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  • Tracked Armour

    Company BMC from Turkey unveils new design for indigenous Altay Main Battle Tank

    POSTED ON SUNDAY, 24 JANUARY 2021 14:18

    During a live demonstration, the Turkish company BMC has unveiled the latest design of the Altay indigenous MBT (Main Battle Tank). The first prototype of the Altay MBT was designed by the Turkish company OTOKAR. In November 2018, the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) inked a contract with BMC to start the mass production of Altay MBT that will include a total of 250 tanks.

    New design for the Turkish-made Altay MBT Main Battle Tank produced by the Turkish company BMC. (Picture source video footage BMC)

    According to our first analysis, the new design of the Turkish-made Altay MBT (Main Battle Tank) includes a new armor around the turret and the roof of the turret is fitted with APS (Active Protection System). According to the Turkish defense industry, the new Add-on-armor is produced by the Turkish Company Roketsan while the APS could be the Akkor produced by the Turkish company Aselsan.

    The Akkor is an APS (Active Protection System) consisting of launcher pods and radar detection systems mounted around the turret. The APS is equipped with both hard-kill and soft-kill functionalities as an Electronic Warfare (EW) Self Protection suit, provides complete protection against all kinds of anti-tank missiles and rockets for the armored vehicles with an optimum time and the safest distance range from the platform. The Akkor provides 360-degree full protection coverage against not only conventional but also asymmetric threats in the operational environment of main battle tanks.

    The main armament of the Altay MBT consists of one 120 mm 55 caliber smoothbore gun designed and manufactured by the Turkish Company MKE based on technology transfer from Hyundai Rotem of South Korea. A remote-controlled weapon station is mounted on the top of the turret which is armed with a 12.7mm caliber heavy machine gun.

    According to Roketsan, the company has designed and developed composite and explosive reactive armors (ERA) for lightly and heavily armored vehicles. The Roketsan armor package mounted on the Altay MBT provides a high level of protection against ballistic threats as well as Mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). The mine kits provide protection against mines in accordance with STANAG Levels II-IV.

    The Altay MBT will be powered by a local-made Batu V configured 12 cylinders turbo diesel engine developing 1,500 hp.

  • #2
    22 JANUARY 2021

    Netherlands awards contract to upgrade CV9035NL fleet

    by Jon Hawkes

    The Dutch Defensie Materieel Organisatie has signed a USD584 million contract with BAE Systems Hägglunds for the upgrade of the Royal Netherlands Army’s (RNLA’s) 122 CV9035NL infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), according to a 14 January statement from BAE Systems.

    First production deliveries are to commence in 2024 and conclude in 2027. “The turret bodies and the four FoT [first of type] vehicles will be produced in Sweden but the rest of the production will be carried out in the Netherlands,” Gabriel Åberg, sales director for the Netherlands for BAE Systems Hägglunds, told Janes .

    The CV9035NL upgrade will include the Elbit Systems Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IFLD) active protection system (APS) and Rafael Spike-LR anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) (BAE Systems Hägglunds )

    The upgrade centres on the replacement of the CV9035NL’s turret with a new design derived from the BAE Systems D-series turret. Åberg told Janes : “The new turret for the RNLA will be the most recent and modern turret in our inventory. This includes many parts of the bespoke D-series turret. The Dutch requirements are very demanding and specific in some areas so of course we need to adapt the design.”

    Whilst the Bushmaster III 35 mm chain gun main armament is retained from the existing vehicles, the entire turret is new. The most significant changes are the integration of Elbit Systems’ Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IFLD) active protection system (APS) and the Commander Open Architecture Panoramic Sight (COAPS) 360°panoramic independent commander’s sight, which is fitted to a 500 mm elevating mast, as well as Rafael’s Spike-LR anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) in a retractable twin launch pod on the right side of the turret.


    • #3
      Elbit Systems wins US$172 Million light tank deal for APAC country

      By APDR Staff


      Elbit Systems announced that it was awarded a contract valued at approximately US$172 million to supply light tanks to the Army of a country in Asia-Pacific. The contract will be performed over a three-year period.

      As the prime contractor, Elbit Systems will supply the “Sabrah” light tank solution based on the tracked ASCOD platform that is manufactured by General Dynamics European Land Systems Santa Bárbara from Spain and on the wheeled Pandur II 8X8 platform manufactured by Excalibur Army from the Czech Republic. The 30-ton “Sabrah” light-tank solution provides a unique combination of powerful fire capacity and high manoeuvrability. Both platforms will be equipped with a 105mm turret and a range of the Company’s subsystems, including electro-optical sights, fire control systems, TORCH-XTM battle management systems, E-LynX software defined radio systems and life support systems.


      • #4
        This is, of course, for the Philippine Army, and whilst I have no serious problem with the vehicles chosen, they suit local conditions admirably, the 6x6 that was chosen at the same time, is the Brazilian-built IVECO design!!! WHY different to the 8x8? It was fractionally cheaper, and they have such a ferked up procurement system, that aspects like commonality of Spares, Training and Maintenance, all fly out of the door IF y'all can save 10% or whatever the amount was, it wasn't a lot............they have this retarded mentality that says chepaest gets it, bugger the fact you have a circus of different models all fulfilling the same basic's enough to make an old Procurement Manager like me either/or throw up, or kill a few people after lengthy suffering! Absolute rubbish way to go...........


        • #5
          Turkey unveils new Leopard 2A4 main battle tank upgrade fitted with Altay tank turret

          POSTED ON TUESDAY, 26 JANUARY 2021 13:40

          During a live demonstration of combat vehicles that was held at the Turkish company BMC factory on January 23, 2021, Turkey has unveiled a new modernized version of Leopard 2A4 German-made main battle tank (MBT) fitted with an Altay MBT turret.

          The new Turkish-made modernized version of Leopard 2A4 main battle tank fitted an Altay turret. (Picture source Twitter)

          According to the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) Arms Trade Database, in 2009, Turkey has purchased the first batch of 56 second-hand Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks from Germany that were delivered from 2010 to 2014. These tanks have been modernized to the standard NG (Next Generation) by the Turkish company Aselsan.

          According to the Military Balance 2020, the Turkish army has a total of 2,379 MBTs including 316 Leopard 2A4, 170 Leopard 1A4, and 227 Leopard 1A3.

          The Leopard 2A4 is an upgraded version of the first generation of Leopard 2 MBT including an automated fire and explosion suppression system, an all-digital fire control system able to handle new ammunition types and an improved turret with flat titanium/tungsten armor.

          The Leopard 2A4 is armed with a 120 mm smoothbore gun which has been developed by Rheinmetall. A 7.62mm coaxial machine gun is mounted to the left side of the main armament and one 7.62mm machine gun to the hatch of the loader. Two banks of four 76mm smoke grenade dischargers are mounted to each side of the turret.

          The Leopard 2NG was upgraded with a new armor package including heavy track skirts, gun mantlet, turret, front armor protection, armor protection against improvised explosive devices, underbelly protection, turret protection, and slat armor mounted at the rear side of the hull.

          The Leopard 2NG is also fitted with new optics and fire control system integrated by local components produced by the company Aselsan. With the upgrade package, ASELSAN replaces all of the electronic, electro-optic, electro-mechanical and electro-hydraulic systems of the Leopard 2A4 MBTs with newly developed state-of-the-art systems.

          The new modernized Leopard 2A4 that was presented at the BMC factory fitted with an Altay turret which is armed with one 120 mm 55 caliber smoothbore gun designed and manufactured by the Turkish Company MKE based on technology transfer from Hyundai Rotem of South Korea. A remote-controlled weapon station is mounted on the top of the turret which is armed with a 12.7mm caliber heavy machine gun.


          • #6
            Creeping weight of Abrams tank concerns Pentagon’s chief weapons tester

            By: Jen Judson   6 hours ago

            A GREYWOLF Trooper, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, prepares his M1A2 SEPV3 for a gunnery live fire exercise, Fort Hood, Texas, Aug. 30, 2020. The addition of the new M1A2 SEPV3 Abrams Main Battle Tank is a part of the Army's ongoing modernization efforts. The training these First Team Troopers receive now prepares them for future large scale ground combat operations. (Sgt. Calab Franklin/U.S. Army)

            WASHINGTON — The Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 tank is heavier than previous iterations and that extra weight concerns the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester, but the Army’s program office told Defense News the newer version of the tank works like vehicles in the current fleet.

            “The Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 upgrades introduce suitability concerns,” the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation wrote in a recent report covering the program’s full operational test and evaluation and some live fire testing. “Weight growth limits the tank’s tactical transportability. The M1A2 SEPv3 is not transportable by current recovery vehicles, tactical bridges or heavy equipment transporters.”

            Yet, according to the service’s program office within the Program Executive Office Ground Combat Systems, the version is “recoverable, bridgeable and transportable with no new restrictions above the current Abrams fleet.”

            Still, the Army is looking to “further increase margins for further growth and safety on each of the supporting systems that enhance all combat systems successful employment and operation on the battlefield,” the office said in a statement.

            The weights of tanks and combat vehicles are of particular concern when looking at challenges in the European theater, especially on the Eastern flank. Roads and bridges have weight limits which make it a challenge to move American combat equipment. As vehicles get heavier, the obstacles also increase.

            The Army has run exercises on how to get these large armored vehicles around the region in exercises. Should a crisis occur, Armored Brigade Combat Teams would likely have to cover a lot of territory quickly to respond effectively against an adversary like Russia.

            The service began fielding Abrams SEPv3 in the fall of 2020. The upgrades to the SEPv2 include improved power generation to support future technologies, compatibility with the Joint Battle Command network, Next Evolution Armor and more protection from improvised explosive devices, a new ammunition datalink and better energy efficiency from a new under armor auxiliary power unit.

            The Army will begin fielding the SEPv4 in the first quarter of fiscal 2025, according to the DOT&E report. Those upgrades add an improved gunner’s and commander’s primary sight with 3rd Generation Forward Looking Infrared capability and a better laser range finder and color camera. That version’s fire control system will be compatible with the Advanced Multi-Purpose (AMP) round and will offer improved firing accuracy with a meteorological sensor.

            The Trophy Active Protection system will be installed on the SEPv2 and SEPv3 tanks and fielded to four brigade sets to Army Prepositioned stocks. The Army conducted exercises with the Trophy system installed on Abrams during the scaled-back Defender Europe in 2020.

            The APS system alone adds approximately 5,000 pounds to the Abrams tanks.


            • #7
              28 JANUARY 2021

              IAV 2021: Sweden presents details of future AFV plan

              by Samuel Cranny-Evans

              Details have emerged of the contribution armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) are expected to make in the defence planning of the Swedish Army, as well as some initial requirements that the force has for its CV9040 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) replacement, in a presentation given by Major General Karl Engelbrektson, commander of the Swedish Army, on 27 January, during the virtual International Armoured Vehicles conference.

              Sweden is modernising its armed forces with a view to deterring external aggression, with an important element of this plan being the replacement of its legacy AFV fleet, including the Leopard 2 (Swedish designation Strv 122) main battle tank (MBT), as well as the CV9040 (Stridsfordon 9040A) IFV, sometime after 2030.

              The replacement vehicles will be required to enable incremental improvements throughout their service lives, and will need to be “emission modular”, Maj Gen Engelbrektson said. This would require the vehicles to be capable of conducting individual signature management, with the ability to decide what is emitted, and when.

              This requirement arises from the fact that everything on the battlefield is a sensor, and also the need for vehicles to conduct deception and reduce emissions for extended periods of time as “part of the fighting economy”, Maj Gen Engelbrektson said.

              The seven priorities that Sweden gave for the development of the CV90 in 1982 remained, Maj Gen Engelbrektson said, adding that these were still relevant. Those priorities, according to a 2012 presentation from BAE Systems, were given in the following order of priority: extreme mobility; effectiveness against armoured targets; effectiveness against air targets; protection/survivability; strategic mobility; maintainability/reliability; and development potential.

              One of the key requirements that will extensively influence the programme, however, is the height of the vehicles. This is related to tunnels, Sweden’s terrain, and survivability, Maj Gen Engelbrektson said.


              • #8
                28 JANUARY 2021

                Norway's ACSV G5 combat support vehicle to be delivered in 2022

                by Samuel Cranny-Evans

                The first serial-production Armoured Combat Support Vehicle (ACSV) G5, an evolutionary variant of the Protected Mission Module Carrier (PMMC) G5 from Germany’s FFG, will be delivered to the Norwegian Army in the summer of 2022. News of the delivery came via an interview between Master Sergeant Odd Skøien, the user representative and project co-ordinator of the programme, and Benjamin Lindsay, senior manager for sales and project development at FFG, on 26 January during the 2021 virtual International Armoured Vehicles conference.

                Click image for larger version

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                • #9
                  29 JANUARY 2021

                  Dutch CV90 MLU focuses on turret

                  by Nicholas Fiorenza

                  The mid-life upgrade (MLU) of the CV9035NL infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) is focusing mainly on the turret, according to the Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA) and BAE Systems. The company announced the signing of the contract with the Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) on 14 January with a press release headlined, ‘BAE Systems receives USD500 million contract to provide new turret for Netherlands’ CV90s’.

                  The RNLA CV9035NLs that returned home from Lithuania at the end of January will be among the 122 IFVs that will receive an MLU. (Dutch MoD)

                  The MLU includes the installation of a Spike anti-tank guided missile launcher and the Iron Fist active protection system (APS). BAE Systems told Janes on 26 January that the current 35 mm turret is already among the most advanced and lethal turrets currently in operation but that a risk reduction study recommended that its layout be redesigned to maximise the performance of the integrated systems. Warrant Officer (WO) Tarkan, CV9035NL MLU end user representative and production manager, told Janes on 21 January this involved moving the 35 mm gun main armament forward, which “hugely improves ergonomics”, with the crew sitting next to each other rather than being separated by the gun. He added that the resulting extra room in the turret means the vehicle can carry more directly available rounds to the main gun, as well as providing greater flexibility in the mix of armoured piercing and airburst munitions the vehicle can carry.


                  • #10
                    Thai Army unveils Chinese-made Type 85 APC after upgrade

                    POSTED ON FRIDAY, 29 JANUARY 2021 16:46

                    In 2019, the Royal Thai Army launched a program to upgrade its Type-85 tracked vehicles to extend their service life beyond their current lifespan of about 35 years, Defense Studies reports. The improvement consisted namely in changing the original German-made Deutz BF8L 413F 4-stroke air-cooled diesel engine developing 320 hp (240 kW).

                    NORINCO Type 85 APC after improvement (Picture source: Royal Thai Army)

                    Changing the transmission and improving the hull inner space were considered to be the first steps in renovating 51 vehicles. But it is unclear whether there will be improvements in all the vehicles that the Thai army still operates, a figure turning around 400 vehicles. The facility in charge of the needed changes and improvements is unknown, probably not the original manufacturer NORINCO. The envisaged changes and improvements should extend the vehicles' service life by about 20 years.

                    NORINCO Type 85 APC after improvement (Picture source: Royal Thai Army)

                    The Type 85 (industrial index: Type YW531H) is an improved version of the Type 63 armoured personnel carrier. The vehicle is bigger, has additional firing ports and periscopes, a longer chassis with an additional road wheel on each side, and is equipped with an NBC protection system.

                    The Type 85 series was developed in 1985, exclusively for the export market; for the Chinese army, a very similar Type 89 AFV was designed. The main user of the Type 85 series are the Royal Thai Armed Forces who received their first vehicles in 1987.

                    The hull is made of welded steel, and provides protection against small arms fire. The vehicle carries a maximum of 15 people including the 2-man crew (commander and driver). The driver sits in the front left of the hull, and has a single piece hatch, which opens to the left.

