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Rolling (sometimes rocking) stock: 'Fortress' is the project name given to the urgent operational requirement programme launched in January 2008 to prepare 280 of the British Army's newly delivered MAN Support Vehicles for deployment with the 7th Armoured Brigade in Iraq. The enhancements are typical of the measures need to enhance survivability in the face of asymmetric threats.

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The MAN Support vehicle's forward control cabs are fitted with an applique armour package that provides Nato Stanag 4569 Level 2 ballistic and Level 1 + blast protection. The front and sides of the cab are also fitted with bar armour to disrupt rocket-propelled grenades before they impact the main armour. To counter improvised explosive devices the vehicles are fitted with an unspecified electronic countermeasures package. For self-defence a protected weapon station armed with a 7.62-mm General Purpose Machine Gun is mounted on the roof hatch. The Fortress package also includes run flat tires, infrared headlights, rear position lights and night vision devices for the drivers.

Britain

The British Support Vehicle Programme is the largest military truck project in Europe; the Ministry of Defence awarded Germany's MAN a one billion [pounds sterling] contract in April 2005 to supply 4851 cargo trucks, 314 recovery vehicles and 69 recovery trailers, and in June 2006 exercised a 250 million [pounds sterling] option for a further 2077 vehicles. The Medium Mobility Vehicles, based on MAN's recently developed HX-series, comprise light 4 x 4 vehicles with a six-tonne capacity, medium 6 x 6 vehicles (nine tonnes), and heavy 8 x 8 (15 tonnes) cargo vehicles and 6 x 6 tankers. The Improved Medium Mobility 6 x 6 cargo truck and tanker are based on MAN's SX44 high-mobility chassis. The contract also includes two models--18-tonne and 36-tonne--of 8 x 8 recovery vehicles. The first batch of 161 cargo vehicles was delivered in July 2007 to allow conversion training to begin and delivery of first recovery vehicles began in early 2008. Production will continue until 2015.

The MAN SX is designed to carry 'swap platforms' and ISO containers up to a gross weight of 16 tonnes. The SX range is derived from the Kat 1 trucks, of which MAN supplied 8168 examples to the Bundeswehr from 1976 to 1982. The improved Kat 1A1 was launched in 1993 and followed by the 1A1. 1 in 1997. More than 12,000 Kat 1/SX series trucks have been sold to more than 60 customers. Both HX and SX series vehicles can be carried by C-130 aircraft. To support forces deployed overseas the German Army has received the first of 157 SX 45 trucks ordered in December 2006 and fitted with armoured cabs. The contract followed a two-year field trial of prototypes by the German contingent assigned to the Nato-led Kosovo Force.

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MAN teamed with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann to develop the Integrated Armour Cab (IAC), which is fitted to the 8 x 8 SX 45 Multi 2 Extreme Mobility Truck System during the manufacturing phase to provide Level 3 ballistic and Level 3b mine blast protection. A remote control weapon station can be mounted to the IAC if the customer so requires. Vehicles with the IAC have been bought by Austria, Denmark, Germany and Norway. Most of the UK's vehicles are being "fitted for but not with' add-on armour kits which are being supplied by Austria's Ressenig. The Modular Armoured Cabin developed for HX and SX series vehicles weighs approximately 1300 kg and can be attached in less than twelve hours to provide protection against Nato Stanag 4569 Level 2 ballistic threats and Level 1 mine threats.

The Rops system (see picture herewith), or similar designs, might become a standard and necessary feature for vehicles rendered top-heavy by their armour; as a consequence, they are prone to turtling over more easily than previous generation vehicles, as evidenced by recent accidents, some fatal, in Iraq and Afghanistan resulting from sharper-than-expected bends and rutted roads.

United States

The US Department of Defense is taking a more comprehensive approach to the protection of its Tactical Wheeled Vehicle (TWV) as explained to the House Armed Services Committee earlier this year by General Robert Magnus, Assistant Commandant of the US Marine Corps: << Our vehicle armouring efforts are absolutely critical to protecting our Marines against roadside bombs and other weapons. Our goal is to provide the best level of available protection to 100% of in-theater vehicles that go 'outside the wire'. Our tactical wheeled vehicle strategy pursues this goal through the co-ordination of product improvement, technology insertion and new procurement in partnership with industry. >>

There are three elements to the Department of Defense's strategy to maintain the operational effectives of its TWV fleet:

* the term 'reset' describes the complete refurbishment of vehicles, and other equipment such as weapons and helicopters, that are rotated out of operational theatres

* 'recap' is the term used to describe the insertion of new technology into vehicles which can take place before deployment, in theatre or during reset

* ongoing acquisition of new vehicles.

