Monday, February 9, 2009

Harrier Jump Jet

The Harrier Jump Jet, often referred to as just "Harrier" or "the Jump Jet", is a British designed military jet aircraft capable of Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing (V/STOL) via thrust vectoring. The Harrier family is the only truly successful design of this type from the many that arose in the 1960s.
There are four main versions of the Harrier family: Hawker Siddeley Harrier, British Aerospace Sea Harrier, Boeing/BAE Systems AV-8B Harrier II, and BAE Systems/Boeing Harrier II. The Hawker Siddeley Harrier is the first generation version and is also known as the AV-8A Harrier. The Sea Harrier is a Maritime strike/air defence fighter. The AV-8B is the second generation Harrier and the BAE Harrier II is the British variant of the second generation Harrier.

VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing)

VTOL is an abbreviation for Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft. This classification includes fixed-wing aircraft that can hover and take off and land vertically, helicopters, and other aircraft with powered rotors, such as tiltrotors. Autogyros, balloons, airships and rockets are not normally considered VTOL. Some VTOL aircraft can operate in other modes as well, such as CTOL (Conventional Take-off and Landing), STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing), and/or STOVL (Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing) mode. Others, such as some helicopters, can only operate by VTOL, due to the aircraft lacking landing gear that can handle horizontal motion. VTOL is a subset of V/STOL.
Besides the ubiquitous helicopter, there are currently two types of VTOL aircraft in military service: craft using a tiltrotor, such as the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, and aircraft using directed jet thrust such as the Harrier family.

F/A-18 Hornet

The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet is an all-weather carrier-capable multirole fighter jet, designed to attack both ground and aerial targets. Designed in the 1970s for service with the United States Navy and Marine Corps, the Hornet is also used by the air forces of several other nations. It has been the aerial demonstration aircraft for the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels since 1986. Its primary missions are fighter escort, fleet air defense, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), interdiction, close air support and reconnaissance. Its versatility and reliability have proven it to be a valuable carrier asset, though it has been criticized for its lack of range and payload compared to its contemporaries.
The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a distinct, evolutionary upgrade to the F/A-18 designed to serve a complementary role with Hornets in the U.S. Navy.

A-10 Thunderbolt II

The A-10 Thunderbolt II is an American single-seat, twin-engine, straight-wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic for the United States Air Force to provide close air support (CAS) of ground forces by attacking tanks, armored vehicles, and other ground targets, with a limited air interdiction capability. It is the first U.S. Air Force aircraft designed exclusively for close air support.
The A-10's official name comes from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt of World War II, a fighter that was particularly effective at close air support. However, the A-10 is more commonly known by its nickname "Warthog" or simply "Hog". As a secondary mission, it provides airborne forward air control, guiding other aircraft against ground targets. A-10s used primarily in this role are designated OA-10.

C-130 Hercules

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft built by Lockheed. It is the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. Over 40 models and variants of the Hercules serve with more than 50 nations. In December 2006 the C-130 became the fifth aircraft—after the English Electric Canberra, B-52 Stratofortress, Tupolev Tu-95, and KC-135 Stratotanker—to mark 50 years of continuous use with its original primary customer, in this case the United States Air Force. The C-130 remains in production as the updated C-130J Super Hercules.

Capable of takeoffs and landings from unprepared runways, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship, for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling and aerial firefighting. The Hercules family has the longest continuous production run of any military aircraft in history. During more than 50 years of service the family has participated in countless military, civilian and humanitarian aid operations.

F-16 Fighting Falcon

The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force. Designed as a lightweight fighter, it evolved into a successful multirole aircraft. The Falcon's versatility is a paramount reason it has proven a success on the export market, having been selected to serve in the air forces of 25 nations. The F-16 is the largest Western jet fighter program with over 4,400 aircraft built since production was approved in 1976. Though no longer being bought by the U.S. Air Force, advanced versions are still being built for export customers. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation, which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta.
The Fighting Falcon is a dogfighter with numerous innovations including a frameless, bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while under high g-forces, and reclined seat to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot. Weapons include a M61 Vulcan cannon and various missiles mounted on up to 11 hardpoints. It was also the first fighter aircraft deliberately built to sustain 9-g turns. It has a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than one, providing enough power to climb and accelerate vertically – if necessary. Although the F-16's official name is "Fighting Falcon", it is known to its pilots as the "Viper", due it resembling a cobra snake and after the Battlestar Galactica starfighter. It is used by the Thunderbirds air demonstration team.
The F-16 is scheduled to remain in service with the U.S. Air Force until 2025. The planned replacement is the F-35 Lightning II, which is scheduled to enter service in 2011 and will gradually begin replacing a number of multirole aircraft among the air forces of the program's member nations.

Mil Mi-24

The Mil Mi-24 (Cyrillic Миль Ми-24, NATO reporting name "Hind") is a large helicopter gunship and low-capacity troop transport produced by Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant and operated from 1972 by the Soviet Air Force, its successors, and over thirty other nations. In October 2007, the Russian Air Force announced it would replace its 250 Mi-24 helicopter gunships with 300 more modern Mi-28s and possibly Ka-50s by 2015.
In NATO circles the export versions, Mi-25 and Mi-35, are simply denoted with a letter suffix as "Hind D" and "Hind E" respectively. Soviet pilots called the aircraft летающий танк (letayushchiy tank, “flying tank”). More common unofficial nicknames were Крокодил (Krokodil, “Crocodile”), due to the helicopter's new camouflage scheme and Стакан (Stakan, “Glass”), because of the flat glass plates which surrounded the three place cockpit of the Hind A version.

The core of the aircraft was derived from the Mil Mi-8 (NATO reporting name "Hip"), two top-mounted turboshaft engines driving a mid-mounted 17.3 m five-blade main rotor and a three-blade tail rotor. The engine configuration gave the aircraft its distinctive double air intake. Original versions have an angular greenhouse-style cockpit; Model D and later have a characteristic tandem cockpit with a "double bubble" canopy. Other airframe components came from the Mi-14 "Haze". Two mid-mounted stub wings provide weapon hardpoints, each offering three stations, in addition to providing lift. The load-out mix is mission dependent; Hinds can be tasked with close air support, anti-tank operations, or aerial combat. The body is heavily armored and the titanium rotor blades can resist impacts from .50 caliber (12.7 mm) rounds. The cockpit is overpressurized to protect the crew in NBC conditions.
Considerable attention was given to making the Mi-24 fast. The airframe was streamlined, and fitted with retractable tricycle undercarriage landing gear to reduce drag. The wings provide considerable lift at high speed, up to a quarter of total lift. The main rotor was tilted 2.5° to the right from the fuselage to counteract dissymmetry of lift at high speed and provide a more stable firing platform. The landing gear was also tilted to the left so the rotor would still be level when the aircraft was on the ground, making the rest of the airframe tilt to the left. The tail was also asymmetrical to give a side force at speed, thus unloading the tail rotor.
As a combination gunship and troop transport, the Mi-24 has no direct NATO counterpart. While some have compared the UH-1 ("Huey") as NATO's direct counterpart to the Mi-24, this is inaccurate. While UH-1s were used in Vietnam to ferry troops, and were used as gunships, they were not able to do both at the same time. Converting a UH-1 into a gunship meant stripping the entire passenger area to accommodate extra fuel and ammunition, making it useless for troop transport. The Mi-24 was designed to do both, and this was greatly exploited by airborne units of the Soviet Army during the 1980-1989 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The closest Western equivalent was the Sikorsky S-67 Blackhawk, which utilized many of the same design principles and was also built as a high-speed, high-agility attack helicopter with limited troop transport capability; it, like the Mi-24, was also designed using many components from an already existing product, the Sikorsky S-61, itself a close approximation to the Mi-8/Mi-14. The S-67, however, was never adopted for service.

Kawasaki OH-1

The Kawasaki OH-1 is a light military reconnaissance helicopter for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, intended to replace the OH-6 Loach. Four have entered service so far, complementing the existing fleet of nearly 300 OH-6s.
The helicopter first flew in 1996. Powered by two Mitsubishi TS1 turboshafts, it features a Fenestron-type rotor-in-tail fan and E-Q sensor mounted forward of rotor head. It has two pylons under stub wings and can carry 291 lb (132 kg) of Type 91 guided AAMs.
A total of four were delivered between May and August 1997. The Ground Self-Defense Force has penciled in purchases of 180 to 200 OH-Xs. That would be far fewer than the 297 OH-6Ds KHI had through March 1995, and even this goal could fall prey to the new defense budget realities in Japan.
The OH-1 is slated to replace the Hughes OH-6D, which remains in service as the primary aircraft in this role.

