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Issue N° 27 May / June 2016

Eurosatory 2016 Supplement


© Natcom - - 01 47 30 31 32 - Photos : Sirpa Terre, Mer et Air – DCI


Where does the Armour go? Paolo Valpolini

A French Army VBCI in action in Afghanistan. The Afghan experience had a considerable impact on future armoured vehicles protection and firepower. (Nexter/Y. Debay)

With the deployment of western contingents to Afghanistan and Iraq reduced to a minimum, the army responsible is considering the way ahead, with few certainties in front of them. While south-Mediterranean coasts seem to be the most probable deployment areas, Libya and Syria being the two current hot spots, new crises may arise which might be of a wholly different nature.


efinitely both current hot spots have little to do in terms of dimensions and terrain with the areas of operation in which the western military operated for over a decade since early 2000. Training, equipment, TTPs (Tactics, Techniques & Procedures), are all affected by potential news scenarios, and trying to anticipate what might be needed for the next mission is a difficult game; an abused sentence in the military being that “all wars have been fought with the equipment needed in the previous one”. Looking at vehicles this has often been true even in most recent operations: MRAPs developed for the Iraqi scenario were fully ready for the Afghan deployment, where they proved to be unable to provide sufficient mobility in a mountainous terrain, leading to the development of lighter MRAPs with independent suspension. And this is only one example. This article does not want to elaborate on which vehicle can be optimal for the still unknown future mission, we still lack the crystal ball, however it is interesting to see which are the trends in the design and acquisition of armoured vehicles within the European armies first, as well as in the other areas of the world. The debate between tracks and wheels is still alive, and will probably never end. It is however clear that many European armies are increasing the number of units equipped with armoured wheeled vehicles, APCs or IFVs, some of them getting rid of tracks, other maintaining a mix of the two. We can already disclose some of the themes that will be on show at Eurosatory 2016, and many of those are wheel-related. France, Italy, Denmark, Spain and Turkey, among others, are developing, acquiring or fielding new 8x8 or 6x6 platforms, with different purposes. The wheels breakthrough With the launch of the Scorpion programme in late 2014 France started a deep transformation of its army, which will go beyond the acquisition of new vehicles. In fact the programme has three main pillars; one is, of

The SICS combat information system is one of the three pillars of the French Army Scorpion programme and will allow cooperative protection among vehicles. The Leclerc MBT and the VBCI will also be equipped with the SICS in due time. (Atos)


course, linked to the production of two brand new vehicles, the Griffon 6x6 APC and the Jaguar 6x6 armed reconnaissance vehicle, which will soon be joined by a third lighter one, the two other being the SICS (Système d’Information du Combat Scorpion) C2 system and the SEMBA embedded simulation system. The GME Scorpion is formed by three companies, Nexter, Renault Trucks Defence and Thales, the programme involving a number of other SMEs. The SICS will constitute the digital architecture of the combat elements of the French Armée de Terre, from the regimental level down. Developed by Bull, recently acquired by Atos, the SICS is not a hierarchy-based software system, like the five C2 systems it will replace, but is a social network-like system that allows to easily create groups of interest like Facebook or Whatsapp. The SICS will not be limited to the Griffon and Jaguar, but will also be installed on Leclerc MBTs, their upgrade being part of Scorpion Tranche 1, as well as of the VBCI upgrade, planned for the Phase 2 of the programme. Let us, however, focus our attention to the two new vehicles that will soon joint the French Army. The Griffon aims at replacing the VAB (Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé), some of which were upgraded to face the needs of the Afghan theatre but which is becoming obsolete, at least in the versions in service with the French Army. The new 6x6 will be produced in six variants, in fact 10 as the armoured personnel carrier has four sub-variants, the other being engineer, command post, artillery observation, ambulance and NBC reconnaissance. The Griffon features a good modularity, so the vehicle will be fitted with specialised kits to be converted for the desired mission; however not all the kits will be acquired from the beginning, which will allow to buy later upgraded kits, and eventually to upgrade kits without the need of redesigning the entire vehicle. The first production contract for 318 vehicles is awaited next year; Scorpion Phase 1, which will last until 2023, will include 780 Griffon, the total number at the end of Phase 2, in 2035, being 1720. In fact 54 Griffon, known as MEPAC (Mortier Embarqué Pour l’Appui au Contact) armed with an 81 mm mortar, will be financed by a separate contract. The Griffon is a much heavier vehicle than the VAB, so the 6x6 configuration was a must also to ensure optimal mobility. The vehicle is fitted with a Renault MDE8 diesel engine providing 400 hp at 2.200 rpm fitted to an automatic transmission, which means 16.3 hp/tonne considering a combat weight of 24.5 tonne. All the Griffon versions will be equipped with the same independent hydro-mechanical suspensions with double hydrauic damper developed by Quiri, the same company that is producing the VBCI suspensions. Lessons learned with the VBCI have been taken into consideration, although the off-road profile is less demanding in the Griffon compared to that of the 8x8 vehicle, dimensioning having considered this data. To keep the turning radius as limited as possible the third axle is counterbracking. No details are being provided on proEDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

One of the most recent viewgraphs of the Griffon APC, which will replace the VAB in the French Army; it allows to see the first and third steering axles as well as the new RCWS. The first prototype should be available in 2017. (GME Scorpion)

tection levels, that should however be at least in line with the latest version of the VBCI. Not much is known also of the armament, if not that an RCWS known as T1, under development by Renault Trucks Defence and Safran Electronics & Defense (the new name of Sagem), the latter providing the sensor package that includes the typical HD TV channel, uncooled thermal channel, laser rangefinder and gyrocompass. The cradle can host 7.62 or 12.7 machine guns or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. The Griffon vetronics is provided Thales and is based on the VSYS-net which core is the standard DDS (Data Distribution Service) bus. Thales and Safran, teamed in the Optrolead consortium, provide one of the sensors, the Antares, a 360° situational awareness system based on a high sensibility 5.5 Megapixel CMOS sensor which provides a coverage in elevation from -15° up to +75° ensuring vehicle detection at 650 meters. The Antares can be used in different modes, and doubles as a laser warning receiver, providing a ± 1.5° accuracy in azimuth. All Griffons will be fitted for receiving the Antares but the French Army plans to acquire, at least initially one system every four vehicles. The Antares prototype is expected for summer 2016. The same applies also to the Pilar V acoustic sensor produced by Acoem Metravib. It is interesting to note that the SICS allows to exploit data provided by more than one vehicle in what is defined “collaborative triangulation”, which allows to considerably increase accuracy. Navigation is ensured by Safran Epsilon 10 inertial navigation system, a light and compact system based on vibrating gyroscopes that ensures an accuracy of around one per cent of the distance travelled. For the time being communications are provided by Thales PR4G, the future being in the new Contact software defined radio that Thales says having performances one hundred times superior to those of current systems. To exploit radios as well as to communicate among them the Griffon crew members and dismounts can count on the ELIPS digital intercom developed by Elno, a new EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

controller being unveiled at Eurosatory to allow maintaining the link between the vehicle and infantryman also when the latter debusses, and allows to control simultaneously up to three radios. While the Griffon remains a basic armoured personnel carrier, which will replace a similar vehicle of the mid 1970s, the Jaguar will replace three vehicles of a much higher category, the AMX-10RC, the ERC-90 Sagaie and the VAB HOT. Its performances must therefore be higher than those of the Griffon, and the cost will probably also be much higher, compensated by the fact that numbers are strongly reduced: the Phase 1 will bring to the acquisition of 110 Jaguars, 138 more being planned for the Phase 2, bringing the total to 248, a much reduced number compared to that of the Griffon. The weight is marginally higher, 24.3 versus 22 tonnes, however the Jaguar engine provides 500 hp, the power-to-weight ration being thus much higher. The fact that off-road mobility has a higher priority is shown by the choice of suspensions: for the Jaguar Quiri has developed active hydropneumatic supensions, which are not only better suited in off-road but also lighter. These allow to vary the ground clearance, to modify the vehicle slant, as well as the suspensions stiffness, all this coming of course to some cost, the Jaguar suspensions being roughly 2.5 times more expensive than those of the Griffon. Not much is available on protection: an anti-IED kit against blast will be available from the beginning together with ballistic and anti-RPG kits, while that against IED fragments is expected later. Lethality is provided by the 40 mm CTA gun installed in a version of Nexter’s T40 two-man turret. The telescopic ammunition cannon protrudes much less in the turret than normal cannons, maximum elevation being 45° (although 75° might be reached in theory). Moreover when firing on the move the gun can shoot from closed breech, which means that the delay between the firing command and the actual shooting is reduced from 350 to 25 milliseconds, considerably contributing


Soldiers debussing from a VAB Mk III; Renault Trucks Defence is proposing it to former VAB users as well as to those who need a cost-effective APC. (RTD)

to accuracy. Currently APFSDS, HE PD (Point Detonation) and ABM (Air Burst Munitions) ammunition are planned, the qualification of these ammunition having been obtained or being planned well within first deliveries. The AHS (Ammunition Handling System) can host up to a total of 64 ammunition of the three types, shifting from one type to the other requiring less than six seconds. Further 120 ammunitions are carried in the vehicle, the French Army requiring the Jaguar to be able to execute three days-long missions. CTAI is currently developing two new ammunition, one for training with reduced range and one known as A3B (Anti Aerial Air Burst) for air defence use, mostly aimed at the RAPIDfire developed with Thales. For long range antitank missions, up to 4 km, the Jaguar relies on a couple of MMP missiles, which two-tube launcher is located on the right side of the turret, two spare missiles being hosted in the rear left side of the turret. Developed and manufactured

by MBDA, here the launch element of the MMP is fully integrated in the vehicle and apart from an electronic interface box it exploits on-board displays and guidance systems. Commander’s periscope and gunner’s sight are both based on Safran’s Paseo optronic system. This includes a 3-5 µm thermal camera, a colour TV camera and a laser rangefinder, and according to available data it can discover a vehicle at 12 km, recognise it at 7.7 km and identify it at 4.2 km. The Paseo will also equip the Griffon VOA (artillery observation vehicle), equipped also of an inertial navigation platform for targeting and of a laser illuminator; on the VOA it will be installed on a telescopic mast that will also host a Thales Ground Observer GO12 battlefield surveillance radar. To ensure very accurate navigation in GPS-denied areas the Jaguar is fitted with Safran’s Sigma 20 inertial system, based on hemispheric resonator gyroscopes that provide much precise data compared to the Griffon navigation system. Due to the geometry complexity of a turret equipped vehicle, to ensure full 360° coverage the Jaguar is fitte with two Thales Antares situational awareness and laser warning receiver systems. Short range self-defence is devoted to the RCWS that should be fitted around the gunner hatch and should be armed with a MAG 7.62 mm machine gun and have a 60° maximum elevation. Not being seen is the first defensive layer, thus silent watch capacity is a must for a reconnaissance vehicle: six batteries ensure that the Jaguar can operate for two hours without engine running, reducing nearly to nil its acoustic and thermal signature. Embedded simulation is the last pillar of the Scorpion programme. A kit known as SEMBA (Simulation EMBArquée), mostly aimed at the Jaguar, is being developed and includes three add-on computers, a joystick and a video-periscope for the driver, and virtual

The Jaguar will replace three vehicles, the AMX-10RC, the ERC90 Sagaie and the VAB HOT. The two-man turret is armed with a CTAI 40 mm cannon, on top of which an RCWS will be installed. (GME Scorpion)


EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

Launched in 2013, Nexter’s Titus is still looking for the launch customer; based on a Tatra chassis, this vehicle forms a category on its own. (P. Valpolini)

reality systems for the commander and gunner, the choice between replacing periscopes or adopting augmented reality goggles. The SEMBA, which must be installed in less than one hour and removed in less than 15 minutes, ensures static simulation linking various vehicles, exercise control being made of COTS computers in barracks and of a ruggedised tablet in the field. Dynamic simulation will be part of Scorpion Phase 2.

