Category Archives: Ground Forces

New ARCHER

BAE Systems is unveiling a new ARCHER Mobile Howitzer at DSEI on 10 September 2019 that is highly adaptable to diverse terrains and battlefield conditions, giving it the flexibility needed to meet a wide range of mission requirements for militaries around the world.

BAE Systems unveils new ARCHER Mobile Howitzer at DSEI

The key is a modular design that allows it to be integrated onto different truck chassis and then seamlessly introduced into existing vehicle fleets. The ARCHER’s modularity makes it a cost-effective solution that provides critical battlefield capabilities. The ARCHER system displayed at DSEI 2019 is mounted on a Rheinmetall RMMV HX2 8×8 truck – meaning it could be common to systems already in service with the British Army. The original ARCHER, first delivered to the Swedish Armed Forces in 2013, is mounted on a Volvo A30 6×6 articulated hauler.

«This new international version of the ARCHER can be easily integrated onto a variety of different chassis, allowing the customer to specify the vehicle best suited to their needs», said Ulf Einefors, director of marketing and sales at BAE Systems Weapon Systems business in Sweden. «We’re pleased to display this new version at DSEI to demonstrate the versatility that ARCHER could add to any allied military force».

The long-range, self-propelled ARCHER brings speed, mobility, and high rates of fire to support ground troops. From the safety of ARCHER’s armored cabin, a three-person crew needs less than 30 seconds to deploy or displace the system, making ARCHER the ultimate shoot-and-scoot artillery system. As the most advanced wheeled 155-mm, 52-calibre system in operation today, ARCHER features a 21-round auto-loader and onboard ballistic calculation. The system can fire up to eight rounds per minute at ranges approaching 40 kilometers/25 miles with conventional 155-mm ammunition and 60 kilometres/37 miles with precision guided munitions such as Excalibur.

TITAN UGV

In June this year, KONGSBERG proved their innovative capabilities by firing a remotely controlled Raytheon/Lockheed Martin Javelin missile from a PROTECTOR Remote Weapon Station on an Unmanned Ground Vehicle. The event took place at Redstone Test Center, Alabama, USA.

KONGSBERG presents ground-breaking RWS capabilities on an Unmanned Ground Vehicle at DSEI 2019

A TITAN Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), featuring QinetiQ UGV control technology on a Milrem Robotics Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) mobility platform was used in the demonstration. Javelin and .50 caliber/12.7-mm machine gun were fired, remotely and wireless, from a PROTECTOR Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS). Video from the missile and RWS, as well as control and firing signals was transferred on a secure circuit over radio.

This was also the first combined Javelin and M230LF 30-mm Cannon firing from a single RWS, as the event also featured the Northrup Grumman M230LF (30 mm × 113 mm) cannon. The KONGSBERG LW30 RWS was mounted on an Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).

This event is nothing short of ground-breaking. The customers have been consistent in their demand for wireless capability and for increased lethality like Anti-Tank Guided Missile Integration. Our ability to integrate our partners’ quality systems into common interfaces was essential to this demonstrations success.

The combination of a wireless and remotely controlled weapon system, integrated on an unmanned vehicle, introduces capabilities that will secure our soldiers mission and safety to an even greater extent, said Pål Bratlie, Executive Vice President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS.

At DSEI 2019, the Milrem Robotics’ 5th generation THeMIS UGV integrated with a PROTECTOR RWS Javelin, will be displayed at the KONGSBERG stand.

Combing unmanned ground vehicles with modern weapon systems will bring disruptive capabilities to the battlefield. Milrem Robotics has experienced this effect already with several Armies using the THeMIS with an integrated heavy machine gun. Adding such a capable antitank missile as the Javelin will significantly increase the disruptive effect, said Kuldar Väärsi, CEO of Milrem Robotics.

Brimstone & UGV

MBDA has unveiled at DSEI 2019 how the Brimstone precision strike missile can equip Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to serve as an organic force-multiplier for the tactical commander. This development, utilising the Milrem Robotics Tracked Hybrid Modular Infantry System (THeMIS) UGV, adds to Brimstone’s «One Missile, Multi-Platform» versatility.

MBDA showcases Brimstone application on Milrem Robotics’ unmanned ground vehicle

Carrying six Brimstone missiles per UGV, the development comes in response to the British Army’s «Prototype Warfare» drive, which includes a renewed need to counter massed armour formations in high-intensity warfare and to «fight differently». Such operational requirements demand long-range, all-weather performance, ability to defeat all-known Defensive Aid Suits (DAS), salvo-firing and moving target capability. Brimstone is uniquely able to meet these challenges.

