Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR MAY 2015 Contents 25
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 09 | MAY 2015
AT A GLANCE
LAND 400 BID TEAMS
Several bid teams are now confirmed to
respond to the RFT
see page 26
DENMARK OPTS FOR PIRANHA V
Against both wheeled and tracked designs,
Piranha has been selected for the Danish
Army see page 28
FINAL LANDING CRAFT
Navantia has launched the last of 12 new
landing caft for the RAN
see page 29
Land 121 Phase 3B truck variants
With testing and verification activities underway, delivery of the Australian
Army’s transformational B vehicle fleet is edging closer.
THE AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT of
Defence has provided DTR with a break-
down of the medium and heavy truck
variants to be supplied by Rheinmetall
MAN Militar y Vehicles Australia (RM-
MVA) under Phase 3B of Project Land
Awarded the AUD$1.6 billion contract
in July 2013, RMMVA will hand over the
first training vehicles to the Common-
wealth in April 2016, with deliveries to
Australian Army units in 2017. Final de-
liveries are scheduled for 2020.
A total of 2,707 vehicles plus trailers
and around 3,000 modules are to be ac-
quired, with RMMVA to supply 2,536
medium and heavy trucks in 4x4, 6x6
and 8x8 configurations. Mercedes-Benz
Australia/Pacific will supply 122 G-Wag-
on 6x6 (with trailers) via Phase 3A, whilst
49 Bushmaster protected mobility vehi-
cles reallocated from the in-service fleet
will round out the total. The new vehicles
will replace the legacy fleets of Mack, Un-
imog and S-Liner trucks.
The Land 121 Phase 3B project office
is currently conducting design and ver-
ification activities for the trucks, trailers
and modules. This includes the integra-
tion of digital communications equip-
ment and the integration of the vehicles
with the trailers and modules.
Training development and introduc-
tion-into-service training pilot courses
will be conducted in 2016, with conver-
sion courses for drivers and maintainers
planned to start in late 2016.
According to the Defence Materiel Or-
ganisation, initial operational capability
is planned for November 2019, with final
operational capability in 2023.
The medium-heavy vehicle systems
comprise variants predominantly from
the high-mobility HX series of RMMV
trucks, and will feature cranes, trays, tip-
pers, vehicle recovery systems, fuel and
water storage modules, heavy tractors
and a heavy integrated load handling
system (ILHS). Modules include mainte-
nance, stores and combat engineers var-
iants as well as a heavy floating bridge,
bridge erection and propulsion boat in-
A brief provided to DTR by RMMVA
confirms that almost half of the truck
fleet will be fitted with armoured cabs,
providing a measure of crew survivabil-
ity against kinetic attack, mine blast and
improvised explosive devices.
The ILHS is also a new capability for
Army’s logistics units, where it will per-
mit the loading and unloading of mod-
ules, containers and flat racks without
additional equipment and at a faster rate.
All trucks will be equipped with the
in-service battle management system
from Elbit Systems Australia and dig-
ital radios from Harris and Raytheon,
alongside a CB radio in some variants for
peacetime convoy moves.
Key Phase 3B sub-contractors include
the Newcastle-based Varley Group which
will supply more than 550 stores and
maintenance modules; Sydney-based
HX 77 8x8 with integrated load handling system and armoured cab.
A. HX 81L 8x8 Heavy Tractor with armoured cab.
B. More than 1,600 4x4 trucks will be delivered in three variants.
C. HX 77 8x8 heavy tipper with armoured cab.
Medium Weight Tray
Medium Weight Tray
HX 77 8x8
HX 81L 8x8
HX 77 8x8
HX 77 8x8
Dual Cab 6x6
RPC Technologies for a specialist inter-
face unit to transport, launch and recov-
er the Army’s current and future heavy
floating bridge systems including the
bridge itself and support boats; Canber-
ra’s Sea Box International for the design,
development and production manage-
ment of more than 2,100 heavy flat racks;
and Brisbane-based Holmwood High-
gate for the design and manufacture of
276 integrated tankers, bulk water and
Details of the nine RMMV truck var-
iants to be delivered to the Australian
Army are provided in the table opposite.
Of these, 22 HX 81L 8x8 Heavy Tractor
variants have been allocated to couple
with the same quantity of Heavy Equip-
ment Transporter low-loader trailers.
These will be capable of hauling heavy
plant, the Army’s M1A1 Abrams main
battle tank and future combat vehicles
such as Land 400’s Combat Reconnais-
sance Vehicle, Infantry Fighting Vehicle
and Manoeuvre Support Vehicle.
RMMVA is currently undergoing a
three-year verification program which
consists of preliminary design reviews,
detailed design reviews, critical design
reviews and prototype testing at the
Land Engineering Agency Monegeetta
Proving Ground Complex in Victoria.
Prior to the Monegeetta testing, RMM-
VA will conduct in-house testing at the
Australian Automotive Research Centre
(AARC), a 1,000 hectare facility south-
west of Melbourne.
The verification activities will ensure
that the vehicles are compliant with
the Phase 3B technical requirements,
with specific tests to confirm road and
cross-country performance, fording and
load carrying capability whilst negoti-
ating specified approach and departure
angles, gradients and obstacles.
In early 2016, RMMVA’s expects its
Brisbane-based integration facility and
through-life support centre to be oper-
ational, whereupon it will be the sight
of final vehicle integration work prior
to handover to Army in 2016, and then
the entire fleet for an initial 10 years with
further extension options of up to the
end of fleet life-of-type.
– Ian Bostock
Source: Australian DoD
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