AMV XP, being the latest version of the Patria AMV combat vehicle, offers better protection, mobility and operational flexibility. This option is larger, has a higher loading capacity of 15 tons and a power unit with a capacity of 450 kW
Wheeled light armored vehicles (LBM) currently dominate in the fleets of combat vehicles of many armies. Once considered to be supporting actors, now they often play leading roles. The platforms that entered service in the middle of the 80s and in the 90s of the last century are being modernized, and, in addition, a number of new “light armor” programs have been launched.
The LBM not only complement the heavier tracked armored vehicles, but they also try on roles that were once considered the prerogative of their tracked counterparts. The term “light” in the field of light armored vehicles has always been relative, and for some wheeled “light” vehicles that have reached masses in excess of 20 tons, such a classification may seem slightly strained. However, if you take the latest tracked infantry fighting vehicles, such as PSM Projekt System Management's Puma, which weighs over 40 tons, the difference is more clearly visible (PSM Projekt System Management is a joint venture of German companies Rheinmetall and Krauss Maffei Wegmann). All this mass is growing due to the need for enhanced protection. Roy Perkins, project manager for combat vehicles at BAE System, said that "the current technology for protecting vehicles dictates more armor, since there is no easy solution to date."
Expansion of the range of tasks performed by the LME is also happening in connection with the progress in the suspension systems. Technologies such as the Hendrickson Hydro-Pneumatic Hydropneumatic Suspension, providing better driving performance, handling, stability and reliability, or for example pneumatic and gas struts, Hydrogas shock absorbers and dampers from Horstmann Defense System are installed on new projects, for example, on an eight-wheeled AMV platform. (Armored Modular Traffic - the armored modular machine) of Patria and on upgraded vehicles. Such suspension designs allow you to develop higher speeds on uneven surfaces, reduce the thrust force and provide a smoother ride. Sensors and computers that control the suspension, measure and predict the forces acting on the machine, and automatically adjust the suspension parameters in order to increase off-road terrain and payload.
Computing and digital electronics have enhanced LME capabilities in many areas. A multitude of sensors, integration and distribution of information, automatic monitoring and control of countless machine systems offer new and huge advantages. The open architecture and digital broadband highways allow the integration of new features that expand the capabilities of the machine. However, these advanced electronic kits require a lot of energy. Marc Signorelli, vice president of military equipment at BAE Systems, said that “meeting energy requirements is one of the biggest challenges for future designers. Where 200 amps (to power the systems of a machine) was considered sufficient several years ago, now 400 amps and more are needed. This is not just energy production, but effective distribution and management of energy needs. ” As a result, the modernization of electronics and related electrical power are priority areas for designers of combat vehicles.
Global military players increasingly rely on their LMEs, and this process follows two paths. The armies, which had earlier adopted the LMB with the aim of improving and renewing their parks, took advantage of the progress in suspension, protection and electronics. Others are buying completely new machines to replace obsolete ones, often as part of a wider modernization of their armed forces. Some new members of the NATO bloc, such as Poland and Croatia, which purchased the KTO Rosomak machines (production under license of the Patria AMV option) and Patria AMV, respectively, selected LME in order to meet the required standards in joint operations with other allied forces. Other countries are replacing systems whose service life is coming to an end. Many programs include local production. The program of the Brazilian army and the company Iveco Latin America on the Guarani VBTP armored vehicle (Viatura Btindada Transporte de Pessoal-Midia de Rodas - medium category wheeled armored personnel carrier) is one example. The new car will replace the current six-wheeled BTR Engesa EE Urutu. Also, under this program, the local state-owned company IMBEL (Industrie de Material Belico do Brasil) supplies communication systems for the new machine.
Patria's AMV armored vehicle achieved great success as it was chosen by the armies of Croatia, Finland, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates
Evidence of the operational flexibility of LME is their long service, which was made possible through modernization and improvement programs. In the process of modernization, outdated, worn-out main components are replaced by newer, more reliable modern subsystems. Integration into a digital electronics machine helps to take advantage of technological advances in sensor technology, communications, and self-defense systems. Digitizing allows you to integrate machine systems, connect the machine with the outside world and thus expand the range of tactical tasks during the battle.
