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Author: Subject: Tracked Armour
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[*] posted on 4-10-2019 at 01:55 PM


New Chinese ZBD-04A armored tracked IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle

Posted On Thursday, 03 October 2019 15:44

The ZBD-04A, a new generation of tracked armored IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) unveiled by the Chinese army during the military parade for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China that was held on October 1, 2019. The ZBD-04A was developed independently by China, which is the improved model of China's second-generation tracked AIFV after the Type 86 AIFV.


ZBD-04A at the military parade for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, October 1, 2019. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The ZBD-04A is an improved version of the ZBD-04 which seems very similar to the Russian-made tracked armored IFV BMP-3. The ZBD-04 was designed as the successor to the Type 86 and has been in service with the PLA ground forces since 2006.

According to our first analysis, the ZBD-04A is fitted with a two-man turret mounted at the front of the chassis. The turret is armed with a dual-way stabilized, semi-automatic 100mm rifled gun/missile launcher, capable of firing both HE-FRAG rounds and the 3UBK10 (or its Chinese copy) ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile). The secondary weapon includes one 30mm coaxial automatic cannon, with 500 rounds and one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.

New features of the ZBD-04A include a new armor package to increase protection against anti-tank guided missiles and RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenades) threats. Add-on is fitted on the side and at the front of the hull. Despite this new armor, the ZBD-04A continues to have amphibious capabilities. In the water, the vehicle is propelled at a maximum speed of 6 km/h thanks of two large water jet ports mounted on each side at the rear of the hull.

The ZBD-04A has a combat weight of 24,000 kg. It can run at a maximum road speed of 75 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 600 m.

Combat equipment of the ZBD-04A includes a digital information system and battle management system. The commander, gunner and driver are equipped with control display devices to perform firing and combat operations.

Onboard equipment also includes advanced digital radio and wireless broadband, China's "Beidou" satellite navigation system and inertial navigation system.

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[*] posted on 14-10-2019 at 02:58 PM


Elbit Systems to showcase Future Fighting Vehicle at upcoming AUSA 2019

Published 08:35 (GMT+0000) October 12, 2019


Photo courtesy of Elbit Systems US

Elbit Systems of America, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd., will showcase its demonstrator of Future Fighting Vehicle at the Annual Meeting and Exposition of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) in Washington, D.C.

The new vehicle is developing as part of the CARMEL Future Combat Vehicle project of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and also promotes for the U.S. Army.

The company’s website said the innovative Armored Fighting Vehicle introduces a step-change in the operational capability of combat vehicles. This is underpinned by applying autonomous capabilities and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to accelerate decision making and facilitate target engagement with dramatically increased rapidity and accuracy. Using a Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) a crew of two warriors operates the AFV under closed hatches, further enhancing capabilities and survivability.

The AFV successfully demonstrated its capacity to function as an independent high fire-power strike cell, as a networked station for multi-spectral sensing and information fusion, as well as a base platform for operating additional unmanned systems.

The new AFV is capable of performing key combat tasks with high level of autonomy – off road driving, rapid target acquisition and prioritization, as well as fast, high precision fire missions, in day and night. The AFV is networked allowing it to carry out missions ordered by Headquarters and other fighting platforms as well as to transmit missions and intelligence to other forces. Additionally, the AFV is capable of operating other unmanned platforms such as a VTOL to feed intelligence into the crew’s operational picture or a fighting UGV to perform high risk missions.

Using the Iron Vision ‘See-Through’ HMD, a crew of two is capable of operating the AFV entirely under closed hatches. The system transmits real-time, high resolution video to the crew’s helmet mounted display, providing them with a 360° view of the surroundings, together with relevant symbology and C4I data.

In addition, Iron Vision enables the crew to acquire targets, conduct line-of-sight (LOS) driving and navigation and enslave the AFV’s weapons systems to their LOS.

VIDEO: Elbit Systems’ innovative AFV. Credit: Israeli MOD: https://youtu.be/PaaxCZ99vYw?t=63
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[*] posted on 15-10-2019 at 08:11 PM


AUSA 2019: General Dynamics presents scale model of its light tank for MPF program of US Army

Posted On Monday, 14 October 2019 23:48

At AUSA 2019, the Association of United States Army Defense Exhibition, General Dynamics Land Systems presents a scale model of its new light tank for the MPF (Mobile Protected Firepower) program of US Army. The MPF program is designed to provide a mobile, protected, direct, offensive fire capability across the spectrum of terrains and operations for the army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT).


Scale model of General Dynamics light tank for MPF program of US Army at AUSA 2019, Association of United States Army defense exhibition in Washington D.C. (Picture source Army Recognition)

In September 2018 the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Army leadership approved Section 804 MTA Rapid Prototyping for MPF pre-Milestone C activities. This requires the fielding of a prototype that can be demonstrated in an operational environment within five years.

