At Eurosatory 2016, KMW unveiled the Leopard 2 tank, upgraded to the Leopard 2A7 + standard, which is expected to become the base of the German Army’s Leopard 2A7V version
In parallel with new projects, the NATO armies and other European countries will modernize most of the existing fleets of armored combat vehicles, from light 4x4 armored vehicles to main combat vehicles tanks, in order to increase combat capabilities and extend the life of the unit.
Olifant tanks of the South African army have dubious dignity, being the oldest armored vehicles in the world, still in service. Olifant, which is a modernization of the British Centurion tanks, developed in 1943 – 1945 years, was made from 1945 to 1962 years. Since the British Army at the end of the 60-s has withdrawn its Centurion tanks, three generations of British main battle tanks (MBT) have passed. When developing the Centurion, its designers would be very surprised that their brainchild would be in service with the British 25 for years and another four decades with foreign operators. But manufacturers of modern combat armored vehicles (BBM) immediately lay down the life of their products 40 and more years.
South African tank Olifant
The US Army plans to leave the M1 Abrams OBT, first deployed to the troops in 1980, in service until 2050, while in May 2015, the German Ministry of Defense announced that Leopard 2, adopted by the German army in 1979, will remain in operating until about 2030 year. In order to maintain the combat effectiveness of the BBM throughout the life of the 40 years, constant technological implementations are necessary.
The British Army considers the modernization of the tracked BMP Warrior manufactured by BAE Systems as one of its most important projects in the field of military equipment. The first BMP Warrior, designed to perform specific tasks of the army, entered service in the middle of the 1987 year, and the last 789-I machine was delivered in the 1992 year. Most machines (489) are made in the configuration of the FV510 Infantry Section Vehicle. The car housed seven paratroopers and three crew members; it is armed with an unstabilized 30-mm L21 Rarden X-gun mounted in a two-seat turret.
Also in service with the British army are the following options: command FV511 Infantry Command Vehicle (84 manufactured), repair FV512 Mechanized Combat Repair Vehicle (105), repair and evacuation FV513 Mechanized Recovery Vehicle (Repair) (39), artillery observers FVXNMHM (514) and mobile artillery command post FV52 Battery Command Vehicle (515).
BMP Warrior FV510 Infantry Section Vehicle
The British Warrior vehicles were severely tested in the Gulf War in 1990-1991, the former Yugoslavia, during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they were the heaviest armed British vehicles.
The Warrior armored vehicles deployed in these operations received specific improvements needed for these military theaters. For example, the company upgraded Warrior 80 machines to the standard Theater Entry Standard (Herrick) for service in Afghanistan, which included the order of 30 new elements.
Among them: a modular reservation system that can be adapted to changing threats and which allows you to reduce the weight of the car; improved seat design with shock absorption system to further increase the level of mine protection and comfort; improved driver vision system with three periscopes instead of one, providing a wider field of vision and night vision capabilities; increased passability in lower gear and improved ability to overcome the climbs; carbon fiber brakes significantly reduced braking distance; air conditioning more power; and cut-offs to protect the driver, commander and equipment on the machine from various interferences.
Militants in Afghanistan quickly realized that the Warrior should stop to fire from the Rarden cannon, and therefore the replacement of the armament complex became the basis for a comprehensive modernization of the average service life. After a difficult competition, the British Ministry of Defense chose Lockheed Martin UK (LMUK), rather than the original manufacturer BAE Systems, to implement the WCSP program (Warrior Capability Sustainment Program), the goal of which is to keep the Warrior combat effectiveness up to 2040. In October, 2011, LMUK received a contract for a WCSP demonstration stage worth 300 million dollars with an option to manufacture 380 WCSP machines, including an 245 BMP.
The WCSP program includes the Warrior Fightability & Lethality Improvement Program (BMP), Warrior Enhanced Electronic Architecture (BMP), Warrior Modular Protection System, and other enhancements. The destructive effect of the Warrior weapons complex is significantly increased by replacing the Rarden cannon with a 40-mm weapon system with telescopic ammunition CTAS (Cased Telescope Armament System) developed by CTAI, a joint venture formed by BAE Systems and Nexter Systems.
According to CTAI, the CTAS cannon occupies "the volume of a conventional 25-mm gun inside the turret, but it also has the power of an 45-50-mm system." In July, 2016, the UK placed an order worth 150 million pounds at CTAI on 515 CTAS cannons for the WCSP program and the new Ajax reconnaissance vehicle manufactured by General Dynamics UK.
LMUK abandoned its original plan to upgrade the existing Warrior tower, which was not considered big enough, in favor of manufacturing new models at its plant in Emphill, which was officially opened on June 9 of the year 2016. The new towers will be delivered to the Babcock International plant in Donnington, where they will be installed on the upgraded chassis.