Launched in late 2014, the Scorpion programme development phase includes two mobiity demonstrators, the first planned for mid-2016. The first of six Griffon prototypes will be ready in 2017 while the first of the three planned Jaguar prototypes will be available in 2018. The Scorpion programme also include the acquisition of a light 4x4 armoured vehicle, but this topic is covered in the light vehicles section. While France is slowly phasing out its obsolete VABs, retaining in service the updated ones while awaiting for the Griffon to replace them, Renault Trucks Defence (RTD) has developed the Mk III version of the Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé. Available solely in the 6x6 configuration, the combat weight has been increased to 20 tonnes, two propulsion systems being available, a 340 hp Renault Dxi7 or a 400 hp Renault MDE8. Fitted with independent suspension, only the front axle is steerable, a steerable rear axle being available as option. The hull provides limited protection, as it is designed to be fitted with add-on packages that can bring protection up to Level 4 ballistic and up to Level 3B against mines. With a 13 m3 protected volume the VAB MkIII can host two crew members plus 10 dismounts in the APC configuration. Access and egress take place via two manually operated doors, an electric

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Photo Credits : ©Nexter, ©Armée de Terre/J.Bardenet


operated ramp being available as option. It is equipped with RTDs’ Battlenet Inside vetronic architecture and features a 300 A alternator. At Eurosatory 2016 RTD unveils the latest configuration, fitted with a 90 mm turret that makes it an efficient direct fire support platform with a long lasting operational life on the field thanks to the high number of 90 mm ammunition carried. Overall a compact vehicle, the direct fire version adds to the existing versions, allowing RTD to propose VAB MkIII based solutions for a complete battle group. The first customer should have been Lebanon; 100 vehicles were to be built for that nation, with funding provided by Saudi Arabia. Political differences have led the Saudi regime to cancel the help to the Beirut government, and it is now unclear what will happen with this contract, which was signed on 2 February 2016. Beside the marketing efforts, mostly aimed at countries that are already using the older VABs, the new vehicle is also being used as a technology development system for electric propulsion. The demonstrator, known as Electer, has been fitted with a parallel hybrid powerpack, the usual diesel engine providing 340 hp while the electric power source is able to add 170 kW, around 230 hp, nearly instantaneously. If needed, the Electer can run silently exploiting only on its electric propulsion system for over 10 km at 60 km/h speed. The high electric energy stored on board can also be used for silent watch providing for example 3 kW over five hours to onboard equipment. The electric power generation system has a weight of around 600 kg, but considering the use of a reduced number of batteries and other advantages the weight increase is in fact relatively limited. The VAB MkIII Electer was delivered to the Direction Générale de l’Armement on 13 January 2015. Remaining in France Nexter, which is merging with KMW of Germany, following deliveries to the VBCI to the Armée de Terre and the launch of the VBCI 2 at DSEI 2015, the company is strongly promoting its 8x8, which two prototypes are carrying out numerous campaigns abroad, and is looking once again at the UK. As for the Titus 6x6, a commercial success on the export market is considered relatively close. With the first original Centauros coming close to the 25th year of service, and considering the deep changing in the operational scenario since the draft requirement document of the 8x8


armoured vehicle was written, in the early 1980’s, the Italian Army and the Consorzio Iveco Oto Melara (CIO) started working on a new 8x8 armed with a heavy gun. One of the major fields of improvement was protection, especially against underbelly threats such as mines and IEDs, which were not much taken into consideration when the Centauro was designed, due to operational considerations. The other element is firepower: as the Italian Army has in service only the Ariete MBT, which is fitted with a 120 mm smoothbore gun, commonality as well as an increase in effectiveness were considered by the Army. The draft requirement document was published in October 2010, the final requirement being finalised by December 2011. Two contracts were then signed, one for the development of a new engine and one for the development and manufacturing of a prototype of what is known as Nuova Blindo Centauro (new Centauro armoured car), although industry often refers to it as Centauro II. The combat weight requirement is of approximately 30 tonnes, depending on configuration, with a 24 hp/t power-to-weight ratio when fitted with the “A” armour kit. It was clear that the 520 hp six-cylinder engine of the original Centauro, used also in the Freccia 8x8 infantry fighting vehicle, was not sufficient. The engine development contract was thus aimed at the militarisation of an existing Iveco eight-cylinder engine, the Vector 8V, used in rail and power generation applications. An Euro 3, which allows it to be fully bi-fuel (diesel/ JP8) without the need of changing electronic settings. The militarisation process included the upgrade of the injection system to give the engine the bi-fuel capability, that of the lubrication and cooling systems,

The Italian Army has launched the Centauro II programme to replace its armoured cars fitted with the 105 mm rifled gun with a new, much better protected vehicle with a 120 mm gun. (CIO)

EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

A close-up picture of the Centauro II turret; it is fitted with a Hitrole Light RCWS, here without gun, the round antenna in the foreground being that of the jammer. (CIO)

the latter being now also responsible for the transmission cooling, the fitting of a 560 A alternator and that of auxiliary power take offs. For the transmission the choice went for the ZF Ecomat 7HP902, with seven forward and one rear gears, a system well known to Iveco DV as it is installed on the Astra 8x8 truck fleet. The engine, a new generation compared to the original one, has a much higher power density, which gives a 250 kg weight saving considering the whole powerpack compared to the old Centauro, the new engine providing 720 hp, that is 180 hp more. Three battery bays are available in the chassis, two on the left and one on the right, each containing two batteries, two dedicated to the engine start, the other four providing power to onboard equipment. The CIO has chosen Li-Ion batteries, that provide 24 V AC current, have a 30% more capacity compared to lead batteries, and last for a much higher number of reload cycles. The steering remains on the first and second axle, the fourth countersteering axle being activated only at low speed to ensure a turning diameter of less than 18 metres. However a “one and a half” steering circuit was adopted, which allows to spare one cylinder, a key element for space reasons, the hydraulic steering being more powerful to cope with the higher weight of the vehicle. Tires are the same of the whole Centauro family, that is Michelin 14.00R20 XZL/XML pneumatics fitted with the VFI runflat system and linked to a CTIS. No details were provided about protection levels, only that the base version adds to the steel hull a “Level A” add-on kit, a “Level B” kit being also available. To save weight ballistic solutions have been studied for each portion of the hull, a total of seven types of ballistic panels having thus been developed for each one of the kits; the hull armour package has been fully developed by Iveco DV engineers. The Centauro II maintains the “H” scheme transmission, typical of the CIO 8x8 family, with some modification. At the back the bottom raises slightly in order to give more room for the antimine/IED underbelly package. The hull is divided in three main areas, the front one hosting the engine, EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

the central one being empty to host the turret bustle, and the rear one being for ammunition. The driver is located front left, and the CIO is proposing an all-virtual driving solution, the vehicle being equipped with four day/night cameras and three LLTV cameras. The primary TV/IR driver camera is installed on the glacis and allows him to see the edge of the vehicle to evaluate the distance from obstacles. Two are located on the sides of the Centauro II and look forward, and one is at the rear. One LLTVs is installed at the front edge of the vehicle, the two other being located onto rearview mirrors, looking forward. Pictures provided by those cameras, as well as those provided by the other sensors on board the vehicle, can be seen by the driver on three screens, which can also be used to show vehicles travelling and HUM data. A back-up hyposcope is fitted. The driver’s viewing system will start evaluation with Army personnel in Q4 2016. As said, the rear of the chassis is designed to host part of the main gun ammunition. Loading is made via a rear door, two rotating magazines, containing respectively nine and ten rounds, being located each side of the corridor, ammunition being loaded looking backward. An armoured wall inside the vehicle, with a central door, seals the ammunition depot from the central part of the hull, ammunition being recovered through two small armoured hatches. By design the separation ensures that the contemporary deflagration of three non IM rounds would not harm the turret crew. The central corridor can also be used as escape route by the crew in case of emergency. Twelve more 120 mm rounds are hosted in the rear part of the turret, the gunner having thus 31 rounds at his disposal. The Centauro II turret is designed by Finmeccanica Defence Systems (formerly Oto Melara). The turret’s crew section is made of light ballistic alloy, to which “A” and “B” level kits are then added; the rear part is entirely made in composite, the volume hosting ammunition being designed to vent out any form of deflagration thanks to pre-carved surfaces, while a separate fire extinguishing/anti-explosion system lowers the inside temperature in case of emergency to reduce the risk of deflagration by sympathy. A six-round rotating magazine is located in the middle of the turret bustle, its ammunition loaded ready to be chambered; the gunner selects the appropriate round via the fire control system, the revolver rotates bringing the indexed round in front of an electrically-driven sliding door. The loader opens the breech, the only manual operation, then the round is rammed and chambered, the breech automatically closes and the gun is ready to fire. Left and right of the central door we find two manually operated doors; the one behind the loader, on the vehicle’s right, we find the manual rack with its six 120 mm rounds and part of the communications suite, while behind that on the left we find small calibre ammunition for the secondary armament. As in the original Centauro the gunner is located


The Centauro 120 mm prototype pictured at Rheinmetall’s Unterluess shooting range, during tests carried out to verify compatibility with the whole range of 120 mm ammunition. (Rheinmetall)

below right, the loader upper right and the commander on the left. The 120/45 mm smoothbore gun is the latest development by Oto Melara and features the pepper-box muzzle brake typical of the Centauro, which allows to fire even full-calibre fin stabilised ammunition, which have serious problems with slat muzzle brakes. All actuators are electric, azimuth maximum angular velocity being 0.4 rad/s with a 0.7 rad/s2 acceleration, while elevation maximum speed is 0.5 rad/s with 0.8 rad/s2 acceleration, the elevation angle being –7°/+16°. The fire control system is an upgraded version of that adopted on the Centauro and Ariete, optronic being entirely new. The commander has now a full digital Attila D panoramic periscope, by Leonardo-Finmeccanica Land and Naval Electronic Division (formerly Selex ES); it has a fully stabilised sensor package made of a Full HD colour TV with a x10 optical zoom, an Erica 3rd generation thermal camera working in the 3,7-

5,0 µm band with a 640x512 pixels with a 16 µm pitch, and a 10 km range laser rangefinder. All the electronic is included in the periscope head, the Attila D having an elevation arc of +60°/-20°; the commander has two screens, a 12” one mostly used for the firing system and a 10” one for the SICCONA command and control system. The gunner sighting system is the digital Lothar SD, the latest iteration of the Lothar, which features am HD colour camera, the Tilde B thermal camera working in the 8-12 µm band, and the same laser rangefinder of the commander’s periscope. Should the gunner sighting system fail, the commander can fire exploiting the periscope, a further optical back-up sight being available to the gunner in case of power failure. As said, the C2 system is based on the SICCONA latest version adopted by the Italian Army, with new computers and displays compared to those fitted to earlier vehicles as the Freccia. A suite of six radios ensures max-

An Italian Army Freccia pictured in Afghanistan. The new Centauro II protection is further increased, following lessons learned from that theatre. (P. Valpolini)


EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

Spain will adopt the Piranha 5 as the base for its new 8x8 wheeled IFV. It is not clear when the first prototype will be available and how many vehicles will be acquired. (GDELS)

imum connectivity: these include a Turma CNR2000 HF for long range voice/data link, an SDR VM3 – SBW UHF linking the vehicle with soldiers on the field both in voice and data, an HCDR wide-band UHF backbone data radio, two SRT-635 SINCGARS VHF for voice/ data link at medium distances, and a Harris AN/PRC 152 UHF radio ensuring both Satcom capacity and link with airborne assets, but also emergency comms in case the crew should abandon the vehicle, the 152 being a portable radio. A Guardian H3 Stack jammer is installed for counter-IED operations, fitted with four conformal antennas around the vehicle plus two standard antennas on top of the turret. The last version of the RALM laser warning receiver is also installed. Secondary armament comes in the form of a coaxial 7.62 mm machine gun with three 250 rounds boxes, and a Hitrole Light RCWS, which can be armed with a 7.62 or 12.7 mm machine gun or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher, respectively with four 250-round boxes, four 100-round boxes or two 48-round boxes. Compared to the old 105 mm turret, which in combat condition, that is with all the equipment and ammunition, had a weight of 7,800 kg, the new 120 mm turret weighs 8,700 kg with Level A armour kit. It is to note that the new turret maintains the capacity of being armed with the 105 mm gun. The CIO carried out numerous ballistic and blast tests, four vehicles and turrets were produced for these purposes as well as a number of ballistic packages. Firings have already been undertaken, and the configuration should be frozen following the end of Eurosatory, Q4 2016 marking the start of the qualification process by the Italian MoD. The Italian Army aims at replacing the current Centauro with the new vehicle in its Cavalry regiments, however looking at current budgets it is unclear when a first contract might be signed. The development of the Centauro II will have an impact of current vehicles, an evolution of the VBM Freccia dubbed VBM+ being considered, that might exploit the engine and protection suite developed for the 120 mm 8x8 vehicle. For the time being the CIO has provided