                    The air-cooled, turbocharged diesel engine is located to the right rear of the driver. It has a large intake located in the top of the hull, with an exhaust on the right hand side. The engine feeds a manual transmission with five forward gears and one reverse gear. Track is driven at the front by a drive sprocket, and passes over five dual rubber-typed road wheels and track-return rollers, then loops over an idler at the rear, before returning to the front again.

                    A 12.7mm calibre machine gun with armoured shields is located in an open mount at the front of a small hatch in the center of the hull which opens into the troop compartment. A total of 1,120 rounds is carried on board. Two oblong roof hatches and a large rear door provide access to the troop compartment. On either side of the forward hull, a cluster of four 76 mm smoke grenade dischargers is mounted.

                    The vehicle is amphibious, a folding trim board stowed at the front of the hull needs to be raised, and the vehicle can then propel itself in the water using its tracks. Standard equipment includes an NBC system, a Type 889 or VRC-83 radio, and a Type 803 intercom system.

                    NORINCO Type 85 armored personnel carrier in the Changping Museum, Beijing (Picture source: Wikipedia)


                    • #11
                      FMD! I wouldn't want to be sitting in there..............!!!


                      • #12
                        Meet the new hybrid tank competing for serial production in Turkey

                        By: Burak Ege Bekdil   13 hours ago
                        6 Turkish-Qatari firm BMC unveiled a hybrid tank in January 2020. It hopes to secure a serial production deal with the Turkish government. (Turkish Defense Ministry)

                        ANKARA, Turkey — A Turkish-Qatari armored vehicles manufacturer has unveiled a hybrid tank that combines the hull of a German Leopard 2A4 with a Turkish-made turret in an effort to win a serial production contract.

                        The tank was displayed by BMC on Jan. 23 to a high-profile delegation including Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and top military brass.

                        A BMC official said the company hopes to win a serial production/upgrade contract from the Turkish government for the hybrid tank. He added that serial production would involve more than 300 Leopard tanks receiving the hybrid upgrade.

                        “If the military command decides to order mass production, we will start the work immediately,” he said.

                        BMC hopes the hybrid model will become combat-proven after entering the Turkish military’s inventory. “That will pave the way for similar upgrades on hundreds of Leopards in different parts of the world,” the company official said. “Export potential is bigger than the Turkish contract.”

                        The hybrid Leopard is equipped with Turkish-made active protection, fire control and laser warning systems. It combines the chassis of the iconic German tank with the turret of the locally developed Altay, which includes a 120mm smoothbore gun.

                        A source with knowledge of the hybrid program told Defense News the contract is estimated to be worth “several hundreds of millions of dollars.”

                        The tank will not be a substitute to the multibillion-dollar Altay program. Under that effort, Turkey plans to build 1,000 units of the new-generation main battle tank. BMC won the serial production contract for the Altay, but the program has struggling over the past few years as Turkey continues its search for an imported power pack (engine and transmission system).

                        Most recently BMC started negotiations with South Korea’s Hyundai-Rotem for a power pack for the Altay after talks failed with German suppliers, among a number of other companies.


                        • #13

                          EDR News

                          BAE Systems Hägglunds details the Royal Netherlands Army CV90 MLU

                          29/01/2021 BAE Systems, CV90, Elbit Systems, Hägglunds, Iron Fist, Netherlands, Rafael, Spike

                          By Paolo Valpolini

                          On Day one at the International Armoured Vehicles Conference, organised online by Defence iQ due to the pandemic, BAE Systems Hägglunds gave a presentation that allowed to get more insight on the Mid-Life Update of the Royal Netherlands Army CV90s, which was contracted on January 13th; the briefing was presented by Gabriel Åberg, the company sales director for the Netherlands. EDR On-Line also talked to Dan Lindell, Director Combat Vehicles in Örnsköldsvik, central Sweden to get further details.

                          The original acquisition contract for the CV9035NL dates back to 2004, and at that time this was probably the benchmark in the Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicles (AIFV) field, being one of the first full-digital vehicles, able to handle an automatic defence aid suite. But as the presentation title said, “Relevant – Now and in the Future”, time goes by, carrying with it technology advances that are of course exploited also by potential adversaries, so to remain on the edge the Dutch Army needs to make a full lifting of its AIFVs to ensure they will remain operationally relevant until the end of their operational life.

                          “BAE Systems Hägglunds carried out a pre-definition study in order to establish the needed improvements and agree on the requirements, with the aim of de-risking the MLU programme. This started in January 2020, one year before the contract signature,” Åberg explains. Four were the main bullets: situational awareness; make the vehicle compliant to the NATO General Vehicle Architecture, adding cyber-security considerations; improve protection, looking at state-of-the-art solutions which go well beyond adding tonnes of passive protection; and finally improve the firepower, and especially increasing the CV90 lethality range.

                          An image of the in service CV9035NL, to allow some comparison with the new turret

                          The programme was developed hand in hand with the customer, on one side the Dutch Defence Materiel Organization (DMO), for requirements issues, on the other with the Army itself, which provided the operational knowledge. Moreover operational and logistic feedbacks from the CV90 users club were also taken into the equation. “The result of that equation, agreed by all three parties, was that the best solution was to install a wholly new turret on the old chassis, reusing in the turret some of the existing capabilities that didn’t needed any type of upgrade,” Åberg adds. The system requirements were finalised in May 2020, when the definition review milestone was reached. It took then seven months to work on the contract details before reaching the signature in January 2021. Anticipating the contract by one year was due to the close cooperation between the Dutch military and the industry, and by the need to cope with ain in-service date established in early 2024.

                          The turret has been completely redesigned, although the structure remains based on steel, with add-on armour to reach the required level of protection, which of course remains classified. Another field on which company representatives did not elaborated is communications, as this is based on Government Furnished Equipment.

                          Back to the four bullets, let’s start from situational awareness. The current CV9035NL features a chassis-mounted daytime close-in situational awareness system, but lacks a 360° night observation capability. “To cope with this, a mast-mounted electro-optic head is being installed, located at the centre of the turret. It will provide all-round unimpeded vision at 10° negative elevation when the mast is raised 500 mm, allowing to avoid blind angles due to other sensors on the vehicle roof,” Åberg explains. Its identification range matches that of the new long range lethality effectors, the antitank missiles, both for the day and night channels the sensors head being also fitted with a laser rangefinder with a 10 km range and an elevation arc of –20°/+60°. The mast can be raised at whichever height, up to the 500 mm limit, the computer automatically correcting the parallax error according to the operating height. Overall the mast raises the sensors 600 mm over the turret roof level, the system being fully operational at maximum height and maximum speed, the sensors being fully stabilised. No details were provided on the type of sensor package selected by the Royal Netherlands Army, however the company representatives told EDR On-Line that all potential sensor suites include Artificial Intelligence algorithms to allow automatic target detection, reconnaissance, identification and tracking, in order to decrease the crew workload.

                          As anticipated, protection increase was not done by adding some tons of heavy metal or exotic materiel, but adopting an active protection system in the form of Elbit Systems’ Iron Fist LD (Light Decoupled) has been added. The decoupling of the Iron Fist components allows a greater degree of freedom to designers; on the future CV90NL turret radars will be located at the four corners of the turret, electro-optic sensors being installed on top of the mast, the whole set of sensors providing a 360° coverage. The two rotating launchers are located at the rear of the turret, these being loaded with grenade-like effectors that detonate in front of the incoming projectile neutralising it. In fact the Iron Fist did not needed to be qualified in the Netherlands, as tests had already been conducted in a previous programme. Beside their key role in the Iron Fist, the sensors also integrate into the vehicle situational awareness system.

                          As for firepower, the main 35 mm gun was retained without modification; guns will be removed from old turrets, they will be thoroughly checked, some components might be changed if needed, but definitely the 6,000 rounds barrel life is far from being reached by Dutch AIFV guns. In the new turret the gun has been moved forward by about 50 cm, allowing a series of improvements n various fields. First of all it freed some room inside the turret; in the new turret the commander and gunner will have no more the gun breech between them, which allowed to regroup them towards the centre of the turret providing a wider working space to both of them, that adds to the room made available by having moved the machine gun in an external pod. This allowed adding displays and other C2 related items. “Moving the gun forward also allowed us to fully redesign the ammunition feed, rounds now coming from the side, a more robust solution, which ensures a although the previous one proved pretty reliable,” Lindell explains pointing out however that “the most important effect is that this allowed us to increase by 20-25% the amount of ready rounds.” EDR On-Line understood that the Dutch vehicle might feature around a dozen more rounds compared to the current 70 available, however the final number is based on a balance between rounds and space. Another beneficial effect of moving forward the main gun is that maximum elevation will be greater than the 37° of the current turret, although no firm data were provided.

                          As said, the MAG58 machine gun was moved into an external pod. “Beside gaining space inside the turret, the main reason was to avoid gas inside the turret,” Lindell says, adding that the 7.62 mm weapon installed on Dutch vehicles will have 1,500 rounds available. That said, to reload it the crew will have to leave the vehicle protection, while obviously the machine gun is now less protected than in the past.

                          To solve the longer-range lethality issue a twin missile launcher was added, capable to host two Rafael Spike LR2 missiles. Located on the right side of the turret, with the missiles side-by-side, it is hinged at the back and rotates for some 45° allowing the launch of the missile, which in its ground version can reach a target up to 5.5 km distant. Three firing modes can be used, lock-on-before-launch fire and forget, lock-on-before-launch with redirection in flight, and lock-on-after-launch. The reload is done from the rear, with the launcher in the elevated position. The launcher is armoured, a compromise having been made between the need to ensure that the bas would vent out in case on detonation, and that to protect missiles from small arms fire. The launcher can also host Spike LR missiles, which range goes up to 4 km.

                          The current version of the CV9035NL pictured at the Bergen-Hohne range in Germany

                          Obviously before receiving a brand new turret the chassis will be refurbished. “They will be submitted to a general overhaul,” Lindell tells us, “all subsystems will be checked and eventually replaced, while steel tracks will be replaced by new rubber tracks provided by Soucy of Canada. Even more important, both chassis and turret will be fitted with a new NGVA compliant vetronic architecture, “which will allow an easier replacement of sensors and other vetronic equipment along the years, these systems being usually those that become obsolete quicker than others due to technological breakthroughs,” Gabriel Åberg states. The new Vehicle Control System Generation 4(VCS G4) will be installed, as well as a wholly new electric system. Another key element is the adoption of a new antimine armour package, which increases the protection level, although here too data remain classified.

                          A considerable engineering effort was made to keep under control the weight increase; in the end, considering all the adds-on, and with a passive ballistic protection comparable to that of the old turret, but with in addition the protection provided by the Iron Fist, the new turret weighs only 400-500 kg more than its predecessor.

                          The prototype turret is currently under construction at Örnsköldsvik, the first of type being also planned to be build in Sweden, before moving production to the Netherlands, to the Van Halteren Defence facility. The final design review is planned for December 2023, the delivery of the first serial vehicle being scheduled for January 2024, the last of the 122 vehicles to be delivered within December 2026. Should the option for 19 further vehicles be signed, these will probably be delivered before mid-2027.

                          The new turret adds a new element to the already rich portfolio of options that current and potential CV90 users can draw from. The turret designed to answer the Royal Netherlands Army requirements took in count modularity, allowing easy adaptation to the needs of other services. “Beside the 35 mm cannon the turret can host the 30 mm one, but it can also be fitted with the 50 mm SuperShot,” Dan Lindell tells us. Asked about the possibility of installing a remotely controlled weapon station (RCWS), following the turret-on-turret concept, he confirms that the commander’s periscopic sight can be replaced with an RCWS, which optronics would play the role of the sight. That said, coming back to the coaxial machine gun, he adds “the weapon being in a pod, this allows for easy adaptation of a different type of weapon, such as a 12.7 mm machine gun or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. Should the choice go for an electrically-driven weapon, this would allow to decouple it from the main gun and to increase the elevation up to 80°.” Such a solution, plus an RCWS with a 7.62 mm MG would be pretty suitable for urban operations. The same concept applies to the missile launcher, which can easily be adapted to carry other types of missiles, such as MBDA’s MMP or Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin. As for the electro-optic head mounted on the telescopic mast, the turret is system agnostic so the customer can select the system of choice.

                          According to Dan Lindell the new turret has raised the interest of some of the existing customers, Denmark being a potential one as it fields the BAE Systems Hägglunds AIFV armed with the same gun used by the Dutch Army. The turret will joint the newest developments, such as active damping suspensions and VCS G4, developed under the Swiss MLU contract, and the rubber tracks, which were part of the Norwegian latest requirement. “This is the beauty of having a number of international customers, each of them bringing in new enhancements that become part of the CV90 portfolio, and which are made available to all the members of the CV90 Users Club,” the BAE Systems Hägglunds Director Combat Vehicles concludes.

                          Images courtesy BAE Systems Hägglunds


                          • #14
                            Chinese army Xinjiang Military Command commissions first Type 15 light tanks

                            POSTED ON MONDAY, 01 FEBRUARY 2021 14:48

                            The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Xinjiang Military Command recently received delivery of and commissioned its first batch of Type 15 light tanks, which excels at rapid reaction combat in plateau regions, Liu Xuanzun reports on Global Times. With the commissioning, both Xinjiang and Tibet military commands safeguarding China's western borders are now operating these advanced tanks specializing in plateau combat.

                            Type 15 ligh tanks recently delivered to the Xinjiang Military Command (Picture source: China Military online)

                            In January, a regiment attached to the PLA Xinjiang Military Command received the delivery of a batch of Type 15 light tanks while stationed in a plateau region, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on January 31. The report did not mention the number of tanks delivered. Immediately after the commissioning, the regiment sent the tanks to a freezing region at 4,300 meters altitude for adaptation exercises, so they can rapidly form combat capability, CCTV reported.

                            Compared with the PLA's Type 96 and Type 99 tanks, the Type 15 is of lighter weight, boasts better mobility in high altitude regions with low oxygen levels, and is more suitable for plateau combat, CCTV said : "The Type 15 tank is easy and flexible to operate and has high mobility, as it is equipped with a new engine designed for plateau missions and an oxygen producer. It also uses new armor materials and stealth technologies, so it has reduced weight but better protection and stealth functions," said Zhang Hongjun, a master sergeant class one at the regiment, in the CCTV report.

                            It also has advanced fire control and weapons systems as well as extra battlefield situational awareness capabilities, particularly the ability to identify friends or foes, providing significant convenience to the troops, Zhang said. The Type 15 strikes a balance between fire power, mobility and protection to best suit plateau regions, where harsh environments hinder weapon performances compared with operating in plains.

                            Since the recent China-India border tensions, Type 15 tanks have been deployed by the PLA Tibet Military Command starting mid-2020, and now the Xinjiang Military Command has also received the advanced tanks, which means both of West China's border military regions now have the tanks, analysts noted.

                            A type of wheeled armored ambulance also entered service with the regiment together with the Type 15, and more weapons and equipment suitable for plateau combat are expected to be commissioned in the near future, Lieutenant Colonel Liu Xudong, a deputy commander of the regiment, told CCTV, eched by Global Times.

                            Type 15 ligh tank (Picture source: Army Recogntion)


                            • #15
                              I suspect something like a Spike would go through one of these light tanks easily enough.
                              It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
                              It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
                              It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.


                              • #16
                                Interesting little video on the FFG Armoured Combat Support Vehicle, procured by Norway. Reading the road sign at the beginning, this looks like a Norwegian testing ground.

