The first retraining course for crews on new Puma infantry fighting vehicles began in February 2016 of the year (photo above)
In Europe, several interesting programs are being implemented, in which combat armored vehicles of a new generation are being developed. The adoption of the European armies of some models is already in full swing.
For the German army 2016, the year will be remarkable, as its first Panzergrenadierbataillon (PzGrenBtl) 33 motorized infantry battalion will shift from the Marder 45-year-old infantry fighting vehicle to the new Puma machine, which the manufacturer describes "as the most powerful infantry fighting vehicle in the world."
In June 2015, the joint venture PSM (Projekt System Management) officially delivered the first production machines Puma to the 92 training motorized infantry battalion deployed at the Armored Training Center in Münster, which made it possible to start training courses for trainers as part of the preparatory process for obtaining new equipment.
Honored German BMP Marder
Passed with enthusiasm
In January 2016, Marder BMP commanders, gunners and drivers from the 33rd battalion were the first to take courses on the transition to new equipment. Students were delighted with the capabilities of the new BMP. “We now have a fully stabilized weapon system, which, no doubt, is very different from the Marder weapon system, because the vehicle had to stop to fire,” says one of the students. - That is, we can now fight in the same ranks with the main combat a tank (MBT) Leopard. "
The full transition phase for each company will last three months, starting from individual training and ending with collective training at company level, and at the end of this phase, each unit will return to the location of its part with the new Puma machines that it will operate. Each battalion will receive a Puma 32 BMP. They will go into service with the battalion headquarters (two vehicles), two motorized infantry companies (14 vehicles) and the headquarters of the third rifle company (two vehicles). Before operational deployment, a third company can be provided with a complete set of Puma machines.
In the autumn of 2016, the 112 th motorized infantry battalion will begin a training course on Puma machines, which will end in the 2017 year, when the 92 th motorized infantry battalion replaces it. Ultimately, eight motorized infantry battalions will be put into service, although the army assumes that this process will last 8-10 for years before all units restore full combat readiness. Four battalions with Marder machines will be in readiness until the stage of transition to new equipment is completed.
A joint venture between PSM, established equally by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) and Rheinmetall Defense, was awarded a contract in 2004 for the design and development of a replacement for the Rheinmetall Landsysteme tracked vehicle Marder 1. This BMP was put into service in the 1971 year, and in July 2009, the last contract for the mass production of a small batch was issued.
The initial need was identified in Puma's 405 machines, but in June, the 2012 Department of Defense reduced this number to 342 BMP plus eight cars for driver training, which was a consequence of the reduction in the number of German army. The last car is scheduled to be delivered in 2020 year. PSM representatives point out that the Puma machine is designed to “protect and successfully carry out hostilities” in asymmetric conflicts, as well as high-intensity conflicts.
The initial order of the German army on the 272 machines Boxer included 72 ambulances
Cat with character
The Puma crew consists of three people - the commander, the gunner and the driver, and the 6 man is located in the troop compartment. The installation of a remote controlled tower allowed all crew members to be placed in the hull. The turret is armed with an 30-mm selective-powered cannon Mauser MK30-2 / ABM (Air Burst Munition - an air explosive), which fires armor-piercing projectile projectiles and armored-piercing with a remote fuse.
The ammunition carried in the car includes 200 ready-made 30-mm rounds plus 200 in the stowage for the main gun, 1000 5,56-mm rounds plus 1000 in the stowage for the Heckler & Koch (H&K) MG4 coaxial machine gun. The army intends to replace the MG4 with the new 7,62mm H&K MG5A1 machine gun, which allows the shooter to select a rate of fire of 600, 700 or 800 rounds per minute.
Starting from 2018, the dual EuroSpike MELLS launcher with Rafael Spike LR ATGM will also be installed on the left side of the Puma tower, which will hit tanks at distances up to 4 km.
