Black Shark

Leonardo will supply Black Shark Advanced (BSA) torpedoes and associated logistic support services to equip the Italian Navy’s U212A 2nd Series submarines. The new equipment will significantly increase the Anti-Submarine Warfare capability of the Navy.

Leonardo to Supply the Next-Generation Black Shark Advanced Torpedo to the Italian Navy
Leonardo to Supply the Next-Generation Black Shark Advanced Torpedo to the Italian Navy

The Black Shark Advanced is an evolution of the Black Shark heavy torpedo, already acquired by many countries including Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Portugal and Singapore.

This latest version integrates an innovative energy production section that can be optimised, according to the use of the system, for training or operational purposes. When the BSA is used for training activities, a newly developed rechargeable battery is used that allows a higher number of launches – up to one hundred – compared to that of previous versions, providing significant cost savings. In the operational configuration, the BSA is equipped with an innovative battery that ensures an increase in capabilities and performance. The new solution also delivers a significant reduction in life cycle costs.

Made in Italy at Leonardo’s Livorno plant, the Black Shark Advanced torpedo is an example of national excellence in the underwater defence sector and is the result of extensive and successful collaboration between the Italian Navy and industry.

Tamandaré Corvette

In order to meet the needs of the Brazilian Navy, Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and Saab come together to develop the project that will supply four Tamandaré Class corvettes. The companies are world-leading references in the development of naval solutions.

Damen and Saab announce partnership to participate on the tender for the Tamandaré Class Corvette
Damen and Saab announce partnership to participate on the tender for the Tamandaré Class Corvette

Damen is a Dutch company and a global leader in shipbuilding that has supplied over 6,000 vessels. Over twenty navies throughout the world operate Damen-built vessels. The company will be responsible for supplying the ship Sigma 10514, proven platform that will be adapted to meet the demands of the client.

Saab is a Swedish company with more than 70 years of experience in the defence industry. Among other features, it will provide the Saab 9LV combat management system, used by navies from several countries and which is known for its flexibility and easy integration of third-party modules.

Damen is experienced in building its vessels with other partners at non-Damen yards with the Damen Technical Cooperation, which has worked on over 1,000 projects all over the world.

In addition to supplying the corvettes, the partner companies are proposing a thorough technology transfer programme for much of the project, which will benefit Brazil’s national defense industry.

The companies will be at RIDEX (Rio International Defense Exhibition), a security and defense fair that will be promoted in Rio de Janeiro, from June 27th to 29th, at a common space, where they will present details of the proposal that will be delivered on June 18th.

 

CHARACTERISTICS

DIMENSIONS
Length overall (o.a.) 345 feet/105.11 m
Beam Moulded (mld) 46.6 feet/14.2 m
Depth no.1 deck 28.7 feet/8.75 m
Draught (dwl) 12.1 feet/3.7 m
Displacement (dwl) 2,365 tonnes
PERFORMANCE
Speed (Maximum power) 28 knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range at 14 knots/16 mph/26 km/h 5,000 NM/5,754 miles/9,260 km
Endurance 20 days at sea
PROPULSION SYSTEM
Propulsion type Combined Diesel or Electric (CODOE)
Diesel engines 2 × 10,000 kW Maximum Continuous Rating (MCR) Propulsion type
Electric motors 2 × 1300 kW
Gearbox 2 × double input input/single output
Propellers 2 × Controllable Pitch Propellers (CPP) diameter 12 feet/3.65 m
AUXILIARY SYSTEMS
Generator sets 6 × 715 kWE
Emergency gen. set 1 × 180 kWE
Chilled water system 2 × units, redundant distribution
Fire fighting 4 × main pumps +1 x service pump
Degaussing System
DECK EQUIPMENT
Helicopter deck Max. 10 tons helicopter, with lashing points
Helicopter operations day/night with refueling system
Helicopter hangar
RAS on helicopter deck PS&SB, astern fueling
Boats 2 × Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB)
ACCOMMODATION
Fully air-conditioned accommodation for 120 persons
Commanding Officer 1
Officers 26
Chief Petty Officers 10
Petty Officers 36
Junior Ratings 29
Trainee Officers 18
Provisions for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) citadel/decontamination
WEAPON & SENSOR SUITE
3D-Surveillance & target indication radar & Friend or Foe Identification (IFF)
Radar/electro optical fire control
Hull Mounted Sonar
Combat management system
Medium calibre gun 76-mm
1 × Close In Weapon System (CIWS)
2 × Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM) launcher
12 cell Vertical Launching (VL) Short Range Air Defense (SHORADS)
2 × triple Torpedo launcher
Electronic Support Measures (ESM) & Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM)
2 × Decoys/chaff
Integrated internal & external communication system
NAUTICAL EQUIPMENT
Integrated bridge console, 2 × Radar, Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS), Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS-A3), reference gyro

