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MILITARY VEHICLE NEWS

15 Oct 20. AUSA 2020: Army details reasons for not bidding on OMFV. Too many open-ended questions plagued the US Army when it weighed whether to compete in its own M2 Bradley replacement competition, according to service acquisition chief Bruce Jette. However, the army’s decision to abandon such a bid means it can now pitch various technologies to companies looking to compete.

Jette spoke with Janes during this year’s virtual Association of the US Army (AUSA) conference about a plethora of ongoing programmes and studies, including the service’s recent decision not to form a team and bid on its own Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) competition.

“When the question first came up, the desire was to leave the door open to see whether or not we could make a better assessment of whether it would make sense to go down that path,” Jette said on 14 October in reference to language inside a mid-July draft request for proposal (RFP) that was rescinded in September.

Between the time the draft RFP was released and the time that the army began receiving comments back, he explained that the service took a “hard look” at what the detailed implications of what it would mean if it went down that path of developing its own OMFV.

One of the key challenges was how to isolate people working on the government-designed bid from those working on the programme at large and running the competition.

”We wanted to make sure there was never any conflict of interest and we were having difficulty trying to figure out how in fact to ensure that that wasn’t the case,” Jette said. (Source: Jane’s)

15 Oct 20. US Soldiers to evaluate new light tank prototypes. The U.S. Army is preparing a soldier vehicle assessment of two different light tank prototypes for infantry brigade combat teams that will start in January 2021 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The assessment will run through June 2021, according to the service.

BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems were chosen in December 2018 to each build 12 prototypes of the Army’s future mobile protected firepower, or MPF, vehicle identified in the service’s ground combat vehicle strategy published in 2015. The service had found the capability one the service lacks.

GDLS is building a vehicle that takes the United Kingdom’s AJAX chassis and combines it with an M1 Abrams tank turret.

BAE Systems’ design is an updated M8 Buford armored gun system with new capabilities and components.

“I just had my deep dive today on the SVA [soldier vehicle assessment] with the 82nd [Airborne],” Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, the Army’s program executive officer for ground combat systems, told Defense News in a recent interview.

Work is ongoing to prepare ranges and roads for the arrival of the prototypes, he said.

The MPF is going to be critical for the infantry because it provides infantry brigade combat teams with an organic capability to take care of impediments to forward progression such as gunfire from a machine gun nest or another enemy vehicle.

The Army is expected to choose a winner in 2022. The first units will get MPF in fiscal 2025. The Army plans to initially build 26 vehicles, with an option to build 28 more and retrofit eight prototypes.

GDLS told Defense News in an interview ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference that it has delivered three vehicles to the Army. One is at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, going through characterization and mobility testing and preparing for firing. Another is at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona, undergoing desert testing and preparing for soldier training.

Five more prototypes are in “some form of checkout, getting ready for their final inspection report to deliver to the government,” a GDLS spokesperson said, and the company is on track to deliver all of the vehicles this year.

BAE is looking forward to the assessment because the two prototypes are so different from one another, said Jim Miller, the company’s senior business development director for combat vehicles.

The BAE’s offering is smaller — fitting in between the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and a Stryker in terms of size — while GDLS’ vehicle is bigger, as it’s based on the M1 Abrams chassis.

The BAE’s MPF prototype can be transported via a C-130 aircraft. Three can fit on a C-17 aircraft. And even though it is small, it has the survivability of BAE’s Armored Multipurpose Vehicle, Miller said.

The Army is requiring the vehicle be C-17 transportable.

Soldier assessments for other recent competitions have weighed heavily into decisions, Miller added. “I think the soldier vehicle assessment is going to be really important,” he said. “Did we get this right? Now which one is closer to the mark?” (Source: Defense News)

15 Oct 20. AUSA: NXT 360 – Next Generation HMMWV. AUSA, Washington DC: The US Army High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, more commonly known as the HMMWV, remains one of the most widely fielded light tactical vehicles in the world.

