Thucydides said:Interesting conversion/reworking of the CV-90 platform, especially the composite armour package.
Not as sure about the robotic turret, but this does seem to be the trend (T-14 Armata and PUMA have robotic turrets, and RWS are common on lots of fighting vehicles now).
For us, I think it would be worthwhile to examine using the composite armour material for use on our own AFV's to put them on a diet, and reducing vehicle signatures is a must (especially since everyone and their dog now looks for enemy traces via UAV and other remote sensors).
Rheinmetall Ups Tank Firepower with new 130mm Gun
By Tamir Eshel - Jun 14, 201615965
The new 130 mm gun is a precondition for the future tank, known as ‘Main Ground Combat System’ (MGCS) being developed by Germany. MGCS is currently being developed by Germany and France as a future replacement for the Leopard 2 and Leclerc main battle tanks, considering the increasing threat posed by Russian systems such as the Armata (T-14) MBTs.
Rheinmetall unveiled the new weapon at Eurosatory 2016.
Rheinmetall’s new IFV, the Lynx
Firepower, force protection, C4I, manoeuvrability, versatility
At Eurosatory 2016 Rheinmetall presented its new Lynx infantry fighting vehicle today to the international public for the first time. Agile, hard-hitting and highly protected, this state-of-the-art tracked armoured vehicle is destined to dominate the modern battlefield, lending itself to operations from peace enforcement to high-intensity combat.
Ben Hudson, Head of Rheinmetall’s Vehicle Systems Division, said "Lynx is an advanced new modular family of vehicles that offers our customers the highest levels of survivability, mobility, lethality and capacity while utilising proven technologies to deliver a compelling value proposition for our global customers. Lynx delivers the capabilities that will allow our customers to fight, survive and win on the battlefields of today and tomorrow".
Cutting edge capabilities
Four core capabilities characterize the Lynx infantry fighting vehicle: firepower, force protection, situational awareness and mobility.
Firepower: Lynx features a Rheinmetall LANCE turret armed with a stabilized, externally powered, airburst-capable automatic cannon (either 30mm or 35mm). This enables Lynx to effectively engage targets with high precision at ranges of up to 3,000 metres – even on the move. Lynx can also be equipped with an antitank guided missile launcher and a secondary weapon station linked to the main optics (main sensor slaved armament). Not only does Lynx have hunter-killer capability, it can operate in killer-killer mode, since the commander and gunner can observe and engage targets independently of each other.
Force protection: With the diesel engine mounted in the forward section and a modular armour concept, the vehicle architecture offers a high degree of protection. The vehicle’s ballistic armour shields Lynx from antitank weapons, medium-calibre ammunition, artillery shrapnel, IEDs and bomblets. In addition, a spall liner in the vehicle interior protects the entire crew. Mine and IED protection packages, decoupled seats and the optional hard kill Active Defence System (ADS) significantly boost the vehicle’s survivability.
Situational awareness: The commander and gunner both have access to the Stabilized Electro Optical Sight System/SEOSS, a digital TV - IR optical system with an integrated laser range finder and fire control computer. In the fighting compartment, displays provide the crew with a seamless 360° panoramic view. Rheinmetall’s Situational Awareness System (SAS), featuring automatic target detection and tracking, enhances the hunter-killer capability and minimizes crew reaction time. Emerging threats can be swiftly engaged with Lynx’s main or secondary armament. Laser warning sensors and the Acoustic Sniper Locating System (ASLS) likewise form part of the sensor suite. A combat management system and intercom for tactical communication round out the array of on-board equipment.
Owing to the manned turret, the commander can still lead from the hatch. The gunner and driver each have hatches, too, while two soldiers in the rear of the fighting compartment can also observe the area around the vehicle from an open hatch.
Mobility: Lynx features an excellent power-to-weight ratio and can handle gradients of up to 60 degrees and lateral inclines of more than 30 degrees. It can cross ditches up to 2.5 metres wide and ford bodies of water up to 1.50 metres deep. Furthermore, it can climb over one-metre-high obstacles. The vehicle can run on either rubber or light metal tracks.
One vehicle family – one logistics system – one supplier: Rheinmetall
Another characteristic of Lynx is its versatility. For example, the new IFV comes in two versions: the KF31 and KF41 (KF stands for ‘Kettenfahrzeug’, or tracked vehicle in German). Weighing up to 38 tonnes, Lynx KF31 on display at Eurosatory and can seat 3+6 soldiers. Lynx KF41 is slightly larger and can carry 3+8 soldiers.
