Ukraine conflict: NATO enhanced Vigilance Activity battlegroup in Slovakia declared combat-ready
28 September 2022
by Nicholas Fiorenza
The NATO eVA battlegroup in Slovakia was declared combat-ready following exercise ‘Strong Cohesion' in Lešť, held from 20 to 22 September, in which Slovak BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles (pictured) were part of the enemy forces. (Bundeswehr/Lars Pötzsch)
The NATO enhanced Vigilance Activity (eVA) battlegroup in Slovakia was declared combat-ready following exercise ‘Strong Cohesion' in Lešť, held from 20 to 22 September. A spokesperson for the battlegroup told Janes on 23 September that the declaration was made after evaluation by an in-theatre readiness inspectionteam led by Czech Major General Petr Procházka, deputy commander of the Army of the Czech Republic's operations command.
The spokesperson said the exercise was led by the Slovak 2nd Mechanised Brigade, which provided exercise and higher control. The exercise involved 1,000 troops from the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the United States.
A K9 SPH undergoing trials in Finland in 2016. Finland is buying 48 more K9s, in addition to the 48 it ordered in 2017. (Janes/Peter Felstead)
Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen has approved the Finnish Defence Forces' (FDF's) proposal to exercise the option to order 38 more K9 self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) under the original 2017 contract for 48 K9s, his ministry announced in a press release on 18 November. The decision came after the EUR134 million (over USD138 million) procurement was approved by the Finnish government's finance committee.
“With this acquisition, we will significantly strengthen the strike capability of our army,” Kaikkonen said.
Finland ordered its first 48 former South Korean army K9s in 2017, with an option for 48 more. Helsinki has already exercised this option for 10 SPHs, so the procurement of 38 more will bring the number of K9 SPHs in the Finnish inventory to 96.
When it announced the option to procure five more K9s in October 2021, the Finnish Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the SPH is well suited for conscripts, providing Finland's conscript army with modern, cost-effective capabilities. Training of Finnish conscripts on the SPH began in 2019.
Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability 2022: Hensoldt develops MUSS 2.0 APS
24 November 2022
by Nicholas Fiorenza
Hensoldt's MUSS 2.0 prototypes will be installed in Puma IFVs in 2023. (PSM)
Hensoldt presented its Multifunctional Self-Protection System (Multifunktionales Selbstschutz-System: MUSS) 2.0 at SAE Media Group's Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability 2022 pre-conference Active Protection Systems (APS) Focus Day held in London on 15 November.
Jan Spannhake, Hensoldt's chief engineer for ground-based self-protection systems, told at the event that there had been continuous improvements to MUSS since it was introduced into service in 2010 – when over 350 German Army Puma infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) have received the system. For the new-generation MUSS 2.0, of which prototypes are to be installed in Puma IFVs at Krauss-Maffei Wegmann's Kassel plant in 2023, these improvements include a laser warning receiver (LWR), providing the capability to detect laser beam-riding missiles. Spannhake reported that the LWR was tested in the last few months in the Australian desert.
Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability 2022: Canada seeks equipment in light of Ukraine conflict
22 November 2022
by Nicholas Fiorenza
Canada plans to upgrade its LAV 6.0 light armoured vehicles. (Elbit Systems)
Canada is seeking equipment for its forces in Latvia and to replace arms supplied to Ukraine, Director Armament Sustainment Program Management in the Canadian Department of National Defence, Colonel Yves Raymond, said the first day of SAE Media Group's Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability 2022 conference held in London from 16 to 17 November.
He told the conference that Canada had an urgent operational requirement (UOR) for anti-tank guided weapons and counter-unmanned aircraft systems for deployment to Latvia and was seeking to replace M777 towed howitzers transferred to Ukraine. He also spoke of a UOR for a ground-based air-defence system.