All Terrain and High Mobility Vehicles
UK looks to airdrop Jackal
By Andrew White
19 January 2010
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is seeking a parachute-based delivery solution to insert Jackal long-range patrol vehicles (LRPVs) into Afghanistan's harsh terrain.
The Main Stores Parachuting programme is intended to replace the ageing Medium Stressed Platform that currently meets only a "fraction" of existing requirements, an MoD spokesman told Jane's on 14 January.
The Supacat 4x4 Jackal weighs around 7,000 kg but has the capacity to carry an additional 3,000 kg payload, including fuel, water, ammunition and weapons for operations in Afghanistan. The Medium Stressed Platform can only carry an all-up weight of around 8,000 kg so the MoD wants to replace or modify it with a system capable of carrying up to 10,000 kg.
The MoD said the programme represented a "sizeable challenge" and confirmed that an invitation to tender has already been submitted to industry quoting a requirement for a high-altitude aerial delivery system capable of hitting drop zones of unspecified size.
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Copyright © IHS (Global) Limited, 2010
TPI Composites Successfully Tests its All Composite Military Vehicle
First-of-its-kind prototype saves 900 pounds compared to traditional HMMWV and provides a more durable alternative
07:57 GMT, January 20, 2010 SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.
TPI Composites, Inc. today announced its All Composite Military Vehicle (ACMV) has successfully completed both accelerated durability testing and road testing. It is believed to be the first completely composite tactical vehicle to accomplish such a milestone for the U.S. Army. These are significant steps toward integrating advanced composite materials into tactical vehicles which will provide a lighter, more durable option and provide the Army with the ability to:
• Traverse treacherous terrain while safely transporting troops and cargo
• Add personnel protection
• Add payload such as vital communications systems or ammunition
• Reduce corrosion and certain maintenance expenses
• Improve fuel efficiency in theater
The military's High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) was selected as the platform of the vehicle. The body structure of the ACMV, including the frame rails, were constructed of composite materials and contain no metal. Standard HMMWV drive trains, suspensions and other accessories were fastened to the composite body with methods similar to those used for steel and aluminum HMMWVs.
"We are very pleased with the performance of TPI's All Composite Military Vehicle," said CEO Steve Lockard. "A vehicle like this gives the U.S. Army several significant options to improve its HMMWV fleet. Not only will this vehicle give our troops increased mobility, its lighter, high-strength composition will allow for significant fuel efficiency and potentially allow for the addition of enhanced armor or greater payload. This is a huge step forward in military vehicle engineering."
The ACMV prototype was tested by Defiance Testing & Engineering in Troy, Michigan between October 9, 2009 and November 2, 2009. It was tested on a 4 post tire coupled vehicle test simulator. The vehicle was sent to Chrysler's Chelsea Proving Grounds for 85 hours, representing a 50,000 mile road test. The data represented a severe off road schedule typically used for light trucks and sport utility vehicles, commonly referred to as "L4S". The vehicle was tested in two different configurations – ballasted and un-ballasted. Other project team members that supported the program included the University of Delaware's Center for Composite Materials.
The ACMV was also tested at Nevada Automotive Test Center (NATC) between December 2008 and May 2009 and was subjected to the following performance tests:
• Static stability (tilt table)
• Dynamic stability (NATO double lane change)
• Dynamic stability (steady state turning)
• Ride quality and peak acceleration
• Peak vertical acceleration.
The vehicle was also tested for 5,000 miles on a mission profile-representative course. The road test consisted of 1,500 miles of primary roads, 1,500 miles of secondary roads and 2,000 miles of cross-country travel. The ACMV performed very well at NATC and Defiance exhibiting no significant structural failures.
"We're proud to apply our expertise in composite technology to assist the military in providing a lighter, safer, more durable vehicle for U.S. troops," said Lockard. "From our beginnings as a custom yacht manufacturer to the wind turbine blades we supply to GE Energy and Mitsubishi Power Systems to our military products, TPI has a heritage of innovation in composite manufacturing."
The next and last significant phase of testing of the ACMV is blast testing which is likely to take place in the first half of 2010.