                                I can understand the need for such an armoured, tracked vehicle, begs the question whether we could gain from such a capability to support our IFV's and SPG's in particular?


                                • unicorn11
                                  unicorn11 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  It's a ute. Easy enough to make a variant of the Lynx to be a ute.

                                • Bug2
                                  Bug2 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  AHH but.............will they?

                                • unicorn11
                                  unicorn11 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  We're making the damned things here, it shouldn't be THAT hard, it just requires some imagination and lateral thinking... Yeah, you're right, it'll never happen.

                              • #17
                                05 FEBRUARY 2021

                                Dutch CV90s to receive embedded cyber security capabilities

                                by Nicholas Fiorenza

                                The mid-life upgrade (MLU) of the Royal Netherlands Army's (RNLA's) CV9035NL will include fitting the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) with embedded cyber security capabilities, according to Swedish cyber security company Clavister.

                                The RNLA’s CV9035NL will be fitted with cyber security capabilities from Swedish company Clavister. (BAE Systems)

                                Clavister said in a press release on 4 February that it would fit its military-grade RSG-400 security gateway and RSW-400 secure network switch into 122 CV90s, with an option for 19 more. Deliveries will begin in the second half of this year and last through 2024. It did not identify the country the upgrade was for but the number of CV90s involved and the timelines matched those for the CV9035NL MLU.

                                Clavister gave a contract value of at least SEK50 million (nearly USD6 million), with the possibility of increasing to SEK90 million. The company foresaw further opportunities because of the long lifetime of the CV9035NL, which the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD) expects to last until 2039.

                                The upgraded CV9035NL's NATO-standard Generic Vehicle Architecture (NGVA) fourth-generation digital core drives the need for cyber security capabilities, according to Clavister. The company said that the RSG-400 will provide protection, ensuring that only cleared users, systems, or protocols can connect to the IFV. It added that the gateway is built around its cOS core platform, Clavister's internally developed operating software, augmented based on NATO and CV9035NL MLU prime contractor BAE Systems' requirements. The RSG-400 is equipped with military-grade enclosure and connectors, with ruggedised hardware designed to withstand extreme environmental conditions and major physical attacks.


                                • #18
                                  Elbit Systems to supply protection systems and electro-optical sights for Netherlands CV90 combat vehicles

                                  POSTED ON MONDAY, 08 FEBRUARY 2021 10:18

                                  Elbit Systems announced on February 7 that it was awarded an approximately $82 million contract from BAE Systems Hägglunds AB to supply the Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA) with Active Protection Systems (APS) and electro-optical commander sights. The contract will be performed over a period of four and a half years.

                                  CV90 armored combat vehicle (Picture source: BAE Systems)

                                  Under the contract and as part of the modernization program led by BAE Systems Hägglunds, Elbit Systems will equip CV90 armored combat vehicles of the RNLA with Iron Fist APS and Commander Open Architecture Panoramic Sights (COAPS). Iron Fist is a lightweight system that uses optical sensors, tracking radars, launchers and countermeasure munitions to defeat threats at a safe distance, with negligible residual penetration. COAPS is a modular dual-axis stabilized sight that facilitates fire control computation and long-range target acquisition in day and night, in both stationary and mobile situations.

                                  Yehuda (Udi) Vered, General Manager of Elbit Systems Land, said: “We are pleased with the opportunity to cooperate with BAE Systems Hägglunds and to support this important modernization program of the RNLA.”


                                  • #19
                                    Ukraine to modernize its T-64 main battle tanks into T-64BM

                                    POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 2021 11:29

                                    Kharkiv Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering has confirmed its plans to create a modernized version of the T-64 tank as part of the Crab program. According to the channel "Ukraine 24", the work is planned to be completed by the end of 2021. The subject had already been announced by Army Recognition on February 11, 2019.

                                    Ukrainian T-64BM "Bulat" (Picture source: Giga Moseshvili )

                                    The essence of the Crab program, Novoti reports, is to replace old Russian components with new Ukrainian ones, so that the modernized tank becomes a 100% Ukrainian basic tank of the Armed Forces. The two main directions of the modernization aim at increasing the mobility by installing a 1,000hp engine, as well as installing more advanced aiming devices and fire control systems

                                    At the same time, Ukrainian engineers will take into account the experience gained from the combat use of tanks in Donbas and, as they say, "will be able to avoid the mistakes made by the Russians with the T-72 and T-90 during the modernization."

                                    The modernized T-64 (to become T-64BM Bulat) will remain the main tank of the Ukrainian Armed Forces for the next 25 years. This was announced earlier by the country's Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Mironyuk, who is in charge of weapons issues. The first prototype of the improved T-is expected by late 2021 or early 2022.

                                    Also, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine plans to receive Oplot tanks, but not before 2023. In relation to this tank, an R&D project is underway under the code "Bastion", which provides for the complete substitution of Russian parts with domestic or foreign ones.


                                    • #20
                                      Hensoldt vision for MGCS Main Ground Combat System

                                      POSTED ON THURSDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2021 14:37

                                      Together, France and Germany strive for a new generation of armoured vehicles: the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS). MGCS is the Main Battle Tank and intelligently networked ground combat centre of the future, to be created by 2035 in a Franco-German cooperation. Hensoldt can support the project with networked electronic, sensory and optronics systems.

                                      Hensoldt knows that a smart network of sensors will be a real game changer for ground-based combat (Picture source: Hensoldt)

                                      In this context, Hensoldt knows that a smart network of sensors will be a real game changer for ground-based combat. As proven expert and partner for optronics, radars, avionics and spectrum dominance, Hensoldt develops its own vision for MGCS. The biggest opportunity for the German-French project lies in the user-oriented analysis of heterogeneous information generated by different sensors within one single system. With such a smart network supported by artificial intelligence (AI), we deliver automated and detailed battlefield data, which allows a real-time reaction.

                                      Hensoldt's vision is the key technology for a decision-based combat management. Because whoever gains an informational advantage by the intelligent fusion of data also gains decision-making superiority. And at last, faster and more efficient decisions lead to dominance on the battlefield.

                                      MGCS, a game changer

                                      To remind the background of this program, the Leopard 2 and Leclerc MBTs must be replaced by 2035. So, Germany and France launched the joint MGCS project in 2012 with the project divided into five major phases: 1) operational needs analysis; 2) concept survey; 3) development and technological capability demonstration; 4) integration and system demonstration; 5) system production. The first two phases have already been successfully completed though, a bi-nationally coordinated prioritization of the individual requirements (High-Level Requirements) remains to be set up. of scale and would strongly enhance interoperability between armed forces.

                                      On April 28, 2020, Germany and France at last signed a framework agreement defining the project organization and management structures of the heavy land combat system’s architecture. “The MGCS project to be implemented under German leadership is to replace the German Leopard 2 and the French Leclerc from the mid-2030s. With this project, Germany and France are sending an important signal for European cooperation in defense policy,” the German Defense Ministry said.

                                      “Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and her French counterpart Florence Parly have signed a Framework Agreement, in which project organization and management structures are laid down. Due to the Corona situation, the ministers were unable to meet for joint signing,” the German Defense Ministry said.

                                      “Both countries should benefit equally from the cooperation, which is why the contracts to be concluded are based on a 50% financing between Germany and France. In addition, both nations are to receive sufficient intellectual property rights for the intended future use of the work results,” writes the Ministries of Defense regarding the contents of the agreement. “The ministers have therefore also signed an Implementing Arrangement 1, which forms the basis for commissioning a system architecture definition study. Only recently, the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag cleared the way for commissioning this two-year study. Again, Germany and France share the costs. The system architecture is a prerequisite for the development of a technology demonstrator with which the German and French requirements for the MGCS can be verified.”

                                      The three manufacturers concerned are Nexter for France, Rheinmetall and KMW (Krauss -Maffei - Wegmann) for Germany.


                                      • #21
                                        Elbit to export Iron Fist system to the Netherlands

                                        By: Seth J. Frantzman   8 hours ago

                                        An artist's rendering of the Iron Fist system on a CV90. (Elbit Sytems)

                                        JERUSALEM — BAE Systems Hägglunds has chosen Israeli firm Elbit Systems to provide the Royal Netherlands Army with the Iron Fist active protection system for CV90 armored vehicles under an $82 million contract announced this week.

                                        The Dutch service is also receiving electro-optical commander sights as part of the contract, set to take place over a period of four and a half years, Elbit said in a news release.

                                        Yuval Karakookly, the vice president of survivability for Elbit’s land systems division, said the deal could lead to further work with the CV90 and potential business in other European markets.

                                        BAE is upgrading the Dutch CV90 fleet with new turrets in a $500 million deal announced in mid-January. Some CV90 vehicles were previously equipped with Spike anti-tank missiles made by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Elbit previously supplied digital soldier systems to the Netherlands and won a $24 million contract to supply tactical computers for vehicles, announced in January. Elbit Systems of America and BAE have also teamed up on combat vehicle technology before.

                                        Iron Fist is a hard-kill, lightweight active protection system that uses sensors, radar and countermeasures to stop threats such as rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank guided missiles. Elbit works with Rada, which makes the radar, for the APS.

                                        Initially designed by Israel Military Industries — now known as IMI Systems — more than a decade ago, the Iron Fist Light Decoupled version was chosen by Israel’s Defense Ministry for its Eitan eight-wheel drive armored fighting vehicle and D9 bulldozer in 2019.

                                        It was also selected for the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle in the U.S. Despite hurdles, Elbit said it is currently ready for qualification trials.

                                        After evaluation of the system in 2018 and 2019, and following engineering and enhancement work, the company now plans to begin serial production of the Light Decoupled variant in Israel and aims for export in the 2023-2024 time frame. The variant enables light vehicles to absorb residual penetration.

                                        Elbit also has a heavier option called Iron Fist Light Kinetic, which can be used as a countermeasure against tank rounds. “We have a prototype that is running, and we had a good test and demonstration of that capability,” Karakookly said.

                                        The company is also configuring Iron Fist to embed soft-kill options and incorporate layers of long-range interceptions for anti-tank guided missiles. Karakookly said that with drone threats accelerating, Elbit is working on a sensor suite to counter UAVs — a capability that is currently is the research and development phase.


                                        • #22
                                          Originally posted by unicorn11 View Post
                                          I suspect something like a Spike would go through one of these light tanks easily enough.
                                          Even the new guided 84mm Carl gustav round, I suspect will make mincemeat of these... Save Spike for the tougher jobs...


                                          • #23
                                            They would get slaughtered by SDBII, as well, Desert Storm v2 before helis and armor even get to the remainder.


                                            • #24
                                              Indian Prime Minister Modi hands over indigenous Arjun Mk-1A tank to Army

                                              POSTED ON MONDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2021 10:29

                                              Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, February 14, handed over to the Army the home-made Arjun Mk-1A Main Battle Tankin Chennai, dubbed by him as an example of India's united spirit as the south-made tank will guard the northern borders of the country, The NorthEast Today reports.

                                              Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chennai on February 14. (Picture source: Twitter/@narendramodi)

                                              "The Arjun Mk-1A uses indigenous ammunition. Tamil Nadu is already the leading auto manufacturing hub of India. Now I see Tamil Nadu evolving as a tank manufacturing hub of India," PM Modi said. "A tank made in Tamil Nadu will be used in our northern border to keep our nation safe. This showcases India's united spirit--Bharat's ekta darshan," Modi added. According to reports, the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) at Avadi, has been placed with a Rs 8,500 crore order for manufacturing 118 of these tanks.

                                              The Arjun tank has been designed, developed, and manufactured by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)'s Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment here. Fifteen academic institutions, eight laboratories and several Small & Medium Enterprises were also involved in the Arjun Mk- 1A. The production order opens up a large avenue in defence manufacturing for over 200 Indian companies and scores of Micro, with employment opportunities to 8,000 people.

                                              Quoting from revolutionary Tamil poet and freedom fighter Mahakavi Subramanya Bharathi, Modi said that inspired by the former's vision, "India has taken a massive effort to become self-reliant in the defence sector."

                                              The Arjun Main Battle Tank project was initiated by DRDO in 1972 with the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) as its lead laboratory. The objective was to create a “state-of-the-art tank with superior fire power, high mobility, and excellent protection”. During the development, the CVRDE achieved breakthroughs in the engine, transmission, hydropneumatic suspension, hull and turret as well as the gun control system. Mass production began in 1996 at the Indian Ordnance Factory’s production facility in Avadi, Tamil Nadu.

                                              The Indian Army received the first batch of 16 tanks in 2004 and they were inducted as a squadron of the 43rd Armoured Regiment. In 2009, the first Arjun regiment of the Indian Army had 45 tanks. By 2011, over 100 tanks had been delivered. In 2010, the Indian army ordered another 124 Arjuns. The Ministry of Defence ordered another 118 units of the Arjun Mk-1A. These are the units being inducted now at a revised cost of over Rs 8,400 crore.

                                              The Mk-1A version has 14 major upgrades on the earlier version. It is also supposed to have missile firing capability as per the design, but this feature will be added later as final testing of the capability is still on. However, the biggest achievement with the latest version is 54.3 per cent indeginous content against the 41 per cent in the earlier model.

                                              The latest generation of Indian-made Arjun main battle tank. (Picture source: Army Recognition)

                                              Arjun Mk-1A, a third-generation MBT

                                              The Arjun is a third-generation main battle tank developed by India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), for the Indian Army. The development of the tank began in 1972 by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), a laboratory of DRDO. The first batch of 16 production version Arjun tanks was received in 2004 and they were provided as a squadron to the 43 Armoured Regiment. The regiment was later made up to 45 tanks on 25 May 2009 making it the first Arjun regiment of the Indian Army.

                                              The Arjun has a crew of four and is armed with one 120 mm rifled gun able to fire APFSDS (kinetic energy penetrator) rounds, HE, HEAT, High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) rounds at a rate of 6–8 rounds per minute. the gun of the Arjun is also capable to fire Israeli developed semi-active laser-guided LAHAT missile. The Arjun can carry 39 rounds in special blast-proof canisters. The second armament of the tank includes on 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on the commander hatch turret and one 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun.

                                              The turret and glacis are protected with "Kanchan" ("gold") modular composite armor, which derived its name from Kanchan Bagh, Hyderabad, where the Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL) is located. Kanchan is made by sandwiching composite panels between Rolled Homogenous Armour (RHA) able to defeat APFDS (Armour-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot) and HEAT (High-explosive anti-tank) rounds.

                                              The Arjun Mk-1A is an upgraded version of the Arjun Mark 1 offering more firepower, protection, and mobility. The hull and turret of Arjun Mk.1A have been modified to give a lower silhouette making detection more difficult, while it also supports the newly developed Thermo-Baric (TB) and Penetration-cum-Blast (PCB) ammunition.

                                              The Arjun Mk-1A is fitted with an improved Gunner's Main Sight (GMS) integrated with Automatic Target Tracking (ATT) which are all connected to a computerized fire control system enhancing the first round kill capability that guarantees accurate engagement even under adverse conditions, panoramic sight (CPS Mark II) integrated uncooled thermal imager and night vision camera with binocular sights, laser rangefinder for an advanced hunter-killer capability, To improve mobility due to an additional increase in weight, an Advanced Running Gear System (ARGS) has been developed where the hydropneumatic suspension system is completely redesigned to enhance agility.


                                              • #25
                                                Norwegian army adding 20 BAE Systems CV90 IFVs to its fleet

                                                POSTED ON THURSDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2021 16:17

                                                BAE Systems has received an order from the Norwegian Army for 20 additional CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicles to increase the combat power of its existing fleet. The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency awarded the more than $50 million contract that will increase the Army's fleet to 164 vehicles as part of its effort to grow and modernize in the face of evolving threats.

