Category Archives: Ground Forces

American HERCULES

The U.S. Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract worth $110.4 million to convert 36 M88A1 Recovery Vehicles to the M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation Systems (HERCULES) configuration.

BAE Systems will convert M88A1 recovery vehicles to the M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System configuration
BAE Systems will convert M88A1 recovery vehicles to the M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift Evacuation System configuration

«The HERCULES is an integral part of the U.S. Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) and essential to its recovery missions as the fleet becomes heavier», said John Tile, director of Recovery Programs at BAE Systems. «This award continues the Army’s stated objective to pure-fleet its M88s to the more capable HERCULES configuration».

The fleet of ABCT vehicles is getting heavier, making it increasingly important that the recovery fleet is upgraded to support it. The HERCULES, which provides recovery support to soldiers in the field, is the only vehicle able to recover the M1 Abrams tank and the heaviest Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) variants in a combat environment.

The M88 plays a critical role in the company’s efforts to maintain the Combat Vehicle Industrial Base by supporting a team of highly skilled professionals and protecting the affordability of the Army’s combat vehicles. The support of Congress and the Army to protect these vital capabilities through M88 upgrades helps sustain the workforce at BAE Systems’ facilities and ensures that they will be available for future programs.

Work on the contract is expected to begin immediately by the existing workforce and will take place primarily at the company’s York, Pennsylvania, and Aiken, South Carolina, facilities. Deliveries will begin in January 2017 and continue through October 2017.

BAE Systems is under contract for 770 army vehicles and 100 for the US Marine Corps. So far it has completed 680 for the army, which has a pure fleet objective of 933 M88A2s
BAE Systems is under contract for 770 army vehicles and 100 for the US Marine Corps. So far it has completed 680 for the army, which has a pure fleet objective of 933 M88A2s

 

M88A2 HERCULES

The M88A2 Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System (HERCULES) improved Recovery Vehicle is the recovery system of choice for today’s 70-ton combat vehicles. With the lowest acquisition, operational and maintenance cost of any 70-ton capable recovery system, HERCULES answers the need for cost-effective, self-supporting heavy recovery performance.

The HERCULES was the primary 70-ton recovery system during Operation Iraqi Freedom. And, U.S. troops found a few other creative uses for its capabilities when they used it to pull down the Saddam Hussein statue in Baghdad on April 9, 2003. HERCULES utilizes a hull designed for the recovery mission and thoroughly proven by U.S. Army testing. Stability and performance are unmatched by any alternate tank-based design.

HERCULES offers operational and logistics commonality with the existing M88A1 fleet, simplifying training and parts availability. Key upgrades include improved power-assisted braking, improved steering, improved electrical system and increased engine horsepower.

HERCULES features overlay armor protection, ballistic skirts, a longer 35-ton boom, a 140,000-pound/63,504-kg constant pull main winch with 280 feet/85 m of cable, and an auxiliary three-ton winch to aid main winch cable deployment. The M88A2 HERCULES is built and equipped to be the world’s recovery champion.

German Fox

The Emirate of Kuwait has contracted with Rheinmetall to supply it with twelve state-of-the-art armoured NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) reconnaissance vehicles, the 2 NBC-RS «Spürfuchs». Now binding, the order also includes comprehensive support in the form of training, service and spare parts. Delivery of the vehicle commences in 2017. An accompanying technical support agreement contract covers a period of five years, beginning as soon as the first Fuchs/Fox 2 NBC-RS vehicle enters service. The parties to the contract have agreed not to disclose the cost of the order.

Despite its age, Rheinmetall’s Fox remains the dominant western NBC reconnaissance vehicle, and Kuwait’s will be the first to feature an additional biological detection capability (Rheinmetall photo)
Despite its age, Rheinmetall’s Fox remains the dominant western NBC reconnaissance vehicle, and Kuwait’s will be the first to feature an additional biological detection capability (Rheinmetall photo)

The contractor is Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH (RMMV). Rheinmetall holds a 51% share in the company, which was founded in 2010 and is located in Munich. The remaining 49% is held by MAN Truck & Bus. RMMV is a globally renowned supplier of military wheeled vehicles, with special expertise in the field of NBC reconnaissance technology.

As Pietro Borgo, Managing Director of RMMV and Member of the Executive Board of Rheinmetall Defence, explains, «This important order is a major vote of confidence by an Arab country in Rheinmetall, Europe’s leading supplier of army technology. We greatly appreciate this. By placing this order, Kuwait will soon possess NBC reconnaissance capabilities that are second to none. We are very pleased to be making a decisive contribution here».

The Fuchs/Fox 2 NBC-RS features a comprehensive, fully integrated suite of devices for identifying NBC warfare agents and other hazardous materials, built into a well-protected, high-mobility 6×6 armoured transport vehicle capable of operating in extreme terrain.

The outcome of a systematic development effort, the vehicles earmarked for Kuwait are the first to feature an additional biological detection capability. This constitutes another major technological advance, made possible thanks to Rheinmetall’s comprehensive, longstanding expertise in this field, in turn underpinning RMMV’s leading position in this segment of the market. When it comes to detecting biological threats, RMMV can supply users not only with the advanced Fuchs/Fox 2 NBC-RS, but – depending on their operational requirements – with a separate biological detection laboratory as well, mounted on the carrier platform of their choice.

Robust and resilient, the Fuchs/Fox wheeled armoured transport vehicle has proven highly effective in crisis regions around the world, with over 1,200 built. Of these, nearly 300 have been configured for NBC reconnaissance operations, performing a vital role in the German Bundeswehr, the US Army and the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Norway and Saudi Arabia.

In addition, the NBC defence forces of Germany, Switzerland and Sweden all have Rheinmetall-made mobile NBC field laboratories in their inventories, which can be transported to the area of operations by road, rail, sea or air. Around the world, these field laboratories have done an excellent job of identifying radiological, biological and chemical hazards.

