Category Archives: Ground Forces

Light Tactical Vehicles

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced on July 1, 2020 that the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal has placed an order for 248 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) and associated kits.

Oshkosh Defense Receives Order for 248 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles

Today’s announced order is valued at $127 million and includes vehicles for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of State.

«The JLTV was designed to provide our troops with unmatched mission capabilities», said George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of joint programs for Oshkosh Defense. «And while adversaries, terrains, and tactics have all evolved immensely since the vehicle’s conception, the JLTV’s flexible design allows the light tactical vehicle fleet to evolve at a similar pace».

One such example of the JLTV’s flexibility, is its capability to accept any number of advances in weapons, lasers, sensors, networking, and communications.

To date, Oshkosh has successfully integrated multiple weapons on the JLTV such as Remote Weapon Systems up to 30-mm, anti-tank missile systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems, and Counter-UAV systems. These systems on the JLTV offer both the protection and the highly reliable defense technologies needed for troops to defeat near-peer adversaries.

Over 7,500 total vehicles have been delivered to the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Navy since the production contract was awarded in 2015. Additionally, foreign interest in the JLTV continues to grow. Several NATO countries have publicly expressed interest in procuring the vehicle, including Lithuania, Slovenia, United Kingdom, and Montenegro.

Infantry Squad Vehicle

The U.S. Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal announced on June 26, 2020 that GM Defense LLC, a subsidiary of General Motors, has been awarded the production contract to build, field and sustain the Army’s new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV).

GM Defense awarded a $214.3 million contract to produce the U.S. Army’s Infantry Squad Vehicle

Designed to provide rapid ground mobility, the expeditionary ISV is a light and agile all-terrain troop carrier intended to transport a nine-Soldier infantry squad moving throughout the battlefield. The ISV is light enough to be sling loaded from a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and compact enough to fit inside a CH-47 Chinook helicopter for air transportability. The total production ISV contract award value is $214.3 million to procure the initial Army Procurement Objective of 649. The approved Army Acquisition Objective is 2,065 vehicles.

GM Defense’s solution to the Army’s next-generation transportation needs is based off the award-winning 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 midsize truck architecture and leverages 90 percent commercial off-the-shelf parts. These parts include the Multimatic dual spool-valve dampers and Chevrolet Performance suspension components. The durability and performance of those components have been proven in the grueling Best in the Desert race series, where Colorado is one of only four vehicles to complete 11 consecutive races (out of a total of 434 competitors).

As a result, GM Defense can deliver an ISV with world class manufacturing efficiencies, ease of maintenance and a well-established global supply chain. All ISV models will be equipped with an occupant and cargo superstructure powered by a 186-horsepower, 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel engine, and six-speed automatic transmission.

«Winning this Army award is well-deserved recognition for the hard work and dedication of our GM Defense team and their production of a fantastic vehicle. We are confident the GMD ISV will meet and exceed all of our customers’ requirements», said David Albritton, president of GM Defense. «It’s indeed an honor to leverage our parent company’s experience as one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers to design, build and deliver the best technologies available to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and our allies».

In 2019, GM Defense partnered with Ricardo Defense after the U.S. Army awarded three $1 million contracts to competing industry providers to develop ISV prototypes for testing, evaluation and down-selection for the production contract. Ricardo Defense will support key product logistics and fielding requirements of the GM Defense ISV.

«The entire Ricardo team is proud to continue our work with GM Defense on the ISV contract, and to provide our infantry troops in harm’s way with this highly-capable, and much needed vehicle», said Chet Gryczan, president of Ricardo Defense. «Being awarded the ISV program is a testament to Ricardo’s success in developing and delivering key integrated product logistics and life-cycle sustainment plans for our customers’ top priorities. The ISV will showcase the speed at which the Army can rapidly produce, field and sustain new equipment by leveraging a proven commercially available vehicle and the global supply chain infrastructure of General Motors, supported by Ricardo».

GM Defense is driving the future of military mobility by leveraging the best-in-class capabilities of General Motors for unmatched innovation, proven performance and breakthrough life-cycle economics.

