Category Archives: Ground Forces

British Scout

General Dynamics UK has successfully completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) for the Scout Reconnaissance variant, as part of the Scout Specialist Vehicle (SV) programme. The completion of the Scout Reconnaissance variant CDR is a significant marker in the Scout SV programme, with the first Scout Reconnaissance pre-production prototype to be completed later this year.

Scout Specialist Vehicle
Scout Specialist Vehicle

The CDR covered the fully-integrated Scout Reconnaissance platform, including the platform hull design, the Lockheed Martin UK-developed turret, Electronic Architecture, onboard software solutions, sub-systems and variant-specific products, such as the Primary Sight.

In service, the Scout Reconnaissance variant will provide best-in-class protection and survivability, reliability and mobility and all-weather Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Recognition (ISTAR) capabilities. It will enable the soldier to be at the point of collection of accurate all-weather commander information within a network-enabled, fully-digitised platform.

Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support (PMRS) variant
Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support (PMRS) variant

Kevin Connell, vice president at General Dynamics UK – Land Systems, said: «The Scout Reconnaissance variant is the flagship of the Scout SV programme and will provide a step-change in ground-based ISTAR capability to the British Army. The completion of the Scout Reconnaissance variant CDR is a significant step in delivering a family of Scout SV platforms, which represent the future of Armoured Fighting Vehicles for the British Army».

The Scout Reconnaissance variant CDR is the final variant-specific CDR to be completed ahead of the pending Scout SV System CDR, which will examine all aspects of each Scout SV platforms under a single review.

Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance

Defence Minister, Philip Dunne, said: «The Scout programme has already passed several of its key milestones, including the live blast trials. This latest achievement shows great progress, with Scout SV vehicles well on their way to being ready for Army user trials in 2017. This is an exciting time for the armoured vehicles business in the UK and it is great news that the Scout programme is already securing approximately 2,400 jobs across the country».

The range of Scout SV variants will allow the British Army to conduct sustained, expeditionary, full-spectrum and network-enabled operations with a reduced logistics footprint. Scout SV can operate in combined-arms and multinational situations across a wide-range of future operating environments.

Recovery SV
Recovery SV

According to Nicholas de Larrinaga, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent, the UK has ordered a total of 589 of the vehicles, intended to replace the less capable CVR(T) family, at a cost of £3.5 billion ($5.420 billion). These are divided between two principal variant families: the 40-mm turret armed reconnaissance vehicle and the Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support (PMRS) variant.

Command & Control
Command & Control

For use in crisis

It is said in The Jane’s Defence Weekly that Finland’s Special Forces have selected the Belgian FN SCAR-L assault rifle as a new standard firearm. The FN SCAR-L will be the first 5.56×45 mm NATO calibre firearm introduced to the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF). It will supplement the current RK 95 TP assault rifle chambered in the Russian 7.62×39 mm cartridge. Both weapons will be used in parallel by Finnish soldiers.

FN SCAR-L STD
FN SCAR-L STD

«We decided that the rifle for the Special Forces should be compatible with other nations for use in crisis management and national defence», said infantry inspector Colonel Jukka Valkeajärvi.

The weapon was approved after field tests. A contract for FN SCAR-L rifles and FN40GL-L under-barrel grenade launchers is to be signed in March. The Special Forces units are also seeking a new light machine gun chambered in 5.56×45 mm. The FN Minimi and the H&K MG4 are being tested at the Finnish Army training centre (Utin Jääkärirykmentti).

Finland launched its ‘reconnaissance weapon system’ for the Special Forces in March 2014. Under it, the country was looking for 200-300 rifles chambered in 5.56×45 mm and 50-75 grenade launchers chambered in 40×46 mm low velocity ammunition. Rifles are set to be equipped with additional accessories, including the tactical light and laser pointer Insight Model 7500 (AN/PEQ-2A). The contract is estimated to be worth €750,000 ($851,378) with all weapons to be delivered in 2015.

FN SCAR-L CQC
FN SCAR-L CQC

 

FN SCAR-L

Early 2004, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) issued a solicitation for a family of Special Forces Combat Assault Rifles, the so-called SCAR, designed around two different calibers but featuring high commonality of parts and identical ergonomics.

