A new concept, first introduced at last
year's DSEI by Thales,
was the THOR multi-mission
vehicle. Interest in this vehicle type is increasing as could be
seen by the number of new designs presented at Eurosatory this year.
The multi-mission concept enables a single vehicle to undertake several
different missions depending on weapons fit, such as air defense, anti-tank, precision attack, bunker
buster and self defense. The implementation calls for the integration
of powerful optronics for intelligence gathering and target
acquisition, and the use of modular or multi-mission launcher, which
can fit several types of weapons, such as anti-aircraft,
anti-tank / multi-purpose guided weapons and guns for direct fire.
This concept was first introduced in combat by the Israeli Army,
when they employed the M-163 Vulcan as a fire support element in urban combat
during the Lebanese conflict and later in urban combat during the Intifada.
The Russians took this concept a step further, by developing the
Vehicle based on lessons learned during their military actions in Chechnya. With
the introduction of multi-purpose guided weapons such as the Hellfire,
Spike and Milan families, the concept migrated to the west.
At Eurosatory, several versions of Multi-Purpose platforms were
introduced, including the Canadian
MMEV, the French
MPVC, which was developed by MBDA and
the Avenger Multi-Role
Weapon System (AMWS) by Boeing.