The Department of Defense's Long-Term Armor Strategy (Ltas) requires that every new TWV be 'fitted for bur not with' B-Kit armour which can be easily applied in the field to supplement the integrated armour protection (A-Kit) attached during the manufacture process in areas that would be difficult to reach in the field. Using the US Marine Corps as an example, the new Logistics Vehicle System Replacement (LSVR) from Oshkosh will be the first Marine Corps vehicles designed in accordance with the Ltas strategy, whereas the established Oshkosh Marine Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) is fitted with the Mas armour system during reset or recap.

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The 10,000th MTVR rolled off the Oshkosh production line in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on 16 May 2008. The MTVR began replacing the five-tonne M809/M939 medium tactical truck in US Marine Corps service in December 1998. The FY08 budget included funding for 259 cargo, nine XLWB cargo, 20 dump and ten wrecker variants for delivery from October 2008. The corps expects that each MTVR will have an 'economic life' of 22 years. With a payload of seven tonnes off-road and twelve tonnes on road and greater cross-country performance, the MTVR represents an enhancement in capability. Vehicles ordered in 2004 were the first to be equipped with the company's Command Zone electronics system, designed to simplify operation and maintenance. The corps is continuing to acquire the Mas, which provides 'complete 360[degrees] protection and both overhead and underbody protection for the crew compartment'; it also includes an upgraded front suspension, an air conditioning system and a removable personnel carrier module.

At Eurosatory 2008 in June Oshkosh introduced two new members of the MTVR family, both fitted with the standard MTVR cab: a 4 x 4 Lightweight model able to carry a six-tonne payload and an 8 x 8 Heavy Load Handling System able to carry a payload of more than 16 tonnes.

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Using technology derived from the MTVR, Oshkosh developed the Medium Tactical Truck for military customers who require a vehicle that is capable and yet less expensive than the MTVR. The MTT is available in a 4 x 4 lightweight and a 6 x 6 medium configuration. The Egyptian Ministry of Defence was the first customer for the MTT, placing a $ 4.9 million contract in February 2007 for 30 4 x 4 and 6 x 6 MTT cargo body variants. The first four vehicles were shipped fully assembled from Oshkosh and follow-on trucks will be assembled at the Egyptian Tank Plant in Cairo. The order is expected to be the start of a comprehensive modernisation of the Egyptian Army's TWV fleet.

In May 2006 the US Marine Corps awarded Oshkosh a firm-fixed-price, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract, worth an estimated $ 740 million, to supply new LVSR trucks, associated manuals, vehicle kits, test support and training. The LVSR will replace the Oshkosh Mk 48 series Logistics Vehicle System (LVS), which has been in service since 1985. These have an off-road payload of 12.5 tonnes and an on-road payload of 22.5 tonnes. The LVSR's 600-hp engine and Tak-4 independent suspension system enable the truck to achieve speeds of 104 km/h on roads and 65 in cross-country mode carrying a 16.5-tonne payload. Oshkosh's Command Zone electronics system allows the driver in the cab to monitor critical systems such as engine, transmission, brakes, central tire inflation and other electrical components. A single lubricant is used for the engine oil, transfer case, hydraulics and transmission, so maintenance is simplified. The LVSR and the MTVR share a comprehensive logistics network, common parts and similar maintenance training. Under the contract the corps can purchase a maximum quantity of 1350 cargo variants, 150 wrecker variants and 400 fifth-wheel variants over the next six years. The corps plans to order 80 cargo variants in FY07, 43 in FY08 and 534 in FY09 while the first seven wrecker variants and 13 fifth-wheel variants will be funded in FY09.