Puma weighs 31,45 tons in its basic configuration, designated Protection Class A, which makes it possible to transport the vehicle with the heavy Airbus A400M transport aircraft currently in service with the German Air Force. The Protection Class C kit, easily installed by Puma crewmen, adds 9 tons to the vehicle’s mass and consists of additional turret armor plates, armor plates for most of the roof and side panels covering most of the sides. This kit is a combination of compositional armor and dynamic protection units.
In order to increase survivability in the event of a mine explosion or improvised explosive device (IED), three crew members are placed on the Autoflug's Suspended Dynamic Seat, while the troopers sit on the side Protection Seat of the same company. The level of survivability of the Puma is further increased in the case of the installation of the MUltifunctional Self-protection System (MUSS) from Airbus Defense & Space.
Airbus DS Optronics supplies the PERI-RTW 360 ° Panoramic Sight and the WAO EO aiming system; Each system includes an Attica thermal imager, a laser range finder and a daytime CCD camera. Puma is the first German combat vehicle, created from the very beginning with the integration with the system of the future soldier Rheinmetall IdZ-ES, into which every soldier of the troop compartment will be equipped.
Since the army needs experience in operating the Puma machine, it is quite possible to decide on additional options that will go into service with the motorized infantry battalions. A representative of PSM recognizes that the export potential of the vehicle may increase if the family of vehicles expands, including the armored personnel carrier, reconnaissance commander, evacuation, sanitary and fire support vehicles with a larger caliber gun.
In a couple
In the German army, Puma will work in conjunction with the multi-purpose armored personnel carrier Boxer 8x8, which is manufactured by ARTEC (Armored Technology), also a joint venture of Rheinmetall (64%) and KMW (36%). Initially, three countries started the project in 1998, but France came out of it in 1999 to implement its own project for wheeled infantry fighting vehicles, and in July, the UK also came out of 2003, because at that time the British army wanted to have a car light enough to be transported by plane -130 Hercules.
In 2001, the Netherlands joined the project and three years later they signed a contract with Germany for 472 machines in nine different versions.
The concept of the project lies in the fact that various functional modules are installed on the common chassis of the Boxer Drive Module, consisting of the chassis, the power plant and the driver's workplace. The platform in the wheel configuration 8x8 has a mass of 33 tons, it is larger than most modern machines and therefore was chosen by ARTEC because it has increased mobility compared to the configuration 6x6, carrying capacity 8 tons and internal volume 14 м3.
ARTEC claims that Boxer has the highest level of protection compared to any machine in its class. Circular protection from the fire of large-caliber machine guns, medium-caliber guns, small caliber bombs and shell fragments corresponds to the Level 4 STANAG 4569, rising to the Level 5 in a frontal arc; also high level of protection (Level 4a) from mines and IEDs. In order to meet customer requirements, additional passive and dynamic protection systems can be installed.
The German version of the BTR has a crew of three people - the driver, the commander and the gunner, eight paratroopers sit facing each other on suspended energy-absorbing seats. Most German cars are equipped with a KMW FLW-200 remotely controlled combat module (CCD), while Dutch Boxer machines are equipped with a Kongsberg Protector M151 CCD. Both modules can accept an 7.62-mm machine gun, a 12,7-mm machine gun or an 40-mm automatic grenade launcher.
Along with ten driving instruction machines, the initial order for the 272 Boxer includes 135 BTR, 65 control centers and 72 sanitary. From the middle of the 2011 of the year to the end of the combat mission in 2014, the army deployed 38 BTR Boxer, command and control stations and ambulances in Afghanistan.
In accordance with the Dutch contract, GDELS-Mowag launched the production of 309 new Piranha 5 machines with the uninhabited Kongsberg MCRWS tower.
December 18 2015 Berlin issued a contract worth 476 million euros for another Boxer 131 machine with a delivery date of 2016-2020 years. All new vehicles will be in the configuration of the BTR and according to the army, these supplies will meet the needs of the infantry in the Boxer, although the army as a whole has a need for 600 platforms. KMW will make 95 additional Boxer machines, and Rheinmetall the remaining 36 units.
