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[*] posted on 2-12-2018 at 11:48 AM


So if we were looking at roughly half that number of M1A2C/D tanks...

We should be able to find $600m or so....




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 4-12-2018 at 07:14 PM


Russian airborne troops to receive BMD-4M IFVs in 2019

POSTED ON MONDAY, 03 DECEMBER 2018 14:51

The Russian airborne troops will receive an experimental shipment of BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle (Sadovnitsa) in 2019, the Russian Defense Ministry said. "New airborne infantry fighting vehicles will be supplied to airborne units for parachute landing," the ministry’s press service said.


BMD-4M displayed at Armya-2018 near Kubinka (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The main equipment set comprises the PBS-950U platformless parachute system and the series 2 MKS-350-12M multi-dome parachute system. The total area of the parachute system designed exclusively for airdropping BMD-4M from airlifters of the Russian Aerospace Forces exceeds 4,000 meters.

The BMD-4M airborne infantry fighting vehicle (AIFV) is a profoundly modernized variant of BMD-4 with a new body, engine, running gear and other joints. BMD-4M is equipped with a Bakhcha-U module. The AIFV is capable of firing at a range of up to 7 km from a distance of 5 km. The main weapons comprise a 100 mm gun with a load of 34 high-explosive fragment projectiles, 4 Arkan anti-tank guided missiles and a 30mm automatic gun with a load of 500 shells of various caliber and a 7.62 mm machine-gun.
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[*] posted on 16-12-2018 at 12:53 AM


Viewpoint: New Dimensions for the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle

12/12/2018

By Zachary Lum


CV90 Photo: BAE Systems

What’s in the realm of the possible for the Army’s next-generation infantry fighting vehicle?

If one were to extrapolate promising innovations in materials, propulsion, robotics, artificial intelligence and sensors 20 years down the road, something like this could be within reach: A nimble 25-ton platform formed from exotic composites and honeycombed “foam” steel, the “Manned Fighting Vehicle” has organic ballistic and mine protection superior to the best protected 40-plus-ton infantry fighting vehicle operating today.

Using a powerful but quiet electric propulsion system, it achieves unprecedented range and stealth while generating loads of exportable power. It is neither tracked nor wheeled, but incredibly, a “reconfigurable wheel-track” — a shape-shifting best of both worlds.

As a matter of course, the vehicle integrates the latest active protection, electronic warfare, targeting and battle management systems with a high capacity plug-and-play architecture. For weapons and effectors, a modular turret system can interchange guns, missiles and directed energy systems as they become available. A 360-degree sensor array turns the closed-hatch hull into a glass cockpit from the inside; on the outside, active camouflage tiles blend the vehicle’s visible and thermal signatures into the surroundings. For the most dangerous missions, it has full ghost-ride mode, with the crew dismounted and controlling it with an electronic tether.

When the next-generation combat vehicle program left the gates a couple of years ago, that was the Army’s vision: 2035 was the target for fielding a new-design common platform to replace both the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the Abrams main battle tank. The plan was to bridge the gap with upgrades to the legacy platforms.

In late 2018, to the surprise of no one who has ever tracked a major service acquisition, the plan has changed. On the operational side, the intense anti-armor environment on display in Syria plus the reemergence of heavy hitting Russian forces along old Cold War frontiers have pressured the Army to get new capabilities into its armored brigades faster. On the bureaucratic side, the service has a raft of new vehicle initiatives for which the vehicle budget line — the No. 2 priority in the Army modernization plan — offers a protective mantle. The result has been a quiet reformatting of new combat vehicles into a basket of parallel procurements.

The latest entrants to the fold are the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, an M113 replacement which is on the verge of production, and Mobile Protected Firepower, a light tank for the Army’s airborne brigades. They stretch the definition of “next generation” into the prosaic: less aspirational leaps in technology, more “whatever comes next.”

Preserving the original, futuristic vision for the next-generation combat vehicle program is the Robotic Combat Vehicle, which is tasked with the big-gun overmatching firepower role. But it is moving along a slow development track in an experimental prototyping mode — in other words, the Army sees no crushing near-term need to replace the Abrams.

The Bradley is a different story. The effort to recapitalize the aging and overburdened infantry fighting vehicle is the real heart of the new program, because “Bradley specifically is not at all optimized for the future environment and we’re running out of engineering margins to make those improvements,” Col. Andy Boston, deputy director of the Army’s next-generation combat vehicle cross-functional team, said in a June interview. The team is aiming for first unit equipped with the replacement vehicle in 2026, and backwards planning based upon that timeline.

For those with hopes and expectations for a revolutionary leap ahead for Army mounted maneuver, let’s begin with some expectation-grounding for the mounted version: it will not be a radical clean-sheet design. A mid-2020s target to enter service means the Army must get ahead and stay ahead of potential technical, schedule and cost risks. “On this timeline, we’re likely looking at something that is currently in production or is very close to being ready for production,” said Boston.

But this does not have to mean a backslide from the fundamental vision of the next-generation vehicle. First, the fighting vehicle must continue to be some variation of an armored box that can transport, offload and support fully kitted troopers. This imposes a minimum volume-under-armor requirement that limits the scope for radical innovation. The robotic version will not be so constrained in paring away the weight, profile and volume of existing combat vehicles.

Second, for setting a new baseline, today’s best-of-breed armored boxes do provide a generational improvement over the 1980s-era Bradley. This was evident at the Association of the United States Army conference in October, where industry put forward a slate of tracked candidates.