For the demonstration stage, LMUK will supply 12 WCSP prototypes, including seven compartment vehicles, two commander vehicles equipped with new towers, and one evacuation, repair and artillery observer each. They must complete an extensive test program scheduled for the first quarter of 2018. The upgraded Warrior machines are scheduled to go into service at the start of 2020.
Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems offer Kuwait to upgrade its 254 machines in the Desert Warrior version, which are equipped with a two-seat tower manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems, equipped with a Bushmaster 25-mm cannon.
BAE Systems Haglunds company supplies the Norwegian 103 army with upgraded 41 new machine CV9030N
Under a separate contract, part of the Warrior excess fleet is scheduled for conversion to support vehicles of the ABSV armored groups (armored battlegroup support vehicle). The goal is to replace the 45-year-old versions of the FV430 series of armored personnel carriers and the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) family of reconnaissance vehicles used by British motorized infantry brigades.
The army wants four options for ABSV: the 81-mm mortar conveyor; Armored personnel carrier; sanitary / medical machine; and control point. At Eurosatory 2014, BAE Systems showed the Warrior BMP converted into an ABSV mortar conveyor, armed with the same 81-mm L16 mortar on a turntable, which is located in the existing FV432 mortar complex, as well as a remote-controlled combat module (EnFactor) from an Enforcer from a Leonard at that time Selex ES).
The Leonardo opto-electronic camera module provides an all-round view. The ABSV prototype was equipped with a passive booking kit that includes lattice screens to protect against anti-tank grenades.
In accordance with the SDSR 2010 Strategic Defense and Security Review, the core structure of the 2020 army was to be made up of three armored brigades with two armored battalions with Warrior machines. However, the number of brigades in accordance with the SDSR 2015 was reduced from three to two, and the Ministry of Defense should also explain how this reduction will affect the number of WCSP and ABSV.
SDSR 2015 also created uncertainty about how much the Challenger 2 MBT MBT will be upgraded from the total number of 227 tanks. One regiment of Type 58 with 58 tanks is assigned to each brigade, so due to the exclusion of one brigade, the need for three operating Challenger 2 regiments remains in question.
British tank Challenger 2
Negotiations on modernization
Tank Challenger 2 production BAE Systems entered service with Britain in the 1993 year. The supply of 386 tanks was completed in 2002, and 38 machines were also sold to Oman. The Challenger 2 is the only MBT in NATO, armed with an 120-mm L30 high-pressure rifled gun, forcing the UK to develop its own tank ammunition.
As in the case of other British vehicles, the tank was upgraded for specific operations. To invade Iraq in 2003, BAE Systems supplied the 137 kits for the Challenger 2 tanks. Also on these tanks, which took part in the subsequent stabilization operation, further improvements were made, including the installation of the DBMS Enforcer.
Five companies / groups responded to an invitation to negotiate a Challenger 2 CR2 LEP (Challenger 2 Life Extension Program) tank life extension program, which aims to extend the life span from 2025 to 2035.
According to previous modernization plans, the 2005-mm Rheinmetall L / 2006 X-gun, a bore gun, was installed on the Challenger 2 for testing in 120-55 years, which would allow the use of ammunition from various suppliers. However, this program was later closed due to lack of funding.
In the CR2 LEP program, emphasis will be placed mainly on replacing outdated systems. The request indicated that the number of tanks being upgraded will depend on the final review of SDSR 2015, but added that "an additional option may be obtained for the supply and / or integration of the selected solution in the fleet of 38 MBT operated abroad" - a clear reference to the Omani tanks Challenger.
Warrior and Challenger 2, as well as Ajax and the planned Mechanized Infantry Vehicle wheeled armored infantry vehicle, are likely to be equipped with an active protection complex (KAZ). In July, 2016, the British Laboratory for Defense Science and Technology (DSTL) announced that it had contracted 7,6 million pounds with Qinetiq for the Medusa assessment program.
Qinetiq will work with several subcontractors, including Airbus Defense and Space, which has been awarded a supply contract for the evaluation of several systems based on the MUSS (Multifunctional Self-protection System) multispectral self-defense system, mass-produced for the new Puma German BMP.
According to the DSTL, “a technical assessment will show how well the system protects against different weapon systems; Also, the installation of the MUSS complex at the OBT Challenger 2 will demonstrate its potential capabilities. ”
In April, the British Marine Corps 2016 received the latest Viking 99 armored all-terrain vehicles restored by BAE Systems Haglunds under a contract worth 37 million pounds, issued in September of the 2012 year. The first 108 machines were produced in the 2005 year; about a third of the park was deployed in Afghanistan, where they were intensively exploited until the withdrawal of the British contingent.
