Category Archives: Ground Forces

WAN ‘Trinity’

The new five-year contract will see BAE Systems lead a consortium of trusted partners, including Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), PA Consulting and L3Harris, to design and manufacture a deployable tactical Wide Area Network (WAN) known as ‘Trinity’.

WAN ‘Trinity’
UK MOD Awards £89m Contract to Boost Battlefield Communications

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has awarded BAE Systems an £89 million contract to enhance front-line connectivity for military personnel, linking small reconnaissance drones, combat vehicles, fighter jets, aircraft carriers and military commands.

Modern battles are fought across land, sea, air, space, cyber and electronic warfare. Rapidly evolving technologies mean each domain is highly contested so it is vital that militaries maintain control of their communications in these challenging environments.

The new five-year contract will see BAE Systems lead a consortium of trusted partners, including Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), PA Consulting and L3Harris, to design and manufacture a deployable tactical Wide Area Network (WAN) known as ‘Trinity’. This will deliver a highly-secure and state-of-the-art battlefield internet capability to UK forces which will sustain battlefield awareness and intelligence sharing through a myriad of adversarial attacks.

David Armstrong, Group Managing Director at BAE Systems’ Digital Intelligence business, said: «In an increasingly complex and fast-paced threat landscape, Trinity will empower the UK Armed Forces with a better view of what is happening, enabling them to make swift, informed decisions when and where it matters most. By providing this advantage to front-line decision makers, Trinity reinforces our commitment to equipping the British military with the right tools to stay ahead in an ever-evolving battlespace».

The contract will directly support 60 jobs based in Dorset and will see further investment in UK skills at BAE Systems, its partners and across the supporting supply chain.

BAE Systems will combine its defence communications expertise to develop, deliver and deploy world-leading network capabilities using the full spectrum of communications infrastructure to avoid being solely reliant on satellites or fixed infrastructure which are often targeted by adversaries.

Trinity’s resilience is based on its composition. It is made up of a series of nodes, each able to add, access and move data in a secure network. If a number of nodes are damaged in warfare, the rest automatically re-route to maintain optimum network speed and flow of information, making it highly effective.

Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey MP, said: «In this continually evolving, multi-domain environment it is vital that our personnel have access to world-leading communications capabilities while on operations. We remain committed to working closely with the best of British industry as they support our endeavour to better connect with our allies and their assets in theatre».

 

Notes to Editors

Falcon is the operational communications network for the Army and RAF, in simple terms, it is a battlefield internet service. It is due to be retired in 2026. Trinity will not replace the local area subsystem or telephony. BAE Systems is the incumbent provider for Falcon.

The £89 million will be dedicated to the research and development phase of the programme, with Trinity due to be delivered from December 2025.

There will be the option to extend the contract out to a total of nine years, to cover the development throughout its life and ensure the technical design continues to evolve to meet UK Armed Forces requirements.

Mid-Range Capability

The Army took its next step in bolstering its top modernization priority with a successful launch of the Tomahawk missile from its Mid-Range Capability (MRC) prototype system on June 27, showcasing the potential of its newest, ground-based missile launcher.

Mid-Range Capability (MRC)
The Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office’s Mid-Range Capability Project Office, in conjunction with Soldiers from 1st Multi-Domain Task Force, and the U.S. Navy Program Executive Office Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, successfully demonstrated the launch of a Tomahawk missile from the Army’s prototype Mid-Range Capability system on June 27, 2023 (U.S. Army photo by Darrell Ames)

Soldiers from the 1st Domain Task Force at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington and Sailors from the Navy Program Executive Office Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons Office took part in the joint, live-fire exercise that demonstrated the system’s full operational capability. Earlier this year, the Army fired an SM-6 missile from the mid-range capability. The launches occurred at undisclosed test sites.

The Navy uses the Tomahawk, an intermediate-range, subsonic, cruise missile to strike targets from 1,000 miles/1,609 km away and can switch destinations in mid-flight.

The Army eventually plans to field an MRC battery which will be assigned to a strategic fires battalion under a multi-domain task force. The battery’s prototype design consists of four launchers and a control center.

Soldiers contributed to the design and testing of the Mid-Range Capability weapon system, which the Army will use to augment its long-range, precision fires capability.

