Initial production

Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered the first AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) that incorporates advanced high power and high efficiency Gallium Nitride (GaN) antenna technology, further improving the system’s operational capabilities. This system was delivered ahead of schedule and is the seventh G/ATOR system delivered in the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phase of the program.

Four G/ATOR systems preparing for fielding located at Northrop Grumman’s Stoney Run test range in Baltimore, Maryland
Four G/ATOR systems preparing for fielding located at Northrop Grumman’s Stoney Run test range in Baltimore, Maryland

GaN technology provides cost savings and multiple performance benefits including enhanced system sensitivity and increased reliability. All subsequent G/ATOR LRIP and full rate production systems will now incorporate this advanced GaN technology.

Delivery of the first GaN G/ATOR system follows the delivery of six LRIP systems to the Marines that began in early 2017. Utilizing two of those six systems, the Marine Corps achieved G/ATOR Initial Operational Capability (IOC) of the air surveillance mission in February of this year. The remaining four systems will establish IOC for the counter-battery mission later this year. As a result, G/ATOR systems, trained Marines and associated logistics support are now in operational service with Marines.

«The Marine Corps are the first to take delivery of a production ground based multi mission AESA radar that incorporates this advanced GaN technology», said Roshan Roeder, vice president, land & avionics Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) division, Northrop Grumman. «The incorporation of this advanced technology in production radars is unique to the Marine Corps and enables G/ATOR to provide additional mission capability to the warfighter at an affordable cost».

Both the Marine Corps and Northrop Grumman continue to make detailed preparations to successfully execute the full rate production program, which is scheduled to begin in early 2019.

Additionally, given the AN/TPS-80’s open architecture design, Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract through the Office of Secretary of Defense Strategic Capabilities Office in 2016 to support the addition of a fire control mission.

The AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR is an advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) multi-mission radar that provides comprehensive real time, 360-degree situational awareness against a broad array of threats including fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, cruise missiles, Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS), and rockets, artillery and mortar. It is rapidly deployable worldwide to meet United State Marine Corps (USMC) needs and includes the latest cyber and digital beam forming technology that enables the radar to perform multi-mission tasks at significantly lower operation and maintenance costs compared to existing USMC radar systems.

Brisbane Delivered

27 July 2018, Osborne Naval Shipyard: The Air Warfare Destroyer (AWD) Alliance celebrated the Government’s acceptance of the second destroyer, NUSHIP Brisbane at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia.

Second Air Warfare Destroyer NUSHIP Brisbane accepted by Defence
Second Air Warfare Destroyer NUSHIP Brisbane accepted by Defence

NUSHIP Brisbane is the second of three destroyers being built and integrated by the AWD Alliance, comprised of the Department of Defence, Raytheon Australia and ASC Shipbuilding with support from Navantia Australia. In the coming months, NUSHIP Brisbane will sail from Adelaide to Sydney where she will be commissioned into service by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

The successful delivery of both HMAS Hobart and NUSHIP Brisbane is a further demonstration of the truly sovereign and unique shipbuilding and systems integration capability that the AWD program has built for Australia.

«The AWD program has proven that Australia is able to build and integrate ships from the ground up – evolving our understanding as we go, and generating further improvements along the way», said AWD Alliance General Manager, Paul Evans. «We have implemented learnings from ship to ship in order to deliver better outcomes, faster outcomes, create more skills, more efficiency and ultimately deliver a better capability».

«The complexity of this project is reflected in the sophistication of the Air Warfare Destroyers which are providing a step-change in capability for the Australian Defence Force», Director General Naval Construction Branch, Commodore (CDRE) Steve Tiffen said.

«As the most lethal warships Australia has ever possessed, all three destroyers feature an advanced anti-submarine warfare capability, state-of-the-art radar technology and an air defence system capable of engaging enemy aircraft and missiles at an extended range», said CDRE Tiffen.

Raytheon Australia Managing Director, Michael Ward said that the company is extremely proud to be part of the team that is delivering the Hobart class AWDs to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

«Today, in conjunction with our AWD Alliance partners we take great pride in delivering the second AWD, NUSHIP Brisbane, to Defence. The delivery of this ship signifies a decade of collaboration between Defence and industry, and further demonstrates all that can be achieved when we work together to deliver complex Australian defence capabilities», said Mr. Ward.

