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bug2 - 27-10-2017 at 07:34 PM

Army Moving Rapidly on Plans for Lightweight Armored Combat Vehicle

(Source: US Army; issued Oct 25, 2017)

M551 Sheridan light tanks modified to look like Russian vehicles for an opposing force exercise in California. The M551 was retired in 1996, and now the Army is now pursuing plans to develop a new lightweight armored combat vehicle. (US Army photo)

WASHINGTON --- The Army will ask industry next month to provide proposals for a lightweight armored combat vehicle known as the Mobile Protected Firepower or MPF vehicle, and plans call for fielding the system under a rapid acquisition effort.

Maj. Gen. David Bassett, the Army's program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, said he hopes to cut bureaucracy on his programs and "do acquisition differently to deliver capability quickly." He spoke to reporters Oct. 10 at the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition, laying out a schedule for fielding the MPF.

First, the MPF program skipped the normal two- or three-year technology development phase.

A draft Request For Proposal, or RFP, went out at the end of September and feedback from potential MPF contractors was received this past week. The final RFP is scheduled to be issued in mid-November, Bassett said.

March will be the deadline for MPF proposals and bid samples are to be delivered to test sites in April. The Army will be expecting to see some "mature technologies" on the sample vehicles, a spokesperson said, and may opt for some modified "off-the-shelf" technology to speed up delivery.

The MPF vehicle will provide infantry brigade combat teams with a long-range direct-fire capability for forcible entry and breaching operations. It could very well have a 105mm gun up top, officials said, like the original Abrams tank.

"I don't want to say it's a light tank, but it's kind of like a light tank," said David Dopp, MPF project lead. He was named program manager for the MPF in June.

The MPF will be much lighter than a tank, though, weighing between 25 and 35 tons. Two of the armored vehicles should be able to be flown on a C-17 aircraft.

"It's not going toe to toe with a tank," Dopp said. "…It's for the infantry. It goes where the infantry goes --- it breaks through bunkers, it works through targets that the infantry can't get through."

It will be a tracked vehicle with substantial armor protection, Bassett said, "but certainly not what you'd see on a main battle tank." Plans also call for it to have "cyber-resilient" capabilities.

What it will not be capable of is a low-velocity air drop from a C-17, Bassett said. Protection and lethality requirements will probably make it heavier than what's acceptable for a C-17 air drop, he explained.

The Russians have an armored vehicle that can be air-dropped, but Bassett said that vehicle doesn't have nearly the protection and lethality that the MPF will have.

The MPF is also not the Next Generation Combat Vehicle, which may eventually replace the Abrams tank and Bradley.

The MPF will fill a capability gap left when the M551 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance / Airborne Assault Vehicle was retired from regular service in 1996. That vehicle served as a light tank accompanying infantry formations and after being pulled from the regular inventory, it was used for many years at the National Training Center as an opposing force, or OPFOR, armored vehicle.

About the same time that the M551 was retired, the Army was developing an M-8 Armored Gun System to replace it. The AGS was eventually cancelled to free up funding for other programs.

Requirements for the MPF are designed to enable freedom of movement and action for IBCTs, to expand lodgment and prevent counterattack, to defeat local fortifications, point defenses and blocking positions, and to maintain momentum of attack.

"We're looking at awarding a contract in early FY19," Bassett said of the MPF.

"We expect to be delivering prototypes off of that program effort within 15 months of contract award," he said, "and getting it in the hands of an evaluation unit six months after that -- rapid!"

A recent program that serves as a model for rapid acquisition is the 30mm Stryker lethality program, Bassett said. The Strykers with 30mm cannons will be headed to Europe next month.

"My task is what can I do to meet the chief's No. 1 priority, which is readiness," Basset said, referring to Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark Milley.

"The Next Generation Combat Vehicle won't be fielded in 2022," he said, adding that it might reach a decision point then, but "I'm interested in what we can do in the meantime."


bug2 - 4-11-2017 at 01:10 PM

German Wiesels to receive Camac armour upgrade

James Bingham - IHS Jane's International Defence Review

03 November 2017

UK-based Morgan Advanced Materials has been awarded a subcontract for Camac appliqué armour to equip the German Army’s Wiesel 1 armoured weapons carrier (AWC).

Morgan Advanced Materials CAMAC applique armour fitted to the Wiesel 1 armoured weapon carrier. (Morgan Advanced Materials)

Forming part of a broader upgrade programme, the contract was awarded by FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbau GmbH and will have three Wiesel 1 variants fitted with the armour package. This contract marks the first time the two companies have worked together on a defence programme.

Camac is a composite armour capable of providing ballistic protection against small- and medium-calibre weapons, explosives, and rocket-propelled grenades. Claimed to be 50% lighter when compared to traditional steel armour, Camac can provide protection from NATO STANAG Level 2 to 5.

345 Wiesel 1 AWCs were delivered to the German Army between 1989 and 1992 and have been armed with Mk 20 A1 automatic 20 mm cannons and TOW A1 anti-tank missile systems.

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Morgan Advanced Materials Wins Contract to Supply Armour System for WIESEL 1AWC


FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH has awarded Morgan Advanced Materials a contract to provide the complete armour solution as part of its upgrade of the German Army WIESEL 1 Armoured Weapons Carrier (AWC) vehicle.

The Composites and Defence Systems business of Morgan will initially deliver its CAMAC® armour and survivability package for three variants of the WIESEL 1 platform. Morgan’s CAMAC® armour provides a significant survivability increase for this platform and crew, with minimal additional weight, allowing the Wiesel vehicle to maintain high levels of air transportability and ground manoeuvrability. All armour will be manufactured at Morgan’s UK site in Coventry.

This project is the first time the two businesses have worked together, and marks an important breakthrough into the German market for Morgan. The WIESEL 1 was originally developed for the German Army to meet a requirement for an air-transportable light armoured tracked vehicle, for use by airborne troops. Given its small size and agility, the WIESEL 1 has a requirement for a lightweight armour solution which provides high levels of ballistic protection, without impeding manoeuvrability.

Duncan Eldridge, President of Morgan Composites and Defence Systems business, commented: “Being selected to provide a complete armour system for the Wiesel upgrade project is an exciting prospect for Morgan, we are delighted to be working with FFG to support the German Army. The WIESEL 1 Armoured Weapons Carrier is a vehicle built with versatility in mind, making it ideal for our high performance, lightweight, multi-hit armour solutions.”

Morgan’s role in the programme is part of a wider project, which will see FFG Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH upgrade other elements of the vehicle.

bug2 - 14-11-2017 at 10:33 PM

BAE Systems has delivered 250th upgraded M113 APC to Brazil

Posted On Tuesday, 14 November 2017 10:23

BAE Systems has delivered the 250th upgraded M113 Armored Personnel Vehicle (APC) to the Brazilian Army. BAE Systems is currently upgrading Brazil's M113B vehicles to the A2 MK1 standard. Upgrades include new engines, upgraded transmissions, a new electronics architecture, and better armor protection. The upgrade is expected to extend each vehicle's life by at least 20 years.

Upgraded M113 tracked APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) of Brazilian army at LAAD defense exhibition in April 2013.

The M113 upgrade program dates back to 2010 when Brazil first initiated a program to upgrade 150 M113Bs. BAE Systems was awarded a $41.9 million contract in December 2011 to upgrade 150 vehicles. A follow-on deal was signed in July 2015 worth $55 million to upgrade a further 236 M113s, bringing the total up to 386.

The first two upgraded M113Bs were redelivered in November 2013 and the 100th vehicle was completed in December 2014. The program was expected to be completed by September 2017. However, with 136 vehicles still left to be delivered, BAE Systems will likely need another two years to complete the program.

The largest family of armored tracked vehicles in the world, the M113 family of vehicles includes more than 80,000 vehicles in the militaries of at least 44 countries worldwide. The M113, one of the most versatile of military tracked vehicles, can transport 12 troops plus a driver and is capable of amphibious operation, extended cross-country travel over rough terrain, and high-speed operation on improved roads and highways. The ongoing improvements and upgrades to the system help maintain the M113’s relevance for the next three to four decades.

bug2 - 17-11-2017 at 03:38 PM

Challenger 2 trialled with ROSY, Iron Fist APS

James Bingham - IHS Jane's International Defence Review

16 November 2017

Rheinmetall’s ROSY rapid obscurant system has been demonstrated on a British Army Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT), Jane’s has learned, with components of Israeli Military Industries’ (IMI) Iron Fist hard-kill active protection system (APS) also understood to have been integrated.

Undergoing live firing trials in June, the ROSY system was used as a demonstrative rapid blooming obscurant for integration assessment and concept development. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) procured one ROSY system for the purposes of examining how such an obscurant could be integrated onto the Challenger 2 as part of a soft-kill protection system, and potentially as part of the MBT’s Life Extension Project (LEP).

ROSY is designed to provide a screen for vehicles. (Rheinmetall Defence Electronics GmbH)

Beyond ROSY, the Medusa Technical Assessment Programme (TAP) is continuing to develop an understanding of how APS technologies could be integrated onto the Challenger 2, with the soft-kill Multifunction Self-Protection System (MUSS), manufactured by Hensoldt, undergoing integration work through the three-year TAP running from May 2016 to May 2019. This cross defence lines of development (DLOD) effort will culminate in live-fire testing and also lead to the development of relevant tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for the system’s use.

Jane’s understands that a separate hard-kill APS study is also underway, run through a Defence, Equipment, & Support (DE&S) Framework Agreement for Technical Support (FATS) contract seeking to provide evidence for a potential larger procurement of such a system. This programme has seen funds invested from British Army Headquarters and there is collaboration with Australia’s Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group. The project will also develop safety case and installation evaluations for the system.

Representatives of IMI, speaking at the SMi Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability conference in London, shared photographs of the Challenger 2 fitted with the company’s heavy version of the Iron Fist, which comprises a pair of pedestal-mounted launchers for hard-kill effectors linked to radar and volumetric infrared sensors.

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bug2 - 23-11-2017 at 11:41 AM

Army’s new light tank competition kicks off

By: Jen Judson   10 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The Army’s effort to bring a Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) capability to infantry brigade combat teams -- a near-term priority laid out in the service’s combat vehicle modernization strategy -- has officially kicked off with the release of a request for proposals on Nov. 21.

The service issued several draft RFPs to industry throughout the year to make clear what it is looking for from base requirements to objective features and several companies came forward during the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference in October with offerings while others remained tight-lipped.

The Army has made clear that it will skip the development phase in favor of commercially ready vehicle options.

Similar to how the Army procured its new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the service will have up to two companies build engineering and manufacturing development pre-production vehicles and will ultimately choose a winner.

The plan is to award two EMD contracts during the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, according to the RFP. Each contractor has to build 12 prototypes.

Following the EMD phase, the Army will select a winner who will build up to a total of 54 low-rate initial production vehicles, 26 to start with an option to build 28 more. LRIP also includes retrofitting eight of the EMD vehicles.

The Army notes in the RFP that it plans to equip the first unit with MPF in 2025.

Proposals are due in March and bid samples by April 1.

According to the RFP, funding available for the MPF program in FY-19 will be $176 million. Subsequently, $311 million will be allotted in FY-20, $360 million in FY-21 and $376 million in FY-22.

The requirement for MPF is to provide infantry brigade combat teams a protected, long-range, cyber resilient, precision, direct-fire capability for early or forcible entry operations.

The Army has worked to engage industry from early on in the process, Maj. Gen. David Bassett, program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, said in a Nov. 22 Army statement.

Industry has responded throughout that time by investing company dollars to bring potential designs “to level of readiness rarely, if ever, seen when procuring a new and highly complex combat platform,” the statement reads.

The Army plans to take delivery of MPF prototypes within 14 months after contract award, “and will get them into the hands of an evaluation unit four months after delivery,” according to the statement.

So far vendors that are expected to respond to the RFP are SAIC partnering with ST Kinetics and CMI Defence, BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems, but others could come forward.

The SAIC, ST Kinetics and CMI Defence team has said it will integrate CMI’s Cockerill Series 3105 turret onto an ST Kinetics Next Generation Armored Fighting Vehicle chassis.
BAE Systems is offering an M8 Buford Armored Gun System with new capabilities and new modernized components.

GDLS said it’s planning to respond with an offering but has not been forthcoming on what it might bring to the competition. It’s theorized the company might bring something stemming from its Griffin demonstrator it brought to AUSA in 2016 that combines a 120 mm cannon designed for the defunct Future Combat System and the British Ajax chassis.

ARH - 23-11-2017 at 04:25 PM

This is what I think the Australian army should have been aiming for rather than the Abrams. As an added bonus, the lighter tank would be able to fit in the amphibs, so it could actually deploy to places!

unicorn - 23-11-2017 at 05:08 PM

They could deploy to places, if the Spaniards had delivered a LCT that did what they had promised.

ADMK2 - 23-11-2017 at 07:09 PM

Quote: Originally posted by unicorn  
They could deploy to places, if the Spaniards had delivered a LCT that did what they had promised.

Or if we had more Mexeflotes... I am not sure why we couldn’t strap one or two of these to the side of an LHD for Abrams and heavy plant, deployments?

bug2 - 28-11-2017 at 08:23 PM

US Army’s Mobile Protected Firepower tank to skip development phase

Daniel Wasserbly and Nelson Fisk - IHS Jane's International Defence Review

28 November 2017

The US Army officially kicked off Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) programme with a request for proposals (RFP), seeking to close a gap for a mobile, direct-fire capability in the Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs) formations by providing a protected, long-range, precision, direct-fire capability.

The MPF was the top priority in the US Army’s 2015 Combat Vehicle Modernization Strategy, and its RFP was released on 21 November.

“I don’t want to say it’s a light tank, but it’s kind of like a light tank,” David Dopp, programme manager for MPF, told reporters on 10 October. He said it will have a 105 mm cannon and the army plans to fit two on a C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft, and that transport requirement has been one of the key design restrictions.

This will mean the Light Tank will have a 30-35ton max weight for transport............add-on armour can always follow, if necessary..............

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bug2 - 29-11-2017 at 03:36 PM

Czech Precision Optical Systems Producer to Support Line-of-Sight Technology for BAE Systems’ CV90

(Source: BAE Systems; issued Nov 27, 2017)

Czech optical specialist Meopta will support vital line-of-sight technology for BAE Systems’ CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) as part of a Memorandum of Understanding with defence and security company Saab.

The agreement, signed at NATO Days 2017 in Ostrava, the Czech Republic, will cover potential local production of key components for the CV90’s fire control system, of which Meopta and Saab are subcontractors.

The Universal Tank and Anti-Aircraft Fire Control System (UTAAS), developed by Saab with production supplier Meopta, is produced specifically for the combat-proven CV90. There are more than 1,200 CV90s in operation with seven nations: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.

BAE Systems is offering the CV90 to replace the Czech Army’s fleet of BMP II IFVs, and has joined forces with Czech industry to strengthen the offer while promoting local investment and job creation. Adding Meopta to a team already consisting of numerous Czech companies, among them VOP CZ and Ray Service, further builds on BAE Systems’ relationship with Czech industry.

“BAE Systems is committed to offering the Czech Army a modern, adaptable combat vehicle with cutting edge technologies,” said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, general manager of BAE Systems’ Hägglunds business. “As we continue to pursue the BMP II replacement program, we are pleased to see one of our key suppliers expand their own range of services in support of one of the nation’s most important defence programs.”

The modular integrated UTAAS technology provides direct fire capability, which is a critical operational feature. This allows the CV90’s gunner to take aim independently of the vehicle’s movements while the fire control system automatically aligns the gun. In combat situations, this means firing can commence quicker than with conventional target alignment technology, providing a crucial advantage in battle. Meopta’s participation in BAE Systems’ Czech CV90 offering could extend to other future opportunities.

BAE Systems recently participated in the Czech-Swedish Industry Days organized by the Czech Ministry of Defence in Prague. Representatives from 20 local Czech companies — including Meopta, Ray Service, and VOP CZ — were joined by Swedish businesses for a three-day event focused on building local industry relationships across the defence sector.


bug2 - 4-12-2017 at 06:34 PM

AMPV Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle undergoes extensive tests by US Army

Posted On Sunday, 03 December 2017 18:45

The next generation of US Army combat vehicle AMPV (Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle) tested by ATEC U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command. All variants of the AMPV are slated to undergo extensive testing at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG) including a mortar variant using the M121 mortar system.

Currently, all variants of the AMPV are slated to undergo extensive testing at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG). (Photo Credit: Mr. Mark Schauer (ATEC))

The recently developed Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) is intended to replace old M113 tracked APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) in service with the United States armed forces since 1962 and to dramatically increase U.S. soldiers transport capabilities. The AMPV's will be delivered to the U.S. Army in five variants, a general purpose vehicle, mission command vehicle, mortar carrier, and medical evacuation and treatment vehicles.

The AMPV have nearly 80% more interior volume than the old M113, and significantly more power and survivability. Cooling and electrical systems are also upgraded to accommodate both existing and future upgrades.

The mortar carrier variant of AMPV is being tested by YPG's Munitions and Weapons Division. Integrating the 120mm mortar into the vehicle took extensive work and requires a punishing test fire regimen to insure the system performs as expected.

YPG supports the test firing with a wide variety of personnel, from weapons operators and observers to high speed camera operators, data collectors, and conditioning chamber personnel.

Some of the test rounds are conditioned to various temperatures and brought to the mortar immediately prior to being fired.

The test firing of the mortar carrier variant is only the start of evaluations of all aspects of the AMPV's performance that will last for more than a year.

bug2 - 4-12-2017 at 06:42 PM

Karrar MBT tank ready to be delivered to the Iranian army

Posted On Sunday, 03 December 2017 12:44

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami announced that the country's newly-manufactured state-of-the-art main battle tank named Karrar has been mass-produced and is ready for delivery to Armed Forces. This tank was unveiled for the first time to the public in August 2016. A video footage from Iranian Television "Telewebion" was published on YouTube showing the Karrar main battle during trials in the desert.

Iranian made Karrar MBT main battle tank (Picture source IRNA)

"Karrar is ready to be delivered to the Armed Forces units," General Hatami said on Tuesday, November 28, 2017.

Iran in March unveiled the tank and launched its mass-production line in a ceremony attended by former Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan.

"The tank can compete with the most advanced tanks in the world in the three main areas of power, precision and mobility as well as maintenance and durability in the battleground," General Dehqan said, addressing the ceremony at the time.

In March 2017, the Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan has inaugurate the production line of the new home-made Karrar main battle tank at the Bani-Hashem Armor Industrial Complex in Dorud County, Lorestan. According to military experts, the Karrar MBT is based on the chassis of the Soviet-made T-72 but fitted with a new turret.

The Karrar MBT Main Battle Tank is fitted with a new welded turret which is armed with a a 125 mm smoothbore gun fitted with a fume extractor and a thermal sleeve. The cannon can fire all standard ammunition as the armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS), high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) and high-explosive fragmentation (HEF) and anti-tank guided missiles.

The Karrar is protected with a new armour package with ERA (Explosive Reactive Armour) at the front of the hull and the turret which gives protection against chemical energy and kinetic energy attack.

bug2 - 6-12-2017 at 12:13 PM

Squint at the CV90 and you might see an autonomous weapon

By: Kelsey Atherton   6 hours ago

The CV90 is not a tank, but instead does things tanks and tank-like vehicles are supposed to do best, such as move and shoot at other moving and shooting things. (BAE)

Turret and tracks be damned, the CV90 is not a tank.

The Infantry Fighting Vehicle from BAE - new only in the sense that it’s replacing Cold War inventory - is a more modest machine, meant for sub-tank roles like anti-tank, air defense, and troop transport. It is, like the Bradley and other IFVs that preceded it, a sort of multipurpose tool in an armored body.

Among the countries looking to replace old machines with the still-in-production CV90 is the Czech Republic. And to make sure it sticks, BAE announced this week that they’re going to use Czech company Meopta to build a SAAB-designed Universal Tank and Anti-Aircraft Fire Control System, or UTAAS.

That’s a whole lot of acronyms, so here’s the gist: it’s a tool that lets the CV90 do the thing tanks and tank-like vehicles are supposed to do best, move and shoot at other moving and shooting things.

Here’s how BAE announced the collaboration:

The modular integrated UTAAS technology provides direct fire capability, which is a critical operational feature. This allows the CV90’s gunner to take aim independently of the vehicle’s movements while the fire control system automatically aligns the gun. In combat situations, this means firing can commence quicker than with conventional target alignment technology, providing a crucial advantage in battle. Meopta’s participation in BAE Systems’ Czech CV90 offering could extend to other future opportunities.

This is a solid slice of press release, connecting the utility of the tool and the broader impact of the suppliers as beneficial for the whole result.

But here’s another takeaway. It also suggests that autonomy for armored vehicles is getting closer to how people imagine tanks already work: a driver that can focus on moving, a gun that can effortlessly hold focus on a foe.

When autonomy comes to war machines, it will do so gradually, like it does here. “Automatically aligns the gun” puts the computer in charge of holding focus on a target, but importantly not in charge of selecting that targeting or making the call to shoot. This is an autonomous middle man, a helper that does the hard part (tracking the target) while leaving the human in charge of the legal parts and deadly parts (finding a target, pressing the trigger). In this way, it joins the long line of already-deployed semi-autonomous weapons, and it keeps with most modern military preferences for always leaving a human in charge of the important decisions.

