The Soviet tank threat may be history for now, but missiles that can attack moving trucks, armored vehicles, and bunkers remain in demand. This is especially true in urban situations, where the ability to fire a rocket or missile safely from inside an enclosed space is a very important plus.
In 2000, the UK Ministry of Defence carried out a series of trials to evaluate missiles for their “NLAW” program. In the summer of 2002, the Saab/Thales MBT-LAW team beat the Predator/Kestrel system from Lockheed Martin, MBDA and Insys. The Swedish FMV and British Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) followed by ordering final development of the RB 57 NLAW (Next generation Light Antitank Weapon) for the United Kingdom and Sweden. Assembly will take place at Thales Air Defence in Belfast, but Saab Bofors Dynamics of Sweden and Thales Air Defence in the UK have a marketing agreement that lets customers buy the system from either firm.
Latest updates: With SUGV pending wind-down, early materials order for SUGV sets 2-3.
BCTM B-Kit in Hummer
Concerns about cost overruns, vehicle design, and contract structure prompted the Pentagon to cancel the US Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) program in June 2009.
Instead of a single FCS contract, the Pentagon directed the Army to set up a number of separate programs to undertake parts of the FCS program. One of those programs is the Brigade Combat Team Modernization (BCTM) Increment 1. The BCTM Increment 1 capabilities – which include ground robots, UAVs, ground sensors, and vehicle (B-Kit) network integration kits – were planned to be fielded to up to 9 Infantry Brigade Combat Teams beginning in 2011. Now it’s more like 2015 for the 1st brigade, and it will happen without most of the original components.
In September 2011, PAR Government Systems Corp. in Rome, NY received a $42.5 million firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. One of the firm’s specialties is software related to video, geospatial information systems, and surveillance, and this award is for services in all of these areas. Developing things like target detection and sensor cueing algorithms, video processing techniques, and integration of new sensors like LIDAR isn’t an open and obvious product. Nevertheless, it’s the sort of quiet back end effort that can make a big difference on the front lines if it’s integrated well into current products, or helps create a key proof of concept for a new idea.
Work will be performed in Rome, NY, and will run until Aug 31/16. One bid was solicited, with one bid received by U.S. Army Contracting Command in Natick, MA (W911QY-11-D-0014).
KMW introduces a new variant of their blast-resistant Dingo vehicle. The Dingo-2 Heavy Duty increases payload carriage to 3 tonnes.
Immersive simulation: not just for fighter pilots any more. Quantum 3D and Intelligent Decisions partner [PDF] to provide the US Army with its wearable ExpeditionDI platform, as the Close Combat Tactical Training – Dismounted Soldier Training System (CCTT-DSTS).