Category Archives: Ground Forces

Ukraine
is restarting IFV

Ukraine has renewed development of heavy infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) based on the T-64 Main Battle Tank (MBT), Ukroboronprom has announced January 13. The Kharkov Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau had previously created prototypes of a new IFV based on the T-64 but work is understood to have ceased some years ago. Now the firm has resumed development of the heavy IFV in order to ready the designs for serial production. According to Ukroboronprom, this work could be completed in time to allow for mass production to begin before the end of the year.

BMP-64 is designed and produced on the basis of T-64 Tank, has cannon proof armor and forward located engine transmission compartment, the bottom of which contains additional anti-mine protection
BMP-64 is designed and produced on the basis of T-64 Tank, has cannon proof armor and forward located engine transmission compartment, the bottom of which contains additional anti-mine protection

The heavy IFV is based on a heavily modified T-64 chassis and hull with its turret removed and the upper portion of the hull significantly raised in order to increase its internal volume and allow for the relocation of the engine forward. These changes allow the BMP-64 IFV, known variously as the BMP-64, BMT-64 and BMPT-64, to accommodate 10-12 dismounts in the rear of the vehicle as well as a crew of three.

Instead of the 125-mm armed main turret of the T-64, a new IFV turret has been added to the vehicle. Boasting an impressive amount of firepower, the original prototype features a turret armed with a ZTM-1 30-mm automatic cannon and a 7.62-mm machine gun. Two anti-tank missiles are mounted on the left-hand side of the turret, while two banks of three grenade launchers are attached to the front of the turret. In addition, the commander’s hatch on the roof of the turret features a cupola armed with a twin GSh-23 mm cannon and a 30-mm automatic grenade launcher.

Vehicle can be subsumed into the MRAP category (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected), so as such with the enhanced sustaining power to countermining and protection from ambushing
Vehicle can be subsumed into the MRAP category (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected), so as such with the enhanced sustaining power to countermining and protection from ambushing

The T-64 IFVs armour protection has also been increased with the incorporation of Nozh (Knife) advanced dynamic protection system (Explosive Reactive Armour – ERA), although a Defensive Aid Suite (DAS) was not known to have been installed on the original prototype.

According to Ukroboronprom, part of the resumption of development of the vehicle will include efforts with specialists from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to improve the design of the T-64 IFV. This will include improvements to the vehicle’s weapon systems and the installation of «more modern dynamic protection». The latter possibly refers to the Zaslon hard-kill active protection system, which has previously been installed on some T-64BM Bulat MBTs.

The distance fire control, TV sight with self-sufficient stabilizer, cameras of wide and narrow range of vision, thermal camera, and laser rangefinder are also provided
The distance fire control, TV sight with self-sufficient stabilizer, cameras of wide and narrow range of vision, thermal camera, and laser rangefinder are also provided

According to Nicholas de Larrinaga, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, the Ukrainian military’s principal IFV is the ageing BMP-2, which offers protection only against small arms fire – and can be easily penetrated by shaped-charges, cannon fire, or even armour-piercing heavy machine gun fire. As a result, Ukrainian BMP-2s are understood to have been lost in numbers greater than any other vehicle type in Ukrainian service. While Ukrainian T-64 MBTs have also suffered a high loss rate, the additional armoured protection that a heavy IFV could offer would no doubt be welcomed by Ukrainian infantry and National Guardsmen.

The T-64-based IFV is understood to weigh in at around 34.5 tonnes, making it well over double the weight of the 14.3 tonnes BMP-2 and more akin to the 32.7 tonnes weight of the U.S. Army’s Bradley M2A3 IFV.

Driver is equipped with TV surveillance scope
Driver is equipped with TV surveillance scope

Converting MBT hulls into IFVs is not a new concept, with Israel in particular well known for converting first Centurion tank hulls, and now Merkava tank hulls into heavy IFVs – due to their utility in urban warfare, where speed is less relevant and all-round protection is key. The Ukrainian T-64 IFV is, however, dwarfed by the Merkava-derived Namer IFV, which weighs 62 tonnes.

Replace the Rapiere

It is said in the Jane’s Defence Weekly that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has ordered a new ground based Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system from MBDA.

