Category Archives: Ground Forces

Heavy Tactical Vehicle

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced on March 30, 2020 that it has been awarded delivery orders totaling $346.4 million from the U.S. Army Contracting Command – Warren to modernize vehicles in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve Heavy Tactical Vehicle (FHTV) fleets.

Oshkosh Defense Awarded $346.4 Million to Modernize Vehicles in the US Army and US Army Reserve FHTV Fleets

Under the delivery orders, Oshkosh will recapitalize Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT) and Palletized Load System (PLS) trucks as well as manufacture new PLS trailers.

The FHTV fleet is designed to accommodate many mission packages, allowing it to support multi-domain operations as the battlefield continues to evolve.

«Whether they’re hauling rocket launchers and missile defense systems, or transporting mission-critical equipment, the HEMTT and the PLS will continue to be an integral part of the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve heavy vehicle fleets for years to come», said Pat Williams, vice president and general manager of U.S. Army and Marine Corps Programs for Oshkosh Defense. «As the military pivots its focus to near-peer adversaries, they can be confident that the FHTV fleet will continue to serve as a key enabler for combat missions», Williams continued. «We look forward to supporting the Army’s modernization priorities now and well into the future».

Recapitalized vehicles are rebuilt with the latest technology and safety upgrades and quickly returned to field operations with the same warranty and life cycle cost advantages of a new vehicle. Since 1995, Oshkosh Defense has recapitalized over 13,700 HEMTTs and 3,400 PLS vehicles.

Self-propelled Howitzer

The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a $339 million contract modification for the production of 48 vehicle sets of M109A7 Self-propelled Howitzer (SPH) and its companion, the M992A3 Carrier, Ammunition, Tracked (CAT) vehicle, and includes post-delivery support and spare parts.

U.S. Army awards $339 million contract for M109A7 Self-Propelled Howitzers and M992A3 carrier, ammunition, tracked vehicles

The M109A7 SPH and M992A3 CAT vehicle set is a vital program enhancement for increased combat capability and sustainment of the Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs). The program offers enhanced indirect-fire artillery capabilities to the ABCTs with new technologies for power generation and survivability.

The new M109A7 addresses long-term readiness and modernization needs of the M109 self-propelled howitzer family through a critical redesign and production plan that leverages today’s most advanced technology. Its state-of-the-art «digital backbone» and power generation capability provides a more robust, survivable, and responsive indirect fire support capability for ABCT Soldiers. The M109A7 is a significant upgrade over the M109A6 as it enhances reliability, maintainability, performance, responsiveness, lethality, and crew survivability.

The initial contract was awarded in 2017 for low-rate production. This most recent order brings the total number of M109A7 and M992A3 vehicle sets to 204, with a total contract value of $1.5 billion. The award follows the Army’s decision, announced in February, to commence full-rate production of the vehicle.

Next-generation radar

Raytheon Company completed the first round of testing of the first partially populated radar antenna array for the U.S. Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS. The milestone comes less than five months after the U.S. Army selected Raytheon to build LTAMDS, a next-generation radar that will defeat advanced threats like hypersonic weapons.

Raytheon completes first round of testing for new Lower Tier Air & Missile Defense radar

«Concluding these initial tests brings Raytheon one step closer to putting LTAMDS into the hands of service members», said Tom Laliberty, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. «Raytheon and our supplier partners continue to make the right investments in people, technology and manufacturing capability to ensure we meet the U.S. Army’s Urgent Materiel Release».

The testing consisted of calibrating LTAMDS primary antenna array in an indoor, climate controlled test range, and evaluating its performance against simulated targets. With testing complete, the array is being mounted on a precision-machined enclosure for integration and further evaluation. It will then commence testing at an outdoor range against real-world targets.

LTAMDS consists of a primary antenna array on the front of the radar, and two secondary arrays on the rear. The radar antennas work together to enable operators to simultaneously detect and engage multiple threats from any direction, ensuring there are no blind spots on the battlefield. LTAMDS’ primary array is roughly the same size as the Patriot radar array, but provides more than twice Patriot’s performance. While it is designed for the U.S. Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense system, LTAMDS will also be able to preserve previous Patriot investments.

Raytheon is working closely with hundreds of suppliers across 42 states, including a core team playing a strategic role in building the LTAMDS solution. They are:

  • Crane Aerospace & Electronics;
  • Cummings Aerospace;
  • IERUS Technologies;
  • Kord Technologies;
  • Mercury Systems;
  • nLogic

Counter-drone weapon

The U.S. government has cleared Raytheon Company to sell the Coyote Block 2 counter-drone weapon to approved allied nations as part of the Howler counter-drone system.

