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01 Oct 21. NAO to probe troubled UK armoured-vehicle programme. The Ajax has yet to enter service, more than a decade after a multibillion pound deal was signed. Trials of the Ajax armoured vehicle were halted twice after concerns that noise and excessive vibration were causing hearing damage to their crews. The UK government’s £5.5bn procurement of the problem-riddled Ajax armoured vehicle for the British army is to be the subject of a full value-for-money audit by parliament’s spending watchdog. The National Audit Office will probe four armoured-vehicle programmes, including the Ajax project, and said it would look at “systemic issues” in management at the Ministry of Defence. Ajax was meant to give the army a weapon for an era of high-tech warfare. They were to be fast — a top speed of 70km per hour — and lethal, with a powerful 40mm cannon and built to evade detection by the enemy. Yet more than a decade after the MoD signed a contract with US defence contractor General Dynamics for a family of 589 vehicles, Jeremy Quin, the procurement minister, has admitted that the programme may be in doubt. Gareth Davies, head of the NAO, said his team would look at the Ajax, Boxer, Challenger and Warrior programmes.
In a letter to John Healey, shadow defence secretary, seen by the Financial Times, Davies said the aim was to produce the report in March next year. Delivery of Ajax vehicles to the army should have started four years ago and, of the 26 that have now been handed over, none has entered service. Instead, trials of the vehicles have been halted twice after concerns that noise and excessive vibration were causing hearing damage to their crews. There have been reports that the vehicles cannot fire their cannon while on the move, a claim that General Dynamics denies. The company said last month that all six variants were in full production and that 116 vehicles had been built and either been delivered or were in the process of being handed over. Quin told the House of Commons last month: “I’ve said before I cannot 100 per cent promise to this House that we will find a resolution to these issues, but we are determined to work through with GD.” Earlier this year Healey wrote to the NAO to request that it undertook an investigation, raising “growing concerns about fundamental faults in the vehicle, secrecy over the contract terms” and the “big cost and one-sided risk” borne by the taxpayer. Healey said: “These vehicles are vital to the future of our armed forces. But a decade of procurement failure has wasted millions and makes our service personnel more vulnerable on the battlefield.”
In March, a Commons defence select committee report warned that “bureaucratic procrastination, military indecision, financial mismanagement and general ineptitude” put forces at “very serious risk” of being “outgunned” by potential adversaries. The MoD said: “We want our armed forces to have the very best ships, aircraft and vehicles, while always delivering value for money at every stage of our procurement programmes.” It also said that it supported the NAO work as it delivered its “ambitious modernisation” plans. The MoD added: “Through new streamlined processes and developing our industry contracts with a focus on delivery, we have delivered over £6.2bn of equipment plan financial savings since 2016 and are on course to deliver £3bn of efficiency savings between 2021 and 2025.” General Dynamics told the FT last month that it was working “very closely with the British army to deliver this transformational capability” and was committed to “supporting the Ministry of Defence fully in getting this critical platform into service”. (Source: FT.com)
28 Sep 21. Today saw the world premiere of the new-generation Mercedes-Benz G-Class for Rescue and Special Operations ~ the Model Series 464. Mercedes-Benz is opening a new chapter in the success story of the off-road vehicle with the largest product revision of the G-Class for Rescue and Special Operations in 29 years. As a robust vehicle, the new G-Class for Rescue and Special Operations (Model Series 464) ensures maximum mobility even under the most difficult conditions. Enhanced off-road and on-road performance as well as maximum user-friendliness, combined with new features such as the Emergency Override Switch for emergency situations, characterise the new model. The new G-generation is initially available as a Station Wagon and as a Chassis with Cab. The ‘longest-serving’ Mercedes-Benz model series is thus ideally equipped to continue its success story.
Mercedes-Benz invited JOINT-FORCES out to Graz to cover today’s launch of the G-Class 464, described by the Austrian production team as the “New-Generation G-Class for Rescue and Special Operations”, which is aimed primarily at Blue Light Emergency Services and a wide range of Defence and Military markets, reports Bob Morrison. The launch event was held at the impressive new G-Class Experience Center next to Graz Airport, where we were truly fascinated by the vehicle’s off-road and on-road performance.