With an expected operational range of at least 25 km (trials are understood to have shown a capability to travel 60 km) and a maximum missile speed of Mach 3.0, CAMM significantly outperforms the 8 km range and Mach 2.5 top speed of the Rapier missile
With an expected operational range of at least 25 km (trials are understood to have shown a capability to travel 60 km) and a maximum missile speed of Mach 3.0, CAMM significantly outperforms the 8 km range and Mach 2.5 top speed of the Rapier missile

Known as the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS) Land, the new SAM system will eventually replace the British Army’s Rapier Field Standard C (FSC) short-range SAM systems. Speaking to IHS Jane’s on 15 January, a MoD spokesperson confirmed that a development and manufacture phase contract had been awarded to MBDA for the programme. An MBDA spokesperson confirmed to IHS Jane’s that it had received the contract in December 2014. The contract is valued at GBP228 million ($348 million).

According to the MoD FLAAD Land should be ready for entry into service at «the end of the decade». This should allow for a smooth change over with the retirement of the Rapier, scheduled to begin in 2020.

During trials of the CAMM missile a truck based launcher was used capable of carrying 12 missiles - comparing favourably to the 8 missiles on a Rapier fire unit
During trials of the CAMM missile a truck based launcher was used capable of carrying 12 missiles – comparing favourably to the 8 missiles on a Rapier fire unit

The quantity of FLAADS Land systems included in the contract is unclear, although the Royal Artillery (RA) currently operates five batteries of Rapier FSC missiles and these are likely to be replaced broadly on a like-for-like basis. The RA also deploys the very-short range Thales Starstreak High Velocity Missile (HVM).

FLAADS Land uses the MBDA Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) as its interceptor. CAMM is also under order for the Royal Navy’s Sea Ceptor primary-air defence system that will equip the services Type 23 frigates and future Type 26 Global Combat Ship.

CAMM is originally derived from the MBDA Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), while both Sea Ceptor and FLAADS Land also sharing a common command and control (C2) system.

 

CAMM for future Land operations

As part of a land based weapon system, CAMM will provide future land forces with an easily transportable and rapidly deployable local area air defence capability, which can operate as a stand-alone unit or be integrated within a future battlespace network. If 3rd party targeting information is available via the battlespace network then CAMM is capable of engaging Non Line of Sight (NLOS) targets. This NLOS feature is particularly attractive for engaging concealed Attack Helicopters and low-flying terrain-following cruise missiles.

When it enters service FLAADS Land will offer a significant improvement in capability over the RA's existing Rapier SAM systems
When it enters service FLAADS Land will offer a significant improvement in capability over the RA’s existing Rapier SAM systems

The small footprint of a CAMM launch site and the low-signature of a CAMM missile launch increases survivability of air defence assets. CAMM is logistically easy to manage with CAMM canisters slotting straight into launcher frames, with no need for manhandling of actual missiles.

The CAMM missile in its canister is exactly the same whether used on a ship or by a land unit, opening the opportunity for common missile stockpiles across Navies and Armies in the future.

The FLAADS Land system will provide the British Army with a world leading Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) system that will be one of the most advanced and capable in its class, providing operational, logistical and cost benefits.

Besides the sheer improvement in interceptor performance, the new system should offer improved C2 and networked performance
Besides the sheer improvement in interceptor performance, the new system should offer improved C2 and networked performance

 

CAMM as part of Sea Ceptor for future Naval operations

As part of the Sea Ceptor weapon system, CAMM provides a 360° air defence capability for naval forces out to ranges greater than 25km against the current and future air threat. Requiring no dedicated tracker/illuminator radars, CAMM can be cured by the ship’s own standard surveillance radar to provide high levels of protection against multiple simultaneous targets in Open Ocean and littoral environments. It can also be used against surface targets.

CAMM launch canisters are compatible with SYLVER and Mark-41 family launch silos with CAMM utilizing features such as folding missile fins to maximize launch canister packing density. The introduction of «soft launch» techniques reduces system mass and allows for more flexibility in terms of installation positions on a ship.

Based on an advanced active RF seeker, CAMM’s modular design allows the use of alternative seeker and guidance options (such as Imaging Infra-Red); the missile offers true all weather capability.

Based on an advanced active RF seeker, CAMM’s modular design allows the use of alternative seeker and guidance options (such as Imaging Infra-Red)
Based on an advanced active RF seeker, CAMM’s modular design allows the use of alternative seeker and guidance options (such as Imaging Infra-Red)

The Sea Ceptor weapon system incorporates a 2-way data-link to CAMM missiles in flight and is intended for vessels of corvette size or larger, for either new ships or as a retrofit. In September 2013, the UK’s Royal Navy contracted with MBDA for the manufacture of the Sea Ceptor system for its frigate fleet. The weapon system is designed to be flexible enough for the ‘cross-decking’ of weapon equipment straight onto the Royal Navy’s planned Type 26 class of ships when they replace the Type 23 class in the future.

