14 Sep 05. BAE SYSTEMS and CTA International gave BATTLESPACE a brief on the current Warrior improvement programmes. Trevor Sheehan told BATTLESPACE that the life-extension of Warrior was key to solving current deficiencies and to ensure that the vehicle had a life extension to 2035.
The £601m Warrior Lethality Improvement Programme (WLIP) has been established to provide a better turret and gun system for the vehicle to improve fightability, survivability and lethality. BAE is looking to let a competition for 449 turrets fitted with improved optics, electronic systems and gun to enable the vehicle to:
1. Fire On the move
2. Enable the Commander to be involved in operations not handling the gun
3. To enable a one-man turret operation when troops are dismounted
4. Provide improved protection against Level 4 30mm
5. Operate with FIST
6. Enable airburst and building busting capability
One solution put forward by CTA, the joint BAE/Giat company, in which both have invested some €15m is for the CTA 40mm caseless gun system with autoload to be mounted in anew aluminum/titanium honeycomb armour turret with improved electronic turret drive from Moog and improved BGTI systems and a Bowman fit. The CTA system is currently undergoing evaluation and will finish lethality and safety trials soon. The MTIP programme is expected to be complete by 2006 and the French DGA is also evaluating the system for SAGAIE and VBCI. If chosen for WLIP, the CTA system will also be chosen for FRES. Mike Poe of BAE is running the CTA process from Telford whilst BAE will be procuring the turrets and running the competition from Newcastle.
The user trial will last until the end of 2006 and Main gate in 2010 with ISD of 2013. Once the calibre of the gun is chosen it is likely that both the French and UK MoDs will standardise on that calibre. Another development is the establishment of the MILCAN databus system derived from the automotive industry but made more robust through the MILCAN Working Group and currently deployed on Terrier.
Mike Duckworth of CTA said that CTA offers considerable advantages over existing systems in more lethality and less rounds required for the missions required thus cutting the logistics chain. However the process involving the evaluation of future systems for 35mm and above, including 50mm, 40mm Super Shot and 35mm will lengthen the process which could have been achieved by 2008 with a current system. However current systems do not meet the MoD and DGA requirements for engaging T-55 tanks as happened in the recent Iraq experience.
Another Warrior Programme is the Warrior Enhanced Electronic Architecture Programme (WEEA) which will prove warrior with a new HUMS and FIST system.
Another development is the purchase of up to 175 Armoured Battlegroup Support vehicles based on Warrior.
Fred Marion of DRS told BATTLESPACE that DRS is interested in bidding into the FRES contract and Warrior upgrades as a sub contractor. ”We are the largest sub-contractor into the Bradley Reset programme through the provision of the Embedded Diagnostics, the Integrated Bradley Acquisition System and the Chassis Modernisation/Embedded Diagnostics ((CMED)requirement. In addition we are also the supplier of the Drivers Viewer Enhancement (DVE)System under a large sole-source DoD contact worth some $275m. DRS is well established in the optics field and we supply Raytheon and the DoD with a number of key systems including DIRCM coolers, TWS, BTIPO and HTI. In addition thru our PEI acquisition we have experience in hybrid drive Hummers where we are currently delivering three evaluation vehicles to Fort Benning. Using our UK base in Farnham we hope to transition a great deal of this expertise to the FRES and other European Lad System programmes.”
However with FRES leaving service and warrior continuing in service until 2035 through these programmes and the likelihood of the 430 being the Saxon replacement with some extra Panther veh