In addition to the standard 2850mm wheelbase B6 model, which has a 1.4 tonne payload but still meets the 3.5 tonne GVW limitation for a car licence, a much higher payload 3650mm long wheelbase B9 version tipping the scales at 4.9 tonnes has also already been developed. A standard wheelbase version of the G-Class 464 with an LAPV (Light Armoured Patrol Vehicle) body by Plasan and portal axles for increased ground clearance has also been developed and we were given a preview of this new baby too.
A visit to the Erzberg iron ore mines is on the cards for tomorrow, to see the new military Zetros 4×4 truck model in action, and as that will involve a very early start I’m afraid I will have to hit the sack now. However once back at my desk in Devon I plan to bring readers a much more in-depth feature on both the changes between the current G-461 and the new G-464 models, and my first impressions on how the ‘New Military G-wagen’ shapes up. (Source: www.joint-forcescom)
01 Oct 21. The Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks (MBS) division recently presented its products at the Defence Vehicle Experience (DVE) 2021 in Styria, reports Bob Morrison. Within Daimler Trucks the Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks (MBS Trucks) unit is responsible for the development and production of Special Purpose Vehicles from Mercedes-Benz based on the Arocs, Unimog and Zetros model series. On the occasion of DVE 2021 the focus was on the optimum equipment for defence and security forces in the National and Alliance defence sector and in Crisis Management and Humanitarian Aid, for example in disaster situations. The DVE was aimed at users and procurers from the defence and security sectors and partner companies, plus a small group of specialist international defence journalists was invited to attend.
Defence Vehicle World: A presentation of typical and up-to-date examples from the broad Mercedes-Benz product spectrum. These included the extreme off-road Unimog and Zetros and also the Arocs in various configurations up to heavy-duty trucks and semi-trailer trucks for combination weights up to 120 tonnes and more. A total of nine Mercedes-Benz vehicles were presented in static form and some of them demonstrated dynamically.
Driving Experience: The DVE 2021 participants then had the opportunity to experience some of the exhibited vehicles as a passenger over off-road terrain or to take the wheel themselves. The demonstration area used to show the vehicles’ capabilities was the spoil dump at the gigantic Erzberg iron ore open cast mine, which is the largest such quarry in Europe.
According to the manufacturer: “The entire spectrum of logistical vehicles for applications in the defence sector is covered by Mercedes-Benz with the Arocs, Atego, Unimog, Zetros, Sprinter and G-Class model series. The model series from civilian large-scale series production have proven their worth both in the civil and defence environment. All over the world experienced Mercedes-Benz service employees are available to provide support for the Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Mercedes-Benz currently supplies logistical vehicles to, for example, the German Armed Forces and NATO.”
In addition to the new 4×4 version of the Zetros, which was displayed for the first time at the G-Class Experience next to Graz Airport the previous day, examples of the new generation G-Class BR G-464 were also put through their paces. As and when space and time permit, I plan to pen a series of short features on both the new generation Geländewagen and the 4×4 Zetros as well as some of the specialist military variants built on MBT chassis by partner companies. (Source: www.joint-forcescom)
01 Oct 21. Rheinmetall ROSY rapid smoke/obscurant systems to be installed in Bundeswehr swap-body trucks. The German Bundeswehr’s fleet of swap-body trucks is to be equipped with Rheinmetall’s ROSY rapid smoke/obscurant system. As a first step, Rheinmetall Waffe Munition will be supplying a total of 540 systems to Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles, the company that manufactures the trucks. Each ROSY system consists of two launchers with two magazines, a quick fastener and a control device. The biggest ROSY order yet, it marks a new milestone in the system’s adoption by NATO armed forces.
