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14 Jul 21. British Defense Secretary Vows to Fix Tank that Deafens Troops. Wallace is to meet with the CEO of General Dynamics, maker of the Ajax light tank. The U.K. defense secretary pledged to fix a troubled armored fighting vehicle that is reportedly so loud that soldiers are suffering hearing loss during military test trials.
During a visit to the United States this week, Wallace said he is scheduled to meet with Phebe Novakovic, CEO of General Dynamics, maker of the Ajax light tank.
“We’ve paid for a piece of equipment, we expect it to be delivered,” Ben Wallace said Tuesday during a press conference in Washington. “Just like any other consumer, we have those rights, and if it’s not up to scratch, we’ll take action.”
Earlier this month, The Times of London reported that “urgent talks” would be held to discuss the project’s future, after 20 soldiers suffered hearing loss during Ajax trials.
“We, both General Dynamics and the Army, have determined they’re going to have to put this right,” Wallace said.
The U.K. Defence Ministry originally awarded the Ajax contract to U.S. weapons maker General Dynamics in 2010. The £4.62bn ($6.4bn) contract calls for 589 vehicles. So far, General Dynamics has delivered 25 to the British Army for acceptance trials. Another 91 Ajax vehicles are built and awaiting delivery, according to General Dynamics.
“We’ve already withheld significant amounts of money from progressing of the contract until we fix it,” Wallace said. “It has to be fixed.”
The British Army halted Ajax trials late last year after troops reported hearing loss and joint pain from the tank vibrations. That led to operating restrictions, according to the BBC.
In prepared testimony for an upcoming Parliament Defense Committee hearing about Ajax, General Dynamics pledged to fix the tanks.
“While we work diligently to address concerns referenced in the question, we are confident we will be able to implement any appropriate actions,” the company said in the prepared testimony.
The company said “no other vehicle is available at this level of maturity” to meet the British Army’s requirements.
“[General Dynamics Land System-UK] places the highest priority on the health and safety, general wellbeing, and protection of its employees, contractors, and customers, and takes seriously the health concerns raised by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in regards to noise and vibration,” the company said in the prepared testimony. “GDLS–UK is working closely with the MoD and partners to understand the root causes of the concerns on noise and vibration, and GDLS–UK is taking the necessary measures to ensure the reported issues are addressed.”
The British defense secretary, who was a tank commander in the British Army when the Warrior infantry fighting vehicle was introduced in the 1980s, said new weapons projects typically “have teething problems,” but “this is more than a teething problem.”
“It’s a troubled program, no one’s hiding that,” he said. “We’ve got to get to the bottom of the problems with it.” (Source: Defense One)
14 Jul 21. Polish Defence Ministry confirms plan to buy M1 Abrams tanks. Poland’s defense minister announced Wednesday that the country will buy 250 M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 tanks from the U.S. to counter Russian military capabilities, confirming previous reports of a planned acquisition.
“So we are ordering the most modern tanks. Tanks available in the best equipped version, tanks that are combat proven, tanks which were constructed to counter the most modern Russian T-14 Armata tanks,” Mariusz Błaszczak said during a military ceremony in Wesoła, as quoted in a statement.
Wesoła is a district of Poland’s capital Warsaw and is home to the 1st Warsaw Armored Brigade. The brigade is equipped with the Leopard 2A4 and Leopard 2A5 tanks which are currently the most modern tracked vehicles operated by the Polish Land Forces.
Błaszczak said once the U.S. tanks are delivered to the Polish military, they will be deployed to the country’s eastern area.
“These tanks will be in the first line of defense, of course if there will be such a need,” the minister said.
Deliveries of the new tanks are expected to begin in 2022. The value of the upcoming deal was not disclosed.
The forthcoming acquisition is to allow Warsaw to replace its outdated Soviet-designed T-72 and PT-91 tanks with a new tracked vehicle platform. Under the plan, the designed contract is to include logistics, training and simulators for Polish troops.
The latest development comes shortly after local media broke the story, citing sources close to the deal.