FN Herstal took part in the full and open competition and released prototypes of a brand new family of weapons within timeframe taking advantage of our long-standing firearms know-how.

From the first pre-selection tests, the FN SCAR system developed by FN Herstal has remained the first and only choice of USSOCOM.

FN40GL-L grenade launcher
FN40GL-L grenade launcher

 

Modular

The FN SCAR-L STD assault rifle is chambered in 5.56×45 mm NATO caliber and is fitted with a standard 14.5″ barrel.

The operator can replace the standard barrel with a short 10″ barrel for close quarter combat in less than five minutes. The rifle is then called FN SCAR-L CQC.

The FN SCAR-L STD assault rifle can be fitted with a FN40GL-L grenade launcher mounted on the lower rail of the rifle, for additional firepower.

Adaptable

The FN SCAR assault rifle features a foldable buttstock, an adjustable cheek piece (2 positions) and an adjustable length of pull (6 positions) to adapt to any operators.

Ambidextrous

The FN SCAR assault rifle features a reversible charging handle and an ambidextrous safety/firing selector and magazine release.

Right- and left-handed operators are at ease with any FN SCAR® assault rifle.

Compact

The FN SCAR-L STD weighs no more than 3.545 kg (without magazine) and does not exceed 653 mm in length with folded buttstock.

Accuracy

The FN SCAR assault rifle fires semi-automatic or full automatic maintaining high firing accuracy in either mode.

Wide range of Accessories

The FN SCAR assault rifle features an upper Picatinny rail for optional day or night sighting systems (in-line mounting possible) and lower and side rails for optional accessories (e.g. light, laser, foregrip).

Further accessories are available, such as sling, bipod, carrying bag and blank firing system.

Easy Field Stripping

The FN SCAR assault rifle consists of 5 major assemblies:

  • Buttstock;
  • Receiver;
  • Bolt carrier;
  • Trigger module;
  • Magazine.
5 major assemblies
5 major assemblies

 

Technical data

Calibre 5.56×45 mm NATO
Operating principle Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length 655 mm
Buttstock unfolded maximum overall length 903 mm
Buttstock unfolded minimum overall length 840 mm
Weight 3.5 kg (without magazine)
Barrel type Standard
Barrel length 14.5″
Buttstock type Foldable, adjustable for length of pull
Design type Traditional
Feed M16 type magazine
Firing mode Semi-auto, full auto
Length of pull 6 positions adjustable
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Rate of fire 550-650 rounds/min
Sighting system Co-witnessed flip-up sights
Folded buttstock
Folded buttstock

TALON for a Tiger

The United Arab Emirates-made Nimr – Arabic for «Tiger» – armored vehicle could get a major firepower upgrade, under a pact between Raytheon and Abu Dhabi-based Nimr Automotive that would outfit the rugged four-wheeler with Laser-Guided Rockets (LGRs) previously found only on helicopters (Hydra-70) and other aircraft.

A Nimr armored vehicle fires a rocket equipped with the TALON guidance system in this artist's illustration
A Nimr armored vehicle fires a rocket equipped with the TALON guidance system in this artist’s illustration

The project to arm the Nimr with TALON rockets is the latest in a series of international partnerships that bring Raytheon’s advanced engineering and innovation to U.S. allies worldwide. The deal was announced at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi (IDEX 2015).

«If you look at the world today, the countries we used to sell to, they’re not happy to buy products off the shelf any more», said Steven C. Schultz, director of business development for land warfare systems at Raytheon Missile Systems. «They want to be true partners in terms of co-production, co-development, and in many cases be the prime contractor for some of these international pursuits».

Nimr Automotive is part of a company owned by Tawazun, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) strategic investment firm. Raytheon and Tawazun previously partnered to develop TALON, which is used to modify older, unguided rockets into laser-seeking weapons.

