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13 Sep 23. GM Defense and NP Aerospace Sign Cooperation Agreement. GM Defense LLC, a subsidiary of General Motors (GM), and NP Aerospace signed a collaborative Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop cooperative research and development, post-production support, and global logistics and sustainment for integrated vehicles, power and propulsion, autonomy and connectivity, fuel cell, power generation, system integration and platform integration. Company leaders signed the MOU during the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2023.
The MOU enables GM Defense to deliver military solutions more effectively, like the light and agile ISV, to global defense and government customers. Based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize truck architecture, the ISV features 90 percent commercial-off-the-shelf parts, including Chevrolet Performance components, adapted to meet U.S. Army requirements. GM Defense expanded on the ISV program of record to develop the ISV Family of Vehicles, which includes variants designed to support diverse mission use cases and meet future customer demand. The business is also developing a purpose-built Heavy-Duty armored Sport Utility Vehicle (HD SUV) solution, an armored HD architecture that is gaining interest among international defense and government customers to meet global protection missions.
The MOU expands the range of vehicles covered via NP Aerospace’s Vehicle Systems, Services and Spares Business. Current contracts include the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Protected Mobility Engineering Technical Support contract and the Canadian Department of National Defence Land Equipment Program – Engineering Technical Support Services Contract.
“NP Aerospace has a proven track record and expertise that complements GM Defense,” said Steve duMont, GM Defense president. “This collaboration will help position our commercial-based solutions, including the ISV and HD SUV, to global militaries while aligning our capabilities to meet the needs of the UK Ministry of Defence’s Land Industrial Strategy.”
“Our collaboration with GM Defense is very exciting as it diversifies our product and technology offering established through the UK MoD protected mobility fleet contract and expands our vehicle armour and engineering capabilities into North America,” said James Kempston, CEO, NP Aerospace. “We are pleased to work with a business with such a long legacy in defense and look forward to partnering in expanding their offerings globally.”
The MOU formalizes GM Defense’s commitment to pursue opportunities in the UK for GM Defense, which leverages the advanced commercial technologies and investments of its parent company, General Motors, to transition global customers to a more electric, autonomous and connected future. The collaboration comes after GM Defense recently announced the incorporation of GM Defense Canada and the formation of GM Defense International last year. For the latest GM Defense news, please visit www.gmdefensellc.com and follow GM Defense on LinkedIn.
About GM Defense LLC
GM Defense delivers integrated vehicles, power and propulsion, and autonomy and connectivity solutions to global defense, security, and government markets. The exceptional reliability of GM Defense’s technologies results from decades of proven performance and bns of dollars spent in independent research and development by its parent, General Motors, a world leader in global design, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. For more information, please visit www.gmdefensellc.com.
About NP Aerospace
NP Aerospace, headquartered in the UK and Canada, is a global leader in manufacturing composites, life saving personal protection and bomb disposal suits, vehicle armour and integration, through life support and spares. With a track record of integrating and supporting over 2,000 military vehicles, NP Aerospace also excels in body armour programs, having supplied ms of combat helmets and body armour plates to NATO allies. Established in 1926, NP Aerospace has served the defence industry for over 40 years, with a team of 250+ professionals across its global facilities. For more information, visit www.npaerospace.com.
13 Sep 23. Babcock International Group (Babcock), the defence company, has today signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with TVS Supply Chain Solutions Ltd to work together to deliver Services and Spares procurement for the British Army. Both parties will harness their complementary capabilities, experience and expertise in delivering Conventional Vehicle Systems Post-Design Services and Spares Procurement (CVSSP) to the British Army on a number of vehicle platforms including Land Rover, Weapons-Mounted Land Rover and Pinzgauer. Babcock has a unique understanding of Through Life Equipment Support and manages over 30,000 vehicles for the British Army and over 300,000 pieces of equipment. As supply chain experts, TVS are responsible for the inventory management and procurement of circa 300,000 NSNs in support of UK MoD. Louise Atkinson, Managing Director of Through Life Equipment Support at Babcock, said: “The signing of this MOU is great news for our customer, the British Army. Babcock will continue to provide an unrivalled equipment support service ensuring that their equipment is ready for action, whenever and wherever it is needed.” Irene Ainscough, Defence Director at TVS Supply Chain Solutions Ltd, said: “TVS looks forward to continuing to support Babcock and the Authority, providing supply chain expertise to the CV fleet and building resilience through proactive obsolescence and supplier management.” 13 Sep 23.
12 Sep 23. Challenger 3 programme achieves another major milestone.
Another major milestone has been reached for the Challenger 3 (CR3) Programme with the 120mm smoothbore gun test firings successfully completed.
The first firings with the 120mm L55A1 weapon system in the 120mm L55A1CR3 configuration for the British CR3 Main Battle Tank (MBT) took place in April this year. The new 120mm L55A1CR3 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 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.
RBSL is a UK-based joint venture business between Rheinmetall and BAE Systems. RBSL has a long-standing relationship with the British Army having designed and delivered many of the Army’s existing combat vehicles under different business names, including the Challenger 2.
RBSL continues to provide in-service support for British Army vehicle fleets and, in addition to the Challenger 3 programme, is one of the major manufacturers of the Boxer Armoured Vehicle under the UK MOD’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programme.
In May 2021, Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL), announced it had been awarded an £800m contract to upgrade 148 Challenger 3 (CR3) Main Battle Tanks for the British Army.
The upgraded vehicle will be a network-enabled, digital Main Battle Tank with state-of-the-art lethality, upgraded survivability, offering world-class surveillance and target acquisition capabilities.