On May 21st 2014, the New Zealand MoD signed a contract for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN) for the Local Area Air Defence (LAAD) system with MBDA. The CAMM missile and its associated ship’s equipment will be installed on the RNZN frigates HMNZ Te Kaha and Te Mana as part of the ANZAC Frigate Systems Upgrade project.

 

CAMM for future Air operations

The same CAMM missile design for Navies and Armies is easily adaptable by MBDA for Air Force use on Fast Jets. With MBDA’s experience from ASRAAM and Meteor ensuring world class performance will be achieved. MBDA has been working with the MoD on assessing how CAMM technology could be used to sustain or enhance the Royal Air Force’s ASRAAM capability in the future.

 

Missile characteristics

Weight:                                             99 kg

Length:                                              3.2 m

Diameter:                                        0.16 m

Maximum Range:                        25 km

Minimum Range:                         <1 km

Speed:                                                >2.5 M

 

 

Without tender

The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 7 January that it will procure 20 Steyr Pandur II 8×8 wheeled armoured vehicles to fulfil an Army of the Czech Republic (ACR) requirement for staff command and communications platforms.

The PANDUR is a family of wheeled armored vehicles offering a common platform for various armament and equipment
The PANDUR is a family of wheeled armored vehicles offering a common platform for various armament and equipment

The MoD said it would order the vehicles directly from General Dynamics European Land Systems – Steyr (GDELS-Steyr) without tender and did not disclose a price for the procurement. According to Jiri Kominek, Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter, the 20 vehicles are to be ordered in July when funding becomes available from the defence budget. «The vehicle should not differ from Pandur vehicles already in service with the army, not only in visual appearance, but also in terms of fulfilling tactical-technical requirements», said the chief of general staff of the Army of the Czech Republic General Petr Pavel.

The ACR currently operates a fleet of 107 Pandur II armoured vehicles in several configurations including infantry fighting vehicle, armoured personnel carrier, and armoured ambulance. Gen Pavel said the MoD will order unequipped «bare» hulls from GDELS-Steyr and that an indigenous supplier will be selected to provide and integrate the necessary onboard computer hardware and communications systems. «We can more effectively co-operate with an indigenous supplier during the integration process and have greater influence over the type of systems installed which would not be possible with a foreign supplier», said Gen Pavel.

The Czech Republic plans to order 20 Pandur II (8x8) command vehicles in July from GDELS-Steyr
The Czech Republic plans to order 20 Pandur II (8×8) command vehicles in July from GDELS-Steyr

 

Product Features

Crew:                                        1 + 2 + 4

Combat weight:                  24,000 kg

Protection:                            Modular, scalable ballistic/Mine/IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) protection solutions in accordance with international/costumer specific standards; Signature reduction

Main Armament:               Steyr SP30 two-person turret with 30-mm automatic canon, fully stabilized, 7.62-mm auxiliary gun at commander’s hatch, 76-mm smoke grenade launchers, digital ballistic computer, automatic target tracking, full manual back up, day sight laser range finder, TI (Thermal Image) for gunner, day sight, remote TI display for commander

Length:                                    7.36 m

Width:                                      2.67 m

Height (hull top):                2.09 m

Ground clearance:             0.45 m

Track:                                         2.20 m

Wheelbase:                             1.53/1.40/1.40 m

Angle of approach:              41º

Angle of departure:             38º

Maximum speed:                   105 km/h

Fording:                                      1.5 m

Gradient:                                    70%

Side slope:                                  40%

Trench crossing:                      2.2 m

Vertical obstacle:                    0.6 m

Turning radius:                          9 m

8x8 configuration with logistic commonality
8×8 configuration with logistic commonality

Engine:                                            6-cylinder in-line Diesel, turbo­charged and intercooled developing 335 kW, EURO III compliant

Transmission:                              Electronically controlled automatic transmission with retarder, 6 forward gears, 1 reverse gear

Transfer case:                              2-speed

Longitudinal differential:      1

Axle differentials:                      4

Wheel drives:                               8

Steering:                      Power-assisted recirculating ball steering, first and second axle steered

Tires:                              All terrain heavy duty tires with run flat elements

Brakes

Main:                    Hydraulic dual-circuit disk brakes on each wheel

Parking:              Spring-loaded disk brake on shaft in transfer case

Suspension

1st and 2nd axle:        Independent; upper longitudinal control arm, lower transverse control arm; coil springs and hollow rubber springs

3rd and 4th axle:        Independent; torsion bars; hollow rubber springs

Electrical system:                24 V

Versatile armament and equipment
Versatile armament and equipment

Black Panther

According to Jon Grevatt, IHS Jane’s Defence Industry correspondent, South Korean company Hyundai Rotem signed on 29 December a contract to supply an unspecified number of K2 (Black Panther) Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA).

Main Battle Tank of the Republic of Korea Army
Main Battle Tank of the Republic of Korea Army

The company said that the contract – signed with the government’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration – is worth $820 million and features the supply of a first batch of K2 MBTs fitted with indigenously produced engines and transmission systems.

Hyundai Rotem did not reveal the number of tanks covered by the new contract, although IHS Jane’s understands it features the supply of 100 K2 units. Already in production, these tanks are scheduled to be delivered to the RoKA between the latter half of 2015 and December 2017.

The K2 MBT (Black Panther) is a tank based around a brand-new concept with combat efficiency maximized through digital-based ergonomic designs suited for the 21st century technical combat environment. It features dramatically strengthened firepower due to an extended turret gun and new shells. In addition, it features high mobility and maneuverability through a small powerpack and its advanced suspension and navigation system.

The survivability of the K2 MBT has been reinforced with armored plates made of new material and an active protection system, while its 3D battlefield control capability has been enhanced with the Vetronics system and the combat command and control system. Furthermore, the K2 MBT incorporates advanced intellectualization of its various control systems, most notably including its newest fire control system.

Main gun: 120 mm (55 Caliber)
Main gun: 120 mm (55 Caliber)

 

Specifications

Year of Development:                                      2014

Crew:                                                                         3

Weight:                                                                     55 tonnes

Mobility

Engine:                                                             1,500 hp/1119 kW, Diesel

Underwater fording:                               4.1 m

Attitude Control:                                      Roll/Pitch/Height

Navigation:                                                   GPS/INS

BMS connected with the C4I

Firepower

Main gun:                                                      120 mm (55 Caliber)

Ammo Loading:                                          Automatic

Fire control:                                               Auto Target Detection & Tracking

K2 MBT (Black Panther)
K2 MBT (Black Panther)

The first line of defence

Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace and the Polish Ministry of National Defence have signed a contract worth $173.5 million for a second battalion-sized Nadbrzezny Dywizjon Rakietowy (NDR) unit of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) Coastal Defence System, reported Doug Richardson, IHS Jane’s Missiles & Rockets correspondent.

A standard NASAMS unit has a modular design comprising a command post FDC, an active 3D radar AN/MPQ64F1 Sentinel, a passive electro-optic and infra-red sensor and a number of missile canister launchers with AMRAAM missiles
A standard NASAMS unit has a modular design comprising a command post FDC, an active 3D radar AN/MPQ64F1 Sentinel, a passive electro-optic and infra-red sensor and a number of missile canister launchers with AMRAAM missiles

NSM was originally developed as a shipboard system for the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNN), and entered service on Norway’s new Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates and Skjold-class corvettes in 2012. An earlier contract signed by Poland in 2008 covered the 6 launchers and 12 missiles needed to arm the first NDR, and deliveries started in mid-2013. This order made Poland the first export customer for the shore-based version. An additional 38 missiles and associated logistics equipment were ordered in December 2008.

A second NDR had always been planned, but in April 2014, Poland decided to speed its procurement as part of the country’s reaction to the current crisis in Ukraine.

The coast-defence variant uses command and weapon control system similar to that of the Kongsberg/Raytheon Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), while its radar system and communications system are provided by Polish subcontractors, as are the trucks used to carry the missile launchers.

The new contract will also cover the setting-up of a capability to maintain the NSM system in Poland. This will involve the Polish company Wojskowe Zaklady Elektroniczne (WZE). Kongsberg also plans to expand its co-operation with Polish industry to cover what Kongsberg president Harald Ånnestad described as «a broader technological arena».

 

Characteristics:

  • Open architecture provides growth potential;
  • Single and multiple engagement capability;
  • Unprecedented fire capability;
  • Beyond visual range capability with active seeker missile;
  • Strategic and high mobility;
  • Low manpower requirements;
  • Network Centric Warfare principles of operation;
  • High survivability against electronic countermeasures;
  • Look down/shoot down capability;
  • High value asset defense, area and army defense, vital point and air base defense.
The radar and launcher elements can be deployed over a large area separated by up to 25 kilometres, providing an extended coverage with few elements
The radar and launcher elements can be deployed over a large area separated by up to 25 kilometres, providing an extended coverage with few elements

 

Integration of sensors and effectors

The proven, fielded, reliable and highly capable NASAMS system contains a BMC4I (Battle Management, Command, Control, Computers, Communications, and Intelligence) Air Defense capability through the integration of sensors and launchers. It employs the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AIM-120) as the primary weapon. Targets are detected and tracked by a high-resolution, 3D pencil beam radar. Multiple of these radars and the associated Fire Distribution Centres (FDCs) are netted together via radio data links, creating a real-time recognized air picture.

