Test Program

A team of U.S. Air Force engineers, test pilots, and Norwegian government and industry personnel recently completed a large phase of testing for the Joint Strike Missile (JSM).

A weapons load team prepares to remove a Joint Strike Missile from a 416th Flight Test Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon following a captive carriage test flight, February 27, 2018 (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher Okula)
A weapons load team prepares to remove a Joint Strike Missile from a 416th Flight Test Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon following a captive carriage test flight, February 27, 2018 (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher Okula)

The JSM is Norway’s advanced anti-surface warfare missile designed for the new F-35A Lighting II’s internal weapons bay. The missile can be employed against sea- and land-based targets. Norway is a partner nation in the development of the fifth-generation Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Before proceeding with integration testing on the F-35A Lighting II, the JSM was tested at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) on F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 416th Flight Test Squadron.

«The F-16 is a much more proven and mature platform in terms of technology development», said Collin Drake, 416th FLTS JSM project engineer. «The F-35 is still undergoing its own technology development and design iterations, which brings its own challenges. It made it a lot more efficient and effective to use F-16s to be able to test, mid-cycle, a new type of weapon».

Drake said the weapons development program at Edwards AFB began in 2015. The JSM missile system was matured and proven with ground testing, captive carriage testing (flight test missions to ensure the weapon would perform its designed functions prior to being released from the aircraft), and live-drop testing to verify the JSM’s ability to safely release from the aircraft and perform its autonomous functions.

Testing included multiple variants of the JSM that increased in complexity and capability throughout the course of the program. The first JSM was a glide-only weapon with an active autopilot, but without a live engine, according to Drake. The next several tests used a version of the JSM that still did not have a warhead, but had a live engine and navigation avionics. The different variants proved the JSM could sustain extended periods of flight under its own power and successfully navigate over different terrain.

All variants of the JSM were inert until the final flight test events where it hit a target with full mission systems software and guidance. Throughout the test program, numerous software and hardware changes and updates were made. All live releases of the weapon were conducted at the Utah Test and Training Range.

«The multi-national test team, including the 416th FLTS, was able to work with the weapon developer over the course of the program to improve the JSM in an incremental fashion, which has resulted in a reliable and high-performance missile system», Drake said. «It was an enormous milestone to release the final, all-up-round weapon».

Drake said Edwards AFB’s airspace, personnel, assets and the American-Norway alliance make it the ideal situation to test the JSM.

«The weapons ranges needed simply don’t exist in Norway», Drake said. «So, they were able to come here and utilize the Edwards AFB airspace and ground test facilities for the captive carriage flight and ground testing. The 416th FLTS has a long and storied history of testing systems with our foreign partners, especially with Norway. Norway has been a partner in F-16 development since its inception, so it was a natural fit to work with the Norwegian Ministry of Defense to make this technology development program a reality. The 416th FLTS is equipped to provide flight test expertise and is adaptable to accommodate the testing of first-of-its-kind hardware and software, such as that of the Joint Strike Missile».

The next step is for the Norwegians to integrate the JSM on to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and then on to further weapons and integration testing.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon carries a developmental test version of Norway’s Joint Strike Missile to its release point above the Utah Test and Training Range west of Salt Lake City. When development is complete, the JSM is intended for use aboard the F-35A Lighting II. The 416th Flight Test Squadron recently wrapped up JSM testing (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher Okula)
A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon carries a developmental test version of Norway’s Joint Strike Missile to its release point above the Utah Test and Training Range west of Salt Lake City. When development is complete, the JSM is intended for use aboard the F-35A Lighting II. The 416th Flight Test Squadron recently wrapped up JSM testing (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher Okula)

SIGINT ship

The keel-laying ceremony for the new Swedish signals intelligence ship took place on 15 June 2018 at the Naval Shipyard, located in Gdynia, Poland. The event was attended by representatives from Saab, the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) and invited guests.

Keel-laying ceremony for Swedish SIGINT ship built at Polish Naval Shipyard
Keel-laying ceremony for Swedish SIGINT ship built at Polish Naval Shipyard

Saab was awarded the contract to design and build the SIGnals INTelligence (SIGINT) ship, which will replace the Swedish Navy’s existing HSwMS Orion (A201), by the Swedish Material Defence Administration FMV in 2017. Subsequently it selected Nauta Shiprepair Yard, belonging to PGZ Group, to perform the construction, launch and early sea trials of the vessel. Cooperation in ship construction between Saab and PGZ is a direct result of the agreement, signed in late 2016, to establish a close partnership between Saab and PGZ in the planning and delivery of naval programs.

