The U.S. Army awarded Raytheon Company a $191 million contract for Ku-band radio frequency radars. KuRFS, an advanced electronically scanned array system, fills an immediate U.S. Army operational need for a counter-unmanned aerial vehicle radar.
Already deployed, KuRFS delivers precision fire control as well as «sense and warn» capability for multiple missions including detection of rocket, artillery, mortar and swarming Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) threats.
«Seeing threats – like swarming drones – as soon as possible on the battlefield is essential to protecting critical assets and saving soldiers’ lives», said Andrew Hajek, senior director of tactical radars at Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. «KuRFS makes this possible by delivering a unique combination 360-degree situational awareness, precision and mobility».
KuRFS enables defense against multiple threat types through integration with the Land-Based Phalanx Weapon System (LPWS), .50-caliber/12.7-mm guns and 30-mm cannons. The radar also supports high-energy laser and the Coyote weapon system in both a ground mounted or vehicle mounted configuration.
Raytheon’ KuRFS is able to quickly address the urgent needs of the Army through a model of rapid-turn development and deployment. This reduces time to fielding, while providing enhanced flexibility to adapt to a quickly-changing threat environment in the drone space.
At the end of September, and for the first time, Rheinmetall took part in European Land Robot Trial (ELROB) with its unmanned multi-mission «Mission Master» vehicle. At Europe’s largest exhibition for military ground robotics, Rheinmetall’s Mission Master team entered the fray, taking on a number of competing teams.
Made by Rheinmetall Canada, the cargo version of this versatile vehicle turned in a particularly compelling performance in the «Mule» category.
In all, six teams took part in this competition category. Mules are essentially automated pack animals – autonomous transport vehicles capable of carrying heavy loads and equipment. They had to handle two scenarios.
The teams each had thirty minutes to cover a 1,400-meter-long route with their mule.
During the first run, Rheinmetall impressed the crowd with an impressive performance. Then, following the second, came the gratifying result; despite competing for the first time, the Rheinmetall Mission Master clearly dominated the contest, scoring 3,151 points, twice as many as the robotic vehicle that took second place (1,547 points), and way ahead of the one that came in third (167 points).
The cargo version of the Mission Master was exhibited to a large group of defence specialists for the first time at Eurosatory 2018. Rheinmetall developed this variant to reduce the combat load carried by troops in the field, contributing to faster movement and greater operational efficiency. Rheinmetall’s new robotic vehicle can operate in hazardous, difficult-to-reach terrain, in turn contributing to the survivability and protection of troops deployed in harm’s way.
Moreover, the Mission Master can be networked with advanced soldier systems such as Future Soldier – Expanded System, Gladius 2.0 or Argus. In Rheinmetall’s «System Infanterie», the Mission Master serves as a force multiplier for infantry sections or squads equipped with Rheinmetall’s Future Soldier – Expanded System technology. Fully networked with dismounted combat troops, it not only takes a weight not only off the soldiers’ shoulders, it also relieves the pressure on military leaders.
Characterized by extreme flexibility, the Rheinmetall Mission Master can be quickly configured for a multitude of different missions thanks to modular, easy-to-install build-ons. Its mission capabilities include logistics, surveillance, force protection, evacuation of wounded personnel, firefighting and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) reconnaissance. It can also serve as a radio relay station. Speed, scalable autonomy and proven mobility in all types of terrain make the Mission Master a strong and dependable comrade for small combat units.
With the procurement of Vydra 8×8 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) in line with the Long Term Defence Development Plan, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) will meet the operational requirements of the Slovak Armed Forces (SVK) to a full extent, whilst taking account of the vehicleʼs required ballistic protection level, firepower, mobility and swimming capability.
«The capabilities required for the vehicle have been verified and confirmed in several types of trials», said Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Daniel Zmeko. Should there be a requirement to increase the level of ballistic protection on the vehicle, he added, this solution is technically feasible. «If that is the case, our planners reckon with the vehicleʼs limited mobility in clearing water obstacles. This planning assumption is understandable, because today there is no such vehicle whose ballistic protection would be Level 4and above in a required configuration that could swim across water obstacles. The system of enhancing the ballistic protection of vehicles by fitting additional armour is a worldwide trend, one which improves the flexibility of the vehicle in terms of its operational use and saves resources markedly», he said. According to his own words, among the many crucial steps ahead is, above all, the vehicleʼs advanced anti-tank guided weapon system and fully interoperable communications and information system, including the ability to transfer classified information up to NATO Secret.