NASAMS can fire on target data provided by external sensors. Advanced emission control features of the radars minimize the risk of revealing the NASAMS unit’s own position. The FDC automatically performs track correlation, identification, jam strobe triangulation, threat evaluation and weapon assignment. The AMRAAM missiles used within NASAMS are identical to those used on fighter aircraft, yielding considerable rationalization returns for the user.

 

NASAMS in operation

The Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) was the first customer to introduce the NASAMS program. Because of their success during NATO live flying exercises, NASAMS batteries are taken extremely serious by NATO aircrew. From 2004, NASAMS is earmarked by the Norwegian armed forces to be deployed in support of international crisis management operations. NASAMS is under continuous development and every new program is adapted to the latest available technology. Currently, NASAMS is in use in 6 different nations.

NASAMS uses the Raytheon AMRAAM missile, identical to the AMRAAMs used on fighter aircraft
NASAMS uses the Raytheon AMRAAM missile, identical to the AMRAAMs used on fighter aircraft

 

NASAMS features

Status of NASAMS:                            In production and in operational use

NASAMS Tests & tactical firings:             162 (90,5 % success)

AMRAAM Dual use (identical missile): Fighter Aircraft and NASAMS

AMRAAM combat kills:                                  >9

Target sets:                                                            Aircraft, UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), helicopters, cruise missiles, UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles)

NASAMS Architecture:                                  Open SW & HW architecture, COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf software), Network Centric

Simultaneous multiple engagements: 72

Engagement modes:                                      Active and/or Passive

Mission of Reference:                                   >70,000 hours in the U.S.(continuous operations (24/7), ongoing)

Transportability:                        Air (C-130 and helicopter), Sea and Land

Data links (implemented and in use):  Link 16, JRE, Link 11, Link 11B, LLAPI, ATDL-1 (Army Tactical Data Link – 1)

Mission Planning Tool:                              Embedded and stand-alone (PC)

NASAMS User nations:                                 6

Air Defence C2 (FDC) User nations:   10

AMRAAM User nations:                             35

 

Proven, Reliable, Durable

Over the last 30 years, Beretta USA Corporation has delivered over 600,000 M9 pistols (the sidearm of the U.S. Armed Forces) to the Department of Defense (DoD), all of which have been made in the U.S.A. by an American Workforce. On 10 December 2014 Beretta USA submitted to the U.S. Army the new pistol M9 ECP (Engineering Change Proposal) that identifies major improvements to the M9 to increase the operational effectiveness and operational suitability of the weapon. These improvements consist of design and material changes resulting in increased modularity, reliability, durability, and ergonomics.

Beretta M9A3
Beretta M9A3

Beretta USA has also identified a solution to upgrade the existing M9 to an M9A2, nearly replicating the M9A3. The M9A3 features a thin grip with a removable, modular wrap-around grip, MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail, convertible safety/decocker lever to decocker-only lever, removable front and rear tritium sights, extended and threaded barrel for suppressor use, 17-round sand resistant magazine, and numerous improved small components to increase durability and ergonomics, all in an earth tone finish.

The M9A3:

  • requires no new training for users;
  • is compatible with numerous, already-in-service accessories and training systems;
  • minimally impacts the current Integrated Logistics Support Plan (ILSP) for the M9;
  • is more reliable, capable, and durable than the M9;
  • depending on quantities, will cost less than the current M9.

New, enhanced 9 mm ammunition is available on the market today. This ammunition, along with any developmental 9 mm ammunition, should be evaluated for use with the M9A3. In the U.S. Army’s own survey of M9 users, 74% offered recommendations for improvements to the pistol – improvements that are available on the M9A3 today. Small arms program representatives of the U.S. Army have identified and verbalized several concerns regarding ergonomics and performance aspects of the M9; Beretta USA has listened and delivered the M9A3.

