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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

29 October 2014

12 Nexter PG-Guard ARAVIS + ARX20 & NERVA LG to be Supplied to the Gabonese Republic

Philippe Burtin, CEO of Nexter,  today signeda contract in the presence of the French and Gabonese Ministers of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Ernest Mpouho Epigat, to supply the Gabonese Republic with 12 highly protected 4x4 vehicles ARAVIS.

These 12 ARAVIS will be equipped with Nexter remotely controlled 20mm turret ARX20 and RPG protections PG-Guard, but also with Nexter Robotics reconnaissance NERVA LG unmanned ground vehicles (UGV). These vehicles will join a battalion which will be deployed in Central African Republic within the MINUSCA under the United Nations authority.

Earlier this month, Nexter and Kraus Maffei-Wegmann (KMW) have reiterated that they are to conclude their previously announced union (the formation of an alliance under a single joint-venture company) by April 2015.

In late September, the French Procurement Agency (DGA) qualified the new version of Nexter‘s VBCI armored infantry combat vehicle.

28 October 2014

India Green Lights Major Projects

At a meeting chaired by Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on 25th October, India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) gave the green light to programmes to procure diesel-electric submarines (SSK) and anti-tank guided weapons (ATGW) valued at over 80,000 crore rupees (approx. $13 billion) over the next decade. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” policy ensures that both the submarines and the missiles will be manufactured in India, after the transfer of technology and appropriate intellectual property has been negotiated.

Submarines have been a glaring capability gap in recent years for the Indian Navy, whose Project 75 envisions the construction of six new SSKs. The project has been delayed since original agreement on the subject some seven years ago, but the DAC decision at the weekend means a Request for Proposals could be issued in the foreseeable future. It is likely to take at least three years to select the design and negotiate a contract, with the first submarine rolling off the construction wharfs some seven to eight years later.

The requirement is for an advanced stealth SSK design, with an air independent propulsion system and the capability to launch land attack missiles. They are likely to be constructed at Magazon Docks in Mumbai and Hindustan Shipyard in Visakhapatnam. The core cost of the programme is currently estimated at 50,000 crore rupees ($8.2 billion).

Also approved was the acquisition of the Israeli SPIKE ATGW. The Israeli weapon system won out over stiff competition from the American JAVELIN system, despite attempts earlier this year by the Obama administration to secure a deal, which included technology transfer and an offer to co-develop a fourth generation of the ATGW in India. However, the US had earlier been reluctant to put technology transfer on the table, whereas Israel had included it from the initial discussions, according to informed sources in New Delhi.

Initial quantities of the SPIKE system, which include approximately 900 launchers and 3,200 missiles, as well as 15 training simulators, are likely to be procured direct from Israel, following which a technology transfer to Bharat Dynamics is expected. The eventual requirement to equip over 400 infantry and mechanised infantry battalions is expected to rise to almost 2,000 launchers and over 32,000 missiles.

27 October 2014

Saab and Brazil Sign Contract for GRIPEN NG

Saab has signed a contract with the Brazilian Federal Government (the Ministry of Defence [MoD] through the Aeronautics Command, COMAER) covering the development and production of 36 GRIPEN NG fighter aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). The total order value is approximately SEK39.3 billion. Saab and COMAER have also signed an industrial co-operation contract to deliver substantial technology transfer from Saab to Brazilian industry.

Saab and Brazil have finally signed the contract for 36 GRIPEN NG fighters. (All photos: Saab)

On 18 December 2013, Brazil selected the GRIPEN NG to be its next-generation fighter aircraft, through the F-X2 evaluation programme. Since then all parties have negotiated to finalise a contract. Today’s announcement marks the successful conclusion of that process. Saab and COMAER have signed a contract for the development and production of 36 GRIPEN NG fighter aircraft, plus related systems and equipment. The programme comprises 28 single-seat and eight two-seat GRIPEN NG.

We are proud to stand side-by-side with Brazil in this important programme. There is already a long and successful history of industrial co-operation between our two countries, and this historic agreement takes that partnership to a new level,” said Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of Saab’s Board of Directors.

The contract with COMAER for Gripen NG and the associated Industrial Co-operation contract will come into effect once certain conditions have been fulfilled. These include, among others, the necessary export control-related authorisations. All of these conditions are expected to be fulfilled during the first half of 2015. GRIPEN NG deliveries to the FAB will be undertaken from 2019 to 2024.

The contract with Brazil validates GRIPEN as the most capable and modern fighter system on the market. It solidifies Saab’s position as a world-leading fighter aircraft producer and strengthens our platform for growth,” said Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab.

Saab and Brazil have signed a contract for 28 single-seat and eight two-seat GRIPEN NGs.