                                                CV90 Combat Support Vehicle for the Norwegian army (Picture source: BAE Systems)

                                                Norway is one of seven CV90 users and is the latest customer to enhance its fleet of combat-proven CV90s following significant life extension and mid-life upgrade contracts from Switzerland and the Netherlands. The new Norwegian order for 12 engineering and eight multi-carrier CV90 variants is scheduled for delivery in 2023.

                                                "We look forward to fielding another 20 modern CV90 combat support vehicles into the Norwegian Army," said Brigadier Øyvind Johan Kvalvik, Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency´s Land Systems Division. "These additional vehicles will provide the Norwegian Army with the room for maneuver and combat power that the Army needs to be able to complete its missions using the most modern IFV vehicles in the world."

                                                BAE Systems Hägglunds, the manufacturer of the CV90 based in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, will deliver the new vehicles in cooperation with Ritek, an established Norwegian CV90 partner. With Ritek at the center of the local industrial cooperation hub, up to 30 potential Norwegian suppliers will be responsible for upgrading and repairing components, as well as delivering new subsystems and technology solutions as part of future upgrades for the Norwegian CV90 fleet.

                                                "We have a strong track record of delivering on time, at cost, and high quality to the Norwegian Army. This follow-up order demonstrates the importance of successful relationships with in-country industry partners like Ritek," said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, managing director of BAE Systems Hägglunds. "As we work to enhance the Norwegian Army's existing fleet of CV90s, deepening our existing relationships with local industry will naturally benefit our end users."

                                                BAE Systems has a successful history of industrial cooperation projects in Norway that have strengthened industry partnerships, transferred technical know-how, and exceeded customer expectations and requirements. During the latest CV90 procurement and upgrade contract, BAE Systems Hägglunds delivered 100 percent offset obligation five years ahead of schedule.

                                                BAE Systems and Ritek look forward to strengthening their relationship through the successful execution of this contract. "Our cooperation with the Norwegian Armed Forces and BAE Systems Hägglunds is based on trust and experience between all parties involved. We are very pleased with this new agreement which brings a positive local employment effect for Ritek as we focus on delivering this critical capacity to the Norwegian Army in the form of more combat support vehicles," said Hilmar Olsen, general manager at Ritek. "We also expect the project to provide long-term opportunities for several other Norwegian suppliers across the country."

                                                Norway is one of seven European users operating the CV90. The others are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands. With close to 1,300 vehicles in service in multiple variants, the vehicle is combat-proven and designed to accommodate future growth to meet evolving missions.


                                                • #26

                                                  Industry News German Bundeswehr to equip Leopard 2 MBT’s with Rafael’s TROPHY APS

                                                  Tel Aviv, February 23, 2021 – Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. is announcing that the German Federal Ministry of Defense has decided to equip the Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2 MBTs with Rafael’s Trophy™ Active Protection Systems (APS).

                                                  Following the decision, which was made by the BAAINBw and approved by the Bundestag, Rafael was awarded a contract for an initial batch of Trophy systems, which includes a contract with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), the Leopard MBTs OEM, entailing the provision of systems for a company of tanks, interceptors, and spare parts, as well as operational and technical training. The systems will be delivered over the next several years.

                                                  It is expected that in the future Germany will procure additional Trophy systems to equip most of its modern fleet of Leopard 2 MBT’s with APS capabilities.

                                                  Developed by Rafael in response to successful anti-armor attacks, Trophy APS provides mature, combat-proven protection against rocket and missile threats and simultaneously locates the origin of the hostile fire for immediate response. Trophy is the only fully-integrated, combat-proven APS in the world and has been installed on Israel Defense Forces’ Merkava tanks since 2010, as well as on the Namer APCs. Trophy has made numerous combat interceptions with no injuries to crews or dismounted troops or damage to platforms since its first operational interception in 2011. Trophy has accrued over 1,000,000 operating hours, including 5,400 successful field tests, and is now under contract for serial production of over 1,800 systems.

                                                  In January, Rafael and partner DRS announced that they had completed the delivery of Trophy Active Protection Systems (APS) ordered by the U.S. Army for installation on Abrams main battle tanks, under contracts awarded on an urgent need basis by the Army’s Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems.

                                                  Dr. Ran Gozali, EVP and Head of The Land and Naval Division, Rafael: Germany is joining an exclusive group of advanced tier-1 nations who have chosen Trophy APS to protect their troops and assets from the ever-increasing threat of anti-armor warfare. We are thankful to the German government for joining other user nations and for their confidence in our system and our experience, and we look forward to working with KMW on the integration and installation of Trophy on the Leopard 2 and on future platforms.

                                                  Image © KMW


                                                  • #27
                                                    IDEX 2021: 6 countries express desire to buy Russian T-14 Armata tank

                                                    POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 2021 19:52

                                                    T-14 Armata was created specifically for so-called network-centric warfare. That is, the T-14 does not fight alone, but as part of a tactical group that is within a unified control system at all times. The group may include heavy infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled guns, T-90 tanks, and attack helicopters. T-14 is assigned the role of a scout, target designator, and fire spotter in this chain. The tank is distinguished by a high degree of automation.

                                                    At IDEX 2021, Rostec is showcasing a mockup of its T-14 Aramata tank to mark the launch of the international commercialization of this 3rd generation tank (Picture source: Rostec)

                                                    The main armament of the T-14 Armata is the 2A82-1M 125 mm (4.92 in) smoothbore cannon, a replacement for the 2A46 125 mm gun of previous Russian and Soviet tanks. According to Russian sources, its muzzle energy is greater than that of the German Leopard 2's Rheinmetall 120 mm gun, features include an absence of a fume extractor (due to the unmanned turret), a fire rate of 10–12 rpm (rounds per minute), left side casing ejection port for the 125 mm gun and a maximum effective-penetration range of 8 km with ATGMs.

                                                    The secondary armament consists of a 12.7×108mm Kord (GRAU index 6P49) machine gun with 300 rounds (not observed during the 2015 parade) and a 7.62×54mmR Pecheneg PKP (GRAU Index: 6P41) or a PKTM (6P7К) machine gun with 1,000 rounds. All guns are remotely controlled. In addition, another 1,000 rounds can be stored separately. A 12.7 mm machine gun is installed above the turret roof-mounted commander's sight, which avoids visual obstructions, while the turret front has a peculiar slit that is speculated to be intended for the coaxial 7.62 mm machinegun. The tank's turret might be fitted with a Shipunov 2A42 30 mm cannon to deal with various targets, including low-flying aerial targets, such as attack planes and helicopters.[citation needed]

                                                    In the future, the T-14 may use the 2A83 152 mm gun instead of its current 2A82-1M 125 mm gun. The cannon, which was first developed in 2000 for the T-95 prototype, can fire a high-speed APFSDS shell with a 1,980 m/s muzzle velocity, only dropping to 1,900 m/s at 2 km. The T-14 can also use anti-aircraft missiles. A 30 mm anti-aircraft gun may be installed in the near future.

                                                    The T-14 is powered by a ChTZ 12N360 (A-85-3A) diesel engine[2][60] delivering up to 1,500 hp.[2] The engine's theoretical maximum power, not normally used,[61] is 2,000 hp, at the cost of radically decreasing its service life, projected min[62] 2,000 hours at nominal 1,500 hp,[2] comparable to other modern tank engines, and up to 10,000 hours at moderated 1,200 hp.[60] The engine is electronically controlled.[63] Operational range is over 500 km.[64]

                                                    The T-14 has a 12-speed automatic gearbox, with a top speed of 80–90 km/h (50–56 mph) and a range of 500 km (310 mi). At least one expert speculated that the transmission might be an electronically controlled mechanical gearbox with external reverse and demultiplier gears, giving the tank equal forward and reverse gear ranges.[citation needed] Other sources suggest a partly or fully hydrostatic transmission. Uniquely for a Soviet/Russian design, the transmission is joined with the engine into a single unit that can be swapped out in the field in just under 30 minutes[citation needed].

                                                    Unlike previous Russian and Soviet designs, such as the T-90/80/72/64, the T-14 has seven 700mm road wheels per side, based on the T-80 variant. It has the ability to adjust the suspension of at least two first road wheels, and, probably, the last ones. In the 2015 Moscow Victory Day Parade rehearsal video, a T-14 Armata is shown retracting one of its frontal first wheels during turns. This, along with published design blueprints, suggest at least a partial hydraulic suspension system based on the adjustable lever arm shock absorbers that now double as suspension actuators. This may have been done to improve the pivoting ability of the tank, as an active suspension system improves the target lock time[clarification needed] by a factor of 2.2, and reduces the timeframe between target detection and reaction by 31%, all due to the resulting smoother ride.

                                                    Much thought was given to the tank's strategic mobility. Its moderate mass of 48 tons allows it to be easily transported by rail or trailer, which conserves its engine and transmission's service life, and to cross the majority of bridges in Russia. Two T-14s with their crews and all attending equipment can be easily airlifted by the heavy An-124 transport plane. However, the most numerous Russian strategic airlifter, the Il-76, is only able to lift one T-14 and its needed equipment in its newest, PS-90-equipped variant.

                                                    Rostec State Corporation

                                                    Rostec State Corporation is one of the largest industrial companies in Russia. It unites more than 800 scientific and industrial organizations in 60 regions of the country. Its key areas of activity are aircraft engineering, radioelectronics, medical technologies, innovative materials, etc. The corporation’s portfolio includes such well-known brands as AvtoVAZ, KAMAZ, UAC, Russian Helicopters, UEC, Uralvagonzavod, Shvabe, Kalashnikov, etc. Rostec is active in the implementation of all 12 national projects.

                                                    The company is a key provider of Smart City technology, it is engaged in the digitalization of public administration, industry and social sectors, and it is developing plans for the development of 5G wireless technologies, an Industrial Internet of Things, big data and blockchain systems. Rostec partners with leading world manufacturers such as Boeing, Airbus, Daimler, Pirelli and Renault. The corporation’s products are delivered to more than 100 countries worldwide. Almost a third of the company's revenue comes from the export of high-tech products.


                                                    • unicorn11
                                                      unicorn11 commented
                                                      Editing a comment
                                                      That's right international customers, step right up and buy a dumbed down 'export' version with barely any of the toys that make this a useful vehicle.

                                                      Empty your bank balance, impress your friends with what looks like advanced AFVs, but which don't deliver when you want. The T-14 Armata is for you.....

                                                  • #28
                                                    Turkey to get South Korean Doosan Infracore DV27K engine to power its Altay tank

                                                    POSTED ON THURSDAY, 04 MARCH 2021 16:33

                                                    Turkey is in negotiations with South Korea to procure engines for its domestic main battle tank Altay, which will soon be integrated into the tank, according to Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) Chairman Ismail Demir, TheDeadDistrict reports.

                                                    Altay MBT at a military parade in Turkey (Picture source: Twitter account of Bumfuzzle)

                                                    Ismail Demir told Turkish broadcaster NTV on March 3 that the problem regarding the engine of the tank will soon be solved and that the engine production with local means will also continue simultaneously. SSB head previously revealed that the prototypes of both the engine that will power the Altay and another type for light armored vehicles will be ready this year, though the tank will initially use a power unit purchased from abroad.

                                                    Altay's prototype was powered by a 1,500 horsepower diesel engine from the German manufacturer MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH. The German Rheinmetall has also created a joint venture with the Turkish land vehicles producer BMC aimed to establish joint production of armored vehicles, particularly the Altay main battle tank. Turkey had hoped to power the Altay with the MTU engine and Renk transmission, but talks with German manufacturers stopped due to a German arms embargo on Turkey. Germany is one of a number of European governments that have limited exports to Turkey over its involvement in the Syrian civil war.

                                                    Doosan Infracore DV27K engine selected to power a first series of Altay MBTs (Picture source: TheDeadDistrict)

                                                    According to the last year announcement, this engine will be the South Korean Doosan Infracore DV27K, 4-cycle, 12-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine developing 1,500 hp.

                                                    According to a new published by the Daily Sabah website on January 11, 2021, the Turkish defense industry will develop the first prototype of the Batu tank engine that will be mounted on the Altay. Let’s remind that this project was launched by the Turkish company Otokar : it was initiated with an agreement signed between the Turkish company Otokar and the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSB now) on March 2007, when the Defense Industries Executive Committee awarded a contract worth approximately $500 million to Otokar for the design, development, and production of four prototypes of a national main battle tank.

                                                    The Batu is a powerpack developed by the Turkish company BMC including a Diesel engine and an automatic transmission. BMC signed a contract with SSB (Turkish Defense Association) on June 13, 2018. BMC launched the development of a new engine develping 1,600 hp in collaboration with the Italian manufacturer Fiat/Iveco.

                                                    BMC Batu engine (Picture source: BMC)


                                                    • #29

                                                      What future for tank guns? The Rheinmetall view


                                                      By Paolo Valpolini

                                                      While the appearance of the Russian T-14 Armata tank in the 2015 May Parade has definitely triggered considerations on future tank armaments requirements in the western world, penetrating the T-14 having become the benchmark, it is safe to say that the slow deployment of that weapon system makes the current threat still represented by the tanks available in numbers in Russian Army armoured formations such as the T-90M Proryv, the T-80 BVM and the T-72 B3M. This picture emerged well from the briefing provided by Rheinmetall on its developments in the tank guns field, the two speakers being Christoph Henselmann, Senior Vice-President and Head of Portfolio Tank Main Armament, and Moritz Walter, Product Manager 130 mm, both based in Unterlüss.

                                                      The western knowledge about the Armata MBT layered protection is still incomplete, while the protection level of the three in-service tanks is much better known, which is not true for that of the latest Chinese MBTs. “We consider the T-14 more an available technology rather than a real threat,” Moritz Walter says, confirming that real worries come nowadays from in-service systems. This has led Rheinmetall to a dual approach; on one hand the upgrade of the 120 mm smoothbore weapon system performances, and on the other the development of a bigger calibre gun, the 130 mm smoothbore demonstrator having been exhibited at Eurosatory 2016.

                                                      Considering the huge amount of information provided, we would split this article in paragraphs to ease reading; please, click on titles to access the related paragraph:

                                                      Considering the huge amount of information provided, we would split this article in paragraphs to ease reading; please, click on titles to access the related paragraph


                                                      • #30
                                                        IDEX 2021: Otokar from Turkey displays Safa tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle

                                                        POSTED ON SUNDAY, 07 MARCH 2021 19:01
                                                        At IDEX 2021, the International Land Defense Exhibition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Turkish company Otokar exhibits its Safa tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle fitted with Otokar-designed Mizrak-30 30mm cannon medium turret. The vehicle stands out with mobility, firepower and survivability features. Due to its modular design, Safa can be fitted with manned or unmanned weapon systems ranging from 7.62 mm to 120 mm as well as air defense and mortar systems.

                                                        Otokar Safa tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle at IDEX 2021, International Land Defense Exhibition in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Picture source: Army Recognition)

                                                        The Safa is the export version of the Tulpar, a tracked armored IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) designed and manufactured by the Turkish company Otokar. that was unveiled in May 2013 during the IDEF defense exhibition in Turkey. It can be configured in a full range of variants as a personnel carrier, anti-tank, mortar, air defense, command and control, recovery, launch rocket system, ambulance, and reconnaissance vehicles.

                                                        Safa can serve in all kinds of combat environments from urban, built-up areas and light bridges to woodlands and all terrains, especially on soft surfaces where main battle tanks are unable to operate due to their heavyweights. Reliable and robust torsion bar suspension system consists of seven dual rubber-tire road wheels on each side. Safa has an Automatic Track Tensioning system that can adjust track tension for different road conditions to achieve outstanding mobility.

