AFV News from Around the Web

Here is another sampling of news articles related to tanks from around the web.  Click on the article title to go to the full piece.

IHS Jane’s 360 – AUSA 2016: US Army’s new tank programme takes shape

1484887_-_mainThe US Army is working to formulate specific requirements for a Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) platform that so far appears akin to a light or medium tank.  Army planners want to “speak definitively about requirements” and then have industry respond with design ideas before the programme begins, Major General David Bassett, programme executive officer for ground combat systems, told reporters on 4 October at the Association of the US Army (AUSA) annual conference. “We’re not willing to wait for a lengthy bottom-up design process”, he said.  The army would like to get more than one vendor for a competitive programme, but is not yet sure if there will be sufficient resources for that, Maj Gen Bassett added.

The National Interest – U.S. Army M1 Abrams Tanks are Being Upgraded to Detect, Track and Destroy Enemy Fire

1-12th_cav_executes_gunnery_130916-a-wz642-617Army Abrams tanks are being outfitted with high-tech, vehicle-mounted systems which can detect, track and destroy approaching enemy RPG fire within milliseconds.  The Army is fast-tracking an emerging technology for Abrams tanks designed to give combat vehicles an opportunity identify, track and destroy approaching enemy rocket-propelled grenades in a matter of milliseconds, service officials said.  Called Active Protection Systems, or APS, the technology uses sensors and radar, computer processing, fire control technology and interceptors to find, target and knock down or intercept incoming enemy fire such as RPGs and Anti-Tank Guided Missiles, or ATGMs.

The Drive – General Dynamics Unveils Promising New Pint-Sized “Franken-Tank”

downloadThe Army’s long search for a small tank that packs a big punch seems to never end. Now, General Dynamics is looking to do something about that with their new Griffin tank technology demonstrator. Unveiled at this year’s Association of the United States Army (AUSA) convention in Washington DC, this little tank is meant to be a jumping off point for finally fulfilling the Army’s mobile protected firepower requirement.  The 27 ton Griffin is a franken-tank of sorts, which is not a bad thing. It uses pieces of existing technology to lower costs and development time–and also return some investment to the Army for projects abandoned years ago.

IHS Jane’s 360 – AUSA 2016: SAPA Transmission develops new systems for tracked and wheeled vehicles

p1691906.jpgSpain’s SAPA Transmission has developed a new family of automatic transmissions for wheeled and tracked vehicle applications.  The SW series of wheeled transmissions is being marketed for use with engines with outputs from 600 hp to 800 hp.  The SW 516 and SW 616 have eight forward and two reverse gears while the SW 524 and SW624 have 12 forward and four reverse.  For tracked combat vehicles, the company has developed the SG family of automatic transmissions, claimed to deliver more power to the sprocket than conventional automatic transmissions.

War is Boring – As Other Countries Build Better Tanks, Britain’s Challenger 2 Falls Behind

1-vnfntgh_r45cgsxqrvuv-gThe British Challenger 2 tank is becoming obsolete in the face of new threats such as the Russian T-14 Armata. But the United Kingdom is preparing to embark on an upgrade program to keep up with advances in armored warfare.  Britain doesn’t have many other options. For one, the Challenger 2 will remain in service until at least 2035 because it’s too expensive to replace. “We have got issues with the tanks we’ve got and if we don’t do something about it we will have issues,” Gen. Nick Carter, the chief of the British Army General Staff, said last year.

Defense One – Tank Maker Teams Up With Remote-Control Car Company

defense-largeWhat’s the fastest way to acquire unmanned ground vehicles? Rig your manned vehicles for remote control.  At least that’s the pitch from General Dynamics Land Systems. The maker of the Abrams tank and the Stryker armored fighting vehicle is teaming up with Kairos Autonomi, a company whose kits can turn virtually anything with wheels or tracks into a remote-controlled car. It’s part of a strategic play to meet the U.S. Army’s expanding demand for unmanned ground vehicles.

The National Interest – The U.S. Army Has No Money to Develop a New Tank

5392511279_66e64af58b_bThe U.S. Army would develop next-generation replacements for its armored vehicles such as the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank and the Bradley fighting vehicle, but the service simply does not have the money for such projects.  Instead, the Army is incrementally improving its venerable armored combat vehicles to keep them relevant against a rapidly modernizing threat—the Russian Armata family of combat vehicles for example. The Army does have some concepts that it is developing for next generation combat vehicles—and the service might build prototypes—but there are no plans to bring any such machines into production.

