Australian Army tests remote firing capability of uncrewed APC

by Kapil Kajal

An Australian Army M113AS4 armoured logistics vehicle, fitted with optionally crewed combat vehicle technology and a remote weapon station, fires from a support-by-fire position during a human-machine team exercise at Puckapunyal Military Area. (Commonwealth of Australia)

The Australian Army's Robotic and Autonomous Systems Implementation and Coordination Office (RICO) and Electro Optic Systems (EOS) have conducted a remote firing exercise from an uncrewed M113 armoured personnel carrier (APC) at Puckapunyal Military Area in Victoria, EOS said in a press release on 3 April.

The uncrewed M113, equipped with EOS' R400 remote weapon system (RWS), “successfully” engaged targets at distances of 300 m and 600 m during the exercise, EOS added.

The RWS integrated on the M113 APC was remotely controlled from EOS' facility in Canberra – approximately 550 km away from Puckapunyal Military Area – during the exercise, according to EOS.

The exercise also showcased counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) capabilities of the RWS by intercepting both stationary and moving UAV targets at distances of up to 500 m.

According to Janes Land Warfare Platforms: Firepower, Survivability & Mobility ,


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BSDA 2024: Romanian Piranha 5 programme progresses

by Sonny Butterworth

Three Piranha 5 IFVs were displayed at BSDA, including this one perched atop a section of the GDELS M3 amphibious bridge. (Janes/Sonny Butterworth)

Janes has learnt that 47 Romanian-produced Piranha 5 8×8 armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs) have been completed by armaments factory and state-owned ROMARM subsidiary Uzina Mecanică București (UMB), with a further 68 in various stages of production.

Speaking to Janes on 23 May at the Black Sea Defense and Aerospace (BSDA) 2024 exhibition held in Bucharest from 22 to 24 May, Andreas Himmelsbach, senior manager German & International News and Media at General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS), and Mihai Rafiu, general manager at UMB, confirmed that a follow-on order for an additional 150 vehicles was also being prepared.

Although no delivery timeframe for this follow-on batch was disclosed, it will follow the delivery of the initial consignment of 227 vehicles, which the Romanian Ministry of National Defence (MND) contracted from GDELS on 12 January 2018.


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BSDA 2024: Otokar outlines Cobra II pitch for Romania

by Sonny Butterworth

Otokar displayed a pickup-style configuration of the Cobra II on a revolving pedestal at BSDA. The vehicle was equipped with an Anubis 3.0 ROWS from Pro Optica, one of Otokar's partners in the programme. (Janes/Sonny Butterworth)

Otokar confirmed that it is offering its Cobra II 4×4 protected patrol vehicle to the Romanian Army during a media briefing delivered at the Black Sea Defense and Aerospace (BSDA) 2024 exhibition held in Bucharest from 22 to 24 May.

During the briefing, Sedef Vehbi, military cluster head of Otokar, emphasised that the company aims to “play the game” of national capability development. The proposal therefore includes a transfer of technology arrangement that would allow the vehicle to be produced in Romania in partnership with Automecanica SA in Mediaș, Transylvania.

However, Vehbi stressed that Otokar would do “more than what is required” by supporting research and development work as well as manufacturing at its Romanian facility, which could potentially act as a hub for other European users of Otokar products.


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BSDA 2024: Hanwha to offer Redback IFV to Italy and Romania

by Sonny Butterworth

An AS21 Redback displayed at Hanwha's stand at BSDA 2024. It is likely that the Australian configuration of the Redback will form the basis of Hanwha's Romanian bid. (Janes/Sonny Butterworth)

Hanwha revealed that it intends to enter its Redback tracked infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) into Italian and Romanian competitive IFV procurement programmes at the Black Sea Defense and Aerospace (BSDA) 2024 exhibition held in Bucharest from 22 to 24 May.

In a press release published on 21 May, Billy Boohwan Lee, head of Hanwha Aerospace Europe, claimed that “the Redback IFV solution is expected to help bring a massive manufacturing capability to the Romanian market through active industrial partnerships”. This followed an industry day held on 17 May, in which the company met with representatives from Romanian industry to investigate avenues for potential collaboration in upcoming programmes.

However, in an interview with Janes on the first day of the exhibition, Peter JK Bae, vice-president for business development at Hanwha Aerospace Europe, confirmed that partnerships with Romanian industry had yet to be finalised and that there are currently no arrangements in place for prototypes to be shipped from Australia to Romania for testing.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/australian-army-tests-remote-firing-capability-of-uncrewed-apc

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