The THeMIS is a versatile and robust unmanned system with low noise and heat signatures that can negotiate demanding terrains while keeping the operator in a safe distance.

Using digital targeting data provided by the remote operator over standard secure military networks, the system will be capable of engaging line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight targets, with a choice of radar and Semi-Active Laser (SAL) engagement modes.

Andy Allen, MBDA UK Head of Land Domain Sales and Business Development said: «This cassette magazine, with its high weapon loadout, is optimised to counter mass armour. Pairing the combat-proven MBDA Brimstone missile with a flexible and mission deployed UGV such as the Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS provides the tactical commander with the capability to rapidly and remotely deliver high volumes of precision anti-armour effects, importantly in all weathers, against all known DAS and at extended ranges. This land vehicle adds to the Brimstone suite of platforms (fast jet, rotary, RPAS) and underscores its ‘One Missile, Multi-Platform’ versatility».

The modular elevating launcher has a high load-out to provide the assurance of immediate fire support for multiple targets. The integration solution will take advantage of the high off-boresight agility of the Brimstone missile to avoid the complexity of rotating turrets.

General (retd) Riho Terras, President of the Defence Division at Milrem Robotics said: «The THeMIS has proven itself as a reliable and robust vehicle in very difficult conditions, e.g. in Mali during Operation Barkhane. Combining it with the anti-armour capability of MBDA’s Brimstone shows how existing and proven systems can work seamlessly together with novel technology. It is our aim and privilege to work with strong and innovative partners on creating new warfare systems based on the THeMIS».

Integrating Brimstone to THeMIS follows on from previous work to fit the Missile Moyenne Portée (MMP, Medium-Range Missile) missile to the UGV. The two weapons offer complementary solutions for delivering organic/battery-level precision anti-armour effects at medium and extended ranges.

Mission Master

One of the most innovative systems on display at this year’s MSPO exhibition is the latest version of the Mission Master Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) from Rheinmetall, armed with the WARMATE Loitering Munition System. Rheinmetall has partnered with WB GROUP, Poland’s foremost defence contractor in the field of advanced technologies, to provide dismounted troops with high-precision strike capabilities.

Rheinmetall presents the world’s first Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) equipped with micro combat Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV)

As with other versions of Rheinmetall’s flagship autonomous vehicle, this new Mission Master – Protection is based on an 8×8 all-terrain platform capable of performing dangerous missions in hostile weather conditions, with the specific purpose of enhancing combat effectiveness. The integrated WARMATE micro combat Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) opens up a range of new offensive and observation capabilities. It is capable of scanning the battlefield, detecting and determining exact enemy positions and, when the decision is made, engaging them. When an attack is aborted, the WARMATE can be recalled, can continue loitering, or be directed at another target.

Even more exciting, the new Mission Master – Protection features the first ever tube-launched system equipped with several WARMATE UAVs for performing surgical swarm attacks. This dramatically increases the unit’s combat power, while simultaneously augmenting the safety of dismounted troops in close combat operations as the whole system can operate out of the line-of-sight. «The use of micro combat UAVs on our Mission Master UGVs is an incredible opportunity for ground commanders», says Alain Tremblay, Rheinmetall Canada’s vice-president for business development. «Being able to observe hidden targets and conduct precise identification before initiating a surgical strike with minimal collateral damage is a real tactical advantage on today’s battlefield. And since both the Mission Master and the WARMATE are able to conduct certain autonomous operations, it reduces the number of military personal required and lets troops focus on mission success», explains Tremblay.

Operators can command both the UGV and UAV from a mobile ground control station; a modern soldier system such as Rheinmetall Argus; or with Rheinmetall Command and Control Software installed in any user’s battle management system.

Visitors to MSPO 2019 won’t want to miss this opportunity to see for themselves the brand-new version of the Rheinmetall Mission Master – the future of unmanned ground vehicles, on display today.

Tank Destroyer

MBDA and PGZ have unveiled at MSPO 2019 a Tank Destroyer armed with the Brimstone precision strike missile. PGZ Companies and MBDA also signed a statement of co-operation at MSPO to confirm readiness to co-operate on offering this solution to Poland and export markets, recognising the combination of MBDA’s Brimstone missile with PGZ’s armoured vehicle expertise offers the best solution for Poland’s Tank Destroyer requirement from a military capability, sovereignty and industrial perspective.