This MWAG family of LMEs (now General Dynamics Land Systems / GDLS) has a long-standing history and is in service with many countries of the world. The US Marine Corps (ILC) and the Canadian Army adopted the LAV-70A80 / A25 (based on Piranha I) and AVGP (Armored General General Purpose - multipurpose armored) vehicles from the end of the 1-s to the middle of the 2-s, respectively. , based on Piranha I 6х6).
The efforts made by the USCM to improve their fleet are illustrative. The representative of the department in the Office of armored and motor vehicles of the American army, overseeing the fleet of LAV machines for the ILC, expressed the view that the current modernization solves problems with mobility and moral aging (regarding the machine subsystems), increases its survivability level, respectively, is not replaced by the one that does not satisfy the current The requirements of the power unit Detroit Diesel 6V53T, the electronics of the machine and the suspension, are installed energy-absorbing seats and protected fuel tanks. “Upgrading to the 778 LAV-25A2 machines began in the 2011 year, and will continue until the 2018 year, and will thus extend the life of these machines to the 2035 year.
The Canadian Army program to modernize LAV “LAV-III UP” machines worth 1,1 billion dollars, led by General Dynamics Canada, as well as the previously mentioned USCM program, started in 2011 and will extend the life of these machines also to 2035. Improvements include the installation of a new Caterpillar C9 diesel engine with an 460 hp / h (335 kW), a seven-speed ZF transmission, new wheel drives, an optimized body that improves crew comfort and vitality, additional reservations, improved seats and a wider GDLS turret with new integrated fire control system. Upgraded LAV machines will weigh 25 tons; tests showed an actual increase in the mobility of the updated machine compared to the existing platform. The modernization of 550 machines of the Canadian Army LAV III will be completed by 2018 year.
Along with Canada, the Australian Army is also currently completing its Project Land 112 Phase 4 program, which began in April 2012. In accordance with it, ASLAV-I / II / III (Australian LAV) machines are being upgraded at a medium level of operation, the total cost of which is 250 million dollars. The survivability of ASLAV is enhanced by improved mine protection, splinter-proof podboy and ballistic protection, a new battle management system WINBMS-M from Elbit Systems is added and measures are taken to reduce signs of visibility, both visual and thermal. Previously, under a contract worth 17,9 million dollars, the Kongsberg Protector remotely controlled combat module (SDM) with a 59-mm machine gun was installed on ASLAV 12,7 machines. If the modernization of LAV machines is successful, it is possible that other operators will start similar programs in the near future.
The LAV-UP initiative is a program of the Canadian army to modernize and improve their LAV machines to increase their survivability, mobility and lethality
The LBM M1126 Stryker 8х8 family of the US Army is another version of the Piranha, which, based on combat experience gained during the invasion of Iraq, received a number of modifications, including additional ballistic protection. For example, the rebels' bombs should be confronted by a double V-bottom DVH (Double Vee Hull) developed by GDLS. “This new component of DVN is used by the US Army to implement other upgrades,” said Tim Reese, head of business development at General Dynamics Land Systems. - Stryker's upgraded machines, which will start in 2017, will restore performance, increase survivability, and improve system compatibility with the widest range of digital technologies, including system monitoring, networking, and operational management. This process will provide increased opportunities for less investment. ” In accordance with the program, the suspension is being upgraded in order to cope with the weight of the 27270 kg machine, a new Caterpillar C9 engine and a more powerful generator on 570 amps are being installed, the cooling system is being improved, and a “digital highway” is being added to allow the crew to exchange video and data. The US Army has funded three of its nine Stryker mechanized brigades, the completion of which is scheduled for the 2016 year.
In May, the US Army 2015 approved an official statement of operational requirements from its 2 reconnaissance regiment, based in Germany, and received funding to install an MCRWS with an 1126-mm cannon on some M30 machines. MCRWS is installed on the roof of the car without penetration inside and therefore does not reduce the internal volume. A combination of the Kongsberg Protector DBMS and Orbital ATK 30-mm guns has already been demonstrated for this program. GDLS issued a bid and will decide on the MCRWS at the start of 2016. However, the initial funding for the 81 system under the accelerated program was included in the defense budget for the 2016 year.