Despite the US military’s introduction of its Joint Light Tactical Vehicle the JLTV, significant numbers of HMMWVs will continue in service. Andy Hove, president of AM General highlighted that currently over 250,000 HMMWVs are fielded in 70 countries.

Given this, the company has focused on providing improvements that modernise and enhance the performance of the vehicle while maintain commonality within the fleet. He explained, “While maintaining 90 percent commonality our efforts have, for example, allowed for the provision of three engines rated for 150, 190 and 205 horsepower, increasing performance while retaining the proven automotive package.”

Similarly, this approach has allowed providing a model that is automotively virtually identical but has a narrower body allowing it to be transported inside a Boeing CH-47 Chinook.

Taking this approach to a new level the company has developed its NXT360 which again utilises the proven HMMWV base automotive package combining it with an integral protection against both kinetic and blast effects at MRAP level. Importantly, this is provided in a vehicle at a 15,500lb (7,045) gross weight.

As Nguyen Trinh, executive vice president International Defense stated: “Equipped with the 205hp turbo charged engine and a long travel suspension, the NXT demonstrates exceptional on and off-road performance. The vehicle is offered in two, four and six passenger capacity models.”

In response to questions, Andy Hove indicated that the protection approach employed in the NXT could be applied to AM General’s Hawkie 105mm Mobile Howitzer System further enhancing its ability to address its ability to address the mobile indirect fire needs of light forces. (Source: Armada)

15 Oct 20. Finland, Latvia and Patria signed a R&D agreement on developing common armoured vehicle system. Finland and Latvia together with Patria, have signed a research and development (R&D) agreement for a common armoured vehicle system. This agreement is a next step in this collaborative programme after the countries last spring signed a joint technical arrangement (TA). The purpose of the R&D agreement is to develop a common armoured vehicle system, based on the Patria 6×6 vehicle and developed to meet the common requirements of the countries. The agreement also allows for the development of other new vehicle variants and system features later. The joint Finnish-Latvian research and development organization will direct and supervise development work, in which Finland will act as the leading country.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us, and we are confident that this program will be beneficial for all parties. This is a unique multinational co-operation which is built on identified common benefits over the full lifetime of the system. Patria is proud of being able to provide our expertise in the joint development programs into use of this program. The participating countries will seek for a very cost-effective solution that will certainly be of interest to other countries as well who are keen on enhancing their army mobility”, states Jussi Järvinen, President of Patria’s Land business unit.

Patria launched its 6×6 vehicle at Eurosatory in 2018. The Patria 6×6 vehicle combines all the proven features of Patria’s XA and AMV vehicles. It is simplified, reliable and designed to meet 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’s AMV vehicle. Due to the spacious cabin and well-defined functions, the vehicle is easy to operate and to train. Reliability and low life cycle costs are underlined by the multitude of commercial components used in the vehicle.

The key areas of Patria’s Land business unit are armoured wheeled vehicles, mortar systems and related lifecycle support services. Business unit employs 230 people in Hämeenlinna and Tampere.

15 Oct 20. PQ On UK Support Costs.

Question

Mr Kevan Jones

Labour

North Durham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much money from the public purse has been spent on support costs for the (a) Husky, (b) Panther, (c) Foxhound, (d) Jackal, (e) Mastiff and (f) Ridgeback vehicles since 2010.

Answer

Jeremy Quin

Conservative

Horsham

Answered on 15 October 2020

Support costs, including for post design services, spares support and maintenance activity, for the last three financial years (FY) are provided in the following table. Records prior to that date are not held in a format that allows them to be easily retrieved and would incur disproportionate cost.