Viking armored all-terrain vehicle manufactured by BAE Systems Haglunds
The 99 machines have been upgraded to the Mk 2 common mine-protected configuration, which also received improved brakes and suspension. A secure turret was installed on the front module of this machine, on which you can install either a large-caliber 12,7-mm machine gun M2 or a universal 7,62-mm machine gun.
The rear module has been modified so that you can shoot from the 81-mm mortar. According to the Ministry of Defense, the modernization program "allows extending the service life of vehicles to 2024 of the year with the possibility of further extending this period to 2034 of the year."
A prototype for demonstrating Rheinmetall's technology is based on the Leopard 2 MBT, but many of the new elements can be integrated into other MBT.
Armed with 18 armies, the Leopard 2 is the most popular MBT armed with an 120-mm cannon.
The Leopard 2 fleet of the German army, which reached the 2300 units, was reduced to 225 vehicles, although in April 2015, the government announced an increase in the fleet to the 328 tanks Leopard 2. The tank has become the object of numerous upgrades for both Germany and foreign customers. The German Army fleet is currently a mix of 2A6 2A6M, 20X and 2 tank models supplied by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) since December 7.
The German army is currently planning to upgrade 100A2 4 tanks and bring them to the new standard Leopard 2A7V (verbessert - advanced). At Eurosatory 2016, KMW presented a version of the Leopard 2A7 + tank, which could become the prototype for the 2A7V standard.
The new standard, in particular, includes a new passive armor in the front of the case, improved optics for the commander and gunner, as well as an Airbus Spectus night vision system for the driver. On the sides can be installed additional armor. A more powerful auxiliary power unit with a capacity of 20 kW (instead of the 17 kW of the previous version) is provided for.
MBT can be equipped with an SDS, for example from a KMW FLW 200, which can be armed with an 12,7-mm machine gun or an 40-mm automatic grenade launcher, or a new SDM FLW 200 +, which can accept, for example, an 20-mm Rh 202 cannon. The army is also considering the possibility of installing a KAZ, for example MUSS, which is already on the new Puma BMP.
The company Rheinmetall Defense, collaborating with KMW in the development of Leopard 2, offers foreign customers a modular upgrade package, presented at the Eurosatory 2016 exhibition under the designation ATD (Advanced Technology Demonstrator - an advanced prototype for the demonstration of MBT technology).
Customers can choose whether to keep the original Rheinmetall L44 smoothbore gun installed on previous Leopard 2 models or replace it with a more powerful L55. According to the company, “the revolutionary aspects of the Rheinmetall concept include a protection kit, a digital turret concept, an ECDM, an auxiliary power unit, climate control and an extended set of intelligence and observation systems with a relatively modest increase in mass.”
Indonesia became the first customer of this upgrade, and at the beginning of this year, Rheinmetall delivered the first eight of the 61 tank Leopard 2A4, upgraded to the standard Leopard 2 RI (Republic of Indonesia).
In February, 2016, the company Rheinmetall signed a contract with Bumar Labedy to collaborate on the modernization of 128 Polish tanks Leopard 2A4 to the new standard Leopard 2PL. In 2017, Rheinmetall will supply two prototypes to Poland for an extended assessment, produce the first batch of six tanks with Polish components and transfer Bumar Labedy technology to complete this project.
The company Rheinmetall stated that they can integrate elements of the ATD kit into other tanks. In confirmation of this, and in order to promote her application for the Challenger 2 tank, she showed her demonstration sample at the Defense Vehicle Dynamics event held last September.
After signing a contract worth 370 million dollars in March 2015, the French defense procurement agency, Nexter, is working on upgrading the French army's Leclerc MBT. In the period from 1992 to 2008, the company supplied Leclerc 406 tanks and after several budget cuts, now about half of them are armed with four armored regiments.
Nexter also manufactured Leclerc 436 tanks for the United Arab Emirates; Some of these were fitted with the Nexter Action en Zone Urbaine (AZUR) kit for urban combat. It consists of additional frontal booking, lattice screens at the rear of the hull and tower, and other improvements.
The French project provides for the supply of 200 tanks Leclerc Renews (updated) - also known under the designation Leclerc XLR - and 18 BREM DCL Renove based on the Leclerc chassis in order to extend their service life to 2040 year. The government also said that in response to increased friction with Russia, 20 tanks could be upgraded.
As part of the digitization program of the French army SCORPION (Synergie du Contact Renforce par la Polyvalence et l'Infovalorisation), Leclerc tanks will be equipped with the information control system SCORPION and the tactical radio system Contact, which will allow the OBT to operate in digital battle groups. Vitality will be enhanced by installing the AZUR + kit, which increases protection against mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), as well as the integration of the IED Barage silencer.