«Together we have delivered two warships equipped with a powerful, integrated combat system, making them the most advanced warships ever operated by the RAN. This Australian combat system is the result of millions of hours of effort from our highly skilled Adelaide workforce, which includes more than 350 combat systems integrators, engineers and program managers as well as the 500 combat systems suppliers who have directly contributed to the AWD program. The AWD program’s combat systems integration activities represent some of the most advanced engineering and project management skills in this country. Through our work to deliver the AWD combat system on time and to budget, we have ultimately created a unique combat systems integration capability for Australia», said Mr. Ward.

ASC Shipbuilding Acting Chief Executive Officer, Jim Cuthill said, «With the Commonwealth’s acceptance of the second AWD NUSHIP Brisbane, we have demonstrated the quality of our product and confirmed our place as the builder of the most capable class of warships ever produced in Australia».

«Our extraordinary team at ASC Shipbuilding has successfully produced one of Australia’s most complex naval vessels and has done Australia and Australians proud. What we are achieving here puts us amongst the global leaders in this specialist field», said Mr. Cuthill.

For Navantia Australia chairman, Mr. Warren King, the delivery of NUSHIP Brisbane is a source of immense pride for Navantia Australia in collaboration with the AWD Alliance. «This achievement not only marks another significant milestone in the AWD program, but also for the Australian shipbuilding industry and Australian capability. We look forward to seeing NUSHIP Brisbane join her sister ship HMAS Hobart in service with the Royal Australian Navy in the near future».



Length 481.3 feet/146.7 m
Beam 61 feet/18.6 m
Draft 23.6 feet/7.2 m
Full load displacement 7,000 tonnes
Main Engine 36 MW/48,276 hp
Top speed 28+ knots/32 mph/52 km/h
Range at 18+ knots/21 mph/33 km/h 5,000+ NM/5,779 miles/9,300 km
Crew 186
Accommodation 234
Combat System Aegis Weapon System Baseline 7.1
AN/SPY-1D(V) Phased Array Radar (81 NM/93 miles/150 km)
AN/SPQ-9B Horizon Search Radar
Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (48 VLS cells: RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM)/Standard Missile-2 (SM-2)/SM-6)
Mk-45 Mod.4 5” (127-mm) 62 Calibre Gun (Range: 20 NM/23 miles/37 km)
Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control (2 × 4 launchers)
Electronic Warfare (EW) Suite
Very Short-Range Air and Surface Defence
Nulka Active Missile Decoy system
Integrated Sonar System incorporating a hull mounted and towed array sonar
Communications Suite
Aviation Flightdeck and hangar for one helicopter
Boats Two Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs)



According to, a new multi-mission frigate, in anti-submarine version, has joined the ranks of the Navy. Very versatile, stealthy and with a strike capability that is unique in Europe, the FREMMs are the backbone of the surface fleet in the different fields of naval combat.

France receives Bretagne, its fifth FREMM frigate
France receives Bretagne, its fifth FREMM frigate

On 18 July 2018, the Directorate-General for Armaments (DGA) received the frigate Bretagne, the 5th multi-mission frigate (FREMM) for the French Navy. The FREMM program is conducted within the Joint Organization for Cooperation on Armament Programs (OCCAR), in cooperation with Italy.

The program allows the renewal of the frigate component of the surface navy, with eight major vessels that will form the backbone of the surface fleet. The FREMMs, designed, developed and maintained by Naval Group, are the only Western European frigates to be armed with naval cruise missiles.

The 2019-2025 military program law provides for the delivery of the sixth anti-submarine frigate (Normandy) in 2019 and the last two ships of the series (Alsace and Lorraine), with enhanced air defense capabilities, in 2021 and 2022. It also provides for the strengthening of naval forces with the entry into service by 2025 of the first 2 frigates of intermediate size (FTI) and the refit and modernization of three La Fayette-class frigates.

The FREMM, crewed by 105 sailors, all highly qualified men and women, is a stealthy ship, multi-mission, enduring and flexible of use, and equipped with advanced automatisms. In its anti-submarine warfare version, its main mission is the control of an area of maritime operation, on the surface and under the sea, as well as long-range precision strike with the naval cruise missile (MdCN), and support for deployed and power projection operations.

Its weapon system includes the Caiman Marine, a multi-role combat helicopter with a particularly advanced anti-submarine capability. The FREMM-Cayman pair represents a leap in the field of submarine warfare. The FREMM is also equipped with the ECUME, the new tactical boat used by marine commandos.

Until 2022, the completion of the FREMM program will be a very significant part of the activity of Naval Group on its site in Lorient and that of many subcontractors, mainly SMEs.