Germany’s Rheinmetall, teamed with Raytheon as its U.S.-based integrator and subsystems provider, unveiled a variant of the new Lynx IFV. At up to 45 tons gross weight, including nine tons of reconfigurable payload, it is modular, extremely well protected and the only competitor that can carry a full nine-person infantry squad in addition to a manned 30 mm turret. Although, Boston admitted that the Army has conceded this once sacrosanct requirement as it optimizes for deployability and urban operations: “We will not be putting the entire squad in one vehicle,” he said.

General Dynamics showcased the Griffin III, a somewhat more compact platform with capacity for six dismounts, armed with a monstrous 50 mm cannon. The Griffin family is itself a derivative of the Ajax IFV vehicle currently in production by the company’s U.K. subsidiary for the British army.

"Just how radically next-gen could one of these vehicles get?"

BAE entered the fray with the latest MkIV version of the popular CV90 from its Swedish Hagglunds subsidiary. Growth-wise, this may be the most constrained of the candidates, maxing out at 35 to 37 tons, but it is also the most mature and combat-proven, in service with six European militaries in a host of models and variants.

Just how radically next-gen could one of these vehicles get? Taking a scan of the technology moving through the pipeline, it’s possible to begin drawing the outline and coloring in the features of a manned fighting vehicle ready for action within the next eight years.

As far as survivability, with no production-ready breakthrough in armor materials science expected in the next decade, the vehicle’s weight-reduction opportunities will be modest. As a benchmark, the Lynx probably hits 42 to 44 tons in its heavy-combat configuration — required for all-around resistance to 14.5 to 30 mm rounds — even with relatively lightweight composite add-on armor. Hans-Joerg List, director of the Research and Technology Center for General Dynamics European Land Systems, estimates that advances in ceramics, nano-ceramics and other composites could drive a five to 15 percent weight reduction in armor in the next few years. This could shave the vehicle down to the upper-30-ton range: twice as heavy as the too ambitious Future Combat Systems vehicles, but less than half the weight of the too massive ground combat vehicle.

Where materials can effectively and economically boost survivability near-term is in threat avoidance, by hiding the platform from enemy targeting systems or causing those systems to slip their fix.

The Griffin III prototype appeared at AUSA swaddled in a signature-reducing camouflage from U.S. protection specialist Armorworks. The nubbly, foam-like hexagonal panels scatter and absorb electro-optical and radar energy. BAE has demonstrated a more hi-tech panel camouflage on the CV90 that can generate a spoofing image, giving the tracked vehicle the IR signature of a low-value target like a truck, for instance.

For the last line of defense against the most lethal anti-armor weapons, like tandem-warhead anti-tank missiles or rocket-propelled grenades, the crew will have to rely on countermeasures that neutralize the threat before it strikes steel. First among them is the active protection system, which Boston deemed “absolutely essential.” The challenge of integrating an APS on the Bradley, with its power and electronic architecture limitations, was one of the precipitating factors in moving up the current acquisition.

Meanwhile, has the long awaited moment arrived for the Army to go electric? Not with this vehicle as a standard bearer. All three of the candidate prototypes are built on proven chassis locomoted by diesel engines and traditional tracked running gear. On this program the Army appears to have no appetite for risk in the mobility domain, and not without reason. While substantial development of an electric-drive transmission took place during the defunct ground combat vehicle program, there is no in-production e-drive for combat vehicles today, with the necessary manufacturing and integration knowledge base, supply chain and support infrastructure for a fleet scheduled to come online in eight years.

But something will have to generate the onboard power for a high-capacity electronic architecture connecting energy-hungry comms, sensors, weapons and defensive systems.

The Army also plans for the vehicle to be a “manned optional” platform right out of the box, able to conduct remote operations while the crew is off-platform, said Boston. This technology is entering the field today through programs like the Army’s Route Clearance Interrogation System, which allows remote operation of an 8.5-ton mine/improvised explosive device excavator vehicle from the standoff safety of a Buffalo mine-resistant ambush protected truck.

Dan DeGuire, vice president of land systems for QinetiQ North America, the prime for the route clearance vehicle, sees technology evolving toward multiple vehicle control by single operator. For the manned version, the applications could cover some straightforward but critical route-running operations — for instance, a remote/autonomous “return to base” mode for a vehicle filled with casualties.

Ultimately, the utility of an unmanned/robotic version will be limited by the vehicle’s core human-carrying mission and the necessary human-in-the-loop decision-making to employ lethal weaponry in a dense urban environment. Where sensors, AI and autonomy may prove most relevant is in a “human-assistance” role, augmenting the ability of the crew to perceive and navigate through a chaotic battlefield from within a buttoned-up metal shell.

Driver situational awareness is one of limiting factors to mobility, said Army Maj. Amber Walker, program manager for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Ground X-Vehicle Technologies. In the past six months the program has conducted limited testing, using surrogate commercial platforms, of three prototype technologies that address this limitation: a 3D “windowless cockpit” using active displays and near-eye goggles to “look through” the vehicle to a high-resolution, full-depth outside view; a virtual 360-degree perspective generator that fuses video and LiDAR to create a 3D model of the vehicle within its surroundings; and an off-road crew augmentation system that layers route planning with an autonomy package to improve speed and limit mishaps in off-road maneuvering — for instance, using “virtual road signs” to provide subconscious cues to the driver.

At first glance, it might appear that the Army’s course adjustment is sacrificing a bold vision for the next-generation combat vehicle to settle for a bigger, better armored box, abandoning a revolution in mounted combat maneuver within the next two decades.

But this would be a short-sighted view.

