CANBERRA, ($1=1.38 AUS) – On November 22, 2021, the defense company BAE Systems Australia announced that it had handed over 20 “unmanned” chain armored personnel carriers M113AS4 to the Australian Armed Forces, which, however, remained with the option of “manual control” of the armored vehicle crew, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defense Express. It took the Australian branch of BAE Systems a little over two years to create such a “technology demonstrator”.
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This is not about transferring “unmanned” war machines, which must immediately strengthen the Australian army. Rather – for the transfer of a kind of serial “demonstrator of technology”, which should show the customer the reality of the prospects for mass production of “unmanned” armored vehicles.
The M113AS4 is now the backbone of the Australian Army’s armored personnel carrier, but the Green Continent’s Department of Defense is already implementing the Project LAND 400 Phase 3 program to replace these armored vehicles.
BAE Systems Australia’s experiments with unmanned versions of the M113AS4 armored personnel carriers first became known in November 2019. Then the first two such research machines were demonstrated in a depot.
The official announcement of work on the “unmanned” version of the armored personnel carrier M113AS4 was announced by the Australian branch of BAE Systems in August 2020.
It is noted that the “unmanned” M113AS4, transferred to the Australian army, has several options – “manual” control by the crew of the armored car, control from a stationary station, control in “subordinate” mode, or fully autonomous action without human intervention.
Australia integrates lasers into combat modules
As we reported on November 19, the EOS Defense Systems presented the project of the targeted energy system, which is planned to be integrated into the new T2000 combat modules.
The small-sized integrated laser module DE with a power of 35 kW, built into the latest combat module of the Australian company and should complement its capabilities in the fight against drones.
This version of the promising BM for equipping infantry fighting vehicles is called T2000-DE, according to the press service of EOS Defense Systems.
This solution is designed to meet the needs of the Australian Ministry of Defense. EOS expects the concept they have developed to be presented to the Australian military next year.
According to the developers, after studying the course of hostilities in the recent armed conflicts, especially in Nagorno-Karabakh, the company decided to strengthen the protection of combat vehicles from unmanned threats, such as strike UAVs and ammunition fire.
According to the plan, the targeted energy system [DE] will be able to protect combat vehicles, mainly in the vertical plane – by destroying enemy drones and ammunition at close range. In addition, it will be able to “blind” by attacking unmanned systems, which will allow them to be destroyed by other weapons of the combat module.
“The T2000-DE is part of the CUAS [Unmanned Aerial System], which is complemented by the main armament [combat module] T2000 and auxiliary armament. Our goal is to offer a fully integrated solution that provides coverage throughout the territory [around BMP], but retains the individual ability to overcome drone threats,” said EOS Defense Systems CEO Grant Sanderson.
“For example, the T2000-DE system can be used for the highest protection of a combat group of vehicles, but each of the other combat vehicles equipped with the T2000 will also be able to fight unmanned threats. I expect that if the battle group consists of 15 BMPs, there will be one platform equipped with T2000-DE to protect other platforms, while each of the other armored vehicles will have a variant of the T2000 combat module, which can also take part in the destruction of drones,” he explained.
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