The improvements include design and material enhancements resulting in increased modularity, reliability, durability, and ergonomics
The improvements include design and material enhancements resulting in increased modularity, reliability, durability, and ergonomics

 

Specifications

Caliber:                               9 mm Luger (9×19 mm Parabellum)

System of operation:  Short recoil, semiautomic, double/single action

Magazine capacity:     17 rounds standard. Optional 15, 20 and 30 round magazines available

Magazine:                          Sand-resistant magazine with PVD coating

Front sight:                       Blade, dovetailed to slide, tritium dot

Rear sight:                         Notched bar, dovetailed to slide, tritium 2-dot. Adjustable for windage

Safety features:             Decocking/safety lever, automatic firing pin block, loaded chamber indicator, external hammer, half-cock notch, double action first trigger pull (Type F configuration)

Locking system:            Tilting locking block, «3rd Gen» design for increased service life

External hammer:       Provides the energy to the firing pin, virtually eliminating the possibility of misfires due to light primer strikes, even in adverse conditions. Also provides an immediate visual and tactile indicator as to the cocked/uncocked status of the pistol

Finish:                                Flat Dark Earth. CerakoteTM, anodizing, Bruniton, black oxide, PVD. Advanced coatings provide high lubricity, corrosion resistance and excellent wear resistance. Reduced visual and IR signature. Chrome lined bore and chamber

Accessory rail:             Three slot MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail

Barrel thread:              1/2″ X 28 standard thread on extended barrel, with thread protector

Accessories:                  Wrap-around backstrap grip unit for larger handed shooters

Grip/frame:                  «Vertec» style smaller gripped frame with straight backstrap and thin plastic grips

Additional features: «Universal» slide design to allow Armorer conversion to «G» decocker-only operation using Conversion Kit. «Over-center» safety lever to prevent inadvertent engagement of lever. Oversize beveled magazine well

Overall height:            5.4 in/13.7 cm

Overall width:             1.5 in/3.8 cm (1.3 in/3.3 cm at grips)

Overall length:            8.7 in/22 cm

Barrel length:              5.1 in/13 cm

Sight radius:                 6.3 in/16 cm

Weight unloaded:     33.3 oz/944 g

M9A3 is compatible with numerous, already-in-service accessories
M9A3 is compatible with numerous, already-in-service accessories

 

The Vietnam Era ended

BAE Systems was awarded a contract worth up to $1.2 billion from the U.S. Army for the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) and Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV). The program aims to provide the U.S. Army with a highly survivable and mobile fleet of vehicles that addresses a critical need to replace the Vietnam-era M113s.

Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV)
Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV)

«This award represents a significant milestone for the United States Army and BAE Systems», said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of Combat Vehicles at BAE Systems. «The Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle will provide a substantial upgrade over the Army’s current personnel carrier fleet, increasing the service’s survivability, force protection, and mobility while providing for future growth potential. It also confirms BAE Systems’ role as a leading provider of combat vehicles».

The initial award is for a 52-month base term, valued at approximately $383 million, during which BAE Systems will produce 29 vehicles across each of the variants. The award also provides an option to begin the LRIP phase immediately following the current EMD phase, at which time the company would produce an additional 289 vehicles for a total contract value of $1.2 billion.

The AMPV capitalizes on proven Bradley and M109A7 designs, meeting the Army’s force protection and all-terrain mobility requirements while enabling the AMPV to maneuver with the rest of the Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT). The maximized commonality within the AMPV family of vehicles and the ABCT will reduce risk and provide significant cost savings to the Army.

BAE Systems’ AMPV capitalizes on the proven Bradley and Paladin designs
BAE Systems’ AMPV capitalizes on the proven Bradley and Paladin designs

«BAE Systems built and demonstrated prototypes for each of the five variants in order to provide the best solution for the Army», said Greg Mole, AMPV capture director at BAE Systems. «Given the maturity of our design and the commonality both within the AMPV and ABCT fleets, we feel this offers significant opportunity to accelerate the program’s schedule».

The program is essential to the future of the ABCT and will fulfill the Army’s strategy of protection, mobility, reliability, and interoperability. The AMPV, which will be integrated with the ABCT, is required to operate alongside the M1 Abrams tank and the M2 Bradley. AMPV has been identified by the Army as its top priority for the safety and survivability of our soldiers, and therefore, must meet tough protection requirements. Compromising or reducing the survivability requirements would put soldiers’ lives at risk. This is where BAE Systems’ Bradley-based AMPV solution comes in.

BAE Systems’ Bradley-based AMPV is a mature, low-risk and cost-effective solution that rapidly delivers continued combat overmatch capability for the Army. The Bradley platform delivers combat proven mobility, survivability and force protection to fight with the ABCT formation. In June 2013, during testing by the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Directorate of Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) their report identified that «the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle survivability requirement is achievable with a Bradley-like platform».