«Special purpose ships are primarily used for the interception and analysis of radio-transmitted signals and need to be highly reliable and available. Therefore, you need highly skilled shipbuilders to build this kind of ship. We are very pleased with the progress of the construction process, and it was a pleasure to attend the keel laying ceremony at the Naval Shipyard, our partner in this project», explained Gunnar Wieslander, Senior Vice President and head of Saab Business Area Kockums.

«The keel-laying ceremony was an important event in this special shipbuilding project, and we are pleased to celebrate it with our Swedish partners. We know the special purpose vessel is very important for the Swedish Navy and we are treating the construction as a high priority undertaking», said Marcin Dąbrowski, Chairman of the Management Board, Nauta Shiprepair Yard.

The steel cutting for the ship took place in March 2018. Before the ship is delivered to the Swedish Navy, it will undergo final sea trials and installation of equipment with Saab Kockums in Karlskrona. The new ship, which will replace HSwMS Orion (A201) launched in 1984, will be 74 meters/243 feet long with a displacement of 2,200 tonnes.

Milrem Robotics

The leading European missile systems designer and producer MBDA and unmanned vehicles manufacturer Milrem Robotics will begin developing the world’s first Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) specially designed for anti-tank purposes.

MBDA and Milrem Robotics to develop anti-tank unmanned ground vehicle
MBDA and Milrem Robotics to develop anti-tank unmanned ground vehicle

The joint project will feature the IMPACT (Integrated MMP Precision Attack Combat Turret) system from MBDA that will be integrated onto the THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle by Milrem Robotics.

The system will be remotely operated and is in line with the system developers’ main aim of exchanging humans on the battlefield for much more capable robots.

«One of the challenges in urban warfare is keeping anti-tank infantry hidden from the enemy’s surveillance equipment that can very easily detect soldier’s heat signature. The aim of our joint integration project is developing a system that has a low heat signature and most importantly – will keep infantry in a safe distance», explained Brig Gen (res) Alar Laneman, military advisor of Milrem Robotics.

«MMP, the world’s only 5th Generation anti-tank guided weapon, now in service within the French Armed Forces, has been developed for both mounted and dismounted applications and is suitable for unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). With its 4km+ range and its two firing modes – Lock On Before Launch (LOBL) and Lock On After Launch (LOAL) – the MMP gives to THeMIS UGV an unmatched capability to engage a target beyond line of sight. MMP allows, within remote operation, to engage very discreetly battlefield targets at ranges greater than the enemies counter fire, from behind cover and within structures in fighting in built-up areas. The MMP Firing installation deployed on UGV also provides an ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, & Reconnaissance) capability and, through direct integration with a Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) network, delivers battlefield intelligence out beyond the platoon», added the former Colonel Francis Bordachar, military advisor of MBDA.

Next-Generation IFV

At Eurosatory 2018 Rheinmetall presents its new Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) to the international public for the first time. Highly survivable, adaptable to diverse environments, extremely agile, hard hitting, and with huge payload reserves, the Lynx KF41 is a next-generation combat vehicle designed to confront the challenges of the future battlefield like no other.

Rheinmetall unveils the Lynx KF41 Next-Generation Combat Vehicle
Rheinmetall unveils the Lynx KF41 Next-Generation Combat Vehicle

Most experts agree that land forces will face unprecedented threats on the future battlefield, where emergent technologies have substantially changed the balance of power. Key technologies influencing Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) design for the future include anti-access/area denial systems that reduce the ability to gain and retain air dominance, electronic warfare systems that will deny reliable communications, enhanced artillery systems that restrict freedom of action, and advanced AFV designs that are difficult to defeat with existing systems.

In concert with the technology challenges of future combat, land forces need to be relevant across the full spectrum of conflict, including contributing to peace keeping operations, conducting counter-insurgency campaigns and engaging in general war-fighting against constantly evolving threats in diverse global environments.

It is with these challenges in mind that Rheinmetall has developed the Lynx KF41 family of vehicles and the companion Lance 2.0 turret, resulting in a revolutionary IFV with a level of adaptability, survivability and capacity not seen before in an IFV family.