Still, it’s easy to see how this can go from a weapon with autonomous features to an autonomous weapon. With the CV90 deployed in an anti-air capacity, the targets it may find could be small, unmanned vehicles fielded by either insurgents or professional militaries. A system that can track attackers like that might, in a future modification, be given permission to open fire on small flying robots. Perhaps, it would even receive permission to fire at swarms, the kinds of targets without a human inside.

Autonomy will come to tanks and tank-like vehicles gradually, in small parts and small ways, and then it will be here, all at once, ready for a new generation of similarly autonomous threats.

bug2 - 8-12-2017 at 09:47 AM

Brazilian Army seeks to modernise remaining M113B APCs

Victor Barreira - Jane's Defence Weekly

07 December 2017

The Brazilian Army is seeking to modernise its remaining M113B armoured personnel carriers (APCs), it recently told Jane’s .

Such a programme has not been finalised, but plans are being discussed for a “third phase” of the M113BR project, officials said.

The Brazilian Army originally received 584 M113s from the United States that were modernised to the M113B standard by Motopeças.

BAE Systems by December 2015 had modernised 150 vehicles under a USD41.9 million US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract to a M113BR (local designation for M113A2 Mk1).

Another 236 vehicles are being improved under a USD54.6 million FMS contract from July 2015 that is to be complete in 2019.

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bug2 - 12-12-2017 at 09:33 AM

IDF to re-engine more Achzarits

Jeremy Binnie - Jane's Defence Weekly

11 December 2017

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will received more engines and transmissions for Achzarit heavy armoured personnel carriers (APCs) under a USD10.5 million contract announced by the US Department of Defense on 9 December.

The contract was awarded to New Jersey-based Diesel Engineering and is expected to be completed by December 2019.

The same company was awarded a USD16 million contract to supply 100 engine assembly kits and transmission upgrade kits in April 2015 and a USD20.8 million contract in May 2010 for an unstated number of engine upgrade kits, transmissions, and cooling systems for Israeli Achzarits.

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bug2 - 13-12-2017 at 09:50 AM

Poland to upgrade T-72 tanks and Dana SPHs

Remigiusz Wilk - Jane's Defence Weekly

12 December 2017

Bumar-Labedy unveiled the PT-91M2 modernisation package for the T-72 at the MSPO defence exhibition in September. Source: Wojciech Gargala

Poland’s Armament Inspectorate has begun a market analysis on the possible upgrade of the T-72M1/M1D tank.

“We want to modernise the T-72,” Deputy Defence Minister Bartosz Kownacki told the Gazeta Polska Codziennie daily on 8 December. “Upgrading a tank costs around PLN4 million (USD1.1 million). We have 300 such vehicles, so the contract will be for over PLN1 billion.”

The 18-month analysis will be followed by a formal procedure.

The plan is to upgrade existing second-line tanks to a new standard and use them as an interim solution before a new generation tank is introduced.

New 125 mm ammunition is planned to increase the upgraded T-72’s anti-tank capability.

Bumar-Łabędy, part of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ), unveiled the PT-91M2 modernisation package for the T-72 at the MSPO defence exhibition in September.

The upgraded tank is equipped with new generation ERAWA reactive armour and additional rear cage armour. It is armed with a Slovak-produced 2A46MS125 mm/L46 gun with a modernised automatic carousel loader and fitted with the SAVAN-15 fire control system. Additional ammunition has been relocated inside the hull.

The driver’s seat is equipped with a PNK-72 Radomka night vision driver sight and KDN-1 Nyks day/night rear camera.

Optional equipment includes a TKN-3Z night vision sight for the commander and SOD 360-degree observation system already installed In the M120K Rak self-propelled mortar.

The PT-91M2 features a reinforced suspension and upgraded Cx mechanical transmission with an 850-hp S-12U engine. The tank has steel tracks with rubber pads and an auxiliary power unit.

Jane’s has also learned about plans for wz. 77 Dana 8x8 wheeled 152 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) to be upgraded in 2018–20.

Poland plans to retain the 152 mm gun instead of replacing it with a NATO standard 155 mm howitzer.

The main focus of the modernisation will be to upgrade the Tatra T-815 VT Kolos chassis and SPH gun recoil and electro-hydraulic elevation system to reduce the time needed between the first and last shot.

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bug2 - 14-12-2017 at 07:24 PM

Rheinmetall modernizing 25 German Marder 1A3 IFVs for Jordan army

Posted On Wednesday, 13 December 2017 14:25

The German government has contracted with Rheinmetall to upgrade a further 25 Marder infantry fighting vehicles from surplus Bundeswehr stocks. The vehicles are destined for the Jordanian armed forces. Delivery will begin in the first quarter of 2018.

The A3 upgrade program began in 1988, with Thyssen-Henschel (acquired by Rheinmetall in 1999 and was integrated into Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH in 2000. ) being awarded a contract to upgrade 2,100 Marder 1 A1/A2 series vehicles to A3 standard at a rate of 220 vehicles a year. (Source: Rheinmetall )

The contract was awarded under a German military aid programme aimed at bolstering the capabilities of the Jordanian armed forces in the fight against international terrorism as well as for border security and stabilization missions. Booked in October 2017, the order is worth over €17 million without value added tax. Under the contract, Rheinmetall will supply Jordan with twenty-five fully modernized, former German Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles, painted in a desert camouflage pattern.

The package also encompasses spare parts, ammunition, documentation, special tools, customer support on location as well as training for operators and maintenance personnel. In addition to Germany, Chile and Indonesia, Jordan is the fourth nation to deploy the enhanced-performance Marder. Rheinmetall already supplied the Hashemite Kingdom with 25 vehicles of this type in 2016/2017.

The Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicle weighs about 35 tonnes. Its 600 HP-engine enables a top speed of around 65 km/h, and the fighting compartment is roomy enough to seat nine soldiers. A 20mm RH-202 automatic cannon serves as the vehicle’s main armament.

bug2 - 14-12-2017 at 07:35 PM

Analysis new equipment & vehicles of Russian airborne troops

Posted On Thursday, 14 December 2017 07:41

The Russian Airborne Forces continue to receive new arms and hardware and their share comprises 62 percent, Airborne Commander Colonel-General Andrey Serdyukov said in an interview with the Military-Industrial Courier. Combat training proceeded in strict compliance with the plan of the forces for 2016-2020. All events have been accomplished in full volume. The training intensity displays good dynamic. Over 400 tactical and command-staff exercises, including 300 with artillery and air defense engagement, were held in 2017. Live-fire combat training intensified over six percent.

BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle (Picture source Army Recognition)

All classes, exercises and drills were held on a competitive basis and the best units with the highest results were awarded the honorary "shock" title. The number of such units grew three times in the summer training period. 17 airborne units, comprising one regiment, nine battalions and seven companies are in the shock unit list of the Russian armed forces. As for December 1, 2017 they confirmed their high professionalisms during checks by the main combat training department and central command bodies of the Defense Ministry.

The Airborne Forces have received over 11 thousand new and upgraded weapons which is above 90 percent of the 2017 state defense order. The share of modern armaments and hardware comprises 62 percent. In two years four battalion sets of 120 BMD-4M and BTR-MDM Rakushka vehicles were supplied. They include two battalion sets delivered to Ulyanovsk separate airborne assault brigade this year. Besides, the force received over 100 upgraded weapons, including 2S9-1M self-propelled guns.

The air defense continues to upgrade. In 2015-2017 the units received close to 500 modern automated reconnaissance and command complexes, new Verba portable missiles, and over 30 upgraded Strela-10MN missile complexes.

The airborne troops are the rapid reaction force which comprises well-trained units armed with the latest weapons. They have to be highly mobile and capable of rapid regrouping and deployment in any direction for strategic deterrence both on the Russian territory and outside it. I would like to stress that the airborne troops are built up as the backbone of rapid reaction.

BTR-MDM airborne tracked multi-role armoured vehicle (Picture source Army Recognition)

On December 1, the organizational events to create a separate airborne assault battalion in Novorosiisk mountain division deployed in Feodosiya and a separate repairs and maintenance battalion in Moscow region have been completed. In 2018 all formations will complete organizational events and create radio-electronic warfare and drone units. Tanks units will be formed to augment the combat might. Contracted servicemen comprise over 70 percent of the troops which are 100 percent armed with military and specialized hardware.

Scientific work focused this year on various R&D. In 2017 the chemical reconnaissance vehicle RKhM-5M designed by the Povozka-2 project became operational.

Barnaul-T R&D produced a planning module paradropped to airborne units to simultaneously track a hundred of air objects and a paradroppable reconnaissance and command module to detect targets in a 40-km range which is deployed in five minutes.

Acceptance trials of an airborne training complex were completed. It was designed to train landing with the Arbalet parachute from the moment of the jump to landing in the assigned point, as well as emergency situations with the use of standby parachute. The complex can train up to 10 paratroopers at a time.

Kassiopea-D R&D is underway to streamline airborne command system and expand its automatic capabilities. It will develop a communications and automated command system for operation on armored tracked BMD-4M and BTR-MDM. R&D to develop a multifunctional robot on a light and medium chassis for ground and airborne troops is undergoing acceptance trials.

Research is underway in parachutes with high gliding capabilities for paratroopers. The task is to create reliable and controllable systems that can operate without human interference. Cargo parachutes of various carrying capacities are also being designed.

Thus, the ongoing and future R&D covers all armaments of the airborne troops. The main effort in the new year will focus on increased combat capability of airborne units and formations.

One of the main tasks is to intensify combat training and keep the quality of the events. In 2018 airborne troops plan six command-staff exercises under my command. Besides, close to 450 tactical drills with paradropping and live fire will be held with the engagement of artillery and air defense. The airborne troops will participate in seven joint exercises with foreign countries. Every second one will be held outside Russia, Russian Airborne Commander Colonel-General Andrey Serdyukov said in an interview with the Military-Industrial Courier.

RKhM-5 airborne NBC reconnaissance armoured vehicle (Picture source Army Recognition)

bug2 - 14-12-2017 at 11:20 PM

T-90MS details emerge

James Bingham - Jane's International Defence Review

14 December 2017

The T-90MS builds on the T-90 and advanced models of the T-72B3 obr. 2016. Source: Rosboronexport

Jane’s has learned details of the mission systems mounted in the Russian T-90MS main battle tank (MBT), including the fire-control system (FCS), sighting and observation equipment, and vehicle-protection systems.

Elements of the Kalina FCS – which is used in conjunction with the T-90MS’ 2A46M-5 125 mm smoothbore gun and UDP T05BV-1 remotely operated weapon station (ROWS) – include the Remeshok identification friend or foe (IFF) system and gun control, stabilisation, and electro-optical systems. Within the FCS, data transmission between the different components is undertaken through a MKIO multiplex data channel.

The FCS is linked to the Sosna-U multichannel gunner’s sight and the Falcon Eye panoramic commander’s sight. A back-up direct observation sight is also fitted. The Sosna-U is capable of using a laser channel to guide anti-tank guided missiles, as well as provide 4x and 12x magnification and twin-axis stabilisation.

The Falcon Eye is similarly stabilised and features day and thermal channels. Both incorporate a 7,500 m-range laser rangefinder and are capable of identifying a tank in daylight at a range of 5,000 m and 3,300 m in poor light conditions. Jane’s has learned that the laser rangefinder used by both sights incorporates a ‘foreign matrix’ of unknown origin.

The sighting systems are coupled to a 1V528-2 fire-control computer, incorporating meteorological data from a turret roof-mounted wind and temperature sensor mast and internal atmospheric pressure and projectile temperature sensors.

Additionally, the computer incorporates data from a 1V216-2 ammunition selection computer to enable different ammunition types to interface with the 1V528-2.

All the information fed into this is presented and altered using the BV1-2 interface panel; this allows the commander to manually alter input data if required, as well as operate the different observation and targeting sensors, including the roof-mounted panoramic ROWS.

Additionally, the Kalina FCS is the first Russian system of its type to incorporate an integrated external surveillance system.

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bug2 - 19-12-2017 at 12:30 PM

Kharkov Morozov Design Bureau unveils new T-72 upgrade

Samuel Cranny-Evans - Jane's Defence Weekly

18 December 2017

On 11 December, the Kharkov Morozov Design Bureau released details of a new upgrade for the T-72 main battle tank coinciding with the bureau’s 80th anniversary.

A T-72MP with a panoramic sight on the right of the turret incorporating a remotely operated weapon station and additional armour on the glacis. (Dylan Malyasov)

Designated the T-72MP, the new vehicle appears to feature many of the upgrades developed for the T-72-120, which has a NATO standard 120 mm gun. The modernisation is the result of multinational co-operation and it is known that Ukraine worked with France to provide elements of the upgrade.

The 45.5-tonne T-72MP is powered by a 6TD-2 diesel engine developed and built in Ukraine that provides the vehicle with a power-to-weight ratio of 21hp/tonne and a top speed of 65 km/h. It gives the vehicle a minimum air-filter maintenance interval of 1,000 km and the ability to operate in temperatures up to 55°C.

The T-72MP carries nearly four tonnes of additional armour over the base T-72, which consists of a block of explosive reactive armour (ERA) on the glacis and arrow-shaped ERA on the turret.

The armour is likely to be the Nozh system developed in Ukraine and could potentially provide the equivalent of 1,450 mm of rolled homogenous armour on the front of the turret.

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bug2 - 19-12-2017 at 08:49 PM

Another interesting article from Below-the-Turret-Ring blog...........on the Czech programme for a new Tracked IFV to replace their BMP-2's, and basically covers the same contenders we have for our own Australian Programme..............

It'll be interesting to see IF PUMA remains king after our very different trials, weather and conditions wise........

Below The Turret Ring

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Addendum: Puma IFV performance in Czech trials

The latest issue of the InfoBrief Heer, a newsletter from the Förderkreis Deutsches Heer e.V., includes an article on the performance of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) in the Czech trials written by Mathias Kraus, Head of Sales and Marketing of the company Projekt System & Management GmbH (PSM). The Förderkreis Deutsches Heer e.V. is a club and lobby group consisting of members of the military, politics and industry that is focused on the German land forces and its military procurements. PSM is a joint-venture between Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KWM) and Rheinmetall, the two companies that together manufacture the new IFV and various other armored fighting vehicles (AFVs)........EDITED, see link for the rest..................

bug2 - 20-12-2017 at 09:37 PM

Kuwait to get ‘unique’ Abrams tank variant

Jeremy Binnie - Jane's Defence Weekly

20 December 2017

A Kuwaiti M1A2 Abrams tank is seen displayed at the Gulf Defence and Aerospace show held in the country from 12–14 December. Source: IHS Markit/James Bingham

The first contract covering Kuwait’s new fleet of Abrams tanks was announced by the US Department of Defense on 19 December.

The USD24.3 million contract awarded to General Dynamics Land Systems covers the design, development, and building of a “unique” Abrams variant called the M1A2-K for Kuwait. The contract is expected to be completed by 31 December 2019.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced in December 2016 that a Kuwaiti request to upgrade its fleet of 218 M1A2 tanks at a cost of USD1.7 billion had been approved. It then announced in October that Kuwait had also requested 218 M1A1 hulls, as well as engines and guns, so it could keep its existing Abrams fleet operational.

A State Department official told Jane’s that Kuwait had decided to buy additional tanks instead of upgrading its existing ones. “The hulls are the beginning of new tanks,” he said. “Kuwait plans to buy remaining additional components, such as new turrets, which will all be assembled and shipped as completed new M1A2 tanks.”

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bug2 - 27-12-2017 at 01:11 PM

More Russian-made T-90A main battle tanks for Syrian army

Posted On Tuesday, 26 December 2017 06:57

According to the website AMNEWS, Syrian army has taken delivery of dozen of Russian-made main battle tanks T-90A in recent months. Russia has delivered more than 40 T-90A main battle tanks to Syria.

More Russian-made T-90A main battle tanks for Syrian army

These T-90A main battle tanks were sent to Syria via Russian cargo ship via the Bosphorus to arrive at the port city of Latakia to be delivered to elite units of the Syrian army.

The T-90A is a Russian-made main battle tank and the successor of the standard T-90. T-90As entered service in 2005, replacing the aging T-72s and T-80s and forming the backbone of Russian ground forces.

The main armament of the T-90A MBT consists of one 125mm 2A46M-5 smoothbore gun which fires conventional natures of separate loading ammunition (projectile and charge) including HE-FRAG (high-explosive fragmentation) and APFSDS-T (Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot - Tracer). It can also fire a 9M119M laser guided anti-tank projectile fitted with a tandem HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) warhead out to a maximum range of 5,000 m.

The hull and turret of the T-90A over the forward arc is fitted with the latest generation Kontakt-5 ERA third-generation explosive reactive armour which provides protection against APFSDS and HEAT-type projectiles. In addition to being fitted to the hull and turret, ERA panels are also fitted either side of the hull front to provide lateral protection to each side of the driver's compartment. To improve its battlefield survivability the T-90A is fitted with the TShU1-7 Shtora-1 countermeasures system which is also fitted to some models of the T-80UD and T-84 (Ukraine) MBTs. The Shtora-1 is an active defense system that protects the tank against guided missiles, using both the semi-active command to line of sight (SACLOS) guidance, by an IR source that mimics the flare on the back of missiles, as well as laser beam riders and laser-homing weapons.

bug2 - 28-12-2017 at 03:26 PM

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme

Another good summary from the UK Armed Forces Commentary blog on what is happening, not happening OR may happen with the WARRIOR IFV upgrade programme.........NOT a glistening example of how things should be done by LM or anyone else...............EDITED.........see the link for the rest of article:


The December issue of SOLDIER, magazine of the British Army, contains a brief article which reports the beginning of field trials with the prototypes of the upgraded Warrior family. This is an important and much awaited milestone, reached after a stormy programme review sparked by the difficulties encountered by Lockheed Martin UK in providing the modern turret with 40mm CTA gun. The programme accumulated a 12 months delay and an unspecified cost growth caused by the decision to fit the vehicle with a whole new turret instead of remanufactured ones.

The delay resulted in a 22% in-year saving in 2016/2017 as some activities could simply not progress and shifted to the right. The expected in-year expenditure of 87 million shrunk to 68. There is no indication yet of the extent of the long-term cost increase, however.

The first upgraded Warrior vehicles entered Factory Acceptance Tests earlier this year. In September it was reported that qualification trials were to begin in Bovington by the end of the year, and the schedule seems to have been more or less respected since then.

Lockheed Martin UK manufactures the new turret and also puts together the upgrade “kits” that turn the old Warrior into the new one.

Lockheed leads a team which includes: Ultra Electronics; the Defence Support Group; SCISYS (Electronic architecture); Rheinmetall Defence; Curtiss Wright (they supply the turret-drive servo system for the Ajax Scout turret. Their role with Warrior is the same); Thales UK (optics and Battlegroup Thermal Imaging system); Moog; Meggitt; CTA International (supplying the 40 mm CTA gun); Westwire; TKE; MTL and Caterpillar UK (support to the powerpack).

Rheinmetall is the supplier of the Ajax Scout turret structure, a derivative of their LANCE product, and for WCSP they were meant to rework the existing Warrior turret and adapt it to the new requirements. This is no longer the case, and a whole new turret is produced instead.

The difficulties encountered by the LM team vindicated BAE’s original warning and underline the validity of their offer, which was turned down: BAE had offered a whole new turret along.

As well as manufacturing the new turret for WCSP, LMUK is also responsible for putting together the upgrade ‘kits’ that will refresh the vehicle’s protection as well as the platform’s electronic architecture.

The new turret and main gun are only the most visible of a series of modifications and upgrades. The CSP is the sum of multiple development programmes:

- WFLIP (Warrior Fightability Lethality Improvement Programme) to improve turrets and sensors, and add firepower by changing the turret and gun;
- WMPS (Warrior Modular Protection System) to add a modular frame that takes note of the experience of Iraq and Afghanistan TES armor fittings and prepares the vehicle, PUMA-like, for easy and rapid installation of existing and future add-on armour packages when needed;
- WEEA (Warrior Enhanced Electronic Architecture) to add a fully integrated set of modern, expandable electronics and communications gear;

For years, the CSP also included the Armoured Battlegroup Support Vehicle, a family of “turret-less” variants of the Warrior that should have been developed to finally replace the FV432 within armoured formations..............EDITED

bug2 - 30-12-2017 at 04:22 PM

More NAMER APC and IFV armoured for the Israeli Army

Posted On Friday, 29 December 2017 11:01

The Israeli Army continues to strenghten fire power of these infantry units by the use of armoured vehicle personnel carrier (APC) called Namer. According to the Israeli Newspaper website, the Givati Infantry Brigade will receive the Namer APC combat vehicles as the Golani units that already uses this type of vehicle.

Namer APC (armoured Personnel Carrier of the 13th Battalion of the Golani Brigade during a drill held in the Golan Heights, northern Israel (Picture source FlickR IDF official account)

"The use of the Namer tracked armoured vehicle is a significant step for the Givati Brigade as a leading brigade,” said Givati commander Colonel Dado Bar-Khalifa. With the Namer the Givati Brigade will have more fire power and mobility.

The Namer is an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) tracked vehicle that entered in serice with the Israeli Army in 2008. This APC was developed by the by Israeli Ordnance Corps responsible for the development and maintenance of war materiel, combat-support materials, and other systems.

