner of its NATO allies, a policy which it is pursuing with systematic energy.”
“We greatly appreciate the Hungarian government’s trust in us which this order implies”, declares Armin Papperger. “Rheinmetall is very proud to be able to make an important contribution to the sustained expansion of Hungary’s defence technology capabilities in cooperation with local industry. We look forward to working together with our Hungarian friends and partners, and will do everything in our power to assure the long-term success of this venture.”
Rheinmetall will hold a majority stake and take the lead in the joint venture company to be set up in order to produce the Lynx in Hungary. In the process, Hungary will make a material investment in the project in the form of a newly constructed production facility. The resulting centre of excellence for the development, production and maintenance of armoured vehicles will create an important nucleus for the Hungarian defence industry. This constellation, which involves a local production partner in Hungary, will ensure that a substantial share of the added value deriving from the procurement project takes place in the customer country.
For Hungary, this procurement order represents a big step in its efforts to introduce a new generation of military equipment, with key systems that meet the latest NATO standards. The Lynx is currently competing in similar procurement programmes in the neighbouring Czech Republic as well as in Australia. It is foreseen that a majority of the Lance turrets for the first phase will be produced and supplied from the Rheinmetall Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Lynx – modular, flexible, future-proof
Less than five years elapsed between the initial idea for a new infantry fighting vehicle and the breakthrough order, including formulation of a strategy and the concept and development phases – an impressive feat for an inhouse-financed combat vehicle in a highly demanding market segment where prolonged procurement cycles are the norm.
The Lynx concept embraces a complete vehicle family, consisting of a chassis module and flexible mission kits in numerous variants. This means that the basic vehicle can be configured as an infantry fighting vehicle, an armoured personnel carrier, a command vehicle or field ambulance. Moreover, switching from one configuration to another can be accomplished in a matter of hours. Thanks to the uniformity of the basic vehicle, the system will result in substantially lower lifecycle costs, while simultaneously letting military users adapt to changing tactical requirements and/or leverage new capabilities. Outstanding survivability, mobility and lethality characterize the Lynx, as do excellent growth potential, including in terms of its total weight.
Its spacious interior is unsurpassed by any vehicle in its class, assuring the operational effectiveness of its three crew members and up to nine infantry dismounts.
The Lynx shields its occupants from the full spectrum of battlefield threats, including explosions, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), direct and indirect fire, cluster munitions and antitank guided missiles. With its hard-hitting combat effectiveness and excellent off-road mobility, the Lynx will give tomorrow’s armed forces a decisive edge in complex military operations at every level of intensity in all kinds of environments, overcoming multiple threats and securing favourable outcomes.
09 Sep 20. Four European armored vehicles qualify for Polish competition. Poland has accepted four offers to move forward in a competition to potentially provide several hundred armored personnel carriers to the country’s military, the Ministry of Defence announced.
Out of the 12 vehicles submitted in the initial stage of the tender, the ministry accepted four APCs:
- Fortress MK2, jointly offered by France’s Arquus and Poland’s H. Cegielski-Poznan plant.
- Hawkei, developed by French firm Thales.
- Patriot II, offered by Polish manufacturer Huta Stalowa Wola and Czech defense group Tatra Export.
- Tur V, developed by Polish vehicle-maker AMZ Kutno.
The Fortress MK2 weighs 14.5 tons, and its engine is enabled with a 340-horsepower (250-kilowatt) capacity.
The Hawkei is a 7-ton vehicle, and its engine offers 268-horsepower.
The Patriot II weighs 13-17 tons, depending on the version, and its engine enabled with 362-402-horsepower capacity.
Weighing 9 tons, the Tur V is fitted with an engine that offers a 322-horsepower capacity.
By the end of this year, the Polish ministry is expected to provide the tender’s participants with detailed technical specifications. Under the plan, the vehicle will be produced in Poland, and the first units are to be delivered to the Polish military two years after the contract is awarded. (Source: Defense News)
09 Sep 20. Hyundai Rotem eyes Polish contractors for work on battle tank. Hyundai Rotem is offering Polish defense industry players the opportunity to jointly produce the K2PL main battle tank, a variant of its K2 Black Panther.
The South Korean company hopes it could benefit from the current lull in Warsaw’s talks with Berlin and Paris.
Last year, Poland’s Ministry of Defence declared it was ready to join the European Main Battle Tank project, an initiative spearheaded by Germany and France, but talks between the three countries have since stalled. A Polish military official told Defense News that Warsaw is unlikely to cooperate with Paris and Berlin on a joint tank program, and the Defence Ministry is looking for alternative partners.
“We’re open to cooperating with Polish companies, such as [the leading state-run group] PGZ. The tank would be produced in Poland, and we would provide Polish plants with our technology,” Lee Han-Soo, a senior manager at Hyundai Rotem’s global defense sales and marketing team, told Defense News at the MSPO defense industry show. “Production of this tank began a few years ago, and our technology is cutting-edge in comparison with our rivals’ products.”
The Polish land forces operate some 247 Leopard 2 A4 and A5 tanks acquired from the German Bundeswehr, but the country’s military urgently need to procure new gear to replace its Soviet-designed 500 T-72 and PT-91 tanks. Local observers said Warsaw could purchase up to 800 new tanks.
Poland’s plan to modernize its tank fleet is part of a regional trend. In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion on Ukraine and Moscow’s annexation of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula in 2014, a number of Eastern European allies have launched similar efforts. Hyundai Rotem aims to offer the K2PL in other tenders across the region.
“We’re looking to offer our product in other tenders if the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and also other countries, decide to order new tanks,” Lee said. “This is why the Polish project is so important to us.” (Source: Defense News)
09 Sep 20. Indian Army seeks to upgrade more than 800 BMP-2/2K ICVs. The Indian Army (IA) has invited expressions of interest (EoIs) from local vendors by 16 October regarding the planned upgrade of 811 of its licence-built BMP-2/2K ‘Sarath’ infantry combat vehicles (ICVs).
The IA said on 4 September that it requires potential vendors to develop a BMP-2/2K prototype fitted with third-generation, thermal imager-based gunner and panoramic commander sights, a modern fire-control system, and an automatic target tracker.
The service noted that the upgrades will be carried out under the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) Defence Procurement Procedure-2016, and indicated that all the add-ons will be required to feature at least 40% indigenous content.
Each of the shortlisted vendors, which the IA referred to as “development agencies “(DAs), will eventually be provided with one BMP-2/2K to integrate their respective systems. Industry officials said the prototypes are likely to undergo trials some 24 months after the DAs are selected.
In a rare admission the IA said that its BMP-2/2Ks have been “night blind” and that their sighting systems, which are based on image intensification technology, are “not fit for modern day warfare”.
Moreover, it said that the lack of modernised fire-control and automatic tracker systems have “adversely affected” the platform’s day and night-fighting capabilities. (Source: Jane’s)
09 Sep 20. The UK MoD is continuing its autonomy journey investigating the benefits that UAVs and UGVs can bring to the British Army. The DE&S Future Capability Group have now reopened their community of interest for new companies to join and be part of the capability investigation journey. If you have tech in these areas and would like to be involved in these projects, for example: the Nano Unmanned Air Systems (nUAS) and the Robotic Platoon Vehicle (RPV), please check out the DCI platform for further details https://www.contracts.mod.uk/