At that time, when asked about the potential purchase, a spokesperson for the Defence Ministry told Defense News the ministry had identified “the necessity to provide [Polish] armored military units with modern tanks that would comply with the requirements of the modern battlefield,” and it was working to “define the possibilities of securing these capacities based on the available technical solutions that are proposed [to Poland] by potential suppliers.”
The SEPv3 variant of the Abrams tank weights 73.6 tons, can travel at 42 mph. According to the U.S. Army’s Acquisition Support Center, the development of a SEPv4 variant is ongoing through fiscal 2023. (Source: Defense News)
14 Jul 21. Elbit to supply 11 Guarani armoured vehicles to Ghana. Israel’s Elbit Systems has signed a contract with Ghana to supply 11 Iveco Guarani 6×6 armoured vehicles to the country. The vehicles will be manufactured by Iveco Defence Vehicles in Sete Lagoas, Brazil, and fitted with REMAX remotely operated weapons stations, according to Zona Militar. The REMAX, for 7.62 and 12.7mm machineguns, is manufactured by Brazilian company Ares Aeroespacial e Defesa. The VBTP-MR Guarani (Viatura Blindada Transporte de Pessoal – Média de Rodas/Armoured Personnel Carrier Vehicle – Medium Wheeled Type) was developed by Iveco and the Brazilian Army as part of its Urutu-III modernization program aimed to replace Brazilian EE-11 Urutu vehicles. A contract was signed in 2009 to codevelop the vehicle. The 14.5 ton (empty weight) amphibious vehicle family is fitted with an Iveco-FPT 9-litre, 281 kW (383 HP) bi-fuel engine, coupled to an automatic gearbox, giving a top speed of 100 km/h. Two waterjets at the rea of the hull allow amphibious operation. It can carry 11 personnel. It is 7 metres long, 2.7 metres wide and 2.3 metres in height and can be transported by C-130 Hercules and C-390 aircraft.
It can be equipped with manned and unmanned turrets carrying armament from 5.56 to 30mm. Different configurations of the modular vehicle have been designed to fulfil roles including personnel carrier, command post, recovery, ambulance, etc.
The Guarani’s armour provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters while the V-shaped hull provides protection against landmines. The vehicle can be fitted with add-on composite armour for improved protection.
Apart from Brazil, the Guarani has also been ordered by the Philippines and Lebanon. The Philippines deal was brokered by Elbit, which will supply Elbit-made turrets and subsystems.
News of Ghana’s armoured vehicle acquisition emerged late last year when Ghana’s Parliament approved $86.1m in government loans to fund the acquisition of 19 armoured vehicles from Elbit Land Systems.
According to official records of a 3 August 2020 meeting between the parliamentary portfolio committees on health and defence, an agreement is in place between the Israeli Discount Bank and the Government of Ghana and insured by the Israeli Foreign Trade Risks Insurance Corporation. A $74m credit facility will be combined with a $12m commercial loan.
In terms of the agreement revealed last year, Elbit Land Systems will supply nine 8×8 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) equipped with Elbit Systems UT30 30 mm remotely operated turrets. The order also includes ten 6×6 IFVs fitted for reconnaissance operations.
Ghana said the acquisition will equip the army to deal with potential impacts of terrorism, human smuggling and other security threats along the northern border with Burkina Faso. They will also be used for counter-terrorism operations and supporting police internal security operations. Elbit had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication. (Source: DefenceWeb)
13 Jul 21. US provides Mamba APCs to Somalia. Mamba APCs handed over to Somalia by the United States. The United States has handed over six Mamba armoured personnel carriers to the Somali Defence Forces to bolster its efforts in the fight against al Shabaab. The US military’s Africa Command said the six vehicles were turned over to the Somali National Army’s Danab forces on 6 July in a ceremony attended by leaders in the Somali Defence Forces. Danab is an elite Somali military unit trained to hunt and kill senior leaders in the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgency.
Al Shabaab has carried out deadly attacks on civilians throughout the East African region, including an attack on a US military base in Kenya that killed three Americans last year. Danab, which is around 1 000 soldiers strong currently, is planned to grow to around 3 000. It is Somalia’s most effective fighting force.