Recognizing that the rapid reaction forces need to have a high level of mobility in the theater of operations, the German army is considering Boxer armored vehicles for these tasks, some of which will be equipped with the RCT-30 turret from the Puma BMP.
The Dutch Army ordered five Boxer 200 machines: 92 engineering and logistical support for GNPR (Geniegroep); 52 sanitary; 36 command and staff; 12 freight conveyors; and eight driving instruction machines. These machines, as well as sanitary and command versions have already been delivered or are being delivered. In March, the first cargo variant was handed over to 2016; under the protection of armor, it can transport up to 2,5 tons of various equipment and supplies. Deliveries of the Dutch army on schedule will last until 2018 year.
11 December 2015 was announced by the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense that after evaluating the ten applicants' proposals, it had selected a Boxer machine for the Lithuanian infantry combat vehicle program. According to the latest data from the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense, at least 88 machines will be purchased, the mass production of which will begin in 2017 year. Initially, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense chose the Boxer option with an uninhabited KMW RCT-2015 turret with an 30-mm Rheinmetall MK 30-30 / ABM automatic cannon (this tower is installed on new German BMP Puma) and Israeli Spike ATKM missiles. But at the beginning of 2, the Lithuanians found this option too expensive, and requested the installation of a Samson Mk 2016 combat module from the Israeli company Rafael on the Boxer with an ATN Orbital Bushmaster Mk 2 ATN gun and an Spike ATKM launcher. Contract signing can take place as early as July 30.
The Lithuanian contract, if signed, will increase the number of Boxer sold to 691 machines. For the Land 400 Phase 2 project of the Australian Army, which procures the purchase of 225 combat reconnaissance vehicles, Rheinmetall also offers the Boxer platform, equipped with a two-seat Lance tower with an 30-mm cannon.
From caterpillar to wheel
In March, the French army received its latest 2015 BMX VBCI (Véhicule Blindé Combat d'Infanterie) developed by Nexter to replace the tracked AMX-630P after Paris left the Boxer project in March. The army immediately agreed on the 10x8 configuration so that the new vehicle could operate in the same battle formations with Leclerc tanks. The French army received a 8 BMP VCI with a single Dragar tower with an 520-mm cannon and 25 VCP commander vehicles with an anti-aircraft defense system. A modular set of armor steel and titanium is installed on the aluminum case to increase the level of protection.
Since 2012, the entire fleet of VBCI armored vehicles is being upgraded to work with the digital equipment of the FELIN V1 soldier. Machines are currently being upgraded to a new standard, with the weight increasing to 32 tons, and the payload capacity to 3 tons. VBCI, which is in service with 8 infantry regiments, has been well tested in the real conditions of Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Lebanon and Mali.
In September, at the DSEI exhibition, 2015, Nexter introduced a new version of the VBCI-2, which it developed on its own initiative. The new all-welded body of armored aluminum with a raised roof allowed to increase the internal volume. The total weight of the machine was approximately 32 tons, including 13 tons of payload.
The VBCI-2 was equipped with a Nexter T40 twin turret with a stabilized weapon system with CTA telescopic CTAS (Cased Telescoped Armament System) telescopic munitions, as well as Kongsberg DBMS. On the sides of the tower can be installed launchers of Javelin missiles manufactured by Raytheon / Lockheed Martin or promising MMP (Missile Moyenne Porte) missiles from MBDA. In the version with this tower, the VBCI-40 has a crew of three people; in the aft compartment of the 2, the infantrymen are placed on explosion-absorbing seats. At the request of the customer can be installed other towers.
The VBCI-2 modular booking kit provides an increased level of survivability, including ballistic protection up to 5 Level in accordance with STANAG 4569 and mine protection / VCA protection up to 4a Level / b. A video camera system is installed, the machine can be equipped with an active protection complex. A more powerful Volvo engine, a more powerful suspension and larger diameter wheels significantly improve the driving characteristics of the new car.
