The 2006 AUSA convention provided the showcase for armored vehicles manufacturers to discuss upgrades and modernizations proposed for current armored vehicles, and provide a glimpse into the future direction of AFV, particularly in relation to robotics, unmanned ground vehicles systems (UGV) and the Future Combat Systems (FCS) related programs.
One of the largest exhibitors was BAE Systems, displaying a new version of the modernized Bradley Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicle, fitted with remotely controlled turret, appliqué ceramic armor, peripheral vision, and new vetronics. BAE Systems also unveiled the future Infantry Combat Vehicle, which will become the tracked troop carrier of the FCS unit of action. General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) brought the latest Stryker model – Mobile Gun System (MGS), currently being supplied to the US Army Stryker Brigades. Other topics from GDLS were the latest improvements for the M-1A2 tanks. A modernized command version of the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV C2) developed by Lockheed Martin for the USMC. The vehicle is designed wit reduced visual signature, and integrates nine radios (including HF, VHF, UHF, Satcom and EPLRS) using only five antennas.
Similar platforms were displayed by Textron Systems Marine and Land, which brought two of its vehicles – the M-1117 armored security vehicle, shown in a new scout configuration, and Dingo II all armored vehicle, a US version of the German Dingo armored vehicle, developed by Krauss Maffei Wegmann (KMW). Other armored wheeled vehicles included the new RG-33L protected vehicle, positioned to compete with the Buffalo and Cougars currently operated by the US Army and Marines. BAE systems also displayed the RG-32 light protected vehicle. Both vehicles are riding on the success of BAE’s RG-31, which has won the trust and confidence of warfighters in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they are operated by Canadian and U.S. forces. Force Protection Company is also beefing up its product line, with the addition of the Cheetah lightweight 4×4 protected vehicle, which is positioned to compete with BAE’s RG-31. However, at AUSA the company preferred to present their most popular platform, the Cougar 6×6, equipped with remotely controlled weapon station.