The M1126 machines of the US Army that took part in the hostilities in Iraq were vulnerable to the IEDs of the insurgents, forcing GDLS to develop a double V-shaped DVH (Double Vee Hull)
The Australian Army is upgrading its ASLAV-I / II / III vehicles with a special focus on improving survivability.
Renault Trucks Defense (RTD) has carried out over 1000 various improvements on its VAB (Vehihile de lAvant Blinde) armored personnel carrier since its adoption by the French army in 1976. Based on the experience of combat operations in Afghanistan, in the last cycles of upgrades, the VAB armored personnel carrier received an increased level of protection, a V-shaped bottom for protection against directional land mines, suspended explosion-proof seats and latticed screens for protection against RPGs. Having received all these improvements, the 15,8 ton vehicle and the 1,8 ton loading capacity received a new designation, Uitima. Before 2016, the 290 machines were supplied to the French army, and the Kongsberg M151 Protector DBMS was installed on them. Even after entering a new vehicle in 2018 / 2019, the Traffic Safety Blindé Multirole VBMR, a multi-purpose armored vehicle developed by a consortium of RTD, Nexter and Thales to replace VAB, these vehicles will remain in operation for some time and therefore there is a need in modernization.
The French army deployed the VAB armored personnel carrier (on the left the American armored vehicle RG-31) in Afghanistan, increasing its survivability through upgrades
The German Boxer 8x8 MRAV (Multi-Role Armored Vehicle - multipurpose armored vehicle) of KMW has a combat mass of 33 tons, which is quite a lot for LME. The machine has a high off-road maneuverability and combined protection (armor steel and composite armor), including also anti-mine / anti-explosion protection and protection from attacks from above. The deliveries of vehicles for a program worth 1,6 billion dollars began to the German army (600 machines) in 2011 year and the Dutch army (200 machines) in 2014 year.
Having flown from Europe to South America, we see that the VBTP MR of the Brazilian army is based on the Iveco SuperAV 8x8 armored vehicle and is intended to replace the outdated EE-11 Urutu armored personnel carrier. Development began in 2007; The first locally produced 128 systems from the 2044 planned were delivered to the Brazilian army in 2014 year. If funding is available, orders for these machines will be issued before the 2030 year. The armament of the VBTP-MR combat vehicle includes a simple support ring with an ARES air-gun mount with an 12,7-mm machine gun and an UT-30BR uninhabited tower from Elbit Systems supplied through AEL Sistemas SA in Brazil.
Like Brazil, Poland receives new KTO Rosomak light armored vehicles (see above). This machine is a variant of the Patria AMV. After orders received at the beginning of the last decade from the Finnish army on 88 machines, this machine was also purchased by the Polish army, and the KTO Rosomak 640 machines were manufactured at the plant in Poland, which had a twin OTO Melara 30 mm Hitfist-30P tower installed. Patria received orders for an AMV car from the armies of Slovenia (126), South Africa (238), the United Arab Emirates (initial 13 units), Croatia (126) and Sweden (113 and possibly 113 machines). The Czech Republic and Macedonia are also looking at her attentively. In January, 2015, Poland ordered an additional 200 machine for an already delivered 570 machine.
AMV is available in 6x6 and 8x8 configurations and weighs from 16 to 27 tons, depending on the version. The car has the advantages of an advanced suspension system and high power density, which allows for noteworthy off-road maneuverability and really high survivability of the crew. Frontal projection provides protection against 30-mm armor-piercing projectiles, and mine protection provides protection against mines and bombs weighing in TNT equivalent to 10 kg. A spokesperson for Patria said that “our newest AMV-XP offer (Extra Payload, Extra Performance and Extra Protection - increased payload, performance and protection) has absorbed the experience gained, including the potential for future growth, which will cope with future threats and meet requirements of operators. Here we can call a larger usable volume and greater payload, better mobility and higher output power thanks to new batteries and a power management system. " The new Scania Diesel engine with a power of 450 kW offers an increase in power by 10 percent compared to the previous model. This transforms not only into maintaining maneuverability and mobility, but also into a greater amount of electrical energy generation. With a total mass of 30 tons, the new AMV-XP armored car can have a useful payload of 13 tons. It is expected that AMP-AX will be offered for the Land 400 Australian Army program (see below).