TALON is a low-cost, digital semi-active laser guidance and control kit that is mounted directly to the front of legacy 2.75-inch Hydra-70 unguided rockets
TALON is a low-cost, digital semi-active laser guidance and control kit that is mounted directly to the front of legacy 2.75-inch Hydra-70 unguided rockets

Other recent international collaborations include:

  • A partnership with Abu Dhabi Ship Building that provided the United Arab Emirates Navy with the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) and the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM). RAM is a lightweight, self-guided missile that travels faster than the speed of sound. ESSM is the world’s premier international cooperative missile production program, with 18 industrial partners representing 10 nations.
  • An agreement that designated Turkish missile maker Roket Sanavii ve Ticaret A.S. as a supplier for Raytheon’s Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile-Tactical (Patriot GEM-T). The company, also known as Roketsan, is the first major trans-Atlantic supplier for the system and is strategically located to support countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
  • A $1.7 billion Direct Commercial Sales contract in Saudi Arabia to upgrade Patriot systems to the latest Configuration-3.
  • A partnership with Lockheed Martin to provide the United Arab Emirates with advanced Patriot air and missile defense, along with support and training.
  • The U.S. Army’s Warfighter Field Operations Customer Support contract, under which Raytheon trains helicopter pilots in Afghanistan. Students graduate as commercial-level pilots.
The UAE’s Nimr Automotive, Tawazun and Raytheon disclosed a project to arm the 6 X 6 version of the Nimr vehicle with the Raytheon-Tawazun Talon 70-mm laser-guided rocket
The UAE’s Nimr Automotive, Tawazun and Raytheon disclosed a project to arm the 6 X 6 version of the Nimr vehicle with the Raytheon-Tawazun Talon 70-mm laser-guided rocket

Bringing TALON to the Nimr vehicle will meet a critical need, should the UAE Armed Forces adopt the system, Schultz said.

«TALON fills a gap between heavy, expensive, anti-tank guided missiles and unguided rockets», Schultz said. «There are a lot of missions for something like TALON. That’s the niche we’re filling».

A launcher fires a rocket equipped with the TALON guidance system
A launcher fires a rocket equipped with the TALON guidance system

 

TALON Laser-Guided Rocket

The weapon integrates Raytheon’s extensive experience in digital semiactive laser technology and proven history in precision air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions development and production. TALON’s architecture and ease of employment make it a low-cost, highly-precise weapon for missions in urban environments, counterinsurgency and swarming boat defense missions.

TALON is certified for use on U.S. Army Apache helicopters and Apaches in international fleets needing an affordable upgrade to the Hydra-70 rocket.

TALON was codeveloped with the United Arab Emirates.

TALON is fully compatible with existing airborne and ground laser designators.

TALON requires no hardware or software modifications to the launcher or aircraft platform and can be deployed from any aircraft that fires 2.75-inch (70-mm) Hydra-70 unguided rockets using the standard M260/261 launchers.

 

TALON is a low-cost, semi-active laser guidance and control kit that connects directly to the front of 2.75-inch (70-mm) Hydra-70 unguided rockets currently in U.S. and international inventories

 

Tactical Ambulance

Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation company, introduced its MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) Extended Wheel Base Medical (EXM) variant at the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2015, taking place February 22-26 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Oshkosh designed the M-ATV EXM to provide off-road mobility and MRAP-level protection to military medics on ambulatory missions in high-threat environments.

Dual-rear hatches minimize a medic’s exposure to threats, and the efficient litter assist system allows patients to be secured and loaded in less than two minutes
Dual-rear hatches minimize a medic’s exposure to threats, and the efficient litter assist system allows patients to be secured and loaded in less than two minutes

«There is no mission more important than keeping troops safe, including the medics and their patients on the battlefield», said U.S. Army Major General (Retired) John Urias, executive vice president of Oshkosh Corporation and president of Oshkosh Defense. «An increasing number of troops and medics are suffering injuries – often life threatening – while trying to deliver care and evacuate the injured in commercial-based ambulances. The Oshkosh M-ATV EXM combines best-in-class off-road mobility with a life-saving crew protection system for urgent medical care in landscapes that are too rugged for other ambulances».