The contract with Brazil strengthens the ties between Saab and Brazilian industry. Embraer will have a leading role as the strategic partner in the F-X2 programme. As part of the technology transfer plan, Brazilian industry will have an important role in the development of, and be responsible for, the production of the two-seat GRIPEN NG variant for the FAB.

Brazil joins Sweden in becoming the launch customer for the next-generation GRIPEN, which shares the same smart design and innovative technology as today’s GRIPEN versions. GRIPEN aircraft are currently in operational service with the Swedish, Czech, Hungarian, South African, and Royal Thai Air Forces, and also with the UK Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS).

The next-generation GRIPEN meets the market’s demand for a sophisticated and flexible combat aircraft with sustainable costs. The aircraft provides extended thrust, range and endurance; expanded weapons capacity; new sensors including an advanced AESA radar; highly effective electronic warfare systems; and multi-function communications.

The GRIPEN NG for Brazil and GRIPEN E for Sweden share all the attributes of the next-generation GRIPEN design, but are also tailored to each country’s specific national requirements. The commitments by Sweden and Brazil secure GRIPEN’s industrial and operational future into the 2050 timeframe.

24 October 2014

The Jet Advantage, Embraer Rolls Out KC-390 Transport

On 21 October, Embraer rolled out the first prototype of its new KC-390 military transport aircraft.

Embraer KC-390 military transport aircraft rollout. (All Photos: Pieter Bastiaans)

The impressive roll out ceremony was done at Embraer's plant in Gavião Peixoto northwest of São Paulo, Brazil under the watchful eye of dignitaries from 32 countries. The KC-390 was developed by Embraer in response to a requirement of the Brazilian military with the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) owning the intellectual property of the aircraft programme according to Jackson Schneider, the President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. Due to Brazil's national defence strategy and its increased demands for airlift and air to air refuelling (AAR), the FAB has been looking for a new aircraft with sufficient range to cover the vast expanses of the Brazilian countryside, hereby providing mobility to its scarce military resources needed to defend the country. The aircraft was required to be able to cope with the country's diversity of climate and terrain including the Amazon region and the Antarctic. With 80% of Brazilian oil production being done offshore, Embraer was also asked to take into account the fact that the new aircraft had to be capable of conducting SAR missions in Brazil's extensive exclusive economic zone. In addition, the Brazilian military wanted an aircraft that could execute missions other than war including humanitarian and disaster relief missions as well as missions in support of national commitments to the UN.

Jackson Schneider, the President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security emphasised that the programme is on track with the first flight of the first prototype expected to take place in late 2014 once integrated systems and ground vibration tests are succesfully completed.

The FAB's current (K)C-130H transport fleet has reached an average age of 37+ years, leading to lower availability and higher maintenance costs, this clearly indicating the urgent need for a modern, more advanced aircraft. The new transport is planned to complement the HERCULES fleet while also gradually replacing a number of the ageing turboprop transport aircraft. As part of its market survey, the FAB also looked into the capabilities of existing aircraft designs including the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super HERCULES. In the end the main requirements which were laid out by the FAB asked for a new airlifter with state of the art avionics that was capable of lifting 19t over 2,000nm, while also being able to conduct high altitude as well as low altitude parachute extraction system (LAPES) air drops. The ability to operate from short semi-prepared runways was also a key requirement.

Embraer KC-390

Since its foundation in 1969, Embraer has grown steadily diversifying into new markets along the way. In response to the Brazilian military's requirements the company came up with a proposal that merged advanced technology with risk reduction measures, opting for commercial off the shelf equipment whenever possible, while staying within the confines of the U$2 billion development cost estimate, this including $631 million for the aircraft's so called strategic systems. These systems include the aircraft's engines, avionics, flight controls, landing gear and mission systems, the suppliers of which are selected by the air force. According to Schneider, the KC-390 programme represents a major leap in design and manufacturing processes for the company.  The aircraft's FBW system was designed by Embraer while the company has improved its experience on how to deal with composites, metallurgics, and milling processes. The contract to develop the KC-390 was signed in April 2009 with the contract for the production of 28 production aircraft for the FAB and an initial logistical support package being signed five years later, on 20 May this year. The FAB opted for basic avionics by Rockwell Collins, turbofan engines by International Aero Engines, a cargo handling and delivery system by DRS Technologies, and a tactical radar by Selex ES. A number of mission systems come from Elbit Systems’ Brazilian subsidiary Aeroeletronica (AEL), while Cobham is responsible for delivering the wing air refuelling pod system.

Embraer KC-390 turbofan engines by International Aero Engines.