The vehicle is based on the chassis of the Merkava Mk IV main battle tank offering an high level of protection againts ballistic and mine threats. The layout of the vehicle is similar to the Merkava MBT but without the turret. The vehicle has a crew of three including driver, commander and gunner and 9 infantrymen can be carried at the rear of the hull.

The NAMER APC provides protection gainst firing of small arms and artillery shell splinters, it also has a V shaped hull to offer more protection against blast of landmine and IED (Improvised Explosive Device). The vehicle is armed with a Samson remotely operated weapon station armed with one 12.7mm heavy machine gun, a second machine gun 7.62mm caliber can be fitted on the hatch commander.

In August 2017, the Israeli Ministry of Defense has unveiled a new IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) version of the Israeli-made NAMER tracked APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier). July 31, 2017, A video was released on the official Youtube account of the Israeli Ministry of Defense showing the new NAMER IFV in live demonstration.

The new Namer IFV is fitted with an unmanned turret armed with one 30mm automatic cannon. As the standard Namer APC, the IFV version is fitted with the TROPHY which is a military active protection system (APS) for combat vehicles. The Trophy is already installed to the latest version of the Merkava IV MBT.

Infantry Fighting Vehicle version of the Namer tracked armoured vehicle based on Merkava IV main battle tank chassis. (Picture source Wikipedia)

bug2 - 9-1-2018 at 07:43 PM

Images suggest Pakistan Army may be testing Norinco VT4 MBT

Samuel Cranny-Evans - Jane's Defence Weekly

08 January 2018

The PA may be testing AVIC's VT4 MBT (seen here). Source: Via

Images have emerged on Chinese social media suggesting that the Pakistan Army (PA) may be testing the China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) VT4 main battle tank (MBT).

Published on 6 January the photographs show PA personnel inspecting a VT4 platform at an undisclosed location.

The VT4 is a third-generation MBT offered for export by Norinco. It is an improvement over the Al-Khalid MBT (also known as MBT-2000), which is currently in service with the PA, although it retains the 125 mm main gun, carousel auto-loader, and crew configuration of the older vehicle.

Among the key differentiating features are the thermal-imaging capabilities and panoramic sights of the VT4, which enhance the vehicle’s ability to operate at night or in poorly lit environments. The VT4 is also capable of incorporating a remote weapon station.

Pakistan is known to be in close co-operation with China for the development and acquisition of MBTs, although it is also likely to continue to use other sources, notably Ukraine, for powerpacks and ancillary systems.

Pakistan currently deploys a fleet of Al-Khalid and Type 85-II MBTs, as well as a large quantity of T-80UDs MBTs, the latter which were supplied by Ukraine. The South Asian country is in the process of increasing the size of its armoured vehicle fleet to match that of its regional rival, India, which recently announced plans to convert a large part of its T-72 MBTs fleet to the T-90S standard.

Moreover, an Indian order for 700 T-90S MBTs is expected to be placed in April 2018, which will eventually take the Indian Army’s total number of T-90S platforms to more than 1,500 vehicles, thus placing Pakistan at a distinct numerical disadvantage in terms of modern MBTs.

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bug2 - 9-1-2018 at 09:24 PM

Nimda proposes Thai M113 upgrade

Jon Grevatt - Jane's Defence Weekly

09 January 2018

Israeli firm Nimda is bidding to upgrade the Royal Thai Army’s (RTA’s) large fleets of BAE Systems M113 armoured personnel carrier (APCs), the company has confirmed to Jane’s .

Reflective of growing Thai-Israeli defence ties, the company said that if selected to meet the requirement it would carry out the upgrade in collaboration with local industry.

Nimda’s proposal features its new M-113 N-2000 package, which integrates a Detroit Diesel 6V53T 300-hp engine and the Allison 3000 series automatic transmission.

The package also includes a range of upgrades including driver controls, engine braking system, exhaust system, drive shafts, new final drives, cooling system, shock absorbers, suspension system, and reinforced torsion bars.

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bug2 - 11-1-2018 at 01:05 PM

Russia expects to receive BMPTs in March

Tiago Machado - Jane's Defence Weekly

10 January 2018

Russian manufacturer Uralvagonzavod is expected to deliver at least 11 new BMPT (Terminator) fire support vehicles based on the T-90A chassis to the Russian military in 2018, the Interfax news agency has reported.

A BMPT Terminator fire support vehicle seen during a live demonstration at Russia's Army-2017 show held in August. (Russian MoD)

The previous Terminator 2 variant used a T-72 chassis. The vehicle has yet to be named.

Uralvagonzavod’s deputy head of special equipment Vyacheslav Khalitov told Interfax that contract work has begun, and that first deliveries are expected to begin this March.

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bug2 - 25-1-2018 at 11:54 AM

Russia to begin trials of 2S25M Sprut-SDM1 tank destroyer

Igor Bozinovski, Skopje - Jane's Defence Weekly

24 January 2018

The modified version of Russia’s 2S25 Sprut-SD amphibious self-propelled tank-destroyer, the 2S25M Sprut-SDM1, is ready for trials after completing factory testing in late 2017, an independent Russian military news agency has reported.

The trials are scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2018 and last about a year, said Interfax-MNA on 20 January.

As well as testing driving and firing characteristics on the ground, the trials will check the swimming and firing performance of the vehicle in water. Its mobility, rapid deployment and airborne transportability will also be tested, including paradropping the Sprut-SDM1 from an Ilyushin Il-76 strategic airlifter.

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bug2 - 25-1-2018 at 04:53 PM

BAE Systems Introduces Next Evolution of Infantry Fighting Vehicle with New CV90 MkIV

(Source: BAE Systems; issued Jan 24, 2018)

A computer-generated image of the new Mk IV variant of the CV90 infantry fighting vehicle developed by BAE Systems for the Czech army’s competition to replace its fleet of BMP-2s. (BAE image)

Today at the International Armoured Vehicles Conference in London, BAE Systems presented the next phase of development for the CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) with the launch of the new CV90 MkIV.

This fifth generation of the company’s combat-proven IFV family represents the next step for the CV90 concept.

The new MkIV offers substantial capability upgrades, including increased drive train capabilities and active damping technology to improve battlefield speeds and handling. The new vehicle also features the latest NATO-standard Electronic Architecture to meet customer demands for sensor integration and the implementation of autonomous systems.

BAE Systems intends to offer the CV90 MkIV to the Czech Republic in the ongoing armoured vehicle competition to replace the Czech Army´s legacy fleet of BMP-II IFVs.

“We are proud and excited to present the next step in the development of CV90,” said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, vice president and general manager for BAE Systems’ Hägglunds business. “The MkIV will now be available to both current and future users of the CV90, who can take full advantage of this combat-proven vehicle’s ongoing development and benefit from these new capabilities. This approach provides the leading combination of a proven low-risk solution for the most modern IFV for future growth.”

The CV90 IFV is a modern, adaptable, and combat-proven vehicle with 1,280 vehicles in 15 variants sold to seven nations, including four NATO allies. The most recent generation of the CV90, under delivery for the Norwegian Army, is one of the most modern IFVs in production in the world.

The CV90 MkIV includes a new Scania engine with up to 1,000 horsepower and the latest upgraded X300 heavy-duty transmission. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is increased from 35 tonnes to 37 tonnes, meaning users will benefit from two tonnes of extra payload without a decrease in vehicle agility, with the same level of protection. This gives any users an unrivalled amount of potential for future growth.

The MkIV capability upgrades also enable the full implementation of BAE Systems’ iFighting concept. iFighting — or intelligent fighting — is the company’s vision for the future complex battlefield. iFighting supports the vehicle’s crew with significantly enhanced situational awareness, aiding the decision-making process. This safeguards the vigilance and the endurance of the crew, while ensuring peak performance for the whole system. iFighting achieves improved ergonomics, more advanced autonomous support, augmented reality, and the possibility of remote operation.

The CV90 is currently in use in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.


bug2 - 25-1-2018 at 05:56 PM

A Farewell to the Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank

(Source: Canadian Army; issued Jan 23, 2018)

GATINEAU, Quebec --- Royal Canadian Armour Corps (RCAC) members who had the privilege of working with Leopard 1 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) are saying farewell to the venerable workhorses, whose service to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is coming to an end.

It is a bittersweet time for armour officers and soldiers, given that only last year, they were marking the 40th anniversary of the introduction of the first Leopard 1s to the CAF. The red ruby is the traditional 40th anniversary stone and they would undoubtedly see the Leopard 1 family as a precious stone in the CAF crown.

“These were by far the best vehicles I had the opportunity to work with in my 38 years of service,” said Major Robert Bouchard. “I went through my Armour Officer training when the Leopard 1 fleet was still new. All the young RCAC officers were hoping to serve in Germany or Gagetown on the Leopard 1 tank.”

The first Leopard 1 MBTs were loaned to the CAF by West Germany in 1977. Their superior accuracy, ease of use and reliability bore fruit early when the Royal Canadian Dragoons’ (RCD’s) B Squadron won the NATO tank gunnery competition that year against major Allied nations.

Canada began to receive its full order of 114 Leopard 1 C1 MBTs in 1978.

Most of the new Leopard 1s were originally stationed with 4th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group at Canadian Forces Base Lahr in West Germany and operated by the RCD. The remainder were distributed between Canadian Forces Base Gagetown (now 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown) with C Squadron RCD, known as the “flyover squadron,” and the armour school.

In the early 1990s, eight Leopard 1 Armoured Engineer Vehicles (AEVs), also known as Badgers, were acquired. These vehicles, based on the Leopard 1 Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV) chassis, were used by an engineer squadron in Germany and the engineer school at CFB Gagetown.

With the closing of CFB Lahr in 1993, the Leopard 1s were repatriated to Canada and redistributed to armour regiments and engineer squadrons stationed at Brigade Groups in Valcartier, Petawawa and Edmonton, as well as the Combat Training Centre at CFB Gagetown.

In 1995, the Leopard 1 C1s were upgraded with add-on armour to provide more protection. Two Leopard 1C1s of this configuration were deployed to Bosnia for use in engineering tasks using mine rollers and mine ploughs.

In 1999, further upgrades to the Leopard 1 MBT included replacing the welded turrets with cast turrets, a new gun sight, an improved hydraulic turret drive, and new turret armour. This upgrade was referred to as the Leopard 1 C2. An acceptance ceremony for the Leopard 1 C2 was held at the Cartier Square Drill hall in Ottawa in September 2001.

In 2006, a 15-tank squadron with five operational spares, four ARVs and four AEVs were deployed to Afghanistan to support operations in the Kandahar area and remained there until the repatriation of the Canadian contingent in 2011.

During this deployment, the Leopard 1 family was further upgraded with mine belly-plates for additional protection from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines, a crew chiller system and thermal covers to protect the crew from the excessive heat of the south Asian desert. Also, during the Afghanistan deployment, the Leopard 1 MBTs were augmented by the Leopard 2 A6M and Leopard 2 A4M.

With the delivery of the new Leopard 2 Tank Mobility Implements in the fall of 2017, the last Leopard 1 tanks have been parked for good.

For 40 years, Canadian soldiers relied on the Leopard 1 to provide direct fire support to manoeuvring forces. They will continue their over-watch duties in front of many Canadian Army buildings and bases.


bug2 - 25-1-2018 at 06:33 PM

More on the CV90 UPDATE...................

BAE Systems Introduces Future-Proofed CV90

By Tamir Eshel - Jan 24, 2018

BAE Systems introduced today the fifth evolutionary variant of the CV90 infantry fighting vehicle that embeds many of the upgrades and modifications designed through the evolution of the vehicle family. With a more powerful powertrain, rubber tracks and active vehicle dynamics, modular turret and the latest electronic architecture that prepare it to assume future missions and systems. The company introduced the new vehicle at a presentation for delegates attending the annual International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) Conference in London.

Designated CV90 MkIV, the new vehicle represents the fifth generation of the company’s combat-proven IFV family. The new MkIV offers substantial capability upgrades, including increased drivetrain capabilities and active damping technology offered as a standard (this capability was optional in previous vehicles). Active Damping helps improve battlefield speeds and handling and reduces crew fatigue. The new vehicle also features the latest NATO-evolved Ground Vehicle Architecture (GVA) Electronic Architecture to meet customer demands for sensor integration and the implementation of autonomous systems.

The CV90 MkIV uses the new Scania engine rated at 1,000 horsepower and matched with an upgraded X300 heavy-duty transmission. The added power means the engine provides increased torque at lower RPM thus enabling better agility, and retaining high mobility even with the maximum gross vehicle weight increase from 35 tonnes to 37 tonnes. This growth will enable users to add at least two tonnes of useful payload, without a decrease in vehicle agility, and protection. According to Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, vice president and general manager for BAE Systems’ Hägglunds business, the new drivetrain active dumping can increase the vehicle’s effective speed on the severe terrain by up to 40 percent, compared to previous models. It also provides a more stable platform for the sensors and weapons.

BAE offers the latest CV90 MKIV with a modular turret that can be configured with a wide array main guns, weapons pods, defensive aids and sensors. many of which are already integrated in some of the previous variants. Illustration: BAE Systems

The vehicle is equipped with the D-series modular turret that can carry a range of weapon systems, including main guns of 25, 30, 35, 40, 50 mm calibers, matching different customers lethality requirements. The vehicle can also accommodate the lightweight 120mm cannon, of which a prototype weapon system has been integrated and tested on the vehicle. A choice of Optronics, coaxial weapons, and guided missiles configured into modular pods that fit on the turret sides, along with remotely operated weapon stations, defensive aids, and active protection systems that are configured with the modular turret.

A ADS being integrated for the Dutch Army is the Israeli ‘Iron Fist’ from IMI. BAE Systems intends to offer the CV90 MkIV to the Czech Republic in the ongoing armored vehicle competition to replace the Czech Army´s legacy fleet of BMP-II IFVs. User countries will also be able to upgrade their existing CV90s to the new standard.

Utilizing the vehicle’s integral optronic systems and electronic architecture, the new vehicle will be equipped with processor and data bus conforming to the new NATO (NGVA) standard and supporting ‘teraflop data capacity’, to enable the future artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities expected to mature in the future. BAE Systems also offers its the futuristic intelligent fighting (iFighting) concept as an option. Providing the vehicle’s crew with significantly enhanced situational awareness, iFighting is the company’s vision for the future complex battlefield. As part of this concept, the system utilizes BAE Systems’ Q-Sight helmet-mounted display and Battleview360 to provide the crew situational pictures using augmented reality displayed on individual visors.

Gustafsson-Rask said the MkIV will be available to both current and future users of the CV90. he CV90 is currently in use in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. The CV90 IFV is a modern, adaptable, and combat-proven vehicle with 1,280 vehicles in 15 variants sold to seven nations. The most recent generation of the vehicle, CV90 MKIIIb is under delivery for the Norwegian Army.

The Norwegian CV90 MKIIIb represents the second upgrade of the CV90 MkI originally selected by Norway in 1998. The first upgraded was completed for operations in Afghanistan in 2009.

The recent upgrade implemented performed in 2015 introduced the Soucy rubber track system, also used in the MkIV. Remotely operated turret was also included, enabling the crew to handle two targets simultaneously (Kill-Kill). The Norwegians were also the first to implement the Ground Vehicle Electronic architecture (GVA), and qualification to operate NATO secret communications, enabling target sharing via the vehicle’s battle management systems (BMS) and integration of UAV operation, displaying images obtained by UAVs directly on the crewmember’s displays or their transfer to other members of the unit via BMS.

bug2 - 27-1-2018 at 01:58 PM

Slovakia fields new tracked reconnaissance vehicles

Miroslav Gyürösi, Bratislava - Jane's International Defence Review

26 January 2018

The ground forces of the Slovak Armed Forces have taken delivery of 18 Bojove Prieskumne Vozidlo ISTAR (BPsVI) vehicles as of mid-2017, Jane’s learnt.

The BPsVI is a modernised variant of the ground forces’ BPsV ‘Svatava’ tracked reconnaissance platform, which is based on the venerable BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) license-built by former Czechoslovak state factories, and optimised for the tracked intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) role.

Slovakia has taken delivery of 18 new BPsVI tracked reconnaissance vehicles. (Miroslav Gyürösi)

The new vehicle has been jointly developed by EVPU, Konstrukta Defence, DMD Group, and MSM Group and has an increased combat weight of 15.29 tonnes. It retains the original design’s 6.73 m length but has an increased width of 3.46 m to accommodate newly installed floatation devices, which preserve its amphibious capability in lieu of the additional weight.

The original UTD-20 water-cooled diesel engine has been retained, with this providing an output of 220 kW and maximum torque of 980 Nm to enable the vehicle to traverse obstacles that are up to 0.7 m high and 2.5 m wide. Operating range remains unchanged, with a claimed 550 km using fuel from its main supply.

The BPsVI is equipped with the indigenously developed Turra 30 remote weapons turret, which is armed with the 30 mm calibre 2A42 automatic cannon manufactured locally by ZTS Special, a 7.62 mm calibre PKTM machine gun, and two ready-for-launch 9M113 Konkurs anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). The turret is also fitted with the System Detekcie a Indikacie Oziarenia (SDIO) laser warning system, which features a sensor head produced by Elbit Systems’ subsidiary ELOP .

Other mission-specific equipment carried by the BPsIV includes the FLIR Ranger R20SS surveillance radar, Kestrel-5500 weather meter, Micro Falcon unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), Schiebel’s Miniature Mine Detector (MIMID) system, and an unattended ground sensor suite. US firm Harris Corporation has also supplied a communications suite.

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bug2 - 29-1-2018 at 10:21 PM

IAV 2018: Mobile Protected Firepower is US Army Top Priority

On the sidelines of IAV 2018 at Twickenham this week one of the major subjects of discussion has been the US Army’s Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) programme. This emerged as the service’s top priority in its 2015 Combat Vehicle Modernisation Strategy.

A tracked vehicle in the 25-35t bracket, with armour protection described as “substantial” and carrying a 105mm main armament, Army officials deliberately steer clear of calling it a ‘light tank:’ but that is, in effect, what it will look like to operators, observers and adversaries. Transportability is one of the key requirements of the outline specification, with the Army planning to transport two MPF in a single C-17 GLOBEMASTER III airlifter. The vehicle is intended to fill a direct fire gap in the Infantry Brigade Combat Team structure with the RfP calling for a “protected, long-range, cyber-resilient, precision, direct-fire capability for early or forcible entry operations.”

That the programme is considered to be a priority is evident in the speed with which it is being pushed forward. An RfP was released in late November, with bids due in March. Programme officials are on record as stating they would like to be evaluating bid samples by mid-year and awarding initial engineering and manufacturing development (EMD contracts) early in FY19. It is anticipated that two contenders will be shortlisted for the EMD phase, and each will build 12 prototypes, in a similar fashion to the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) procurement. A total procurement of 504 vehicles is envisaged, with production rates running at approx. 50 per year and an in-service date around 2025. The RfP also informs potential bidders of a desired price point in the region of $6.4 million.

BAE Systems has shown a demonstrator vehicle for MPF, based on its earlier Armoured Gun System vehicle. General Dynamics and ST Kinetics are also widely expected to mount energetic bids, but with upwards of $3 billion at stake, additional bidders are likely to appear in numbers.

BAE Systems is expected to bid for MPF with a solution loosely based on its Armoured Gun System vehicle. (Photo: BAE Systems)

bug2 - 30-1-2018 at 02:53 PM

US Army secretary open to foreign designs for new combat vehicle

By: Sebastian Sprenger   7 hours ago

Troopers from the 5th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team move into battle position with the Bradley Fighting Vehicle during a readiness demonstration in Poland (Sgt. Shiloh Capers/U.S. Army)

WIESBADEN, Germany ― The door is open for foreign companies to join the multibillion-dollar race to build a new combat vehicle for the U.S. Army, according to new service Secretary Mark Esper.

“Many of our NATO allies have very capable tanks,” he said Monday during a briefing with reporters at U.S. Army Europe headquarters. “As I think about a next-generation combat vehicle, we should look at our allies, and look at their designs, and look at how they’ve built combat vehicles and combat systems, and think about adopting some of those.”

Service leaders believe time is of the essence when it comes to closing a gap in tank development caused by several failed attempts to field new technology over the past 10 years or so.

While there have been previous attempts by European armored-vehicle companies to enter the U.S. military market, domestic manufacturers like General Dynamics or BAE Systems have traditionally retained their hold on the large land programs.

“We should look to our partners and allies for good ideas,” Esper said. “We have to think about the NGCV, and we can’t afford to wait 10, 15, 20 years to do that.”

The service awarded a $237 million contract last fall to produce two prototype vehicles by fiscal 2022. The deal went to a U.S. industry team, lead by SAIC, consisting of Lockheed Martin, Moog Inc., GS Engineering, Hodges Transportation, Inc. and Roush Industries, Defense News previously reported.

Esper repeated the old military acquisition mantra of wanting to avoid costly and time-consuming solutions that are perfect in favor of readily available hardware that is good enough for a given task. Such proclamations had little effect in earlier Army attempts to field new vehicles, and it remains to be seen whether they will this time.

Interested foreign companies may get their best shot of entering their designs when partnering with U.S. firms rather than going it alone, Esper said.

“Of course, we have great capabilities in our own defense industrial base as well, to either go white sheet ― a brand-new design ― or look to others,” he said. “We want to buy best of breed, but I have to be conscious of the U.S. defense industrial base as well.”