 

Amphibious Combat

The U.S. Marine Corps has awarded BAE Systems a $198 million contract to deliver an initial 30 Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV), with options for a total of 204 vehicles which could be worth up to $1.2 billion.

BAE Systems team wins U.S. Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle competition
BAE Systems team wins U.S. Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle competition

BAE Systems, along with teammate Iveco Defence Vehicles, prevailed in the Marine Corps’ robust competition for the next generation of vehicles to get the Marines from ship to shore to engage in land combat operations.

«We are well positioned and ready to build the future of amphibious fighting vehicles for the Marine Corps, having already produced 16 prototypes», said Dean Medland, vice president and general manager of Combat Vehicles Amphibious and International at BAE Systems. «Through this award, we are proud to continue our partnership with the Marine Corps by providing a best-in-class vehicle to support its mission through mobility, survivability and lethality».

The ACV provides exceptional mobility in all terrains, and blast mitigation protection for all three crew and 13 embarked Marines, along with other improvements over currently fielded systems. The new vehicle is an advanced 8×8 open ocean-capable vehicle that is equipped with a new 6-cylinder, 700HP engine, which provides a significant power increase over the Assault Amphibious Vehicle, which is currently in service and has been in operation for decades. The ACV is also adaptable to accommodate growth for future technologies or requirements.

The BAE Systems team conducted its own extensive risk mitigation testing and evaluation for land mobility, survivability, and swim capabilities that proved its vehicle’s performance prior to delivering the first 16 prototypes to the Marine Corps in 2017.

Over the past 15 months, the company supported the Marine Corps’ rigorous Developmental Testing and Operational Assessment of the vehicles, which performed superbly in water and land operations, payload, and survivability.

Work on the program will be performed at the company’s facilities in Aiken, South Carolina; Sterling Heights, Michigan; Minneapolis; Stafford; San Jose, California; and York, Pennsylvania.

The Marine Corps’ selection of BAE Systems for the ACV 1.1 program further solidifies the company’s 70-year legacy of providing superior amphibious vehicle capabilities to meet ship-to-objective and combat tactical lift objectives. As a leading provider of combat vehicles, the company has produced more than 100,000 systems for customers worldwide. Iveco is also a proven manufacturer of combat vehicles, having designed and built more than 30,000 multi-purpose, protected, and armored military vehicles in service today.

 

Specifications

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) 67,500 lbs./30,617 kg
Payload up to 7,280 lbs./3,302 kg
Personnel capacity 13 + 3 crew
Speed
Paved road >65 mph/105 km/h
Open ocean 6 knots/6.9 mph/11.1 km/h
Range on road at 55 mph/89 km/h up to 325 miles/523 km
Range at sea followed by land up to 12 NM/13.8 miles/22.2 km followed by 250+ miles/402+ km on land
Turning radius 36-foot/11-meter curb to curb turning radius
Side slope >30%
Gradient >60%
Overall length 350 inches/8.9 m
Width 124 inches/3.1 m
Height (hull) 113 inches/2.8 m
Capable of operating in conditions up to Sea State 3 and through a nine-foot plunging surf

 

Franco-German MBT

Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Nexter welcome the announcement by the French and the German governments on the joint development of a new Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) and a new Common Indirect Fire System (CIFS). The Letter Of Intent (LOI) signed on June 19, 2018, is a significant step forward in the defense cooperation between the two countries and in Europe. This close cooperation was the key motivation for the foundation of KNDS in 2015, where Nexter and KMW cooperate as national system houses for land systems.

