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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US Army to receive four Mid-Range Capability battery prototypes, fielding set for 2023

by Ashley Roque

Image showing US Army detailing what each MRC prototype battery will include. The service plans to begin fielding the weapon in 2023. (US Army)

Lockheed Martin is poised to deliver four initial Mid-Range Capability (MRC) weapon system batteries to the US Army by the end of 2022. If all goes as planned the service could field the new weapon prototype, paired with Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) and Tomahawk missiles, to soldiers by late September 2023, according to the company and service.

The army's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) tasked Lockheed Martin with building this mid-range prototype in late 2020, at present called the ‘Typhon', which includes launchers, missiles, and a battery operations centre.

The idea was to create a capability to strike targets somewhere between the 500 and 1,800 km range, or greater than the future Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) but shorter than a Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) system. To do this, army programme officials joined forces with the navy to leverage existing capabilities such as the Mark 41 Vertical Launching System (Mk 41 VLS), and the Tomahawk and SM-6 missiles.


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USMC CH-53E marks first transport of JLTV to ship and back to shore

by Gillian Rich

A US Marine CH-53E Super Stallion carries a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle to USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5) in the Philippine Sea. (Lance Cpl. Christopher England)

The US Marine Corps (USMC) used a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopter to transport a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to a ship and back to shore for the first time.

Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit logistics combat element and Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31, along with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (Reinforced), transported the JLTV from a beach at a training area in Okinawa, Japan, approximately 13 n miles, to USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5). The CH-53E performed two lifts at the beach landing zone and two lifts aboard Miguel Keith before transporting the vehicle back to the beach, Captain Pawel Puczko, director of communication strategy at the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, told Janes via email.

“The CH-53 and Helicopter Support Team provide a pretty unique capability to get those systems to otherwise inaccessible locations,” said Captain Tyler Hopping, CH-53E pilot with VMM-262 (reinforced), in a statement.


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US Army outfitting Infantry Squad Vehicle with 20 kW laser, DE M-SHORAD deliveries forthcoming

by Ashley Roque

US Army infantry soldiers secure their rucks in the cargo netting on the roof of the ISV after it was airdropped at Fort Bragg during operational testing. The service announced it will outfit the ISV with a 20 kW-class laser to down unmanned aerial systems. (US Department of Defense)

The US Army is integrating a 20 kW-class laser weapon system into its new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) to help soldiers down smaller unmanned aerial systems (UASs), according to the director of the service's Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office Lieutenant General Neil Thurgood.

The three-star general spoke at the Space and Missile Defense symposium on 10 August about a host of programmes under his purview including directed energy initiatives. At the event, he announced that senior service leaders recently approved the development of an Army Multi-Purpose High Energy Laser (AMP-HEL) prototype that they want completed by the end of September 2023.

Tentative plans involve outfitting General Motors (GM) Defense's ISV with a pallatised 20 kW-class laser weapon system to enable soldiers to down Group 1 and 2 UAS, Lt Gen Thurgood added.


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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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