CH-46 Sea Knight

The Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight is a medium-lift tandem rotor cargo helicopter, used by the United States Marine Corps (USMC) to provide all-weather, day-or-night assault transport of combat troops, supplies and equipment. Assault Support is its primary function, and the movement of supplies and equipment is secondary. Additional tasks include combat support, search and rescue, support for forward refueling and rearming points, CASEVAC and Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP). The commercial version is the BV 107-II, commonly referred to as simply the "Vertol".
The CH-46 has tandem contrarotating rotors that were powered by two GE T58 turboshaft engines. The engines are mounted on each side of the rear rotor pedestal with a driveshaft to the forward rotor. The engines are coupled so either could power both rotors in an emergency. The rotors feature three blades and could be folded for on-ship operations.
The CH-46 has a cargo bay with a rear loading ramp that could be removed or left open in flight for extended cargo or for parachute drops. A belly sling hook could be attached for carrying external cargo. It has a crew of three. A pintle-mounted 0.50 in (12.7 mm) Browning machine gun was mounted on each side of the helicopter for self-defense. Service in southeast Asia resulted in the addition of armor with the guns.
The CH-46 has fixed tricycle landing gear, with twin wheels on all three units. The gear configuration causes a nose-up stance to facilitate cargo loading and unloading. The main gear are fitted in rear sponsons that also contained fuel tanks with a total capacity of 350 US gallons (1,438 L).

AH-1 SuperCobra

The Bell AH-1 SuperCobra is a twin-engine attack helicopter based on the US Army's AH-1 Cobra. The twin Cobra family includes the AH-1J SeaCobra, the AH-1T Improved SeaCobra, and the AH-1W SuperCobra. The AH-1W is the backbone of the United States Marine Corps's attack helicopter fleet, but will be replaced in service by the AH-1Z Viper upgrade in the next decade.

Design and development
The AH-1 Cobra was developed in the mid-1960s as an interim gunship for the U.S. Army for use in Vietnam. The Cobra shared the proven transmission, rotor system, and the T53 turboshaft engine of the UH-1 "Huey".
By June 1967, the first AH-1G HueyCobras had been delivered. Bell built 1,116 AH-1Gs for the U.S. Army between 1967 and 1973, and the Cobras chalked up over a million operational hours in Vietnam.
The U.S. Marine Corps was very interested in the AH-1G Cobra, but preferred a twin-engined version for improved safety in over-water operations, and also wanted a more potent turret-mounted weapon. At first, the Department of Defense had balked at providing the Marines with a twin-engined version of the Cobra, in the belief that commonality with Army AH-1Gs outweighed the advantages of a different engine fit. However, the Marines won out and awarded Bell a contract for 49 twin-engined AH-1J SeaCobras in May 1968. As an interim measure, the U.S. Army passed on 38 AH-1Gs to the Marines in 1969. The AH-1J also received a more powerful gun turret. It featured a three barrel 20 mm XM197 cannon that was based on the six barrel M61 Vulcan cannon.
The Marine Corps requested greater load carrying capability in high temperatures for the Cobra in the 1970s. Bell used systems from the Model 309 to develop the AH-1T. This version had a lengthened tailboom and fuselage with an upgraded transmission and engines from the 309. Bell designed the AH-1T to be more reliable and easier to maintain in the field. The version was given full TOW capability with targeting system and other sensors. An advanced version, known as the AH-1T+ with more powerful T700-GE-700 engines and advanced avionics was proposed to Iran in the late 1970s, but the overthrow of the Shah of Iran resulted in the sale being canceled.
In the early 1980s, the U.S. Marine Corps sought a new navalized helicopter, but was denied funding to buy the AH-64 Apache by Congress in 1981. The Marines in turn pursued a more powerful version of the AH-1T. Other changes included modified fire control systems to carry and fire AIM-9 Sidewinder and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The new version was funded by Congress and received the AH-1W designation. At least 266 were delivered.
The AH-1T+ demonstrator and AH-1W prototype was later tested with a new experimental composite four blade main rotor system. The new system offered better performance, reduced noise and improved battle damage tolerance. Lacking a USMC contract, Bell developed this new design into the AH-1Z with its own funds. By 1996, the Marines were again not allowed to order the AH-64. Developing a marine version of the Apache would have been expensive and it was likely that the Marine Corps would be its only customer. They instead signed a contract for upgrading 180 AH-1Ws into AH-1Zs.
The AH-1Z Viper features several design changes. The AH-1Z's two redesigned wing stubs are longer with each adding a wing-tip station for a missile such as the AIM-9 Sidewinder. Each wing has two other stations for 70 mm (2.75 in) Hydra rocket pods, or AGM-114 Hellfire quad missile launcher. The Longbow radar can be mounted on a wing tip station.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter

The AH-64 Apache, the world's premier attack helicopter, was designed to be an extremely tough survivor under combat. In 1983, Hughes Helicopters Inc., later McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems, won the prestigious Collier Trophy for the design of the AH-64 Apache.
The prototype Apache made its first flight in 1975 as the YAH-64, and in 1976, Hughes received a full-scale development contract. In 1982, the Army approved the program, now known as AH-64A Apache, for production. Deliveries began from the new McDonnell Douglas plant at Mesa, Ariz., in 1984 -- the year Hughes Helicopters became part of McDonnell Douglas.
A target acquisition and designation sight/pilot night vision sensor (TADS/PNVS) and other advanced technologies add to its effectiveness in the ground support role. To reduce costs and simplify logistics, the Apache uses the same T700 engines as the Army's Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter and its naval cousin, the SH-60 Seahawk.
Highly maneuverable and heavily armed, the combat-proven Apache helicopter is today the backbone of the U.S. Army's all-weather, ground-support capability. The AH-64D Apache Longbow, which first flew as a prototype on May 14, 1992, provides a quantum leap in capability over the AH-64A. The Apache Longbow's fire-control radar and advanced avionics suite give combat pilots the ability to rapidly detect, classify, prioritize and engage stationary or moving enemy targets at standoff ranges in nearly all weather conditions. There is also an international Apache export version.

By August 2004, Boeing had delivered 500 AH-64D Apaches to customers worldwide. The aircraft features fully integrated avionics and weapons and state-of-the-art digital communications capabilities that enable real-time transfer of battlefield information. Its enhancements make it more survivable, readily deployable and easier to maintain.

MIM-72 Chaparral

MIM-72A/M48 Chaparral is a US Army self-propelled surface-to-air missile system based on the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile system. The launcher is based on the M113 family of vehicles. It entered service with the US Army in 1969 and was phased out between 1990 and 1998. It was intended to be used along with the M163 Vulcan Air Defense System, the Vulcan covering short-range short-time engagements, and the Chaparral for longer range use.

Iveco LMV

IVECO LMV (Light Multirole Vehicle) is a 4WD tactical vehicle developed by IVECO, and in service with several countries.After its adoption by the Italian Army under the name VTLM Lince, it won the “FCLV” (Future Command and Liaison Vehicle) competition of the British Army as the Panther and has been adopted by Belgium, Croatia, Norwegian Army and the Spanish Army. The Italian Army took vehicles to both Afghanistan and Lebanon. In Afghanistan the Lince vehicles have proved decisive in saving passenger's lives in at least two attacks with IED.


The LMV uses modular armor packs to adjust its level of protection to its mission requirements. As regards mine protection the vehicle height on the ground has been increased to 493 mm without augmenting the overall height (less than 2 metre); it uses also suspended seats of aereonautical derivation, v-hull under body, and a collapsible sandwich structure in the floor to deflect and absorb mine blasts. Its exhaust is piped through its C-Pillars, and its turbocharger is located underneath the engine to reduce its thermal signature. Mobility is helped by a run-flat system, allowing the vehicle to move even with completely deflated tyres.

