Please visit our latest report from ISDEF 2010 at:
Please visit our latest report from ISDEF 2010 at:
Our second daily coverage of the Latrun event focus on electro-optical devices shown here. Among many familiar systems, Defense Update has picked several new systems and developers, that have made their first steps in bringing their innovative EO systems to the market. Some are brand new, demonstrated as prototypes and proof of concept demonstrators while others are already fielded and operational, primarily with special operations units.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is unveiling two new unmanned systems, representing a breakthrough in Vertical Take off and Landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designs. Both designs, named Panther and Mini-Panther employ a new tilt-rotor propulsion concept patented by IAI. Both are designed for tactical use. The Panthers have already performed test flights and are expected to operational ready next year. The new Panther will be displayed tomorrow in Latrun, Israel
Panther combines the flight capabilities of fixed wing airplane with helicopter-like hovering, takeoff and landing, by employing two tilt-rotor propellers, and a vertical lift augmenter propeller providing additional lift for hovering, takeoff and landing. This configuration enables the Panther to be runway-independent, taking off and landing from unprepared areas. This unique, concept can be applied to UAVs of different sizes, providing land forces and special operations units at tactical level the capabilities commonly associated with much larger platforms.
Weighing about 65 kg, the Panther is powered by three electrical motors and packs sufficient power to loiter on missions of up to six hours at an altitude of 10,000 ft. At this altitude operational radius can exceed 60 km. The Panther carries IAI’s MiniPOP multi-sensor electro-optical day-night payload comprising stabilized day and night cameras, laser rangefinder, laser pointer or laser designator. The smaller Mini-Panther is a 12 kg tilt-rotor mini-UAV designed for mission endurance of two hours. This version operates at lower altitudes and carries the miniature ‘Micro-POP’ EO stabilized payload. Both versions are powered by ultra-quiet electrical motors contributing to the Panther’s stealth capability. The Panther’s flight control system is enhanced with automatic transition flight modes controlling the transitions between hovering and forward flight, enabling the Panther to take off and land automatically by a simple click of the operator console, thus eliminating the need for an external pilot. The Panther system employs compact ground control station and support systems packed into a midsize vehicle, storing up to three aircraft, communications datalink, and support equipment, allowing tactical units an autonomous operation. The ground control segment has two operators, using two fully redundant and identical consoles. The two consoles are employed for maximum mission efficiency – according to IAI, the Panther can be operated by a single operator as well. Designed as a portable system, the mini Panther includes two aircraft and a command and control unit carried by two soldiers. The Panther control station, transported on a midsize vehicle, can store up to three aircraft, as well as the ground data link, the support equipment and spare parts, all of which allow the troops’ autonomous operation on the field at a tactical level. Two operators control the mission using two fully redundant identical consoles. IAI is unveiling the Panther tilt-rotor tactical UAV tomorrow, at the Latrun Conference in Israel. IAI’s new UAV will make its international debut later this month, at the Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA) 2010 Annual Meeting and Exposition in the USA.
Navistar Defense, LLC unveiled today a new, high-mobility medium tactical vehicle (MTV) at the Modern Day Marine Exposition. The MTV is based on the International 7000-MV platform. The MTV incorporates the DXM independent suspension and can also accommodate a variety of survivability and armoring solutions derived from the International MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle.
The MTV also incorporates automatic traction control, anti-lock brakes, self-diagnostics, advanced electronics systems optional central tire inflation system (CTIS). It is offered with two powertrain options – utilizing the MaxxForce D 9.3L and 13L powertrains. The vehicle is capable of climbing a 60 percent gradient and maneuvering 40 percent side slopes.
According to Archie Massicotte, president, Navistar Defense, since receiving the first contract in 2005 Navistar Defense has delivered more than 21,000 7000-MV vehicle platforms in 13 different variants. The current variant adds survivability and independent suspension technologies meeting the requirements of U.S. and allied nations operating in Afghanistan. The company recently completed building 1,130 MaxxPro Dash vehicles with the DXM independent suspension for fielding in Afghanistan. An additional 1,222 Dash units already in operation will also soon be retrofitted with the DXM suspension solution. Navistar medium tactical vehicles are currently in operation in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Canada, Israel, Jordan and Taiwan.
