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Special Report

Military Vehicle Recovery Solutions

Sepson – Innovation in Winching Driven by the Needs of the World’s Most Demanding Customers Resilience in Military Vehicle Recovery ‘Wreckers’ for Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN) Recovery Vehicles in Action Moving Forward to the Future

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

SPECIAL REPORT

Military Vehicle Recovery Solutions

Sepson – Innovation in Winching Driven by the Needs of the World’s Most Demanding Customers

Contents

Resilience in Military Vehicle Recovery ‘Wreckers’ for Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN) Recovery Vehicles in Action

Foreword

2

Sepson – Innovation in Winching Driven by the Needs of the World’s Most Demanding Customers

3

Mary Dub, Editor

Moving Forward to the Future

Sepson AB

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Mary Dub Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

© 2012. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

Sepson Winches with Constant Pull Feature External Load Cell Unit Sepson Winches with Automatic Two-Speed Operation World Class Winches Founded in 1900 Focus on Reliability and Safety Uncomplicated with Built-in Safety Features Pioneer in Hydraulic Winches Innovation Straight from the World’s Toughest Laboratory Value for Money Sepson AB Contact Details

Resilience in Military Vehicle Recovery Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

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Towed and then Transported for Repair in the UK no Longer Despite Changes “the Defence Support Group … had not Dropped the Ball on any Occasion” Major General Ian Dale The Federation of American Scientists View on the M88 and its Variants Decisions to Build New More Capable MRV Reversed ‘Several Times’ Because of Cost Considerations

‘Wreckers’ for Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN) 9 Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

The HERCULES Winch Design Improvement Needed Recovering the MRAP A ‘Plus-Up’ for the US forces The Oshkosh LVSR (Logistics Vehicle System Replacement) American Wreckers Face Competition from Germany and Poland

Recovery Vehicles in Action

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Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Reset Expenditure French Mirage Fighter Recovered in Land Operation Multi National Interoperability Exercise to Recue a Jackal Patrol Vehicle

Moving Forward to the Future

13

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

The British National Audit Office Notes the Impact of Decision Making on Future Capability In the United States, the National Defense University Remarks on the Stress Caused by the Intensity of Operations The Central Importance of Training to Maintain Recovery Vehicles India’s CVRDE (Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment) Works on New Recovery Vehicles

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SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

Foreword M

ilitary recovery vehicles are the

vehicles out of the battlefield has not been easy.

central focus of this Special Report. These

Winches and their components have had to be

key mobile and powerful, heavy vehicles are the

redesigned. This is covered in the third article.

answer to a prayer by a soldier in a battle damaged

A case study of two very different types of rescue

vehicle, a victim of misadventure or breakdown.

in Afghanistan is the subject of the revealing report

Their powerful winches and towropes need to be

in the fourth article. Commanders talk about how

able to move every battlefield vehicle out of trouble.

they overcame the difficulties of rescuing a downed

The Report opens with an article that looks at one of

French aircraft and moved some of the heaviest

the oldest establishment and most highly regarded

vehicles used by ISAF forces in Afghanistan.

manufacturers of winches in the world, which

Rolling forward to the future, the decisions and

supplies winch systems for both military and civilian

cost cutting measures of the recent past cast a dark

markets. The keynote to this organisation’s success

shadow over the future procurement of armoured and

is its focus on its products being reliable, safe and

recovery vehicles. The final article highlights some

operator friendly. Constant development and attention

pithy criticism of the erratic decision-making taken

to detail have resulted in reliable, uncomplicated

by governments and the resulting limitations on the

vehicle mounted winch systems, which require little

supply of vehicles to armed forces. The glimmer of

maintenance, for use in the global marketplace.

hope for the market now comes from Asian markets,

The second piece in this report follows the pattern of modelling recovery vehicles first on the vehicle to

where high rates of growth allow purchases of new recovery vehicles.

be rescued and then on the capability needed for one vehicle to move even the heaviest of battlefield vehicles – the MRAP. Rising to the MRAP challenge with recovery vehicles that can winch these expensive but effective new

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager.

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SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

Sepson – Innovation in Winching Driven by the Needs of the World’s Most Demanding Customers Sepson AB

Sepson winch – H200PX

I

n our position at the forefront of the industrial winch market, it is very important to listen carefully to our professional users all over the world and to develop products responsive to their needs. For over a century, Sepson has developed expertise in solid and dynamic mechanics and in the technology involved with casting metals. For 80 years, we have been developing and manufacturing winches for military vehicles and throughout this period the three components of reliability, durability and user safety have remained the core of our competitive advantage. Well known globally for delivering high level Swedish quality, Sepson develops, manufactures and supplies vehicle mounted winches and winch systems for both the military and civilian markets. Consistent quality and safe operation remains the focus of the developmental process and this process is, in turn, based on years of experience combined with highly advanced technical ability. Hard use over the years in the most demanding environments has cemented the reputation of the Sepson winch as being reliable, safe and operator friendly. By Mats Elfsberg, Managing Director Sepson AB, Sweden.