Ben Hudson, global head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division said, «With the Lynx KF41, the Rheinmetall team has developed a truly innovative next-generation combat vehicle. The breadth of capabilities that a Lynx IFV provides soldiers results in a veritable Swiss Army knife that has unprecedented utility across the full spectrum of conflict. Its modular, adaptable survivability systems allow the vehicle to evolve through life, the high level of mobility will provide battlefield commanders great tactical flexibility in combat, and the diverse effects that the Lance 2.0 turret can generate allow the crew to deal effectively with a wide variety of battlefield situations».

Adaptable. The Lynx KF41 is a complete family of vehicles that utilises a common drive module and a flexible mission kit arrangement to allow any base vehicle to be configured as an IFV, an armoured personnel carrier, a command vehicle, a recovery vehicle or an ambulance. Changing from one configuration to another can occur within eight hours. This system provides significant total lifecycle cost savings due to base vehicle commonality, allowing customers to adjust force structures or develop new capabilities in an affordable and timely manner.

Enhancing the vehicle’s flexibility, the sub-systems of the Lynx KF41 are highly modular and adaptable. The Lynx KF41 features a digital backbone with a generic open architecture that allows easy integration of new mission systems, while the entire survivability system is modular and upgradable to allow the vehicle to cope with the highly adaptive threats faced on the battlefield. Different survivability kits are available for peacekeeping situations, counter-insurgency operations in urban terrain, and mounted combat against a peer. No other vehicle can adapt to diverse environments across the full spectrum of operational challenges like the Lynx KF41 can.

Highly Mobile. The Lynx KF41 features the latest generation of propulsion technology with an 850 kW (1,140 hp) Liebherr engine and a proven Renk transmission. A flexible suspension system has been developed by Supashock, an Australian company, meaning the Lynx can be configured to carry various mission kits and survivability packages without compromising mobility. When configured for mounted combat operations with the Lance 2.0 turret and a survivability package suitable for peer-on-peer combat, the Lynx KF41 weighs approximately 44 tonnes/97,003 lbs. In this configuration it provides class leading mobility due the high power-to-weight ratio of 26 hp/t, while still leaving up to six tonnes of reserve payload for future growth.

Survivable. The modular survivability systems of the Lynx provide unprecedented flexibility for customers to cope with the wide variety of threats faced across the spectrum of conflict. The ballistic and mine protection packages can be easily exchanged, even in the field if needed, while the full spectrum of threats have been taken into account, including roof protection against cluster munitions. The Lynx KF41 with Lance 2.0 has been designed not only for passive and reactive systems, but also for an active protection system to defeat rocket-propelled grenades and antitank guided missiles.

Hard hitting. The Lance 2.0 turret is the next generation of the in-service Lance family and has been developed to improve its suitability for an IFV. Lance 2.0 has various enhancements that provide a troop of Lynx KF41 vehicles with a very high level of organic capability, thus allowing the troop to have a disproportionate effect on the battlefield. The Lance 2.0 features enhanced protection for critical subsystems against kinetic and fragmentation threats, improving system survivability during close combat. The next enhancement is the integration of the new Wotan 35 electrically driven cannon that fires Rheinmetall’s proven and in-service 35×228 mm ammunition family. Lastly, the Lance 2.0 has two flexible mission pods fitted to the left and right of the turret that allow installation of a variety of sub-systems to give the turret a specialist capability. Examples of customer-selectable mission pods include dual Rafael Spike LR2 ATGMs, non-line of sight strike loitering munitions, UAVs or an electronic warfare package.

The Lynx KF41 and Lance 2.0 once again show Rheinmetall’s capabilities as a world-leading company in the fields of security and mobility.

Patria at Eurosatory

Patria launched at Eurosatory a new vehicle – Patria 6×6, which brings the basic principles behind its predecessor into the present day, with its multifunctional transport capacity and modularity that adapts easily to the customer’s needs.

Patria 6×6 is a successor to the Pasi Armoured Personnel Carrier and to complement the vehicle fleets of customers of the legendary Patria AMV 8×8
Patria 6×6 is a successor to the Pasi Armoured Personnel Carrier and to complement the vehicle fleets of customers of the legendary Patria AMV 8×8

Patria 6×6 is a successor to the Pasi Armoured Personnel Carrier and to complement the vehicle fleets of customers of the legendary Patria AMV 8×8. Patria 6×6 is a multipurpose transport vehicle. The chassis structure is based on the same components as the AMV, but with one less axle. The vehicle is driven by all three axles and steered from the front two, or all three, depending on its equipage. Optional equipage can be added to bring the 6×6 closer to the AMV. For example, various ballistic and mine protection levels, weapon systems, self-protection systems and other interior equipment are available.