Oshkosh Defense is offering to upgrade the Marine Corps HMMWVs, enhancing its off-road mobility, maneuverability, and speed, while retaining, and even improving its ballistic protection and introducing V-shaped under armor for additional blast protection. The key for this miracle is the TAK-4 independent suspension system, customizing the tactical utility HMMWV into a customized off-road vehicle. Oshkosh is presenting the customized HMMWV at the Modern Marine expo in Quantico, VA.
Current U.S. Marine Corps operational protection requirements call for add-on armor to improve the vehicle’s survivability (i.e., the Up-armored HMMWV, M1151A1 with B1 armor kit). With this up-armoring, the vehicle weighs in more than 1.5 tons above its originally designed Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and experiences performance, ride quality and mobility degradations. “Oshkosh offers a new way forward for the Marine Corps’ light vehicle fleet, and does so using its proprietary TAK-4 suspension, which has been proven in theater on multiple vehicle classes,” Said John Bryant, Oshkosh Defense vice president and general manager, Marine Corps Programs. “The HMMWV with the TAK-4 system improves vehicle ride height and performance, ride quality and restores the original vehicle payload capability – allowing for additional under-vehicle armor protection for improved survivability.”
The new suspension offers the vehicle a 70 percent off-road profile capability. The new suspension restores a 2,500-pound vehicle payload capacity in addition to the armor and occupants. Introducing 14 inches of independent wheel travel, the HMMWV can overcome obstacles and navigate rugged, mountainous environments. The vehicle’s performance is also improved in 40 percent increase in the maximum speed and a 46 percent improvement in braking. With ground clearance increases to 17 inches, and additional payload capacity, an under-vehicle V-shaped panel can be added, to further improve survivability from mine blasts and IEDs. The higher ground clearance further improves mobility and occupant visibility.
“We continue to see vehicles equipped with the TAK-4 thrive in places like Afghanistan – where unimproved roads and rocky, rugged terrain make up the battlefields.” Bryant added. The TAK-4 independent suspension system has already been used on more than 10,000 Oshkosh Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacements (MTVR) operated by the Marine Corps and Navy Seabees. It is also used on Oshkosh MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV).
31 years after pioneering mine protection for vehicles with the first Casspir Mine Protected Vehicle (MPV) Denel unveiled today a new version of South Africa’s iconic mine-protection vehicle – Casspir MK IV. The new vehicle was launched today in Cape Town today, at the African Aerospace and Defence Expo (AAD) taking place at the Ysterplaat Air Force Base.
According to Ashley Williams, CEO of Denel’s subsidiary Mechem, responsible for the vehicle design, new features introduced with the new model are the use of modern, more powerful drive train with manual or automatic transmission, a stronger hull offering improved protection, including ‘up armoring’ with appliqué armor modules, a slightly wider and lower cabin, offering improved interior design.
“Mechem took the strategic decision to build this configuration again due to the great demand still in the market. In the last few years, most of these vehicles were re-manufactured from hulls bought from SAPS auctions and tender processes causing depletion in actionable stock. There was also concern over the supply of spare parts,” said Mr Williams.
According to Denel CEO, Mr Talib Sadik, Casspir had been the benchmark for the safe transportation of military personnel worldwide and the vehicle is the preferred Mine Protection Vehicle and Armored Personnel Carrier used by the United Nations. It has been used in combat in many of the world’s hot spots, from Afghanistan to Mozambique, by the South African National Defence Force, private security companies and police services. Casspir became famous in popular culture when it featured prominently in the Oscar-nominated film, District Nine. The first Casspir was built in 1979 by TFM.
Mechem also offers the ‘Steel Wheels’ counter-mine system for the Casspir, enabling the vehicle to destroy land mines without damaging the vehicle.
Ichikowitz referred to the recent growth in the domestic and continental demand for armored vehicles in Africa, “With African defense spending up nearly a third since the end of the Cold War, Africa is purchasing more defense and security systems. This has stimulated manufacturers, engineers and scientists to produce world-class products.” African companies such as the Paramount Group are not only competing on an international level, with interest from governments in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, but also offering better in-country benefits for purchasers. Whereas the Western majors manufacture their equipment far from the destination market, Paramount Group takes an ‘in-country’ approach, where it establishes production facilities in regional markets. This ensures that the economic and development benefits associated with production, training and marketing help the local population, not just the shareholders in New York or London.”
“The world has finally discovered that Africa has some of the best technologies at affordable prices” said Ichikowitz.
