BERLIN, ($1=0.88 Euro) — The US division of Rheinmetall, based in Biddeford, ME, said in an official statement that it was investing millions of dollars in developing the next generation of situational awareness [SAS] and fire control systems.
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Rheinmetall’s new developments will be in the field of heavily armored vehicles. The existing technological solutions in the battle tower for armored vehicles of Rheinmetall will be the basis of new developments, the company said.
The new technological solutions will have to provide the US military with precise work in detecting and recognizing targets and processing images. According to Rheinmetall, they will achieve this by integrating artificial intelligence technologies into 360 ° situational awareness systems.
Rheinmetall will work on the Optionally Manned Fighting program Vehicle [OMFV] too. This program aims to provide the US Army with a replacement for the legendary Bradley Armored Vehicle [IFV]. The company will compete in Phase 2 and subsequent phases of the program, partnering with American Rheinmetall Vehicles, Sterling Heights, MI.
The requirements of the US Army under the OMFV program are high. For example, future armored vehicles must be controlled not only by the crew but also remotely. They must be of such dimensions that a C-17 military transport aircraft can carry two armored vehicles of this type. New armored vehicles must be deployed quickly – in just 15 minutes they must be ready for battle.
Rheinmetall is likely to develop technological solutions for the following OMFV requirements: the ability to super elevate weapons and simultaneously engage threats using the main gun and an independent weapons system, application of immediate, accurate, and decisive lethal fire from the tower of the armored vehicle with medium-caliber, directed energy, and missile fires in day/night / all-weather conditions. The platform will have to perform all this in its two main positions: on the spot or while moving.
Another segment that Rheinmetall is likely to work on is the development of directed-energy [DE] weapons, as well as advanced target sensors, which is one of the requirements of the Pentagon.
DE is an umbrella term covering technologies that produce concentrated electromagnetic [EM] energy and atomic or subatomic particles. A DE weapon is a system using DE primarily as a means to incapacitate, damage, disable or destroy enemy equipment, facilities, and/or personnel.
Directed-energy warfare [DEW] is military action involving the use of DE weapons, devices, and countermeasures to incapacitate, cause direct damage or destruction of adversary equipment, facilities, and/or personnel, or to determine, exploit, reduce, or prevent hostile use of the electromagnetic spectrum [EMS] through damage, destruction, and disruption.
Rheinmetall does not give specific information on what exactly will be the technological solutions of the next generation of armored vehicles but says that this project will require the transfer of basic technologies for towers from Germany, as well as the construction of integrated facilities to directly design and manufacture necessary for the US military.
“This is a historic moment for Army modernization, and American Rheinmetall is meeting the moment with advanced technology, new jobs, and expanded industrial capability to ensure U.S. Soldiers have the edge for decades to come,” says Stephen Hedger, Head of U.S. Business and CEO of overall U.S. corporate parent American Rheinmetall Defense [Reston, VA].
According to Brad Hittle, President, and CEO of American Rheinmetall Systems, Rheinmetall will create between 10-15 new jobs for engineers in Maine “as well as industrialize locally to offer world-class solutions to military requirements. the next generation of vehicle technology.”
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