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12 Sep 23. Rheinmetall and RBSL at DSEI 2023: Mechanised Infantry Vehicle Boxer UK Update. At the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2023 show this year, one of the two Rheinmetall Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) Boxer prototypes will be on display on the British Army stand. The two prototypes began industry de-risk trials recently, ahead of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) commencing its own customer trials in the Autumn.
The first Rheinmetall production vehicles will be completed in Germany at the end of September 2023. The first Boxer to be built in the UK is currently in production, and due to be completed in early 2024.
In 2019, the UK Ministry of Defence placed an order for 523 Boxer vehicles, via the European armament agency Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR), and increased the order by 100 vehicles in April 2022. Contracted by Artec, Rheinmetall developed and fabricated the first prototypes and first series at its plant in Kassel, Germany. They had content supplied by the United Kingdom, such as the remotely controlled weapon stations, generic vehicle architecture components, the local situational awareness system and the vehicle emergency lighting system.
Though series production began in Germany, the bulk of manufacturing activity is moving to the United Kingdom through 2023, principally at the British plants of Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and the KNDS subsidiary WFEL.
The Boxer – versatile and battle-tested
The Boxer is a highly-protected 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicle. Its modular architecture enables a greater number of variants than any other vehicle system. To date, some 1,500 vehicles in twenty different versions have been ordered by Australia and four NATO countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and the United Kingdom.
The British Army is procuring four variants, including Infantry Carrying Vehicle, Command & Control, Field Ambulance and Specialist Carrier variants. The British Army is procuring four variants, including Infantry Carrying Vehicle, Command & Control, Field Ambulance and Specialist Carrier variants. On the Rheinmetall stand at DSEI 2023 will be the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) variant of the Boxer, together with a Skyranger air defence system mission module. And on view at the British Army’s stand will be a Boxer configured as a command vehicle (C2), a version developed in the United Kingdom.
12 Sep 23. Tailored to the needs of the toughest: Rheinmetall presents Caracal air assault vehicle at DSEI 2023. At this year’s DSEI exhibition held from September 12 to 15 2023, Rheinmetall will present its Caracal airmobile platform. The Caracal is the product of a partnership between Rheinmetall, Mercedes-Benz AG and Armoured Car Systems GmbH. As a 4×4 all-wheel-drive vehicle, the Caracal is a mobile platform specially designed to meet the needs of airmobile formations and special operations forces. The Caracal features maximum mobility, a lightweight design and optionally mountable protection elements for countering ballistic and landmine threats. Its 249 horsepower, six-cylinder Euro III diesel engine gives the 4,900 kg vehicle a top speed of 140 km/h.
The Caracal’s compact design makes it possible to airlift up to two vehicles in the cargo hold of a CH-53K King Stallion or
CH-47F Chinook transport helicopter, which can also carry it as underslung cargo. Thanks to its unique modular design and two available wheelbases, the Caracal can be employed in a variety of roles during airborne operations – as a basic troop carrier or medical support vehicle, for example, or as supply vehicle – all on one automotive platform.
The Caracal is based on a commercial off-the-shelf chassis of the new G-model 464 series from Mercedes-Benz. In future Rheinmetall will therefore be able to offer users around the world a proven, technically mature platform, providing logistic support throughout the vehicle’s long service life.
With the Caracal, Rheinmetall’s portfolio of tactical vehicle systems has expanded to embrace the lightweight, less-than-10-ton 4×4 segment, where the Düsseldorfbased tech enterprise sees strong growth potential.
The Germanand Dutch armed forces have contracted with Rheinmetall to supply up to 3,058 Caracal airmobile platforms. The multiyear framework contract includes up to 2,054 vehicles earmarked for Germany and 1,004 for the Netherlands. As a first step, a firm order from the framework contract has been placed for 1,508 vehicles. Delivery of the first trial models is scheduled to take place as early as the first quarter of 2024, with the start of delivery in series planned for early 2025.
08 Sep 23. Supacat – On display at the world’s largest defence show DSEI, Supacat’s Common Base Platform will be ‘integral’ to the British Army’s ‘Modernisation of Equipment’ within UK Government’s Land Industrial Strategy.
As the British Army gears up to meet one of the MoD Land Industrial Strategy’s (LIS) objective which is to rationalise its current fleet of land mobility platforms from 35 to 15, Devon-based Supacat will be showcasing its High Mobility Transporters (HMT) Common Base Platform (closed cab / flatbed) at this year’s DSEI event, September 12 -15. The company will be exhibiting on Stand H4-460.
Supacat received an order from MOD for a further 70 of its HMT systems in February this year. These common base platforms can be fitted with mission modules to fulfil a variety of roles and agile operational needs as the Army makes this important transition.
This, Supacat says, is ‘integral’ to the Army’s rationalisation of its fleet by 2035, given the directive to maximise collaboration between the MoD, the Army and wider industry.
Phil Applegarth director, head of Supacat, said: “In a rapidly changing world, one of increased threats from land and air, it is vital that modern armies acquire the simplicity and flexibility afforded by versatile mobility platforms that share common or interchangeable parts to simplify supply, maintenance and logistics and enhance combat effectiveness. While the LIS itself is relatively new, Supacat has a 40-year pedigree of pioneering modular solutions for the British Army, enabling a variety of vehicle types to meet operational requirements and in-theatre needs.
“Our Mk 2 common base modular platform, can be easily re-rolled during its lifecycle through update, upkeep, upgrade, offering the value and flexibility required to support the modernisation of equipment objective within the strategy, and of course paving a smoother fleet transition for the MoD and the Army.”
Attendance at DSEI comes at a very busy time for Supacat. Following the Army’s requirement earlier this year for The Jackal 3, Supacat in collaboration with Babcock International Group Plc, production is in full flow and set to meet the required delivery targets. The order could potentially rise to 240 should operational requirements demand.