RBSL is working alongside its partners at Defence, Equipment and Support (DE&S), to deliver the programme.
Since the announcement, the Telford-based company has been working at pace and in collaboration with the British Army, Defence Equipment & Support and industry partners to deliver the programme.
11 Sep 23. Ready For Deployment: The Most Versatile ISR UGV for Enhanced Situational Awareness to be presented at DSEI.
At DSEI 2023 in London, Milrem Robotics, Europe’s leading robotics and autonomous systems developer will showcase the most versatile Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) unmanned ground system on the market – the THeMIS Observe.
“The THeMIS Observe is an ISR system that significantly increases a tactical unit’s reaction speed on targets as well as the stand-off distance from enemy units,” explained Cpt (res) Jüri Pajuste, Defence R&D Director at Milrem Robotics. “The system raises the capability and survivability of tactical reconnaissance units considerably,” Pajuste said, adding that this type of capability is usually not available for light infantry units on one platform.
Watch the THeMIS Observe video here: https://youtu.be/D1uvOT4tki8 and download the image here.
The THeMIS Observe consist of cutting-edge technology by world-renowned developers: the Squire radar by Thales, the HeviTrack-S camera by HEVI Optronics, Metravib Defence Pearl acoustic shot detection, ROSY (Rapid Obscuring System) by Rheinmetall and the deFNder Light remote weapon station. As a recent addition, the vehicle features Sequrests Mobile Multi Camouflage Cover for significant signature reduction in visual NIR, thermal IR and radar.
“The combination of those systems allows units to do multi-sensor identification on one platform while being concealed by adversary observers,” Pajuste added.
Additionally, the THeMIS Observe is equipped with Milrem’s Intelligent Functions Kit that enables autonomous functions such as follow-me, waypoint navigation with obstacle detection and avoidance.
The THeMIS UGV, on which the ISR system is based on, is a multi-mission unmanned ground system that is currently part of robotics programs in 16 countries, including 8 NATO member countries. The THeMIS is also deployed in Ukraine.
The THeMIS Observe and other Milrem Robotics’ products can be found at stand no H4-122.
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.
11 Sep 23. The Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle makes international debut at DSEI. The Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) will make its international debut at DSEI 2023 this week, showcasing the vehicle’s capability and future growth potential to U.S. allies and NATO partners.
As the foundation of the future for the U.S. Army, the AMPV provides significant improvements in power, mobility, interoperability, and survivability. Now approved for full-rate production, the AMPV family of vehicles (FoV) was created to address the needs of Soldiers on the modern battlefield.
“The AMPV is well-suited for today’s combat operations in Europe and globally,” said Bill Sheehy, AMPV director for BAE Systems. “Even more remarkable is the vehicle’s versatility to adapt as technology continues to evolve and battlefields change. The AMPV is a foundational platform for combat vehicle modernization, and its capacity for growth will provide warfighters the greatest opportunity to accomplish their difficult missions in the most demanding environments.”
The AMPV platform was engineered to be flexible, versatile, and agile. The five variants currently in production provide enhanced survivability and performance over the legacy M113 family of vehicles while incorporating inbound network and other future technologies. The platform also maintains commonality with the AMPV FoV and the Armored Brigade Combat Team to minimize operating costs and logistic burdens as capability needs evolve.
The AMPV Medical Evacuation variant will be on display at booth H3-110. To view the full range of BAE Systems’ capabilities featured at DSEI, visit https://www.baesystems.com/en/event/dsei.
11 Sep 23. IDV announces the launch of IDV Robotics: Pioneering the future of defence technology. IDV (Iveco Defence Vehicles), a global leader dedicated to delivering innovative automotive and protection solutions to meet the needs of military customers worldwide, is thrilled to unveil a pivotal transformation in its innovation journey. The company is pleased to announce the rebranding and evolution of the distinguished UK-based specialist Robotics and Autonomous Systems entity MIRA UGV as IDV Robotics. The name change follows IDV’s acquisition of a majority stake in MIRA UGV, the Uncrewed Ground Vehicle (UGV) division of HORIBA MIRA, in January 2023.
The 2023 edition of DSEI, taking place from the 12th to the 15th of September 2023, will be the occasion at which IDV will officially launch IDV Robotics and exhibit its multirole UGV platform (VIKING platform) on stand 316 in hall 7.
IDV Robotics, a trailblazing technology company at the forefront of cutting-edge UGV and Robotic Autonomous Systems (RAS) solutions, is accelerating the development of these revolutionary technologies, promising to enhance operational efficiency and save lives across diverse terrains and missions.
The fusion of a state-of-the-art navigation and autonomy technology stack with a range of vehicle platforms underscores IDV Robotics’ commitment to delivering unparalleled RAS solutions for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and all the most advanced Armed Forces all around the world.
A focal point of our endeavours lies in empowering critical missions such as Reconnaissance, Fire Support, Last Mile Resupply, Casualty Evacuation, and CBRN, establishing IDV Robotics as a preeminent supplier to the global defence industry.
Pioneering a Vision
On September 11th, 2023, with the launch of IDV Robotics, IDV’s dynamic partnership with HORIBA MIRA enters a new chapter. This transformative collaboration harnesses two decades of HORIBA MIRA’s pioneering expertise in remote control, teleoperated, and autonomous vehicle technologies, synergizing seamlessly with IDV’s renowned expertise in defence and off-highway vehicle engineering. The newly formed IDV Robotics company is spearheading innovative, sector-specific technologies from its UK-base, catering to the ever-evolving demands of the UK MoD and its strategic allies. The technological highlights encompass an array of groundbreaking achievements:
VIKING: A high-mobility, multirole UGV platform.