Army officials have said they want to field a next-generation combat vehicle in 2035.

bug2 - 30-1-2018 at 10:27 PM

Thailand and China finalising plans for joint maintenance facility

Jon Grevatt, Bangkok - Jane's Defence Weekly

30 January 2018

Thailand is planning to establish a MRO facility for Chinese-made vehicles, including the VT-4 MBT, seen here. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

Thailand has reaffirmed plans to collaborate with China on establishing a military vehicle maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facility in the Southeast Asian country.

The proposed facility would be positioned to support the Royal Thai Army’s (RTA’s) expanding fleets of Chinese platforms, including VT-4 main battle tanks (MBTs) and 8x8 VN-1 armoured personnel carriers, both produced by China North Industries Corporation (Norinco).

Speaking following public trials of the VT-4 MBT, which were held on 26 January at the RTA’s Adisorn Military Camp in Saraburi, RTA chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart said in comments reported by local media that the governments of China and Thailand were finalising plans for the MRO centre.

Gen Chalermchai said the new facility would support collaboration on repairing and maintaining the VT-4s and other military vehicles in both Thailand and potentially the wider region. The MRO centre would also enable localised production as well as repair and maintenance of related components and subsystems.

Gen Chalermchai added that VT-4 MBT procurement, costed at about USD200 million, was attractive for the RTA because the Chinese systems were less expensive than Western equivalents and that the programme is supported through technology transfers.

The RTA’s VT-4 programme – the first export of the type – features the acquisition of two batches of 28 units and 10 agreed through government-to-government accords in 2016 and 2017. Deliveries of the tanks commenced in August 2017.

In the next few years the RTA is expected to order additional VT-4 batches as it seeks to meet a long-standing requirement for up to 150 MBTs, which will replace the service's ageing and depleted inventory of US-produced M41 light tanks that have been operational since the early 1960s.

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bug2 - 31-1-2018 at 02:01 PM

Thailand Praises Capabilities of New Tanks Imported from China

(Source: Global Times; issued Jan 29, 2018)

A newly purchased, Chinese-manufactured VT4 main battle tank of the Thai army deploys during a simulated warfare exercise at the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Center in Saraburi Province, Thailand. (Internet photo)

The Royal Thai Army conducted tests of the China-built VT4 main battle tank, also known as the MBT3000, on Friday at the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Centre at Adisorn military camp in Saraburi. Reporters were there to witness the tests take place.

The capabilities of the VT4, built by China for export, were on full display during the press open day, and won high praise from the Thai army.

The commander at the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Centre told the press that the tank VT4 integrates the advantages of world-class advanced main battle tanks with a high level of informatization, maneuverability and firepower.

The Royal Thai Army displayed the tank in early January after China delivered it in October, 2017 and held the press open day at the end of January. Some media commented that the test had grabbed the world's attention.

Thailand has purchased 28 VT4 tanks and its cabinet has approved the repurchase of 10 additional tanks from China, with the number of orders likely to continue growing. The tanks are produced by China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO).

Of the 28 VT4 tanks, 26 were commissioned by the 3rd Cavalry Division in Khon Kaen Province, while the other two were delivered respectively to the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Centre at Adisorn Military camp in Saraburi and the Army Armory Hall.

Ready for battle

During the press open day, the VT4 showed its strong maneuverability by making a 30% gradient climb, navigating through water and coming up from a ditch. The army told reporters that the capability of the 1200-horsepower engine could not be fully tested as it is new.

The tank also carried out shooting tests of both ground and aerial targets. With a 125mm smoothbore gun, the VT4 was able to shoot armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot (APFSDS), high explosive anti-tank cartridges and artillery missiles. The longest range of the artillery missiles was 5 kilometers.

The VT4 is equipped with a stabilized fire control including cooled thermal imager sights for commander and gunner. It is also fitted with roof-mounted panoramic sights and a digitalized gun control system, capable of detecting, following and shooting targets in the day or night.

The Royal Thai Army told reporters that "the VT4, equipped with stable main armaments and a strong power system and control system, is much easier to handle and comparable with US-made tanks."

The battalion commander of the 6th Royal Thai Army Cavalry also praised the advanced capability of the tank and said soldiers have become familiar with it, adding that the more they use it the more they like it.

Equipped with a China-made 1200-horsepower diesel-fuelled engine and a hydromechanical drive system, the VT4 can run at a maximum speed of 70 km/h and a maximum cross-country speed of 50 km/h.

When Thailand imported the 28 VT4 tanks from China in 2017, media compared it with the T-84 Oplot-M from Ukraine, but the outstanding capabilities of the VT4 prompted Thailand to purchase the Chinese-made tank. Once they are all commissioned, Thailand will possess one of the strongest armored forces in Southeast Asia.

Staff from NORINCO told the Global Times that China displayed a new GL5 Active Protection System (APS) designed for main battle tanks during a show in August 2017, and customers can have the system fitted on the VT4 if they require.

After-sales service

According to media reports, Thailand plans to eventually purchase a total of 49 tanks in three batches. The Thai cabinet approved the purchase of 10 VT4 tanks for the second batch in April 2017, replacing the old US-made M-41s. The Thai army has been using the M-41 since World War Two.

Thai Army chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart said China and Thailand will build a repair and maintenance center together to ensure the production and maintenance of its accessories. Many commentators believe this is an important reason why Thailand purchased China-made tanks, and that the center will serve the whole of Southeast Asia.

Although weapons from the West are more modern, they tend to be more expensive. Taking price into consideration, Sitthisart said the China-made tanks are cheap and good for investment, establishing long-term relations with China and developing the Thai weapons industry.

The Thai government's purchase of the China-made tanks has been given extensive coverage by the Thai press, including Matichon, Tnews and Bangkok Post, and it has received support as well as opposition from the public.

Some netizens voiced their suspicions on Bangkok Post, saying the tanks could be used by the army for a military coup. But supporters said the "China-made tanks are only a third of the price of American or German made tanks. China will share maintenance and production technology but the West won't."


bug2 - 1-2-2018 at 07:46 PM

New T-90M MBT tank will enter in service with Russian army

Posted On Thursday, 01 February 2018 09:04

According to the Russian Company Uralvagonzavod, the latest modernization of the main battle tank T-90, called T-90M will enter in service with the Russian army in the next few months. The T-90M was developed based on the combat experience of the Russian troops in Syria.

T-90M during the Russian military exercise Zapad-2017 (Picture source Russian MoD)

"Within months we will be able to say that T-90M will be authorized for service. The first batch will be enough for rearming a tank battalion. The state program for armaments envisages the acquisition of these tanks throughout the period it will be effective in amounts determined by the customer," Uralvagonzavod said.

The testing of the new main battle tank was proceeding in compliance with the schedule authorized by the Russian Defense Ministry.

The T-90M model 2017 is an upgraded variant of the export version of the T-90MS Main Battle Tank (MBT) developed and designed by the Russian Company Uralvagonzavod. The T-90M Model 2017 is improved in term of protection, mobility and fire power. The T-90M was tested by the Russian army during the military exercise Zapad-2017 which was held from the 14 to 20 September 2017.

Main armament of the T-90M Model 2017 consists of one 125 mm 2A46M-4 smoothbore gun able to fire standard ammunition but also anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) Refleks NATO Code AT-11 Sniper-B. The main 125 mm armament is stabilized and enables the T-72 to shoot on the move with a high probability of a first-round hit. Second armament includes one PKT 7.62mm coaxial machine mounted to the right of the main armament. at the rear of the commander hatch is mounted a remotely operated weapon station armed with a NSVT 12.7mm heavy machine gun.

The T-90M features a new all-welded turret design protected by the Relikt ERA (Explosive Reactive Armour) armour fitted at the front and on each side of the turret. It features higher protection performance and serviceability compared with the Kontakt-5 ERA suite.

bug2 - 7-2-2018 at 08:23 PM

ST Engineering Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle at Singapore AirShow 2018

Posted On Wednesday, 07 February 2018 10:04

At Singapore AirShow 2018, ST Engineering presents for the first time to the public, its Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle (NGAFV). The vehicle was unveiled in May 2017 during a demonstration at the Army Open House of the Singapore Armed Forces. The vehicle is developed to replace the aged M113A2 tracked armoured personnel carriers (APC) currently in service with the Singapore army.

Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle at Singapore AirShow 2018 (Source picture Army Recognition)

A first prototype of the Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle was delivered to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in July 2016. The development of the new NGAFV (Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle) is a result of a close cooperation between the SAF, DSTA (Defense Science and Technology Agency), and ST Kinetics of Singapore as the manufacturer of the NGAFV.

In March 2017, Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) announced that its land systems arm, Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd (ST Kinetics), has been awarded a contract by the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) for the production and supply of the Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV).

The next generation AFV will replace the Ultra M113 AFV as a key component of the Singapore Armed Forces’ mechanized forces which is in service with the Singapore Army since the early 70s. Delivery of the AFVs will begin in 2019. The vehicle will be delivered in troop carrier, command and recovery variants.

The NGAFV (Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle) is based on a tracked chassis, equipped with a remotely operated weapon station armed with an 30 mm automatic cannon, a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun, and eight 76 mm smoke grenade launchers. It has a crew of three including driver, commander and gunner. The troops compartment is at the rear and can accommodate eight infantrymen. The vehicle will have a weight of 29,000 kg and a length of 6.9 m, width of 3.28 m and a height of 3.2 m.

The NGAFV hull is based on all welded steel armour that can be fitted an appliqué layer of passive armour to increase protection against ballistic and mine threats. The vehicle is based on a modular design offering the possibility to removed and replaced the armour package according to new threats and customers requirements.

Network-enabled and equipped with a fully integrated camera suite, the NGAFV offers class-leading crew situational awareness as well as uncompromised combat and navigation performance under full armour protection.

bug2 - 13-2-2018 at 08:22 PM

Russian deputy defence minister confirms Armata order

Samuel Cranny-Evans, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

12 February 2018

Russian Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov has confirmed an order for two battalions of T-14 main battle tanks. Source: Russian MoD

Russian Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov has confirmed an order for two battalions of T-14 main battle tanks (MBTs), the Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported on its website on 9 February.

The order for the T-14 MBTs and T-15 heavy infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) is understood to have been placed in December 2017. Touring the Uralvagonzavod factory in Nizhny Tagil, Russia, Borisov said, “It’s no secret that we already have a contract for trials and combat operations: two battalions of Armata tanks and one battalion of heavy infantry fighting vehicles.” Both vehicles are based on the Armata common platform.

Borisov also reported on the current status of the Armata programme, which is part of Russia’s State Armaments Programme (SAP) 2012-2020. He said state trials would begin this year and continue until the end of 2019. In 2020, all new models will be complete, after which a decision on big contracts for serial production will be made, according to Borisov. This is good news for the Armata programme, which was earlier reported to be in jeopardy as Russian defence funds were diverted into modernising older platforms.

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bug2 - 15-2-2018 at 11:37 AM

ST Kinetics prepping to hand over bid in US Army’s vehicle competition

By: Mike Yeo   9 hours ago

The NGAFVs ordered by Singapore are in various configurations, including troop carrier versions. (ST Kinetics)

SINGAPORE ― ST Kinetics is nearly ready to hand over its sample vehicle to the U.S. Army as part of a bid in the service’s Mobile Protected Firepower competition, the company has announced. The Singapore-based firm is partnering with SAIC and CMI Defence in the competition.

Speaking to Defense News at the Singapore Airshow, ST Kinetics Chief Marketing Officer Winston Toh said that the vehicle, which is fitted with the CMI Group’s modular Cockerill 3105 turret, is undergoing testing in the United States that has included firing trials at the Nevada Automotive Test Center in Nevada.

The vehicle being offered by the team, led by SAIC, which is also the system integrator, is the ST Kinetics Next Generation Armored Fighting Vehicle ,or NGAFV, which has been ordered by the Singapore Armed Forces. Production of the vehicles is due to start in 2019.

Toh emphasized the maturity of both the vehicle and turret being offered, noting that both will have ongoing production lines when the U.S. Army equips its first unit with the mobile protected firepower capability, which is expected in 2025.
He also detailed the modifications ST Kinetics made to the vehicle so it would be able to accept the Cockerill 3105 turret, which included strengthening the hull for the larger caliber gun and the fitting of a simulated turret on the chassis prior to carrying out mobility trials.

The Cockerill 3105 turret, which offers a number of different calibers up to 105mm, has been ordered by Indonesia for its General Dynamics European Land Systems combat-ready, eight-wheel drive, armored Pandur II vehicle.

The ST Kinetics Next Generation Armored Fighting Vehicle is fitted with the CMI Group’s modular Cockerill 3105 turret, right. (CMI Defence)

Singapore’s Army previously displayed a recovery vehicle based on the NGAFV in 2017, but ST Kinetics says the country has not ordered any vehicles with the 105mm turret.

The NGAFVs ordered by Singapore are in various configurations, including troop carrier versions fitted with a remote control weapon station armed with an Orbital ATK Bushmaster 30mm cannon and a coaxial machine gun.

ST Kinetics said that the NGAFV with the Cockerill turret has a gross vehicle weight of 32.5 tons, which is slightly higher than the 29 tons of Singapore’s troop carrier.

It will be fitted with a built-in integrated day/thermal imaging camera suite providing 360-degree coverage around the vehicle and allow the crew to fight in a closed-hatch environment. Toh calls it a “future ready, highly digitized platform” that can easily incorporate new technologies throughout the vehicle’s service life.

As Defense News previously reported, Mobile Protected Firepower is a near-term priority in the U.S. Army’s combat vehicle modernization strategy, and will provide infantry brigade combat teams with a protected, long-range, cyber-resilient, precise, direct-fire capability for early or forcible entry operations.

It has requested proposals for the program from industry, due in March, with bid samples of the vehicles due April 1. Up to two companies will be selected to build 12 engineering and manufacturing development, or EMD, preproduction vehicles.

The EMD contracts are expected during the first quarter of fiscal 2019 before a winner for the program will be chosen.

SAIC and ST Kinetics are also joining forces in the U.S. Marines Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle program competition with ST Kinetics’ Terrex 2 eight-wheel drive armored vehicle. The team is up against BAE Systems, which is offering the Iveco SuperAV.

bug2 - 16-2-2018 at 08:41 AM

Second batch of South Korea’s K2 MBTs to be equipped with foreign transmission system

Gabriel Dominguez, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

15 February 2018

The second batch of 100 Hyundai Rotem K2 (Black Panther) main battle tanks (MBTs) on order for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA) will feature a locally developed engine and a foreign-made transmission system, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 7 February.

Unlike the first batch of K2s, which is fitted with German-built engines and transmission systems, the second batch of MBTs was initially meant to be fitted with an indigenous powerpack, but DAPA pointed out in a statement that the locally designed transmission system had “failed to meet the national defence standards”.

“As a result the defence committee has decided that the powerpack for the second series-production of the K2 tanks will be composed of a domestic engine and a foreign transmission,” said DAPA, adding that the second batch of K2s will be handed over to the RoKA between 2019 and 2020.

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bug2 - 17-2-2018 at 01:56 PM

Analysis: What happened to Russia’s new armoured vehicles?

16th February 2018 - 01:02 GMT | by Alex Mladenov, Krassimir Grozev in Sofia

Almost three years after the high-profile public debut of Russia’s new armoured platforms – the Armata, the Kurganets-25 and Bumerang families – their large-scale procurement for the Russian military still appears to be a distant prospect.

In May 2015, when the new armoured vehicles became the stars of Russia’s Red Square Victory Day parade in Moscow, they were touted as almost complete products, ready to be launched into production. At the time, observers noted that these vehicles would give Russia a significant technological edge over NATO forces.

But this now appears to have been presumptuous. The vehicles have suffered from funding problems, technical issues and conceptual changes that have caused serious delays to the development effort, and the follow-on launch into production and fielding into regular service.

According to Andrey Frolov of the Moscow-based Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST), the previous State Armament Programme in Russia (2015-2020) prioritised air force and navy modernisation, while land forces renewal had secondary importance.

This changed with the new State Armament Programme, covering the period until 2025, which called for massive investments in purchasing new-generation armour equipment for both land forces and airborne troops. But, as Frolov hinted to Shephard, the development funding so far allocated by the Russian MoD for new armour programmes has proved insufficient for a normal development tempo.

He pointed out that the Armata, Kurganets-25 and Bumerang are brand-new, with new systems, armaments and structures, and do not rely on off-the shelf technology solutions.

This, in turn, has caused difficulties and delays during the developmental phase because it has also required exhaustive testing at system and sub-system level, in addition to the end-production testing effort.

The Kurganets-25 vehicle, a heavy tracked IFV platform that is supposed to replace the in-service BMP-2. (Photo: Russian MoD)

At the same time, as Frolov noted, the financial situation of the companies dealing with the development of these new-generation armour platforms is varied. Some of the companies are experiencing financial difficulties or have suffered from poor management, which has only served to compound issues.

Furthermore, the initial technical specifications of the Russian MoD were very stringent and subsequently had to undergo several amendments that caused an adverse effect on programme schedules.

The Armata heavy tracked platform, developed by Uralvagonzavod (UVZ), is the flagship of the Russian armour recapitalisation effort. It covers a family of three combat vehicles using a common tracked platform – the T-14 MBT, T-15 heavyweight IFV and the T-16 armoured recovery vehicle.

The T-14 has been described as a revolutionary combat vehicle with unmanned turret and crew accommodated in an armoured capsule in the hull for better protection. The tank has all-new sophisticated passive and active protection systems and is equipped for network centric operations.

Officially, the T-14’s development effort is proceeding forward on schedule, and this has been claimed by the Russian Land Forces commander-in-chief, Col Gen Oleg Salykov in November 2017.

He also reconfirmed previously released information that an experimental batch of 100 vehicles is set to be delivered for field testing with that effort slated for completion by 2020. Russia's TASS news agency reported in February 2018 that Russian officials had confirmed an order for two battalions of T-14s and a battalion of T-15s, possibly the test batch vehicles.

In mid-January, TASS also reported that the T-14’s full-scale production is set to begin after 2020, which tends to indicate that it would not start before the conclusion of field testing efforts.

There is no information yet on any specific problems encountered during the T-14’s testing.

The Russian military has begun contracting local industry to modernise its current vehicle fleet, including the BMP-2, a sign that all may not be well with acquiring new vehicles. (Photo: Rostec)

There is even more uncertainty surrounding the T-15 IFV, with elements such as the turret configuration still unknown.

It has been demonstrated so far only with the Bumerang-BM turret armed with a 30mm cannon and ATGMs, but it had been expected that the production-standard vehicles would feature a more powerful armament.

The Kurganets-25 medium-class tracked platform, developed by Traktornye Zavody, appears to have the most criticism levelled against it among all the new generation platforms in development.

It was used as the basis for the B-11 IFV and B-10 APC, both criticised by Russian military officers during 2015 for their significant size, much larger than today’s BMP-2 and BMP-3 used by the Russian Land Forces. A redesigned platform was expected to begin testing in 2017 but there is little evidence that this test effort has started.

In the spring of 2017, Russia's deputy minister of defence responsible for procurement Yury Borisov said that Kurganets-25 production had been postponed until 2021.

In August that year, the project’s reputation suffered a serious blow when one of the retired designers of the successful BMP-1/2/3 IFV family, Danil Ralin, had claimed in front of Russian media outlets that the Kurganets-25 was a flawed project and should be abandoned.

Meanwhile, little is known about the development and testing of the Bumerang wheeled 8x8 platform developed by VPK. So far it has only been shown in the IFV version, dubbed K-17. It was announced during its public debut in 2015 that the K-17’s production is set to be launched after 2019.

Official Russian military sources, however, proved reluctant to confirm or update this timeframe in 2016 and 2017. Photos were publicly released in 2016 showing the K-17’s testing effort in progress, with the vehicle sporting some serious design alterations compared to the initial version shown in Moscow during the 2015 V-Day military parade.

The Bumerang wheeled 8x8 platform in its 'K-17' IFV configuration, when serial production of this vehicle will commence remains a mystery. (Photo: Army Recognition)

According to Frolov, this development and testing effort of Russia’s new platforms has proved to be a protracted and expensive undertaking. As a result of these delays, the Russian military has had no other choice but to continue placing large-scale orders for upgraded versions of Soviet-era amour, which is cheaper and free from the technical complexity of the new generation platforms.

In the recent years, the Russian MoD has invested heavily in upgrading its existing armour inventory such as the T-72 MBT and BMP-2 IFV and continues to place orders for newly-built T-90 MBTs and BMP-3 IFVs.

These hefty investments in proven designs are a likely sign that the army’s next-generation armour platforms, including the Armata, Kurganets-25 and Bumerang families, are still being regarded by the Russian military leadership as distant prospects.

bug2 - 18-2-2018 at 07:49 PM

Finland to get new guns for BMP-2MD infantry fighting vehicles

Posted On Friday, 16 February 2018 18:06

Finland's Ministry of Defense (MoD) will acquire new automatic guns for BMP-2MD “Torch” infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), according to local media outlets. The request for guns worth EUR 8 million ($9.1 million) was approved by the country's Defense Minister Jussi Niinisto.

BMP-2MD of the Finnish National Forces (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The order will be implemented through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (SPA). Nine guns were reported to have been supplied by Slovakian contractor ZTS Special AS, and there is an option for 91 more guns in 2018-2021. These weapons will replace Soviet-era components of the BMP-2MD IFVs of the Finnish National Forces (FNF), local media outlets say.