The unique features of our Forcematic and Sepmatic winch products have become industry standards in the winch market. As an industry leader, we are also responsible for developing new solutions for all types of vehicle mounted winch products and accessories. In this light, during 2012 we will introduce upgrades adding even more features to our world class winch products which will make working with a Sepson even safer and easier than before. These added features, once again, reflect our core values of reliability, durability and user safety.

Sepson Winches with Constant Pull Feature Sepson has developed a winch combining state of the art load sensing technology with an efficient software algorithm resulting in a constant pull function across all layers of the drum. Besides easing recovery planning and increasing safety, the constant pull feature allows for the optimal length of rope used on the drum. Without constant pull, the wire rope diameter is chosen based on the first layer of the drum which means the higher layers operate with a greater diameter rope than needed. In comparison, a winch utilizing constant pull can take a rope of less diameter resulting on more rope on the drum. The advantages of this feature are readily apparent. A lower diameter rope is lighter and easier to handle, certainly when free spooling out to hook up the load. The usable radius of the winches increases as well as the safety level for the users. The constant pull feature makes the pulling phase safer and easier to control for everyone involved. In the long run, the wear and tear on the winch decreases as the shock loads involved with sudden stops are nearly completely eliminated. www.defenceindustryreports.com | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

For 80 years, we have

External Load Cell Unit

and user safety have

The heart of the Sepson constant pull technology is an external load cell used in conjunction with an electronic controller. The Forcematic line features an integrated load cell and for the other drum winch products, including the Sepdurance and those with the integrated rope spooling device, the load cell can be mounted anywhere on the rope’s path including at the end of a rotator boom. The control unit is made up of an electronic component which is connected to a hydraulic block. This device is explosion proof, waterproof and complies with the most stringent EMC standards including MIL-STD 461F. Since the load cell can be mounted anywhere on the rope’s path, it can be safely attached in all conditions. Depending of the physical situation, the user can always mount the load cell at the most secure place for each and every application. This easyto-handle solution is a typical Sepson feature, which greatly increases user safety. Furthermore, the control unit is extremely reliable and can be modularly integrated into the Sepson winch as can all other products and features.

remained the core of our

Sepson Winches with Automatic Two-Speed Operation

been developing and manufacturing winches for military vehicles and throughout this period the three components of reliability, durability

competitive advantage.

For years, Sepson winches using two or more motors have featured our automatic two speed capability, which works to reduce slack in the rope, increasing operator safety. While winching a lower capacity load, only one motor is in use and the line speed is at its highest level. Once the load is increased to a critical level, all available motors (either 2 or 3) come into operation and the pull is increased while the speed is decreased. This seamless operation greatly increases the safety level by insuring no slack in the rope during the recovery operation. Sepson has introduced a solution allowing all our winches to be equipped with automatic two speed operation. When slack in the rope occurs during a recovery operation, it can lead to a dangerous situation and this has been the cause of a number of unfortunate winching accidents. With slack reduced or eliminated by the two speed action of the Sepson winch, the recovery is not only safer but puts less strain on the winch and the rope.

BaeTenix Australia

heavy equipment transporters, armored defense systems, off road vehicles, tractors, loaders and earth moving equipment, fire/rescue vehicles, refuse vehicles, high tension wire stringing rigs and many other applications. Sepson winches are designed and built for professional use in the toughest of environments and, for many years, Sepson has been a key supplier of winch systems to commercial vehicle builders and defense forces around the world.

Founded in 1900 The master smith, Sars Erik Petterson, founded Sepson in 1900 in the middle of Sweden to make tools and handling equipment for the surrounding forestry industry, where pulling and lifting are key activities. Deep in the forest and far from any workshop, the equipment used there had to work well and be reliable at all times. From the very beginning, Sepson has strived to develop equipment that is easy to use, safe and very reliable. Sepson winches are the best when nothing can go wrong. Due to a centuries old tradition of skilled workmanship, this area in Sweden has become a centre of industrial activity. Combining this tradition with high tech applications and responsible care for the environment has become a hallmark of Swedish business. Today, Sepson manufactures a state of the art range of winch systems based on an ISO 9001 certified quality system.

