British Army armoured reconnaissance battlegroup manoeuvres across Germany

by Tim Ripley

Vehicles of the British Army's Royal Lancers divisional reconnaissance regiment deployed from the UK to Germany for Exercise ‘Somme Lancer', which took place in the first half of October. (Crown copyright)

Approximately 180 vehicles and 650 soldiers from the British Army's Royal Lancers divisional reconnaissance regiment deployed over 1,100 km by road to Germany in the last week of September from their home garrison in Catterick, North Yorkshire, for Exercise ‘Somme Lancer'.

The regiment reported on social media that it then carried out a 70 km tactical road march from the British Army training facility in Sennelager to Hamelin, where the main exercise play unfolded across approximately 5,000 sq km of private land. Danish reconnaissance troops from the Guard Hussar Regiment joined the UK troops and German Luftwaffe Eurofighters and Tornado bombers from Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader (Tactical Air Wing) 31 and 33, respectively, for approximately 55 hours of simulated close air support during the exercise.

‘Somme Lancer' culminated back in Sennelager on 15 October with the start of a week-long combined arms live-fire exercise.


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StrikeShield APS serial production for Hungarian Lynx IFVs to begin in 2022

by Michal Zdobinsky

Serial production of Rheinmetall's StrikeShield APS for Hungarian Lynx IFVs will begin in the first quarter of 2022. (Rheinmetall)

Serial production of Rheinmetall's StrikeShield active protection system (APS) for Hungarian Lynx infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) will begin in the first quarter of 2022, the German company has confirmed to Janes.

Rheinmetall announced in May that Hungary had signed a EUR140 million (USD158 million) contract for StrikeShield systems for 209 of the 218 Lynx IFVs ordered. Hungary will have a hybrid version of the system combining passive armour with the active protection elements of StrikeShield.

Rheinmetall has not disclosed the exact configuration of StrikeShield for the Hungarian IFVs, but a company presentation showed a typical configuration for Lynx can consist of up to 15 radar sensors, 35 electro-optical sensors, and 33 effectors. Two modules are also located at the rear of the hull to protect against top attack munition.


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Ukraine modernises T-64BVK

by Samuel Cranny-Evans

Ukaine's Kharkiv Armoured Plant has modernised the T-64BVK command variant of the T-64 MBT family to meet the requirements of the Ukrainian armed forces. (UOP)

Kharkiv Armoured Plant has developed an upgrade package for Ukraine's T-64BVK, a command variant of the T-64 main battle tank (MBT), which has successfully completed an initial round of tests, state-owned conglomerate Ukroboronprom (UOP) announced on its website on 30 November.

Kharkiv Armoured Plant director Herman Smetanin said the upgrade “is necessary not only to significantly improve the existing technical characteristics [of the vehicle], but also to create all the appropriate conditions for effective control over a [tank] unit”.

The T-64BVK has received a thermal imager, a satellite navigation system, and new optics for the commander providing a detection range of 2,000 m. The vehicle has also received a new radio system, intercom, and driver's rear-view camera under the upgrade.

The commander's cupola is fitted with a protected mount for an NSV 12.7×108 mm heavy machine gun, UOP said. Additional improvements include a new fuel filter, enhanced protection for the fuel tanks, and composite rubber-metal screens added to the sides of the tank.


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Update: US Army donates M1117 armoured security vehicles to Greece

by Euthymius Petrou

One of the first 44 M1117 ASVs donated by the US Army to Greece, which arrived in Athens on 26 November. (Greek MND)

The first 44 M1117 wheeled armoured security vehicles (ASVs) donated by the US Army to Greece arrived in Athens on 26 November.

The vehicles are part of a total of 60 stationed in Germany that were audited by a Hellenic Army committee. They were sent to Greece by rail via central Europe and Bulgaria. The official acceptance ceremony for the vehicles took place on 2 December at the 301 Military Factory in Agioi Anargyroi near Athens.

The ASVs, which were donated without weapons and communication equipment, will be fitted with TRC 92000 radio sets already possessed by the Hellenic Army. They will be armed with M2HB 12.7 mm, M85 50-cal or M-60A1/A3 7.62 mm machine guns.

A second batch of M1117 ASVs will be sent to Greece from the United States. A total of 1,200 vehicles are being audited by Hellenic Army officers and around half are expected to be accepted for Greece.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/british-army-armoured-reconnaissance-battlegroup-manoeuvres-across-germany

Approximately 180 vehicles and 650 soldiers from the British Army's Royal Lancers divisional reconna...

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