Tactical Vehicle

This third week of the Arquus e-xpo is an opportunity for Arquus to present the latest addition to its range of tactical vehicles: the FORTRESS Mk2. Designed to answer the intensification of the threats encountered on the battlefield, the FORTRESS Mk2 combines the very high mobility of the FORTRESS and brand new capabilities in terms of protection and firepower. More aggressive and even better protected, the FORTRESS Mk2 is a modern, high-performance vehicle, very well adapted to current and future operational commitments. It combines mobility, firepower and protection in a single multi-purpose vehicle, developed to meet the demands of Arquus’ customers and partners.

Arquus launches the FORTRESS Mk2

Designed to transport a combat group of 11 soldiers over all terrains, the FORTRESS Mk2 combines optimal protection against all ballistic threats and mines encountered on the battlefield, and unprecedented off-road mobility capabilities thanks to its independent suspensions and very powerful engine.

To better face the evolution of threats on the battlefield, the FORTRESS Mk2 is natively designed with very high levels of protection, both against ballistic threats and against mines and IEDs, thanks to an innovative under-body architecture. This new protection, particularly coherent and balanced, makes the FORTRESS Mk2 one of the most protected 4×4 Armored Personnel Carriers (APC) on the market.

This increase in protection has been achieved without any increase in mass, thanks to the use of the latest Arquus technologies in terms of armour and body architecture. This major evolution has therefore been completed while maintaining the exceptional mobility of the FORTRESS. Since its presentation in 2014, the FORTRESS has always been very popular due to its excellent off-roads capabilities, and has very soon been adopted by a European Special Forces unit.

The FORTRESS Mk2 is a vehicle at ease in all circumstances, off-roads as well as for obstacle crossing, thanks to its independent suspensions and proven chassis, which is the result of decades of operational experience. The FORTRESS Mk2 retains the 6-cylinder 340-horsepower engine, which gives it a power-to-weight ratio of 23 horsepower per ton, a top speed of 75 mph/120 km/h and a range of 1,200 kilometers/746 miles.

Thanks to its mobility and firepower, the FORTRESS Mk2 can carry and accompany the infantry on the battlefield, while providing operational fire support.

Its exceptional mobility and interior configuration allow for the safe transport of a full fighting group and their equipment, on all terrains, and with a high level of comfort, ensuring that they are well restedboth physically and mentally before the action.

The FORTRESS Mk2 has been specially designedto carry Arquus’ Hornet range of Remote-Controlled Weapons Stations (RCWS). As part of the Scorpion program, Arquus has created a new French line of RCWS which accommodates a wide range of weaponry, from 5.56-mm to 12.7-mm, including 7.62-mm and HK40. Commonequipment for all the new combat vehicles of the Scorpion program, these systems will equip the French Army’s new combat vehicles. The FORTRESS Mk2 is natively equipped with Arquus’ Battlenet vetronics suite, designed to operate with the Hornet turrets and featuring Blue Force Tracking (BFT).

In addition to the Hornet RCWS, the FORTRESS Mk2 can accommodate a wide variety of weapons and systems, such as 7.62-mm, 12.7-mm or 14.5-mm protected manual circulars, grenade launchers or acoustic and laser detectors.

These developments make the FORTRESS Mk2 an agile, well-protected, well-armed vehicle capable of going on the offensive on all terrains and in all conditions. In line with all formerly ACMAT vehicles, the FORTRESS Mk2 is rustic, durable, reliable and modular, which simplifies and reduces maintenance needs. Customizable, it can be configured in right- or left-hand drive.

For all vehicles in its ranges, Arquus presents a complete and innovative service offer, guaranteeing optimal uptime in all theatres of operation. Thanks to its logistics platform in Garchizy and its international network, Arquus can guarantee the availability of spare parts anywhere in the world on very short notice.

Trailers for the JLTV

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced today that it has been awarded a $61.8M modification from the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal to increase available trailer options under the current Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Family of Vehicles contract from 32 to 3,541.

Oshkosh Defense Awarded $61.8M to Produce Trailers for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV)

The JLTV-T was designed as an integral part of the JLTV Family of Vehicles, providing the same superior off-road performance and durability.