The Danish Army will be the first to deploy GDELS Piranha 5; this 8x8 is here pictured in the armoured personnel carrier version, which will replace Danish M113s. (GDELS)

most of the Freccia that will equip the first Italian Army Medium Brigade, the “Pinerolo”, with the exception of command posts and reconnaissance vehicles, which requirements have evolved and are thus in advanced development phase. In Q2 2016 the first tranche of vehicles aimed at forming the second medium brigade should be ordered, financial considerations permitting. Unveiled in 2010 at Eurosatory the Piranha 5 bagged its first successes in 2015 when Spain and Denmark announced the choice of the last 8x8 iteration of the well known vehicle family launched many years ago by then Mowag of Switzerland, now pert of General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS). In September Spain filed the first contract for such vehicle, albeit only a research and development and risk reduction one worth 89.2 million Euro, assigned to the “UTE VCR 8x8” temporary joint venture formed by Santa Barbara Sistemas, part of GDELS, Indra and Sapa, the two latter companies being responsible respectively for the electronic architecture and communication suite and of the powerpack unit. This shows the aim of having an all-Spanish product, which will then be proposed also on the export market. The R&D contract, financed by the Ministry of Industry, will run for three years, and includes the production of five prototypes. Known as VCR (Vehículo de Combate sobre Ruedas), the vehicle will be thoroughly tested by the Spanish military, which will then take a decision about a possible initial production in 2018. Although the move makes it very likely that by the end the Ejercito de Tierra will get the Piranha 5, the R&D contract is not binding for the Spanish MoD, which might also decide for other solutions. Spain has thus gone for a fully national solution, discarding the offers by Nexter for the VBCI and by the Italian CIO, the consortium between Iveco DV and former Oto Melara, for the


Freccia, both vehicles having bee combat tested in Afghanistan. With its 30 tonnes combat weight (although 33 tonnes might be reached) and 13 tonnes payload, the A400M transportable vehicle should be assembles at the GDELS plant in Seville while the chassis should be produced in the Trubia plant. According to our information the Spanish Army might not fully exploit the available payload, aiming at a 25-26 tonnes combat weight, thus leaving a considerable growth capacity. Part of the vehicles should be provided in the armoured personnel carrier version, fitted with an RCWS armed either with a 7.62 or a 12.7 mm machine gun, an infantry fighting vehicle version with a 30 mm turret also armed with Spike antitank missiles being also foreseen; it is to note that at its first appearance in 2010 the Piranha 5 was fitted with a Kongsberg 30 mm turret, GDELS proposing armament up to 120 mm calibre guns. The Spanish requirement should be for 300 to 400 vehicles, the number of 340 being currently the one more credited. Although the first contract came from Spain, the first country that will field the Piranha 5 in its Army will be Denmark, as the contract signed on 15 December 2015 is a production one, and will bring to the delivery of 309 vehicles from 2018 through 2023. The Danish contract is not only the first full success for the Piranha 5, but also marks the shift from tracks to wheels of another country, the participants to the bid that were short-listed being evenly split, the Armadillo (a derivative of the CV-90) from BAE Systems Hägglunds and the PMMC G5 from FFG representing the “tracked party” while Nexter’s VBCI and GDELS Piranha 5 represented the “wheeled party”. The contract was signed with GDELS-Mowag by the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistic Organization (DALO), and includes six different variants of the vehicle, infantry, EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

Napoleon H.B. is an ars’ole !

command, ambulance, engineer, mortar and repair, that will replace the equivalent versions of the obsolete M113 APC. The overall need is for 450 Piranha 5, the contract including a series of options that will allow to increase the acquisition up to that number of vehicles. Denmark is already operating Piranha 3, as well as other GDELS vehicles such as Duro III and Eagle IV, for which a multi-year framework contract for support was signed a few days after the Piranha 5 signature. It is to note that the Piranha 5 is not the very latest development in the family: in June 2014 GDELS unveiled its Piranha 3+. Compared to the latest evolutions of the Piranha 3 the new vehicle has an empty weight of 16 tonnes versus 13.4 tonnes, and an 11 tonnes payload versus a 9.2 tonnes one, internal volume being increased from 13.5 to 14 m3. To cope with the 27 tonnes maximum combat weight a new Caterpillar C13 520 hp engine replaces the original 400 hp one, hydropneumatic suspensions being offered as an alternative to conventional ones. The Piranha 3+ incorporates modular protection solutions that increase blast and IED protection, which are also offered as an upgrade for the existing Piranha 3 fleet, while most of the driveline improvements exploit the work done in the Canadian LAV upgrade programme and on the US Stryker ECP drivelines. Following the trend of inter-European consolidations in the land defence sector, Kongsberg, the company representing the benchmark in the remotely controlled weapon stations field, acquired 49.9% of Patria in mid-March 2016, thus creating a Nordic defence conglomeration, considering that Patria is owning 50% of Nammo, the remaining 50% being in the hands of the Norwegian state. This will allow to further strengthen the single companies commercial capabilities around the world.

For its Piranha 5, here pictured with an RCWS, GDELS is proposing medium calibre turrets for the IFV version as well as 120 mm turrets for support vehicles. (GDELS)

The largest customer of Patria’s Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV) is Poland, which in different batches ordered a total of 997 vehicles, which are known as Rosomak in the country. Rosomak are produced in Poland and numerous modification were made to the baseline vehicle, while new models have been developed. Poland announced that it will order the new RAK 120 mm mortar turret, developed by Huta Stalowa Wola, to be fitted to 64 vehicles, while 32 Rosomak will be fitted as command post for mortar units, eight companies being thus formed, that will be part of mechanised battalions. Looking for a replacement of its 6x6 Ratel Infantry Fighting Vehicles, South Africa started a national development, but in 2013 it was decided to sign an agreement with Patria to use the AMV as the baseline for the new vehicle. Known as Badger, it is being manufactured locally by Denel OMC, following an initial batch of 10 vehicles produced in Finland. A total of 264 vehicles was to be produced, then reduced to 238 due to an increase in unitary cost. All are fitted with Denel’s Inside the AMV XP; the new version is better protected, features a higher payload and has better performances compared to the previous generation vehicles. (Patria)

Patria has recently unveiled the XP version of its AMV armoured modular vehicle, here fitted with a medium calibre turret that makes it an infantry fighting vehicle. (Patria) EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement


The ambulance version of a Boxer; developed by the ARTEC consortium, made of KMW and Rheinmetall, this 8x8 recently bagged its first export order. (Artec)

Modular Combat Turret, which is armed with different weapon systems according to the variant: 30 mm gun for the fire support, Denel Dynamics Ingwe missile for the antitank, 60 mm long range breech-loading mortar for the mortar carrier, and 12.7 mm machine gun for the command version. Another nation that developed a production line for the AMV is Croatia, most of the 126 vehicles now in service with the Croatian Army having been manufactured by Đuro Đakovic Special Vehicles. Patria does not intend to build any large quantities in Finland, and is thus relying on its Polish, South African and Croatian partners for mass production. Slovakia signed in July 2015 a Letter of Intent with Poland for the acquisition of 31 Rosomak 8x8, which will be adapted to Slovak requirements and will be named Scipio; it will be fitted with EVPU Turra 30 remotely controlled weapon station armed with the 2A42 30 mm cannon and two antitank missile launchers. No information on the production contract signature has yet been released. A further order is expected to bring the total to 66 vehicles and, if finances will allow, a further batch might also be ordered, 100 being considered the true requirement. In 2013 the prototype vehicle provided for testing in Kuwait was issued from the Đuro Đakovic assembly line. In April 2016 a production contract worth 26 million Euro was signed between Patria and the Croatian company, the latter producing vehicles aimed at a third markets. For the time being Denel is busy only on the national programme, but might well be involved in third party production in the future. Patria has exploited the huge experience acquired by seven customers to further improve the vehicle. Currently analysis of availability data coming from lessons learned in Afghanistan are being carried out, thus comparing reality with theory, to further improve sustainability and maintainability. Beside the aforementioned nations, the AMV has also been acquired by Finland, Slovenia and Sweden, the latest customer being the United Arab Emirates, which in late January 2016 ordered 40 hulls with an option for 50 more. These might be of the stretched version, which has already demon-


strated to be able to host the BMP-3 turret, one of the known requirements of the UAE Army. At DSEI 2013 Patria unveiled the latest version, the XP, X standing for Extra while the P encompasses protection, payload and performances. An evolution of the original AMV, it increases the GVW to 32 tonnes as well as the payload. The 15 tonnes payload is partly used to improve protection and partly to allow the adoption of new on board equipment, the vehicle having a more powerful engine, 605 hp versus 545 hp, improved suspension and drivetrain to maintain the same mobility versus the combat weight increase. One hybrid prototype was built, followed by 5-7 prototypes, which have been testing different solutions. Over 25,000 km have been driven in different conditions, from cold to hot weather an from snow to sand. A Polish build XP was shown at MSPO 2015. Patria intends to show at Eurosatory the latest iteration of its XP, fitted with a state of the art connectivity system. Patria has teamed with BAE Systems Australia for the Land 400 Phase 2 requirement, for which it offers the so-called AMV35, an AMV fitted with the CV9035 turret. In early December the Boxer bagged its first export order, that is outside the countries that originated the 8x8, Germany and the Netherlands. The export launch customer is Lithuania, which selected the ARTEC vehicle starting the process acquisition via the OCCAR. In total the Lithuanian Army will receive 84 infantry fighting vehicles, equipped with Elbit Systems’ UT 30 Mk2 armed with a 30 mm cannon and Spike missiles, and four Command Post vehicles. Deliveries should take place from mid-2017 till late 2019, the vehicles being earmarked for the “Iron Wolf” Brigade. The decision does not come as a surprise, due to the close links between Lithuania and Germany in the military field, the choice of the Boxer allowing logistic commonalities. The Lithuanian decision came one week prior the signature of the German contract for a second batch of 131 Boxers, which brings the total for Germany up to 403 vehicles, the Netherlands having ordered 200 Boxers. The second batch will be entirely made of vehicles EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

Both KMW and Rheinmetall are proposing the Boxer in the IFV version; according to the latest information the German Army seems to be interested in such solution. (P. Valpolini)

with the latest configuration developed by Artec. Deliveries will take place from late 2016 to 2020. As for the national market, deliveries of the first batch to the German Army have been completed, 125 APCs, 72 ambulances, 65 command posts and 10 driver training vehicles being now serving in the forces. The upgrade of all vehicles from the A1 (Afghanistan configuration) to the A2 configuration, which includes increased protection, a new driver vision system, a fire suppression system, Satcom radios, etc, will start in 2017. In the same timeframe KMW and Rheinmetall Waffe Munition will start delivering Batch 2 vehicles, the delivery of the last of the 131 vehicles ordered, all in the A2 configuration, being planned for 2020. The German Bundeswehr is considering the acquisition of a further batch, to be equipped with a medium calibre turret, to ensure direct fire support for infantry. As for the Netherlands, prior to Eurosatory 2016 half of the ordered vehicles had been delivered, the original contract being for 60 command posts, 53 engineer group vehicles, 52 ambulances, 27 cargo vehicles and 8 driver training vehicles. However in May 2016 a change in the contract was done, which does not change the overall number of vehicles: 24 command posts and 15 cargo vehicles were cancelled, replaced by 39 more engineer group vehicles. Looking at its participation in the EU Battlegroup the Netherlands should equip a light brigade with the Boxer, which will require additional vehicles. As its German counterpart, the Dutch