The type of the gun to be procured by Finland is not specified. However, it should be mentioned that the ZTS Special AS enterprise produces Soviet/Russian-type artillery systems, including the 2A42 30 mm automatic gun, the D-10T 100 mm tank gun, the 2A46/2A46MS 125 mm tank gun, and a 152 mm L/45 howitzer for the vz.77 Dana self-propelled gun (SPG). The Slovakian company has also developed the Turret DVK-30 manned combat module armed with a 2A42 gun and smoke dischargers.

Despite recent developments and acquisitions of modern hardware, Finland still has a large inventory of Soviet-originated land platforms. According to the Military Balance 2017 analytical book issued by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the FNF operated 94 BMP-2 IFVs and 40 MTLBu and 102 MTLBv multipurpose light armored tracked tractors as of early 2017.

The FNF are planning to use BMP-2MDs until the 2030s. In January 2015, the Conlog Oy company was awarded with a contract to upgrade the Finnish BMP-2s to the BMP-2MD level.

The upgraded IFV has received a driver's thermal imager, a new sighting system with integrated thermal imaging channel, and other optical-electronic subsystems. It is noteworthy that the BMP-2MD has retained the organic 2A42 automatic gun as it fully meets the requirements issued by the Finnish MoD. Therefore, the ministry is expected to acquire the Slovakian-made 2A42 gun.

The BMP-2 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty, Russian: Боевая Машина Пехоты; infantry combat vehicle) is a second-generation, amphibious infantry fighting vehicle introduced in the 1980s in the Soviet Union, following on from the BMP-1 of the 1960s.

The Finnish Defense ministry ordered 20 BMP-2 from the Soviet Union in 1988. They were delivered between 1988 and 1989. Another 84 ones were ordered in 1991 from the Soviet Union and delivered in 1992 by Russia, as the USSR had been dismantled. The remaining 100 vehicles are being upgraded and designated BMP-2MD (FIN).

The Finnish BMP-2's were modernized to the BMP-2MD standard in 2016 with new storage boxes which function also as spaced armour, thermal camouflage enhancements, modern thermal optics for both the gunner and driver, a new visual spectrum observation device for the commander and a new communications system. In war the vehicle would also be covered with a Polish thermal camouflage netting similar to the Barracuda camo nets. Because of this modernization, the weight of the BMP-2MD increases from 13 tonnes to 13.5 tonnes, and width increases by 10 cm. All 100 BMP-2's will be modernized by 2019. Total cost for modernizing 100 vehicles is about 35 million euros.

bug2 - 20-2-2018 at 08:12 PM

Iraq has received first batch of T-90S tanks MBT from Russia

Posted On Tuesday, 20 February 2018 09:15

According to a news released on the Russian press agency TASS website on February 19, 2018, Iraq has received the first batch of 36 T-90S main battle tanks (MBTs) under an arms contract with Russia, Shafaq News reported on Monday, citing Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army, Lieutenant-General Othman Al-Ghanmi.

The delivery of the Russian-made T-90S main battle tank in an undisclosed area in Iraq (Picture source Internet)

During an inspection visit to Basra, Al-Ghanmi has confirmed that the 36 Russian-made T-90S main battle tanks had been delivered to Iraq. Another batch of 37 more T-90S MBTs under the contract would bge delivered to Iraq by late April.

Earlier, Arabic media cited a source from the Iraqi defense ministry as saying that the first T-90S MBTs have been delivered to the port city of Umm Qasr on February 15, 2018, to be later transported to Baghdad.

In Jully 2017, its was announced that Iraqi Ministry of Defense reported has purchase 70 main battle tanks T-90S from Russia. The T-90S is in service with the Russian, Syrian, Algerian, Azerbaijani and Indian armies. In India, the T-90S called Bhishma is in production under license. Negotiations are underway with Vietnam on the supply of the tank. Vladimir Kozhin told Izvestia that there was also a "big request" for T-90s from Kuwait, but the dialogue on this contract was still ongoing, the newspaper Izvestia reports.

The T-90S is an enhanced version of the Russian-made T-90 Main Battle Tank (MBT) to meet the operational requirements of countries in Asia. The T-90 has been in service with the Russian army since 1992. The tank was developed as a major upgrade to the T-72B. The vehicle is armed with a 125-mm 2A46M or 2A46M-5 gun/launcher, which can fire both standard tank ammunition and anti-tank guided missiles. Second armament of the T-90 includes one 12.7mm anti-aircraft and one 7.62mm coaxial machine guns.

bug2 - 23-2-2018 at 06:05 PM

Challenger 2 MBT LEP selection draws closer

Christopher F Foss, London - Jane's International Defence Review

22 February 2018

The British Army is updating its ageing Challenger 2 main battle tanks. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

The 24-month Assessment Phase (AP) to determine the winning bidder for the British Army Challenger 2 main battle tank (MBT) Life Extension Programme (LEP) is due to be completed at the end of 2018.

Two competitors – a BAE Systems-led team that includes General Dynamics Land Systems UK, and Rheinmetall – are bidding for the opportunity to update 227 Challenger 2 MBTs operated by the service’s three Armoured Infantry Brigades as well as training contingents in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Both companies have been provided with two Challenger 2 MBTs for the assessment, with one of these being a fully functional vehicle while the other will be used as a demonstrator for new subsystems that will replace obsolescent or end of life equipment.

These include stabilised sighting systems for the commander and gunner, associated control handles, gun control equipment, elements of the fire-control system, and crew displays.

Team Challenger 2 will utilise turret elements developed for the Ajax reconnaissance vehicle destined for British Army service, while Rheinmetall will leverage on its turret development experience with the Leopard 2 MBT and its other armoured vehicles. Both competitors are also expected to offer potential firepower enhancements as a potential add-on to the LEP.

The invitation to tender (ITT) for the Demonstration, Manufacture and In Service (DMI) phase is expected to be released around August 2018. Industry response is required to be submitted to the UK Ministry of Defence’s (UK MoD’s) Defence Equipment and Support organisation in December 2018 with a potential contract award in mid-2019.

Each of the British Army’s three are assigned with a Challenger 2 regiment with a total of 56 MBTs, comprising three 18-vehicle squadrons. Two vehicles are attached to the respective regimental headquarters.

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bug2 - 24-2-2018 at 02:48 PM

Turkey wants Germany to participate in Altay MBT production

Kerry Herschelman, Washington, DC - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

23 February 2018

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has stated that he wants Germany to participate in the production of Turkey’s Altay main battle tank (MBT) as Berlin gives mixed signals about whether it will lift the freeze on arms exports to its fellow NATO member country.

In an interview with German news agency dpa on 18 February on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Yildirim said, “Such co-operation [on Altay production] with Germany will benefit both sides,” Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency reported. “In fact, Altay production will be more beneficial for Germany since the machines [to build the MBTs] come from Germany, important parts also come from Germany.

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bug2 - 1-3-2018 at 07:57 PM

Production of Oplot-T MBTs for Royal Thai Army almost complete

Posted On Wednesday, 28 February 2018 13:45

In March 2011, Thailand ordered 49 T-84 Oplot-T main battle tanks (Oplot-M with some Thai specifications) from Ukraine. The contract foresaw their delivery by 2014. However, due to ongoing military conflict in Ukraine, the Royal Thai Army has received only 31 units. An additional 5 were expected in November 2017 but their production has been delayed.

Royal Thai Army Oplot-T MBTs parading in Thailand (Picture source: YouTube)

In March 2011, the Royal Thai Army had placed an order for 49 T-84/Oplot-T MBTs from Ukroboronprom. State Administration of Industrial Security Ukraine. The tanks were to be manufactured at the Malyshev plant based in Kharkiv, Ukraine, to replace its fleet of aging American M41A3 Walker Bulldog light tanks, dating from the Vietnam war era. The Oplot-T is an Oplot-M (export version) with some minor modifications to meet local requirements, such as different radio, air conditioner and so on.

For the mainline Oplot-T production line for the Royal Thai Army in the Malyshev plant, there are at least two tanks. One of the vehicles that was completed was No.45. No.47 gun turret with KBA-3 tank gun and complete equipment. No.48 and No.50 turret guns waiting to be assembled. And the car body base No.48 Pending Assemblage No.48.

The Thai government had approved 7.155 billion baht ($227.7 Mn) to purchase the first 49 Oplot tanks to be assigned to several units: the 2nd Cavalry battalion (Royal Guard at Fort Chakrabongse, Prachinburi), the 4th Cavalry battalion (Royal Guard at Kiakkai, Bangkok), the 8th Cavalry battalion (Fort Suranari, Nakhon Ratchasima), and the 9th Cavalry battalion (Fort Ekathotsarot, Phitsanuloke).

According to a report from the Defense and Security 2017. the UkrOboronProm Ukraine confirmed that the delivery of the Oplot-T tanks to the Royal Thai Army would be completed by the amount promised within a year, by 2018. This was due to the impact that the Russian annexation Crimea and the armed support group in the Donbass region made to the war on security forces.

In April 2017, it was reported that following the delayed deliveries from this tank, the Royal Thai Army had declined the remainder of the sale and acquired the Chinese VT-4 main battle tank instead of the Ukrainian tank, due to the long-term delivery schedule. However, in November 2017, Thailand had received 31 of the T-84 Oplot-T tanks, with an additional five tanks heading to Thailand by ship and the final batch of the remaining 13 tanks already manufactured. While a total of up to 200 tanks may eventually be acquired, the Royal Thai Army has yet to make an official announcement confirming this.

As a reminder, the T-84 is a development of the Soviet T-80UD.

It was first built in 1994 and entered service in the Ukranian army in 1999. Its high-performance opposed-piston engine makes it one of the fastest MBTs in the world, with a power-to-ratio of about 26 HP/tonne (19 Kw/t). Ten of them entered Ukrainian service in 2001.

bug2 - 5-3-2018 at 08:42 PM

US Army receives first bids for new Mobile Protected Firepower tank

Daniel Wasserbly, Washington, DC - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

02 March 2018

BAE Systems' proposal for the US Army's MPF programme is based on the M8 AGS. Source: BAE Systems

The US Army has received bids for its Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) programme; BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) have been confirmed as participants.

The army hopes a new MPF platform can quickly deploy with relatively low logistics demand but enough protection and firepower – likely a light- to medium-tank – to ensure the infantry's freedom of action.

BAE Systems submitted a written proposal on 1 March that “leveraged the army’s earlier investment in, and made improvements on, the type-classified M8 Armored Gun System [AGS] — as well as other previous programmes — into a fully integrated MPF system”.

The M8 AGS was type classified in 1995, but was cancelled the following year; it was intended to replace M551 Sheridan light tanks used by the 3rd Battalion, 73rd Armor of the 82nd Airborne Division. In 2015 BAE Systems suggested it would bid for MPF with a platform based on the M8.

The company built a vehicle that is now going through internal testing, and it plans to submit that platform to the army by 2 April for official government testing, a BAE Systems spokesperson told Jane’s .

GDLS submitted a bid for MPF too, a source said.

In October 2016 GDLS unveiled a medium-weight tracked vehicle demonstrator, called the Griffin, which meshes elements of the turret and the 120 mm cannon from an M1A1/M1A2 Abrams main battle tank with the company's Ajax Scout Specialist Vehicle. However, the source told Jane’s that GDLS’ bid for MPF has evolved beyond the Griffin.

Other bids may have come as well – SAIC with ST Kinetics and CMI Defence were understood to be interested in the project – but only BAE Systems and GDLS had been confirmed as of this writing.

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Wolftrap - 6-3-2018 at 05:12 AM

There I was almost betting money they’d chose the AMPV as a platform when they are allowed to go as high as 35t to fulfill protection specs. Procurement cost of this modernized M8 just have got to be low ...

bug2 - 6-3-2018 at 02:40 PM

AMPV? Jeez I'd have been astonished if they picked that. With the premier opposition re-focus of Forces generally (rather than the current COIN) the AMPV will be (re-)built in greater numbers than originally thought, as will the revamped Bradley..............what's the betting they go for a 30 or 35mm main gun?

Wolftrap - 7-3-2018 at 09:56 AM

Yea. But the MPF is meant for the IBCT and they have already standardized on the M109A7 with Bradley chassis and AMPV without having the M2.

bug2 - 7-3-2018 at 01:18 PM

So? Taking M8 and revamping it for the Bradley chassis is not a stretch of the imagination................

To be honest, I look at M8 and it screams Bradley chassis to me..............

bug2 - 9-3-2018 at 09:06 AM

Team SAIC readies US Army MPF bid offer

Kelvin Wong, Singapore - Jane's International Defence Review

08 March 2018

SAIC and ST Kinetics’ bid with the latter’s 8×8 Terrex 2 armoured vehicle has been shortlisted by US Marine Corps for its ACV1.1 programme. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

NOT sure why they've put the TERREX 8x8 in this article, it has nothing to do with the TRACKED MPF..........

An international team led by the Virginia-based Science Applications International Corp (SAIC) is readying its bid sample vehicle for the US Army’s Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) programme following integration and testing of a prototype vehicle that commenced in the fourth quarter of 2017, officials from the respective companies briefed Jane’s .

SAIC is partnering with Singapore Technologies (ST) Kinetics, the land systems and specialty vehicles arm of ST Engineering Group, as well as Belgium’s CMI Defence. ST Kinetics is providing a bespoke version of its Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle (NGAFV) – which has been ordered by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and is expected to enter service from 2019 – while CMI Defence is supplying its modular Cockerill 3105 turret.

“In April 2018 we will deliver the bid sample vehicle …. we [have done] extensive checks on the turret and fire control system [FCS], integrated it to the chassis, and it has performed wonderfully in terms of meeting all of the mobility requirements,” Jim Scanlon, SAIC senior vice-president and general manager of the Defense Systems Customer Group, told Jane’s .

Team SAIC’s bid sample is based on ST Kinetics’ NGAFV platform, which – according to specifications released by the Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) – has a fighting weight of 29 tonnes and measures 6.9 m long, 3.28 m wide, and an overall height of 3.2 m in the AFV configuration. Equipped with a highly digitised architecture, the NGAFV has been specifically designed for closed-hatch operations with a suite of high definition daylight and low illumination cameras positioned around the hull providing real-time imagery to the crew for manoeuvring as well as situational awareness.

However, for the US Army’s MPF requirement the company has integrated CMI Defence’s Cockerill 3105 turret, which is armed with a 105 mm calibre high pressure main gun.

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bug2 - 9-3-2018 at 08:19 PM

New batch of modernised Ukrainian T-84 mbt being prepared

Posted On Thursday, 08 March 2018 15:29

The SE “Malyshev Plant” and the SE "Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau" are preparing another batch of T-84 tanks for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Kharkiv enterprises conduct repair and modernization works. For this purpose, the SE “Malyshev Plant” repaired the next batch of T-84 tanks. The combat vehicles underwent checking, restoring or complete replacement of all main nodes and components.

The main battle tank T-84 is in service of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. (source: Ukroboronprom)

After that, the tanks were sent to the SE "Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau" for modernization: electronic systems replacement, installation of protected digital radio stations; sighting complex T-84 is being modernized. These measures will significantly increase the combat efficiency of T-84 tanks in all weather conditions both during the day and at night, under enemy’s use of active or passive obstacles on the battlefield in the radio, infrared and optical range. As soon as all the works are completed, the batch of T-84 tanks will undergo tests in the presence of the Ministry of Defense representatives.

The T-84 is equipped with a 125-mm autoloader-equipped gun, capable of firing controlled precision anti-tank missiles with a target destruction range of about 5 km. Almost 50-ton T-84 tank can speed up to 70 km / h thanks to a 1200 HP engine. The tank is protected with up-to-date Ukrainian reactive armor and electro-optical countermeasures system.

bug2 - 9-3-2018 at 08:49 PM

SAIC continues to test vehicle for US Army Mobile Protected Firepower

Posted On Friday, 09 March 2018 10:11

Science Applications International Corp. (NYSE: SAIC) continues to develop and test the prototype of tracked combat vehicle that is proposed for the U.S. Army’s need as part of the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program. SAIC, together with ST Kinetics of Singapore and CMI Defence from Belgium has developed a new generation of combat vehicle that offers the U.S. Army an innovative solution that provides infantry forces access to combat environments in 21st century operations.

SAIC prototype of tracked combat vehicle based on ST Kinetics’ Next Generation Armored Fighting Vehicle, fitted with CMI Defence’s Cockerill Series 3105 turret armed with one 105mm cannon. (Picture source Twitter account Sydney Freedberg)

Based on ST Kinetics’ Next Generation Armored Fighting Vehicle (NGAFV) chassis and CMI Defence’s Cockerill Series 3105 turret currently in production, SAIC will compete for an Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract to build prototypes that incorporate a lightweight combat vehicle design while still providing mobility and lethality for U.S. Army units.

Such a vehicle will enable freedom of movement and action, specifically for restrictive, urban operations but tailorable for full-spectrum combat environments.

In November 2017, it was announced that he U.S. Army issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase of its Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program. To maximize competition, the U.S. Army anticipates awarding up to two contracts for the EMD phase in early Fiscal Year 2019.

The MPF capability is one of the most critical needs for the Army, particularly for its Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) who lack protected, long range, cyber resilient precision direct fire capability for early entry operations. IBCTs require this capability to be employed in austere and unpredictable locations allowing them to avoid the enemy's strengths and rapidly transition to offensive operations and exploit the initiative.

The ST Kinetics’ Next Generation Armored Fighting Vehicle was presented for the first time to the public during the Singapore AirShow in February 2017. The vehicle is powered by a 710 hp MTU 8V-199 TE20 diesel coupled to a Kinetics Drive Solution (KDS) HMX3000, which provides a power-to-weight ratio of 24.5 hp/tone. This enables the vehicle to achieve a maximum stated speed of 70 km/h and operating range of 500 km.

The heart of the Cockerill 3000 Series is a single modular, scalable turret platform that uses open physical and electronic architectures. This single core platform is designed to accept a large variety of systems and subsystems. For example the Cockerill 3000 Series platform will accept a wide range of weapons from 25mm to 105mm. The Cockerill Series 3105 turret is armed with one 105mm NATO-standard high-pressure tank gun with optional Gun Launched Anti-Tank Guided Missiles capabilities.

bug2 - 10-3-2018 at 01:58 PM

Malyshev to deliver modernised T-84 MBTs to Ukrainian Army for trials

Reuben F Johnson, Kiev - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

09 March 2018

The newly upgraded T-84 variant developed by the Malyshev Plant and Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau could provide a much-needed boost to Ukrainian armoured formations. Source: Malyshev

Key Points

- A batch of newly modernised T-84 MBTs are to be delivered to the Ukrainian armed forces for trials
- Assuming the tanks will ultimately be put into series production, they will provide the Ukrainian Army with a much-improved armour capability in the eastern Donbass

Ukrainian State Enterprises (DPs) Malyshev Plant and Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau are preparing to deliver a batch of T-84 main battle tanks (MBTs) for trials by the Ukrainian armed forces.

The T-84 Oplot (‘Fortress’) is a newly modernised version of the T-80 MBT design that was widely produced for the Soviet armed forces in the 1980s. As with numerous defence-industrial facilities originally created during the Soviet era, the manufacturing plant and design offices are co-located in order to streamline the transition between the research and development (R&D) process and series production.

The new tanks have emerged from a full-scale remanufacturing of existing vehicles. In the first phase the tanks underwent a complete overhaul in which all major subassemblies and mechanical components were either repaired or swapped out for new hardware. The vehicles were then transferred to the Morozov design bureau to receive new onboard electrical systems, including a digital communications suite and a new, more capable sight and targeting module.

The design team responsible for the upgrade say it will make this modernised version of the T-84 more capable of operating in all weather conditions as well as at night. Additionally, the tank is now equipped with both passive and active protection systems that are effective against radar-, infrared-, and optically guided weapons.

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bug2 - 22-3-2018 at 09:06 AM

Update: Singapore denies Leopard 2A7 acquisition, but questions remain over anomalies

Kelvin Wong, Singapore - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

21 March 2018

Refurbished ex-German Army Leopard 2A4 MBTs, designated Leopard 2SG MBTs in Singapore Army service, now constitute a significant proportion of the service’s offensive punch. Source: IHS Markit/Kelvin Wong

Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has refuted speculation that the country has acquired the A7 variant of the German-built Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) Leopard 2 main battle tank (MBT) that stemmed from a recent entry in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI’s) Arms Transfer Database.

According to SIPRI’s data – which the institute says is drawn from a range of sources, including the UN Register of Conventional Arms (ROCA), national reports on arms exports and imports, as well as official defence budget documents and parliamentary records – Singapore has acquired 12 Leopard 2A7 MBTs that were delivered in the 2016–17 timeframe.

The institute also recorded that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) received a total of 182 ex-Bundeswehr Leopard 2A4 MBTs in the 2007–12 timeframe, with a number of these used as spares and training. Meanwhile, the UN ROCA database has also shown that Germany reported a transfer of 168 MBTs to Singapore.

However, only 96 Leopard 2A4 MBTs were ever declared to have been ordered by Singapore in a December 2006 announcement by MINDEF. The first batch of six MBTs was transferred in June 2008 and deliveries are understood to have been completed by mid-2010.

“In 2006, the SAF announced the acquisition of the Leopard 2A4 from Germany to replace the SM1 tanks,” MINDEF said a 20 March statement. “Since then, the refurnished Leopard tanks have entered service and no other variants of the Leopard has [sic] been acquired by the SAF.”