The Oshkosh Defense M-ATV EXM provides urgent evacuation capabilities while shielding patients and medics from enemy fire. The M-ATV’s lightweight ramp and unique «easy glide» system can load two litter-bound patients – on any NATO-standard litter – in less than two minutes. The tactical ambulance has enough interior capacity to simultaneously transport two litter-bound patients, two ambulatory patients, a medic, commander and driver. The M-ATV EXM’s customizable internal configuration also enables equipment to be accessed quickly by a centrally positioned medic. The vehicle supports standard MRAP Medical Equipment Sets (MES) and requirements such as a universal mounting system, secured storage units, and Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) mounted storage bags.

The M-ATV EXM is a variant of the Oshkosh Defense M-ATV Family of Vehicles, which includes two multi-mission models – the M-ATV Standard and M-ATV Extended. The M-ATV Standard model provides response and support capabilities for a range of offensive and defensive missions in off-road environments, and the M-ATV Extended model delivers increased capacity for additional troops and equipment to support multiple mission profiles. M-ATV EXM delivers gold-standard off-road mobility and optimal protection against Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other battlefield threats. Oshkosh’s proprietary TAK-4 independent suspension system provides superior ride quality, including a smoother drive in rough terrain to enable better patient care and preserve the longevity of medical equipment. The M-ATV’s crew protection system is designed for today’s most prevalent threats and can be customized to deliver the highest standards of MRAP-level protection. Furthermore, the M-ATV EXM’s silhouette is the same as the other M-ATV Extended Wheel Base variants, which prevents it from standing out as an obvious target in theater.

The M-ATV EXM is a fully functional ambulance with a flexible work area for a full suite of medical equipment and ample room to effectively treat patients
The M-ATV EXM is a fully functional ambulance with a flexible work area for a full suite of medical equipment and ample room to effectively treat patients

 

Oshkosh M-ATV EXM

Mission enablers

Purpose-built military ambulance with complete access to patients and medical equipment.

Fully customizable design for medical equipment.

MRAP-level protection and unmatched mobility for medical evacuation operations.

 

Features

  • Fully protected, single compartment crew capsule
  • Integrated blast protection
  • TAK-4 independent suspension system
  • Accommodates two crew members, one medic, two ambulatory patients and two litter-bound patients
  • Centrally positioned medic with easy access to patients and medical equipment
  • Vinyl floor covering in medic area is easy to clean and sanitize
  • Customizable work area supports standard MRAP Medical Equipment Sets (MES) with a universal mounting system
  • Dual-rear hatches with mechanical spring assist reduces opening size and minimizes load and close procedures
  • Loading ramp with forward locking mechanism glides and secures any NATO-standard litter into position
  • Complete all load, secure and close procedures for both litters in less than two minutes
  • Similar silhouette to other M-ATV Extended Wheelbase variants reduces the risk of medic crews becoming targets
  • Underbody Improvement Kit (UIK) integrated into EXM design
  • Optional Oshkosh-provided Gunner Protection Kit (GPK)
M-ATV Extended Wheel Base is designed with an extended wheelbase that delivers more capacity while maintaining high levels of protection, performance and agility to achieve the mission
M-ATV Extended Wheel Base is designed with an extended wheelbase that delivers more capacity while maintaining high levels of protection, performance and agility to achieve the mission

 

General Characteristics

Engine:                                             Caterpillar C7, 7.2 L, 276 kW, 1254-N-m

Transmission:                              Allison 3500 SP/6-speed automatic

Transfer Case:                             2-speed, full time 4-wheel drive with locking differential

Axles/Suspension:                     Oshkosh TAK-4 independent suspension system

Tires:                                                 16.00R20

Seating Capacity:                       7 soldiers (5 seated troops and 2 litter-bound patients)

Vehicle Curb Weight:              16,500 kg/36,300 lbs

Payload Capacity:                      2,000 kg/4,400 lbs

OGPK (Objective Gunners Protective Kit) Turret-Ready: Turret ring and gunner sling with 360° rotation

Suspension (Durability) Profile:        70% off-road/30% on-road

CTIS (Central Tire Inflation System):        2 channel system • 4 terrain settings with integrated driveline lock-up control

 

 

Extended Range
AMRAAM

Raytheon Company has begun development on an extended range variant of the combat-proven Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM). Designed specifically for ground-based air defense, AMRAAM-ER will enable intercepts at longer range and higher altitudes (Source: Raytheon Company).