The MTA Rapid Prototyping contracts require delivery of 12 preproduction vehicles (each) for rigorous developmental and operational testing, and a Soldier Vehicle Assessment (SVA), to measure prototype performance to requirements and gain user feedback.

In December 2018, the US Army Contracting Command has awarded development contracts to BAE Systems Land & Armaments and General Dynamics (GD) Land Systems for the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF). Each company will deliver 12 vehicles to the U.S. Army that will be used to perform a full range of operational tests.

Near the end of the MTA rapid prototyping phase, the U.S. Army will conduct a source selection evaluation to select a single best value solution for low rate initial production (LRIP).

The Army Acquisition Objective for MPF is 504 vehicles, with 14 MPFs per IBCT. The targeted fielding for the First Unit Equipped is Fiscal Year 2025. General Dynamics Land Systems will now provide 12 preproduction vehicles and two ballistic hulls and turrets scheduled for March-September 2020.

The design of the General Dynamics MPF light tank is conventional with the driver and engine at the front and the turret located at the rear of the hull. The turret has a crew of three including commander, gunner and loader. The turret architecture is based on the M1 Abrams tank using the M1A2 Sep V3 fire control system and CITV (Commander's Independent Thermal Viewer) armed with one 105 mm cannon. One 12.7mm heavy machine gun is mounted on the commander hatch.

The General Dynamics MPF tank is motorized with a Diesel engine. The hydraulic pneumatic suspension of each side consists of six road wheels.

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[*] posted on 16-10-2019 at 08:51 AM


Ricardo delivers drives to keep CVR(T) in UK service

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

15 October 2019


The British Army has received the first four replacement final drives from Ricardo for its CVR(T) family (photo of Scimitar in Afghanistan). Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

The British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) has received the first four replacement final drives for the United Kingdom's Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) (CVR[T]) family from Ricardo Performance Products, the company announced in a press release on 8 October.

The contract, issued in 2018, requires Ricardo to inspect and either repair or refurbish 700 final drives on the UK's CVR(T) fleet, or replace them entirely. Martin Starkey, managing director of Performance Products within Ricardo's production arm, told Jane's on 10 October, "As originally designed, the gears of the final drives were built to manufacturing tolerances of 30 or 40 years ago."

The initial tender, issued in July 2018, calls for the refurbishment of the final drives on a rolling basis so that they can be cycled throughout the fleet, with at least 20 final drives refurbished per month.

Starkey said Ricardo has been able to work to much tighter tolerances and control the overall performance of the final drives by applying modern manufacturing processes. The entire process has required the company to produce additional manufacturing documentation to support the latest high-performance transmission production processes and some parts of the final drives for which original documentation was not available.

For the CVR(T), Ricardo engineers drew on their experience in manufacturing and engineering very high performance transmissions for motorsport and road-going hyper cars, according to Starkey.

(248 of 350 words)
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[*] posted on 17-10-2019 at 03:27 PM


October 17, 2019


The Altay main battle tank is at the center of Turkey's armour modernization roadmap. With up to 1000 units planned for the Turkish Army, the Altay is shaping up to be a very advanced and capable system. Photo credit: Otokar

Oct 16, 2019

Bilal Khan

BMC Says Altay MBT Will Be Ready in Two Years

According to BMC Otomotiv Sanayi ve Ticaret (BMC), the Turkish manufacturer awarded by the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) in 2018 to produce the Altay main battle tank (MBT), the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will operate the tank within 24 months.

Speaking at the 10th Istanbul Finance Summit, BMC’s board chairman Ethem Sancak said (via state-owned Anadolu Agency) that the fully indigenous version of the Altay MBT – i.e., equipped with a domestic engine and other subsystems – will be ready for production in 48 months, i.e., by 2023.

The TSK is currently slated to take delivery of 250 Altay MBTs, but its requirements cover up to 1,000 tanks in four batches of 250 tanks each. BMC won the bid to mass produce the Altay over Otokar, a rival Turkish armoured vehicles manufacturer, in May 2018. BMC is also responsible for the development of the engine.

In 2016 and 2017, the Altay MBT had gone through production obstacles, primarily due to the availability of its engine. Though licensed for sale to the TSK, the current MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH powerplant will require third-party export licenses from Berlin.

To Ankara, which has had a tenuous relationship with its subsystem suppliers in the US and Europe, this dependency was likely to hamper its efforts to export the Altay MBT. In March 2019, Qatar signed on as the first export customer of the Altay with an order of 100 tanks.

In 2015, the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (now the Presidency of Defense Industries or SSB) awarded Tümosan a contract to develop an indigenous engine. Tümosan opted to work with Austria’s AVL List GmbH. However, the Austrian government insisted on attaching certain conditions to AVL List’s work with Tümosan, which then resulted in the SSB cancelling its contract with Tümosan.

