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Volume 2 Issue 3 June/July 2011

New generation AFV armour

IDEF show report

US heavy mortars in combat



Soltam ATMOS Truck Mounted Gun

Battle Management System (BMS)


Its our mission. As the driving force behind the world's rst deployed and operational Digital Army Program, and the prime integrator of electronics, communications, life support and electro-optic systems for the Merkava IV MBT, Elbit Systems Land and C4I leads in ground-based solutions for: Land Systems Recent acquisition of SOLTAM Systems, Israels major artillery and mortar systems manufacturer, complements our portfolio of advanced land systems solutions. Command, Control and Computers Providing all branches of the ghting force with enhanced situational awareness and mission-critical information. Communications From the individual soldier, through all types of vehicles and up to large systems required by HQ. Intelligence Converting data to intelligence by enabling gathering, research, and analysis at a multifaceted level. Integrating systems, products and technologies from each of these domains, Elbit Systems Land and C4I creates land superiority for armed forces worldwide.

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Front cover: At IDEF 2011, Otokar unveiled the 8x8 Arma equipped with the companys new Mizrak-30 remote-controlled turret armed with a Mauser 30mm MK30-2 ABM cannon. (Photo: Otokar)

Editor Ian Kemp. North America Editor Scott R Gourley. Tel: +1 (707) 822 7204 Editorial Assistant Beth Stevenson. Contributors Gordon Arthur, Peter Donaldson, Christopher F Foss, Helmoed Rmer Heitman, William F Owen, Rod Rayward Production Manager David Hurst. Tel: +44 (0)1753 727029 Sub-editor Adam Wakeling. Advertising Sales Executive Brian Millan. Tel: +44 (0)1753 727005 Publishing Director Darren Lake CEO Alexander Giles Chairman Nick Prest Subscriptions CDS Global, Tower House, Lathkill St, Sovereign Park, Market Harborough, Leics LE16 9EF, UK Paid subscription contacts: Tel: +44 1858 438879 Fax: +44 1858 461739 Email:
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EDITORIAL COMMENT Budget cuts and combat lessons NEWS

Testing of General Dynamics UK Scout turret begins UK to field 7.62mm Minimi LMG MASV order boosts Afghan AFV fleet Australia buys more Bushmasters for Afghanistan USSOCOM relaunches sniper rifle project Azerbaijan extends Paramount AFV production
7 POWERFUL DISPLAY The tenth International Defence Industry Fair, held in Istanbul from 10-13 May, highlighted both the growing capabilities of the Turkish Armed Forces and the sophistication of the countrys defence industry. Claire Apthorp and Tony Skinner report on new products in the ground forces sector.

22 A HAPPY MEDIUM The latest generation of one- and two-person turrets have introduced new and exciting possibilities to the world of AFVs. Christopher F Foss surveys the market. 25 EXPECTING THE UNEXPECTED The Israel Defense Forces have to face the constant challenge of being prepared for a full spectrum of operations on home soil. William F Owen discusses equipment and doctrine. 29 A FISTFUL OF IMPROVEMENTS The British Army has begun receiving the first elements of the Future Integrated Soldier Technology that are designed to improve the effectiveness of the dismounted fire team, Ian Kemp reports.

10 THE INFANTRYS GO-TO WEAPON Recent months have seen the US Army and USMC enhance the combat capabilities of their 120mm towed mortars. Ian Kemp reports on developments. 13 AN UNBREAKABLE BOND As well as radically reshaping armoured vehicles, the asymmetric threats faced over the last decade have concentrated minds on the technology of armour itself. Peter Donaldson discusses recent trends. 19 THE GENERATION GAME Combat body armour has saved lives and prevented injury to countless US Army and USMC personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq, but manufacturers are still working on improvements in effectiveness and usability. Scott R Gourley examines the state of the art.

32 EXPEDITIONARY FORCE Maj Gen Agner Rokos, Chief of Army Operational Command, discusses the ongoing transformation of the Danish Army with Ian Kemp.

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Volume 2 Issue 3 | June/July 2011 | LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL

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The ability to undertake full-spectrum operations is a prerequisite for what we are doing right now in Afghanistan.


he 18 May was a historic, albeit sad, day for the Royal Netherlands Army. A Leopard 2A6 fired its last shots before the country became the first NATO member to get rid of its MBT fleet. A month earlier, Dutch Defence Minister Hans Hillen announced the retirement of the remaining 60 Leopard 2s as part of a 1 billion ($1.42 billion) cut in defence spending, forced on his department as a result of the worldwide financial crisis. They were the last of 445 of the type which the army fielded at the end of the Cold War, equipping an armoured battalion in each of the two remaining mechanised brigades. The decision seems especially ill-considered, as the Netherlands has invested heavily in recent years to equip the four armoured infantry battalions within these brigades with the CV9035NL IFV and Boxer APC. A new force structure is to be announced in July. Following earlier defence cuts, the country sold 100 Leopards to Canada in December 2007. Ironically, the Canadian Army would have been the first NATO force to abandon the tank but for its experience with the deployment of a squadron of ageing Leopard 1s to Afghanistan in 2006, serving alongside its infantry units that were equipped with LAV IIIs. Army leaders subsequently scrapped plans to acquire Stryker Mobile Gun Systems, based on the LAV chassis, and received government approval to borrow 20 German Army Leopard 2A6Ms for use in Afghanistan and buy the second-hand Dutch tanks the army has since credited the 2A6Ms with saving lives. It was quickly discovered that insurgents would rarely mount small arms or other direct fire attacks when the tanks were deployed, and the vehicles have been used for a wide range of missions, including direct fire support, convoy protection, route clearance and deception.

The tanks 120mm main gun has proven an effective means of delivering precision fire without the risk of collateral damage or the invariable delay associated with employing close air support. The Canadians discovered that in an armed tribal society that respects the power of a gun, there are few more potent symbols than a tank. The Danish Army also deployed a Leopard 2 platoon to Afghanistan. These three tanks have been extensively employed in support of American, British and other coalition forces in Helmand Province, and have raised both the capabilities and the profile of the Danish ISAF contribution. As in the Netherlands, successive defence cuts have whittled away at the countrys army, and now it consists of two brigades with some 50 tanks.

Interviewed on p32 in this issue, Maj Gen Agner Rokos, Chief of Denmarks Army Operational Command, stresses that the army is keen to retain at least a small number of tanks so that it can conduct full-spectrum operations at the battle group and brigade levels. We believe the ability to undertake [these missions] is a prerequisite for what we are doing right now in Afghanistan, he explained. One minute the individual soldier is interacting with the local civilian population, and the next he is participating in a full-blown combat operation it is a very quick transition. The USMC deployed the first US tanks to Afghanistan last December, and the M1A1s of Battalion Landing Team 3/8 fired their first combat rounds on 6 February. Properly employed, the tank has proven effective in asymmetric warfare. Other weapons developed for high-intensity combat such as the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), the

M777 155mm Lightweight Howitzer and the AH-64 Apache have proven their worth in these operations. Another is the simple mortar with illumination rounds, extensively employed by coalition forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq in order to deter insurgents from planting IEDs, establishing mortar or rocket positions or approaching within small arms range of coalition positions. In this issue, we discuss how the US Armys XM395 precision-guided mortar munition, as with the earlier fielding of the Guided MLRS rocket, promises to transform an area fire weapon into a precision strike weapon, both improving lethality and reducing the risk of collateral damage. Rokos summarised the lessons learned through experience in Afghanistan: We have rediscovered the dangers of the battlefield. You have to ensure your soldiers are properly trained and robustly equipped. This observation could be applied to most, if not all, armies engaged in contemporary operations. It most certainly applies to the governments which fund them. Ian Kemp, Editor



USMC infantry British Army modernisation Remote-controlled weapon stations

Volume 2 Issue 3 | June/July 2011 | LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL


The MoDs standard acquisition process for armoured vehicles has not been working.


General Dynamics (GD) UKs Scout Specialist Vehicle (SV) has conducted live-fire tests of the new cased telescoped CT40 cannon system, integrated into the first Scout SV turret, five months ahead of schedule. The UK MoD signed a 500 million ($820 million) contract with GD UK on 1 July 2010, activating the SV demonstration phase. This covers the development of seven prototypes for the Scout reconnaissance vehicle and supporting variants built on the ASCOD SV Common Base Platform, as well as associated training equipment. The reconnaissance and SV variants, including protected mobility, repair and recovery vehicles, are all based upon this platform. The design has a growth potential of up to 42t. The first firing of the integrated CT40 cannon took place on 18 May at the Rheinmetall Landsysteme facility in Gersthofen, Germany. The company is responsible for the design, development and production of the Scout SV turret structure for Lockheed Martin UK, which is the turret system design authority. This month, the turret will be shipped to Lockheed Martin UKs Ampthill, Bedfordshire facility for further system integration and testing. Only four days after the live fire tests, the National Audit Office (NAO) published a report that stated: Given the expenditure of over 1.1 billion since 1998, without the delivery of its principal armoured vehicles, the [MoDs] standard acquisition process for armoured vehicles has not been working. The NAO concluded: The delays which have arisen from cancelled or suspended armoured vehicle projects will result in the armed forces not being fully equipped with the vehicles identified as top priorities in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, until at least 2024-25. Since 2003, the MoD has spent 2.7 billion buying and upgrading vehicles using the UOR process for current operations. The Scout vehicle is scheduled to replace the Scimitar Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) (CVR(T)) that has been in service

since 1971 and has long struggled to carry additional armour and other equipment fitted for operations, notably in the Balkans during the 1990s, and more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. As far back as 1992, the army promulgated Staff Target (Land) 4061 for a Tactical Reconnaissance Armoured Combat Equipment Requirement to replace the CVR(T), with the first vehicle expected to be produced in 2004. The project, which evolved to become a joint effort with the US Army, was cancelled in October 2001 after the Americans withdrew and the MoD decided that it was not costeffective to continue on its own. The ministry is now evaluating a Scimitar 2 prototype developed by BAE Systems under a UOR, which mounts an extensively enhanced Scimitar turret on a new-build modified Spartan hull from the CVR(T) series. The larger hull is able to carry more weight and includes improved protection against mines and IEDs. By Ian Kemp, London


The UK MoD has awarded FN Herstal a contract to provide up to 176 7.62mm Minimi light machine guns (LMGs) by the end of 2011. The agreement includes options for a further 250 weapons to be delivered annually over a three-year period from 2012-2014. The 7.62mm Minimi offers similar ergonomics to the 5.56mm version that has been in service with UK forces since 2003. Each four-man fire team within the infantry, Royal Marines and RAF Regiment is equipped with a 5.56mm Minimi. The latest model chosen by the UK features a sliding buttstock for easier carriage and incorporates a hydraulic buffer for stabilised rate of fire and reduced recoil. The new weapon will be easier for troops to carry on dismounted operations in Afghanistan than the 7.62mm L7A2 General Purpose MG (the British designation for the FN Herstal MAG 58). The empty weight of the Minimi 7.62mm is 8.4kg compared to 11.79kg for the L7A2, and it measures 1,000mm with the stock extended (865mm with the stock collapsed), while the L7A2 is 1,263mm in length. FN Herstal developed the 7.62mm Minimi in the mid-1970s, but when NATO approved the 5.56x45mm round, the company scaled

The UK MoD has ordered the FN Herstal 7.62mm Minimi LMG to equip British forces in Afghanistan. (Photo: FN Herstal)

down the LMG design to fire the smaller cartridge. The Belgian company revived the 7.62mm Minimi in 2001 in order to meet a US Special Operations Command requirement for a 7.62mm LMG a modified variant, designated the MK48 Mod 0, has been fielded with US special operations forces. By Ian Kemp, London

LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL | June/July 2011 | Volume 2 Issue 3

Textron will produce nine configurations of the MASV for the Afghan National Army, including vehicles equipped with an ASV turret armed with a 40mm MK19 grenade machine gun and a .50cal M2 heavy machine gun. (Photo: Textron)

Textron Marine & Land Systems has received a contract from the US Army to produce up to 440 Medium Armored Security Vehicles (MASVs) for the Afghan National Army (ANA). An initial batch of 23 MASVs was ordered in January and, according to a Textron spokesperson, deliveries are now under way. The MASV is derived from the US Armys M1117 ASV and the ASV Armored Personnel Carrier (APC). The MASVs will be supplied in nine configurations designed specifically for ANA roles and missions: engineer; mortar carrier; maintenance; ambulance; reconnaissance; C2 MASV; MASV with Objective Gunners Protection Kit; MASV with enclosed turret; and turreted C2 MASV. All vehicles will be built to the companys new enhanced survivability standard, which improves blast protection to MRAP levels, according to Textron. A one-year baseline contract, with a potential value of $257 million, is expected to be completed by June 2012. It covers 240 MASVs, associated support equipment, spare parts, field service representatives, training and training aids.



