DID Recon posts will be used on occasion in order to cover a slew of news via a rapid-fire set of bullet points. Since folks have asked, we use the picture of Sikorsky-Schweizer’s RU-38 dedicated reconnaissance aircraft (with its unique silencing features) solely as a thematic element.
Our feature about a Canadian RG-31 Nyala patrol vehicle that survived a car bomb attack in Afghanistan and limped back to base with no crew injuries drew a lot of interest. Canada isn’t the only country using these vehicles, however; RG-31s work in a narrower capacity alongside Force Protection’s larger Cougar, as a standard patrol vehicle for US Army and Marine Corps EOD(explosive ordnance disposal) anti-mine teams. The US 101st Airborne also uses them the same way the Canadians do, as proven blast-resistant patrol vehicles whose protection level, mobility and multiple firing ports make them small but formidable opponents. General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada has already delivered 148 RG-31s to the U.S. Army, and will soon be completing delivery of 75 vehicles for the Canadian Forces. The vehicles have a number of other customers, and been extensively used by NATO forces in the former Yugoslavia, as well as by the United Nations in Lebanon, Georgia, Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.
General Dynamics Land Systems in Sterling Heights, MI has finally received awards for all phases of a contract for new eight-wheeled LAV-A2 vehicles in armored personnel (LAV-PC), anti-tank (LAV-AT), command & control (LAV-C2), logistics (LAV-L), and mortar (presumably LAV-EFSS) variants for the U.S. Marine Corps.
While the original contract had a stated maximum of $307 million, the final tally was actually $317 million for 281 LAV-A2 8×8 vehicles and 394 electric-drive turrets.
The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington in Washington, DC has issued contracts for construction of facilities at Indian Head, MD related to explosives disposal and counter-IED work. NAVSEA’s Energetics Center also resides at Indian Head, which makes it an appropriate location to address issues like IED land mines.
Saab Underwater Systems will upgrade all of the Royal Danish Navy’s Double Eagle UUV(unmanned underwater vehicles). The order is worth more than SEK 100 million including options (about $13.7 million). The Double Eagle Systems are remotely operated underwater vehicles used for mine hunting and other operations, and Denmark ordered Saab’s Mk.II version in the mid 1990s for use from their SF300 Standard Flex ships.
The contract includes upgrades to the electronic system and next-generation sensor systems. The upgraded Double Eagle Mk.III systems will be prepared for SAROV configuration, which means that the vehicles can be operated as fully autonomous Unmanned Underwater Vehicles. The Royal Danish Navy’s Naval Materiel Command and Saab have also agreed to collaborate on future studies, development, tests and operational improvements of the Double Eagle System, which is also being delivered to Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium.