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04 Sep 18. No more exposure: This forward unit is getting an upgrade that lets Strykers fire missiles remotely. Upgraded Stryker arrives in Germany. A new tech solution being fielded to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany this month will remove a long-standing vulnerability to dismounted troops working with Strykers. Until now, if a soldier needed to fire a Javelin missile from the light-armored vehicle, the Stryker would have to stop, the soldier would get out and hit the target with the shoulder-fired missile, and then jump back on board. It’s kind of a 20th Century method for shooting small missiles that leaves the soldier too exposed for modern combat, where troops are required to fight fast-targeting enemies with advanced sensors and shooters. So, researchers with Project Manager Soldier Weapons at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, adapted the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station, which has been used for years to fire crew-served weapons from the interior safety of the Stryker, to fire Javelins. PEO Soldier staff said that 86 systems are part of the initial fielding. A follow-on upgrade will begin fielding in late 2020 that will replace 240 existing remote fire systems on a variety of Strykers within a not-yet-identified Stryker BCT. Stryker upgrades got a lot of attention last year when the program beefed up their firepower with a 30mm cannon to replace the two .50 caliber machine guns it previously carried.
The Army was provided more than $300m in emergency congressional funding in late 2015 to rapidly develop and field the upgunned Stryker as a counter to Russian aggression on the European continent.
“This capability that is coming to 2CR is directly attributable to Russian aggression,” Lt. Col. Troy Meissel, the regiment’s then-deputy commander, told reporters in 2017. The previous Stryker version was outmatched by Russia’s BMP-3 tracked infantry fighting vehicles, used in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Source: Defense News)
29 Aug 18. US Army to bring new vehicle protection technologies to fleet as early as 2020. The U.S. Army is planning to bring new vehicle protection technologies to the fleet as early as 2020 to include reactive armor tiles as well as laser warning and signature management capabilities, according to Col. Glenn Dean, the program manager for the service’s Stryker combat vehicle.
Dean is also in charge of bringing active protection system capabilities to the current fleet. The service has been rigorously testing APS for the Abrams tank, Stryker and Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Israeli company Rafael has already been chosen to provide an interim APS system for Abrams. Other systems are being evaluated for Stryker and Bradley.
In addition to the service’s plans to rapidly field interim systems for its combat fleet, it is preparing to evaluate other kinetic energy defeat capabilities, Dean told reporters in an Aug. 24 interview. The service recently put out a request for proposals to industry for state-of-the-art capabilities for defeating tank-fired, long-rod kinetic energy penetrators. The Army doesn’t expect to find anything ready for prime time just yet, Dean said.
“Frankly, I will be surprised if we find anything that is really ready to go,” he said. “We are doing that technical maturity assessment so that we can make a determination how the Army should consider investing in the future as we look at truly advanced protection capability to defeat tank-fired, long-rod penetrators.”
Beyond the effort to look at defeating specific threats to combat vehicles, the Army is initiating its first round of vehicle protection systems programs that will be delivered to the fleet beyond the interim solutions the service is now qualifying, according to Dean. And capability will not just go on the current Bradley, Stryker and Abrams fleets but also potentially the Army’s Mobile Protected Fire Power solution — which industry is currently competing to build — and the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, or AMPV — which BAE Systems is producing. The solutions could even feed into the Army’s Next Generation Combat Vehicle program.
The first program will look into signature management capabilities to address “all of the various signatures — visual, infrared, radar, sound, electromagnetic — that a vehicle puts off,” Dean said. The capability will begin to “control and reduce those to reduce the detectability of the platform and its vulnerability to threats,” he added.
The service will also continue its work on advanced reactive armor tiles for AMPV as part of its base vehicle protection. But that advanced technology will be shared across multiple other platforms in the Army’s fleet, Dean said.
While the program is not considered the most technologically challenging, there is a manufacturing challenge associated with it, he said.
Like any program, “you’ve got a new design and have to transfer it into production and work through the manufacturing readiness steps,” Dean said.
Out of the three main technology programs the Army is advancing, signature management is the most mature, according to Dean: “Frankly, we could deploy that next year if we were funded right now. It’s not in the 2019 budget, so we are looking for opportunities.”
The Army will also devote effort to a laser warning program “that will provide the ability to detect, identify and then locate laser sources” such as laser range finders or beam-riding anti-tank missiles, Dean noted.
For all three programs, the Army is interested in incorporating technologies that have come out of its own research and development base, but will also turn to commercially available solutions where appropriate, Dean said, such as in the case with laser warning capabilities.
The Army plans to hold a laser warning rodeo to evaluate commercial systems “a little bit later this year,” Dean said, noting it might be possible to speed up its fielding of a laser warning capability depending which systems are evaluated.
While laser warning capabilities are already commercially developed, integration onto military platforms will be challenging, Dean said.
