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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 07:50
Army Brown

June 4, 2013 by Think Defence


Did we discuss this, not sure?


From Akzo Nobel

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) asked AkzoNobel – makers of paints and coatings such as Intergard, Sikkens and Dulux – to develop a high-tech paint with a colour that would be suitable for the desert environments where most military operations are focused.

The new camouflage paint – known as Army Brown – will replace the sand colour that has been used on Army vehicles since before the Second World War.

To produce the new colour the MoD collected high resolution imagery in Afghanistan and flew rock and soil samples back  to Britain, where  a team at the Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory developed a colour optimised for vehicles operating in that environment.

AkzoNobel scientists were then asked to develop a new water-based camouflage coating that conformed with the colour requirements. Developed under the Intergard brand the new Army Brown paint is similar to the tan colour used by the military in the US and Australia. It is designed to provide a better balance between arid, desert-like areas and the green zone with its lush vegetation.

AkzoNobel has developed a special temporary peelable coating which can be quickly sprayed or brushed onto the Army vehicles to provide a quick camouflage change and then peeled off. The revolutionary coating is capable of absorbing chemical warfare agents and stopping them getting through to the vehicle underneath. The contaminated coating can then be stripped off and disposed off. It also protects the vehicles against weathering and corrosion.

AkzoNobel scientists are currently working on further developments which would mean the coating would change colour when it absorbed toxic chemicals, alerting the soldiers that they are under chemical attack. Rather than just absorbing the chemicals it would also be able to neutralise them.

Army Brown is being used on the UK’s Foxhound light patrol vehicles. Army Brown has also been applied to some of the Warrior tracked armoured vehicles deployed to Afghanistan.

The Intergard coating has been developed by AkzoNobel’s aerospace coatings team. AkzoNobel’s Global Market Director Andrew Richardson said:

““We were delighted to be asked to work on the new colour for British Army vehicles and continue our partnership with the Ministry of Defence.
“The new paint colour has been specifically designed for the desert-like environment where most operations currently take place.
“The water-based paint will provide an exceptional performance in the most challenging environments.”

  • Even the paint is going hi tech, interesting about the peelable nature of it and the level of protection against chemical agents.
Foxhound Patrol Vehicle in Afghanistan -  photo UK MoD

Foxhound Patrol Vehicle in Afghanistan - photo UK MoD

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5 juin 2013 3 05 /06 /juin /2013 20:50

10 avril 2013 BritishForcesNews

1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards have ended over 30 years of their history out in Germany by live firing their Scimitar Armoured vehicles on the ranges there for the last time. Under Army 2020 the regiment is changing role and moving on to new vehicles.

Note RP Defense : thanks to Think Defence for the link !

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3 juin 2013 1 03 /06 /juin /2013 12:45
3SDL to provide ISTAR training to BATUK

3 June 2013 army-technology.com


3SDL has received a contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for delivery of intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) training to the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK).


Awarded after successful completion of a short notice requirement for ISTAR support to British Army Foundation Training (FT) in Kenya during fiscal 2012/13, the contract involves supply of comprehensive ISTAR support to BATUK during the Askari Thunder exercises in Kenya, and Wessex Storm exercise in the UK over the one year, starting this month.


Under the contract, the company will supply a full range of live ISTAR emulation, including DH3, H450, MQ-9 Reaper and close air support (CAS) aircraft, along with MX15HDi sensor, three DA42 multi-purpose platforms (MPPs), and remotely operated video enhanced receiver (ROVER) compatible datalinks with remote viewing terminal (RVTs).


In addition, Joint Air Land Organisation accredited CAS qualified crews, and highly experienced ground liaison officers (GLOs) will be embedded in BATUK exercise control and deployed Battlegroup/Brigade Headquarters, to help ensure the ISTAR requirements of the target audience are fully addressed at all times.


Operating from Wilson Airfield in Nairobi, the DA42 MPPs will normally fly a single six-hour mission every day or night during BATUK scenarios, each requiring a combination of ISTAR and CAS platforms.


Besides coordinating the on-task time, the GLOs will provide RVTs to BATUK exercise control, the Battlegroup/Brigade HQs and the ground troops to show the live FMV feed, which is also recorded by the company and provided to the training audience for analysis and debriefing missions.


The ISTAR package will fully support the UK's 16 Air Assault Brigade, which is readying for deployment to Kenya for Exercise Askari Thunder in 2014.