Lion of Babylon tank

The Lion of Babylon tank or Asad Babil (Arabic: اسد بابل) was an Iraqi-built version of the Soviet T-72 MBT (main battle tank), assembled in a factory established in the 1980s near Taji, north of Baghdad.
This project represented the most ambitious attempt by Saddam Hussein's Regime to develop an indigenous tank production, triggered in part when some Western governments imposed an embargo in order to force a negotiated end to the Iran-Iraq war.

Production History
A steel plant was in place in Taji since 1986, built by a West German company, manufacturing steel for several military uses and meeting the standards to retrofit and rebuild tanks already on duty in the Iraqi Army, such as the T-54/55 family and the T-62. But the first locally-built T-72 came off the production line in early 1989, after a license agreement was achieved with a Polish contractor to provide essential parts for assembly. The United Nations imposed an arms embargo following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, which soon limited the complex activity to the production of spare parts for the Lions and other tanks in the Iraqi arsenal.
In most aspects, the Lion of Babylon is physically identical to the basic T-72M. The Iraqi tank was upgraded to T-72M1A features with the addition of laminated armor on the front slope and rear as protection against missile attacks (see Russian link in the Armor section).
A few examples featured a laser rangefinder for its 125 mm smoothbore main gun. American military intelligence believed some of them also featured Belgium-made thermal sights. These same sources claim the tank was also provided with a better track protection against sand and mud than the Soviet T-72, by reducing the original number of dampers. Some of them carried a crude detachable pipe device made by the Iraqis in order to use the exhausts to blow up sand or dust to dig-in the tank. It's widely known that the tank had some kind of electro-optical interference pods of Chinese origin. As secondary armament, the tank mounted either the NSV or the DShK 12.7 mm machinegun and the coaxial 7.62 mm PKT common to all models of T-72.

Land Rover Wolf

The Land Rover Wolf is a military utility vehicle in service with UK Armed Forces and the Dutch Marine Corps. The vehicle is famous for being the primary utility vehicle of the British Army.The term Wolf was a project name used by Land Rover to cover the British Army's recent range of vehicles. The name is not officially used by the MoD but adopted by soldiers as a generic term (standing for Wheel On Left Face, to describe the new position of the spare wheel). The project designations were MoD: Higher Specification (HS) or Land Rover Ltd: eXtra Duty (XD) and there are 23 variants. The term "Wolf" should not be confused with the militarised Mercedes Geländewagen based "Wolf" marketed by Rheinmetall Defence.

International MXT-MV

The MXT-MV (Military Extreme Truck - Military Version) was introduced in 2006. Part of International Truck's Military Vehicles line, it is an International MXT extensively modified for military duty, transportable by C-130.

12V/24V/110V Diamond Logic electrical system/vehicle monitoring
40° approach angle
25° departure angle
30" fording capability
1-10 passengers depending on configuration


GAZ-3937 "Vodnik" (and its modified version GAZ-39371) is a Russian high-mobility multipurpose amphibious vehicle manufactured by GAZ. It is a modification of civil GAZ-2330 "Tigr" and has a water-displacing hermetic hull which provides improved fording performance. It has a 4x4-type chassis with independent suspension and a centralized system of tire-pressure control. The ground clearance is 475 mm. The standard undercarriage with a cab can be fitted with a number of different modules with various number of passenger seats and cargo compartments, seating up to 10 people. It is powered by a 175 hp (130 kW) diesel engine giving a top speed of 112 km/h (4 to 5 km/h when swimming).
Its name comes from the Russian Vodník, in Slavic mythology a male water spirit, and a possible translation into English could be Aquarius or Merman. (In modern Russian use, though, vodnik simply means a person employed in water transport (i.e. a boatman), or in land amelioration (drainage, irrigation, leaching of saline soils, landslide and flood control)).

Saturday, February 7, 2009

TPz Fuchs

TPz (Transportpanzer) Fuchs (fox) is an armoured personnel carrier developed by Daimler-Benz and built by Thyssen-Henschel (now Rheinmetall Landsysteme) in 1979. It was the second wheeled armoured vehicle to be fielded in the Bundeswehr. It is used for various different tasks including troop-transport, engineer-transport, bomb disposal, NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) reconnaissance and electronic warfare. By mixing and matching the different models and retrofit kits, today more than 90 different combinations are possible, 32 of which have so far been produced. The TPz Fuchs is thus also referred to as a "retrofit platform".The vehicles engine is a Mercedes-Benz Model OM 402A V-8 liquid-cooled diesel with an output of 320 hp. It has a max speed of 105 km/h and a range of 800 km. Fuchs is 7.33 m long, 2.98 m wide and 2.37 m high. It weighs 18.3 tons with the capability to carry an additional 6 tons in equipment. The 6x6 APC is characterized by high performance over all terrains and low noise. Its rear-mounted propellers and 360° turning range, enable the vehicle to take water obstacles in its stride at up to 10km/h.

Puma (IFV)

The Puma is a German infantry fighting vehicle, currently in the pre-production stage. It will replace the aging Marder IFVs, from 2010 through 2020. Governing company is PSM Projekt System Management, a joint venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall Landsysteme. The Puma is one of the best-protected IFVs, while still having a high power/weight ratio.

Project history
The Puma (formerly also named Igel (hedgehog) and Panther) started as a follow-up project to the German mid-1990s "NGP" project (Neue Gepanzerte Plattformen, "New Armored Platforms"). Its aim was to collect ideas for a common base vehicle that could be used for a variety of tasks including that of the APC, IFV, air defense and replacing and assisting the MBT in the frontline combat role. The NGP project was ended in 2001.
The lessons learned were incorporated into the new tactical concept named neuer Schützenpanzer ("new IFV") in 1998. In 2002, the German Army (Heer) placed an order for the delivery of five pre-production vehicles and their logistics and training services at the end of 2004. On November 8, 2007 a budget of €3 billion to acquire 405 Pumas was agreed upon.
Other nations pursue similar developments emphasizing commonality, modularity and rapid deployability based on a comparable doctrine which was also a subject of discussion within NATO. Examples of these are the American FCS vehicles, the British FRES and the German-Dutch Boxer MRAV.

General description
The Puma, while externally not very different from existing IFVs, incorporates a number of advantages and state-of-the-art technologies. The most obvious of these is the incorporated ability to flexibly mount different armour (see below for details). Another feature is the compact, one-piece crew cabin that enables direct crew interaction ("face-to-face"; like replacing the driver or gunner in case of a medical emergency) and minimizes the protected volume. The cabin is air conditioned, NBC-proof with internal nuclear and chemical sensors and has a fire suppressing system using non-toxic agents. The engine compartment has its own fire extinguishing system. The only compromise of the otherwise nearly cuboid cabin is the driver station, located in a protrusion in front of the gunner, in front of the turret.

One measure to achieve the one-piece cabin is the use of an unmanned, double-asymmetrical turret (see photo): while slightly off-center turrets are common in IFVs, the Puma's turret is on the left-hand side of the vehicle, while the main cannon is mounted on the right side of the turret and thus on the middle axis of the hull when the turret is in the forward position.

The outer hull (minus the turret) is very smooth and low to minimize bullet traps and general visual signature. The whole combat-ready vehicle in its base configuration will be air transportable in the Airbus A400M tactical airlifter. Its 3+6 persons crew capability is comparable to other vehicles of comparable weight like the US American M2 Bradley IFV, and the same as in the Marder.

Mungo ESK

The Mungo ESK (Einsatzfahrzeug Spezialisierte Kräfte) is an air-transportable, armoured multirole transport vehicle of the German Army for its Airmobile Operations Division and Division Special Operations. It is based on the Multicar M30/FUMO and is produced by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall. Deliveries of 396 Mungos for the German Army began in 2005.The German Army plans to procure another 441 Mungo ESKs by 2011. In 2007 all Mungos deployed to the ISAF mission were withdrawn, because the Mungo proved incapable of sustaining the harsh terrain and road conditions of Afghanistan. However, in 2008 the problems were fixed and Mungos were redeployed in Afghanistan.


The MOWAG Eagle is a wheeled armored vehicle designed by the Swiss MOWAG corporation. It has gone through several generations of development. The current vehicle, introduced in November 2003, is the Eagle IV, which is based on the Duro IIIP chassis. The original MOWAG Eagle used the chassis and running gear of the American HMMWV, while the Eagle II and Eagle III use the chassis and running gear of the HMMWV ECV.