«From the start of the Mid-Range Capability program, Soldiers and Sailors have collaborated to provide the Army with this important capability», wrote the Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. «Soldiers have consistently participated in each phase of the development, training and testing of the MRC and continue to provide useful feedback».

The MRC system will eventually support the joint, multi-domain mission. The SM-6 missile can engage multiple threats including terminal ballistic missile defense, anti-air warfare and anti-ship strike roles.

Improvements by near peer adversaries in their long-range artillery systems present possible threats to U.S. forces. The Chinese military has leveraged Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAV, to produce precision munitions and greater target acquisition.

The Army made long-range precision fires its top modernization priority to upgrade and bolster its artillery and missile systems while developing hypersonic weapons and long-range cannons.

Counter UAS Solution

Elbit Systems announced on August 21, 2023 that it was awarded a contract worth approximately $55 million to supply multi-layered ReDrone Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) to the Netherlands. The contract will be performed over a period of four years.

ReDrone C-UAS
Elbit Systems Awarded a $55 Million Contract to Supply a Counter UAS Solution to the Netherlands

As part of the contract, Elbit Systems will supply several mobile, stationary and deployed configurations of the ReDrone integrated Counter-UAS solution along with a logistic support package and training.

The ReDrone Solution is comprised of Elbit Systems’ advanced DAiR Radar, signal intelligence (SIGINT) sensors, and COAPS-L Electro-Optical (EO) payload which provide an enhanced integrated aerial picture, along with high-end electronic attack capabilities, all fully controlled by a unified Command and Control system.

The ReDrone system provides functionalities beyond the common active and passive sensors that enable it to rapidly detect and locate multiple drones simultaneously within the protected area. The system can detect, identify, locate, track and neutralize hostile UAS during day and night, both in urban and rural environments and under various weather conditions.

Oren Sabag, General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR & EW: «The growing threat of drones creates an increasing demand for our Counter UAS solutions. We have leveraged our technology of advanced radar, signal intelligence, electro optic and electronic warfare technologies to develop an advanced, open and future ready solution for this emerging requirement of our customers. We are very proud to have been selected by the Netherlands to supply this solution and further strengthen our long-term partnership».

XM30 program

The U.S. Army has awarded American Rheinmetall Vehicles (Sterling Heights, MI) and the industry leading companies of Team Lynx – Textron Systems, Raytheon Technologies, L3Harris Technologies, Allison Transmission, and Anduril Industries – a contract for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) Phase 3 Detailed Design and Phase 4 Prototype Build and Test phases of the five-phased program, now named the XM30 Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle program. The Army awarded a total of two contracts for Phase 3 and 4 performance. The two competitors will now complete the designs that began in the Phase 2 Concept Design phase and build at least seven and as many as 11 prototypes for Army evaluation with a full contract value in excess of $700 million.

XM30 program
American Rheinmetall Vehicles and Team Lynx win contract for Phase 3 and 4 of the Army’s XM30 program

«American Rheinmetall Vehicles and our teammates are excited about the award and we look forward to continuing our important work with the Army in this critical modernization program», said Matthew Warnick, Managing Director for American Rheinmetall Vehicles. «Team Lynx brings together some of the finest defense technology companies in the world and will deliver a truly transformational, modern Infantry Combat Vehicle that ensures our Soldiers can fight, survive, and win on future battlefields».

American Rheinmetall Vehicles and Team Lynx are developing a next-generation XM30 that achieves the Army’s requirements for a combat vehicle with superior protection, unsurpassed firepower, and unbeatable mobility. Operating with other units or independently, the vehicle can sense, move, and strike in a connected, rapidly changing, complex, and lethal operational environment unlike any Infantry Combat Vehicle before.

With its modular design and open architecture, the Army can tailor the Lynx OMFV to meet specific missions or threats, rapidly evolving to adapt to future requirements. These features also significantly reduce the training and logistics burden, leading to greater operational readiness. The Lynx OMFV’s Ground Combat Systems Common Infrastructure Architecture (GCIA) hosts an electrical, software, and structural architecture that results in a uniquely modular concept that reduces production and lifecycle costs. This open systems approach to the vehicle architecture, coupled with weight growth margin and electrical power reserve, delivers a transformational platform today that is prepared for rapid adoption and insertion of the emerging new technologies of the future – ensuring overmatch today and overmatch tomorrow.

