Archive for the ‘Mobility’ Category

Mack Defense Receives Order for 135 Additional Trucks for the U.S. Army M917A3 Heavy Dump Truck Program

Friday, August 25th, 2023

ALLENTOWN, PA (Aug. 23, 2023) – Mack Defense announced today that the U.S. military has ordered an additional 135 Mack Defense M917A3 Heavy Dump Trucks (HDTs).

The additional vehicles are part of the previously announced firm-fixed price $296 million contract over seven years that the Army awarded Mack Defense in 2018. For this new order, 60 HDTs are being purchased by the U.S. Army Reserve, 74 are being funded by the presidential budget and one is being purchased by the U.S. Navy. With this tranche, a total of 446 HDTs have been ordered to date.

The HDTs are a key component in construction and maintenance missions for infrastructure assets, such as airfields, roadways, landing strips, supply facilities and motor pools.

“With every additional order of a Mack HDT, the U.S. Armed Forces are reiterating their confidence in our product,” said David Hartzell, president of Mack Defense. “The U.S. military puts these trucks through the paces every day, and each subsequent requisition shows that the Mack HDT is meeting the military’s demanding requirements.”

The Army previously had ordered 311 HDTs, which are based on the commercially available Mack® Granite® model and spec’d with heavier-duty rear axles, all-wheel drive, increased suspension ride height and other ruggedized features to meet the unique requirements of the U.S. military.

The Mack Granite HDT model is a modern truck equipped with modern technology, such as ABS and other active safety systems. The Granite model is user-friendly, comfortable and safer to operate compared with other past models used by the Army, which is key to the Army’s investment in the new HDTs, Hartzell said. The Granite HDTs and the production line at the Mack Experience Center (MEC) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, were both inspected by the government quality auditors to ensure both met expectations.

Production of the HDTs at the MEC began in Q1 2021, following an investment of $6.5 million to create a dedicated HDT production line at the facility. The production line helps fulfill the M917A3 contract, while allowing Mack Defense to produce other vehicle variants.

The production line in the MEC is in Mack’s former Customer Adaptation Center, where vehicle modifications occurred. The Customer Adaptation Center has since moved to Mack’s Lehigh Valley Operations (LVO) in Macungie, Pennsylvania, where all Mack Class 8 vehicles for North America and export are assembled.

Navistar Defense Selected to Produce Trailers for Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Program

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

Madison Heights, Mich. – August 17, 2023- Navistar Defense, LLC (Navistar Defense) announced today it was selected by leading military mobility solutions provider, AM General, to partner in the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV A2) program. The subcontract is to manufacture an estimated 10,000 JLTV trailers over the life of the contract.

“We are excited that AM General chose us to partner in this important program to support the United States military,” said Ted Wright, chief executive officer, Navistar Defense. “AM General is a world class Tactical Vehicle manufacturer and we’re eager to support their team.”

“We look forward to working with our industry partner on this contract,” added Wright. “The JLTV trailer subcontract allows us to continue diversifying our business portfolio, support our growth in Mississippi, and expand our growing business,” added Wright.

“Welcoming Navistar Defense to the JLTV A2 program is a key milestone in our operations,” said John Chadbourne, AM General Executive VP – Chief Business Development Officer. “Their commitment to excellence translates into the quality products they are known for in the industry. Since receiving the JLTV A2 program contract, our main focus is to deliver quality vehicles on time and on target and this includes the equipment needed to ensure our Warfighters can succeed in their missions.”

The JLTV A2 trailer is a multipurpose platform configured to support general purpose cargo and tactical generator mobility missions. The trailer is built to operate with the Closed Combat Weapons Carrier, the General Purpose, Heavy Guns Carrier and Utility JLTV variants over the same mission profile of those vehicles.

Production will begin in 2024 and will take place at Navistar Defense’s Assembly Plant located in West Point, Mississippi. The period of performance is for five-base years, with the option for an additional five years.

SureFire Field Note Ep 77 – Left Foot Braking for Better Vehicle Control Offroad with Alex Fleming

Saturday, August 5th, 2023

SOFWERX x PEO-SOF Warrior (PEO-SW), Family of Special Operations Vehicles (FOSOV) Collaboration Event

Friday, August 4th, 2023

SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM PEO-SOF Warrior (PEO-SW), Family of Special Operations Vehicles (FOSOV), specifically the Non-Standard Commercial Vehicles (NSCV) Program, is hosting a Collaboration Event 30 August 2023, to engage with Industry, Academia, and Government labs, and identify potential solutions for integrating portable and adaptive technologies, including but not limited to Information Technology (IT) and Communications (Comms) kits. Over time, competing and emerging requirements have driven IT and Comms kits to increase in complexity and cost at the trade-off of Special Operations Forces (SOF) mission flexibility, driving the need to develop an updated strategy and identify new, novel solutions.

The FOSOV Program Office has historically added SOF capability to include C4ISR through Systems Engineering and Integration to the vehicle design. In many cases, the vehicles are intended to have the same capability for fielding and deployment. As radios, amplifiers and other technologies have evolved over the years, limiting factors and trade-space have made it difficult to adapt mission capability in the field. FOSOV must deploy Tiger Teams to Areas of Responsibility (AOR), where SOF has freedom of movement, to upgrade technology in Ground Mobility Platforms. In future conflicts, FOSOV will need the ability to deploy new technology insertion packages in semi-permissive or contested environments. FOSOV desires the ability for program engineers to innovate and for operators to deploy and adapt solutions in the field through new deployment strategies and configuration control mechanisms and seeks interface control strategies and/or material solutions that enable technology updates in contested or denied areas of operation. In the future, FOSOV expects SOF will use indigenous vehicles rather than vehicles manufactured in the US and the portability of technology packages/kits between vehicle classes and types will be critical to mission success.

The FOSOV team will discuss the challenges of deploying solutions to inherently congested/denied areas of responsibility to ensure full understanding of the limitations and explore new and innovative solutions to rapidly integrate and deploy technology across all of FOSOV Ground Mobility Platforms.

Request to Attend 14 August 2023 11:59 PM ET.

Supacat and NP Aerospace Hand-Over Recovery Vehicles to the British Army

Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

Pictured (left in both images) Supacat LWRV Vehicle towing an HMT vehicle

This week, Supacat and NP Aerospace will be delivering new Lightweight Recovery Vehicles to British Army units in Tern Hill and Leuchars as part of the UK Ministry of Defence Protected Mobility Engineering and Technical Support (PMETS) contract.

The Lightweight Recovery Vehicle (LWRV) designed by Supacat and NP Aerospace as engineering authority for PMETS have successfully reached Initial Operating Capability (IOC). They were presented to the Vehicle Support Team within DE&S at an event at Supacat facilities in Devon.

In June 2023, serving members from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and Royal Irish Regiment received operational training on the vehicles, and this week they will receive their first vehicles. Later this year, the British Army will receive two further Supacat LWRV vehicles to fulfil their need for off-road capability in harsh environments like those encountered during Operation Newcombe in Mali, Africa.

LWRV has addressed the capability gap for a recovery vehicle with the off-road performance to follow the routes of the British Army’s High Mobility Transport (HMT) `Jackal` and `Coyote` vehicles, developed by Supacat. The solution utilises four in-service Jackal 2 vehicles with the addition of Supacat’s innovative ‘Extenda’ removable 3rd axle to provide the recovery module and configure the 4×4 Jackal 2 as the 6×6 `Coyote`. The LWRV solution incorporates Supacat’s patented ‘Supalift’ recovery system technology, enabling the recovery of both the Foxhound and HMT platforms.

Brigadier Matt Wilkinson, Vehicle Support Team Leader at DE&S, said: “The announcement of the Lightweight Recovery Variant reaching Initial Operating Capability is the product of fantastic collaboration between the British Army, Defence Equipment and Support, Supacat and NP Aerospace under the PMETS contract. We now have a Lightweight Recovery capability, which the British Army can exploit to inform the Army’s Future Soldier requirements for recovery vehicles.”

David Petheram, Managing Director & Senior Vice President, NP Aerospace, commented: The PMETS contract has run successfully for the last four years, delivering significant innovations that have benefited the British Army on operation. Achieving IOC is an important step in our lightweight recovery vehicle programme with Supacat and demonstrates our joint collaboration with industry partners for the benefit of the UK MOD.”

Phil Applegarth, Director and Head of Supacat, said: “We are thrilled to hand over new

LWRV vehicles to the British Army in partnership with NP Aerospace. This solution fills a crucial capability gap and showcases the HMT’s modularity as a highly adaptable vehicle that can accommodate various system integrations based on operational needs. The LWRV has been equipped with a ground-breaking technology called “Supalift,” which significantly extends the lifting capacity of light vehicle recovery systems for the Army.”

Australian Defence Force Selects Hanwa’s Redback as New Infantry Fighting Vehicle to Replace Aging M113s

Thursday, July 27th, 2023

Redback to bring Army some sting

A Redback infantry fighting vehicle on display in Canberra. Army will take delivery of 129 of the vehicles, to be built in Geelong. Photo: Andrew Green

The Army will receive 129 new infantry fighting vehicles in response to Australia’s changing strategic environment.

Making the announcement today, the Australian Government said Hanwha’s state-of-the-art Redbacks would be built at the company’s facilities in the Geelong region, supporting Australia’s strategic imperative to develop sovereign defence manufacturing capabilities.

At a cost of between $5 billion and $7 billion, the LAND 400 Phase 3 project will be one of the largest capability acquisitions in Army’s history.

Replacing the M113 armoured personnel carriers, which were acquired in 1964, the first Redback will be delivered in early 2027.

With its latest-generation armour, cannon and missiles, they will provide the protection, mobility and firepower required to transport and protect soldiers in close combat, giving them the highest chance of achieving their mission and returning safely.

The government said the acquisition was part of its drive to modernise the Army to ensure it could respond to the land challenges in the region.

The new vehicles will be delivered about the same time as the new HIMARS missile systems and landing craft, reflecting the Defence Strategic Review’s call for Army to be transformed for littoral manoeuvre operations from Australia.

The government said it was providing the ADF with the capabilities it needed to defend Australia and protect national security.

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said the government was committed to investing in the security of the nation and the safety of Australian soldiers.

“We are also committed to supporting Australian defence industry so we can make more of the critical defence equipment we need in this country rather than relying on overseas suppliers,” Mr Conroy said.

“Our decision to build the Redback infantry fighting vehicles in Australia will support up to 600 direct jobs and more than a thousand jobs in the Australian industry supply chain.”

By Australian Defence Force

Romania Orders Polaris DAGOR Ultralight Tactical Vehicles

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023

Minneapolis – July 11, 2023 – Polaris Government and Defense has been awarded a contract to provide its DAGOR ultralight tactical vehicle to Romania. More than 50 of the off-road and internally transportable vehicles will deliver enhanced tactical mobility to Romanian Armed Forces for current and emerging threats. Romania, a NATO member country, will receive the vehicles via the U.S. government’s foreign military sales (FMS) program, which seeks to build up forces and allies around the world, most recently with an emphasis in the European Command (EUCOM). The contract also includes upfit and spare parts for the vehicles as well as operator and maintenance training, which will be conducted in-country by Polaris field service representatives.

Interoperability is critical in today’s conflicts, and the Polaris DAGOR provides platform commonality to the special mission community, with customers around the world including U.S. forces, Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM), multiple European militaries and additional global forces. Polaris military vehicles have become force multipliers for expeditionary forces by extending mission range while mitigating operator fatigue and increasing mission readiness and capability.

Proven and reliable DAGOR ultralight tactical vehicles provide exceptional off-road mobility, payload and transportability – carrying warfighters and their gear, for a total payload of up to 4,000 pounds (1,814 kilograms). DAGOR uses a readily available commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) driveline, controls and components like a diesel/JP8 engine selected for its ideal combination of power, weight and size.

The DAGOR has a flexible and modular design that allows it to fulfill numerous missions and be reconfigured with shifting environments and evolving threats. The open design of the cargo bed maximizes loading space, flexibility and access for mission-essential equipment. An increased ride height – even at full payload – provides better obstacle clearance and improves off-road mobility.

DAGOR’s unique design and use of commercial components allows for ease of operation, maintenance and sustainment in support of combat operations. DAGOR can also be rapidly deployed and maintains airdrop, sling-load and internal tactical air transportability on CH-47 and CH-53 helicopters as well as internal transport aboard C-130 Hercules.