Army is considering with interest the Boxer fitted with a medium calibre turret, but is also considering the vehicle with heavier weapons. ARTEC is currently finalising some optional technical upgrades: among those a more powerful powerpack, providing 600 kW, sand tires, higher ballistic protection, new modular mineshields, etc. While KMW has used the Boxer chassis to carry the Donar artillery module, the couple having been test fired, Rheinmetall integrated a high energy laser into a Boxer mission module. With its PARS family having bagged a further export success in February 2016, no detailed information having been released, FNSS of Turkey is looking with interest both at the domestic and foreign markets for its family of wheeled vehicles. The Malaysian 8x8 armoured wheeled vehicle AV8 programme is well underway, serial production and delivery of the vehicles being continued by Deftech. Overall the contract is for 257 AV-8 in 12 different variants; half of the variants have been completed while the development of the remaining ones continues. FNSS is responsible for the platform, 25mm one-man Sharpshooter Turret as well as the overall system integration of the vehicles. The project will be completed by 2020. At IDEF 2015 FNSS unveiled a new vehicle, the PARS 4x4, which maintains the name of the family, although the junior element is deeply different in architecture. The vehicle aims at the Silah TaĹ&#x;iyici Araç programme (STA, for Weapon Carrier Vehicle), however as the wheeled segment of the STA is for only 76 vehicles, FNSS is clearly looking also to other markets. The engine is located in the back, to provide optimal balance, cooling air intake being on top of the vehiA PARS 8x8 during hot weather trials in the desert. Developed and produced by FNSS of Turkey, it has become the base for the Malaysian 8x8 IFV. (FNSS)

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To answer a specific requirement by the Turkish Army FNSS has developed the PARS 4x4, which has however little in common with the other members of the family. (P. Valpolini)

cle which allows the Pars 4x4 to enter water without preparation, the vehicle being powered by two waterjets and having a 350 mm freeboard level. Its combat weight is of 10-12 tonnes, the lower figure being that for amphibious operations, power-to-weight ration being in the 25-30 hp/tonne range. The two front seats host the driver and the commander, three rear seats being staggered providing optimal situational awareness to the crew, also thanks to the ample windscreen. The winch is under armour, while the lower glacis is pretty vertical, which ensure a 54° angle of approach. Independent suspensions are double wishbone with hydropneumatic dampers, and together with tires of generous dimensions and the CTIS system ensure maximum mobility and low ground pressure. The vehicle has a 3 tonne payload, and can accept a turret up to one tonne. The section behind the crew is available for installing a mast and radar, for example for an ISTAR application. To this end while two batteries are devoted to the vehicle, one is entirely aimed at on-board systems. Meanwhile FNSS is continuously improving its 6x6 and 8x8 wheeled vehicles, and is now developing the new generation of PARS, the PARS 3. In this project FNSS wants to increase the usage efficiency of the vehicle in terms of higher ballistic protection, higher usable inner volume and payload, low maintenance requirements, better situational awareness while maintaining its extreme mobility capabilities. PARS 3 now utilizes state-of-the-art technologies to redefine its powerpack and driveline, which leads to a robust vehicle design, adaptable for a wide range of versions without changing basic vehicle systems. Thanks to its new suspension system and driveline elements, PARS 3 will be equipped with higher protection elements, while housing higher number of troops without changing the physical signature of the vehicle. Being modular, PARS 3 can be adapted to infantry carrier, mortar, reconnaissance and command missions. Its ride height


system and versatile control system will maintain the mobility skills of the PARS family, while consuming less power and volume. Being a PARS family member sign, PARS 3 engine is located at the rear of commander and driver, enabling the driver and commander to be seated side by side while increasing the situational awareness by providing 180°+ periscopic field of view. As for Otokar, the company is promoting its Arma 6x6 and 8x8 vehicles adding new configuration, the last one being the Arma 8x8 CBRN Reconnaissance Vehicle. All companies await the launch of the Turkish Army bid for the special purpose vehicle, which should include some 472 vehicles in four variants. With its Terrex 8x8 now in full service with the Singaporean Army, ST Kinetics has launched at DSEI 2015 the new version of the vehicle, the Terrex 2. The combat weight of the new vehicle is considerably increased, from 24 to 30 tonnes, which means a heavier protection and a higher payload, which climbs up to 9 tonnes. To cope with the weight increase the original Caterpillar C9 providing 450 hp is replaced by the Caterpillar C9.3 that provides 525 hp, coupled to an Allison 4500SP gearbox. Protection against mines and IEDs exploding underbelly is enhanced by a double-V hull, the lower one protecting also the drivetrain. Width is considerably increased, from 2.97 to 3.6 meters, as well as height, from 2.46 to 2.8 meters. The volume increment derives from floating requirements, the Terrex 2 leveraging the development work done on a Terrex derivative that met the US Marine Corps requirements. For this bid STK partnered with SAIC and became one of the two teams downselected for the ACV1.1 by the Corps. The Terrex 2 is fitted with an hydraulically driven propulsion system with full independent thrust control authority that allows safe operation at Sea-State 3 and through six-foot plunging surf, and coupled to the vehicle hydrodynamic design allows to reach a maximum speed of 6 knots. The vehicle maintains the capacity of transporting a crew of

The ARMA 8x8 in the CBRN reconnaissance configuration; Otokar of Turkey is awaiting a new bid by the Turskish Army for specialised wheeled vehicles. (P. Valpolini) EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

The model of the Terrex 2, the evolution of the Terrex in service with Singapore. Teamed with SAIC, STK was downselected for the USMC ACV 1.1 programme. (P. Valpolini)

two plus 12 dismounts. Beside the US bid, the Terrex 2 is proposed to Australia for the Land 400 Phase 2 bid, STK looking also at other potential markets. Not much is known about the 8x8 armoured personnel carrier that will replace the M113 tracked APC in service with the Israel Defence Forces, if not that it will be named Eitan. According to Israeli officials it will be much lighter than the Namer, the APC derived from the Merkava MBT chassis, although it should remain in the heavy segment of wheeled 8x8, 35 tonnes being apparently the target weight of the vehicle, which should mark a priority towards protection, something not new to Israel considering local operational scenarios. The prototype should be ready by late 2016, trials being scheduled for 2017, for a in-service date around 2022. The recent order for 20 BTR-82A 8x8 APCs by Russia shows on one side that the tracked-wheel mix will remain in the future, but also casts some doubts about the Bumerang 8x8 programme, the first vehicles of that type having paraded on May 9 2015 on the Red Square. Although not many details have been made available, the new wheeled IFV/APC has heavy resemblances with Western vehicles of the same class, such as Nexter’s VBCI and CIO’s VBM Freccia. A major difference is that the Bumerang is amphibious, a trim vane being fitted on the glacis while two propellers are located at the rear. This makes difficult to estimate its combat weight, which should not exceed 30 tonnes. In the IFV version it is fitted with the Epoch remotely controlled turret armed with the 30 mm 2A42 gun and Kornet missiles mounted on the vehicle, while the APC version is fitted with a 12.7 RCWS. Up to nine dismounts can take place at the rear, a powered ramp being available at the back, a large door allowing access to the vehicle even not using the ramp. The driver position on the right shows that the engine is front-left, a considerable difference with the traditional rear-engine configuration of previous Russian wheeled APCs. As for the EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

potential production forecast we must see how many BTRs the new Russian Army intends to replace. Numerous countries that have a requirement for a wheeled AFV/APC decided to develop their own solutions, sometimes in a total autonomous way, sometimes in cooperation with a renowned foreign partner. The latter case is that of Malaysia, where DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies, better known as Deftech, is producing its AV8 which heavily relies on FNSS Pars 8x8, the Malaysian and Turkish companies having signed a cooperation agreement. An example of semi-autonomous development is that made by Emirates Defense Technology, which at IDEX 2015 unveiled its Enigma, an 8x8 IFV developed on a Timoney chassis with all steering axles powered by a 711 hp Caterpillar C13 engine located front right coupled to a Caterpillar CX31 automatic transmission. Fitted with a BMP-3 turret, it had a combat weight of 28 tonnes, its protection being declared at Level 4 ballistic and at Level 4a/b against mine. Amphibious, powered by two rear screws, a model was also shown carrying a BAE Systems M777 howitzer on the back, in an SP howitzer configuration. The acquisition by the UAE of the Patria AMV should have killed this project. India is also looking at a national product for its AFV requirement, Tata Motors having unveiled its Kestrel in 2014, developed in cooperation with India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation, which was shown again in 2016 with a different turret. The unveiling saw the Kestrel fitted with a Kongsberg MCT-30R turret while two years later a BMP-2 turret appeared on the wheeled Tata vehicle. Its maximum combat weight is of 26 tonnes, lighter configurations being available depending on the armour package, the basic one at Level 1 weighing 22.5 tonnes. In early 2016 Tata Motors signed an agreement with Bharat Forge and US General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) for this bid. How the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle programme will evolve is to be seen, considering the delays that already occurred; the India Army has a requirement for around 2,600 vehicles.

A picture of the Bumerang; this 8x8 IFV might replace BTR-82s in the Russian Army and was seen for the first time on the Red Square in May 2015.


Rheinmetall looks into the future In January 2016 Rheinmetall consolidated its Defence unit’s military vehicle activities in a new division called “Vehicle Systems”. Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH (RLS) and Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmbH (RMMV) have thus been placed under joint management. Rheinmetall Defence now consist of three divisions, Vehicle Systems, Electronic Solutions and Weapons and Ammunition. The move is considered an answer to other consolidations in the military vehicles field taking place in Europe. But Rheinmetall is not only looking at organisational changes to improve its future placement in the land vehicles market. The company which is producing with KMW two of the most modern tracked and wheeled infantry vehicles, the Puma and the Boxer, underlined at a recent symposium on land forces its view on key requirements for future IFVs at the 2035-40 horizon. In the survivability area it will be necessary to increase protection to withstand APFSDS rounds in calibres of more than 30 mm, multi-hit being a concern, while continuing to improve protection against IEDs. Active defence systems will definitely come into play to carry out hard kill engagements of incoming threats, soft kill being also an option that must improve, which include threat detection, soft kill systems (obscurants etc.), jamming as well as sniper detection. Camouflage technologies will also acquire importance, as not be seen is the first way not to be hit. To maintain flexibility and adapt the vehicle to the contingency modular armour packages are required. Nano-steel and nano-composites will have a say in improving opaque armour as well as transparent armour. Coming to lethality, future IFVs will have to engage state-of-the-art armoured vehicles at distances in excess of 2.5 km. Killer-killer capabilities to engage multiple targets will be required as well as the capacity to escalate the response, using less-than-lethal weapon systems, lasers being among them. Directable ammunition capable to considerably reduce collateral damages might be used alongside timefused airburst ones, digitisation allowing to share targets with other vehicles further increasing lethality and operational flexibility. While strategic mobility remains a key issue, tactical mobility might considerably improve adopting solutions such as rubber tracks and decoupled running gears. On board energy generation is another major factor, hybrid electric propulsion being one potential solution, allowing also stealth manoeuvre, while electrical performances of subsystems aiming at reducing consumption and the adoption of innovative types of batteries replacing lead ones should increase silent watch. Electronic systems will increase in number, 360° view, see-through armour, augmented reality, will become standard issue, digital driver’s view and drive-by-wire allowing full redundancy, currently limited to the commander-gunner functions. Some of these technologies are being tested in a demonstration version of the Boxer known as JODAA (Joint Operational Demonstrator for Advanced Applications). The module is derived from an SgSan mission module installed on prototype n. 22. It is currently fitted with a dry-by-wire system, in line with street-legal issues, and takes in count future NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture standards. The remote driving station is currently base on three horizontal screens, but will soon be upgraded and fitted with five vertical screens providing a much wider vertical angle. Experiments with the German MoD are planned for 2017. Another system related to viewing is currently in the company laboratories in Kiel: it is a dome providing a view on nearly 180° horizontally and 90° vertically, Rheinmetall scientists being currently investigating the projection issues at very short distance. As soon as ready this module will also be integrated into the JODAA, and when installed in a vehicle it might provide full situational awareness without the need of opening a hatch. The JODAA exhibited recently was also fitted with a transport unit for a quadrocopter UAV provided by Airrobot, the external sensors workstation being able not only to handle the UAV but also an unmanned ground robot. This was on board in the form of a Telemax EOD system, a system allowing to deploy it via the rear door without the need of a soldier to disembark from the vehicle. The JODAA is also able to operate a digital Wiesel 2 at around one kilometre distance. It will definitely be interesting to follow the Boxer JODAA evolution to pick up future technological trends in systronics that might surface in the medium-term future.


EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

Formerly known as Scout SV, the Ajax has been ordered in five more variants, Ares, Apollo, Athena, Atlas and Argus, which will replace existing CVR(T) vehicles. (GD UK)

Tracked vehicles In the UK two tracked vehicle programmes are underway. One is in fact a refurbishment programme, known as Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP), the other being the Ajax (formerly Scout SV), the trait d’union between them being the 40 mm CTA gun using case telescoped ammunition, which first production standard weapon was delivered in March 2016. The WCSP programme concerns the refurbishment of 380 of the original 789 Warriors built in the late1980s and includes improvements in the electronic architecture, modular protection, and in fightability and lethality, a new Lockheed Martin two-man turret armed with the aforementioned 40 mm gun replacing the old turret. As for the Ajax, this is based on GDELS ASCOD 2 chassis fitted with a Lockheed Martin turret armed with the 40 mm CTA gun, the turret structure being manufactured by Rheinmetall. Equipped with a comprehensive ISTAR suite, 245 of this the 38 tonne vehicle will be built. The great majority, 198, will be in the Recce and Strike variants, 23 Joint Fires aimed at forward observers and 24 Ground Base Surveillance fitted with a radar system completing the numbers. A turretless version, fitted with a Kongsberg RCWS, generally known as Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support (PMRS), will also be available in variable numbers: 93 Ares, 59 in the Armoured Personnel Carrier and 34 in the Formation Reconnaissance Overwatch configurations, 112 Athena command post, and 51 Argus Engineer Reconnaissance vehicles. Thirty-eight Atlas Recovery Vehicles and 50 Engineer Repair Vehicles complete the programme which totals 589 vehicles. The first 40 mm production gun was delivered in March 2016, and the Ajax was test fired in mid-April. Tests without crew will be finalised by late 2016, the first test with the manned turret being scheduled for early 2017. Overall 515 40 mm CTA guns have been ordered, considering both Ajax and WCSP programmes. Moving to Spain, early 2016 marked the start of the delivery of the new Pizarro II to the Ejercito de Tierra. Compared to the original Pizarro, of which 144 are in service with the Ejercito de Tierra, the vehicles being EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

acquired in the Phase II of the programme are heavier, hence the adoption of the 710 hp MTU 8V TE20 that increases the output power by 110 hp. This led to the adoption of the new SAPA SG-850 transmission in place of the original one provided by Renk. The chassis is slightly wider (+210 mm) and high (+107 mm), the greater width being due to the side skirts which ensure greater protection and decrease tracks thermal signature. The rear compartment can host either six or seven dismounts, depending on the mission, and the rear door has been redesigned. Also the turret was upgraded, and received a new ballistic computer; the commander has a new command handle while both the commander and gunner have new screens. The weight increase led to a fuel tank reduction of around 10%, with a similar impact on endurance. Originally the Spanish Army was due to receive 212 new Pizarros in different versions, however Phase II numbers have been cut to 117 due to financial constraints. On the export market, following the choice for wheels made by Denmark, which was however good for GDELS, the company is now proposing its Ascod to Colombia, in the armoured personnel carrier version. With Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, using its tracked infantry fighting vehicle, BAE Systems continues to develop its CV90. The last contract came from Sweden, BAE Systems having been awarded a contract to refurbish 262 CV90s; of these 172 will be Stridsfordon 9040 (Strf) infantry fighting vehicles, 40 Stridsledningspansarbandvagn 90 (Stripbv) forward command vehicles, 22 Eldledningspansarbandvagn 90 (Epbv) forward observation vehicles, 16 Luftvärnskanonvagn 90 (Lvkv) air defence vehicles, and 12 Bärgningsbandvagn 90 (Bgbv) armoured recovery vehicles. The work will include re-

The Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme aims at upgrading part of the current Warrior fleet, with the adoption, among other improvements, of a new turret fitted with a 40 mm CTAI gun. (P. Valpolini)


Norway is currently receiving the most advanced version of BAE Systems’ CV90. This vehicle of Swedish origin is in service in seven nations. (BAE Systems)

furbishing the chassis and upgrading the vehicle’s survivability and turrets, as well as enhancing combat system performance. A key element of the upgrade is the adoption of the new Battlefield Management System in place of the existing Tactical Command and Control System (TCCS), which will bring those vehicles into the digital era. The IFVs fire control system will receive updated software, while the coaxial machine gun, currently an M1919A4 (Ksp m/39 in the Swedish Army) will be replaced by an FN MAG (Ksp m/59). Deliveries will run between 2018 and 2020. In January 2016 Estonia announced the acquisition of 35 CV90 used hulls from Norway, following that of 44 CV9035NL in December 2014. The hull acquisition aims at completing the 1st Infantry Brigade equipment with combat support variants, the type and number of specialist versions remaining unknown, although some of them will be certainly turned out in command post vehicles. Norway sold part of its older CV90s to Estonia as it acquired 103 new such tracked vehicles at the new standard, which include most of the recent upgrade proposals. Among these we find semi-active suspensions, rubber tracks, a new and more powerful engine providing 600 kW, which copes with the considerable weight increase the currently build CV90s being around 35 tonnes, new ballistic and mine/IED protections, and finally full digitisation. Hybrid diesel-elec-

tric propulsion is also proposed. The new CV9030N, N standing for Norway, also include Orbital-ATKs M52 chain gun in 7.62 mm calibre as coaxial weapons. On 24 June 2015 the first Puma infantry fighting vehicle was handed over to the Bundeswehr. The new German Army IFV is being assembled in Unterluess by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition and in Munich by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, the two companies having formed a 50-50 JV, Projeckt System & Management GmbH (PSM), for the Puma programme. Production is in the ramp-up phase, each facility having produced since 25 vehicles each, the total number contracted by the Bundeswehr being 350, eight of which driving training vehicles. Those IFVs are delivered to the Ausbildungszentrum Panzertruppen, the German Army Armoured Corps Training Centre in Munster where one Panzergrenadier company gets hold of its vehicles and carries out a three months training, before moving to its barrack together with the vehicles. The Puma is fitted with an unmanned turret armed with the fully stabilized 30 mm MK30-2/ABM automatic cannon, a twin Spike missile launcher being installed on the left of the turret. A key feature of the Puma is the decoupled running gear, with hydropneumatic suspensions, integrated fuel tanks and lightweight tracks, which together with the 800 kW engine providing a power-toweight ratio of 19 kW/tonne ensures optimal mobility. Its modular armour allows the Puma to protect it against kinetic energy and shaped charges, its reactive armour being effective against standard RPGs as well as against tandem charges, the rubber bomblet carpet on upper surfaces being a quite peculiar solution. The IR jammer, laser warning receiver and trainable grenade launchers add a further degree of protection, together with the C4I system and networked capacities of the vehicle. A series of upgrades are already on the table. One is the TSWA (Turret-independent Secondary Weapon Station, a short range protection system with a 10-400 metres range with full stabilized day/night The German Army has received around 50 Puma IFVs. These vehicles feature innovative solutions such as the decoupled running gear. (P. Valpolini)

Among improvements foreseen for the German Puma, the Turret-independent Secondary Weapon Station will considerably increase less-than-lethal capabilities. (P. Valpolini)

sight, capable to handle lethal as well as non-lethal 40 mm grenades of various types. The TSWA can increase killer-killer capabilities as well as effectiveness in urban operations. A 360° situational awareness system with automatic target acquisition and tracking is also in development, while Rohde & Schwarz Streitkräftegemeinsame, verbundfähige Funkgerät-Ausstattung (SVFuA) software defined radio awaited in the near future will further increase net-centric capabilities. Poland future tracked vehicles should be based on the Uniwersalnej Modułowej Platformy Gąsienicowej (UMPG for Universal Modular Tracked Platform). The UMPG will give birth to two families of vehicles, one replacing current T-72 MBTs, the other the BWP1s, the Polish version of the Soviet BMP-1, over 1,100 such vehicles being still in service. The latter replacement, known as Borsuk, is currently being developed by Obrum. Recently a computer generated drawing was released, which shows a six roadwheels chassis

with rubber tracks, fitted with the Huta Stalowa Wola ZSSW-30 unmanned turret. The main armament is the 30 mm Orbital-ATK’s Mk44 Bushmaster II gun, a missile launcher containing two missiles being fitted on the right side, probably being designed to host Spike Long Range weapons, which are already in service in the Polish Army. The driver is on the front left, with the vehicle commander behind him and the engine at the right. The vehicle configuration and what might be a propeller indicate amphibious capabilities, which are part of the Polish requirement. How much this is compatible with high levels of protection is to be seen; however if a modular protection concept is adopted, the Borsuk might be available both in amphibious and non-amphibious versions, depending on the armour kit adopted. A prototype is expected to be unveiled at MSPO 2017, the production of 800 vehicles being planned. It is to note that BAE Systems has been pushing hard in proposing its CV-90 as a base platform for the Polish programme. The Czech Republic is also looking for a replacement for its BMP-2s. This might be a market for BAE Systems CV-90, the company having reached an industrial agreement with local VOP CZ in mid-May 2016 to promote the BAE Systems Hägglunds platform. In 2017 Turkey should launch the RfP for its new infantry fighting vehicle, Otokar Tulpar being the one vehicle currently in full development and trials. With a maximum GVW of 42 tonnes, the Tulpar is proposed with two different powerpacks. One is based on a Scania DI 16 Turbo intercooler commonrail engine providing 810 hp, coupled to an SG-850 automatic 32 speed mechanical transmission build by SAPA Placencia in Spain used in the current configuration, which GVW is of 32 tonnes, it would be maintained up to 35 tonnes GVW. For higher weight configurations, or for customers operating in very hot climates, Otokar is proposing a 1,100 hp MTU engine coupled to a Renk transmis-

In 2017 the Turkish Army should issue the Request for Proposals for a new infantry fighting vehicle, Otokar’s Tulpar being one of the most credible candidates. (Otokar)

sion. The new AIFV is equipped with Otokar Mizrak-30 electrically driven remotely controlled turret armed with an ATK Mk44 30 mm dual feed cannon with 210 ready rounds and a 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, fitted stabilised day/night gunner and commander sights with thermal imager and laser rangefinder. The choice of a remotely controlled turret allows to maintain maximum volume inside the rear compartment, to which soldiers access via the rear ramp, the commander and gunner also operating within the vehicle chassis. No information on the chassis protection level are available, the modular armour package being designed in cooperation with IBD Deisenroth, while manufacture is planned to be made in Turkey. As for active defence solutions, Aselsan Akkor might be the choice. Mine protection was a key design parameter, ground clearance being 450 mm while energy absorbing seats have been adopted, but no information was given on the mine protection package. The vehicle answers the requirement of the Turkish Army for a 13 m3 inside volume including driver’s compartment; this is not separated from the rear compartment and the overall internal volume is smooth and continuous, allowing all the crew and infantry squad to have direct eye contact. The Tulpar was designed for transportation on the Airbus Military A400M, 10 of which have been ordered by

Turkey. Otokar is proposing many variants of its Tulpar, to cope with all need of mechanised formations. A lighter and amphibious version, the Tulpar-S, was unveiled in May 2015 to compete for the tracked segment of the Silah TaĹ&#x;iyici Araç (STA, for Weapon Carrier Vehicle) programme launched by Turkish Land Forces, that foresees the acquisition of 260 vehicles, 184 of which tracked while 76 will be wheeled. To answer this requirement Otokar developed the Tulpar-S, which has only few common elements with the Tulpar AIFV, such as the vetronic architecture, and some elements within the suspensions. An amphibious vehicle capable to move in still water with a minimum of two missiles ready for launch and 10 spare missiles on board, the Tulpar-S is fitted with an Aselsan dual axis gyro stabilized antitank turret capable to host up to four missiles, the Turkish requirement asking for Roketsan OMTAS medium-range and Kornet-E compatibility, the turret being able to host also Javelin or Hellfire. A five roadwheel chassis, the Tulpar-S is fitted with rubber tracks, however steel tracks with rubber pads are also offered; as standard an automatic track tension system is provided. Tracks seem also to be the main propulsion system in the amphibious phase, the vehicle not being fitted with propellers or waterjets, a trim vane being fitted at the front. The chassis features torsion bar suspensions with linear dampers, which give this 15 tonnes vehicle a growth potential up to 18 tonnes for ground use. The driver is seated on the left side, with the engine at his right. The commander and gunner complete the crew of the weapon carrier version, six spare missiles being located on the left and four on the right in the rear compartment. At the far back two seats allow carrying two extra infantrymen. Ballistic protection can reach up to Level 4, mine protection having not been unveiled. Otokar envisages numerous other versions for the Tulpar-S, the personnel carrier one featuring a crew of two plus eight dismounts, fighting, reconnaissance, command and control, maintenance and recovery, engineer and ambulance variants being

The Tulpar-S is a much lighter vehicle compared to the Tulpar, and features amphibious capabilities as required by the Turkish STA bid. (P. Valpolini)

The Kaplan-10, the number indicating the weight, was designed by FNSS to answer the Turkish STA requirement for a weapon carrier. (P. Valpolini)

The Polish industry is working on the Borsuk, a new infantry fighting vehicle which prototype should be ready for 2017.


