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02 Jul 21. Legal obstacle to Ajax Trials at Millbrook? Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that the Ajax Trials initiated by the MoD at Millbrook have met a delay to the legal implications of civil drivers driving a vehicle which causes hearing loss. The source suggests that an indemnity will be sought.
01 Jul 21. Hanwha’s Redback IFV to begin trials for South Korean military. Hanwha’s 5th-generation Redback IFV is expected to begin trials for the South Korean Army between April to June 2022 to modernise the military’s IFV fleet.
The Republic of Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has confirmed that it will begin trialling Hanwha’s Redback Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) from next year as part of a force modernisation plan.
Designed for the LAND 400 Phase 3 program, the 5th-generation IFV is contending to replace the M114 armoured personnel carrier (APC). Currently, the Redback is competing against Rheinmetall’s LYNX and is undergoing a series of Risk Mitigation Activity (RMA) testing procedures to trial and evaluate the system.
According to a statement by Hanwha, the Redback will undergo testing by the South Korean Army between April and June 2022. Despite intending to expand their current fleet of K21 IFVs, the South Korean Army hopes to modernise their fleet following demonstrations of the Redback’s Iron Fist Active Protection, Iron Vision and SPIKE LR-2 anti-tank guided missile systems. The announcement follows an agreement between Hanwha Defense Australia and Elphinstone for the development of the Redback hull, which was confirmed by the companies at LAND FORCES.
Richard Cho, managing director of Hanwha Defense Australia, outlined that the agreement will support the company’s supply chain.
“Hanwha will help expand Australia’s defence industry base through our involvement with Elphinstone, and we will also introduce them to other parts of the broader Hanwha Group, which may also benefit from Elphinstone’s proven manufacturing capabilities,” Cho outlined.
Managing Relationships in Defence Negotiations
The testing also comes as negotiations between Hanwha and the United Kingdom government for the development of locally manufactured K9 Howitzer weapons systems.
Oh Kyea-Hwan, vice president of Hanwha Defense International, outlined that Hanwha’s global footprint delivers cheap and impactful military solutions.
“Building on the developing relationship between the UK and South Korea, we are delighted to invite the UK to join the K9 global family.
“By working together with nations around the world, Hanwha is able to offer a cost-effective and modular approach.
“Ultimately, this makes us all more resilient and allows us to integrate more easily when it matters most.
“The K9 is an innovator in the self-propelled howitzer market, and we see great things ahead for an amalgamation of UK industrial expertise and South Korean technology,” Oh concluded. (Source: Defence Connect)
01 Jul 21. Milrem Robotics-led iMUGS consortium showcases manned-unmanned teaming. Milrem Robotics is the project coordinator of integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS). The THeMIS UGV fifth generation. European developer Milrem Robotics-led integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (iMUGS) consortium has showcased the capabilities of manned and unmanned teaming.
The €32.6m iMUGS project seeks to build the European standard unmanned ground system (UGS). it involves the development of a modular, cyber secure and scalable architecture for hybrid manned-unmanned systems.
It is being carried out in phases and leverages Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS UGV and certain payloads.
Milrem Robotics CEO Kuldar Väärsi said: “The main objective of the iMUGS project is to integrate robotic systems with existing manned technology into European defence forces adding a new capability that will overmatch our adversaries’ abilities.”
The project’s first phase involved two scenarios to demonstrate the use of common armoured personnel carriers (APC) and teaming of unmanned aerial systems for the deployment of the THeMIS.
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) supplied the Boxer APC, Acecore Technologies provided a tethered drone and a multirotor drone by Atlas Dynamics was also used.
The Estonian Defence Forces supported the demonstration.
The integration and operation of THeMIS with Acecore’s tethered drone to track and engage a target were shown in the first scenario.
The second scenario involved recovering both the casualties and the vehicle that crashed. THeMIS UGV and Boxer completed the mission under the overwatch of Atlas’ drone.