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Oshkosh builds the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles (FHTV) for the US Army consisting of:

* the M1075 Palletized Load System (PLS) truck and M1076 PLS trailer

* the eleven-tonne 8 x 8 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) series which includes M977 cargo truck, the M978 9463-litre fuel tanker, the M983 tractor, M984A1 wrecker and M985 cargo truck with materiel-handling crane and the M1120 load-handling system

* the Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) system designed to transport the M1 main battle tank

* the M1977 Common Bridge Transporter.

On 14 February 2008 the 20,000th HEMTT built since the vehicle was introduced in 1982 rolled off the Oshkosh production line. In June 2008 Oshkosh received a $120 million modification for HEMTT A4 vehicles from the US Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command which brings the current FHTV multi-year contract value to more than $ two billion, including $ 658 million for 1978 HEMTT A4s. The improvements to create the A4 include a fully air-conditioned and armour-ready cab, a more powerful drive train, improved suspension, safety improvements and structural changes to make installation of add-on-armour in the field quicker and easier.

In October 2007 Oshkosh received a $16+ million contract to provide 35 'specially-designed' Het vehicles, 35 trailers, training and support to the Egyptian Ministry of Defense. The Egyptian Army already operates the M977 HEMTT.

Under an $ 18.1 million contract awarded in December 2007 Oshkosh and partners Ideal Innovations and Ceradyne built Category 1 (six-man) prototypes of Bull vehicles for testing to meet a tentative requirement for Mrap II vehicles that would be better able to withstand explosively-formed penetrator attacks. Other vehicles tested at the US Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland included an uparmoured BAE Systems RG-33, a Blackwater Grizzly and an uparmoured Navistar MaxxPro. In midyear Mrap project officials indicated that they would not field any Mrap IIs. Based on an MTVR chassis the Bull family includes a 6 x 6 flatbed logistics vehicle and a tractor truck, both variants with a four-person cab.

BAE Systems became the world's largest military truck manufacturer in mid-2007 with the acquisition of Armor Holdings which, up to that point, had produced more than 41,000 Family of Medium Tactical Vehicle (FMTV) variants for the US Army since the type entered service in 1991. In June 2008 the army awarded the Mobility and Protection Systems division of BAE Systems a contract worth up to $ 2.2 billion for the supply of up to 10,000 FMTVs with a one-year option for the procurement of 10,000 additional vehicles. With the production of the FMTV averaging 40 vehicles per day, deliveries of the base contract are expected to be complete by February 2010 while deliveries of the option would be completed by November 2010. Vehicles produced under the new contract will be the FMTV A1P2 configuration fitted with the Ltas cab first displayed at the Association of the US Army meeting in October 2006. The order bridges the gap until the US Army's next competitive procurement phase of the FMTV project in 2010.

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The FMTV consists of two primary versions, the 2.5-tonne 4 x 4 Light Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV) and the five-tonne 6 x 6 Medium Tactical Vehicle (MTV), which share 85% commonality between components. To date 27 variants of the FMTV have been developed with 17 now in production. All configurations can be carried by a C-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft. The FMTV trailers can carry the same payload as their prime movers. The newest variant, the 8.8-tonne Load-Handling System (FMTV-LHS), mounts a container-handling system capable of loading a standard 20-ft (6.1-metre) ISO container on both the truck and its trailer. The five-tonne FMTV serves as the chassis for the Lockheed Martin High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (Himars) and its resupply vehicle, both of which are being produced for the US Army and Marine Corps, and for the future Meads air defence system. The 6 x 6 FMTV chassis is also used for BAE's Caiman Mine Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle, of which more than 2862 have been ordered by the US Department of Defense.

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BAE Systems has produced about 2500 Low Signature Armored Cab (Lsac) kits for use on FMTVs and on 24 July announced it had received a follow-on contract, worth $ 37 million, bringing the total value of Lsac orders to $134.2 million. It also announced a $ 45 million contract for 761 Ltas B-Kits, increasing the total of its Ltas contracts to $ 3.6 billion since April 2003.

As part of the army's Expedited Modernization Initiative Procedure, the Mobility and Protection Systems division has demonstrated developments such as stability control (which is being implemented into production), up to 30 kW of on-board electrical power, multiplexed electrical systems, on-going hybrid development, advanced diagnostic systems and enhanced load-handling systems for off-loading directly from a C-130.

