Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR MAY 2015 Contents 29
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 09 | MAY 2015
THE GENERAL DYNAMICS European
Land Systems (GDELS) Piranha 5 8x8 has
been selected for Denmark’s Armoured
Personnel Carrier – Replacement (APC-R)
program, the Ministry of Defence (MoD)
announced on 30 April.
At least 206 Piranha 5 vehicles will be
acquired to replace the Royal Danish Ar-
my’s aging fleet of M-113 tracked APCs,
with follow-on orders for more than 200
additional vehicles possible, although
precise numbers are yet to be determined.
In a very much open tender in which
the customer had no stated preference for
either a tracked or wheeled solution, both
tracked and wheeled candidate vehicles
were assessed in what is one of Europe’s
largest armoured vehicle programs in re-
“The winner is found after thorough
examination and evaluation of suppliers’
offers and testing of the vehicles,” Danish
Defence Minister Nicolai Wammen said
about the Piranha 5 selection.
The selection of Piranha 5 is a signifi-
cant win for GDELS, particularly as the
tracked BAE Systems CV90 Armadillo
THE CONSORTIUM BUILDING the
European FREMM multi-mission frigate
family announced in mid-April that Italy
has ordered its two final frigates under a
euro 764 million (AUD$1.06 billion) con-
According to Orizzonte Sistemi Navali,
the order completes Italy’s plan for a total of
THE LAST OF 12 LHD Landing Craft
(LLC) for the Royal Australian Navy
(RAN) was launched by builder Navantia
in Spain on 27 April.
Essentially the same as the company’s
was considered a front-runner and the
Army already operates the earlier genera-
tion CV9035 infantry fighting vehicle.
Other vehicles competing for the
APC-R contract included the GDELS
ASCOD 2, FFG Protected Mission Mod-
ule Carrier G5 and the Nexter Véhicule
Blindé de Combat d’Infanterie (VBCI).
Denmark is the launch customer for the
Piranha 5; the Army also operates the Pi-
ranha III APC.
The MoD also announced that it would
be suspending its planned acquisition of up
to 21 new 155mm self-propelled howitzers
(SPH) to replace the in-service M109A3
– Ian Bostock
Piranha 5 for APC role
Italy fulfills FREMM frigate order
Final LHD Landing Craft launched
The Piranha 5 won out against competition from one other wheeled and three tracked
vehicle designs. Image: GDELS
Construction of the four ASW versions
of the FREMM frigate for Italy (pictured
left) have now been completed.
Image: Orizzonte Sistemi Navali
LEFT: The 12th and final LHD Landing
Craft was launched by Navantia on
27 April at its Bay of Cádiz facility in
southern Spain. Image: Navantia
10 FREMM frigates, four of which will be
the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) version
and six the general purpose (GP) configu-
The first FREMM frigate entered Italian
Navy service in May 2013 with the fifth ship
launched in December 2014. The final two
frigates will be commissioned in 2020-2021.
LCM-1E medium landing craft originally
built for the Spanish Nav y, four LLC will
find a home on each of the RAN’s new
27,000 tonne Canberra-class landing heli-
copter dock (LHD) ships.
A joint French-Italian program that will
see a total of 21 ships delivered across both
navies, the FREMM for Italy are 144m long
with a displacement at full load of approx-
imately 6,700 tonnes. The ships have been
designed for a maximum speed of more
than 27 knots and providing accommoda-
tion for up to 200 people (crew and addi-
These ASW and GP version both share
common capabilities of naval, air surveil-
lance and command and control systems.
France has ordered 11 FREMM frigates,
although in February this year it agreed to
sell one of its ships to Egypt in February as
part of a larger export package.
– Mario Attopardi
The LLC is able to transport an Austral-
ian Army M1A1 Abrams main battle tank
at its combat weight of 63 tonnes to a range
of 190nm. Top speed is more than 20 knots
in lightship configuration, according to
Organic to the LHDs, the 23m LLC is the
primary means of moving vehicles, stores
and equipment from ship-to-shore, and
will be the RAN’s only meaningful landing
craft capability until the larger and more
capable Landing Craft Heavy – Replace-
ment enters service post-2020.
The second batch of four LLC was com-
missioned by the RAN on 19 February, and
the last four craft are due for delivery to
the Defence Materiel Organisation by mid-
– Mario Attopardi
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