In 2017, the SSB opted to localize the engine development process, and in turn, selected BMC to manage the work (in addition to its work of manufacturing the Altay MBT).

The Altay is a 65-ton MBT. Relying on a 1,500 hp powerplant, it is armed with a 120 mm smoothbore main gun as well as two secondary armaments, which include a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun and a remote-controlled weapon station.
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[*] posted on 18-10-2019 at 08:22 PM


ADEX 2019: Hyundai Rotem positions for future tank opportunities

Jon Grevatt, Seoul - Jane's Defence Industry

17 October 2019


Hyundai Rotem is developing a Next Generation Main Battle Tank to replace the K2 in more than 20 years. Source: IHS Markit/Jon Grevatt

South Korean defence firm Hyundai Rotem is positioning to secure a new order to build K2 Black Panther main battle tanks (MBTs) for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA). At the same time, the company is pushing ahead with plans to develop a platform that will be a future replacement for the same tank.

A company official confirmed to Jane's at the 2019 Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX) on 17 October that Hyundai Rotem is currently building 106 vehicles under a K2 batch-two order secured in late 2014. Delivery of these tanks has commenced and is expected to be concluded by 2021.

Batch-one K2s, which numbered 100 units, were built under a contract signed in 2011 and delivered to the RoKA from 2014.

The official added that South Korea's military procurement agency - the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) - is considering a batch-three programme, possibly from 2020. The number of vehicles to be built under this phase is not confirmed but is likely to be another 100 or so units.

The official said that a target in future K2 orders is to indigenise the platform's power systems.

Batch-one tanks were fitted with a German MTU 883 V12 common rail diesel engine developing 1,500hp, coupled to a Renk fully automatic transmission with five forward and three reverse gears. Batch-two tanks integrate a local engine - a Doosan DV27K powerpack - and the Renk transmission.

The Hyundai Rotem official said local industry is aiming to develop a transmission system that can be integrated into batch-three orders.

Jane's has previously reported that the RoKA requirement could eventually reach about 600 units to replace its ageing inventories of US-made M48 Patton tanks and older versions of the K1 MBT, which have been in service since the 1980s. The K1 and an updated version of the tank, the K1A1, were also produced by Hyundai Rotem.

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[*] posted on 18-10-2019 at 11:41 PM


AUSA 2019: Elbit Systems Unveils FFVD

Elbit Systems of America unveiled its Future Fighting Vehicle Demonstrator (FFVD) at AUSA 2019 this week. The vehicle, designed to be part of the US Army’s manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) project, is capable of demonstrating advanced capabilities and technologies: it is not meant to be fielded as it appeared on static display.

The genesis of the FFVD was the company’s initial interest in examining whether a notional three-person crew on many ground vehicles could be reduced to a two-person crew – and still be as capable. William Nuckols, Director of Ground Combat Systems at the company, explained during a media event “we have demonstrated that operationally you can do it – the vehicle can be just as effective, lethal and survivable with a two-man crew. This examined the realm of the possible and it is possible.” Artificial intelligence, autonomy, augmented reality and other technology enablers allow the crew to meet the industry team’s expectations.

Nuckols, formerly a US Army career armour branch officer, then called attention to the onboard systems, emphasizing the “truly impressive thing that we have done with this vehicle is fully integrate the onboard technologies into a system of systems.”

To that end, the FFVD on display was equipped with 45 individual sensors – many familiar to MON readers – to provide increased levels of situational awareness. “It is not feasible for the US Army today to put 45 sensors on every one of its combat vehicles – our intent is to showcase these technologies to US Army to pick and choose.”

Of interest, many of the FFVD’s onboard systems are mature designs, already fielded to global land forces, among them the UT30MK2 turret, an operational turret now in service in several nations. The IRON FIST series of active protection systems (APS) is being fielded on the US Army’s BRADLEY and will be carried on Netherland’s CV90 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). The IRON FIST was reported by Mr Nuckols to be the “lightest weight, most capable hard-kill APS available today around the world.” Another operationally tested, onboard system is the Commander Open Architecture Panoramic Sight, said “to be fielded worldwide.”

The FFVD’s architecture is also modular, as evident in the armour and onboard weapons systems.

The demonstrator vehicle was put through its paces for the US Army in Israel two months ago. “We’ll likely be doing a demonstration with US Army next year – this has not been announced yet,” Mr Nuckols concluded.

Marty Kauchak


Elbit Systems’ FFVD, on static display at AUSA 2019, is intended to showcase the technologies and solutions available ‘on demand’ to the US Army. (Photo: Elbit Systems)

Published: 17 October 2019
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