Freightliner, a division of Daimler Trucks North America, produces the M915/916 tractor truck series at is Portland, Oregon factory. More than 10,700 vehicles were bought the US Army through FY07. The M915 Line Haul Tractor Truck and the M916 Light Equipment Transporter are derived from the company's family of commercial trucks and share common components such as the cab, engine and transmission. Army officials note the incorporation of << commercial truck technologies such as collision warning system, lube-free drive shaft, low-lube fifth wheel and electronic transmission >>, significantly improve the operation and readiness of these vehicles. The M915 tows the M871 and M872 flatbed semi-trailers, the M967 and M969 series 19,000-litre tankers, and the M1062 28,000-litre. FY08 is the first year for acquisition of the M915A5 Block ECP Improved Vehicle, which, according to the army, << are more expeditionary-ready thru increased safety, range and fuel efficiency, reliability, on-board diagnostics, service intervals and manprint considerations. These characteristics have the potential to substantially decrease the 2-level maintenance tasks, the maximum time to repair and the quantity of tools required to conduct maintenance >> The service ordered 330 vehicles in FY08 and plans to buy a further 1159 vehicles through FY13. The US Army has requested funding to buy 22 M916A3 in FY09 to replace 18 to 20-year-old M916 series vehicles and plans to buy another 600 over the next three years.

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Navistar Defense, the rebranded International Military and Government, will provide 7072 MTV vehicles to the Afghan National Army, the Afghanistan National Police and the Iraqi Ministry of Defence under a multi-year contract from Tacom which could eventually be worth up to $ 1.23 billion. The contract builds on a $ 430 million order in 2005 for 2900 vehicles. Navistar is producing cargo/troop transport, POL (petroleum, oil and lubricant), water tankers, wreckers and hazardous material truck variants based on its 'severe service' International 7000 Series, widely used in the construction industry. Navistar, in partnership with San Yang Industry of Taiwan, is also producing up to 5000 4 x 4 trucks derived from the International 7400 series to the Taiwan Ministry of National Defence under a five-year, $ 400 million contract awarded in October 2005. The International 7000 truck chassis is used for Navistar's MaxxPro 4 x 4 Category I Mrap vehicle, of which more than 5200 have been ordered by the Department of Defense.

For customers seeking armour protection the company offers the International 4200 MV truck, which features 360[degrees] armoured protection integrated into the cab to defeat 7.62 rum ammunition and 1.8-kilo mine blasts. Available in 4 x 2, 4 x 4 and 6 x 4 configurations, the customer can specify a standard cab, an extended cab or a larger crew cab. Add-on armour is available for each variant and a roof-hatch allows a machine gun or automatic grenade launcher to be pintle-mounted.

Germany

Germany's BWB procurement agency awarded Eads a contract in November 2006 to provide twelve Transprotec protected personal transport systems to join three units bought under an immediate requirement programme. Using a load-handling system the Transprotec module, which provides a high level of protection for up to 18 personnel, can be quickly mounted on the MAN Multi A3 FSA vehicle to move troops on non-tactical missions.

MAN Military Vehicles Australia has delivered 18 Heavy Tank Transporter systems to the Australian Army to support its new fleet of M1A1 main battle tanks. The system consists of MAN H76 TGA 41.530 8 x 8 prime movers which pull swing-wing low-loaders built by Australian subcontractor Drake Trailers.

Daimler produces the Mercedes-Benz series of military logistic vehicles which includes:

* The Unimog U 3000, U 4000 and U 5000 series of 4 x 4 high mobility trucks that are designed to carry payloads in extreme off-road conditions

* The Zetros range of tactical trucks that combine good off-road mobility, strategic mobility (C-160 and C-130) and optional ballistic protection with a seven-mm steel cab floor incorporated as standard to provide mine protection. The 4 x 4 model can carry a payload of four to six tonnes while the 6 x 6 can carry seven to ten tonnes

* The militarised Atego and Axor range which are able to carry payloads between three and five tonnes.

* The militarised Actros heavyweight range of trucks is available in two-, three-and four-axle configurations. More Actros vehicles are produced for the European civil market than any other vehicle of this class, more than 500,000 since 1996.

