AUSA 2021: US Army ‘pauses' IVAS programme, fielding on hold

by Ashley Roque

Earlier this year US soldiers conducted IVAS cold-weather testing at the Army Test and Evaluation Command's Cold Regions Test Center at Fort Greely, Alaska. The service has since ‘paused' the programme. (US Army )

US Army officials have halted plans to field a militarised version of Microsoft's HoloLens 2 augmented reality (AR) system to soldiers, placing a contract worth up to USD21.9 billion in jeopardy, Janes has learned.

The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology's (ASAALT's) office paused the service's Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) and is “essentially doing a reset of that programme, figuring out what is the appropriate timeline and where is the technology”, Brigadier General William Glaser, director of the Synthetic Training Environment Cross-Functional Team, told Janes on 12 October.

Several other army officials confirmed the decision but, as of this writing, ASAALT, Program Executive Officer Soldier, and Army Futures Command offices had not responded to Janes request for additional information about what sparked the decision and what impact it might have.

However, in June Janes

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Challenger 3 to get laser protection system

by Olivia Savage

RBSL selects Elbit Systems UK ELAWS protection system for Challenger 3. (RBSL)

Elbit Systems UK (ESUK) will deliver its laser protection system for Challenger 3 main battle tanks (MBTs).

ESUK has been selected by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) to deliver 150 of its Laser Warning Systems (ELAWS) for the Challenger 3 (CR3) programme, ESUK announced on 22 September.

An ESUK spokesperson was unable to disclose further details regarding the subcontract.

ELAWS can detect, categorise, and accurately pinpoint laser sources such as from range finders, anti-tank guided missiles, target designators, and infrared illuminators. Providing 360° coverage, it can act as a standalone system or integrate with a wide range of countermeasures. The system can also detect and pinpoint radar and radio frequency sources.

RBSL was selected in May 2021 to lead the GBP800 million (USD901 million) contract to upgrade 148 Challenger 2 MBTs to the Challenger 3 standard.

As part of the programme, the Challenger 3 MBTs will receive a new welded turret with Rheinmetall's 120 mm L55A1 smoothbore main armament, a new active protection system, a new modular armour, a versatile turret, and a suite of modern sighting systems.

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Simulator that delivers combined arms training to UK military reaches FOC

by Olivia Savage

Elbit Systems ICAVS(D) training simulator is one of the pathfinder projects in the British Army's Collective Training Transformation Programme. (Elbit Systems UK)

Elbit Systems UK Interim Combined Arms Virtual Simulation (Deployable) (ICAVS(D)) solution has successfully achieved full operating capability (FOC), the company announced on 21 September.

In September, the British Army's Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers operated ICAVS(D) at Tidworth on Salisbury Plain, marking the capability's 25th training event and FOC milestone, the company added.

ICAVS(D) is one of the pathfinder projects for the British Army's Collective Training Transformation Programme (CTTP), which seeks to modernise and replace the army's out-of-date training with live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) systems.

The capability entered into service with the British Army in April, where it succeeded QinetiQ's Unit Based Virtual Trainer (UBVT).

Utilising high-specification hardware and Defence Virtual Simulation software, ICAVS(D) delivers virtual tactical training in the British Army's Battle Craft Syllabus. It enables collective training and experimentation at a place and time of the units' choosing and enables the rehearsal of complex operational environments in all weathers and environments, the company said.

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Puzzle pieces: Washington eyes path ahead for homeland cruise missile defence

by Ashley Roque

A Patriot M903 launcher station assigned to 5th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, during Exercise ‘Arctic Edge 2022' at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. This defence capability could be included as part of a US homeland cruise missile defence architecture. (USAF)

Reports of Russian Tu-95 aircraft and submarines launching cruise missiles to strike targets in Kyiv, Dnipro, Vinnytsia, and Odesa filled US news reports throughout 2022, offering momentary insights to a conflict on another continent.

Accompanying images of smouldering buildings are the incremental announcements from countries pledging to send an array of weapons to Kyiv, including a promise from Washington to deliver eight National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) during the coming years. Pentagon leaders contend that this weapon system will help the Eastern European country defend itself against incoming cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), helicopters, and other aircraft.

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US Army officials have halted plans to field a militarised version of Microsoft's HoloLens 2 augment...

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