World Class Winches

Focus on Reliability and Safety

Sepson is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of hydraulic vehicle-mounted winch systems. Starting at the beginning of the last century, Sepson winches began spreading around the world and are now performing heavy duty recovery work reliably under the most sever of conditions ranging from tropical heat to arctic cold and everything in between. Sepson winches are in use today on rescue and recovery vehicles, cargo trucks, trailers and

Winches mounted on vehicles often work under tough conditions in extreme environments. The requirements for recovery winches are, therefore, extremely high, both in civilian and military applications. The high reputation built up by Sepson is the result of superb performance in the toughest of these environments which has lead the company to become a trusted supplier of world class winch systems for all types of vehicles. Our Swedish

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SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

offer training. We can offer on-site service and routine maintenance or we can train operators or maintenance professionals locally. Wherever you are in the world, we can be there to train your staff, your service partner or your customers’ users. We tailor the training programs to suit your needs exactly. Our expertise and drive to innovate has made Sepson the natural choice for both military and civilian users worldwide.

Pioneer in Hydraulic Winches

company has reached a prominent position in this market and is continually at the forefront of the further development of trustworthy and reliable winch products and systems. With our heritage and long experience in mind, we know what it takes to handle and operate winches in the real world. We develop and manufacture our winch products to be safe under tough conditions and to operate reliably even in extreme environments. We are always looking to improve, as we view the development of safe and effective winch products to be a question of ongoing innovation in light of technology available.

Sepson pioneered the use of hydraulically powered winches for mounting on vehicle applications and since then has continuously improved their products; always integrating the best new technology available. Sepson is much more, however, than solely a winch manufacturer. We work closely with our clients to provide complete, modular winching solutions resulting in installations designed to offer low weight in relation to pulling capacity. Sepson has always been a customer-focused organization and continually works to develop long term relationships with customers. For this reason, we listen very carefully to professional users all over the world and develop products responsive to their needs. This constant delivery of state-of-theart technology keeps our customers coming back and cements Sepson’s position at the forefront of the industrial winch market.

Uncomplicated with Built-in Safety Features

Innovation Straight from the World’s Toughest Laboratory

Sepmatic

Our winch program consists mainly of planetary gear winches with a pulling force up to 400 kN (90,000 pounds-force). Many of our products include both an integrated spooling device and constant pull technology.

Service and support is available all over the world

Our products are designed to be used in the harshest environments and, as is often the case, far away from the next repair center. For this reason, Sepson products are made to require as little maintenance as possible and repairs can always be undertaken without special tools by our customers’ own staff. We also consider it important for us to be able to offer a local presence to solve problems on the spot and to

Sepdurance H150 winch

This package has proven itself time and again in the harshest environments and has proven its worth especially to military customers worldwide. Recovery work is tough everywhere but operators www.defenceindustryreports.com | 5


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

Sepson has always been a customerfocused organization and continually works to develop long term relationships with customers.

deployed in danger zones deal with the extreme stress of time constraints as well as a number of distractions, all of which require speed and almost automatic rope management. Forcematic winches are able to be free spooled for speed but lay the rope automatically on the drum while winching, and the constant pull feature negates the need for difficult capacity calculations during the recovery. If the load is pulled on the first layer, it will pull on the last too. With sealed and greasefilled gearboxes, Sepson winches can be used in tropical and arctic climates as well as desert conditions. Ambient temperature range can be from -49ºC to + 55ºC. All control units meet EMC requirements and are tested and certified to MILSTD 461F. The common feature to all our winches is that they are easy to use and safe to handle with extremely high reliability and durability. They are developed for professionals by professionals. In short: World Class Winches.

Value for Money Many features forged in this extreme environment, however, also find their use in the civilian sector, increasing an operator’s value for money. As the drum on a Sepson winch completely disengages from the drive chain when in free spool, the result is less work pulling out the rope. The planetary gear sets are highly efficient and permanently lubricated leading to long winch life and trouble free operation. Heat generation is low resulting in a deep duty cycle for long winching operations. For over 100 years, Sepson’s characteristically Swedish attention to quality and detail plus spirit of innovation has produced reliable, uncomplicated vehicle mounted winch systems for use in the global marketplace. A Sepson winch has a long operating life, requires very little maintenance and it easy to service. These traits make every Sepson winch a good investment. As always, a world class winch from Sepson is easy to use, safe to handle, reliable and readily available.

Sepson AB Contact Details SE-780 50 Vansbro, Sweden E-mail: info@sepson.se Phone +46 281 758 40 Fax +46 281 710 09 www.sepson.se

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SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

Resilience in Military Vehicle Recovery Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent

“If we don’t go out and recover that vehicle, then the Taliban will use those parts against us as an IED,” said Cpl. Brodie Savoie, the 1st Marine Logistics Group1

usually carries a crew of three soldiers from the Royal Electrical And Mechanical Engineers (REME).2 The CRARRV carries a main winch with a 50-tonne pull which can exert 98 tonnesforce using an included pulley and anchor point on the vehicle, plus a small pilot winch to aid in deploying the main cable. It also has an Atlas crane capable of lifting 6,500 kg for a distance of 4.9 m (this is sufficient to lift a Challenger 2 power pack).

