The absence of new programs provided exhibitors an opportunity to highlight improvement to existing platforms. Among the combat vehicles displayed atwere the M-109 Paladin Improved Mobility (PIM) and Bradley, both included in the US Army’s Enhanced Capability Programs ( ). Neither BAE its partner nor their competitor General Dynamics Land Systems and Lockheed martin provided much information on the next big thing for the Army – the Ground Combat Vehicle ( ) although BAE did shed some light on the innovative hybrid electric propulsion system proposed for their candidate.
Another Army program capturing much attention is the Advanced Multi-Purpose Vehicle () – the planned replacement of the M-113, scheduled for the 2020. This program attracts significant interest in the US and abroad, with the potential for selling up to 3,800 tracked or wheeled vehicles to equip up to 15 Brigade Combat Teams (BCT). Improvements for the are also underway, following the introduction of the Double-V-Hull ( ) modification, offering much improved protection.
The DVH increases the vehicles’ weight and to gain back performance, the engine, suspension and power generation systems will be upgraded. The Army might also consider another modification, converting the vehicle into electrically driven platform, by switching the current axle-drives with hub-in-wheel electrical motors. Parker unveiled such concept at 2012 and is planning to demonstrate this capability in the near future. The upgraded is also considered as a future M-113 replacement as one of the AMPV candidates. To beat the Army’s notional bias towards tracked platforms, displayed a tracked -TR concept vehicle at AUSA 2012. This vehicle used standard M-113 tracks mated with a Stryker body, without too much optimization. If the Army expresses interest in such option, the company would further optimize the vehicle, executives said, stressing that the upgraded wheeled Stryker can fully meet the AMPV requirements in terms of performance, sustainability and operating cost.
Other companies courting the Army for the AMPV included Textron Systems that recently rebranded its armored vehicle family as ‘Commando’. At AUSA the company had three variants of Commando on display. The Commando Advanced (formerly designatedASV, where it was one of the first combat vehicles to have a V-shaped hull. Thousands are in service with the US and Iraqi Army. The new Commando Select was an upgrade of the ASV, offering -class mine and blast protection. 440 are currently built to equip the Afghan National Army mobile strike force. The Canadian Army recently selected the Commando Elite for the program. The vehicle offers Type-2 protection. Under this contract Textron will deliver 500 such vehicles between 2014 and 2016 and Canada has an option to buy 100 additional vehicles if needed. In October Rheinmetall Canada acting as the prime subcontractor was awarded C$205 million sub-contract for its share of the program. With more than a thousand s operational with the US Army, the Commando could prove a logical entry for the AMPV.
The French vehicle manufacturersand (through local affiliate ) are also proposing relevant vehicles. Although promoted its vehicle development capabilities through the technology demonstrator platform, one of two candidates for the French Army next generation APC. While Nexter can only hope to sell its TD to the US, the more likely goal for Nexter is to introduce its automatic cannon firing 40mm Caseless Telescopic Ammunition , developed under cooperation with the British company .
The British and French Armies have already adopted the new cannon for their future combat vehicles and potential penetration of the US market, for example, as the primary weapon for the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV), could have significant implications on the acceptance of this advanced weapon worldwide. Renault, a subsidiary of the group, promoted here a 105mm SP gun mounted on a Sherpa. Yet the company also has a broad range of armored vehicles that could fit a future US requirement.
Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC) program. The company is teaming with Iveco to promote the amphibious SuperAV 8×8 troop carrier for the is not the only bidder offering a foreign design for the program. In fact, all the platforms considered for the program are foreign – The Italian SuperAV will compete against ’s Havoc 8×8 (based on from Finland) and the Swiss developed Piranha V, a heavier and more powerful version of the currently used by the corps, produced .is focusing on the Bradley for the AMPV, offering five new derivatives as successors for the M-113s. The company is also prepares wheeled vehicles for a parallel Marine Corps requirement for the