Eagle I, II, III
Swiss Army - A total of 329 Eagle I and II are in use as light armored reconnaissance vehicles (Aufklärungsfahrzeug), armed with a 7.5mm Pz Mg 51/71 machine gun and fitted with thermal imaging and radio equipment. They are known respectively as Aufklärungsfahrzeug 93 and Aufklärungsfahrzeug 97.

Mowag Eagle III artillery observer
120 Eagle III have been acquired as mobile artillery observer vehicles in 2003, with substantial improvements made to communications and surveillance equipment (yet lacking the machine gun of previous versions). The Swiss army designator for this version is Artillerie Schiesskommandant Fahrzeug 2000.

Danish Army - 36 Eagle I, known as Spejdervogn M/95. Nowadays, the M/95 is used without the original MKB-2 turret.

Eagle IV
Danish Army - 90
German Army - 672 (planned, 198 have been ordered so far), to be delivered from 2008 on as part of the GFF programme.

M47 Patton

The M47 Patton was the second tank of the Patton series, and one of the U.S Army's principal medium battle tanks of the Cold war with models in service from the early 1950s to the late 1980s. The tank belongs to the Patton family of tanks, named after General George S. Patton, commander of the U.S. Third Army during World War II and one of the earliest American advocates for the use of tanks in battle. It was a further development of the M46 Patton tank.

The M47 was the U.S. Army and Marine Corps primary tank, intended to replace the M46 Patton and M4 Sherman tanks. The M47 was widely used by U.S. Cold War allies, both SEATO and NATO countries, and was the only Patton series tank that never saw combat while in US service.

Although roughly similar (from a distance) to the later M48s and M60s, these were completely new tank designs. Many different M47 Patton models remain in service internationally. The M47 was the last US tank to have a ball-mounted machine gun in the hull.

M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System

The M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (M270 MLRS) is a multiple rocket launcher, a type of rocket artillery.
The first rocket systems were delivered to the U.S. Army in 1983. The system is in widespread use in NATO countries and it has also been manufactured in Europe. Some 1,300 M270 systems have been manufactured, along with more than 700,000 rockets. The system has been used in the Gulf wars, where it proved itself as a practical and effective weapons system. The production of the M270 ended in 2003, when a last batch was delivered to the Egyptian army.


The system is capable of firing guided and unguided projectiles to a distance of up to 42 km (26.1 miles). Firing ballistic missiles, (such as the U.S. Army Tactical Missile System—ATACMS) it is capable of reaching out to 300 km (186 miles) with the warhead reaching a maximal altitude of ~50 km (164,000 ft). The M270 is a very mobile unit, thus well suited for the so called shoot-and-scoot tactic: it can fire its rockets very rapidly and immediately move away to avoid the counter-battery fire.
MLRS was developed jointly by the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, and France. It was developed from the older General Support Rocket System (GSRS).
The rockets and ATACMS missiles are contained in interchangeable pods. Each pod contains six standard rockets or one guided ATACMS missile (the two types cannot be mixed). The launcher can hold two pods at a time, which it loads using an integrated crane. All twelve rockets or two ATACMS missiles can be fired in under a minute. One launcher firing twelve rockets can completely blanket one square kilometer with submunitions. For this reason, the MLRS is sometimes referred to as the "Grid Square Removal Service" (metric maps are usually divided up into 1km grids). The U.S. Army is currently working on developing and fielding unitary (one large warhead instead of submunitions) rocket and ATACMS variants, as well as a guided rocket.
MLRS has recently been upgraded with guided rounds. Phase I testing of a guided unitary round (XM31) was completed on an accelerated schedule in March 2006. Due to an Urgent Need Statement the guided unitary round has already been fielded and used in action in Iraq. Lockheed Martin also received a contract to convert existing M30 DPICM GMLRS rockets to the XM31 unitary variant.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Leopard 2A4

The most widespread version of the Leopard 2 family, the 2A4 models included more substantial changes, including an automated fire and explosion suppression system, an all-digital fire control system able to handle new ammunition types, and improved turret with flat titanium/tungsten armour.

The Leopard 2s were manufactured in eight batches between 1985 and 1992. All the older models were also upgraded to 2A4 standard. Germany operated a total of 2,125 2A4s (695 new built and the rest modified older versions), while the Netherlands had an additional 445 tanks. The 2A4 was also license manufactured in Switzerland as the Panzer 87 "Leopard" or Pz 87. This version included Swiss-built machine guns Mg 87 of 7.5mm and communications equipment, and featured improved NBC protection. Switzerland operated 380 Pz 87 tanks.

After the end of the Cold War, Germany and the Netherlands found themselves with large stocks of tanks, which they did not have any need for. These tanks were therefore successfully sold to NATO or friendly armies around the world. Austria (114), Canada (80), Chile (140), Denmark (51), Finland (124), Greece (183), Norway (52), Poland (128), Portugal (37), Singapore (66), Spain (108), Sweden (160), and Turkey (339) were among the buyers of the surplus tanks.

The Pz 87WE (WertErhaltung) is a Swiss modification and upgrade of the Pz 87. The modification significantly improves protection, through the addition of the Leopard 2A6M's mine protection kit, thicker armour on the front glacis, and the turret is equipped with a Swiss-developed armour package that use titanium alloy. The turret roof armour is improved, and the smoke grenade launchers have also been redesigned. Further improvements enhance survivability and combat capability, such as a turret electric drive similar to the Leopard 2A5, a driver rear view camera, a independent weapons station for the loader, and enhanced command and control systems. The fire control system is also upgraded, using the Carl Zeiss Optronics GmbH PERI-R17A2 fire control system. A remote weapons station containing a fully stabilized Mg 64 0.50 caliber machine gun is also fitted to the tank.

The Leopard 2A4CHL is the upgraded Chilean version of the Leopard 2A4 ordered by Chile in 2007. Upgrades include new electronics, sighting and information systems meant to elevate the Leopard 2A4's networking capability to be equal to that of the Leopard 2A6, a new suspension system and the upgrading of the tanks main gun to the L55 smoothbore cannon used on the Leopard 2A6. Other upgrades are remote weapon stations over the gunner and commander hatches fitted with the MG3 and HK GMG. The Leopard 2A4CHL also has improved roof and side turret armour and can be uplinked with Chile's battlefield control network.

Gepanzerte Pioniermaschine

Gepanzerte Pioniermaschine (GPM) was the design for two prototype armored engineer vehicles for the Bundeswehr.

At the end of the 1960s, it was determined hitherto the forward troops demanded a better answer than the Pionierpanzer 2 currently in use, and in 1972, research began on the development of an improved successor. The firms Eisenwerke Kaiserslautern (EWK, now Santa Barbara Systems, a division of General Dynamics) and Maschinenbau Kiel (MAK) were each commissioned to build prototypes.

MAK's Gepanzerte Pioniermaschine prototype being transported.

MAK's Gepanzerte Pioniermaschine on field trials, January 1977.
Hull, running gear, and drivetrain were derived from the Bergepanzer 2A1.
GPM 1 MAK (Maschinenbau Kiel)
Frame-arm line dredge in a rotating citadel (resembling a turret)
Range of motion 360°
Arrangements for the vehicle commander, dredging officer, and loading officer
Amidships on the left and right sides are folding 3.75m diameter scissor spades to hold the vehicle stationary and prevent it moving when deployed
Digging performance: about 300 m³ (10,600 ft³)/h
Trenching depth of the digging shovel: about 5 m (15 ft)
35 ton capacity winch
Gradient crossing assisted by digging shovel: about 70%
Operator and vehicle commander in turret
Weight 55 tons maximum
Due to the overweight of the system, the engine compartment was covered with an aluminum plate
With the digging shovel sideways, despite suggestions, it is incapable of digging the road out from under itself.

EWK's Gepanzerte Pioniermaschine prototype on field trials, January 1977.

EWK's prototype, snorkel deployed, after deep wading.
GPM 2 EWK (Eisenwerke Kaiserslautern)
Front-mounted dozer blade, operated by two pivoting hydraulic telescopic arms
Range of motion 195°
The crew space features driver (and dozer blade operator) in front, telescoping arms operator and vehicle commander in a row behind him
Usually the driver operates with the right telescoping arm and the operator with the left telescoping arm. The operator was able to work with both telescoping arms and oversteering the driver.

