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Land 400 Phase 3: Australian IFV

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59 minutes ago, 2805662 said:

Interesting you mention APS....you may recall that the US Army was having power generation issues with the Iron Fist for Bradley? Apparently that limitation is also present on a couple of other favourites for L400-3. 

For which system?
Because the Iron Fist LC is marketed as having a very low power consumption. If even that is an issue, then it's a real shame that Australia allows the participation of companies that offer vehicles that already reached the peak of their growth, and remained with 0 potential.

 

Australia's MoD has the same flu the US is currently having with the Brandon, Stryker, and Abrams. Instead of applying technologies from 3 years from now into platforms that enter service in 5 years, they apply technologies from 15 years ago into platforms that enter service 3-5 years from now.

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@Mighty_Zuk Anyone who thinks they have a compliant solution can bid; it’s their money to waste (one tenderer for ADF replacement trucks spent $20 million on tendering before realising that their offer wasn’t going to win). I don’t think BAE will bid the CV90.  

 

Regarding growth potential, ADF was well bitten by LAND 106 (M113 upgrade project) that delivered a vehicle with a 2% growth margin for a 15 service life. Can’t go far on 0.13% annual available growth!

 

[Btw, Australia doesn’t have a MoD, it has a DoD.] 

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On 8/8/2018 at 12:58 PM, 2805662 said:

Lance 2.0 gets Australianised. 

 

This rendering is from the DTR Magazine special that was released on the day of the KF41 reveal at Eurosatory...

 

On 8/8/2018 at 2:41 PM, Mighty_Zuk said:

EDIT: Come to think of it, there's something else bothering me. We've seen RAFAEL and IMI integrating or just sticking their APS onto every random vehicle. Lightest to heaviest. Yet Rheinmetall, which produces both the AFV and the APS, does not showcase its AMAP-ADS system on any of its newest marketed vehicles, especially the Lynx family and Puma. 

 

The Puma is not a Rheinmetall product, but a joint-venture managed by PSM (Rheinmetall & KMW). Rheinmetall Active Protection (previously ADS Gesellschaft für aktive Schutzsysteme mbH) is also a joint-venture (between Rheinmetall and U. Deisenroth's two daughters; previously between Rheinmetall and IBD Deisenroth Engineering). I don't know for sure, but it seems that the intellectual property for the Puma is being held by the German military. To my knowledge all Puma IFVs that have been presented in the past years on various expos around the globe were actually owned by the German military. That probably limits the options for the Puma to be showcased with ADS and other gadgets.

 

As for the Lynx family: it always was offered in a configuration as marketed to a customer. That's why they painted them in Australian (KF31) and Czech (KF31 and KF41) camouflage pattern. The ADS is not the only Rheinmetall-made component that is missing from the Lynx prototypes: they don't have Rheinmetall's thermal camouflage (Solar Sigma Shield), they lack a RWS (no Main Sensor Slaved Armament or Fieldranger RWS), they don't have laser warners, no accoustic sniper location system, etc.

They did the same with the Leopard 2 ADT (Revolution at the time): After Indonesia showed interest in the upgrade, a downgraded variant meeting the Indonesian requirements was developed and showcased:

Leopard-migrates-eastward.jpg

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As expected...some progress:

 

”LAND 400 Phase 3 Classified Briefing Registration

The LAND 400 Phase 3 Mounted Close Combat Capability Request For Tender (RFT) will be released shortly. The project will hold a classified briefing to vehicle OEMs and Primes who intend to submit a response to the RFT to detail classified technical requirements, specifically the protection requirements listed in the Technical Requirements Matrix (TRM), shortly after release. 
Defence has a specific process for releasing official information outside of Defence. There are two main steps. The process is different for Australian companies and foreign companies.

Step one – Australian companies 
For Australian companies, the members attending the briefing will need to hold a Negative Vetting Level 1 or higher security clearance.