In the civil defence realm, Rheinmetall has supplied German fire brigades with 397 NBC detection vehicles. These systems help to make sure that German cities are as well prepared as possible to contend with such threats.

Widening its array of mobile NBC reconnaissance systems, in summer 2014 RMMV unveiled the new «CBRN Survivor R», a 4×4 vehicle jointly developed with Austrian vehicle-maker Achleitner, which features a built-in NBC recce kit.

A reliable «workhorse» for the German Bundeswehr: the Fox armoured wheeled vehicle
A reliable «workhorse» for the German Bundeswehr: the Fox armoured wheeled vehicle

 

Fox armoured wheeled vehicle

Foxes are cunning and fast. These attributes of Reynard the Fox are equally true for the versatile and proven armoured transport vehicle called Fox. Thanks to its shrewd design concept, the vehicle can be put to multiple uses. The Fox not only reaches maximum speeds of up to 100 km/h (6×6 drive configuration) but is also highly mobile in difficult terrain.

Already introduced in the 1970s, the Fox wheeled vehicle is today one of the most reliable «workhorses» of the Bundeswehr. The German forces will continue to use around 900 such vehicles in more than 30 different variants (with 16 variants of the 1A8) – many of them having the latest design configuration Fox 1A8 that incorporates modifications based on the experience acquired during many foreign missions. This is, for instance, reflected by the reinforced chassis and power train, high level of protection, new stowage box concept and integration of a remotely controllable weapons station. Although these systems increase the weight of the vehicle to around 20 tons, it has not lost any of its agility.

One particular variant of the Fox is especially well known internationally: the NBC reconnaissance Fox for the detection of nuclear, biological and chemical agents. 102 NBC reconnaissance vehicles are operated by the German NBC corps, 8 of them featuring the 1A8 design status. Great Britain presently has eleven NBC reconnaissance vehicles, Norway and the Netherlands each have six, Saudi Arabia 10 and the UAE 32 such vehicles.

Not only is the vehicle from Rheinmetall: the defence contractor is also responsible for the extensive integration and networking of the many different sensors on board. The vehicle is manned by four persons: the driver, commander, reconnaissance personnel 1 and 2. Numerous civilian forces likewise benefit from Rheinmetall’s expertise in the field of CBRNE defence (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives). For example, the fire department in North Rhine-Westphalia operates NBC reconnaissance vehicles with Rheinmetall technology.

The production «Fox-house» is in Kassel. In the former Henschel factory, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles today can today offer the systems needed for maintenance, service, modernization – and production of integrated systems including the related carrier vehicle. Thanks to the 2005 order from the United Arab Emirates to deliver 32 modern, fully integrated NBC reconnaissance systems, it was possible to develop the Fox 2 vehicle. The ongoing success of this vehicle demonstrates impressively just how successful the strategy has been. Currently, the first vehicles for Algeria are leaving the factory hall; the North African country will perform final assembly of the vehicles in its own production sites built especially for the purpose.

The cut-away illustration shows some of the systems that can belong to the vehicle
The cut-away illustration shows some of the systems that can belong to the vehicle
  1. Double-wheel sampling system – two silicone-coated wheels for the automatic detection (whilst moving) of persistent warfare agents and hazardous adhering to the ground.
  2. Standoff infrared detector capable of detecting volatile chemical substances in the air from a great distance.
  3. «NBC tail» including the tube magazine for transporting samples, the marker trap, glove opening and tongs for manual sampling.
  4. Mass spectrometer (behind the operator’s position) for chemical analysis of samples collected.
  5. Operator’s position with the Rheinmetall software «NBC Inspector» – the heart of the NBC kit in the Fox reconnaissance vehicle.
  6. Central computer system.
  7. FLW 200 remotely controllable weapon station – operated from the armoured interior as a means of self-defence.

3-megajoule railgun

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced on June 22 that projectiles with on-board electronics survived the railgun launch environment and performed their intended functions in four consecutive tests on 9-10 June at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The week of test activity included marking the 100th successful launch from the GA-EMS’ 3 megajoule Blitzer electromagnetic railgun.

Blitzer 3-megajoule Electromagnetic Railgun
Blitzer 3-megajoule Electromagnetic Railgun

«This is a significant milestone in the technology development toward a railgun weapon system and marks the first time flight dynamics data have been successfully measured and down-linked from an aerodynamic projectile fired from our railgun on an open test range», stated Nick Bucci, Vice President Missile Defense Systems, GA Electromagnetic Systems Group. «GA-EMS’ successful testing and on-going investment to advance our scalable railgun and projectile technologies illustrates our commitment to mature this transformational weapon system and provide the warfighter multi-mission advantages across several platforms».

During the week of testing, the electronics on-board the projectiles successfully measured in-bore accelerations and projectile dynamics, for several kilometers downrange, with the integral data link continuing to operate after the projectiles impacted the desert floor. On-board measurement of flight dynamics is essential for precision guidance. The test projectiles were launched at accelerations over 30,000 times that of gravity and were exposed to the full electromagnetic environment of the railgun launch.

GA-EMS’ Blitzer railgun is a test asset designed and manufactured by GA-EMS to advance technology development toward multi-mission weapon systems. Railguns launch projectiles using electromagnetic forces instead of chemical propellants and can deliver muzzle velocities greater than twice those of conventional guns. Blitzer railgun technology, when integrated into a weapon system that includes the launcher, high-density capacitor driven pulsed power, and weapon fire control system, can launch multi-mission projectiles with shorter time-to-target and greater effectiveness at longer range.

GA provides energy storage units for U.S. Navy 32-megajoule Railgun
GA provides energy storage units for U.S. Navy 32-megajoule Railgun

 

Electromagnetic Systems Group of General Atomics

The Electromagnetic Systems Group of General Atomics (GA-EMS) is actively working to bring electromagnetic railgun technology to the Department of Defense for multiple missions: integrated air and missile defense, surface fire support and anti-surface warfare.