BAE Systems-FNSS joint venture wins $559m award
6 June 2011

The contract includes options for up to 200 additional vehicles, plus two option years for training and logistics support, with a total potential value of $286 million. Production of the additional vehicles is expected to be finished by December 2012, while the support package would continue until 2014. The US FMS contract was funded through the Afghan Security Forces Fund. The agreement represents a significant boost to the ANAs AFV fleet. The army has a stock of Cold War-era BRDM-2 reconnaissance vehicles and BMP-1/-2 IFVs, many of which were captured during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, but the readiness of these vehicles is problematic. For protected mobility, the Afghan security forces rely primarily on approximately 7,550 up-armoured M1151 and M1152 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles, including 2,526 M1152A1s with B2 armour kits ordered in August 2010, with deliveries to be completed by December 2013. Washington has also supplied 63 ex-US Army M113 APCs. By Ian Kemp, London

BAE Systems announces strategic teaming agreements for TAPV

3 June 2011

Allen-Vanguard introduces latest IED protection solutions

1 June 2011

Canada Land Forces choose Revision for eye protection

31 May 2011

Force Protection unveils Team Timberwolf

31 May 2011

US Army showcases Quantum Hybrid

27 May 2011

BAE Systems submits RfI to US Army for HMMWV recap

27 May 2011


Australia is to buy an additional 101 Thales Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles to support Australian Defence Force (ADF) operations in Afghanistan. On 12 May, Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Material Jason Clare jointly announced the purchase, stating that the employment of the Bushmaster had unquestionably saved lives in Afghanistan. Despite numerous IED and small arms attacks, no fatalities have been suffered by personnel riding in the vehicles. The purchase includes 31 vehicles to replace ones damaged beyond repair in recent years. Another Bushmaster was lost on 25 May when it

Force Protection adds key partners for Canadian TAPV project

24 May 2011

struck an IED while on a joint Australian-Afghan patrol in southern Afghanistan. Two soldiers from Australias Special Operations Task Group were injured in the blast. Because of the increasingly dangerous situation on the ground, it was decided that the Bushmaster would be destroyed. The original acquisition of 299 Bushmasters had previously been boosted to 737 via three follow-on orders, with deliveries scheduled to continue until 2012. The Defence Material Organisation is considering options to improve the vehicles protection levels, and these may be included in the new order. By Ian Kemp, London

Goodrich wins anti-tank weapon system contract

23 May 2011

Lockheed Martin receives $45.3m contract from Finland

18 May 2011

CSI, RSD launch new line of tactical combat vehicles

17 May 2011

All these stories can be found at

Volume 2 Issue 3 | June/July 2011 | LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL


Initial firing tests reportedly failed to achieve the accuracy goals that had been sought for the PSR programme.

Representatives for US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) have signalled that they will conduct a re-solicitation for the commands Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR) programme. As described in the earlier programme iteration of late 2009/early 2010, the PSR would be designed to address the operational effectiveness and special forces sniper survivability over the current inventory of sniper weapons. The major components of the PSR system include: the rifle; ten magazines; sound suppressor, including a mirage mitigating device; operator manual; sling; cleaning kit; bipod; drag bag; and hard carrying case. In the second quarter of 2010, product samples were submitted by a range of suppliers, and following downselection to a small number of finalists, USSOCOM conducted additional precision firing tests. However, according to a number of industry participants who have subsequently exhibited their PSR candidate designs at various small arms venues, the


weapons failed to achieve the accuracy goals that had been sought for the programme. In early May, USSOCOM formally announced the cancellation of the earlier PSR RfP in its entirety, noting: The government has reassessed the evaluation criteria that would render best value awards for the PSR. The current criteria fall short in accurately assessing the quality and capability of the proposed weapons, and therefore it is in the governments best interest to cancel the RfP. Command representatives unveiled a new PSR approach later in the month. The new acquisition outline maintains a system focus on a rifle (no calibre is specified), ammunition and suppressor, within a full and open competition and best value acquisition strategy, and includes creating multiple indefinite-delivery/indefinitequantity firm fixed-price contract awards for a ten-year term. In addition, assessment of product samples will be part of the source selection process.

Changes to the previous solicitation will include an increased product-focused approach, incorporating go/no-go criteria regarding weapon and ammunition performance. Interested industry parties have been told that these will include ammunition velocity and energy-ontarget measurements at 900m, with calculations of extended performance at 1,500m. Industry representatives will also conduct precision weapon firing at 1,000m. The new PSR schedule anticipates the release of a formal solicitation in June, with interested industry parties indicating their intent to participate in July and providing samples (including three PSRs of the same configuration and calibre) in August (60 days from issue of solicitation). Go/no-go, suitability/effectiveness and operational assessments will be conducted during September, with source selection beginning in October/November. Initial contract awards are projected for April 2012. By Scott R Gourley, California


The Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence Industries (MDI) has extended a joint production agreement (JPA) with Paramount Group of South Africa to produce 60 new mine-protected vehicles (MPVs) in Baku. Initial batches of 15 Matador and Marauder MPVs have already been assembled under the 2009 agreement. The extension to the JPA covers the production of 30 of each vehicle, with deliveries running to late 2012. The 4x4 Marauder is designed to carry a crew of ten personnel in built-up and confined urban settings, and can be configured as either a troop carrier or combat vehicle. A doubleskinned hull throughout the cabin and crew compartment protects the occupants against kinetic attack up to STANAG 4569 Level III. The 4x4 Matador was developed for long-range operations across difficult terrain, and the 14 occupants are protected against up to a 14kg TNT charge that is detonated directly beneath the hull or a 21kg blast under any wheel. Ivor Ichikowitz, executive chairman of the Paramount Group, said that the companys success in Azerbaijan gives it a firm foothold to explore joint production partnerships with other eastern European countries. In 2010, the organisation signed a joint venture agreement with Indias Ashok Leyland, and earlier this year with the UAEs International Golden Group and Griffon Aerospace Middle East. By Ian Kemp, London

Paramount Group will produce another 30 Marauder (top) and 30 Matador (above) mine-protected vehicles for Azerbaijans armed forces. (Photos: Paramount)

LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL | June/July 2011 | Volume 2 Issue 3


tokar, prime contractor for Turkeys National Tank Production Project, unveiled a full-size mock-up of the Altay, which is projected to enter service around 2016. As well as being Turkeys first MBT design, the Altay is the only new tank being developed by a NATO country. The Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC) has an initial requirement for 250 tanks, with a stated overall need for 1,000 in four batches. South Koreas Hyundi Rotem, manufacturer of the Republic of Korea Armys K1, K1A1 and K2 MBTs, is technology enabler for the project, which shares a number of features with the K2

Otokar unveiled a full-scale mock-up of the Altay MBT, which it is developing for the Turkish Land Forces Command. If the National Tank Production Project continues as planned, the Altay should enter service in 2016. (Photo: Claire Apthorp)

The tenth International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF), held in Istanbul from 10-13 May, highlighted both the growing capabilities of the Turkish Armed Forces and the sophistication of the countrys defence industry. Claire Apthorp and Tony Skinner report on new products in the ground forces sector.
but is nevertheless a new design. So far the Turkish Armed Forces are very interested in the prototype, and the capabilities it will bring them, Ali Eren Topu, system requirement management section manager at Otokar, told Land Warfare International. The Altay is armed with a 120mm L55 smoothbore gun, a 7.62mm co-axial machine gun (MG) and a remote weapon station (RWS), armed with a .50cal heavy MG, mounted on the turret roof. MTU will supply the 1,500hp EuroPowerPack. Following the preliminary design review, Otokar will build three prototypes, a mobile test rig and fighting test rig ahead of a critical design review.

Aselsan has developed the Leopard 2 Next Generation as an upgrade for Turkeys Leopard 2A4 fleet. The programme will enable the company to refine the technology that it is developing for the Altay. (Photo: Aselsan)

The TLFC also has a requirement to modernise its fleet of almost 300 Leopard 2A4 MBTs. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann is offering its Leopard 2A7+ upgrade, while Rheinmetall is proposing its MBT Revolution package. The two German companies will be in competition with Aselsans locally developed Leopard 2 Next Generation upgrade unveiled at IDEF. Now in the final
Volume 2 Issue 3 | June/July 2011 | LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL


FNSS displayed its new Claw remotecontrolled turret, armed with a 25mm KBA cannon and 7.62mm MG3 co-axial machine gun, integrated on the companys Armoured Combat Vehicle Stretched. (Photo: FNSS)

systems developed for the Leopard upgrade will be leveraged for the new tank as well. The upgrade also includes a stabilised RWS, which can be armed with a 40mm automatic grenade launcher, .50cal heavy or 7.62mm medium MG. The RWS is fully integrated with the fire control system, and the optical sight unit includes thermal, visible and laser rangefinders. IBD Deisenroth Engineering has developed a protection package for Aselsan based on its Advanced Modular Armour Protection technology which includes: add-on armour for the turret and hull to boost protection against attacks from kinetic weapons, anti-tank guided munitions and RPGs; additional roof protection; track skirts; slat armour; and spall liners. Protection against IEDs is improved by the addition of underbelly mine protection modules and suspending the drivers seat.

stages of testing, Aselsan expects the system to be fully qualified by the end of 2011. The Next Generation features a complete replacement of the existing EO, electromechanical and electro-hydraulic systems of the Leopard 2A4 in order to increase performance and reduce life-cycle costs. A company spokesperson told LWI that the Periscope Electronic Units (PEU) for the commander and gunner are key components of the upgrade, enabling thermal imaging, sight stabilisation, gun/turret stabilisation, automatic target tracking and ballistic computation to be run on a standard processor card. As well as keeping the logistical footprint for the system as low as possible, these common cards provide a high level of system redundancy in the event of PEU failure or damage. Real-time situational awareness, operations planning and execution functions have been added via a new battlefield management system, allowing greater coordination and synchronisation of all units from battalion down to single-platform level. Aselsan is a major subcontractor on the Altay, and many of the

At IDEF 2010, Otokar displayed its new Arma wheeled armoured vehicle in its baseline 6x6 configuration, which has already been ordered by at least one unidentified export customer with first deliveries expected late in 2011. The 6x6 Arma has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of about 18.5t depending on the weapon system installed and whether additional

armour protection is fitted. In addition to the commander and driver, the 6x6 Arma carries ten soldiers seated five either side on individual seats within the troop compartment. Shown for the first time at IDEF was the 8x8 Arma, which has greater internal volume and payload, with a maximum GVW of about 24t. The development of the family enables Otokar to market a range of 8x8, 6x6 and 4x4 vehicles. The companys 4x4 Cobra has been produced in large quantities for the domestic and export markets in an expanding range of variants for specialist roles. The 8x8 Arma displayed at the exhibition was configured as an IFV equipped with Otokars new Mizrak-30 remote-controlled turret (RCT), which was also launched at IDEF. This is armed with a stabilised Mauser 30mm MK30-2 air bursting munition cannon and 7.62mm co-axial MG. The weapons can be laid onto the target by the gunner or commander as both are provided with identical flat panel displays and controls. In addition to the stabilised sighting system mounted co-axially with the weapons, there is an additional

An FNSS Amphibious Assault Bridge in travelling configuration, showing the fully protected crew compartment. (Photo: FNSS)

LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL | June/July 2011 | Volume 2 Issue 3


Another turret launched at IDEF was the Claw, developed as a private venture by FNSS and Aselsan.
Otokars Arma family has been expanded to include 8x8 (left) and 6x6 vehicles (right), which share many common components. (Photo: Otokar)

commanders panoramic independent stabilised sight mounted on the turret roof, which allows for hunter/killer target engage-ments to take place.

Another RCT launched at IDEF was the Claw, developed as a private venture by FNSS (a joint venture between Nurol Holding and BAE Systems) and Aselsan. This was mounted on an FNSS tracked Armoured Combat Vehicle (ACV) Stretched. This first version of the Claw is armed with a stabilised 25mm KBA dual-feed cannon and a 7.62mm co-axial MG. Once the 160 rounds of readyuse 25mm ammunition have been expended, the weapon can be loaded from within the vehicle through a hatch in the lower part of the RCT that does not protrude into the hull. A computerised fire control system is fitted to ensure a high first round hit probability against moving targets, and the Aselsan optronics package includes day and thermal cameras as well as an automatic target tracker and laser rangefinder. The Claw RCT will be marketed alongside the FNSS Sharpshooter one-person turret, which is armed with a stabilised 25mm cannon and 7.62mm co-axial MG. The Sharpshooter is installed on some of the baseline ACVs already delivered by FNSS to Malaysia, and will also be fitted to one variant of the 257 Pars 8x8 vehicles which the company is building for the same customer.

three-person cab at the front that is provided with an NBC system as well as ballistic protection from small arms fire and shell splinters. Based on the Pars chassis, each unit not only has 8x8 drive but also 8x8 steering and adjustable suspension to suit the terrain being crossed. When afloat, all wheels are retracted into the hull to reduce drag. Two water pump jets, which can be traversed through 360, propel the AAB at a maximum speed of 10km/h. The armys assault bridging capability will also be boosted by the impending delivery of 36 KMW Leguan armoured vehicle launch bridge systems based on a modified Leopard 1 chassis. These were ordered late in 2009, with the chassis being supplied by the TLFC. Major parts of the system will be manufactured in


FNSS also displayed the first of 40 Amphibious Assault Bridges (AAB) scheduled to be delivered to the TLFC by early 2013. Units of the AAB can be coupled together to form a ferry or a bridge, with each unit featuring a

Turkish firearms manufacturer UTAS unveiled its new UTS-15 combat shotgun, which it claims addresses all the shortcomings of current products on the market. UTAS director of manufacturing and product development Ted Hatfield said the company had originally been approached by Smith & Wesson to develop a high-capacity, short, robust and simpleto-operate pump-action 12-gauge shotgun. However, following the development of a prototype, the American firearms company pulled out of the project and UTAS decided to take it forward itself. Designed for use by police and military forces during urban engagements, the shotgun features automatic alternating or selectable feed dual magazines, with quick loading ports, compressible magazine springs and shell counters. The UTS-15 is chambered for 12-gauge 70mm and 76mm magnum shells and the dualfeed magazine can hold 15 70mm shells. The company claims that The new lightweight UTS-15 combat the UTS-15 is the fastest loading shotgun has a capacity of 15 12-gauge shotgun ever designed. 70mm magnum shells. (Photo: UTAS) We have done hours of tests and fired thousands of rounds, and we are extremely cooperation with KMW at the Turkish Land happy with the design the shotgun is capable, Forces Logistics Command facilities at Kayseri robust and simple to operate and maintain, and Arifiye. said Hatfield. He highlighted several design Each Leguan can transport and launch a aspects including: a selector that allows each Military Load Class 80 bridge, which is 26m magazine to be selected; a collapsible follower long and can be used to span gaps of up to that removes any pressure on the last round; 24m, in less than five minutes and an action that loads the shell at the same FNSS also has a contract to supply the speed regardless of how fast or slow the TLFC with 12 Armoured Engineer Vehicles pumping action. (AEV) plus one hull for ballistic trials the first The weapon is 80% carbon fibre, with a unit is now undergoing company testing. The 100% polymer lower receiver, and thus weighs AEV will be very similar to the BAE Systems only 3kg. The UTS-15 is 71cm long and US Combat Systems M9 Armored Combat features a point-and-shoot spotlight and laser Earthmover (ACE) that was built in large night sight as well as an integrated top-mounted quantities for the US Army as well as some MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail. export customers. The AEV will have a crew of Hatfield said that the company was hoping two and is not required to be amphibious. to move to full production of the UTS-15 by It will feature a number of more recent June and is currently looking at tooling and sub-systems as the original ACE components manufacturing options in the US. LWI are no longer manufactured.
Volume 2 Issue 3 | June/July 2011 | LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL


Commanders can engage more targets with a greater probability of success and with confidence that collateral damage is being mitigated.


Recent months have seen the US Army and USMC enhance the combat capabilities of their 120mm towed mortars. Ian Kemp reports on developments.
(WP) rounds to suppress or destroy enemy forces; obscuration, or smoke, rounds, used to conceal friendly forces as they manoeuvre and blind enemy forces; and illumination rounds, including traditional visible white light and the recently developed IR round that is used to illuminate enemy forces. Illumination rounds, fired by 81mm and 120mm mortars, are extensively employed by US and other coalition forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq to deter insurgents from planting IEDs, establishing mortar or rocket positions or approaching with small arms within range of coalition positions. As unguided 120mm mortar rounds have a circular error probable of 136m, the use of HE and WP is carefully considered to avoid the risk of collateral S Army mortarmen from Company C, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division fired a 120mm Precision Guided Mortar Munition (PGMM) in Afghanistan for the first time at a range near FOB Kushamond in Paktika Province on 4 March. According to the army, the round impacted within 4m of its target. Although the brigades BAE Systems M777A2 155mm Lightweight Howitzers are able to fire the Excalibur precision-guided munition (PGM), these are brigade assets. ATKs new XM395 mortar round provides infantry battalion commanders with their own integral indirect PGM capability for the first time. The 120mm precision-guided munitions will allow Task Force Red Currahee to provide even more effective fires with increased lethality, explained Lt Col David Womack, battalion commander. The accuracy of the 120mm PGMM also reduces the potential risk of any collateral damage, [and], as a commander, I have another tool available to fight the enemy. Brig Gen Bryan Owens, Chief of Infantry in the US Army, characterised mortars in an editorial in Infantry Bugler, Winter 2010, as lethal, reliable and responsive, and noted that recent improvements in guidance systems have greatly enhanced the precision of mortar fires to the extent that the mortar need not only be considered an area weapon. Such improvements have re-established the mortar as the infantrymans go-to indirect fire weapon. There are three primary types of mortar fires: high explosive (HE) rounds, sometimes combined with bursting white phosphorous

damage. While it may be premature to describe the introduction of the 120mm PGMM as a revolution, it is certainly a leap ahead.

The XM395 is the armys designation for rounds that are fitted with ATKs Mortar Guidance Kit developed for the Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative (APMI). Our precision mortar provides a quick, reliable and lethal response for the commander on the ground who is now able to quickly call for precision fire from his organic mortar assets, Bruce DeWitt, VP and general manager at ATK Advanced Weapons, told Land Warfare International. This is an especially important capability to have available when engaging targets that are inaccessible to artillery

The BAE Systems M326 Quick Stow Mortar Stowage Kit, now being fielded to IBCTs, provides the M120 with a shoot and scoot capability for the first time. (Photo: BAE Systems)


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A US Army crew fire their M120 120mm mortar at Observation Post Mustang in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. The mortar is well suited for operations in such difficult terrain. (Photo: US Army)

Inset: ATKs Mortar Guidance Kit integrates new tail and fuse subsystems with an existing M933/M934 120mm mortar round body to produce the XM395, which has a CEP of less than 10m. (Photo: US Army)

and direct fire, such as those in mountainous or certain urban terrain. Additionally, with its 10m accuracy, commanders can engage more targets with a greater probability of success and with confidence that collateral damage is being mitigated through the weapons precision capability. The XM395 PGMM project was originally conceived in the early 1990s to field a longrange 12km threshold, 15km objective precision strike capability, which could be directed to the target by laser designation and/or autonomous fire-and-forget. In early 2004, ATK was selected following a competitive evaluation to develop the XM395 the company expected the programme would eventually be worth $500 million. However, following operational experience in Afghanistan, the army shifted the requirement from a laser- to GPS-guided munition, and re-launched the project as the competitive APMI. An operational needs statement for such a capability from commanders in Afghanistan was approved by the army in January 2009. Following a competitive evaluation in early 2010 of designs submitted by ATK, General Dynamics and Raytheon, the PM GPM2S (Product Manager for Guided Precision Munitions and Mortar Systems, responsible for improvements in mortars, mortar fire control systems and guided munitions for tube-launched weapons) selected ATKs solution. The company received an initial firm fixedpriced contract in June 2010 for 1,310 XM395s for use in Afghanistan. On 24 March, the company announced receipt of a $50 million

follow-on contract modification for an unspecified number of the mortar rounds, although the army has separately stated that it will acquire a total of 5,480 munitions over a two-year period. The term kit is somewhat misleading, as ATK equips a modified, existing M933/M934 mortar body with a new tail subsystem and fuse subsystem, which together provide the necessary precision guidance capabilities. The company supplies the munition to the army as a complete ready-to-use system. The fuse has three operating modes proximity, point detonation and delay which can be programmed by the mortar team using either the M95 Mortar Fire Control System, M150 Mortar Fire Control System-Dismounted or M32 Lightweight Handheld Mortar Ballistic Computer. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems (GD-OTS) announced on 2 May that it had successfully demonstrated a tactical version of its120mm Roll Control Guided Mortar (RCGM) bomb at Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona. All of the rounds were successfully guided to within 10m of their target at ranges of 1,000-5,000m, according to the company. The test demonstrated the RCGM capability in height-of-burst, point detonation and delay fuse modes, and demonstrated the rounds ability to perform at hot, ambient and cold temperatures. The RCGM is being proposed by GD-OTS as a competitor for future APMI requirements.