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Since 2002 BwFuhrparkService, a publicly owned company, has provided whole fleet management for the Bundeswehr's logistics vehicle fleet, including preparing force packages for operational deployment and providing support once in theatre. BwFuhrparkService bought 336 Atego 1018 A trucks (two-tonne payload) and 876 Axor 1829 A trucks (fivetonne). This is a follow on the 363 Atego and 855 Axor vehicles already delivered between 2007 and 2008.

At Eurosatory 2008 Daimler launched its Mercedes-Benz Zetros off-road truck, which will be offered in the 6 x 6 cab-behind-engine Zetros 2733 version and the 4 x 4 Zetros 1833 version. The new vehicle uses proven components for the Axor/Actros series including the 'global cockpit' and steering system of the MB Axor. The Zetros 2733 carries payloads from seven to ten tonnes, while the Zetros 1833 can carry four- to six-tonne payloads. Both models can be carried inside aircraft as small as the C-160 Transall. According to Daimler the, << novel approach of a cab-behind-engine truck with its low design height and its centre of gravity behind the front axle provides an ideal platform for armoured versions capable of withstanding mines and ballistic attack >>. All cabs are fitted with a seven-mm thick under-floor to provide protection against mine blasts.

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The Bulgarian Army is the first customer for the Zetros series, with deliveries to begin by year-end under the terras of a BGN 500 million (leva) contract that Daimler signed with the Bulgarian government in December 2003. The contract covers the delivery of up to 12,900 vehicles in various classes by 2015. Deliveries began the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon light utility vehicles in 2004.

Canada

The Canadian Department of National Defence announced on 10 May 2007 that it had awarded Daimler a C$ 87 million contract to meet an urgent need for an Armoured Heavy Support Vehicle System to support operations to Afghanistan. The first 'Armoured Actros' vehicles were delivered six months later to Canada for training and 46 weeks after contract award the first vehicles were flown to Afghanistan. The contract covers 82 trucks, with an option for 26 additional vehicles, in four major variants:

* 25 cargo vehicles with a material handling crane of which eight will be gun tractors for the BAE Systems Land Systems M777 155 mm towed howitzer

* five recovery variant vehicles, which can be used on vehicles up to General Dynamics Land Systems--Canada LAV-III/Stryker size

* twelve tank transporter tractor variant vehicles, to complement the army's newly acquired Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Leopard 2 tanks

* 40 palletised loading system with container handling unir vehicles that include ten petroleum, oils and lubricants variants, and five water variants.

All of the vehicles are being fitted with an armoured cab developed by South Africa's Land Mobility Technologies specifically for the project. The 2000-kg LMT protects against small arms fire, blast and splinters while the flat bottom is 'a sandwich of armour and shock-absorbing material'.

France

Renault Trucks Defense, a subsidiary of Volvo, groups its vehicles into two categories. The logistics vehicles range, derived from the company's commercial vehicles, consists of the:

* 4 x 4 Medium which has a six-tonne payload capacity and accommodates a 15-ft ISO shelter or other equipment

* 4 x 4 Kerax which can carry an eight to ten-tonne payload and be fitted with a variety of shelters

* 6 x 6 Kerax that can carry a 13 to 16-tonne payload and handle containers and pallet rack systems. It can be equipped with tipper, shelters, fluid tanks and other payloads

* 8 x 8 Kerax can carry similar payloads to the 6 x 6 model up to 20 tonnes in weight.

Renault's Sherpa tactical truck range is designed specifically for military operations in demanding operational conditions and consists of:

* the 4 x 4 Sherpa 2--equipped with a four-person cab and can carry a two-tonne payload

* the 4 x 4 Sherpa 3 is fitted with a two-person cab and can carry a two or three-tonne payload on its tear flatbed

* the 6 x 6 Sherpa 5 which has a six-tonne payload capacity

* the 6 x 6 Sherpa 10 transports a 13-tonne payload

* the 6 x 6 Sherpa 15 carries a 16-tonne payload

* the 8 x 8 Sherpa 20 transports a 20-tonne payload.

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The Sherpa 10, 15 and 20 can all handle 20-ft ISO containers and pallet rack systems and can be equipped with numerous types of bodies such as tipper, tanker and shelter systems.