Nick Ames chief executive, added: “2023 has been a very busy, but productive and exciting year for us. We continue to fulfil all production requirements for the Jackal 3, and our production line is ready to meet customer demands from the UK and export markets as required. As one of the MoD’s key industrial suppliers we remain committed and fully support the LIS.”
Supacat’s HMT Common Base Platform family of vehicles are the heritage of Supacat’s design philosophy. The vehicles all share proven sub-systems leading to increased reliability and reduced logistic support. They can be configured with a variety of mission modules and protection levels to best suit operational requirements. These variations start with 4 x4 or 6×6 drivelines and end with open or closed architectures ranging from 6500-12000kg Gross Vehicle Mass.
12 Sep 23. Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle – Rheinmetall’s answer to requirements of today’s and future battlefields. Rheinmetall will present its Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).
The Lynx KF41 is Rheinmetall’s answer to the requirements of future battlefields and offers superior capabilities in terms of survivability, lethality, mobility as well as command and control. The Lynx KF41 is one of the most advanced IFVs on the market and is attracting considerable interest worldwide. Hungary is currently the first NATO country introducing Lynx KF41 into service with first deliveries taken place in 2022. Furthermore, the Lynx has reached a new milestone in the summer of 2023, being downselected by the U.S. Army for the next phases in the Bradley IFV replacement program.
Lynx KF41 – modular, flexible, future-proof The Lynx KF41 concept comprises a complete family of vehicles consisting of the common drive module and flexible mission modules in numerous variants. This allows each basic vehicle to be configured, for example, as an infantry fighting vehicle, air defence system, command vehicle or medical vehicle. The mission module can be changed between variants throughout the life of the platform. By making the drive module identical, this system significantly reduces lifecycle costs and also allows military users to adapt force structures or develop new capabilities in a short time to react to changes on the battlefield. Lynx KF41 is characterized by high levels of survivability, mobility and combat power, as well as high growth potential, including in terms of total weight and power consumption. The Lance 2 turret has powerful sensor systems to fully exploit the capabilities of the associated next-generation 30mm programmable ammunition fired by its main MK30-2/ABM autocannon and anti-tank guided weapons such as the advanced Spike LR2 anti-tank missile system. This allows it to engage both symmetric and asymmetric threats in a situation-adapted manner.
Lynx KF41 and Lance 2 are fully digitized and based on the NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture (NGVA). This integrates the vehicle crew, dismounts and the vehicle itself into the digitized battle management system. Improved situational awareness capabilities enable rapid and highly automated target acquisition or target transfer. It also allows integration of multispectral reconnaissance systems, including drones and loitering munitions, for target acquisition and engagement beyond the line of sight.
The Lynx KF41’s modular multi-layered protection concept combines passive and active elements.
The Lynx KF41 provides its crew with protection against the full threat spectrum, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs), mines, direct and indirect fire, cluster munitions and anti-tank guided weapons. With its high assertiveness and mobility, Lynx KF41 will enable forces to conduct complex military operations across the intensity spectrum in a variety of environments and against a wide range of threats.
With its large interior volume, Lynx KF41 is unmatched in its vehicle class. In addition to the three crew members, up to eight soldiers can be seated and conduct effective combat operations. Because of its digitization and modern design, the Lynx KF41 can take on today’s adversaries and offers upside potential against tomorrow’s threats. The modular architecture allows reserves in terms of payload, electric propulsion and processing to seamlessly integrate further mission equipment into the vehicle or enable further variants within a single vehicle family.
Comprehensive approach includes close industrial cooperation
Rheinmetall offers comprehensive industrial cooperation concepts with its partner country’s domestic industry for the production of the Lynx KF41. Hungary can serve as an example. In
September 2020, the Hungarian Ministry of Defence commissioned Rheinmetall to supply combat vehicles and associated services. As early as October 15, 2022, Rheinmetall handed over the first of a total of 209 Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicles to the Hungarian armed forces coming from its established production line in Germany.
Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) began in Hungary on time at the start of 2023. This pre-series production is considered an important milestone, which also includes the production of the Lance 2 medium-caliber turret and other Lynx KF41 variants. Full-rate production (FRP) has begun in summer 2023. On 18 August 2023 Rheinmetall officially opened its new factory in Zalaegerszeg. The new plant marks a major milestone for Rheinmetall and underscores the Group’s commitment to Hungary. The Joint Defence Center of Excellence in Zalaegerszeg not only helps to maintain and further expand Hungary’s capabilities in the development and production of advanced combat vehicles, but also strengthens the local economy. A further milestone for the Lynx in the USA
In summer 2023 the U.S. Army awarded American Rheinmetall Vehicles (Sterling Heights, MI) and the industry leading companies of Team Lynx – Textron Systems, Raytheon Technologies, L3Harris
Technologies, Allison Transmission, and Anduril Industries – a contract for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) Phase 3 Detailed Design and Phase 4 Prototype Build and Test phases of the five-phased program, now named the XM30 Combat Vehicle program. The Army awarded a total of two contracts for Phase 3 and 4 performance. The two competitors will now complete the designs that began in the Phase 2 Concept Design phase and build at least seven and as many as 11 prototypes for Army evaluation. American Rheinmetall Vehicles and Team Lynx are developing a next-generation XM30 that achieves the Army’s requirements for a combat vehicle with superior protection, unsurpassed firepower, and unbeatable mobility. Operating with other units or independently, the vehicle can sense, move, and strike in a connected, rapidly changing, complex, and lethal operational environment unlike any Infantry Combat Vehicle before.
12 Sep 23. Rheinmetall and RBSL at DSEI: Challenger 3 programme achieves another major milestone. Another major milestone has been reached for the Challenger 3 (CR3) Programme with 120mm smoothbore gun test firings successfully completed.