The aim of NATO defence planning is to harmonise national plans with NATO requirements. This means harmonising the requirements of SVK defence planners for the final shape of the SVK Armyʼs combat segment with NATOʼs requirement for a heavy mechanised brigade. Aligned with the 2030 Long-Term Defence Development Plan, the SVK Armyʼs combat segment is comprised of 7 battalions, i.e. 1 motorised battalion (equipped with 4×4 vehicles), 2 mechanised battalions (equipped with 8×8 IFVs), 3 heavy battalions (equipped with tracked vehicles), and 1 tank battalion.
As part of consultations with the NATO defence capability review team, we explained the order of sequence to achieve the final shape of the SVK Armyʼs combat segment and mechanised brigade according to NATO requirements. As part of Phase 1, 1 artillery unit will be complemented gradually and reequipped with the Zuzana 2 SpGH. The outdated BVP 1 vehicles will be replaced by the Vydra 8×8 IFV fleet. A tank battalion, equipped with the T-72 tanks after a partial upgrade and life extension programme, will have been stood up by 2024, with the acquisition of 4th generation tanks scheduled after 2025. As the BVP 2 fleet will be phased out, new advanced combat tracked vehicles will be fielded after 2024 in line with the Long-Term Defence Development Plan. The structure of the heavy mechanised brigade in terms of NATO requirements and other tasks arising out of NATO and EU commitments will be delivered flexibly, depending on the availability of military assets.
The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a contract modification to insert Gallium Nitride (GaN) into the AN/TPQ-53 (Q-53) radar as part of the full rate production configuration.
The Q-53 is the most modern radar in the U.S. Army inventory and has the flexible architecture to address aircraft, drone and other threats in the future. The transition to GaN will provide the Q-53 with additional power for capabilities including long-range counterfire target acquisition. GaN has the added benefit of increasing system reliability and reducing lifecycle ownership costs.
«Lockheed Martin is proud the Army is adding Q-53 to our family of fielded GaN based radars», said Rick Herodes, director of the Q-53 program at Lockheed Martin. «This modification takes advantage of our broad experience with radar production and next generation radar development experience coupled with Lockheed Martin’s continuous investment in GaN and other radar technologies. This update enables Q-53 mission growth for changing Army needs. We realize how critical it is to enhance the capabilities of the Q-53 so it can be responsive to the evolving operational demands and emerging threats our deployed troops face every day».
For more than 10 years, Lockheed Martin has used an open GaN foundry model leveraging relationships with commercial suppliers that utilize the power of the expansive telecommunications market. This process eliminates the cost of foundry operations, takes advantage of the telecommunications industry’s investment in GaN, enables competition and ultimately reduces costs.
The primary mission of the multi-mission Q-53 is to protect troops in combat by detecting, classifying, tracking and identifying the location of enemy indirect fire in either 360 or 90-degree modes. Mounted on a five-ton truck, the Q-53 can be rapidly deployed, automatically leveled then operated remotely or from a command vehicle with a laptop computer. The radar is software defined allowing for quick adjustment to address emerging Army capability needs for air surveillance and counter fire target acquisition.
The Q-53 has protected warfighters around the world since 2010.
Lockheed Martin currently produces multiple Q-53 radars annually. Work on the system is performed at Lockheed Martin facilities in New York, New Jersey and Florida.
Raytheon Company and the U.S. Army completed development of a revolutionary capability for cannon artillery by upgrading the combat-proven Excalibur precision-guided projectile. The Excalibur Shaped Trajectory, or EST, variant will enable soldiers to eliminate targets in hard-to-reach locations by selecting the projectile’s terminal or final phase attack angle.