MBDA showcases Tank Destroyer vehicle with PGZ at MSPO 2019

Sebastian Chwałek, Deputy CEO of PGZ, said: «We are growing our co-operation with MBDA into new areas. We have agreed on the ways of offering those solutions in export markets. By combining our competences with the experience of our British partners, we are able to achieve a lot and deliver the most modern solutions to both Polish and allied armed forces».

Adrian Monks, MBDA Sales Director in Poland, said: «Pairing the combat-proven MBDA Brimstone missile with the diverse range of current and future Polish platforms provides the ability to deliver rapid military capability for Poland and for wider markets, whilst strengthening our co-operation with PGZ Group on missiles».

The most important part of the Joint Statement of Co-operation is MBDAs’ declaration that Brimstone missile technology and know-how will be transferred to PGZ, with MESKO SA responsible for missile production. This co-operation is another field of the business relationship developed on the strategic co-operation between PGZ companies and MBDA.

The flexibility of the integration solution and ease of integration with the existing Polish targeting systems makes it flexible to be installed onto or within multiple Polish platforms, including those from WZM SA, HSW SA and Obrum, in any configuration and number of missiles.

The development comes in response to Poland’s requirement for a Tank Destroyer able to counter massed armour formations. With its long-range, all-weather performance, ability to defeat Active Protection Systems (APS), salvo-firing and moving target capability, Brimstone is uniquely able to meet this challenge.

The system is capable of engaging line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight targets, with a choice of engagement modes using digital targeting data provided over standard secure military networks fully interoperable with NATO.

MBDA and PGZ have unveiled at MSPO 2019 a Tank Destroyer armed with the Brimstone precision strike missile

Combat Vehicle

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Lithuania of five hundred Joint Light Tactical Vehicles with support for an estimated cost of $170.8 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on August 27, 2019.

Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle (L-ATV)

The Government of Lithuania has requested to buy five hundred Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, M1278A1 Heavy Guns Carriers. Also included are Baseline Integration Kits; Ballistic Kits Armor; Explosive Formed Protection Kit; Shot Detection Boomerang Kits; Shot Detection, Boomerang III; GPS Stand Alone kits; Network Switch – 8 port; M153 Common Remote Weapon Stations (CROWS); CROWS Baseline v2 Integration Kit; MK-93 Weapons Mounts; M2 QCB .50 CAL/12.7-mm Machine Guns; M230 TAC-FLIR Systems; Opaque Armor (windows); Basic Issue Item Kits; Winch Kits; Flat Tow Kits; Run-Flat Kits; Spare Tire Kits; Combat Bumper Kits; Duramax Turbo Engine with Allison 6 speed automatic transmission and 4×4 TAK-4i Independent suspension systems; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated program cost is $170.8 million.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the military capability of Lithuania, a NATO ally that is an important force for ensuring political stability and economic progress within Easter Europe.

The proposed sale of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) will help improve Lithuania’s light tactical vehicle fleet and enhance the capabilities to meet current and future enemy threats. Lithuania will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor will be Oshkosh Defense LLC of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. There are no known offset agreements associated with this proposed sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Lithuania. However, it is anticipated that engineering and technical support services provided by the U.S. Government and/or the contractor may be required on an interim basis for training and technical assistance.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

Squad Vehicle

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced on August 23, 2019 that the U.S. Army has awarded Oshkosh Defense along with teammate, Flyer Defense LLC, a Task Assignment award under an existing Project Agreement with the National Advanced Mobility Consortium (NAMC) to develop the new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV).

The ISV is a lightweight expeditionary all-terrain vehicle that can carry up to nine passengers and associated equipment

The ISV is a lightweight expeditionary all-terrain vehicle that can carry up to nine troops and associated combat equipment.

Under the award, Oshkosh and Flyer will deliver two prototype ISVs in support of government testing and evaluation.

«The ISV program is critical in providing infantry troops with an agile means to get to and through the battlefield as quickly and capably as possible», said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs at Oshkosh Defense. «The ISV platform will also significantly lighten the load for infantry troops, who regularly each carry over 100 pounds/45 kg of gear on foot», continued Mansfield.

Flyer Defense is most prominently known for the highly successful GMV 1.1 deployed around the world by U.S. Special Operations Forces as well as the U.S. Army A-GMV (Army-Ground Mobility Vehicles), which is fielded as the interim ISV solution. Flyer Defense is the design authority and leads the build team for the two prototype ISVs which will be submitted to the government for testing. If selected, Oshkosh Defense will be responsible for manufacturing the production phase vehicles. «The Oshkosh and Flyer team brings together an abundance of tactical wheeled vehicle design and manufacturing expertise and we’re very confident in our team’s ISV offering», concluded Mansfield.

