MILITARY VEHICLE NEWS
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Millbrook, based in Bedfordshire, UK, makes a significant contribution to the quality and performance of military vehicles worldwide. Its specialist expertise is focussed in two distinct areas: test programmes to help armed services and their suppliers ensure that their vehicles and systems work as the specification requires; and design and build work to upgrade new or existing vehicles, evaluate vehicle capability and investigate in-service failures. Complementing these is driver and service training and a hospitality business that allows customers to use selected areas of Millbrook’s remarkable facilities for demonstrations and exhibitions.
29 Dec 08. Responding to the continued threat posed by armor-melting explosively formed penetrators, the U.S. Marine Corps will add thousands of pounds of scalable bolt-on plates to some Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. Marine Corps Systems Command has purchased $30m in new add-on armor kits from Force Protection Inc., the Ladson, S.C.,-based company announced Dec. 17. It will pay for kits to be used on 196 Cougar MRAPs, which the company manufactures, said Damon Walsh, a vice president at Force Protection. “This is one step toward enabling commanders to dial the threat-protection level up or down to meet operational requirements,” Walsh said. “Ultimately, as [MRAPs] get smaller, the idea is that you could still use it on different platforms.” The Corps asked for 3,600 MRAPs in 2006 to eventually replace Humvees in the fleet, but it cut the order to about 2,200 last year amid concerns about mobility and how many vehicles were needed. In November, the Defense Department began fielding the first wave of smaller MRAPs in Afghanistan. The Corps bought kits for 192 six-wheel Category 2 Cougars and four, four-wheel Category 1 Cougars, Walsh said. He estimated the armor will add about 5,000 pounds to a Category 2 vehicle and 3,500 pounds to a Category 1 vehicle. SysCom deferred comment to officials with the Pentagon’s Joint Program Office on
MRAPs, who could not be reached. (Source: Defense News)
Dec 08. Singapore’s leading defence manufacturer sold $1.4bn worth of weapons to foreign countries this year, a record showing in a year when other sectors have been slowing down. The highlight of the year was Singapore Technologies Engineering’s $330m contract with the British armed forces for the Singapore-built Bronco – the largest defence industry deal with a Western nation. ST Engineering’s four arms – ST Kinetics, ST Aerospace, ST Electronics and ST Marine – now export everything from assault rifles to navy vessels around the world. Its executive vice-president for international marketing, Mr Patrick Choy, said 2008 has been a breakthrough year. The sale of more than 100 Broncos, combined with a second contract to supply 40mm ammunition, also for the United Kingdom, means the company is now selling about five times more products overseas than when it began in 2000. (Source: Google)
29 Dec 08. Britain’s engineering sector has not proved immune to the economic downturn but there are some bright spots in the gloom. NP Aerospace, a Coventry-based engineer partially owned by UK-listed Morgan Crucible, is among those that have been enjoying a kinder environment amid the turmoil. While many of its manufacturing counterparts in Coventry are monitoring the health of its car industry, notably that of embattled Jaguar Land Rover, NP Aerospace is sitting on a record order book. The company, which specialises in moulded, lightweight parts for the aerospace, defence and car industries, has seen business soar on the back of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has delivered more than 100 Mastiff armoured vehicles as well as Osprey body armour and helmets to Britain’s troops since 2006. Roger Medwell, chief executive of NP Aerospace,