The first firings with the 120mmL55A1 weapon system in the 120mmL55A1CR3 configuration for the British CR3 Main Battle Tank (MBT) took place in April this year. The new 120mmL55A1CR3 weapon system will provide the British Army with
the capability to meet all current and future battlefield challenges. The first two 120mm smoothbore L55A1 weapons entered production, ahead of schedule in 2021 at Rheinmetall’s Unterluess facility. The weapon is a key
component to the CR3 programme, which aims to deliver the most capable tank in NATO. Following production, the smoothbore guns have been tested and validated prior to delivery to Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) in Telford for integration with the new digital turret.
First CR3 Turret Structure
Last month, in August 2023, the first CR3 citadel for Prototype 1 (P1) arrived in Telford. This is the steel structure that forms the basis of the first CR3 turret. While it will initially be used in the first trials vehicle – P1 – this citadel will eventually be upgraded to form part of a full service Challenger 3 that will be a capability for the British Army for many years to come. Working with our key partner, Pearson Engineering, this citadel delivery is a significant milestone in the Challenger 3 programme. It follows the initial delivery from Pearson’s back in February of the first-off demonstrator turret. Since steel was first cut on the project at Armstrong Works by former Minister of Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin MP, project teams from all the involved companies have worked together to explore opportunities and challenges as part of an initial phase to future-proof working methods and detailed manufacturing processes.
Gareth Ayre, RBSL’s Head of Physical Architecture & Mobility for Challenger 3 said: “Completing the first turret structure of CR3 is a significant milestone in the delivery of this next generation main battle tank. The manufacturing capability and expertise Pearson Engineering and Responsive Engineering have brought to the programme has enabled the realisation and embodiment of the advanced RBSL turret structure. This is a fantastic achievement from both a manufacture and partnership perspective from everyone involved and a major boost for UK prosperity.” Craig Priday, Managing Director at Pearson Engineering added: “Working closely with RBSL and Responsive Engineering, this project has been a true collaborative effort leveraging the strengths of each company. Extensive teamwork during the development and delivery of the demonstrator turret, as well as Prototype 1 and Prototype 2, has allowed us to identify challenges early and to develop our approach at Armstrong Works to collectively deliver an exceptional future capability to the British Army.”
2023 – A year of milestones
2023 has been a significant year for milestones within the Challenger 3 Programme.
The year started with the news that the Critical Design Review (CDR) for CR3 had been approved ahead of schedule and to budget. The CR3 teams from RBSL, DE&S’ Land Equipment Operating Centre and the British Army worked closely to progress the programme and achieve CDR, which follows the Initial Design Review (IDR) held in March 2022 and is the culmination of an enormous amount of collaborative work. The team have also conducted successful trials of a cutting-edge new armour system that will protect the tank; a UK sovereign capability based on a DSTL design and manufactured by RBSL.
07 Sep 23. Pearson Engineering displays RCV-Pioneer Technology Demonstrator at DSEI 2023. Pearson Engineering will display their RCV-Pioneer technology demonstrator at DSEI 2023, showcasing their concept for the future of remote and autonomous combat engineering capability in the UK for the first time. Designed to provide remotely controlled engineering capability to Robotic Combat Vehicles (RCVs), RCV-Pioneer responds to a need to support uncrewed vehicles of the future. Regardless of mission, such vehicles will need to move to places of their Commanders’ choosing and in doing so, defeat the wide range of natural and deliberate obstacles usually encountered on the battlefield. RCV-Pioneer provides palletised loads of engineering capability as mission packs spanning urban obstacle clearance, minefield breaching, assault gap crossing, protection and route proving, and counter-mobility. Each mission pack is a self-contained, pre-configured frame to which equipment is integrated that has its origins in Pearson Engineering’s tried, tested and proven technology to support mobility, counter-mobility, and survivability. The Urban Obstacle Clearance Mission Pack will be shown at DSEI 2023 including a multi-purpose v-shaped obstacle blade and manipulator arm capable of both robust and precision tasks. A flat load deck will also be featured, highlighting the ability to integrate a wide range of third-party systems such as a MICLIC for minefield breaching, as shown in the United States To enhance operational efficiency, RCV-Pioneer uses an innovative self-lifting system to allow RCVs to rapidly manoeuvre underneath mission packs for rapid integration and removal. RCV-Pioneer mounts to the host platform using quick release fastenings, which require no tools to operate, allowing it to be rapidly fitted and removed from the RCV. The system design will allow two soldiers to fit or remove RCV-Pioneer from the RCV in approximately 30 minutes. An intuitive Operator Control Unit (OCU) with enhanced depth perception capability is provided to enable the remote operation of RCV-Pioneer. The OCU includes a digital twin to enable training and familiarisation in advance of deployment. RCV-Pioneer has been successfully trialled in the United States at the US Army Manoeuvre Support Sustainment and Protection Integration Experiments (MSSPIX) 2021 and 2022, as well as at the Robotic Combat Vehicle Experiment in Fort Hood in 2023.
06 Sep 23. Germany forges pact for Leopard 2 successor in snub to Paris, Handelsblatt reports. Germany has signed agreements with Italy, Spain and Sweden on the development of a successor to the Leopard 2 tank, German business daily Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday.
If confirmed, the deal would be certain to upset France, which, in 2017, agreed with Berlin to develop a joint Franco-German tank to succeed the German Leopard 2 and the French Leclerc in a project beset by delays and disagreements.
The initiative is to take place under the leadership of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall (RHMG.DE), the German arms makers building the Leopard 2, Handelsblatt reported, citing unnamed industry and political sources.
The German defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Rheinmetall declined to comment on the report. A spokesperson for KMW could not immediately comment.
