Archive for the ‘Mobility’ Category

Bundeswehr Orders Another 57 Heavy Tractor Units – Contract Worth Over €50 Million

Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Rheinmetall has received an order from the German Bundeswehr to supply a further 57 heavy tractor units in the 70-tonne payload class. Known as the “SaZgM 70t mil” in German military parlance, the unprotected heavy-duty trucks are scheduled for delivery in 2023 and 2024. The total value of the order is worth just over €50 million, including value added tax. The German armed forces use the trucks primarily for transporting heavy armoured vehicles like the Leopard 2 main battle tank and the PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer.

Just booked, the current order is the last call-off from a framework contract signed in 2018 for the delivery of up to 137 SaZgM 70t mil trucks. Under the framework agreement, which had a 7-year lifetime, eighty tractor units have already been ordered and delivered to the Bundeswehr.

Rheinmetall’s HX81 tractor units are powered by an eight-cylinder 680 hp diesel engine. This gives the high-mobility all-wheel-drive truck a top speed of 89 km/h and the ability to climb gradients of 60 percent. The Gross Train Weight of the system is 130 tonnes. The HX81 tractor unit has the same driver’s cab as Rheinmetall’s UTF family of vehicles. If necessary, the cab can be exchanged for a protected version. It comes with a Rotzler double action winch system, with a combined maximum tractive force of 40 tonnes, enabling the all-terrain tractor unit to tow vehicles onto the trailer. 

Important contribution to reinforcing the Bundeswehr’s logistic capabilities

Logistic vehicles play a crucial role in assuring the operational effectiveness of combat units, enabling a rapid response and subsequent sustainment in the field. Being able to transport heavy combat vehicles is a key capability in national and alliance defence. The HX81 complements the Bundeswehr’s SLT heavy transport vehicle. Besides the unprotected HX81, Rheinmetall also supplies the Mammut protected heavy transport vehicle, along with the UTF unprotected transport vehicle and the WLS hook loading system.

Since 2018, Rheinmetall has supplied the Bundeswehr with over 4,000 military trucks. Together with the UTF and WLS, the SaZgM 70t tractor unit forms the logistic backbone of the Bundeswehr.

UK MOD Extends NP Aerospace Vehicle Contract

Thursday, May 25th, 2023

The UK Ministry of Defence has extended its Protected Mobility Engineering and Technical Support vehicle contact (PMETS) with NP Aerospace to March 2026.

The £63m contract covering more than 2,000 vehicles was awarded to NP Aerospace, global armour manufacturer and vehicle integrator via a competitive tender in March 2019. Since then, as Engineering Authority for the fleet, and in partnership with vehicle OEMs and industry partners, NP Aerospace has worked on over 140 individual tasks that maintain, sustain and upgrade the vehicle fleet for use on operations.

According to David Petheram, Managing Director & Senior Vice President, NP Aerospace Vehicle Systems, Services & Spares, PMETS tasks range in scale and complexity from lighting systems, software enhancements and communication system upgrades, through to full scale re-engineering programmes. He said: “Through PMETS we have introduced significant innovations into the fleet such as the Mastiff and Ridgback XC offroad platforms and hybrid demonstrator projects – both of which improve overall capabilities and operational vehicle performance. Working closely with industry partners, NP Aerospace is able to maximise through life capability and introduce new innovations that benefit the Armed Forces.”

NP Aerospace has worked on MOD vehicles for over 20 years, leading complex integrations. The platforms covered under the PMETS contract include Mastiff, Wolfhound, Ridgback, Buffalo, Choker, Foxhound, Jackal, Coyote and RODET. Key partners include Atkins, HORIBA-Mira and ITS, vehicle OEMs General Dynamics and Supacat, and a variety of technology partners. The prime contracting model with NP Aerospace as engineering authority is fully scalable and can be applied to other platform types and global markets.

The PMETS contract is estimated to have generated in excess of 200 jobs in the UK supply chain, with the team at NP Aerospace providing oversight of all deliverables and managing all activities on the contracts, utilising highly experienced staff in a unique way across the variety of vehicles in the fleet.

Next Generation Family of Army Medium-Size Vehicles Tested at Ft Bliss

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

FORT BLISS, Texas — Under the heat of the desert sun, a convoy of military vehicles roll down a dirt trail, kicking up dust and sand as they reach speeds of 45 miles per hour.

The vehicles look familiar but are a little different from what Soldiers are used to seeing.

The vehicle driving down the dirt trails is the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, or FMTVA2. The FMTVA2 is being tested here with hopes it will replace its predecessor, the Light Medium Tactical Vehicle, or LMTV, allowing Soldiers across the Army to have access to a modernized vehicle.

“Driving the FMTV has been a complete game changer from the old LMTV,” said Spc. Salvador Castillo, a horizontal engineer with Alpha Company, 16th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.

Castillo and his unit tested the FMTVA2 for about 4 weeks and praised the improvements from the previous model.

Castillo expressed appreciation of the user-friendly enhancements, such as improved suspension, and the Drive Display Unit — a digital vehicle monitoring system that informs the driver of vehicle faults in real time.

Feedback from the Soldiers are integral to the equipment testing process. Input from Soldiers testing the equipment is collected and used to inform the U.S. Army Operational Test Command how the FMTVA2 performs.

David Rogers, a civilian employee of OTC and assistant test officer for the FMTVA2 follow-on operational test, said all the data requirements are captured, and testing criteria are met to ensure that they can coordinate with their sister unit, the U.S. Army Evaluation Center, to produce an evaluation report to inform Army senior leaders of the FMTVA2’s suitability and reliability.

“Our mission is to collect the data,” Rogers said. “We provide the data to the evaluators so they can inform decision makers within the Army.”

Rogers explained the evaluator’s role as vital to ensuring the test exercise conducted over the course of the follow-on operational test meets data requirements and gives an overall scope of the FMTVA2’s capabilities and its readiness to roll out to the Army and its Soldiers.

As training wrapped up, the Soldiers testing the FMTVA2 are confident in the vehicle’s performance and their ability to operate them.

“It’s a lot easier for our unit to use, and we’re already comfortable using it. It will make it easier for all of us across the board,” said Castillo.

Three Fort Bliss 1st Armored Division units took part in the operational test: Companies A and B, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Combat Brigade Team; the 16th Brigade Engineer Battalion; with the 528th Hospital Center, 1st Medical Brigade also joining in.

Story by SSG Jacob Lang, 24th Theater Public Affairs Support Element, Fort Bliss, Texas

Photos by Mr. Tad Browning, OTC Lead Audiovisual Production Specialist

SOF Week 23 – Ryvid Next Gen Combat Vehicles

Monday, May 15th, 2023

There were quite a few vehicles on display at SOF Week, including several motorcycles. The Ryvid offering caught my eye due to their approach. They offer their electric vehicles as bikes but have developed a Quad concept as well.

This US brand’s base bike is the Anthem which features a clutchless direct drive transmission and a top speed of over 80 mph and range of up to 200 miles per charge.

Submersible up to 1 meter, the bike offers 200 Nm (148 ft-lbs) of max torque from a 50 kW (67 hp) electric motor.

USSOCOM plans to evaluate the bike during the upcoming Technical Experimentation (TE 23-3) event in June.

Multimillion-euro order: Austrian Armed Forces Award Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Framework Contract for Logistic Vehicles

Wednesday, May 10th, 2023

Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles has signed a framework agreement with the Austrian procurement organization Bundesbeschaffung GmbH Wien to supply various logistics vehicles for the Austrian Armed Forces. Encompassing the delivery of up to 1,375 HX, TGS and TGM vehicles, the framework agreement runs for seven years. Potential order volume could reach up to €525 million.

The Austrian government’s request for tenders comprised a total of 23 lots, of which six were earmarked for the military. Given the various technical requirements for the lots, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) proposed vehicles from the TGM, TGS and HX model series with different axle configurations. RMMV’s proposal also included a variety of build-on systems such as cranes, platforms and tippers as well as roll-off, swap body and snow removal systems. RMMV received the go-ahead to supply Austria with all six lots of military vehicles.

“We’re very proud to be supplying the Austrian armed forces with state-of-the-art truck systems built at our plant in Vienna”, says Michael Wittlinger, chairman of the board of management of Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles. “Our claim at Rheinmetall is to equip those who stand up for our security in the best possible way. We are convinced that our vehicles will protect, support and satisfy Austrian soldiers in the best possible way.”

Procurement of the logistic vehicles is part of a comprehensive modernization of the Austrian Army. “From now until the year 2029, €560 million will be invested in modernizing 170 armored vehicles, including 58 Leopard 2 A4 main battle tanks and 112 Ulan infantry fighting vehicles”, declares Austrian defence minister Klaudia Tanner. ”Following the €873 million invested in procuring 36 AW169 ‚Lion‘ helicopters, this is the next big step in achieving a modern Army. Concrete steps like this are making the slogan ‘Mission Forward!’ a reality”, insists Tanner.

The Austrian armed forces have long been a very good customer of RMMV. They already successfully operate various vehicles from the company’s TGM, TGS and HX model series. Today, over 200 vehicles from the TGM model series with a double cabin and interchangeable build-on systems are in service. Furthermore, during the next few years, vehicles from the HX series with a three-sided tipper and rear-mounted crane will be delivered, as will vehicles from the TGS 8×8 series equipped with a Palfinger hook system. Since the end of 2021, the Austrian military has been using RMMV’s integrated armoured cabin, which, depending on requirements, can be mounted on existing HX trucks in very short order.