During development Embraer has made extensive use of digital and physical mockups in order to optimize its design while also conducting a series of wind tunnel campaigns. The South American aircraft manufacturer is also using two trial bodies for fatigue and structural tests while employing smaller rigs for other trials. A joint project between Embraer and the Brazilian military, the KC-390 is the biggest aircraft ever developed by the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer having a length and a wingspan of slight more than 35 metres. Designed with a high degree of flexibility in mind, the advanced transport aircraft has been conceived to perform a wide range of missions including airlift, aerial resupply, aerial assault/infiltration, AAR of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft, medevac, SAR, aerial fire fighting, and combating occurrences of oil spillage. As a result, the KC-390 can be configured in various ways either for carrying 80 troops or 66 paratroopers, 74 litters with two attendants, or seven 463l pallets, including two which can be carried on the rear ramp. Capable of carrying a distributed cargo load of 23t, or a concentrated payload of 26t, the new transport aircraft can also take on heavy loads, typical loads for the Brazilian military including either three HUMVEEs, a Sikorsky S-70 BLACKHAWKhelicopter or a LAV-25 combat vehicle. During the post ceremony press conference, Schneider indicated that he also beliefs that, "This is an ideal aircraft for special forces. This is a plane with a modular concept that is highly adaptable."

Christening of the Embraer KC-390

With its two 31,330lbs thrust IAE V2500-E5 turbofan engines enabling a maximum cruise speed of 470kts, Embraer aims to offer an aircraft that can deliver more cargo per mission and do it faster, hereby enhancing mobility of its customers. Using this concept, Embraer is convinced that greater distances can be covered in a single crew duty day and that more missions can be flown using the same amount of flight hours, hereby enhancing effectiveness and efficiency. The cargo bay area of the KC-390 has a length of 18.5m including the usable ramp area. Without the ramp that has been optimised for easy access for long heavy wheeled vehicles, the length is 12.7 metres. Operating at a maximum altitude of 36,000ft, the KC-390 typically has a range of 1,380nm with a 23t payload or 2,780nm with a 13t payload. Ferry range can be extended from 3,530nm to 4,640nm by adding internal auxiliary fuel tanks.

The requirement of being able to operate from damaged or semi-prepared runways has led to a rugged design, which according to KC-390 programme manager Paulo Gastão Silva has, "great protection against ingestion of FOD ( foreign object damage)," due to the engines being mounted approx. 2m off the ground. In addition to the aircraft's strong and durable airframe, future pilots operating the KC-390 will benefit from increased situational awareness because of the aircraft's state of the art avionics.The avionics architecture includes five MFDs and daylight and thermal imagery generated by a nose mounted synthetic vision system being projected on two heads up displays (HUD) in the cockpit. Fitted with a closed loop FBW system and active side sticks which enable precise aircraft control, the KC-390 also features modern electronic warfare self protection systems including ballistic protection against small arms fire, critical systems redundancy, radar, laser and missile approach warning receivers, chaff and flare and DIRCM.  Introducing prognostic health monitoring, Embraer has done the utmost to limit the amount of maintenance efforts required to keep the aircraft in the air, hereby enabling longer intervals between inspections and thus reduced maintenance downtime. Embraer is aiming for a mission reliability figure equaling 95% or more and an 80% fleet availability. A one day intermediate or A check is mandatory after 600 flight hours or after a 12 months period whereas a basic or C check is needed after 3,000 hours of flying or every 60 months, this costing ten days. According to information provided by Embraer, the aircraft requires no depot level maintenance.

With 28 firm orders to date, Embraer is now looking for further contracts. So far, five countries have signed letters of intent for a total number of 32 aircraft: Portugal (6), Argentina (6), Czech Republic (2), Colombia (12), and Chile (6) with the first three countries being involved in the KC-390 programme as industrial partners. During the press conference Embraer D&S President Schneider explained that with so many delegates from different countries being present during the ceremony: "This shows there is a reasonable interest for the aircraft." He continued: "This aircraft will be extremely competitive. The aircraft brings to the market a new concept. I think we have done well and that the market will recognise this." On the question of export opportunities, Schneider told his audience: "Important is the Middle East market," and, "Many African countries are potential customers, especially the Portugese speaking African countries, some of which were among us today." Noted during the ceremony were high ranking officials from Angola while representatives from South Africa, Kazachstan, Ecuador, Mexico, Sweden, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, Egypt, and Qatar were also said to be present.  Embraer is clearly aiming at possible contracts with countries that are still operating the legacy C-130 HERCULES and that are in need of replacement aircraft. Depending on the specific mobility requirements of these nations, the KC-390 medium transport aircraft could get a significant market share. It fits in nicely between the enhanced Ilyushin Il-476 (52t payload) and Airbus Defence & Space (DS) A-400M (37t) heavy airlifters that are on offer today, and 5-10t class light transport aircraft such as the Airbus DS CN-235 (6t) and C-295 (9t), Alenia Aermacchi C-27J (11.5t ) and Antonov An-74 (10 tons). Embraer’s new airlifter directly competes with the Lockheed Martin C-130J/J-30 which has a maximum payload of 19/20t and the 20t payload Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) that is currently being developed by United Aircraft Corporation –Transport Aircraft of Russia and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) of India.