The United States has made other donations to the Somali military, including Bastion armoured personnel carriers, and late last year was looking to acquire 100 Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles for it. (Source: DefenceWeb)
13 Jul 21. We have no idea if tank can be fixed MoD says. The MoD does not yet know if its new light tank can be fixed for use by the army because it is not sure where the vibration problems ar coming from, the ex-RAF officer in charge of military equipment has suggested. Air Marshall Sir Simon Bollom, CEO of DE&S, and=mitted that, 2there was no definitive information,” on the source of the problem with the Ajax vehicles or what can be done to rectify it. In comments described as “patently ludicrous” by MPs, he told the Commons PAC yesterday, “At this stage, I don’t have definitive information on the source of the vibration or, more importantly what we can do to actually address it.” Mark Francois MP said, ”In other words, you don’t know whether you can fix it or not.” In a heated exchange, Bollom denied claims that it was a “tank that doesn’t work,” adding: “It has an absolutely world-beating capability in terms of integrated sensors, weapons system and protection to troops.” Ben Wallace has indicated that he will not pay any more money to the company unless the problems are rectified. Sources close to Wallace have denied claims that the vehicle will be scrapped. (Source: The Times)
BATTLESPACE Comment: The latest update received today is that if Ajax is to be saved from cancellation, the ISD delay with be at least two years. As GDUK has a fixed contract, as it stands, BATTLESPACE believes that they will pay the costs of the upgrades and delays. It depends on what is in the contract, generally the standard conditions from a competition has the default clause. However, it will be in English law and a limited company P&L is a limiting factor. Another BATTLESPACE source said that in his view is the harmonics issue may have been there due an inherent design flaw in the hull, but the added weight and new regulations has taken it beyond the required legal limits. The other spectre overhanging Ajax is that all the sub-systems will have been delivered, so a Mid-Life Update may be required as the vehicle enters service. In other news sources suggest that the toxicity issues first identified some years ago due to the obturation issues on CTA have not been fully solved, the toxicity was so bad that it degraded the germanium on the sights. The toxicity levels are too high when the crew are closed down in the turret. Ajax meetings continue at HQ Army with one source suggesting that the likelihood of cancellation is 50:50 with an IOC of September being the most optimistic scenario.
12 Jul 21. Will Ajax Fill In For The Army’s Challenger 2 Fleet? We have looked at one of the internet’s most searched questions about the Ajax programme.
“Will the new Ajax vehicle be able to properly fill in for the third of the Challenger fleet being scrapped by the British Army?”
It’s one of the most-searched questions on the internet about the Ajax vehicles programme.
The short answer is ‘no’ – as the Ajax (an armoured vehicle) and its variants are designed to carry out different roles than the Challenger (a main battle tank).
The two vehicles are, however, both intended to be part of the Army’s Heavy Brigade Combat Teams, while the Ajax has variants that could carry out support roles for tanks.
Read more on the differences between armoured vehicles and tanks here.
The future of the British Army’s vehicles was outlined earlier this year, with the Ajax project ongoing, amid “serious issues” and noise and vibration issues with the programme being confirmed.
It is true that some Challenger 2s are being retired, but the majority of the fleet is being upgraded to Challenger 3s this decade.
Revealed: Click here to find out how many Ajax vehicles have been produced so far.
The purpose of Ajax
Both vehicles are designed for different roles, with Ajax intended to cover reconnaissance, support and battlefield control.
The Ajax could operate in the vanguard of the British Army’s future Heavy Brigade and Deep Recce Strike Combat Teams, providing force protection for a more dispersed force and being responsible for long-range persistent surveillance.
The vehicles are designed to possess ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and recognition) capabilities, as well as allowing the capture, processing and storage of data from multiple Ajax platforms (which can be shared via a real-time communication system).
The hope is this will allow a close-up picture of the battlefield for remote headquarters.
All trials involving the Ajax vehicles were suspended again last month due to renewed concerns over noise, after programme tests were “paused as a precautionary measure” between November 2020 and March 2021.