Platform FY17/18 £m (VAT Incl) FY18/19 £m (VAT Incl) FY19/20 £m (VAT Incl)

Husky    2.687   3.745  2.798

Panther  3.350   3.280  1.868

Foxhound 8.016  11.346  12.187

Jackal (also includes Coyote)

6.59    3.983   6.698

Cougar platform (Mastiff, Ridgeback, Wolfhound)

10.104    5.578   5.146

Total DE&S Support Spend

30.751   27.931   28.696

Notes:

(a) Support costs exclude those for provision of infrastructure and training.

(b) It is not possible to separate Cougar platform support costs (Mastiff, Ridgeback and Wolfhound) as there is a high degree of commonality between these vehicles and they have a single financial support line. Jackal and Coyote also share a single support line.

BATTLESPACE Comment: The support costs for Foxhound seem to be exponentially larger than the other vehicles with no explanation. BATTLESPACE understands that the cooling system had to be redesigned due to overheating problems. These figures will no doubt be analysed by Oshkosh when putting their through life costings for JLTV to DE&S.

15 Oct 20. Arquus delivers the last VIPAIR P4 vehicle to the French Air and Space Force.  Arquus delivered the last P4 VIPAIR vehicle to the French Air and Space Force, in accordance with the contractual commitments. Initiated in 2016, the VIPAIR program aimed at transforming a batch of 19 P4 ASPIC vehicles of the French Air and Space Force into P4 VIPAIR (Véhicule d’Intervention et de Projection Air – Air Intervention and Projection Vehicle), designed for the training of Air Parachute Commando units and for projection in foreign operations.

The P4 ASPIC, which provided with the base to be modified, was a P4 light liaison vehicle fitted with a reinforced chassis, designed to carry an ASPIC short-range anti-aircraft weapon system. Of the 24 P4 ASPIC vehicles in service with the French Air and Space Force, 19 were to be converted into P4 VIPAIRs, the other 5 being kept in reserve for other uses.

The P4 VIPAIR was to be equipped with a multi-purpose platform and weapon mounts, enabling it to carry out liaison and intervention missions for the French Air and Space Force.

A first prototype, developed and produced at the Arquus site in Marolles-en-Hurepoix, was tested and approved by the French defense procurement agency, the Direction Générale de l’Armement – Techniques Terrestres (DGA TT), in May 2017. Arquus then conclusively verified the technical feasibility of upgrading the safety systems on the chassis of the 18 vehicles and the prototype. In May 2018, the French Air and Space Force entrusted Arquus with the transformation of the 18 ASPIC vehicles and the VIPAIR prototype into 19 VIPAIR vehicles to the final standard selected.

In September 2018, the definition of the vehicle was adjusted on the prototype in order to launch the mass production of the 19 vehicles. The French Air and Space Force then expressed additional requests regarding the rear platform, the back window and the painting of the vehicles.

In total, the program included: technical upgrading of the vehicles on a case-by-case basis, equipping the chassis with a multi-purpose platform, fitting several accessories such as a circular ring mount, roll bars, spare wheel and jerrycan holders, as well as painting the vehicles in Brun Terre de France. All these operations totaled several dozen hours of work per vehicle. The VIPAIR P4s were also officially probated to take into account the modification of the vehicles’ Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).

Production was launched in September 2018, and the delivery of the last vehicles was scheduled for the end of 2020. The first VIPAIR P4 was presented to the French Air Force in March 2019 at the Arquus site in Saint-Nazaire. Production was then continued at the same pace as the French Air Force made the vehicle bases available. A first series of three vehicles was delivered in April 2019, a second in July 2019, a third in November 2019, and a fourth in March 2020, immediately before the COVID health crisis. The last 6 vehicles were handed over to the forces from September 16, 2020, and the last one left the Arquus site in Saint-Nazaire on October 15. They have been deployed to various French Air Force bases, where they were positively received.

Halfway between industrial repair and original equipment manufacturing, the VIPAIR program involved a dozen or so personnel from Arquus’ Marolles-en-Hurepoix and Saint-Nazaire sites, for both design and production.

14 Oct 20. Textron Systems, Shield AI team up on unmanned project. Textron Systems has teamed with artificial intelligence firm Shield AI to work together on “multi-domain autonomy,” the two firms announced Tuesday. According to a Shield AI spokesman, the collaboration will integrate the company’s software onto Textron’s unmanned systems, with an early focus on U.S. Army modernization priorities. The initial collaboration will focus on sharing exploration data between small unmanned aerial systems developed by Shield AI and unmanned ground vehicles developed by Textron Systems.

This is not the first collaboration with a traditional defense firm for Shield AI, which is one of a number of of tech companies aiming to break into the Pentagon market. The company has worked closely with the Defense Department’s technology hub, the Defense Innovation Unit, and it has raised more than $50m in venture funding since 2015.

Textron Systems is a subsidiary of Textron, the 38th largest defense company in the world, according to the annual Defense News Top 100 list. Included in its portfolio are a number of unmanned systems, including the Ripsaw ground robotic combat vehicle and the Shadow aerial system.

“Working with U.S. Department of Defense customers since the 1980s to provide reliable, highly capable unmanned systems, we understand how these technologies extend the capabilities of our warfighters, while keeping them at a safe standoff distance,” Textron Systems Senior Vice President Wayne Prender said in a statement. “We are continuously enhancing our autonomous platforms to meet stated and anticipated future requirements for our customers. We look forward to collaborating with Shield AI on this shared priority.”

Added Ryan Tseng, Shield AI co-founder and CEO: “We are excited to innovate together and believe this marks a significant moment on our path to achieving our mission and delivering AI for Maneuver at scale.” (Source: C4ISR & Networks)

12 Oct 20. Persistent Systems rolls out GVR5 communications solution for military vehicles. GVR5 delivers dual-band Wave Relay® mobile ad hoc network. Persistent Systems, LLC (“Persistent”) announced today the new dual-band GVR5 mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) solution for military vehicles. Designed in collaboration with General Dynamics Mission Systems, the GVR5 allows users to seamlessly share voice, video, text, sensor, and location data, all while on the move without the need for fixed infrastructure.

“Like dismounted users, infantry fighting vehicles and similar platforms have a need for a robust, highly scalable MANET,” said Shane Flint, Vice President of Business Development at Persistent, “but that MANET must also fit a special, vehicular environment, which is why we developed the GVR5.”

The GVR5, which can simultaneously operate on two frequency bands (C/L, C/S, or L/S – bands), is specifically designed for integration into infantry fighting vehicles that have unique power systems, ballistic and gunfire shock requirements and operate with complex local area networks found in heavier vehicles. It is hardened to meet the electronic warfare requirements to oppose near-peer adversaries.

The GVR5 is ideal for PACE (Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency) communications. “It automatically routes communications over the best available band depending on geography and RF congestion,” Flint said, “and by leveraging the vehicle’s intercom system, it routes to tactical voice networks, such as SINCGARS, TACSAT, and HF.”

The GVR5 can also be connected to SATCOM or LTE modems in the vehicle to extend BLOS connectivity to dismounted users – delivering global connectivity to the Wave Relay® MANET.

Dismounted users carrying MPU5 tactical networking devices can wirelessly connect to a vehicle’s intercom system while in or near the vehicle, and send video data to the armored vehicle for the GVR5 to then distribute via the system’s embedded Cloud Relay™ capability, all the way back to TOC or HQ.

“We have already seen serious interest in the GVR5 from major platform integrators and other potential customers,” Flint said.

13 Oct 20. General Dynamics rolls out new TRX ground robot at AUSA. General Dynamics Land Systems debuted its new medium-class robotic combat vehicle — Tracked Robot 10-Ton or TRX — at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference, which came together using AI-enhanced design and lightweight materials.

TRX is an independent and research development project that GDLS has been working for over year that builds on the technologies from its successful Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) robotic vehicle program, a GDLS spokesperson told Defense News in an interview ahead of AUSA.