Silva said that possible civil applications of the aircraft were studied from the beginning: "There is a niche market for mining companies, oiling companies, for which a civilian version would make sense, we are monitoring that." Embraer is already cooperating with US aircraft manufacturer Boeing with regard to marketing the KC-390, however Schneider did not rule out cooperation with other companies with regard to customizing the aircraft for special missions.

Schneider emphasised that the programme is on track with the first flight of the first prototype expected to take place in late 2014 once integrated systems and ground vibration tests are succesfully completed. Assembly of the second and last protype has meanwhile commenced. Owned by the air force, both prototypes will be retrofitted once the test and certification programme is finished and will subsequently enter operational service, making a total of 30 aircraft for the Brazilian military, Schneider revealed. The trials will take two years to complete with the aircraft planned to be certified both civilian and military. Deliveries of production aircraft will commence during the second half of 2016 and last until at least 2023.
Pieter Bastiaans

22 October 2014

Embraer Rolls out KC-390 Military Transport Prototype

Yesterday, Embraer rolled out the first prototype of the KC-390 military transport from the production hangar at the industrial plant of Gavião Peixoto, Brazil. The event was attended by the Brazilian Minister of Defense, Celso Amorim, the Commander of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), Lieutenant-Brigadier Gen. Juniti Saito, and delegations and representatives from more than 30 countries. This milestone rollout will allow the company to perform important ground tests prior to the aircraft’s first flight, planned to take place by the end of this year.

On 21 October 2014, Embraer rolled out the first KC-390 military transport prototype. (Photos: Embraer)

This significant milestone of the KC-390 programme demonstrates Embraer´s ability to manage such a complex and high-technology project and to perform it on track,” said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO, Embraer Defense & Security. “It paves the way for the beginning of the ground tests to prepare for the first flight.”

The KC-390 will be the backbone of the FAB’s air transportation network. It will be able to operate in both the Amazon and Antarctica. The jet engines give the aircraft enormous agility in fulfilling all of its missions, faster and better,” stated Aeronautics Commander, Lieutenant-Brigadier Gen. Juniti Saito.

The Roll-out of the first prototype of the KC-390 military transport was attended by the Brazilian Minister of Defense, Celso Amorim, the Commander of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), Lieutenant-Brigadier Gen. Juniti Saito, and delegations and representatives from more than 30 countries. 

Following the rollout, the aircraft will continue with initial systems evaluations leading to the first engine run, and then to the ground vibration tests and the other planned ground tests. This aircraft is the first of two prototypes that will be used in the development, ground, flight and certification test campaigns.

The KC-390 is a joint project of the FAB with Embraer to develop and produce a tactical military transport and aerial refueling airplane that is a significant advance in terms of technology and innovation for the Brazilian aeronautics industry. The aircraft is designed to establish new standards in its category, with a lower operating cost and the flexibility to perform a variety of missions: cargo and troop transport, troop and cargo air delivery, aerial refueling, search and rescue, and combating forest fires, among others.

The first KC-390 military transport prototype.

On May 20th, 2014, Embraer and the Brazilian Air Force signed the series production contract for the delivery of 28 KC-390 aircraft and associated initial logistic support. Besides the order by the FAB, there are currently intentions to purchase for additional 32 aircraft from other countries.

21 October 2014

Lincad Awarded New R&D Contracts by UK MoD

Lincad, a leader in the design and manufacture of specialist batteries and chargers, has been awarded three new Research and Development (R&D) contracts by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). This will provide the funding required for the company to take the development of three key new products through to the production stage.

Lincad has been at the forefront of developing specialist solutions for the MoD’s battery and charger requirements for over 12 years. Over that time, through a process of mechanical refinement and the use of cutting edge cell technology, the company has consistently delivered products that have helped to reduce the load that soldiers in the field have to carry, with no loss of efficiency or reliability.

"We’re delighted that the MOD has decided to fund the further development of these three new products," commented Brian Soden, Lincad’s Managing Director. "We have every confidence that our continued work will bring significant benefits to soldiers deployed in operational roles."

This summer, Lincad released  its CARAVEL Mk2 Charger, designed to meet the battery charging and management requirements of Lincad’s LIPS (Lithium Ion Power System) suite of batteries, as well as a wide range of other battery types and technologies. The CARAVEL Mk2 Charger is an enhanced, cutting edge replacement for the in-service CARAVEL Charger, which has seen front line service with British and international armed forces for over 13 years. (All Photos: Lincad) 

Lincad is a privately owned UK company with over 25 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of specialist batteries, chargers and intelligent power management systems. The core business of Lincad is the supply of batteries, chargers and intelligent power management systems for military applications. Its main customers are the UK MoD, UK Defence Primes, and Strategic Military and Defence Partners. More recently, Lincad has been involved in developing new battery, charger and power management systems for specialist applications across a range of different sectors.