Polaris delivers a unique offering to Romanian Armed Forces – the company’s expertise in off-road mobility produces military vehicles that are designed for austere environments, allowing Romanian warfighters to travel through harsher off-road conditions at full payload at a faster pace than any other vehicles in this class. Romanian Armed Forces also have Polaris MV850 all-terrain vehicles and MRZR turbo diesel ultralight all-terrain vehicles.

Arctic mobility is also crucial for expeditionary and special operations forces and these specialized teams around the world turn to Polaris and its snowmobiles and modified tactical vehicles. An Arctic Mobility Package is now available for the MRZR Alpha. The fully enclosed cab and tracks expand the environments the MRZR Alpha can operate in and increase an already wide range of terrain for which it is well-suited. Polaris Snowmobiles can extend the reach of the operators in environments that would usually take days to cover on foot. Snowmobiles are an invaluable tool in deep snow and snow-covered mountainous terrain, which is normally a challenge for large-scale military movements. Titan and Pro-RMK snowmobiles have been modified to include blackout drive, IR light, winch kit and tow hitches – further increasing the ability to navigate treacherous terrain and reach remote areas efficiently.

Polaris designs and manufactures the most capable light tactical military vehicles available today with technology development and insertion for the battlefield of tomorrow. No one knows light off-road mobility like Polaris. Polaris light tactical vehicles – the MV850, MRZR turbo diesel, Alpha and DAGOR – support more than 50 military forces which is a testament to the capability gap these vehicles fulfill. These platforms provide unmatched off-road capability while also being intuitive to operate, simple to maintain, highly transportable and easy to globally support.

Caracal: Germany and the Netherlands Enter €1.9 billion Framework Contract with Rheinmetall for 3,058 Airmobile Vehicles

Monday, July 10th, 2023

The German and Dutch armed forces have contracted with Rheinmetall to supply up to 3,058 Caracal airmobile platforms. Worth up €1.9 billion, the multiyear framework contract includes up to 2,054 vehicles earmarked for Germany and 1,004 for the Netherlands.  As a first step, a firm order from the framework contract has been placed for 1,508 vehicles worth approximately €870 million, including value added tax. To finance the procurement project, Germany is drawing on the special fund set up last year for reequipping the Bundeswehr. 
The Caracal is the product of a partnership between Rheinmetall, Mercedes-Benz AG and Armoured Car Systems GmbH. Delivery of the first trial models is scheduled to take place as early as the first quarter of 2024, with the start of delivery in series planned for early 2025.  
A 4×4 all-wheel-drive vehicle, the Caracal is a mobile platform specially designed to meet the needs of airmobile formations and special operations forces. 

Procurement of the “Deployment System Airmobile Platform” is unfolding against the backdrop of the tense security situation and urgently required new capabilities for national and alliance defence. Owing to the close working relationship between the German and Dutch armed forces and the comparable requirement situation in both countries, the procurement project has been a bilateral one from the outset. 
The tendering process, which began in October 2022, was completed in two fast-paced proposal phases. In the end, Rheinmetall put forward the most economical proposal, with price and technical performance converging to overcome the remaining competitor. 

The Caracal is based on a commercial off-the-shelf chassis of the new G-model 464 series from Mercedes-Benz. In future Rheinmetall will therefore be able to offer users around the world a proven, technically mature platform, providing logistic support throughout the vehicle’s long service life. 

With the Caracal, Rheinmetall’s portfolio of tactical vehicle systems has expanded to embrace the lightweight, less-than-10-ton 4×4 segment, where the Düsseldorf-based tech enterprise sees strong growth potential. 

“Together with our partners Mercedes-Benz AG and Armoured Car Systems GmbH, we’re ready to roll and can advance quickly to full-scale, large-volume series production”, states Dr Björn Bernhard, managing director of Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH. “Final assembly of all German and Dutch vehicles will take place at our plant in Ede in the Netherlands and at VDL Special Vehicles B.V. in Eindhoven, our designated partner company. Having two assembly locations will let us quickly scale up production while simultaneously contributing to sustained value added in the Netherlands, our partner country”, notes Dr Bernhard.