The development of the Patria AMV began in 2000. Since then, it has been selected and adopted by the seven armies. Pictured machine with installed Kongsberg MCRWS DBMS
BBM Boxer can perform a wide range of tasks because it has a unique layout with interchangeable function modules. Rear modules that can be replaced in less than an hour are installed on the base chassis.
Another new LBM program is the Canadian Army TAPV (Tactical Armored Patrol Vehicle) patrol vehicle in a four-wheel configuration that replaces BAE Systems' RG-31 Nyala and Coyote 8х8 reconnaissance vehicle (based on Piranha chassis). Textron's project based on M1117 ASV (Armored Support Vehicle - armored support vehicle) won the tender and won the contract in 2012, according to which the first 500 systems were to be delivered in 2014. But the problems with reliability, revealed during the tests of pre-production cars, delayed their entry into the troops until the 2016 year. The armored vehicle TAPV has protection from composite armor; It is equipped with a Kongsberg DBM, armed with a 40-mm GMG automatic grenade launcher from Heckler and Koch and an 7,62-mm machine gun.
VBTP MR Guarani for the Brazilian Army is designed and manufactured in collaboration with the Brazilian branch of Iveco
As well as the Canadian army, which purchased new vehicles, the Australian army also launched its Project Land 400 initiative to purchase a new CRV combat reconnaissance vehicle, an infantry combat vehicle and a combat support vehicle. CRV will replace ASLAV Type-I / II / II, in which 257 units are in operation; The new machine is expected to go into service in the 2020 year. To implement this program, an industrial group is formed consisting of the Finnish company Patria, which offers its car AMV-XP, and the Australian branch of BAE Sustems.
The Malaysian company Дефеch manufactures for the Malaysian army 257 machines AV-8 in 12 variants. The wheel configuration machine 8х8 is based on the PARS 8х8 platform developed by the Turkish company FNSS. Déftech delivered the first twelve cars that received the official name Gempita (Thunder) in December 2014 of the year. Among the options are IFV-25 BMP with a single FNSS Sharpshooter tower and IFV-30 BMP equipped with a twin Denel LCT30 tower. As expected, the deployment of machines will be completed in the 2018 year.
Other developments in the field of LME in the Asia-Pacific region include the Mobile Combat Vehicle (MCV) combat vehicle for the Japanese self-defense forces produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. This highly mobile armored vehicle of direct fire support with a mass of 25 tons is armed with an 105-mm cannon. According to the Japanese military attache in the United States, she will go to the rapid deployment brigade of the Japanese self-defense forces. First shown in the 2013 year, the MCV is scheduled to be commissioned in the 2016 year; A total of 99 systems will be purchased. Not far from Japan, Taiwan leads for its army the purchase of the LMB Clouded Leopard 8x8 from the Ordnance Readiness Development Center. The production of this machine began in the 2007 year, 368 systems from the total demand for 1400 platforms, which were to be supplied in 2017-2018 years, came into service. Finally, the Korean company Rotem, a division of the Hyundai Motor Group, supplies the LMM KW1 Scorpion 6х6, which will form the basis of the new rapid reaction brigades of the South Korean army. In accordance with the contract signed in November 2012, the 2016-2020 years provide for the delivery of these vehicles to the troops, and above all the 600 vehicles in the BTR version.
The light combat vehicle, although not as light as its predecessors, added significantly to combat effectiveness thanks to new technologies. They allowed to adapt to new threats and try on new roles. The LBM currently has a large payload, can accept larger-caliber guns (up to 120 mm) and perform tasks that were once considered impossible for it. In addition, cars of this class retain their traditional advantages compared to their tracked counterparts in terms of service life, increased power reserve, lower maintenance and lower operating cost per kilometer. There is also a growing need for more protected vehicles with a high level of deployability, designed for a variety of tasks, ranging from high-speed combat operations to peacekeeping tasks and emergency response. Light combat vehicles fully meet all these needs.