The ROSY vehicle protection system protects military and civilian vehicles alike from unexpected attacks during reconnaissance missions or when travelling in convoys, for instance, as well as during offensive and defensive operations. Unlike conventional smoke/obscurant systems, the ROSY system produces an instantaneous, extensive, multispectral interruption of the line of sight. It can also generate a dynamic smokescreen that provides moving vehicles with prolonged protection.
Installed in both protected and unprotected cabs, the ROSY system will keep crews deployed in harm’s way much safer. In particular, the systems in the Bundeswehr’s swap-body trucks will substantially enhance the survivability and sustain¬ment of logistic units.
Unlike the Unprotected Transport Vehicle, or UTF, which is also supplied by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV), swap-body trucks also operate in forward zones of the area of operations to keep combat and combat support units supplied with ammunition, for example. However, even when operating deep in the rear, logistic units must be ready to respond to attacks by remnants of enemy forces or special operators, which is why the fast-acting ROSY smoke-obscurant system also makes a valuable contribution to force protection in rear echelon zones.
By early November 2021, Rheinmetall is due to deliver 150 ROSY system kits, with a further 390 to follow by the end of October 2022. Potential for additional deliveries definitely exists: in June 2020 the Federal Office for Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) entered a framework agreement with RMMV for the supply of up to 4,000 swap-body trucks, a large percentage of which were to feature an armoured cab. In a first call-off, an order was issued for production of 540 vehicles, 230 of them with protected cabs. Delivery commenced in early 2021. The goal is to make sure that the Bundeswehr has enough trucks in 2023 when Germany takes over leadership of the VJTF, NATO’s spearhead rapid reaction force.
30 Sep 21. Penske Australia joins Team Redback. Penske Australia has been selected to deliver and integrate mtu engines and Allison transmissions into powerpacks for Hanwha’s Redback IFV, if it is chosen for Defence’s LAND 400 Phase 3.
Penske Australia has been selected to deliver and integrate mtu engines and Allison transmissions into powerpacks for Hanwha’s Redback infantry fighting vehicle, if selected for Defence’s LAND 400 Phase 3 bid, the company has confirmed.
Currently, Hanwha’s Redback is in the running for the LAND 400 Phase 3 program, which would see the company deliver 450 new IFVs to the Australian Defence Force. The program is currently valued between $18bn and $27bn.
As part of the agreement between Penske Australia and Hanwha Defense Australia, Penske Australia has agreed to embed technicians into the Redback’s manufacturing facility to assist with the integration of the powerpack into the IFVs.
The mtu is a 1,000 horsepower MT881Ka-500 diesel engine, and is expected to be built and trialled by Penske Australia. The engine was acquired under a technology transfer agreement between the company and South Korea’s STX Engine. STX Engine has locally modified the equipment and will be present during the transfer.
According to a release from the company, the modification is high speed, water-cooled, twin-turbo, four stroke, direct injection and intercooled diesel. Hanwha Defense Australia explained that this is the same equipment used in the K9 self-propelled howitzer.
Likewise, the Allison x1100 series cross drive transmission assembled by Penske is under licence from South Korea’s SNT Dynamics, and is also used in the company’s K9 self-propelled howitzer.
It is expected that the agreement between Penske Australia and Hanwha Defense Australia will hasten the development of an Australia-based maintenance hub.
Richard Cho, managing director of Hanwha Defense Australia, welcomed the new partnership between the companies.
“It is great to have a company like Penske Australia as part of Team Redback,” Cho said.
“And it is particularly satisfying to see Penske working so closely with two South Korean companies on such an important aspect of our Redback program.
“Penske is a globally renowned powerhouse in the automotive and transport industries and Hanwha Defense Australia is proud to be working with them to establish Australian defence support capabilities that will have broad applications across various vehicles and fleets.”
Hamish Christie-Johnston, managing director of Penske Australia, outlined that the partnership will help build a strong local capability.
“We are proud to be a part of team Redback,” Christie-Johnston said.
“And are very much looking forward to making a further contribution to Australia’s local defence capabilities as part of Hanwha’s LAND 400 Phase 3 offer.