Adjustable-angle dozer blade
Digging performance: about 300 m³ (10,600 ft³)/h
Gradient crossing assisted by digging shovel telescoping arms (pushing): about 85%
Trenching depth: about 6 m (20 ft) (4.5 m {15 ft} without shovel operator being able to observe the work)

35 ton capacity winch
Weight 57 tons maximum
Trials were carried out between 1976 and 1980 and were successfully completed at the Pionierschule (Army School for Engineers and Construction) in Munich (now in Ingolstadt) and at Bundeswehr Engineers Equipment an Fuel Transportation Systems Test Center (ErprSt 51/now WTD 51), Koblenz.
Several problems remained unresolved:
The total weight was too much for drivetrain and chassis
The overall workmanship did not meet requirements
The hydraulics were too complex and troublesome
The interior layout was entirely wrong
The project was better shown the door rather than pay for correcting the problems
Bundeswehr decided instead of developing the Pionierpanzer Dachs, it would work on improving the existing PiPz 1. The main outstanding task is the replacement of the single arm crane of the PiPz 1 with the EWK's telescoping shovel.

Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer Gepard

For the World War II German self-propelled anti-aircraft gun see Flakpanzer 38(t)

The Flakpanzer (shortened form of the German Flugabwehrkanonenpanzer or "anti-aircraft cannon tank") Gepard (English: Cheetah) is an autonomous, all-weather-capable German self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG). It was developed in the 1960s and fielded in the 1970s, and has been upgraded several times with the latest electronics. It constitutes a cornerstone of the air defence of the German Army (Deutsches Heer) and a number of other NATO-states.


It is based on the Leopard 1 tank hull with a large fully rotating turret carrying the armament—a pair of 35 mm Oerlikon KDA autocannons and the two radar dishes—a general search radar at the rear of the turret and the tracking radar, and a laser rangefinder, at the front between the guns.

The guns are 90 calibres (3.15 m) long, with a muzzle velocity of 1,440 m/s (FAPDS - frangible, armour piercing, discarding sabot rounds), giving an effective range of 5,500 m. The KDA autocannon can take two different ammunition types, and the usual loading is a mix of 320 AA and 20 AP rounds per gun. Combined rate of fire is 1,100 rounds/min.

The electrically driven turret is powered by a 40 kW generator driven by a 4-cylinder, 3.8 litre Mercedes-Benz OM 314 multi-fuel engine.

Since the eighties Stinger teams have been accompanying the Gepard units, to take advantage of their long-range scanning capacity. To combine this capacity in a single unit a missile system upgrade which mounts the Nato ManPad missiles like Stinger surface-to-air missile to the autocannon was developed. The system was tested by the German Bundeswehr but not bought due to budget restrictions and the fielding of the Ozelot Light Flak (leFla) System.

The Gepard was developed from 1963 onwards. In 1969 construction began of four A prototypes testing both 30 and 35 mm guns. On 25 June 1970 it was decided to use the 35 mm type. In 1971 twelve second phase B prototypes were ordered; the same year the Dutch army ordered a CA preseries of five vehicles based on a parallel development that had used a German 0-series Leopard 1 vehicle made available by the German government in March 1970 as the C-prototype. The Germans made a small preseries of both the B1and B2R. On 5 February 1973 the political decision was made to produce the type; in September 1973 the contract was signed with Krauss-Maffei for 432 B2 turrets and 420 hulls with a total value of DM1,200,000,000. Each vehicle would thus be about three times more expensive than a normal Leopard 1. The first was delivered in December 1976. Belgium ordered 55 vehicles, identical to the German version. The Dutch ordered three batches, the CA1, CA2 and CA3 with in total 95 vehicles, equipped with Philips radar systems.


The Fennek, named after the fennec (a small species of desert fox), or LGS Fennek, with LGS being short for Leichter Gepanzerter Spähwagen in German (Light Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle), is a four wheeled armed reconnaissance vehicle produced by the German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Dutch Defence Vehicle Systems. It was developed for both the German Army and Royal Netherlands Army to replace their current vehicles.


In April 2000, the prototype vehicle finished field trials and in December 2001 a combined order was placed. 410 were ordered by the Royal Netherlands Army (202 reconnaissance, 130 MRAT (medium range antitank) and 78 general purpose versions) and 212 by the German military (178 reconnaissance, 24 combat engineer, 10 joint fire support teams (JFST)). More Fenneks for the German Army will be procured from 2015 on. Germany plans an overall purchase of approximately 300 Fenneks. The first vehicle was delivered to the Netherlands in July 2003 and the first to Germany in December of the same year. Deliveries will continue to take place until 2008.

The Dutch SP Aerospace company, which produced the Fennek for the Dutch military, was declared bankrupt in August 2004. A new company called Dutch Defence Vehicle Systems (DDVS) was created to continue the production of the vehicles for the Royal Netherlands Army.


The Fennek has four wheels with selectable two or four wheel drive. It has a Deutz diesel engine producing 179 kW, giving it a top speed of 115 km/h. Tire pressure can be regulated by the driver from inside the vehicle to suit terrain conditions.

Various weapons can be fitted, such as a 12.7 mm machine gun for the Dutch reconnaissance version, a Rafael Spike anti-tank missile on the Dutch MRAT version or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher (HK GMG) or Rheinmetall MG3 for the German vehicles. The Royal Netherlands Army also placed an order at the Turkish company Aselsan for 18 Raytheon Stinger surface-to-air missile launchers to be fitted on the Fennek.

The vehicle is protected all-round against 7.62 mm rounds and additional armour can be added if the mission requires. The air conditioning system provides protection against nuclear, biological and chemical warfare and the crew compartment is protected against anti-personnel mines.

DKW Munga

The DKW Munga was a DKW-branded off-road vehicle built by Auto Union in Ingolstadt, Germany. "MUNGA" is an acronym of the German phrase "Mehrzweck UNiversal Geländewagen mit Allradantrieb", which translated means, "Multi purpose Universal Cross-country Car with All-wheel drive".

Production began in October 1956 and ended in December 1968. During this time 46,750 cars were built. Launched at the 38th International Motor Show at Frankfurt in the autumn of 1957, the vehicle was not only adopted by the West German Bundeswehr as a vehicle unique in its class but was also bought in large numbers for the German Border Police and various foreign military formations within NATO.

The civilian version, that could be bought by civilians for DM 9.500, roughly US-$ 2.300 at the time) was widely adopted in Western Germany for agricultural and forestry work in particular, and also became popular abroad, especially in those countries where "go anywhere" transport was needed because of poor roads, as, for example, in large parts of South America and South Africa.

Around 2000 cars were delivered to the Dutch army, many of which were shipped to the UK in the late 1970s.

Boxer (armoured fighting vehicle)

The Boxer is a German-Dutch multirole armoured fighting vehicle designed to accomplish a number of operations through the use of installable mission modules. It is produced by the ARTEC GmbH (ARmoured vehicle TEChnology) industrial group, and the programme is being managed by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). ARTEC GmbH is seated in Munich, its parent companies are Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall on the German side, and Stork PWV (now also a subsidiary of Rheinmetall) for the Netherlands. Other names are GTK (Gepanzertes Transport Kraftfahrzeug; armoured transport vehicle) Boxer and "MRAV" for Multirole Armoured Vehicle (obsolete).


The Boxer is an eight-wheeled MRAV, easily dwarfing most contemporary vehicles with its size. At 33 ton combat weight, it is also about 10 tons heavier than many other contemporary vehicles within the same role. It is designed to carry out a variety of utility missions with maximum flexibility; this is achieved via several different "mission modules" specialized for various tasks which are available separately from the vehicle. The base vehicle is independent of the modules, and modules can be interchanged within an hour. Each module incorporates a primary safety cell with a triple floor.

Known mission modules

Armored personnel carrier
Battle damage repair
120mm mortar

The Boxer is built with a high degree of standardization, and designed to be maintained easily and efficiently. It is capable of being air transported in the future A400M tactical airlifter.


The basic vehicle shell is composed of hard steel, and "modular armor" is sandwiched between it and the vehicle cell. The three elements are held together by fastening bolts. The modular armor, currently, is a specialized ceramic mix, but future versions of the armor can be easily fitted to the vehicle by slab replacement. The hull protects against top attack bomblets and AP mines, including "hanging" seats to improve crew protection from explosions below the vehicle. The vehicle is outfitted with advanced thermal, radar, and acoustic stealth technology.