The 2019-2025 Military Program Law, which was promulgated on July 13, 2018, provides for an accelerated effort to modernize the equipment of the armed forces.



Overall length 142 m/466 feet
Width 20 m/65.6 feet
Displacement 6,000 tonnes
Maximum speed 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
Range 6,000 NM/6,905 miles/11,112 km at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h
Implementation 108 persons (including the helicopter detachment)
Accommodation capacity 145 persons


Centauro II

On July 24, 2018, the Iveco-Oto Melara Consortium (CIO), which is 50% owned by Leonardo, signed a contract worth 159 million Euros with the Italian Ministry of Defence for the acquisition of the first 10 new Centauro II armoured vehicles. The signing ceremony took place at Palazzo Guidoni, the headquarters of the Italian Secretariat General of Defence and of the National Armaments Directorate. It was attended by the Secretary General of Defence and National Armaments Director, Aerial Squadron Marshall Carlo Magrassi, the Italian Army Chief of Staff, General Salvatore Farina, and the Director of the Land Armaments, Lieutenant General Francesco Castrataro.

Along with Japan, Italy is one of the few countries to operate large 8×8 vehicles armed with a 120-mm tank gun, and capable of a large range of battlefield missions, and it has now ordered the improved Centauro II version (Iveco photo)
Along with Japan, Italy is one of the few countries to operate large 8×8 vehicles armed with a 120-mm tank gun, and capable of a large range of battlefield missions, and it has now ordered the improved Centauro II version (Iveco photo)

This is the first tranche out of a total 136 units. The contract also includes spares and logistic support.

The contract value for Leonardo amounts to approximately 92 million Euros. The company will be responsible for the development and integration of the complete turret defence system, including the observation, targeting and communications systems.

Centauro II is a major step forward compared to the Centauro I in terms of power, situational awareness, mobility, ergonomics, shooting behaviour and communications, all while providing maximum crew protection. It is a latest-generation wheeled armoured vehicle that can operate in any number of scenarios: from national security missions to peacekeeping and support operations and in other operational theatres in which the Armed Forces need to intervene.

AVANTE 2200 corvette

Riyadh: Saudi Arabian Military industries announced the signature of A JV agreement for the design and construction of five (5) AVANTE 2200 corvettes with Navantia. The program will start this autumn and the last unit to be delivered by 2022.

The scope of work includes the installation and integration of the combat systems on the last ship of the JV, the logistics support, training programs and simulators required for the ships’ maintenance as well as the ground testing bases
The scope of work includes the installation and integration of the combat systems on the last ship of the JV, the logistics support, training programs and simulators required for the ships’ maintenance as well as the ground testing bases

In line with the contract, Navantia and Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) have agreed on the establishment of a Joint Venture (JV) in Saudi Arabia, which will provide an exceptional opportunity to consolidate the position of the integrated systems and technologically advanced solutions provided by Navantia in the Saudi market and area of influence, perfectly aligned with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by localizing 50% of the total military spending by 2030.

The contract will generate 6,000 direct and indirect jobs for five years, as follows: 1,100 direct jobs, more than 1,800 from the auxiliary industry, and more than 3,000 indirect jobs generated by other suppliers.

In this respect, the JV will focus on program management and combat system integration and ‎installation, system engineering, system architecture, hardware design, software ‎development, testing and verification, prototyping, simulation, modelling, and through-life support.

H.E. Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Chairman of Saudi Arabian Military Industries, said: «SAMI remains committed to being a key enabler of the Saudi Vision 2030, and the establishment of this Joint Venture with Navantia will localize more than 60% of ships combat systems works including, installation, and integration, which contribute in Kingdoms objective to be at the forefront of shaping the local military industries ecosystem. We will continue to explore collaborations and leverage partnerships that meet our key mandate to localize more than half of the Kingdom’s total military spending».

Mr. Esteban Garcia Vilasánchez, Chairman of Navantia, said: «Navantia is very happy with the signature of this contract that means a starting point for the collaboration with Saudi Arabia. Navantia is committed to contributing to Saudi Vision 2030 and will support the country in this endeavour. The Joint Venture between SAMI and Navantia is an opportunity to develop capabilities in the country and jointly explore future opportunities».

For the AVANTE 2200 contract, the JV will be responsible, among others, of supplying the Combat System of all five ships. Corvettes 4th and 5th will be finalised and deliver in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where the JV will do the installation, integration and test of the complete Combat System.