Towed and then Transported for Repair in the UK no Longer Close up of Sepson compact hydraulic drive unit with motors, brake and manifold.

T

he role of the armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) in the battlefield is essential for ensuring readiness of armoured vehicles and in rescuing and repairing battle damaged, mine-damaged or broken-down armoured vehicles during combat. With the need to cut costs as well as maintain readiness for all the armoured vehicle fleet, dedicated recovery vehicles or ‘wreckers’ are a critical capability. ARVs are frequently built on the chassis of a main battle tank (MBT), but some are also constructed on the basis of other armoured fighting vehicles, mostly armoured personnel carriers (APCs). ARVs are often built on the basis of a vehicle in the same class as they are supposed to recover; a tank-based ARV is used to recover tanks, while an APC-based one recovers APCs, but does not have the power to tow a much heavier tank. The British ARV is the Challenger Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle (CRARRV), an armoured recovery vehicle based on the Challenger hull and designed to repair and recover damaged tanks on the battlefield. It has five seats but

Until the opening of a new facility in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan last year, the British vehicles that needed significant repair and maintenance in Afghanistan were transported back to the UK. But the economics and logistics of such an operation have resulted in the opening of a new Defence Support Group facility in Afghanistan. “In October 2009, the Defence Support Group (DSG) deployed 29 staff to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan as part of the Permanent Joint Headquarters’ (PJHQ) Equipment Sustainability System (ESS) programme. The programme removes the need for equipment rotation by conducting forward regeneration at the front line, which maximises equipment availability for operational commanders, minimises the time that vital equipment is away from critical operations and provides better value for defence.”3 This has been followed by an expanded new facility, a purpose-built workshop for the intheatre maintenance and repair of UK military vehicles, which was opened in February 2011 in Camp Bastion, Southern Afghanistan, by the then British Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox. Lieutenant Colonel Phil Croager, Project Officer based at the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), said: “Front line equipment is worked extremely hard in tough conditions. This facility will allow us to bring vehicles in for deep maintenance, which will www.defenceindustryreports.com | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

Until the opening of a new facility in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan last year, the British vehicles that needed significant repair and maintenance in Afghanistan were transported back to the UK.

help to extend their time in theatre and increase their availability to operational commanders.”

Despite Changes “the Defence Support Group ... had not Dropped the Ball on any Occasion” Major General Ian Dale The Defence Support Group, an amalgamation of two entities, has become one and is now in the process of being hived off from the British Ministry of Defence as a private company. Nevertheless the civilian engineers on the ground have earned the support of the high-ranking officers for their work. “Despite the turbulence of the change, amalgamation and the internal drive for efficiency... we have not had any perturbation in the outputs whatsoever.”4 The United States has had a better-funded and more powerful contribution to battlefield recovery that has been based around the M88 and improved periodically when the vehicles to be rescued have increased in weight. The Future Combat System (FCS) was to be the foundation of the United States armoured vehicle fleet. It was however, changed. The Future Combat System was a multiyear, multibillion dollar program at the heart of the Army’s transformation efforts. It was to be the Army’s major research, development, and acquisition program, consisting of 14 manned and unmanned systems tied together by an extensive communications and information network. FCS was intended to replace current systems such as the M-1 Abrams tank and the M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. On April 6, 2009, Secretary of Defense Gates announced that he intended to restructure significantly the FCS program.5 Under the FCS a new Field Recovery and Maintenance Vehicle (FRMV) (XM1205) would have been the FCS BCT’s recovery and maintenance system.

The Federation of American Scientists View on the M88 and its Variants As the weight and size of tanks, armoured personnel carriers and other battlefield vehicles has increased, the M88 ‘wrecker’/recovery vehicle has been upgraded and changed because of problems with winching. The Federation of American Scientists reviewed its capability:

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“the M88A1 Medium Recovery Vehicle (MRV) is a full tracked armored vehicle… The M88A1 MRV performs hoisting, winching, and towing operations supporting recovery operations and evacuation of heavy tanks and other tracked combat vehicles. It has a fuel/defuel capability and is fully equipped to provide maintenance and recovery support for the main battle tank family and similar vehicles. These functions can be performed in all types of terrain during all weather conditions. The existing M88A1 does not provide safe operation, braking, steering control or adequate power for recovery of the main battle tank. The 70-ton M1 tanks significantly outweigh the M88A1, built for the preceding generation of M60 series tanks, a factor that severely limits the capabilities of the M88A1 in many types of terrain and situations. Due to weight differentials, two M88A1s are required to safely tow an Abrams series tank.”6