It was confirmed in June that some crew members involved in the trials were receiving medical attention, following issues over “noise and vibration levels”.
Ajax is designed to have a stabilised system, providing on-the-move target engagement and surveillance capability.
The vehicle contains 360° Situational Awareness Systems and thermal imagers and cameras which enable day/night/long range/infrared/laser search and detection.
The decision to use the 40mm cannon on the vehicles has been questioned, but the Government has defended its use and stated that Ajax is “capable of firing on the move”.
The purpose of the Challenger
In comparison, the Challenger is designed for tank combat, boasting both weaponry and battlefield capability.
The Challenger 2 has completed more than two decades of service, having been deployed in Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq.
As well as being able to engage enemy targets, the Challenger 2 has a full 360° rotating turret and its own nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection system, boasting the ability to withstand a nuclear blast.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) said the future iteration of the Challenger tanks will be “one of the most protected and most lethal in Europe”, with plans for the remaining fleet being retired.
The British Army will get 148 of its 227 Challenger 2s upgraded to Challenger 3, which are expected to be fully operational by 2030.
Read the timetable for the Challenger 3 here.
The remaining vehicles in the Challenger 2 fleet will be retired.
The Challenger 3 tank will also feature a new automatic target detection and tracking system, thermal long-range cameras and an upgraded engine with a new cooling system and suspension. (Source: forces.net)
12 Jul 21. The U.S. Army is wading into the murky waters of fielding electric vehicles, and industry stands ready to make that happen, but it’s been difficult for the experienced commercial world to convince the hesitant service to take the plunge.
For the last several years, the Army ramped up efforts to strategize a potential transition away from classic fuels like JP-8 to power its vehicles, allowing industry to bring working vehicles to demonstrate what is possible today and in the future.
But there is still little funding applied to efforts to find alternative fuel to power its current and future combat and tactical vehicle fleets.
At the beginning of June, GM Defense, whose parent company General Motors is a global leader in commercial electric vehicles, hosted Army officials at its Milford Proving Grounds in Michigan. The service officials drove the new U.S. Army Infantry Squad Vehicle — produced by GM Defense — through an off-road course, climbing steep, rocky inclines, zipping around tight corners, and rumbling over gravel and plowing through mud. Then they traded that for a fully electric version to consider the performance differences.
When it comes to combat vehicles like Abrams tanks, Stryker combat vehicles and Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, “I’m not sure we’re going fully electric any time soon,” Brig. Gen. Glenn Dean, the program executive officer for ground combat systems, told Defense News in an interview in Warren, about a 50-minute drive from GM’s proving ground.
“Maybe for robotic platforms. That might be the first case,” he said, “because it’s about size and weight. If you took the amount of batteries with current technology that you would need to move an Abrams tank purely electrically, it’s bigger than the tank, so we have a packaging and storage problem when it comes to pure electric.”
Dean said the Army might initially prefer a hybrid power option. “We’ve looked at that every couple of years. The question is: Are we there yet? I suspect we may be at the point where hybrid electric is probably there. You’re certainly seeing it broadly enough in the commercial space that there’s probably enough power density, can probably be packaged. Whether it’s durable enough? That’s still a question.”
While fully electric combat vehicles may be a tougher sell to the Army, the tactical wheeled vehicle fleet might be a promising place to start.
“I think tacticals going to get there before us,” Dean said. “Just the technical challenges are less; the commonality with commercial applications is greater.”
That GM Defense converted its Infantry Squad Vehicle into a fully electric vehicle in just 12 weeks is evidence of that possibility.
The company quietly sent that vehicle to a demonstration at Fort Benning, Georgia, in May, as the Army explored what exists among possible industry partners that could lead to the development of a base concept and inform requirements for a future Electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle, or eLRV.
Such a vehicle could be the service’s first manned electric vehicle, should it receive proper funding.
While a list of participants is not public, Defense News learned that, among roughly 10 vendors, Polaris and Lordstown Motors brought vehicles to the demonstration.
GM Defense plans to base its eLRV design off its yet-to-be publicly debuted Hummer EV chassis, a vehicle of which the company is hoping to build millions.