Coyote Block 2 counter-drone weapon approved for international sales

In 2019, the U.S. Army deployed Howler, a combination of the Ku-band Radio Frequency System and Coyote Block 1, into the battlefield. The high-speed, highly maneuverable Block 2 is designed to use Raytheon’s KuRFS multi-mission radar as its fire control source.

«Delivering this enhanced version of the combat-proven Coyote strengthens our allies’ defenses against enemy drones», said Sam Deneke, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice president. «Block 2 is fast, effective and protects troops on the battlefield».

Raytheon recently completed developmental, operational and customer acceptance testing on the Coyote Block 2 variant. Powered by a jet engine, the new weapon can be launched from the ground to destroy drones and other aerial threats.

«The KuRFS radar gives soldiers unprecedented vision of individual drones», said Bryan Rosselli, vice president of Raytheon Mission Systems and Sensors. «The ability to quickly and clearly detect, track and discriminate the threat leads to positive identification, and makes the Coyote all the more precise in its ability to intercept drones».

Raytheon expects to achieve full-rate production of Coyote Block 2 in 2020.

Precision Strike Missile

Lockheed Martin successfully tested its next-generation long-range missile designed for the Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. All objectives were achieved in a flawless second performance following the missile’s inaugural flight last December.

Lockheed Martin successfully tested its next-generation long-range missile designed for the Army’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program March 10, 2020, demonstrating a flawless second performance following the missile’s inaugural flight in December 2019, shown here

«Today’s flight test further demonstrated the reliability, precision and critical capabilities Lockheed Martin is building into the PrSM», said Gaylia Campbell, vice president of Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «The missile performed exactly as expected and successfully engaged the target with pinpoint accuracy».

PrSM was fired from Lockheed Martin’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launcher and flew a nominal trajectory approximately 180 kilometers/112 miles to the target area, culminating in a highly accurate and lethal warhead event.

Test objectives included confirming the missile’s flight trajectory, range and accuracy from launch to warhead event, as well as warhead lethality, HIMARS launcher integration and overall missile performance.

«This second consecutive successful flight test of Lockheed Martin’s PrSM validates our missile technology and confidence that Lockheed Martin is uniquely positioned to deliver this important, cost-effective capability to meet our U.S. Army customer’s priorities», Campbell said.

The next-generation precision-strike, surface-to-surface weapon system will deliver enhanced capabilities for attacking, neutralizing, suppressing and destroying targets at depth on the battlefield and give field artillery units a new long-range capability while supporting brigade, division, corps, Army, theater, Joint and Coalition forces.

Sense on-the-move

March 11, 2020 – Northrop Grumman Corporation completed a successful government customer demonstration of the Highly Adaptable Multi-Mission Radar (HAMMR) system at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

Northrop Grumman successfully demonstrates on-the-move ground radar capability

During the successful live fire demonstration, Northrop Grumman used the HAMMR system, mounted on a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) as an Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) sensor to detect and track an unmanned aerial vehicle target.

«This first-of-its-kind demonstration validated the sense on-the-move capability in concept for the Department of Defense’s IAMD enterprise and proved that this capability can be developed and fielded to warfighters much sooner than anticipated», said Mike Meaney, vice president, land and maritime sensors, Northrop Grumman.

Northrop Grumman’s HAMMR is a short-to medium-range X-Band Three Dimensional (3D) radar that utilizes the proven Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) AN/APG-83 F-16 fighter radar in a ground-based, sense on-the-move role. HAMMR provides robust multi-mission 3D performance for air surveillance, weapon cueing and counter-fire target acquisition missions in either a 360-degree or sector-only staring mode. HAMMR delivers the unprecedented ability to provide force protection while operating on the move, significantly increasing warfighter survivability.

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 90,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.

Next-generation radar

Raytheon Company finished building the first radar antenna array for the U.S. Army’s Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS). Raytheon completed the work less than 120 days after the U.S. Army selected Raytheon to build LTAMDS, a next-generation radar that will defeat advanced threats like hypersonic weapons.

Raytheon’s LTAMDS design is a simultaneous 360-degree, Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar powered by the company’s Gallium Nitride (GaN) circuits, which strengthen the radar signal and enhance its sensitivity

«Raytheon’s employees and partners are focused on delivering the first LTAMDS by the Army’s Urgent Material Release date because we know how important expanded battlespace coverage and other capabilities are to the men and women in uniform», said Tom Laliberty, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. «Because we invested in cutting-edge radar technology and advanced manufacturing capability, we will meet the customer’s critical milestones and get LTAMDS in the field rapidly».

The newly built primary array, similar in size to the Patriot radar array, will provide more than twice its performance.  Following extensive testing, the radar array will be mounted on a precision-machined enclosure for integration and further evaluation. The enclosure utilizes advanced design and manufacturing techniques for accelerated manufacture to support the U.S. Army’s Urgent Materiel Release program.