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The newspaper said the partners in the deal were planning to apply to the European Defence Fund for funding amounting to a three-digit m euro sum, adding the project would also involve Sweden’s Saab (SAABb.ST) and Italy’s Leonardo (LDOF.MI). It did not identify which Spanish company would be involved.
The delays to the proposed Franco-German project have strained ties already tested by differences over energy topics and the question to what extent Europe should become independent from the U.S. in its security policy.
Still, the defence ministers of France and Germany said in July they sought to give fresh impetus to the venture and had tasked their army chiefs to hammer out the rough outlines of the new tank’s capabilities, to have a basic document ready by the end of the year.
Handelsblatt, however, reported the countries had not been able to agree on the specifications of the tank, with France aiming for a rather light vehicle whereas Germany opted for a more heavily armoured tank.
The French military has been traditionally strongly involved in Africa where having a lighter vehicle that can be more easily transported by air makes sense. Germany, in contrast, sees the major threat as coming from Russia.
The defence ministry in Paris and the office of President Emmanuel Macron did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Handelsblatt said the new tank deal was a setback for the Franco-German cooperation in defence procurement, even though it was possible that both projects might be continued.
It cited French government sources as saying the topic would be raised at Franco-German government consultations scheduled for the start of October. (Source: Reuters)
07 Sep 23. BeaverFit helps British Army become more sustainable with its customisable shelter solutions. The army continues to look at and invest in innovative ways to become greener and one solution is BeaverFit’s sustainable and customisable shelter solutions.
As industry leaders in the design and manufacture of containerised outdoor fitness setups and modular defence facilities, BeaverFit pledged to work towards a sustainability initiative of up to 96% of their modular builds being made of recyclable materials and renewable energy.
This started with the fully self-sufficient strength and conditioning shelter solution at Bulford Camp military base, this was a step into the future for the Field Army. Solar panels were installed for the shelter, making this solution the first ever flexible fully-sustainable fitness facility owned by the Armed Forces.
This large facility is the peak of innovation, set to introduce a new form of training for the troops that enables them to train in the elements. This ensures that they are mentally and physically prepared for weather variations when out on deployment and helps to avoid musculoskeletal injuries while also boosting their mental adaptation.
BeaverFit’s state-of-the-art sustainable shelter solutions have supported the Field Army’s Optimising Human Performance (OHP) programme, which is designed to reduce injuries. Today, the BeaverFit team have designed, manufactured and installed over 40+ solutions for the British Army.
The fully enclosed training facilities, combined with a fully customised interior to support a variety of functions, are complete with optional lighting and HVAC, and offer further space for built-in storage, as well as separate recovery spaces designed for physical/occupational therapists, and modular office spaces designed for strength and conditioning professionals.
Chris Pike, Sales and Marketing Director at BeaverFit, says:-
“The BeaverFit modular and sustainable infrastructures have successfully aided the troops in their physical and mental health, as well as developing their outdoor fitness regimes. Our shelter solutions are more convenient and versatile than brick-built fitness centres. Equipment can be attached to both the outside and inside and can be moved around. These spaces can also be adapted to accommodate changing situations.”
Major General Neil Thorpe, added:- “The Bulford Barracks facility is a genuine modern space, built to provide the troops with what they need to ensure their physical health and wellbeing, both in terms of what we do in the barracks and around the world. This is a real opportunity and a great asset to the British Army.”
BeaverFit continues to be a world leader in the design and manufacture of fitness equipment, container gyms and tactical training solutions for the military. No other company in this field has the ability to draw on such diverse experience and proven track record in human performance and operational training. Discover more about BeaverFit’s customisable shelter solutions at this year’s DSEI exhibition, at stand H1-285.
06 Sep 23. G3 Systems and Utilis deliver 2nd Role 2 Field Hospital for the Belgian MoD. G3 Systems Limited, the British company with over 20 years of operationally proven expertise in designing and producing deployable containerised solutions and providing infrastructure support to military in remote locations across the globe, has delivered in partnership with Utilis a second fully deployable Role 2 Field Hospital. The G3 Systems team will be at DSEi23 available for meetings to discuss similar deployable infrastructure solutions and all their other infrastructure support capabilities.
G3 Systems were invited to form a partnership with Utilis to maximise their respective skills and experience in the deployable infrastructure sector to bid for the contract in 2020. Both companies have a strong operational pedigree with metallo-textile structure solutions, rapidly deployable infrastructure and supporting military operations in austere locations. For this contract, Utilis led on the delivery of the tents, shelters and M&E infrastructure while G3 Systems were responsible for delivering the medical equipment and providing the through life support. The G3 Systems – Utilis partnership was successful in bidding for the contract in 2020 and together, through the most challenging pandemic era, they delivered the first of two Role 2 Hospitals in December 2021. Subsequently, the option of an order for a second Role 2 Hospital was received in 2022 for which Initial Operating Capability (IOC) was achieved in April this year and a target date of Full Operating Capability (FOC) for the whole contract is expected by 2026.
A Role 2 Field Hospital is a vital element in the medical evacuation chain as it is deployed forward in a conflict zone to minimise the time taken from injury to primary treatment. Its mission is to identify, triage, and if necessary, operate on casualties to stabilise them before they are transported to more specialist care or rehabilitation further from the conflict zone. The G3 Systems – Utilis solution meets the demanding military specifications imposed by the Belgian MoD and the shelters have successfully passed rigorous testing to NATO standards including in extreme weather conditions. These factors combined with the speed and ease of deployment ensures that the Belgian MoD can fully deliver on their NATO medical support commitments.
Nick Rose, Managing Director at G3 Systems Limited said, “Both G3 Systems and Utilis have vast experience in this sector and this project is an excellent example of true partnership working to deliver the best possible capability for the client. I am also delighted with how the project has progressed through some significant global challenges and wish to commend all the project team for their tireless commitment and professionalism to overcome such hurdles and still deliver an excellent product for our customer.”
