2013: The year's biggest Army Technology stories
Barack Obama authorised supply of non-lethal warfare equipment to the Syrian rebels and Meritor developed two new electronic systems to help military vehicles improve their manoeuvrability. Army-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from 2013.
The Australian Defence Forces (ADF) has taken delivery of the third and final Giraffe agile multi-beam (AMB) radar under contract from Saab, the country's Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare has announced.
The delivery follows a five-year $86.2m contract awarded to Saab for the supply of three radars, along with field sustainment support services as part of the final stage of ADF's LAND 19 phase 7A acquisition project in 2010.
Clare said the radar would be used as an Australia-based training support system to prepare soldiers prior to their actual deployment in Afghanistan.
Polish satellite access service provider TS2 Satellite Technologies has introduced new Ka-band satellite services to its strategic customers in Afghanistan, to assis coalition troops in the region.
The services are provided using HYLAS 2, a geostationary high throughput satellite manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation and operated by Avanti Communications Group to provide broadband communications.
Equipped with 24 Ku-band transmitting and six receiving transponders, the satellite is capable of offering high-speed, low-cost, two-way data transmission and additional services for individuals, corporations and government agencies in rapidly growing foreign markets.
Indra has developed a new vehicle for effective detection and analysis of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and improvised explosives (NRBCe) threats.
Manufactured as part of the Emergency Response Solutions NRBQ in the Civil and Military Sector (SORECYM-NRBQ) programme, the vehicle is designed to enable specialised staff to travel to contaminated areas to detect and identify nuclear and radiological materials.
Using a commercial van as a platform, the newly developed vehicle is also capable of detecting remote contaminant clouds located at distances of up to 5km, followed by subsequent analysis using mass spectrophotometry techniques.
The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has started design work to develop a new rail-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system to counter global threats, the country's deputy defence minister Yury Borisov has announced.
Borisov was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that a research and development programme for ICBM production has been initiated by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology and is currently in preliminary stages.
Without disclosing the programme's duration, Borisov noted that the total project cost was yet to be determined by the MoD.
Decatron has been awarded a contract for delivery of MASA Group's SWORD constructive simulation system to add realism to the Brazilian Army's battalion, brigade and division levels training programmes.
The competitively awarded contract involves acquisition and full customisation of SWORD to help enhance training, analysis, and decision support for both military commanding officers and crisis managers in the emergency preparedness sector.
The software is expected to be used by the army to replicate combat and combat-support actions for command posts, and also for other non-military actions at both Subunidade and Unidade levels.
The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to acquire a wide range of advanced domestically manufactured equipment at a cost of Rs6tn ($0.1tn) to help prepare the armed forces for futuristic warfare over the next 15 years.
Involving robots, precision-guided missiles and watchdog satellites, the procurement is scheduled to be carried out 'without compromising transparency, fairness and probity at any level', Press Trust of India has reported citing an MoD's Technology and Capability Roadmap (TCR) document.
Release of the TCR in the public domain represents the ministry's effort to make both the domestic private and public sector industry aware about the requirements of the armed forces, providing an opportunity to ready themselves to offer solutions.
The German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has inducted CAE's GEfechts-SImulation System (GESI) as a command and staff training programme.
The commissioning of the next-generation system, which is currently being used at German Army Combat Simulation Center in Wildflecken, represents a significant milestone in an ongoing product improvement programme that will continue with release of an enhanced version in the middle of 2014.
CAE Military-Europe vice-president and business leader Ian Bell said the latest GESI version offers several enhancements and improvements enabling the army to train commanders and staff in a range of actual missions that are likely to be encountered in the battlefield.
The Polish Ministry of Defence (MoD) has joined the European Defence Agency's (EDA) effective procurement methods (EPM) initiative on the joint procurement of different kinds of ammunition for the Carl Gustav recoilless multi-purpose weapon system.
The move follows a comprehensive evaluation of the Polish national requirements, the benefits in pooling demand and the communalities of the ammunition acquired through this common initiative.
EDA deputy chief executive Rini Goos said: ''This common procurement initiative illustrates the success of our approach. It all started with three countries choosing EDA as their vehicle for cooperation, a couple of months later, we have two additional countries on board.''
US President Barack Obama has authorised supply of non-lethal warfare equipment to help the Syrian rebel forces defend against a potential chemical attack, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden has revealed.
Hayden said in a statement that Obama has signed a presidential determination waiving certain restrictions under the Arms Export Control Act, which enables US Government to deliver or license certain non-lethal assistance inside or related to Syria.
''This action is part of long-standing and ongoing efforts to provide life-saving chemical weapons-related assistance to people in need in Syria,'' Hayden said.
Meritor has developed two new electronic systems to help military vehicles improve their manoeuvrability through varied terrains and extreme conditions, with enhanced traction and mobility.
Called SmartFlow central tire inflation system (CTIS) and DriveCommand Drivetrain Control (DTC), the new systems are designed to offer customised tire pressure and drivetrain management through mud, sand and snow, on highways and cross-country, and in emergency situations.
Independently controlled by a single human machine interface (HMI) unit, the lightweight systems can readily mount on a cab or high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) chassis, as well as on the joint light tactical vehicles (JLTV).
The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to sell 44 BAE Systems CV9035NL infantry fighting vehicles following the new cuts in the defence budget.
The Royal Netherlands Army (RNLA) had disposed of Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks, a limited number of PzH2000 self-propelled howitzers and 40 anti-tank configured Fenneks due to budget cutbacks in 2011, according to Shephard.
Since then the Fenneks are stored in a former United States Army Europe Prepositioned Organisational Materiel Site (POMS) site, along with 116 Leopard II and 32 PzH2000s.
The Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) has issued request for proposals (RFP) to companies for supply of mobile satellite communication terminals for the national army vehicles.
The RFP was released under the land command support system life extension (LCSS LE) project on behalf of the Department of National Defence (DND), following extensive consultations and engagement with the industry.
Public Works and Government Services minister Diane Finley said the government is committed to providing the Canadian Army personnel with the best possible equipment required for missions at home and abroad.
Boeing and EADS are currently listed as the top performing defence and aerospace companies in 2013, while other industry heavyweights like General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin also appear.
Armoured personnel carriers, popularly called APCs, have occupied an important role in military operations since World War I.