MACE: IDV Robotics’ proprietary autonomy stack, seamlessly integrated across a spectrum of military vehicles.
Unparalleled Autonomy: Mastery in remote control, semi-autonomous, and autonomous operations across challenging terrains.
GNSS Denied Navigation: Unrivalled navigation capability even in GNSS-denied environments.
Advanced Terrain Recognition: Cutting-edge object and terrain identification, complemented by next-level off-road routing.
Unified Ground-Air Integration: Holistic control, uniting Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and UGVs for seamless ground-to-air RAS integration.
With this reimagined trajectory, IDV Robotics cements its dedication to technological brilliance and unwavering commitment to delivering the latest RAS solutions, tailored to meet the dynamic needs of military customers.
IDV Robotics proudly upholds its position as a specialist in the UK sector, enriching national and allied capabilities, while retaining its headquarters at the highly respected MIRA Technology Park, serving as the focal point of relentless R&D and production pursuits.
11 Sep 23. FAUN Trackway Limited, the leading manufacturer of ground stabilisation matting, launches its latest Trackway® system at the Defence and Security Exhibition International (DSEI), 2023.
Making its debut at the Excel Centre, 12th -15th September, the lightweight and logistically efficient PSA Flat Top N Trackway® panel rapidly constructs landing, take-off, servicing and maintenance areas suitable for helicopter and aircraft flight operations.
The panel’s ability to nest halves the required volume for any given system area, reducing transport costs and carbon footprint. Its design enables two panels to stack into a combine state of 1.1in; allowing for increased square footage, facilitating quicker movement and packing, and increased panel bundles within 20ft ISO containers.
Featuring a flat surface and anti-skid grip, the PSA Flat Top N Trackway® panel increases asset and personnel safety; whilst its structurally sound yet flexible foundation supports VTOL operations.
Gareth Williams, Engineering and Operations Manager, commented: The system has been designed and configured following extensive durability testing at ERDC, Vicksburg. Together with live aircraft testing by the USMC.
“Our engineers have listened to the client test and systems engineers along with being hands on with the operators to understand what their requirements are and what issues they’ve had with historic solutions.
“The whole kit has been developed to be light and simple to assemble to meet today’s human factors needs and to be durable for the end user’s operations.
“The complete 96ft x 96ft kit is available as a COTS solution”.
Chris Kendall, CEO, said: “Our constant strive for engineering excellence drives us to deliver pioneering systems that meet the needs of modern armed forces. Our team have worked tirelessly on developing a truly innovative and practical solution for interoperable movement between land, sea and air.
“We’re delighted to introduce our latest helipad system, and DSEI is the perfect opportunity for us to do this”.
FAUN Trackway Limited will be exhibiting at stand H2-804.
11 Sep 23. DSD to make DSEI debut amid UK defence sector growth. Drive System Design (DSD), a global specialist in the engineering and development of electrified propulsion and actuation systems, is set to make its debut at DSEI. This follows significant growth in the UK defence sector which has seen government expenditure in the sector increase by 18% to £55.5 bn.
DSD’s debut at DSEI, the world’s largest fully integrated defence and security hybrid event, follows significant growth in the international defence space, with a strong presence in the US now supplemented by active projects across Europe and into Asia. Held in London (12-15 September), DSEI brings together key stakeholders to discuss and debate the present and future of the global defence and security sector.
At DSEI, DSD will be on stand to showcase its power electronics expertise, which includes DSD’s Open Platform Inverter (OPI), which enables quick and efficient development of motor control systems. DSD experts will be on stand to discuss the development and benefits of the newly updated OPI and how it can drive value across defence applications, and beyond. DSD’s stand is part of the event’s DisTec propulsion trail, which showcases the very latest in ground-breaking disruptive technology.
DSD’s Business Development Executive, Richard Dunne, will also be chairing a panel discussion on how electrification can improve sustainability within the defence industry, highlighting the key questions businesses must ask themselves when setting sustainability targets and devising strategies to realise their sustainability ambitions. The panel will include speakers from the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems to name a few.
Lee Sykes, Commercial Director at DSD, commented: “With the global defence electric vehicle market set to grow at a 34.1% CAGR from 2022 to 2027, DSD is proud to showcase its defence capabilities internationally, at DSEI. As we continue to expand our expertise, capabilities, and reach, moving from supporting tiered suppliers up to working with major defence OEMs, we’re pivoting our focus to full powerpack and system architecture definition and development for next gen platforms.
“This comes at a time whereby we are continuing to invest in further strengthening our relationships with UK government R&D bodies in the defence space and are proactively increasing our impact in the UK market and beyond.”
For more information about DSD’s expertise in the defence sector, visit: https://www.drivesystemdesign.com/our-market-sectors/defence/
12 Sep 23. A new OEM led partnership has been set up to provide effective, ongoing support to the British Army’s fleet of Pinzgauers, Land Rover Wolf, RWMIK, Snatch 2B and Lightweight Trailers.
TEAM AGILIS is led by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) in collaboration with TVS Supply Chain Solutions (TVS), Ricardo and Martin Williams (Hull) (MW Scotland). It has been created for each organisation to work collaboratively to secure and deliver the MOD’s Conventional Vehicle Systems Spares and Post Design Services (CVSSP) contract.
CVSSP is a combined Post Design Services (PDS) and Spares contract for legacy platforms, including Pinzgauer 4×4 and 6×6, Land Rover Wolf, Land Rover RWMIK and Snatch 2B, and the Light Weight Trailer. It is worth an estimated £71m. The CVSSP contract is considered a trailblazer for future PDS and Spares inclusive contracts on other land platforms.