Decisions to Build New More Capable MRV Reversed ‘Several Times’ Because of Cost Considerations The M88A1E1 Improved Recovery Vehicle was built to answer the issues raised in older models. The heavy weight version of the M88A1E1 became the M88A HERCULES [Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System]. The M88A1E1 Improved Recovery Vehicle was fielded in 1997. The HERCULES addressed a long-standing US Army need to upgrade its recovery vehicles to safely tow and recover battle-damaged, mired or inoperative Abrams tanks. The HERCULES, using M88A1 hulls, … upgrades the basic M88 chassis to meet the increased demands of towing, winching, and lifting the M1, M1A1, and M1A2 tank. “The winch and hoist capacities are greatly increased to enable the vehicle to lift 40% heavier loads and winch 55% higher capacities. HERCULES features a longer 35-ton hoist capability boom, a 140,000 pound (63,504 kg) constant pull main winch with 280 feet (85.3 m) of cable and an auxiliary 3-ton winch to aid main winch cable deployment. The Hercules also incorporates improved hydraulics, 0enhanced propulsion system, and heavier suspension, along with overlay armor protection and ballistic skirts.”


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

‘Wreckers’ for Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN) Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributorv

“There’s a technical term for immobile vehicles on the battlefield – targets.” British REME engineer

Final control by Sepson before world class winches hit the road.

T

he counter insurgency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have meant that the greatest danger to ISAF forces is and has been the IED (Improvised Explosive Device). This can kill dismounted soldiers walking or explode under the hull of armoured vehicles and prove equally lethal. To combat this threat and allow mobility on the ground in the battlefield V-shaped hulls and significant up-armouring have been deployed to produce the MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle). This new vehicle has been less vulnerable to attack and safer for the occupants, but they have still got into trouble in the field. They present an even greater challenge to wreckers, because they are significantly heavier and are extremely important for readiness of troops, as a result of their protective qualities.

The HERCULES Winch Design Improvement Needed The Federation of American Scientists analysed key drawbacks of the HERCULES recovery vehicle. They found evidence that there were problems with the way the winches worked.

“The HERCULES new main winch has the capabilities of recovering a stuck M1A2, in most cases, using a single line pull. The operating procedures for the main winch are not the same as the M88A1 main winch. Built into the HERCULES main winch are five micro-switches that are designed to protect the main winch from damage. These micro-switches protect the main winch by shutting down the hydraulic system and stopping the winch operations. The PMO (Preventive Maintenance Organisation) was alarmed by a rash of expensive winch failures shortly after fielding at both Ft. Hood and Kuwait. A team of government and contractor experts was assembled to investigate the situation and make recommendations to correct the problem. The root cause of the damage was continued operation of the main winch after the cable mis-wrapped on the drum. The most frequent cause of cable miswrap was over-speeding the drum during cable pay out. The variable speed main winch can unwrap the cable faster than the auxiliary winch can pull it out of the vehicle. The team selected four design paths to address the problem. The most promising concept would be to reduce the winch power while in the over-ride mode. It would be better to stall the winch when the cable gets jammed than allow the winch to break itself.”7

Recovering the MRAP To recover the heavy V-shaped hull MRAP and smaller vehicles required a ‘wrecker’ that was an MRAP itself and resilient to IEDs. Navistar rose to the military call for a vehicle that met the need. “If a vehicle is stuck or damaged and has at least one axle that will roll, the MRV can pick it up and take it home,” said David Chapman, a field service instructor and mechanic for Navistar. “We have an order of 250 of these vehicles that will be heading to Afghanistan soon.” “We initially started this process in the summer of 2008 when we discovered the need for an MRV,” said U.S. Army Maj. Tracy Kreuser, force www.defenceindustryreports.com | 9


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

The prototype of the

“The MRV will let Soldiers get in quickly and get heavy equipment out,” said Staff Sgt. LeJuan D. Taylor, U.S. Army Ordnance School, Track, Metalworking and Recovery Department instructor. “Soldiers will be trained to have a damaged vehicle connected and ready to tow within five minutes from dismount.”

Wisent, a German GFF Class 4 vehicle,

The Oshkosh LVSR (Logistics Vehicle System Replacement)

combines high mobility and an off-road capability Thales Bushmaster Australia

with excellent protection against ballistic, landmine, IED and CBRN threats.

management director for Combined Joint Task Force-101 and Regional Command-East. “With the threat of improvised explosive devices, we needed a wrecker that had a V-hull like the MRAP that would protect our guys when conducting recovery operations.” The order came to a total of $253 million but its capabilities could save millions by recovering vehicles that would otherwise have to be destroyed in place. “The MRV has two 25,000-pound recovery winches, a 50,000-pound drag winch, a 30-ton boom with 280-degree rotation, not to mention the V-hull under the cab to protect the operators,” said Chapman. “In other words, the MRV has expanded capabilities with some new tricks the current wrecker doesn’t have.”8

A ‘Plus-Up’ for the US forces “They’re learning to use a new piece of equipment,” said Ben Davis, lead contractor instructor for the first class. “There is a learning curve for the MRV… but it’s a bit more user-friendly [than other recovery vehicles]. It’s designed to be very efficient for recovering MRAPs.” Davis called the MRV a “plus-up” that will compliment current vehicle recovery systems. “My platoon will get the first one to be dispatched,” said Spc. Billy H. Leach, 10th Platoon, 1221st Engineer Clearance Company, and South Carolina National Guard. “There’s not a recovery truck on the road that has these capabilities.”

