Retrofit programmes deliver excellent protection and enhanced performance for combat vehicles
MBTs combine protection, mobility and firepower, and the same is true of IFVs, with the added benefit of additional troop-carrying capacity. Together they form the core element of modern, high-mobility military operations, hard-hitting yet capable of reacting to threats in scalable fashion.
Even older legacy systems can be retrofitted to meet the latest operational requirements.
At FIDAE 2012, Rheinmetall Defence, one of the world’s most experienced system integrators, is displaying some of its high-tech solutions for upgrade programmes. On show is an IFV whose modernised protection features are specifically designed to counter today’s battlefield threats.
The configuration showcased here includes add-on armour, a spall liner and anti-mine seats decoupled from the floor of the vehicle, all designed and installed by Rheinmetall Chempro. These features provide crews with reliable protection from RPG attacks, APFDS-T rounds and antitank guided missiles with tandem shaped charges, and landmines. All of these force protection components can be quickly retrofitted into existing vehicles without impairing their mobility.
At FIDAE 2012, the Chilean Air Force is displaying two Rheinmetall-made air defence system components: an Oerlikon GDF007 Twin Gun and an Oerlikon SKYGUARD 3 Fire Control Unit. In addition, visitors to the Rheinmetall stand can learn about Ahead technology and the SKYSHIELD system, which offers reliable protection from rocket, artillery and mortar (RAM) fire.
Other products on display are new tank ammunition and medium-calibre technology for the modern battlefield, Rheinmetall MASS system, protection systems, EO systems, and 40mm ammunition.
Rheinmetall has also developed a quick-mounting digital aiming device for the FLY-K mortar, a system successfully deployed by the French Armed Forces in Afghanistan. The device measures the incline and elevation angle of the tube, while showing the range of the cartridges on a display. Light, compact, quiet and with a very low operational signature, this indirect fire weapon can of course also be used without an aiming device to engage targets at distances of up to 800 metres.
Among other Rheinmetall indirect fire products on display at FIDAE 2012 is its new family of 60mm mortar ammunition.
For more information about this technology, please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY 3/2012, available at the show.