Nexter offers the full VBCI-2 family, including the BTR, a fire support vehicle equipped with 105 mm caliber weapons, a mortar set-up, an anti-tank complex, a commander machine, and a sanitary version.
On December 5, 2014, French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Ledrian announced that the consortium, which included Nexter, Renault Trucks Defense and Thales Communications & Security, would be awarded a contract for the development and production of the VBMR multipurpose armored vehicle (Vеhicule Blindе Multi-Roles ) 6x6 and an armored reconnaissance vehicle EBRC (Engin Blindе de Reconnaissance et de Combat) 6x6. These two platforms will be created as part of the French army's digital project Scorpion.
The consortium will build a Griffon 1722 (VBMR) machine to replace the Renault VAB (Véhicule de l'avant blindé) 4x4 Army armored personnel carriers, which are in service with the French 1972 40. The first Griffon machines can be delivered in the 2018 year, and according to plans the last 780 machine will be delivered by the 2025 year.
The standard version of the mass 24,5 tons will be an armored personnel carrier capable of carrying a crew of three people and eight people landing. Other options include ambulance, command and artillery observers. A GBM equipped with an 7,62-mm or 12,7-mm machine gun or an 40-mm grenade launcher will be mounted on the Griffon machine. A modular booking kit will provide protection in accordance with the STANAG 4 4569 Level.
Perspective French armored car Griffon. The top two photos at Eurosatoty 2016
In accordance with the current plans, the army will get 248 6-mm self-propelled artillery systems The first machines are scheduled to be delivered in the 6 year.
A double turret, armed with a CTAS 40-mm gun, a 7,62-mm machine gun and MMP anti-tank launchers with a range of 4000 meters, which are currently being developed, will be installed on the armored vehicle. Jaguar protection will be provided by reservations corresponding to the 4 STANAG 4569 Level, a laser warning system, a missile launch detection system, and a radar and infrared jamming system.
Perspective French armored car Jaguar
Fish without water
General Dynamics European Land Systems – Mowag (GDELS-Mowag) has launched production of a Piranha 5 8x8 machine after receiving a contract from Denmark worth 4,5 billion Danish kroner on 309 machines; This number may increase to 450 machines when all options are exercised.
The Piranha 5 was chosen to replace the tracked APCs M113 Danish army, where it will act in the same battle formations with 45 tracked BMP CV9035 MkIII production BAE Systems Hagglunds, bought in 2005 year and 113 wheel Piranha III, acquired three parties in 2000, 2003 and 2004 years.
The choice of Piranha was followed by extensive testing of three tracked vehicles - the CV90 Armadillo from BAE Systems Haglunds, PMMC G5 from FFG and ASCOD 2 from GDELS-Santa Barbara Sistemas, and two wheeled vehicles - VBCI 8XNNXX and Piranha 85 and Piranha XNUMX-Piranha XisNumX and Piranha XiNXX.
A representative of GDELS-Mowag is confident that the Piranha 5 will repeat the success of previous generations of Piranha machines and its modifications to the LAV production of General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) - Canada. Since 1972, more than 11500 machines of the Piranha / LAV series have been manufactured and with each new generation they have become more and more efficient.
The new machine Piranha 5 compared to the previous version increased mobility, protection and payload. With a base weight of 18 tons, the typical Piranha 5 machine in the BMP variant will have a total weight of 30 tons, while its design allows a further increase in weight to 33 tons. The crew of the Piranha 5 in the BTR version consists of the driver, the commander and the gunner; in the troop compartment they can accommodate up to 10 infantrymen. GDELS-Mowag will promote the Piranha 5 along with the 22-ton Piranha 3 and the 27-ton Piranha 3 +.
