02 Nov 20. Philippine Army Orders Light Tanks. The Philippine Army appears to be preparing to introduce mobile protected direct fire capabilities, often classified as “light tanks” or “assault guns” to its force. It has not had a “tank” since the M-41 Walker Bulldog in the 1950s.
Currently the closest it has had are the Scorpion CVRT and locally modified M113 APCs both with the same a low velocity 76 mm L23A1 gun turret. However, the Army recently announced it’s award of a US$196m contract to Elbit Systems under its Light Tank Acquisition Project.
Under the contact Elbit will integrate its Sabra 105mm gun turret system on both eight ASCOD tracked and ten Pandur wheeled armoured vehicle chassis provided by General Dynamics European Systems.
The Sabra uses an automatic loader with a ready capacity of 12 rounds. The gun can fire standard NATO ammunition including HESH, HEAT and APFSDS anti-tank rounds. Details of the fire control system have not been revealed, however, it is anticipated to draw on Elbit’s line of advanced digital thermal sights and controls.
The Sabra has further been displayed with a roof mounted panoramic sight. It was also reported proposed with Elbit’s C4 system, including a Battle Management System (BMS), and the Combat NG fire control and command system both of which are already in service in the Philippine Army.
The mix of tracked and wheeled platforms suggest that the ASCOD versions may be employed with the Army’s M113 equipped units and the Pandurs with its wheeled IVECO Brazil Guarani armoured vehicle units. Indeed a second contract has also been provided to Elbit for an additional 28 of the later with a .50 remote weapons station under the Wheeled APC Acquisition Project. These Elbit contracts follow previous contracts to the company for adding it’s ORCWS to Army M113A2s.
The Light Tank Project as been on going since 2015 and has included consideration of candidates from Korean Hanwha, Belgium’s Cockrill, Turkey’s Otokar, Indonesia’s PT Pindad, and Elbit with GDELS. (Source: AMR)
05 Nov 20. Pearson Engineering launches SLICE equipment interface for tanks. UK-based Pearson Engineering has developed and tested a lightweight interface for its front-end equipment (FEE) called ‘SLICE’, which is already being marketing to potential end users and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
The system is designed to be fitted onto main battle tanks (MBTs) and other armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) to provide a “plug and play capability” enabling these platforms to be speedily fitted with FEE, according to a company statement. Equipment options include a dozer blade or mine-clearing devices of the plough type to provide a “self-support capability,” it added.
SLICE is a lightweight interface specifically designed to be rapidly installed on the glacis plate of an MBT, without any modifications or “impact on the vehicles survivability and avoids any interference with the gun sweep or the driver’s visibility”, according to Pearson Engineering.
The Pearson Engineering SLICE can be installed on the front of an MBT such as the Leopard 2, without any effect on the mobility of the platform or the vision area of the driver. (Pearson Engineering )
SLICE has its own integrated hydraulic motor pump and control system and therefore does not rely on the host platform’s power supply. It can also be fitted onto or removed from the host platform in about 15 minutes, using a crane and basic tools. SLICE is linked to the operator’s control panel inside the hull, enabling crewmembers to raise or lower the FEE during operations.
Once SLICE is fitted onto an MBT, for example, an FEE such as Pearson Engineering’s Combat Dozer Blade (CDB) or Full Width Mine Plough (FWMP) equipment can be attached without any specialised equipment in well under 10 minutes. (Source: Jane’s)
04 Nov 20. PLAGF’s Tibet Military District receives additional CSK181 armoured vehicles. The People’s Liberation Army Ground Force’s (PLAGF’s) Tibet Military District has received an additional batch of Dongfeng Mengshi CSK181 4×4 armoured vehicles.
The district released images on 4 November via its Weibo account of an induction ceremony for about a dozen new CSK181s, each of which was fitted with what appeared to be a manned weapon station. That said, no weapons were shown mounted on these stations. The military district provided very few details about the event, saying only that the CSK181s were assigned to a battalion.
The latest developments are a further indication that the Tibet Military District is acquiring a growing number of these third-generation armoured vehicles to boost both the mobility and protection of troops operating in high-altitude areas, amid military tensions between India and China over a border dispute along the Line of Actual Control in the Himalayas.
Only a few weeks earlier, on 16 October, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) released video footage showing a batch of CSK181s entering service with a border unit under the Shigatse Military Sub-District. It is unclear how many CSK181s entered service at the time but at least eight of the vehicles were shown in the footage of the commissioning ceremony. (Source: Jane’s)
04 Nov 20. The original Land Rover Defender silhouette lives on: Land Rover grants Bowler a licence to use iconic Defender shape in Project CSP 575. Land Rover has given Bowler Motors permission to produce vehicles using the classic Defender shape in the next phase of development for our all-terrain performance cars and rally raid vehicles.
This new agreement paves the way for us to develop a new family of high-performance models, beginning with a project codenamed ‘CSP 575’ – a new road-going vehicle with our own rally-proven CSP high-strength steel chassis, aluminium alloy Defender 110 Station Wagon body panels and Land Rover’s 575PS Supercharged V8. This project will supplement the ongoing motorsport developments that are the foundation of our past, present and future plans.
Initial renders of the planned 4×4 provide a glimpse of the rally-derived model, which will be the first new Bowler since 2016. Full details will be revealed early next year, but the competition-inspired off-roader promises to combine potent performance and motorsport-honed durability in a classic Defender 110 Station Wagon shape capable of accommodating four passengers.
Founded in 1985, Bowler pioneered the production of dedicated off-road competition cars in the UK. Jaguar Land Rover acquired Bowler at the end of 2019 and its expert team has been developing a number of exciting projects as part of Special Vehicle Operations.
Our customers are already benefiting from this relationship as Land Rover SV engineers are helping develop Bowler vehicles and using their engineering expertise to test Bowler products at Special Vehicle Operations’ world-class facilities.
Land Rover’s decision to issue us with a licence agreement to build vehicles using the classic Defender shape is a natural progression of this relationship and the new station wagon project represents a unique undertaking – integrating the technology, components and engineering excellence underpinning Land Rover’s SV products with our motorsport expertise and experience.
Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, said: “We’re excited to announce the first major project since our acquisition of Bowler. The ‘CSP 575’ will combine Supercharged V8 performance and four-seat practicality with Bowler’s rally raid-proven CSP platform, broadening the appeal of the brand. This high-performance road-going model will sit alongside Bowler’s evolving range of rally raid models, which continue to enjoy success in the world’s toughest motorsport events.”
The new model will be manufactured in very small quantities at our headquarters in Derbyshire, UK, by the same talented engineers and technicians who produce our competition 4x4s. With global appeal but targeted at customers in the UK, select European and overseas markets, indicative pricing for the new model is around £200,000 in the UK.
Calum McKechnie, General Manager, Bowler Motors, said: “The Bowler name has stood for innovation for 35 years. The licence agreement to produce vehicles with the classic Defender shape gives us a unique opportunity. We’re excited to combine our motorsport experience with the expertise available from Special Vehicle Operations to produce a thrilling competition-inspired Defender 110 Station Wagon for the road.”
Order books will open next year.
02 Nov 20. Montenegro receives first JLTVs. The Vojska Crne Gore (Armed Forces of Montenegro: VCG) received its first five Oshkosh Defence 4×4 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) at the Milan Šaranovi? barracks in Danilovgrad on 27 October, outgoing Defence Minister Predrag Boškovi? told Podgorica-based Radio Crne Gore (RCG) on 29 October.
“We are the first European nation to have received the Oskhosh vehicles. The first five arrived on 27 October, with an additional 15 to follow on 5 November,” Boškovi? said, adding that the delivery of all 67 vehicles on order would be completed in 2023. According to Boškovi?, the vehicles will equip two NATO-declared units: the 1st Infantry Company in Nikši? and the 2nd Infantry Company in Pljevlja.
The handover came two weeks after the VCG on 12 October presented one of the first four Elbit Systems Overhead Remote Controlled Weapon Stations (ORCWSs) it received for Montenegro’s JLTVs, also at Milan Šaranovi? barracks. The ORCWS is designed to be mounted on the JLTV without roof penetration, and the one shown in Danilovgrad was armed with a single M2A1 50-cal machine gun, six smoke-grenade launchers, and a fully integrated electro-optical system featuring high-performance long-range day/night cameras. Boškovi and US ambassador to Podgorica Judy Rising Reinke signed the USD36.2m deal for 67 JLTVs in October 2019. (Source: Jane’s)
02 Nov 20. Milrem Robotics Demonstrated its Autonomous THeMIS UGV to the Italian Army. The European leading robotics and autonomous systems developer Milrem Robotics demonstrated their autonomous THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle to the Italian Army this week and launched a new program to assess and analyse the implementation of intelligent systems into the army’s doctrine.