ATF Dingo

The ATF Dingo is a German heavily armored military truck based on a Unimog chassis with a V-hull design, produced by the company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann. It is designed to withstand land mines, rifle fire, artillery fragments and NBC-threats. ATF stands for Allschutz-Transport-Fahrzeug, meaning all-protected transport vehicle in German. It is named after the wild dog dingo.

The ATF Dingo has a modular design of the following five elements: chassis, protection cell, storage space, engine compartment, and its bottom mine blast deflector. Its design is lighter and includes an armored chassis with a blast pan instead of the more common monocoque hull found in modern blast resistant vehicles. KMW's layered Modular Expandable Armor System (MEXAS) is used and the windows are angled to deflect blasts and bullets. A tarp is used over the back storage area instead of metal to save weight. A mechanical weapons station utilizing periscopes, borrowed from KMW's Fennek, is located on the top of the vehicle. The weapons station allows the operator to sit safely inside the cabin.

The ATF Dingo 2 is an advanced version of the Dingo based on the upgraded Unimog U 5000 chassis, that offers improved protection and more payload. It is offered in two versions with 3,250 (3.5 tonnes payload) and 3,850 mm (4 tonnes payload) wheelbase. The Dingo 2 can seat 8 personnel.

Currently KMW is developing the Dingo 2 GFF for the German Army with increased internal volume.

The Dingo's standard armament is a remote controlled Rheinmetall MG3 machine gun turret. The 7.62 mm MG can be replaced with a 12.7 mm MG or a HK GMG automatic grenade launcher.

Textron signed an exclusive deal to produce and market KMW's Dingo in the United States. However, Textron chose its own more expensive and heavier M1117 Armored Security Vehicle for the MRAP competition, which did not receive a contract

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

RG-31 Nyala

The RG-31 Nyala is a multi-purpose mine-protected vehicle made by BAE Systems Land Systems OMC in South Africa, based on the TFM Industries' Mamba APC. The vehicle’s V-shaped monocoque welded steel hull and high suspension are designed to resist a blast equivalent to two TM-57 anti-tank mines detonating simultaneously. The RG-31 is classified by the Department of Defense as a level 1 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle. The RG-31 has become the multi-purpose vehicle of choice of the UN and other peacekeeping and security forces. It is finding favour with non-governmental organisations requiring a vehicle with a non-aggressive appearance to protect their personnel against the threat of land mines.

Production history

Variants came in either a Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) or utility vehicle (Cargo) configurations RG-31 Mk3A Nyala - based on Mamba APC RG-31 Sabre - cargo version RG-31 Mk5 Nyala RG-31 Charger - US Army version of the Mk3 with a Detroit Diesel engine and Mk5 with a Cummins engine RG-31 Mk5E - A extended Mk5 variant similar to the RG-33L, but a 4x4 Operators

Canada/Canadian Forces – 75 RG-31 Mk3 with Protector M151 Remote Weapon Station Spain – 100 RG-31 Mk5E Nyala with Samson remote Weapon Station are expected (+ option for 80 more) Colombia – 4 RG-31 Nyala Netherlands – 5 (on loan from the Canadian Forces) Rwanda – 6 RG-31 Nyala South Africa United Nations – 30 RG-31 Nyala United Arab Emirates – 76 customized RG-31 Mk5 United States US SOCOM – 50 Mk5A1S US Army RG-31 Nyala damaged by a mine RG-31 blown in half by a mine. 148 RG-31 Mk3 Charger, 257 Mk5A1 111 Mk5E USMC 12 Mk5A's (MRAP Cat I) 1385 Mk5E's (MRAP Cat II) Blackwater Security Combat history

Afghanistan - Canada, (including 5 leased to Netherlands) (ISAF) Bosnia and Herzegovina - UNPROFOR Ethiopia / Eritrea - Canada Georgia - UN Iraq - United States Colombian Armed Conflict Ivorian Civil War Ivory Coast - UNOCI Kosovo - KFOR Lebanon - UNIFIL

M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle


The Infantry Carrier Vehicle provides protected transport and supporting fire for the infantry squad during dismounted assault. The Stryker is a full time four-wheel drive, selectively eight-wheel drive, armoured vehicle weighing approximately 19t which carries an infantry squad with their equipment. The vehicle can attain speeds of 70mph on paved roads.
The basic
infantry carrier vehicle (ICV) provides armored protection for the two-man crew and a squad of nine soldiers.

Digital communications system

The vehicle's commander has an FBCB2 (Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below) digital communications system that allows communication between vehicles through text messaging and a map network, as well as with the battalion. The map shows the position of all vehicles on the battlefield and the commander can mark the position of enemy forces on the map which can then be seen by other commanders

Kongsberg Remote Weapon Station

The ICV has a Kongsberg Remote Weapon Station with a universal soft mount cradle, which can mount either a 0.50 caliber 12.7mm M2 machine gun, MK19 40mm grenade launcher or M240 7.62mm machine gun. It is also armed with four M6 smoke grenade launchers.

Rhino Runner

Rhino Runner is a type of armoured bus used extensively in Iraq, especially on the infamous Route Irish between Baghdad International Airport and The Green Zone. It is a customized vehicle created by Labock Technologies, with configurations for various purposes. Duties include normal transport of civilian contractors and military personnel, and usage by VIPs, including transport of prisoners involved in the Iraqi Special Tribunal

Known specifications

Custom built from chassis up.
Side and back doors, emergency exit hatch on roof.
Dual A/C system.
360-degree protection includes floor, exhaust system protected by armored grillwork, and glass.
[3] discrete gun ports.
6 cylinder turbo diesel 5.88 liters 240HP.
NIJ Level IV materials (composite armor and bullet-resistant glass) tested against .30 caliber AP (U.S. APM2) 166 grain 2850 feet per second.
Specifics written by gizmag
Instead of adapting armouring for an existing vehicle, Labock uses the most appropriate chassis and motors, and custom builds vehicles with protection against
AP (armour piercing) bullets and significant bomb blast protection.

The Rhino Runner is fully protected (sides, front, back, roof, floor, and even glass) against up to Type IV (NIJ standard) including NATO calibres.
Special composite bulletproof armour, which is so light that it floats in water, and one-way bulletproof glass that prevents bullets from penetrating, but enables you to shoot through the glass from inside the vehicle.

Available in a range of seating capacities (17, 24 and 36 people) and configurations for purposes such as prisoner transport, ambulance, SWAT, command and control, and they can be made to order.

Apart from the 360-degree ballistic protection, the vehicles have a side and back door and an emergency exit on the roof and run flat tires for when changing a tire is not a viable option.
Because this is an armoured vehicle, certain specifications are not readily available due to
trade secrets.


The Rhino Runner is mostly used for transportation of civilians and the press between the Baghdad International Airport and the Green Zone. It is also used to transport soldiers from one base to another.
VIPs have been known to use the Rhinos, including U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, General Richard Myers, and Matthew Roloff.
An unpublicised usage of the buses is to transport VIP prisoners, such as the now-deceased
Saddam Hussein, between their confinements and the tribunal.



Marines drive their LAV-25 along the beach at Samesan Royal Thai Marine Base, Thailand, after offloading from a LCAC craft, during an amphibious assault exercise conducted during Exercise COBRA GOLD 2002.
Powered by a 6V53T
Detroit Diesel turbo-charged engine, they are 4-wheel drive (rear wheels) transferable to 8-wheel drive. These vehicles are also amphibious, meaning they have the ability to "swim", but are limited to non-surf bodies of water (no oceans). While engaged in amphibious operations, the maximum speed is approximately 12 km/h. The current SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) modifications will hinder/eliminate amphibious ops. Typical land speeds are approximately 100 km/h (62.5 mph) in either 4 or 8-wheel drive, however fuel economy decreases in 8-wheel drive. The vehicles operate on diesel fuel, and require 3 weights of lubricants to remain in running condition. They are equipped with a M242 Bushmaster 25 mm cannon, two M240 7.62 mm machine guns, and two 4-barrel grenade launchers usually loaded with smoke canisters and located on the forward left and right sides of the turret. The crew is three; Vehicle commander (VC), gunner and driver, and six passengers (scouts) with combat gear. The vehicle has been through many changes through the late 90s. The new modification or SLEP has changed the LAV-25 to the LAV-25A1 standard and has been completely fielded. Funding has been approved for continued upgrades to the LAV family to bring them up to the LAV-25A2 standard. Phase I improvements include increased external and internal ballistic armor upgrades, improved fire suppression equipment, and upgrading the vehicle's suspension to the Generation II standard.[1] Phase II upgrades include replacing the turret hydraulics with an electric drive system and replacing the thermal sight with an improved model incorporating a laser range finder.



