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IDEX 2017: Polaris outlines technology goals

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Polaris Defense is eyeing a number of advanced technologies and the introduction of unmanned capabilities to its range of high-mobility platforms.

Jane’s has also learned that the company’s four-seat diesel MRZR-D4 vehicle will shortly start trials in the United Arab Emirates and is undergoing evaluation with the British Army.

Speaking at IDEX 2017 in Abu Dhabi, John Olson, the company’s vice-president and general manager, said that Polaris had identified key technologies that will be examined for the development of its vehicles, among which are advanced mission packages and hybrid engines.

Olson said that the mission packages under consideration include counter-improvised explosive device (IED) and counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) systems.

The development of a hybrid-electric engine capability was described by Olson as a “strategic technology”; other advances may include the introduction of drive-by-wire systems.

Work to enable the vehicles to operate as optionally unmanned platforms and leveraging the company’s know-how and technology to develop dedicated unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) is under way, Olson said, adding that Polaris is partnering with specialists from industry and academia for these efforts – among the latter are staff at Carnegie Mellon University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Olson said that the US Army’s Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (S-MET) UGV requirement is a potential opportunity for the company.

Doug Malikowski, the company’s director of international business development, said that work is also ongoing to look at enhancements to its existing platforms, including uprating the suspension to provide an extra 150 kg of payload capacity on the Deployable Advanced Ground Off-Road (DAGOR) vehicle.

Referring to the upcoming trials of the MRZR-D4 in the UAE, Malikowski said that the vehicle is especially suited to operating in high temperatures, as the diesel configuration enabled a more effective cooling unit to be used over the gasoline-fuelled variant.

A further advantage is the increased torque brought by the diesel unit, Malikowski noted, adding that many operators now want the option to tow trailers.

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Oshkosh Defense Announces Two Orders Totalling $235.2 Million

Oshkosh Defense Announces Two Orders Totalling $235.2 Million

OSHKOSH (Wisconsin, the USA), May 25, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova, Photo: Wikipedia

The tactical vehicle manufacturer, Oshkosh Defense, announced on 23rd May 2018 that it was awarded two delivery orders at the total amount of $235.2 million from the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM). The scope of the agreement includes recapitalisation of vehicles in the heavy vehicle fleet of the U.S. Army, reported Shephard Media.

The recapitalisation of the vehicles in the army’s Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT) and Palletised Load Systems (PLS) fleets will involve upgrading to the latest configuration and the same zero-mile, zero-hour condition as new vehicles.

Under the contract 410 vehicles will be recapitalised and 680 new PLS trailers will be manufactured. Deliveries will start in the Fiscal Year 2019.

“The mark of any good investment is its ability to withstand the test of time. The longevity of the HEMTT and PLS fleets combined with the durability of the platform attest to the value of these mission critical vehicles,” said Pat Williams, VP and general manager of army and marine corps programmes for Oshkosh Defense.

More than 13,000 HEMTT and 3,000 PLS has been recapitalised by Oshkosh Defense since 1995.
The Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) is an eight-wheel drive, diesel-powered with weight of 9,100 kg.

The Palletized Load System (PLS) is designed to carry ammunition and other critical supplies.

Photo: U.S. Army soldiers unload a Mk2 Bridge Erection Boat from a M1977A2 CBT HEMTT into the Missouri River

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Bulava ICBMs Were Test Fired from the Yury Dolgorukiy Submarine

Bulava ICBMs Were Test Fired from the Yury Dolgorukiy Submarine

MOSCOW (Russia), May 25, 2018, Author: Bm News Team, Photo: Wikipedia (K-535 Yuri Dolgorukiy at sea trials)

On 22nd May 2018 four Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) were test fired from the Yury Dolgorukiy nuclear submarine of Russia. The test was successful. That was announced by the military in a statement, which was quoted by the state news agencies, reported Shephard Media.

The missiles were fired from the submerged Yury Dolgorukiy submarine in the White Sea on the north-western coast of Russia. The Navy’s northern fleet revealed that the target was a military test ground on the far eastern Kamchatka peninsula.

According to the Navy it was the first time when such a number of missiles are fired from such a type of submarine. The tactical and technical characteristics and reliability of the Yury Dolgorukiy strategic missile submarine and the Bulava missile system were confirmed.

The weight of the Yury Dolgorukiy submarine is 14,720 t. It reaches the speed of 46 km/h. The submarine is from the fourth-generation Borei class of strategic submarines and is designated to carry the Bulava intercontinental nuclear-capable missiles. The first sea trials of that submarine began on 19 June 2009 and the submarine was commissioned on 10 January 2013.

The Bulava is a submarine-launched ballistic missile developed for the Russian Navy. The operational range of the missile is reported to be 8,000-8,300 km, and the accuracy – 350 m.

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AeroVironment Announces a New Switchblade Order

AeroVironment Announces a New Switchblade Order

TAMPA (Florida, the USA, at SOFIC), May 23, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova, Photo: AeroVironment

On 22nd May 2018, the manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems for both military and commercial purposes, AeroVironment, Inc., announced that it has received an order from the U.S. Army for the Switchblade Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System (LMAMS) and logistics support. That takes the total value of Switchblade awards to $111,054,202 since August 2017. The agreement has been concluded in April 2018 and involves the first Switchblade order for the needs of the United States Marine Corps.

The vice president and general manager of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment of AeroVironment, Kirk Flittie, explained “Switchblade is a highly effective and mature smart weapon system that delivers unmatched force protection and precision strike capabilities to American forces with minimal to no collateral effects. Man-portable and lightweight, Switchblade is a uniquely powerful LMAMS solution for today’s complex combat environments. AeroVironment stands ready, with a battle-proven product, supply chain and production system, to respond rapidly to this and future requirements to ensure U.S. and allied forces can proceed with certainty.”

The AeroVironment Switchblade features rapid-response force protection. The strike is precise with a range of up to 10 km from the launch location. Besides its extremely preciseness, it has specialized effects and wave-off capability and impresses with its compact dimensions – it fits in an ALICE pack and weighs about 2.5 kg. The warheads of the Switchblade are supplied by the Orbital ATK – a global leader in the aerospace and defence technologies sector.

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Lockheed Martin Awarded BAE Systems a $100 Million+ Contract

Lockheed Martin Awarded BAE Systems a $100 Million+ Contract

LONDON (United Kingdom), May 23, 2018, Author: Bm News Team, Photo: BAE Systems

The global security and aerospace company, Lockheed Martin, has awarded BAE Systems a contract exceeding the amount of $100 million. The duties of BAE Systems under the contract include maintenance and replacement of the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft electronic warfare systems, reported FlightGlobal.

The scope of the contract includes management of the supply chain for the electronic warfare system and maintenance of local warehouses with on-hand inventories of major components.

BAE Systems is the manufacturer of the electronic warfare suite for the needs of the F-35 of Lockheed Martin, known as the AN/ASQ-239 Barracuda system. The avionics and sensors of the system provide a 360-degree view of the area surrounding the aircraft, detecting and geo-locating electronic emitters for giving the pilots the opportunity of evading, engaging, countering or jamming threats. All these capabilities are of great importance in terms of the purposes for which the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft has been designed, and namely – ground attack and air superiority missions.

BAE Systems specified that the contract has been agreed to be based on performance-based logistics and that repair and upgrade of the ASQ-239 is included. Under the contract we will see the company supporting all F-35 versions and customers all over the world.

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