«When it comes to hauling mission critical equipment, a reliable trailer is just as essential as the vehicle it supports», said George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of joint programs for Oshkosh Defense. «Whether it’s hauling ammunition, weapons, or other supplies, the JLTV-T is the only trailer that can keep pace with the JLTV’s superior speed and off-road mobility».

JLTV-T deliveries are expected to begin this year and continue through 2021.

 

About the JLTV-T

Wheel travel 18.5 inch/47 cm
Payload 5,100 lbs./2,313 kg
Fording capability 60 inch/152 cm
Maximum speed 70 mph/113 km/h
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
Compatible with legacy pintles on High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV), Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), Logistic Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR), MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), and Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR)

 

Tactical Transport

General Dynamics Land Systems-UK has delivered two fully-electric 8×8 Multi-Utility Tactical Transport (MUTT) Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV) to the British Army.

General Dynamics Land Systems-UK awarded contract to provide two Unmanned Ground Vehicles to the British Army

Alongside the delivery of these UGV’s, which took place in April 2020, General Dynamics Land Systems-UK will provide New Operator Training, Maintainer Training, In-Service Support, Maintainer Tools and Spares, including a fully-supported Helpdesk.

Carew Wilks, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Land Systems-UK, said: «This Robotic Platoon Vehicle contract award is recognition of General Dynamics Land Systems’ extensive efforts to meet the needs of Armed Forces worldwide with innovative solutions to the changing landscape of the modern battlefield. We look forward to supporting the British Army in maximising the outstanding capabilities that MUTT provides».

The MUTT, which provides both wheeled and tracked variants, is a rugged, reliable small-unit force multiplier providing increased battlefield capabilities. As a controller-less small-unit robotic follower, it lightens the load across different combat operations.  As a remote-controlled or tele-operated team mate, it provides stand-off from threats or increased projection of combat power. The MUTT is engineered to easily evolve to accommodate new payloads, including Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) and Lethality, and proven levels of enhanced autonomy that we are already fielding elsewhere.

7-Year Contract

Following a competitive bid process, Government Services Administration (GSA), in support of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), awarded Polaris Government and Defense a follow-on contract for the Polaris MRZR Alpha, a new light tactical vehicle. Polaris Government and Defense is a division of global powersports leader Polaris Inc. The seven-year contract has a value of up to $109 million and was awarded on May 29, 2020.

Polaris awarded 7-year contract to build U.S. Special Operations Newest Vehicle

«Winning this Lightweight Tactical All Terrain Vehicle (LTATV) award is well-deserved recognition for the dedication of our Polaris Defense team and the performance of our vehicles, but our real victory is the opportunity to continue serving our military customers. They demand – and deserve – the best engineering and technology, and we consider it an honor to leverage our experience as the world’s largest Powersports company to design and build the vehicles our warfighters need», said Scott Wine, chairman and CEO, Polaris.

Polaris is the largest ultralight tactical vehicle provider for the U.S. military, with the MRZR Alpha being Polaris’ 11th military vehicle produced in 12 years. Their light weight and off-road capabilities make them ideal for transport via helicopter and operation in terrain that would otherwise be traversed on foot.

«Polaris has had the privilege of providing vehicles to USSOCOM since 2005 and we take a great deal of pride in delivering and supporting the current LTATV», said Jed Leonard, vice president, Polaris Government and Defense. «The Polaris MRZR Alpha supports USSOCOM’s requirements for durability, performance, payload profile and internal air transportability».

Designed, engineered and produced in Minnesota, the MRZR platform incorporates technology and innovations from across Polaris’ broad product portfolio. The MRZR Alpha represents millions in internal technology research and development investments that keep Polaris in front of the highly competitive off-road vehicle market. Defense engineers leveraged learnings from snowmobile chassis design, redesigned sport RZR changes and off-road race team modifications. Vehicle systems were also designed with near-future innovation in mind, with an architecture ready to accept new technologies and capabilities available within Polaris. Combining new and recently proven technologies, delivers a vehicle that has more power, increased payload, ground clearance and durability.