Standard LAV fitted with a turret with 360° traverse, armed with an M242 25 mm chain gun with 420 rounds of 25 mm ammunition, both M791 APDS-T( Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot-Tracer) and M792 HEI-T (High Explosive Incendiary-Tracer), of which half is ready for use. 150 rounds are ready for use from one stowage bin, 60 from another stowage bin, the other 210 rounds are stowed elsewhere in the vehicle. A coaxial M240C machine gun is mounted alongside the M242, and a pintle mounted M240 G/B machine gun, with 1,320 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, is mounted on the turret roof. The Canadian Army uses this chassis for its Coyote Armoured Reconnaissance Vehicle.

LAV-AT (Anti-Tank)

LAV fitted with an Emerson 901A1 TOW-2 ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) launcher, the same turret that was fitted on the M901 ITV (Improved TOW Vehicle). It is also armed with a pintle mounted M240E1 machine gun. It carries a total of 16 TOW missiles, and 1,000 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition.

LAV-M (Mortar)

LAV fitted with opening doors on the top, inside it is fitted with an 81mm M252 mortar, with 360° traverse, and a pintle mounted M240E1 machine gun. It carries 99 81mm mortar shells, and 1,000 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition.

LAV-25 of the USMC during live-fire exercise.

A United States Marine Corps LAV-25.

LAV-AD (Air Defense)

LAV fitted with an electric turret mounting a 25 mm GAU-12 Equalizer gatling cannon, and two, four missile pods, which contain FIM-92 Stinger SAM (Surface-To-Air Missiles). It carries 990 rounds of 25 mm ammunition, and 16 FIM-92 Stinger missiles. This variant has been removed from service. A variant using the Mistral missile in place of Stingers was developed for the export market.

LAV-R (Recovery)

LAV fitted with a boom crane, and recovery winch, for use in recovery of vehicles, specifically other LAVs. It is armed with a pintle mounted M240 E1/G machine gun, and carries 1,000 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition.

LAV-C2 (Command & Control)

LAV with a raised roof to accommodate several VHF, UHF and HF radios. It is armed with a pintle mounted M240 E1/G machine gun, and carries 1,000 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition. Generally referred to as the C2 ("C-square" or "C-two").

LAV-LOG (Logistics)

LAV modified for use in a logistics role (e.g., cargo transport).
LAV-MEWSS (Mobile Electronic Warfare Support System)
LAV modified for use in an electronic warfare role. Specific details of this variant are classified.
LAV-EFSS (Expeditionary Fire Support System)
Proposed replacement for LAV-M, LAV fitted with provisions to use
Dragon Fire, a 120mm recoil mortar system.

Günther Prien's U-47,

Submersion and trimming

Control surfaces
All surface ships, as well as surfaced submarines, are in a positively
buoyant condition, weighing less than the volume of water they would displace if fully submerged. To submerge hydrostatically, a ship must have negative buoyancy, either by increasing its own weight or decreasing displacement of the water. To control their weight, submarines have ballast tanks, which can be filled with outside water or pressurized air.
For general submersion or surfacing, submarines use the forward and aft tanks, called Main Ballast Tanks or MBTs, which are filled with water to submerge, or filled with air to surface. Under submerged conditions, MBTs generally remain flooded, which simplifies their design, and on many submarines these tanks are a section of interhull space. For more precise and quick control of depth, submarines use smaller Depth Control Tanks or DCTs, also called hard tanks due to their ability to withstand higher pressure. The amount of water in depth control tanks can be controlled either to reflect changes in outside conditions or change depth. Depth control tanks can be located either near the submarine's
center of gravity, or separated along the submarine body to prevent affecting trim.

HMS Astute is amongst the most advanced nuclear submarines in the world.[1]
When submerged, the water pressure on submarine's hull can reach 4
MPa for steel submarines and up to 10 MPa for titanium submarines like Komsomolets, while interior pressure remains unchanged. This difference results in hull compression, which decreases displacement. Water density also increases, as the salinity and pressure are higher, but this does not compensate for hull compression, so buoyancy decreases as depth increases. A submerged submarine is in an unstable equilibrium, having a tendency to either fall or float to the surface. Keeping a constant depth requires continual operation of either the depth control tanks or control surfaces.[2][verification needed][dubiousdiscuss]
Submarines in a neutral buoyancy condition are not intrinsically trim-stable. To maintain desired trim, submarines use forward and aft trim tanks. Pumps can move water between these, changing weight distribution, creating a moment pointing the sub up or down. A similar system is sometimes used to maintain stability.

Sail of the French nuclear submarine Casabianca; note the diving planes, camouflaged masts, periscope, electronic warfare masts, door and windows.
The hydrostatic effect of variable ballast tanks is not the only way to control the submarine underwater. Hydrodynamic maneuvering is done by several surfaces, which can be moved to create hydrodynamic forces when a submarine moves at sufficient speed. The stern planes, located near the propeller and normally horizontal, serve the same purpose as the trim tanks, controlling the trim, and are commonly used, while other control surfaces may not be present on many submarines. The fairwater planes on the sail and/or bow planes on the main body, both also horizontal, are closer to the centre of gravity, and are used to control depth with less effect on the trim.
When a submarine performs an emergency surfacing, all depth and trim methods are used simultaneously, together with propelling the boat upwards. Such surfacing is very quick, so the sub may even partially jump out of the water, potentially damaging submarine systems.

Submarine hull
Main article:
Submarine hull


The Los Angeles class attack submarine USS Greeneville in dry dock, showing typical cigar-shaped hull.
Modern submarines are cigar-shaped. This design, visible in early submarines (see below) is sometimes called a "
teardrop hull". It reduces the hydrodynamic drag when submerged, but decreases the sea-keeping capabilities and increases drag while surfaced. Since the limitations of the propulsion systems of early submarines forced them to operate surfaced most of the time, their hull designs were a compromise. Because of the slow submerged speeds of those subs, usually well below 10 kt (18 km·h−1), the increased drag for underwater travel was acceptable. Late in World War II, when technology allowed faster and longer submerged operation and increased aircraft surveillance forced submarines to stay submerged, hull designs became teardrop shaped again to reduce drag and noise. On modern military submarines the outer hull is covered with a layer of sound-absorbing rubber [disambiguation needed], or anechoic plating, to reduce detection.
The occupied pressure hulls of deep diving submarines such as
DSV Alvin are spherical instead of cylindrical. This allows a more even distribution of stress at the great depth. A titanium frame is usually affixed to the pressure hull, providing attachment for ballast and trim systems, scientific instrumentation, battery packs, syntactic flotation foam, and lighting.
A raised tower on top of a submarine accommodates the
periscope and electronics masts, which can include radio, radar, electronic warfare, and other systems including the snorkel mast. In many early classes of submarines (see history), the Control Room, or "Conn", was located inside this tower, which was known as the "conning tower". Since then, the Conn has been located within the hull of the submarine, and the tower is now called the "sail". The Conn is distinct from the "bridge", a small open platform in the top of the sail, used for observation during surface operation.
"Bathtubs" are related to conning towers but are used on smaller submarines. The bathtub is a metal cylinder surrounding the hatch that prevents waves from breaking directly into the cabin. It is needed because surfaced submarines have limited
freeboard, that is, they lie low in the water. Bathtubs help prevent swamping the vessel.

Single / double hull

U-995, Type VIIC/41 U-Boat of WWII, showing the typical combination of ship-like non-watertight outer hull with bulky strong hull below
Modern submarines and submersibles, as well as the oldest ones, often have a single hull. Large submarines generally have an additional hull or hull sections outside. This external hull, which actually forms the shape of submarine, is called the outer hull (casing in the Royal Navy) or
light hull, as it does not have to withstand a pressure difference. Inside the outer hull there is a strong hull, or pressure hull, which withstands sea pressure and has normal atmospheric pressure inside.
As early as World War I, it was realized that the optimal shape for withstanding pressure conflicted with the optimal shape for seakeeping and minimal drag, and construction difficulties further complicated the problem. This was solved either by a compromise shape, or by using two hulls; internal for holding pressure, and external for optimal shape. Until the end of World War II, most submarines had an additional partial cover on the top, bow and stern, built of thinner metal, which was flooded when submerged. Germany went further with the
Type XXI, the general predecessor of modern submarines, in which the pressure hull was fully enclosed inside the light hull, but optimised for submerged navigation, unlike earlier designs that were optimised for surface operation.