GA-EMS’s expertise in electromagnetics stems from GA’s long history in high power electrical systems, from developing and building both fission and fusion reactors, through the Navy’s first electromagnetic launch and recovery equipment for aircraft carriers.

GA-EMS has developed, built and successfully tested two railguns, the internally funded the Blitzer 3 MJ system and a 32 MJ launcher for the Office of Naval Research (ONR). GA-EMS also designed and built the pulse power supply for both guns and is developing projectiles for air and missile defense and precision strike.

GA-EMS is continuing the Blitzer family of railguns with a 10 MJ system designed for mobile and fixed land-based applications.

Railguns deliver muzzle velocities up to twice those of conventional guns, resulting in shorter time to target and higher lethality at greater range with no propellant required onboard the platform. Railguns offer much deeper magazines and lower cost per engagement compared with missiles of comparable range.

Shorter time to the target and extended range

Railguns can reliably launch projectiles to muzzle velocities of Mach 6-7+. A round fired at sea level can reach the horizon in 6 to 7 seconds and still be traveling faster than a conventional gun‑launched munition at its muzzle.

Lethality without high explosives

Hypervelocity impact achieves high lethality through kinetic energy, eliminating the safety and logistic burdens of explosives.

Multi-mission capability

Railgun weapon systems employ guided, maneuverable projectiles, which can accomplish multiple missions with the same round. Railguns can also fire a family of different projectiles with varying capabilities, levels of sophistication, and cost.

Elimination of propellant

Because rounds are launched electromagnetically, propellant is not required. This results in much smaller rounds, enabling many more stowed rounds in a constrained volume as well as improved safety and reduced logistics burden.

Lower cost

The confluence of microelectronics, nanotechnologies, and electromagnetic acceleration enable missile performance without rocket motors. Railgun-launched guided projectiles are expected to be much lower cost than current assets for integrated air and missile defense.

Higher firepower

With deep magazines and high, sustained firing rates, railguns provide unprecedented firepower.

Reduced Asymmetry

The lower cost and higher firepower of railguns levels the playing field with potential adversaries.

General Atomics Railgun Projectile Development Passes Critical Tests at U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground

MEADS Selection

The German Federal Ministry of Defence has chosen the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) as the basis for Taktisches LuftVerteidigungsSystem (TLVS), a next-generation network-based tactical air and missile defense system. It will replace Patriot air defense systems initially fielded in the 1980s. Lockheed Martin will share in development of Germany’s TLVS with its MEADS International partner MBDA Deutschland.

A second MEADS Launcher has been integrated onto a German MAN Prime Mover
A second MEADS Launcher has been integrated onto a German MAN Prime Mover

«Lockheed Martin is fully committed to the success of TLVS», said Rick Edwards, president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «It reflects our continuing commitment to international partnerships and ongoing support for the German government’s leadership role in European missile defense».

MEADS has been developed through MEADS International, a cooperative venture between MBDA and Lockheed Martin. The TLVS program ensures seamless continuation of this successful development partnership. Lockheed Martin companies in Dallas, Texas; Huntsville, Alabama; Orlando, Florida; and Syracuse, New York, are expected to support the German program.

«With this decision in favour of MEADS, Germany has opted for a powerful, state-of-the-art, long term ground-based air and missile defence system sufficient to meet the threats both of today and of the future», said Thomas Homberg, managing director of MBDA Deutschland. «It is now our shared responsibility, together with the armed forces, to provide a solid basis for the introduction of the system».

A MEADS MFCR in the U.S. configuration completes an emplacement demonstration in Syracuse, New York. Range testing continues in preparation for a tactical ballistic missile intercept test in late 2013
A MEADS MFCR in the U.S. configuration completes an emplacement demonstration in Syracuse, New York. Range testing continues in preparation for a tactical ballistic missile intercept test in late 2013

In 2013, at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, MEADS became the first air and missile defense system to demonstrate a dual intercept of targets attacking simultaneously from opposite directions. MEADS is designed to significantly reduce operation and support costs by covering a larger area with less manpower and equipment, and less demand on airlift. Once in theater, MEADS elements emplace more quickly and can be repositioned without shutting the system down.

«We are honored that MEADS will provide the foundation for Germany’s next-generation air and missile defense system», said Mike Trotsky, vice president of air and missile defense at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «Only MEADS has demonstrated the advanced network capabilities and 360-degree defense that are now essential requirements for air and missile defense systems».

TLVS is being carried out under the system leadership of MBDA Deutschland, which continues to draw on MBDA Italia capabilities as well as on a proven industry partnership involving Lockheed Martin and Airbus Defence and Space as well as the skills of many German and international subcontractors.

The MEADS-based TLVS can be used for both national and alliance defence and to protect deployed troops during operations. Special features of the system include 360-degree coverage, open system architecture and «plug & fight» capability, which allows for the coupling of additional sensors and weapon systems, as well as rapid deployability. In addition, the TLVS air defence system can be operated at a significantly lower cost to the user than existing systems and with fewer personnel. The technologies generated within the framework of the tri-national MEADS development process represent the equivalent of €4 billion. Germany shouldered a 25% share of the investment.

Shown in their German configurations, a MEADS Multifunction Fire Control Radar, launcher, and battle manager appear together near Freinhausen, Germany
Shown in their German configurations, a MEADS Multifunction Fire Control Radar, launcher, and battle manager appear together near Freinhausen, Germany

 

Medium Extended Air Defense System

The MEADS provides a robust, 360-degree defense using the Patriot Advanced Capability-Three (PAC-3) hit-to-kill Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) against the full spectrum of theater ballistic missiles, anti-radiation missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, tactical air-to-surface missiles, and rotary- and fixed-wing threats. MEADS will also provide defense against multiple and simultaneous attacks by short-range ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and other air-breathing threats. MEADS can be immediately deployed by air for early entry operations. MEADS also has the mobility to displace rapidly and protect maneuver force assets during offensive operations. Netted, distributed, open architecture and modular components are utilized in the MEADS to increase survivability and flexibility of use in a number of operational configurations. The PAC-3 MSE improves upon the current missile configuration ranges/altitudes and improves performance against evolving threats.