                                                        The multi-role, modular Safa series is designed as a platform to meet the users’ needs for a single platform to use in different missions. Tested in the toughest climates and on rough terrain, the vehicle boasts best-in-class ballistic and mine protection with a modular armor structure that can be configured and tailored as per specific user requirements. Safa, which can be integrated with active protection systems, has the capacity of carrying up to 9 infantry in addition to its crew of three (commander, gunner, and driver).

                                                        The Safa is motorized with a Scania DI 16 turbocharged diesel engine developing 800 hp. at 2,150 rpm coupled to a 32 speeds automatic transmission SAPA SG-850. The torsion bar suspension on each side consists of seven dual rubber-tired road wheels with the drive sprocket at the front, the idler at the rear. It can run at a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 600 km.

                                                        At IDEX 2021, the Safa was fitted with the Mizrak-30, an unmanned weapon station specially designed to be integrated on armored vehicles. The turret can be controlled by the commander and the gunner under armor protection. The turret is armed with one 30 mm dual-feed automatic cannon and one 7,62 mm coaxial machine gun. The cannon can fire all types of 30X173 mm NATO ammunition including armor-piercing and high explosive ammunition.

                                                        The Otokar MIZRAK-30 weapon station is equipped with the latest generation of a digital fire control system. The turret has an independent commander and gunner dual axes stabilized sights with the highest performance cooled thermal camera, CCD camera, laser range finder, and meteorological sensor with integrated GPS.
                                                        Attached Files
                                                        Last edited by Bug2; 08-03-21, 01:11 AM.


                                                        • #31
                                                          At long last, Turkey’s Altay tank finds an engine from South Korea

                                                          By: Burak Ege Bekdil   8 hours ago

                                                          An early version of Turkey's Altay tank participates in a military parade in Ankara, Turkey, on Aug. 30, 2015. (Burhan Ozbilici/AP)

                                                          ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish armored vehicle-maker BMC has reached an agreement with two South Korean companies for work on the power pack of the future indigenous Altay tank, a senior official with BMC told Defense News.

                                                          The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the company signed deals with Doosan and S&T Dynamics to supply the engine and transmission mechanism for the Altay.

                                                          “These [deals] are the result of a strategic understanding between our companies and countries,” the official said.

                                                          A senior defense procurement official in Ankara confirmed “there was a breakthrough agreement” between BMC and South Korean defense companies. He did not elaborate on the terms.

                                                          The Altay program has faced delays due to a lack of access to significant components such as the engine, transmission and armor.

                                                          In 2019, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office included the Altay tank as part of the military’s 2020 inventory in a government document. But the presidential office’s 2021 investment program did not mention the Altay, let alone the tank entering service.

                                                          Turkey had hoped to power the Altay with the German MTU engine and RENK transmission, but talks with German manufacturers in recent years failed due to a federal arms embargo on Turkey. Germany is one of a number of European governments that have limited exports to Turkey over its involvement in the Syrian civil war.

                                                          In order to bypass German export license restrictions, the South Korean companies will “de-Germanize” some German components in the power pack, sources familiar with the Altay program have said.

                                                          South Korea has experienced similar problems with its program for the mass production of the K2 Black Panther tank. Its deployment by the Army faced delays due to problems concerning the engine and transmission.

                                                          The first 100 units were built with a Doosan 1,500-horsepower engine and an S&T Dynamics automatic transmission. Under a second contract, some tanks were delivered in late 2016. But after S&T Dynamics’ transmission failed durability tests, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced the second batch would have a “hybrid” power pack consisting of the locally developed engine and the German RENK transmission system.

                                                          Under the latest deals, the South Koran companies will supply the power pack and assist with its integration into the Altay. A test phase will follow, and if all goes well, the Altays may be powered by Doosan and S&T Dynamics within 18 months, the BMC official said. BMC expects to ink more definitive versions of the two deals within a couple of months.

                                                          The Altay program dates back to the mid-1990s, but it wasn’t until November 2018 that the Turkish government awarded the tank’s multibillion-dollar contract to BMC. In a competition, the firm defeated Otokar, which had already produced four Altay prototypes under a government contract.

                                                          The contract involves the production of an initial batch of 250 units, life-cycle logistical support, and the establishment by the contractor of a tank systems technology center and its operation. As part of the contract, BMC will design, develop and produce a tank with an unmanned fire control unit. The contract said the first Altay tank was expected to roll off the assembly line within 18 months. Opposition parties in parliament have slammed the government over delays, but procurement officials claim the 18-month clause will apply after the first unit’s production begins.

                                                          The Altay program is broken into two phases: T1 and T2. T1 covers the first 250 units, and T2 involves the advanced version of the tank. Turkey also plans to eventually produce 1,000 Altays, to be followed by an unmanned version.

                                                          The deal has proved politically controversial, particularly after the Erdogan administration leased for free a military-owned tank and turret factory by the Marmara Sea to BMC for a period of 25 years. At the time, BMC’s Turkish partner, Ethem Sancak, was a senior member of the president’s ruling Justice and Development Party. He was also known to be one of Erdogan’s closest confidants.


                                                          • #32
                                                            16 MARCH 2021 Hanwha Defense integrates Redback IFV with Spike ATGM and Iron First APS by Gabriel Dominguez Hanwha Defense Australia announced on 16 March that it has achieved the integration of two Israeli-made systems with its new Redback infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). The company said in a statement that integration of the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Iron Fist active protection system (APS) with the Redback was successfully demonstrated in late 2020, while several Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missiles – also made by Rafael – were successfully test-fired from the IFV in early February. The company said that both tests, which it referred to as “key milestones in the validation of the Redback’s offensive and defensive protection systems”, were conducted in Israel. Hanwha Defense Australia’s Redback IFV test-firing a Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike LR2 ATGM in February 2021. (Hanwha Defense Australia) Hanwha Defense Australia’s Redback IFV test-firing a Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike LR2 ATGM in February 2021. (Hanwha Defense Australia) The Redback, which is currently competing with Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Lynx KF41 for the Australian Army’s AUD18.1–27.1 billion (USD14–21 billion) IFV requirement, is being offered with the new T2000 two-man, 30 mm turret developed by Australian company Electro Optic Systems (EOS). The main armament options of the T2000 range from a 25 mm to a 50 mm cannon, a 7.62 or 5.56 mm co-axial machine gun, an integrated, shock-isolated pop-up launcher that can deploy a single Javelin or two Spike LR2 anti-tank missiles, and an EOS R400S Mk 2 HD remote weapon station (RWS) that can mount weapons up to and including the M230LF 30 mm lightweight cannon. An alternative RWS is the EOS R150 capable of mounting 5.56 mm to 12.7 mm machine guns.


                                                            • #33
                                                              16 MARCH 2021

                                                              Hanwha Defense integrates Redback IFV with Spike ATGM and Iron First APS

                                                              by Gabriel Dominguez

                                                              Hanwha Defense Australia announced on 16 March that it has achieved the integration of two Israeli-made systems with its new Redback infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).

                                                              The company said in a statement that integration of the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Iron Fist active protection system (APS) with the Redback was successfully demonstrated in late 2020, while several Spike LR2 anti-tank guided missiles – also made by Rafael – were successfully test-fired from the IFV in early February.

                                                              The company said that both tests, which it referred to as “key milestones in the validation of the Redback’s offensive and defensive protection systems”, were conducted in Israel.

                                                              Hanwha Defense Australia’s Redback IFV test-firing a Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Spike LR2 ATGM in February 2021. (Hanwha Defense Australia)

                                                              The Redback, which is currently competing with Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s Lynx KF41 for the Australian Army’s AUD18.1–27.1 billion (USD14–21 billion) IFV requirement, is being offered with the new T2000 two-man, 30 mm turret developed by Australian company Electro Optic Systems (EOS).

                                                              The main armament options of the T2000 range from a 25 mm to a 50 mm cannon, a 7.62 or 5.56 mm co-axial machine gun, an integrated, shock-isolated pop-up launcher that can deploy a single Javelin or two Spike LR2 anti-tank missiles, and an EOS R400S Mk 2 HD remote weapon station (RWS) that can mount weapons up to and including the M230LF 30 mm lightweight cannon. An alternative RWS is the EOS R150 capable of mounting 5.56 mm to 12.7 mm machine guns.


                                                              • #34
                                                                COMING SOON TO A BATTLEFIELD NEAR YOU – A SMART IFV

                                                                Raytheon Technologies and American Rheinmetall Vehicles will use artificial intelligence (AI) to operate the LYNX Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) with two soldiers and a third virtual crew member. It looks like a regular fighting vehicle: but it’s a lot more than that.

                                                                The companies are developing an IFV that can conduct close-combat operations, survive modern threats like anti-tank guided missiles and cyber attacks, and use AI to help the crew make split-second decisions. If there’s a crew at all, that is; it can also be operated remotely.

                                                                The vehicle, Rheinmetall’s LYNX KF41 IFV, will be the foundation for the team’s proposed design to the US Army for its Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV), which will replace the aging BRADLEY fleet. The design is built on decades of experience in key combat programmes and user feedback. It includes a US-manufactured chassis produced by Textron Systems and a next-generation transmission by Allison Transmissions.

                                                                The future battlefield calls for a digitally-connected fighting vehicle that can outpace the enemy,” states Pat McCormack, a former Army BRADLEY master gunner and now a capability analyst at Raytheon Missiles & Defense.

                                                                BRADLEYs traditionally have a three-soldier crew: commander, gunner and driver. The new OMFV will have two soldiers and an AI-powered virtual third crew member to help the humans on board think, decide and act faster. “We will design a vehicle where artificial intelligence detects, identifies and tracks a target, but leaves the engagement decision to the soldier,” McCormack explained.

                                                                Modern automation will allow a two-person crew to manoeuvre across the battlefield and watch for threats. When the system finds a threat, it will classify it and assign it a priority, after which soldiers can decide whether and how to engage. This reduces their cognitive load and number of simultaneous demands. The vehicle will be similar to a sophisticated semi-autonomous car, with computers and algorithms doing lots of analysis but people making the final decisions.

                                                                Artificial intelligence is a big leap forward with any fighting vehicle,” stated Brad Barnard, Director of the OMFV programme at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “Not only will AI assume a role, it will increase situational awareness and survivability.”

                                                                The LYNX IFV is a next-generation, tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed to address the critical challenges of the future battlefield. The LYNX team is using digital engineering to build detailed, accurate computer models to ensure that new capabilities, such as aided target recognition (ATR), are compatible with the vehicle. It allows them to connect multiple points of model data into one database, also called a ‘single source of truth.’

                                                                We will virtually build, analyse and refine the LYNX design as we progress,” said Wes Kremer, President of Raytheon Missiles & Defense. “And we’ll ensure digital technology enablers, like AI-enabled aided target recognition, provide soldiers every advantage on the battlefield.” The team will install ATR or other technologies virtually, to iterate and assess impacts on the entire system. This reduces integration efforts and risk before manufacturing prototypes or installing hardware.

                                                                A computerised testbed allows them to create the vehicle virtually — testing it on different terrains and modelling combat simulations — then export the digital model to build a physical version.

                                                                That’s only the beginning. The team will look to install other automated programmes on the OMFV, in which AI will help spread the workload. As part of the assessment, the team will examine how effectively AI assumes a portion of a crew member’s tasks. AI is driving a revolution in the way military systems are designed and built, and it will change the way soldiers carry out missions.

                                                                Designing and testing virtually in a digital environment is revolutionising our rapid learning,” Kremer said. “The results are dramatic; we can give our front-line warfighters advanced capabilities that allow them to face whatever challenges the future fight entails.”

                                                                The Army plans to have its BRADLEY replacement in the field in 2028.

                                                                The LYNX KF41 IFV will feature AI throughout the design and will replace the current third crew-member with a virtual AI-enabled construct. (Photos: Raytheon/Rheinmetall)

                                                                Published: 17 March 2021


                                                                • unicorn11
                                                                  unicorn11 commented
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                                                                  Means one less person for maintenance in the field, for rearming, for standing watch and for all the jobs that a crew have to undertake.

                                                                • ADMk2
                                                                  ADMk2 commented
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                                                                  Yep, love to see the AI that can bash track...

                                                                • magnify
                                                                  magnify commented
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                                                                  Or gets demoralized and philosophical, decides war is not the way ...

                                                              • #35

                                                                German Army declares “System Panzergrenadier” fit to fight: a milestone for the Puma infantry fighting vehicle and Future Soldier – Expanded System

                                                                19 March 2021 – Supplied by Rheinmetall and its partner companies, the Bundeswehr’s System Panzergrenadier has reached an important milestone. On 18 March 2021, Lieutenant General Alfons Mais, the Chief of the German Army, declared the system fit to fight. He also recommended equipping NATO’s spearhead formation, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) 2023, which the Bundeswehr will be furnishing, with the new system. In essence, System Panzergrenadier consists of an upgraded version of the Puma – the infantry fighting vehicle made by the Rheinmetall and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann joint venture PSM GmbH – and the VJTF2023 version of the Future Soldier – Expanded System (IdZ-ES) developed by Rheinmetall. Following extensive development and modification work, System Panzergrenadier underwent a three-week-long tactical evaluation at the Bergen major training area on the Lüneburg Heath in northern Germany in February 2021. It passed the test with flying colours.

                                                                System Panzergrenadier will substantially enhance the fighting strength and combat effectiveness of the VJTF 2023. Equipped with System Panzergrenadier, this formation will, for the first time in Germany, bring together a digitized vehicle platform – the enhanced VJTF version of the Puma infantry fighting vehicle – and a soldier system equipped for digital radio communication.

                                                                System Panzergrenadier offers two key advantages: first, all soldiers, whether mounted or dismounted, can access the same information; and second, they are able to share this information with greater precision, more quickly and more robustly. The closely knit network of sensors and effectors belonging to the soldiers and their infantry fighting vehicle minimizes the time between target detection and target engagement. This blending of capabilities into a single overarching system enables more effective tactical interaction of the soldiers and their IFV, enhancing in turn the overall combat effectiveness of mechanized infantry units.

                                                                A total of forty VJTF-grade Puma infantry fighting vehicles will form part of the VJTF 2023 panoply of equipment. The most advanced version of the Puma to date, it includes, among other things, integration of standoff-capable effectors like the MELLS multirole lightweight guided missile system; additional sensors such as a new driver vision system; and improved C4I architecture.

                                                                The new panoramic and driver vision system heralds the end of the periscope era. For the first time, the entire crew will be able to “see through” the armour, both day and night. The fusion mode combines daylight vision with high-performance thermal imaging, enabling swift detection of concealed targets around the clock. The Puma is the first significant Western combat vehicle to include a system like this as a standard feature.

                                                                Now that the Puma IFV has been declared fit to fight, the German Army’s Mechanized Infantry Corps finds itself on the threshold of a new era, with the prospect of the remaining battalions also being equipped with a comparable revamped version of the Puma.

                                                                Embodying a systemic approach to reequipping vehicle platforms and soldier systems, System Panzergrenadier forms a sound foundation for conceptualizing and kitting out larger coherent systems of systems. Looking ahead, System Panzergrenadier thus becomes the basis for digitally networked and directed formations. Given the substantial increase in experience and capabilities in the field of IT system integration, this path provides a powerful impetus for future projects. In the consortium cofounded with PSM GmbH, Rheinmetall Electronics GmbH is responsible for the command capabilities workshare, and thus for assuring cross-platform networking of the system of systems.