Big acquisition programs spanning a decade-plus are impressive on paper, but notoriously difficult to keep on track, especially when hoped for innovations don’t arrive according to plan. Placing a marker on 2026 for the manned fighting vehicle is in some ways the bolder move. It turns the pressure on right now. And a clear plan to build engineering margin into the vehicle means that, a few three- to five-year upgrade cycles down the road, something quite close to that original vision could be within sight.

Zachary Lum is the president of Zeta Analytics (www.zetanalytics.com) and editor of the military vehicle-focused Fast Tracks blog. He can be reached at zachary.lum@zetanalytics.com.
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[*] posted on 20-12-2018 at 11:41 PM



Quote:

Hungarian Army Purchases Tanks, Artillery

The Hungarian army has signed a contract on purchasing a batch of new tanks and self-propelled artillery manufactured in Germany.

The defence ministry signed the document on the purchase of 44 Leopard2 armoured vehicles and 24 PzH 2000 self-propelled guns with Munich-based Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) in Budapest on Wednesday.

https://hungarytoday.hu/hungarian-army-purchases-tanks-artil...

The Leos are A7's apparently.




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[*] posted on 21-12-2018 at 12:40 PM


12 of the tanks are Leopard A4's to be used for Training (and I presume, more or less, immediately available).............
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[*] posted on 22-12-2018 at 05:53 AM


Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
12 of the tanks are Leopard A4's to be used for Training (and I presume, more or less, immediately available).............
44 A7's and the 12 A4's are temporary training vehicles. :)



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[*] posted on 28-12-2018 at 10:52 PM


New light tank Type 15 enters in service with Chinese army

POSTED ON FRIDAY, 28 DECEMBER 2018 11:01

On December 27, 2018, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defense Wu Qian has announced that the new Type 15 lightweight tank also named VT5 for the export version, has been commissioned by China's army.


Chinese Type 15 light tank in live demonstration at China AirShow, November 2018. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The Type 15 also named VT 5 for the export version, is a light weight main battle tank (MBT) designed and manufactured by the Chinese Defense Company NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation). The VT5 was unveiled to the public during the Zhuhai AirShow China in November 2016.

The main armament of the Type 15 consists of one 105 mm rifled gun with thermal sleeve and fume extractor which has a maximum firing range of 3,000m. The main armament also includes an automatic loading system. The empty cartridge cases are ejected via a small hatch located at the rear of the turret.

Second armament of the VT5 includes one remotely operated weapon station mounted on the roof of the turret which is armed with a 12.7mm machine gun and one 40mm automatic grenade launcher.

The Type 15 has a weight from 33 to 36 tones depending of the armor fitted to the tank. With this weight, this tank offer more mobility than a standard main battle tank offering same level of fire power. The power-to-weight ratio is between 27 and 30 hp/ton depending on the armor package. This light tank can be used in mountain area and operates in terrain that are inaccessible for standard main battle tanks (MBT) which has a weight of around 50 tons like the Chinese-made ZTZ99 Type 99 MBT.

The Type 15 is motorized with a 1,000 hp electronically controlled diesel engine mounted at the rear of the hull. and coupled to a hydro-mechanical full automatic transmission with a pivot steering capability and a cooling system. It can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h, 35 to 40 km/h in off-road conditions with a maximum cruising range of 450 km.
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[*] posted on 3-1-2019 at 01:59 PM


Royal Thai Army orders new batch of 14 VT4 MBTs

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 02 JANUARY 2019 14:29

The Royal Thai Army, who has just received 10 new VT4 Main Battle Tanks, will order 14 more from NORINCO for the amount of $ 73,425,976, according to the Army Ordnance Department of Thailand.


TheVT4 is a new generation of main battle tank designed and manufactured by the Chinese Defense Company NORINCO. (Picture source Army Recognition)

In 2011, Thailand ordered 49 Ukrainian-made T-84 ‘Oplot-M’ MBTs plus a number of support vehicles with Ukrspetsexport, an Ukrainian state-owned defense contractor. However, at the end of 2015, only ten were delivered by Ukraine because of the territorial conflicts faced by the country at that time. This important delay caused concerns among the Royal Thai Army.

Thus, the RTA decided to consider another option: to buy other battle tanks and by contacting the Chinese defense company NORINCO for a long-term project with several phases to pursue the replacement of the M41A3 light US tanks that have been used since 1962.

During the phase 1 in 2017, twenty-eight VT4 MBTs were delivered for $150 million to the 3rd Cavalry Division. Then, a second batch of 11 VT4s were delivered for $58 million in the second phase. The phase 3 of the VT4 main battle tanks project aims to pursue this replacement of its old M41A3 light tanks with 14 battle tanks for $73 million. These VT4s will be deployed in two cavalry battalions of the 7th Cavalry Regiment.

The VT4 is a part of the new generation of battle tanks composed with the latest technology. Its combat abilities are among the most advanced in the world. Armed with a 125mm smoothbore gun with shell balance and trajectory tail (APFSDS-T: Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Sabot-Tracer). Its armament is composed of 190 rounds and 90 missiles (HEAT-T: High-Explosive Anti-Tank-Tracer) and 150 rounds (HE-T: High Explosive-Tracer), 12.7 machine gun penetration (API: Armor Piercing Incendiary) with 5,830 ammunition.
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[*] posted on 3-1-2019 at 02:07 PM


Pakistan planning to buy 600 MBTs, including T-90 Russian ones

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 02 JANUARY 2019 13:59

Pakistan is planning to revamp its armoured fleet by 2025, in order to reduce the gap between its forces and the Indian ones, by purchasing 600 main battle tanks including Russian T-90 and Chinese VT-4.