“Engine and transmission assembly and powerpack integration play to Penske Australia’s core strengths, and we will certainly make every effort and investment necessary in facilities and personnel to ensure that the Redback has the reliable power and drive it requires.
“It’s great to be part of a program that will generate such a formidable local capability.” (Source: Defence Connect)
30 Sep 21. Otokar & Milrem Robotics Teaming To Develop Unmanned and Robotic Systems. Otokar and Milrem Robotics signed a teaming agreement to explore opportunities for unmanned and remote controlled ground vehicles.
Turkey’s land systems manufacturer Otokar and the European leading robotics and autonomous systems developer Milrem Robotics signed a teaming agreement during the DSEI 2021 exhibition in London to merge know-how and resources for autonomy development and application for unmanned and robotic operations of military vehicles.
Otokar’s and Milrem Robotics’ cooperation will entail working with the existing fleet of vehicles of both companies and introducing new systems by developing intelligent functions, encryption, and safety features as well as environmental awareness and hybridization.
“We anticipate that the future battlefield will consist of a mix of unmanned and manned assets which are seamlessly connected into a well-functioning integrated system,” said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics. “Combining the know-how and expertise of Milrem Robotics, the leading technology provider and systems house for not only autonomous and robotic systems, but also for optionally manned ground systems and Otokar, a strong and innovative land systems provider, will allow us to deliver our customers new capabilities in the land systems segment,” Väärsi added.
Regarding the agreement Otokar General Manager Serdar Görgüç said: “As the pioneer land systems company of Turkey, Otokar continues to introduce innovative solutions in land systems by taking into account the current and future requirements of modern armies and security forces. We consider the different needs and expectations of our users and provide customer oriented solutions. In this context we are delighted to announce our cooperation with Milrem Robotics. I’m confident the combination of Otokar’s combat proven know-how and unique R&D, engineering and testing capabilities in armored vehicles and the Milrem Robotics’ expertise and know-how in autonomy, artificial inteligence and remote control will lead to significant developments in unmanned and remote controlled land systems. This collaboration will enable us to go one step further to generate Otokar’s line of unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) in addition to our existing product range.”
27 Sep 21. Nexter begins production of Serval armoured vehicles. Nexter chief executive officer Nicolas Chamussy officially opened the assembly line for the Serval Véhicule Blindé Multi-rôles (VBMR) Léger light multirole armoured vehicle in Roanne, southern France, on 23 September. The French Army has already received 14 Serval prototypes and pre-series vehicles, and four production vehicles are now on the assembly line that opened in June. The first series vehicles will be delivered for acceptance tests by the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the French armament procurement agency, in January 2022, “three months ahead of schedule”, noted Chamussy. Texelis provides the vehicle’s mobility kit. Janes was given a ride in a Serval prototype, which is noisier than the larger Griffon VBMR but the Serval’s combat compartment is similar to the Griffon’s but with a lower roof. The Serval has an endurance of one day, compared to three for the Griffon. The normal cruising speed of the Serval is 90 km/h, with the possibility of reaching 100km/h in combat mode if required. (Source: Jane’s)
29 Sep 21. Nigerian Army may have acquired more CS/VP3 APCs and Type 89 IFVs from China. The Nigerian Army may have acquired 100 additional CS/VP3 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) from China’s Poly Technologies and Type 89 tracked infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) from Norinco.
Photos have emerged online of dozens of CS/VP3 vehicles lined up at a factory in China prior to delivery – these are painted green and feature the letters ‘NA’ on their grilles, matching the appearance of CS/VP3s previously delivered to the Nigerian Army.
Unconfirmed reports state the 100 vehicles arrived in Nigeria in early September.
The Nigerian Army has been operating Poly Technologies’ CS/VP3 since at least 2014, making it the vehicle’s second known export customer after Uganda. Nigeria apparently acquired an initial 120 of the vehicles.
