Ukraine conflict: British Army deploys tank-heavy EFP battlegroup to Estonia

by Tim Ripley

The transfer of authority of the UK-led NATO EFP contingent between the incoming KRH Battlegroup and the outgoing Royal Welsh Battlegroup took place in Tapa, Estonia, on 21 September. (UK MoD/Crown copyright)

The British Army has deployed a tank-heavy battlegroup to Estonia, completing the restructuring of the UK-led NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) contingent in the Baltic state.

The King's Royal Hussars (KRH) Battlegroup was deployed to Tapa in Estonia, relieving the armoured infantry battlegroup of 1st Battalion, the Royal Welsh regiment, on 21 September.

The KRH has been deployed with two squadrons of Challenger 2 main battle tanks (MBTs) and an anti-tank company from the 1st Battalion, the Scots Guards, which is equipped with Mastiff mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles and Javelin anti-tank missiles, the British Army announced on its website on 23 September. The NATO contingent is rounded out by a squadron of Danish Leopard 2A7 MBTs and a French mountain infantry company with Véhicule de l'Avant Blindé (VAB) armoured vehicles.

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Colombia buys four Hunter TR-12 MRAP vehicles

by Erich Saumeth Cadavid

Front left view of a Colombian Army Hunter TR-12 configured as a troop carrier. (Erich Saumeth Cadavid)

The Colombian Ministry of Defense has bought four new Hunter TR-12 - 22 mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles, designed and built by local company Armor International, a source told Janes .

The TR-12s are to deploy special forces units for counter-terrorist and counter-insurgent operations and will be able to transport 12 people while also storing systems and media in the cabin.

The process will be financed by the United States, with an approximate cost of USD1.56 million (USD390,000 per vehicle).

This TR-12-22 version uses an International CV series 4×4 chassis, on which a monocoque hull with a new v-shaped keel design is mounted and the engine is in its own protected compartment.

Armor International officials told Janes

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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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