                                                                Furthermore, System Panzergrenadier is stimulating further development beyond the immediate project. The next generation of the IdZ-ES is already in the starting blocks, while the new Puma VJTF infantry fighting vehicle offers an excellent point of departure for expanded capabilities, e.g., in the sensor-to-shooter category.

                                                                System Panzergrenadier is a technological trailblazer whose continued development is poised to deliver new capabilities for the German Army’s Division 2027 and Digitized Land-Based Operations system, the D-LBO.

                                                                Photos courtesy Rheinmetall


                                                                • unicorn11
                                                                  unicorn11 commented
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                                                                  Wonder if this is part of the Lynx offer to the ADF?

                                                              • #36
                                                                Algeria has ordered 300 Russian-made BMPT-72 Terminator 2 fire support armored vehicles

                                                                POSTED ON SATURDAY, 20 MARCH 2021 18:30

                                                                According to information published by the SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ) arms trade database 2020, Algeria has ordered 300 BMPT-72 Terminator 2 tracked armored fire support vehicles from Russia.

                                                                BMPT-72 Russian-made fire support tracked armored vehicle at KADEX, defense exhibition. (Picture source Army Recognition)

                                                                Since the year 2013, the Algerian has bought a significant number of land military equipment from Russia including 38 Pantsir-S1 air defense missile/cannon systems, 100 SA-17 Buk-M2 air defense missile systems based on tracked armored, 12 9P78 Iskander mobile short-range ballistic missile system, and 203 T-90SA main battle tanks.

                                                                The BMP-72 also called Terminator 2 is a fire support tracked armored vehicle fully developed and designed by the company Uralvagonzavod and was unveiled for the first time to the public at the Russian Arms Expo 2013 defense exhibition in Nizhny Tagil (Russia). It is based on the chassis of the Russian-made main battle tank T-72. The vehicle offers new protection and firepower, especially in urban operations.

                                                                The main armament of the BMPT-72 turret consists of two 30mm automatic guns 2A42 and one PKTM 7.62mm coaxial machine gun which can be used against light armored vehicles and manpower. The guns can fire a wide range of ammunitions as APERS-T (Anti-Personnel ammunitions), HEF-I (High-explosive Fragmentation Incendiary), AP-T (Armour Piercing)., and KE (Kinetic Energy). Two anti-tank guided missile Ataka-T launcher units are mounted to each side of the turret. The anti-tank missile can engage a target up to a maximum distance of 6,000 m while the guns have a maximum range of 2,500 against light armored vehicles and 4,000 against light tactical vehicles and troops.

                                                                The BMPT-72 or Terminator 2 has a crew of three including a driver, commander, and gunner. The hull and turret of the BMPT-72 are made of steel armor and integrates the latest protection systems with explosive reactive armor (ERA) to the front of the turret, a detachable ERA module on the glacis plate, and applique ERA on the sides of the hull and turret.

                                                                According to Russian defense industry information, the BMPT-72 can be motorized with two types of engine, the original 850 hp B84MC or the new 1000 hp. B92C2 power plants, both are 12 cylinder V type multi-fuel, liquid-cooled Diesel engines. It can reach a maximum road speed of 60 km with a maximum cursing range of 500 km.

                                                                The BMPT-72 or Terminator 2 is fitted with an advanced automatic fire control system which can be used for terrain observation, target location, and detection on the move at day and night. A laser range finder is also available. The commander and the gunner of the BMPT-72 are equipped with control panels and LCD screen.


                                                                • #37
                                                                  No why order this shit, unless you think you're going up against a peer opposition, i.e. "neighbour" Morocco, who has M1Abrams and other US MBT's. The stupid thing about this all is that Algeria has far more to worry about internally, than anything Morocco is going to do externally............but hey, never let commonsense get in the way of paranoia.


                                                                  • Bug2
                                                                    Bug2 commented
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                                                                    AND of course, the Moroccans have a long-term relationship with the Israeli's...............

                                                                  • magnify
                                                                    magnify commented
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                                                                    They have S400 as well ... why? ... Perhaps Qaddafi effect? ... US foreign policy being treated as a deranged entertainment and ego vehicle does not help, "We came, we saw, he's dead!" Allows Russians to sell a lot of weapons to rightly horrified former Islamic Soviet-client states.

                                                                  • mupp
                                                                    mupp commented
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                                                                    300 though...the Russians don't even rate these.

                                                                • #38
                                                                  First public appearance of Chinese VT4 tank during military parade in Pakistan

                                                                  POSTED ON MONDAY, 29 MARCH 2021 10:56

                                                                  The first public appearance of the Chinese VT4 main battle tank during the annual military parade in Pakistan that was held in Karachi on March 25, 2021. In 2019, Pakistan has selected the VT4 in the framework of the acquisition program of at least 100 new MBTs.

                                                                  The Chinese-made VT4 main battle tank was officially presented for the first time to the public during the annual military in Pakistan, March 25, 2021. (Picture source Pakistan armed forces)

                                                                  In September 2020, it was announced that Pakistan Army has inducted Chinese-made VT-4 Main Battle Tank. Currently, different types of main battle tanks are already in service with the Pakistani armed forces including 300 local-made Al-Khalid, 315 Russian T-80U, 500 local-made Al-Zarrar, 400 Chinese Type-69, and 268 Type-85-IIAP.

                                                                  The VT4 is one of the latest generations of main battle tanks manufactured by the Chinese defense industry. The tank was unveiled in 2012 during the International Defense Exhibition Eurosatory that was held in Paris, France. The VT4 is now in service with China, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Thailand. The export variant of the VT4 is called MBT-3000.

                                                                  The VT4 is armed with one 125mm smoothbore gun fitted with a thermal sleeve and fume extractor. It is fed by an automatic loader that holds a total of 22 projectiles and charges which can be loaded at the rate of eight per minute. The second armament includes one 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun and one remotely operated weapon station mounted on the commander cupola which is armed with one 12.7mm heavy machine gun. The cannon can also fire the anti-tank guided missile 9K119 Refleks with a range of up to 5 km.

                                                                  The VT4 hull and turret are of all-welded steel armor construction. The tank can be fitted with explosive reactive armor (ERA), offering a high level of protection against shaped charges and specially hardened kinetic energy penetrators.

                                                                  The VT4 tank is powered by a water-cooled turbocharged electronic-controlled diesel engine developing 1,300 hp. It can run at the maximum speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 500 km.


                                                                  • #39
                                                                    Italian Ariete MBT can launch UAV from its gun

                                                                    POSTED ON MONDAY, 29 MARCH 2021 15:46

                                                                    On March 24, Ciro Nappi tweeted pictures of an Italian Army Ariete MBT launching a small UAV from its 120mm gun. The UAV – intended for reconnaissance purposes – is contained in a shell with compressed air as a propellant. No additional detail is available for the moment.

                                                                    C1 Ariete MBT launching a UAV (Picture source: Twitter account of Ciro Nappi)

                                                                    The C1 Ariete is the main battle tank of the Italian Army, developed by Consorzio Iveco Oto Melara (CIO), a consortium formed by Iveco and OTO Melara. The chassis and engine were produced by Iveco, while the turret and fire-control system were supplied by OTO Melara. The vehicle carries the latest optical and digital imaging and fire-control systems, enabling it to fight day and night and to fire on the move. Six prototypes were developed by 1988, which were subject to intensive testing the following year during which the vehicles traveled a combined 16,000 km. Deliveries were first planned for 1993, but in fact, took place in 1995 due to delays. Final delivery occurred 7 years later in August 2002.

                                                                    The Ariete's main armament is a 120 mm smoothbore gun, designed by OTO Breda, it is similar to the Rheinmetall L44. The gun is also adapted to fire most NATO-standard rounds of the same caliber. It carries 42 rounds, 15 ready rounds are stored vertically on the left side of the main gun breech. The 27 others are stowed in a hull rack to the left of the driver's station. The gun barrel has a thermal insulating sleeve and a fume extractor; it is fully stabilized in both azimuth and elevation by an electro-hydraulic drive system.

                                                                    Type of UAV gun-launched from a C1 Ariete (Picture source: Twitter account of Ciro Nappi)

                                                                    In the early 2000s, the Italian Army was interested in developing a new version of Ariete (C2 Ariete or Ariete Mk. 2 designations were considered) which would enter service over the following years with the planned acquisition of 300 units.[5] The budget limitations drastically reduced the number of improved Ariete (order reduced to 200) and eventually caused the subsequent cancellation of the program. The planned improvements were therefore to be applied to the C1 Ariete during the future major revisions. The Ariete PSO, is a variant of the Ariete that had a amour package that make it more useful in combat.

                                                                    The improvements consisted of:
                                                                    * Two add-on composite armor kits were provided : the Peace Support Operation (PSO) side armor package (used by the C1 Ariete during the operation Antica Babilonia in Iraq) and the WAR add-on armor package (turret front and the frontal third of the hull sponsons). The latter was mounted on a C1 Ariete displayed at Eurosatory 2002.
                                                                    * Engine upgrade : acquisition of a new 1,600 hp IVECO engine.
                                                                    * New improved laser warning receiver.
                                                                    * Electric turret drive (safer than the hydraulic turret drive).
                                                                    * Improved CPU for the Marconi COSMO MP501.
                                                                    * Integration of SICCONA battlefield management system.

                                                                    C1 Ariete during training in Qatar (Picture source: Italian MoD/Wikipedia)


                                                                    • ADMk2
                                                                      ADMk2 commented
                                                                      Editing a comment
                                                                      They have a tank gun that can launch a UAV, but apparently only a camera that shoots at 240p... 😂

                                                                  • #40
                                                                    Slovakia plans to acquire new tracked IFVs and main battle tanks

                                                                    POSTED ON MONDAY, 29 MARCH 2021 19:30

                                                                    The Slovak Ministry of Defense plans to acquire new tracked IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) and main battle tanks. The priority is the replacement of old BVP-1 and BVP-2 tracked IFVs, a Soviet-made BMP-1 and BMP-2 produced under license in Czechoslovakia.

                                                                    T-72M main battle tank of Slovakia. (Picture source Pinterest)

                                                                    Slovakia has the goal to acquire a total of 164 tracked combat vehicles in seven variants including IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle), command post, reconnaissance, artillery observation, engineer, and recovery. The acquisition of new IFVs could be followed by the procurement of 49 main battle tanks to replace the old Soviet-made T-72M, with the first delivery in 2023.

                                                                    According to the military balance 2020, Slovakia has a total 148 BVP-1, 91 BVP-2, and 30 T-72M.

                                                                    In March 2021, the German company Rheinmetall has already made a demonstration with its KF-41 IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) at the Military Technical and Testing Institute (VTSÚ) Záhorie were Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď, Deputy Defence Minister Marian Majer, Chief of Defence Gen Daniel Zmeko and representatives of the SVK Defence Industry.

                                                                    The BVP-1 is similar to the Soviet-made BMP-1 tracked IFV which is fitted with a one-man turret armed with 73mm cannon and one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. A launcher for the 9K 11 Malyutka AT-3 'Sagger' wire-guided ATGW is mounted on the top of the gun.

                                                                    The BVP-2 has the same design and armament as the Russian-made BMP-2 IFV which is equipped with a two-man turret armed with a stabilized 30 mm cannon 2A42 and a 7.62 mm PKT coaxial machine gun mounted to the left of the main armament.

                                                                    The T-72M main battle tank is the export version of the Soviet-made T-72A. The tank is armed with one 125 mm (2A46) smoothbore gun fitted with a light-alloy thermal sleeve and a bore evacuator. The second armament of the T-72A includes one 7.62 mm caliber PKT machine gun mounted coaxially to the right of the main armament and has 250 rounds of ready-use ammunition and a new design of 12.7 mm caliber NSV machine gun mounted on the commander's cupola.

                                                                    Slovak Army BVP-2 tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle (Picture source Army Recognition)


                                                                    • #41
                                                                      French Ministry of Defense notifies renewal of support for Leclerc MBT

                                                                      POSTED ON FRIDAY, 02 APRIL 2021 11:11

                                                                      On March 31, 2021, Florence Parly, Minister of the French armed forces, welcomed the notification of a new 10-year service support market (mss2) for the Leclerc MBT. This notification has been sent to the company Nexter through the Structure Intégrée du Maintien en Condition Opérationnelle des Matériels Terrestres (SIMMT), or Integrated Structure of Maintenance in Operational Condition of the ground equipment. This market is worth an amount of more than 1 billion euros.

                                                                      Leclerc MBTs of the 5th Régiment de Dragons (Picture source: Army Recognition)

                                                                      The MSS2, which entered into force on March 31, 2021, follows the end of the first verticalized market * for Maintenance in Operational Condition - Terrestrial (MCO-T) passed in 2010 with the same industrial project manager for the support of the Leclerc tanks and their recovery variant.

                                                                      Deployed since 2017, in the Baltic States for the NATO mission Lynx as well as in the United Arab Emirates, Leclerc tanks have continuously benefited from supply flows at title of the in-service support contract. The terms of the new contract support therefore take into account these years of experience feedback reinforcing in particular the commitments of the industrial supply.

                                                                      Maintenance operations will be carried out in conjunction with the State project management, in particular for the repair of spare parts made within the Industrial Ground Maintenance Department (Service de la maintenance industrielle Terrestre (SMITer). This includes management, delivery of spare parts, Documentation, technical control and technical assistance of Regiments, as well as the possible recourse to Maintenance services and full support for Leclerc tanks Canjuers (Var) and Mourmelon (Marne) training parks.

                                                                      The market thus includes a "technical mastery" component, managed by the General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) in order to adapt the support coverage. It is supported by a renovation operation at mid-life allowing both to consolidate the industrial tool, to deal with heavy obsolescence and integrate the Leclerc tank into the SCORPION valued info bubble.

                                                                      As part of the SCORPION program, the renovation works will strengthen the firepower and mobility of the Leclerc tank within combined arms battle groups. This new tank will also be equipped with specific armor kits allowing it to do better in the face of threats. 200 copies are planned to be renovated, of which 122 by 2025.


                                                                      * In a verticalized market, the management of the supply chain, stocks and responsibility for supporting training fleets are delegated to the manufacturer.


                                                                      • #42
                                                                        Russian marines of the Far East receive BMP-3 IFVs

                                                                        POSTED ON FRIDAY, 02 APRIL 2021 12:16

                                                                        The Pacific Fleet Marine Corps, stationed in the Primorsky Territory, received 40 new BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles. They will replace the BMP-2 with a piece of up-to-date equipment.

                                                                        BMP-3 IFV (Picture source: Army Recognition)

                                                                        The 40 new BMP-3s were delivered to Vladivostok by rail and then transported by special equipment to the place of their permanent deployment. Earlier, the formations of the Pacific Fleet marines in Primorye and Kamchatka were completely re-equipped with BTR-82A armored personnel carriers and reinforced by units of T-80BV tanks.

                                                                        The design of the BMP-3 (the abbreviation BMP stands for boevaya mashina pehoty, infantry combat vehicle) or Obyekt 688M can be traced back to the Obyekt 685 light tank prototype with a 2A48-1 100 mm gun from 1975. The prototype did not enter series production, but the chassis, with a new engine, was used for the next-generation infantry combat vehicle Obyekt 688 from A. Blagonravov's design bureau.

                                                                        The Ob. 688's original weapon configuration consisting of an externally mounted Shipunov 2A42 30 mm autocannon, a 7.62mm PKT machine gun and twin 9M113 Konkurs ATGM launcher was rejected; instead, the new 2K23 armament system was selected. The resulting BMP-3 was developed in the early 1980s and entered service with the Soviet Army officially in 1987. It was shown for the first time in public during the 1990 Victory Day parade and was given the NATO code IFV M1990/1.