The Nato Maintenance and Supply Agency bought 30 Sherpa 3/3A vehicles from Renault in September 2007 and in March ordered 100 Kerax vehicles in 4 x 4, 6 x 6 and 8 x 8 configurations. All of the vehicles are expected to be delivered to Nato's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan this year.

Renault has its sights set on the French Army's Porteur Polyvalent Terrestre programme to buy up to 2400 8 to 15-tonne trucks derived from commercial vehicles to carry containers, pallets or bulk loads. The order will also cover recovery vehicles and platforms for unspecified communications and weapon systems. France's Delegation Generale pour l'Armement is expected to issue a tender in 2008.

In October 2007 Renault entered into a ten-year fleet management agreement, PEGP (politique d'emploi et de gestion des parcs), with the French Army covering 7535 trucks--1000 VTL, 805 TRM 10.000, 2530 TRM 2000 and 3200 GBC 180--representing 50% of the service's WTV fleet. The contract is potentially worth 484 million [pounds sterling].

Acmat, a subsidiary of Renault since May 2006, produces the Vehicule de Liaison Reconnaissance et d'Appui (VLRA) in 4 x 4 and 6 x 6 configurations and associated trailers. It has recently introduced the VLRA Euro 5, which features a five-litre turbo diesel engine that is compliant with Euro 5 emission standards. Other improvement includes a new five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission and a new three-seat cabin.

Panhard, best known for its range of light armoured and light utility vehicles, has recently added the TC-54 4 x 4 logistics vehicle to its range. The 4.4-tonne vehicle carries a five-tonne payload which, according to Panhard, represents the 'best payload/weight ratio in this category of vehicles'. At Eurosatory 2008 Panhard unveiled an armoured cab for the TC-54, which provides Stanag Level 1 ballistic protection and Stanag Level 3 blast protection for the two occupants. A machine gun can be pintle-mounted on the roof hatch ora remote controlled weapon station such as the Wasp, newly developed by Panhard in partnership with Sagem Defense Securite. The TC-54 will enter service this year supporting Saudi Arabia's 155-mm artillery regiment and 60 examples are included in an order for 200 4 x 4 vehicles (A3, TC10, TC24 and TC54) with payloads ranging from one to five tonnes which Panhard will deliver to Norinco by 2011.

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Italy

Iveco Defence Vehicles Division has increased the rate of its export sales from about 20 to 70% over the past 14 years. Iveco Astra has recently completed 70 million [pounds sterling] contract to supply 400 M250. 40WM 6 x 6 medium trucks and 350 add-on armour kits to the Belgian Army; all of the cabins have land mine protection installed. The vehicles are part of the SM military range developed for the Italian Army which consists of a 4 x 4 vehicle with a seven-tonne payload capacity, a 6 x 6 with 17.5 tonnes and an 8 x 8 with a 17.5-tonne capacity. In recent years the Spanish Army ordered almost 1000 M250 series vehicles, including 82 for use as artillery tractors. Iveco also offers militarised versions of the Eurocargo (medium), Stralis (heavy on-road) and Eurotrakker (heavy off-road) series of commercial vehicles in various configurations. Iveco has recently delivered 150 Eurotrakker MP410E44H 8 x 8 flatbed trucks, equipped with the Tam flatbed system, to the Belgian Army. Iveco and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann have signed an agreement to jointly develop a family of vehicles known as MPV to fulfil their respective nations' needs: an 18-tonne combat weight 4 x 4 for Italy and A 25-tonne 6 x 6 for Germany (more about those vehicles in a forthcoming issue of Armada).

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Sweden

Scania focuses on the heavy-duty end of the military truck market with numerous multi-wheeler configurations (4 x 4, 6 x 4, 6 x 6, 8 x 4, 8 x 6, 8 x 8, etc) of its P, G and R series vehicles that can be built in the regular production flow of commercial vehicles. By the end of 2009 Scania plans to produce 100,000 trucks annually and to boost this figure to 150,000 by 2015. Military sales average 'several hundred' vehicles each year, with recent customers including Australia, Algeria, Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland and Sweden. In July 2008 Scania received an order from the Finnish Defence Force for 21 of its new G 380 8 x 8s equipped with sleeper cabs and Multilift hook lifts. Saab recently received a 5.5 million [pounds sterling] order from the French Army to support the 300 P114CB6x6H Z-340 tankers that it delivered to the service in 2004 and 2005.