The Hummer EV features a 200-kilowatt hour battery using Ultium technology. It has three drive units and is a 1,000-horsepower vehicle. It also features four-wheel electronic power steering. The electric Hummer can get 90 minutes of drive time for 10 minutes of charging.
Electric battery advancements will allow the vehicle to conduct silent infiltration and watch at the tactical edge, and could run on its battery power for days rather than minutes, GM Defense’s new president, Steve duMont, told Defense News at its Milford proving ground.
The company is investing more than $27bn in electric and autonomous vehicles overall, which surpasses its gas and diesel product investment.
Defense News drove both the Infantry Squad Vehicle and the electric version on the same course Army officials traversed earlier in the day in a separate demonstration on June 2.
Is fully electric a bridge too far?
GM spent time at its electrification summit with Army officials trying to convince them to skip hybrid and charge toward fully electric options.
Echoing Dean, other Army leaders, including Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville, recently said procuring fully electric vehicles for its fleet of larger combat vehicles and for the smaller Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is unlikely in the near term.
In a recent Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee hearing, McConville said it’s far more likely the service will choose hybrid options that can cut fuel consumption by 25 percent or reduce power consumption when a vehicle is idling.
But GM Defense sees the hybrid approach as a belt-and-suspenders solution, resulting in a suboptimal architecture due to the need for an internal combustion motor on the front end. That design harms battery power because the vehicle must also accommodate an engine, therefore also harming electric efficiency.
GM Defense plans to offer a purely electric vehicle for eLRV. But one option, to add a layer of comfort, would be to include an electric-powered range extender — “a smoking patch,” as one company battery engineer put it.
The Army is testing the waters with electrification of vehicle components to start, Michael Cadieux, the director of the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Ground Vehicle Systems Center, said during a recent House Armed Services Committee hearing.
“We see some technology that’s available very soon, such as anti-idle technology, on our systems,” he said, to include such technology for the JLTV.
The logistics burden
But even with the benefits, there are still major hurdles the Army is working through when it comes to the logistics of fueling vehicles in the field.
“The huge challenge at the end of the day: It takes X amount of energy to move your vehicle to point A to point B. Then you need X amount of energy again to move again. Where does it come from?” Dean asked. “I can drive a Tesla 300 miles, but I’m expecting the Tesla charging station at that point. Where are those charging stations on the battlefield? Do you have to bring them with you, or are you going to expect them to be there? How big are they? They’re probably not going to be there in all the places, right?”
Historically, it takes an Army tank battalion roughly 30 minutes to refuel on the move, Dean noted.
Added Cadieux: “While there are certainly some similarities in commercial and military requirements, we are mindful that the Army faces unique operational challenges, compared to those in the commercial market.”
“These challenges include the need to operate in extreme combat environments, widely ranging temperatures, and requirements for heavy armor and add-on mission packages,” he explained. “In assessing the operational usability by the military of commercially available solutions and various hybrid, hybrid plug-in, and all-electric vehicles, we recognized two significant challenges: the need for a mobile and deployable recharging infrastructure, and greater battery energy density and endurance.”
At the electrification summit, “a good amount of time” was spent running through how to solve those logistical quandaries, duMont told Defense News.
“It’s very clear — if they’re going to be in their home base on the power grid — we can do that today,” he said, likening fast-charging stations to gas pumps.
But when you take a vehicle into the tactical environment, “that’s where the challenge is presented,” he added. “The way we’re looking at it is we will just move charging capability in a similar manner to the way that the Army currently moves.”
In some cases, the Army would set up a refueling area, or fly to a location to charge vehicles, duMont said, or the service could even airdrop batteries. The batteries are durable, he noted, as they have survived crash tests in commercial development.
“It is a transformation. It won’t necessarily be a huge change: You’re just going to take something that’s less volatile, which batteries are less volatile than moving a bunch of liquid JP-8 around,” he said, noting that batteries are lighter and smaller than the fuel. “I don’t want to underwhelm; it is a transformation. But at the same time, the government-industry team working together can solve that challenge.”