NASAMS is a highly adaptable medium range solution for any operational air defense requirement. The system provides the air defender with a tailorable, state-of-the-art defense system that can maximize their ability to quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving enemy aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicle or emerging cruise missile threats
NASAMS is a highly adaptable medium range solution for any operational air defense requirement. The system provides the air defender with a tailorable, state-of-the-art defense system that can maximize their ability to quickly identify, engage and destroy current and evolving enemy aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicle or emerging cruise missile threats

«With AMRAAM-ER, Raytheon is rewriting the book on ground-based air defense. The new missile will be even faster and more maneuverable than the current AMRAAM», said Mike Jarrett, Raytheon vice president of Air Warfare Systems. «By leveraging many existing AMRAAM components, Raytheon can deliver AMRAAM-ER quickly and affordably with very low risk».

Raytheon will integrate AMRAAM-ER into the NASAMS (Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile System) launcher.

Designed specifically for ground-based air defense, AMRAAM-ER will enable intercepts at longer distances and higher altitudes
Designed specifically for ground-based air defense, AMRAAM-ER will enable intercepts at longer distances and higher altitudes

NASAMS is the latest and most modern Medium Range Air Defense system. In partnership with Kongsberg, Raytheon has delivered more than 70 fire units to seven countries. It is the most commonly used Short and Medium Range Air Defense System in NATO.

«Combined with the NASAMS launcher, AMRAAM-ER will provide a new level of protection to customers», said Ralph Acaba, vice president of Integrated Air and Missile Defense at Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems business. «NASAMS is one of the most easily manned, trained, and maintained systems in the world».

Combined with the NASAMS launcher, AMRAAM-ER will provide a new level of protection
Combined with the NASAMS launcher, AMRAAM-ER will provide a new level of protection

Fielded in Norway for more than a decade, NASAMS is operationally deployed in the U.S. National Capital Region, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, and an undisclosed country. It is also in production for Oman under a contract received last year.

Raytheon plans to flight test AMRAAM-ER before the end of the year.

 

The AMRAAM is a versatile and proven weapon with operational flexibility in a wide variety of scenarios, including air-to-air and surface-launch engagements. In the surface launch role, AMRAAM is the baseline weapon on the NASAMS launcher.

 

Global Umbrella

Across the globe, a variety of air and missile defense threats are evolving and proliferating. At the same time, adversaries are exploiting weaknesses in America’s air and missile defense system, said Brigadier General Christopher L. Spillman, commandant of the Army Air Defense Artillery School. Spillman and other missile defense experts met during an Association of the United States Army panel, February 12, to discuss how the United States could better attain networked mission command.

Like a missile defense dashboard, IBCS would one day control existing interceptor, missile and artillery systems along with futuristic laser, microwave and electromagnetic pulse weapons still in development
Like a missile defense dashboard, IBCS would one day control existing interceptor, missile and artillery systems along with futuristic laser, microwave and electromagnetic pulse weapons still in development

Adversaries are employing their own ballistic missile capabilities and coordinating them with cruise missile and unmanned aerial system threats, Spillman said, calling their efforts «complex and integrated». The Army needs to regain its air-defense advantage and «move beyond our current limited-point-defense», Spillman added. The reason for the urgency in addressing Air and Missile Defense, or AMD, vulnerabilities is due in large part to the current «inflexible, stove-piped command and control systems».

Major General Ole A. Knudson, program executive for the Program and Integration, Missile Defense Agency, said each military service has its own AMD architecture, but those architectures are not «entirely compatible» with one another.

That architecture, Spillman said, is much more complex than a just a physical network of fiber, relays, routers and servers. It also involves connectivity between sensors, radars, launchers and shooters. The systems need to communicate seamlessly across the battlespace to more effectively engage the enemy and reduce risk from errors, including those that result in fratricide.

Barry J. Pike, deputy program executive officer, program executive office missile and space, said that fixing AMD integration weak points is so important because it is «a foundational capability the Army provides» to combatant commanders, as outlined in the recently released Army Operating Concept.