This is not TPI's first entree into applying advanced composites in military vehicles. The company has designed and built improved HMMWV Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) hoods. It also designed and prototyped the first All Composite Cab for the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) platform. Like the ACMV, the HEMTT cab has successfully completed several tests required by the Army. In each case, TPI has reduced significant vehicle weight and produced parts that enhance vehicle payload and personnel protection.
Supacat Unveils Contender for New U.K. Vehicle
By andrew chuter
Published: 21 Jan 2010 14:36
LONDON - Supacat has taken the wraps off its contender to supply British forces fighting in Afghanistan with a new generation of light protected patrol vehicles (LPPVs). The company has delivered the SPV400 to the U.K. Ministry of Defence for trials alongside machines from two other suppliers in hopes of replacing the Snatch Land Rover with a better protected vehicle.
Trials at the Millbrook Proving Ground are to start in the next few days ahead of a possible urgent operational requirement order of, initially, up to 400 vehicles for British troops in Afghanistan. Other orders from the U.K. military could follow. The program remains unfunded for the moment, but if the order goes ahead, as is expected, a decision on a winner is likely later this year with deliveries due to start next year.
The trial pitches Supacat's SPV400 against the new Ocelot vehicle design from Force Protection Europe and Ricardo Specialist Vehicles and an offering from NP Aerospace.
Before the Jan. 20 publication of the SPV400 prototype's picture, only the Force Protection Ocelot vehicle had been seen publicly. The company rolled out its vehicle in time for the Defence Systems & Equipment International show here in September.
A fourth team short-listed by the MoD for the trials failed to provide vehicles after prime contractor Babcock withdrew at the last moment. Babcock said the Zephyr vehicle provided by design partner Creation UK needed more work to achieve survivability and maturity goals.
Supacat didn't mention by name the Snatch Land Rover replacement program in its news release, as the British MoD has forbidden all the contenders from making any public comments on the politically sensitive LPPV.
The company, a key supplier of high-mobility vehicles such as the Jackal and Coyote to British forces in Afghanistan, said a second prototype SPV400 would join an unnamed trials program toward the end of January.
The British Army is looking for a vehicle of about 7.5 metric tons and a little more than 2 meters wide, and offering new levels of protection compared with the discredited Snatch Land Rover, which has been blamed by the media, politicians and others for a number of roadside-bomb-related deaths.
Last edited by buglerbilly; 22-01-10 at 06:39 AM.
Force Protection to brief on Ocelot at International Armoured Vehicles 2010 exhibition
13:23 GMT, January 25, 2010
Visitors to the Force Protection stand (no.420) at the International Armoured Vehicles 2010 exhibition will be able to receive technology briefings on Ocelot, the new light protected patrol vehicle designed, developed and funded by Force Protection and Ricardo plc.
Since the middle of 2009 Ocelot has been put through an extensive series of blast and ballistic testing at Force Protection’s own blast range in the US. In addition automotive trials have been conducted at the Millbrook Proving Ground in the UK and the Ricardo facility in Shoreham. This series of tests has demonstrated the effectiveness of Ocelot’s unique ‘skateboard’ armoured spine configuration and pod design in terms of both survivability and mobility.
Ocelot’s highly versatile design enables a range of special-to-role pods to be mounted on the skateboard. The pods, which can be easily changed in the field as the need arises, have been designed for roles such as patrol, fire support or protected logistics. Four wheel steering is common to all configurations and the vehicle can be transported in a C-130 or underslung from a Chinook.
David Hind, Managing Director of Force Protection Europe, said, “The next generation of protected vehicles must meet a range of stringent demands. High levels of survivability and repairability must be combined with manoeuvrability, the flexibility to perform a number of roles, easy maintenance and light weight. Ocelot is equally suited to operations in desert, jungle, mountainous or urban environments. While non-threatening in appearance, it provides levels of protection never before achieved in a vehicle of this size and weight. We firmly believe Ocelot will meet the global need for a new class of light protected patrol vehicle”.