Finland

Finland's Sisu Defence began delivering 50 Sisu E13TP 8 x 8 high mobility, protected tactical trucks to the Lithuanian Defence Force on 31 August 2007. The 20 million plus contract includes an option worth more than ten million [pounds sterling] for another 30 vehicles, which was confirmed by Lithuania in January 2008; the sale is Sisu's largest defence export contract. All of the vehicles will be fitted with a Finnish-made armoured, low-profile two-seat cabin which provides Stanag 4569 Level 2a blast protection and Level 3 ballistic protection. The order includes cargo vehicles fitted with a Multilift Mih-165-SCA integrated load-handling system and recovery vehicles. Sisu's ETP range also includes 4 x 4 and 6 x 6 models. The range has been joined by a 10 x 10 variant, nine of which were built for the Finnish Defence Forces and configured to carry the Krauss-Maffei Wegmann Leguan bridge launching system which launches a 26-metre MLC70 bridge. Under the AKKU project, a partnership by the FDF and Finnish industry, Sisu is responsible for the complete maintenance services of the 2500 Sisu trucks in Finnish service. In June 2008 the Finnish Ministry of Defence placed a 29 million [pounds sterling] order for 232 Sisu A2045 4 x 4 trucks with an option for a further 240, to replace the army's Sisu A-45 model series. The new vehicle features a two-man armoured cabin and is able to carry a five-tonne payload.'

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Switzerland

Mowag, a subsidiary of General Dynamics European Land Systems, produces the Duro (for DUrable and RObust) tactical truck family. The newest models are the Duro III 6 x 6 truck which can carry a 6300-kg payload and the armoured Duro IIIP which carries a 2000-kg payload. Different superstructures are used to configure the Duro IIIP for a variety of missions including logistics, ambulance, troop transport and command and control. The UK has bought 198 Duro II and IIIs configured for specialist missions while the Bundeswehr has bought 30 Duro IIIPs. The latest customer is the Danish Army Materiel Command with 29 Duro IIIP armoured ambulances in November 2006. Using the Duro III 6 x 6 chassis as the basis Rheinmetall Landsysteme and Mowag developed the Yak multi-purpose armoured vehicle for the German Army, which has ordered 130 vehicles configured as ambulance, military police and explosive ordnance disposal vehicles.

The German Army has bought the Yak to meet the Class 3 requirement within its GFF (Geschutzte Fuhrungs- und Funktionsfahrzeuge) armoured command and multipurpose vehicle programme.To meet the Class 4 requirement for a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 25 tonnes Rheinmetall is developing the 8 x 8 under a contract to the BWB procurement agency. Two prototypes are scheduled to be delivered before the end of 2007 and will complete an 18-month evaluation covering 16,000 kilometres. The vehicle will have three major sections: a three-person, forward-control cab; a 'technical compartment' containing the powerpack, NBC protection system, and an overhead weapon system; and, a mission module container which can be removed for use as a static facility. The Wisent is required to mine protection to Stanag level 3b, Stanag level 3 ballistic protection and protect against the detonation of an 80 kg improvised explosive device. The Modular Wisent concept could grow to include three- and five-axle vehicles (capable of carrying a 20 ft ISO container) and even a seven-axle semi-trailer.

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Czech Republic

Czech truck manufacturer Tatra sold 1607 trucks in 2006 and increased production to more than 2300 vehicles the following year; military production represents about 30% of this figure. The T 815-2 Armax range is produced in two and three-axle configurations and the T 816 Force range is produced in three and four-axle configurations, including tractor trucks. In July 2007 Tatra signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vietnam National Coai-Mineral Industries Group and the Vietnamese Ministry of Defence to examine the assembly and production of Tatra vehicles for the Vietnamese market. The Slovak Republic, Russia and India are particular targets for Tatra's marketing efforts and Tatra Vectra Motors produces Tatra vehicles in India for both civil and military use.