A Ground-based Interceptor roars into the sky carrying a Raytheon-built Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle on June 22, 2014. The kill vehicle destroyed a simulated ballistic missile high over the Pacific Ocean (Missile Defense Agency photo)
A Ground-based Interceptor roars into the sky carrying a Raytheon-built Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle on June 22, 2014. The kill vehicle destroyed a simulated ballistic missile high over the Pacific Ocean (Missile Defense Agency photo)

 

IAMD-Battle Command System Solution

The services are working together now to integrate AMD networks and mission-command functions through an effort known as Integrated Air and Missile Defense – Battle Command System, or IBCS, Spillman said. He noted that IBCS will give combatant commanders and AMD «a flexibility that doesn’t exist today. It will transform the force».

Barry Pike said that with IBCS, the Army hopes to partner with industry to build non-proprietary network capabilities that are modular, and that have open-system architecture that uses existing industry standards. The idea is to have common human-system interface requirements that allow standardization, more rapid development, cost reduction and future add-ons, he said. Testing is well underway on integration efforts with the other services, Pike said.

Raytheon’s newest variant, the SM-3 Block IB, is launched from a U.S. Navy ship during testing
Raytheon’s newest variant, the SM-3 Block IB, is launched from a U.S. Navy ship during testing

Daniel J. Verwiel, vice president and general manager of integrated air and missile defense for Northrop Grumman Information Systems, said that IBCS efforts will ultimately lead to handing off AMD «to the best possible shooter», be it from a ship or the shore.

Spillman said that at the same time the Army develops the IBCS, it will also need to prepare to train Soldiers to use it. Soldiers will need adequate time to train on new systems and leaders will have to be the ones who successfully execute any new implementation.

Spillman said AMD, with all its weaknesses, is deployed worldwide in support of combatant commanders to shape the environment, enable projection of national power, defend the homeland and reassure allies.

Around 58% of the AMD force is forward-deployed or forward-stationed, he said.

 

NATO intelligence reports indicate the threat of ballistic missiles is increasing in number and complexity. By 2018, all of Europe could be at risk.

 

MMC: Replacement
of the Milan

The French Defence Procurement Agency (Direction Générale de l’Armement) successfully carried out the first firing of MMP (Missile de Moyenne Portée or Medium Range Missile), the successor to the Milan weapon system. Carried out at the DGA Techniques Terrestres site in Bourges (central France), the firing test served to confirm MMP’s excellent accuracy in locking onto a target at a distance of more than 4,000 m and that was hidden from view at launch. This success is the result of the coordinated efforts of both state (DGA and French Army) and industrial (MBDA France) participants.

MMP (Missile de Moyenne Portée or Medium Range Missile) in operation
MMP (Missile de Moyenne Portée or Medium Range Missile) in operation

MMP is a high technology, new generation missile forming one of the French MoD’s (Ministry of Defence) new programmes within the Military Planning Act 2014-2019 aimed at modernising the French Army.

This versatile missile, conceived by MBDA France, is currently in its development phase following the notification of a development contract by the DGA on 3rd December 2013. It will enable the armed forces to neutralise, with a high level of precision, the many different types of target that might be confronted during operations, ensuring that collateral damage is kept to a minimum and at the same time maximizing the safety of the operator. The delivery date of the system to the French Army is scheduled for 2017. According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, in total the army has ordered 2,850 missiles and 400 firing posts from MBDA, with the missile not only intended to arm infantry personnel but also intended to be vehicle-launched from platforms such as the army’s upcoming Jaguar 6×6 reconnaissance vehicle.

Further test firings have already been programmed by the DGA Techniques Terrestres to take place during the first quarter of 2015.

MMP on MPCV Turret at Eurosatory 2014
MMP on MPCV Turret at Eurosatory 2014

 

MMP (Missile de Moyenne Portée)

MBDA is currently developing MMP (Missile Moyenne Portée), the medium range, ground combat as a successor to MILAN (the eponymous anti-tank system supplied to over 40 armies around the world). MMP is a fifth generation weapon system responding to the requirements outlined within the French Army’s FELIN and SCORPION programmes. FELIN is a programme aimed at developing the necessary equipment for the French infantryman of the future while SCORPION will advance the integration and coordination of the range of equipment deployed by future French ground forces, calling for wide-ranging digitisation and platform interoperability. In this respect, MMP is also relevant to other ground forces around the world that are in the process of preparing for the requirements of the battlefield well into the future.