Both vehicle classes – Lynx KF31 and Lynx KF41 – can be configured for other roles include a command & control, an armoured reconnaissance, repair & recovery and an ambulance.
A high degree of commonality in parts and components is another prominent feature of the Lynx family of vehicles. This simplifies logistic support and has a positive impact on training. Furthermore, customized service support is available worldwide – ranging from training and logistics to in-theatre repairs and technology transfer.
The Lynx family of vehicles highlights once again Rheinmetall’s role as a high-tech enterprise for security and mobility.
Get Ready, Russia: This European Power Has Plans For a Lethal New Tank
February 18, 2016
Faced with the resurgent threat of Russian armor, Germany has embarked on a program to develop a next-generation main battle tank that has sometimes been called the Leopard 3. The long overdue move comes after Berlin neglected the Bundeswehr for over two decades following the end of the Cold War and reunification of Germany.
In the short- to medium-term, Germany will have to rely on upgrading the already formidable Leopard 2A7 (+) to counter Russia’s next-generation T-14 Armata main battle tank. Longer term, Germany recognizes that it will have to replace the Leopard 2 with a new design in years 2030 and beyond. As such Berlin has embarked on developing the next-generation Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) in conjunction with France.
According to a November 2015 presentation by Armin Papperger, chief executive officer of Rheinmetall, which builds key components of the Leopard 2 and the American M1A2 Abrams, the journey toward MGCS will be an incremental evolution. The first step will be to upgrade the Leopard 2 with a new digital turret core system, new situational awareness system and an Active Defense System (ADS).
The tank will also need a new high-pressure 120mm cannon and new ammunition. Papperger expects that the new gun and ammunition will yield twenty percent better performance than the current L55 120mm cannon. However, it’s not clear how much further the weapon can be extended. There are significant drawbacks to a longer cannon—which is one of the reasons the U.S. Army retains the shorter L44 120mm cannon for its Abrams. It’s possible that Rheinmetall is using new materials to increase the pressure within the cannon without increasing the cannon’s length.
In the medium term, Germany will have to refit the Leopard 2 with a new 130mm cannon, Papperger said. The 130mm gun is a new concept—earlier NATO studies had looked at refitting the Leopard 2 and Abrams with a much larger 140mm cannon to counter late-Cold War Soviet developments. Nonetheless, the 130mm gun would offer fifty percent better armor penetration performance than a 120mm cannon. Rheinmetall will kick-off the work on the new gun—which is one of the preconditions for developing the MGCS—later this year.
Papperger said that work on the MGCS concept development has already started. The new main battle tank is in a concept development phase between the German and French governments and industry. While France is the only current partner, the Germans expect other European nations to jump onboard the project. The concept development phase should be completed by 2017.
The new MGCS’s focus on increased firepower is directly being driven by Russia’s Armata program—which many defense officials regard as being particularly problematic. Simply put, the Armata series armored vehicles—particularly with their focus on active protection systems (APS)—are forcing Western designer to focus more direct fire weapons.
The Armata’s Afghanit APS is believed to incorporate at least one type of hard-kill countermeasure designed to intercept incoming projectiles—according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’s (IISS) Military Balance 2016. The IISS assessment is also backed up by Russian sources, which suggests that the Armata launches interceptor rounds fitted with explosively formed penetrators—which might be effective even against incoming kinetic energy projectiles. However, APS systems are always most effective when used against chemical energy rounds like rocket-propelled grenades or missiles.
“Most revolutionary is the Armata-based T-14 Main Battle Tank featuring an uncrewed turret. There is emphasis on protection across the platforms—including active protection systems (APS)—reflecting lessons learnt as well as perceptions of future operating environments,” states the Military Balance 2016. The report adds:
“When it enters service Armata will be the first tank designed for an unmanned turret and APS. Successful fielding of APS will reduce the effectiveness of anti-tank guided missiles and shoulder-fired weapons such as rocket propelled grenades. This will change battlefield dynamics by increasing the importance of cannon, anti-tank guns and tanks.”
While Germany has traditionally been a leader in armored warfare, Berlin has neglected the Bundeswehr in recent years. Only time will tell if Germany is successful in its plans.
Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for the National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @davemajumdar.
Is Russia About to Make Tanks (As We Know Them) Obsolete?
July 27, 2016
Could the Russian Terminator series—also know as the Boyevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov—be the harbinger of future armored vehicle design?