Step one – Foreign companies 
Determine if your nation has a Security of Information Agreement and Arrangement (SIA) with Australia. A Security of Information Agreements and Arrangement (SIA) is a formal commitment to apply reciprocal protection to official information exchanged between Australia and your nation. This protection is to meet agreed security standards outlined in the relevant SIA. You may need to contact the Department of Defence equivalent of your nation to determine if there is a valid SIA in place. The existence of an SIA does NOT provide blanket approval for the release of classified information. Approval must be granted by Defence on every occasion where a release of official information is sought. This approval will be granted by the LAND 400 Phase 3 Project Office.

Step Two 
Register with the LAND 400 Phase 3 Contact Officer with your relevant information to attend the briefing. The minimum details required by Defence are as follows: 
The status of a valid SIA (for foreign companies), the names, DOB, position within your company, and Australian or foreign security clearance level of those Subject Matter Experts you wish to attend.

Numbers will be limited to no more than four per company and the final veto for attendance will remain with the LAND 400 Phase 3 Project Office.

Please register your interest to attend the classified briefing with all relevant details via the LAND 400 Phase 3 Contact Officer mailbox.

If you are a foreign company that is not subject to a valid SIA and you wish to attend the classified briefing please contact the project via the mailbox as soon as possible.

 

On 13 March 2018, Government provided First Pass approval for LAND 400 Phase 3 Mounted Close Combat Capability, comprising, Infantry Fighting Vehicle and Manoeuvre Support Vehicle capabilities. This approval allows Defence to investigate options to replace Army’s M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) with a fleet of up to 450 modern Infantry Fighting Vehicles and also acquire up to 17 Manoeuvre Support Vehicles.

Defence anticipates releasing the LAND 400 Phase 3 RFT in the second half of 2018.”

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BAE will now display a CV90 at Land Forces 2018, having been “asked” to. No word on what scale, though! 

 

So, the lineup (for Land Forces 18) will be GD’s Apollo, BAE CV90, K21, and Rheinmetall Lynx.

 

From a maturity point of view, the ASCOD (+)/AJAX (-) family has a range of qualified variants entering service with the British Army. Lynx remains relatively immature, and CV90 has a couple of concept demonstrators of non-IFV variants. This field is in stark contrast to the Phase 2 competitors (in-service hulls & turrets, though not necessarily in the combinations offered), though the timeline is a bit longer. 

 

Here’s some pics that I took in 2016, when the competition for Phase 2 was heating up & BAE were showcasing the turret commonality with the AMV35. This vehicle was on loan from the Dutch (RNLA). 

 

uJEDH4f.jpg

 

Au1ruPg.jpg 

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And....Team AJAX is in the public domain for Land 400-3:

 

 So far, this is the contender with the most mature variants (fitter, recovery, ambulance etc.), thanks to the British Army’s investment in their family of vehicles. 

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11 minutes ago, 2805662 said:

 So far, this is the contender with the most mature variants (fitter, recovery, ambulance etc.), thanks to the British Army’s investment in their family of vehicles. 

 

...

 

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That’s delivery/series production, which is a different issue. The variant designs themselves are complete, or near complete, (PDR, CDR, prototyped, tested, qualified, & certified) in partnership with a very demanding customer (British Army). No other viable contender (Lynx KF41, K21, or CV90) can say the same thing. Team Ajax is in the unusual position that their IFV variant (new turret + searing for 6 or 8 dismounts) is the least technically mature of the family. 

 

What remains to be seen in public is which turret will be offered by GD, though I’m expecting an announcement in the next ten days. 

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Are those CV90 variants all on the same chassis     and generation? And on the current generation of production? Or a hodge podge across different build states?  

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6 hours ago, Serge said:

CV90 doesn’t have ready variants ?

 

I wouldn’t say so, when compared to other families such as AMPV (for example) or AJAX. 

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10 hours ago, 2805662 said:

Are those CV90 variants all on the same chassis     and generation? And on the current generation of production? Or a hodge podge across different build states?  