With the Excalibur EST munition, soldiers can attack a bunker positioned on the opposite side of a mountain slope, target a multi-story building from the side rather than the top or defeat enemy assets positioned under highway overpasses.
«This new version of Excalibur represents a major leap forward in capability for this already advanced guided projectile», said Kim Ernzen, Raytheon Land Warfare Systems vice president. «With these enhancements, enemy forces can no longer hide from the long arm of Excalibur».
The EST variant was successfully demonstrated in August 2018 at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, and is now being deployed to U.S. forces. This capability will be made available to allies approved to procure the Excalibur projectile through foreign military sales.
With more than 1,400 rounds fired in combat, Excalibur is the revolutionary, extended-range, precision munition for the U.S. and international artillery forces. The weapon is fully qualified in multiple systems, including the M777, M109 series, M198, the Archer and PzH2000. It’s also been tested in the AS90, K9 and G6 howitzers, with plans to integrate it with other mobile artillery systems.
In addition to the Excalibur EST variant, Raytheon has developed Excalibur S, a laser-guided version of the projectile. The company has also developed a 5-inch sea-based variant, the Excalibur N5 munition. It’s expected to more than double the maximum range of conventional 5-inch munitions and will provide the same accuracy as the land-based version.
While traditional ammunition is either stopped or deflected when it hits water, Nammo’s 30-mm Swimmer (APFSDS-T MK 258 Mod 1) swims straight through water, thanks to a groundbreaking design on the supercavitating projectile developed in cooperation with the U.S. Navy. In this article, first published in the 2018 Nammo BulletIN, design engineer Jan Hasslid discusses the implications of this new technology.
25 years ago, Norway became one of the first European countries to acquire an infantry fighting vehicle with a 30-mm × 173 gun, the CV9030N. At the same time, Raufoss Technology AS, now a part of Nammo, negotiated a contract with the Norwegian Army to develop a new generation of 30-mm ammunition. Today, with 30-mm guns becoming more prominent than ever, the experience gained through this early work has allowed Nammo, through its Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) with General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS), to become one of the main providers of 30-mm ammunition for the U.S. Armed Forces. Following the recent signature of agreements with the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy, both services are now adopting Nammo’s 30-mm APFSDS-T MK 258 Mod 1, or «Swimmer», for use from a multitude of platforms, including the U.S. Army’s latest addition, the Stryker variant known as «Dragoon».
Ammunition used by vehicles generally falls into three categories – armor piercing (APFSDS), for use against other vehicles; High Explosive Incendiary (HEI), for use against lighter targets and aircraft and Target Practice (TP) rounds, that allow cost-effective training.
Nammo today offers ten different types of 30-mm × 173 ammunition across all three categories, ranging from plastic blank and reduced range anti-armor to multipurpose and explosive rounds, as well as dedicated kinetic energy penetrators. The Swimmer round falls into the category of sub-caliber kinetic energy penetrators. These can most easily be described as arrows made out of very heavy materials that use the force of the impact rather than explosives to punch through armor. Traveling at speeds of more than 1 km per second, the energy generated by the impact melts the armor of the vehicle into a fluid and the arrow «swims» through the armored side of the vehicle. In the case of the Swimmer, the force of the arrow is sufficient to defeat anything except main battle tanks.
Nammo’s penetrators, both for vehicles and other types of armor piercing ammunition, are made out of a super tough tungsten alloy, also known as wolfram. More than two times as heavy as steel, it has the second highest melting point of any element, making it ideal for use in armor piercing ammunition. For some ammunition types, including the 25-mm APEX for the F-35, tungsten is mixed with carbon, creating what is known as tungsten carbide. This makes the penetrators harder, but also more brittle, allowing them to fragment once they have penetrated the armor, causing added damage inside the target.