The mortar platoons within the two infantry battalions of an infantry brigade combat team

(IBCT), including light, air assault and airborne infantry, consist of a platoon HQ, a mortar section with fire direction centre and four mortar squads. Under the arms room concept, each squad is equipped with an M120 120mm smoothbore heavy mortar and an M252 81mm smoothbore medium mortar, but only has enough personnel to operate one of the two systems at any time. The capabilities of the M120 are being significantly enhanced with the fielding of the M150/M151 and the M326 Quick Stow Mortar Stowage Kit. Elbit Systems was awarded a systems integration contract in April 2009 to take the innovative US Army designed fire control system for the 120mm towed mortar and manufacture, procure and integrate all of the components into a complete kit. These consist of ruggedised computers, battery power supplies, displays, navigation and pointing hardware and associated mounting hardware and cabling that are installed on the M326. The M150/M151 system enhances accuracy, enables digital coordination of multiple systems and the fire support network, and reduces the time required to emplace, fire and displace the weapon. The first unit equipped was the 3rd IBCT, 25th Infantry Division in April 2010. The M120, developed by Soltam Systems, has been in US Army service since 1991. The weapon consists of four major components: the M298 cannon assembly weighing 50kg; the M190 bipod assembly (32kg); the M9 base plate (62kg); and the M67 sight unit (1.1kg). These components are carried in a trailer towed by a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled

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Vehicle (HMMWV) and assembled by the crew when they arrive at a fire position. Due to its weight, the 120mm mortar tube takes considerable physical effort to put in place, fire and quickly move to avoid enemy counterfire, said Lt Col John Lewis in 2007, when he was product manager for mortar systems at the US Armys Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. The M326 uses a support strut to hold the mortar tube, base plate and bipod solidly together. The complete weapon is emplaced or recovered by a hydraulic winch in less than 20 seconds. A manual lift winch and strap are also available for use as a backup. Once the 120mm mortar is deployed, the support strut is disengaged and the hauling platform driven away before firing begins. The M326 offers several advantages to the end user, including: quick deployment of the M120 mortar section; shoot and scoot capability to the 120mm mortar system and the crew; improved emplacement and displacement

USMC artillery batteries equipped with the EFSS are using the MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle to tow the 120mm M327 mortar and its ammunition trailer. (Photo: USMC)

times; and the ability to lift a fully assembled M120 into an M1101 trailer or prime mover (PM) (M998 HMMWV), Dick Theis, M326 programme manager at BAE Systems, told LWI. The M326 also eliminates the need for mortar disassembly before deployment and retrieval, and minimises equipment damage due to hazards and wear associated with assembly, disassembly, storage and transport. With the combination of the M150 and the M326, the IBCT mortar platoon now has shoot and scoot capabilities, allowing them to set up and fire accurately within 90 seconds of receipt of a fire mission while on the move, according to an army statement. After firing, the mortar can be displaced, stowed and ready for road march within two minutes. In September 2007, the US Army awarded BAE Systems a contract for 52 low-rate initial production M326 units and 536 full-rate production units. A follow-on contract was subsequently awarded for a further 100 systems.

A USMC gunner fires the 120mm M327 at Combat Outpost Ouellette, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 6 March. (Photo: USMC)

Marines of F Battery, Battalion Landing Team 3/8, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Regimental Combat Team 2 fired the first rounds from the M327 120mm Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS) in combat on 29 January at Combat Outpost Ouellette in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The first round was an M1105 illumination projectile, which was used to light an area occupied by marine snipers positioned to deter insurgents from placing IEDs. F Battery achieved another first with the EFSS on 6 March when it conducted a mission using the new Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems Ballistic Computer-11 software, which computes all required artillery data for a fire mission. Within the USMC, unlike the army, 120mm mortars are assigned to artillery battalions rather than infantry battalions. GD-OTSs EFSS is one

leg of the USMCs fire support triad, along with Lockheed Martins High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System and BAE Systems M777 155mm Lightweight Howitzer. The EFSS represents the primary indirect fire support system for the vertical assault element of the ship-to-objective manoeuvre force, so the complete system was designed to be carried inside the MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. The EFSS comprises: the M327 rifled towed mortar that is based on the RT 120 rifled mortar produced by TDA Armaments (a member of the Thales Group); a PM vehicle; an ammunition supply vehicle (ASV); an ammunition trailer (AT); and a four-round family of munitions, consisting of HE, smoke, illumination and practice rounds. The PM/ASV is a short wheelbase version of the Internally Transportable Vehicle. One MV-22 carries the PM, mortar and half the crew members, while a second lifts the ASV, AT and remaining crew members. However, in Afghanistan EFSS batteries are using the Oshkosh MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle to tow the M327 and its ammunition trailer, instead of the EFSS PM that provides no protection against IED blasts. In May 2010, Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM) awarded GD-OTS a $9.7 million contract for Phase III development of the 120mm Precision Extended Range Munition (PERM), which will extend the range of the EFSS to 17km. The contract covers completion of development of the PERM, USMC-compliant packaging and ten guided flight tests. MARCORSYSCOM awarded GD-OTS a $198.7 million firm fixed-price, indefinitedelivery/indefinite-quantity contract in March for EFSS ammunitions. Half of the work will be done at TDAs facilities in Saint-Aubin, France, as it is the only company in the world that produces ammunition for 120mm rifled mortars. LWI


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One promising technology funded under this programme is metal matrix composite armour.

As well as radically reshaping armoured vehicles, the asymmetric threats faced over the last decade have concentrated minds on the technology of armour itself. Peter Donaldson discusses recent trends.
hreats such as RPGs and IEDs, combined with ubiquitous small arms, heavy machine guns, mortars and the occasional autocannon that are coming from all directions in claustrophobic urban canyons, have taxed conventional protection technology for just about any AFV less well protected than a MBT to the limit and beyond. IEDs that use explosively formed projectiles (EFPs) have proven particularly hard to counter. A new challenge has been the need to provide protection for every kind of support vehicle, which traditionally have been soft-skinned, deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military and industry have responded by questioning established assumptions, giving new life to long-forgotten concepts and nurturing new ideas. Arguably the most important of these efforts is the application of new materials that have the potential to protect vehicles and crews from multiple threats without adding unacceptable weight and bulk. Some solutions involve fundamental breakthroughs in materials science, while others involve innovative applications of very simple low tech. One that falls into the latter category is bar armour. Also known as cage or slat armour, this is an old concept that dates back to World War II. The idea is that the bars of the cage are too closely spaced to allow an RPGs shapedcharge warhead to pass through, and either trigger it prematurely or distort it so that it initiates improperly. Bar armour thus offers protection, while presenting no hazard to anyone near the

US Army soldiers of the 8th Engineer Battalion connect BAE Systems L-Rod bar armour to an RG-31 MRAP vehicle at Kandahar Airfield. (Photo: USAF)

vehicle in contrast to explosive reactive armour (ERA). Non-explosive reactive armour is now available, while some companies, including Switzerlands RUAG, offer ERA that confines its explosive reaction to a very limited area, reducing the potential for collateral damage.

However, an all-round bar armour installation in steel is heavy. Seeking a quick way to provide RPG protection for High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles within a strict weight limit, DARPA asked industry for solutions. BAE

Systems responded with the L-Rod, a bar armour that is made from an aluminium alloy. The product, according to the company, weighs less than half of what a comparable steel design would, and bolts onto the vehicle without welding or cutting. Its modular design also allows it to be repaired easily in the field. L-Rod now protects a wide range of vehicles, and the US Army continues to buy kits, which are built on an automated production line in Austin, Texas. Commenting on last Octobers $11 million order from the army for 390 kits and field service support, Neil Piscitelli, a director at BAE Systems Austin facility, said: Weve

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Q-Flos carbon nano-tubes have the potential to revolutionise the defence industry.
delivered more than 2,500 total kits to date, and now more are on the way. A lightweight alternative to bar armour is RUAGs Light Armour System against Shaped Ordnance (LASSO) a product that looks like a section of chain-link fencing bolted to the side of an armoured vehicle at a stand-off distance of around 40cm. The company claims that LASSOs thin, high-tensile steel netting weighs less than 20kg per square metre, and offers multi-hit capability and easy replacement in the field without special tooling. Company literature shows the results of a test against an RPG warhead, which made a hole in the netting, but caused negligible damage to the armour behind it. Seeking a quick way to repair damaged bar armour in the field, the UK MoD turned to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and AmSafe, which developed QuickShield netting. Resembling a string vest, it can be stored in any vehicle and fitted immediately without special tools, according to DSTL. QuickShield may look like a simple net, but it is far from that, said Maj Gareth East, a member of the specialist and logistic vehicles project team at the UK Defence Equipment & Support organisation. This kit is capable of stopping a potentially lethal RPG in its tracks. British forces in Afghanistan are to receive QuickShield kits under a 2.6 million ($4.3 million) contract announced in March. QuickShield employs the new Tarian textilebased technology that has been developed as an alternative to bar armour. It is half the weight of aluminium bar armour, yet equally effective, and can be used to provide RPG protection for those vehicles unable to carry the weight of bar armour, according to the developers. Created under the Parsifal accelerated armour development effort, the product has undergone hundreds of trials in which it was fired upon by what DSTL describes as a highly accurate tube-mounted launch system for RPGs. Tarian has been tested to the highest standards using a variety of grenades, rockets and small arms fire at different angles, the organisation states. It has also passed flame


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AmSafe is producing QuickShield kits, made of Tarian, for use by British forces in Afghanistan to replace damaged or missing bar armour. (Photo: AmSafe)

retardant tests to prove its resistance to petrol bombs, along with cutting and abrasion experiments to evaluate its ability to withstand general battlefield wear and tear. In its initial configuration, the armour has been fitted to British Heavy Equipment Transporter trucks in Afghanistan since 2009.

DSTL is also pursuing innovations in more traditional armour materials such as steel. In March 2010, the organisation announced that it was working with steel manufacturer Corus

to commercialise a new material known as Super Bainite, which it describes as an ultrahard steel with holes in. It sounds like a crazy idea, but introducing holes doubles the ballistic performance of Super Bainite, as well as halving its weight, said Peter Brown, who led the DSTL research team that developed the material. This is because when a bullet hits, its always near to the edge of a hole. This causes the bullet to topple over, turning it from a sharp projectile into a blunt fragment, which is easier to stop. The holes are, of course, too small to enable a bullet to pass through.

DARPA continues to champion the development of new armour technologies through its Vehicle Armor Challenge (VAC) programme, one key goal of which is to find armour that weighs less than 18lb per square foot, while still being able to stop two designated projectiles the 7.62mm APM2 armourpiercing bullet and 20mm fragment-simulating projectile (FSP). The VAC is intended to attract innovative solutions from small companies, and help them produce workable solutions rapidly. Companies that have taken up the challenge include: CPS Technologies; Deep Springs Technology (DST); Mav6; a team consisting of Riley Solutions and NanoRidge; and Modumetal.

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One promising technology funded under this programme is metal matrix composite (MMC) armour. MMCs are analogous to more familiar polymer matrix composites, such as carbonfibre reinforced plastic, but with metal instead of polymer as the bulk material that contains the reinforcement. Those that combine at least three materials are known as hybrid composites. For a given weight or thickness, for example, MMCs can be stiffer, tougher, stronger or harder (or exhibit combinations of these properties) than any metal alone. The reinforcement can be in the form of continuous fibres, whiskers, grains, spheres, etc, with the final properties of the composite depending on the materials themselves and how they are combined. One example is CPS Technologies HybridTech MMC armour. Modules of this protection are made of multiple materials completely enveloped within, and mechanically and chemically bonded to, lightweight and stiff aluminium MMCs, according to the company. CPS HybridTech Armor modules offer a lightweight, multi-hit-capable and costcompetitive alternative to conventional steel, aluminium and ceramic-based armour systems, states CPS. The company is also being funded by the US Army Research Laboratory to continue developing manufacturing technologies for large HybridTech modules, receiving just over $1.9 million in January 2011 as part of a four-year plan funded by the US DoDs Manufacturing Technology Program.

RUAG developed the SidePRO-LASSO, shown here mounted on a Danish Army M113 APC in Afghanistan, as a lightweight system to protect against RPG attacks. (Photo: Danish HOK)

effectiveness by reducing system weight, while simultaneously increasing the blast mitigation properties. Mav6 (formerly Ares Systems Group) has developed the EXO Scale-LA armour that consists of a proprietary composite structure designed to deform and redirect incoming projectiles. The material is also designed to withstand multiple hits, partly by ensuring that damage from a ballistic impact does not extend over a distance greater than two or three times the projectiles calibre, according to Jerome Holton, speaking in 2008 as the companys chief technology officer when it entered the VAC programme. The protection has two additional strengths, according to the company: its low density allows for up to 38mm of armour to be used, while still being lighter than conventional rolled homogenous armour; and the components are low in cost and readily available. Some VAC contenders are using nanomaterials, which are defined by particle sizes of less than one tenth of a micron in at least one dimension. Such tiny sizes can have profound effects on a wide variety of properties, including the mechanical strength and impact resistance

of materials such as metals, ceramics and carbon in the form of carbon nano-tubes for example. One of these contenders is Modumetal, a small company that is developing a material of the same name, produced by growing 3D, nano-laminated metal alloys said to be much lighter than steel, while outperforming it in energy absorption and ballistic protection. The company also expects the material to resolve issues that are commonly associated with inservice ceramic armours, such as high cost and poor multi-hit performance. Riley Solutions, which teamed up with NanoRidge for the VAC in July 2010, is offering composites that incorporate nanomaterials for mechanical reinforcement. Specialised and patented processes adapt the highly versatile chemistry of carbon nano-tubes, altering its natural bundles to create stronger dispersed linkages that can then be incorporated into armour composites, says the company. Riley also states that it will be possible to incorporate health and status monitoring functions into armour panels, along with heat signature management and other advanced functions, and that the material is available in curved and complex shapes.

MMC materials also feature in DSTs Lightweight Syntactic Armour Material, which consists of small hollow silicon carbide spheres encapsulated in metal. This composite material is up to 39% lighter than traditional lightweight aluminium alloy armour plate, and has novel energy-absorbing properties that solid materials do not exhibit, says the company. This composite may be used to supplement existing armour systems and increase its

CPS has developed a technology for improving the toughness of ceramic tiles in composite armour systems by selectively reinforcing them with metal and metal matrix composites. (Photo: CPS)

Germanys IBD Deisenroth Engineering, which has been developing advanced materials for 30 years, has announced big improvements in armour performance through the use of nanometric ceramics and steel, and has developed modular protection systems based on this technology. It is very painful and costly and it moves slowly, but in 2008 and 2009, we definitely had breakthroughs in the area of ceramic and steel nanomaterials, Ulf Deisenroth, president of the company, said at International Armoured Vehicles 2010 in London. We are generating materials which are absolutely superior to the existing materials


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An example of the combined application of IDBs nano-ceramics and nanometric steel armour, which provides ballistic and IED protection for the Iveco 4x4 Medium Protected Vehicle. (Photo: IBD)

on the market. There is a big difference in the microstructures between the normal and the nano-ceramics the grain size is very, very small [and] we get much higher bonding strength between the grains. These materials form the basis of what the company describes as its fourth generation armour, marketed under the Advanced Modular Armour Protection brand kits incorporating this technology are already in service. Compared with high-performance standard ceramic armour, the nano-ceramic material exhibits much greater ductility and crack resistance. In a 100x100 tile, we can place three hits, which is completely impossible with todays state-of-the-art ceramics, said Deisenroth. Referring to tests using 14.5mm projectiles, he said that when you shoot at a nano-ceramic tile, you have very minor shattering, but no cracks this solves the multi-hit problem. Nanoceramics also offer significant weight savings. We are talking here about weight reductions of between about 20 and 25% against the best solutions that we have available today, he said. Turning to very fine grained nanometric steels, Deisenroth said that the company has achieved fantastic multi-hit capabilities, but, more importantly, has also achieved protection levels previously only available from high-performance ceramic face armour. Compared with conventional armoured steels, their nanometric equivalents are claimed to weigh around 30% less. Perhaps more importantly, these materials can also be incorporated into the primary structure of new vehicles at the design stage, while offering cost-effective add-on solutions for upgrades, according to the company. The armour also provides effective protection against EFP weapons, which are some of the most deadly threats faced by armoured vehicle crews. Deisenroth showed a film of an EFP test against a standard thin-walled vehicle, where thousands of fragments penetrated the hull, giving any occupants no chance of survival, even with a spall liner, and also generated very high overpressures. In contrast, a comparable

IBD has focused its development activities on opaque and transparent nano-ceramics and nanometric steel. (Photo: IBD)

vehicle with a fourth-generation armour kit managed to protect the test dummy inside. We can protect vehicles quite well with five or six millimetres of armour against this very heavy threat, he said. In February of this year, the company announced further improvements in nanoceramics technology, reducing weight by more than 40% compared to standard armour. For example, a kit providing protection up to STANAG 4569 Level 3 with the new technology would weigh 32kg per square metre, compared with a typical weight of 60kg per square metre with standard technologies, according to Deisenroth. This kit also provides protection against the 20mm FSP, previously only possible with Level 4 protection. RUAG also claims EFP protection capability for armoured vehicle floors using a light armour plate combined with intermediate flooring and reorganisation of interior equipment. This, says the company, will protect against TNT blast mines of up to 10kg along with EFP and CE mines such as the TMRP-7.

Leading Israeli armour house Plasan is also exploiting the potential of nanotechnology, and in November 2010, the company announced a joint venture with Q-Flo, a commercial spinout from the University of Cambridge. The joint venture is known as TorTech Nano Fibres, and it will produce carbon nano-tube fibre in Israel for use in both vehicle and body armour. The new material is stronger than Kevlar and other

ballistic fabrics, but still flexible and lightweight, says the company. We are delighted to partner with Plasan to further develop the world leading research by Prof Alan Windle and Dr Martin Pick, said Dai Hayward, CEO of Q-Flo. Through TorTech, we intend to produce a carbon nano-tubebased yarn, which can be woven into the strongest ever man-made material. Plasans expertise will then enable the design and production of a revolutionary new range of body and vehicle armour. Carbon nano-tube fibres could lead to a breakthrough in structural composite and lightweight armour applications, said Dan Ziv, CEO of Plasan. This is an exciting venture, since we believe Q-Flos carbon nano-tubes have the potential to revolutionise the defence industry with a new range of lightweight, flexible and incredibly strong armoured material. The announcement of this partnership closely followed that of another between Plasan and TPI Composites, a US company known for its innovations in manufacturing techniques for composite materials. The two companies formed a joint venture known as Armored Chariots, in order to develop the next generation of crew compartments for military vehicles. Innovative, tailored combinations of new materials such as these seem to be tipping the balance of power in the eternal struggle between sword and shield in favour of the defence, at least as far as the main asymmetric threats are concerned. However, history shows that all such advantages are temporary. LWI


LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL | June/July 2011 | Volume 2 Issue 3

Interceptor Body Armor and Advanced Combat Helmets sit on the floor of the passenger terminal at Sather Air Base, Iraq, as soldiers wait for a flight home to Fort Benning, Georgia, after a year-long deployment. (Photo: USAF)


Combat body armour has saved lives and prevented injury to countless US Army and USMC personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq, but manufacturers are still working on improvements in effectiveness and usability. Scott R Gourley examines the state of the art.
ew items of ground combat equipment have been the subject of as much scrutiny and activity over the past few years as body armour, where the latest generation of vest designs reflects a desire for the optimal mix between personal protection and tactical capabilities. Most US military forces currently field some version of the Interceptor Body Armour, a modular protective system consisting of an outer tactical vest of soft armour, removable ballistic plates and attachable components to increase specific areas of coverage. Each of these reflects a number of improvements that have been fielded over the past decade in response to changing threats and warfighter needs. The second-generation Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV) that is currently used, for example, is more than 1.36kg lighter than its predecessor, the OTV. The side-opening IOTV also has an increased area of coverage and a

single quick release that allows the soldier to rapidly doff the vest and its attachments in emergency situations. The IOTV is manufactured by Point Blank Body Armor, BAE Systems, KDH and Protective Products Enterprise. Lt Col Jon Rickey, product manager for soldier protective equipment in the US Army, has responsibilities for everything from ballistic eyewear and goggles to the Advanced Bomb Suit worn by EOD personnel. He told Land Warfare International that the armys planned FY2012 purchase of 56,885 units would complete the army acquisition objective (AAO) of 966,000 items.

Currently, the IOTV is what we call the generation II , he said. Our goal is for that last buy, in FY2012, to be the generation III IOTV. That would be the version we ultimately transition over to Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support for sustainment.

Rickey highlighted several key improvements in the third-generation design. One involves the emergency quick release, he said. Currently, on the generation II IOTV, the quick release cable channels throughout the vest, so you have two cords that kind of hold everything together. It is a bit of a challenge, and it takes some training to understand how to route the cables through correctly so that the vest will come apart when needed in an emergency. The quick release in the generation III uses a newer type of technology, with the cables already internally routed, and just four buckles that you need to snap together to put your vest back together. And you can do that in probably 15 seconds, as compared to two or three minutes that it takes now to route the cables. Other major improvement areas include adjustability of the side plate carriers and expanded locations for the pouch attachment locking strips that allow soldiers to fasten additional gear to their vests.

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The USMC has evolved its Interceptor system along a different pathway to the US Army over the past few years. Recognising that the Outer Tactical Vest, created in the late 1990s, was not designed to carry personal equipment, its development initially focused on integration of state-of-the-art load-bearing capabilities to help carry an assault load of magazines, water, grenades and other items. In response to an urgent need statement submitted in January 2006, Marine Corps System Command (MARCORSYSCOM) fielded the Modular Tactical Vest (MTV), which optimised ballistic protection of ESAPI plates and soft-armour ballistic panels, while facilitating the carrying of individual combat loads. While approximately the same weight as OTV, the MTV felt lighter due to improved load distribution and other design features. In December 2010, MARCORSYSCOM representatives outlined a notional concept for an Improved Armor Carrier Suite (IACS) that may be incorporated within the full spectrum battle equipment. As described in the sources sought announcement, the IACS would allow the individual marine to configure and tailor mission-specific armour and load carriage components based on operational requirements. The suite would consist of a releasable tactical vest, releasable plate carrier, low-visibility tactical vest and low-visibility plate carrier that supports/integrates the respective armour cuts, identified hard armour inserts/ancillary armour additions and load carriage systems.

increased level of protection, and a set of XSAPI weighs 12lb. The AAO for ESAPI plates is 966,000, while the requirement for XSAPI is 160,000 sets (320,000 plates), in case they are justified by specific threats. Rickey added that the army has started procuring XSAPI side inserts a set of these weighs 2.72kg, opposed to 2.31kg for the ESAPI plates.

The second-generation Improved Outer Tactical Vest, shown here in the multicam pattern for use in Afghanistan, includes adjustable holders for the side protective plates. (Photo: US DoD)

While users in recent human factors assessments have rated the new design as excellent in terms of range of motion and simplicity to don and doff, Rickey said that the remaining issue is weapons compatibility. When you put a buckle up on the shoulder, that could cause you to lose some lethality, he noted. We are going to do an excursion when we go into another field evaluation that we are conducting called Soldier Protection Demonstration 9. Thats going to happen 8-22 June at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The goal is to look at the IOTV and the Soldier Plate Carrier System, and look at weight distribution being able to transmit the weight from the shoulders down to the hips much like you would find on commercial backpacks. As part of that demonstration, we are going to do an excursion and measure the soldiers on their weapons compatibility to see if we actually do have a difference in marksmanship. One thing we dont want to do is improve the vest, but reduce the soldiers lethality.