The MEADS weapon system will use its netted and distributed architecture to ensure Joint and allied interoperability, and to enable a seamless interface to the next generation of Battle Management Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (BMC4I). The system’s improved sensor components and its ability to link other airborne and ground-based sensors facilitate the employment of its battle elements.

The MEADS weapon system’s objective battle management Tactical Operations Center (TOC) will provide the basis for the future common Air and Missile Defense (AMD) TOC, leveraging modular battle elements and a distributed and open architecture to facilitate continuous exchange of information to support a more effective AMD system-of-systems.

A MEADS MFCR is shown in deployed configuration in Germany. In European tests, the radar demonstrated tracking and canceling of jamming signals; searching, cueing, and tracking in ground clutter; and successfully classified target data using kinematic information
A MEADS MFCR is shown in deployed configuration in Germany. In European tests, the radar demonstrated tracking and canceling of jamming signals; searching, cueing, and tracking in ground clutter; and successfully classified target data using kinematic information

 

PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement

The PAC-3 MSE is an evolution of the battle-proven PAC-3 Missile. The hit-to-kill PAC-3 MSE provides performance enhancements that counter evolving threat advancements. The enhancements ensure the PAC-3 Missile Segment of the Patriot Air Defense System is capable of engaging new and evolving threats. The hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missile is the world’s most advanced, and capable theater air defense missile and defender against the entire threat to the Patriot Air Defense System: Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBMs) carrying weapons of mass destruction, evolving cruise missiles and aircraft.

The PAC-3 MSE design utilizes the latest technology to significantly increase performance. The PAC-3 MSE incorporates a larger, dual pulse solid rocket motor; larger fins; and upgraded actuators and thermal batteries to accommodate increased performance. The modifications extend the missile’s reach.

The PAC-3 MSE is packaged in a single canister that stacks to provide logistical flexibility. Twelve individual PAC-3 MSE Missiles can be loaded on a Patriot Launcher or a combination of six MSEs and eight PAC-3 Missiles (two four packs) can be loaded.

Several successful intercept flight tests of the missiles have been conducted.

PAC-3 MSE has completed operational testing and has received approval for initial production.

MEADS demonstrated its ability to engage and defeat a target coming from anywhere using just a single launcher
MEADS demonstrated its ability to engage and defeat a target coming from anywhere using just a single launcher

 

MEADS Introduction

Missile Killer

On June 6, the Technical Research and Development Institute (TRDI), Japan Ministry of Defense (MOD), and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), in cooperation with the U.S. Navy conducted the first flight test, dubbed Cooperative Development Controlled Test Vehicle-01, of an SM-3 Block IIA. The Raytheon SM-3 Block IIA’s larger rocket motors and bigger, more capable kill vehicle will deliver the capability to engage threats sooner and protect larger regions from short- (1,000 km or less) to medium- (1,000 to 3,000 km) and intermediate-range ballistic missile threats (3,000 to 5,500 km).

Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 Block IIA completed its first flight test on June 6, 2015, at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Saint Nicolas Island Facility, California (Photo: Missile Defense Agency)
Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 Block IIA completed its first flight test on June 6, 2015, at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Saint Nicolas Island Facility, California (Photo: Missile Defense Agency)

«The SM-3 Block IIA program reflects the MDA’s commitment to maturing this capability for the defense of our nation, deployed forces and our allies abroad», said Doctor Mitch Stevison, Raytheon Missile Systems’ SM-3 program director. «The success of this test keeps the program on track for a 2018 deployment at sea and ashore».

During the test, a SM-3 Block IIA, a 21-inch/0.53-meter diameter variant of the SM-3 missile, was launched from an Mk-41 launcher located at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Saint Nicolas Island Facility, California, to test the nosecone performance, steering control section functioning, booster separation and second stage rocket motor separation.

No intercept was planned, and no target missile was launched. Program officials will evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the first flight test.

The Raytheon SM-3 family of interceptors has taken out more threat targets in space than all other comparable programs combined. Key to its success – a so-called «crawl, walk, run» development approach that builds on proven systems. These days, the program is not just hitting its stride, it is sprinting.

The Standard Missile-3 Block IIA is on track for 2018 deployment at sea and ashore in Poland
The Standard Missile-3 Block IIA is on track for 2018 deployment at sea and ashore in Poland

 

Standard Missile-3

The Raytheon SM-3 program is a critical piece of the United States’ Phased Adaptive Approach for missile defense. Currently, U.S. Navy ships carrying SM-3s deployed off Europe’s coast provide the continent’s only «upper tier» defense from the growing threat of ballistic missiles. Starting this year, the first land-based SM-3 site will become operational in Romania, further enhancing Europe’s protection

The flexibility of SM-3 to be both land- and sea-based offers countries that do not have ballistic missile defense-enabled navies to take advantage of the SM-3’s incredible capacity to protect large areas of land, often referred to as regional defense, with fewer interceptor sites when compared to other «lower tier» missile defense solutions.

Whether on land or at sea, the SM-3 continues to excel in testing. In 2014, the SM-3 Block IB was successfully launched for the first time from an Aegis Ashore testing site in Hawaii. Later in the year, an SM-3 destroyed a short-range ballistic missile target during a highly complex integrated air and missile defense exercise in the Pacific.

The program has more than 25 successful space intercepts, and more than 200 interceptors have been delivered to U.S. and Japanese navies.

The new Standard Missile-3 will offer greater protection from short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats
The new Standard Missile-3 will offer greater protection from short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats

 

SM-3 Block IB

The Raytheon SM-3 Block IB has an enhanced two-color infrared seeker and upgraded steering and propulsion capability that uses short bursts of precision propulsion to direct the missile toward incoming targets.

