DSEI 2021: QinetiQ/Dstl team debuts Mobility Test Rig

by Peter Felstead

The MTR at DSEI 2021, mocked up as an armoured air defence platform. (Janes/P Felstead)

The Mobility Test Rig (MTR) produced by the UK government's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and UK defence technology company QinetiQ made its public debut at this month's DSEI exhibition in London.

A third-scale 8×8 demonstrator developed over the past two years under a GBP3 million (USD4.09 million) research programme, the MTR is designed to showcase the significant mobility advantages offered by electric drive that could be exploited by the next generation of British Army armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs).

Powered by a QinetiQ electric drive motor, the MTR has a fully articulating suspension that can extend and contract its wheelbase and wheel track, including asymmetrically. This allows the vehicle to adopt a compact configuration for transportation or operation in more confined spaces, to widen its track for greater stability, and otherwise ‘tune' itself to the conditions encountered. It could, for example, extend its wheelbase by up to 50% to enhance its gap-crossing capabilities. Ride height, meanwhile, can be optimised to provide a low silhouette or to increase the stand-off distance in relation to mine threats.


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IAV 2022: Boxer bulks up

by Nicholas Fiorenza

A 41 tonne Boxer without a mission module mastered a 1 m vertical step during trials in December 2021. (Artec)

Rheinmetall Landsysteme-Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) joint venture Artec conducted trials in December 2021 with a Boxer armoured vehicle weighing 41 tonnes, Janes learned at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2022 conference being held in London on 24–27 January.

Artec managing director Stefan Lischka revealed during a presentation at IAV 2022 on 25 January that the Boxer, without a mission module, traversed gaps up to 2.2 m, climbed a 60° slope, and mastered a 1 m vertical step during the trials. He said there was no actual customer requirement for such a heavy Boxer but placed the trials in the context of armoured fighting vehicles gaining 20–30% more weight within 20 years of first being introduced because of protection enhancements.


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IAV 2022: Dragón IFV spearheads Spain's Army 35 transformation programme

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The first seven Dragón IFVs will be delivered in 2022. (Spanish MoD)

Janes learned details of Spain's Dragón infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) programme at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) conference held in London from 24 to 27 January. The IFV was described as the spearhead of Spain's Army 35 and as the most representative of that transformation programme.

Based on Spain's experience with improvised explosive devices in Lebanon and Afghanistan during the past couple of decades, an important emphasis of the programme is protection, with the IFV featuring NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG) 4569 levels covering light armoured vehicles.

The 33-tonne vehicle has a speed of more than 100 km/h and a range of 500 km. It is air-transportable by A400M.

The Dragón will be armed with a Bushmaster II 30 mm gun, with ammunition including airburst munition, plus a 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun. The tank hunter version will be armed with Spike LR2 missiles. A decision on whether the turret will be manned or unmanned is expected in 2023.


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IAV 2022: Patria 6×6 Common Armoured Vehicle System offered in various versions in addition to APC

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The 6×6 CAVS vehicle provides armed forces with mobility, including in Arctic conditions. (Patria)

Janes learned more details about the Patria 6×6 Common Armoured Vehicle System (CAVS) at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2022 conference being held in London from 24 to 27 January.

Patria describes the vehicle as a 6×6 battlefield taxi that is easy to operate and maintain.

In addition to its basic configuration as an armoured personnel carrier (APC), the vehicle can provide fire support and indirect fire, as well as medical evacuation, command-and-control, and engineering support.

A Patria Nemo mortar system has been integrated into the Combat Armoured Vehicle (CAV), offering a 10 km range and a six-round multiple round simultaneous impact capability.

Latvia received its first four CAVS APC versions on 29 November 2021 after Latvian Armed Forces personnel completed two weeks of user, instructor, and maintenance training at Patria in Hämeenlinna, Finland, in October to prepare to operate the vehicles. The four APCs have since been on exercises with Latvian troops.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/dsei-2021-qinetiqdstl-team-debuts-mobility-test-rig

The Mobility Test Rig (MTR) produced by the UK government's Defence Science and Technology Laborator...

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