The company’s reputation as a leader in its field has been established by working closely with customers to ensure they receive the optimum power solutions to meet their operational requirements. First registered in 1986, Lincad is an ISO 9001 accredited company and operates out of two sites in Surrey in the South East of England. Design and manufacture of all Lincad products takes place on site. With expertise in battery chemistry and systems engineering, and a commitment to research into established, new and emerging technologies, Lincad continually aims to develop more powerful and lightweight battery systems that can be charged faster and more flexibly, to provide the best possible end-user experience. The company also has expertise in developing products where electromagnetic
compatibility (EMC) may be critical. In addition to its specialist engineering services, Lincad offers a wide range of off-the-shelf products and is able to supply large quantities of primary batteries. Since 2010, Lincad has been supplying the MOD with a major proportion of its primary battery requirements.

The LIPS 14 Battery is the smallest in Lincad's LIPS range of batteries. It offers a capacity of 9Ah within a 620g package and communicates battery information using a standardised smart battery data protocol.


Lincad produces a range of LIPS (Lithium Ion Power Source) batteries that have been designed in conjunction with the MoD to reduce the physical burden on the soldier. The LIPS 5 battery was one of the company’s most successful intelligent battery packs with over 17,500 supplied to the UK MOD as well as other customers worldwide.

The core LIPS products are now the LIPS 9, 10, 11, 12 and 14. The LIPS 9, 10, 11 and 12 are 24V batteries, offering a range of size and capacity options as well as IrDA optical communication, whilst the smaller 12V LIPS 14 has a reduced capacity with SMBus communication.

Other smaller batteries not in the LIPS range include the 18V battery and the 11V tactical man pack communications equipment battery with twist lock mechanism.

Lincad also produces high power batteries such as the battery designed for Northrop Grumman to power the CUTLASS remote operating vehicle used for explosive ordnance disposal, and a battery for a submersible remote operating vehicle. Lincad’s high power batteries are all capable of high discharge rates and fast charge times and have the ability to communicate accurate battery information to the host system.

Lincad’s sealed lead acid batteries are designed for a variety of fixed placement systems. They offer a high depth of discharge and can cope with heavy loads and wide operational temperature variations.

The Lips 10, 11 and 12 batteries provide flexibility with different size and weight options. The LIPS 10 provides the highest capacity whereas the LIPS 12 offers the lowest weight.


Lincad produces a range of chargers for its LIPS range of batteries with various charge state display and PC connectivity options. 

The single channel CARAVEL Charger is the company's longest in-service LIPS charger. It charges one battery at a time and, like all Lincad’s chargers, is software upgradable for new LIPS products. The four channel LIPS Charger and LIPS Fast Charger allow simultaneous charging of up to four LIPS batteries, with the Fast Charger offering reduced charge times, full battery recalibration and fault diagnostic features.

The Single Channel CARAVEL LIPS Charger is Lincad's longest in-service LIPS Charger. It is software upgradable for new LIPS products and provides a detailed LCD display and status LEDs to display battery status during operation.

The LIPS Vehicle Charger is a three channel charger and uses a DC input from a vehicle to recharge LIPS batteries, whereas the Solar Charger connects to solar panels to enable LIPS batteries to be recharged when a mains or vehicle supply may not be available. 

Now in development, the new CARAVEL Mk2 Charger is a multi-chemistry charger that can charge other batteries as well as Lincad's LIPS range, and the next iteration of the Solar Charger, the Power Scavenger, allows charging from a range of DC inputs.

The LIPS Fast Charger has the capability to charge up to four batteries simultaneously. It is compatible with all of Lincad's current range of LIPS Batteries and software upgradable for all future LIPS products. It offers reduced charge times on the company's high capacity products and full battery recalibration and fault diagnostic features.

Power Management Systems

Lincad’s intelligent power management systems generate a managed DC output to host systems with battery back-up in the event of primary power failure.

The LIPS 10 UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system is an easily portable power management system that can be configured to use up to four LIPS 10 batteries to provide a regulated, un-interrupted 24V DC power supply to a host system. The UPS is ordinarily powered from a universal AC mains input and will automatically manage the recharging of any connected batteries whilst AC voltage is present. Full user feedback on battery and system status is provided via an LED matrix display.

The LIPS 10 UPS is an easily portable power management system that can be be configured to use up to four LIPS 10 Batteries to provide a regulated, un-interrupted 24V DC power supply of up to 92Ah to a host system.

The BPMS (battery power management system) is a high capacity UPS system offering the ability to regulate a nominal 24V DC power supply from an external DC source to host equipment. Simultaneous recharge of the on-board batteries is achieved by means of an integrated charger. The BPMS is engineered to the highest mechanical and environmental specifications and provides a robust and reliable power source for mobile and stationary placement systems, such as the LINAPS self-contained gun-mounted navigation, pointing and weapon management system. The BPMS may also be used in a stand-alone battery configuration.