05 Sep 23. A Game-Changer That Redefines Future Battlefield Capabilities: The Type-X RCV, The First Robotic Combat Vehicle Equipped With A Mixed Reality Situational Awareness System
Europe’s leading robotics and autonomous systems developer Milrem Robotics will present the Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV), the first-of-its-kind equipped with a mixed reality situational awareness system (MRSAS) at DSEI 2023 in London.
The Vegvisir Remote MRSAS enhances the decision making of Type-X operators by giving them a 360-degree virtual dome with EO/IR sensor fusion for both close and medium proximity vision and target engagement capabilities in any condition. The system is optimised for lower bandwidth for remote use and connects the operator into a digital hub to interact and consume digital data.
“Milrem Robotics continues the development of the Type-X RCV by integrating cutting edge technologies to address the requirements of many countries interested in intelligent robotic systems, especially the Nordics and Western Europe, but also the US,” said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.
In addition to the new cutting-edge situational awareness system, the Type-X is equipped with KONGSBERG’s latest and best PROTECTOR Medium Calibre Turret that is changeable to specifically meet the particular needs of various end-users. The combination, that has passed several live firing tests, gives mechanized units the means to breach enemy defensive positions with minimal risk to their own troops.
The Type-X is also integrated with the QUADBOX by Elistair, that consists of a tactical tethered UAS for ISR, and communications relay designed to further enhance situational awareness for extended periods whilst on the move.
The Type-X RCV along with other Milrem Robotics’ products can be found at stand no H4-122.
The Type-X RCV is an organic part of mechanized units that can take the most dangerous positions and provide equal or overmatching firepower and tactical usage compared to traditional Infantry Fighting Vehicles.
Watch the Type-X video here: https://youtu.be/WwTlp998RaE and download image here.
It was developed to navigate the battlefield autonomously, with a human-in-the-loop control system and artificial intelligence (AI) as an integral part of the operating algorithm. With the Type-X Milrem Robotics also introduces a feature called Indirect Drive that allows remote controlled operations on higher speeds.
Milrem Robotics is the leading European robotics and autonomous systems developer and systems integrator, with offices in Estonia, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and the US. The company is known for their THeMIS and Multiscope UGVs, the Type-X Robotic Combat Vehicle and the MIFIK autonomy kit.
05 Sep 23. Babcock International Group (Babcock), the defence company are, displaying their brand new General Logistic Vehicle (GLV) prototype at DSEI 2023. The ground-breaking GLV is built around the proven Toyota Land Cruiser 70 series platform which is used by militaries and aid agencies all around the world. Able to fulfil a multitude of tasks for the armed forces, it offers a common vehicle base with various role modules to meet the needs of different missions across evolving theatres of operation. The GLV will come with an automatic gear box and a powerful 2.8 litre diesel engine as well as unique military body and enhancements from Babcock which will put crew comfort and safety to the fore.
It builds upon the characteristics, performance, and core architecture of the iconic military Land Rover whilst applying Babcock’s engineering expertise and the latest technology. It will deliver reliable, mission readiness, anywhere.
Chris Spicer, Managing Director of Engineering and Systems Integration at Babcock said, “We are confident that this vehicle meets the requirements of military and security forces across the world. By applying engineering excellence and the latest technology, we can provide our partners with the systems they need to complete their mission.”
The vehicle is a must-see for DSEI 2023. Come and see it on Stand B4 on the main boulevard. This will be the first opportunity to see the prototype.
05 Sep 23. Prospeed at DSEI. H2-740 – UK Capability Showcase. HILOAD is a militarised 4×4 and 6×6 module for Toyota Hilux which increases payload, load-space and mobility.
4×4 HILOAD: 5000Kgs GVW, 3400Kgs Payload
6×6 HILOAD: 6500kgs GVW, 4500Kgs Payload
Unlocks the capability of OEM pick-up truck for the military end user for Light Utility Vehicle projects.
Prospeed takes responsibility for aspects of the user requirement concerning the base vehicle platform and works with prime contractors to deliver the complete capability. Supplied as a module or licence build.
07 Sep 23. Jankel launches Future Toyota Platform Strategy, at DSEi 2023. Jankel, a world-leader in the design and manufacture of high-specification defence, security and NGO vehicle platforms and protection systems, has announced the launch of their Future Toyota Platform Strategy. Jankel is a long-established supplier of Toyota based military and civilian armoured vehicles (CAVs) and this new strategy has been developed in anticipation of the recently announced developments from Toyota in their forward vehicle line-up. The Jankel strategy will ensure that a full and common range of Toyota platforms remain available to their global customer base as a fleet solution covering tactical, armoured and general-purpose roles.
This announcement coincides with the DSEi exhibition where Jankel are exhibiting on stand H4-604. Amongst their range of products and services on display is the Fox Rapid Reaction Vehicle demonstrated with Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) and a stabilised and ultra-light Remote Weapon Station from SIG Sauer.
The future strategy incorporates the proven range of Jankel tactical conversions integrated with the very latest Toyota developments which includes the announcement from Toyota of the new Land Cruiser along with convergence in configurations and specifications across the Hilux and 70 series platforms. Jankel’s range of proven armoured and tactical 4×4 and 6×6 Fox variants will not only benefit from this immediate commonality (including a common diesel powertrain and automatic transmission option) but will also be future proofed through emerging technologies including the introduction of an electrified powertrain (available in 2024).
Jankel’s relationship with the Toyota product line goes back over 25 years and has seen them deliver over 2000 Toyota-based vehicles, to customers all over the world. In July 2023, Jankel celebrated the milestone of having delivered over 500 Toyota-based Fox tactical platforms that are now in service with 15 end user groups globally, with the Fox battle-proven on multiple operations.
