Battle Boxes for the Bundeswehr
EADS, in cooperation with the company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) of Munich, has developed a multifunctional container for protected personal transport that can accommodate up to 18 people including equipment. TransProtec has undergone a series of blasting tests at Military Technical Centre WTD in Meppen to verify its ability to resist attacks with explosives, sniper fire, shrapnel, and mines. EADS also claims the units provide some resistance to NBC(Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) attacks. TransProtec can easily be transported on different makes of protected trucks, and a hook loading system makes it possible to load and unload the container quickly.
Containerized systems are an emerging military trend. Our own coverage includes other EADS products (vid. the TransHospital), American counterparts like MMIC, and even renewable energy power stations by SkyBuilt et. al. The best collection we’ve found re: containerized military systems in worldwide use, however, is an outside web piece called Think IN the Battle Box. It explores a number of different uses and scenarios for the containerized forces idea, from transportation, to rapid-setup dwellings/bases, to airmobile integration. It’s interspersed with notes from field use and reports of various countries using containerized systems, some highly subjective editorial commentary concerning a number of defense issues, and the systems’ potential as part of a CONOPS (Concept of Operations) in Iraq that has similarities to the new take-and-hold approach. It alternates between hostility-inducing and thought-provoking, but has quite a few interesting ideas and information nuggets buried within.
In recent developments, the German Bundeswehr is now buying ambulance versions of TransProtec, even as EADS sets up an Arkansas facility to make these “deployable shelter systems” available in the USA for disaster relief in hurricane zones, military applications, et. al.
Bernhard Gerwert, Head of the EADS Defence Electronics Business Unit:
“Up until now, the protected vehicles available have only been able to offer a limited number of seats. TransProtec is capable of transporting a large number of passengers safely under different operational conditions. The level of protection and comfort during transportation is well above that offered by vehicles already used for this purpose.”
Germany and Denmark are already using these systems, and the German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB – Bundesamt fur Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung) ordered several TransProtecs in 2004 to protect soldiers and civilians during peace-making operations in Afghanistan et. al. A follow-on order has upped that requirement to 20 units. They will be mounted on MAN Multi A3 FSA trucks, with a protected driver’s cab and a hook loading system that makes it possible to load and unload the container quickly. Current TransProtec versions can accommodate 18 soldiers.
A modified TransProtec ambulance version is capable of transporting a casualties and nursing staff together with the necessary facilities – in effect, a true Mobile Army Surgical Hospital for front-line care that stays on the carrier vehicle(s). These “rescue stations” are housed in standardized 20-foot containers with ballistic protection against small arms fire, plus air conditioning, water, and power supplies that allow it to be operated completely autonomously for up to 3 days. Attached ascending ramps ensure easy access even when using a stretcher.
Meanwhile, the EADS North America Integrated Shelter Systems facility in Russellville, AK is developing a new unit called Tentainer(R). This hybrid system is sized to fit on a standard 463L pallet for transport aboard aircraft and on ground vehicles, and opens into a rigid wall container with an inflatable tent-like roof. The Tentainer is designed for early-entry medical care applications in low-threat environments, and can be air-dropped for a rapid field set-up.
EADS Defence Electronics is the Group’s Sensors, Avionics and Electronic Warfare House and is an integrated part of the EADS Defence & Security Systems Division (DS).
Feb 23/07: EADS North America Opens Russellville, Arkansas Facility for the Development of Deployable Shelter Systems. The complex will lead EADS North America’s efforts to make and sell “deployable integrated shelter systems for medical care, troop protection, command posts and other mission applications.” Thus far, that roster includes the TransHospital(R) containerized hospital unit, the TransProtec(R) personnel transport system, and the Tentainer(R) pallet-deployed medical care unit. Engineering work is also being performed at the Russellville facility on prototype modules for the US Army’s Future Medical Shelter System (FMSS) competition. See EADS release.
Feb 23/07: TransHospital, meet TransProtec! EADS Defence Electronics had been given an order for the delivery of 30 protected rescue stations by the German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB). These containerized systems will deployed on trucks, turning their carriers into hardened ambulance vehicles.
Nov 27/06: EADS confirms that the German Bundeswehr has increased its TransProtec order. After procurement and testing of 3 systems under a immediate requirement (ESB) programme, the BWB has placed an order for 12 additional protected TransProtec containers “for the soldiers involved in operations abroad.” A total of 20 personal transport containers will be delivered to the German Armed Forces under the name “MuConPers” (Multifahiger Container fur die Personenbeforderung – Multi-capable container for transporting individuals). They will be mounted on the MAN Multi A3 FSA truck, which has a hook loading system to load and unload the container quickly and an an up-armored cab to protect the driver.
Aug 15/06: EADS confirms an initial order from the Danish Armed Forces for 2 TransProtec containers. They will be delivered in the same configuration provided to the German Bundeswehr.