The next-generation SM-3 Block IB became operational in 2014, deploying for the first time on U.S. Navy ships worldwide.

The Standard Missile-3 Block IIA’s larger rocket motors will allow it to take out threats sooner
The Standard Missile-3 Block IIA’s larger rocket motors will allow it to take out threats sooner

 

SM-3 Block IIA

The new SM-3 Block IIA is being developed in cooperation with Japan and will be deployable on land as well as at sea. It has two distinct new features: larger rocket motors that will allow it to defend broader areas from ballistic missile threats and a larger kinetic warhead.

SM-3 Block IIA is the centerpiece of the European missile defense system, and Raytheon Company will begin flight-testing in 2015 to keep the program on track for 2018 deployment at sea and on land in Poland.

 

NATO intelligence reports indicate the threat of ballistic missiles is increasing in number and complexity. By 2018, all of Europe could be at risk. From sensors to interceptors, Raytheon’s proven ballistic missile defense systems provide layered defense around the world. Defending the continent requires a robust system of integrated land, sea and space Ballistic Missile Defense assets. This hypothetical scenario examines two critical Raytheon assets: AN/TPY-2 Radar and Standard Missile-3

Go to HELLADS

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions, announced on May 21, 2015 that the High-Energy Liquid Laser (HELLADS) completed the U.S. Government Acceptance Test Procedure and is now being shipped to the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), New Mexico. At WSMR, the laser will undergo an extensive series of live fire tests against a number of military targets.

The recently certified Generation 3 laser assembly is very compact at only 1.3 × 0.4 × 0.5 meters. The system is powered by a compact Lithium-ion battery supply designed to demonstrate a deployable architecture for tactical platforms
The recently certified Generation 3 laser assembly is very compact at only 1.3 × 0.4 × 0.5 meters. The system is powered by a compact Lithium-ion battery supply designed to demonstrate a deployable architecture for tactical platforms

The HELLADS Demonstrator Laser Weapon System (DLWS) is designed to demonstrate the efficacy of a tactical laser weapon in Counter-Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (CRAM), Counter-Air and Counter-Missile applications, as well as a number of special applications. The 150 kW Class HELLADS laser has been developed over a number of years to create a completely new approach to electrically powered lasers with sufficiently low size, weight, and power consumption to enable deployment on a number of tactical platforms.

«HELLADS represents a new generation of tactical weapon systems with the potential to revolutionize sovereign defenses and provide a significant tactical advantage to our war-fighters», said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. «It is remarkable to see high-power laser technology mature into an extremely compact weapons system and be deployed for field tests. It will be even more remarkable to witness the impact that this will have on U.S. Defense capability».

The HELLADS laser was developed through a series of stage/gate phases beginning with a physics demonstration and progressing through a series of laser demonstrators at increasing power levels. At each stage, DARPA required beam quality, laser power, efficiency, size, and weight objectives to be demonstrated. The program also developed the world’s highest brightness laser diodes, compact battery storage, and thermal storage systems, and improved the manufacturing process and size of specialized laser materials and optics.

The HELLADS DLWS holds the world’s record for the highest laser output power of any electrically powered laser. Doctor Michael Perry, vice president of Laser and Electro-Optic Systems for GA-ASI, credits DARPA with a unique capability to foster, nurture, and support such a development. «The HELLADS team of program managers, technical support, and DARPA senior management has worked to address the challenges of developing a completely new technology. Additionally, if it were not for the hard work of our scientists and engineers, we could not have succeeded. This is the most challenging program that I have been associated with», said David Friend, HELLADS Program Manager, GA-ASI. «This program has advanced the state-of-the-art in so many areas».

The pioneering HELLADS DLWS represents the first generation of the technology. Through other U.S. Government programs separate from the DARPA-supported work, GA-ASI has demonstrated, second and third Generation versions of the technology, which significantly increase the efficiency and reduce the size, weight, and power consumption for the system while increasing the beam quality.

The third Generation system is currently being incorporated into a Tactical Laser Weapon Module designed for integration into both manned and unmanned aircraft systems. «Even as we begin development of the fourth Generation system, I am looking forward to seeing HELLADS perform in the live fire tests», said Doctor Perry. «The laser technology is a means to an end. What matters is the new and cost-effective capability that we can bring to our country».

Featuring a flexible, deployable architecture, the TLWM is designed for use on land, sea, and airborne platforms and will be available in four versions at the 50, 75, 150, and 300-kilowatt laser output levels
Featuring a flexible, deployable architecture, the TLWM is designed for use on land, sea, and airborne platforms and will be available in four versions at the 50, 75, 150, and 300-kilowatt laser output levels

New Generation

According to Nicholas de Larrinaga, Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter, Turkish armoured vehicle manufacturer FNSS displayed its Kaplan-20 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) for the first time on 5 May at the IDEF 2015 defence exhibition in Istanbul (Turkey). The Kaplan-20 NGAFV (New Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle), weighing in at 20 tonnes, is the latest member of the Kaplan family, following on from the 10-tonne Kaplan reconnaissance vehicle, which was unveiled at IDEF 2013.

The vehicle architecture contains protection systems against mines, rocket propelled grenades and kinetic energy threats
The vehicle architecture contains protection systems against mines, rocket propelled grenades and kinetic energy threats

The Kaplan-20 IFV at IDEF this year is a working prototype, company officials told IHS Jane’s, and is planned to begin trials in later in 2015. Although not created for a current Turkish military requirement, the country is expected to launch a programme for a replacement IFV within the next few years.

The Kaplan-20 IFV has a low silhouette, and with its twin 6 road wheeled tracks, has the ability operate in hot/cold weather conditions at high speed not only on asphalt and stabilized highways, but also in soft soil, muddy and rough terrains. The advanced suspension system, tracks has been designed to reduce vibration and increase road holding. Access to the vehicle is gained through a personnel door on the ramp or the hydraulic ramp located at the rear of the vehicle. On the top, there is a wide hatch for personnel and another hatch that has been specifically designed to maximize the driver’s field of view. The maintenance and repair of the power pack are performed via the cabin access hatch and hatches that are at the front of the vehicle. The two fuel tanks are located at the rear for balance and are fully-armored and isolated from the vehicle to ensure the security of personnel.

The Kaplan-20 is available with two turret options, with both a two-person and an unmanned version of the FNSS Teber turret being offered. Either can be fitted with a 30-40 mm automatic cannon, with the IDEF display vehicle being equipped with an unmanned turret armed with a an ATK Bushmaster Mk-44 30-mm dual-feed cannon. Both turret configurations are armed with a 7.62-mm coaxial chain gun.

In addition up to date electronic subsystems are also integrated together with high performance power pack, heavy duty suspension and tracks which enables the vehicle to carry heavy loads such as 105-mm gun systems
In addition up to date electronic subsystems are also integrated together with high performance power pack, heavy duty suspension and tracks which enables the vehicle to carry heavy loads such as 105-mm gun systems

Company officials told IHS Jane’s that the vehicle has been designed to offer a low visual and thermal signature. They added that it has an internal volume 40% larger than vehicles in the same weight class, such as the ACV. When fitted with an unmanned turret the Kaplan-20 carries a crew of three and can take eight dismounts – which drops to six when fitted with a manned turret. Situational awareness is provided across 360° through day and night cameras. It is also fitted with a range of features such as an acoustic shot detection system and an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU).

FNSS officials told IHS Jane’s that the Kaplan-20 is entirely indigenously designed, although the vehicle’s running gear, powerpack, electronic systems, and armour have been bought in from foreign suppliers. The Kaplan-20 features rubber band tracks (from Germany’s Diehl), which FNSS company representatives said reduced both noise and vibration, improving crew comfort and extending the service life of onboard equipment.

The IFV has been designed to keep pace with Turkey’s new Altay Main Battle Tank (MBT), and offers a maximum cross-country speed of 43 mph/70 km/h. FNSS intends the Kaplan-20 to offer 25 hp per tonne, although an engine supplier has yet to be chosen for the vehicle, which was displayed without an engine installed. As well, Kaplan-20 has an amphibious capability, with two water jets mounted at the rear.

There are also laser-protected glass periscopes that allows the driver to see outside with wide angle of view which provides, high situational awareness. Integrated night vision systems is standard in all variants
There are also laser-protected glass periscopes that allows the driver to see outside with wide angle of view which provides, high situational awareness. Integrated night vision systems is standard in all variants

Technical Specifications

GENERAL
Power to Weight Ratio 25 hp/ton
Engine Diesel
Transmission Fully Automatic
Crew 3+6, 3+8 (Including Gunner, Driver and Commander)
Length 6.5 m/21.3 feet
Width 3.15 m/10.3 feet (Without Active Protection)
Height Overall 2 m/6.5 feet
Electrical System 24 V
Suspension Torsion Bar
Steering System Through Transmission
MOBILITY
Maximum Road Speed 43 mph/70 km/h
Swimming Amphibiously
Range 404+ miles/650+ km
Gradient 60 %
Side Slope 40 %
Trench Crossing 2.6 m/8.5 feet
Obstacle Climbing 0.70 m/2.3 feet
ARMAMENT
Main Armament RCT (Remote Controlled Turret), 30-mm Automatic Cannon
Coaxial Armament 7.62 mm Machine Gun
PROTECTION SYSTEM
CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) Protection System
CBRN Detection System
A/C
Automatic Fire Extinguishing System
Reduced Thermal Signature
Blast and Leakage Protected Fuel Cells
Advanced Modular Armor Protection
Active Protection System
Mine Blast Protected Seats
Smoke Grenade Dischargers
MISSION EQUIPMENT
360° Degrees Situational Awareness
See Throe Armor System
Wireless Crew Intercom System
Navigation System
Auxiliary Power Unit (APU)
Daylight-Responsive Interior Lighting Controls
Drivers Thermal Sights
Sniper Detection System

 

The New Generation Tracked Armoured Fighting Vehicle

Danish piranha

General Dynamics European Land Systems S.L. (GDELS), through its Switzerland-based subsidiary GDELS-Mowag, has been notified by the Ministry of Defense of Denmark that the PIRANHA 5 Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) has been selected as the new Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) for the Danish Armed Forces. The contract from the Danish Ministry of Defense will include the acquisition of a minimum of 206 new armoured personnel carriers, with the exact number to be determined at a later date.

Denmark will purchase a minimum of 206 PIRANHA 5s, with the number potentially rising to 450
Denmark will purchase a minimum of 206 PIRANHA 5s, with the number potentially rising to 450

«General Dynamics European Land Systems is very proud to have been selected to supply its PIRANHA 5 to the Danish Armed Forces as it underlines the confidence and satisfaction of our Danish customer», said Alfonso Ramonet, president of General Dynamics European Land Systems. «General Dynamics European Land Systems looks forward to a close and cooperative relationship with the Danish Ministry of Defense in their selection of a new generation of armored vehicles».

«We are confident that this program and the PIRANHA 5 in particular will guarantee the best protection for the Danish troops and provide the best value for the Danish industrial base. We will work with the Danish Ministry of Defense, our local industry partner Falck Schmidt Defense Systems and other Danish industry to provide the best solution and to meet our customer’s requirements on turn-around time, on-time delivery, cost-effective support and best value», said Alfonso Ramonet.

General Dynamics European Land Systems, headquartered in Madrid, Spain, is a business unit of General Dynamics, and conducts its business through five European operating sites located in Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Czech Republic.