3SDL has already provided similar training to the brigade using identical equipment as part of Joint Warrior 13-1 Exercise last month.

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31 mai 2013 5 31 /05 /mai /2013 07:50
Gen Odierno said that British defence cuts are already jeopardising US-UK joint operations

Gen Odierno said that British defence cuts are already jeopardising US-UK joint operations

30 May 2013 James Kirkup and Ben Farmer - telegraph.co.uk


Defence cuts will leave the British Army “dependent” on its US counterparts, a senior American commander has warned.


General Ray Odierno revealed that he has repeatedly raised concerns with British defence chiefs that Britain’s shrinking forces will be unable to work alongside the Americans.


Gen Odierno’s comments come as ministers fight over a fresh round of spending reductions that could force another round of defence cuts.


The British Army is losing 20,000 regular posts, shrinking to 82,000 soldiers by 2015. Armoured units, including the Desert Rats, are losing their tanks.


Gen Odierno said that such cuts are already jeopardising US-UK joint operations, and leaving the British reliant on American forces.


“As the British Army continues to reduce in size we’ve had several conversations about keeping them integrated in what we’re trying to do,” he said.


“In a lot of ways they’re depending on us, especially in our ground capabilities into the future.”


Speaking at a Washington think-tank, the general warned that defence cuts by America’s European allies like Britain risk undermining Nato and Transatlantic relations.


“We gotta make sure we stay in sync, because we might become unbalanced,” he said.


Gen Odierno’s public comments reflect the private concerns of US commanders over British defence cut, expressed at several private meetings in recent months.


David Cameron has promised to maintain the Special Relationship with the US, which is built on defence co-operation.


The US commander’s comments may strengthen the hand of Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, in his battle to avert more cuts in the Spending Review next month.


Mr Hammond is already resisting more cuts as George Osborne, the Chancellor, tries to find another £11.5 billion of savings from Whitehall departments in 2015-16.


The Ministry expects its £34 billion budget to be “hit hard” by the Chancellor because several other high spending departments have their budgets protected from cuts.


The Ministry of Defence believes it can make some “efficiency savings” but those are likely to fall far short of what the Chancellor wants.


Mr Hammond warned Mr Osborne earlier this week that there needed to be an “adult conversation” about how any further cuts might affect Britain’s ability to defend itself.


He denied he was a “hold-back”, as he was trying to make savings by slashing administration, but believes that going any further would cut the capability of Britain’s forces.


He said he would not make cuts that affect front-line troops without forcing Mr Osborne to reconsider savings in other departments “across Government”.


Whitehall sources have previously warned further cuts may take British defence spending below 2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, regarded by the US as the minimum level for a serious military power.

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29 mai 2013 3 29 /05 /mai /2013 07:50
A pair of new combat boots

A pair of new combat boots

28 May 2013 Ministry of Defence


Military aircrews are set to benefit from new personal equipment designed specifically to meet their flying needs.


As part of a series of contracts worth more than £11 million new body armour, combat boots and eyewear will be provided to all pilots and aircrew on operations across the Royal Navy, Army and RAF.

The new body armour, supplied by Level Peaks Associates, has been designed so that it allows crews to manoeuvre easily around the cockpit while still offering armoured protection. The lightweight jacket is able to carry all essential kit, including radios, pistols and ammunition, and can also be fitted with a lifejacket and a winch hook for emergency rescues.

As part of a £3.25 million contract, pilots and crew members who wear glasses will now have access to specialist lightweight eyewear and contact lenses. The glasses, developed by ASE Corporate Eyewear, have flexible, polymer arms and lighter lenses which allow them to integrate fully with helmets and oxygen masks. This is the first time MOD has provided contact lenses for aircrew who prefer wearing them to glasses.

Personnel are also being provided with new footwear that has a flexible sole created to give pilots greater sensitivity and contact with control pedals in aircraft. The boots are available in both black and sand to give crews a choice depending on where they are operating.

The new body armour and eyewear being tested
The new body armour and eyewear being tested by the Centre of Aviation Medicine team based at RAF Henlow [Picture: Crown copyright]

Flight Sergeant Baz Reynolds, a Puma crewman who tested the new body armour, said:

The level of ballistic protection offered by the new body armour is fantastic. Fitting and adjusting the jacket is a simple process and the ability to configure the pockets is great. It’s quick and easy to put on too, which is especially important when you need to get airborne in a hurry.

Flight Lieutenant Calum ‘Claw’ Law of 72 (Reserve) Squadron, who trialled the new boots, said:

The boots perform really well. You can feel so much more through the soles than other boots that it really helps with accurate braking and rudder control. Outside the cockpit, they are good too because they give better grip and ankle support.

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne said:

This new aircrew-specific equipment will help increase performance and comfort for those engaged in vital lifesaving roles in the skies above Afghanistan and here in the UK.

These latest contracts worth more than £11 million demonstrate MOD’s ongoing commitment to provide Service personnel with the best equipment possible.

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24 mai 2013 5 24 /05 /mai /2013 16:50
AGM-114 Hellfire image copyright US Army

AGM-114 Hellfire image copyright US Army

21/05/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter


The British Army is getting more AGM-114 Hellfire supersonic air-launched missiles from manufacturer Lockheed Martin, it's been announced. The Hellfires will be used to equip the British Army's Apache AH1 attack helicopters, supplementing those already in service, and the contract value is £15m.


In British Army service, the Hellfire air-to-ground missile has seen extensive operational use. Recently deployed during NATO's Libyan no-fly zone enforcement sorties, during which British Army Apaches launched from HMS Ocean, it's also been used in Afghanistan.


"Hellfire has proved itself in Afghanistan and Libya, providing our Apache crews with state of the art precision firepower", explained the UK Minister for Defence Equipment Support & Technology, Philip Dunne, adding: "This order will ensure the Apache's attack capability remains in place for current and future operations."


British Army Apache Hellfires


Each British Army Apache Hellfire missile complement extends to 16 examples, arranged in groups of four. Twinned to each of these missiles is a guidance system, to enhance their precision strike capability.


First introduced in 1984, the AGM-114 Hellfire is a staple of modern warfare. Able to be launched from a variety of airborne platforms include combat aircraft, helicopter and UAVs, it has a top speed of Mach 1.3 and a maximum range of five miles.


A recent Hellfire development is the AGM-114R 'Romeo' Hellfire II, equipped with a semi-active laser homing guidance system. No less than 24,000 of these upgraded Hellfires are now being produced, both for domestic and foreign customers.


AGM-114 Hellfire Missile


In related news, it's been reported that the RAF's MQ-9 Reaper UAVs are set to be fitted with heavily-modified Hellfire missiles. Initial Reaper UAV missile launch trials are tentatively scheduled for late 2013 and they'll involved the MBDA Brimstone weapon, whose roots lie in the AGM-114 Hellfire missile.


These Reapers already have the capacity to launch Hellfires, along with GBU-12 laser-guided bombs.


The RAF ultimately plans to have 10 Reapers in service, split between RAF Waddington-based No. 13 Squadron and No.39 Squadron, which operates from Nevada's Creech Air Force Base.

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22 février 2012 3 22 /02 /février /2012 12:50
British Army set for operational trials with Watchkeeper UAS

Watchkeeper UAS Thales UK


Feb 2012 By Craig Hoyle – Flight Global


Thales UK has confirmed it has provided France's DGA procurement agency and army with technical information about the Watchkeeper tactical unmanned air system, as its British Army launch customer prepares to begin operational field trials with the type.


French interest in the Watchkeeper system was revealed during a bilateral summit in Paris on 16 February, with a formal evaluation to start during 2012 and conclude next year.


UK Prime Minister David Cameron said co-operation between the nations would offer advantages in technical, support and operational terms, and during the development of doctrine and concepts for the equipment's use.


"The French army has similar requirements to the British Army and is interested in replacing its SDTI [Sagem Sperwer] system with a high-performance, certified and financially attractive solution," said Thales. It cited the "considerable pedigree" of the Watchkeeper air vehicle (above), which builds on the Elbit Systems Hermes 450 design, which has now amassed more than 60,000 flight hours in support of the UK armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Operational field trials of the Watchkeeper system involving the Royal Artillery's 32 Regiment are "due to start at ParcAberporth shortly", Thales said, adding that more than 100 flights of the aircraft have now been undertaken in the UK. The army assessment had been due to start last October, but was delayed due to "technical issues encountered during software integration and flight trials".


The UTacS joint venture company formed by Thales and Elbit began delivering Watchkeeper equipment in late 2011, ahead of the type's phased introduction to use in Afghanistan.


"Details of when Watchkeeper will deploy to Afghanistan are operationally sensitive, but the British Army is planning a progressive roll-out in theatre during 2012," the Ministry of Defence said.

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