Type XXI U-Boat, late WWII, with pressure hull almost fully enclosed inside the light hull
After World War II, approaches split. The Soviet Union changed its designs, basing them on German developments. All post-WWII heavy Soviet and Russian submarines are built with a
double hull structure. American and most other Western submarines switched to a primarily single-hull approach. They still have light hull sections in the bow and stern, which house main ballast tanks and provide a hydrodynamically optimized shape, but the main cylindrical hull section has only a single plating layer. The double hulls are being considered for future submarines in the United States to improve payload capacity, stealth and range.[3]

Pressure hull
The pressure hull is generally constructed of thick high strength steel with a complex structure and high strength reserve, and is separated with watertight
bulkheads into several compartments. There are also examples of more than two hulls in a submarine, like the Typhoon class, which has two main pressure hulls and three smaller ones for control room, torpedoes and steering gear, with the missile launch system between the main hulls.
dive depth cannot be increased easily. Simply making the hull thicker increases the weight and requires reduction of onboard equipment weight, ultimately resulting in a bathyscaph. This is acceptable for civilian research submersibles, but not military submarines.
WWI submarines had hulls of
carbon steel, with a 100 meter maximum depth. During WW II, high-strength alloyed steel was introduced, allowing 200 meter depths. High-strength alloy steel remains the primary material for submarines today, with 250-400 meter depths, which cannot be exceeded on a military submarine without design compromises. To exceed that limit, a few submarines were built with titanium hulls. Titanium is almost as strong as steel, lighter, and is not ferromagnetic, important for stealth. Titanium submarines were built by the Soviet Union, which developed specialized high-strength alloys. It has produced several types of titanium submarines. Titanium alloys allow a major increase in depth, but other systems need to be redesigned to cope, so test depth was limited to 1,000 meters for K-278 Komsomolets, the deepest-diving combat submarine. An Alfa class submarine may have successfully operated at 1,300 meters,[4] though continuous operation at such depths would produce excessive stress on many submarine systems. Titanium does not flex as readily as steel, and may become brittle during many dive cycles. Despite its benefits, the high cost of titanium construction led to the abandonment of titanium submarine construction as the Cold War ended.
Deep diving civilian submarines have used thick glass pressure hulls.
The task of building a pressure hull is very difficult, as it must withstand pressures up to that of its required diving depth. When the hull is perfectly round in cross-section, the pressure is evenly distributed, and causes only hull compression. If the shape is not perfect, the hull is bent, with several points heavily strained. Inevitable minor deviations are resisted by stiffener rings, but even a one inch (25 mm) deviation from roundness results in over 30 percent decrease of maximal hydrostatic load and consequently dive depth.
[5] The hull must therefore be constructed with high precision. All hull parts must be welded without defects, and all joints are checked multiple times with different methods, contributing to the high cost of modern submarines. (For example, each Virginia-class attack submarine costs 2.6 billion dollars, over $200,000 per ton of displacement.)


HMCS Windsor, a Victoria-class diesel-electric hunter-killer submarine
Originally, submarines were human propelled. The first mechanically driven submarine was the 1863 French
Plongeur, which used compressed air for propulsion. Anaerobic propulsion was first employed by the Spanish Ictineo II in 1864. Ictineo's engine used a peroxide compound to generate heat for steam propulsion, while also providing oxygen for the crew. The system was not employed again until 1940 when the German Navy tested a hydrogen peroxide-based system employing the same principles, the Walter turbine, on the experimental V-80 submarine and later on the naval U-791 and type XVII submarines.[6]
Until the advent of
nuclear marine propulsion, most 20th century submarines used batteries for running underwater and gasoline (petrol) or diesel engines on the surface, and for battery recharging. Early submarines used gasoline, but this quickly gave way to kerosene (paraffin), then diesel, because of reduced flammability. Diesel-electric became the standard means of propulsion. The diesel or gasoline engine and the electric motor, separated by clutches, were initially on the same shaft driving the propeller. This allowed the engine to drive the electric motor as a generator to recharge the batteries and also propel the submarine. The clutch between the motor and the engine would be disengaged when the submarine dove, so that the motor could drive the propeller. The motor could have multiple armatures on the shaft, which could be electrically coupled in series for slow speed and in parallel for high speed. (These connections were called "group down" and "group up", respectively.)

German Type 212 submarine with AIP propulsion of the German Navy in dock at HDW/Kiel
The principle was modified in some designs in the 1930s, particularly those of the
U.S. Navy and the British U class submarines. The engine was not connected to the motor/propeller drive shaft, but drove a separate generator to drive the motors on the surface while recharging the batteries. This diesel-electric propulsion allowed greater flexibility. For example, the submarine could travel slowly with the engines at full power to recharge the batteries quickly, reducing time on the surface, or use its snorkel. It was then possible to insulate the noisy diesel engines from the pressure hull, making the submarine quieter.

German Type XXI submarines, also known as "Elektroboote", were the first submarines designed to operate entirely submerged
Other power sources were tested. Oil-fired steam turbines powered the British
"K" class submarines, built during the first World War (and later), to give them the surface speed to keep up with battle fleet. The "K" class subs were not very successful, however. German Type XXI submarines were designed to carry hydrogen peroxide for long-term, fast air-independent propulsion, but were ultimately built with very large batteries instead.
At the end of the
Second World War, the British and Russians experimented with hydrogen peroxide/kerosene (paraffin) engines which could be used surfaced and submerged. The results were not encouraging; although the Russians deployed a class of submarines with this engine type (codenamed Quebec by NATO), they were considered unsuccessful. Today several navies use air-independent propulsion. Notably Sweden uses Stirling technology on the Gotland class and Södermanland class submarines. The Stirling engine is heated by burning diesel fuel with liquid oxygen from cryogenic tanks. A newer development in air-independent propulsion is hydrogen fuel cells, first used on the German Type 212 submarine, with nine 34 kW or two 120 kW cells.
Steam power was resurrected in the 1950s with a nuclear-powered steam turbine driving a generator. By eliminating the need for atmospheric oxygen, the length of time that a modern submarine could remain submerged was limited only by its food stores, as breathing air was recycled and fresh water
distilled from seawater. Nuclear-powered submarines have a relatively small battery and diesel engine/generator powerplant for emergency use if the reactors must be shut down.
Nuclear power is now used in all large submarines, but due to the high cost and large size of nuclear reactors, smaller submarines still use diesel-electric propulsion. The ratio of larger to smaller submarines depends on strategic needs. The US Navy and the
Royal Navy operate only nuclear submarines,[7] which is explained by the need for distant operations. Other major operators rely on a mix of nuclear submarines for strategic purposes and diesel-electric submarines for defense. Most fleets have no nuclear submarines, due to the limited availability of nuclear power and submarine technology. Diesel-electric submarines have a stealth advantage over their nuclear counterparts. Nuclear submarines generate noise from coolant pumps and turbo-machinery needed to operate the reactor, even at low power levels. A conventional submarine operating on batteries is almost completely silent, the only noise coming from the shaft bearings and flow noise around the hull, all of which stops when the sub hovers in mid water to listen. Commercial submarines usually rely only on batteries, since they never operate independently of a mother ship.
Toward the end of the 20th century, some submarines, such as the British Vanguard class, began to be fitted with
pump-jet propulsors instead of propellers. Although these are heavier, more expensive, and less efficient than a propeller, they are significantly quieter, giving an important tactical advantage.
magnetohydrodynamic drive, or "caterpillar drive", which has no moving parts, was portrayed as a submarine propulsion system in the movie The Hunt for Red October, which portrayed it as a virtually silent system.
Although experimental surface ships have used this system, speeds have been below expectations. In addition, the drive system can induce bubble formation, compromising stealth, and the low efficiency requires high powered reactors. These factors make it unlikely for military usage.