Krauss-Maffei Wegmann iMUGS project manager Thomas Reining said: “The demonstration confirmed that we have the interaction between manned and unmanned systems, as well as the interaction of hardware and software, under control.”
Estonia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, and Spain are the seven EU nations that have set the standardised UGS requirements.
Other iMUGS parties include Talgen Cybersecurity, Safran, NEXTER, KMW, Diehl Defence, Royal Military Academy of Belgium and more.at.com(Source: Defence Connect)
01 Jul 21. The U.S. Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal (ACC-DTA) announced that it has awarded Oshkosh Defense, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK), a $152m order for Joint Light Tactical Wheeled Vehicles (JLTV), companion trailers, and associated kits.
The order includes Oshkosh JLTVs, trailers and kits for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Navy, as well as NATO allies Lithuania, North Macedonia, Slovenia, and Romania.
Since winning the competitive JLTV contract in 2015, Oshkosh has built over 12,500 JLTVs, fielded vehicles to over 40 U.S. and international military installations, and received commitments from 8 NATO, Allied, and Coalition partners.
“We’ve spent over 10 years developing our vehicle, followed by nearly six years of manufacturing the vehicle in both low rate and full rate production,” said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs, Oshkosh Defense. “We’ve refined the manufacturing process, matured our robust supply chain, and fulfilled the light tactical vehicle capability gap in 8 additional countries with our proven platform. No one else can say that. And we have no plans to stop building the Oshkosh JLTV anytime soon.”
The U.S. Army recently increased Oshkosh’s option ceiling under the current contract from 18,170 to 23,163 vehicles to support critical missions worldwide.
“Oshkosh Defense is incredibly pleased with the reception the JLTV continues to receive around the world,” said John Lazar, Vice President and General Manager of International Programs, Oshkosh Defense. “The JLTV provides unprecedented levels of off-road mobility, survivability, and hosted firepower on a light tactical vehicle platform. We had a busy Spring and the momentum surrounding the platform continues to grow.”
In May, the North Macedonia Minister of Defense, Radmila Sekerinska, was able to ride in the JLTV for the first time. Sekerinska later tweeted, “These new American-made light armored vehicles will become part of the Army facilities. Today at Krivolak, we were convinced of their exceptional performance. This is what our Army looks like in #NATO.”
Later in June, the Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Matej Tonin remarked at a JLTV acceptance ceremony, “Modernization of the Slovenian Army has finally begun. With the new light armored vehicles Oshkosh 4×4, our Soldiers will be more successful and safer in tasks at home and abroad.”
To date, Oshkosh has received orders or commitments from the following NATO, Allied, and Coalition partners including the United Kingdom, Belgium, Montenegro, Slovenia, Lithuania, Brazil, Romania, and North Macedonia.
28 Jun 21. Britain’s new tanks will blast missiles off course using bullets. The British army is reducing its tank fleet from 227 to 148 but upgrading it with a new armour protection system. An American Stryker armoured vehicle seen here in trials firing the Trophy Active Protection System at an incoming anti-tank munition. The interception can be seen on the right of the picture
Britain’s new fleet of tanks will blast incoming missiles off course by firing thousands of tiny bullets at them, the MoD has said.
Trials of an Israeli-made Active Protection System (APS) are due to start soon as the army upgrades its heavy armour regiments to produce 148 Challenger 3 tanks.
The Trophy anti-missile system is designed to recognise incoming enemy rocket-propelled grenades (RPG), guided weapons and other munitions and destroy them before they hit the tank.
Colonel Will Waugh, director of the UK’s Armour Main Battle Tank Programme, said: “This technology, already battle proven with our international allies and partners, will deliver a step change in protection against guided and unguided anti-tank weapons: a threat that continues to proliferate around the world and grow in lethality.
“This marks another step forward in delivering a modernised main battle tank able to defeat any threat it might meet in the future.”
Trophy is the only fully-integrated, combat-tested APS in the world and has been installed on Israel Defense Forces’ Merkava tanks since 2010.