What makes the Swimmer unique, however, is the combination of powerful armor penetration and its ability to swim straight through water. This effect has until now been considered impossible to achieve by ammunition fired from air through water. As demonstrated by a number of popular science TV programs, traditional ammunition is either stopped or deflected when it hits water. In a worst-case scenario, a projectile could hit the surface, bounce off and hit something else. Thanks to the design effort for the kinetic energy penetrator originally developed for the Norwegian Army, and perfected by Nammo in combination with U.S. Navy supercavitation concepts, the Swimmer avoids the ricochet in water problem through the use of a supercavitation nose design. This means that the projectile creates a bubble of steam around itself big enough to pass through, substantially reducing the friction that stops traditional ammunition. This enables the Swimmer to be used in defense of either ships or coastal areas against submerged and surface mines, small underwater vehicles, torpedoes and even small fast attack crafts that might be concealed by waves. This is valuable not only for naval vessels, but also for land vehicles defending harbors, bridges or other key locations.
Going forward, Nammo expects that most armored vehicles armed with medium caliber guns such as the 30-mm will carry one armor piercing round, and one multirole round capable of acting as either a traditional high-explosive or an airburst round. With the Swimmer established as a leading armor piercing round, Nammo is now turning its attention towards developing a new type of programmable 30-mm ammunition that can be used against the kind of targets where the Swimmer is less effective. Based on the same technology as the 40-mm grenades that have been demonstrated against drones, this would allow fighting vehicles to program their ammunition to explode either in the air, or at a specific point inside a target. This would allow future combat vehicles to address the full range with only two ammunition types, and hence be ready for any mission, at any time.
Testing the Swimmer, Nammo’s Supercavitating Ammunition
Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, debuted the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) A2 variant, as well as showcase multiple Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV) at the 2018 AUSA Conference. The vehicles were on display at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. from Monday, October 8th through Wednesday, October 10th, 2018.
The Oshkosh FMTV A2 was on display for the first time at AUSA 2018. Oshkosh was awarded the FMTV A2 contract in February 2018, following the Army’s competitive request for proposal (RFP) for an upgraded platform with improved payload, underbody protection, ride quality, mobility, engine power, electronics, diagnostics, and safety enhancements.
«Oshkosh Defense is proud to debut the FMTV A2 at AUSA 2018. We took a great truck and made it even better with greater force protection, improved payload, a smoother ride, and better mobility», said John Bryant, President of Oshkosh Defense and Executive Vice President of Oshkosh Corporation. «We are honored that the U.S. Army selected Oshkosh as the winner of the FMTV A2 production contract earlier this year».
The FMTV A2 fleet of vehicles will be comprised of 16 models, allowing it to perform a wide range of duties from supporting combat missions, to relief efforts, to logistics and supply operations.
In addition to the FMTV A2, three fully integrated JLTVs was also found on the AUSA show floor. The JLTV on display in the Oshkosh Defense booth was outfitted with the Kongsberg Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) with the Javelin Integration Kit (JIK) and .50 Caliber/12.7-mm Machine Gun.
A second JLTV was integrated with the Kongsberg PROTECTOR II Remote Weapon System (RWS) with a XM914 Lightweight 30-mm Cannon, the JIK, and a 7.62 coax machine gun and was on display in the Kongsberg booth #239. The third JLTV on display was in the IMI Systems booth #3125 featuring the Iron Fist Active Protection System (APS).
«Oshkosh has an exciting few months coming up with the JLTV program», Bryant continued. «First, we expect a Full Rate Production (FRP) decision in early FY19. At that time, we will substantially ramp up our JLTV production. Following the FRP decision, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps will begin fielding JLTVs. We look forward to getting these vehicles into the hands of our service members».
Oshkosh Defense leadership was available in booth #839 to discuss the Oshkosh JLTV and FMTV A2 along with the company’s full portfolio of vehicles, technologies, integration capabilities and aftermarket solutions.
Raytheon Company completed a significant milestone in the development of its long-range DeepStrike missile to meet the U.S. Army’s Precision Strike Missile, or PrSM, requirement. The company has integrated its new launch pod missile container into the Army’s M142 HIMARS and M270 MLRS launchers.
The launch pod missile container integration took place at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in July. During the integration, Raytheon technicians worked side-by-side with soldiers and Marines on operational launchers to ensure proper fit and functionality.