T-90 at the Oboron Expo 2014 in Russia (Picture Source : Army Recognition)

Therefore, Islamabad appears to be ready to purchase 360 Russian T-90 main battle tanks, but also Chinese VT-4 (MBT 3000) tanks armed with a 125mm smoothbore gun fitted with a thermal sleeve and a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun, and Ukranian Oplot-P tanks armed with a 125mm smoothbore gun, a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun and a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun. These tanks would be deployed along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, which could increase tensions between India and Pakistan.

The T-90 MBTs are 46 tons tanks developed by Kartsev/Venediktov Burcau. These tanks have been created to provide enough space for 3 crew members and are armed with a 2A46M 125mm smoothbore gun and a 12.7mm Kord Heavy machine gun. They are also able to provide anti-aircraft options, thanks to their NSVT 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine-gun.

Pakistan will also acquire 245 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzers M109L Italian guns and 120 of these guns have already been delivered. And it appears that the Pakistan MoD would also like to acquire Russian Su-35 fighter jets in the coming years.
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[*] posted on 3-1-2019 at 02:18 PM


Indian Army Future Infantry Combat Vehicle project stuck

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 02 JANUARY 2019 14:36

A 10-year-old plan to acquire 2,600 future infantry combat vehicles for the Indian Army is staring at an uncertain future as it is stuck due "divergent views" among the stakeholders on its implementation, official sources reported to The Economic Times of India. They said another ambitious programme to indigenously manufacture a fleet of modern battle tanks, christened as future ready combat vehicle, is also not moving forward due to procedural delays.


Tata's project for the Indian FICV (Future Infantry Combat Vehicle) project (Illustration source: Tata Power SED)

The sources said a scheduled meeting among top brass of the defence ministry and the Army to discuss ways to take forward the future infantry combat vehicles (FICV) project last month was postponed due to certain differences over the programme. The FICV was first envisaged in October 2009 and the initial process was started months later. However, the process of selection of private companies, which could indigenously manufacture the combat vehicles, was withdrawn in 2012 and a fresh start was made in 2014.

The Army wants the FICVs to replace its Russian-origin BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles. "The original plan is to induct the FICVs by 2025. The way things are moving, it is unlikely that we will be able to induct them before 2050," said a military official involved in the project. The project is witnessing inordinate delays. Military sources said while China has enhanced strength of armored resources by seven to eight times in the Tibet Autonomous Region bordering India in the last couple of years, Pakistan was bolstering its forces by quick modernisation of its tank fleet.

It is learnt that there have been serious differences between the Army headquarters and the defence ministry on implementation of the FICV project. The private sector defence firms which evinced interests in the ambitious FICV project included Mahindra and Mahindra, Reliance Defence, L and T, Tata Motors and Bharat Forge Ltd. According to the original proposal, the FICVs were to be manufactured under the 'Make (high-tech) category' of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).

Under this plan, the government was to select state-run Ordnance Factory Board and two other private firms for separately developing prototypes of the FICVs. A total of around Rs 3,000 crore was to be spent on developing the prototypes by each of the three firms, the sources said. However, last year a major defence manufacturer offered to develop the prototypes under the Make II category of the DPP in which no government funding is required for developing the prototype, said the sources. They said the offer has made certain sections in the defence ministry to examine the option as it will result in saving of huge amount of financial resources.

The sources said there has been another view in the military establishment that if the company was interested in making the prototype under Make II category, then why did it not make the offer earlier. "At the moment, the project is going nowhere. The Army does not want it under Make II category as it will further delay the project," said another official involved in the project.

The delay in the decision making process has also been attributed to a complaint filed with the defence ministry by one of the short-listed private firms. The sources reported by The Economic Times said the Army wants the FICVs as soon as possible, as both China and Pakistan were significantly enhancing their border infrastructure. They said the Army was particularly concerned over China deploying light tanks along certain sensitive sectors along the nearly 4,000 km border.

Last year, the Army invited proposals from domestic and foreign firms for designing a future ready combat vehicle (FRCV), ostensibly to replace the existing T-72 M1 Ajeya tanks in the Armored Corps.
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[*] posted on 4-1-2019 at 02:43 PM


Estonia: failed tender for reconstructing fighting vehicles

POSTED ON THURSDAY, 03 JANUARY 2019 12:58

The Estonian Center for Defense Investment (ECDI) did not deem successful any offers made in the procurement for a contract to rebuild the hulls of 37 CV90 combat vehicles bought from Norway and the ECDI thus concluded the tender, The Baltic Times reports.


Estonia bought CV90 combat vehicles from The Netherlands (hereabove) and Norway for reconstruction into different variants (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Four bidders qualified and three of them made an offer, including BAE Systems, Bristol Trust, and a joint offer by Uhinenud Depood and Scania Eesti, spokespeople for the ECDI told BNS. All three offers had shortcomings and did not meet the conditions set forth in the supporting documents of the public procurement. These shortcomings foremost concerned information pertaining to the cost of spare parts and life cycle management and one offer also exceeded the planned budget. "The Public Procurement Act stipulates that offers with incomplete documentation cannot be deemed fit, which is why the only option was to reject all offers," spokespeople said.

The Public Procurement Act enables to submit such an order to the manufacturer without announcing a tender, but the decision was made to organize a public procurement in order to increase competition and involve the Estonian defense industry. "We have a positive experience regarding the current maintenance and repair of Sisu armored vehicles, which is carried out by Estonian companies, this is why the involvement of Estonian companies was natural," Col. Rauno Sirk, director of the ECDI, said.