The CS/VP3 has a road speed of around 100 km and a range of some 800 km. It can be fitted with two turrets, on the front and rear above the crew compartment, and fitted with 7.62 or 12.7 mm machinegunes. The vehicle has a V-shaped hull and all welded steel armour for protection against landmines and small arms. The vehicle can apparently resist a 16 kg TNT blast under each wheel or 8 kg TNT all round. A total of 12 personnel, including the driver and commander, can be accommodated.
Video has also emerged of tracked IFVs being transported through what is apparently Nigeria. More than half a dozen of the vehicles are seen being moved on the backs of trucks – they were apparently delivered in late August.
Although the vehicles seen in the videos are covered with tarpaulins, their silhouettes match Norinco’s Type 85/89/90 series of IFVs, and feature a small machinegun turret towards the rear of the vehicle.
The Type 89 (ZSD-89) APC/IFV was developed in the 1980s as an improved version of the earlier Type 63 armoured fighting vehicle and over 1 000 were supplied to the Chinese military. The export version is known as the Type 85 and was sold to countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The vehicle is powered by a license-built Deutz 320 hp diesel engine giving a top speed of 65 km/h, and can carry 15 soldiers plus crew. The main armament of the basic APC version was a QJC88 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun, protected by a cradle-type shield/open turret. All-around armour provided protection from rounds up to 12.7 mm. Twelve variants were built.
The Type 89 was also exported to Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. The Type 90 APC (YW535) was derived from the Type 89 and intended for export.
Nigeria has previously acquired other equipment from China, including VT-4 main battle tanks, ST-1 8×8 tank destroyers and SH-5 105 mm self-propelled howitzers. The first batch of hardware was delivered from Norinco in April 2020 and is believed to have been order under a $152m 2019 contract.
At the time, Nigerian Army Chief of Policy and Plans Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun this was the tip of the iceberg, with more deliveries still to come. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
28 Sep 21. Telerob, an AeroVironment Company, Receives Multi-Million Dollar Unmanned Ground Vehicle Order from Latvian Ministry of Defense.
- Order includes tEODor EVO and telemax EVO HYBRID unmanned ground vehicles for Latvian National Armed Forces
- Telerob’s advanced unmanned ground robotic solutions safely and effectively perform a variety of dangerous missions using specialized precision manipulators with autonomous functionality and intuitive user operation
AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in intelligent, multi-domain robotic systems, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Telerob Gesellschaft für Fernhantierungstechnik mbH (Telerob), received a multi-million dollar firm-fixed-price order from the Latvian Ministry of Defense (MoD). The order, received on July 8, 2021, encompasses the procurement of telemax™ EVO HYBRID and tEODor™ EVO unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) and engineering support to the Latvian National Armed Forces. Delivery is scheduled to be completed in late 2021.
“Every year, Latvian Explosive Ordnance Disposal forces neutralize ammunitions of various caliber rifles, artillery shells, minesweepers, aviation bombs and other explosive objects by the thousands,” said Brian Young, AeroVironment vice president and product line general manager of unmanned ground vehicles. “With the deployment of Telerob’s telemax EVO HYBRID and tEODor EVO UGVs, Latvian Explosive Ordnance Disposal units can continue to detect, identify, disarm and render safe explosive devices found throughout the territory of Latvia, as well as in international peacekeeping operations, and they can do so safely and efficiently from a greater standoff distance.”
The tEODor EVO is purpose-built for explosive ordnance disposal and disarming improvised explosive devices. The UGV features a 6-axis manipulator with telescopic reach, is heavy-lift capable (220 pounds/100 kilograms) and can precisely handle hazardous materials with a 12-inch (300 millimeter) gripper that features an integrated laser rangefinder, video input and data interface. Its dual-track drive system with independent high-torque motors allows it to traverse multiple gradients, high obstacles, or steep inclines.