The MRZR Alpha will be assembled in Roseau, Minnesota, one of Polaris’ manufacturing plants and R&D centers. A key part of its strong North American manufacturing footprint, Roseau is the birthplace of Polaris, where the company has maintained operations for more than 65 years and currently employs nearly 1500 employees.

The MRZR Alpha’s versatility is further enhanced by improved exportable power and increased payload. Polaris first introduced the MRZR platform in 2012 and has continued to enhance the vehicle to meet the mission demands of the U.S. military, and over 40 allied forces worldwide. Since their introduction, MRZRs have been outfitted with Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS), weapons and high-energy laser systems, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, expeditionary command and control systems, autonomy packages, litters for medical and casualty evacuation and communication equipment.

Throughout the 1980s and 90s, the United States military’s rising demand for Polaris off-road vehicles led to Polaris being the first ATV OEM to produce militarized vehicles for U.S. Special Operations Forces and the United States Army. To better serve its military customers, Polaris established Polaris Defense in 2005. Today, Polaris designs, engineers and produces its MV850 ATV, MRZR and DAGOR military vehicles in the U.S.

Laser-Guided Rockets

BAE Systems successfully completed test shots of its Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) laser-guided rockets from a tactical configuration ground-based weapon system for the first time. The proof-of-concept testing demonstrated the flexibility of APKWS rockets to deliver standoff precision strike capabilities for ground forces, providing warfighters with a unique solution for engaging targets with greater range than small arms fire and without the need for air support.

BAE Systems successfully completed test shots of its APKWS laser-guided rockets from a tactical configuration ground-based weapon system for the first time

BAE Systems tested the APKWS rockets at the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground, in collaboration with the U.S. Navy and Arnold Defense, a premier manufacturer of rocket launchers. The team used Arnold’s FLETCHER 2.75-inch/70-mm Weapon System concept – a purpose-built laser-guided rocket launcher for ground vehicles – to fire several successful shots. The ground-launch capability builds on hundreds of successful shots in combat from rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft.

«Our customers see the value in low-cost, precision-strike capabilities that reduce the risk of collateral damage, and they want the flexibility to deliver them from the platform of their choice», said Greg Procopio, director of Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions at BAE Systems. «Demand is growing for ground-to-ground precision munitions that provide a safe standoff distance for small ground units. We’re working closely with our customer and partners to deliver that capability».

Ground-launched APKWS rockets could provide mounted and dismounted units with a unique way to engage soft and lightly armored targets from a variety of platforms. The low size, weight, and power requirements of ground-launched APKWS rockets make them ideal for tactical lightweight vehicles, remote weapon stations, non-standard tactical vehicles, and stationary platforms, providing warfighters with precision munitions that improve their safety and mission effectiveness.

«We designed FLETCHER specifically as a ground launcher for precision-guided 70-mm rockets», said Jim Hager, president and CEO at Arnold Defense. «FLETCHER-launched APKWS rockets enable our military customers to engage targets from more than just airborne platforms. We envision FLETCHER being used on everything from trucks and tracked vehicles to marine platforms in the future».

APKWS laser-guided rockets are the only U.S. government program of record for precision-guided 70-milimeter rockets. All four U.S. armed forces use APKWS rockets, and it is available to U.S. allies via Foreign Military Sales. FMS activities support more than a dozen partner nations and interest from other nations.

BAE Systems’ long range precision fires solutions use advanced technologies to consistently and effectively hit a variety of targets in complex environments from long distances, resulting in successful land, air and sea missions.

Ground Combat System

With the contract on a system architecture definition study concluded between industry and the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw – Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr), the future German-French Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) has reached its next milestone.

A graphic illustrating the French vision of the Main Ground Combat System, notably comprising a tank armed with a 140-mm main gun. The two-year system architecture definition study is intended to reconcile French and German visions (Twitter image)

Things are now progressing fast with the Main Ground Combat System. After the Framework and Implementing Agreements have been signed by the Defence Ministers of Germany and France, the focus will now be on the contract with the ARGE consortium of industrial partners consisting of Rheinmetall, Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann (KMW), and Nexter. This launches the system architecture study for MGCS Main Ground Combat System. Nationally selected concepts are being harmonized to develop a common multi-platform system architecture. The first part of the study is to be completed within 20 months. The contract is concluded between the participating ARGE companies and the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw – Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr) representing both Germany and France.