However, German government reports on its military equipment exports, reviewed by Jane’s on 21 March, have revealed that seven Leopard 2 MBTs – although of an unspecified variant – had been exported to Singapore in 2016, further casting doubt on the official information released by MINDEF. Moreover, Germany also issued export licences to Singapore worth EUR97 million (USD119 million) for tank ammunition, gun-laying equipment, target range-finding systems and parts for fire-control equipment, onboard weapons-control systems, observation systems, as well as parts for MBTs, armoured vehicles, amphibious vehicles, and trucks.

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bug2 - 22-3-2018 at 06:30 PM

Israeli-made Merkava IVM Windbreaker one of the most protected tank in the world

Posted On Wednesday, 21 March 2018 14:01

The latest generation of Israeli-made Merkava IV with Rafael Trophy APS (Active Protection System) nicknamed Merkava Mark IVM Windbreaker, is one of the most protected Main Battle Tank (MBT) in the world. Following the series of tests of the Trophy system, the IDF Ground Forces Command declared the Trophy operational in August 2009 and first MBT Merkava 4 equipped with the Trophy APS enters in service with the Israeli Army in 2010.

Latest generation of Israeli-made Mark IVM Windbreaker Main Battle Tank (MBT) at Israeli army military exercise, January 28, 2018 (Picture source Israeli MoD)

On March 1, 2011, stationed near the Gaza border, a Merkava MK IV equipped with the Trophy system foiled a missile attack aimed toward it and became the first operational success of the Trophy active defense system. On July 14, 2014, the Trophy system successfully intercepted a 9M133 Kornet anti-tank missile fired from Gaza at an IDF tank. Since the beginning of the Israeli Operation Protective Edge to July 20, 2014, at least four Israeli tanks of senior commanders were protected by the Trophy system in the Gaza Strip.

The first generation of Merkava IV fitted with the Trophy APS has only one Elta EL/M-2133[1] F/G band fire-control radar with four flat-panel antennas (sensors) mounted on each side at the front of the turret. Sensors include radar with four antennas placed around the vehicle. Trophy provides 360° coverage against anti-tank rockets, anti-tank missiles and tank HEAT (high-explosive anti-tank) rounds. Once Trophy has detected a threat, it is tracked and classified and the optimal intercept point is computed, prior to launching a countermeasure.

According to our analysis about the latest generation of Trophy APS mounted on Merkava IV MBT, there is now four sensors, one on each side at the front of the turret, and two at the rear to increase detection of threats from the back of the tank.

Trophy protects Merkava IV from a wide variety of threats ranging from rockets, ATGMs and platform-fired High-Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) rounds. Trophy offers 360° protection in azimuth, as well as extensive elevation coverage, while maintaining a pre-defined safety zone for friendly troops on the ground. The neutralization process is initiated only if the threat is about to hit the vehicle.

The Merkava IV is also equipped with the Amcoram LWS-2 laser warning system, with threat warning display installed at the commander’s station. This links to the Israel Military Industries POMALS (pedestal-operated multi-ammunition launching system) decoy launcher. One launcher is fitted on either side of the tank, which can launch smoke grenades and decoys.

The Merkava Mk 4 uses a modular ballistic protection and is claimed to provide more effective protection against modern threats involving both protection efficiency and coverage area.

The ballistic protection also includes roof protection that provides a capability against overhead attacks. As there is only one roof hatch it is easier to protect the roof with a new passive armour system.

Main armament of the Merkava Mark IVM Windbreaker consists of one 120 mm smoothbore gun, developed by Israel Military Industries (IMI). It can fire various 120 mm munitions, including all standard NATO munitions. It can also fire LAHAT anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary projectiles. The LAHAT missile has a range of up to 8,000 m (5.0 mi) when launched from a ground platform, and up to 13,000 m (8.1 mi) when deployed from high elevation. It has effective penetration of up to 800 mm of RHA (Rolled homogeneous) armor steel with its tandem warhead to deal with add-on reactive armor.

Secondary armament consists of a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, 7.62 mm machine gun mounted on the right side of the turret roof and an internally mounted 60 mm breech-loaded mortar. The roof-mounted 7.62 mm machine gun can be aimed and fired by the commander from within the turret under complete armour protection and can be traversed through a full 360º. A 12.7mm heavy machine gun is mounted at the front center of the turret and just above the barrel.

bug2 - 24-3-2018 at 02:43 PM

Netherlands transfers last Leopard 2s to Finland

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

23 March 2018

The Netherlands will transfer the last of 100 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Finland in 2019, the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said on its website.

The ministry reported that it began transferring 20 Leopard 2A6s to Finland on 21 March.

The Netherlands decided in 2011 to phase out main battle tanks, and Finland bought its 100 Leopards 2A6s in 2014.

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Wolftrap - 25-3-2018 at 01:18 AM

Quote: Originally posted by bug2  

The first generation of Merkava IV fitted with the Trophy APS has only one Elta EL/M-2133[1] F/G band fire-control radar with four flat-panel antennas (sensors) mounted on each side at the front of the turret. Sensors include radar with four antennas placed around the vehicle.

I would like to see the Trophy system in a EW heavy combat scenario analysis when the red force has proper SIGINT. Trophy equipped tanks, with always-on AESA radar blazing through the terrain ... Those vehicles should light up like a Christmas trees in any combat scenario involving peers who have loitering or other BLOS systems for attack.

bug2 - 25-3-2018 at 01:19 PM

Good point..............

ADMK2 - 25-3-2018 at 09:21 PM

Quote: Originally posted by Wolftrap  
Quote: Originally posted by bug2  

The first generation of Merkava IV fitted with the Trophy APS has only one Elta EL/M-2133[1] F/G band fire-control radar with four flat-panel antennas (sensors) mounted on each side at the front of the turret. Sensors include radar with four antennas placed around the vehicle.

I would like to see the Trophy system in a EW heavy combat scenario analysis when the red force has proper SIGINT. Trophy equipped tanks, with always-on AESA radar blazing through the terrain ... Those vehicles should light up like a Christmas trees in any combat scenario involving peers who have loitering or other BLOS systems for attack.

Very short ranged radars, with low power... A few kilometers at most, I guess the thinking is if you are close enough to detect that radar electronically, you may well be able to see or at least hear it anyway...

Wolftrap - 27-3-2018 at 12:23 AM

Could be a plausible educated guess.

Still, radar emissions usually don’t just “vanish”, especially not when the radar is covering the full spectrum of 360 degrees. Active protection is just now gaining traction and Trophy was more or less developed for the “third Lebanon war” against Hezbollah or less sophisticated adversaries in the neighborhood rather than adversaries with equal or better system.

Mercator - 27-3-2018 at 11:59 AM

If it seriously becomes a problem just have light vehicles and/or drones run around with RF emitters matching the signature. Heck, you could give the same system to as many vehicles as possible for their own protection, and be very public about, so that the bad guys don't know exactly who they have detected.

I'm pretty sure that sort of protection is coming anyway, just from what we have seen mounted on JLTV, etc. Throw in a few drones to charge about emitting all sorts of crap and pretty soon no one will have a clue.

bug2 - 27-3-2018 at 09:40 PM

Army to Test First Next-Gen Ground Combat Vehicles in 2019

U.S. Army M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kansas, idle on the fields of Presidenski Range in Trzebian, Poland, during a platoon combined arms live fire exercise (CALFEX) on March 26, 2018. The Army is developing the Next Generation Combat Vehicle to replace Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M1 Abrams tanks. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Dustin D. Biven) 26 Mar 2018 By Matthew Cox

Army maneuver officials on Monday said the service's Next Generation Combat Vehicle will allow it to team manned and unmanned vehicles and create an unbeatable overmatch against enemy armored forces.

Developing the NGCV to replace the fleet of Cold-War era M1 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles is the Army's second modernization priority under a new strategy to reform acquisition and modernization.

The Army intends to stand up a new Futures Command this summer, which will oversee cross-functional teams that focus on each of the of the service's six modernization priorities: long-range precision fires; next-generation combat vehicle; future vertical lift; a mobile and expeditionary network; air and missile defense capabilities; and soldier lethality.

"The Next Generation Combat Vehicle needs to be revolutionary," Gen Robert Abrams, commander of Forces Command, told an audience at the Association of the United States Army's Global Force Symposium.

"It's got to be 10X better than our current fleet and guarantee our overmatch into the future."

The Army will need such an increase in capability to deal with threats such as Russia's T14 Armata tank and China's efforts at improving composite armor and reactive armor combinations on its ground vehicles, said Col. Ryan Janovic, the G2 for Army Forces Command.

Brig. Gen. David Lesperance, deputy commander of the Army's Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, and leader of the cross-functional team in the effort, said the NGCV will consist initially of three phases of prototyping and experimentation to refine the program's requirements.

Part of the Army's intent with its new acquisition and modernization strategy is to develop requirements in two to three years rather than the traditional five-to-seven-year process.

The program will seek to develop the robotic combat vehicle and a manned combat vehicle that can be used in an unmanned role based on the commander's needs, Lesperance said.

There will be three phases for the "delivery of capability for experimentation" between 2018 and 2024, he said.

By late fiscal 2019, "we will deliver one manned versus two unmanned combat platforms that will initially go through [Army Test and Evaluation Command] testing, then will go through a six-to-nine month, extended experimentation in an operational unit in Forces Command," Lesperance said.

Army officials will take the results of that effort and use it in the second phase of the program to deliver "a purpose-built robotic combat vehicle and a purpose-built manned fighting vehicle" in 2021 to ATEC and then to operational units at the beginning of second quarter of 2022, he said.

For the third phase, the Army plans to deliver seven manned and 14 unmanned prototypes in late 2023 and into early 2024 "that allow us to look, at a company level, [at] what manned-unmanned teaming could be," Lesperance said.

"Imagine making contact with the enemy with an unmanned robot, and allowing a decision-maker to understand quicker and then make a better decision out of contact. Then move to a position of advantage to deliver decisive lethality in a way that we do not do now in 100 percent manned platforms," he said.

"Each phase of the program in 2020, 2022 and 2024 will ultimately allow us to write the best requirement we can come up with based on experimentation, and the analytics to back it up that ultimately allow us to write the right doctrine, develop the right organizations and then deliver the right capability that will be compliant with how we are going to fight differently in the future," Lesperance said.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at

bug2 - 28-3-2018 at 02:43 PM

Initial Prototypes for Next-Gen Combat Vehicle to Focus on Manned-Unmanned Teaming

(Source: US Army; issued March 23, 2018)

WASHINGTON --- As the Army drives toward a Next-Generation Combat Vehicle capability, leaders have outlined plans to test key features that could one day allow a Soldier to control several robotic fighting vehicles at once.

An initial set of six experimental prototypes for the NGCV -- two manned and four robotic combat vehicles -- is slated to be delivered by the end of fiscal year 2019. That delivery will kick off hands-on testing with Soldiers in early fiscal 2020.

Manned-unmanned teaming will be the major theme in the experiments, according to Col. Gerald Boston, deputy director of the Cross-Functional Team in charge of developing the vehicle.

"We believe, in the future operating environment, manned/unmanned teaming at the tactical level is how we are going to retain overmatch and deliver decisive lethality as part of combined arms maneuver. Making contact with the smallest element possible allows the maneuver commander to maintain freedom of action," he said.

Two more sets of experimental prototypes will then be delivered two years apart and build on previous findings. The process, leaders say, could accelerate the Army's fielding of a new combat vehicle in fiscal year 2028. That's something the NGCV CFT's director, Brig. Gen. David Lesperance, said can't happen soon enough.

"The character of warfare is changing and driving the need to reassess how the Army delivers, operates, and sustains future combat capabilities," Lesperance said. "The Army's current main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles are not optimized for future operational environments."

The general said that the vision of combat in the future, against well-equipped peer and near-peer adversaries, will require the U.S. Army to have better systems, with greater capabilities that what is available now.

"Lethality overmatch, vehicle survivability, crew effectiveness, operational and tactical mobility, and reduced logistics burden are more critical than ever before in the future operational environments," Lesperance said. "NGCV must deliver overmatch and decisive lethality in close combat against peer threats as part of a combined arms team."

Lesperance now leads the NGCV CFT, one of eight cross-functional teams that are meant to further the Army's six modernization priorities, including the Next-Gen Combat Vehicle.

The teams are designed to bring end users together with experts from science and technology, acquisition, requirements, test and evaluation, resourcing, and other specialties across the Army to reduce the timeline to procure and field new equipment.


Prototypes for the Next-Gen Combat Vehicle will lean on emerging technology from the Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center.

One such TARDEC program is the "Wingman" Joint Capability Technology Demonstration. As part of it, a crew in a Humvee has been able to autonomously pilot another specially-configured Humvee and fire its 7.62 mm weapon system at targets.

For the NGCV, initial prototypes will likely have two Soldiers in control of a robotic vehicle -- one to remotely drive it and the other to operate its weapon system.

"Where we would like to go is get to one Soldier per remote combat vehicle and maybe someday one Soldier controlling multiple," said Col. Jim Schirmer, project manager for the Army's armored fighting vehicles.

In doing so, autonomous behaviors will need to be further developed throughout the incremental stages of prototyping.

Schirmer, the acquisition lead on the CFT, explained that the aviation industry has worked on this with weaponized unmanned aerial systems. Exercising that same type of control over ground-based vehicles can be harder, however, because there are many more obstacles on the ground than in the air.

A former tanker, Schirmer said he would often get his tank stuck in the mud as a young lieutenant. Over time, he learned to better identify obstacles and avoid mishaps.

In the absence of human experience, robots would need to rely on sensors to detect the same obstacles and navigate to where a Soldier has designated it to go.

"We would have to move intelligence onto the platform to free the Soldier up to do other things, and that's going to take time," he said. "That's what we call autonomous behaviors."


Design teams recently began an effort to come up with six different designs for the manned fighting vehicle, one of which will be chosen for the initial set of experimental prototypes. The set will include medium-caliber weapons and light direct and indirect fire capability.

The chassis for the surrogate robotic combat vehicles will be based on the M113 armored personnel carrier, while the manned fighting vehicle will be a completely new concept platform, leaders say.

The first experiments, though, will primarily focus on making the vehicles more intuitive for those who will use them.

"We don't really care what kind of engine it has. It just has to move," Schirmer said. "We're worried about how we control it remotely and how we write the software and what works for the Soldier who's operating it."

By late fiscal 2021, additional prototypes using lessons learned are expected to be produced and delivered, followed by experimentation in fiscal 2022.

There will be about a platoon-sized set of vehicles available to enhance manned-unmanned capabilities and begin to integrate fire and maneuver tactics. The weapon system and other vehicle requirements, such as armor and sensors, will also be determined during this stage.

"The second set is going to be purpose-built," Boston said. "Both the manned and unmanned vehicles will be built from the ground up and will not use surrogates."

The final effort is potentially a company-sized set of purpose-built vehicles that will likely be delivered in late fiscal 2023 and experimented on throughout fiscal 2024.

Those vehicles would test all elements of manned-unmanned teaming and be integrated into a unit for extensive training at home and during a combat training center rotation.

"It's an ongoing campaign of learning for each set of experimental prototyping," Boston said. "What we have laid out is a [roadmap] that will give the Army's strategic leadership a range of capability choices to make in terms of fielding a next generation combat vehicle."


Still early in the process, the Cross-Functional Team faces several hurdles in developing a new combat vehicle.

Deciding on the requirements for a specific program has previously slowed the Army's ability to rapidly field equipment. The team, as with the other CFTs, looks to prevent delays by sharing input from various stakeholders during the series of prototyping.

"By working together in an iterative fashion, the goal is we're going to ultimately arrive on a set of requirements that makes sense, helps the warfighter do what they need to do, but is also feasible and affordable," Schirmer said.

On the technology side, leaders foresee challenges to create an intuitive workspace for Soldiers who control the robotic vehicles as well as ways to collect big data in order to improve systems.

While initial tests will use a commercial radio, the Army will also need to develop a resilient network connection between the manned and unmanned vehicles.

"If you're the enemy, you want to jam that connection," Schirmer said. "If you can effectively shut that connection off, then the robots probably stop working and you've just disabled a chunk of the formation."


bug2 - 4-4-2018 at 09:30 PM

Turkey upgrades M60A3 in addition to M60T

Samuel Cranny-Evans, London and Lale Sariibrahimoglu, Ankara - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

04 April 2018

Turkey is upgrading its M60A3 main battle tanks, in addition to M60Ts, Ismail Demir, Undersecretary for Defense Industries (SSM), tweeted on 1 April.

The upgraded M60Ts were first seen in a Turkish-Iraqi exercise in September 2017.

Images taken on the Turkish side of the border during Operation ‘Olive Branch’ against Kurdish fighters in the Afrin region of northwestern Syria in mid-February show M60Ts equipped with laser warning receivers, situational awareness systems, and remotely operated weapon stations forming part of an indigenous upgrade package.

An infographic accompanying Demir's tweet also shows the upgrade includes additional spall liners and an electrical system.

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bug2 - 5-4-2018 at 09:41 AM

AMPV: Bringing Flexible, Multi-Mission Capabilities to the U.S. Army

(Source: BAE Systems; issued April 03, 2018)

BAE’s pre-production Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles are being tested by the US Army; the next phase will focus on man / machine interface. Current plans call for the “Milestone C” decision to launch full-scale production in 2019. (BAE photo)

The Army’s primary armored fighting force is the Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT), which consists of layered and synchronized capabilities enabling it to carry out full spectrum operations anywhere in the world.

The Army’s new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) is a key component within the ABCT formation, delivering command and control, troop transport, mortar, medical evacuation and medical treatment to the battlefield. The AMPV accomplishes these wide-ranging missions through a flexible, agile design, and by cost effectively leveraging existing technologies and commonality across other vehicle fleets within the ABCT formation.


BAE Systems has delivered all of the AMPVs built under the Engineering and Manufacturing Design (EMD) phase to the U.S. Army to begin the testing phase of the program.

“The AMPV is essential to the future of the Armored Brigade Combat Team,” said Bill Sheehy, AMPV program director for BAE Systems. “Delivering all EMD vehicles to the Army is a proud moment for us – it means we’re another step closer to delivering the next generation of power, mobility, and survivability to our Soldiers in our combat formations.”

BAE Systems’ five variant AMPV is a fully modern, highly flexible vehicle designed to replace the Vietnam War-era M113 family of vehicles. It is a mature, cost-effective solution that leverages proven designs from the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, a key component of the ACBT, and the M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzer. It meets the Army’s force protection and all-terrain mobility requirements, enabling the AMPV to maneuver with the rest of the ABCT. Maximizing commonality within the ABCT reduces developmental risk and streamlines maintenance, providing significant cost savings to the Army.

The goal is to deliver the best capability possible to the Army in order to assist the ABCT in maintaining combat overmatch anywhere in the world, under any conditions at all times, Sheehy said. The process to deliver the best capability is iterative.

“The next phase of testing will help us to better understand the soldier/machine relationship and identify areas we can improve upon,” Sheehy said. “Delivering the best AMPV will not end with formal testing but continue as we field the vehicles throughout the Army and we learn new things about performance and the Soldiers expectations.

Looking forward

BAE Systems was awarded a contract worth up to $1.2 billion from the Army in December 2014 for EMD and Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phases of the AMPV program. The initial award of $383 million under the EMD phase was for the development and production of vehicles across all of the variants: general purpose, mission command, mortar carrier, medical evacuation, and medical treatment.

The company has further leveraged the AMPV’s adaptable design to provide a critical combat capability to Combat Engineers at Echelons Above Brigade (EAB). BAE Systems began an internally funded project in collaboration with the Army to develop an engineer variant to replace EAB M113s. The new variant would be the sixth in the AMPV family of vehicles and designated the engineer vehicle.

Developmental testing is underway. The program then goes into a “Milestone C” review to determine if the program is ready for low-rate production. The AMPV program is currently on schedule to meet the Army’s Milestone C in 2019.

“Like the venerable M113, AMPV is looking forward to a long and effective role in the Army,” Sheehy said.


bug2 - 5-4-2018 at 02:58 PM

New Tank Delivery for Morocco Soon

(Source: Forecast International; issued April 3, 2018)

NEWTOWN, Conn. --- Morocco will soon receive a new shipment of M1 Abrams main battle tanks.

Images reviewed by Forecast International suggest that a new shipment of main battle tanks will arrive to Morocco soon. At least 14 tanks in Moroccan camouflage could be seen onboard a train heading for the east coast of the United States, where they will be loaded and shipped to Morocco.

The date of the images is unknown, but the photos can be geolocated to Covington, Kentucky.

The tank shipment is part of an American contract to supply hundreds of Abrams tanks to Morocco, which has been ongoing for the last few years.

Deliveries began during the Obama Administration and further tanks were approved under the Trump Administration. Al-Monitor reported on April 2, 2018, that another 162 tanks had been approved for delivery to Morocco in September 2017.

Al-Monitor reported, "US government documents reviewed by Al-Monitor indicate that the delivery of the vehicles was approved in September as part of an effort to move forward with deals to outfit the North African nation with more than $115 million in US equipment the Pentagon no longer needs."

Morocco is also receiving armored vehicles and artillery from the U.S. The hardware is being supplied under the U.S.' Excess Defense Articles program.


bug2 - 12-4-2018 at 07:52 PM

First tests of the new M1A1-SA Abrams MBT done by the US Army

Posted On Wednesday, 11 April 2018 10:15

U.S. Army soldiers at Fort Stewart in Georgia have started field training with the new M1A1-SA Abrams tanks.