 

These vehicles are all based on the CV90 Mk IIIB, the most advanced model currently in use. Some of them were created by rebuilding older vehicles (which means complete rebuilding, including cutting and welding of the basic steel structure), others are newly made. If Australia had the same "maturity" requirement for Phase 3 that was also used during Phase 2, this would be the best possible CV90 model that BAE Systems could offer.

 

There are also several other variants based on older hulls, such as a self-propelled anti-air gun, a light/medium tank and a mortar carrier, which could be interesting for Australia. I don't think it is a far stretch to assume that all these variants could - in modernized form - be manufactured on the latest CV90 Mk IV chassis. In the end there isn't even a proper IFV variant of the AJAX...

 

I don't see why one should say the AJAX family has an advantage in terms of being more proven offer the CV90. That the British army is still negotiating about a delivery of a first batch of ARES vehicles is indeed odd. Remember the Piranha Evolution (~ Piranha 5 prototype), the British army's primary choice as wheeled vehicle for FRES? The only reason why the British now want to buy the Boxer was the inability to negotiate a favorable contract with GDELS.

A lot of vehicles are tested and never purchased. The Austrian military for example tested the Pandur II and the heavier ASCOD 2, would you consider these vehicles mature if nobody had purchased them? But in the end that doesn't matter, as maturity is not a requirement for LAND 400 Phase 3.

 

 

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1 hour ago, SH_MM said:

 

These vehicles are all based on the CV90 Mk IIIB, the most advanced model currently in use. Some of them were created by rebuilding older vehicles (which means complete rebuilding, including cutting and welding of the basic steel structure), others are newly made. If Australia had the same "maturity" requirement for Phase 3 that was also used during Phase 2, this would be the best possible CV90 model that BAE Systems could offer.

 

There are also several other variants based on older hulls, such as a self-propelled anti-air gun, a light/medium tank and a mortar carrier, which could be interesting for Australia. I don't think it is a far stretch to assume that all these variants could - in modernized form - be manufactured on the latest CV90 Mk IV chassis. In the end there isn't even a proper IFV variant of the AJAX...

 

I don't see why one should say the AJAX family has an advantage in terms of being more proven offer the CV90. That the British army is still negotiating about a delivery of a first batch of ARES vehicles is indeed odd. Remember the Piranha Evolution (~ Piranha 5 prototype), the British army's primary choice as wheeled vehicle for FRES? The only reason why the British now want to buy the Boxer was the inability to negotiate a favorable contract with GDELS.

A lot of vehicles are tested and never purchased. The Austrian military for example tested the Pandur II and the heavier ASCOD 2, would you consider these vehicles mature if nobody had purchased them? But in the end that doesn't matter, as maturity is not a requirement for LAND 400 Phase 3.

 

 

https://www.contracts.mod.uk/do-features-and-articles/ajax-boosting-uk-land-capabilities/

 

The contract between the MoD & GDELS is signed and being executed. Details of delivery schedules not being in the public domain isn’t odd (IMO). The fact that there is a contract for AJAX somewhat invalidates the Piranha FRES-UV example given. 

 

The advantage that I see with AJAX is that there is a homogenous standard of qualification across a wide range of variants by a single user, in this case part of the Five Eyes community.

 

Having a qualified, homogenous family of modern vehicles, paid for another customer should positively affect the platform cost (someone else paid for NRE), reduces schedule risk, and should reduce the workforce bill from the customer side for design reviews etc. 

 

You’re right with the IFV: there’s nothing. It could be said that that’s an opportunity to work with/ integrate to whatever soldier system is selected by LAND 125 Phase 4....if you’re an optimist. 

 

Of course vehicles are tested without being purchased. In the last 20 years, the Australian Army (to keep the example relevant) has evaluated the AMV35, Bv10, Eagle V, JLTV, M109, LAV-120mm mortar. The AJAX family is being introduced into service in the British Army, a pretty distinct difference to “tested & never purchased”. 