While the soft-armour vest provides protection against some small arms and fragmentation threats, it also accommodates removable ballistic plates that increase its protection levels. Todays Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert (ESAPI) plates, manufactured by Ceradyne, BAE Systems and Armacel, provide greater protection than the earlier SAPI designs. Near-term enhancements include the new X-Threat SAPI (XSAPI) that is manufactured by Ceradyne, BAE Systems and The Protective Group. While declining to speak about threats, Rickey offered a weight comparison. For a medium ESAPI plate, which is the standard plate we have to defeat most of the prevalent threats on the battlefield, a set [front and back protection] weighs 10.9lb [4.94kg], he said. The XSAPI is really a plate that is designed to meet potential emerging threats we might see. Were trying to stay ahead of what we think the enemy may come up with. But there is a weight penalty that you have to pay in order to get that

He acknowledged that weight discussions were a complicated issue, since they could involve a soft-armour base vest, its modular deltoid or other area protectors, and then additional plate inserts. The IOTV, with all of its components and the deltoid protectors, weighs 15.87lb, he explained. When the plates are added to that vest, a medium IOTV with ESAPI plates is approximately 31lb thats 31lb of soldier protection. But our goal obviously is to reduce that weight. Weight reduction efforts are under way with several universities and industry, and Rickey offered evidence of the latter in a recent contract with BAE Systems to do some work to reduce the weight of XSAPI plates. We have other contracts out there that we are looking at to help us look at new sizing and parts that would make the vest a little more ergonomic and fit soldiers better, he added. There is a lot of work we are doing to try to reduce the weight of the plates and the vest themselves, Rickey summarised. We have taken a small step forward with the vest. Typically, we talk about the weight in terms of areal density pounds per square foot. Historically, that has been right at 1.1lb/ft [5.37kg/m] for the materials we use. They are [usually] para-aramid fibres that provide protection against fragmentation and similar threats. I think we have crossed the barrier line in that we have got a qualified soft-armour package today that is at .98 areal density. So we are making a little progress. And each time you lower that areal density, you are able


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to reduce the weight on the soldier. In terms of ceramic technologies, we are not seeing anything right there on the horizon that would allow us to make any sort of leap ahead in lowering that weight. But we think we can gradually lower it unless a new material pops up. At the same time, industry is always out there trying to advance new technologies, and they are not shy at all about coming to us with their ideas.

Personnel from the 3rd Marine Regiment wear Modular Tactical Vests during counter-IED training in Hawaii. (Photo: USAF)

Another recent body armour development is the KDH Defense Systems Soldier Plate Carrier System (SPCS), which Rickey characterised as a scaled-down version of the IOTV. When you look at the Interceptor Body Armor System, the area of soft ballistic coverage is 1,085in [0.699m], he said. Depending on the mission and the commanders call on the battlefield, you can take off your groin protector, lower-back protector, those deltoid protectors for your shoulders, reducing the weight by 5.31lb. And when you take that off the base vest for the IOTV, it is 885in of soft ballistic protection thats one way to reduce the weight based on the mission. Observing that even 885in of soft armour amounts to a lot of weight, Rickey highlighted a directed requirement received in September 2009 to go with a plate carrier system for soldiers operating in Afghanistan at altitude. So the SPCS just carries the plates with some soft armour behind them to help reduce back face deformation or blunt injury as a result of the round impacting the plate, he explained. This system has 418in of soft armour coverage, essentially directly behind the plate with some edging around [it] to mitigate spall that you might get from an edge shot on the plate. When you go with SPCS, depending on whether you use side plates or not, you can reduce almost another 5lb. The medium-sized plate carrier with the ESAPIs is 21.85lb, so thats a tool in the commanders kit bag in

Above left: According to the US Army, the KDH Soldier Plate Carrier System provides ballistic protection equal to or greater than that of the IOTV in a standalone capacity, while reducing the soldiers load, enhancing comfort and optimising mobility. (Photo: PEO Soldier) Above right: The US Army plans to acquire 966,000 Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert Plates from BAE Systems and other manufacturers. (Photo: BAE Systems)

Afghanistan. Based on the mission, they can direct what armour protection level they need the soldiers to operate in.

Looking towards the future, Rickey highlighted the ongoing cooperation with the user community on a new Soldier Protection System Capability Development Document. Were developing the requirements document right now, he said. It just went out to worldwide staffing for comment last December. The requirements we currently have were originally derived back in 1990, so we want to update them. Our team was recently at the National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, looking at: handgun threats; IED and frag threats; grenades; artillery; mortars; and the 7.62mm rounds out there that we might face in the future. The goal here is to holistically document soldier protection for the

head, torso, vital organ and extremities, [but] I dont want to say that we will have a monolithic plate solution. Maybe we will be able to achieve a more flexible plate solution that gives us the same capabilities. Once staffing is completed, the requirement document is projected for the Joint Requirements Oversight Council milestone in the fourth quarter of FY2012. In the near term, were looking at setting a goal in this programme to reduce the weight and maintain at least current capabilities, and see if we could even improve capabilities by reducing the weight. If the programme is approved, we would potentially see an initial operational capability of a new type of body armour system in FY2015. Again, its just in concept development now, and its going to require a lot of support from the community and HQ Department of the Army for that programme but its a goal, he concluded. LWI

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New turrets can be fitted to older chassis to enhance their firepower and improve the vehicles capabilities.

The latest generation of one- and two-person turrets has introduced new and exciting possibilities to the world of AFVs. Christopher F Foss surveys the market.

The upgraded Bradley A3 turret has the most advanced gunner and commanders station in the US Armys family of Bradley vehicles. (Photo: BAE Systems)

espite many armies opting for a remote control weapon station for installation on new or upgraded AFVs, there is still a strong market for one- and two-person turrets equipped with medium-calibre weapons. These are typically fitted on tracked and wheeled reconnaissance vehicles, as well as IFVs. Some military forces conduct a separate competition for the weapon system the turret and actual weapon in parallel with the contest for a new platform. New turrets can be fitted to older chassis to enhance their firepower and improve the vehicles reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition capabilities. Compared to just a few years ago, these turrets have a significant increase in overall capability, and today they normally feature a stabilised medium-calibre dual-feed cannon, which is laid onto the target by stabilised day/thermal sights incorporating an eye-safe laser rangefinder. The integration of a computerised fire control system (FCS) provides a higher first round hit probability under almost all weather conditions.

director of business development for the heavy brigade combat team at BAE Systems, explained to Land Warfare International. While it maintains a two-man crew, the turret is upgraded from an analogue to digital architecture, and provides two secondgeneration FLIR targeting systems. The gunner station continues targeting using the Improved Bradley Acquisition System that was developed and fielded after Operation Desert Storm. The commander station now has a separate targeting system known as the Commanders Independent Viewer, which allows the commander to identify and hand off targets for the gunner to engage with the vehicles 25mm cannon. This dual capability to identify targets is known as hunter-killer, and sets the Bradley A3 turret apart from other variants of [the Bradley

family]. This proved itself extremely useful during urban operations in Iraq, including the assault on Sadr City during 2008. The A3s integrated combat C2 digital communications suite hosts the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade-and-Below package with digital maps, messages and friend/foe situational awareness. All of BAE Systems production Global Combat Systems CV90 family of tracked IFVs are fitted with a turret that was originally designed for the Swedish Armys CV9040 IFV. This is armed with a Bofors 40mm L/70 cannon and 7.62mm co-axial machine gun (MG). For trials, it has been tested on other platforms, but no sales have been made. Export customers for the CV90 family have all selected ATK Integrated Weapon Systems chain guns,


The US Armys Bradley M2A3 Infantry/M3A3 Cavalry Fighting Vehicle upgrade provides an example of the significant capability enhancements introduced into a 30-year-old vehicle. The Bradley A3 turret has the most advanced gunner and commanders station in the family of Bradley vehicles, Roy Perkins,

The Italian Armys Freccia IFVs are equipped with the Oto Melara Hitfist 25mm turret, which has the same 25mm Oerlikon KBA cannon as fitted to the services tracked Dardo IFVs. (Photo: Oto Melara)


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including Denmark (35mm), Finland (30mm), the Netherlands (35mm), Norway (30mm) and Switzerland (30mm). The most recent customers, Denmark and the Netherlands, have received the latest CV9035 Mk III version, which is equipped with third-generation thermal imaging cameras for the gunner and commander, who is also provided with an independent sight for a hunterkiller capability.

General Dynamics (GD) is also able to offer turrets from both sides of the Atlantic. Steyr, part of GD European Land Systems (ELS), markets its SP30 two-person turret in light and heavy versions, with the main difference being their level of ballistic protection. To date, all production SP30 turrets have been armed with the Mauser 30mm MK 30 series dual-feed cannon and a 7.62mm co-axial MG. The turret is standard equipment on the Austrian Armys Ulan IFV and the Spanish Armys Pizarro IFV, and the formers turrets are fitted with an automatic target tracker. Portugal is taking delivery of 260 GD ELS 8x8 Pandur II vehicles, including IFVs fitted with the SP30 turret. In the US, the Delco family of medium-calibre turrets are now part of GD Land Systems (GDLS) range of products. A two-person turret housing an ATK 25mm M242 cannon and 7.62mm MG is fitted on many of the companys 8x8 Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs)

that are in service in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia, as well as the USMC. A version of this turret, mounting a TOW missile launcher on either side, is integrated on Desert Warrior IFVs used by Kuwait. Since 2007, GDLS-Canada has produced more than 200 LAV-A2 vehicles for the USMC to supplement the first-generation LAV-25 that has been in service since the 1980s. The LAV-A2 is equipped with Raytheons AN/PAS-13 Improved Thermal Sight System, which provides the gunner and commander with thermal images, an eye-safe laser rangefinder, a fire-control solution and far-target location grid information. Textron Marine & Land Systems markets a range of one- and two-person turrets, such as the UpGunned Weapon Station, which is armed with a 40mm MK19 automatic grenade launcher and .50cal M2 heavy MG. This is installed on its M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle that is deployed in large numbers by the US Army, as well as some export customers, and is also fitted for the USMCs AAV7A1 Amphibious Assault Vehicles. Since 2007, these have been upgraded to the M36E3 thermal sight system, from L-3 Communications and Raytheon, in order to provide the gunner with a night capability for the first time. Following the cancellation of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the USMC plans to implement a service life extension programme for the AAV7A1 from 2012-2021. The USMC has indicated that it would like to replace the

current turret, which is unstabilised, with a new or refurbished installation in order to provide a fire-on-the-move capability. The French DGA procurement agency has ordered 520 Nexter Systems Vhicule Blind de Combat dInfanterie (VBCI) 8x8 IFVs to replace the tracked AMX-10P IFV in the French Army. The VBCI is fitted with a one-person Nexter turret armed with a stabilised 25mm M811 dual-feed cannon and 7.62mm co-axial MG, plus a Galix grenade launching system. The gunner is provided with stabilised day/thermal sights, while the commander uses a stabilised Sagem panoramic sight with day/thermal optics, which is mounted on the turret roof, allowing them to search for and acquire targets, and then hand these over to the gunner to carry out the target engagement.

Nexter is still marketing the Dragar one-person turret, which is armed with a stabilised 25mm cannon and 7.62mm co-axial MG. The Dragar has achieved major success in the export market. The Turkish Land Forces Command received 515 of the turrets integrated on the FNSS Turkish Infantry Fighting Vehicle (TIFV), while Singapore has 22 fitted to its specialised AMX-10P marine amphibious vehicles. Ghana is also understood to have taken delivery of a quantity installed on GD ELS 8x8 Piranha vehicles. FNSS markets an export TIFV called the Armoured Combat Vehicle (ACV), as well as a stretched version called the ACV-S. Both are offered with a variety of turrets and weapon stations including an FNSS Sharpshooter turret, which is typically armed with an ATK 25mm M242 dual-feed cannon and 7.62mm co-axial MG. This turret was selected by the Malaysian Army for its ACVs. Germanys Rheinmetall is one of the few companies that can supply a complete turret solution, covering not only its shell, but also optronics, computerised FCS, weapon and a family of ammunition. Its latest turret is the private venture Lance Modular Turret System, with

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For the British Army Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme, Lockheed Martin UK will comprehensively modernise the vehicles turret. (Photo: Lockheed Martin UK)

its first customer being the Spanish Marine Corps, which will receive four turrets for installation on the 8x8 Piranha IIIC. The Lance is armed with the latest Mauser 30mm MK30-2 dual-feed cannon that, in addition to firing conventional natures of ammunition, can also fire 30mm air-bursting munitions for enhanced target effect. A 7.62mm MG is mounted co-axially with the 30mm cannon, but other medium-calibre weapons could also be installed, and there is considerable flexibility on optronics and protection levels to meet different user requirements. The gunner has a stabilised day/thermal sight incorporating a laser rangefinder, and a Rheinmetall Defence Electronics Stabilised EO Sighting System is mounted on the turret roof to provide the platform with a hunter-killer engagement capability.