Andrew Jankel, Chairman at Jankel Group said: “I’m pleased to announce the launch of our new strategy which leverages the very latest products from Toyota. We know the credibility and capability of the Toyota vehicles, and our strategy builds upon our proven range of platforms whilst offering significant commonality benefits for years to come”. He added “We’re in a unique position with the new Toyota and our proven armoured and tactical developments to offer our global customer base a common fleet solution on a world leading and prolific base platform”.
04 Sep 23. Alcon receives major order from Babcock for the provision of 70 Supacat Jackal vehicle braking systems. Alcon Components Ltd, the highly acclaimed UK-based brake and clutch company, has received a major order from Babcock, Supacat’s build partners, to supply 70 HMT vehicle braking systems. The order has been placed to enable the production of 70 new Jackal vehicles for UK MoD, a contract that was signed between UK Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and Supacat in February 2023. Alcon will commence production immediately and will be delivering components to Supacat and their build partners Babcock throughout the remainder of the build.
The bespoke braking systems ordered were first developed by Alcon in 2008 to deal with a challenge that had occurred when the significant additional weight of applique armour was added to the UK’s Jackal and Coyote UOR vehicles. The original braking system had become over-matched, compromising safety and impacting upon operational availability and through life costs. Alcon delivered a bespoke designed solution that includes calipers, discs and friction pads. On the front axle of each vehicle, the calipers are doubled-up so each vehicle has a total of 6 calipers fitted. Since then, Alcon have supplied the braking systems fitted to all of the UK’s existing Jackal and Coyote in-service HMT vehicle fleet and more recently, to Supacat’s multiple overseas customers, including Australia and Norway. In UK, over 600 vehicles were procured as a series of Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs) for Afghanistan and post-conflict, these were brought into the UK’s core fleet. The procurement of 70 additional HMT platforms by UK MoD fills a gap in the UK’s fleet requirement under renewed Army structures.
Alcon are highlighting this order as yet another example of a key global defence vehicle OEM turning to Alcon for specific bespoke vehicle braking system support. Alcon are able to work with an unlimited range of military vehicle types and their experience across multiple global programmes has given them the knowledge and credibility to deliver the very best bespoke braking solutions. Alcon braking solutions have been sought out by some of the world’s finest defence industry vehicle OEMs and notably, were selected by Patria to provide the bespoke braking solution for the new 6×6 heavy armoured vehicle. Alcon braking systems are used by over 20 defence and security equipment OEMs, including Babcock, Patria, Supacat, BAE Systems, Ricardo and Jankel because Alcon provide bespoke braking systems that fully meet the demanding requirements of the challenging, high-performance, modern-day battlefield.
Chris Spicer, Managing Director of Engineering and Systems Integration at Babcock said, “We are delighted to be working with Alcon as the provider of the braking system for the Jackal vehicle. The operational demands placed on the Jackal can be extreme, therefore, we require a dedicated team of professionals at every stage of production. In Alcon, I don’t doubt that we have the ideal partner to be working with”.
Phil Applegarth, Director and Head of Supacat said: “The braking system is a key vehicle component. Alcon have designed a superb and optimal system for us. When you need a set of brakes that can stop a vehicle quickly and safely, you definitely need a trusted partner that specialise in the design of bespoke braking systems. We are really proud to say that Alcon is that partner, and we remain committed to continuing our longstanding relationship. We have every confidence they will continue to support us on new vehicle builds and the ongoing support to the in-service fleets for years to come. This order, placed through Babcock, aligns with our strategy to continuously improve our social value and increase our spending in the UK economy, supporting a UK supply chain.”
Jonathan Edwards, Group Sales Director at Alcon said: “Alcon’s relationship with Babcock and Supacat goes back many years. Supacat were one of the first defence vehicle OEMs to recognise the benefits of our experience and capabilities developed at the top of motorsport and performance automotive. Initially, we moved very quickly to help them solve what was at the time a significant braking challenge. Now, nearly 15
years later, we remain Supacat’s braking supplier of choice having delivered braking systems for many new HMT vehicles globally, along with the through life support required to keep them all at the forefront of performance, safety and operational availability. We’re very proud indeed of what’s been achieved and long may this partnership continue. I’d like to congratulate Supacat on winning this most recent order and thank them for trusting in Alcon to continue to deliver.”
01 Sep 23. US Army commits over $700m in AMPV and Bradley armour acquisition. Contracts are the latest in series of multi-year planning deals to modernise the US Army’s mechanised infantry capabilities, and potentially support Ukraine’s and requirements.
UK defence prime BAE Systems’ US-based Land & Armaments entity has been awarded combined contract modifications worth in excess of $700m (£555m) by US Army Contracting Command for the purchase of Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles (AMPV) and M2A4 and M7A4 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFV).
Announced by the US Department of Defence (DoD) on 31 August, the AMPV contract amounted to $432.5m, with an estimated completion date of February 2027. The M2A4 and M7A4 contract worth was $274.1m and has an estimated completion date of January 2026.
BAE Systems and its US-based entities were forecast to account for 28% of the North American region’s military land vehicle market from by 2032 according to GlobalData analysis, due to the procurement of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV), AMPV, and Bradley M2A4 and M7A4 fighting vehicles, among others.
In October last year the US Army was permitted to increase its purchase of AMPVs following the provision of around 200 in-service M113 armoured personnel carriers to Ukraine to aid Kyiv in its fight against Russia.
The AMPV programme will deliver around 2,900 vehicles across five variants, including command and control, mortar carrier, general-purpose, medical evacuation, and medical treatment. The medical variants in particular offer a step-change in capability to deployed soldiers, providing greater mobility, force protection and on-board power than the M113 platform it will replace.
Final testing for the AMPV began midway through 2022, with production planned in Q3 last year to rise to around 16 units per month to take into account the Ukrainian M113 recapitalisation.