During the robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) capability spotlight last week the company successfully presented their THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) enhanced with Milrem’s Intelligent Functions Integration Kit (MIFIK) that features autonomous functions such as waypoint navigation and follow me. Although presented on the THeMIS, MIFIK can also be integrated onto other unmanned vehicles providing the same capabilities.
Together with the live demonstration Milrem Robotics also launched their Intelligent Systems Implementation Analysis and Assessment (IS-IA²) program designed to help armed forces implement intelligent systems into their capabilities.
IS-IA² is comprised of three steps: analysing the requirements of the armed forces, implementing the tailor-made RAS solution with the integration of provided and/or customized technologies for the armed forces by the local industry, and evaluating the outcome.
“IS-IA² provides armed forces support from initial planning to full implementation and post implementation analyses of intelligent and robotic systems with (NATO standard) concept development and experimentation methodologies. This enables customers to get support and solutions for any step in the process,” said Cpt (ret) Jüri Pajuste, the Defence Research and Development Director of the company.
“With years of experience in RAS experimentations and related system integration Milrem Robotics is in a great position to be a technology partner and kick-start an innovative robotics and autonomous systems evaluation program to create or enhance new military capabilities,” Pajuste added.
Milrem Robotics recently delivered four THeMIS UGVs to the Royal Netherlands army, increasing their THeMIS fleet to six units. Milrem Robotics is the system integrator who also performs all the integration of third-party technologies, including weapons systems, onto the delivered UGVs.
The THeMIS has been delivered to nine countries of which seven are NATO members, including France, Norway, the UK, and US.
Milrem Robotics recently launched the Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle, intended to support mechanized units.
The company also leads iMUGS, an EDIDP funded project that develops the European standard architecture for unmanned ground vehicles and their management system, including cyber defence solutions, and demonstrates the advantages of unmanned systems for enhancing defence capabilities. (Source: ASD Network)
03 Nov 20. Iranian Army Receives Over 500 Super-Heavy Tank Transporters. More than 500 super-heavy tank transporters were delivered to Iran’s Army Ground Force last week.
The super-heavy vehicles made by Iranian engineers were delivered to the Ground Force in a ceremony with Chief-of-Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, Army Commander Major General Seyed Abdolrahim Mousavi, Army Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Kiumars Heidari and a number of other Iranian Armed Forces Commanders in attendance.
Head of the Army Ground Force Logistics Brigadier General Hassan Alipour said on the sidelines of the ceremony that these tank transporters had been useless vehicles but the force decided to renew and boost them, Fars News Agency (FNA) reported.
“Today we are witnessing the joining of tank transporters to the Ground Force capable of carrying two tanks and this is amazing,” Alipour said.
“What has happened during the recent years in the Army Ground Force is something like a miracle,” Major General Mousavi said, adding: “Today, the Army Ground Force has become a 100% mobile force that is able to fulfill every mission without external help.”
“Today, we are witnessing a boost in the mobility of heavy and super-heavy sector of the Ground Force,” he stressed.
Deputy Commander of Central Khatam-al Anbiya Headquarters Brigadier General Ali Shademani, also said: “Today’s unveiling despite all-out sanctions of enemies against the country bears strategic importance.”
“The new vehicles will boost the Ground Force’s agility. Conditions of future wars require to have a more agile ground force and today’s achievements will boost the mobility of the Army Ground Force and turns it into a rapid reaction force,” he added.
Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.
Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country’s military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.
Late in September, the Iranian Army Ground Force unveiled 7 defensive achievements, including a dual launcher named Hadaf (Target) 2 and an intelligent combat robot dubbed Caracal.
The ceremony was held in the presence of Iranian Army Deputy Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Hossein Dadras.
Several achievements of the Iranian Army Ground Force, including Masih (Christ) rescue robot, piston engines of drones, high frequency jump communication system, Caracal intelligent combat robot, a dual launcher named Hadaf 2, Gohar 4.4 tactical vehicle and a 26.40 upgraded vehicle were unveiled during the ceremony.
General Dadras said the country is standing on its feet in its defense industries despite the harsh US sanctions, adding that no regional country enjoys such a capability. (Source: Al Defaiya)