Italys Oto Melara is currently marketing two main medium-calibre turrets, the Hitfist 25mm and Hitfist 30mm. The former is integrated on the Italian Armys Dardo tracked IFV (200 units), and more recently an upgraded version has been installed on the new Freccia 8x8 IFV. For both of these applications, the turret is armed with a stabilised Oerlikon 25mm KBA cannon and a 7.62mm co-axial MG. Rafaels long-range anti-tank missile, Spike, will be installed on the armys Freccia Hitfist turrets. Oto Melara achieved a major export success when its Hitfist 30mm was selected by the Polish Army for installation on its locally manufactured Patria 8x8 AMVs, known as the Rosomak. This is armed with the ATK 30mm MK44 cannon and 7.62mm co-axial MG. In addition to supplying turrets for installation on platforms supplied to the Russian Army, the countrys industry sells turrets on the export market as a standalone solution to enhance the firepower of existing vehicles. Egypt, for example, has bought 58 modified BMP-2 IFV turrets for installation on the locally-built 4x4 Fahd. This turret is armed with a 30mm 2A42 cannon,

offered an upgraded version of the original 7.62m PKT MG, roof-mounted 9M113 Konkurs Warrior turret. missile with a 5,000m range and banks of To remain cost-effective, the Warrior trans81mm grenade launchers. formation team looked at reusing as much of the The Russian BMP-3 IFV is fitted with a twocurrent Warrior as possible, for example, person turret, armed with a 100mm 2A70 rifled upgrading the Battle Group Thermal Imaging gun, 30mm 2A72 cannon and 7 .62mm MG cosight and reusing the turret structure rather axial weapons. As well as firing conventional than buying new, Benjamin Shaw, business natures of ammunition, the 100mm gun can also development analysis manager at Lockheed fire a laser-guided projectile to a range of Martin UK, explained to LWI. WCSP will deliver 5,000m. The turret can be integrated on other increased mobility through a stabilised turret, tracked or wheeled chassis, and the UAE has which allows firing on the move. This means equipped five of its AMVs with this turret. increased safety for the crew and the infantry A newcomer to the AFV turret business is section, as the vehicle does not have to stop to Lockheed Martin UK, which is poised to supply fire the cannon as is currently the case. turrets for two British Army projects: the Warrior It also offers increased soldier survivability Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP), through appliqu armour, mine-blast seats and comprehensively modernising the armys a modular armour protection system, which 30-year old Warrior IFV; and the Scout allows protection levels to be tailored to the Specialist Vehicle Programme, a project to replace the Scimitar reconnaissance vehicle in service since the early 1970s. Both the Warrior and Scimitar are armed with the 30mm RARDEN cannon that is loaded manually with three-round clips, thus restricting its ability to fire in the automatic mode An FNSS ACV fitted with a licence-produced Sharpshooter turret, to only six rounds. armed with an ATK M242 25mm dual-feed cannon. (Photo: FNSS) The UK MoD has specific threat, increased firepower with a stipulated that both turrets will be armed with modern cannon and a full range of ammunition the CTA International 40mm Cased Telescoped types to meet a range of current and future Cannon and Ammunition system (see LWI, threats, [as well as] an automatic ammunition August/September 2010, p28). handling system to give rapid rates of fire. In GD UK, the prime contractor for the Scout addition, an open electronic architecture enables vehicle, awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to efficient integration of future equipment and develop a new turret. Key sub-contractors armour solutions if changing threats or missions include Thales (sights), Curtiss-Wright (servo demand it. This ensures that Warrior can be drives) and Rheinmetall (turret structure). easily upgraded with speed and agility even Lockheed Martin was competing directly when deployed. with BAE Systems Global Combat Systems The MoD is expected to make an announcefor the WCSP, but earlier this year the ment about the project by September. LWI latters bid was ruled non-compliant by the MoD. While BAE Systems proposed a new turret for the project, Lockheed Martin has Additional reporting by Ian Kemp.


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Based on the chassis of the Merkava Mk 4 tank, the Namer is the best protected APC in the world. (Photo: author)

The Israel Defense Forces have to face the constant challenge of being prepared for a full spectrum of operations on home soil. William F Owen discusses equipment and doctrine.


n light of change in the characteristics of conflict, we definitely need fast and lethal manoeuvres we understood this during the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead. A fast and lethal manoeuvre shortens the duration of war, while preserving our old concept of security moving the action to the enemys territory as fast as possible. These are the words of Maj Gen Shlomo Turgeman, Chief of Ground Forces Command within the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and yet again they confirm the IDFs return to doing what has historically proven decisive in the wars that shaped and protected modern Israel combined aims action focused on the destruction of the enemy. The Middle East has always presented the IDF with almost unparalleled levels of uncertainty. The current round of Arab uprisings from Tunisia to Bahrain has helped emphasise this, with the change of regime in Egypt potentially being the most significant example. However, the IDF has long discussed such an event, and consequently this was not an unforeseen development. The IDFs major challenge has remained essentially unchanged since the establishment of modern Israel in 1948 to gain the greatest military advantage from limited budgets and manpower, a combination of conditions that have traditionally been unique. Today, arguably many countries suffer from the same political, social and economic constraints, thus making study of the IDF particularly relevant. The IDF of today and the near future is forceoptimised to cover high-end conventional threats, as well as those further down the spectrum. All combat units now have to exercise the ability to fight any possible opponent on any of the terrains and environments within reasonable distance of Israels borders. This includes engaging well-equipped irregular forces in Gaza and southern Lebanon, as well as being prepared to fight nearby states that possess comparable levels of technology, such as Egypt and Iraq, which are both equipped with export versions of the US M1 Abrams tank. This has created a spectrum of challenges that normally only concern expeditionary armies, such as those in NATO and Australia. Indeed, it is no surprise that Australia is becoming a valued customer of the Israeli defence industry.

According to the IDF, the fielding of the Elbit Coral-CR reflects significant progress in terms of observation and acquisition. (Photo: Elbit)

After the shock of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the IDF engaged in a root-andbranch process of self-criticism that led it to revert to a classical combined arms doctrine, based on extensive use of drills and field training. Fast and lethal manoeuvres have become the cornerstone of what the IDF sees as effective operations. What has often been missed in the years since 2006 is that technology was not an area that caused

Volume 2 Issue 3 | June/July 2011 | LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL



The X-95, a more compact version of the 5.56mm Tavor assault rifle, is now being distributed across the army following its successful introduction with special forces units. (Photo: IWI)

a great deal of problems, based on what happened during fighting in Lebanon. Despite much of the Israeli popular presss criticisms in 2006 being directed towards plasma screen commanders, there is very little evidence to suggest that digital command systems undermined the traditional tactical leadership that has exemplified IDF commanders since the earliest days. There were command problems at the unit and sub-unit level, but very few were associated with technology. The actual operational analysis showed quite the opposite, and the digital battlefield command systems that are being acquired as part of the IDFs Tsayad Digital Army Program (DAP) continue to improve and be fielded in everincreasing numbers. That is not to say that the systems are without problems, but what the IDF appears to be proficient at doing is applying technology to command, while not substituting technology for command. Since 2006, one of the greatest criticisms Israel has encountered is its industry producing equipment for the foreign market that was far

superior to that provided to its own forces. Many IDF units fighting in Lebanon were using Vietnam-era PRC-77 radios and un-encrypted VHF-FM handheld radios, which Hezbollah could intercept using commercial scanners. In this case, the outcome was that the IDF procured Elbits Tadiran PRC-710 as its standard squad radio across the infantry. The IDF issue of the device uses an encryption algorithm codenamed lightning shield, giving standard infantry units a fully encrypted system.

In 2006, the need for an active protection system (APS) for the Merkava MBT was also proven, although far fewer tanks were seriously damaged than early reports of the fighting implied. Rafaels Trophy APS is now being fitted across the Merkava fleet (see LWI Apr/May 2011, p21). Another direct consequence of the conflict was the introduction of the Namer heavy APC to both supplement and replace the cramped and poorly mine-protected Achzarit that is based
Soldiers of the Desert Reconnaissance Battalion, Gaza Division, during an exercise in late 2010. The IDF believes that extensive field training is the foundation of success. (Photo: IDF)

on a highly modified T-55 hull. The Achzarit is also undergoing substantial upgrades, which include improvements to the power pack, suspension and shock-absorbent seating. According to Lt Col Eyal Himelstein, the upgrade encompasses over 40 different changes. I believe the Achzarit APC will give an appropriate response to new problems arising in recent times it will be more reliable, more convenient to operate and perform the tasks optimally, he explained. Namer and Achzarit are both scheduled to receive an APS, although the exact nature of this has yet to be confirmed. Also under discussion is the fitting of a 30mm remote weapons station to the Namer. It is understood that both Elbit and Rafael have made proposals, but budgets are a major concern, and IDF doctrine has always been sceptical of mounting cannon on APCs. In a significant change to the Namer project, the vehicle will now be built by General Dynamics Land Systems at its Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio instead of by the IDFs Merkava Tank Office in Tel Hashomer, Israel. This unpopular decision was in part forced upon the Israeli government by the complexities of US foreign military aid. The by-product of this is that the Namer and Merkava have now been released for overseas sales, whereas previously the latter was one of the few items of defence equipment that the Israeli government refused to clear for export in 2008, a request from Georgia to buy 300 Merkavas was refused. Today, at least in theory, no such obstacle exists.

Another recent arrival in the IDF arsenal is the X-95 version of Israel Weapon Industries 5.56mm Tavor bullpup assault rifle, which has been issued instead of the US-supplied M16 rifle and M4 carbine since 2001. The X-95 is a substantially more compact weapon with a shorter overall length. After its initial fielding with special forces units, the X-95 is now being issued across the army.


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The standard LMG of the IDF Remarkable versatility 3 versatile models: Standard, Commando and Airborne BEYOND INNOVATION Developed in cooperation and operated by Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
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The Keshet is a more advanced model of Soltams Cardom 120mm self-propelled mortar, and is integrated into the IDFs digital command system to increase accuracy and reduce reaction time. (Photo: Soltam)

Close combat capability is also being enhanced with the adoption of the Meprolight family of weapons sights, such as the Mepro 21 reflex sight and the Mepro MOR combined reflex sight and laser/IR designator. The IDF has also adopted the Mepro GLS sighting system for its underbarrel 40mm grenade launchers. The deployment of mortars was also proven to be useful in the 2006 conflict. While the weapon has always been deemed valuable by the IDF, its issues today revolve around the potential accuracy and speed of reaction that can be gained from a digital command system, combined with 120mm precision guided munitions be they laser or GPS. The IDFs new Soltam 120mm mortar system, designated Keshet, features a fully automatic aiming and fire control system. This reduces the ballistic circular error to less than 33m, with an effective range of more than 7,000m. Mounted on an M113 APC, the mortars traditional muzzle-loading configuration enables both rapid firing of conventional rounds and the use of GPS and laser-guided systems, both of which are under development by Israel Military Industries (IMI) and Elbit. The IMI munition was being developed in conjunction with Raytheon, but recent reports state that IMI is now working on the system alone. Combined with the targeting data passed across the IDF digital command system, this creates a battle group-level surveillance strike complex. Above this level, IMI continues to develop an impressive range of rocket artillery that covers both guided and trajectory-corrected munitions, although where these stand in IDF service is often far from clear. Rafaels development of its Spike NLOS (non-line of sight) 25km range fibre-optically guided missile fits well into the surveillance strike complex approach. Although the IDF has dedicated anti-tank and guided weapons companies in most infantry brigades, the weapons engagement capability might result in the Spike NLOS being allocated to as yet unformed divisional or corps units.

