Industry Notebook

© 2007 FrontLine Defence (Vol 4, No 3)

Mercedes-Benz Vehicle Chosen
DaimlerChrysler wins selection process against three renowned truck manufacturers. Canada has ordered 82 top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz Actros transport trucks with heavily armoured cabs (with an option for another 26 units) for its Armoured Heavy Support Vehicle Systems (AHSVS) requirement.

The four-axle all-wheel-drive chassis from the Mercedes-Benz Actros model series are fitted with a specially armoured cab that provide an exceptionally high level of protection from mines, hostile fire and roadside bombs during UN peacekeeping missions. The modular 3-seat cab, designed by Britain’s Mayflower Military Systems, incorporated a 7mm steel floor to protect against land mines.

The “Armoured Heavy Actros” trucks come in numerous body variants and are ideally suited to a wide range of applications in unstable areas.

The 8x8 all-terrain Actros is based on the successful series production, of which more than 450,000 are providing reliable service, with more than 50 armies worldwide, in the haulage sector, in heavy-duty construction, as semitrailer tractors and in logistics operations.

Thales Launches RODVE2-D
Thales Canada introduced its latest armed vehicle driver’s aid system, the Remotely Operated Driver’s Vision Enhancer 2 (RODVE2-D), targeted for Canadian and international governments as well as vehicle manufacturers.

Directly addressing the security needs of soldiers and peacekeepers, this system enables reactive scanning of 138° horizontal field of regard, providing situational awareness on today’s modern and active battlefields. The RODVE2-D sensor head mounts easily on any vehicle chassis with a simple interface plate. The compact display attaches to the inner cabin, thereby allowing it to be fitted on any combat vehicle (tank) or ­tactical wheeled vehicle, including the most challenging platforms.

This system provides a 48° field of view in three different positions (+/– 45°).  System benefits include high image quality and system resolution – Detection Recognition Identification (DRI) exceeds specifications for driver’s viewers.

The compact sensor head incorporates a very fast, motorized panning mechanism to enable reactive scanning of the battlefield ahead for quick identification of impending threats.

Swiss Air Force flies first Eurocopter EC635
Marignane, France – The first EC635 destined for the Swiss Air Force successfully performed its maiden flight at Eurocopter’s Donauwörth facility on May 23. Fully on schedule, the program foresees the delivery of 18 EC635 for transport and training missions, and two EC135 for Federal Air Transport Services. The EC635s/EC135s will successively replace the Swiss Air Force’s Alouette III helicopters.

The maiden flight, under the command of Eurocopter test pilot René Nater, lasted 35 minutes. All of the aircraft’s ­systems operated to full satisfaction. Following the first flight, the EC635 will return to the production facility for the qualification of customer-specific equipment and further tests.

Deliveries will take place between March/April 2008 and the end of 2009. The first four machines will be delivered from Eurocopter’s facility in Donauwörth, while the remaining 16 aircraft will be assembled and delivered by RUAG Aerospace in Alpnach, Switzerland. RUAG will also be responsible for the industry level maintenance of the Swiss Air Force’s EC635s/EC135s throughout their service life.

Certified in 2001, the EC635 is the military version of the highly successful light twin-engine EC135 helicopter. One of the most versatile helicopters on the market today, it is designed to carry out military/paramilitary and public security missions, including search and rescue, troop transport, reconnaissance/ observation, scout missions, training and vertical replenishment. The EC635 is also ideal for disaster relief, humanitarian aid missions, medevac and the transport of loads, medical supplies and food.

Its internal equipment can be easily interchanged. For instance, the user can select one of several seating layouts, or install medical apparatus. The 4.6 cubic-meter cabin is free of obstacles and cabin access is via two lateral sliding doors or via two large rear doors.

The operational effectiveness of the EC635’s day and night mission capability, including NVG missions, its high performance, and its modern maintenance concept are particularly noteworthy.

Most of the main components are subject to on-condition maintenance, which maximizes the operational availability. The first scheduled maintenance is due after 400 flight hours.
©  FrontLine Defence 2007