TEAM AGILIS includes partners from each organisation currently supplying individual PDS and spares contracts to the Authority. The team comprises:
- RBSL – OEM and Design parent for the Pinzgauer Platform
- MW Scotland– OEM and Design parent for the Light Weight Trailer
- Ricardo – OEM and Design parent for the RWMIK and Snatch 2b
- TVS Supply Chain Solutions – Inventory management and procurement experts
TEAM AGILIS delivers an OEM led solution ensuring continuity for the MOD, as it includes the organisations holding the current PDS contracts for the platforms in scope.
- RBSL- Existing holder of the CVSB PDS contract covering Pinzgauer, Light Weight Trailer and Land Rover Wolf platforms
- Ricardo – RWMIK and Snatch 2b
Significantly, the CVSSP contract offers the MOD the opportunity to bring together PDS and Spares, and therefore TEAM AGILIS also includes supply chain specialists TVS, the current holders of the Land Rover Spares contract, among other Defence support spares contracts.
One of the biggest issues in maintaining platform availability is resolving obsolescence. TEAM AGILIS, will resolve this problem by providing the MOD with the opportunity to bring together the OEMs of the equipment, with a collective wealth of design knowledge and expertise across all platforms, in partnership with leading supply chain specialists, to provide ongoing technical capability and spares supply to the British Army out to the end of the service life of the assets.
Colin McClean, RBSL’s Managing Director said: “RBSL is excited to be working in collaboration with its industry partners to secure and deliver the CVSSP contract.
“RBSL is the British Army’s Land Champion, and as an OEM , it is ideally suited to lead TEAM AGILIS in this innovative approach, combining PDS and Spares delivery into one contract.”
Paul Tarry, Head of Special Vehicle Operations at Ricardo said: “Having worked with a number of special adaptations of the Land Rover Defender over the past 25 years Ricardo are excited to be working with RBSL, TVS and MW Scotland on this important programme.”
Mark Williams, Technical Director at Martin Williams (Hull) Ltd added: “We’re excited to be part of the team working along with RBSL, Ricardo and TVS on this important programme.”
Rebecca Ryan, TVS Procurement Director said: “TVS looks forward to bringing its supply chain expertise and technology to TEAM AGILIS to optimise spares supply and address the growing obsolescence challenge across the CV fleet.”
11 Sep 23. Ricardo develops advanced Ranger HEX 6×6 conversion with hybrid electric drivetrain. The new vehicle has been conceived to help improve the sustainability of future defence mobility while retaining the highest performance demanded by the toughest environments.
Ricardo, a global strategic, environmental, and engineering consulting company, has developed the Ranger HEX, a 6×6 vehicle conversion designed to offer a significant improvement in payload of up to 3,800kg over the harshest of terrains. It comes with a hybrid drivetrain to maintain performance and improve fuel consumption.
This new conversion benefits from Ricardo’s expertise and experience in creating high quality, cost effective special vehicles for defence, security and utility applications. The vehicle will benefit from enhanced levels of capability, robustness and availability.
Paul Tarry, Head of Special Vehicles at Ricardo, said: “We’re delighted with this latest conversion. The HEX benefits from an existing proven automotive platform, with added engineering and software enabled features, offering customers a robust, fit-for-purpose solution that is flexible, durable and doesn’t lose any of the characteristics needed to perform in the toughest of environments. The addition of a hybrid electric drivetrain means that this vehicle is helping to fulfil clients’ sustainability objectives, allowing the benefits of future mobility, without loss of performance, and as an added advantage we are able to preserve the existing warranty on the base vehicle.”
The HEX solution differs from conventional conversions as it has been conceived as an overlay bolt-on system that does not require any alteration of the Ford Ranger base vehicle, which is Europe’s number one commercial pick-up platform. This ensures that the base vehicle retains all the robustness and quality of the standard vehicle and allows the system to be removed and re-installed on a different vehicle.
An electric rear drive system has been adopted that uses a production Ford drive unit to provide up to an additional 210kW of power, over and above the class leading 186kW of power from the existing 3.0L V6 diesel engine. The De Dion rear suspension design is not only weight efficient and robust but also provides better wheel control for improved traction and ride. In addition, the De Dion arrangement decouples the suspension and drive systems to allow a range of drive units to be used or deleted for a cost-effective 6×4 variant with maximum payload using an undriven ‘lazy’ axle.
The electric drive is designed as a self-contained through-the-road hybrid system. Braking energy is harvested under deceleration to charge the battery pack. This energy is then used to provide electric torque under acceleration to mitigate the usual drop in performance whist carrying a high payload. A selection of battery capacities are available, depending on customer requirements. All high voltage components are contained within a single integrated enclosure for safety and ease of maintenance and repair.
08 Sep 23. Israeli Ministry of Defense Awards New Orders for Tank, APC. A big deal for the Ministry of Defense and the ‘Eshat Ashkelon’ factory: the procuement agency will purchase assemblies and spare parts for the Merkava tanks and the Tiger APCs for approximately NIS 218m ($56.7m)
The Ministry of Defense’s backlog of orders for the plant, which employs about 440 workers from Ashkelon and the surrounding area, is estimated at about 1.6bn NIS.
The Ministry of Defense, through the Tiger Vehicle Procurement Unit in Manhar and in cooperation with the Directorate of Vehicles and Tanks (MNTK), issued a new order in the amount of approximately NIS 218 m to the “Make Ashkelon” factory controlled by “Fimi,” for assemblies and spare parts for Merkava Mk 4 tanks and the Tiger APC.