Inherent to this capability is the Coral-CR observation device, designated Amit in IDF service, which according to Maj Barak Iglitzki, head of combat munitions in the Chief Infantry and Paratroopers HQ, reflects significant progress in terms of observation and acquisition.

Another requirement that grew from 2006 was the need for a battalion or battle group-level UAV. After a somewhat drawn out and acrimonious competition between Elbit and Aeronautics, the Elbit Skylark 1LE was selected. Now designated the Sky Rider in IDF service, it was combat proven during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza between 2008 and 2009, with point platoons working directly from its downlink information. Each regular battle group HQ will now have a Sky Rider detachment, giving commanders a dedicated UAV capability. In February 2011, it was announced that the IDF had awarded a contract to Elbit for the larger Skylark II to be employed at the brigade level. This is something of a turnaround for the IDF, as previously the air force had been responsible for all UAV operations. There is now thought to be a similar requirement for formation HQs.

Another Elbit product that was combat-proven in Gaza was the Viper, a man-portable crawling UGV that was the subject of favourable reports in the months following Operation Cast Lead. The Guardium UGV, which was developed jointly by Elbit and IAI, is now operational and patrols the Israel-Gaza border. As far as is known, this is the first military employment of a semi-autonomous ground system anywhere in the world. Almost everything the IDF is doing is somehow related to its DAP, with benefits to the Israeli defence industry. In March 2010, Elbit received a contract worth almost $300 million to supply a Battle Group and Below Command, Control and Communications (BGC3) system for the Australian Armys Land 75/125 programme. The BGC3 is extremely closely related to the battlefield management system that is successfully operated by the IDF. Despite the widespread attention on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the IDF ground forces in particular, and the Israeli defence industry in general, continue to provide relevant and useful examples of how land warfare is slowly evolving in ways that may not be entirely obvious to the rest of the world. LWI


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A comprehensive surveillance and target acquisition system has achieved its in-service date.

The British Army has begun receiving the first elements of the Future Integrated Soldier Technology designed to improve the effectiveness of the dismounted fire team, Ian Kemp reports.
n May, the UK MoDs Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation announced that Future Integrated Soldier Technology (FIST) Increment 1A, a comprehensive surveillance and target acquisition (STA) system for the infantry fire team, had achieved its in-service date, and defined as a battle group equipped, supported and ready to start pre-deployment training. The fire teams within British Army infantry platoons, Royal Marines troops and RAF Regiment flights consist of four members: a team commander armed with the 5.56mm L85A2 assault rifle; a grenadier armed with the same weapon and the Heckler & Koch AG36 40mm under-barrel grenade launcher (designated the L17 in UK service); a soldier armed with the 5.56mm L86A2 Light Support

Weapon (LSW); and a light machine gunner armed with the 5.56mm Minimi two balanced fire teams make up a section. A number of individual elements, such as the Trijicon Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, have been fielded through the UOR process in order to enhance the effectiveness of troops deployed in Afghanistan.

The CWS-MaxiKite Conversion upgrades the existing section night sights so that they are compatible with FIST. (All photos: UK Crown Copyright)

The FIST project is a core equipment programme that predates the global war on terrorism, having received its initial gate approval in August 2001. Instead of the piecemeal fashion that has historically characterised the equipping of infantry soldiers, the FIST project adopted a system of systems approach, with each soldier considered as a system, and the eight-man section as a platform. In March 2003, Thales UK was selected as prime contractor for the assessment phase. Following trials in 2005, which highlighted the different maturity levels of the technology, the MoD decided to adopt an incremental approach to expedite the fielding of equipment as it matured. Increment 1A received main gate approval in July 2009, and DE&S awarded a 150 million ($245 million) prime contract to Thales UK in September 2009 for the delivery and in-service support of the system. The package is intended to significantly increase the close-combat effectiveness of the fire team by improving detection and recognition ranges and target location accuracy, and

The Raytheon ELCAN Lightweight Day Sight, shown here mounted on an L85A2 assault rifle, provides x4 magnification and greater peripheral vision than the sight it replaces.

Volume 2 Issue 3 | June/July 2011 | LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL



The battalion will help develop tactics, techniques and procedures for FIST STA.

reducing engagement times, providing a significant increase in first-round target hit probability. FIST STA comprises: G The FIST Thermal Sight (FTS), which will replace the current Lightweight Thermal Imager, offers improved detection and recognition ranges. The sub-contractor is Qioptiq, which will produce 4,111 FTS units. G Qioptiq will convert 4,176 existing MaxiKite2 night sights and Common Weapon Sights (CWS) to the new CWS-MaxiKite Conversion standard. Each is being fitted with an interface for the MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail. G The Lightweight Day Sight (LDS) is replacing the Sight Unit Small Arms, Trilux (SUSAT), in service since introduction of the SA80 (Small Arms for the 1980s) family, which comprises the L85 and L86 weapons. Canadian company Raytheon ELCAN is supplying 10,835 sights based on its Specter optical combat sight, which provides x4 magnification. In addition to being lighter than the SUSAT, the LDS offers enhanced peripheral vision due to its better eye relief. G Shield Public Safety and Defences Close Quarter Battlesight (CQB) will be attached to top of the LDS and the other sights within FIST STA. The x1 red dot sight is designed to allow soldiers to quickly and accurately engage targets at ranges of less than 75m. Shield will supply 19,122 CQB units for Increment 1A.
The Vectronix Commanders Target Locator enables the fire team commander to pinpoint targets at ranges up to 4km by day and night.

The Underslung Grenade Launcher Sighting System is designed for use with the L17. UK company Istec will supply 784 units, which combine a holographic sight with a quadrant range mechanism to allow more accurate firing of the grenade launcher. The Commanders Target Locator (CTL) combines day and night optics, a laser rangefinder and digital magnetic compass to enable fire team commanders and other users to pinpoint targets at ranges up to 4km. Vectronix of Switzerland is producing 2,471 CTLs. The Lightweight Infantry Periscope (LIP), produced by Uniscope in Israel, is a three-part folding periscope that allows users to conduct surveillance from behind cover. Increment 1A includes 856 LIPs. The Ruggedised Digital Camera (RDC) is an off-the-shelf Olympus product than can withstand rough treatment, including immersion in water, and allows users to gather intelligence. The company will supply 856 RDCs.

Istecs Underslung Grenade Launcher Sighting System combines a holographic sight with a quadrant range mechanism, improving a grenadiers accuracy.


The first unit to be equipped with FIST STA is the 4th Battalion, The Rifles (4 Rifles). Lt Col Nick Thorton, its commanding officer, said in the May issue of Desider, the DE&S house publication, that all the early indications are that [FIST STA] is a real game-changer. He

continued: The results from the ranges have seen a significant improvement in accuracy and ease of use, while live firing in the Falklands has demonstrated the over-match created at night by the suite of night vision devices. 4 Rifles will help develop tactics, techniques and procedures for FIST STA. Until mid-June, it will be on a five-week exercise at the British Army Training Unit Kenya, and it will assume the role as the forces Spearhead Lead Element (SLE) in October 2011. The exercise will allow the battalion to extensively test FIST STA in temperatures up to 40C and in force-on-force training. As the SLE, the battalion must be ready to deploy at very short notice in order to deal with situations across the world, from major terrorist attacks to the evacuation of UK nationals overseas. In 2013, 4 Rifles is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan for six months. The FIST project is managed by the dismounted soldier systems team within DE&S, which is also working with the joint and battlefield trainers, simulation and synthetic environments team within the organisation, to integrate the FIST STA equipment into the Dismounted Close Combat Trainer, allowing users to conduct skill-at-arms and judgemental training in a simulated environment. FIST Increment 1B embraced C4I systems, but this element was terminated by the MoDs Investment Approvals Board in July 2010. Work is underway to determine the scope of a second increment. LWI


LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL | June/July 2011 | Volume 2 Issue 3


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We dont have the mobilisation element any more we have a pool of personnel, but not formed units.

Maj Gen Agner Rokos, Chief of Army Operational Command, discusses the ongoing transformation of the Danish Army with Ian Kemp.

he 20 years since the end of the Cold War has seen the Danish Army transformed from being optimised for territorial defence to a smaller force that is focused on expeditionary operations in cooperation with its NATO allies and other partners. Approximately 750 Danish military personnel are serving with ISAF in Afghanistan, including a 620-strong battle group, which includes a Leopard 2A5 tank platoon extensively used in support of British, US and other coalition forces. Denmark has suffered 40 fatalities, one of the highest ratios relative to population of any of the troop-contributing nations. We transformed our structure so that we could handle both first in and enduring missions, Rokos explained. We built a structure with one brigade, designed to provide a battle group at short notice for new missions, and the other designed to refresh a battle group on an enduring mission. However, the demands from Afghanistan were such that we downsized the portion doing the first in, and we are now focused on providing a robust battle group for the duration of our operation. At the same time, we looked at our toolbox the way we organised our assets. Previously, we picked bits and pieces from within the brigade toolbox to form a battle group. Now, we work the other way round, we prepare a battle group for deployment and, if need be, this gives us the ability to prepare a brigade for deploy-ment with longer notice. So instead of the big box, we now have smaller modules. This has involved a reduction in quantity, but a substantial improvement in quality. This started with the Iraqi mission [where Denmark had a 545-strong contingent deployed from 2003-2007] and has carried on through

Afghanistan. With the troop exit looming in 2014, we are considering whether this structure will take us into the future. Conscription remains the foundation of the Danish military system. The army includes approximately 8,400 personnel, with a further 4,100 conscripts called up each year, he explained. Nowadays, we give conscripts a basic introduction in four months, and then we put them into a pool from where they can be called up to complete training if or when required. We dont have the mobilisation element any more we have a pool of personnel, but not formed units.

This four-month period gives us an opportunity to recruit volunteers for missions such as Afghanistan, who then complete a further eight months of training before deployment in formed companies. The standing component fills the more demanding roles such as manning the MBTs. For the conscripts, it is fairly popular to sign up for a mission generally about 20% want to stay on for a mission, and a fairly large proportion of these afterwards volunteer to become regulars. We have ample volunteers both for overseas missions and regular service.

Rokos noted that on a visit to Afghanistan in April, there was no difference in attitude between the professional company operating CV9035 IFVs and the contract companies operating M113 or Piranha APCs, but obviously the [former] can operate more complex equipment. We have retained the full breadth of capabilities normally found at brigade level, he said. The one exception is army air defence, which has been phased out. The all arms battle is the cornerstone, and this is reflected in our training. New radios, combat engineer vehicles and individual protection equipment are among the acquisition projects approved in the 2010-14 defence agreement. Our biggest forthcoming acquisition will be to replace our fleet of APCs, which is still based on the M113 family, Rokos explained. Although upgraded, it falls short of the protection requirement, and there is no further potential for development. We believe we have also exhausted the potential for upgrading the Piranha. We are looking for a fleet change that will give us higher protection levels and also a single vehicle for many roles. We are looking at a protection requirement that suggests a tracked vehicle, although no decision has been made. Our requirement is close to 400, although this will not happen in the short term. He suggested an initial fleet of about 200 will be needed to allow training, deployment and sustainment of a battle group. The army has recently received 45 CV9035s, but Rokos ruled out the acquistion of additional vehicles beyond attrition replacements. One of the lessons of Afghanistan is that you have to plan for battle losses in order to maintain a fleet that matches your structure, he concluded. LWI


LAND WARFARE INTERNATIONAL | June/July 2011 | Volume 2 Issue 3

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