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Unveiled at last IDEF, FNSS’ Kaplan 20, here fitted with the new Teber-30, is equipped with Diehl Defence rubber tracks. (P. Valpolini)

also foreseen. The vehicle is in the evaluation stage by the Turkish Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarlığı, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industry. The other Turkish vehicles manufacturer champion, FNSS, is also looking at the STA bid, and is proposing its Kaplan 10 “Tiger”. This vehicle has quite an original architecture the front section, featuring a full width periscope system with the driver and commander sitting side by side, the field of view in the front cabin exceeding 180°. The engine is at the back, on the right side of the vehicle, leaving a small access way that ends into a clamshell door in the back of the Tiger, while the transmission is located at the very front of the chassis. In that small corridor a jump seat is available for a fifth soldier, two other being located behind the driver and commander. These two control the weapon system installed, that might be of different kinds, the LAWC-T being able to host manned or unmanned turrets with weapons from 25 up to 40 mm calibre, as well as antitank missile turrets (as required for the STA) or ISTAR turrets up to 1.8 t weight. Four to six spare missiles are hosted inside the vehicle. The Tiger adopts an FNSS vetronic system derived from that of the Pars, based on a CAN bus, that allows plug & play installation of electronic systems. The crew access the vehicle via two side doors. Protection is a key issue and the Tiger ensures Level 4 against kinetic energy threat and Level 3a against mines, ground clearance being of 400-450 mm, the vehicle featuring a shallow “V” underbelly. The current GVW is 9 tonnes, however the chassis can accept a GVW of 14-15 tonnes, thus a considerable growth margin is available for further increasing the protection level. Amphibious, the rear engine and the centre of gravity located close to the flotation centre should considerably improve the behaviour afloat. A further tracked vehicle has been recently developed by FNSS, the Kaplan 20. Unveiled in 2015, the number indicates its combat weight, FNSS aiming at providing a fighting vehicle with amphibious capacities that fills the gap between existing light amphibious arEDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

moured vehicles and heavy non-amphibious fighting vehicles. The Kaplan 20 has a six road-wheels chassis and is fitted with Diehl Defence Land Systems segmented rubber tracks, the long track allowing to reduce ground pressure. To ensure maximum field of view to the driver, the powerpack has been located at the centre; the driver is seated on the right and has a 180° FoV, compared to the usual 135° when using periscopes. Two screens are provided, one for vehicle instruments and another for the night camera. The driver position is linked to the main troop compartment, the hatch being thus used mostly as emergency exit. A 22-25 hp/t power-to-weight ratio will be available, which means a 450-550 hp engine. The development prototype exhibited at the Istanbul fair was equipped with a new modular turret, the Teber-30, in the unmanned version. The commander is located well behind the driver, his console being fitted with two screens. The gunner is seated on the right of the vehicle and has a similar console. Moving to the rear two rows of energy absorbing seats host six soldiers, who leave the vehicle via a rear ramp. The Kaplan 20 is fitted with a series of cameras all around the vehicle that allow the commander to have a see-through-the-armour views of the surroundings, including over the roof and under the vehicle, the images being shown on specific goggles which position is referenced to the vehicle; the team commander, who dismounts with his troops, can also be equipped with such goggles, the view of the two being totally independent. The vehicle commander can also inject into the goggles information relevant to the vehicle status, such as ammunition and fuel, as well as tactical information such as blue force tracking and battle management system data. A screen looking backwards is also available to the troops, the vehicle commander being able to show to the dismounts the tactical situation or the surroundings before they leave the vehicle; in order to adapt the soldier’s view to the outside, lighting can be set according to outside conditions, thus allowing

An inside view of FNSS’ Kaplan 20. Numerous new technologies were fitted in the prototype, such as a “see through armour” system. (P. Valpolini)


Following the trend for heavy personnel carriers, Jordan developed a series of prototypes of APCs derived from the Tariq (Centurion) MBT, here the MAP II. (P. Valpolini)

to wear NVGs at night prior debussing or to adapt to sunlight in daytime. As for protection STANAG Level 6 seems to be the target, the Kaplan 20 being designed from inception to be fitted with active armour, FNSS having signed an agreement with ADS GmbH, the Rheinmetall-controlled company. Mine protection is obtained combining three elements, hull construction, a decoupled floor, with an absorption materiel used

between the hull and the floor, which allows soldiers to safely keep their feet on the floor without the risk of injuries, and weight-independent energy absorption seats purposely designed, with a run of over 200 mm, half of which is used to minimise the effect of the fall back to earth. Fully amphibious, a joystick on the right of the driver’s console allows to control the two hydraulically driven Ultra hydrojets. The inside volume of the Kaplan 20 is of 15 m3, however only key equipment will be kept inside, such as ammunition, optronics, etc, rucksacks being hosted in outside boxes. How much it will be a tank or a vehicle between an IFV and a tank remains to be seen, but Israel is definitely working at something new in the armoured vehicles scenario. According to the few information released, this tracked vehicle, known as Carmel, will have a combat weight of 30-35 tonnes, will be armed with a medium calibre RCWS also fitted with antitank missiles, and will be fully integrated in the net-centric world. A technology demonstrator for the time being, solutions such as hybrid propulsion, rubber tracks, advanced active defence systems, and automated target

The US tracked

With the Bradley replacement being still far away, the only tracked vehicle programme that seems to move ahead is the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), aimed at replacing M113s used in combat and combat service support roles within Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCT). On 23 December 2014 BAE Systems Land & Armaments was selected for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development, the initial award being for a 52-month base term, valued at about US$382 million. During that time, BAE Systems will produce 29 vehicles. The award also provides an optional Low-Rate Initial Production phase: if awarded, the company would produce an additional 289 vehicles for a total contract value of US$1.2 billion, production being scheduled between 2018 and 2020. The current AMPV programme will only replace 2,897 M113 vehicles at the brigade and below level within the ABCT, as echelon-above-brigade level replacements may have different requirements than the current procurement. Each ABCT deploys 19 M-113A3 general purpose, 41 M-1068A3 command posts, 15 M-1064 mortar carriers, 31 M113-A3 medical evacuation and 8 M577 medical treatment vehicles, for a total of 114 M-113 derivatives. Projected ABCT AMPV production includes 520 general purpose, 991 command post, 384 mortar carriers, 788 medical evacuation, 214 medical treatment, including vehicles for testing and for the Training and Doctrine Command. However in March 2014 the 2,897 figure has been increased to 2,907, ten more vehicles being needed for testing purposes. Overall programme estimated cost is US$ 10.223 billion. BAE Systems proposed the upgrade of mothballed Bradleys, the AMPV team including numerous other US companies such as DRS Technologies, Northrop Grumman, Air Methods Corporation, as well as the Red River Army Depot, responsible for vehicle teardown and component remanufacture. In the mean time, Bradleys equipping ABCTs are being upgraded. Two Engineering Change Proposals (ECP) are underway, ECP1 aiming at restoring mobility and ground clearance following weight increase, and thus is aimed at suspension and track upgrades, while ECP2 brings on board a new engine and transmission, increasing also power distribution. A third level of upgrade, dubbed ECP2B has not yet been launched, but the US Army looks forward to it in order to upgrade lethality, thanks to the adoption of new generation thermal imagers.


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A US Army Bradley; awaiting for replacement, those vehicles are being constantly upgraded, new automotive components being to maintain mobility. (US Army)

tracking will be tested, before freezing the configuration, the Carmel entry in service being foreseen in ten years time. The Carmel will probably generate a whole family of vehicles, IFV and APC being two of the obvious variants. For the time being the Israeli Defence Forces main vehicle for front line infantry remains the Namer, which provides extreme protection to its crew and dismounts thanks to its 60 tonnes chassis directly derived from the Merkava Mk4. Another country that is deriving an APC from a main battle tank is Jordan, which for some time has shown prototypes of vehicles based on the Tariq MBT, the local version of the British Centurion. The last iteration of the project is the Al-Dawsar, unveiled at SOFEX 2016, which features a raised superstructure to increase internal protected volume, and a front clamshell door on the left side of the vehicle, the driver being located on the right. How much this will be the production standard is to be seen, Jordan having nearly 300 Tariq that have been phased out from the forces and can be converted into APCs. India is looking for a replacement for its BMP-1s and BMP-2s, the deal being for over 2,600 vehicles. Most international armoured vehicles manufacturers are lining up for this bid, India’s Tata having announced in late 2015 that it will take part in the contest. How and when this delayed programme will lead to the production of a new IFV for the Indian Army is still to be seen. The Russian Army is considering replacing its fleet of BMPs, the one still in production for export being the BMP-3, with new tracked infantry fighting vehicles, one heavy, the T-15, and one lighter, the Kurganets 25, the number indicating its combat weight class. The former exploits many automotive components of the Armata T-14 MBT, however the engine is at the front EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

while in the T-14 it is at the rear. Although the concept is similar to that adopted by Israel, the Namer IFV being an infantry derivative of the Merkava Mk4 MBT, the IDF vehicles are much common as the Merkava has its engine at the front. A seven roadwheels chassis, the T-14 has a nearly flat glacis, driver and commander being respectively located in the middle of the vehicle, respectively on the right and left, followed by the troops compartment, the turret, the same Epoch turret with 2A42 30 mm gun and Kornet missiles, being installed at the far rear of the vehicle. A KA-3 Afganit active protection system is installed to increase protection against incoming warheads. A ramp operated rear door allows infantrymen to quickly embark and disembark, the number of dismounts being unclear. No weight figures were given, but considering the T-14 around 57 tonnes, the T-15 should be slightly lighter. The Kurganets 25 is available both in the APC and IFV versions, fitted with the same remotely controlled turrets installed on the Bumerang 8x8. The driver and commander are located behind the engine, respectively right and left. While the T-15 is obviously not amphibious considering the weight, the Kurganets 25 can swim thanks to two waterjets, a trim vane being fitted at the front, which retracts on the lower side of the hull. The Russian doctrine seems to have abandoned the idea of firing from inside, probably due to the need of thicker armour; the Kurganets 25 is fitted with thick armour modules on the sides, while a KA-3 active system seems to be installed. The number of dismounts has not been disclosed, access to the vehicle being via the rear ramp. Light vehicles world Although some light vehicles have already been described previously, the word “light� having become