Another concern is whether batteries can survive the beating the Army might put them through on the battlefield, including exposure to extreme temperatures. The service has operated a great deal in hot desert environments and expects to increase its operational footprint in the extreme cold of the Arctic.
Electrifying the battlefield
The Army has invested about $75m over the last five years on battery and electrification-related technology at the Ground Vehicle Systems Center, according to Cadieux.
The service is poised to spend about $50m in fiscal 2022 on electric and mobility technology development, according to a review of available Army FY22 budget information.
The Ground Vehicle Systems Center is co-leading the Advanced Vehicle Power Technology Alliance with the Department of Energy. That allows the center to co-invest with industry and academia on technology development.
And the Automotive Research Center, within the Ground Vehicle Systems Center, is partnered with eight institutes including three Energy Department labs and 20 automotive industry partners to conduct basic research with lines of effort on battery technology to determine aspects like safety and reliability levels.
The Army has applied some funding to make a prototype of a hybrid electric Bradley IFV, coming from a pot of roughly $170m for combat vehicle prototyping. It is unclear from FY22 budget documents how much of that is devoted specifically to the project.
The prototyping effort began in the third quarter of FY20 and will continue through the third quarter of FY22. Testing will wrap up in the fourth quarter of FY22.
Additionally, the Army is continuing analysis and technology development of a next-generation powertrain for the JLTV that considers hybrid and a full-electric option. But the service has only programmed $2 m in FY22 to move forward with its most likely chance at a fully electric vehicle — the eLRV.
The Army Requirements Oversight Council approved the program in the third quarter of FY21, which was likely too late to then include the program in the FY22 budget request. Instead, the Army listed it as an unfunded requirement in a group of items submitted to Congress. That wish list includes items the service wants but couldn’t include in the budget request.
The “lack of funding will delay the research, design, and builds of future eLRV prototypes as well as delay the initial Other Transaction Authority (OTA) of up to four (4) contractors to participate in Soldier Touch Points,” the Army’s unfunded requirements document stated.
The Army plans to award a prototype contract in the third quarter of FY22, according to budget documents, followed by the first soldier touchpoint in the first quarter of FY23, when they will review and critique options.
A competitive downselect is expected in the second quarter of FY23 followed by a second soldier touchpoint in the first quarter of FY24.
The Army Requirements Oversight Council is set to approve a capabilities development document in the third quarter of FY24 followed by a production decision by the end of that fiscal year. A production contract would be awarded in the first quarter of FY25, with operational testing set for FY26.
The plan is to field the eLRV under a conditional materiel release until logistics development is complete — when the program would transition to a full materiel release with organic support, per budget documents.
For industry, the lack of funding for the program isn’t a sign that the Army lacks commitment to move forward. GM Defense executives told Defense News they expect to see the service move forward with the program soon following the release of market surveys in November 2020 and May 2021.
“I’m confident that this program is important to the Army. It will garner the right funds to progress along,” duMont said. “The benefit here is that we’re going forward one way or the other other. [The Hummer EV] has a lot of interest commercially, so we can pace the investment that we’re making on the adaptation for the military requirement as we work with the Army to help develop the right requirements.” (Source: Defense News)
13 Jul 21. NZ Army eyes new utility vehicle fleet. Pinzgauer 6×6 vehicles of the New Zealand Army are up for replacement, and an exercise has started to find a replacement. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is gathering ideas to replace its Pinzgauer 6×6 vehicle fleet, with an advanced notice of procurement for 99 light and 106 medium utility vehicles issued on 13 July. New Zealand wants either a military or commercial off-the-shelf solution, and more than one contract could be awarded depending on how many primes and/or platforms are selected.
The right-hand-drive Utility Vehicles – Medium (UV-M) and Utility Vehicles – Light (UV-L), along with an appropriate integrated logistics support system and through-life support, form part of the NZDF’s Protected Mobility Capability Project (PMCP).