The contract is equally co-funded by Germany and France. Likewise, the German and French companies will implement equal division of work.

 

Mail-based signature

Given the significance of the joint project, a festive signature ceremony would have been most appropriate. However, neither the Framework and Implementing Agreement nor this contract can be signed in person due to the coronavirus situation. Even such a landmark project must now be signed via mail. The industrial companies of Rheinmetall, Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann and Nexter were the first ones to sign. After that, BAAINBw received the documents for signature. In accordance with the agreement between the two partner nations, only Germany/BAAINBw was to sign as the lead nation of the bilateral project.

 

Replacement for the German Leopard 2 and the French Leclerc main battle tanks

The Main Ground Combat System project to be implemented under German lead will replace the German Leopard 2 and the French Leclerc main battle tanks from the mid-2030s. With this project, Germany and France are sending a strong signal of European defence cooperation.

XM1155 Projectile

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a business of Raytheon Technologies, has begun the first phase of developing the XM1155 Extended-Range Artillery Projectile under a $7.9 million U.S. Army Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) through the Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. The new, cannon-launched, ramjet-powered artillery round will double the U.S. military’s range to greater than 100 kilometers/62 miles, delivering precision strikes in all terrain and weather conditions.

The XM1155 will be fired from the same artillery cannon as Excalibur, including the U.S. Army’s new 58-caliber Extended-Range Cannon Artillery

Raytheon Missiles & Defense is teamed with Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek, or TNO, an organization based in the Netherlands that will design the ramjet engine. Raytheon Missiles & Defense will integrate the engine with the system’s airframe, seeker, warhead and other components.

«The ramjet-powered artillery round will allow our nation’s military to strike farther and faster than anything our adversaries have in their arsenals», said Tom Laliberty, vice president of Land Warfare & Air Defense.

The tactical 155-mm XM1155 will be able to strike moving and stationary high-value targets on land and at sea. The maneuverable, extended-range airframe will be compatible with legacy and future 155-mm artillery systems.

The XM1155 builds on Raytheon Missiles & Defense’s experience with guided projectiles, including the Excalibur munition, an extended-range weapon that can engage targets precisely at all ranges and in adverse weather.

This effort was sponsored by the U.S. government under the DoD Ordnance Technology Consortium OTA (W15QKN-18-9-1008) with the National Armaments Consortium. The U.S. government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation herein.

Medium Caliber Turret

Kongsberg will deliver up to 150 MCTs (Medium Caliber Turret) in a phased program as part of this contract. Test article delivery will commence early 2021 followed by production phases.

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS (Kongsberg) has been selected by BAE Systems, Inc. to design and manufacture the remote Medium Caliber Turret (MCT) for the United States Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV)-30 program

The Kongsberg MCT-30 is the first remotely operated 30-mm turret to be qualified and fielded in the United States. The system provides highly accurate firepower for wheeled or tracked combat vehicles. It is remotely controlled and operated from a protected position inside the vehicle compartment for optimized crew safety.

The MCT-30 leverages a link-less medium caliber cannon providing lethality, extremely high reliability and multi-user functions to the Marine Corps ACV and other platforms.

«The ACV-30 with Kongsberg’s MCT-30 turret signifies a powerful lethality capability for the Marine Corps, representative of a new era in U.S. amphibious operations», said Pål E Bratlie, Executive Vice President Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

The U.S. Army, in 2015, chose Kongsberg’s MCT-30 to increase the lethality of the Stryker Brigade in Europe. The system has been fielded and operated with the Army as part of the European Deterrence Initiative since 2018.

It is the primary armament and fire control system for the Infantry Carrier Vehicle – Dragoon (ICV-D) Strykers. All MCT-30s, and any remote weapon stations, bound for U.S. customers are manufactured in the Kongsberg Johnstown, PA facility leveraging a U.S. supply base located in over 30 states.