Patria 6×6 can be equipped with a variety of weapon systems and, if required, the Patria Nemo 120-mm mortar system. The 6×6 has a maximum load-bearing capacity of 8.5 tonnes/18,739 lbs. The protection of the armoured 6×6 reaches STANdardization AGreement (STANAG) level 4, which means protection against even heavy machine gun fire. Due to the 6×6’s good load carrying capacity, it has better protection than previous Pasi APCs. Its mine protection is top-notch, even at the basic level, but up to 10 kilos of mine protection can be achieved.

Boarding and leaving the 6×6 is easy. In addition to the crew of 2-3 persons, the vehicle has seats for ten combat troops, depending on its purpose and layout. The driver can easily adapt to the controls in the 6×6’s truck-like cab. The vehicle is designed as a simple and cost-effective truck-like solution. In terms of durability, it will continue along the trail pioneered by its predecessor, the Pasi. The 6×6 is also a clearly unified concept in terms of its manufacturing technology. If necessary, the final assembly and equipage can easily be completed by a partner in the destination country. The 6×6 meets NATO standards and is ideally suited to e.g. peacekeeping missions anywhere in the world. The vehicle’s life cycle support is an integral part of the Patria 6×6.

«There has long been demand on the market for a successor to the Pasi Armoured Personnel Carrier, which has been in production since the 80s. The new 6×6 brings the basic principles behind its predecessor into the present day, with its multifunctional transport capacity and modularity that adapts easily to the customer’s needs», says Janne Räkköläinen, Vice President, Vehicle Systems, Patria’s Land business unit.

Patria 6×6 is a multipurpose transport vehicle
Patria 6×6 is a multipurpose transport vehicle

Specifications

DIMENSIONS
Length 7.5 m/24.6 feet
Height 2.5 m/8.2 feet
Width 2.9 m/9.5 feet
Maximum Total Weight (MTW) 24,000 kg/52,911 lbs.
PERFORMANCE
Top speed ˃100 km/h/62 mph
Swimming capability optional
Fording depth 1.5 m/4.9 feet
Range ˃700 km/435 miles
ENGINE
5-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine
Power 294 kW/394 hp
Torque 1,870 Nm
TRANSMISSION
Automatic transmission 7 forward gears, 2 reverse
POWER LINE
Drive configuration Continuous all-wheel drive
Brakes Compressed-air, hydraulic disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
Steering Power-assisted mechanical steering on 1 and 2 axles, optional rear wheel steering
MACHINING SUPPORT BLOCK
Suspension Independent suspension, double wishbone on each axle
Spring suspension Coil springs, optional hydropneumatics hydrostrut

The chassis structure is based on the same components as the AMV, but with one less axle

Anti-drone

MBDA’s Licorne pocket air defence Command and Control (C2) system has become the first fielded C2 to integrate anti-drone and traditional air defence capabilities.

MBDA Sidonie DESCHAMPS 2018
MBDA Sidonie DESCHAMPS 2018

Licorne is a very lightweight C2 solution with the ability to co-ordinate Very SHOrt-Range Air Defence (VSHORAD) systems, such as those of the Mistral family. A highly mobile C2, it is derived from the Improved Missile Control Post (I-MCP) and Platoon Command Post (PCP) systems family currently in use with armed forces in export markets, using the same software components, architecture and Human Machine Interfaces (HMI).

In order to deliver an effective response to the emergence of asymmetric threats, and particularly mini-drone attacks on deployed ground-to-air assets or other military assets inside the protected zone, Licorne can now also deploy anti-drone measures, and co-ordinate them with the traditional air defence assets.

To achieve this, MBDA has supplemented its C2 with a set of data link detectors and jammers originally developed to provide security for events or prisons, which have been adapted to military needs. For detection, Licorne uses a mobile radio frequency detection unit produced by Cerbair to intercept mini-drone data link transmissions. Once the threat has been detected and located, Licorne allows operators to activate countermeasures using a network of field-deployed jammers developed by KEAS.