"A second company is already in the process of going through training on the CV9035 fighting vehicles in the Scouts Battalion and after the construction of the communications' solutions of the latest arrived machines, a third armored infantry company will go into training in summer 2019, the preparation of which and achievement of primary battle capability are currently going according to plan. If the support armored fighting vehicles are completed later, the maneuvering units will not be left without support, the Sisu armored vehicles will be in use until then, but the varying terrain permeability of the continuous track platforms and wheeled platforms poses greater challenges to the commanders of subunits," infantry inspector Lt. Col. Tarvo Luga said.

In 2017, the Ministry of Defense bought 37 hulls of CV-90 from Norway that it plans to assign to the Scouts Battalion after reconstruction to be used in different command and support roles. The plan was to give the refitted combat vehicles to the Scouts Battalion along with 44 CV9035 fighting vehicles bought from the Netherlands.

The tender for the reconstruction of the vehicles was announced at the end of August 2017. The contractor would have had to reconstruct 31 bodies of CV-90 into specialized vehicles for the performance of antitank, close range air defense, mortar, combat engineer, medical and other combat support functions. The plan was also for six more vehicles to undergo comprehensive maintenance and be armed with 120-millimeter mortars. In addition, a life cycle support agreement for seven years to ensure maintenance and repair of the 37 vehicles and supply of spare parts for the equipment and systems installed as part of the reconstruction was to be concluded with the winner of the tender. The estimated cost of the tender was 30 million euros.

The defense forces and the Ministry of Defense are to carry out an analysis to determine how to continue with the armored maneuver capability project and will make a decision in the next few months, The Baltic Times concludes.
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[*] posted on 4-1-2019 at 05:35 PM


State Trials of Russia’s Armata Tank to Begin in 2019

(Source: TASS; published Dec 31, 2018)


Russia has only produced a handful of T-14 Armata tanks so far (only the first five tanks in this photo are T-14s), confirming rumors of design flaws and malfunctions, but this year’s user trials should settle the vehicle’s future. (TASS photo)

MOSCOW --- Russia’s T-14 tank based on the Armata platform will undergo state trials in the Defense Ministry’s scientific and research institutions next year, the ministry’s press service said on Monday.

"The T-14 tank, which has been created on the universal Armata platform and developed for the Ground Forces, is completing the manufacturer’s trials. The fighting vehicle in 2019 will start undergoing state trials in the Russian Defense Ministry’s scientific and research institutions," the ministry said.

The T-14 is the world’s only post-war third-generation tank. Armata is Russia’s development, which has no counterparts in the world.

Earlier, Deputy Defense Minister Alexei Krivoruchko said the Defense Ministry had signed a contract with Uralvagonzavod for the delivery of 132 T-14 tanks and T-15 infantry fighting vehicles based on the Armata combat platform. The supplies are due to be completed by 2021.

The T-14 tank based on the Armata platform was shown to the public for the first time at the Victory Day parade on Red Square on May 9, 2015. The new combat vehicle features fully digitized equipment, an unmanned turret and an isolated armored capsule for the crew.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 5-1-2019 at 08:07 AM


"confirming rumors of design flaws and malfunctions"

But, but Russian gear is invincible, and produced in overwhelming numbers, and never fails, the nice people on the key forums tell me that all the time...




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[*] posted on 10-1-2019 at 02:59 PM


SNAR-10 M1 self-propelled antitank radar enters service in Russian Central Military District

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 09 JANUARY 2019 14:38

The SNAR-10 M1 self-propelled radar, capable of detecting tanks at a distance of up to 40 km, arrived at the Central Military District under a state defense order. The new station strengthens the combat capabilities of the artillery units of the tank formation stationed in the South Urals.


SNAR-10 M1 self-propelled radar displayed at MAKS 2015 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The SNAR-10 M1 radar is designed for reconnaissance of moving ground, air and surface targets. The modern radar can detect vehicles, manpower, exploding shells at a range of 200m - 40km. The station is equipped with an internal and external communication system with automated data transmission, and satellite navigation. Autonomous operation of the complex is at least three days. The crew is four people strong. The radar can be deployed into combat position in max 5.5 minutes.
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[*] posted on 10-1-2019 at 03:14 PM


U.S. Army awards General Dynamics delivery order to upgrade 174 Abrams main battle tanks

POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 09 JANUARY 2019 13:55

The U.S. Army has signed a $714 million delivery order for General Dynamics Land Systems to upgrade an additional 174 M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks to the state-of-the-art M1A2 System Enhancement Package Version 3 (SEPv3) configuration. This brings the total of M1A2 SEPv3 tanks ordered by the Army in 2018 to 274 (more than three brigades of tanks).


M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams displayed at AUSA 2015 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The M1A2 SEPv3 configuration features technological advancements in communications, reliability, sustainment and fuel efficiency, plus upgraded armor. The delivery order is part of an Army Requirements Contract signed in December 2017 through which the Army can upgrade up to 435 M1A1 Abrams tanks to the M1A2 SEPv3 configuration. “We’re proud to help the Army provide world-class combat capability to Armored Brigade Combat Teams,” says Don Kotchman, Vice President and General Manager of General Dynamics Land Systems U.S. Market. “This delivery order, along with our previous orders, means our production line will be rolling at a steady rate through 2021.”

Work on this delivery order will be performed at Land Systems locations in Scranton, Pa., and Tallahassee, Fla., and at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio, the only operational tank plant in the country.
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[*] posted on 23-1-2019 at 01:08 PM


Leonardo develops M60A3 MBT upgrade

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

22 January 2019

Leonardo has developed and tested a major upgrade package for the US General Dynamics Land Systems M60A3 main battle tank (MBT).