Force Protection will also be briefing on the Buffalo route clearance vehicle and the Cougar MRAP. Now in highly successful service with the US Army, Buffalo is the most advanced mine protected clearance vehicle in the world, with a ‘V’ shaped monohull chassis that directs the force of the blast away from the occupants, and with a large articulated arm for ordnance interrogation and disposal. The vehicle can be configured for multiple missions and is specifically designed to be repaired in the field. Renowned for its outstanding survivability performance in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Cougar is in service with a range of militaries, including Canada, Hungary, Italy, Poland, United States and the UK.
JLTV Teams Begin Government Prototype Construction
JLTV designs: Lockheed-BAE, General Tactical Vehicles, BAE-Navistar
Prototypes to incorporate design revisions from CDR prior to thorough testing
08:32 GMT, January 28, 2010 The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV Technology Development (TD) phase industry teams have begun to build government prototypes, engineering an unprecedented blend of mobility, payload capacity and survivability - building a light tactical vehicle that will withstand improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, drive quickly through diverse terrain and transport beneath a CH-47 or CH-53 helicopter.
The three teams awarded contracts for the 27-month TD phase - BAE-Navistar, General Tactical Vehicles, and Lockheed-BAE - have incorporated design revisions from their independent preliminary and Critical Design Reviews (CDR).
“The Joint and International JLTV program is one of the first Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition programs to embrace the principles of ‘Competitive Prototyping.’ Through the efforts of three contractors to build JLTV variants we can validate requirements and reduce risk,” said U.S. Army Colonel John Myers, the project manager for Joint Combat Support Systems.
“Independent CDRs provide the Army and Marine Corps with the opportunity to assess the technical maturity of each team's design relative to the TD phase requirements. As we progress from Preliminary Design Reviews to CDRs, each team further refined their design - Then we move into the build process. What the Government sees coming out of the CDR is what we should see in hardware when the vehicles are delivered for testing,” said Army Lt. Col. Wolfgang Petermann, product manager for JLTV.
Prior to testing, a series of independent test readiness reviews will serve as a checkpoint, ensuring that the vehicles were built as designed; the idea is to make sure that what was delivered on paper is the what is subsequently delivered in hardware, Petermann said.
“Shortly after the test readiness reviews we will begin full vehicle testing, beginning with safety certifications. We will then move into performance and RAM [reliability and maintainability] testing. We will conduct user evaluations with soldiers and Marines to verify requirements suitability,” Petermann said. “This is a robust test program not typically seen in a TD [technology development] phase.”
The prototypes will undergo 20,000 miles of RAM testing per vehicle, Peterman said.
In addition to prototype testing, each of the three JLTV industry teams delivered armor coupons and a number of ballistic hulls for blast-test evaluation at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md.
Industry partners have also conducted a series of subcomponent tests to include examinations of the adjustable height suspension, power integration capabilities, C4ISR architecture and blast-testing of the ballistic hulls, Petermann said.
“We have seen many mature individual technologies. The challenge will be seeing them integrated,” Petermann said.
At the end of the rigorous testing schedule, the prototype vehicles will go through extensive prototype live-fire tests where they are attacked in combat-like conditions by weapons most likely to be used by current and future enemies.
The TD phase is aimed at informing and refining the requirements for the JLTV family of vehicles through prototyping in order to reduce risks and lower costs of production. Upon completion of the 27-month TD phase, the government will conduct a new, full and open competition for a follow-on Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase, leading to the awarding of two contracts.
“Our intent is to come out with an RFP for the EMD phase with a low-risk, executable and affordable set of requirements. We anticipate an RFP release for April 2011 - to be followed by a contract award in fourth quarter 2011,” Petermann said.
Following a Milestone C decision in 2013, the Army plans to purchase 55,000 JLTVs and the Marines plan to buy 5,500. Full production is slated for 2015, Petermann said.
The Army-Marine Corps JLTV program will produce a fleet of tactical vehicles that can support a range of mission sets.
“We are developing a family of vehicles and companion trailers that can be used in any operational environment - low intensity conflict to high intensity conflict-Major combat operations to hybrid warfare. We have the SOCOM [Special Operations Command] requirements built into the vehicle, meaning no follow-on modifications will be necessary to accommodate their mission profiles - thus increasing commonality with the operating forces,” said Lt. Col. Ben Garza, JLTV program manager, Marine Corps.