Licorne’s scalable architecture is designed to enable the system to provide a first level of co-ordination for the VSHORAD systems used by rapid reaction forces, airborne units and amphibious units. Licorne provides surveillance, detection and identification functions with a high level of connectivity. It can be used in association with passive infrared 360° surveillance sensors, lightweight radars or Electronic Support Measurements (ESM) and acoustic sensors. Pocket C2 Licorne provides all the functions expected of a C2, including multisensor data fusion; real-time ranging; shared tactical position calculation; and even uploading battery sensor images to upper command levels using standard NATO military data link protocols such as the Joint Range Extension Applications Protocol C (JREAP-C).

Patrol vessels

Canadian navigation system manufacturer OSI Maritime Systems (OSI) is pleased to announce the signing of a contract with Damen Shipyards Cape Town (DSCT) in support of the Project BIRO three-ship Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel (MMIPV) program for the South African Navy (SAN).

OSI to deliver navigation systems for South African Navy patrol vessels
OSI to deliver navigation systems for South African Navy patrol vessels

Under the terms of the contract, OSI will supply and install its Integrated Navigation & Tactical System (INTS), Tactical Asset Control & Tracking (T-ACT) System, and Integrated Mission Management System. The systems will be fitted on the three patrol vessels that are being built by DSCT.

«We are pleased to be working with Damen and appreciate the opportunity to be part of this important project», stated Ken Kirkpatrick, President and CEO.

The systems provided by OSI will be integrated with SAN specific sensors and data link, offering an unparalleled blue-force tactical advantage allowing the Command to build, manage and participate in a Recognised Maritime Picture.

SAN’s Project BIRO aim is to develop South Africa’s maritime security, ensuring that the country has the capability to respond effectively, rapidly and cost-efficiently to maritime threats including illegal trafficking and fishing.

Mr. Kirkpatrick continued, «This has been a successful engagement between government and private enterprise and we are proud to be working with Damen and the South African government».

F-35B Lightning II

The United Kingdom has welcomed home its first four F-35B Lightning II advanced fighter aircraft, which will be flown by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy.

Lockheed Martin-Built F-35 Comes Home to RAF Marham
Lockheed Martin-Built F-35 Comes Home to RAF Marham

With the aid of air-to-air refueling, the aircraft flew non-stop across the Atlantic from the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina where UK pilots have been undergoing intensive training on the aircraft in partnership with their USMC counterparts.

With stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35 Lightning II is the most lethal, survivable and connected fighter aircraft ever built. More than a fighter jet, the F-35’s ability to collect, analyze and share data is a powerful force multiplier enhancing all airborne, surface and ground-based assets in the battlespace.

«This aircraft will truly transform how the UK conducts its defence operations and it is fitting that the next generation of combat air power has arrived as the RAF celebrates its centenary», said Peter Ruddock, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin UK. «As a key partner in the F-35 programme from its early stages, the UK has been instrumental in shaping the design and development of the aircraft, particularly in relation to the short take-off and vertical landing capabilities».

The programme has also greatly benefitted UK industry with more than 500 British companies involved in the supply chain. Around 15 percent by value of each of the more than 3,000 F-35 Lightning II aircraft projected on the programme is manufactured in the UK, and to date the programme has generated about U.S. $13 billion in contracts for British suppliers.

The aircraft have arrived two months ahead of schedule which will allow the UK’s Lightning Force to focus on achieving initial operational capability by the end of 2018. The first flight trials with the UK’s Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are expected later this year.

Comprehensive sustainment support for the UK’s fleet of F-35 Lightning II aircraft based at RAF Marham will be provided by Lightning Team UK, which represents the blended industry team of BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce.

The UK currently has 15 F-35B Lightning II aircraft in total, the remainder of which are stationed at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort or Edwards Air Force Base in California, where they are involved in testing and training.

Around the world, there are now nearly 300 F-35 Lightning II aircraft operating from 15 bases globally and the programme has achieved more than 140,000 flight hours.