RMMV is a joint venture owned by Rheinmetall AG, which holds a 51% stake in the company, and MAN Truck & Bus SE, with the remaining 49% share. 

SOF Week 23 – MRZR Alpha from Polaris

Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

SOF Week is the first time Polaris showed the Arctic mobility package as a whole on the MRZR Alpha including the Arctic camouflage wrap. Other recent vehicle updates include a recently completed Engineering Change Proposal to increase the towing capacity to 2500 lbs.

Another ECP in progress increases the exportable power while maintaining full cargo space and payload. Currently the MRZR Alpha has 1 kilowatt of exportable power. The ECP in progress will provide an additional 1 kilowatt and as much as 5 kilowatts both stationary and on the move.

Flyer Defense to Unveil Never Before Seen “Hunter Killer” Configuration at new SOF Week 2023

Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

Flyer 72-Heavy Duty with Hunter Killer Configuration Kit

TAMPA (April. 28, 2023) – Flyer Defense, the designer of the ultimate light tactical ground mobility vehicle will unveil its latest configuration of the Flyer 72-Heavy Duty (Flyer 72-HD) at the new SOF Week convention in Tampa.

Integrated with the exMHR/Hero-120 configuration kit, or “Hunter Killer,” the featured Flyer 72-HD boasts an on-the move self-contained strike capability, from onboard detection and tracking to pinpoint strike capability. This year, the Flyer 72-HD will be equipped with the exMHR Enhanced & Extended Multi-Mission Hemispheric Radar from Leonardo DRS and Hero-120 loitering munition system from Mistral and UVision. 

Combined with the pinpoint strike capabilities of the Hero-120, the exMHR Doppler radar technology further transforms the armored Flyer platform, protecting its occupants from both long and short-range threats.

The “Hunter Killer” is the latest in a string of new Flyer configurations as the company continues to expand platform capabilities while maintaining a live production line.

Flyer Defense will make its home in Booth #1505 for the duration of the show. The Flyer 72-Utility variant will also be on display, equipped with the Hero-120 configuration kit in Mistral Group’s Booth 111 just outside of the convention center.

The Flyer® family of ground mobility vehicle platforms is the elite solution in the area of lightweight, all terrain wheeled tactical vehicles. With an impressive payload of more than 5,000 lbs. and a 1:1 payload-to-weight ratio, Flyer Defense vehicles are transportable both internally and externally with rotary and tilt wing aircraft. The Flyer® 72 is currently in production for the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces and in use as the USSOCOM Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1. (GMV 1.1) solution and the U.S. Army A-GMV solution. 

Germany Buys 227 Additional BAE Systems BvS10s Through Framework Agreement

Tuesday, April 25th, 2023

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — April 24, 2023 – Germany is investing in an additional 227 ultra- mobile, protected, all-terrain BvS10 vehicles from BAE Systems. The German contract, worth around $400 million, follows the joint procurement by Sweden, Germany, and the United Kingdom in support of Arctic operations for the Collaborative All-Terrain Vehicle (CATV) program, with Sweden as the lead nation. This will extend the deliveries from the framework agreement, which are to begin in 2024, out to 2030.

“This framework agreement streamlines the process by allowing prospective and existing customers to acquire vehicles at previously negotiated terms, while also benefiting from the joint development,” said Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, managing director of BAE Systems Hägglunds, which manufactures the vehicles in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. “This will secure Germany’s access to these highly capable vehicles for decades to come, and demonstrates the strong relationship between BAE Systems and our customer.”

BAE Systems’ military all-terrain vehicles are designed for operations in the harshest and most remote environments, and this agreement signals the company’s position as the defense industry’s leader in these capabilities. The new contract is for additional troop transport vehicles and armored personnel carriers (APCs), as well as three new German BvS10 versions; Command and Control (C2), and two logistics variants that will add combat support to the German Armed Forces.

The BvS10 (and Beowulf) are world-leading all-terrain solutions. Their articulated mobility systems provide optimal maneuverability across varying terrains including snow, ice, rock, sand, mud, swamps, and steep mountain environments. The vehicles’ amphibious feature also allows them to swim in flooded areas or coastal waters. The vehicles can deliver personnel and supplies to sustain strategic, tactical, and operational mobility.

BvS10’s unprecedented mobility is based on terrain accessible North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) standards. Its modular design allows it to be reconfigured for varying missions and can be delivered in multiple variants that include carrying personnel, command and control, ambulance, vehicle repair and recovery, logistics support, situational awareness, and a weapons carrier with additional mortar capability.

The vehicle is currently operated by Austria, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. BAE Systems’ Beowulf, the unarmored variant of the BvS10, won the U.S.

Army’s competition for its Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicle (CATV) program in August. The U.S. Army will receive 110 vehicles over a five-year period.