With a requirement for more than 17,000 vehicles, the Oshkosh Defense Joint Light Tactical Vehicle might have a serious impact on many export markets. (Oshkosh Defense)

quite controversial, some light armoured vehicles programmes are being launched in various countries. If structural weight is a problem in all vehicles, as it heavily affects the ratio between curb weight and payload, it becomes even more a problem in the “light” category. The European Defence Agency has started in December 2015 a project on lightweight vehicles, Germany being the lead nations the other being Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Beside governmental experts from member States, ten industrial and research entities took part in the 16 December kick off meeting, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, Airborne, Camattini Meccanica, CeiiA Centre of Engineering and Innovation, Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft mbH (IABG), IVECO, Scania Netherland, Tecnalia, TNO and UROVESA. Known as L-AMPV for Lightweight constructions for Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicles, the project aims at delivering detailed information (material, weight, size and price) of vehicle components and parts currently used, determining the items which contribute most weight and recommending how to reduce the weight of these parts taking into account the need for the solution to last throughout the life-cycle of the system. Coming to vehicles, it is obvious that in terms of numbers what happens in the US has always an impact on the world market, and the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) will not make an exception, when it will become available through the Foreign Military Sales programme. The JLTV bid has seen Oshkosh Defense succeeding, selection being announced in August 2015, and work is now underway after in mid February 2016 a US Court of Federal Claims judge rejected Lockheed Martin’s legal action. The overall value of the contract should reach 6.7 billion US$ should all the 17,000 vehicles planned be acquired. Based on Oshkosh Core 1080 crew protection system and fitted with the company TAK-4i intelligent independent suspensions and NET Ready vectronic architecture, the JLTV having a curb weight of less than 6,350 kg and a GVW of 10,886 kg. It will be available in 2-seat and 4-seat (plus gunner) configurations, the former in the utility version, the latter


in the general purpose version, with two sub-variants, general purpose and heavy weapon carrier, and in the close combat weapons carrier version. The payload for the 2-seater is 2,313 kg while the 4-seater can carry an extra 1,588 kg. Designed to travel 20% on-road and 80% off-road, the JLTV has a scalable armour package that can reach MRAP levels of protection, details remaining classified. Powered by a Banks 866T turbo diesel based on General Motors Duramax V-8 architecture, coupled to an Allison 2500SP six speed automatic transmission, the exact output of the powerpack remaining unknown. Maximum speed is of over 113 km/h while cruising range exceeds 480 km. In March 2016 Oshkosh Defense was awarded a first contract for 657 vehicles with 2,977 related kits and support, low-rate initial production being planned until 2019, when full rate production will start until 2023, the Army looking at a total of 49,099 JLTVs while the US Marine Corps should acquire 5,000 such vehicles. Coming to Europe, France should announce in 2017 the choice for the VBMR Léger (Véhicule Blindé MultiRôle), the 10-12 tonne armoured vehicle that will equip the Force Interarmée de Réaction Immédiate (FIRI). The FIRI is the joint immediate reaction force, also known as Échelon National d’Urgence, which should deploy a 2,300 men contingent at 3,000 Km from France in seven days. The VBMR Léger will probably be a derivative of an existing vehicle, a key requirement being that two vehicles can be deployed by a single A400M. Scorpion Phase 1 will include 200 such vehicles, the total requirement that will be fulfilled with Phase 2 being 358. The vehicle will also be provided to ISTAR units, as well as to Electronic Warfare and Signal units for the deployment of tactical components. A 4x4 vehicle, the VBMR Léger will be obviously fitted with the SICS. If France, as probable, will opt for a national solution, the obvious

Oshkosh Defense JLTV’s assembly line; full rate production for the US Army and the USMC should start in late 2019. (Oshkosh Defense) EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

In the JLTV bid, Oshkosh Defense defeated competitors such as Lockheed Martin and AM General; LRIP started following the rejection of a competitor legal action. (Oshkosh Defense)

one is RTD Sherpa, but other competitors might appear in view of the bid, the DGA having not made clear if international bidders will be admitted. In Italy, the Army is looking at a new iteration of the successful Light Multirole Vehicle (LMV), known in the service as the VTLM Lince. Since its first appearance in 1999 Iveco DV’s LMV has considerably evolved. The last iteration exhibited at Eurosatory 2016 is the VTLM2, based on the Italian Army requirements, which capital-

ize the extensive deployment of the LMV in many different operational theatres, including higher payload, improved EMC capabilities, an easier of use, higher reliability and improved maintainability. These developments will be extensively adopted in various segments of the Forza NEC digitalization programme, and led to a common integration work with Leonardo-Finmeccanica Land & Naval Defence Electronics Division. The increased requirements of C4ISTAR capabilities of RTD Sherpa Light; if the Véhicule Blindé MultiRôle part of the Scorpion programme will be an all-French affair this vehicle is definitely one of the candidates. (RTD)

EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement


Iveco DV VTLM2 is the latest iteration of the LMV, and has been designed according to Italian Army requirements. (Iveco DV)

squad, platoon and company command posts led to a much higher number of communication and electronic equipment, which can be more effectively installed within the new vehicle architecture. The greater payload led to a higher total mass on ground, from 7.1 tonnes of the VTLM1A to the 8.1 tonne of the VTLM2. The FeE490 steel of the chassis has been replaced by SSAB’s Domex 700, with a 700 MPa enervation versus the 490 MPa of the previous material, while upper and lower suspension arms were strengthened. New wheel final reductions were installed, with four satellites rather than three. To maintain the required 20 kW/tonne, the engine power has been increased to 162 kW together with 45 Nm increase in the maximum torque, by further improving the high pressure injection system and the combustion chambers. The VTLM2 adopts a new generation ZF 8 HP 90S automatic gearbox designed for special applications and featuring eight gears, with a weight increase of only 14 kg on the 85 kg of the previous gearbox. The cooling system has been redesigned to cope with the increased engine power and the higher ambient temperature limits (49°C versus 44°C) by increasing the air flow through a larger fan and visco clutch, and more efficient heat exchangers, also ensuring easier maintenance and cleaning. A double cooling system with an oil-water heat exchanger and a secondary oil-air exchanger is installed to ensure gearbox lubricant cooling, a thermostat opening the secondary circuit when needed. A new air-filtering system, with a dust scavenge pre-filter and a cylindrical filter under the bonnet provides a 99% efficiency and ensures an operational time six time longer than the previous filter. Two major systems were adopted to improve mobility and vehicle handling. The first is the ADM (Automatic Drivetrain Management) which ensures automatic differential lock activated when the difference in rotational speed of drive shafts exceeds 300 rpm,


through the information coming from the ABS sensors. The vehicle maintains one manual locking system to lock the central longitudinal and rear differential. The other key feature specifically developed by Iveco Defence is the ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), which exploits data provided by the ABS, by an additional yaw inertial measurement unit and a steering angle sensor. Compared to the previous models the VTLM2 incorporates four oil-over-air actuators, in order to allow active speed and torque control for each wheel. As for protection, a high performing basic armour has been used to reduce thickness and weight; the balance of ballistic steel, spall liner and ceramics has been totally reconsidered, gaining 13% increase of the internal volume with no weight increase but with increased IED protection level thanks to a stronger vertical strut. A double floor with suspended seats further improves protection against underbelly and underwheel mines. The volume increase is due to a marginal increase in dimensions, while wheelbase and track have been kept the same in order to respect the turning circle requirement. Overall length is increased to 4845 mm from 4794 mm, while width becomes 2275 mm versus 2200 mm of the previous versions, the slightly longer overhang reducing marginally front and rear incidence angles which become respectively 48° and 43°. As for the weight balance, the payload has been increased from 800 to 1500 kg (+87.5%) while the payload versus total mass on ground ration increased from 11.3% to 18.5% (+63.7%), compared to the VTLM1A. As seen the number of information that flow on the vehicle CAN bus have considerably increased, this also allowing the adoption of a full digital cockpit with an advanced human-machine interface. The

An Italian Army Lince pictured in Afghanistan. Numerous countries have adopted Iveco DV’s LMV, the last being Brazil which selected it in April 2016. (P. Valpolini) EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

A GDELS Eagle V, the latest version of the well known Eagle, which is in service with many countries, among which Germany. (GDELS)

Logbox has been installed to work not only as an interface for communications and situational awareness subsystems but also as a logistic tool and events data recorder. Special attention has been dedicated to reduce electro-magnetic noise to improve communications; in the HF band, for example, the noise has been reduced by –45dB by encapsulating and filtering the various electronic control modules. Power generation is ensured by a 250 Amp alternator, three batteries being installed on board. Two AGM batteries under the bonnet are dedicated to engine start and to power the vehicle subsystems, a Li-Ion battery auxiliary battery is installed in the cabin, the Army requiring a protected power reserve capacity. Regarding the electronic suite, in the Italian Army VTLM2s used as T2, T3 and T4 level nodes (squad, platoon and company) will all be fitted with Finmeccanica-Leonardo Land & Naval Defence Electronics Division’s SWave VQ1 four-channel Software Defined Radio, each channel featuring a 50 W amplifier in the V/UHF band, the company providing most of the equipment; the radio is located between the two front seats, the vehicle being fitted for accepting a 125 W amplifier for the HF band which would be located in the boot. This new generation of radio has been chosen to maintain the same level of connectivity of all the other digitized platforms using one radio in place of four legacy radios (SINCGARS, HCDR, SBW VM3, HF Turma), the new SDR VQ1 radio taking the same space of the old SINCGARS 634, allowing to save space, power consumption and weight. All vehicles will also have on board a Harris AN/PRC-152 Tacsat and an Immarsat BGAN, while T4s will be fitted with feature on the trunk roof an SOTM/X phased array Satcom flat antenna, T3s being fitted for but not with. Switching is made of three components, the Sentinel MSR165 multiservEDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

ice switch router, the UCR radio configuration unit and the UIS-379D digital vehicular intercom system; it is to note that Finmeccanica is working on MSR165 Evolution that will include in the same cabinet also the UCR, TSB applications and crypto. The Command, Communications, Navigation-Blue Forces Situational Awareness software runs on a Larimart350 IIL computer, the GPS being complemented by a MEMS-based GMA Axitude inertial navigation system. A Guardian H3 jammer ensures protection against RCIEDs. One VHF antenna is fitted front left, the BGAN antenna being front right together with the UHF aerial. All other antennas are located at the back, over the trunk. As for the ISTAR vehicle, due to the presence of the Janus multi-sensor panoramic sight located rear right and installed on a telescopic mast, all the antenna suite had to be relocated. Integration had to take in count the sight visibility, the ISTAR LMV adopting the new SDR VQ1 radio. The same Guardian H3 jammer ensures C-IED protection. Currently three prototypes of the VTLM2 are used for trials, a pre-production vehicle will be exhibited at Eurosatory with the complete radio suite (minus some classified antennas). Most ballistic tests have been carried out, the last being planned for summer 2016, while mine-IED blast tests are planned for late 2016-early 2017. Iveco DV awaits a first production contract financed within the Forza NEC programme within Q3 or Q4 2016, which should include about 20 vehicles, and logistic support. In the mean time Iveco DV added another flag on its world map showing the LMV users: in April 2016 the Brazilian Army selected the vehicle and signed a first contract for 32 of them. While in Spain the Ejército de Tierra is testing the latest variant of the ISTAR version of the VAMTAC

Following the success of its Cobra, Otokar is now offering its Cobra 2 to many potential customers. (Otokar)


ST5, another prototype based on the VAMTAC S3 having been delivered some time ago. Known as VERT (Vehículo de Reconocimiento Terrestre, land reconnaissance vehicle) it is equipped with a telescopic mast fitted with the SERT sensor suite by Navantia, sensors that is recovered inside the rear cab when on the move. In Late 2015 UROVESA acquired two contracts from the Spanish MoD for its 4x4 1.5 tonne vehicles, while more should come as some 772 vehicles should be acquired in five years for the Army, Navy and the Quick Reaction Force. Denmark, which has in service GDELS Eagle IV, is currently looking for a new 4x4 vehicle for patrol, electronic warfare, logistic and reconnaissance missions, Level 4a/4b mine protection, and Level 3 Ballistic protection being required as well as C-130 transport capability.  ,

ACV 1.1 The US Marine Corps has been searching for an 8x8 amphibious vehicle for some years. Initially known as Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC), in August 2012 the USMC awarded four contracts respectively to BAE Systems, GDLS, Lockheed Martin and SAIC, to evaluate off-the-shelf platforms. The vehicles involved where Iveco DV Superav, General Dynamics Piranha, Patria Havoc (an AMV evolution) and STK Terrex, the non-US companies having teamed with the abovementioned US bidders. One year later the programme was called off, to be revived as part of the new Amphibious Combat Vehicle, the wheeled amphibious platform being the Phase 1 Increment 1 of that programme, ACV 1.1 in short. Heavily based on the MPC programme, five vehicles were submitted to further evaluation, including one from US Advanced Defense Vehicle Systems, and on 26 November 2016 two bidders were downselected, BAE Systems and SAIC, which received one contract each respectively worth $103.8 million and $121.5 million to build 13 EMD (Engineering & Manufacturing and Development) ACV 1.1 prototypes with an option for three more vehicles. These should be delivered by January 2017 and will then be submitted to thorough testing and evaluation, final selection being expected by Q2 2018. Initial operational capability (one platoon of ACVs ready to deploy) is expected in 2020, full operational capability in 2023, all 204 planned ACV 1.1 being ready to deploy. GDLS filed a protest to the Government Accountability Office over the selection of the SAIC offer, but the protest was denied on 15 March 2016. Forecasted value of the production contract is of $ 1.2 billion. The US Marine Corps is pursuing the acquisition of a high performance amphibious vehicle, to replace current AAVs, but its IOC will happen at a much later date.