Israeli forces started work on Trophy in the early 2000s, but it was the loss of several Merkava tanks in the 2006 war in Lebanon that accelerated efforts to develop APS.
The US Army has also fitted the system to their Abrams tanks.
On July 14, 2014 Hamas militants filmed themselves in Gaza firing Russian-made man-portable Kornet anti-tank missiles at Israeli vehicles.
Instead of showing the destruction of Israeli armour, the film shows the Trophy system defeating the incoming round.
A similar film, shot on July 22, 2014, shows a Hamas attack using RPG-29 munitions. The Trophy system functioned again, protecting the vehicle and crew.
The Trophy system uses small phased-array radars that detect incoming anti-tank munitions, calculates the best time to fire back and discharges countermeasures to intercept the flight path of the incoming missile, or cause the warhead to function early.
The tank being attacked can slew the gun onto the bearing and fire back, automatically if need be, although The Telegraph understands the Israeli Defence Force does not allow the system to have full autonomy.
If linked to the wider battle-management system, the hostile firing location will appear on screens in other tanks to allow supporting vehicles to fire on the enemy position.
The British army plans to use digital technology to link units and vehicles together in this way, to allow instant communication of threats to be passed to the most appropriate weapon system, although the “digital backbone” and countermeasure element is not part of the MoD’s Trophy trial.
Trophy will not, however, significantly disrupt kinetic energy rounds that are difficult to stop as they are moving so fast – over a mile a second.
At these speeds protection systems and tank armour are almost always overmatched.
However, Ben Barry, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, says systems such as Trophy swings the battlefield advantage back in the tank’s favour.
He believes Russia’s armour-heavy invasion of Ukraine in 2014 shows how Nato should be developing APS alongside anti-tank weapons capable of defeating such systems on vehicles like the T-14 Armata, Russia’s latest tank.
“The prospect that adversaries may have active protection systems should be concentrating the minds of all Nato armies,” Mr Barry told the Telegraph.
“So far we’ve seen very little evidence that many of them, in public at least, are sitting up and paying attention.”
The system is thought to cost around £500,000 per vehicle. No exact details have been given regarding how many Challenger 3s will be fitted with the Trophy system. (Source: Daily Telegraph)
01 Jul 21. The next generation armoured vehicles are being developed in a European co-operation project led by Patria. Patria leads a defence industry consortium that has now been selected as part of the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP), which is an industrial programme of the EU. As part of the EDIDP, the focus will be on Ground Combat Capabilities (GCC) to develop next generation armoured platforms and upgrade existing ones. Patria acts as the industrial coordinator of the EDIDP-GCC-2020 and has formed a consortium called FAMOUS (European Future Highly Mobile Augmented Armoured Systems) to execute the programme. The consortium includes 20 leading defence companies from different EU countries.
The EDIDP is a defence industry development programme designed to support the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the union’s defence industry. The EDIDP is the first EU-funded programme to develop defence capabilities, with a financial envelope of €500m. The selection for the EDIDP programme was made at the end of June 2021 and the actual start of the project will take place in autumn 2021. The Ground Combat Capabilities project led by Patria will last two years.
The FAMOUS programme aims to develop future technologies and performances that enhance ground combat capabilities in the areas of mobility, hybrid operation, power generation and energy storage, such as well as security systems, situational awareness, robotics, C4I solutions, weapons systems and modern life cycle support solutions.
“Patria, as an international company with unique expertise in defence on land, sea and in air, is the consortium coordinator by leading and coordinating the FAMOUS programme. All 19 companies, including ground combat system integrators as well as high-tech midcap and small and medium-sized enterprise companies, will bring highly complementary expertise, technologies, and know-how to the project. A comprehensive combination of various top-of-the-art land system capabilities will substantially improve the performance and technology of armoured platforms”, says Esa Rautalinko, President and CEO of Patria.