 

I’m still not convinced that CV90 will be bid. Army took a good look at the E35 turret last time and wasn’t impressed. Power supply remains a significant challenge (powering APS, RWS, hunter/killer sights, ATGW, etc. none of which are *simultaneously* fitted to any CV90 variant). Plus BAE has won a lot of business in Australia this year (JORN, SEA 5000, for example) and may not have the workforce, resources, or appetite for a four-year campaign. 

 

 

 

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On 8/21/2018 at 8:09 PM, SH_MM said:

 

...

 


Recently an Ares with a driver's hatch that opens at an angle has been photo'd:

jFnpAHy.jpg
DLNxcZD.jpg

Switching to this new hatch might be the hold up.
Otherwise it is hard to think of an issue that could be GD/Ajax related and not simply the MOD being dumb.
 

On 8/21/2018 at 7:57 PM, 2805662 said:

 

 


Matthew has also mentioned:
 

 

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41 minutes ago, David Moyes said:

Matthew has also mentioned:
 

 

 

Call me old fashioned, but IMO the contender with "best technology" and "best value for money" should always win. Wether this is the AJAX or another offer has yet to be decided.

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I agree with Matt. Lynx KF41 isn’t “real”, yet. Not counting ASCOD @ Eurosatory in June, I haven’t seen AJAX in the flesh since DSEi 2015, so it’ll be good to see a variant of it in the same place as KF41, CV90 (potentially), & K-21 the week after next. 

 

@SH_MM of course it is yet to be decided. The RFT isn’t out & bid/no bid decisions are yet to be  made. 

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Out of curiosity, who is this Matthew? Does his company have any affiliation to the LAND 400 project or one contender? Or is his info just based on unofficial rumors?

 

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Matt Shea, former infantry officer, works for ECLIPS Engineering, supplying the Australian Army. I’ve known him for over twenty years - good guy & has solid information. 

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Request For Tender released:

 

https://www.tenders.gov.au/?event=public.atm.show&ATMUUID=F8D62769-EEF1-F99C-78E3ACCDA4927B26

 

Three “essential” (i.e. don’t bid if you can’t do this) requirements:

6 x dismounts. 

C-17 transportable when the vehicle is fully laden. 

Canberra Class “Amphibious Assault Ship” (direct quote) transportable when vehicle is fully laden. 

 

Only four pages of requirements, including aural detectability range, thermal detectability range, RPG/ATGW detection, laser targeting detection, armour protection, armour defeat, fire suppression, RWS compatibility (MAG-58, M2 QCB, Mk47), plus normal EMI/EMC etc. 

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A couple of additional points:

 

a RFI for “50 x Protected Amphibious Vehicles (PAV)”, which must swim from ship to shore in sea state 3 not less than 12NM. 

Plus an Armoured Mortar Vehicle (including a mortar ammunition re-supply “role”) & an Armoured Logistic Vehicle.

 

RWS must be by EOS. 

Main armament to be 30x173mm. 

 

 

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Seems the Boxer is now out of the competition because they want a tracked vehicle:

Spoiler

On 24 August the Australian government announced the formal opening of a multi-billion dollar request for tender (RfT) for the Land 400 Phase 3 project to obtain a Mounted Close Combat (MCC) capability for the Australian Army.

The army needs 450 IFVs and 17 Manoeuvre Support Vehicles to replace the M113AS4 APC family currently in service. A number of MCC variants are required. Direct fire high-survivability lift variants include traditional IFV, C2, joint fires and engineer reconnaissance vehicles. Specialist support IFVs include ambulance, repair, recovery and combat engineer variants.

Release of the formal tender had been delayed, with the Department of Defence announcing on 20 June that it was seeking greater consultation with local industry about the programme’s timeline. A draft-only RfT was released at that time.

An important clarification given in the just-released RfT is that the IFV solution must be tracked, whereas the earlier document permitted a mix of tracked and wheeled platforms, and only a ‘stated preference’ for a tracked and turreted vehicle.

