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* Basic Battlefield Utility Vehicle Requirement. In a previous issue BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.9 ISSUE 33, 17 Aug 2007) we said that Lt-General Dick Applegate, Chief of Material Land, told journalists at the FRES Brief (See: BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.9 ISSUE 31, 02 Aug 2007, FRES – NO VOTES HERE, By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE)that the MoD required a basic Utility Vehicle as part of FRES.

Quite clearly, we were wrong to suggest that the MoD, on its photo website had given the clue that the winner of this Requirement was Piranha from GD? Lt. Gen. Applegate, the Chief of Materiel (Land) at the MoD’s Defence Equipment & Support organization. Applegate said the new family would be a “further purchase of something we have already, not a stripped-down FRES utility vehicle.”

Sources close to BATTLESPACE suggest that the vehicle being procured, in numbers suggested as many as 500 for this requirement, is a fully armoured variant of the MAN 6×6 SV truck being supplied to the MoD under the existing SV contract. Existing MAN SV vehicles have armoured cabs but unarmoured cargo holds, thus vehicles, whilst arriving intact, in many case, have their cargoes destroyed by IEDs or enemy fire.

The inclusion of an MAN SV segment to FRES will, we are informed, reduce the numbers of FRES Utility Variants to 400, which explains General Applegate’s tight lipped reply to Andrew Chuter’s question!

* Oshkosh and MAN are going head-to-head in a bid for the U.K. MoD’s resurrected Future Light Equipment Transporter Requirement (FLET). The MoD is expected to issue an ITT for 107 FLET transporters in November. Oshkosh will be offering the same articulated vehicle as supplied for the Wheeled Tanker requirement. Oshkosh also supplies the vehicles for the PFI HETT tank Transporter contract. The HETT buy from Oshkosh for tank transporters established the company in the UK inventory. BATTLESPACE understands that both Mercedes and IVECO were excluded form this contest to cut down on existing spares inventory.

* Systematic showed the Editor Maritime Boarding System (MBS) at DSEI.
Systematic MBS is a tactical tool for boarding operations. First and foremost, Systematic MBS focuses on supporting boarding teams in completing their mission.
Systematic MBS establishes a safe and secure platform for exchanging vital information between the boarding team and the Command Team. For example, all relevant information such as fingerprints, pictures of crewmembers, copies of seized documents and the like can be transferred to Command Team immediately
for processing and analysis. Information can then be fed back from the Command Team to the boarding team to action, simplifying the process of defining the most relevant course of action for a mission. With Systematic MBS, all relevant personnel assigned to a mission have access to intelligence as soon as it is collected. Based on international standards, the system provides interoperability for maritime security operations at both the joint and coalition level. Given the speed that data can be exchanged, Systematic MBS genuinely increases the situational awareness for organizations charged with the job of protecting the seas. While there is no way to reduce the overall uncertainty of the mission, the boarding team knows that they have the skills and, now, the technological infrastructure to cope with unforeseen dangers.

* Two of Chemring Group’s energetics technology and manufacturing companies are to be integrated as part of a business consolidation programme, designed to realign the complementary businesses and activities into a more cohesive and customer facing organisation. PW Defence, based in Draycott, Derbyshire – and the Bremerhaven, Germany-based Comet pyrotechnics operation, will be integrated and re-branded respectively as Chemring Defence UK and Chemring Defence Germany.

The two companies will continue to operate from their current sites, although there will be

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