“This development programme is valuable not only because of platform development, but also because it is a unique and innovative approach to develop areas of next generation technology that can be utilized in a variety of armored vehicles and systems. These concepts can be made rapidly available and implemented already during the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) in future system architectures as well as utilized in future European armored vehicle systems. Development work is not only funded, but that the products eventually reach their actual use. This approach will lead to unity and thus increase coherence, standardization and compatibility between different platforms in the EU”, says Jussi Järvinen, President of Patria’s Land business unit.
30 Jun 21. Ajax: ‘Troubled’ Programme’s Trials Suspended Again. The MoD said in a series of tweets that the Ajax trials will only resume “when we are assured that mitigations are fully effective”.
All trials involving the Ajax armoured vehicle have been suspended again, due to renewed concerns over noise.
Tests of the programme were previously “paused as a precautionary measure” between November 2020 and March 2021.
It was confirmed earlier this month that some crew members involved in the trials were continuing to receive medical attention after concerns were raised over “noise and vibration levels”.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said in a series of tweets that the trials will only resume “when we are assured that mitigations are fully effective”.
On Tuesday, in response to a written question about the numbers of personnel injured during the testing of Ajax armoured vehicles, Baroness Goldie, Minister of State for Defence, said “21 incidents of hearing treatment have been recorded”.
She added “as a precaution, a further 83 soldiers… will receive annual hearing tests” – despite not showing any signs of hearing loss.
“Trials resumed in May 2021 with restrictions on use and extra hearing protection mandated,” she said.
“Notwithstanding these measures, this month, two soldiers reported symptoms of noise-induced hearing loss, with one more being assessed.”
Ajax vehicle during a demonstration on Salisbury Plain (Picture: MOD).
Baroness Goldie also said five soldiers had reported to “their local medical centre with vibration-related symptoms”, but did not require further treatment.
“There have been no reports of injuries requiring hospital treatment,” she said.
On Tuesday, Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin visited the Millbrook Proving Ground where independent testing has been conducted on Ajax.
“This long-running troubled programme requires ongoing intense work by our industrial partners and ourselves to ensure its delivery,” he said.
“In achieving this, the safety of our personnel will always come first.”
Earlier in June, Mr Quin admitted there are “serious issues” with the Ajax programme, before revealing there were “anecdotal reports of vibration” following the involvement of soldiers in pre-trials training on prototype variants of the vehicles in 2019.
The defence minister also stated “headsets” were being considered for use with the trials, but added: “That does not get us to the root cause and we need to get to the root cause of the noise issues within this vehicle, be that mechanical or, indeed, electronic.”
On Wednesday morning, the chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, Tobias Ellwood MP, called for the project to be “scrapped” citing growing costs for each individual vehicle.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “Cost now exceeding £7m per vehicle.
“MOD should draw a line to resolve current issues, beyond which, the project should be scrapped.
“Plan B could follow the US Marines’ example and move to a wheeled recce vehicle (with a Turret) such as BOXER.”
Earlier this month on 17 June, in response to a written question regarding the delivery timetable of Ajax, Baroness Goldie said the forecasted Initial Operating Capability (IOC) was 30 June 2021.
She said there was “50% confidence” in the June delivery date and “a 90% confidence for September 2021”.
“To be clear the department will not take the programme into IOC until we are confident that we have achieved what we need to achieve at this stage of the vehicle’s development,” she said.
“The contract with General Dynamics Land Systems UK is a firm price contract to deliver the requirement in a set budget.” (Source: forces.net)
29 Jun 21. New £3.2bn Ajax tanks withdrawn again after troops suffer hearing loss. New light tanks that have so far cost the army £3.2bn have been withdrawn for a second time after more troops reported suffering hearing loss during trials, The Times has learnt.
All trials involving the Ajax armoured vehicle were paused in mid-June on “health and safety grounds” amid concerns that mitigation measures put in place to protect soldiers — including ear defenders — were not sufficient.
Ministers believe senior officers in the army may have hidden the extent of the problem with Ajax over recent months to prevent it being axed as part of this year’s “integrated review” of Britain’s defence and foreign policy.
Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, is said to be “distinctly unhappy” with the handling of the programme and has appointed a team to review it and find out what the army has kept “hidden” from politicians because of concerns about cuts.
Experts said the problems with Ajax were so serious that the government should consider cancelling the £5.5bn deal to buy 589 of the vehicles — of which only 14 non-turreted variants have been delivered so far.
The MoD placed an order with General Dynamics in 2014 for the delivery of the vehicles from 2017 through to 2024.
However, the programme has been beset by delays because of problems with noise, vibration and radiation, resulting in troops suffering from varying degrees of hearing loss, nausea and swollen joints.
Excessive vibrations have also meant the gun stabilisation system has struggled to function properly, so when the vehicle is on the move the cannon cannot fire accurately.
A leaked report has also detailed how the vehicle could not go faster than 20mph and soldiers were not allowed to reverse over obstacles more than 8 inches high — problems that have since been resolved.
The trials were initially suspended for four months to March this year after concerns about hearing loss including tinnitus were raised by troops, but they were restarted with safety measures in place.
Soldiers were given noise-cancelling ear defenders and were limited to 90 minutes inside the vehicle.
In recent weeks more soldiers have come forward to report hearing loss problems, and the trials at Millbrook Proving Ground, a vehicle testing centre in Bedfordshire, were suspended.
It is understood that it took several days for that information to reach defence ministers, who then ordered the trials across the programme at three other sites to be suspended on June 16. Sources said there had been no vehicle movement at the other three sites in the days leading up to the wider pausing of trials.
A military source said: “We had to pause it on health and safety grounds as people reported hearing loss again. The ear defenders were not rigorous enough.”
The outcome of an independent investigation into the hearing problems could now be delayed past an original end of July deadline and Jeremy Quin, a defence minister, is not expected to report back on the findings until the autumn.
A problem with radiation emitted from an antenna in the vehicle has also been identified and it is understood that General Dynamics is trying to move the antenna to a place that puts the soldiers at less risk.
Ministers believe that senior army officers may have covered up the extent of the problems with the programme before the “integrated review” because they did not want Ajax to be scrapped.
A senior Whitehall source said an ongoing review of the programme would look at whether the army had “suppressed” issues with the vehicle.
“What has the army hidden from ministers over the last few years because they were so worried about cuts? Once they (senior officers) get their toys, they don’t want to let go of them”, the source said.
The Labour MP Kevan Jones said the decision to halt the assessment trials would further delay the programme and place at risk the army’s ambition to establish new strike brigades.
“This is another example of chronic mismanagement within the MoD and its shaky procurement apparatus”, he said.
Chris Tickell, the deputy chief of the general staff, who is tipped to become the next head of the army, is believed to be pushing for the programme to go ahead, but others are sceptical it can be delivered.
Francis Tusa, editor of the Defence Analysis newsletter, said: “At the moment they are spending good money after bad for something that is arguably unfixable.” He described Ajax as the “army’s Nimrod (MRA4)” — the planned maritime patrol aircraft scrapped in 2010 at a cost of £4bn, without a single aircraft entering service.
Senior sources inside the MoD said there was no desire to pull out of the programme given the billions of pounds that would be wasted.
“It would be wrong to pull out now. We are not there yet, they could still deliver”, a source said.
They added that the MoD would refuse to pay the remaining £2.3bn it owes for the programme if General Dynamics could not deliver a vehicle that met army requirements.
In recent weeks Wallace has sought to distance himself from the beleaguered programme, pointedly saying he had “inherited” it.
Earlier this month he said the bill needed to rectify the issues would not be picked up by the MoD, adding: “I’m not going to take delivery of equipment that is not able to be rectified by the manufacturer.” An MoD spokesman said: “Given renewed noise concerns we have temporarily paused all Ajax mobility trials and training.
“The permanent secretary has instigated a thorough safety investigation into the programme and we are working with General Dynamics to address any potential issues.”