 

Specifications

Length 51.2 feet/15.6 m
Height 14.3 feet/4.36 m
Wingspan 35 feet/10.7 m
Wing area 460 feet2/42.7 m2
Horizontal tail span 21.8 feet/6.65 m
Weight empty 32,300 lbs/14,651 kg
Internal fuel capacity 13,500 lbs/6,125 kg
Weapons payload 15,000 lbs/6,800 kg
Maximum weight 60,000 lbs class/27,215 kg
Standard internal weapons load Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles
Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs
Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings) F135-PW-600
Maximum Power (with afterburner) 41,000 lbs/182,4 kN/18,597 kgf
Military Power (without afterburner) 27,000 lbs/120,1 kN/12,247 kgf
Short Take Off Thrust 40,740 lbs/181,2 kN/18,479 kgf
Hover Thrust 40,650 lbs/180,8 kN/18,438 kgf
Main Engine 18,680 lbs/83,1 kN/8,473 kgf
Lift Fan 18,680 lbs/83,1 kN/8,473 kgf
Roll Post 3,290 lbs/14,6 kN/1,492 kgf
Main Engine Length 369 inch/9.37 m
Main Engine Inlet Diameter 43 inch/1.09 m
Main Engine Maximum Diameter 46 inch/1.17 m
Lift Fan Inlet Diameter 51 inch/1,30 m
Lift Fan Maximum Diameter 53 inch/1,34 m
Conventional Bypass Ratio 0.57
Powered Lift Bypass Ratio 0.51
Conventional Overall Pressure Ratio 28
Powered Lift Overall Pressure Ratio 29
Speed (full internal weapons load) Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)
Combat radius (internal fuel) >450 NM/517.6 miles/833 km
Range (internal fuel) >900 NM/1,036 miles/1,667 km
Max g-rating 7.0
PLANNED QUANTITIES
U.S. Marine Corps 340
U.K. Royal Air Force/Royal Navy 138
Italy 30
In total 508

 

Fifth Barracuda

Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, decided at the Ministerial Investment Committee meeting on May 2nd to order the fifth Barracuda-class Nuclear Attack Submarine.

Armed Forces Ministry Orders Fifth Barracuda
Armed Forces Ministry Orders Fifth Barracuda

The Directorate-General for Armament (DGA) awarded this contract on 31 May 2018 to Naval Group and Technicatome. Naval Group is the prime contractor for the entire vessel. This submarine will be called Rubis.

The Military Programme Bill 2019-2025 maintains the format of a six-boat Barracuda nuclear attack submarine flotilla in operational service by 2030. The first four boats will be delivered over the period 2019-2025, including the first-of-class, Suffren, in 2020.

Their nuclear propulsion gives the Barracuda SSN a remarkable range of action and discretion. Armed with heavy Artemis torpedoes and Exocet anti-ship missiles, they will also carry naval cruise missiles (MdCN). This latter ability will allow them, in all discretion, to weigh on an opponent with the threat of long-range strikes, up to several hundred kilometers from the coast. Finally, they will also be able to deploy special forces while submerged, also with full discretion.

The first Extenda

On June 07, 2018, UK Special Forces vehicle designer and manufacturer, Supacat (part of SC Group), has announced the recent delivery of the first production HMT Extenda vehicle to the Norwegian Armed Forces. The handover took place at Supacat’s Devon facility on 30 May 2018.

The Supacat HMT Extenda is a convertible to 4×4 or 6×6 configuration by inserting or removing a self-contained third axle unit to meet different operational requirements (Supacat photo)
The Supacat HMT Extenda is a convertible to 4×4 or 6×6 configuration by inserting or removing a self-contained third axle unit to meet different operational requirements (Supacat photo)

Supacat signed a £23 million contract with The Norwegian Defence Material Agency (NDMA) to supply a new fleet of High Mobility Vehicles in May 2015. The award includes the provision of a comprehensive through-life support package. The first «pre-series» vehicle was delivered in early 2017 followed by full fleet delivery taking place during 2018 and 2019.

The HMT Extenda is unique as it is convertible to a 4×4 or a 6×6 configuration by inserting or removing a self-contained third axle unit to meet different operational requirements. Like other HMT series platforms, such as the UK’s «Jackal», the HMT Extenda can be supplied with optional mine blast and ballistic protection kits and with a variety of mission hampers, weapons, communications, ISTAR and force protection equipment to suit a wide range of operational roles.

Major Arild Stangenes, NDMA Programme Manager said «the delivery of our first production vehicle is a major milestone in a long-term programme that has been ongoing since 2011. We are very pleased with the quality of our first production vehicle and with a product that fully meets the needs of our user».

Nick Ames, Chief Executive of SC Group, of which Supacat is a part, said «this project milestone is a great achievement for Supacat and for our Norwegian customer. I am proud of what the team has achieved in delivering a fantastic product and we are looking forward to following this first production delivery with the rest of the order». He added, «yet again, the Supacat HMT has proven itself to be the vehicle of choice for specialist users across the globe».

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