Lightly armed, the one-person open turret of the AMPV can be installed with a roof-mounted protected weapon station housing 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine guns, or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher.
US Army modernising its mechanised infantry
The US Army is currently undergoing an extensive recapitalisation programme of its armoured mobility fleets, with the AMPV replacing the legacy M113 platforms, while the future Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) – now redesignated the XM30 mechanised infantry combat vehicle – will in turn replace the Bradley.
Earlier in August the US Army announced another modification to its contract with BAE Systems for M2A4 and M7A4 Bradley provision, which goes back as far as 2018 when the company was tasked with the manufacture of 473 vehicles. Since then, the DoD has amended the contract several times, once in 2019, again in 2022 in a contract worth $31.9m, the mid-August contract worth $113m, and again on 31 August with its $274m announcement.
The combined totals US Army contract to BAE Systems for Bradley production now reaches in excess of $766m. In service with the US Army as well as internationally in Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Croatia and others, more than 6,700 Bradley’s have been manufactured since 1981.
Both of the latest contact announcements were from the US Army, rather than US Security Assistance funding to Ukraine as has been the case with other platforms and munitions for contract specific to Washington’s support of Kyiv. However, it is unknown whether the latest Bradley contract relates to a US need, or those of Ukraine.
According to GlobalData, some 1,563 Bradley units are currently in service within the US Army’s force structure, broken down to 1,420 M2 IFVs and 143 M7 armoured support vehicles.
In June this year the US Army awarded $1.6bn in contracts to General Dynamics Land Systems and American Rheinmetall Vehicles under the Phase III and IV Detailed Design and Prototype Build and Testing phases of the OMFV programme.
According to the US Army, during the next two phases of the programme, the service will look to mature the design and verify prototype performance during test activities, including a limited user test. The two companies selected for the next phase will be required to deliver up to 11 prototype vehicles, as well as two ballistic hulls and turrets, armour coupons and digital engineering data.
Following the detailed design and prototype build and testing phases, the US Army intends to have a limited competition to downselect to one vendor at Milestone C near the end of fiscal year 2027, with first unit equipped anticipated in fiscal year 2029. (Source: army-technology.com)
04 Sep 23. Electric military vehicles are an emerging trend in the defense sector. Electric military vehicles are an emerging trend in the defense sector as they offer advantages such as lower noise, lower carbon footprint and greater energy efficiency. Some of the armies that are developing or testing electric military vehicles are:
1- United States: The US Army is exploring the use of hybrid and battery electric vehicles to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase troop survivability. Some examples are the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), the Ground Mobility Vehicle (GMV) and the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV).
2- China: The People’s Liberation Army of China is investing in electric vehicles to improve the mobility, stealth and sustainability of ground forces. Some examples are the VN-17 Armored Personnel Carrier, the ZBD-03 Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the ZFB-05 Utility Vehicle.
3- France: The French Army is developing a program called Scorpion, which aims to modernize armored vehicles with electric and hybrid technologies. Some examples are the Griffon multipurpose armored vehicle, the Jaguar reconnaissance and combat vehicle, and the Serval light vehicle.
4- Germany: The German Army is testing a prototype electric vehicle called eMilitärFahrzeug (eMFZ), which is based on the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The objective is to evaluate the performance, reliability and safety of electric vehicles in military operations.
5- United Kingdom: The British Army is participating in a project called Future All Electric Vehicle (FAEV), which aims to develop a light and modular electric vehicle for reconnaissance, surveillance and patrol missions. The project is led by the company QinetiQ and has a partnership with other companies such as Williams Advanced Engineering, Horiba Mira and Ricardo.
Electric military vehicles have several advantages over conventional combustion-powered vehicles. Some of these advantages are:
1- Less noise: Electric vehicles are quieter than diesel or gasoline vehicles, which increases stealth and the ability to surprise the enemy in military operations.
2- Lower carbon emissions: Electric vehicles do not emit polluting gases such as carbon dioxide, which contributes to preserving the environment and reducing global warming.
3- Energy efficiency: Electric vehicles make better use of the energy stored in the batteries, which reduces fuel consumption and operating costs. In addition, electric vehicles can be recharged by renewable sources such as solar or wind energy.
4- Autonomy: Electric vehicles can have greater autonomy than conventional vehicles, depending on the capacity of the batteries and the availability of charging points. This increases the flexibility and mobility of military forces in different scenarios.
5-Safety: Electric vehicles have less risk of fire or explosion than combustion vehicles, which increases the safety of soldiers and civilians. In addition, electric vehicles have fewer moving parts and less wear and tear, which reduces the need for maintenance and repairs.
(Source: Paulo Dominonni via LinkedIn)
04 Sep 23. Bulgaria to purchase Stryker vehicles from US in $1.5bn deal. The Bulgarian Ministry of Defence follows the rest of Europe in increasing its force structure, despite the nation’s hurdles to effectively procure systems.
Bulgaria is set to acquire 183 Stryker land vehicles as part of a Foreign Military Sales agreement with the US Department of State worth approximately $1.5bn the Defense Security Co-operation Agency announced on 1 September 2023.
The Stryker family comprise ten variant models of eight-wheel drive combat vehicles of which Bulgaria has requested five – 107 Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs); nine Engineer Squad Vehicles; 33 M1130 Command Vehicles; 24 M1133 Medical Evacuation Vehicles; ten M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicles, among other supplementary equipment.
Stryker’s mobile gun system can fire 18 rounds of 105mm main gun ammunition, 400 rounds of 0.50-calibre ammunition and 3,400 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.