JCB, the UK manufacturer of forklift trucks, diggers and other specialist vehicles, has built two 4 x 4 High Mobility Utility Vehicle (HMUV) demonstrators. The company announced in June 2006 the development of a range of high-mobility vehicles based on its Fastrac tractor that would be able to carry a four-tonne payload and tow a four-tonne trailer. The HMUV was designed specifically to meet the close support needs of tactical level operations and reflects input from the British Army and other potential UK military customers. Possible applications include load carrier, personnel carrier, platform for the carriage of modular systems such as containerised command posts, gun tractor and air defence vehicle. It can travel at up to 110km/h on or off road.

Australia

Thales Australia exhibited a pre-production version of its Copperhead Armoured Combat Support Vehicle (ACSV) at Eurosatory 2008. The vehicle is a derivative of the Bushmaster 4 x 4 Infantry Mobility Vehicle developed for the Australian Army. 700 Bushmasters have been bought by Australia and the vehicle has also been sold to the Netherlands (46) and the UK (24). The 4 x 4 ACSV combines the Bushmaster's front armoured cab section with a flatbed rear cargo area capable of carrying up to 3.5 tonnes of cargo or tive tonnes if the suspension is upgraded. The Copperhead can also tow an eight-tonne trailer. The vehicle has a maximum governed road speed of 100km/h and a range of 800 km. A 6 x 6 ACSV has been proposed that would be able to carry up to eleven tonnes, including a 20-ft ISO container, and tow a 15-tonne trailer. All Bushmaster variants can be carried by a 0130 transport. Thales Australia is teamed with Oshkosh to offer the Bushmaster to US Department of Defense and Foreign Military Sales customers and in June the company announced a partnership with Panhard to market the vehicle in France.

Australia's Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) is expected to sign contracts later this year with the three manufacturers--Daimler Australia/Pacific, BAE Systems Australia and Haulmark Trailers (Australia)--that were chosen for the AS 3.1 billion Phase 3 Project Land 121 to replace the Australian Army's fleet of 7700 WTVs, 3100 trailers, and 750 motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. According to the DMO, << The requirement comprises six generic fleet ranges, with approximately 15 functional vehicle types. In addition, 18 modules or shelters are to be procured along with nine trailer variants >>. Daimler has been selected to supply unprotected 'light and lightweight vehicles' based on its G-Wagon, and BAE Systems protected medium through heavyweight vehicles based on its FMTV series.

These two categories will comprise about 3400 vehicles. Haulmark will supply about 3000 trailers of nine different types classified as 'cargo trailers from 850-kg to five-tonne payloads', 'container carrying trailers of ten and 16.5-tonne payload' and 'equipment carrying trailers, including a low loader with nearly a 70-tonne payload capacity'. Phase 3 also included 250 additional Bushmaster IMVs ordered on 18 August 2007. According to the DMO, << Future phases of the project will consider further specialised protected light vehicles, with a procurement decision on Phase 4 expected in 2010 involving a potential additional investment of approximately $ 1.2 billion. In 2012 the government is expected to consider the final phase of the project to provide commercial vehicles to augment the fleet for Australian training activities, at a cost of about $ 300 million. >>

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Following the selection of Daimler-Chrysler in May 2007 to provide Canada's Armoured Heavy Support Vehicle System, the company could be well placed for a portion of the C$1.2 billion Medium Support Vehicle System project to acquire 2300 trucks for the Canadian Forces. The contract will include in-service support for an initial period of two to three years, and a follow-on contract, expected to be worth C$100 million, covering support for the remainder of the expected 20-year life of the vehicles will be competed or negotiated separately. The project covers approximately:

* 1500 five-tonne Standard Military Pattern trucks with up to 300 load-handling system trailers and 150 armour protection kits. These vehicles should be 'capable of being armed and armoured' and carried by a C-130 Hercules

* 800 Milcots vehicles adapted for military use

* 1000 mission kits such as kitchens, offices and medical stations.

The contract for the Milcots vehicles is scheduled to be awarded in the third quarter of 2008 with deliveries to be completed by the third quarter of 2010. The RFP for the SMP vehicles is scheduled to be published in the third quarter of 2008, with a contract award by 'spring 2010' and first delivery in early 2011.
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Title Annotation:Complete Guide
Author:Kemp, Ian
Publication:Armada International
Date:Oct 1, 2008
Words:5941
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