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DSEI 2021: Companies gear up for UK's Mobile Fires Platform competition

Defence companies promoted their solutions for the UK's Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) 2021 exhibition, held in London on 14–17 September. Janes noted British Army delegations visiting the stands of the firms competing for the MFP requirement.

Hanwha Defense launched Team Thunder at DSEI on 14 September, offering the K9A2 self-propelled howitzer (SPH) for the MFP. Team member Soucy Defense offers composite rubber tracks, which Pasi Pasivirta, Hanwha's director for business development in Europe, told Janes on 16 September would provide the K9A2 with road mobility, which is an MFP requirement.

The other contenders are wheeled. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) presented its Boxer Remote Controlled Howitzer (RCH) 155, touting its ability to fire on the move. WFEL, KMW's UK arm, has begun producing the Boxer in the United Kingdom, and Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) is gearing up to do the same.

KMW's shared stand with Nexter also displayed the latter's CAESAR 8×8 SPH, which is being produced for the Danish Army.

BAE Systems Bofors marketing and sales director Stefan Lofström said during a press briefing at DSEI on 14 September that his company is also looking for industrial partners to offer its Archer SPH for MFP. Asked by Janes what advantages Archer offered over its contenders, he replied that the system is mature, referring to its service in the Swedish Army since 2016. He added that the UK could mount it on its Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles (RMMV) HX2 8×8 trucks, as presented at DSEI 2019 and trialled afterwards by BAE Systems Bofors.

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