Alarm bells sounded in summer 2016 when the gun for the Ajax light tank stopped working during an overseas trial (Larisa Brown writes).
“As soon as the turret was subject to vibration and bumps the [feeding] mechanism failed”, an industry source said at the time.
Five years and billions of pounds later the problem with vibrations has persisted, moving from the weapons system to the hull on which the turret sits.
Vibrations mean the gun stabilisation system has struggled to function properly, so when the vehicle is on the move the cannon cannot fire accurately. Vibration and the subsequent noise have affected troops’ hearing. This month Jeremy Quin, the defence procurement minister, said that the MoD was not told of the vibration problems until the end of 2019.
To date £3.2bn has been spent on Ajax and there are only 14 vehicles, all with no turret and of odd sizes, out of an ordered 589 across six variants to show for it.
The UK branch of General Dynamics, the American defence contractor, won the contract for the Ajax in March 2010 after years of competition from BAE Systems. It was to be the army’s most sophisticated armoured vehicle and reconnaissance platform, with 245 turreted variants.
Its revolutionary 40mm cannon had been selected years earlier by the army because senior officers believed it was the only gun powerful enough to defeat the Russian BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle.
When it came to choosing the vehicle for the cannon, sources party to army discussions said there was a feeling within the MoD that the option had to be “anyone but BAE”, even though senior officers considered the UK company’s proposal to be a better alternative.
Although BAE had a working model for the vehicle, which only required a new cannon, the option presented by General Dynamics was much more complicated and involved using a Spanish hull, then marrying a turret to it and then the gun.
MoD sources said the army had asked for the “impossible vehicle”, adding: “They went to General Dynamics and said ‘Can you do it?’ and they said yes.”
BATTLESPACE Comment: No doubt GDUK and the MoD are calling in lawyers for their views on Ajax. Sources told BATTLESPACE that they believe that there is no Penalty Clause in the GDUK contract. One of the reasons BAE was wary of bidding for the Scout requirement was the penalties they incurred over Terrier in liquidated damages, hence their higher bid. The battle lines will be drawn over whether it is the vehicle or the canon which causes the issues. If it is the canon which is GFE to GDUK then MoD not GDUK will have to pay for the upgrades, if they ever happen. At present BATTLESPACE understands that GDUK is inline to pay for any upgrades of Ajax.
29 Jun 21. Challenger 3 (CR3) contracts. A source told BATTLESPACE that all the sub-systems, selected by Rheinmetall, have been through preliminary design review, January 2020, the design, bill of material is fixed and now being developed to meet critical design review mid next year. Contract award of CR3 was released on 7th May 2021. The last bit outside that contract was the selection of Trophy for its APS confirmed. (See: BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.23 ISSUE 26, Trophy selected for Challenger 3, 28 June 2021, 24 June 21. Rafael’s Trophy Active Protection System selected for integration on the UK’s Challenger 3 Main Battle Tank. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. announces that its Trophy Active Protection System (APS) for armored vehicles has been selected for the next phase of detailed assessment and integration by the UK Ministry of Defence for the Army’s Challenger 3 MBT.) The risk now rests with RBSL when they set the system to work will it achieve what is required, only two turret SIL and 6 Prototype vehicles are being planned before low rate production start 2024 meeting IOC with 18 vehicles in mid 2025.
28 Jun 21. Tasmanian companies join Land 400 Phase 3 bid. While Tasmania’s capabilities in the maritime sector are well understood, its capabilities in the land domain are now of interest to South Korean giant Hanwha in their bid for LAND 400 Phase 3 with its aptly named Redback vehicle.
It may surprise some to know that one of the nation’s most significant heavy vehicle manufacturing capabilities is found in and around Burnie, in the north west of the state.
Global OEM Elphinstone Pty Ltd has proven an ideal partner for Hanwha as it focuses its bid, and the development of its Australian supply chain, for the final push to secure the prestigious multi-billion dollar program to replace our fleet of Infantry Fighting Vehicles.
Elphinstone specialises in the design, manufacture and support of heavy-duty vehicles for the global underground, surface mining and rail maintenance industries, and is ideally suited to production of large structures and components for the vehicle build.
Coupled with this capability is the associated supply chain that has helped Elphinstone export several thousand vehicles from Burnie to international markets since 1975. In fact together, Elphinstone and Caterpillar have manufactured more than 5000 underground and surface mining vehicles from their collective facilities in Burnie over the past 40 years.
Executive Director, Kelly Elphinstone said Elphinstone has designed and manufactured vehicles to operate in some of the harshest conditions and there are many synergies with the Hanwha product.
“Hanwha have worked hard to maximise Australian capability and content wherever possible and while we know the final vehicle assembly will occur in Geelong, Tasmania can still play a meaningful role in the program.” Ms Elphinstone said.
These sentiments are echoed in the south of the State where innovative SME CBG Systems is already working with Hanwha.
Hanwha Defense Australia announced in May 2021 that its existing partnership with CBG Systems was being extended to include ongoing supply for LAND 400 Phase 3 as well as LAND 8116 Protected Mobile Fires. Hanwha is the sole source tenderer for the LAND 8116 program, bidding the Huntsman Self-Propelled Howitzer and Armoured Ammunition Resupply vehicles.
CBG Systems is using its Solar∑Shield advanced mobile camouflage systems technology to make the Redback and Huntsman vehicle variants hard to see or detect with radar, providing a potentially decisive combat advantage against adversary detection and engagement systems.
The Solar∑Shield technology will also assist in managing the thermal signature and other heat transfer properties on Hanwha Defense Australia’s technologically advanced Redback and Huntsman family of vehicles.
“CBG Systems is proud to offer Solar∑Shield to Australia’s key defence projects and excited to be contributing to what is a highly advanced and integrated solution for LAND 400 Phase 3,” said Javier Herbon Managing Director of CBG Systems.
“CBG’s mobile camouflage system provides signature management against visual, thermal, radar and ultraviolet detection, and thus provides a significant advantage and much greater safety in high threat environments.”
Solar∑Shield technology was originally developed by DRDC (Defence Research and Development Canada) which represents a clear example of the opportunity to develop further synergies and cooperation the Canadian and Australian governments together with industry with the aim to develop advanced technology for our countries’ defence forces.
LAND 400 Phase 3 is an $18 to $27bn project tasked to acquire a fleet of up to 450 Infantry Fighting Vehicles. LAND 8116 Phase 1 is a $0.9bn to $1.3bn project to acquire 30 self-propelled armoured artillery systems and 15 armoured resupply vehicles.
“I am delighted to welcome CBG Systems permanently to Team Redback,” said Mr Richard Cho, Managing Director of Hanwha Defense Australia. “CBG Systems are a highly respected Australian company and I believe the technology they offer can help us make the Redback an even better vehicle in terms of soldier protection and comfort. I am very grateful for all their efforts so far both with the Redback and LAND 8116.”
Hanwha Defense Australia publicly launched the Redback in Australia earlier this year before handing over vehicles to the Commonwealth for assessment as part of their Risk Mitigation Activity for project LAND 400 Phase 3.
Elphinstone and CBG Systems will join other successful NW Tasmanian companies Penguin Composites and Delta Hydraulics being courted by Hanwha. Penguin has had great success in supplying bonnets and other panels for prime Thales on the Hawkei vehicle now with Army. Delta Hydraulics has been supplying telescopic cylinders to the Collins class submarine since their commissioning.
“Victoria is home for Hanwha,” Mr Cho said, “but the contribution of Tasmanian industry such as Elphinstone and CBG Systems to our vehicle programs illustrates the benefits to both states, and indeed the nation, where Hanwha is successful.”
Tasmania’s Defence Advocate, Rear Admiral (Rtd) Steve Gilmore, said Tasmania’s manufacturing capability is an ideal partner for primes looking to show a true commitment to AIC, while getting superior outcomes. “Heavy vehicle manufacturers in Tasmania have been producing globally competitive products for decades with innovate solutions that are routinely the best on the market” Rear Admiral (Rtd) Steve Gilmore said.