This M60A3 upgrade was developed and tested using internal funding for the export market, according to Massimo Gualco, director of marketing and sales at Leonardo Defence Systems. The Leonardo upgrade covers the M60A3's armour, mobility, and firepower, and is being marketed as a cost-effective upgrade package.

The M60A3 MBT has a hull and turret of cast and welded armour and over the turret frontal arc new passive armour has been fitted that is understood to provide protection up to STANAG 4569 Level 6.

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[*] posted on 23-1-2019 at 01:09 PM


Rafael unveils Suite for Future Armoured Vehicles

Mark Cazalet, London - Jane's International Defence Review

22 January 2019

Rafael is planning to trial its Suite for Future Armoured Vehicles, which is in development for the Israeli Carmel future fighting vehicle programme, with a live fire demonstration in late July or early August 2019, according to a company representative at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2019 defence and security conference.

Rafael's suite is a vehicle automation and capability enhancement system based around data fusion from the vehicle's sensors. In the configuration intended for the Carmel, these sensors would include three independent sights: LIDAR, laser warning receivers (LWR), and radars from the active protection system (APS). Two of the Carmel's independent cameras are set in gimballed mounts as part of remote operated weapons stations (ROWS), and are complemented by a forward-facing driving camera.

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[*] posted on 23-1-2019 at 08:29 PM


Leonardo develops M60A3 MBT upgrade

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

22 January 2019


Firepower has been increased by replacing the 105 mm M68 rifled gun with the more potent 120 mm 45-calibre smoothbore gun. Source: Leonardo

Leonardo has developed and tested a major upgrade package for the US General Dynamics Land Systems M60A3 main battle tank (MBT).

This M60A3 upgrade was developed and tested using internal funding for the export market, according to Massimo Gualco, director of marketing and sales at Leonardo Defence Systems. The Leonardo upgrade covers the M60A3's armour, mobility, and firepower, and is being marketed as a cost-effective upgrade package.

The M60A3 MBT has a hull and turret of cast and welded armour and over the turret frontal arc new passive armour has been fitted that is understood to provide protection up to STANAG 4569 Level 6.

A similar level of ballistic protection has been provided over the frontal arc of the hull and up to the third road wheel station on either side. Bar/slat armour is fitted over the turret's rear to provide protection against anti-tank weapons fitted with a single high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) warhead. The crew and power pack compartments are given an automatic fire and explosion sensing and suppression system.

The existing fire-control system (FCS) has been replaced by the Leonardo TURMS (Tank Universal Modular System) digital FCS, which has been installed in several other armoured fighting vehicles.

The new FCS includes a video tracker and a stabilised sight for the gunner that features Erica third-generation thermal cameras and an eye-safe laser rangefinder. If required, the tank commander can also aim and fire the main armament.

The original M60A3 has electro-hydraulic gun control equipment (GCE) that could be replaced by an all-electric GCE but to maintain a lower price the existing GCE was kept for the upgraded M60A3.

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[*] posted on 24-1-2019 at 08:12 PM


IAV 2019: Rheinmetall unveils proposal for Challenger 2 LEP

Mark Cazalet, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

23 January 2019


At IAV 2019, Rheinmetall unveiled its proposal for the Challenger 2 LEP, which includes a new turret with day/night sights for the commander and gunner, and a new L55 120 mm smoothbore gun. Source: IHS Markit/Mark Cazalet

At the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2019 conference held in London on 21–24 January, Rheinmetall unveiled details of its proposal for the Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme (LEP). The company’s solution has been to develop a completely new turret for the Challenger 2, which has a fully digital electronic architecture, new day and night sights for the commander and gunner, and a Rheinmetall L55 smoothbore 120 mm gun.

The L55 gun is capable of firing Rheinmetall’s 120 mm ammunition family, and the typical loadout would include the DM63 armour piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) for armoured targets, and a DM11 programmable high-explosive round with impact, delay, and air-burst settings. The commander is provided with a panoramic sight.

Although the Rheinmetall proposal does not feature an active protection system (APS), a company representative told Jane’s the new turret is capable of mounting such a system according to user requirements. He added that the turret also contains under-armour links, as well as having increased power and weight capacity, which would enable a customer to fit the vehicle with an electronic warfare system. It is likely that when mounted on the Challenger 2, such a system would be intended to disrupt the remote detonation signals of improvised explosive devices.

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[*] posted on 24-1-2019 at 08:41 PM


IAV 2019: Telford commitment to grow under proposed BAE Systems, Rheinmetall joint venture

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

23 January 2019

The announcement of a joint venture (JV) between BAE Systems and Rheinmetall on 21 January has highlighted a number of areas of competition and collaboration.

Jennifer Osbaldestin, managing director of BAE Systems Land UK, told Jane's that the Telford facility stands to be a "key winner" in the project.

With BAE Systems and Rheinmetall being competitors in the UK's Challenger 2 Life Extension Project (LEP), Osbaldestin explained that even if the JV is approved, the competition between the companies would continue.

However, she confirmed that BAE Systems had agreed with Rheinmetall that the solution would be delivered from Telford regardless of the contract winner.

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[*] posted on 24-1-2019 at 11:09 PM


IAV 2019: CAN WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?