The Paramount Group has unveiled today a new armored infantry fighting vehicle called Mbombe. According to the company, the vehicle has not yet been ordered but several potential customers are already interested, including Gabon.
Paramount unveiled today the Mbombe at the African Aerospace and Defense 2010 (AAD) Expo. Mbombe is a 6×6 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) implementing a flat hull (rather than the traditional V-shape invented in South Africa). The honeycomb flat hull enables much lower silhouette, compared to contemporary MRAPs claimed to offer better protection against IEDs than many vehicles currently used by NATO forces in Afghanistan.
Mbombe offers ballistic protection meeting STANAG Level 4 Level IV with modular upgrade meeting specific threat levels. The vehicle is designed to withstand explosions of 10kg of TNT anywhere under the hull or under any wheel station, without rupture. The vehicle is also well protected against roadside IEDs, with the capability of defeating 50kg of TNT at 5m. The passengers and crew are seated on blast energy absorbing seats, to prevent the risk from blast.
The vehicle on display was fitted with a dual feed 30mm cannon and integrated machine gun mounted in an overhead weapon station. Paramount plans to introduce a family of vehicles based on eth Mbombe, including an armored personnel carrier, armored combat support vehicle (with cannons acting as direct support weapons), command vehicle, and ambulance.
Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Ltd. was established after privatization of the former Israel Military Industries (IMI) Small Arms Division, which has been the leading weapon manufacturer in Israel for over 70 years.
Company Website: israel-weapon.com
IWI Product Line:
Today, IWI is part of a group of companies specializing in the development, manufacturing and marketing of defense products for the local, and international market, offering equipment to customers, including military forces and law- enforcement agencies.
Employing state of the art design, development and manufacturing technologically, IWI has consistently provided weapons favored by the best military and police forces around the world – from the legendary UZI SMG to IWI’s latest addition, the TAVOR, X-95 Assault Rifles and NEGEV Light Machine Gun.
Development, manufacturing, testing and quality assurance, specified to the most stringent military standards, are carried out in-house at IWI’s facilities, enabling the company to operate efficiently, maintain highest quality standards, while rapidly adapting to customer- requirements and market trends.
IWI’s firearms are developed in close collaboration with the IDF. IWI and the IDF established joint Research and Development (R&D) teams, to create the weapons, whose ultimate configuration is the product of ongoing interaction, field tests and modifications, applied from most recent combat requirements.
IWI Product Line:
IWI is one of the world’s leading producers of combat proven small arms for over 70 years. The company’s range of weapon systems include:
The Tavor was developed by IWI in cooperation with the IDF. Its compact rifle and long barrel are key attributes for its excellent usability for modern, asymmetric combat. The weapon has an integral, advanced and accurate sighting system attached directly to the barrel. Designed with optimal ergonomics Tavor increases the user’s comfort and confidence level.
The standard LMG of the Israel Defense Forces. High reliability and versatility that suits a large variety of operations. NEGEV can optimized for dismounted operations. It can also be used as vehicle mounted weapon, on helicopters or naval crafts.
Galil is a lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine fed multi-purpose personal weapon. It is designed for firing from the shoulder or hip. The Galil was combat proven as a highly reliabile weapon, proving itself in difficult and extreme conditions. The ACE is based upon the reliable mechanism of the GALIL. It is perfectly suitable for modern battle field, with enhanced human engineering. The five Picatinny rails allow adding an array of optical devices and accessories. The ACE is easy to use and simple to maintain.
This is a semi automatic sniper rifle, designed for high accuracy, ease of operation and convenient carriage under tough operating conditions. The weapon is offered with a folding stock for use by special units and law enforcement. Galil Sniper Rifle is in service with military and government agencies worldwide.
The first and leading SMG. The legendary UZI has been the most popular weapon for over 50 years. Since the introduction in 1956 over 2 million units were sold worldwide. The combat-proven UZI has proved itself as the most reliable SMG to date.
IWI is offering two types of handguns – the Jericho and Barak. Jericho is built on a high quality, all steel construction. Its barrel has polygonal rifling for greater accuracy and longer barrel life. Among the ergonomic features are the forward-positioned center of gravity providing for reduce barrel jump, polymer stock and safety on slide. Barak Is a lightweight, ergonomically designed handgun offered for self-defense and law enforcement needs. It is available in 3 cal: 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP.