June's top news: India's future weapons, US cuts brigades & UK receives Terrier

The US army proposed to cut 12 brigade combat teams by 2017, India is planning to spend $0.1tn on futuristic warfare weapons and the UK Army received the first Terrier light-armoured vehicle. Army-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from June 2013.


Chinook

US Army awards $4bn Chinook contract to Boeing

Chinook in flight

Boeing has been awarded a $4bn contract for delivery of 177 CH-47F Chinook medium-to-heavy-lift helicopters to the US Army.

Representing a cost-effective alternative to the annual contracts, the multi-year contract also features options which, if exercised by the army, could increase the total number of aircraft to 215.

Expected to help the US Government save more than $800m, the contract also eventually brings the army's CH-47F total procurement close to its intended target of 464 aircraft, including 24 units for replacement of peacetime attrition aircraft.

US Army to cut 12 brigade combat teams by 2017, says general

Raymond Odierno

The US Army will cut 12 brigade combat teams (BCTs) by the end of 2017 as part of its force restructuring due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, bringing the number of active-duty BCTs to 33, army chief of staff general Raymond Odierno has revealed.

Speaking at a Pentagon news conference in Washington DC, Odierno said the service would also reduce its active component from a wartime high of 570,000 soldiers to 490,000 by 2017, which represents one of its largest organisational changes since the Second World War.

Selected following comprehensive review involving environmental and socio-economic impacts of the reductions, ability to train soldiers, expand and regenerate forces, as well as geographic distribution, the majority of BCTs being dissolved are based in the US, while two are operating in Germany.

Indian MoD to invest $0.1tn for futuristic warfare weapons

robot

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.

The procurement involves robots, precision-guided missiles and watchdog satellites.

As well as watchdog satellites for protection against Chinese anti-satellite weapons (ASAT), the armed forces are also seeking eco-friendly electric power and propulsion systems capable of reducing fuel consumption and pollution, while enabling vessels to function quietly.

Lenco launches new BearCat MedEvac variants

Lenco vehicle

Lenco Industries has launched the law enforcement (LE) and military (MIL) variants of its ballistic engineered armoured response counter attack truck (BearCat) MedEvac armoured tactical vehicles.

BearCat MedEvac LE is specifically designed to address the combined requirements of special weapons and tactics (SWAT) and tactical EMS teams, while BearCat MedEvac MIL is for tactical combat casual care (TC3) within the defence sector.

Built with Mil-Spec steel armour plate certified to defeat multi-hit attacks from 7.62 armour-piercing (AP) round/ .50 calibre Browning machine gun (BMG), the vehicles are also capable of providing operators with a safe and effective environment for handling trauma cases.

Italian MoD orders additional FATS simulators from Meggitt

FATS simulator

Meggitt Training Systems has been awarded a series of contracts for delivery of additional FATS virtual small arms training simulator (SAT) systems to the Italian Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Valued at a combined $17m, the contract involves the addition of around 55 SATs and 660 weapon training simulation systems (WTSS) to the Italian Army's existing inventory of Meggitt training equipment.

The package will also include the company's new FATS M100 system architecture, which will support the army's expanding capabilities due to compatibility with a broad spectrum of devices and software packages.

Croatian Army orders Protector remote weapon stations from Kongsberg

Protector RWS

Kongsberg Group has been awarded a contract by Ðuro Ðakovic to supply its M151 12.7mm calibre Protector remote weapon stations (RWS) to the Croatian Army.

Valued at $17.03m, the order forms part of a contract signed between Ðuro Ðakovic and the Croatia defence ministry for the acquisition and installation of Protector systems on the national army's AMV 8x8 armoured combat vehicles.

After signing the contract, Croatian defence minister Ante Kotromanovic said the continued cooperation with Ðuro Ðakovic on combat armoured vehicle project represents another step in the ministry's efforts to build a small but modern and mobile army.

BAE hands over first Terrier combat engineer vehicle to UK Army

Terrier

The UK Army has received the first Terrier light-armoured vehicle under contract from BAE Systems for use by the Royal Engineers.

Around 60 vehicles were ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) along with logistics support and training package under a £350m deal to replace the Royal Engineers' existing FV180 combat engineer tractor fleet in July 2002.

Weighing 30t, Terrier is designed to remove obstacles and mines for frontline troops, dig anti-tank ditches, trenches and armoured fighting vehicle slots, and clear and maintain routes in conflict zones.

US to arm Syrian rebels after 'proven' chemical attacks

Barack Obama

The US is to provide military support to Syrian rebel forces after announcing it has evidence that suggests chemical weapon attacks have been carried out by government forces in the country.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) stated that it has evidence that such attacks have happened after tests on blood, urine and hair samples collected from rebel fighters.

The announcement marks the first time that the US has supported such claims, following similar ones made by British and French intelligence services.