The order approved by the Director General of the Ministry of Defense, Colonel (ret.) Eyal Zamir, includes the production of suspension and drive kits for armored combat vehicles (ARVs) of the Merkava Mk 4 tank and Merkava APCs (NAMR) and their supply between the years 2024 and 2027.
The ‘Eshat Ashkelon’ factory specializes in the production of propulsion systems for tanks and armored vehicles and is an anchor for the supply of components for the Merkava project. The factory employs approximately 440 workers, with approximately 80% of them residents of Ashkelon, the settlements of the south and surrounding Gaza, and hundreds of suppliers, most of them from the south.
Deputy Director and Chief Executive Officer at the Ministry of Defense, Ze’ev Landau, said: “The additional order for the factory made in Ashkelon is part of the policy of the Ministry of Defense to promote multi-year procurement transactions, which strengthen the competence of the maneuvering array in the IDF, optimize procurement procedures and strengthen employment in the Ashkelon area.”
CEO of Esaut, Eli Demari: “Accepting the order significantly increases the company’s order backlog and is a very important milestone in strengthening the company’s position as a global and technological leader in drive systems, relays and assemblies in the defense sector.”
(Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Israel Ministry of defense)
08 Sep 23. First order rolls in for SVI’s six-wheeled MAX 3 armoured vehicle. An African nation has placed the first order for SVI’s new six-wheeled MAX 3 armoured vehicle, kicking off what the company is confident will be the first of many fresh contracts.
The customer will use the vehicles for non-military applications – the vehicles will be outfitted as general cargo carriers. Production has just begun at SVI’s factory east of Pretoria, and should be completed by February next year.
The order “is a good start” for the six-wheeled variant, according to SVI CEO Jaco de Kock, who believes it “will definitely open the door for other customers.”
The six-wheeled version of the popular 4×4 MAX 3 was displayed for the first time at the September 2022 Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition in Pretoria. It is based on Toyota’s proven Land Cruiser 79 chassis, as with the 4×4 MAX 3. Both are powered by a 4.5-litre V8 turbodiesel powertrain, giving a top speed of 140 km/h. The six-wheel version is based on the MAX 3 double cab body style, with the new axle configuration also available on the company’s MAX 3 single cab and MAX 3 Troopy armoured personnel carrier.
The addition of a third axle means the MAX 3’s Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) can be safely increased to 5 500 kg, from 3 800 kg, opening the door to numerous military and security applications, including the fitment of various weapon systems, cargo carrying options and even field ambulance configurations. Total payload is now 1 500 kg.
To keep cost and complexity of the system in check, the additional axle on the six-wheeler is non-driven. Even so, mobility is enhanced as the extra axle provides increased flotation over soft surfaces. Driven by defenceWeb on SVI’s offroad handling track, the six-wheel MAX 3 floated over axle twisters, rocks and other obstacles, with the third axle smoothing out the ride over rough terrain. However, the extra length of the wheelbase was not at all apparent, and the vehicle was as simple to drive as the 4×4 MAX 3. It was easy to forget that the six-wheel MAX 3 is an armoured vehicle and not a Land Cruiser, as controls, ergonomics and view are very similar to the unmodified Toyota.
Although weighing in at around four tons, the six-wheel MAX 3 did not feel heavy or sluggish, with plenty of excess power and brusque acceleration from the V8 diesel – even with the Scorpion mortar on the back, the vehicle had plenty of energy climbing steep inclines. On the tar, it promptly got up to the legal cruising speed of 120 km/h, with plenty more power in reserve.
SVI is now looking at producing a 6×6 version, with all six wheels fully powered, but this will of course be more expensive to manufacture.
The conversion process to create a MAX 3 entails removing the soft-skin body of the donor Land Cruiser 79 and replacing it with a hull designed in-house and manufactured from armoured steel plate. The vehicle provides a minimum protection level of EN1063 BR6 (assault rifles) with additional protection against anti-personnel grenades. The vehicle is furthermore upgradeable to BR7.
Different configurations of the MAX 3 can be produced for customers, such as ambulance, weapons carrier etc. At the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition, for example, the six-wheeled vehicle was fitted with a counter-drone system while the MAX 3 six-wheeler on display at SVI’s factory is fitted with a Thales Scorpion remotely operated mortar.
Nicol Louw, SVI Business Development Director, told defenceWeb that production of the 4×4 MAX 3 is moving at a steady rate, with around one per week being manufactured. A big selling point is that it is cheaper than a Land Cruiser 300.
A recent MAX 3 customer is the Mossel Bay Municipality, which bought two for duties such as riot control. Louw explained that the municipality wanted a smaller, more agile vehicle than something like the police Nyala, so it can operate in tight urban areas. The Mossel Bay MAX 3s are fitted with scrapers so they can clear obstacles, such as on blocked highways. After the Mossel Bay order, other municipalities have expressed interest in acquiring the vehicle.
Most MAX 3 customers are security and mining companies – there is big demand from the mining sector. This year alone, SVI is projecting it will sell 30 MAX 3 vehicles. The MAX 3 is suitable for non-military tasks such as mining security, riot control, civil security, anti-poaching and convoy protection (valuables in transit).
The original MAX 3 was launched at the September 2018 edition of the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition. It can be fitted with a range of additional equipment, including the Thales Scorpion 60/81 mm automated mortar, 12.7 mm pintle mount or 12.7 mm Rogue Lite remotely operated weapon station. One customer has already ordered the Scorpion system for its vehicles. Other options are fire extinguishing systems, long range acoustic devices for crowd control, and less lethal solutions.