More information on Tasmania’s defence industry is available through the Defence Tasmania Industry Directory at www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/business/sectors/defence (Source: Defence Connect)
29 Jun 21. Billion-euro contract for Rheinmetall – Bundeswehr upgrading Puma infantry fighting vehicle to new design status. Rheinmetall has won a major order from the German Bundeswehr in the armoured vehicle domain, representing sales volume of well over half a billion euros. Issued through the joint venture company PSM GmbH, the contract encompasses the upgrade of the first lot of the Bundeswehr’s Puma infantry fighting vehicle, bringing them up to a uniform enhanced design status. PSM GmbH is co-owned by Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, each of which holds a 50 percent share in the company. The contract for modernizing Germany’s fleet of Puma IFVs was signed on 28 June 2021 at the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in Koblenz. In awarding this contract, the Bundeswehr remains on track toward an operationally ready, fully digitized fleet of infantry fighting vehicles. Work is slated to begin immediately in July 2021 and is expected to be complete in 2029. Now official, the initial phase of the order encompasses 154 vehicles, generating sales for the consortium of €1.04bn. Rheinmetall’s share here comes to €501m (with value added tax), which will be booked as an incoming order at the start of the third quarter of 2021. For Rheinmetall, anticipated consortium-internal subcontracting, e.g., in the electronic vision systems domain, is expected to mean additional orders in the three-digit million-euro range. The contract also contains an option for modernization of a further 143 Puma infantry fighting vehicles, which for the PSM consortium would mean additional sales volume totalling €820m, once again including VAT. Well over half this amount would be allotted to Rheinmetall. The major refit now being embarked on is intended to bring the majority of the first lot of the Bundeswehr’s existing fleet of 350 Puma vehicles up to S1 enhanced design status. In preparation for the NATO High Readiness Joint Task Force VJTF 2023, which will be furnished by the Bundeswehr, forty Puma IFVs have already been upgraded to S1 status. Of Germany’s 350 Pumas, the only ones not included in the modernization programme are the 13 driver training vehicles. Among other things, the new S1 version of the Puma is characterized by standoff-capable effectors like the MELLS multirole lightweight guided missile system; additional sensors such as the new driver’s vision system; and an improved command-and-control architecture. The parabolic and driver vision system heralds the end of the periscope era. For the first time, the entire crew will be able to “see through” the armour, day and night.
The fusion mode combines daylight vision with a high-quality thermal image, enabling early detection of camouflage targets around the clock. The S1 version of the Puma version is the first western combat vehicle that includes a system of this type as a standard feature.
Teamed with the VJTF 2023 version of Rheinmetall’s Future Soldier – Expanded System infantry (IdZ-ES) system, the S1 version of the Puma forms the System Panzergrenadier. For the first time in Germany, the System Panzergrenadier links a digitized platform – the advanced S1 version of the Puma IFV – to a soldier system featuring digital radio technology. On 18 March 2021, speaking on behalf of the Bundeswehr, Lieutenant General Alfons Mais, the German Army chief, declared the system “ready for action”.
TEK Military Seating Limited
TEK Military Seating Limited is a UK based designer and manufacturer of ProTEK military vehicle seating which offer the highest standards of safety and protection. The ProTEK brand is well respected across the globe for its robust construction, innovative design, built in modularity and cost effectiveness. Our superior products are supported by our experienced team who endeavor to offer unrivalled service to our customers from enquiry, through design and acceptance, to through life support.
From its inception ProTEK seats have been designed around a family of innovative seat frames onto which tested and certified modules can be fitted to create a bespoke solution for the user. These include Blast protection to Stanag 4569 standards, vibration reduction, head and body protection, seat risers and turntables, fore & aft adjustment, and seat back rake along with viable seat dimensions without the need for additional tooling costs.
Contact: David Parkman