News from Around the Web

Here is a mix of articles from the past two weeks from various news sources.  Click on the headline to go to the full article.

 UPI: South Korea to build more K-2 Black Panther tanks

South-Korea-to-build-more-K-2-Black-Panther-tanksSouth Korea’s military has decided to build an additional 100 K-2 Black Panther tanks.  Seoul’s defense ministry already had planned 200 of the tanks, but is to turn out another 100 tanks of the same model in response to North Korea, local news service Newsis reported.  Pyongyang has been stepping up production of its armored fighting vehicles, and South Korea must be prepared, an unidentified military official told local press. Russian Airborne Forces to Receive T-72 Tanks

t-72b3_-_parad2014nn-08The Russian Airborne Forces (Vozdushno-desantnye voyska Rossii—or VDV) are set to form six armored companies equipped with newly modified T-72B3M (also known as the T-72B3 biathlon) tanks in the second half of 2016. Over the next two years, those six companies will be expanded to battalion strength.


IHS Jane’s: Thailand to procure MBT-3000 tanks from China

The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has signed an agreement with China to procure the MBT-3000 main battle tank (MBT) produced by China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), RTA officials confirmed to IHS Jane’s on 16 May.  The contract to procure the MBT-3000, which is also referred to by NORINCO as the VT-4, features an initial 28 units, with deliveries expected to commence before the end of 2016 and conclude within two years. The deal, thought to be valued at about USD150 million, makes Thailand the first known export customer of the type.


UPI: Iran says it has equipped tanks with anti-TOW jamming system

Iran-says-it-has-equipped-tanks-with-anti-TOW-jamming-systemThe head of Iran’s ground forces said Wednesday that the country has quipped its M60 tanks with anti-TOW missile jamming systems.  Brig. Gen. Ahmadreza Pourdastan said in an interview with the army magazine Saf, as reported by the semi-official Fars News Agency, that the new system will also disrupt other anti-tank missiles.


Al Arabiya English: Egypt receives first batch of mine-resistant armored vehicles from US

1304c448-2a04-4773-91a4-45b7b087da91_16x9_788x442.jpgEgypt has received on Thursday its first batch of Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles from the United States, the state-run Ahram Online reported the US embassy in Cairo as saying in a statement.  “Today’s delivery is the first batch of a total 762 MRAP vehicles that the United States will transfer to Egypt,” said the statement.


Business Insider: Army says troops lost their way, went off cliff

apnewsbreak-army-says-troops-lost-their-way-went-off-cliffAn Army vehicle took the wrong road in the dark and was making a U-turn when it tumbled 250 feet off a cliff at a Colorado training range last year, killing one soldier and injuring five, according to a newly released investigative report.  The soldier who died had an unspecified medical condition at the time of the February 2015 crash at Fort Carson, and a physician assistant had recommended that he not go on the training exercise, investigators said.


Defense Russia’s New Typhoon Armored Vehicle Under Production

typhoonve_1462192778The first mock-up model of a new Russian assault armored vehicle for use during training is already in production, according to Russian Airborne Troops chief Vladimir Shamanov.
Shamanov told RIA Novosti that as part of the development work, specialists dealing with the Typhoon family of mine-resistant, ambush protected vehicles have worked out a new Typhoon 4х4 armored personnel carriers for use during reconnaissance and by special units of the Russian Airborne and Special Operations Forces.


Russia Beyond the Headlines: Soviet tanks in WWII: The fatal cost of errors

soviet_troops_rian_00001052_bThe organization of modern armed forces is an extremely complicated objective. Russia’s experience with the operation in Syria clearly demonstrates how serious this challenge is. However, in this case Russia is learning from its mistakes – 75 years ago these errors almost led the USSR and its army to ruin.

Catching up on the news

Regular readers may have noticed that the frequency of posts has been a bit less of late.  This is due to a combination of the Holiday season and a family medical emergency.  Here is a list of tank related news stories that have fallen through the cracks the past couple weeks.  Expect posting frequency to return to normal this month.


Jane’s IHS  Germany orders 131 more Boxers

artec boxerThe German Army is to get a further 131 ARTEC Boxer 8×8 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) under a EUR476 million (USD516.4 million) contract placed on 18 December. The Bundeswehr already has 272 Boxer vehicles on order, with the new order bringing this total to 403. In a statement, the ARTEC consortium said that all 131 vehicles will be in a new configuration of the armoured personnel carrier (Gepanzertes Transportfahrzeug).