The Stryker meets Bulgaria’s modernisation aims
The Bulgarian Armed Forces have key capability goals including the acquisition of new armoured vehicles such as the Stryker, new multi-role combat aircraft, modular patrol vessels, 3D radars and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
Bulgaria also aims to increase the quantity and complexity of joint training and exercises with its allies prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The most recent exercise ended last month in which Bulgarian and American air forces operated together in exercise Thracian Summer.
Balancing hurdles with modernisation
However, according to GlobalData intelligence Bulgaria faces significant challenges in maintaining higher levels of spending: corruption issues, political divisions and a struggling and technologically outdated defence industry are all hurdles to overcome before any substantial modernisation may take hold.
As it stands, there are an unknown number of armoured personnel carriers that Bulgaria’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) procured between the 1960s and 1990s, including the BTR-60PB and the MT-LB.
In the last ten years, the MoD has slowly expanded its armoured carriers and ICVs: 380 BMP-1s, 36 BRDM-2s and various other Russian-manufactured land systems.
However, since last year the tide has turned for the MoD leading them to procure western manufactured systems such as this $1.5bn Stryker deal. This is not the Balkan country’s first modern land system deal as the government has procured 50 Humvee trucks in 2008, manufactured by the American contractor AM General. (Source: army-technology.com)
01 Sep 23. Rheinmetall supplies Norway with a Mission Master XT after demonstrating its capabilities in hostile Nordic conditions. Rheinmetall has supplied Norway with its very first Rheinmetall Mission Master XT, an extreme-terrain unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) capable of thriving in sub-zero temperatures.
The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (the prime institution responsible for defence-related research and development in Norway) awarded Rheinmetall the contract after it won a competitive bid with challenging mobility and schedule requirements.
A tried-and-tested solution for Nordic countries
This contract comes just months after Rheinmetall took part in the Artic Mobility Trials in Finland, where the autonomy and mobility of the Rheinmetall Mission Master XT were put to the test. Despite a challenging environment and -30°C weather conditions, the vehicle successfully navigated through icy rivers and climbed up slippery banks.
Link to YouTube video: https://youtu.be/xMTtOA-1ZAY
“We are proud to have developed systems that can withstand some of the world’s harshest conditions. These recent trials have proven that we are in a strong position to meet the needs of Nordic countries that face similar challenges to us here in Canada,” stated Alain Tremblay, vice president for business development and innovation at Rheinmetall Canada.
Rheinmetall Mission Master XT, an extreme terrain UGV
Developed by Rheinmetall Canada in 2021, the Rheinmetall Mission Master XT can tackle ice and snow, as well as sandy, rocky and mountainous topography. Its advanced amphibious capabilities allow it to float and swim while maintaining its full payload capacity. Weighing in at 2,217 kg, this powerful A-UGV can carry a 1000 kg payload, allowing troops to transport special equipment to hard-to-reach locations. The diesel-powered engine allows it to travel 750 km without refuelling, while internal batteries enable up to 6 hours of silent watch operations. Another key feature of the Rheinmetall Mission Master XT is its high-performance continuous tyre inflation system, which adjusts the tire pressure according to the terrain.
Like other platforms in the Rheinmetall Mission Master family, the XT vehicle is driven by Rheinmetall PATH, an AI-powered navigation system that can be installed on any vehicle. This agnostic suite of advanced sensors and perception algorithms enables Mission Master vehicles to navigate autonomously through challenging environments, while keeping soldiers out of harm’s way.
The Rheinmetall Canada team took part in the Norwegian Army Technology Days 2023 on August 23 and 24, where it has delivered a presentation on “How to speed up the adoption of and trust towards UGVs”.
01 Sep 23. Patria and Japan Steel Works Ltd. signed manufacturing license agreement for Patria AMV XP vehicles. Patria and Japan Steel Works Ltd. (JSW) signed on 31 August 2023 a license agreement on manufacturing for Patria AMV XP 8×8 vehicles in Japan. The agreement enables local production in accordance with Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier (WAPC) programme. In December 2022 Patria AMV XP 8×8 vehicle was selected by the programme to replace Type-96 8×8 Armoured Personnel Carrier vehicles that are currently in use. Neither the number of new vehicles nor the value of the agreement are disclosed at this stage. “Patria is fully committed delivering Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s WAPC programme as agreed and we are extremely satisfied to have JSW as our manufacturing partner in Japan. Both companies have over a hundred years of experience in providing top-of-the-line quality products for customers with the most demanding needs. JSW is a top-quality manufacturer locally and Patria foresees that JSW is an excellent manufacturing partner and will execute projects fully up to Patria and global standards. Together we create a strong team to manufacture and deliver the latest generation armored vehicles in Japan for years to come,“ says Janne Räkköläinen, Senior Vice President of Market Area World at Patria.
05 Sep 23. Saab’s New Camouflage Feature Solves Communications Challenge. Saab announces a new feature for its Barracuda Ultra-lightweight Camouflage Screen (ULCAS) giving armed forces the possibility to combine protection from the enemy with the possibility to communicate with friendly forces.
Barracuda camouflage nets provide vital protection for a soldier, hiding the operator from for example radar sensors. However, the same characteristics that provide that protection, also limits the use of GPS and/or VHF communications to and from underneath the net.
Saab’s new Frequency Selective Surface technology (ULCAS-FSS) allows selected radio frequencies to pass easily either way through the camouflage net, while protecting against the higher frequencies of electromagnetic waves used by radar systems.
The represents a significant advancement in modern signature management technology.
“Thanks to our expertise within signature management, we are taking camouflage to the next level with this novel feature. It changes how soldiers communicate while keeping multispectral protection, and so introduces a new era of tactical communication flexibility, offering unparalleled capabilities,” says Henning Robach, head of Saab’s business unit Barracuda.
Saab’s camouflage solutions, including the ULCAS with FSS feature will be shown during the DSEI 2023 event in London, 12-15 September at stand H7-210.
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Contact: David Parkman