The LINAPS BPMS is a high capacity uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system offering the ability to regulate a nominal 24V DC power supply from an external DC source to a host equipment. Simultaneous recharge of the on board batteries is achieved by means of an integrated charger. The BPMS is engineered to the highest mechanical and environmental specifications and provides a robust and reliable power source for mobile and stationary placement systems. The BPMS may also be used in a stand alone battery configuration.

The LIPS 6 PMS is a 24V DC battery system designed for use in a rugged deployed environment. Like the BPMS, it is engineered to the highest mechanical and environmental specifications and provides a robust and reliable power source for mobile and stationary placement systems. It can be recharged using the standard Caravel Charger or configured for use as a rechargeable power supply in a UPS system.

The LIPS 8 PMS is a higher power version of the LIPS 6 PMS for applications demanding a heavy supply current.

Other Products

Lincad manufactures a wide range of battery interface adapters (BIAs), enabling its batteries to interface with any system. The Power Scavenging BIA allows the residual capacity retained within a fully discharged LIPS battery to be harnessed and used to re-charge other battery types.

Lincad also manufactures training batteries, designed to reduce the cost of training the end-users of clients’ systems, and a range of field test rigs to diagnose the state of health of LIPS batteries and perform battery resets where necessary.

Lincad's power scavenging BIAs allow the residual capacity retained within a fully discharged LIPS battery to be harnessed and used to re-charge other battery types.

Product Support

Lincad has developed a support infrastructure for all of its in-service advanced portable power management systems, right through to disposal at the end of a product’s lifetime. Wherever possible, the company provides remote software upgrades for its products as well as a worldwide, in-the-field product repair and upgrade service.

16 October 2014

Future Forces 2014: Hudson Supplies - A leader in Plastic Buckles and Plastic Fasteners

Hudson Supplies has been a proud International Master Distributor of ITW Nexus and ITW Military Products in North America since 1979.  ITW is one of the leading buckle manufacturers who invented the side release buckle in 1977 known as the ITW Fastex SR-1 buckle and has continued with their success as a luminary of  new product development with the introduction of engineered buckles in the backpacks/sporting goods industry and defense sector such as the Grimloc, Taclink and Web Dominator.

In 2014, Hudson Supplies introduced a new 30 PC Field Expedient Kit ,which consists of various ITW Military buckles featuring a split bar for repairs that do not require any sewing. These kits are available in Coyote Brown and Black. Some of the components are also available in individual packages either from an authorised distributor/reseller or through the company’s website.

Hudson Supplies also stock Fastmag’s magazines for 5.56, 7.62 and pistols in black, foliage green, coyote brown and Tan. They can also be mounted in the up or down direction, either on a molle vest or belt, and eliminate the need for traditional top closures.

Hudson Supplies is also a Worldwide Headquarter of buckles in Average Green color, which is a perfect match for OD/Green gear/fabrics or Kryptek Mandrake camouflage webbing.

Please note that the company's CEO, Marc Beaudoin, a.k.a. “dbuckleman” is a Velcro
Patch collector. Traders welcome. Be sure to have patches at events, he is ready to trade!

15 October 2014

AUSA 2014: Blog Feeder Report from Marty Kauchak

What a difference four years can make. While US and other nations’ ground forces were actively supporting combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon had an insatiable appetite for unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs). During the height of ground combat operations in the two nations AUSA delegates walking down the conference floor aisles had to keep their head on a swivel, as vendors enthusiastically demonstrated the capabilities of an array of commercial off-the-shelf ground unmanned ground vehicles in many aisles. Those days are in our rear view mirror, with the number of exhibitors and products in the UGV sector a fraction of the recent past.

Decreased numbers of UGV exhibitors aside, several pockets of innovation were evident in the sector at this event.

QinetiQ North America unveiled its TALON V Interoperability Profile (IOP) Compliant Tactical Robot. While the new TALON has increased mechanical and electrical capabilities compared to its older IV product sibling, the IOP capability is significant – it is a waypoint on the US services’ future UGV roadmap to achieving interoperability among current and future generations of these vehicles.

A second innovation noted by MILTECH on the conference floor was iRobot’s roll out of its first multi-robot control (MRC) tablet system for military and other UGV users. During a product demonstration at the iRobot booth, the MRC tablet’s capabilities were shown to include: a virtual joystick to allow the user to “touch and drag” anywhere on the main video feed to steer the robot; and predictive lines that help guide the operator through challenging spots.  