The JV will contribute to raising the RSNF capabilities to encounter potential threats, maintaining the readiness of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces fleets. In addition, the agreement will create approximately 1,000 jobs and training opportunities for Saudi engineers in the Kingdom and augment the participation of Saudi youth in the industry, contributing towards the objectives of the Kingdom’s comprehensive Vision 2030 plan.


Complete and Integral Scope of Supply

In reference to the AVANTE 2200 design, the corvettes have been adapted to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces requirements, providing high-end performances, including excellent seaworthiness, high survivability, as well as the capability to operate in the extreme temperatures of the region, all within an optimized lifecycle cost.

The innovative design maximizes Navantia’s participation in the program by means of incorporating its own products such as the CATIZ combat management system, HERMESYS integrated communications system, DORNA gun fire-control system, Integrated Platform Management System, MINERVA integrated bridge, as well as the engines and reduction gears.

Finally, yet importantly, the contract includes other services into the scope of supply as integrated logistics support, operational and maintenance training, delivery of a training centre for the ships’ combat management system and Integrated Platform Management System, through-life support, and the combat systems maintenance program.



The AVANTE 2200 corvette is a multirole vessel designed specifically for surveillance and maritime control, search and rescue, providing assistance to other vessels and other missions. Furthermore, the vessels will have an impressive capability to protect strategic assets, intelligence gathering, as well as anti-submarine, anti-air, anti-surface and electronic warfare.

Next Generation Rifle

The U.S. Army is expected to receive the first new squad automatic weapons to front-line or «close-combat» units in 2022, informed news agency referring to U.S. Army Lieutenant General Paul Ostrowski, the Principal Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology.

NGSAR concept displayed in Lieutenant Colonel Beal’s presentation at NDIA. It appears to be a bullpup, magazine-fed weapon firing CT ammunition
NGSAR concept displayed in Lieutenant Colonel Beal’s presentation at NDIA. It appears to be a bullpup, magazine-fed weapon firing CT ammunition was first to report that Army weapons officials recently awarded contracts to five firms to develop prototypes of the NGSAR. It will have to be five pounds lighter than the full-size M249 and fire ammo that’s lighter and more potent than the service’s current 5.56-mm round.

According to, the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR) may replace about 80,000 SAWs (the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon). The well-known M249 SAWs were already beasts – now the Army’s light machine gun is going to get even more powerful.

Armed with the NGSARs, soldiers will have the confidence of knowing the new weapon can be relied on for stopping power against sophisticated adversaries who arrive to fight in advanced body armour.

Last year, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told Congress that the M855A1 will not defeat enemy body armor plates similar to the U.S. military-issued Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert, or ESAPI.

«We know that the 5.56-mm is not going to be the round of the future because we have issues associated with adversaries’ body armor», Ostrowski said.

The solution will likely be a cartridge that uses lighter material than brass for the casing.

Also, noted that on the 12 July the US Army Contracting Command, New Jersey, posted an update announcing the award of five separate Fixed Priced, Full and Open Competition prototype Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs). These were awarded to the following companies:

  • AAI Corporation Textron Systems – Hunt Valley,
  • FN America LLC. – Columbia,
  • General Dynamics-OTS Inc. – Williston,
  • PCP Tactical, LLC – Vero Beach,
  • Sig Sauer Inc. – Newington.

The OTA award notice explains: «These Prototype OTA’s will be for the manufacture and development of a Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR) system demonstrator representative of a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 6. The expected Prototype OTA duration is twelve months after award. The Prototype OTA’s were awarded on 25 June 2018».

The demonstrators are to be ready by June 2019 for the first phase of practical testing. Technology Readiness Level 6 and Manufacturing Readiness Level 6 means a demonstration weapon which represents a major step forward in demonstrated readiness which can be built in a production relevant environment. This represents the development approaching the mid-way point.

Surface Combatant

The U.S. government awarded Lockheed Martin an Undefinitized Contract Action (UCA) award for the production of the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

U.S. Government Awards Lockheed Martin Contract to Begin Production of Multi-Mission Surface Combatant for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
U.S. Government Awards Lockheed Martin Contract to Begin Production of Multi-Mission Surface Combatant for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Lockheed Martin is being awarded a contract totaling $450 million to begin the detailed design and planning for construction of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatants (MMSC) that will be built at Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will acquire four Multi-Mission Surface Combatants as part of a larger agreement between the United States and KSA to enhance global security and stimulate economic progress in the two regions.

«We are pleased the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has selected the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant to support its Royal Saudi Naval Forces fleet», said Joe DePietro, vice president, Lockheed Martin Small Combatants and Ship Systems. «The MMSC provides the Royal Saudi Naval Forces a lethal and highly maneuverable multi-mission surface combatant, which features the flexibility of the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship steel mono-hull with expanded capabilities that include an integrated Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS), an increased range of 5,000 NM/5,754 miles/9,260 km and speeds in excess of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h, making it capable of littoral and open ocean operation, and able to confront modern maritime and economic security threats».

MMSC utilizes the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Combat System Common Source Library, enabling anti-air and anti-surface capabilities in a small surface combatant platform. With proven combat management system lineage, Lockheed Martin’s MMSC has the interoperability necessary for today’s joint and allied naval force maneuvers.

In March, Lockheed Martin was awarded $481 million for long lead material for MMSC. The contract award of the MMSC is a significant milestone in the relationship between Lockheed Martin and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

«Lockheed Martin values our 50-year partnership with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is committed to helping fulfill the Kingdom’s long-term vision», said Richard H. (Rick) Edwards, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin International. «Through investment in IT infrastructure, training, tooling, equipment and enhanced collaboration with KSA industry, together we will increase the capacity of the Kingdom’s economy while creating sustainable jobs for a brighter future».

Over the past 10 years, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Freedom-variant industry team has invested more than $120 million to modernize the Marinette shipyard, hire more than 1,000 people and train a new workforce.

«This prestigious award proves the farsightedness of our decision to enter the U.S. market», said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. «Since then, over the past 10 years we have become a reference builder not only for the U.S. Navy, but also for several foreign navies, while contributing to the development of the industrial base and of the economic fabric in the Midwest».

The Lockheed Martin-led team is comprised of shipbuilder Fincantieri Marinette Marine, naval architect Gibbs & Cox, and more than 800 suppliers in 42 states. The LCS is the Navy’s most affordable surface combatant shipbuilding program.

«Fincantieri Marinette Marine has been in this community for more than 75 years and has produced over 1,500 vessels», said Jan Allman, President and CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. «We are proud to have one of the most technologically advanced shipyards, employing nearly 2,000 of the best shipbuilders, technicians and engineers. On behalf of Fincantieri Marinette Marine and our suppliers in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest who will support this program, we are pleased to partner with Lockheed Martin to construct the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia».

Multi-mission version

The best-selling jetliner is considered for a wide range of ISR and transport operations

Having made its mark in the commercial airline sector, the A320neo is now being considered by Airbus for new applications: as a highly-capable and cost-effective platform for ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) duties and as a military transport.

Airbus evaluates an A320neo multi-mission version
Airbus evaluates an A320neo multi-mission version

The variant – designated A320M3A – would be designed to fulfill a range of ISR roles, particularly maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare. It also can be outfitted with modular roll-on/roll-off payloads for airlift missions ranging from carrying passengers, troops and VIPs to medical evacuation (medevac) and transporting cargo.

Airbus’ consideration of the A320M3A is in response to market demand, spurred by the growing use of more capable ISR systems – which require physically larger host platforms with increased electrical power and more efficient cooling systems than previously were the case for C4ISR aircraft.


A proven, low-risk solution

One of the biggest applications of the A320M3A is for maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare, with countries in Europe and elsewhere seeking replacements for ageing aircraft – many of which will be encouraged to develop fleet commonality driven by the intensive growth of joint operations with member nations of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

Advantages in offering the New Engine Option (NEO) version of Airbus’ A320 commercial jetliner include an extensive capability for growth in a fuselage cross-section that is wider than its competitor in the same size category, the long range and endurance, as well as the lowest operational and life-cycle costs in its class. Other pluses for the A320M3A are the aircraft’s high reliability (proven in airline service), and the resources of an established worldwide supply chain and training network.

The A320M3A also benefits from being a low-risk solution: being based on Airbus’ highly-mature A320 airliner family in high-rate production; and building on the company’s proven capabilities in producing military derivatives of its commercial aircraft – such as the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), which is in use by military services around the globe.

BACN-Equipped EQ-4B

Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman Corporation delivered a Global Hawk autonomous aircraft carrying the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) to the U.S. Air Force fleet. BACN – also developed by Northrop Grumman – is a high-altitude, airborne gateway that translates and distributes voice communications, and other battlespace information from numerous sources.

The Northrop Grumman EQ-4B Global Hawk autonomous aircraft on its first flight after being converted to carry the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) on February 16, 2018. The successful first flight over Southern California led to the delivery of the aircraft to the U.S. Air Force
The Northrop Grumman EQ-4B Global Hawk autonomous aircraft on its first flight after being converted to carry the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) on February 16, 2018. The successful first flight over Southern California led to the delivery of the aircraft to the U.S. Air Force

BACN bridges the gaps between those systems and extends communications among disparate users and networks to provide improved situational awareness.

BACN has completed more than 10,000 combat missions connecting warfighters in the air and on the ground.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.



Wingspan 130.9 feet/39.9 m
Length 47.6 feet/14.5 m
Height 15.4 feet/4.7 m
Gross Take-Off Weight (GTOW) 32,250 lbs./14,628 kg
Power Plant Rolls-Royce AE3007H turbofan engine
Thrust 8,290 lbs./36.8 kN/3,752.5 kgf
Maximum Altitude 60,000 feet/18.3 km
Payload 3,000 lbs./1,360 kg
Loiter Velocity 310 knots TAS/357 mph/574 km/h
Ferry Range 12,300 NM/14,155 miles/22,780 km
On-Station Endurance Exceeds 24 hours
Maximum Endurance 30 hours


Tested in Germany

Manufacturer of Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV), ARTEC, is putting two prototypes of IFVS bought by Lithuania, to intense testing at the German military training areas. Both prototypes have been made according to requirements of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, have Israeli-made turrets, 30-mm rapid-fire cannons and Spike LR anti-tank missiles.

Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles of the Lithuanian Armed Forces are tested in Germany
Vilkas Infantry Fighting Vehicles of the Lithuanian Armed Forces are tested in Germany

«The IFV project is one of the key elements of modernisation and strengthening of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. The Vilkas have been adjusted to the needs of our armed forces and mark a qualitative leap in the modernisation of our forces in providing it with modern equipment and weaponry that brings it to NATO standards and contributes directly to strengthening the security of all of us», Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says.

The key task of the prototypes is to assist the manufacturer in identifying the weaknesses in Vilkas IFVs to remove technical deficiencies before mass manufacturing begins thus ensuring high quality and work of all systems. Specialists from the Lithuanian Armed Forces are participating in the testing to gain experience in maintaining and operating the IFVs.

«We call these two IFVs prototypes because these are the first two produced according to the Lithuanian Armed Forces’ requirements with integrated turrets and at this phase are meant for assessment of integration and functioning of all systems. In comparison to the operator training vehicles obtained last year, these prototypes are significantly more complex, include more and different equipment that turns an armoured personnel carrier into a combat vehicle», head of the project Lithuanian Major Nerijus Šivickas said on the IFV prototype.

Various tests make IFV mechanical and electronic systems to operate in maximum modes seeking to determine whether the prototype constructed on Lithuania’s order match the requirements of requirements – reliability, safety, functioning of components and modules, etc. If weaknesses are identified, manufacturing and assembly processes will be adjusted thus preventing the risk of malfunction over the actual operation period.

Once the testing is completed, technical condition of both prototypes will be reset to the manufacturer’s parameters and the IFVs will be returned to the Lithuanian Armed Forces. First Vilkas IFVs are expected to be brought to Lithuania in early 2019.

Also, Lithuania sent a letter of intent earlier in July to join the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) Boxer program for supplying and maintaining the vehicles to ensure a proper logistical provision to the IFVs procured by the Lithuania Armed Forces. Participation in the program would allow access to common central and spare parts storages, service capabilities for major systems, engineer and technical support, etc., over the IFVs operation period.

The 88 IFVs bought for EUR 386 million to the Lithuanian Armed Forces on the basis of the contract signed on 22 August 2016 will be equipped with rapid-fire cannons and anti-armour missiles. The IFVs will be given to the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Mechanised Battalion and the Lithuanian Grand Duchess Birutė Uhlan Battalion of the Mechanised Infantry Brigade Iron Wolf.

The combination of firepower, manoeuvre and crew safety in the Vilkas IFVs match the needs of the Lithuanian Armed Forces and will be perfect for both national defence and multinational deployments. Lithuania agreed with the manufacturer ARTEC that the IFVs ordered by Lithuania will be renamed from Boxer into Vilkas to maintain the link with Lithuania’s history and the traditions of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.