The three programs are “obviously funding-driven,” he noted, and the timelines will depend on the availability of money. But the Army anticipates being reading to field the three technologies in the 2020-2022 time frame for the current combat vehicle fleets. The service also plans to focus on other VPS technologies transitioning out of its science and technology efforts, Dean added.
“There is a study effort that is getting underway,” he said, “that is looking in greater depth and out into the future for things like soft-kill active protection, things like jamming, spoofing and other types of systems.”
For hard-kill options, the Army is evaluating solutions beyond current off-the-shelf technology such as “what we call hostile fire detection,” which offers another way to alert the vehicle crew to incoming fires across a range of threats, according to Dean.
The three programs underway as part of the VPS portfolio are meant to roll out to the fleet before its future Modular Active Protection System, or MAPS, architecture is ready for delivery, Dean said. Depending on the long-term strategy, the Army will decide whether to bring those capabilities into the MAPS architecture. The MAPS program will be demonstrating hard-kill integration in 2019, he said, “and we will actually do a layered demonstration where they are layering a hard-kill and soft-kill defeat system onto the same platform.”
MAPS, which is currently a science and technology program, will transition to the VPS program office at the end of 2019. (Source: Defense News)
23 Aug 18. Russian military upgrades 122mm MRLs. The Russian armed forces will replace the BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher (MRL) with the 9K51M Tornado-G, a military source told Jane’s at the Army 2018 defence show being held close to Moscow on 21-26 August.
“The Western Military District and the Southern Military District [SMD] have already received the Tornado-G,” the source said. “The troops are also receiving the 1V198 C2 [command and control] post that is coupled to the Tornado-G, with an SMD artillery unit having received the first C2 vehicle of this type in early March,” he added. The 2B17M Tornado-G MRL system is mounted on a Ural 4320 utility truck. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
23 Aug 18. Russia unveils Sosna SHORAD system production version. Russia for the first time publicly unveiled a serial production example of the Sosna short-range air-defence (SHORAD) system mounted on the MTLB chassis at the Army 2018 exhibition being held in Kubinka, near Moscow, on 21-26 August. The Sosna is a point defence turret developed by Nudelmann Design Bureau, which has also been shown mounted on the BMD-4 chassis. On the MTLB chassis the complete system is known as Sosna, but on the BMD-4 chassis the complete system is known as the Ptitselov. The manufacturer has stated that the turret and the complete system are called Sosna, but also added that Sosna is the export variant and the variant in Russian service is called Bagul’nik. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Aug 18. Valhalla advances Midgard 300 RWS development. Slovenian remote weapon station (RWS) and turret developer Valhalla will perform the first firing trials of its Midgard 300 RWS in the United Kingdom in late September 2018, Jane’s has learned. The first version of the modular Midguard 300 RWS is armed with the UK-made AEI Systems stabilised 30mm Venom revolver cannon, which is a further development of the 30 mm ADEN cannon originally developed for aircraft applications and for which the company is now the overall design authority. For ground-based applications the Venom cannon has been modified and now has a 1.4 m long barrel compared with the standard 30 mm ADEN cannon, which has a barrel length of 1.08m. The additional length is due to a new three-stage muzzle brake for reduced recoil and a barrel-aligned recoil buffer for improved accuracy. It has an effective range of 2,000m and the operator can select single shot or sustained fire at rates of 200/240rds/min or 1,200/1,400rds/min. Compatible 30x113mm ammunition include high-explosive incendiary (HEI), high-explosive incendiary-tracer (HEI-T), armour piercing (AP), armour piercing-tracer (AP-T), high-explosive dual purpose (HE-DP), target practice (TP), and target practice-tracer (TP-T) with muzzle velocity between 780m/s and 800m/s. The weapon is designed and manufactured in the United Kingdom and is therefore International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)-free. It can be fed from the left or right depending on the application, but for the Midgard 300 it is belt-fed from the left side with 200 rounds of ready use ammunition and equipped with a mechanical and electrical cocking system. The Midgard 300 RWS mount, which does not penetrate the vehicle’s hull, weighs 390kg with the Venom cannon unloaded. It is equipped with all welded aluminium armour to STANAG 4569 Level 1 standard, but can be optionally outfitted with Level 2 protection. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
07 Aug 18. Leonardo DRS On-Board Vehicle Power to Improve Electrical Power System on THAAD Vehicles. Leonardo DRS, Inc. announced today that it has been selected by the U.S. Army to demonstrate its On-Board Vehicle Power (OBVP) on Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile battery command and control, and launcher vehicles. The electrical power system improvements will give air defense operators immediate access to electrical power directly from a vehicle’s power train. To meet the Army’s power needs, OBVP systems are integrated with the vehicle transmission to generate up to 55kW of usable electrical power while on the move or up to 120kW of usable electrical power while stationary. The Leonardo DRS OBVP system has proven it can increase battlefield agility, reduce deployment logistics costs, and improve mission readiness with no impact on vehicle functionality.
A 2016 U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) Vehicle to Grid (V2G) study reported a 23% fuel savings over Tactical Quiet Generators when employing OBVP technology for grid power. In development since 2008, Leonardo DRS OBVP systems have successfully performed in various technical demonstrations and evaluations to include the Army Expeditionary Warfare Experiment, Network Integration Evaluation and the U.S. Marine Corps Limited User Test. It is now a mature system that is ready to address mission power requirements.
“This proven system will provide our customers with a solution to address the growing electrical power gap affecting all military ground vehicle platforms,” said Jerry Hathaway, vice president and general manager of DRS Land Electronics. “Leonardo DRS and our partner, Allison Transmission, have been long-time believers in OBVP technology. We are very pleased with the leadership of the DoD, specifically the Army TARDEC, in demonstrating technology that can address the ground combat vehicle power gap,” Hathaway said.
Leonardo DRS, partnered with Allison Transmission, will jointly provide existing OBVP systems based on the Allison 3200 SP transmission and will develop an OBVP system for the Allison 4500 SP transmission. Both systems will support the THAAD vehicles used for command and control and missile launchers.
To date, Leonardo DRS OBVP technology has been integrated on various medium-class platforms, it can support the Stryker, FMTV, M-ATV, MRAP vehicle types. This award will expand Leonardo DRS OBVP technology onto the heavy-class platforms which include HEMTT and MTVR vehicles. With the capability to generate power beyond the Army’s stated 120kW requirement, the system is ready and able to support Mission Command, Command Post, Missile Systems, Maneuver SHORAD, Directed Energy Systems and High Energy Laser programs; improving battlefield operations with highly reliable, mission assured power, anywhere and anytime. Work on this program will be conducted at Leonardo DRS’s facilities in Huntsville, AL and Fitchburg, MA. Allison Transmission’s work will be conducted in Indianapolis, IN.
08 Aug 18. Epsilor to Showcase Soldier Wearable Battery for Digital Soldier Programs at DVD2018. Epsilor, a globally recognized developer and manufacturer of mobile energy products for defence and aerospace applications, will present its innovative wearable conformal military battery for advanced Digital Soldier programs at the DVD2018 show, which will take place at Millbrook, on September 19–20, 2018. Epsilor will display its conformal battery at Booth C3-502 as part of the VIRTUS, the new soldier system of the British Army, made by SOURCE Tactical Gear. SOURCE has integrated Epsilor’s battery into the VIRTUS textile vest, placing it in the MOLLE hip battle belt, thus offering soldiers maximum comfort.
“Epsilor’s batteries are packed in flat ergonomic flexible packaging that conveniently integrates into the soldier’s vest,” said Guy Harary, SOURCE Tactical Gear CEO. “The conformal battery is much more comfortable to carry, does not hinder soldiers’ movements and enables the troops to carry out their mission without disruption.”
The battery is offered in two configurations:
- ELI-1614 Conformal Battery – a rechargeable semi-flexible high energy density Li-ion battery pack
- ELP-1614 – a rechargeable semi-flexible lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery offering increased safety
Both batteries support a wide verity of applications, such as communications, tactical computers, sensors and additional devices. They offer high energy and high-power density as well as SMBus or one-wire communication protocols
“In a large-scale trial conducted by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), infantry soldiers used Epsilor’s wearable conformal batteries instead of traditional rigid batteries, each fit a unique device, and benefited from a significant increase in available energy for different kinds of portable equipment,” said Merav Kolody Shubeli, Director, International Sales and Marketing at Epsilor. “In a 72-hour mission profile, batteries’ weight decreased by 30%.”
Today’s digital soldiers rely on tactical radios, ruggedized computing and navigation systems, night vision systems and gun sights. This translates into multiple spare batteries of different kind and shapes that an infantry soldier must carry with him. Using conformal batteries to operate multiple different devices simplifies the logistics and the usage of batteries before, during and after a mission.
During the event, Epsilor will also showcase its 6T NATO battery which offers the highest energy density in the world and 1,000 deep charge cycles. Epsilor’s 6T type batteries are the optimal energy storage solution for new military vehicle programs as well as for drop-in replacement in existing vehicle fleets. This new 6T battery offers four times more energy at just half the weight of modern lead-acid 6T batteries.
Control Solutions LLC is a turnkey design and manufacturing corporation with over 20 years experience solving tough military motion control problems. We focus on improving the safety, survivability, and mission effectiveness for personnel in tactical vehicles. We will be showcasing our CS5100 Lightweight Motorized Turret System as well as new JLTV-ready gun turrets. We have fielded over 60,000 ITDS and BPMTU motorized turret systems for the HMMWV, MRAP, and other tactical vehicle programs. We will present a family of accessories including weapon-mounted actuators, turret power and spotlight kits, and novel soldier power solutions. Control Solutions is on a mission to help solve your toughest motion control challenges.