MMP’s entirely new concept takes into consideration the experience gained from recent conflicts, where the need to master the delivery of military effects without collateral damage has been shown to be a major operational requirement.

MMP is man portable (the missile in its tube weighs only 15 kg), easy to set up and operate by a two-man team. It is the ideal combat support weapon for the modern soldier who might be called upon to fight either out in the open battlefield or from confined spaces within a complex urban environment. The system can be used either in conjunction with a lightweight, portable digital firing post (weighing only 11 kg, battery included) or alternatively, mounted on a typical armoured vehicle.

High level of day and night, all-weather reconnaissance and identification capability
High level of day and night, all-weather reconnaissance and identification capability

Its shaped tandem warhead (MMP features a unique selectable charge depending on the intended target) provides lethality at ranges of up to 4 km against a wide range of stationary or moving ground targets from bunkers and machine gun posts to tanks equipped with the latest Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA).

Equipped with a non-cooled, dual-mode visible/infrared seeker, MMP is able to engage both hot and cold targets. To ensure operator survivability, MMP’s «fire-and-forget» capability allows the operator to fire and disengage immediately without having to wait for the missile to strike its intended target. However, in a complex environment where collateral damage is a concern, MMP’s optic fibre link enables MITL (Man-In-The-Loop) operation.

Combined with a navigation function integrated within the missile, the optical link via the missile allows for a full NLOS (Non Line Of Sight) operation as well, a function further enhanced within a modern info-centric environment. These are the features that combine to create a true 5th generation combat support weapon.

MMP represents the first missile within a family of ground and air-platform launched surface combat missiles. These missiles will share not only the same airframe diameter but also significant elements of technology in line with MBDA’s GMA (General Missile Architecture) strategy, a strategy aimed at reducing both cost and development risk.

Rapid reaction operation, firing sequence reversibility
Rapid reaction operation, firing sequence reversibility

 

Features

  • Lightweight weapon system, easily man-portable
  • High level of day and night, all-weather reconnaissance and identification capability
  • Confined space firing capability
  • Rapid reaction operation, firing sequence reversibility
  • Lethality against a wide target set: hot and cold targets, including latest MBTs (Main Battle Tanks)
  • Collateral damage risk minimization

 

MMP missile

  • Dual-band seeker (uncooled IR and TV channel)
  • MEMS IMU (MicroElectroMechanical Systems Inertial Measurement Unit) for inertial navigation
  • Two-stage main propulsion system (soft launch)
  • Multipurpose tandem warhead capable of defeating 1,000 mm of RHA (Rolled Homogeneous Armour), 2,000 mm of concrete
  • Maintenance free
The missile also intended to be vehicle-launched
The missile also intended to be vehicle-launched

 

MMP interactive firing post

  • Fully digitized
  • Latest generation IR band 2 and day camera
  • Laser range finder
  • GPS and magnetic compass
  • Autonomous operation and NCW (Network-Centric Waveform) compatible
  • Modular to facilitate integration on combat vehicles

 

MMP training simulators

  • Gunnery training simulator for indoor training
  • Combat firing simulator for technical firing instruction and tactical training in the field

 

Range: 4,000 m

Real time data-link

Three operating modes:

  • Fire-and-Forget;
  • Man-In-The-Loop with fibre-optic data-link;
  • Lock-On-After-Launch (NLOS and using third party target coordinates).
Lightweight weapon system, easily man-portable
Lightweight weapon system, easily man-portable

 

Dual-band seeker:

  • Uncooled IR;
  • TV channel.

 

Missile

Weight (incl. tube):                    15 kg

Length:                                              1.3 m in tactical canister

Diameter:                                        140 mm

Range:                                                4,000 m

Real time data-link (fibre-optic)

 

Interactive firing post:

  • Weight (incl. tripod and battery): 11 kg;
  • Autonomous with battery or can be connected to external power sources.

 

The latest (fifth) generation land combat missile system designed for dismounted infantry as well as for integration on combat vehicles. Featuring both fire-and-forget and man-in-the-loop operation, network-enabled MMP also receives third party target coordinates for indirect firing scenarios. MMP’s design includes the growth potential necessary for a future family of missiles for modern land combat.