The European tank unveiled by KMW and Nexter at Eurosatory 2018 in Paris mates the three-man turret of the French Leclerc with the hull of the German Leopard 2A7, and symbolizes the future French-German tank (Twitter photo)
The European tank unveiled by KMW and Nexter at Eurosatory 2018 in Paris mates the three-man turret of the French Leclerc with the hull of the German Leopard 2A7, and symbolizes the future French-German tank (Twitter photo)

MGCS will develop a new generation of Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), providing their users enhanced, innovative, and best-in-class systems with the most advanced technologies. Thus, Germany and France are jointly launching the most strategic project in European land defense for the 30 years to come, a program package that will shape the future of European armies’ main combat capabilities and contribute to Europe’s sovereignty and strategic autonomy.

The skills and background of KMW and Nexter qualify both companies as suitable and particularly powerful and pivotal industrial partners for the Franco-German landsystem-program MGCS. Thus, in close cooperation with leading technology companies, KMW and Nexter will substantially contribute to a strengthened European defense capability.

The agreement of both nations to capitalize on the success of the German and French MBT programs and to base the industrial leadership for the MGCS program in Germany demonstrates the strong commitment towards a unique European cooperation in land systems. Beyond that, it strengthens Europe’s excellence in providing leading edge land-systems-technologies for the years to come.

Navy Accepts

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of future guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116) from shipbuilder General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW), June 15.

Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116)
Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116)

DDG-116 is named in honor of the late Captain Thomas Jerome Hudner Jr. (Ret.), naval aviator and Medal of Honor recipient. Captain Hudner received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War when he crashed his plane in an effort to save the life of his wingman, Ensign Jesse L. Brown, the Navy’s first African American aviator. Captain Hudner was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on April 4, 2018.

During the delivery ceremony, a flag was raised onboard USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116), which was previously flown over Arlington National Cemetery by Hudner’s former squadron, and also previously flown on USS Constitution December 4, 2017, in honor of the day Hudner attempted rescue of Brown.

«The delivery of the future USS Thomas Hudner represents a very special milestone in this shipbuilding program», said Captain Casey Moton, DDG-51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «The ship honors the legacy and heroism of Capt. Hudner and also represents the proud efforts of the shipbuilders at BIW. As the ship now prepares to sailaway and enter the fleet, it will continue the strong Aegis tradition in serving our Navy for decades to come».

DDG-116 is the 66th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and the fourth DDG-51 Flight IIA restart ships to deliver. The ship is equipped with Aegis Baseline 9 combat system, which includes an Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability incorporating Ballistic Missile Defense 5.0 and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air. Aegis Baseline 9 IAMD destroyers have increased computing power, along with radar upgrades which improve detection and reaction capabilities against modern anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense threats. These capabilities are designed to provide the U.S. Navy with a 21st century fighting edge.

BIW is currently constructing four additional Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Daniel Inouye (DDG-118), USS Carl M. Levin (DDG-120), USS John Basilone (DDG-122) and USS Harvey C. Barnum, Jr. (DDG-124), as well as future Zumwalt class destroyers USS Michael Monsoor (DDG-1001) and USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002).

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.

 

Ship Characteristics

Length Overall 510 feet/156 m
Beam – Waterline 59 feet/18 m
Draft 30.5 feet/9.3 m
Displacement – Full Load 9,217 tons/9,363 metric tons
Power Plant 4 General electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; 2 shafts; 2 CRP (Contra-Rotating) propellers; 100,000 shaft horsepower/75,000 kW
Speed in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h
Range 4,400 NM/8,149 km at 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 380 total: 32 Officers, 27 CPO (Chief Petty Officer), 321 OEM
Surveillance SPY-1D Phased Array Radar and Aegis Combat System (Lockheed Martin); SPS-73(V) Navigation; SPS-67(V)3 Surface Search; 3 SPG-62 Illuminator; SQQ-89(V)6 sonar incorporating SQS-53C hull mounted and SQR-19 towed array sonars used with Mark-116 Mod 7 ASW fire control system
Electronics/Countermeasures SLQ-32(V)3; Mark-53 Mod 0 Decoy System; Mark-234 Decoy System; SLQ-25A Torpedo Decoy; SLQ-39 Surface Decoy; URN-25 TACAN; UPX-29 IFF System; Kollmorgen Mark-46 Mod 1 Electro-Optical Director
Aircraft 2 embarked SH-60 helicopters ASW operations; RAST (Recovery Assist, Secure and Traverse)
Armament 2 Mark-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) with 90 Standard, Vertical Launch ASROC (Anti-Submarine Rocket) & Tomahawk ASM (Air-to-Surface Missile)/LAM (Loitering Attack Missile); 5-in (127-mm)/54 (62) Mark-45 gun; 2 (1) CIWS (Close-In Weapon System); 2 Mark-32 triple 324-mm torpedo tubes for Mark-46 or Mark-50 ASW torpedos