The telemax EVO HYBRID is a versatile UGV with compact dimensions and a strong lift capacity up to 82 pounds (37 kilograms). It features a 6-axis precision manipulator with Tool Center Point Control to give operators humanlike control and a 4-track drive system with auto-leveling to easily handle multiple gradients, gaps and terrains. The telemax EVO HYBIRD is also equipped with HD Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras that produce razor-sharp images with four simultaneous video feeds. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
14 Sep 21. Milrem Robotics to Develop the Nordic Robotic Wingman With Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. The leading European robotics and autonomous systems developer Milrem Robotics is to develop a new Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) named Nordic Robotic Wingman in cooperation with the leading technology and defence supplier, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KONGSBERG).
The Nordic Robotic Wingman will be based on Milrem Robotics’ state of the art Type-X RCV and KONGSBERG’s latest and best PROTECTOR Remote Turrets (RT) that will be chosen specifically to meet the particular needs of various end-users.
The first Nordic Robotic Wingman concept will be exhibited at DSEI 2021 in London.
“Milrem Robotics and KONGSBERG have agreed to jointly continue the development of the Type-X RCV by integrating KONGSBERG’s systems to address the requirements of many countries interested in this type of technology, especially the Nordics and Western Europe, but also the US,” said Sverker Svärdby, Managing Director of Milrem Robotics’ Sweden. “Combining our knowledge of robotic combat vehicles and KONGSBERG’s wide range of systems and extensive expertise in defence systems development, we are capable of providing world-class systems based on customer needs,” Svärdby added.
The Type-X provides equal or overmatching firepower and tactical usage to a unit equipped with Infantry Fighting vehicles and gives mechanized units the means to breach enemy defensive positions with minimal risk to own troops. It can be fitted with a cannon up to 50 mm, anti-tank missiles and a tethered drone for continuous situational awareness.
“KONGSBERG has a family of unmanned PROTECTOR Remote Weapon Systems, ranging from the smallest RS2 Remote Weapon Station to the true Infantry Fighting Vehicle turret RT60 with Anti-Tank Guided Missile capability. The systems have a common software baseline, are easy to integrate and provide proven capabilities for the warfighter. KONGSBERG’s solution provides the operator with situational awareness and a safe and secure network-based fire control that is fielded with the Norwegian Army and in delivery to the US Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicle program,” said Arne Gjennestad, Vice President of Marketing & Sales, KONGSBERG.
Milrem Robotics’ Type-X is equipped with intelligent functions such as follow-me, waypoint navigation and obstacle detection with Artificial Intelligence being part of the algorithms. With the Type-X Milrem Robotics also introduces a feature called Indirect Drive that allows remote-controlled operations at higher speeds.
Milrem Robotics is the European leading robotics and autonomous systems developer and systems integrator with offices in Estonia, Sweden, Finland and shortly in the Netherlands.
The company leads the iMUGS Consortium that was awarded 30,6 MEUR from the European Commission’s European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) to develop a European standardized unmanned ground system (UGS).
Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace is a leading supplier of defence products and systems for command and control, surveillance, space, tactical communications, remote weapon stations and missiles, as well as advanced composites, engineering products and repair and overhaul services for aircraft and helicopters. (Source: ASD Network)
27 Sep 21. Mack Defense delivers first production of M917A3 HDT to US Army. The M917A3 heavy dump trucks are powered by 13l Mack MP8 engines. The Mack Defense M917A3 Heavy Dump Truck. Credit: © 2021 Mack Trucks.
Mack Defense has handed over the first production M917A3 heavy dump trucks (HDTs) to the US Army and US Army Reserve.
The delivery follows the roll off of the vehicle at the company’s new production line at Mack Experience Centre (MEC) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, US.
The HDTs’ production at the MEC began during the first quarter of this year, following an investment of $6.5m to create a new HDT production line.
Mack Defense president David Hartzell said: “It’s an honour to write the next chapter in Mack’s rich history of producing vehicles for the US Armed Forces on this dedicated line and deliver the first, new Heavy Tactical Wheeled Vehicle the US Army has added to their portfolio in 12 years.
“We look forward to fulfilling our current contract and the needs of the US Army, delivering vehicles that have earned the acceptance of the armed forces through successful rounds of rigorous testing.”
