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 are some articles from the past week or so that we didn’t think warranted being shared as individual posts.

IHS Jane’s – Israel’s Engineering Namers in first exercise

1681976_-_mainIsrael’s new Engineering Namer armoured vehicles have completed their first combat drill, the Israeli Ministry of Defense announced on 2 June.  Held in the Golan Heights, the drill was the first time the engineering variant of the Namer armoured personnel carrier (APC) has taken part in a platoon-level Combat Engineering Battalion exercise.  The vehicles crossed steep anti-tank ditches and assembled a bridge for other vehicles to cross after them.


IHS Jane’s – Slovakia unveils 8×8 Corsac infantry fighting vehicle

1645985_-_mainSlovakia’s MSM Group has unveiled a new air-transportable 8×8 wheeled infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) prototype called the Corsac, which is based on the General Dynamics European Land System (GDELS) Steyr Pandur II armoured personnel carrier.  Developed by a team lead by MSM Group with partners including EVPU, Konstrukta Defence, and GDELS-Steyr, the Corsac is designed to meet the requirements of the Slovak Armed Forces and is fitted with the Turra 30 remotely-operated turret.


IHS Jane’s – Brazil receives surplus US armored vehicles

M577comand_01The Brazilian Army has formally received 50 tracked armoured vehicles from the US Department of Defense through the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) programme.  The fleet includes 12 M113A2 armoured personnel carriers (APCs), 34 M577A2 command post vehicles, and four M88A1 recovery vehicles.  These vehicles, all formerly fielded by the US Army, are to soon be moved from Anniston Army Depot in Alabama and Sierra Army Depot in California to New York, and then shipped by sea to Paranaguá in Brazil by US firm Tigers Global Logistics, the Brazilian Army told IHS Jane’s on 2 June


Bangkok Post – Tank order latest push for closer China ties

thediplomat_2016-05-18_14-50-44-386x217Two years since it took office, the military regime has continued to strengthen ties with China, especially through closer military cooperation. The push for closer ties as guided by the regime’s “big brother”, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, is signified via the arms purchase that covers 28 main battle tanks, the Model VT4, worth US$4.9 million (178 million baht). There is a plan to buy more for three battalions.


The National Interest – Inside the US Army’s Lethal New M1A2 SEP v.3 Abrams Main Battle Tank

combined_resolve_ii_140616-a-bs310-139_0General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) will start to deliver the first production M1A2 SEP v.3 Abrams to the U.S. Army starting in 2017. Out of a total of nine prototypes built, the company has delivered seven prototype tanks for field-testing at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona and the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. “Testing commenced in Jan. 2015 and ends in Mar. FY2020,” said Donald Kotchman, General Dynamics Land Systems’ vice president for tracked combat vehicles in a statement to The National Interest. “Prototypes are currently in reliability test and performing well.”


Russia Beyond the Headlines – Soviet tanks in WWII: Correcting the errors of the first 2 years

tank_berlin_tass_315090_bFollowing the German invasion of June 1941 it took a long time for the USSR to recover from the miscalculations made in the pre-war years, and it cost the country vast losses in infantry and materiel. But by the third year of the war many of the errors had been fixed, and the Red Army had got rid of its massive unwieldy machines, leaving it with a 100-percent modern mechanized force.  But while the tank divisions could now boast better motorization and better-trained crews, problems still remained, the most important of which concerned tactics for using the armored forces. Here the Soviet generals still had a lot to learn.


NBC News – Jelly Belly Family Sued After Man Accidentally Crushed by WWII-Era Tank

da60c8a2-23e7-46f9-af78-ceebf20e28b9 (1)The family of a man crushed to death by a World War II-era tank is suing the Jelly Belly chairman and the tank driver over the accident last summer on the candy maker’s California estate.  The lawsuit, filed last week in California Superior Court, claims negligence and wrongful death after Kevin Wright, a 54-year-old contractor, was run over on Aug. 22.  Wright, who was hired to help maintain the family’s tank collection, was asked to hop on the vintage 1944 M5 tank owned by Jelly Belly chairman Herman Rowland Sr., the complaint says.

News From Around the Web

Some tank and AFV related news stories from around the Web.

Connect Business Magazine – Drive-A-Tank

drive-a-tankKasota businessman Tony Borglum offers customers a one-of-a-kind driving experience.

The tank crashes through the underbrush, crushing anything in its path. It lumbers past trees, a 25-foot-long, 62-ton metal behemoth on the hunt. It plows through a shallow pond, barely slowing its 30 mph pace as it sprays mud and splashes water. Soon, it hones in on its prey: a rusty Cadillac, sitting in the middle of a clearing. The tank rolls inexorably closer, gears grinding. It reaches the car and keeps going. The sound of metal wrenching against metal fills the air as the Cadillac flattens like a Styrofoam cup. As the tank continues on its way, all that’s left is a twisted pile of metal and shattered glass.


The Diplomat – Good News for Pakistan? Turkey’s New Tank Is Ready for Mass Production

thediplomat_2016-01-29_14-30-48-386x289Turkey’s first indigenously-designed, third generation+ main battle tank (MBT), designated Altay, is ready for serial production, the Hurriyet Daily reports. Hurriyet cites Turkish military vehicles manufacturer Otokar, a branch of the Koç Group, the country’s top industrial conglomerate.

The chairman of the board at Otokar, Ali Koç, told reporters in April that his company is “ready to fulfill all the obligations with the highest sensitivity and ambition in the Altay tank project, which is Turkey’s biggest land systems project.”


Popular Mechanics – Army and Marines To Test Israeli-Built Missile-Killing Tank Defense System

landscape-1461279753-gettyimages-1692810The U.S. Army and Marine Corps will jointly test a so-called “active protection” system. These tanks and other armored vehicles will be fitted with an Israeli-developed system that shoots down and jams enemy anti-tank weapons. According to U.S. Naval Institute News, this will be the first test of Trophy on American equipment.

The Army is leasing four Trophy units, enough for a platoon, and will test them on M1A2 tanks and Stryker interim armored vehicles. The services will then test Trophy on older Marine Corps M1A1 tanks. The Marines will be particularly interested in the Stryker test, as the vehicle bears a similarity to the Corps’ new Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1. If the experiments are successful, Trophy could become an important upgrade to protect U.S. armored vehicles from anti-tank missiles and rockets.


The National Interest – Will the Russian Army Really Get 100+ Armata Tanks by 2018?

9may2015Moscow-02_(cropped)Uralvagonzavod is set to deliver the first batch of 100 operational T-14 Armata main battle tanks to the Russian Ground Forces between 2017 and 2018.

Russian industry officials had earlier indicated that the new tank was already in production—which came as a surprise to many observers who believed that the new armored fighting vehicle would not be ready for production until the early 2020s.


Popular Mechanics – The Best Radio Antenna Is One That’s a Tank

landscape-1461774373-bradley“Whip” antennas—those long metal rods that used to extend from our cars—look pretty cool in a Smokey and the Bandit kind of way. But for military vehicles, they’re not such a great solution.

Troops in the field communicate using relatively low frequency radio signals. The upside is that they don’t require much power and can travel long distances. But to operate efficiently, antennas need to be at least one-quarter the length of the radio waves they transmit. Since military comms use the HF band where radio waves can range from 10 to 100 yards in length, big antennas are better. But putting huge antennas on a Humvee or an armored personnel carrier or a tank just isn’t practical. Short antennas, meanwhile, are inefficient, operating in a narrow bandwidth and dissipating as much as 90 percent of input power as useless heat instead of useful broadcast radio signals.