As US combat operations decrease in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army remains concerned about protecting its vehicles crews from asymmetric threats including improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The focus on crew protection has also shifted through the last several years. So while this AUSA’s delegates did not see the rollout of large numbers of new and upgraded vehicles programs to protect crews and passengers, subtle, but important, incremental changes are occurring in the manned ground vehicles space.

In one instance, Christa, Bowers, the media director for Alcoa Defense, advised MILTECH about her company’s success in manufacturing the world’s largest single piece forged aluminum hull for combat vehicles.

The Army is now testing the hull to examine its durability.

The hull was co-designed by Alcoa and the Army Research Laboratory.                
Marty Kauchak      

AUSA 2014: Seen and Heard on Day Three

Kopin introduced the Precision Acquisition and Targeting System (PATS) fully integrated fire control system on booth #1968, which converts most fielded optical sights into smart and lethal targeting systems. The unit simply clips on the front of existing weapon sights and provides a precision ballistic solution, which is day/night readable. Kopin's patented Augmented Reality Weapon Sight Technology provides ultra-high brightness levels and greatly improves the performance of the existing inventory of fielded weapon sights by reducing engagement times and improving the probability of hits at ranges out to 600 metres. Key to the PATS solution is the application of Kopin's Augmented Reality (AR) Weapon Sight Technology. This patented technology provides ultra-high brightness levels typical of larger systems seen in aviation-based Helmet Mounted Displays (HMDs) while being powered by a single CR-123 battery. The AR Weapon Sight technology allows the user to target through the sight while viewing overlaid symbology even in the brightest daylight conditions. The PATS unit has the potential to convert every green recruit into a precision shooter, increasing lethality while significantly reducing training and ammunition costs.


Donaldson (#8029), a leading producer of filtration systems and components for military, aerospace, and heavy industry applications, has been selected by Nimda to provide advanced engine air filtration for the Achzarit Heavy Armored Personnel Carrier (HAPC), used by the Israeli Defense Forces. Under the terms of the development contract, Donaldson has started to deliver Air Cleaner Assemblies to Nimda for use on the Achzarit HAPC. Each assembly will include a Strata Panel Pre-Cleaner, Ultra-Web Vee-Pac Filter Elements, and Filter Element Retention Mechanisms. Production of vehicles began in 2014.


Lockheed Martin received a $90.6 million foreign military sale contract from the US Army to provide Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) systems to the Qatar Emiri Air Force. Qatar marks the 14th international customer for the M-TADS/PNVS system.


W. L. Gore & Associates is featuring its expanded line of flame-retardant (FR) military apparel in booth 2719.  The portfolio includes: Gore’s FR Lightweight Loft (LWL) Jacket; GORE PYRAD Hardshell Jacket; EWOL (Extreme Weather Outer Layer) Jacket; and an IWOL (Intermediate Weather Outer Layer) Jacket.


Saab is presenting the newly-developed next generation CARL-GUSTAF M4 at AUSA. The M4, known in the US as M3A1 MAAWS, is the latest man-portable shoulder-launched multi-role weapon system from Saab designed to provide users with flexible capability and help troops to remain agile in any scenario. The new light-weight CARL-GUSTAF M4, weighing approximately 15 pounds, offers significant weight savings to the soldier. Story here.


AUSA 2014: OSG HighlightsTougher, Longer Life, ADI Armour Glass

At AUSA 2014, Oran Safety Glass (OSG) is exhibiting ADI technology for transparent armor. OSG’s new ADI technology replaces the conventional PC No-spall (shrapnel) plastic layer in transparent armour. The no-spall layer is typically attached to the ‘safe side’ of the glass, but it is subject to delamination, requires careful maintenance and reducing the lifecycle of the transparent armour.

OSG’s ADI technology has a high ‘Technology Readiness Level' meaning it has been tested and certified as ready for field deployment. Indeed it has already been used in some European military projects. ADI technology delivers the same level of protection while removing the need for plastic, effectively doubling the lifecycle of the transparent armor from 3-5 years to 5 -9 years.

Transparent armour is used in a large variety of military and police armoured vehicles to provide superior situational awareness while preserving the security of vehicle occupants.

OSG  also exhibits its ScreeneX in Washington. ScreeneX is one of the world’s first windshields with a built in LCD screen, suitable for use in military and civilian vehicles and all types of transportation platforms. “The feature-rich ScreeneX digital display can be positioned anywhere within the vehicle’s windscreen and it is fully integrated into the screen’s structure,” said Daniel Cohen, CEO of OSG. “The ScreeneX can display high-resolution video, text and graphics including maps and video feeds from a control base or from sensors and cameras mounted on the vehicle. Particularly in military settings it offers dramatically improved situational awareness while maximising the space within the driver’s compartment. The ability to effectively display night vision adds to the system’s capabilities.  These advantages are delivered while maintaining superior levels of safety. The rugged ScreeneX features an overlap of armored steel, ensuring no decrease in the protection level of the vehicle’s window. In addition, the ScreeneX’s military-grade screen is fully protected from ballistics, theft or vandalism.”