Earlier in March this year, the US Army placed an order of 99 Mack Defense M917A3 non-armoured HDTs designed to meet military transportation requirements.
This order was placed as part of a previously announced firm-fixed-price $296.4m contract between the US Department of Defense and Mack Defense in May 2018.
In the same month, orders for an additional 56 HDTs were placed under the 2021 presidential budget.
Based on the Mack Granite model, the HDTs will be equipped with heavier-duty rear axles, all-wheel drive and increased suspension ride height to meet US Army requirements.
The GVWR M917A3 HDTs feature an all-wheel-drive 8×8 configuration.
The 94,500lb M917A3s are powered by 13l Mack MP8 engines, which offers a maximum power of 440hp and torque of 1,660 pound-feet (lbft).
US Army Transportation Systems, Program Executive Office Combat Support and Combat Service Support project manager Wolfgang Petermann said: “Many of the army’s missions are within extremely austere environments, so if we need to build things to support combat or training operations, dump trucks are absolutely essential to the force.” (Source: army-technology.com)
24 Sep 21. Bale Defence to build rough terrain vehicle fleet for ADF. The rough terrain vehicle provides an important tactical, light, all-terrain land capability for the ADF. Family-owned engineering company Bale Defence has secured a contract to deliver 40 tactical off-road vehicles for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The $6.16m (A$8.47m) contract will support the company’s ongoing employment of 18 local workers while creating another six new jobs and providing $4.48m (A$6.17m) for the local economy.
Australia Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said: “The rough terrain vehicle provides an important tactical, light, all-terrain land capability used by the ADF on operations and exercises both in Australia and overseas.
“This contract ensures Australia can continue to manufacture, modernise and enhance this critical capability locally, to meet our defence force’s evolving requirements.
“This contract is an excellent example of the benefits of our defence industry partnerships for both the ADF and Australian businesses.
“Our defence industry partnerships will only continue to grow and strengthen with our government’s $196.4bn (A$270bn) investment in defence capability over the next decade.”
Price added that Bale Defence provided the first generation of ADF’s rough terrain vehicles.
According to Cowper member Pat Conaghan, the contract with Bale Defence is another example of Australia’s capacity for innovation.
Conaghan said: “We’re an innovative bunch, and to see that ingenuity rewarded like this is fantastic news for our region. Huge congratulations to Bale Defence for the recognition of excellence by securing this exciting contract, and I look forward to seeing the project come to fruition.”
Earlier this month, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) awarded a $2.83m (A$3.8m) contract to local firm Kennelly Constructions for work at Gallipoli Barracks. (Source: army-technology.com)
24 Sep 21. India orders 118 Arjun Mk-1A main battle tanks. The Mk-1A is a new variant of in-service MBT Arjun Tank developed to boost fire power and mobility. Indian Government’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has placed an order for 118 Arjun Mk-1A Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) for the Indian Army.
The $1.02bn (Rs75.23bn) order comes several months after the Indian Army initiated the procurement process in a bid to boost its firepower.
The Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi, Chennai, India, will manufacture the MBTs.
The Arjun Mk-1A is the new variant of Arjun Tank developed by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) and other Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories.
The tank is equipped with 72 new features and incorporates numerous upgrades on Arjun MBT, the current in-service main battle tank with the Indian Army.
Additionally, the Mk-1A can operate in all types of terrains, as well as engage targets during the night.
In a statement, the MoD said: “The MK-1A is equipped with accurate and superior firepower, all-terrain mobility and invincible multi-layered protection provided by an array of advanced technology systems.
“It can take on the enemy during day and night conditions and in both static and dynamic modes. By virtue of these capabilities, this indigenous MBT proves to be at par with any contemporary in its class across the globe.
“This tank is particularly configured and designed for Indian conditions and hence it is suitable for deployment to protect the frontiers in an effective manner.”
The order is expected to open manufacturing opportunities for 200 Indian vendors, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Last month, the Indian Army received the first batch of locally manufactured Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG). These grenades can be used in both defensive (fragmentation) and offensive (stun) modes. (Source: army-technology.com)
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