As a specialised vehicle armourer, SVI has seen rapid growth in recent years, with its production facilities outside Pretoria at full capacity (SVI also has offices in Cape Town and Saudi Arabia). Demand for armoured vehicles, from commercial, defence and security sectors, has been so great that SVI is adding two new production buildings to its Pretoria premises (one 600 square metres and the other 750 square metres), and is pushing its workforce up to over 100 people. The company aims to build 200 vehicles this year alone.
Not all SVI’s vehicles are sold outright – it has a large fleet of more than 30 armoured vehicles available for rental, including some MAX 3 vehicles. De Kock said most of these were hired out for the recent BRICS Summit in Johannesburg. Notwithstanding large events, the rental fleet “has very high utilisation rates,” he said.
Coupled with the growth in armoured vehicle sales, SVI offers driver training solutions at its dedicated academy alongside its Pretoria East factory. SVI says its academy is the only one in South Africa to offer SASSETA certified dedicated training on armoured vehicles, with a focus on defensive driving skills like night driving, offroad driving, convoy driving etc. – where armoured vehicle drivers are most likely to get into trouble. “Offroad and at night are where the problems lie,” de Kock emphasised. Other skills taught during the five-day course include obstacle clearance, tactical deployment, legal aspects, high-speed driving etc.
De Kock said the driver training academy is running well, with many trainees acquiring specialist skills for embassies. (Source: https://www.defenceweb.co.za/)
08 Sep 23. Fering scoops defence contract to develop military-spec Pioneer.
- Electrified utility vehicle start-up Fering wins contract to supply military versions of its Pioneer
- The Pioneer is ideal for tactical and reconnaissance duties due to its lightweight, modular platform and ease of transportation
- Micro-grid capabilities and silent running open up new operational opportunities
Electrified all-terrain vehicle start-up Fering has secured a contract to develop and supply a military version of its innovative Pioneer 4×4.
The British company will build and supply special prototypes for evaluation ahead of full production, working closely with a specialist tactical unit. These will be built alongside civilian versions of the vehicle.
In addition to the unique flexibility offered by the Pioneer’s innovative design, defence buyers are especially interested in the opportunities to create ‘micro grids’ in remote locations using the Fering’s electrified powertrains.
The Pioneer is the brainchild of ex-Ferrari and McLaren engineer Ben Scott-Geddes, who has repurposed supercar and racing technology to create an off-road vehicle which is light, easily transportable, and unusually efficient.
It uses an ultra-lightweight architecture incorporating what is believed to be the world’s first carbon-fibre utility chassis. Mated to aluminium structures, the carbon chassis provides excellent resistance to corrosion and structural fatigue, extending the vehicle’s service life compared to conventional alternatives.
Besides the low weight, its supercar-inspired engineering means the Pioneer offers class-leading interior space for improved occupant comfort and equipment storage, but the exterior dimensions mean it can be easily transported by air. This is especially attractive to the defence sector, where quick deployment times to inaccessible areas are vital.
Once in ‘theatre’, the Pioneer is uniquely capable in harsh terrain, has a high payload and is able to survive ‘off grid’ for thousands of miles without needing refuelling supplies thanks to its high efficiency and large fuel and battery capacities.
Ben Scott-Geddes said: “Our original design brief of creating the ultimate sustainable all-terrain vehicle has inevitably attracted the attention of the military. We developed the Pioneer to be sustainable in terms of its carbon footprint, making it efficient, compact and light in weight, and these are all qualities which are also prized by the defence industry.
“We have received funding to create military prototypes which will be assessed in the field. We are working closely with a specialist unit to ensure these vehicles meet and exceed their operational requirements.”
The Fering’s modular design structure allows it to be quickly and easily customised for specific mission requirements, with simple integration of specialist systems and powertrains, and multiple body configurations of single-cab, double-cab and more.
For example, all Pioneers are capable of silent and low-heat operation which can give a tactical advantage in combat situations. The hybrid version has four battery boxes that are easily accessible and can be dismounted from within the cabin, enabling them to provide quick battery swaps and localised, off-grid power supplies. This ability to ‘offboard’ power also allows the Pioneer to act as a forward operating base to support equipment required for extended operations.
While stationary, a Pioneer’s generator engine can supply up to 42kW for 60 hours without refuelling. It can also provide 30kW while mobile, supplying charge to devices and smaller vehicles such as electric motorbikes and drones.
The Pioneer’s outer body materials are also easily interchangeable to suit mission requirements. These include Fering’s innovative technical fabric, which offers excellent noise and thermal insulation qualities and can carry its own Kevlar light ballistic protection. The Pioneer can also include solid panel body work with optional additional armoured solutions.
The Pioneer’s fully adjustable independent suspension with an onboard tyre inflation system provides impressive handling characteristics and optimum off-road capabilities, even when heavily laden.
Pilot production of the Pioneer has already begun at Fering’s new factory and headquarters in Battersea, London.
Despite its imposing appearance, Fering’s Pioneer is no larger in any direction than a typical delivery van and is around the same length as a BMW 3-Series. It also weighs the same as a family hatchback and almost half the figures for some electric and hybrid 4x4s, with a kerb weight of 1,650kg.
Power to the axles is provided solely by two electric motors – unusual for an off-road vehicle. But they are perfectly suited to the task, providing instant torque, controllability, and reliability. They provide a total of 800Nm of torque; far more than a comparable diesel 4×4.
