US Army tests new cold-weather medical equipment

by Meredith Roaten

The US Army's medical evacuation sled includes an extra piece of plastic bolted on to provide cover for patients being pulled by snow machine. (Janes/Meredith Roaten)

As the US Army works to phase out Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUSVs) and replace them with Cold Weather All-Terrain Vehicles (CATVs), army medics are trying out a new sled for evacuation in the Arctic environment, medical officers said during the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center (JPMRC) 24-02 training rotation.

CATVs can perform medical evacuations, but there were not enough of them to sustain the patient load, said Captain Loyal Farley, surgeon for Battalion 3509. The 11th Airborne Division has SUSVs, but they are “outdated or unreliable”, making sleds pulled by snow machine (alternatively known as snowmobile) the best option for the exercise that took place from 12 to 22 February, said First Lieutenant Stephen Meyer, physician's assistant for Battalion 3509.


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GDELS presents 10×10 Piranha Heavy Mission Carrier

by Nicholas Fiorenza

GDELS is offering its new 10×10 Piranha HMC variant for missions including direct and indirect fires, air defence, and tactical bridging. (GDELS)

General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) presented its 10×10 Piranha Heavy Mission Carrier (HMC) in a press release on 15 April.

The new Piranha version has a gross vehicle weight of up to 40 tonnes and can carry a 17 tonne payload. It features a 10×10 all-wheel-drive-power-driveline and a multi-link suspension system with 1st/2nd and 4th/5th axle steering, which according to GDELS enables minimum axle loads to comply with European road regulations, cross-country mobility, and trench crossing capabilities with a reduced turning radius of less than 18 m.

Thomas Kauffmann, GDELS vice-president for Global Sales and Services, said, “The Piranha HMC is a direct response to our worldwide customer base's evolving payload and space requirements for versatile and multi-purpose missions including direct and indirect fires, air defence, and tactical bridging capabilities.”

For more information on the Piranha, please seePiranha; Piranha 2; Piranha 3; Piranha 4; Piranha 5 .


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Australia orders Boxers to export to Germany

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Australia ordered over 100 sWaTrg Inf heavy weapon carrier infantry vehicles from Rheinmetall on 10 April. (Rheinmetall)

The Australian government signed a production agreement with Rheinmetall Defence Australia on 10 April for over 100 Boxer Schwerer Waffenträger Infanterie (sWaTrg Inf) heavy weapon carrier infantry vehicles to export to Germany. The company said in a press release announcing the contract later the same day that it would be Australia's largest foreign military export to Germany.

The vehicles are being procured under a government-to-government letter of intent signed by Canberra and Berlin in March.

Rheinmetall's Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland, will produce the vehicles, with deliveries to the German government planned for 2026–30, the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) said in a press release on 10 April.

A Rheinmetall spokesperson told Janes that the first 20 vehicles would be produced in Rheinmetall's Kassel and Unterluess plants in Germany, with deliveries scheduled for 2025.

The sWaTrg Inf will replace the Bundeswehr's Wiesel 1 tracked tactical direct fire support weapon carrier and equip the German Army's new medium forces.


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Ukraine conflict: Lithuania sends mobile command vehicles to Ukraine

by Olivia Savage

Lithuania is providing its M577 command vehicle (pictured) to Ukraine under a military support deal. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

Lithuania has supplied an undisclosed number of M577 armoured command vehicles to the Ukrainian army.

The vehicles, provided under a military support deal, arrived in Ukraine on 5 April, according to the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence (MND) on 6 April.

An MND spokesperson was unable to specify to Janes the number of units supplied for security reasons.

M577 is the command-and-control (C2) variant of the M113 tracked armoured personnel carrier (APC) that was first introduced to the US Army in the 1960s. Three generations exist – A1, A2, and A3 – as is the case with the M113. M577 can also be used as a fire-direction centre and mobile medical treatment facility as well as a communications vehicle.

In December 2016 Lithuania acquired 168 M577A2 vehicles from Germany at a cost of EUR1.6 million (USD1.7 million). The vehicles were suited for various purposes, including C2, artillery fire control, mortar fire control, training, and as an ambulance. This followed an earlier order for 26 M577s from Germany.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/us-army-tests-new-cold-weather-medical-equipment

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