Nexter has developed a VBCI-2 version for export
The company demonstrated Piranha 5 with various turrets, starting with the uninhabited Kongsberg MCRWS turret armed with Orbital ATK 30-mm MK44 Bushmaster turret with 7,62-mm coaxial machine gun and SDM Protector with 12,7-mm machine gun on the roof of the tower. Piranha 5, equipped with a double tower Lance from Rheinmetall, was proposed for the project of the Canadian army on the melee car even before it was closed.
The machine also installed the latest remote-controlled tower Rafael Samson Mk II with a gun MK44 Bushmaster. At IDEX 2015, the company unveiled a version of the Desert Piranha 5, equipped with the CMI Defense Cockerill 3000 twin tower, which can take on various weapons, ranging from the 25-mm cannon to the 105-mm rifled tank gun.
The basic all-welded Piranha 5 case is made of armor steel, with a modular kit that can be customized for a specific customer. Customers can define other protection systems, such as the RUAG Defense SidePRO-LASSO Light Armor System against Shaped Ordnance cumulative projectiles. A new internal mine bottom has been installed, and everyone in the car is placed on explosion-proof seats. GDELS-Mowag showed the Piranha 5, equipped with the Saab LEDS-150 active protection system.
Denmark will be armed with six options for the Piranha: an armored personnel carrier, a command and control vehicle, an engineering vehicle, an ambulance and a repair vehicle. The army’s statement says that larger wheels, high ground clearance and the fourth axle drive allow the Piranha V to move faster on all types of terrain (usually 15-25%) compared to the tracked M113 BTR, which it will replace.
The statement also emphasized that “Piranha IIIC is an analog machine, whereas Piranha 5 was created from the very beginning as a digital platform. This ensures good opportunities for automatic configuration of all new digital systems that will appear on the market in the future. ”
The Danish army will receive the first vehicles in the 2018 year, which will allow to start training, and next year they will be deployed in operating units. All vehicles must be delivered on schedule for the 2023 year.
With the goal of starting an expanded test program, Spain ordered four versions of the Piranha 5 8x8 machine with delivery scheduled for the end of 2017. The Spanish army wants to get 300-400 wheeled combat vehicles VCR (Vehiculo de Combate sobre Ruedas) in order to replace its BMR-600 6xXNNXX BMP. Spanish cars Piranha 6 will be manufactured at the local plant of GDELS-Santa Barbara Sistemas.
The Spanish company is also currently working on the Ajax tracked reconnaissance vehicle. This is the only new armored vehicle, the development of which is currently underway for the British army. Following a competitive evaluation in July 2010, GDLS-UK received a contract worth 500 million pounds from the British Department of Defense to develop seven prototypes of the Scout Specialist Vehicle, which is a modified version of the ASCOD BMP. Seven prototype machines include the Common Base Platform (CBP) common platform, three Ajax reconnaissance vehicles and one repair option for Apollo, Atlas evacuation and Ares intelligence support.
New British car Ajax. Below is a prototype of the second major modification - the PMRS armored personnel carrier
In September, 2014, the company GDLS-UK received a contract worth 3,5 billion pounds for the supply of 589 machines in the period from 2017 to 2026 year. The project provides for the installation of 40-mm guns CTAS. In April, 2016, the company successfully completed the firing tests of the Ajax machine in preparation for the official test program scheduled for the end of this year.
According to a strategic review released by the British government in November 2015, the British army will undergo a so-called transformation, according to which two medium assault brigades will be formed, two motorized infantry battalions each, which will receive the MIV (Mechanized Infantry Vehicle) wheeled vehicle. It is expected that the candidacies of European platforms will be offered: Nexter VBCI, ARTEC Boxer and Armored Modular Vehicle of the Finnish company Patria.
GDLS says it will offer the Stryker 8x8 and Canadian LAV III (in the latest LAV 6.0 configuration), both with double V-shaped hulls. This will be the third attempt by the British Army to adopt an armored personnel carrier in the 8x8 configuration in the last 15 years, and the desperate army command hopes that the MIV project will finally become successful.
European programs on armored combat vehicles