BATTLESPACE Comment: New Zealand was the first customer for the Armoured Pinzgauer, which turned out to be a disastrous acquisition, as the bodies were too heavy for the chassis making it impossible to climb some hills when full laden, they were soon taken out of service. (Source: News Now/Shephard)
12 Jul 21. Australia’s Hawkei PMV-L vehicle achieves initial operational capability. The milestone has been achieved under the Project Land 121 Phase 4, aimed at replacing the Australian Army’s Land Rovers. The Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) new fleet of Hawkei protected mobility vehicles – light (PMV-L) has achieved initial operational capability (IOC).
The PMV-L is being procured under the Project Land 121 Phase 4, which aims to replace the Australian Army’s Land Rovers.
The latest approval comes after the ADF and Thales Australia resolved a braking issue identified with the Hawkei protected mobility vehicle identified late last year.
Following this, operating restrictions have been lifted that allowed for the recommencement of full-rate production (FRP) and declaration of the IOC capability.
The vehicle will provide a high level of protection and enhanced mobility for soldiers to operate in complex environments.
In October 2015, the Australian Department of Defence signed a A$1.3bn ($980.41m) contract with Thales Australia to procure 1,100 Hawkei vehicles and more than 1,058 associated trailers.
Australia Defence Minister Peter Dutton said that the project would see the new fleet of 1,100 Hawkei vehicles rolled out to Australian army and airforce units.
Dutton said: “The Hawkei is expected to reach Full Operational Capability in 2023 and is joining the existing Bushmaster and Protected Medium Heavy Capability trucks to create a suite of protected mobility vehicles.
“The new fleet of lighter vehicles, which will come with 1,058 trailers, will better protect ADF personnel from blast and ballistic threats.”
Hawkei is a lightweight protected vehicle designed and developed to meet the requirements of the ADF.
Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said that the vehicles are manufactured at Thales’ facility in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.
Price added: “The production of the Hawkei is sustaining approximately 210 jobs in Thales’ workforce in Bendigo, creating about 35 more jobs as part of the support contract, and establishing around 180 additional jobs as part of Thales’ supply chain supporting production.
“The production and ongoing support of the Hawkei vehicle in Australia creates significant long-term opportunities for Australian industry, including the potential for export.” (Source: army-technology.com)
09 Jul 21. Oy Sisu Auto Ab Delivered Sisu SISU GTP 4×4 Off-road Vehicles for Army. Oy Sisu Auto Ab has delivered the complete batch of SISU GTP 4×4 vehicles based on an order from Finnish Defence Forces in June, 2020. The delivery includes two different armored vehicle configurations, a five-seater general purpose vehicle and a ten-seater armored personnel carrier vehicle, as such suitable for numerous operational needs calling for protection and mobility, as well as suitability for today’s missions of asymmetric nature.
The delivery project was carried out in close cooperation with the Customer. During the project, pre-serial vehicles were tested by various troops, and user feedback was collected, and implemented as features in the delivered vehicles. As a result, the delivered vehicles are configured to meet with demanding user and operation specific requirements. In addition, the vehicle technology of these armored products is based on mass-produced truck components. Therefore, the life cycle costs are low and the support network is extensive, ensuring the security of supply and maintainability both domestically and internationally.
The SISU GTP vehicle family is modular and therefore easily variable for different operational tasks. The vehicles have congruent backbones, and the mission module -type body structures are interchangeable. Thanks to this truly modular design, the delivery of vehicles in task-specific configurations is quick and economical.
Forecasts by Vehicle Type (Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs), Passenger Cars (PCs), Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs), Other), by System (Adaptive Front Light (AFL), (AEB), Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Driver Monitoring System (DMS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Other), by Component (ADAS Camera Unit, ADAS Ultrasonic Sensor, LiDAR Sensor, Anti-Collision Device, Other), by Electric Vehicle (Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), Solar Battery Electric Vehicle (SBEV), Other), by Offering AND Regional and Leading National Market Analysis PLUS Analysis of Leading ADAS Military Vehicle Companies AND COVID-19 Recovery Scenarios
In addition to the SISU GTP 4×4 APC and SISU GTP 4×4 GP vehicles, the delivery scope included comprehensive operation and maintenance instructions and spare parts kits suitable for field use. (Source: ASD Network/ Oy Sisu Auto Ab)
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