Finland exercises option for 38 more K9 SPHs

by Nicholas Fiorenza

A K9 SPH undergoing trials in Finland in 2016. Finland is buying 48 more K9s, in addition to the 48 it ordered in 2017. (Janes/Peter Felstead)

Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen has approved the Finnish Defence Forces' (FDF's) proposal to exercise the option to order 38 more K9 self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) under the original 2017 contract for 48 K9s, his ministry announced in a press release on 18 November. The decision came after the EUR134 million (over USD138 million) procurement was approved by the Finnish government's finance committee.

“With this acquisition, we will significantly strengthen the strike capability of our army,” Kaikkonen said.

Finland ordered its first 48 former South Korean army K9s in 2017, with an option for 48 more. Helsinki has already exercised this option for 10 SPHs, so the procurement of 38 more will bring the number of K9 SPHs in the Finnish inventory to 96.

When it announced the option to procure five more K9s in October 2021, the Finnish Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the SPH is well suited for conscripts, providing Finland's conscript army with modern, cost-effective capabilities. Training of Finnish conscripts on the SPH began in 2019.

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BAE Systems reveals vehicle bid for US Army's OMFV competition

by Daniel Wasserbly

BAE Systems' OMFV offering will use composite rubber tracks. (BAE Systems)

BAE Systems announced on 30 November that it has teamed with Elbit Systems of America, Curtiss-Wright Corporation, and QinetiQ Limited for the US Army's Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) programme.

The team used a new design because “we didn't see an existing vehicle that had the space and the growth” to meet army requirements, Jim Miller, BAE Systems' vice-president of business development, told reporters on 30 November. The platform weighs about 50 tonne (fighting weight) and can accommodate another 6,000 lb, Miller said.

Elbit Systems is providing its 50 mm Unmanned Turret (UT50) that uses a Northrop Grumman XM913 50 mm cannon, a high-capacity ammunition handling system, and third-generation FLIR sensors, the companies said in a statement. The OMFV design will use “a standardised, Modular Open Systems Architecture (MOSA), designed by BAE Systems and Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions”, they added.

BAE Systems and QinetiQ Limited are developing and integrating a Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) technology with QinetiQ Limited's Modular E-X-Drive electric cross-drive transmission.

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Finland completes mid-life upgrade of XA-180 APCs

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Patria has completed the mid-life upgrade of the FDF XA-180 6×6 APCs (pictured) and has delivered the last upgraded vehicles to the Finnish Army. (Patria)

Patria announced in a press release on 23 November that it had completed the mid-life upgrade of the Finnish Defence Forces' (FDF's) XA-180 6×6 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and had delivered the last upgraded vehicles to the Finnish Army. The company said the life cycle of the vehicles has been secured until the 2040s, by when the XA-180 is planned to be replaced by new Patria 6×6 vehicles.

All XA-series vehicles were modernised and aligned with modifications, including new electrical systems and communications equipment; an updated crew space with improved seating; and the inspection, repair, or replacement of key components such as engines, power transmission, and axles, according to Patria. Sirje Ahvenlampi-Hyvönen, the company's vice-president for group communications, told Janes

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Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability 2022: Hensoldt develops MUSS 2.0 APS

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Hensoldt's MUSS 2.0 prototypes will be installed in Puma IFVs in 2023. (PSM)

Hensoldt presented its Multifunctional Self-Protection System (Multifunktionales Selbstschutz-System: MUSS) 2.0 at SAE Media Group's Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability 2022 pre-conference Active Protection Systems (APS) Focus Day held in London on 15 November.

Jan Spannhake, Hensoldt's chief engineer for ground-based self-protection systems, told at the event that there had been continuous improvements to MUSS since it was introduced into service in 2010 – when over 350 German Army Puma infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) have received the system. For the new-generation MUSS 2.0, of which prototypes are to be installed in Puma IFVs at Krauss-Maffei Wegmann's Kassel plant in 2023, these improvements include a laser warning receiver (LWR), providing the capability to detect laser beam-riding missiles. Spannhake reported that the LWR was tested in the last few months in the Australian desert.

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Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen has approved the Finnish Defence Forces' (FDF's) proposal t...

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