«Raytheon is responding to the U.S. Army’s desire to accelerate its PrSM program», said Doctor Thomas Bussing, Raytheon Advanced Missile Systems vice president. «We are on a fast track to deliver an advanced surface-to-surface missile that exceeds the Army’s requirements by doubling the firepower while reducing the cost».
Featuring an innovative, two-in-the-pod design and an advanced guidance system, Raytheon’s new long-range precision strike missile will fly farther, faster and pack more punch than the current weapon, which is approaching the end of its service life.
As the next-generation surface-to-surface weapon for the Army, the DeepStrike missile will defeat fixed land targets 60-499 kilometers away, improve lethality and responsiveness compared to current systems, and restore the Army’s capability to overmatch the threat.
Double the combat power with Raytheon’s DeepStrike missile system
Raytheon Company and Rheinmetall Defence have joined forces to meet the U.S. Army’s requirement for the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle-Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (NGCV) program. The global industry team will offer the new Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) paired with Raytheon weapons, sensors and system integration expertise to provide the Army with an advanced, modular, survivable and lethal solution with unmatched growth potential.
Scheduled for fielding in 2026, the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle will be optimized for urban combat and rural terrain. The Army has named the NGCV as a top modernization priority supported under the service’s new Futures Command structure.
«We fully understand the Army’s need to quickly modernize its aging family of combat vehicles. Our team offers a fresh, innovative approach, not business as usual», said Doctor Taylor W. Lawrence, Raytheon Missile Systems president. «Raytheon will equip the new Lynx with the world’s most advanced technology to deliver a modern fighting vehicle that will keep U.S. soldiers far ahead of battlefield threats for decades to come».
Raytheon technology earmarked for the Lynx could include advanced variants of Raytheon weapons, next-generation thermal sights, the Coyote unmanned aircraft system and the company’s Active Protection System. Like those systems, the vehicle will be made in America.
Rheinmetall unveiled the latest version of the Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle earlier this year. The new, tracked, armored vehicle is designed to address the critical challenges of the future battlefield, with a focus on growth capacity and lower life-cycle costs.
The Lynx IFV will provide the Army a next-generation lethal, powerful, lifesaving and adaptable fighting vehicle that represents true leap ahead capability compared to legacy vehicles. The Lynx can also be adapted to enable optional manning features, such as remote operation of the vehicle and Lance turret.
«Rheinmetall and Raytheon have worked together successfully for many years on numerous programs», said Ben Hudson, global head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems division. «We are once again combining the best of German and American engineering to provide the U.S. Army with a step change in capability, giving soldiers the overmatch advantage, they expect and deserve. Production of the Lynx in the U.S. will enable additional development and sustainment of the world-class American defense industrial base».
The NGCV is expected to replace the Bradley fighting vehicle.
Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, demonstrated three variants of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) at Modern Day Marine Expo 2018. The vehicles were on display at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia from Tuesday, September 25th through Thursday, September 27th.
The 4-door JLTV was outfitted with the Kongsberg Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) with the Javelin Integration Kit (JIK) and .50/12.7-mm Caliber Machine Gun. The 2-door variant housed the Boeing Compact Laser Weapon System (CLWS) and Kongsberg CROWS Low-Profile Remote Weapon Station (RWS) with a .50/12.7-mm Caliber Machine Gun. A third JLTV was on display in the Kongsberg booth #2825, integrated with a Kongsberg PROTECTOR II RWS with XM914 Lightweight 30-mm Cannon, JIK, and 7.62-мм coax machine gun.
«The JLTV, which is scheduled to be fielded with Marines in 2019, will provide the force with capabilities it’s never seen before in a light tactical vehicle. It’s light, mobile, protected, and flexible enough to accept any combination of weapons systems necessary for each mission», said George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs, Oshkosh Defense. «We are incredibly excited to see this vehicle fielded and in the hands of our Marines».
According to the Marine Corps, fielding for the JLTV will begin in spring 2019. In all, the Army plans to purchase 49,000 JLTVs and the Marine Corps will purchase 9,091.
Oshkosh Defense leadership was available at Modern Day Marine in booth #2403 to discuss the JLTV, and the company’s full portfolio of leading tactical wheeled vehicles, technologies, and integration capabilities.