CHALLENGER 2 is “a terrific tank:” but Europe seriously needs to standardise on a single main battle tank design. Now. Before the current fragmentation becomes terminal. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

Rodney King’s question to the crowd rioting in Los Angeles in May 1992 seemed to ring clear in this writer’s ears yesterday at IAV 2019, the leading annual international armoured vehicle event in Twickenham. Not that there was the merest hint of a riot. Just the opposite: the collegial but robust nature of the discussions at IAV has long been a joy and this year was no exception.

But the conversation had turned, not for the first time this week, to matters of collaboration, partnership, and the potential use of common equipment, doctrine, and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP). Various presentations had been made against a background of national programmes that all face common issues, coupled with the twin EU initiatives of the European Defence Fund (EDF) and the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), in which 25 of the Union’s 28 members are pursuing structured integration in terms of capability and, potentially, procurement.

Ironically, given the current uncertain future status of Great Britain as far as its relationship with Europe is concerned (who can truly predict with any degree of accuracy the uncertain outcome of the mismanaged and fundamentally flawed Brexit process?), it took an Englishman – a senior figure at that – to put into words what many delegates were thinking.

“CHALLENGER is a terrific tank and I was very proud to command them at regimental and formation levels, but it really would make sense for NATO allies to use the same tank, whether it be called ABRAMS, LEOPARD, LECLERC or CHALLENGER. Naturally we would wish also, across our range of land combat systems, to share out the production tasks and resultant economic benefits between us. We must move towards greater interoperability and systems commonality, especially when for political reasons we are quite appropriately taking multi-nationality in conventional land deterrence down to much lower levels than previously envisaged,” observed Gen Sir Adrian Bradshaw, KCB, OBE, the IAV conference chairman. Since he held the position of Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) in 2014-2017, his words have a considerable measure of credibility and – one hopes – influence.

We have talked about the potential benefits of joint production and of pooling and sharing of both resources and procurement programmes for years almost beyond counting. Yet we are still little further forward than we were at the beginning of the exercise, any serious proposal to do the right thing always foundering on the reef of vested interest and national sovereign capability. The hypocrisy of failing to meet undertakings to fund defence to an agreed level while at the same time actively preventing potential cost-saving measures to be initiated almost beggars belief. Except we have almost become inured to ‘politics as usual’ and tend – wrongly – to try to brush it off.

Sir Adrian deserves to be taken seriously. Indeed, MONCh believes it is imperative he be taken seriously. The Franco-German Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) initiative, which seeks a common replacement for the LECLERCs and LEOPARDs in their respective national inventories (among other combat vehicles) could well form the basis of a multi-national tank development and procurement programme. Such a programme could be used as a rallying call for the renovation and further development of continental industrial expertise, could save member governments considerable sums in direct and indirect costs and could significantly improve NATO troops’ chances of effectively collaborating in a seamless manner. Politicians will have to be educated, industrialists will have to make compromises and uniformed personnel will have to learn to settle for an affordable 90% solution, perhaps, rather than the never-to-be-delivered pipedream of a 100% one.

It's a thought. It’s a good one. It’s one that deserves to be pursued, supported and trumpeted loudly from every available rooftop. And should it succeed, this writer hereby promises never to suggest that a committee be formed at the pan-European level to decide the appropriateness of the name ABRACLERCHALLPARD for the new vehicle.

Incidentally, Sir Adrian’s comment that multi-nationality is being taken down to lower command levels than ever before is a reference to recent initiatives within Germany’s 1 Panzer Division, which incorporates a Dutch mechanised brigade. German tanks have been successfully integrated operationally within Dutch infantry companies, it seems – and it such an initiative is to enjoy the benefits it deserves, the very least that needs to happen is to ensure that common equipment is available to all component units.
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[*] posted on 25-1-2019 at 12:42 PM


Ooooh.....


IAV 2019: Nexter tests 140 mm gun on Leclerc MBT
Samuel Cranny-Evans, London - Jane's Defence Weekly
24 January 2019

Nexter has fit a 140 mm gun on a Leclerc main battle tank (MBT) to gather data for the Franco-German Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) programme to replace it and the Leopard 2, Jane's learned at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2019 conference held in London on 21-24 January.
https://www.janes.com/article/85934/iav-2019-nexter-tests-14...
This is understood to be the first time that a 140 mm gun has been successfully integrated onto a 50-tonne MBT and conducted over 200 firings. It is expected to provide a 70% increase in firepower over a NATO standard 120 mm gun.

Nexter has resurrected past efforts to develop a 140 mm main weapon to establish which firepower solutions are best suited to meet the MGCS requirement




Paddywhackery not included.
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[*] posted on 26-1-2019 at 08:34 PM


NEXTER TRIALS LECLERC WITH BIGGER GUN AND DRONES

Nexter has released details of previously unknown live fire trials with its developmental 140mm gun integrated onto a LECLERC main battle tank (MBT) platform, which occurred last year as part of ongoing concept studies for the next-generation Main Ground Combat System (MGCS).

The firing trials took place over several months, according to Mike Duckworth, Vice President of Regional Sales at Nexter, speaking to MONCh: “We had the hardware...a lot of it was about demonstrating that we could put it on the 50t LECLERC, looking at how the chassis performed and the overpressures.”

“But we are not saying that MGCS is a Leclerc with a 140mm,” said Mr Duckworth. “Conceptual studies are ongoing.”

The 140mm gun, a product of the Future Tank Main Armament programme between several nations in the 1990s, has only been trialled on test rigs before according to Nexter. Although for this integration there was no autoloader functionality or gun stabilisation, and mobility was not trialled.

As part of other development activities, Mr Duckworth highlighted continuing trials of a standard Leclerc integrated with a tethered drone, a concept that will be fully unveiled at this year’s IDEX in Abu Dhabi. “The sensor on the drone can now designate targets,” he explained.