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Oshkosh has also fielded a recovery vehicle, the LVSR (Logistics Vehicle System Replacement). According to the manufacturer: “the LVSR tractor is designed to haul combat vehicles, semi-trailers and other equipment. It has a fifth-wheel vertical-loading capacity of 25.3 tons and a recovery winch with a 30-ton capacity. The LVSR wrecker supports vehicle recovery in a wide range of terrain – from deserts to mountains – including sand, mud, water and snow. The heavy-payload vehicle can flat tow vehicles weighing as much as 55 tons as well as lift and tow vehicles weighing as much as 48 tons.” LVSR tractor and wrecker production is scheduled to begin in January 2012 and be completed in September 2012. The order is valued at nearly $125 million.

American Wreckers Face Competition from Germany and Poland ISAF forces also have use of a number of Danish Wisent load carriers manufactured by Rheinmetall to meet the German Army requirement. The prototype of the Wisent, a German GFF Class 4 vehicle, combines high mobility and an off-road capability with excellent protection against ballistic, landmine, IED and CBRN threats.9 India has also been in the market for ARVs and has recently realized a deal with Polish company Bumar to produce 204 WZT-3M Armored Recovery Vehicles under a US$275 million deal signed in January 2012 in New Delhi. Tomasz Basarabowicz reports that, according to the agreement, the vehicle production will be done primarily in India, by BELM, which has already produced 362 WZT-3 supplied for the Indian Army so far.10


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

Recovery Vehicles in Action Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Sepson develops features that make winches more safe and reliable to handle.

H

igh intensity operations and extremes of climate and terrain exact a heavy toll on armoured vehicles. Their rescue and repair operations are called ‘reset’ by the US Army, and ‘reset’ has exacted an increasingly heavy toll on their budget. “There are at least four types of activity included in reset: sustainment, restoration to standard, recapitalization and replacement. Sustainment is simple maintenance and repairs, whereas restoration to standard requires more intensive treatment that may have to be conducted in depots. Recapitalization involves stripping a system to its original frame and then rebuilding it to a like-new state (zero hours/zero miles). Replacement means buying new equipment, either because systems have been destroyed by enemy attacks or because they are worn out to a point where repair isn’t economical.”11

Reset Expenditure It is difficult to find recent statistics on recovery and maintenance, but the rising trend for work done in Iraq illustrates the point. “Reset expenditures have grown in every year since the Iraq campaign began — from $1.2 billion in 2003 to $3.7 billion in 2004, $6.5 billion in 2005 and about $9 billion in 2006. The latter figure will support repair and overhaul of 85 helicopters, 700

tanks, 1,200 armored infantry vehicles (Bradley’s and M113s) and 9,000 Humvees. This money is provided as part of emergency supplemental appropriations outside the Army budget.”12

French Mirage Fighter Recovered in Land Operation The British Ministry of Defence reports provide detail to illustrate how recovery operations work. On May 27 2011 a French Mirage fighter was downed in Afghanistan. It was decided that a ground operation should be launched to retrieve this expensive piece of equipment. “U.S., French and Italian forces conducted an 81-mile combat logistics patrol from Regional Command Southwest to retrieve the French jet without incident in the Bakwa district of Regional Command West. Combat Logistics Battalion 8, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (MLG) (Forward) took the lead on the mission. In direct support of the battalion were teams from 2nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 2nd MLG (Fwd.), along with the Army’s 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion providing heavy equipment transport capabilities, an Aircraft Recovery Fire Fighting (ARFF) team from Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, a French aircraft recovery team and an Italian team escorting the convoy from the RC boundary to the crash www.defenceindustryreports.com | 11


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

The Afghan National Army recovery crew demonstrated the use of their international wrecker to lift a vehicle onto their medium tactical vehicle.

site where they continued to provide security for the duration of the operation. “The MLG was very aggressive in jumping on this mission,” said Lt. Col. Jim Stone, 2nd MLG (Fwd.) deputy operations officer. “We realized early on that a ground recovery was our best option rather than pulling critical air assets out of the RC Southwest area of operation.” EOD and ARFF worked closely alongside the French team to dismantle the aircraft as much as possible prior to loading the wings of the aircraft onto a Logistics Vehicle System Replacement and the body onto a M870 Trailer… “It was the most impressive event I had the privilege to witness since being here,” said Maj. Thomas Parmiter, CLB-8 executive officer and mission commander. “The CLB-8 Marines truly impressed me with their hustle and discipline, the MWSS-272 team was top notch with their intensity and focus.”…” “Normally these recovery missions take two or three days,” said Master Sgt. Greg Harlan, ARFF staff noncommissioned officer in charge. “This was just accomplished in one day, that’s phenomenal.”13