 

Guided Missile Destroyers Lineup

 

Flight IIA: Technology Insertion

Ship Yard Launched Commissioned Homeport
DDG-116 Thomas Hudner GDBIW 04-01-17
DDG-117 Paul Ignatius HIIIS 11-12-16
DDG-118 Daniel Inouye GDBIW
DDG-119 Delbert D. Black HIIIS 09-08-17
DDG-120 Carl M. Levin GDBIW
DDG-121 Frank E. Peterson Jr. HIIIS
DDG-122 John Basilone GDBIW
DDG-123 Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee HIIIS

 

AgilePod

In March 2018, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s (AFLCMC) Sensors Program Office, working jointly with the AFLCMC Medium Altitude Unmanned Aerial Systems Program Office, sponsored three demonstration flights of an MQ-9 Reaper with AgilePod.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center recently sponsored three demonstration flights of an MQ-9 Reaper with AgilePod (Courtesy photo)
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center recently sponsored three demonstration flights of an MQ-9 Reaper with AgilePod (Courtesy photo)

The flights were a first for AgilePod on an Air Force major weapon system and were the result of collaboration between AFLCMC and the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).

«These flights mark the culmination of more than two years of cutting-edge technology development led by our colleagues within the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate ManTech team, and Sensors Directorate Blue Guardian team», said Lieutenant Colonel Elwood Waddell, the advanced technologies branch chief within the Sensors Program Office.

The AgilePod program will offer a family of non-proprietary, government-owned pods of several sizes that can accommodate various missions, quickly change payloads and fit on multiple platforms.

The program uses open adaptable architecture and standards-based design to ensure maximum flexibility without proprietary constraints.

«The AgilePod program began with a desire to bring agile manufacturing practices to the ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) enterprise, culminating in a wholly government-owned, open architecture ISR capability that was both payload and platform agnostic», said Andrew Soine, a program manager with AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. «The program is really taking off, with proposed ISR and non-ISR applications that we couldn’t have foreseen only a few years ago. By owning the technical baseline, we’ve shown what can be done in relatively little time and cost when faced with emergent user needs».

«Blue Guardian’s mission is to rapidly demonstrate emerging sensor technology», added Captain Juliana Nine, a program manager with AFRL’s Sensors Directorate. «These MQ-9 flights did exactly that. The open adaptable architecture based on Open Mission Systems and common electrical/mechanical interfaces developed by the Blue Guardian team enabled the rapid re-configurability of the sensors inside the AgilePod. This capability will help the warfighter adapt their sensor payloads as the mission dictates».

U.S. Air Force ownership of the registered trademark for AgilePod is key to the program, giving the Air Force the authority to designate a given pod as an AgilePod. This cultivates a highly collaborative relationship with industry partners as the Air Force shares existing technical data under the protection of an Information Transfer Agreement.

The agreement enables the sharing of all government technical data on AgilePod while protecting government ownership and enabling industry innovation. For the demonstration, the Air Force partnered with Leidos (facilitated the open architecture sensor integration), the University of Dayton Research Institute (implemented the open software for sensor command and control), AdamWorks (built the AgilePod) and General Atomics (integrated the podded system onto the MQ-9 aircraft).

«We believe this program has the potential to both increase the velocity at which future sensor technology is made available to the warfighter, as well as to improve agility in employing various sensor modalities to fit any given scenario», said Waddell.

The Sensors Program Office continues to collaborate with AFRL and industry partners on the design and upgrade of several AgilePod variants and has plans to test various sensor modalities within AgilePod on operational platforms in the near future.

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.