A battery provides a zero local emission, electric-only range of around 50 miles. The Pioneer’s range extender generator is then available. Unlike conventional electric vehicles, the powerpacks are designed to survive in extreme temperatures.
Customers will be able to specify their vehicles to be configured with different combinations of battery pack and range extender fuel to cater for local conditions and operational needs.
The Pioneer’s unique and distinctive appearance is partly due to the use of fabric for many of the body panels. This special material is similar to that used in hiking boots and marine sails, making it light in weight, strong and easy to repair. It also has far better insulation properties – for both noise and heat – than traditional metal or composite.
The next stage of Fering’s development will see the Pioneer going into low volume production in early 2024, followed by larger scale batch production in 2025.
14 Sep 23. Rheinmetall and RBSL at DSEI 2023: First UK. Manufactured Boxer Mission Module finishes Weld. Today RBSL announced that welding is complete on the first UK manufactured mission module for the Boxer MIV Programme. It will now move into paint and assembly for the next stage of the manufacturing process.
Brian Fisher, MIV Production Manager said this milestone marks “significant progress” for the programme. The first and second mission modules have progressed through the
welding assembly stations and we are delighted to announce that welding onvehicle one is now complete. The MIV team have worked diligently and performed really well to get us to this position and our team of welders are continuing to gain knowledge and experience daily, whilst highlighting improvements within the manufacturing process. This is significant progress and we are moving closer each day to Boxer rolling off the production lines at Telford.”
The Boxer programme will deliver more than 600 vehicles to the British Army. Production has been subcontracted equally between RBSL and Stockport-based KNDS. Both companies are undertaking fabrication of the armoured vehicle structures together with assembly, integration and test of the complete vehicles at their respective facilities.
Work to fabricate key components of the programme officially started on March 27 at RBSL’s manufacturing facility in Telford.
Speaking at the time, Colin McClean, RBSL Managing Director said: “RBSL is proud to be regenerating this armoured vehicle capability and contributing to the Land Industrial Strategy, marking a new chapter in vehicle manufacture for the UK defence industry. Not only will the delivery of Boxer provide the British Army with
a complete step-change in capability to meet their MIV requirement, it will also protect vital engineering and manufacturing skills as a sovereign capability to the UK and we are incredibly proud to be a part of this milestone, alongside our partners in KNDS.” RBSL is playing a key part in delivering the Land Industrial Strategy through the Boxer programme, as well as through its Challenger and In-Service Support contracts. The multi-m pound investment in its Telford facility, and the creation of jobs within RBSL and the UK supply chain, contributes
towards national industrial resilience, and the social value and ‘levelling up’ aspirations the UK Government has set out.
RBSL’s Industrialisation Programme is also now complete, with all MIV Production facilities installed and commissioned. The business has invested £40m in its 29-acre site, transforming it into a worldclass
manufacturing facility so that it can deliver next generation military vehicles and essential inservice
All parts for Boxer have been sourced through RBSL’s robust supply chain and the business is in the process of finalising orders with its suppliers in line with the Boxer production schedule.
By working with a vibrant UK supply chain, the MIV programme is helping support economic growth and level-up regional economic opportunity. The programme aims to support and enhance the UK supply chain, including SMEs. It is also ensuring the UK has, in country, the skills and expertise to support the vehicles throughout their operational life.
There has been a significant recruitment effort internally and across the UK supply chain within the Boxer MIV Programme, with a focus on apprenticeships.
Lily Blakemore, a Project Management Apprentice said: “Since joining RBSL I have been given the opportunity to work on the MIV Programme, something I am very grateful for. The work undertaken by all of us in the team is essential to MIV’s success and I feel very fortunate to be a part of the programme.”
RBSL will now begin progressing sub-assembly items into vehicle one, including the bulkhead, wheel hubs and drivers hatch, with the first power pack being assembled and tested thereafter. When the
Drive Module and Mission Module are fully equipped they will then be integrated together ready for commissioning and testing at the end of the year.
12 Sep 23. Curtiss-Wright’s Defense Solutions Division has announced the introduction of an innovative solution for system integrators that require high voltage turret drive stabilization system (HV TDSS) for new platform designs or for upgrading legacy motion control systems. The HV TDSS system converts, stores, and controls the platform’s existing continuous low voltage 28V systems and boosts power to 750V as needed. The HV TDSS system is ideal for aiming and stabilizing turrets on mobile platforms and for rapid direct drive architectures on mobile weapons systems. This innovative solution can be easily integrated into a vehicle’s existing power architecture without significantly impacting size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C). The system works with existing Curtiss-Wright gear drives, motor, gyroscopes and hand controllers. It is designed for use in a wide range of applications, including large-caliber turrets and main battle tank turret drive and stabilization systems, high-speed motion control systems (e.g., active protection systems, optical tracking systems, and directed energy weapons), naval weapon systems on warships and submarines, and mobile vehicle applications, such as mobile radar station, cranes, trucks, and excavators.
The ability to provide high-voltage power on platforms is a rapidly growing requirement as high peak power is often needed to accelerate a high-inertia load – such as a turret or a weapons system – to a precise position in the shortest possible time. Previously, the delivery of short bursts of peak power came with an associated risk of damage to the vehicle’s electrical systems. One alternative approach, which employs a higher current system, requires large banks of heavy batteries and wastefully produces large amounts of undesired heat.