GDLS won the SMET competition this year after a recompete followed by a protest. GDLS also won the original contract.

The 10-ton weight class vehicle has a light chassis that can carry a lot by using some advanced design technologies that the company has developed with partners as well as some unique manufacturing technologies and advanced materials, according to GDLS.

The platform is designed to meet a variety of critical missions such as direct and indirect fires, autonomous resupply, complex obstacle breaching, counter-unmanned aerial systems, electronic warfare and reconnaissance.

The robot can conduct semi-autonomous operations and is fast enough to keep up with high-speed maneuver formations like the Stryker Brigade Combat Team and the Armored BCT, GDLS said.

In GD’s virtual exhibit booth at AUSA, the TRX represents an indirect fires configuration that showcases its partnership with drone-maker Aerovironment. The RCV sports a large payload consisting of a variety of Switchblade loitering munitions.

In 2018, GDLS and Aerovironment announced its partnership at AUSA, revealing an armored reconnaissance vehicle for the Marine Corps competition with Switchblade and Shrike 2 unmanned aerial systems incorporated. The goal was to do something similar for the Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV).

GD is also providing footage of its RCV paired with a manned vehicle at the Platoon- or Company-level at its virtual booth.

While the Army did not select GDLS to build medium-class RCV prototypes to be used to determine the feasibility of integrating unmanned vehicles into ground combat operations, the company is prepared for when the Army moves forward with a competition to acquire RCVs once it has defined requirements through experimentation over the next several years, according to company officials.

The Army is planning to make a decision on how to proceed with robots on the battlefield in 2023. (Source: Defense News)

13 Oct 20. Belgium Contracts 322 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) from Oshkosh Defense. Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, announced today that the Belgium Ministry of Defence has awarded Oshkosh Defense a contract for 322 Oshkosh Defense Command and Liaison Vehicles (CLV) for the Belgium Defence Forces. The Belgian CLV is the proven Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) platform from Oshkosh equipped with Belgian communication systems. The JLTV is currently used by the U.S. military.

“Oshkosh Defense is honored that Belgium has chosen to equip its armed forces with the Oshkosh CLV,” said John Bryant, Executive Vice President, Oshkosh Corporation, and President, Oshkosh Defense.

“The Oshkosh CLV offers Belgian soldiers the world’s most advanced light military vehicle, delivering next-generation levels of protection, off-road mobility, speed, transportability, and seamless operational and logistical interoperability with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies,” Bryant continued.

“The Belgian Defence opted for a worldwide competition in which “money for value” was the only criterion,” said Director Land Systems Colonel Filip De Varé. “The CLV will be integrated in the CaMo program, an international partnership between the French and Belgian land forces.”

Traditionally procured via foreign military sales, the Belgian procurement marks Oshkosh Defense’s first large direct commercial sale of a JLTV-based vehicle. Belgium joins the United States, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Montenegro in choosing this vehicle.

As a globally recognized leader in the design and production of military vehicle systems, Oshkosh Defense has the capacity to support both domestic and international customer demand.

08 Oct 20.  Warrior production contract “could add £1bn to the UK economy”: KPMG report. A KPMG report commissioned by Lockheed Martin has said that a production contract for the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (CSP) could add up to £1bn to the UK economy.

The £1bn in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy is based on an expected production contract covering the upgrade of 275 vehicles between 2021 and 2029. At this time, the exact number of vehicles set to be upgraded has yet to be confirmed as Warrior CSP is still under a development contract.

Under the Warrior CSP programme, Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs), originally built in the 1980s, will receive a new turret based on the CTA International CT40 cannon as well as other upgrades to the vehicles electronics systems.

Lockheed Martin has said around 80% of the Warrior CSP solution is sourced from British Companies in its current state. Once awarded, production and integration of the new turret will be completed at Lockheed Martin’s site in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.