Smart gun

More firepower, improved accuracy and smart integrated accessories that connect to command and control networks are the headline features of the new integrated assault rifle concept that Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and Colt Canada have developed for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

Canada’s proposed “smart gun” design combines a 5.56-mm automatic rifle using case-telescope ammunition and either a 40-mm grenade launcher or a 12-gauge (18-mm) shotgun, increasing firepower and improving tactical flexibility
Canada’s proposed “smart gun” design combines a 5.56-mm automatic rifle using case-telescope ammunition and either a 40-mm grenade launcher or a 12-gauge (18-mm) shotgun, increasing firepower and improving tactical flexibility

The prototype, in development since 2009 through the Soldier Integrated Precision Effects Systems (SIPES) project, includes a firing mechanism to shoot lightweight cased telescoped ammunition, a secondary effects module for increased firepower and a NATO standard power and data rail to integrate accessories like electro-optical sights and position sensors.

In order to support the multi-role nature of the weapon, the prototype’s secondary effects module features the ability to install either a three round 40-mm grenade launcher, or a 12-gauge (18-mm) shotgun. When optimized, the integrated weapon prototype could weigh less than a C7 equipped with a M203 grenade launcher, reducing the burden on soldiers.

«In the medium term, this weapon concept represents a lethal, flexible general-purpose platform», said Lieutenant-Colonel Serge Lapointe, from the Soldier Systems group in Director Land Requirements – Soldier Systems (DLR 5) of the Canadian Army. «It will be able to operate in all theatres of operations in the most complex terrain including urban areas, mountains, jungles, deserts and the Arctic».

When optimized, the integrated weapon prototype could weigh less than a C7 equipped with a M203 grenade launcher, reducing the burden on soldiers
When optimized, the integrated weapon prototype could weigh less than a C7 equipped with a M203 grenade launcher, reducing the burden on soldiers

The development of the weapon prototype posed a considerable challenge. DRDC scientists analyzed advanced material technologies that could replace the metal used in heavy components. The lightweight case telescoped ammunition was tested extensively with the support of the Munitions Experimental Test Centre in Valcartier, Quebec to assess its long-term aging behaviour. Scientists also studied how to increase the rifle’s accuracy using technology that can automatically detect targets and assist with engaging them. Questions related to the sensors needed to accurately geo-locate targets for target data sharing were also investigated.

How the soldier interacts with the weapon was also the subject of numerous human factor trials. Ergonomic and weapon prototype handling tests were performed by Human Systems Inc., under the supervision of DRDC scientists, with CAF soldiers from military bases in Petawawa and Edmonton. The testing was crucial to developing optimal design criteria to meet the CAF’s needs for the Small Arms Modernization project.

In addition, lessons learned by both DRDC personnel and the CAF during their deployment in Afghanistan revealed critical elements that informed the prototype weapon development process with respect to its design and functionality.

In order to support the multi-role nature of the weapon, the prototype’s secondary effects module features the ability to install either a three round 40-mm grenade launcher, or a 12-gauge shotgun
In order to support the multi-role nature of the weapon, the prototype’s secondary effects module features the ability to install either a three round 40-mm grenade launcher, or a 12-gauge shotgun

«The results of the first phase of the project have shown that DRDC expertise can be used to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with solid scientific data so they can make more informed decisions for their major acquisition projects», said Dr. Guy Vézina, the Director General for S&T Army, DRDC.

The new weapon prototype is a promising development for the soldier of the future. The integration of electronic components will allow soldiers to generate or receive data from the command and control network. In the next phase of development, automated target detection and assisted target engagement will be the subject of an in-depth study in the Future Small Arms Research (FSAR) project.

Finally, the development of the integrated weapon prototype and the continuing analysis of promising technologies should facilitate the acquisition of the next generation of small arms by the CAF. The data collected and the analyses documented so far by DRDC scientists will be used in conjunction with the data and analyses that will be generated in the FSAR project to develop the technical criteria that will form part of the statement of operational requirement documentation for the CAF Small Arms Modernization project.

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