Multi National Interoperability Exercise to Recue a Jackal Patrol Vehicle In March 2011, the British Ministry of Defence launched an IOX (interoperability exercise) with US, Danish, Estonian and Afghan forces. The IOX began with a small Springer vehicle racing from the bowels of a Chinook helicopter, manned by two British Army recovery mechanics. The Springer normally carries all the basic equipment to assist in the recovery of a vehicle. Its crew headed towards a Jackal patrol vehicle, which was lying on its side. They attached two cables, and, in no time at all, the disabled vehicle was righted and a ‘casualty’ successfully extracted. The various demonstrations included a US Marine Corps M88 HERCULES (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System) raised by a Danish Wisent 8x8 armoured

12 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

Thales Copper Head Australia.

logistics vehicle, and a Wisent being winched from deep mud and recovered onto a US Army heavy equipment trailer. The success of the latter demanded precision measurement with not a centimetre to spare. The Afghan National Army recovery crew demonstrated the use of their international wrecker to lift a vehicle onto their medium tactical vehicle. Finally, a 26-tonne UK Support Vehicle (Recovery) was recovered from deep mud by the Danish Wisent and a US M88; the combination of both vehicles giving a joint pulling power of 200 tonnes. Warrant Officer Tucker, who helped organise the event, said: “It was a very successful exercise, which reinforced the links between the various nations so that we are all working together to prove that we will be able to improve our rate of success in recovery operations across Helmand.”14 “As a wrecker operator, I recover downed vehicles or get them unstuck,” said Sgt. Israel Chavez, wrecker operator for Combat Logistics Battalion 5, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward). “Depending on the situation and what is needed of us, we go out and support the mission, whether it’s a [combat logistics patrol] or a [Quick Reaction Force] mission.”15


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

Moving Forward to the Future Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Sepdurance.

T

here are two significant drivers on the management of armoured vehicles for land warfare; the drawdown from Afghanistan from 2014 and the powerful downward pressure on budgets. There is a certain countervailing force from cost control, because the greater the need to economise, the greater the need to maintain and repair current and legacy vehicles to avoid replacement costs.

The British National Audit Office Notes the Impact of Decision Making on Future Capability The hallmark of the British acquisition of armoured vehicles has been the stop-go-pause nature of the procurement process, which has affected land and recovery vehicles. The National Audit Office summarises the process tersely. “The failure to deliver key armoured vehicle programmes under the standard acquisition process will delay the implementation of the Department’s policy for sufficiently capable, flexible, mobile land forces. The delays that have arisen from cancelled or suspended armoured vehicle projects will result in the Armed Forces not being fully equipped with the vehicles identified as top priorities in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, until at least 2024-25.

Faced with rapid changes to equipment requirements driven by operational experience, these unwieldy processes have contributed to a number of armoured vehicle projects being delayed or abandoned. This has led the Department to place greater reliance on the Urgent Operational Requirements process to provide equipment for recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department spent over £2.8 billion in the same period on upgrading and buying new vehicles through the Urgent Operational Requirements process. While much of this expenditure would probably have been necessary due to the specific nature of the threats faced in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would have been lower had more armoured vehicle projects from the Department’s core programme been delivered as originally planned.”16 Further comment is unnecessary.

In the United States, the National Defense University Remarks on the Stress Caused by the Intensity of Operations In a report to the Appropriations Committee of Congress in 2010-12, the National Defense University notes a number of forces affecting budgets and readiness: www.defenceindustryreports.com | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

Because of the extra weight entailed, and the need in some cases to shift loads in ways for which the vehicles were Sepson’s Sepmatic – a winch with integrated rope spooling attachment.

not designed, greater stress is placed on the tires, suspensions, frames, and power trains of these systems.

“In Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, usage rates have run two to eight times higher than comparable peacetime rates. Equipment is also employed in harsher environments and in more demanding ways in combat missions. All this increases the cost of operations and maintenance beyond what is typically budgeted. Secondly, equipment is used under extreme conditions in combat operations. The very nature of warfare places stress on equipment. Whether evading enemy fire, surviving improvised explosive devices (IEDs), or engaging enemy forces in direct combat, soldiers’ equipment takes a beating. The damage resulting from combat operations, coupled with the reduced time available for detailed maintenance, leads to an accumulation of wear and tear on equipment. The harsh desert environment in Iraq and Afghanistan— including both the terrain and climate—also causes equipment damage, further increasing maintenance requirements. Parts such as turbine engines for aircraft and tanks tend to fail more often when operating under harsh conditions. Moreover, the wear on these subsystems steadily diminishes their ability to be rebuilt or reused, ultimately increasing maintenance costs. Another contributor to equipment stress is the practice of adding armor to unarmored trucks. Because of the extra weight entailed, and the need in some cases to shift loads in ways for which the vehicles were not designed, greater stress is placed on the tires, suspensions, frames, and power trains of these systems. The upward pressure on maintenance budgets and the need for recovery vehicles is strong.”17