Other requirements include building a vehicle that can generate 30 kilowatts of exportable power, drive when tires are shot, accommodate scalable armor solutions and extra spall liner and embedded diagnostics.
“The unarmored Humvee used to have great payload capacity and off-road mobility, but when you added armor it threw it off balance. We want to regain that off-road mobility we had with increased survivability - all on one transportable platform,” Garza said.
Currently, there are three payload categories which cover 10 JLTV configurations. Category A, the smallest category will have a combat transport weight of 14,322 pounds and supports a 3,500-pound payload while armored. Category B is somewhat larger supporting a 4,500-pound payload while armored; Category C supports a 5,100-pound payload while armored. The Category C vehicles will also address shelter and ambulance requirements. The entire family of JLTV is transportable by tactical assets (CH-47, CH-53, C-130), greatly reducing the burden on strategic assets such as the limited quantity of C-17 and C-5 aircraft.
Also, JLTV family of vehicles will be able to adjust its suspension to a height of 76 inches or less in order to board Maritime preposition force ships, Garza said.
By Kris Orborn
No More Army Humvees; Lots More MRAPS
By Colin Clark Monday, February 1st, 2010 4:03 pm
The Humvee, which replaced the Jeep, will no longer be bought by the Army.
While Arnold Schwarzengger certainly helped boost the Hunvee’s public profile, it has never achieved the legendary status of the Jeep and its
vulnerability to land mines (aka IEDs) made it something of a anachronism until much heavier armored versions were deployed.
While the service won’t buy any more Humvees, the Army is not getting rid of them.
“The Army is not buying more Humvees but other people buy Humvees so the line is not terminated. We envision the Humvee to be an enduring part of the Army fleet for a long time,” Army Lt. Gen. Edgar Stanton, the military deputy in the Army comptroller’s office, told reporters during a Q and A session after the Army budget briefing today.
While announcing that the Army’s “needs for this vehicle have been met” for new Humvees, the Pentagon also made clear that the need for MRAPs of various stripes have certainly not been met.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Central Command has a requirement for 10,600 more MRAPs. He broke the buy down, saying that the Pentagon plans to buy 6,600 more M-ATVs, the more agile off-road MRAPs made by Oshkosh, and another 4,000 regular MRAPs. Most of those will go to Afghanistan. There is $1.1 billion requested in the 2011 budget for MRAPs, according to the OSD budget overview.
A Defense Technology Blog
The Ground Truth
Posted by Paul McLeary at 2/2/2010 9:25 AM CST
MRAP being pulled out of the mud in Afghanistan. (USAF pic)
One of the undercovered aspects of yesterday $708 billion Pentagon budget proposal was the announcement by Secretary of Defense Gates that he was seeking an additional 10,600 Mine Resistant-Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to stack on top of the 15,000 already in use in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not all of those trucks will be the hulking monsters we have come to know over the past coule years, however -- 6,600 will be the M-ATV, the new Oshkosh-made lighter, more maneuverable version of the MRAP that is currently being deployed to Afghanistan. But that still means 4,000 new MRAPs are on the way, despite the fact that the vehicles have proven themselves so ill-suited for Afghanistan that the Pentagon ordered the rush development of the M-ATV to partially replace it. And for those keeping score, M-ATV orders are at $4 billion and counting.
Gates said yesterday that the fiscal year '10 supplemental calls for more than $1 billion to complete the MRAP program, while the fiscal year '11 request includes $3.4 billion to “sustain it." Over the past three years the Pentagon has sunk more than $26 billion into the MRAP program in an emergency procurement binge to try and counter the roadside bombs that have claimed the majority of American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. With this new request and the M-ATV orders we can revise that number to almost $35 billion over four years for armored vehicles.
Until yesterday, we had been told for months that the MRAP program was over, and that no more vehicles would be purchased – an assertion which obviously no longer holds. Similarly, don’t believe that the $3.4 billion in sustainment costs is the final number we’ll see. As I wrote in December, the Pentagon announced that it was sinking $776 million in to MRAP upgrades in late 2008. Part of this overhaul is the upgrade that many MRAP suspension systems are receiving in theater. Oshkosh Corp. is in the process of refitting 2,500 Cougar MRAPs made by Force Protection and BAE Systems-produced RG-33 MRAPs with its TAK-4 independent suspension system designed for the rough terrain of Afghanistan. So far, contracts for the suspension retrofit total about $190 million, with more than 1,500 vehicles having been upgraded, according to Oshkosh.