The KPMG report adds that a production contract for the vehicles could deliver 100 annual Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs and up to 2,000 annual FTE jobs through the supply chain and direct employment at the peak of production.

An executive summary of the report seen by Army Technology says that based on an expected contract award in the last quarter of 2021, resultant vehicle deliveries would likely take place between 2023 and 2028.

The MOD told Lockheed Martin in August 2020 that it intends to upgrade up to 290 Warrior AFVs. Lockheed Martin was originally awarded a development contract for Warrior CSP in 2011.

Under this timeline, it would have been 12 years from development contract to delivery of the first Warrior CSP vehicles.

KPMG found that a production contract would generate £278.9m in direct GVA, £484.3m in indirect GVA from the supply chain and £280.4m in GVA created through Lockheed Martin employees spending Warrior CSP-related wages.

Lockheed Martin Ampthill vice president and managing director Lee Fellows said: “Since acquiring the Ampthill site, Lockheed Martin has invested significantly into the facility and our number of employees has grown too. (Source: army-technology.com)

13 Oct 20. MILVEHCOE Opening establishes new Australian sovereign Military Vehicle Capability. Rheinmetall is pleased to confirm the opening of its Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland, Australia and the establish¬ment of a new national sovereign military vehicle capability that enables the design, development and local manufacture of military vehicles, platforms and turrets for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and export to like-minded nations.

The Prime Minister of Australia the Hon Scott Morrison MP officially opened the MILVEHCOE at a ceremony attended by a delegation of Federal MPs and Senators from across Queensland, representatives from Defence and Australian Defence industry.

The MILVEHCOE is an 11ha precinct incorporating a regional headquarters for Rheinmetall and a major manufacturing hub that will deliver vehicles into the ADF including Boxer 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRV) under Australia’s billion project Land 400 Phase 2 and high mobility logistics trucks under the Land 121 Phase 3B/5B program.

Rheinmetall AG Chief Executive Armin Papperger said the MILVEHCOE heralded a new era in Australian manufacturing as the company transferred technology and systems from Germany to establish a global hub for the continuous design, manufacture, export and support for military vehicles, platforms and turrets.

Mr Papperger said the MILVEHCOE’s export focus would also drive the sustainable growth of a military vehicle industry in Australia that would draw on an expanding supply network across the nation to deliver products and services from local industry into Rheinmetall’s Global Supply Chain.

“This state of the art MILVEHCOE establishes a leading edge military vehicle capability that will build on the strong partnership between Rheinmetall and the ADF,” Mr Papperger said.

“Moreover, it will enable Australian developed technology and systems to be exported to the world and opens the way for Australian companies to deliver into our programs for current and future nations including NATO members such as Germany and Hungary,” Mr Papperger said.

The MILVEHCOE precinct includes:

– Engineering and manufacturing for vehicles, turrets, weapons, armour, electronics and electro-optics and simulators;

– A vehicle test track and electromagnetic test chamber – used to confirm that vehicles meet the agreed performance specifications prior to delivery to the Australian Army;

– An indoor firing range – a fully-enclosed, state of the art firing range;

– A systems integration laboratory – used to integrate and optimise performance of Australian Army systems and equipment into the vehicles; and

– Facilities for engineering, training, procurement, project management, finance, legal, marketing and management.

Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart said the MILVEHCOE would transform the company’s ability to deliver for the ADF and Rheinmetall customers globally.

“This facility has dramatically advanced our business in Australia and the way we engage with the Australian Defence Force and industry,” Mr Stewart said.

“Once fully operational, it will enable the manufacture and sustainment of the Australian Army vehicle fleet of BOXER vehicles and provide a sovereign facility where Defence, industry and research organisations can innovate and collaborate on the Australian Boxer and other defence programs.

Rheinmetall is establishing an advanced manufacturing workforce of more than 450 employees within the MILVEHCOE precinct including highly skilled and qualified workers across a range of specialist disciplines.