An M1A1-SA Abrams tank moves along the boundary road en route to its battle position during the gunnery qualification at Fort Stewart, Ga., March 29, 2018. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Nathan C. Berry/U.S. Army)

Soldiers with the 3rd Infantry Division's Delta Tank Company, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team fired the main and support weapon systems on the M1A1 SA Abrams tanks during a field training exercise in late March. "Gunnery is beyond critical," Army Capt. Freddy Mitchell, commander of Delta Tank, said in a press release on Wednesday. "It is a necessary event to create lethal crews.

Training like this is advantageous to the unit's lethality," Mitchell said.The Army said the tank unit is training to master the ability to close in on enemy forces using fire and movement in order to destroy or capture enemy forces while engaged in sustained, large-scale combat operations.

"Today our crews are being evaluated on their proficiency to engage targets from various positions using the Abrams' weapon systems," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Jose Lopez, master gunner and platoon sergeant with Delta Tank. "Because the Abrams is a stabilized platform, it allows accurate fires even while advancing towards enemy positions."The Abrams is the most lethal land warfare platform, battle-tested in both Desert Storm and Iraq," Mitchell said. "This tank brings another long-range, direct-fire weapons system to our brigade."

The M1A1 SA is an upgrade version of the basic M1A1 model with the goal to produce older units to zero hour conditions. The M1A1 SA tanks will be configured with additional mission-critical technologies to bolster crew situational awareness (SA). This situational awareness package increases the M1A1 Abrams tank's fighting capability by providing soldiers with an electronic graphic of the battlefield with icons for friendly and enemy forces.

bug2 - 13-4-2018 at 09:24 AM

Turkey's M60T upgrade nears conclusion

12th April 2018 - 11:06 GMT | by Grant Turnbull in London

The Turkish Land Forces is set to complete the modernisation of its M60T ‘Fırat’ main battle tank fleet next month, officials have disclosed.

Speaking at the Future Armoured Vehicles Situational Awareness conference on 11 April, a Turkish industry official said that 120 M60Ts had now been upgraded and that the programme would likely wrap up in several weeks’ time.

The official told Shephard that on top of the 120 tanks already modernised, an additional 49 have been earmarked for upgrade work and 12 units will be used as spares. That aligns with the number of M60Ts the Turkish Army is believed to have in its inventory.

In 2002, Turkey signed a contract worth nearly $700 million with Israel Military Industries (now IMI Systems) to upgrade 170 M60A1 tanks to the M60T standard, incorporating a new 120mm gun, explosive reactive armour and updated powertrain.

The Turkish MoD contracted domestic company Aselsan for this round of upgrades, signing a contract at IDEF in Istanbul last year for $135 million.

Modifications improve overall situational awareness and crew protection and include Aselsan’s TLUS laser warning system, a SARP remote weapon station, the ‘Yamgoz’ 360° surveillance system as well as a new air conditioning unit.

The upgrades are carried out at army maintenance centres around Turkey.

The Turkish Land Forces have not wasted any time in deploying the upgraded tanks, with photos appearing online in February showing the new M60T tanks in Turkey’s Hatay province, close to the Syrian border.

It was reported they were being transported to support the army’s ‘Operation Olive Branch’ mission around Afrin, where it committed troops to fight Kurdish militants of the YPG. A major driver of the modernisation has been protection against the increased threat from anti-tank guided missiles, which have caused multiple casualties during Turkey’s incursions into Syria.

The official told Shephard that it was also expecting a serial production contract for modernising the Turkish Army’s legacy M60A3 variant sometime this year, under what is known as the Euphrates modernisation.

Photos have appeared online showing a prototype of the M60A3 modernisation, incorporating several of the technologies that have also been used for the Fırat including cameras, laser warning systems and the SARP RWS.

Additional upgrades include the addition of angled ERA plates around the turret as well as a new driver vision system, power distribution unit and fire suppression system. An active protection system, likely based on the Ukrainian Zaslon, is also in the works although the industry source said this may not be for another year or two.

Modernising the legacy M60A3 has become a more pressing requirement in recent years as progress on Turkey’s domestic Altay MBT programme has stalled.

Turkey originally received 274 A1 and 658 A3 variants from surplus US stock in the 1990s, according to the SIPRI arms transfer database.

There is also a requirement for modernising the army’s ageing Leopard 2A4, although fluctuating relations between Germany and Turkey has also slowed this effort.

bug2 - 16-4-2018 at 07:20 PM

Patria will deliver 4 Leopard 2L bridge layer to Finnish army

Posted On Sunday, 15 April 2018 09:15

The Finnish Minister of Defence has authorised the Defence Forces Logistics Command to sign an agreement on bridge-laying equipment systems with Patria. The Defence Forces will get four new Leopard 2L bridge tanks with ability to handle Leguan bridges of different lengths.

Leopard 2L bridgelaying tank on display during Finnish Defence Forces 2014 Flag day in Lappeenranta Rakuunanmäki. (Picture source Wikimedia)

Bridge-laying systems are to be built on the Leopard 2A4 main battle tank platforms purchased earlier. Simultaneously, bridge-laying ability of different length bridges will be provided for the earlier purchased six Leopard 2L bridge tanks and nine SISU E15TP-L bridge vehicles.

Patria carried out a bridge system project in 2004 – 2008 and delivered six bridge-laying tanks and nine bridge-laying vehicles. This authorisation will increase the amount of those tanks and update the current equipment.

The purchase total value is some EUR 28,6 million and its employment effect with options in Finland is some 55 person-years of which Patria’s employment effect is some 35 person-years.

The deliveries of new tanks and modifications of the earlier purchased bridge-laying tanks and SISU E15TP-L vehicles will take place in 2019 - 2021.

bug2 - 17-4-2018 at 07:38 PM

Dutch Army receives first upgraded Leopard 2s

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

16 April 2018

Panzerbataillon 414’s upgraded German Leopard 2s equipped with a Dutch BMS will be able to operate with 43 Mechanised Brigade and its CV90 infantry fighting vehicles. Source: Dutch MoD

The Dutch Army received its first three Leopard 2A6MA2 main battle tanks (MBTs) from Krauss-Maffei Wegmann on 11 January, the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced.

A total of 18 of the upgraded Leopard 2s will be delivered by 2019, equipping the Dutch tank company of the German Army’s Panzerbataillon (Tank Battalion) 414.

The German and Dutch armies began forming Panzerbataillon 414 in 2015. The battalion comes under the command of the Dutch Army’s 43 Mechanised Brigade, which is in turn part of the German 1st Panzer Division. The parent German division will lead the NATO Response Force (NRF) starting in 2019, which will therefore include Dutch Leopard 2A6MA2s.

The Leopard 2A6MA2 is equipped with a Dutch battle management system (BMS), including blue force tracking, according to the Dutch MoD. Panzerbataillon 414’s German Leopard 2s will also be upgraded to the 2A6MA2 standard and equipped with the Dutch BMS so they can operate with 43 Mechanised Brigade, a ministry spokesman told Jane’s .

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bug2 - 18-4-2018 at 01:57 PM

Russian MoD adopts BMPT Terminator

Dmitry Fediushko, Moscow - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

17 April 2018

The Russian military has taken delivery of the BMPT Terminator, seen here from a UVZ video released in January. Source: UVZ

The Russia Ministry of Defence (MoD) has adopted the BMPT Terminator fire support vehicle, a source from UralVagonZavod (UVZ), its manufacturer, has told Jane's.

“The 'tank support' vehicle known as Terminator has entered service, and deliveries to the Russian military have already started. The first batch has been handed over to the military,” the source said, adding that some 10 vehicles had been delivered so far. “They will participate in the Victory Day parade on Red Square in Moscow on 9 May,” the source added. He said the BMPT Terminator made its international debut at the DefExpo 2018 exhibition in Chennai, India. “UVZ showed a mock-up of the vehicle to the Indian military.”

Unlike the BMPT-72, or Terminator-2, unveiled at the Russia Arms Expo 2013 show in Nizhny Tagil, the serial production BMPT is based on the chassis of the T-90 main battle tank (MBT). “Combining the Terminator`s chassis with that of the T-90A and T-90S MBTs substantially simplifies the use of the vehicle, reducing maintenance costs,” the source said. The Terminator`s armament suite comprises two 30 mm automatic guns, a medium machine gun, two automatic grenade launchers and four Ataka-T anti-tank guided missiles. “On the battlefield, the BMPT is equivalent to six infantry fighting vehicles and 40 soldiers. The vehicle can engage all types of targets, including small craft and low-flying helicopters,” he claimed.

The MoD acquired an unspecified number of BMPTs under a contract signed with UVZ at the Army 2017 defence show in August. “BMPT was tested under field conditions in Syria,” the source pointed out.

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bug2 - 19-4-2018 at 04:57 PM

DSA 2018: Kaplan MT to undergo qualification tests in Indonesia

Gabriel Dominguez, Kuala Lumpur - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

18 April 2018

The Kaplan MT Modern Medium Weight Tank (MMWT) is set to undergo qualification tests with the Indonesian Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat: TNI-AD) between May and July of this year.

The Kaplan MT will undergo qualifications tests with the Indonesian Army between May and July 2018. (FNSS)

“A prototype, which was jointly developed by Turkey’s FNSS and Indonesia’s PT Pindad, is already in Indonesia and a second one is being assembled at PT-Pindad’s facilities in Bandung,” an FNSS source told Jane’s at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2018 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur, pointing out that both vehicles will take part in the upcoming tests.

“The successful completion of the qualification process should lead to a government-to-government contract for serial production of the platform,” he said, adding that delivery of the first vehicles is expected to take place within two years of the contract being signed.

Intended to provide direct fire and tactical mobility to the Indonesian forces, the rear-engined Kaplan MT has been designed to the meet the TNI-AD’s requirement for a medium-weight tank. It uses the design principles of the Kaplan 30 infantry fighting vehicle – except for its engine position – to mount a 105 mm gun and provide a high level of protection to a crew of three.

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bug2 - 19-4-2018 at 07:54 PM

The Rheinmetall Lynx

(Source: Rheinmetall Defence; issued April 17, 2018)

Germany’s Rheinmetall is pushing its Lynx tracked infantry combat vehicle to replace the Czech Army’s BMP-2s, and is eager to involve local industry in its offer and in its global supply chain. (Rheinmetall photo)

The Czech armed forces are currently pressing ahead with a far-reaching modernization programme. Among other things, its fleet of BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, which dates from the 1980s, is to be replaced with a family of modern systems. Procurement of over 200 new medium-weight fighting vehicles is on the table. Most of these are to be equipped with a high-performance medium-calibre turret.

Rheinmetall – a proven, longstanding partner of Czech industry – has put forward its new Lynx for this project, a medium-weight, modular platform armed with the Lance turret system.

The Lynx – agile, versatile, lethal, highly protected

Right from the outset, the Lynx was designed for maximum modularity. Characterized by superb survivability, off-road mobility and overall combat effectiveness, it is based on tried-and-tested technologies. Heavily armed, highly protected and extremely agile, this tracked armoured vehicle is built to assure successful outcomes on the battlefield. It lends itself to military operations ranging from peace enforcement missions to high-intensity combat.

During comparative trials in Vyskov last summer, Rheinmetall entered the lists with a Lynx equipped with the Lance turret. The Lance turret’s main armament is a stabilized, airburst-capable automatic cannon, available in 30mm and 35mm versions. This lets the Lynx engage targets at ranges of up to 3,000 metres with precision, effectiveness and efficiency, even when on the move. The vehicle can also be armed with various antitank guided missiles such as the EuroSPIKE, which the Czech and German armed forces both have in their inventories. Other effector options include remotely controlled weapon stations as well as a package of advanced electronic countermeasures.

The Lynx infantry fighting vehicle is available in two versions: the KF31 and KF41 (KF stands for Kettenfahrzeug, the German word for ‘tracked vehicle’). First unveiled in 2016, the Lynx KF31 weighs up to 38 tonnes, and can comfortably carry a three-man crew and six-man section of fully equipped infantrymen in complete safety. Weighing in at over 40 tonnes, the Lynx KF41 is roomy enough to seat two extra troops. Both vehicles – the Lynx KF31 and Lynx KF41 – can be quickly and easily configured for other missions, including command and control, reconnaissance, repair and recovery or medevac operations – and the list goes on.

“By Czechs, for Czechs” – a concept tailored to meet customer requirements

But it’s not just the platform that is so compelling. Rheinmetall wants to include the Czech defence industry in the project in a major way. The planned deadlines for commissioning are to be worked out in close cooperation, with development and production to take place in both the Czech Republic and Germany.

Local development and production as well as the establishment of a robust supply chain will bolster Czech national sovereignty and the Lynx’s Czech DNA, assuring the long-term viability of the country’s defence sector as a key member of the NATO alliance. Moreover, the project will result in the creation of highly qualified jobs in the Czech Republic and added value for Czech companies, while simultaneously increasing the operational effectiveness of the Czech Army. Furthermore, Rheinmetall is eager to include as many Czech firms as possible in its global supply chain.

Today, Rheinmetall is already an important partner of Czech industry. The Group’s Automotive unit produces car parts in Ústí nad Labem. In the defence domain, RayService supplies Rheinmetall with wiring harnesses for combat vehicles. And in cooperation with Česká zbrojovka a.s., Rheinmetall is a major supplier of ammunition to the Czech armed forces. Other cooperation partners include Quittner & Schimek s.r.o, VOP CZ, sp and Rohde&Schwarz. The project to modernize the Czech Republic’s fleet of IFV would lead to a further intensification and expansion of cooperation.

The Lynx: a flagship project

In a process of genuine German-Czech cooperation, Rheinmetall wants to develop and produce one of the world’s most advanced combat vehicles in the Czech Republic. This flagship project therefore has great potential significance not merely for the European defence industry, but also in terms of security policy extending far beyond the bounds of Europe and NATO.


bug2 - 24-4-2018 at 03:07 PM

Puma: One of the Most Modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles In the World

(Source: German Army; issued April 20, 2018)

(Issued in German; unofficial translation by

Two Puma IFVs during their first public presentation at the Grafenwoehr training ground in Bavaria in September. The 30mm stabilized gun guarantees a high first-shot hit capability. (Bundeswehr photo)

BERLIN --- Germany’s Panzergrenadiere mechanized infantry will receive one of the most modern armored infantry fighting vehicles in the world with the new Puma. Planning for the successor to the current Marder armored infantry combat vehicle began in 2002, and its operational clearance was granted in April 2015.

"Unlike the Marder, the entire crew of the Puma sits in the highly-protected trough, and the turret is unmanned," explains Christoph Jansen of the Koblenz Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Bundeswehr. The Government Technical Director is Deputy Project Manager for the Puma infantry fighting vehicle. "Due to its exposed position, the turret is the most vulnerable part of the vehicle, and with no crew, less armored space is needed, and at the same time, crew safety increases as does space for radios and other equipment."

This innovation has far-reaching consequences. "It is and must be our goal to keep the Puma under armored protection and not relying on the vehicle to pass through unprotected, which requires the use of modern electronic observation and sighting sensors," Jansen continues. “Therefore, in future, and in addition to the existing visual means, even more powerful cameras will be integrated into the turret and the chassis. This way, the crew of the Puma will remain under armor protection day and night, while both stationary and moving, with good all-round visibility.”

Maximum protection and air-transportability in the Airbus A400M

The Puma is the first armored vehicle of the Bundeswehr equipped with add-on reactive armor on the sides. This armor can be removed for transport, for example, in the Airbus A400M and replaced with little effort against other protection modules. Furthermore, a so-called distance-active "multifunctional self-protection system" (MUST) ensures maximum protection of the vehicle crew

High hit rate, tactile ammunition

"Another strength of the Puma is its high first hit probability," emphasizes Jansen. "One type of ammunition has a programmable detonator. The explosion time can therefore be determined according to the objective."

With the stabilized 30-millimeter automatic cannon, the fully-tracked vehicle can hit targets up to 3,000 meters away while moving. The Israeli-manufactured multi-role lightweight missile system (MELLS) can engage heavily armored ground targets, such as battle tanks, at distances up to 4,000 meters.

Full operational readiness planned by 2024

"In addition to the Puma, another important building block in the 'Panzergrenadier system' is the armed forces’ Infantryman of the Future (IdZ-ES) soldier equipment. In addition to modern sighting equipment, it also includes modern protection equipment and weapons," explains Jansen. "All in all, the interaction between the vehicle and the IdZ-ES results in a high added value for the Panzergrenadier."

Many additional "features" will be integrated in the future, such as the in 7.62mm caliber MG 5 machine-gun, which will replace the MG 4 in the Puma. The turret-independent secondary weapons system is also provided, which allows the rifle squad in the rear combat area significantly enhanced capabilities of observation and action, with lethal and non-lethal agents. Threats can be engaged both in the rear and in the flank.

Full operational readiness - with all required services - will be achieved by 2024. But that also has its price. "Each Puma will cost around 12 million euros," says Jansen, “and the Bundeswehr has ordered a total of 350 vehicles."


bug2 - 24-4-2018 at 05:38 PM

Vietnamese army’s tanks to be upgraded

Posted On Monday, 23 April 2018 14:56

The People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) is upgrading its fleet of heavy armored vehicles, Russian and Vietnamese defense sources say.

Vietnamese T-90 (Picture source: Youtube)

Hanoi is receiving Russian T-90S main battle tanks (MBTs). "The deliveries of the T-90S/SK MBTs to Vietnam have already started. The contract is to be completed before the end of 2019," a source from Russian defense industry says. According to the annual report of the Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) research-and-manufacturing corporation for 2016, No.704 customer (Vietnam) is to receive 64 T-90S/SK tanks. Therefore, Hanoi takes the delivery of both the baseline and the command (T-90SK) modifications of the T-90S.

At the same time, PAVN updates a number of legacy T-54/55 tanks to the T-54M3 standard. "The Vietnamese military has launched a program to upgrade its fleet of T-54/55 tanks," a source from Vietnamese defense industry says. He adds that "several dozen" tanks will be modified. "The modernization of the whole fleet of T-54/55 MBTs is unlikely due to financial constraints," he says.

According to the source, the T-54M3 tank has been fitted with additional Super Blazer explosive reactive armor that protects the tank's frontal arc and sides. The vehicle has retained the organic D-10T2S 100 mm rifled gun of the baseline T-54/55.

The T-54M3 has also received a new sighting system with infrared channel and a meteorological sensor. The tank's armament suite has been reinforced by a 60 mm mortar installed in the left part of the turret. The organic DShKM 12.7 mm heavy anti-aircraft machinegun has been retained also. All the new components of the T-54M3 tank are supplied by Israel's Rafael company.

"PAVN has launched several programs aimed at the modernization of Cold war-era systems. The T-54B tanks, the BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket systems and the P-18 radars will be upgraded in the first instance," the Vietnamese source said. According to him, the T-54Bs, not T-55 or Chinese-made Type 59 tanks, will be rebuilt into the T-54M3s.

The Vietnamese military has been beefing up the combat potential of its sea and air components in recent years.

However, the land service of PAVN, Vietnam People's Ground Forces (VPGF) saw almost no upgrade. In 2015, Hanoi refurbished ASU-85 85 mm self-propelled anti-tank guns (SPATG) and issued them to the 168th Artillery Brigade of VPGF.

The acquisition of T-90S and modernization of the T-54B will shore the combat potential of Vietnamese ground troops.

However, the firepower of the T-54M3 lags behind that of most modern tanks.

Vietnam's armor fleet comprises the T-54/55, T-62, Type 59 (a Chinese copy of the T-54), and even WWII-age T-34-85 tanks. Thus, Hanoi urgently needs to bring it to a modern standard.

bug2 - 24-4-2018 at 07:42 PM

Warrior IFV trialled with Soucy Defense CRT

Christopher F Foss, London - Jane's International Defence Review

23 April 2018

British Army Warrior infantry fighting vehicle fitted with Soucy Defense composite rubber tracks during trials in the UK. Source: Soucy Defense/Defence Photography

A British Army Warrior infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) fitted with Soucy Defense composite rubber tracks (CRT) has completed a 5,000 km trial, Jane’s has learned.

The effort was aimed at proving the CRT technology as a replacement for the conventional steel tracks currently fitted to the Warrior IFV fleet. It was carried out at the service’s Armoured Trials and Development (ATDU) in Bovington under a joint programme that included vehicle manufacturer BAE Systems and Soucy Defense.

A new front drive sprocket and a modified rear idler were the only modifications required to fit the new tracks.

The 5,000 km trial was split into blocks of 500 km battlefield missions and covered road, cross-country, gradient, trench and vertical obstacles. The vehicle was then returned to its original configuration, although it was estimated that the CRT could have functioned for another 3,000 km.

Soucy Defense stated that CRT technology provides several advantages. These include up to 70% less vibration, which improves crew comfort as well as the longevity of the vehicle’s electronic subsystems.

The CRT also provides a noise reduction of up to 13.5 dB compared with conventional steel tracks. The lighter tracks also reduce the vehicle’s weight, which can then be used to fit additional armour or other mission equipment.

Operational range is also said to be extended by up to 25% depending on the size and weight of the vehicle because of reduced rolling resistance.