But with so many more vehicles to be sent to theater, and so many more upgrades to make, the MRAP program looks to be with us for quite some time.
EADS Defence & Security Supports the Safe Transport of Wounded Persons In Danger Zones
(Source: EADS Defence & Security; issued Feb. 2, 2010)
EADS Defence & Security (DS) and Mowag, the subsidiary of General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) which makes the armoured Eagle IV vehicle, will enable the German Armed Forces to quickly and safely transport ill and wounded soldiers through danger zones.
The companies involved developed an armoured ambulance system for the German ISAF troops operating in northern Afghanistan. As part of an order placed by the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB), Defence Electronics (DE), an integrated activity of DS, will equip a total of 20 vehicles with medical installations.
Apart from the necessary medical equipment, the requirements specify the provision of sufficient space to transport a wounded person lying down as well as the medical staff responsible for the care of the wounded such as a doctor, a rescue assistant or paramedic.
The ambulance version of the Eagle IV is designed for the role of a “mobile medical unit” (in German: “Beweglicher Arzttrupp” – BAT) for the Bundeswehr. This unit is to safely transport all severities of ill and injured from the site of occurrence to a medical facility whilst providing emergency medical care.
Bernd Wenzler, CEO of Defence Electronics, commented on this, saying: “Based on to the many years of experience that we have in the field of armoured transport and mobile military ambulance systems, and thanks to our expertise in integration, we were able to fully comply with the Bundeswehr’s requirements. For their soldiers on operations abroad, the German Armed Forces ordered an armoured ambulance which can fully meet the very demanding requirements for deployment in crisis regions.”
Defence Electronics is an integrated activity of EADS Defence & Security (DS). DS is a systems solutions provider for armed forces and civil security worldwide. Its portfolio ranges from sensors and secure networks through missiles to aircraft and UAVs as well as global security, service and support solutions. In 2008, DS – with around 23,000 employees – achieved revenues of EUR 5.7 billion. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2008, EADS generated revenues of EUR 43.3 billion and employed a workforce of about 118,000.
Corps Keeps Buying Growlers (The Jeep Kind)
This is such a humongous waste of money and resources! The unit cost is obscene...........ALWAYS has been!!!
More perusal of the service budgets reveal details of the Corps interest in the Internally Transportable Vehicle, a modernized version of the Jeep Willy that is designed to fly in the belly of an Osprey.
The Corps’ original plan was to pair this mini-me vehicle with the Expeditionary Fire Support System 120mm mortar and storm them Warsaw Pact style off the backs of the Osprey’s diminutive loading bay. But many doubt that capability (I for one have never seen it tested and I can’t imagine having flown a lot in Ospreys that the entire suit can fit in the cargo bay).
Yet the Corps keeps buyin’ ‘em.
According to the budget submission, the Corps wants to pay General Dynamics of St. Petersburg, Fla., $28 million to purchase 73 ITVs in the Light Attack Vehicle configurations — in other words, not the 120mm towing version.
Funds will support procurement of 73 ITV Light Strike Vehicles (LSV). The vehicles will be fielded to support upcoming Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) deployments to OEF. The procurement will also support production line activities used for the Expeditionary Fire Support System ( EFSS). The combined procurement of the ITV and EFSS prime mover platforms will allow production line operations to continue until the EFSS needs are fully satisfied. The unit costs for the ITV variants are impacted based on quantity differences and the negotiated prices derived from the negotiations.
I know there’s a lot of caveats here, but that comes out to around $380K per vehicle. Some of the money is being used for spares and other support costs, but if I’m reading the documents right (page 285) it looks as if the base cost for each ITV is around $273,000. That’s a lot of jack for an unarmored max-4-man minijeeep.
Better have some Corinthian Leather seats, burled wood paneling and full DVD/GPS entertainment system with Bose boosters for that kind of coin.