                                                                        The BMP-3 is designed and produced by the Kurganmashzavod (Kurgan Machine Building Plant) some variants however are built by the Rubtsovsk Machine Building Plant (RMZ), for example the BRM-3K.

                                                                        In May 2015, the Russian Defense Ministry signed a three-year contract to receive "hundreds" of BMP-3 vehicles to maintain its armored vehicle force until its replacement, the Kurganets-25, completes research and development. In the process of the BMP's serial production, the vehicle's design underwent 1,500 amendments. The contract was fully executed in 2017. 200 more received in 2018-2019 and 168 more in production are to be delivered in 2020-2021 with additional protection.

                                                                        At the Army-2017 show near Moscow, the Russian Defence Ministry signed a contract covering the first deliveries of an unspecified number of BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) fitted with the Bumerang-BM turret.


                                                                        • #43
                                                                          Rostec to fit BMP-3 IFV with new engine and panoramic sight

                                                                          POSTED ON FRIDAY, 02 APRIL 2021 16:36

                                                                          Russia’s BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) is set to receive the upgraded UTD-32T turbocharged diesel engine and a panoramic sight for commander’s sensor suite, the arms cluster of state corporation Rostec told the TASS news agency on April 2.

                                                                          BMP-3 IFV (Picture source: Army Recognition)

                                                                          “We are planning to fit the BMP-3 IFV with the UTD-32T engine. It has a power output of 660 hp and is more effective than the previous powerpack of the vehicle. The new engine requires less time to be launched and switches running modes in a more rapid manner; it will also increase the maneuverability of the land platform,” said a representative of Rostec.

                                                                          According to the press department of Rostec’s holding High-Precision Weapons, there is a plan to fit the BMP-3 with a commander’s thermal imaging panoramic sight. The combat vehicle also carries a new communication system, said the press department. “According to the requirements of the military, communications systems pass through constant upgrades,” noted a representative of High-Precision Weapons. The serial BMP-3 IFVs being delivered to the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) feature reinforced protection, according to the holding.

                                                                          The BMP-3 has a high potential for further modernization, said High-Precision Weapons. It will pass through upgrades, remaining in service for a long period of time. The marinized variant of the platform — BMP-3 °F — is also being updated. “The modernization of the BMP-3 °F comes along with the upgrade of the baseline variant,” said the press department.

                                                                          The BMP-3 IFV was adopted in 1987. The land platform is armed with a 100 mm gun capable of launching guided missiles and a 30 mm coaxial automatic cannon. According to the experts, the BMP-3 carries the most powerful armament suite in its class. The UTD-32 engine is an upgraded variant of the UTD-29, which is fitted with a turbocharger.

                                                                          © Copyright 2021 TASS / Army Recognition Group SPRL. All rights reserved.


                                                                          • #44
                                                                            Turkey to conduct field tests with its local-made Altay tank fitted with Turkish powerpack

                                                                            POSTED ON SATURDAY, 03 APRIL 2021 17:50

                                                                            According to the President of the Turkish Defense Association (SSB) Ismail Demir, Turkey will conduct field tests in April 2021, with its local-made Altay Main Battle Tank (MBT) fitted with the powerpack developed by the Turkish company BMC under the BATU Project.

                                                                            The latest prototype of the Turkish-made main battle tank was unveiled by the company BMC during the IDEF defense exhibition in May 2019. (Picture source Army Recognition)

                                                                            The new powerpack consists of a 12-cylinder V-type water-cooled Diesel engine developing 1.500 hp and 4600 Nm of torque coupled to a U connection cross-drive transmission with steering and braking functionality. It integrates cooling packs, air filtration, and exhaust systems.

                                                                            The project of the new Turkish-made main battle tank Altay started in 2007 initiated by the Turkish company Otokar. In November 2012, the first prototype of the new tank was unveiled at the OTOKAR facilities in Sakarya. In April 2018, it was announced that the Turkish Company BMC, a manufacturer of wheeled armored and tactical vehicles, has won the contract to continue the development and production of the indigenous MBT.

                                                                            In November 2018, BMC has officially received a contract from SSB (Turkish Defense Industry Association) to produce the local-made Altay tank, with the first order of 250 units which could go up to 1,000 tanks.

                                                                            The Altay design is conventional with the driver position at the front, the turret in the middle, and the powerpack at the rear. The tank features the latest technologies of protection including a modular armor package developed by the Turkish company Roketsan which can withstand all types of modern anti-tank guided missile and RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade).

                                                                            The Altay tank is armed with a 120mm L/55 smoothbore gun manufactured by the Turkish Company MKE by technology transfer from Hyundai Rotem of South Korea. The second armament includes one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and one remotely operated weapon station that can be armed with one 7.62 or 12.7mm machine gun.


                                                                            • Bug2
                                                                              Bug2 commented
                                                                              Editing a comment
                                                                              I'd love to know WHERE Erdogan thinks he's going to get the money from to build these in any numbers? That's aside from the fact it actually has to WORK first..................

                                                                            • magnify
                                                                              magnify commented
                                                                              Editing a comment
                                                                              Especially now that MBT's are being deposed as the preferred armor for high mobility forces under high threat.

                                                                            • ADMk2
                                                                              ADMk2 commented
                                                                              Editing a comment
                                                                              Who exactly is doing away with mbt’s as their preferred armour for high threat scenarios?

                                                                              China? No. Type 99, VT4.

                                                                              Russia? No. Armata.

                                                                              USA? No. M1A2C/D.

                                                                              Australia? No. M1A2C/D.

                                                                              France? No. Leclerc upgrades and new tank program with Germany.

                                                                              Germany? No. Leopard 2A8 and future tank program with France.

                                                                              Israel? No. Merkava 4 upgrades.

                                                                              India? No. Arjun and Type 90.

                                                                              Japan? No. Type 10.

                                                                              South Korea? No. K2 Black Panther.

                                                                              Poland? No. Leopard 2 and searching for a new replacement.

                                                                              Even the UK has just approved Challenger 3, but I think those examples speak for themselves...

                                                                          • #45
                                                                            Armor: Merkava Matures And Mutates
                                                                            April 4, 2021:

                                                                            Israel is the smallest nation in the world to design and build its own tanks. This was the result of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, which took Israel by surprise and inflicted heavy losses before Israel counter-attacked and defeated Egypt and Syria and their larger number of modern Russian tanks. Israel carefully analyzes the results of each war it fights and makes changes to deal with problems encountered. The 1973 war prompted Israel to start designing and building its own tanks.

                                                                            By 1979 the 61-ton Merkava entered service and 250 were built by 1983. That was the year the first of 580 62-ton Merkava 2s entered service. Production of Merkava 2 ended in 1989. The first two Merkava models were similar in design with both using a 105mm gun. The Merkava 2 had additional armor, a five percent more powerful 950 HP engine and a 20 percent higher top speed of 55 kilometers an hour. The external 60mm mortar, mainly for firing smoke shells, was moved inside for the Merkava 2. There were a lot of other mechanical and electronic upgrades. By 1989 all the active-duty armored brigades had Merkavas and many of the reserve armored brigades as well.

                                                                            Using lessons learned from the 1982 fighting in Lebanon, Israel developed a much improved 63.5-ton Merkava 3, which entered service in 1990. By 2002 680 Merkava 3s were built. The main improvements in Merkava were a 120mm main gun and much more powerful 1,200 HP engine that produced a 60-kilometers an hour top speed, faster acceleration and a more maneuverable and nimbler tank. All the armor was of a modern composite design. Fewer main gun shells could be carried; 46 120mm ones compared to 60 105mm shells in the Merkava 2. Merkava 3 could load shells faster because of a five-round mechanical drum. The fire-control system was also upgraded, as were many other components. The Merkava 3 is still used, mainly by reserve armor brigades.

                                                                            In 2003 the current model, the 65-ton Merkava 4 was introduced. So far 360 of these have been produced and most have already undergone several major upgrades. Merkava 4 has improved armor, a 25 percent more powerful 1,500 HP engine and a top speed of 65 kilometers an hour. Merkava 4 is even more nimble and maneuverable than Merkava 3. Merkava 4 carries 48 rounds of 120mm shells and uses a 10-round electric powered drum for quick loading. Merkava has a smoother ride because of an improved suspension system. There are also improved protection for the crew against mines and roadside bombs. So far 550 Merkava 4s have been built.

                                                                            All Merkavas feature a unique design feature; the engine is in the front. This adds more protection for the four-man crew and any passengers in the large rear compartment. That compartment can hold more 120mm shells or other supplies or up to eight passengers. Usually six infantrymen are carried, providing Merkava with its own infantry support. This is especially useful in built-up areas.

                                                                            Merkava 4 has undergone several major upgrades. In 2012 Israel completed equipping all the Merkava tanks in an armor brigade with the Trophy APS (Active Protection System). In 2010 the first battalion of Merkavas was so equipped. In 2011 Trophy defeated incoming missiles and rockets in combat for the first time. This included ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missile), possibly a modern Russian system like the Kornet E. This ATGM was introduced in 1994, and has been sold to Syria, who apparently passed them on to Hezbollah and Hamas. A few weeks before the ATGM intercept, Trophy defeated an RPG warhead, an unguided rocket propelled grenade fired from a metal tube balanced on the shoulder. As it was designed to do, Trophy operated automatically and the crew didn't realize the incoming RPG warhead or missile had been stopped until after it was over. That is how APS is supposed to work.

                                                                            In 2017, a ground vehicle VR (Virtual Reality) system called Iron Vision was introduced and Merkava 4 was the first tank to get it. Iron Vision meant a tank could largely dispense with the traditional dependence on the tank commander spending a lot of time with his head sticking out of the turret to get a better view of the situation. The VR helmet display worn by crew does not just show real-time video of what is outside but also an overlay of other information or even a map. Israel pioneered the development and use of these helmets and the F-35 stealth fighter was designed to use such a helmet. Most modern tanks are equipped with these small external digital vidcams but Iron Vision makes the external cameras much easier to use.

                                                                            In 2020 Fire Weaver fire control network software was first installed in Israeli tanks and will soon be installed in warplanes, artillery and other armored vehicles. In 2021 at least two of the four active-duty armored brigades will have Fire Weaver. Once all the active-duty armor brigades have it, the six active-duty infantry brigades will receive it. Some of the 22 reserve brigades, nine of them armored, may get the system as well.

                                                                            Fire Weaver takes data from existing sensors on tanks and other armored vehicles as well as artillery and warplanes and rapidly (within five seconds) lets vehicles, warplanes and artillery know which available target each combat system should fire at. This eliminates a common battlefield situation where too many weapons fire on some targets while other targets are not initially fired on at all. Currently, tank crews and artillery spotters (troops who call back to tell artillery which targets to hit) have manual procedures for picking which targets they should fire at. That often works quite well, especially during a situation where a tank unit encountering the enemy has an opportunity to fire first. Fire Weaver automates these decisions and makes more effective choices more quickly. The troops and pilots can override the Fire Weaver selected target but tests have shown that Fire Weaver is usually quite effective in selecting the best targets for each tank, artillery unit or aircraft.

                                                                            Fire Weaver is easy to implement in the Israeli military because the Israelis have already been providing their troops with better sensors and battlefield networks. For example, in mid-2019 three Israeli firms, responding to an IDF proposal, showed off their versions of the proposed Carmel Concept for future armored vehicles. Three different armored vehicles; the Merkava 4 tank, Namer IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) and the Eitan 8x8 APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) had proposed versions of Carmel installed. Carmel involves several existing technologies plus proposed new ones that would turn an armored vehicle into a “combat system” that would operate with, a crew of two or a robotic vehicle operated remotely (like a UAV) or autonomously, to benefit from more information about where friendly and suspected enemy forces were. This information would often be delivered in real-time. This sort of thing provides a tremendous advantage in combat.

                                                                            The best example of similar (to Carmel) existing tech is used in the F-35 where numerous sensor and communications systems are controlled by software that uses data fusion. This is merging data from many sources and presenting it to the pilot in a comprehensible fashion to provide the F-35 pilot with unprecedented “situational awareness”. That means an accurate picture of where the pilot and everything else in the vicinity is. It had long been known that superior situational awareness was the key to victory in combat be it in the air, at sea or on land. Carmel proposes that manufacturers find ways to effectively combine existing tech with improved software. This would include more AI (Artificial Intelligence) to analyze sensor and situational data at high speed and either act autonomously (as ADS, or Active Defense Systems, do) or present options to the vehicle operators.

                                                                            Although the Merkava was introduced in 1979 it wasn’t until mid-2006 that Israeli tanks saw their first heavy combat in 24 years. It was also the first combat for the then new Merkava 4. Actually, it was the first heavy combat for the Merkava 2 (introduced in 1983) and Merkava 3 (1989). In 1982, 180 Merkava 1s saw action during the war with Lebanon. Until 2006 Merkavas had only been used in peacekeeping and counter-terror operations with the Palestinians.

                                                                            The Israelis, as they have in all past wars, collected detailed information on each tank that was hit by enemy fire. Israel won't, for obvious reasons, release all this information. But they have provided some data. "Several hundred" Merkavas sent into southern Lebanon in 2006. Of those, ten percent were hit by enemy fire, including mines and roadside bombs. Merkava faced modern ATGMs for the first time in 2006. Only 18 tanks were seriously damaged, and only a third of those were from several hundred ATGMs fired by Hezbollah. Only two of the 18 heavily damaged tanks were destroyed, and both of those were damaged by roadside bombs. In those two cases, the tank was over the bomb when it was detonated.

                                                                            The experience in Lebanon again proved that ATGMs tend to be overrated. Israel first encountered ATGMs during the 1973 war, and quickly adapted. ATGMs were much less effective in the 1982 war, and didn't do all that well in 2006 either. The Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah quickly learned that the Merkava frontal armor was impervious to their Kornet ATGMs. Getting side and rear shots was more difficult, and not a lot more successful. While the ATGM warhead often penetrated, the Merkava was designed to take this kind of hits and survive, and survive it did. In addition to fire extinguisher systems, the ammo and fuel are stored in such a way that secondary explosions are rare. The crew normally survives these hits, as does the tank.

                                                                            One of the biggest problems with Israeli tanks in Lebanon had to do with the crews. Because of the heavy use of Israeli troops in counter-terror operations since 2000, most tank crews have spent a lot of time without their tanks, serving as security troops (light infantry). The lack of training in their tanks reduced the effectiveness of the Merkavas in Lebanon. This was not a critical factor, but it annoyed the tank crews quite a lot.

                                                                            The tankers were also peeved at the lack of protective devices, like smoke grenades on some tanks, or active defense systems, like the Trophy. This was because so much money was diverted to counter-terror operations. While only six tanks were destroyed in Lebanon, over a hundred tank crewmen were killed or wounded by ATGMs. Hezbollah would often use a missile just to get the vehicle commander, who often was standing up, with his head and chest out of the turret hatch to get a better look at what's going on. Tank commanders would like to see some money spent on sensor systems (cameras) that enable the tank commander to get a good look around the tank, from inside the tank. The Lebanon operation was a wakeup call for the Israeli government, to stop shortchanging efforts to improve their tanks.

                                                                            As good as the Merkava is, there not a lot of export customers. There is apparently only one export customer and Israel did not reveal who it was and no other public information about a foreign user has appeared so far. One difficulty with export orders is that Israel builds the Merkava itself and cannot afford large production facilities. Moreover, many key components come from the United States, which gives the Americans a veto power over who exports go to. Merkava is also is very expensive, with the most modern Merkava 4 costing over $5 million each.