OSG is also displaying its line of Ultra-Light Weight technologies, which are 30% lighter than those currently on the market, according to the company, and a light weight advanced materials frame for transparent armour, which is lighter than steel, equally durable, strong and cost effective, compared to conventional technologies, said OSG.

OSG is a leading supplier of armoured windows for the MRAP and M-ATV family of vehicles for the US Army, and a supplier of armoured windows for the FHTV. OSG has also been involved with the PVP for the French Army, the HUSKY - for the British Army, ZETROS and ACTROS for Daimler, DINGO for KMW, MAN for the German Army and the ASTRA – for the Italian Army.

AUSA 2014: US Army Interoperability of Helicopters and UAS

A new first has been achieved by the US Army in the interoperability of helicopters and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). In the past, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in flight have shared surveillance video with helicopter pilots via a ground station control system, but recent technological developments now allow AH-64E APACHE attack helicopter pilots to control themselves the payloads, sensors and flight of unmanned aircraft systems.

Boeing AH-64E APACHE attack helicopter. (Photo: AF)

"From an operational standpoint, this provides the APACHE with another pair of eyes higher in the sky and a third crew member from the Ground Control Station operator," said Sean Gilpin, UAS Level IV interoperability lead, APACHE Project Office, Program Executive Office (PEO) Aviation. "Unmanned aircraft help to take away the unknown on the battlefield because they can fly out from the APACHE and allow the APACHE pilot to see over the horizon. Any additional capabilities we can provide above what we have now will only make it better for our APACHE pilots."

The Army said the new level of interoperability is the result of a 2 1/2-year effort by the military and industry, which culminated in technology testing at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama and El Mirage Flight Test Facility in California. Contributing to the effort were Textron, General Atomics, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.

The tests involved Boeing's newest APACHE E variant, the GRAY EAGLE medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAS from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), and the Textron AAI RQ-7 SHADOW.

Textron's SHADOW M2 (Photo: DPM)

"During our test events, we've taken the manned-unmanned capabilities of SHADOW and GRAY EAGLE, and the APACHE E model to a level where the APACHE cannot only receive information but also transmit command and control to the unmanned systems," said Doug Wolfe, interoperability lead, Common Systems Integration, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office, PEO for Aviation. "We have also tested the use of a One System Remote Video Terminal, where the soldiers in the fight can use the OSRVT to control the sensors on all unmanned aircraft systems. Right now, the OSRVT allows the receipt of data from different UAS. But the next version will make OSRVT bi-directional so that it cannot only receive from all UAS, but also transmit to all UAS to control their payloads."

The GRAY EAGLE UAS is the largest UAS in the Army fleet. It can fly as high as 29,000ft and is primarily used for wide-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); convoy protection; IED detection; close air support (CAS); target acquisition; and communications relay. It is also capable of carrying HELLFIRE missiles.

The SHADOW is a small UAS used by brigade commanders for reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting and assessment missions. It can fly as far as 77.5mi away from ground control stations. The Army says the catapult-launched SHADOW can detect and recognise tactical vehicles while flying at an altitude up to 8,000ft and from a range of more than two miles.

The two types of UAS are the anchoring systems in a UAS fleet featuring a variety of aircraft.

"These new capabilities are a force multiplier for infantry and field artillery," Wolfe said. "The experiences we've had with this testing have exceeded my expectations. I am very positive about the results of our testing and the capabilities that will be provided to the warfighter."

AUSA 2014: AmSafe Bridport Displaying its TARIAN RPG Armour System

AmSafe Bridport is displaying its TARIAN rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) Armour system on stand 6503 and, fitted on a vehicle, at Kongsberg stand 1407.  This lightweight and durable armour is fitted to General Dynamics Land Systems’ eight-wheeled combat vehicle demonstrator (WCVD) that is representative of both the STRYKER and LAV platforms. The WCVD is located on the Kongsberg stand. This is the first time AmSafe Bridport’s latest technological advances in passive RPG armour have been shown mounted to a vehicle platform at AUSA. Previously, this vehicle, along with its TARIAN fit, was displayed at the Warfighters Conference in Fort Benning, Georgia where it received substantial interest.

Developed in close collaboration with the UK Ministry of Defense (UK MoD), the TARIAN system has been extensively tested – including over 800 live shots – in the USA, UK and Europe. This testing verified TARIAN’s high level of performance and multi-hit capability. TARIAN was first deployed operationally in 2009 and it is now fitted to a variety of British military vehicles, including those in service in Afghanistan, following a $17 million order from the UK MoD in 2012.

AUSA 2014: Photographic Recap of Day Two

AUSA 2014: FLIR Systems Exhibiting Innovation - Photo Recap