The ISV production contract award is expected to take place in the Spring of 2020. In total, the U.S. Army plans to procure 651 vehicles and associated hardware and services between fiscal years 2020 and 2024.

Protection System

Elbit Systems announces that following a competitive bid, the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) selected Iron Fist Light Decoupled (IFLD), the Company’s Active Protection System (APS), for the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) Eitan new eight-wheeled Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) and the D-9 Bulldozer. The award of the contract for the program is subject to completion of negotiations between the parties.

The Israeli defense ministry has selected Elbit’s IFLD to protect its Eitan 8×8 armored vehicles against close-range attacks in both open terrain and urban environments (Elbit photo)

The selection of the IFLD for the IDF’s Eitan AFV comes on the heels of the decision by the U.S. Army to proceed with the IFLD for the Bradley AFV.

IFLD uses independent optical sensors, tracking radar, launchers and countermeasure munitions to defeat threats at a safe distance from the defended combat vehicles. The system provides 360-degree protection coverage for close-range scenarios in both open terrain and urban environments. Its low size and weight, versatile high-performance, negligible residual penetration and ease of integration position IFLD as an optimal active protection solution for any fighting vehicle.

Yehuda (Udi) Vered, General Manager of Elbit Systems Land Division, said: «We are proud to have been selected by the IMOD to provide the IDF with such an important operational capability. The decision of the IMOD to prefer IFLD adds to the growing interest in this APS by many modern armed forces who seek to enhance protection capabilities for their AFVs».

Iron Fist series of APS delivers high-performance protection against anti-tank threats while increasing the survivability of the platform or vehicle. The series includes a light configuration for AFV, IFV and logistic

60-mm mortar

The RSG60 features innovative design and engineering characteristics which make this indirect fire system very light and easy to handle. A few quick manual adjustments turn the 34.8 lbs./15.8 kg standard infantry version into a commando mortar weighing just 15 lbs./6.8 kg, with no need for tools. This makes the RSG60 a two-in-one solution.

RSG60 – significant weight saving for transport

Depending on the ammunition and charges, the standard version can attain ranges of up 10,499 feet/3,200 metres. Equipped with a thirty 11.8-inch-longer/30 centimetre-longer barrel, the range increases by around 1640 feet/500 metres. The commando variant of the RSG60 has a range of around 6,562 feet/2,000 metres.

About 27.6 inches/70 centimetres long, the barrel is made of steel with a carbon fibre over-wrap. This assures the necessary stability at the same time as lower weight, resulting in a barrel that weighs around 30 percent less than a conventional steel mortar. The base plate is made of carbon fibre composite material. The novel design of this indirect fire weapon not only saves space, it can be set up and ready to fire in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, by loosening the retaining bolts, it is possible to separate the RSG60 from the base plate in around thirty seconds, transforming it into lighter-weight commando mortar.

Development of the new mortar began in October 2017 at Rheinmetall Waffe Munition. Rheinmetall’s objective was to augment the Group’s versatile family of 60-mm ammunition and existing Rheinmetall Electronics fire control technology with a matching, future-oriented weapon system. Right from the start, development work therefore focused on low weight, speed and ergonomics.

The RSG60 has repeatedly undergone successful test firing.

Re-scalable Aperture

Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a contract award from the U.S. Army to develop the next generation tactical radar antenna. The Re-scalable Aperture for Precision Targeting Radar (RAPTR) will be composed of small radar building blocks to allow the antenna to be scaled to fit a wide range of mission and platform requirements.

Northrop Grumman’s Re-scalable Aperture for Precision Targeting Radar (RAPTR), composed of small radar building blocks, will provide advanced surveillance and precision targeting capabilities for a wide range of missions and platforms

RAPTR will improve upon the precision and range of the previous, combat-proven Northrop Grumman tactical radar family to provide a greater level of situational understanding to warfighters. The system will operate in multiple radar modes, including Synthetic Aperture Radar and Ground Moving Target Indicator, to provide a comprehensive operating picture.

«RAPTR’s building block architecture allows us to scale the antenna up or down to suit a wide range of platforms and missions, so it is well suited to the demands of today’s multi-domain battlespace», said Brent Toland, vice president, land and avionics C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance), Northrop Grumman.

The system will take advantage of common building blocks, allowing for rapid, cost effective production for a variety of applications.