Curtiss-Wright’s new HV TDSS system eliminates the negative consequences of higher current systems. It leverages the continuous low-voltage power available on mobile platforms to enable the high-voltage energy buffering required for the higher voltage, short-burst peak power. It also allows a controlled flow of regenerative power back into the power architecture (e.g., energy storage or power source). The modular solution includes a DC/DC converter (converts 28V battery power up to 750V), an energy storage module (stores the power until needed), and a high-voltage motion controller (controls and delivers the electrical power to the drive systems). An optional load dump protector module protects electrical components according to MIL-STD-1275 and DEF STAN 61-5 and includes an inrush current limitation and reverse polarity protection.
The HV TDSS meets IEC 61508, IEC 61800, and ISO 6469 functional safety requirements. Curtiss-Wright’s modular, open standard TDSS approach enables the customer to assemble the system exactly according to their requirements.
About Curtiss-Wright Turret Aiming and Stabilization Drive systems
Curtiss-Wright turret aiming and stabilization drive systems are designed to deliver scalable functionality and power adaptability to ground vehicle designers and turret manufacturers. The turret drive stabilization system (TDSS) is designed and manufactured by the Defense Solutions facility in Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland. The modular TDSS design enables system integrators to select the exact aiming and stabilization solution that their platform requires – from a manually operated drive all the way up to a highly sophisticated, stabilized drive system – while streamlining enhancements and/or system modification for use on a different platform. The TDSS approach is significantly more cost-effective and flexible than traditional bespoke aiming and stabilization system alternatives. TDSS is designed to make it easy for system integrators to configure only the system that they require now while adding increasing levels of stabilization as their mission evolves. TDSS system components can be easily adapted for use on different ground vehicle turrets to meet dynamic program requirements including performance and precision.
Curtiss-Wright TDSS solutions deliver unmatched target location accuracy and turret stabilization while providing system integrators with an unprecedented level of freedom to define and deploy the exact solution they require, when they require it, with the ability to upgrade and add stabilization functionality as system requirements change. Because the TDSS uses standard system configurations, it speeds system development and enables programs to reach demonstration and production phases more rapidly. The use of preconfigured TDSS system components also reduces the time and costs associated with the requirements definition process.
About TDSS System Components and Configuration Levels
TDSS components include rotary gear drives, linear gear drives, motion controllers, gyroscopes, hand controllers, and system software.
For additional information about Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions products, please visit www.curtisswrightds.com, LinkedIn, and X @CurtissWrightDS.
12 Sep 23. Discover Reventec’s vital vehicle health monitoring sensors at DSEI. Reventec is a leading electronic and mechanical sensor manufacturer of capacitive liquid level sensors, programmable temperature sensors and non-contact position sensors providing innovative measurement solutions for extreme environments. With a range of vehicle health sensors to monitor critical components, our sensors offer improved predictive maintenance for quick deployment, reduces vehicle downtime and allows operators to maximise their mission.
Our manufacturing and R&D facilities are based alongside our design headquarters near Salisbury, UK, so our projects can make the jump from CAD to production rapidly. We specialise in highly customisable designs to fit specific spatial requirements and platform demands for unmanned aerial systems, defence vehicles and specialised subsea applications. We offer three main technologies:
- Continuous Capacitive Liquid Level Sensors
- Non-Contact Position Sensors
- Programmable Analog Temperature Sensors
All of our defence vehicle sensors are designed to meet rigorous EMC approvals with certification to MIL-STD-461F and RCTA DO160F available.
Visit us at DSEI (stand H2-712) where we will be debuting innovative new products and showcasing our full range of vehicle health monitoring sensors engineered for military platforms. With interactive demonstrations on stand and our Technical Specialists available, it is now easier than ever to discover Reventec’s products and discuss how they can add value to your application.
12 Sep 23. The next generation armoured vehicles and situational awareness by FAMOUS programme. The EU funded FAMOUS (European Future Highly Mobile Augmented Armoured Systems) programme has a unique and innovative approach to develop the next generation armoured vehicles and situational awareness system that enhance ground combat capabilities. The FAMOUS consortium led by Patria has started the research and development work of the next generation armoured vehicles and taken the first steps. The FAMOUS project thematises can be seen in the new video – link to the video.
The animation video shows these future technologies utilization to enhance ground combat capabilities in the areas of arctic and mountain tactical and operational mobility, urban operations, power generation and energy storage as well as cybersecure C4I solutions, situational awareness, robotic and autonomous systems, weapon systems and modern lifecycle support solutions.
“The FAMOUS consortium’s unique approach to develop areas of the next generation technology can be utilized in a variety of armoured vehicles and systems. The programme is the answer to meet the needs of customers in the European Union by improving their ground combat capabilities in the changed security situation. The FAMOUS project supports the European Commission’s goal to enhance the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the EU’s defence industry,” says Mikko Karppinen, Senior Vice President, Mission Capability, Patria.
This project has received funding from the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) under Grant Agreement No EDIDP-GCC-2020-058- FAMOUS.x)
12 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.”
TEK Military Seating Limited
TEK Military Seating Limited is a UK based designer and manufacturer of ProTEK military vehicle seating which offer the highest standards of safety and protection. The ProTEK brand is well respected across the globe for its robust construction, innovative design, built in modularity and cost effectiveness. Our superior products are supported by our experienced team who endeavor to offer unrivalled service to our customers from enquiry, through design and acceptance, to through life support.
From its inception ProTEK seats have been designed around a family of innovative seat frames onto which tested and certified modules can be fitted to create a bespoke solution for the user. These include Blast protection to Stanag 4569 standards, vibration reduction, head and body protection, seat risers and turntables, fore & aft adjustment, and seat back rake along with viable seat dimensions without the need for additional tooling costs.
Contact: David Parkman