Raytheon is working closely with hundreds of suppliers across 42 states, including a core team playing a strategic role in building the LTAMDS solution. They are:

  • Crane Aerospace & Electronics;
  • Cummings Aerospace;
  • IERUS Technologies;
  • Kord Technologies;
  • Mercury Systems;
  • nLogic.

Tactical Vehicles

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, announced on February 17, 2020, that the U.S. Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal has placed an order for 1,240 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) and associated kits.

Oshkosh Defense receives $407.3 million order for Joint Light Tactical Vehicles

This order includes JLTVs for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), Slovenia and Lithuania and kits for the U.S. Army, USMC, Slovenia and Lithuania.

«We work side-by-side with the Joint Program Office to give the military the necessary technological edge to compete with and defeat the most advanced adversaries», said George Mansfield, vice president and general manager of joint programs for Oshkosh Defense. «Without sacrificing mobility or transportability, the JLTV can accommodate over 100 mission package configurations, a true testament to its agility and modularity».

The Oshkosh JLTV is the only light tactical vehicle with the protection and extreme off-road mobility to maneuver with combat formations against great power adversaries. The vehicle’s digital architecture allows incorporation of advances in weapons, lasers, sensors, networking, and communications. It is designed to meet the requirements for the threats faced today and the decades to come.

Additionally, foreign interest in the highly capable JLTV platform continues to grow. The award includes orders for JLTVs to Slovenia and JLTVs to Lithuania through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process.

«We are proud of our vehicle and proud of this program», continued Mansfield. «The JLTV stands out as one of the few major programs delivering on its promises – it is on time, on budget, and delivering against all program requirements. Our mission is to enable the brave men and women of our Armed Forces and our allies to complete their missions and return home safely».

Armoured Vehicle

On 29 January 2020, Finland and Latvia signed a Technical Arrangement on launching a development programme for sustained army mobility enhancement. Finland’s Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen and Latvia’s Minister of Defence Artis Pabriks signed the document for the participating nations.

Finland and Latvia agreed on developing an armoured vehicle system – a Patria vehicle chassis platform chosen for the development in-progress

The cooperation programme aims to develop a common armoured wheeled vehicle system. In case this development leads to vehicle system procurement in the future, the resulting common system enhances mobility, cost-efficiency, interoperability and security of supply of the armies of the participating nations.

At this stage, this is cooperation between Finland and Latvia, but the following phases allow also other countries to join the cooperation programme. This sets an excellent example of deepening defence cooperation between EU member states, Defence Minister Kaikkonen said at the signing event.

With the Letter of Intent signed in December, Estonia together with Latvia and Finland has shown interests for acquiring armoured vehicles for their national armed forces. Based on national and multinational tests and evaluations, the vehicle chassis platform chosen for the development in-progress is a Finnish-made Patria 6×6 armoured wheeled vehicle chassis platform that meets the set capability requirements.

As the programme advances, public information on its progress will be released on a regular basis.

SPIKE LR missile

BAE Systems has successfully fired an integrated, long-range anti-tank guided missile from the CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) in a recent series of tests.

BAE Systems’ CV90 increases lethality by testing SPIKE LR anti-tank guided missile

This advancement further diversifies the CV90’s operational capabilities on the battlefield by enabling indirect fire at long distances or at air targets, boosting the vehicle’s lethality while increasing crew safety.

The testing, which took place in difficult arctic conditions, used a Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Spike-LR (long range) missile mounted on a BAE Systems Hägglunds’ CV90 to defeat a target at more than 2,000 metres/6,562 feet. The exercise marks the first time an integrated version of an anti-tank guided missile has been launched from the CV90. It also demonstrates the platform’s versatility to perform a wide range of missions, and shows the CV90 can easily adapt to new technologies for meeting current and future customer needs.

«This integrated anti-tank capability confirms that the CV90 is a true benchmark when it comes to expanding a family of multi-mission armoured fighting vehicles», said Dan Lindell, CV90 platform director at BAE Systems Hägglunds. «This new capability can alter the battlefield dynamic and is yet another example of how the CV90’s already superior mobility and survivability allows the warfighter to pack an even heavier punch in any terrain or weather conditions, and at any time on any battlefield».

The December testing took place in northern Sweden in below freezing temperatures with heavy snowfall and low visibility.

«We fully appreciate Rafael and their Spike team for working with us to demonstrate this important capability and look forward to continuing our collaboration to provide present and future customers with this powerful addition to the CV90’s lethality suite», Lindell said.

The long-range missile testing is yet another recent example of improved lethality on the CV90. BAE Systems is currently executing a Swedish government contract to provide a mortar variant of the CV90 called Mjölner that adds greater mobility to close indirect fire support.

More than 1,200 CV90s of numerous variants are in service with Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The vehicle has a combat-proven track record and is designed to accommodate future growth to meet evolving missions.