The tracks are already standard on several armoured fighting vehicles (AFV), including the Swedish BAE Systems Hagglunds BvS 10 articulated all-terrain vehicle (ATV), Singapore Technologies Kinetics Bronco all terrain tracked carrier (ATTC), M113 armoured personnel carriers in service with Canada, Denmark, and Norway, and on the latest batch of BAE Systems Hagglunds CV9030 IFVs for Norway.

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unicorn - 25-4-2018 at 09:23 PM

Seems like a no-brainer offering lots of upside and little to no downside.

I suppose we should sit back and watch as the British procurement system screws this up as well.

bug2 - 25-4-2018 at 10:00 PM

These Tracks are interesting as they are replaceable section by section like metal tracks, one of the criticisms of the band-tracks..........whether this gets adopted is another matter.

bug2 - 26-4-2018 at 12:40 PM

Turkey awards multibillion-dollar contract for indigenous Altay tank

By: Burak Ege Bekdil   17 hours ago

The Altay will be Turkey’s first indigenous main battle tank.

ANKARA, Turkey — BMC, a privately owned Turkish-Qatari armored vehicles manufacturer, has won a multibillion-dollar contract for the serial production of the Altay, Turkey’s first indigenous, new-generation main battle tank in the making.

A top procurement official confirmed the decision. “We will start contract negotiations with this group, as it emerged as the best bidder,” the official said.

Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industies, or SSM, has been reviewing bids from three contenders since 2017. Other bidders were Otokar, maker of the Altay’s prototypes, and FNSS. Both companies are privately owned armored vehicle makers.

In 2008, Otokar, Turkey’s largest privately owned defense company, signed a $500 million contract with SSM for the development and production of four prototypes of the Altay. The prototype contract did not involve serial production.

A senior BMC official confirmed the decision. He said the official announcement should follow very soon.

BMC is a partnership between a Qatari investment fund and a Turkish venture whose partner, Ethem Sancak, also sits in the executive board of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party.

In February BMC announced that it set out to an ambitious work to design, develop and produce an indigenous engine for the Altay. The company said it devoted 200 engineers on the engine development program.

An industry source said that BMC’s victory would further deepen defense cooperation and procurement ties between Turkey and Qatar — staunch regional allies.

The Altay program involves an initial batch of 250 units, but the number of tanks Turkey could purchase will likely go up to 1,000 units.

bug2 - 26-4-2018 at 12:46 PM

No idea WHY they had a competition? It was a dead certainty that BMC were going to get the Contract as they built a new factory specifically for this programme, their Head is buried up Erdogan's ass, and the Turkish Head of FNSS is supposedly known for his opposition to Erdogan and his crew.

It'll be interesting to see IF they, BMC, don't screw this up monumentally, always supposing the new Turkish-built/designed engine isn't a clusterfuck of the first order.............?

bug2 - 30-4-2018 at 06:07 PM

Ukraine re-roles 2S1 SPH for infantry combat

Christopher F Foss, London - Jane's International Defence Review

30 April 2018

Ukraine’s UkrInnMash Corporation is now offering the Kevlar-E infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) based on the Russian 122 mm 2S1 self-propelled howitzer (SPH) platform.

The original turret 2S1 SPH has been removed and the area to the immediate rear of the diesel power pack and driver’s position at the front of the vehicle raised to provide greater internal volume for its new mission.

The Kevlar-E is based on a surplus 122 mm 2S1 self-propelled howitzer and is shown here fitted with the locally developed Shturm remote weapon station. The six dismounts can rapidly enter and leave via the power operated ramp in the rear. (UkrInnMash)

The re-roled vehicle now accommodates six dismounts in addition to the three-person crew comprising the commander, gunner, and driver. The dismounts are seated three on either side facing inwards on foldable, blast attenuating seats. A new power-operated ramp with an emergency exit is now built to the rear.

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bug2 - 1-5-2018 at 07:47 PM

Indonesia - Tiger medium tank to be mass-produced soon

Posted On Tuesday, 01 May 2018 07:26

The Indonesian Tiger medium tank is a joint project associating the Indonesian company PT Pindad and the Turkish FNSS company. The second prototype will undergo a series of tests in view of obtaining its certification next June.

The Indonesian "Tiger" medium tank is nearing its mass-production phase (Picture source: FNSS)

According to President Director of PT Pindad, Abraham Mose, the testing step will be the opening door before the medium tank is mass produced. "Having proven successful in the test, we directly production," he said on 29 April. Orders for the medium tank are already rolling: TNI (the Indonesian army), through the Defense Minister, will order 100 units. Another of the Asean countries has already shown interest.

A series of tests carried on with the medium tank’s the second prototype include static tests, mechanical tests, dynamic tests, and firing tests to check the reliability of the weaponry, a 105mm caliber gun. The gun has an autoloader mechanism with 12 shells in the turret and 26 additional ones in the hull. The tank that can drive up to 70 km/h. It is manned by three crew members (driver, commander, gunner).

In addition to the cannon, the 32-ton tank is also equipped with the latest technological devices concerning hunter-killer system, passive protection, battle management system, and level 5 protection.

bug2 - 1-5-2018 at 07:51 PM

Retrofit of Bradleys remains main concern for US DoD

Posted On Tuesday, 01 May 2018 06:25

The Bradley Fighting Vehicle production line remains active for the modernization and retrofit of existing Bradley vehicles.

The U.S. Army maintains that the M2/M7A4 Bradley Fighting Vehicle will be a critical component of the Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) formation until FY50. (Picture source: DVIDS)

The stated focus of the U.S. Army's current Bradley program is on upgrading existing Bradley M2A2 ODS - Situational Awareness (ODS-SA)/M7A3 vehicles to the Bradley M2A4/M7A4 configuration.

The U.S. Army maintains that the M2/M7A4 Bradley Fighting Vehicle will be a critical component of the Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) formation until FY50. However, according to U.S. Department of Defense budget request documentation, the Army has only requested M2A4 upgrade funding for 138 vehicles, through FY19.

With the demise of the Ground Combat Vehicle (AMPV) program, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle has become the U.S. Army's most significant new armored fighting vehicle program. The AMPV is a non-developmental family of vehicles that will begin replacing the Army's geriatric M113 armored personnel carrier fleet.

On December 23, 2014, the U.S. Army awarded BAE Systems a 52-month engineering and manufacturing development contract for its Bradley-based AMPV proposal. The initial EMD contract was worth $383 million. The contract also includes an option to commence low-rate initial production immediately following conclusion of the EMD phase, thus raising the total value of the contract to $1.2 billion.

Under Army plans, the AMPV will ultimately account for approximately 30 percent of the ABCT's tracked fleet. The Army currently holds a procurement objective of 2,897 AMPVs in five variants.

bug2 - 1-5-2018 at 07:54 PM

Israeli Defence ministry doubles orders for tank and APC parts

Posted On Monday, 30 April 2018 14:03

The Israeli Merkava IV main battle tanks and Namer armored personnel carriers have been heavily used during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, last summer. So, the decision to double the orders for spare parts sticks to the necessity to maintain Merkavas and Namers in operational condition.

Namer APC (armoured Personnel Carrier of the 13th Battalion of the Golani Brigade during a drill held in the Golan Heights, northern Israel (Picture source: FlickR IDF official account)

Each Merkava Mk IV tank is made of around a million parts. According to the Jerusalem Post, factories producing parts for the Namer APCs and Merkava MBTs have received new orders worth tens of millions of dollars. The orders have been placed by the Defense Ministry’s Acquisitions Administration and the Merkava Tank Administration.

Last year, senior sources from the army said the IDF will need to equip greater numbers of Merkava MK IV tanks and Namer APCs, and install Rafael Trophy active protection systems on them to deal with future battlefields, particularly against Hezbollah in Lebanon. Not only does the Namer have superior armor to the Vietnam-era M113, but the addition of active defense against shoulder-fired missiles will significantly increase battlefield survivability, resulting in fewer future casualties.

Defense sources told The Jerusalem Post that they expect an increase in the production of the tanks as well as APCs.

bug2 - 2-5-2018 at 11:41 PM

New Infantry Fighting Vehicles a Top Army Priority, Secretary Says

The command's efforts will focus on each of the of the Army's six modernization priorities: long-range precision fires, next-generation combat vehicle, future vertical lift, a mobile and expeditionary network, air and missile defense capabilities and soldier lethality. (U.S Army Photo) 1 May 2018 By Matthew Cox

The U.S. Army's top official said Tuesday that the service's Next Generation Combat Vehicle program will focus first on fielding a replacement for the Bradley fighting vehicle.

Building a fleet of NGCVs to replace the M1 tank and the Bradley is the Army's second-highest modernization priority.

Over the last six months, Army leaders have stressed that NGCVs will have to be manned as well as unmanned, but Army Secretary Mark Esper revealed that the service will focus first on the "new infantry fighting vehicle, which is what the first Next Generation Combat Vehicle will be."

"It should provide us with a great deal of capability with our armored formations," Esper told an audience at the Atlantic Council.

This is not the first time the Army has attempted to replace the Cold War-era infantry fighting vehicle. It was four years ago that the service killed its last effort to replace the Bradley, known as the Ground Combat Vehicle program.

The Army launched the GCV program in 2009 shortly after the Pentagon canceled the service's Future Combat Systems program -- a multi-billion-dollar modernization effort that included manned ground vehicles designed to replace the M1, Bradley and other legacy combat vehicles.

Replacing the Bradley then became the Army's top modernization priority. The first prototype was designed to carry a nine-soldier squad; it featured a hybrid drive engine for greater power and an active protection system designed to defeat enemy missiles. It was heavy, though, with a base weight of approximately 53 tons.

In the end, mandatory defense spending cuts under sequestration forced the Army to cancel the GCV program in 2014. Lawmakers cut GCV funding by $492 million in the fiscal 2015 budget. The move left the Army with $100 million instead of the $592 million it had requested to continue developing the program.

Army officials, however, are determined to replace the Bradley. This time around, leaders have pledged to deliver the first manned and unmanned prototypes of NGCV by 2019.

It will feature artificial intelligence to provide driver-assisted, 360-degree situational awareness as well as computer-assisted targeting and acquisition capabilities to help crew members make quicker decisions in combat, Army officials say.

The NGCV is one of the Army's six modernization priorities, which also include long-range precision fires, Future Vertical Lift, a mobile network, air and missile defense, and soldier lethality.

"This is an exciting time as the Army faces many challenges," Esper said. "It's going to take a great deal of leadership. It's going to take tough decision-making. It's going to take persistence by me and my leadership team."

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at

bug2 - 4-5-2018 at 09:16 AM

Czechoslovak Group exports IFVs and SPHs to Ukraine

Jiri Kominek, Prague - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

03 May 2018

Excalibur Army, a subsidiary of Czech defence holding company Czechoslovak Group (CSG), has secured a contract to deliver refurbished Russian-designed BVP-1 (BMP-1) amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and 2S1 amphibious tracked self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence.

“The contract was signed recently and is worth hundreds of millions of crowns and involves dozens of vehicle platforms,” CSG spokesman Andrej Cirtek told Jane’s .

“Excalibur Army will completely overhaul the armoured vehicles and self-propelled howitzers at VOP 026 Sternberk and then transport them to our partner Wtorplast in Poland, which will export them to the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine,” he added.

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bug2 - 27-5-2018 at 02:12 PM

The US Army needs new Combat Vehicles. IFV first.

Posted On Friday, 25 May 2018 14:19

It has been discussed for a while: the M1 Abrams and M3 Bradley need to be replaced by successors. Army Secretary Mark Esper announced that a top priority is given to the "new infantry fighting vehicle, which is what the first Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) will be." The challenge is immense, as it will also encompass remote control technology to an unprecedented level.

What will the U.S. Army's Next Generation Combat Vehicle look like? Here is a BAE Systems view of a future IFV concept (Picture source: BAE Systems)

The Bradley (like the Abrams) is getting older and older, hence the decision of the Army to rank its replacement as priority number 1, even if one can detect other vehicles, weapons, etc. of the armed forces that deserve this “number 1 priority” status: the NGCV is only one of the Army's six modernization priorities, which include long-range precision fires, Future Vertical Lift, a mobile network, air and missile defense, and soldier lethality, not mentioning the exoskeletons.

The first prototype of the NGCV was designed to carry a nine-soldier squad; it was powered by a hybrid drive engine for greater power, and equipped with an active protection system designed to defeat enemy missiles. It was weighed approximately 53 tons, roughly the weight of main battle tank. But once again, defense spending cuts forced the Army to cancel the GCV program in 2014. It left the Army with $100 million instead of the $592 million it had requested to continue developing the program.

Nevertheless, the Bradley remains to be replaced. This time, the Army plans to deliver the first manned and unmanned prototypes of NGCV by 2019. As expected, it will feature artificial intelligence to provide driver-assisted, 360-degree situational awareness as well as computer-assisted targeting and acquisition capabilities to help crew members make quicker decisions in combat, Army officials say.

bug2 - 27-5-2018 at 03:44 PM

Ukraine has started development of new BMP-U tracked armored IFV

Posted On Friday, 25 May 2018 13:38

Ukrainian State Defense Company Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau has started the development of a new generation of tracked armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) under the name of BMP-U that could be enter in service with the Ukrainian army in 2020. The design of the new BMP-U seems very similar to the Russian-made Kurganets-25 IFV.

Drawing of the new BMP-U tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle that will be designed by the Ukrainian Company Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau (Picture source Ukroboronprom)

The designers and engineers of Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau are focusing on BMP-U development, to design a new IFV able to replace old Soviet-made BMP-1 and BMP-2 IFVs . According to the Company, the first prototype of the BMP-U could be manufactured and tested during the year of 2019.

The BMP-U will based on a tracked chassis motorized with a Diesel engine developing 735 hp coupled to an automatic transmission offering high level maneuverability. The vehicle will have a weight from 25 to 27 tons. The BMP-U will be full amphibious propelled in the water by its tracks.

The BMP-U has been designed to be used first as IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) with a crew of three including driver, commander and gunner. The rear part of the vehicle can accommodate seven infantrymen. According to the designers, the BMP-U will offer 10 to 12% more protection than the wheeled armored vehicle BTR-4 which is protected against firing of small arms 7.62mm AP (Armour Piercing) caliber and artillery shell splinters, Level 2 STANAG 4569.

The BMP-U will be fitted with the new combat turret BM-8 armed with one 30 automatic cannon, one 7.62mm coaxial machine and two launchers for the anti-tank guided missile Barrier mounted on the right side of the turret. One bank of five grenade dischargers is mounted on each at the front of the turret.

The BMP-U chassis will be used as universal platform to design a whole family of tracked armoured vehicles as command post, engineer, medical or recovery vehicles.

bug2 - 30-5-2018 at 07:12 PM

Dutch-German tank battalion receives first Leopard 2A6MA2

Nicholas Fiorenza, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

30 May 2018

The first of a total of 17 Leopard 2A6MA2s has been delivered to Panzerbataillon 414. Source: Bundeswehr

The German Army's Panzerbataillon (Armour Battalion) 414, which includes a Dutch tank company, received its first Leopard 2A6MA2 recently, the Bundeswehr announced on 25 May. The remaining 16 main battle tanks are scheduled to be delivered to the battalion in Lohheide, northern Germany, by the end of June, the Bundeswehr added.

Panzerbataillon 414, which the German and Dutch armies began forming in 2015, comes under the command of the Royal Netherlands Army's 43 Mechanised Brigade, which is in turn part of the German 1st Panzer Division.

Panzerbataillon 414 Commander Lieutenant Colonel Marco Niemeyer described the “hand over - take over” of the Leopard 2A6MA2, which will equip the Dutch tank company, as a major step in the integration of the unit, with the tank's Dutch Essential Land based Information Application & Services (ELIAS) battlefield management system providing technical interoperability with 43 Mechanised Brigade.

Panzerbataillon 414's German Leopard 2s will also be upgraded to the 2A6MA2 standard and equipped with ELIAS so they can operate with 43 Mechanised Brigade, bringing the total number of tanks to be upgraded to 48.

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bug2 - 1-6-2018 at 06:39 PM

FFG Support Vehicles for Norway

The FFG ACSV has been selected by the Norwegian armed forces as part of its logistic and support vehicle recapitalisation programme. (Artist’s impression: FFG)

Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft mbH (FFG) has won a tender for supply of a new generation of protected support vehicles for the Norwegian armed forces, the company announced on 30 May.

Besides the development and construction of the new Armored Combat Support Vehicle (ACSV), the contract also includes the supply of drive and protection packages for the M577 command post and other vehicles of the M113 family currently in Norwegian service. These modernisation solutions are based on the proven G4 power packs, a field in which FFG already has extensive experience in the development and integration of protection solutions for military vehicles.

The ACSV is a versatile tracked platform, available either in open or closed hull configurations. A flexibly designed loading area and integrated container mounts make the vehicle ideal as a carrier for container-based missions such as close-range air defence, radar applications or electronic warfare. The closed version has a large, efficiently protected and flexibly usable interior, which is ideally suited for transport, command or ambulance missions.

Technically, ACSV is based on the PMMC G5, which was also developed by FFG and is already proven under the toughest conditions, including extensive tests in desert and deep snow.

The PMMC G5 combines outstanding mobility with maximum protection for crew and equipment. An example will be on show at the FFG stand at Eurosatory 2018 in Paris, alongside the innovative WISENT 2, which will be exhibited in armoured engineering vehicle configuration.

The company has already successfully completed several contractual undertakings for the Norwegian military and is including Norwegian companies in the project implementation for the new contract, FFG confirmed.

Cortez - 2-6-2018 at 10:34 PM

Lynx KF41 teaser video

A Lynx KF41 teaser for Eurosatory has been released by Rheinmetall. Looks like a new turret too.

Rheinmetall Lynx KF41

bug2 - 3-6-2018 at 02:11 PM

Long time browser who hasn't posted for a few years.

It looks like Rheinmetall is about to launch the Lynx KF41 at Eurosatory. Should be interesting to see how it is recieved in relation to the Australian Land 400 Phase 3, CZ IFV and US NGCV programs.

unicorn - 3-6-2018 at 10:02 PM

You would have to think that the Boxer win would make Lynx a more favoured candidate for Land 400 Phase 3

bug2 - 4-6-2018 at 12:38 PM

Or PUMA, seeing as we have a propensity for the most expensive.................

bug2 - 5-6-2018 at 04:16 PM

Modernized by UOP Enterprises T-84 Will Compete in "Tank Challenge 2018"

(Source: UkrOboronProm; issued June 01, 2018)

In this year’s Tank Challenge competition, Ukraine will enter the upgraded T-84 main battle tanks, which it says is far more effective that the T-64BV that its troops used in the 2017 competition. (UOP photo)

The Ukrainian troops on the main T-84 military tanks – repaired and upgraded by UKROBORONPROM (UOP) enterprises SE “Malyshev Plant” and the SE "Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau", will take part in the tank platoon competition “The Strong Europe Tank Challenge 2018″.

T-84 and crews have already arrived in Grafenwöhr Training Area, Germany, and the opening of the Tank Challenge 2018 will take place on June 3. Representatives of 8 countries will compete for the title of the best tank platoon. Ukrainian tanks will compete with “Abrams”, “Leclerc” and “Leopard” of various modifications.

The main battle tank T-84 is more advanced, compared with the T-64BV, used by Ukrainian crew during international competitions in 2017. The latest developments of the Ukrainian military-industrial complex were used for modernization of this tank. It is a step above its predecessors.

The T-84 is a modern vehicle, developed by the SE "Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau". The T-84 has the latest gunner’s sight, detecting the target "tank" up to 3500 meters, and “infantryman” type target – up to 2,200 meters. Taking into account the 125-mm gun with a loader that allows firing at a rate of 8 rounds per minute, it ensures effective destruction of targets in a minimum amount of time.

The T-84 is equipped with 1200-horsepower engine, providing an almost 50-ton tank with specific power of 24,7 horsepower per tonne, which is about one third more than T-64BV and is in line with such tanks as “Abrams” and “Leopard-2”. The T-84 can speed up to 70 km / h when moving forward and – thanks to four reverse gears – with a maximum speed of up to 35 km / h in reverse gear. This allows for quick maneuvers on the battlefield, constantly changing positions without exposing the vulnerable zones of the combat vehicle to the enemy.

In addition, the combat vehicle has an auxiliary power unit that feeds the onboard systems, while the tank is stationary. In addition, the T-84 is equipped with a complex of optoelectronic countermeasure complex "Varta" – providing detection of laser irradiation of the tank – and an electro-optical active protection system “Shtora” that can mislead enemy anti-tank missiles.

The tank is equipped with high-sensitivity optical fire detectors, instead of temperature sensors. They accelerate the reaction of an automated fire extinguishing system in case of fire inside the tank. This helps to save lives of the crew and increases the survivability of the combat vehicle on the battlefield.

T-84 tanks proved their high effectiveness during the practical phase of Combined Resolve X international exercises at the training site near Hohenfels, Bayern, Germany.

The airborne company of 79 AABr and the tank platoon of 14 SMBr accomplished a march, having several times engaged in battle with hypothetical aggressor, delivering fire from the ambush. During the clashes, several enemy “Abrams” tanks were dead. Without significant losses, the jointed subunit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to reach the point of destination.


New KMW Vehicle at Eurosatory

Cortez - 6-6-2018 at 10:54 PM

KMW’s new vehicle in Paris. I honestly don’t know what to say. It reminds me of Dr Doolitlles mythical push-me-pull you animal? Thoughts? Can you see soldiers going to war in this?

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