The army wants a platform with ‘high levels of protection, lethality and mobility, capable of lifting six dismounts’. Its tactical manoeuvrability characteristics are to be similar to the M1A1 tank so as to enable combined-arms manoeuvres as well as operational and strategic mobility.

Minister of Defence Marise Payne noted: ‘This will be the largest investment in army’s capability ever undertaken and will provide our troops with a modern close combat capability. The vehicles will be equipped with high levels of protection, firepower and mobility that will enable sustained operations, varying from peacekeeping to close combat.’

The Department of Defence has specified three subsystems to be used in tender submissions. One is Rafael’s Spike LR2 antitank guided missile, the second is an EOS remote weapon station, and the third is a 30mm cannon that fires 30 x 173mm rounds.

Another significant mention is that shortlisted tenderers during the risk mitigation activity (RMA) phase will ‘explore the growth path to a potential future unmanned turret solution’.

A third key takeaway from the RFT is an attached RfI for three other vehicle types needed by the army. These are an armoured mortar vehicle, armoured logistics vehicle and a protected amphibious vehicle. A total of 15 (plus 25 ammunition resupply vehicles), 27 and 50 vehicles respectively are being sought.

The mortar and logistics vehicles had previously been listed, but the amphibious vehicle requirement is brand new. Bidders can submit responses to this RfI, with further consideration likely during the RMA phase.

The tender document also mentioned: ‘Due to the nature and cost of the IFV fleet, Defence seeks training and simulation solutions that enable force readiness levels at lower cost. Defence will utilise a decentralised training model in regional locations to meet the anticipated throughput in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.’

The tender process has three phases: an initial shortlisting (due for completion in Q3 2019); an RMA comprising a 12-month vehicle mobilisation period and a subsequent 12-month test and evaluation activity (Q3 2021); and a final evaluation and selection of preferred tenderer (2022).

Contract negotiations would then ensue around 2022-23. However, the RfT noted that ‘the above schedule is subject to change at any time’.

Payne encouraged local industry to participate in this huge project. ‘Just as with the Land 400 Phase 2 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles, Australian industry involvement and Australian workers will be critically important to this project.’

The inclusion of either a wheeled or tracked Protected Amphibious Vehicle (PAV) is particularly interesting. It recognises that neither the Boxer 8x8 being inducted under Land 400 Phase 2 nor the new MCC are ideally suited for expeditionary missions. Shephard has pointed out this weakness in a previous article.

The RfI says the army’s amphibious force needs a PAV to ‘swim from ship to shore and conduct land combat operations’ in low-threat environments. Indeed, this will ‘free up scarce ship-to-shore connectors and aviation assets, and allow the embarked force to deploy ashore in reduced timeframes. This provides increased operational flexibility and reduces risk of isolation and influence by threat forces’ during an amphibious lodgement.

The PAV needs to be able to swim in Sea State 3 for a distance of at least 12nm from shore. Minimum accommodation is two crewmen and eight dismounts. Its ‘protection, mobility, communication and capacity performance’ must be equal to or greater than a Bushmaster, and it has to be self-sustaining for 72h.

Fifty PAVs are needed to lift two companies’ worth of infantry. A medical variant carrying two extra medics is also needed for battlefield evacuation.

Simultaneously, the Department of Defence has created a new Armoured Vehicle Division responsible for consolidating large programmes like Land 400, Land 907 (MBT replacement) and Land 8160 (enhanced gap crossing) into a programmatic ‘mega project’.

The RfI for Land 400 Phase 3 was originally issued in November 2015, while preliminary ‘first pass’ approval was given on 13 March this year. The 2016 Integrated Investment Program lists a monetary figure of between A$10-15 billion ($7.4-11 billion) for Phase 3.

Industry briefings for Land 400 Phase 3 will occur during the Land Forces event in Adelaide in early September.

The tender closes on 1 March 2019.

 

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