BAE for New Lightweight Tracked Tank

Kunal Biswas

Member of the Year 2011
May 26, 2010
BAE Scouts Reactions for New Lightweight Tracked Tank

LONDON — BAE Systems is looking to breathe new life into the lightweight tracked tank market with a vehicle design that it is taking to the upcoming Eurosatory defense show in Paris next month to canvas potential customer opinion on their requirements.

The company's Global Combat Systems arm has already sanctioned funds to build a representative demonstrator later this year but has stopped short of a full launch of the program while executives scout potential customer reaction to the 15-ton to 17-ton vehicle armed with anything up to a 40mm cannon.

Jamie MacKenzie, the international account manager on the program, told reporters at a briefing in London May 8 that Eurosatory would be used to soft launch the program to minimize expenditure while trying to understand what the market is for the vehicle, which will be known as the CV21.

Early soundings at a recent defense show in Malaysia appeared to confirm the company was on the right track, he said.

BAE believes there is a major capability gap for a lightweight tracked vehicle offering good protection but with high mobility in areas where the infrastructure of roads and bridges limits the ability of 36-ton to 40-ton platforms — such as BAE's CV90 Scout and General Dynamics U.K.'s Scout vehicle — to move around .

The executive said that provided there is sufficient interest, BAE could next year move to a fully fledged demonstrator capable of being taken for trials.

For the moment, the rolling demonstrator, for which private venture funds were approved by BAE last week, would feature a representative, nonmoving turret on a chassis.

BAE intends to fit an existing turret equipped with the CTA International novel 40mm case telescoped cannon for the initial demonstrator.

MacKenzie said the CTAI cannon was used because of its availability to BAE. He said the company would work with the customer on lethality requirements and the tank could carry cannons, such as the Bushmaster, or other weapons, including missiles.

CTAI is a joint venture between BAE and Nexter of France. The British army is the launch customer for the weapon, which is being fitted to the Warrior infantry fighting vehicle and the Scout version of the new General Dynamics U.K. specialist vehicle now being developed for the military.

The General Dynamics Scout vehicle will replace the venerable BAE-built CVR(T) platform currently used by the British army for reconnaissance missions starting in the second half of the decade. However, questions have been raised in the last year about the U.K. Ministry of Defence's ability to afford the entire program during an era of budget cuts.

MacKenzie strongly denied the emergence of the CV21 was in part aimed at offering the British a cheap alternative to the ASCOD 2-based vehicle now being developed by the U.K. arm of General Dynamics.

The BAE executive said the vehicle, which the company had set a target price of 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) for the chassis, was aimed at export markets in places such as the Middle East, the Far East and South America.

He said BAE initially at least was particularly targeting the 15 export customers that had purchased the CVR(T) and other members of the same vehicle family.

Jordan, Oman, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia are among the nations that have acquired the CVR(T) or other members of the same family during the program's 40-year life.

The CV21 has its roots in the CVR(T) family, but MacKenzie said it is a new design for a vehicle that is bigger, longer, heavier and wider than its predecessor.

The executive said the new vehicle uses the lessons of the recent CVR(T) updates for use by the British in Afghanistan as well as some components.

BAE was asked to dust down its design last year to produce new hulls for the Scimitar variant of the vehicle the British army operates in Afghanistan.

That vehicle, known as the Scimitar 2, weighed about 12 tons. Among other updates, its hull was built with new aluminum alloy.

Among the CV21's characteristics are an operating weight of 17 tons, a width of 2.7 meters and a maximum speed of 80 kph. The vehicle is able to swim, has a rear escape door and can carry a crew of three plus a passenger.

BAE Scouts Reactions for New Lightweight Tracked Tank | Defense News |


Senior Member
May 5, 2011
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An offshoot of the FCS program but without the hybrid engine. This could be a hit among ASEAN countries who are looking to upgrade their ground forces without braking their banks.

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