Mean while back literally on Planet Earth.
The Marines new ACV
Speaking of 8x8s
BAE wins Marine Corps contract to build new amphibious combat vehicle
The contract allows for the company to enter into low-rate initial production. The Marines plan to field 204 of the vehicles by 2020. The total value of the contract with all options exercised is expected to amount to about $1.2 billion.
BAE Systems and SAIC were both awarded roughly $100 million each in November 2015 to deliver 16 prototypes to the Marine Corps for evaluation in anticipation of a down select to one vendor in 2018.
All government testing of the prototypes concluded the first week of December 2017 and the Marine Corps issued its request for proposals the first week in January 2018. Operational tests also began concurrently.
Government testing included land reliability testing, survivability and blast testing and water testing — both ship launch and recovery as well as surf transit.
Operational evaluations included seven prototypes each from both SAIC and BAE Systems, six participated and one spare was kept for backup.
BAE Systems’ partnered with Italian company Iveco Defense Vehicles to build its ACV offering.
Some of the features BAE believed were particularly attractive for a new ACV is that it has space for 13 embarked Marines and a crew of three, which keeps the rifle squad together. The engine’s strength is 690 horsepower over the old engine’s 560 horsepower, and it runs extremely quietly. The vehicle has a V-shaped hull to protect against underbody blasts, and the seat structure is completely suspended.
SAIC’s vehicle, which is being built in Charleston, South Carolina, offers improved traction through a central tire-inflation system to automatically increase or decrease tire pressure. It also has a V-hull certified during tests at the Nevada Automotive Test Center — where all prototypes will be tested by the Marine Corps — and has blast-mitigating seats to protect occupants.
The Marines new ACV
US Army test-fires Belgian-made gun amid plans for Stryker upgrade competition
PARIS ― The U.S. Army’s test-firing of a 30mm gun turret from CMI Defence is seen by
“We’re in pole position, “ Xavier Rigo, communications manager of CMI Defence, told Defense News on June 18. “That does not mean we will win the race, but it puts us in a very good position. We are very proud to have been selected for tests, a real recognition for our team and our equipment.”
That test-firing stems from a cooperative research and development agreement CMI signed in 2015 with the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, which is seeking a lethality upgrade for the Stryker.
CMI adapted the turret to fit the U.S. requirement for linkless ammunition, he said. ATK supplies the 30mm gun, which CMI fitted to its turret.
The Belgian company also supplies a 105mm gun turret for a bid led by SAIC in the U.S. tender for the Mobile Protected Firepower program. CMI has fielded its Cockerill 3105 turret, which uses its turret and 105mm cannon, with the latter built in a factory in northern France.
A Cockerill 3105 turret was among the products on display at the CMI stand at the Eurosatory trade show, which ran June 11-15. The stand at the show two years ago used the Cockerill brand name.
BAE Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems and SAIC are the competitors in that Stryker lethality upgrade competition, Rigo said. The next step is a down-select to two bidders, which will be asked to build and supply 12 prototype vehicles for tests.
In Europe, CMI is ”in discussion with the Belgian government“ in its search for a role in Belgium’s planned €1 billion (U.S. $1.2 billion) acquisition of the Griffon and Jaguar armored vehicles from the French Army Scorpion program.
Those talks are exploring the possibility for CMI to participate in local production and maintenance of the Scorpion vehicles, he said. The Belgian project, dubbed Capacité Mobilisé, or CAMO, sparked debate, as the planned acquisition boosted French contractors Arquus, Nexter and Thales, but left CMI turrets by the wayside.
CMI has delivered 130 gun turrets and is building some 20 turrets per month to supply GDLS, which has a contract with a Middle Eastern country, he said, declining to identify the client nation.
Those turrets are based on four modules, armed with 30mm, 90 mm, 105 mm, and both 105mm and 30mm guns. There are both manned and unmanned versions of the turret.
Canadian broadcaster CBC reported March 19 that GLDS Canada has sold to Saudi Arabia combat vehicles armed with 105mm and 30mm guns for ”heavy assault,” anti-tank and direct-fire support.
CMI conducted a firing demonstration of its six Cockerill gun turrets June 15 at the French Army Suippes firing range, eastern France. Some 60 representatives of foreign army delegations attended, the company said in a statement.
The Belgian company had been one of the