«American Rheinmetall Vehicles has brought together remarkable companies, ideas, technologies, and approaches to deliver a truly next-generation, lethal, survivable, and enduring infantry fighting vehicle concept», said retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Bill Mayville, a member of the ARV Board of Directors. «This team is delivering on the Army’s highest and most ambitious priorities and I am confident it will continue to bring exceptional solutions as part of this important modernization effort».

Design work for the upcoming phases will primarily take place at American Rheinmetall Vehicles’ facility in Sterling Heights, Michigan, with support from partners across the country. Final prototype assembly is slated to be done at the Textron Systems production facility in Slidell, Louisiana. Upon completion of Phases 3 and 4, the Army plans to down select to one vendor for Low-Rate Initial Production in Phase 5 of the program near the end of 2027.

Rheinmetall – Exclusively Lynx XM30 for the U.S. Army’s next-gen combat vehicle program

Visual Augmentation

Last week, the U.S. Army accepted delivery of the first 20 prototypes of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) 1.2 variant. The milestone is the latest step in the process of getting the most advanced version of the situational awareness system in the hands of Soldiers.

IVAS 1.2
IVAS 1.2 will be the IVAS variant fielded to the close combat force (U.S. Army photo by Frederick Shear)

Microsoft delivered the 20 prototypes to Project Manager Soldier Warrior, the program office within Program Executive Office Soldier responsible for overseeing the development of IVAS.

IVAS is a single platform that features an all-weather fighting goggle and a mixed reality heads-up display that integrates next-generation situational awareness tools and high-resolution simulations to provide Soldiers with improved mobility and lethality, during the day or at night. IVAS provides Soldiers with a single device to fight, rehearse and train.

«This is a really big deal for the program», said Colonel Anthony Gibbs, PM SWAR. «A little over a year ago we did an operational test with version 1.0 of the system. We learned a lot. We got a lot of good Soldier feedback. So last summer we came back and restructured the program. We took those lessons learned and all that Soldier feedback and in less than a year have what we now call version 1.2 of the system».

Soldiers and squads will use IVAS to gain a fuller understanding of their operational environment. Its enhanced low-light and thermal sensors improve target identification. IVAS integrates with ground and air platform sensors, allowing Soldiers to see outside vehicles before dismounting into a hazardous situation. IVAS provides 3D mapping and navigation capabilities and can ingest data from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

«IVAS complements what’s currently in the Army’s inventory while expanding close combat force capabilities by leveraging the digital architecture for shared awareness and computing at the edge», said Lieutenant Colonel Denny Dresch, Product Manager IVAS. «IVAS provides a first-person augmented reality perspective that enables the integrating of operational data such as routes and control measures into the person’s field of view».

The system’s embedded training tool, the Squad Immersive Virtual Trainer, also provides Soldiers objective-based scenarios and battle drills through holographic and mixed-reality imagery, giving units the flexibility to train their squads with minimal resources.

IVAS 1.2 builds and improves on the capabilities of previous versions of IVAS, IVAS 1.0 and IVAS 1.1. Specifically, IVAS 1.2 incorporates reliability upgrades, features an improved low-light sensor and introduces a new form factor with a lower profile heads-up display with a distributed counterweight for improved user interface and comfort.

IVAS 1.2 also has the capability to attach to a combat helmet with a «hinged» device to allow Soldiers to raise and lower the display, similar to traditional night vision goggles.

IVAS 1.0 and IVAS 1.1 will primarily be issued to schoolhouses and operational units for use in training to support the Army’s campaign of learning. The close combat force will receive IVAS 1.2.

«Anybody who has had IVAS on, even the early versions, knows that this is a transformative capability and really has the potential to change the way that we fight», said Gibbs. «This new version, 1.2, we think it’s really going to hit the mark in terms of what we need to put out there for our Soldiers to give them the situational awareness and the leap-ahead capability they need to stay ahead of our peers».

The 20 prototypes will be featured at a user assessment in August, during which two squads of Soldiers will use IVAS 1.2 to measure the system’s performance and ensure engineering efforts are on schedule and meeting design objectives.

Griffon and Jaguar

Nexter, Arquus and Thales have presented the 500th Griffon (VBMR) multirole armoured vehicle and the 50th Jaguar (EBRC) armoured reconnaissance and fighting vehicle to the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA). The three industry partners in the EBMR temporary consortium are meeting their contractual targets on the programme, which involves the delivery of a total of 1,872 Griffons and 300 Jaguars.

VBMR Griffon
GME Delivers 500th Griffon Vehicle to French Army

 

Manufactured and assembled by Nexter

Nexter, a KNDS company, is building the armoured aluminium body, outfitting the vehicle’s interior and manufacturing the turret for the Jaguar at the Roanne site. Its high-precision machining and robotic welding processes ensure that the welded aluminium structure of both the Griffon and the Jaguar provide the best possible level of protection for military personnel. Nexter is also manufacturing the Jaguar’s 40-mm cannon and its telescoped munitions at its Bourges and La Chapelle Saint-Ursin facilities.

Other Nexter sites and subsidiaries are supplying vehicle equipment including CBRN protection systems made by NBC-Sys at Saint-Chamond, onboard electronics and computers manufactured in Toulouse, and vision systems produced by OPT-Sys in Saint-Etienne. Nexter also has responsibility for final assembly and integration of all these components, and those provided by Arquus and Thales, into the vehicles.

EBRC Jaguar
Nexter, Thales and Arquus deliver 500th Griffon on Scorpion programme French

 

Ground mobility expertise from Arquus

Arquus is responsible for the design and manufacture of the complete powertrains for the Griffon and Jaguar vehicles, including the engine, the gearbox, the running gear and all the other parts and components that ensure the mobility of the vehicles.

These mobility kits are manufactured at the Arquus site in Limoges, the company’s centre of excellence for new vehicle production, and then shipped to Nexter in Roanne for integration into the vehicles.

The engines for the vehicles are built at the Arquus site in Marolles-en-Hurepoix, the company’s centre of excellence for engine militarisation. A team of some twenty specialists from Arquus are working alongside their partners in Roanne on a permanent basis to provide technical expertise and quality assurance for all powertrain parts and components.

Also, at its Marolles-en-Hurepoix site, Arquus is manufacturing the T1, T2 and T3 remotely operated turrets, which are common components of the Scorpion programme and equip both the Griffon and the Jaguar, but also the Serval (VBMR-L) light multi-role armoured vehicle.

 

Vehicle interconnection by Thales

Thales is providing the vehicle vetronics and data systems required to deploy the vehicles as a network and conduct collaborative engagements. This includes the common Scorpion vetronics, onboard sensors, secure communication systems and self-protection systems incorporating collaborative combat algorithms.

Thales is also responsible for the radars and sensor payload for the artillery observation vehicle (VOA).

This onboard computing architecture interconnects all the navigation, protection, observation and communication systems to give deployed units a decisive advantage in the theatre of operations by expanding their intelligence and response capabilities.

Anti-jam system

Raytheon UK announced on July 14, 2023 the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has purchased its 1000th Landshield unit, marking the latest milestone in the company’s efforts to defend critical GPS signals.

Landshield
A Raytheon UK engineer running Landshield through a series of tests

Landshield is a market-leading anti-jam system. Only the size of a hockey puck, Landshield’s lightweight, small frame and low power usage allow it to be ultra-versatile and operate on land, sea, and air. By repelling jamming and spoofing attempts, Landshield aims to ensure that it defends the GPS signals of any military system using it.

The Landshield family of products also has the distinct advantage of alerting users to the presence and location of interfering signals. These alerts provide critical, real-time situational awareness intelligence to support operational success in GPS-contested environments.

«By purchasing 1,000 units of Landshield and Landshield Plus, the MoD continues to show confidence in our suite of anti-jamming capabilities», said Rory Chamberlain, business development executive at Raytheon UK. «This sustained investment has allowed us to develop our partnership with the MoD and innovate in the most impactful ways».

Raytheon UK has developed, produced and supplied its suite of anti-jam products at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Glenrothes and Livingston, Scotland, for more than 20 years. Last year, 16,000 anti-jamming systems supplied by Raytheon UK were in service around the world on air, sea and land platforms.

The company has seen a surge in demand for anti-jamming products and has changed its manufacturing process accordingly, with further investment in its supply chain to meet urgent needs quickly.

«We know the importance of defending GPS in the 21st century», said Sam Missett, head of Assured Position, Navigation and Timing at Raytheon UK. «From financial systems to military applications, our reliance on the information that GPS provides continues to grow. By producing a product that continues to receive the backing of MoD, it demonstrates to us that we are delivering a level of capability that keeps us ahead of our adversaries».

Six TRML-4D radars

Sensor specialist HENSOLDT is supplying six high-performance radars to the German Armed Forces as part of Diehl Defence’s IRIS-T SLM air defence system. As part of an order from Diehl Defence worth a three-digit million euro sum, the first system is to be delivered to the Bundeswehr next year.

TRML-4D
HENSOLDT’s TRML-4D multifunction radar offers superior detection capabilities (Photo: HENSOLDT)

Thomas Müller, CEO of HENSOLDT, said: «This order closes a capability gap of the Bundeswehr and at the same time marks the start of the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI). Together with our partners Diehl and Airbus, we are thus strengthening national and alliance defence».

TRML-4D uses the latest digital radar technology. It is capable of detecting, tracking and classifying different types of aerial targets. A focus is on small, fast and low-flying and/or manoeuvring cruise missiles as well as aircraft and helicopters. It ensures the rapid detection and tracking of about 1,500 targets in a radius of up to 250 km/155 miles. Several systems are under contract to equip the Ukrainian air defence.

The joint solutions of Diehl Defence, Airbus and HENSOLDT are fully compatible with NATO’s integrated air defence architecture and have proven their interoperability.

HENSOLDT has decades of experience in air defence radar systems and actively drives the further development of key technologies in this field. In addition to the TRML-4D multifunction radar, the company’s portfolio also includes the Twinvis passive radar, the Spexer product family and radars for securing ship and air traffic. HENSOLDT supplies radars for the German Navy’s new frigates and corvettes, for surveillance of German airspace and for approach control at Bundeswehr airfields, among others.

Combat Vehicle

General Dynamics Land Systems announced on July 06, 2023 that it was awarded a $257.6 million U.S. Army contract modification for the second phase of M10 Booker Low-Rate Initial Production of the newly named M10 Booker Combat Vehicle, formerly known as Mobile Protected Firepower.

M10 Booker Combat Vehicle
Low-Rate Initial Production Continuing for New Direct-Fire Combat Vehicle

This latest award calls up 26 additional Booker vehicles.

Designed by General Dynamics Land Systems, the highly lethal, survivable and mobile direct-fire combat vehicle melds recently developed and battle-tested designs to dominate ground threats on the multi-domain battlefield. The Booker employs a four-person crew and features an enhanced thermal viewer, a large-caliber cannon, a lightweight hull and turret, and a modern diesel engine, transmission and suspension system. It has been designed from the start for capability upgrades, based on future operational needs.

«We are honored to continue to manufacture the M10 Booker Combat Vehicle», said Gordon Stein, General Dynamics Land Systems vice president and general manager for U.S. operations. «The M10 provides enhanced firepower for the Army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Teams and has been purpose-built to give them decisive lethality, mobility and survivability on current and future battlefields».

«We are proud that our years of innovation, research, development and investment have led to this solution for U.S. Soldiers», Stein said.

XM30

General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (GD), announced on June 27, 2023 that it has been selected by the U.S. Army to advance to the detailed design and prototype build and test phases of the XM30 Mechanized Infantry Combat Vehicle competition.

Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV)
General Dynamics Land Systems awarded $769 million to advance to next phase of OMFV competition

Formerly known as the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV), the XM30 is the Army’s next generation infantry fighting vehicle developmental program that will replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The U.S. Army Contracting Command awarded General Dynamics Land Systems $768.7 million firm-fixed-price contract for Phase III and IV detailed design and prototype build and testing.

«We are proud that our years of innovation, research, development and investment have led to this next-generation XM30 solution for the Army», said Gordon Stein, vice president and general manager of U.S. operations at General Dynamics Land Systems. «Our highly affordable XM30 development approach maximizes performance to the Army’s requirements, and delivers a vehicle that is purpose-built for the mission».

«Our XM30 was designed from its inception in our digital engineering environment, allowing efficient and agile integration of transformative capabilities on a platform that embodies the Army’s vision for the Ground Combat Systems Common Infrastructure Architecture (GCIA)», said Stein.