Based on its experience in Ukraine, Georgia, Chechnya and Afghanistan, the Russian military certain believes so according to Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Moscow-based Centre for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST). As such, Russia is mulling over the possibility of ditching the traditional tank—as it is currently conceptualized—and considering adopting a machine that is much more capable of defending itself against missile-equipped infantry and engaging other vehicles at stand-off ranges with anti-tank missiles.
Particularly, Russian experiences in Ukraine—where both sides are using upgraded Soviet-built tanks and anti-tank weapons—have shown that despite the best active, reactive and passive armor available, a tank will eventually be penetrated. “We discovered that no matter how skillful the crew, the tank would get up to ten hits,” Pukhov said during a luncheon at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, D.C.—which is the foreign policy think-tank that publishes The National Interest—on July 26. “Even if you have perfect armor—active, passive. In one case it will save you from one hit, in another case from two hits, but you’ll still get five hits and you’re done. That’s why now you’re supposed to have some kind of Tank 2.0.”
The Tank 2.0, as Pukhov describes it, is not the T-14 Armata—which despite its advanced unmanned turret and active protection systems—is still a more or less a conventional tank design. “I know Russians are thinking about this new tank and this tank is not Armata,” Pukhov said. “It’s what we call among us Boyevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov [Tank Support Fighting Machine]—but in fact it’s not a Podderzhki Tankov, but which can protect itself. So there is a serious debate about it.”
Later, during a one-on-one interview at the Center the same day, I asked Pukhov to elaborate on the Tank 2.0 concept. Pukhov said that traditionally, infantry has protected tanks—particularly in built up urban areas—but given the speed of modern armored vehicles, that is no longer possible in many cases. But while during previous eras tanks were more or less protected against weapons like rocket propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles, the latest generation of those weapons can punch through even the toughest armor.
As an example, Pukhov cited a particular battle in Eastern Ukraine where—even when operating under ideal conditions—a tank force fighting under the banner of Kremlin-backed separatist forces was all but annihilated by rocket-propelled grenades. If even a small force of anti-tank missile-equipped infantry could decimate a tank column, the take-away for the Russians was that they needed to rethink the entire concept of the tank. “That’s why we have the concept of the Tank 2.0,” Pukhov said. “We have a prototype of this machine that’s called the fighting vehicle to support tank attack—Terminator.”
There have been two versions of the Terminator concept that have been developed thus far. Another version that is based on the Armata chassis is said to be in development. “Russia also plans to develop its tank support fighting vehicle dubbed the Terminator-3 on the basis of the country’s latest Armata tanks,” Oleg Sienko, a senior manager with Uralvagonzavod Corporation told state-owned RIA Novosti earlier this year. “We will [produce them]. We have a concept for developing vehicles on the basis of the Armata platform.”
The name Boyevaya Mashina Podderzhki Tankov is a misnomer, Pukhov said. The Terminator will not be supporting other tanks—it will be an entirely new type of tank in its own right. However, Pukhov said that while prototypes of the new vehicle exist, the concept still needs to be refined before it is ready for prime time. Particularly, refinements are needed in its sensor suite to maximize situational awareness without exposing the crew to incoming fire. “Unfortunately, neither the concept nor the technologies are ready,” Pukhov said. “But the era of new tanks is very close.”
Michael Kofman, a research scientist specializing in Russian military affairs at CNA Corporation in Arlington, Virginia, said that he was skeptical about the Terminator’s prospects. “Neither of the two heavy tank support vehicles Russia has designed have been procured by either its own Ministry of Defense or anyone else—which should tell you something,” Kofman said. “How many Terminator 2s has UralVagonZavod sold? Zero.”
If and when the Terminator is ultimately fielded, the vehicle would be able to engage large groups of massed infantry in built-up areas with a combination of missiles and automatic cannon fire. “We need it badly,” Pukhov said. “Believe it or not, we’re not going to project force, we need to protect our territory.”
Dave Majumdar is the defense editor of The National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveMajumdar.
Chris Pook said:Reference the infantry protection of tanks -
One of the key objectives of the arty, I thought, was to strip the infantry cover from the tanks. 25 pdrs with shrapnel were capable of that. The thermo-baric element - does that just increase the effectiveness of the arty - or does it require a rethink?
Chris Pook said:A hoary old one that is coming closer to the surface: What to do about the 4-Person Tank Crew in a world of Robot Tanks?
Do you man one tank in four and put all your eggs in one basket? Or do you spread the crew out over the four vehicles? The old maintenance rationale has, in my opinion, flown out the window. 4 people will not be able to maintain/repair/return to action all four vehicles.