Nexter is also poised to begin DGA qualification of its new multimode 120mm round known as the M3M. This “smart” HE round can be programmed when loaded in the breech and offers the crew impact, delay and air burst modes in one round.

The company is also working on an improved armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) round called SHARD, as well as a guided 120mm round called POLYNEGE that could follow a pre-programmed path or be laser-guided.


The French Army is expected to introduce an upgraded variant of the LECLERC by 2021, which will incorporate a new battle management system from Atos, software-defined radios from Thales and a new vetronics system. (Image: Nexter)

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Published: 25 January 2019
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[*] posted on 26-1-2019 at 08:43 PM


IAV 2019: THE TANK IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE ….ERR….TANK?

One of the benefits of the format and structure of the IAV annual conference is the way in which it encourages freeform debate – a particularly useful characteristic when so many Type A personalities – with so many corporate, institutional, organisational and personal agendas in mind – are gathered in one place. Hence it is always instructive – not to say enjoyable – to remain to the bitter end and listen to (or even participate in) the ‘leadership roundtable’ event that closes the conference proper.

This year was no exception. Reporting restrictions from the conference mean it is not possible at this juncture to report verbatim from the session, but we can enumerate and illuminate some of the themes MONCh will be following in direct contact with the appropriate principals in coming weeks and months. There are several worthy issues that were raised and wrestled with in the scant half hour of the final plenary session. Among them:

Is the tank dead? Yes and no, was the answer. Certainly, we have reached the physical limitations of the 70+t main battle tank. The current generation of US tank transporters and flatbeds, for example, can no longer transport adequate numbers of ABRAMS. The Franco-German Main Ground Combat System (MGCS), destined to replace LEOPARDs and LECLERCs around 2030-2035, is likely to be in the 50t class (or even lower) rather than 60-70. The same applies to the range of vehicles that will constitute the US Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) programme, which seeks to replace ABRAMS and BRADLEY, among others. In both cases a family of vehicles is likely, and a direct one-for-one replacement for existing MBTs unlikely. But there will continue to be a requirement for a survivable, protected, powerful platform – manned or unmanned – with the ability to operate agilely at a very high operational tempo. Which describes – a tank? Armchair generals have been predicting the death of the MBT for four decades or more – ever since the advent of guided weapons. The generals who actually wear uniforms, however, are much more sanguine: why do away with something that still has multiple uses and increases rather than limits the range of options available to commanders. The tank has a long and potentially valuable history yet to come before it eventually succumbs to the inexorable march of technology;

What effect might crew reductions have on the efficacy of armoured vehicles? This caused some quite heated discussions after the conference. The obvious issue is – if a crew is reduced to three (or even two) in a major combat vehicle – for which it is now not unusual for a mission to be up to 72 hours in duration – how does crew fatigue affect the vehicle’s combat contribution? One point of view has it that technology can compensate for the human being and provide overwatch (but not, perhaps, overmatch) even if all the crew are asleep. The opposing point of view is that we do not yet have sufficiently advanced artificial intelligence to be able to make the required qualitative decisions the human being finds almost instinctive – therefore the crew numbers should be maintained as high as possible, even with autoloaders and other crew task reduction devices. Work done by the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory some years ago revealed the human factors advantages of a three man versus a two man crew far outweighed the putative logistical and operational advantages;

What prevents the emergence of swarming robots? Beloved of Hollywood and already a reality in the air and, to a degree, at sea, why do we not talk more of the potential challenge posed by hordes of cheap but relatively powerful weaponised robots on the battlefield? Because the ground is an infinitely more complex environment, the panellists all agreed (humans can easily tell the difference between a tree and a shadow but how do you teach a machine to discriminate?) The debate focused for a moment on the issue of remote-controlled vehicles versus fully autonomous robots: there seemed to be at least partial consensus that we might see further exploitation of the former in the relatively near future, but that we are “a very long way indeed” from seeing vast numbers of low-cost system wresting control of the battlefield from the human being;

How can we do things differently? Obviously, there are as many answers to that question as there are people prepared to answer it, plus an abundance of additional answers depending on how many consultants, advisors and special projects managers are invited to participate. A strong argument could, in fact, be made that virtually every presentation made during the conference – and many of the supporting exhibits – were about how to do things differently. The question, then, becomes not so much one of how to DO it differently but rather one of how to get to the position from which we CAN. And that requires education, persuasion (blackmail?) to convince the authorities and regulators that we NEED to do things differently. As one very senior officer had opined somewhat wistfully in his very forthright presentation, “There are a lot of stakeholders who can say no – and very few who are able to say yes!” we are getting there – that much is certain and is a result, in part, of conferences and colloquia such as IAV. But it is slow.

Brother, is it slow….


What will the future battlefield look like? Current thinking is that – from an AFV perspective – it is more likely to be dominated by mid-range assets such as the BAE Systems CV90 family than by ABRAMS, LEOPARD or LECLERC. (Photo: BAE Systems)

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[*] posted on 9-2-2019 at 01:10 PM


Aselsan aims for export market with MBT upgrade packages

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

08 February 2019

Aselsan, established as an electronics systems house in Turkey, is aiming to expand to the export market in several areas, including upgrading main battle tanks (MBTs).

The Turkish Army received 170 former US Army General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) M60A3 MBTs that were upgraded to an Israel Military Industries design, the M60T standard, armed with a 120 mm smoothbore gun. Most of the conversion work was undertaken by the Turkish Land Forces Logistics Command (TLFLC) at its Kayseri facilities.

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