In Royal Danish Army service the PIRANHA 5 will replace the M113 series of tracked APCs
In Royal Danish Army service the PIRANHA 5 will replace the M113 series of tracked APCs

 

PIRANHA 5

Highly mobile, armored multi-role wheeled vehicle with a high payload and a large internal volume. The PIRANHA 5 provides protection against current threats. Its integrated modular and adaptable survivability system can also be tailored to protect against future threats.

The economic Fuel Efficient Drivetrain System (FEDS) and the high performance diesel engine provide the expected power and cruising range. There is still growth potential in the area of hybrid power boost technology.

The semi-active hydro-pneumatic suspension system with height management allows the highest mobility and provides excellent ride comfort for the crew. The open vehicle architecture with health/usage monitoring system allows for rapid system integration, data exchange between onboard systems and future growth.

The wheeled PIRANHA 5 is technologically one of the most advanced armoured wheeled vehicles, built on international battlefield experience. The inherent growth potential and power reserves will provide the Danish Armed Forces the ability to upgrade the vehicle over the lifetime in accordance with new evolving requirements in the future. It builds on the heritage of the PIRANHA vehicle family already in service with the Danish Armed Forces, which has been proven in international operations.

For the Danish requirement the PIRANHA 5 had competed in trials against one other 8x8, the Nexter Systems Véhicule Blindé de Combat d'Infanterie, and three tracked offerings: the FFG Flensburger Protected Mission Module Carrier G5, BAE Systems Armadillo and General Dynamics European Land Systems – Santa Barbara Sistemas ASCOD 2
For the Danish requirement the PIRANHA 5 had competed in trials against one other 8×8, the Nexter Systems Véhicule Blindé de Combat d’Infanterie, and three tracked offerings: the FFG Flensburger Protected Mission Module Carrier G5, BAE Systems Armadillo and General Dynamics European Land Systems – Santa Barbara Sistemas ASCOD 2

Product Features

WEIGHTS (approximately)
Empty weight 17.0 t/37,478.6 lbs
Payload 13.0 t/28,660.1 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) 30.0 t/66,138.7 lbs
DIMENSIONS (approximately)
Overall length 8.00 m/26.2467 feet
Height over hull 2.34 m/7.67717 feet
Overall width 2.99 m/9.80971 feet
Angle of approach 45°
Angle of departure 35°
Number of seats up to 13
PERFORMANCES WITH GVW
Maximum speed on roads 62 mph/100 km/h
Creep speed 1.8 mph/3 km/h
Gradient 60 %
Maximum side slope 40 %
Maximum step climbing 0.75 m/2.46063 feet
Fording depth 1.50 m/4.92126 feet
Trench crossing capability 2.00 m/6.56168 feet
Turning circle (curb-to-curb) 15.0 m/49.2126 feet
Range on roads (mix of road/off-road driving) 550 km/342 miles
Operating voltage 28 V DC
Power-to-weight ratio 14.3 kW/t (19.3 hp/t)
ENGINE
Type MTU
Fuel Diesel
Performance 430 kW/580 hp
Torque 2000 Nm
TRANSMISSION
Type ZF-Ecomat
Mode of operation Automatic
Number of gears 7+1 r.
DRIVELINE AND SUSPENSION
Axles All wheel drive
Fuel Efficient Drive train System (FEDS)
Wheels and tires 14.00/R 20 or 16.00/R 20 with Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS), run-flat inserts
Suspension system Height-adjustable, semi-active, hydropneumatic suspension system, independent on all wheel stations
Shock absorbers Hydraulic, integrated in the hydro elements
Brakes system Pneumatic double-circuit brake with 6-channel ABS (Anti-lock Brake System)
AMPHIBIOUS KIT (OPTION)
Seawater cooling system
Closable louvres of engine grills
Water propulsion 2 propellers
Steering control 2 twin rudders
Trim van and snorkel system
PROTECTION
Modular integrated protection layout
Baseline vehicle is designed for the highest level of protection against mine and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threats
Latest shielding technology against Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) threats
Add on armour for different protection levels with coverage >95%
Provision for the Active Protection System (APS)
ARMAMENT (EXAMPLE)
Remotely controlled light weapon stations up to heavy turret/gun systems
EQUIPMENT
Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) overpressure system
Fire-suppression system for the crew compartment
A/C system
Arctic kit
Integrated starter generator for 100 kW external power
Modular electronics architecture (VECTRONICS, MILCAN, HUMS),upgradeable according to customer requirements
BUILT-IN GROWTH POTENTIAL
Gross Vehicle Weight rating 33.0 t/72,752.5 lbs
Hybrid boost power +100 kW
Latest protection kit
Electronic architecture
Lethality
According to the MoD, the selection of the PIRANHA 5 was made «after thorough examination and evaluation of suppliers' offers and testing of the vehicles»
According to the MoD, the selection of the PIRANHA 5 was made «after thorough examination and evaluation of suppliers’ offers and testing of the vehicles»

Norwegian Supacat

The UK high mobility vehicle specialist, Supacat, has signed a £23 million (US $34.8 million) contract with The Norwegian Defence Logistic Organisation (NDLO) to supply a new fleet of High Mobility Vehicles. Supacat is supplying the HMT Extenda vehicle, the most capable vehicle in its class with the highest levels of mobility, protection, payload and firepower.

The open vehicle is typically used for scout, patrol and special forces-type roles
The open vehicle is typically used for scout, patrol and special forces-type roles

Under the contract, the NDLO has an option for a follow-on order that would double the fleet. The award includes the provision of a comprehensive through life support package. The first «pre-series» vehicle will be delivered in late 2016 followed by full fleet delivery from 2017 to 2019. Supacat will build the rolling chassis at its Devon based facility and it is planned that final fit and integration is completed in Norway.

«Securing Norway’s High Mobility Vehicle contract is a prestigious win for Supacat. It reinforces our world lead in this niche corner of the defence industry and underlines HMT Extenda’s position as the vehicle of choice for the modern fighting forces», said Nick Ames, Managing Director, Supacat Group Ltd.

