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September 2009 Combat Vehicles News Brief

More combat vehicles news: August | September | October | November


Ranger: a Hybrid Vehicle designed for Hybrid Battle

Universal Engineering launched the privately funded Project Ranger in June 2008 – developing a family of protected vehicles for use by military forces worldwide. The vehicle concept is unique, in that it has been designed from the crew outwards and offers the most advanced protection system available with an array of optional mission-enhancing systems, for commanders to choose from. The Ranger offers balanced yet uncompromised protection, mobility and payload carrying capability. (Read more...)

U.S. Army Defines Ground Combat Vehicle's (GCV) Priorities

The Army's U.S. Army's TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) is inviting candidate industries capable of designing, developing and producing the next generation vehicles of Ground Combat Vehicles to line up for the program. (Read more...)


British MOD Evaluates Foreign Designs for the FRES Scout Vehicle

The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has accelerated the processing of a new contract to procure about 600 armored vehicles as part of the reconnaissance and support vehicles, comprising four variants of the Future Rapid Effect Systems family of vehicles. FRES SV consists of three Blocks of Reconnaissance vehicles, plus Medium Armor and Maneuver Support. Up to 1,300 could be required in total. Recce Block 1, which consists of Scout, Repair, Recovery and Protected Mobility variants, is the biggest and seen as the highest priority.

BAE Systems Introduces the RG35, Cross Over Combat Vehicle

BAE Systems has launched the latest member of the combat proven RG family of armored vehicles at DSEi 2009, introducing the new 6x6 RG-35 Mine Protected multi-purpose fighting vehicle. This vehicle is defined as a 'crossover tactical vehicle', bridging the gap between wheeled armored fighting vehicle and mine ambush protected mine resistant vehicle. Based in part on the RG31 Mine Protected Vehicle, RG35 has a high level of off-road mobility and maneuverability, while maintaining high level of protection, meeting STANAG 4569B Level 4A/4B, and high level ballistic protection up to STANAG 4569A level 4.

New Vehicles Seek Opportunities for Light Patrol Vehicle

Armored vehicle designers and manufacturers in the UK are scrambling to develop light armored vehicles designed to replace the lightly armored 4x4 Land Rover Snatch light patrol vehicle, operated by he British forces in Afghanistan. Operated on throughout the IED infested roads of Afghanistan, soldiers riding the Snatch became too vulnerable to ambushes and IED attacks, raising increased public scrutiny of the vehicle and its usage. In February 2009 the MOD Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) organization is begun the process to replace the Snatch with an all-protected, yet compact and highly maneuverable light-protected patrol vehicle (LPPV). The initial phase will require up to 400 new vehicles to be delivered in 2010-2011.

U.S. Army is Seeking Developers, Suppliers for a new family of Ground Combat Vehciles

The Army's U.S. Army's TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) is inviting candidate industries capable of designing, developing and producing the next generation vehicles of Ground Combat Vehicles to line up for the program. The new vehicle platforms will introduce, over time, several variants to the BCT in an incremental acquisition approach starting with a lead vehicle development effort.

Singapore to field 135 Terrex Infantry Combat Vehicles

Singapore is fielding the new 8x8 Terrex Infantry Combat Vehicle. The Singaporeans are planning to field at least 135 vehicles, expected to be fielded with all infantry and guards battalions by February 2010. The new vehicle was developed by Singapore Technologies Kinetics and is optimized for urban warfare.

Patria Suspends Production of AMVs for Slovenia

Patria suspended the production of AMV 8x8 armored vehicles in Slovenia, after the Slovenian unilateral decision to significantly reduce production, from 135 to about 80. The program was launched in 2006 at a cost of 278 million Euros. According to Patria, 13 vehicles have already been delivered and the price of the remaining vehicles, representing half of the remaining number of vehicles, which the Slovenians want to enhance with better armament. Consequently, Patria argues that the cost of the remaining vehicles will be the same as the cost of the original 135 vehicles currently on order. While the program has not been officially terminated, the Slovenian MOD claims there is no budget left for the acquisition. A number of vehicles are already nearing completion and Patria could suffer financial losses if the program is terminated, but according to Slovenian officials the MOD plans to renegotiate the program in the coming weeks.

Thales to upgrade British Warthogs

Thales was awarded a £20m UK MOD contract to prepare the Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd (ST Kinetics) Bronco all-terrain articulated vehicle into the Warthog, addressing the specific requirements of the British forces operating in Afghanistan. As part of its role in the program, Thales will equip the vehicles with  mission systems under the Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) program, including additional armor, specialist electronic counter-measure equipment and communication tools.

Saudi Arabia, Russia Agree on a Multi-Billion Arms Deal

Saudi Arabia is close to buying Russian arms and military equipment worth some $2 billion (€1.4 billion). Riyadh and Moscow have agreed to contracts for the acquisition of T-90S tanks, Mi-35 attack helicopters and Mi-171B assault/transport helicopters, to be signed this year. The major program could include up to 30 Mi-35 attack helicopters and as many as 120 Mi-171B (the export version of the Mi-17 Hip multi-purpose helicopter). Riyadh could also buy some 150 T-90S main battle tanks and approximately 250 BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) from Russia. Moscow and Riyadh are also discussing sales of the S-400 Triumf air and missile defense system, are part of the multi-billion dollar contract.

FCS Cancellation Blamed for 360 Layoffs at BAE Systems

BAE Systems is laying off 360 of the 1,800 workers at its Santa Clara plant that designs military vehicles. The plant was effected by the cancellation Future Combat System. Some of that work was done in Santa Clara. BAE is anticipating a second, smaller round of layoffs could occur in October 09.

Dutch Army to Receive 14 more Bushmasters

The Dutch Ministry of Defense has ordered 14 additional Bushmaster armored personnel carriers for €10.9 million, to support the Dutch contingent operating as part of ISAF in Task Force in Uruzgan (TFU), Afghanistan. Netherlands has already ordered 14 Bushmasters in June this year; these vehicles have already been delivered and are supporting the troops in theater. Nine of new Bushmasters will be delivered in October, to compensate for combat attrition with the remaining five held in reserve. The current acquisition brings the total Dutch Bushmaster order to 86 vehicles.

France Awards Armored Vehicle Contracts to Nexter, Renault Defense

France has announced two armored vehicles procurement contracts. The order for 332 VBCI armored infantry combat vehicles for the French Army is part of an acquisition of 700 vehicles spanning over several years, of which 630 have been ordered. VBCI produced by Nexter, is currently in full-scale production, with over 100 vehicles have been delivered. The 2.86 billion Euro program is considered to be the largest French armored vehicle acquisition in recent years. Under an urgent requirement response, the French defense procurement agency (DGA) has ordered 20 additional VAB TOP armored vehicles equipped with the Kongsberg Defense 'Protector M151' remote weapon station. In April 2008 DGA awarded Renault Trucks Defense a framework contract for the supply of 588 VAB TOP systems. To date 80 vehicles were ordered and part of them is already deployed in Afghanistan to support the French deployment there.

Thales and Plasan partner for next generation vehicles bid in Australia

Thales Australia has teamed with the Israeli company Plasan Sasa to develop a new Light Protected Vehicle to address the Australian Army requirement. Boeing Australia, supported by the company's Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) services, has also joined the team to provide logistical support for the new vehicles. The Australian Thales led team is expected to face competition from the U.S., as Australia has expressed interest in the new joint tactical light vehicle (JLTV) and is already investing in the production of several test vehicles, as part of the U.S. program. Israel is also expected to join the U.S. program soon.