The Central Importance of Training to Maintain Recovery Vehicles In the face of erratic procurement for replacement vehicles and a downward pressure on costs, recovery and maintenance engineers are driven 14 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

to greater resourcefulness. The resourcefulness of an engineer is improved by training as it lowers the risk of failure and breakdown due to inappropriate use of machinery. To confront this issue the US army has the MRAP University. “In-the-field training on the large and some even behemoth MRAP vehicles (the two axle Cat 1 International MaxxPro weighs 19 tons and is nearly 20 feet high, the three axle Cat 2 MaxxPro weighs in at 36 tons) is underway, at Camp Liberty and other locations. One of the first Army units to receive such training after receiving their Cougar MRAPs was the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). The soldiers of that unit completed a five-day New Equipment Transition Training Course, which included day-and-night-driving courses, lessons on the vehicle’s capabilities, and how to conduct preventive maintenance checks on the vehicle. How would enough adequate training be delivered in time to every unit assigned MRAP vehicles? The training challenge is exacerbated by that fact that the five MRAP vehicle manufacturers are producing completely different vehicles. On top of that, some of them are already building different variants of their primary designs. The solution? A unique joint training strategy between all of the services and the MRAP vehicle manufacturers was established late last year – MRAP University and its graduates – to get the training to where it’s needed.”18

India’s CVRDE (Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment) Works on New Recovery Vehicles However, it would be a mistake to focus entirely on NATO countries. Asia is developing its own capabilities. “In order to aid the Indian Army during its combat missions and operations, a new Armoured Repair and Recovery vehicle is being developed by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE). This new Armoured vehicle will be a variant of the Arjun Main Battle Tank (MBT) and its concept and configuration has already been finalised and the detailed design initiated. CVRDE, which is the premier lab of the state-run Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in Chennai, will be developing two prototypes of the proposed Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle in three years. According to officials, the new vehicle will be an Arjun MBT variant and its hull, including the chassis automative system, will be similar to the Arjun MBT Mark II. In addition, minor changes will be made to accommodate a crane and a winch since it will be a recovery vehicle.”19


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY VEHICLE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS

References: 1

 www.jieddo.dod.mil/

2

Wikipedia CRARRV

3

http://www.defencemanagement.com/feature_story.asp?id=16148

4

http://www.contracts.mod.uk/pdfs/3.pdf

5

FCS Future Combat System Congressional Research Service 2009

6

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m88a1e1.htm FAS Federation of American Scientists

7

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m88a1e1.htm FAS Federation of American Scientists

8

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/more-mraps-1200-maxxpro-mpvs-from-navistar-03344/

9

http://www.armyrecognition.com/germany_german_army_wheeled_armoured_vehicle_uk/wisent_8x8_wheeled_armoured_transport_vehicle_ data_sheet_specifications_information_description.html

10

India ARV Defence News Armoured Recovery Vehicles More Armored Recovery Vehicles for Indian Army Oct. 17, 2011 By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI

NEW DELHI

11

Armed Forces journal http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2006/06/1813594/

12

Armed Forces journal http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2006/06/1813594/

13

http://www.marines.mil/unit/2ndmlg/Pages/2010%20Articles/1105/Coalitionrecoveryswiftsuccess.aspx#.T314KnhuFSU

14

Breakdown recovery Helmand-style

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/EquipmentAndLogistics/BreakdownRecoveryHelmandstyle.htm 15

http://www.marines.mil/unit/1stmlg/Pages/WreckerTeamsRecoverMilitaryVehiclesFromAfghanistanDesert.aspx#.T310vHhuFSU Wrecker Teams 1 Recover Military Vehicles From Afghanistan Desert

16

National Audit Office: Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General House of Commons HC 1029 Session 2010–2012

17

NDU for the Appropriations Committee http://www.ndu.edu/library/docs/crs/stress_on_equipment.pdf

GROUND FORCE EQUIPMENT REPAIR, REPLACEMENT, AND RECAPITALIZATION REQUIREMENTS RESULTING FROM SUSTAINED

COMBAT OPERATIONS; REPORT TO THE CONGRESS

18

http://halldale.com/insidesnt/mrap-unique-solution MRAP - A Unique Solution Tue 04th Jan 2011 | Rail, Road & Maritime

19

http://indiadefencetalk.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/combat-vehicles-research-and.html

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 15


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Special Report – Military Vehicle Recovery Solutions  

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