By the way, General Dynamics has argued that the Army’s request for proposals for the new armored vehicle favors BAE’s tracked Bradley Fighting Vehicle while putting General Dynamics wheeled Stryker vehicles at a disadvantage; nonetheless, the U.S. Army rejected all of General Dynamics’ protests on AMPV program.

Armored Medical Evacuation Vehicle (AMEV)
Armored Medical Evacuation Vehicle (AMEV)

Ballistic Missile Defense

The U.S. is bolstering its ability to intercept ballistic missiles fired from North Korea with the deployment of another Raytheon missile-defense radar in central Japan, said Brendan McGarry, Military.com correspondent. In a joint announcement, the U.S. and Japanese governments said a second so-called Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance system, or AN/TPY-2, made by Raytheon Co. has been installed on the island nation. The announcement follows discussions last year between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe involving deployment of the technology that drew opposition from China.

In forward-based mode, the radar is positioned near hostile territory, and acquires ballistic missiles in the boost (ascent) phase of flight, shortly after they are launched
In forward-based mode, the radar is positioned near hostile territory, and acquires ballistic missiles in the boost (ascent) phase of flight, shortly after they are launched

The mobile unit is based in Kyogamisaki in the central part of the country, complementing an existing system already located Shariki in northern Japan. The Kyogamisaki site is believed to be ideal for such purposes because any short- or medium-range missile launched from North Korea against American military defenses in Guam or Hawaii would probably fly over the region.

The first step in defeating a ballistic missile that has been fired is «seeing» it. And that is where Raytheon’s AN/TPY-2 X-Band radar comes in. A critical element in the Ballistic Missile Defense System, AN/TPY-2 continually searches the sky for ballistic missiles. Once it detects a missile, it acquires it, tracks it, and uses its powerful radar and complex computer algorithms to discriminate between the warhead and non-threats such as countermeasures.

Depending on the needs of the warfighter, the AN/TPY-2 radar can be deployed in two different modes. In forward-based mode, the radar is positioned near hostile territory, and acquires ballistic missiles in the boost (ascent) phase of flight, shortly after they are launched. It then tracks and discriminates the threat, and passes critical information required by decision makers to the Command and Control Battle Management network.

The high-resolution, X-band, phased-array radar can track all classes of ballistic missiles at various points in their trajectories
The high-resolution, X-band, phased-array radar can track all classes of ballistic missiles at various points in their trajectories

When the AN/TPY-2 radar is deployed in terminal mode, the radar’s job is to detect, acquire, track and discriminate ballistic missiles in the terminal (descent) phase of flight. The terminal-mode AN/TPY-2 also leads the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) ballistic missile defense system by guiding the THAAD missile to intercept a threat.

AN/TPY-2 has a record of flawless performance against all classes of ballistic missiles. In forward-based mode, it has proven capability against short-, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. In terminal mode, AN/TPY-2 has demonstrated its ability to enable an intercept of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. AN/TPY-2 can provide precise tracking information to any number of missile-defense batteries, including the truck-mounted THAAD, systems in the Pacific and the Middle East; the sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System; or the Ground-based Mid-course Defense System in Alaska and California.

According to public U.S. intelligence estimates, there are more than 6,300 ballistic missiles outside of U.S., NATO, Russian and Chinese control, with that number expected to grow to almost 8,000 by 2020
According to public U.S. intelligence estimates, there are more than 6,300 ballistic missiles outside of U.S., NATO, Russian and Chinese control, with that number expected to grow to almost 8,000 by 2020

The radar itself is composed of four mobile components: an antenna unit, an electronics unit, a cooling unit and a prime power unit, according to information from the manufacturer. The system can be transported in such cargo planes as the C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III, as well as in ships, railroad cars and trucks.

The U.S. Army, which has already purchased five of the radars, had previously planned to purchase as many as 18 of the units, though that number was reduced amid automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Last year, each was budgeted to cost about $173 million, according to budget documents.

 

 

Main battery

According to Igor Tabak, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter, Croatia has ordered 12 Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000) 155 mm self-propelled howitzers from ex-German military stocks. A contract for the order was signed in Zagreb on 5 December, 2014 by Viktor Koprivnjak, Croatian deputy minister of defence in charge of material resources, and by Helmut Richter from the Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement.

Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000)
Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000)

The delivery of PzH 2000 to the Croatian Armed Forces (CAF) is to be done in two tranches of six systems: the first in the second half of 2015 and the second in 2016. Germany will prepare the artillery systems for Croatian service prior to their delivery, a process that will include upgrading their communications array and weapon control software.

During the signing, Koprivnjak stated: «The weapons themselves are priced at €12 million ($15 million), while the overall project is valued at €41 million. Apart from the actual PzH 2000 howitzers, there is training, spares, and adjustment of the weaponry and their electronic systems for service in the CAF».

Panzerhaubitze 2000 in Afghanistan
Panzerhaubitze 2000 in Afghanistan

While this procurement is mentioned in the new CAF Long-Term Development Plan 2015-24 (still going through parliament) as a goal to be fulfilled by 2019, the new artillery systems are considered vital for the development of a CAF NATO force capability.

In order to lower the costs of the upgrades and for their operational usage, the contracting for these parts of the programme is being done by the NATO Support Agency’s Land Combat Vehicle (Project PzH 2000) effort in order to benefit from economies of scale.

PzH 2000 155 mm self-propelled howitzer
PzH 2000 155 mm self-propelled howitzer

 

Ground – Artillery – Panzerhaubitze 2000

 

Swedish destroyer

Defence and Security Company Saab presented the newly developed next generation Carl Gustaf M4 at the 2014 Association of the U.S. Army exhibition in Washington D.C. The Carl Gustaf M4, known in the U.S. as M3A1 MAAWS (Multi-role Anti-armor Anti-tank Weapon System), is the latest man-portable shoulder-launched multi-role weapon system from Saab designed to provide users with flexible capability and help troops to remain agile in any scenario.

The new Carl-Gustaf M4 is a man-portable multi-role weapon system
The new Carl-Gustaf M4 is a man-portable multi-role weapon system

Since 1948, Carl Gustaf has been supporting dismounted infantry around the world in dealing with a full range of battlefield challenges. A marked evolution in the history of the system, the new Carl Gustaf M4 model meets the needs of modern conflict environments while offering compatibility with future innovations.

The new lightweight Carl Gustaf M4, weighing approximately 15 pounds (<7 kg, some 3 kg lighter than the earlier Carl Gustaf M3 and half the weight of the 14.2 kg M2 version), offers significant weight savings to the soldier. According to Nicholas de Larrinaga, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, this has been achieved by constructing the recoilless rifle’s barrel out of titanium, saving 1.1 kg (compared to the M3’s steel barrel), building its outer casing our of carbon fibre (saving 0.8 kg), and by redesigning the weapon’s venturi to save a further 0.9 kg. The redesign has also served to decrease the size of the Carl Gustaf, bringing the M4’s total length down to under 1,000 mm (M2 – 1,130 mm; M3 – 1,065 mm).

The M4 enables soldiers to deal with any tactical situation
The M4 enables soldiers to deal with any tactical situation

The Carl Gustaf M4’s current default sight is the same telescopic sight used on the M3 model, although it can also mount a red-dot sight or, through its integrated 1913 Picatinny rail mounts, be fitted with a variety of other sighting options.

It is also compatible with future battlefield technology such as intelligent sighting systems for programmable ammunition. With a wide variety of munitions available, it is a weapon system capable of handling multiple tactical situations, bridging the gap between full-scale operations and low intensity conflicts, and providing the modern warfighter with unprecedented flexibility and capability on the battlefield. The Carl Gustaf M4 enables soldiers to deal with any tactical situation – from neutralizing armored tanks or enemy troops in defilade, to clearing obstacles and engaging enemies in buildings.

The Carl-Gustaf M4 is compatible with all existing and future Carl-Gustaf ammunition from its wide range of anti-armour, anti-structure, anti-personnel and support rounds
The Carl-Gustaf M4 is compatible with all existing and future Carl-Gustaf ammunition from its wide range of anti-armour, anti-structure, anti-personnel and support rounds

The new generation Carl Gustaf is a further development of today’s widely deployed Carl-Gustaf M3. This «outdated» version has long been in service with the U.S. Army Rangers and has been employed by every U.S. Special Operations Force in the U.S. military. Versions of the system are in service with more than 40 nations globally.

The latest M4 design and capability enhancements were recently showcased to a select group of visitors at a ground combat systems demonstration held in Sweden. The demonstration included a comprehensive series of successful firings with a range of ammunition types against a variety of targets. The new Carl-Gustaf is attracting a high level of interest.

In addition, development does not stop here. Future complementary improvements to this new formidable system will include development of smart programmable ammunition, advanced sighting systems, and expanded confined space capabilities.