Used by special operations forces, the Extenda order for Norway comes just over eight months after Australia signed up a AUS $105 million (US $82.8 million) deal with Supacat for delivery of 89 of the high-mobility machines
Used by special operations forces, the Extenda order for Norway comes just over eight months after Australia signed up a AUS $105 million (US $82.8 million) deal with Supacat for delivery of 89 of the high-mobility machines

The NDLO will acquire the latest version of the HMT Extenda with modifications to meet Norwegian requirements.

The HMT Extenda is unique as it is convertible to a 4×4 or a 6×6 configuration by inserting or removing a self-contained third axle unit to meet different operational requirements. Like other HMT series platforms, such as «Jackal», the HMT Extenda can be supplied with optional mine blast and ballistic protection kits and with a variety of mission hampers, weapons, communications, ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance) and force protection equipment to suit a wide range of operational roles.

Designed by Supacat, the HMT product is manufactured under licence from Lockheed Martin
Designed by Supacat, the HMT product is manufactured under licence from Lockheed Martin

 

Specification

Model 4×4 6×6
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) 7,600 kg/16,755.1 lbs 10,500 kg/23,148.5 lbs
Payload 2,100 kg/4,629.71 lbs 3,900 kg/8598.03 lbs
Kerb weight (with fuel and armour) 5,500 kg/12,125.4 lbs 6,600 kg/14,550.5 lbs
Turning circle (kerb to kerb) 13.5 m/44.29 feet 17.5 m/57.41 feet
Speed

120 km/h/75 mph

Fuel capacity

200 Litres/52.83 US gal

Maximum road range 700 km/435 miles 800 km/497 miles
Fording

1,000 mm/39.37 inch

Gradient

60%

Side slope

35°

Engine

Cummins 6.7 L, 6 cylinder Diesel, 180 hp, 700 Nm torque

Transmission

5 speed automatic

Drive

2WD/4WD, High low range

Brakes

Air over hydraulic system ABS

Differentials

Limited slip

Steering

Power assisted

Tyres

335/80 R20

Electrical system

24V DC

Suspension

Independent with air adjustable ride height

Options

Runflat tyres, locking differentials, self-recovery winch, weapon mounts, remote weapons station, smoke grenade launchers, IR lights, Right Hand Drive (RHD) or Left Hand Drive (LHD)

 

Instructors from the Specialist Training Division are pictured training members of 1st Queens Dragoon Guards to operate the Extenda vehicle during an intensive eight-day course. The course is run at the Driffield Training area in North Yorkshire, which is part of the Defence School of Transport based at Leconfield. The Extenda is the six-wheeled variant of the Jackal vehicle with a load carrying capability at the rear of the vehicle and amongst other duties is used in Afghanistan for re-supply to areas, which are difficult for other vehicles to access

 

Formula One

Engineers at BAE Systems have applied the new upgrade «Active Damping» system to current variants of the CV90 combat vehicle family; breaking speed records in rough terrain and increasing the CV90’s agility by reducing the vehicle’s pitch acceleration by approximately 40 per cent – taking a world class system to the next level, and leaving competitors behind.

In a world first, tracked military vehicles are being upgraded with technology adapted from Formula One to improve handling and speed across the battlefield
In a world first, tracked military vehicles are being upgraded with technology adapted from Formula One to improve handling and speed across the battlefield

First introduced into Formula One in the 1990s, the «Active Damping» system works by sensing the speed of the vehicle and lay-out of the terrain ahead and responding by pressurising the suspension to keep the vehicle on a level plane at all times.

This increased stability across all terrain is helping to reduce the wear and tear on the armoured vehicles and subsequently reduce through-life repair costs for each vehicle, despite seeing each able to travel 30 – 40 per cent faster on rough terrain.

For the crew of a CV90, the technology means a smoother ride and a reduction in fatigue; an important factor on the battlefield. The reduced vertical motion also increases the gunner’s probability of finding and hitting targets.

F1 technology adapted to Armoured Combat Vehicles by BAE Systems
F1 technology adapted to Armoured Combat Vehicles by BAE Systems

The suspension system usually operates on carbon fibre racing cars weighing no more than 700 kg, but engineers at BAE Systems have cleverly adapted it to use on heavy tracked vehicles, some weighing as much as 35 tonnes. In recent trials a CV90 fitted with active damping set a new speed record on a rough terrain course, beating the Main Battle Tanks (MBTs).

Dan Lindell, CV90 Platform Manager at BAE Systems, said: «Adapting the Active Damping system for the first time from a light weight car to a heavy tracked vehicle such as CV90 was a unique challenge for us, but this advanced technology will deliver results to our customers in terms of vehicle performance and savings on the through life costs, as well as providing real benefits to the front line solider».

The CV90 is designed and built by BAE Systems in Sweden and is one of the largest families of armoured combat vehicles. CV90 is currently used in countries such as Norway, Finland and Denmark and has successfully performed in global operations including UN and NATO collaborations.

CV90 Active Damping
CV90 Active Damping

 

Specifications

Top speed:                                           43.5 mph/70 km/h

Range:                                                    559 miles/900 km

Payload:                                                16 tonnes

Ballistic:                                                 > 5

Mine:                                                        > 4a/4b

Trench crossing:                                 2.6 m/8.5 feet

Step climbing:                                      1.1 m/3.6 feet

Fording:                                                   1.5 m/4.9 feet

Remote Weapon Station (RWS):      7.62 – 40 mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL)

Turret:                                                        25-120 mm/0.98-4.72 inch

No. of operators:                                   3 + 7

Gradient:                                                    60 %

Power to weight ratio:                        17.1-24.2 kW/ton

Electrical power:                                     570 A

Engine:                                                           Scania V8

Operating temperature:                      C2-A1

Driveline

Steel or rubber tracks:      ≤ 28 tonnes

Steel:                                            > 28 tonnes

Semi active dampening

F1 technology adapted to CV90
F1 technology adapted to CV90