MSPO 2021: Huta Stalowa Wola reveals M120G SPM prototype

by Jakub Link-Lenczowski

The M120G on an LPG chassis. (Huta Stalowa Wola)

Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) revealed the newest iteration of its Rak 120 mm self-propelled mortar system (SPM), called the M120G, at the International Defence Industry Exhibition (MSPO) being held in Kielce, Poland, from 7 to 10 September.

The autonomous turret system was integrated with a new lightweight tracked chassis (lekkie podwozie gąsienicowe: LPG).

According to HSW, the new tracked chassis' design is focused on reliability, mobility, ergonomics, and safety. It is fitted with an HSW-developed hydropneumatic suspension that is based on the 12 wheels and the supporting rollers. Each wheel has an independent suspension.

The platform's predecessor is the modified 2S1 Gozdzik SPH chassis, but that was completely redesigned by HSW for the new chassis. The LPG design can carry more ammunition than its predecessor and provides ballistic and mine protection levels up to STANAG 4569 A level 2.

LPG is the second tracked chassis developed by HSW for Rak SPMs, after the 2S1. The 2S1, following prototype testing, was delivered to the Polish Army's Artillery Training Center in Toruń.

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Czech CAESAR SPHs more expensive than expected

by Ondrej Stratilik

The Czech government plans to sign an agreement to buy 52 CAESAR SPHs by the end of September. (Nexter Systems)

The Czech government plans to sign an agreement to buy 52 CAESAR self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) by the end of September, Czech Ministry of Defence spokesperson Petr Sýkora told Janes on 22 September. Czech Finance Minister Alena Schillerová said during a press briefing after a cabinet meeting on 13 September that the government had approved procurement of the howitzer. Czech Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar tweeted the same day that Czech industry would have a 40% share in the procurement.

When Metnar first announced the procurement in June 2020, the cost of 52 CAESAR howitzers produced by Nexter and Tatra Trucks was expected to be CZK5.95 billion (USD270 million), but this has since risen to CZK8.52 billion.

Czech government documents seen by Janes give as reasons for this increase inflation, the global rise in steel prices, and Prague's 40% localisation requirement. Janes also understands that there are some non-recurring costs for the transfer of production and know-how to Czech industry.

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Indian MoD orders 118 Arjun Mk 1A MBTs

by Rahul Bedi

The Arjun Mk 1A includes about 19 “major improvements” over the Mk 1, but remains a heavy MBT. (Indian PIB)

India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a INR75.23 billion (USD1.01 billion) contract with the state-owned Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) on 23 September for 118 locally developed Arjun Mk 1A main battle tank (MBT) variants for the Indian Army (IA).

Designed by the government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the upgraded Mk 1A incorporates 72 new features over the Mk 1 model to ensure “effortless mobility in all terrains and precise day-and-night target engagement”, declared the MoD in an official statement.

The Arjun Mk 1A, the MoD added, was also equipped with “multi-layered protection” and can engage the enemy in static and dynamic modes.

The HVF in Avadi, southern India, is expected to deliver five Mk 1As within 30 months, followed thereafter by 30 MBTs each year until the contract is completed by about 2027, MoD sources told Janes .

The 118 Mk 1As will supplement some 124 Mk 1s that joined IA service in 2004–05.

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Germany upgrades Fuchs NBC reconnaissance vehicles

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The BAAINBw has awarded Rheinmetall a contract to upgrade five more Bundeswehr Fuchs 1A6A1 NBC reconnaissance vehicles to the A8A7 configuration. (Rheinmetall)

The Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw), Germany's Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support, has awarded Rheinmetall a contract to upgrade the Fuchs (Fox) 1A6A1 nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) reconnaissance vehicle to the new highly protected A8A7 configuration, the agency and company announced in separate press releases on 21 September.

Five Fuchs 1A6A1 NBC reconnaissance vehicles will be upgraded starting this month, with the first vehicles to be handed over to the Bundeswehr in 2023 and work to be completed by July 2024.

The BAAINBw said the upgrade would involve improving the vehicle's ballistic and mine protection, installing an FLW 200 remote weapon station, and modernising its nuclear and chemical reconnaissance equipment. In addition, the data processing and communication system will be updated with special software to control the vehicle's nuclear and chemical reconnaissance equipment and command and navigation systems. The vehicle's current nuclear and chemical equipment for dismounted employment will also be integrated and stowed.

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Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) revealed the newest iteration of its Rak 120 mm self-propelled mortar system...

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