Jane’s IHS Iraq receives more T-72s, BMP-1s

Iraq BMPThe Iraqi Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 16 December that it had received a consignment of tanks, armoured vehicles, and ammunition from Bulgaria. It provided no further details.  The announcement came after photographs began circulating on social media showing a T-72 tank and as many as 12 BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) that had purportedly been delivered to Iraq.


Jane’s IHS Denmark orders 309 Piranha 5 8x8s

Denmark PiranhaDenmark has ordered 309 Piranha 5 8×8 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) from General Dynamic European Land Systems (GDELS) – MOWAG, it has been announced.  Signed on 11 December, the order is worth DKK4.5 billion (USD650 million) and comes after the selection of the 8×8 by Denmark in April.


Defense News  Turkey Picks Otokar for $52M Armored Vehicle Contract

635864058347976747-01Turkish armored vehicle manufacturer Otokar won a contract from the Turkish government to supply an unspecified number of vehicles to the Turkish military, the company announced Dec. 22.  Otokar said the €47.5 million contract (approximately US $52 million) involves the sale of its Cobra II tactical wheeled armored vehicles, the company announced in a press release.


Radio Poland  Poland to modernise armoured tanks

polish_leopard_2a4_06_of_12The modernization program will start in 2018 and will mostly be conducted by Polish companies, although one of key partners in the deal is German defense-technology company Rheinmetall.  General Adam Duda, the head of the Polish military inspectorate said that the project is of essential strategic value for the Polish army and will significantly increase the tanks’ performance as well as the safety of Polish soldiers on the battlefield.


The Diplomat  Will Thailand Buy Russian T-90 Tanks?

t-90sThailand is considering buying an unknown number of Russian-made T-90S or MS main battle tanks (MBT). According to the website Defence Blog, a Thai delegation visited the Russian city of Nizhny Tagil, the site of the largest main battle tank manufacturer in the world.


The Guardian  Tank buster: artist creating a brighter future from machines of war

1080Neda Taiyebi does not want to be typecast. Female artists in Muslim countries, she says, are all too often pigeonholed as role models for the kind of change westerners would like to see in those countries. But Taiyebi insists she is no activist, no voice of the oppressed, no torchbearer for female emancipation.  Still, at first glance her work – giving old tanks and military vehicles a paint job that involves exuberant, playful patterns – seems thick with symbolism.


MLive Saginaw Police returns armored military vehicle after Obama order

saginaw-police-department-armored-vehicle-sent-back-to-mimitary-56a034ff77b0776fSaginaw is no longer home to a tracked armored vehicle that the department received nearly a decade ago from the military. Military representatives picked up the Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) from the Saginaw Police Department Monday, Dec. 7, Chief of Police Robert Ruth said.  The move comes about three months after President Barack Obama ordered departments across the country to return tracked vehicles they received free of cost from the U.S. military, Ruth said.  Ruth said the loss will not impact the department, though some Michigan lawmakers are not in favor of the change.


Popular Mechanics This Very Odd Armored Vehicle Was Built by a Ghanaian Minister

1450217245-kantanka-armoured-carA religious organization in the African nation of Ghana has built its own armored car. Designed for military duties including peacekeeping, the Katanka Armored Car is, well, odd.  The Katanka is the brainchild of Kwadwo Safo, also known as African Star. Safo is a Christian minister in Ghana and the owner of the Katanka group of companies. Safo is also the inventor of the Katantka sport utility vehicles.


Daily Star Top tank is ‘too big’ to carry by plane

(Editor’s note: we try to avoid tabloid style news sources but we thought this article worth posting, despite it being of tabloid quality)

Ajax-tank-484888It means 580 new Ajax tanks – costing £4billion of taxpayers’ cash – have to be partially dismantled before being moved. The new reconnaissance vehicles will spearhead a high readiness brigade and will be airlifted to support troops on operations anywhere in the world. But with its hi-tech ballistic armour, it weighs 42 tonnes – too heavy and too wide for the RAF’s current C-130 transport planes.


The Motley Fool Selling Tanks in Europe Just Got Tougher for General Dynamics

gd_facebookWith Russia now officially admitting that it has troops in Ukraine, you might think that right now would be an awfully good time to be in the tank-selling business.  And in fact, it is. Finland, Estonia, and Latvia are all buying armored personnel carriers (some used, cast off from more modern militaries) to ward off the Russian bear. Poland is buying honest-to-goodness main battle tanks. (And yet, while they buy many weapons here in the U.S., the Poles aren’t doing their tank-shopping here — but in neighboring Germany.)  Meanwhile, things just got tougher for General Dynamics’ (NYSE:GD) defense business — and don’t say you weren’t warned.