“We are hiring welders, vehicle mechanics, systems and integration engineers, electro-optics technicians, software coders and developers and other specialisations,” Mr Stewart said.

“Rheinmetall continues to invest in people, technology, infrastructure, program management, supporting functions and industry networks so we can deliver some of the most complex and advanced programs in the world and meet the demands of customers for military vehicles, electronic systems, simulation, training and support.”

These programs will see the design, development, manufacture and sustainment of a world class military vehicles and a focus on research and development of vehicle technologies including autonomous systems and new civilian vehicle capabilities.

Rheinmetall is currently delivering 211 Boxer vehicles to the Australian Army under Land 400 Phase 2. The Boxer’s key purpose is to find the enemy; to identify them and choose how and when to engage.

The company is also delivering more than 2500 protected high mobility trucks to the Australian Army under the Land 121 Phase 3B program and building on this logistics backbone for the ADF by supplying a further 1000 trucks to the Commonwealth through the Land 121 Phase 3B/5B program.

Rheinmetall has also offered the Lynx KF41 – a tracked, highly protected Infantry Fighting Vehicle – to meet the stringent military requirements of the $15bn Land 400 Phase 3 program. The Australian Army needs a new IFV for close combat – to close in and defeat an enemy in the most dangerous and lethal environments for Australian soldiers.

“Design, development and manufacture of the in Australia for the ADF will also build on the advanced manufacturing jobs at the MILVEHCOE as well as a strong industrial network of SMEs across Australia,” Mr Stewart said.

09 Oct 20. US Army receives second AMPV, pushes fielding date back. BAE Systems is continuing to deliver Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles (AMPVs) to the US Army after a delayed start and the service said it is anticipating that the programme will remain on track but with minor slips to key testing and fielding dates.

Over the past year, the army’s AMPV line has experienced some hiccups including an initial vehicle delivery postponed from March until late August. As of 6 October, though, the service had accepted two AMPVs and BAE Systems has an additional two vehicles ready for acceptance, Ashley John, the public affairs director for the army’s Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems, told Janes .

The company was under contract to begin delivering vehicles to the army in March, but the duo modified the deal and pushed the date back until July. However, that date was delayed further, and the service did not accept the first vehicle, a mission command variant, until late August.

“The shift was due to production start-up challenges, fabrication, parts availability and assembly line readiness issues, and installing advanced manufacturing capabilities,” John wrote in an email. “As an [acquisition category] 1C programme, the programme manager included some flexibility in the programme schedule to accommodate the inherent risk of such a complex endeavour (building five variants of AMPV, for example).”

This flexibility typically includes a six-month window for meeting milestone dates and the AMPV schedule included some leeway, she noted. As a result, the programme should stay on track and the first 64 vehicles will be used to support production qualification testing, live-fire test, and initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E), John added. (Source: Jane’s)

07 Oct 20. PLA trialling field-ambulance variant of Lynx ATV. Chinese state-owned television has released footage showing a 4×4 field-ambulance variant of the Lynx CS/VP11 all-terrain vehicle (ATV) undergoing trials with China’s Army Medical University. Weihutang, a programme about military affairs from state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), released footage on 7 October showing the lightweight vehicle, which can be carried internally by a medium-lift helicopter, undergoing a series of trials, including off-road testing, at a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) medical service training base.

The open-top vehicle, which can accommodate two medical personnel (including the driver), can carry up to three wounded personnel in specially built-in stretchers.

The ATV, which is powered by a diesel engine and features what CCTV described as “real-time 4WD [four-wheel-drive] technology”, is a joint product of the China North Industries Group Corporation (Norinco) and the China South Industries Group Corporation (CSGC).

CCTV provided no information about the vehicle’s dimensions, engine power, or when it is expected to officially enter service, but Janes understands that the CS/VP11 has a typical gross vehicle weight of 1.2 tonnes. (Source: Jane’s)

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