The smoothbore 120-mm gun of the Leclerc F1 tank can fire a high-explosive fragmentation projectile M3M, currently being developed by Nexter Munitions. It is distinguished by a bottom fuse, which can be operated in three modes: shock, delayed, and air detonation.
The tank will also be equipped with a new remote-controlled T1 turret developed by Renault Trucks Defense, which will also be installed on reconnaissance armored vehicles Jaguar 6x6 and armored personnel carriers Griffon 6x6, currently being developed by the French army. In 2018, Nexter is scheduled to produce two Leclerc XLR prototypes at its plant in the city of Rohanna, then they will be tested, after which mass production should begin in 2020.
French tank Leclerc Rénovès at Eurosatory 2016
In Roanne, Nexter also upgrades the suspension and power transmission of the recently adopted 8x8 VBCI (Vеhicule Blindé Combat d'Infanterie) BMP, because the additional armor and the increase in the total weight of the machine from 29 to 32 tons should not affect driving performance.
Between 2008 and 2015 years, Nexter delivered 630 VBCI armored vehicles, although it is not clear how many of them will be upgraded. The VBCI 2 ton mass 32, which Nexter developed for the overseas market, was first shown at DSEI 2015. A new Volvo D13 engine is installed on the machine, the power of which is more than the power of the previous D12 engine by 70%.
For its lightweight reconnaissance armored car VBL (Vеhicule Blindе Lеger) 4x4, Panhard Defense also developed a retrofit kit. Four vehicles upgraded to VBL Ultima standard, the first of which was handed over to the French Defense Procurement Agency in December 2014, are currently undergoing evaluation tests. Improvements include a new power unit, a new braking system, a modified rear suspension and larger wheels. In order to extend the service life, at least until 2030, 800 (with funding) from VNL armor cars made for the French army can be upgraded from 1621.
New towers for the British Army's Warrior Capability Sustainment Program awaiting delivery at Lockheed Martin's new plant in Emphill, June 2016
The CV90 armored vehicle manufactured by BAE Systems Haglunds is the most popular tracked infantry fighting vehicle in Europe, as it is in service with seven armies. It was developed in the 1984-1992 years to meet the needs of the Swedish army. In 1995, Norway became the first overseas customer and by the year 2000 received the 104 CV9030N machines armed with an Orbital ATK Bushmaster 30-mm cannon. The Norwegian army became the first country to use its CV90 vehicles in combat operations in Afghanistan since the end of 2007. Norway was also the first operator of these machines to launch a comprehensive mid-life modernization project.
In June 2012, the company BAE Systems Haglunds received a contract worth 750 million dollars for the supply of 103 upgraded and 41 new machine in several configurations: 74 BMP; 21 reconnaissance with a specific optical reconnaissance station installed on the mast; 15 commanding; 16 engineering; 16 multipurpose; and two driving instruction machines. Two pre-production samples were delivered in February of the 2014 of the year for extended testing, and the delivery of serial machines began the following year, which will run until the 2018 of the year.
The BMP, reconnaissance, and command variants received the new Mk III corps, equipped with the upgraded Mk I twin-turret, which retained the original Bushmaster II gun, but equipped with the new paired 7,62-mm machine gun Mk52 Chain Gun from Orbital ATK. The remaining variants are based on the modified Mk I corps. All 30-mm turrets are mounted on the roof of the Kongsberg DBMS, armed with an M12,7 2-mm machine gun.
The MFDB can be used as an aiming system in the search and strike mode, in addition, it can be controlled from the aft troop compartment. Machines feature modular ballistic protection and improved mine and IED protection. The installed cameras provide all-view situational awareness, the machines have a digital architecture, and at the moment all of them are “shod” in rubber tracks from Soucy.
In March 2015, the Swedish defense procurement organization issued a contract to BAE Systems Haglunds worth 190 million dollars to upgrade 262 from the 509 CV90 machines delivered to the Swedish army in the 1994-2002 years. The project provides five options: 172 BMP CV9040; 40 commanding; 22 advanced surveillance; 16 anti-aircraft installations; and 12 BRAM.
This project is less ambitious than the project of modernization of the Norwegian cars. The chassis will be improved, and the outdated twin machine gun Ksp m / 39 will be replaced by a more reliable 7,62-mm machine gun FN Herstal FN MAG. The CV9040 armored vehicles will also receive updated software for their fire control systems, while advanced observers' machines and anti-aircraft installations will receive the same thermal imagers, which are installed on the BMP version, instead of their thermal imagers.
In addition, the existing tactical operational control system will be replaced by the Strids Ledning Bataljon battalion-level battle management system based on the Saab 9Land system. BAE Systems is planning to start the delivery of upgraded machines in 2018.