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27 Aug 21. Marlborough Communications Limited (MCL) and its technology partner Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), have been awarded a contract to deliver four Remote Patrol Vehicles (RPVs) to Spiral 2 of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD)’s RPV Experimentation Programme. The contract will support and enhance experimentation and capability development for UK land operations and see MCL become a major contractor to the UK MoD RPV Framework Group. Spiral 2 is aimed at delivering RPVs to support troops on the ground and limit their direct exposure to danger. MCL will supply versatile and upgradable RPVs that include different capabilities and incorporate sensors as part of a technology package with significant durability for use in front line combat. MCL’s new technology partner IAI, the Israeli-based advanced systems provider, has more than 15 years’ experience in developing and manufacturing land operational autonomous systems. The RPVs, designed and manufactured by IAI’s ELTA Systems group, are robust, versatile multi-purpose/multi-mission platforms that support and complement troops on the ground and enhance force protection in battlefield conditions. In addition to their ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance) capabilities, the RPVs can provide logistical support including carrying platoon equipment, supplying ammunition and extracting casualties. They can be operated in manual, remote or autonomous modes for enhanced flexibility.
Shane Knight, Managing Director, MCL, said: “We’re delighted to have secured our first contract with our partner IAI. This is testament to our heritage in integrating and delivering industry-leading capabilities for the UK MoD, working with specialist technology partners such as IAI. Securing the Spiral 2 contract has been a collaborative team effort, and the first step toward exploring new opportunities within the UK.”
Zvi Yarom IAI Land Systems Division, VP & GM commented: “IAI’s Land division provides a wide range of multi-domain, multi-mission solutions to teams with manoeuvring ground forces, while providing vital tools to commanders and leaders. We offer combat proven, end-to-end solutions and cutting-edge sensors to be used by the soldier, or combat platforms available to fighting forces. We are confident that the fruitful collaboration with MCL will provide the UK MoD with innovative technologies and capabilities.”
MCL was previously awarded a contract to supply 4 Mission Adaptable Platform System unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to Spiral 1 of the RPV Experimentation Programme, which is an MoD Future Capability Group project to determine the future requirements of UGVs through a series of trials.
26 Aug 21. Rheinmetall wins 5G innovation grant.
The defence contractor is set to leverage government funding to develop autonomous vehicle technology with 5G capability.
The Commonwealth government has awarded a grant to Rheinmetall Defence Australia under its 5G Innovation Initiative, aimed at supporting the testing and development of 5G uses, applications, services and products.
Rheinmetall has confirmed the grant would help fund its Advanced Firefighting Concept (AFC) program, focused on developing autonomous vehicle technology with 5G and drone-based communication relay systems.
The AFC, developed in response to the 2019-20 bushfires and modelled on the German Army MARDER platform, aims to reduce the risk to frontline firefighters.
“This ex-military vehicle has been transformed into a firefighting vehicle capable of traversing dangerous terrains to support rescue, path clearing and firefighting missions over distances in excess of 100 kilometres,” the company’s managing director, Gary Stewart, said.
Rheinmetall will work alongside telecommunications giant Telstra to use an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of creating a communications relay device to establish a 5G network to the remote firefighting vehicle.
“Rheinmetall is pleased to be partnering with Telstra and is looking forward to commencing tests at MILVEHCOE, our state-of-the-art facility in south-east Queensland,” Stewart added.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia has invested over $10m into advanced autonomous systems research and development, alongside the CSIRO, DSTG, RMIT University and the Queensland University of Technology.
This announcement comes just weeks after Rheinmetall Defence Australia was shortlisted for the LAND 125 Phase 4 project.
Defence is seeking an industry partner to provide prime vendor services for product acquisition, integration and support to help deliver an Integrated Soldier System (ISS) for the Australian Army.
The ISS is expected to embed all elements and subsystems used, worn or carried by soldiers in any operational context or environment for up to 72 hours without resupply.
The prime has invited industry stakeholders to register their interest via its RDA Supplier Portal.
(Source: Defence Connect)
24 Aug 21. Turkey donates more Kirpi APCs to Somalia. Turkey has donated another eight Kirpi armoured personnel carriers to Somalia along with 14 Aktan military trucks. The vehicles were handed over to the Somali National Army in mid-August, the Turkish embassy announced, and received by General Odowaa Yusuf Rage, head of the Somali National Armed Forces.
The vehicles will be used by Somalia’s elite Gorgor Commandos in the fight against al-Shabaab.
At the same time as the vehicle delivery, Turkey announced that the 15th batch of the Haramcad Special Police Forces completed their training at the TURKSOM Military Training Centre. Haramcad forces are trained by Turkey’s Police Special Forces trainers.
Turkey donated 12 Kirpi APCs to Somalia in August 2020, along with 12 Mitsubishi Triton pickup trucks, fitted with pintle mounts for machineguns.
The Turkish Embassy in Somalia said at the time that the Kirpi is the first fully armoured vehicle to be owned by the Somali National Army.
The Kirpi (Hedgehog) is manufactured by Turkey’s BMC and is in service with the Turkish armed forces – it has also been supplied to Libya’s Government of National Accord and ordered by Tunisia. It is based on the Israeli Hatehof (Carmor) Navigator protected vehicle. Ten soldiers and three crew can be carried. A V-shaped hull provides protection against landmines, while the armoured hull provides ballistic protection to STANAG 4569 Level 3. According to BMC, the Kirpi has a top speed of 100 km/h, range of 800 km and is powered by a Cummins diesel engine delivering 375 horsepower. Gross weight is 19 tonnes.
Turkey has been a major source of aid to Somalia following a famine in 2011 as Ankara seeks to increase its influence in the Horn of Africa to counter Gulf rivals like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Turkish engineers are helping build roads in Somalia, and Turkish officers have trained Somali soldiers as part of efforts to build up the country’s army. Turkey has trained around a third of Somalia’s military.
In September 2017, Turkey opened its biggest overseas military base in Somalia’s capital, cementing its ties with the volatile but strategic Muslim nation and building a presence in East Africa. At the time Turkey said more than 10 000 Somali soldiers would be trained by Turkish officers at the $50m base. Turkey is also providing Somalia with training support and equipment to establish the country’s navy and coast guard. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
16 Aug 21. PARS IV 6×6 Special Operations Vehicle with Highest Protection Level in Its Class Continues Qualification Tests. Within the sope of the 6×6 Mine Protected Vehicle (MKKA) Procurement Project signed between FNSS and the Defence Industry Presidency (SSB), the PARS IV 6×6 Special Operation’s (S-Ops) Vehicle is designed to meet the tactical and operational requirements of military and internal security forces whose mission is «special». It is able to operate in wide range of terrains, climate types and optimized for different operational requirements.
PARS IV 6×6 SOV provides an unmatched optimum combination of the survivability of an MRAP vehicle and the tactical mobility of a wheeled armoured combat vehicle. The vehicle’s high level of ballistic, mine and IED protection along with the RPG net is designed to protect the crew and the power pack against unconventional threats where the timing and intensity of the threat cannot be estimated. In the Project started in 2019; all mine, IED and ballistic tests of the vehicle were carried out with the user. The vehicle was tested against high-level mine threats defined in survivability standards, as well as IED and ballistic threats from all directions.
The vehicle’s weapon system is designed to engage multiple targets simultaneously from all directions including high grounds. Two remote controlled turrets are located in the front and rear section of the vehicle. The weapon system is equipped with a universal weapon mount, which enables it to carry 7.62 mm, .50 Cal machine guns or 40mm automatic grenade launchers, and can be easily changed depending on mission requirements. 2-axis stabilization allows firing on the move and the increased elevation of the gun enables to engage targets on high grounds (building tops, cliffs etc.) and/or low altitude aerial targets.
The vehicle is equipped with new generation mission equipment which ensures combat effectiveness, safer route planning, command/control and rapid targeting and has been specifically designed to carry special operations units to their mission objectives where multiple threats can be in place and provide fire support to the teams in the field. High level of electrical and optical situational awareness are situated for all the team members. Vehicle’s special design enables maximum optical visual situational awareness with more than 180 degrees for the driver and the personnel placed at the front section of the vehicle. The new generation electronic infrastructure provides 360 degrees situational awareness for all the team members. Owing to these features, the vehicle can easily be operated under armour at all times with hatches closed position.
The high performance power pack and ride-height adjustable independent, hydro-pneumatic suspension system provides unmatched tactical mobility to overcome difficult terrain and road conditions as well as drive safety and comfort for the crew.
It is highly versatile, reflecting the broad spectrum of potential missions and operating zones. PARS IV 6×6 S-Ops Vehicle operates in all weather and all terrain conditions, day and night, including cross-country and urban areas. Front and rear axle steering provides a turning radius narrower than a 4×4 vehicle. This unique feature enables rapid manoeuvre capability in narrow spaces, especially in low infrastructure urban areas.
FNSS once again implements its R&D capabilities, experience and new generation vehicle development competencies with the support of its stakeholders. PARS IV 6×6 Special Operations Vehicle will be delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces Special Operations within 2021. Thus, the newest generation combat vehicle in the 6×6 class will be in service with the Turkish Armed Forces for the first time. (Source: AMR)
23 Aug 21. Australia awards $158m contract to Ventia for vehicle upgrades. A major infrastructure services provider has secured a deal to upgrade the ADF’s fleet of engineering vehicles. The Morrison government has awarded a $158mcontract to Ventia, which has been tasked with upgrading the Australian Defence Force’s existing fleet of engineering vehicles, delivering an additional 291 vehicles. The vehicles include cranes, excavators, bulldozers, loaders, telehandlers, forklifts, graders and rollers. The acquisition and sustainment of the Engineer Support Platforms is expected to generate 23 new jobs nationwide, while supporting the continuing employment of an additional 65 Australian workers. The contract is expected to involve local networks and distributors for the supply of the vehicles.
“I’m so proud of the positive impacts that our $270bn investment in Australia’s defence capability is bringing to Australian industry,” Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said.
“This contract is a clear example of the enormous benefits flowing through to small and medium businesses from our investments.
“Australian industry will contribute to the project management, systems engineering, modification, technical documentation, logistics and training elements of the project.”
Minister Price added that the contract would provide critical force enabling functions to the ADF.
“The vehicles will be used for a range of projects, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and to support amphibious operations,” she said.
“This includes construction, demolition, development of protective earthworks, route development and maintenance, airfield and port construction and repair, port operations and supply and distribution.” (Source: Defence Connect)
19 Aug 21. Chadian military parade reveals new equipment deliveries. Several new vehicle types featured in Chad’s annual military parade on 11 August, including a large number of Terrier LT-79 light armoured personnel carriers (APCs) operated by the elite Directorate General of Security Services of the State Institutions (DGSSIE). The LT-79’s manufacturer, The Armoured Group, announced in early August that it had shipped 30 of the vehicles to a Central African country it did not identify. Africa Intelligence reported in June that Chad had ordered 60 LT-79s. Built on a Toyota Land Cruiser 79 chassis, the LT-79 has a combat weight of 5.6 tonnes, features all-round CEN B6-level armouring, and can carry six to eight dismounts depending on the seating arrangement. The Chadian vehicles are fitted with a protected weapon station and armed with 12.7 mm DShK-type heavy machine guns. The DGSSIE also displayed two Arquus Bastion vehicles that appear to be the same APC variant that the European Union has delivered to Mali and Burkina Faso as part of its support for the G5 Sahel Joint Force, which includes Chad. The Division of Special Anti-Terrorist Groups (DGSAT), which has been heavily committed to operations against militants in the Lake Chad area, also paraded two Bastions of the same variant, one of which featured several antennas, possibly indicating it is used as a command post. The DGSAT column featured two Ejder Yalçin mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles made by the Turkish company Nurol Makina in their first official presentation to the public. Chadian soldiers serving with the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali have previously been seen operating Ejder Yalçins. Six Nigerian-made Proforce Ara 2 MRAPs also featured in the DGSAT’s armoured component. Proforce told Janes. (Source: Jane’s)
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