                                                                            Israel cannot afford to keep all its Merkava in service. Currently 220 of 550 Merkava 4s are in storage, while only 160 of 730 Merkava 3s are in use, the rest in storage. There are still 370 Merkava 2s available, but all are in storage. If there is a major war, the stored Merkavas can be ready for combat in a few days, or less. These storage tanks would be used to replace tanks out of action for combat or non-combat reasons. Because the Merkava is designed to reduced crew casualties, most of the crews of damaged or destroyed tanks are available for duty within hours. While storage tanks don’t get many of the upgrades, the basic controls of Merkava were kept the same or similar from one model to another to make it easy for crewmen who started out in a Merkava 4 could operate in a Merkava taken out of storage.


                                                                            • #46

                                                                              An interesting read on armour for those of a mind...


                                                                              • #47
                                                                                Future Tank: Beyond The M1 Abrams

                                                                                Manned armored vehicles will have a place even in a world of killer drones, experts agreed. But will they engage the enemy directly with big guns, or stay hidden and send out armed robots instead?

                                                                                By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR.

                                                                                on April 06, 2021 at 4:27 PM

                                                                                M1 tank at the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California.

                                                                                WASHINGTON: What comes after the M1 Abrams, the Army’s massive Reagan-era main battle tank? “Everything is on the table at this point,” the service’s armor modernization director, Maj. Gen. Richard Ross Coffman, says. He didn’t give many details so I asked experts to speculate.

                                                                                To my surprise, everyone we talked to, from retired Army tankers and industry experts to drone-loving futurists, agreed that manned armored vehicles of some kind will still have a place in future wars. Why? Human soldiers will still need a way to move about the battlefield under armor protection, and they’ll need it even – or especially – when killer drones swarm the skies. After all, it’s far easier for the enemy to build a drone that can kill an exposed human than one that can penetrate an armored vehicle.

                                                                                Textron M5 Ripsaw unmanned mini-tank

                                                                                Beyond that baseline, there was little consensus. Some of our sources felt that further upgrades to the M1 Abrams would suffice for the foreseeable future, arguing there’s not – yet – been any radical change in tactics or fundamental improvement in armored vehicle design that would call for an all-new vehicle. Others saw potential for a new kind of tank. And some thought the M1’s replacement shouldn’t be a new tank at all, but a whole family of different vehicles, manned and unmanned, working together as a networked wolfpack.

                                                                                That concept of “manned-unmanned teaming” is already being explored by the Army’s Robotic Combat Vehicle program. It’s also central to the Air Force’s Loyal Wingman drones and the Navy’s unmanned “Ghost Fleet,” designed to support manned fighters and warships respectively.

                                                                                Dan Patt

                                                                                There’s revolutionary potential here to disaggregate traditional weapons platforms. Instead of having gun, sensors, and crew all on one vehicle, you could put, say, your long-range sensors on a drone, your decoys on another (expendable) drone, your main gun on a ground robot, and your human controller in a small, well-armored command vehicle hidden some distance away.

                                                                                “I would expect to see the bundled capabilities of the M1 gradually broken apart – the requirements and functions of the M1 being spread over multiple systems,” said Dan Patt, a former DARPA official now with thinktank CSBA. “Crewed armored vehicles will be with us for quite some time, [but] the bigger military impact comes from the ability to split apart weapon system functions, take more risks, and experiment with different force combinations in adaptable ways. These changes are ready now.”

                                                                                Of course, this revolution depends on the network technologies actually working to keep all those humans and robots connected – even in the face of enemy hacking and jamming.

                                                                                Mock-up of the Israeli-made IAI Harop (Harpy) “suicide drone” used by Azerbaijani forces against Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh

                                                                                The Drones Of Nagorno-Karabakh

                                                                                As for the individual armored vehicles, whatever they look like, their survival will increasingly depend on their defenses against enemy drones. That was the bloody lesson of both Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine, in which scout drones pinpointed Ukrainian armored vehicles for devastating rocket barrages, and Azerbaijan’s 2020 offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, in which armed and kamikaze drones decimated Armenian armor.

                                                                                Paul Scharre

                                                                                How big a change does this portend? Based on the bloody lessons taught Ukraine and Armenia, “I think we’re likely to see technology radically transform the ground warfare environment over the next several decades in ways not seen since World War I,” said Paul Scharre, a former Army Ranger who’s now vice president of the thinktank CNAS. “The persistence and accessibility of drones renders the contemporary – and future – battlefield much more transparent to aerial surveillance and, consequently, attack.”

                                                                                But there are promising countermeasures already available today, argued Samuel Bendett, an expert on the Russian military at CNA.

                                                                                Sam Bendett

                                                                                “Had the Armenians prepared their tanks for the new type of war that took place last October, their losses would have been far fewer,” he told me. “Much of what we saw in the Nagorno-Karabakh involved older Soviet tanks in the Armenian service that were not well defended against loitering munitions, [which] actually do not pack a big punch.”

                                                                                By contrast, modern Russian tanks routinely carry reactive armor tiles, which preemptively detonate in the path of incoming warheads; infrared dazzlers, which blind the sensors of anti-tank guided missiles; and active-protection systems, which physically shoot down inbound munitions like a miniaturized missile defense. The US finally began installing an active protection system – the Israeli Trophy – on its Abrams tanks in 2018.

                                                                                Even without new technology, better tactics can make a difference, argued Thomas Spoehr, a retired Army three-star now at Heritage.

                                                                                “Right now, UAS with smart munitions and kamikaze drones do seem to command the upper hand. But nothing lasts forever,” Spoehr told me. “Regaining freedom of maneuver for tanks might come more from changes in tactics versus technology.”

                                                                                Lt. Gen. (ret.) Thomas Spoehr

                                                                                A historical parallel is how new man-portable anti-tank missiles savaged Israeli armor in the 1973 war, only to have the Israelis learn to flush the missile teams out with infantry. Likewise, the seemingly unstoppable threat of drones could be countered by new tactics aimed at their weak points, for example intensive jamming of their control links and sensors.

                                                                                Nothing will make the tank invulnerable to drones – but it’s crucial to remember that tanks have never been invulnerable on any battlefield, popular mythmaking aside. Even in the early days during World War I, German artillerymen quickly learned that the new Allied tanks could be destroyed by existing field guns.

                                                                                In fact, tanks have never even been the toughest target on the battlefield. (There’s actually a Marine Corps saying, “hunting tanks is fun and easy.”) Historically the hardest thing to kill has been deeply dug-in infantry, from the entrenched defenders of the Western Front to the Viet Cong in their tunnels. But trenches and tunnels are stationary, and once infantry gets out of cover and tries to move, it’s horrifically vulnerable to machinegun and artillery fire.

                                                                                An early British Mark IV tank knocked out near Gaza in 1917.

                                                                                So the tank was invented in 1916 to restore mobility to the battlefield. Its armor protection allowed it to advance under fire. Its tracks allowed it to cross trenches and other obstacles. Its guns allowed it to destroy enemy weapons that threatened its advance. The primitive tanks of World War I failed to break the deadlock of the trenches, not due to any fault in their armor or weapons, but because their engines proved too unreliable to sustain prolonged advances.

                                                                                Ever since the blitzkrieg of World War II, however, tanks have been essential tools of battlefield mobility. Even in urban and jungle combat, tanks’ ability to smash through walls and trees while surviving improvised mines allows them to clear paths for the infantry.

                                                                                Will tanks still be essential and decisive in future wars? Or will they be mere adjuncts to some other, newer weapons system like the swarming drone?

                                                                                M1 Abrams tanks of the 1st Cavalry Division fire during a NATO Atlantic Resolve exercise in Latvia.

                                                                                Command Vehicles Or Combat Vehicles?

                                                                                Even Scharre, the most futuristic-minded expert we spoke to for this story, doesn’t see armored vehicles disappearing entirely. He just doesn’t see them as being the decisive weapon anymore, but a supporting arm.

                                                                                “I suspect that tanks will not go away completely,” he told me, “but they are likely to go the way of the infantry — as a mopping up force for close-in engagements, rather than the central role tanks have played in ground combat since World War II.”

                                                                                That central role will shift to ground robots, drones, and long-range missiles, Scharre believes, with the decisive clash often occurring before the humans on opposing sides ever lay eyes on one another. But armored vehicles will still be valuable, especially when humans have to survive maneuvering through a war zone.

                                                                                “Soldiers will be needed on the battlefield to command-and-control the fight and secure terrain, and they will need to be in armored vehicles to remain protected,” Scharre said. “But the role of armored vehicles is likely to shift, over time, to predominantly command-and-control platforms for a distributed network of air and ground sensors, drones, and robotic platforms.”

                                                                                Patt, the ex-DARPA official, agreed. “The best replacement for the M1 is likely a customizable multi-domain force package,” he said, combining ground robots, aerial drones, and a manned vehicle “that can pull intel from space when needed, seamlessly call in backup fires, coordinate its own beyond-line-of-sight targeting, and rely on automation in targeting and navigation to multiply the effectiveness of the human crew.” Note that directly engaging targets with a 120mm cannon isn’t on that list.

                                                                                The Army envisions drones and ground robots advancing ahead of humans in future wars. (Enemy forces are at the left of the chart, friendly forces are moving right to left).

                                                                                Other experts saw the value both of robot swarms and of something resembling a traditional main battle tank, with a human crew, heavy armor, and big gun to engage the enemy’s toughest targets within line of sight.

                                                                                “I see the need to diversify our holdings in [armor] to hedge against technology,” said Spoehr. “I think the replacement for the Abrams is not a single vehicle, but several platforms.”

                                                                                “Some still look like tanks for direct force engagements, when the threat from UAVs is low or technology has found a better, more reliable counter-UAV solution,” he said. “Other, lightly armored manned platforms launch aerial drones and suicide missiles. Still others are fully autonomous platforms controlled by other manned, heavily protected platforms.”

                                                                                Tactically, Spoehr said, such a force would operate in three waves: first the drones to take out enemy air defenses and command posts, then ground robots, then finally manned main battle tanks to take out the toughest targets.

                                                                                But why put a human in your heavy tank? Because, bluntly, remote control remains awkward and autonomous robots remain stupid. Sometimes you need an experienced human in the vehicle, onboard. That way they can use all their senses to understand the situation – the smell of smoke, the sound of the guns, the vibration of the engine — instead of staring at a screen. That way, too, their input can’t be hacked, jammed, or otherwise disconnected.

                                                                                Other functions can be automated in the near future, but not the ability to command a tank in combat, Bendett told me. “This is not something that can be replaced by a neural network or an advanced algorithm anytime soon, given that no one can truly replicate all the nuances of a tank commander’s experience that may span many years, and even decades.”

                                                                                “The future replacement for an M1 should be a family of vehicles, [including] a manned, well defended tank … which in turn commands a team of mid-sized, heavily defended UGVs [Unmanned Ground Vehicles] for ISR and combat roles, [plus] drones,” he added. “If the UGVs are unable to accomplish their task for some reason, it would be up to a manned tank with a commander who has extensive experience.”

                                                                                US Army M1 Abrams tank with Trophy Active Protection Systems (APS) and improved protection for machinegun operator.

                                                                                Upgrade The M1 Or Replace It?

                                                                                If a manned main battle tank remains necessary, can the M1 Abrams continue to fill that role, or does the Army need a new MBT?

                                                                                The M1 Abrams could be the centerpiece of the future manned-unmanned armored force, said Bendett. Much as it’s been upgraded in the past multiple times since its introduction in 1980, it just needs to be upgraded again, with counter-drone defenses, electronic warfare, and a command system for the robots.

                                                                                Lt. Gen. (retired) Guy Swan, vice-president for education at AUSA.

                                                                                But there are only so many upgrades the old M1 can take, argued Guy Swan, a retired armor officer now with the Association of the US Army.

                                                                                “One thing is for sure, we cannot continue to hang more on the M1 Abrams frame,” Swan told me. “The tank, while I believe it’s still the best in the world, is far too heavy to navigate regions of the world where ground forces may have to operate.”

                                                                                “The future tank can and will indeed be less than 60 tons – a threshold for many roads and bridges – without losing crew protection,” he said, thanks to new active and passive protections. That must include sophisticated “masking” both of its visual appearance and of its infrared and radio-frequency emissions, he said, because in a world of drones, “traditional camouflage is not enough.”

                                                                                A clean-slate tank design would allow for a new engine, Swan added, preferably a hybrid-electric one that puts less strain on supply lines than the M1’s gas-guzzling turbine. It would also allow for an improved turret, although Swan felt the existing 120mm cannon has plenty of potential with upgraded targeting systems and ammunition.

                                                                                Others felt more firepower was needed for future wars. “55 to 65 tons, [with] a bigger gun or laser, on-board loitering munitions, [an] unmanned turret, [and] hybrid engine,” wrote one retired officer.

                                                                                CBO projections for future spending on M1 Abrams tanks. SOURCE: Congressional Budget Office

                                                                                Other sources were more skeptical of new technology – and of the Army’s ability to exploit it. “They are totally unwilling to accept what is doable in anticipation of some magic solution that never seems to become reality,” said one retired industry expert.“[So] they lose momentum and support — and then move on to the next shiny object.”

                                                                                If you don’t trust the Army to manage a major program, then an upgraded M1 Abrams is the best you can expect. A recent Congressional Budget Office study projected Army spending on armored vehicles through 2050 and predicted that Abrams upgrades would eat a lion’s share of it. “CBO projects that more than 40 percent of the total costs would be for upgrading and remanufacturing Abrams tanks,” the study said, an average of $2 billion a year.


                                                                                • #48
                                                                                  Here's a thought.

                                                                                  The US and other militaries are talking about unmanned combat vehicles UCVs, but that comes with all the issues of maintaining secure command and control links, hacking, loss of command, allowing AI to make the kill decision, etc.

                                                                                  Given they have no onboard crew for maintenance they obviously expect that UCVs will 1. be reliable 2. easily maintained by support troops 3. easily refueled and rearmed in the field (probably completely automatically) and capable of moving and integrating with manned vehicles.

                                                                                  Would instead of having UCVs, would it be better to perhaps go with single crewed vehicles? A single pilot who, backed up by the onboard sensors and eventually AI, operates them much like a single seat fighter.

                                                                                  It stops issues with losing command and control links to the vehicle, requires less space than a full crew, ensures a human remains in the loop for decision making and brings all the flexibility and capability of the human brain.
                                                                                  Last edited by unicorn11; 07-04-21, 07:19 AM.
                                                                                  It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
                                                                                  It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
                                                                                  It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.


                                                                                  • #49
                                                                                    Would instead of having UCVs, would it be better to perhaps go with single crewed vehicles?
                                                                                    My thinking is along the same lines, or have manned and unmanned vehicles act in tandem where the unmanned vehciles will have the support of the manned vehicle base, much in the same way that air forces seem to be heading with loyal wingmen.


                                                                                    • magnify
                                                                                      magnify commented
                                                                                      Editing a comment
                                                                                      Agree, however, it does not even need to be ground vehicles, a tactical drone plus loiter-weapon support from the main gun would be a far better option for a manned MBT to work with. Maybe use a ground drone bulldozer to clear mines, make hull-down berms to move between, etc.

                                                                                  • #50
                                                                                    My way of thinking is UGV’s are a complement to a manned system, not a replacement. Anyone who thinks so, is not thinking about fields where obscurants mask what can possibly be seen, where geography defies HF /VHF / UHF networking capabilities and active radar sensing technology, where real world resource constraints limit the availability of exquisite technologies that vendors promise will change the dynamics of everything, yet in reality are only occasionally available and only under ideal conditions, where for “some” reason in testing, only one side gets a say in things...