VBTP-MR With the production of the VBTP-MR (Viatura Blindada de Transporte de Pessoal - Média de Rodas) Guarani 6x6 well underway, the Brazilian Army has acquired 188 such vehicles, Iveco Latin America awaiting an order for further 1,200, the total planned number being 2,044, it is now time to deal with the bigger member of the Guarani family, the VBR-MR (Viatura Blindada de Reconhecimento - Média de Rodas). The Brazilian Army considered different chassis solutions, both 6x6 and 8x8, and finally went for an 8x8 version of the Guarani with front-mounted engine, and will of course have a different and more powerful engine as its combat weight will be of over 25 tonnes. The VBR-MR will be armed with a 105 mm rifled gun; four turrets are being considered, CMI Defence Cockerill 3105, Denel Land Systems MT-105, NORINCO ST1, and Finmeccanica Defence Systems (formerly Oto Melara) HITFACT 105. The latter company should propose an evolved version of its HITFACT 105 fitted with many of the upgrading adopted on the turrets fitted with the 120 mm gun, including of course electric actuators. The Brazilian Army plans to procure 396 VBR-MR. Mobility and protection should be in line with the Guarani 6x6 APC, however no amphibious capability is required for the 105 mm armoured vehicle. The VBR-MR will replace the 6x6 EE-9 Cascavel armed with a 90 mm gun, an IOC timeframe having not yet been announced.

MIV In its 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review the UK MoD announced that the British Army will form two “Strike Brigades”; most of the manpower will come from the re-roling of an existing mechanised infantry brigade. While maintaining the Ajax as the reconnaissance platform, the new brigades main vehicle for infantry will be on wheels, in the form of an 8x8 solution known as Mechanised Infantry Vehicle that not only will ensure troop transport but also all support functions. Potential bidders await a move by the MoD; GDLS already sent its LAV Demonstrator to the UK while it is understood that a British delegation visited France, to get a hands-on feeling of the VBCI, Nexter being ready to offer the latest evolution known as VBCI-2. Other contenders should come from Germany, in the form of Artec’s Boxer, and Finland, the Patria AMV XP being one option. EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

Land 400 Phase 2


Australia looks at renewing the reconnaissance and infantry combat vehicles in service with its Army within the Land 400 programme. The wheeled segment falls under Land 400 Phase 2, and in early April the Australian DoD announced that the shortlist announcement for the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle was being moved slightly to the right. This programme aims at replacing replace the ASLAV (a derivative of the LAV/Piranha) currently in service. Four competitors are bidding for the contract, the number of vehicles required being 225: BAE Systems Australia teamed with Patria offers the AMV, Rheinmetall Defence the Boxer, GDLS and Thales Australia propose the LAV 6, while Elbit Systems and Singapore Technologies Kinetics offers the Terrex 2. The ASLAV should be phased out by 2021. Australia also needs to replace its ageing fleet of M113s. This replacement will fall under the Land 400 Phase 3 programme, the overall requirement being for 450 vehicles. Both tracked and wheeled vehicles will be taken into consideration. Eight different versions will be required, the vast majority being the IFV one (312 vehicles), the remaining 138 being C2 vehicles, Joint-Fires vehicles, engineer reconnaissance and engineer combat vehicles, recovery vehicles, repair vehicles and ambulances. A Request for Information has been issued, Australia aiming at an initial operational capability by 2025-26.

The Qatari Army is already equipped with some 8x8 vehicles, GKN Defence having supplied in 1998 some Piranha 8x8 fitted with a CMI Defence two-person turret armed with a 90mm gun. These vehicles are however closing to their 20th year of operational service, and the Emirate has started looking at the procurement of new wheeled infantry fighting vehicles. This has led numerous companies to promote their vehicles in the Emirate, and the presence of Nexter and Patria at DIMDEX 2016 was also due to the potential bid that my emerge. Other competitors might show up, Qatar and Turkey having close ties, while GDLS is already present with its Piranha. Due to oil price considerations, Qatar is now prioritising its defence expenditures and further delays might be expected, the Navy and air force being apparently the services which are getting the biggest share of the cake. According to available information the Qatari Army should have a need for 82 vehicles.

Advertisers in this issue: DCIC2 Iveco10 Nexter8 MBDAC4 RenaultC3 Unifeld32 Publisher: Editor-in-Chief:

Joseph Roukoz David Oliver

European Defence Review (EDR) is published by European Defence Publishing SAS

Graphic design / layout by: Images Argentiques

Eurosatory News International launch for BlueBird’s ThunderB BlueBird Aero Systems of Israel unveiled their ThunderB small tactical UAV at a conference south of TelAviv in 2015. Eurosatory 2016 marks however the first international appearance of this long endurance ISTAR system, which has a maximum take off weight of around 28 kg and a wingspan of less than 4 meters. It can carry up to 3.5 kg nose mounted payload with full fuel; extra payload can be located in the fuselage with fuel trade off. Maximum endurance is 24 hours (but it flew a 25.5 hours mission), operational range being 100 km, extendable to 150 km. With a 16,000 ft ceiling, its best operational altitude is 3,000 ft. a Pushing propeller powered by an electronic injection fuel engine allows it to reach 72 Kts, cruise speed being 42 Kts. Catapult launched and parachute recovered, the standard payload is Controp’s T-Stamp, with its three sensors, IR cooled, daylight HD and optional laser pointer. BlueBird UAVs are exhibited at stand D680.

MBDA turret goes light

Following the first successes with its MPCV turret, at Eurosatory MBDA unveils a much lighter solution aimed at its MMP antitank missile, which will soon enter service with the French Army. Known as Impact, the turret carries two missiles on the right side with a 7.62 mm machine gun on the low left side, the optronic system on the top left side. The latter is a repackaged version of the MMP launcher optronic, the HMI located inside the vehicle consisting of a screen and joysticks allowing to control the turret, missile modes and firing. Including the two missiles, the machine gun, ammunition and sensors, the Impact weighs only 250 kg. It will be ready just prior to the exhibition, thus we can only publish an artist impression. To see the real thing installed on a PVP light armoured vehicle take a stroll in the outside area to Stand D550.


Constant RCWS evolution by Kongsberg Following its success in the US, the Army having selected and contracted Konsberg’s MCT-30 fitted with the Orbital ATK Mk44 Stretched 30 mm gun, the Norwegian company is implementing new solutions for its RCWS, such as a combined 12.7/40 mm AGL version with side-by-side weapons, a low profile version for turret-on-turret solutions, and others. These include the integration of the Javelin missile, a version configurable to carry 12,7 or 40mm AGL in center and a 7,62mm or Javelin as the coaxial weapon having been recently delivered. The Javelin integrated version shown at Eurosatory has been recently through a thorough testing programme at the Armoured Trials and Development Unit in the UK, mounted on a Spartan tracked vehicle. Five missiles were fired, three Block 0 Javelin missiles at ranges of 1500, 2500, and 3200 metres and two Block 1 missiles at ranges of 3500 and 4300 metres. All five missiles successfully hit the target, including that at 4300 metres, one of the longest engagements to date.

Harris: 3-D virtual reality for soldiers ollowing the acquisition of Exelis, Harris Corporation is now fully involved in the soldiers’ equipment world. Its Tactical Mobility-Night Vision Google (TM-NVG) has evolved, the secondary II tube having become a weapon sight. Moreover it has been integrated with the ARC4 (Augmented Reality Command Control Communicate Coordinate), developed by Applied Research Associates, which provides augmented reality, injecting for example navigation waypoints, blue forces, target locations overlaid on the soldier’s real-world view. Boresighted at 300 meters, the system gives a 3-D view down to the single soldier. A spin-off of DARPA’s Ultra-Vis programme, Harris has developed a headborne demonstrator shown in the 1.0 version (see photo), which at Eurosatory is present in the 2.0 configuration, 30-40% lighter, the company aiming at halving the weight in the 3.0 production version.


EDR - Eurosatory 2016 Supplement

Increased security with Speed-ER Deploying three different types of sensors to ensure maximum security to critical infrastructures, this the aim of Controp of Israel that unveils at the Paris exhibition its Speed-ER, an extended long range observation system. Gyro-stabilised, it includes a 3rd generation Medium Wave IR sensor with a x30 continuous optical zoom, a Short Wave IR sensor with x5 continuous optical zoom, and two colour TV sensors, one with a wide FoV and one with narrow FoV. To this we can add a laser rangefinder with a 20 km range and a laser pointer. Made of three line replaceable units, the thermal imaging one weighing 31 kg, the day one 18 kg, and the gimbal 35 kg, for a total of 84 kg, the Speer-ER can be fitted also with optional features such as panoramic scanning, automatic movement detection, digital recording, remote operations either via cable or radiofrequency, and can be interfaced with C4 systems. The Speed-ER is visible at Stand C517.


A new FCS from Rheinmetall

t Eurosatory Rheinmetall, Stand D211-261, unveils its Vingmate SL 1000, a fire control system dedicated to shoulder launched rocket systems (hence the SL). It was developed by Vinghøg AS, part of Rheinmetall Nordic, to answer a Norwegian requirement for a system capable of increasing the M2 and M3 Carl Gustaf 84 mm lethality. The SL 1000 can easily be used with the AT4, the PzF3 Panzewrfaust, RPGs, as well as with automatic grenade launchers. It includes a laser rangefinder with a 1.5 km range, that provides automatic superelevation, a tilt sensor, a meteorological sensor, IR and visible target markers, , and an IR illuminator. Engagement time is less than 3 seconds: the gunner acquires the target, engages the LRF, reacquires the target after the automatic elevation compensation system has rotated the sight, and fires. Cant information are shown on the SL 1000 screen. The system is fitted with a Picatinny rail that can host day sights as well as clip-on night sights. An output allows to interface the SL 1000 with a programming system to use airburst munitions. A compact item, 171 x 112 x 110 mm, the SL 1000 is powered by three CR 123 batteries that provide 24 hours run time and weighs 1,300 grams with batteries. Thermal Targets from Israel eshet Graf from Israel presents for the first time its ThermaReal family of realistic thermal targets for live fire small arms training using thermal devices. These targets simulate objects such as people, tanks, and UAVs, improving shooting accuracy in the dark on the battlefield. They are based on photo realistic colour images combined with real thermal image, the image being based on real object thermography. For example in a human target the head and raveled parts of the body will look warmer, while in a vehicle the warmed part will be the engine. ThermaReal targets can be used both in the 3-5 and 8-12 ¾m bands. Adhesive backed repair stickers are available to extend targets use, both for hot and cold target zones. Vehicle size targets are available on flexible materiel which allows to roll them up, their size going up to 460 x 180 cm, making deployment and storage much easier. Reshet Graf products can be seen at Stand D 733.



SHIVA fight-off direct threats epresenting in Italy numerous leading companies in the of naval and land electronic, Angelo Podestà made a step forward proposing company-developed items. The first is the integration of numerous subcomponents, to generate a vehicle defensive suite against direct fire threats that can easily be installed on any vehicle. Known as SHIVA it is build around a combat proven fire control and command system, the Safe Strike by Rebel Alliance, that provides a series of capabilities such as blue force tracking, target generation, danger close areas, etc. Position in GPS-denied areas is ensured by Safran Defence & Electronics Epsilon 10 inertial measurement unit. The Argus laser warning, developed by PentaTec of Germany, provides an elevation coverage of ±105°, while acoustic warning comes from the Metravib Pilar V. Soft response allows to hide the vehicle thanks to Rheinmetall’s Rosy obscurant system, hard reaction coming from the on-board RCWS, if available. A company-developed hard reaction item is in the pipeline, but for the time being remains undercover. To meet the Shiva people, pay a visit to Stand D482 in Hall 6.


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Eurosatory 2016 Supplement  

In this special Eurosatory 2016 supplement, Paolo Valpolini discusses both wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles.

Eurosatory 2016 Supplement  

In this special Eurosatory 2016 supplement, Paolo Valpolini discusses both wheeled and tracked armoured vehicles.

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