Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR MAY 2015 Contents 35
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 09 | MAY 2015
be marrying up to the Boxer platform, that being its own Lance two-
man product (see the Boxer story in News in this issue). The other bid
teams remain tight-lipped about their intentions.
As for the Lance turret, DTR understands it is under evaluation by
a number of potential customers, although the German and Dutch
armies have no known requirements to fit their respective Boxer ve-
hicles with a cannon-armed turret. The Boxer IFV version – fitted
with the same remotely-operated 30mm turret as fitted to the Puma
tracked IFV – is currently being marketed in the Middle East.
First unveiled at Eurosatory 2008, Spain became the launch cus-
tomer for the two-man Lance turret, with a small number entering
service several years ago with the Spanish Marines on General Dy-
namics European Land Systems (GDELS) Piranha IIIC 8x8s. This
qualifies the Lance turret as MOTS.
Whilst the Orbital ATK Mk 44 Bushmaster II 30mm dual feed
cannon has emerged in recent years as the weapon of choice for nu-
merous wheeled and tracked armoured fighting vehicles, it is not in
Australian Defence Force service. There would seem to be no com-
monality disadvantage, therefore, to adopting the Lance turret’s
Mauser MK 30-2 ABM (Air Bursting Munition) 30mm cannon, fir-
ing as it does all standard 30x173mm ammunition natures.
Designed from the outset for heav y tracked and wheeled ar-
moured fighting vehicles (AFV) and featuring high levels of
armour protection, the Lance turret houses 200 rounds of
ready-use 30mm ammunition and enables hunter-killer target
Arabia are available – GDLS won’t even acknowledge publicly that
it has a contract with Saudi Arabia. As previously reported in DTR
(see ‘LAV 700 production in 2016’ in the March 2015 issue of DTR) the
900-plus vehicle order comprises 10 variants, of which around 700
will have turreted weapon systems. It is believed that a significant
number of these are to be fitted with manned turrets armed with
a 25mm or 30mm weapon system from CMI Defence: presuma-
bly the Cockerill Medium Calibre Turret (MCT) which can accept
25, 30 or 40mm weapons and is available in both manned and un-
The 30mm version of the Cockerill MCT is designed around the
Mk 44 Bushmaster II weapon, and its modular protection package
allows for a maximum protection level of STANAG 4569 Level 4
with add-on armour.
turret, and Oto Melara’s unmanned HITFIST
30mm Overhead Weapon Station has been ob-
served installed on a Piranha III.
Had not Rheinmetall entered the game with Box-
er, the Lance turret would very likely have been an
option for GDLS-A. GDLS – Canada pitched the
Piranha 5 fitted with the Lance turret at Canada’s
now cancelled Close Combat Vehicle requirement.
The same vehicle-turret combination was also put
forward for the US Marine Corps’ Marine Personnel Carrier (now
Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1) program.
Very much lightweight at 1,300kg (assumed STANAG Level 1 pro-
tection level) and using the Mk 44 Bushmaster II 30mm cannon, the
new Electro Optic Systems (EOS) unmanned turret may also be of
interest to GDLS-A. Based on proven EOS ballistic fire control and
stabilisation technologies, the turret completed performance testing
in mid-2014 with all performance benchmarks set by potential cus-
tomers satisfied, including engagement accuracy.
Since then the turret has undergone further testing by EOS and
third parties to establish its reliability in operational conditions. If
local manufacture is an option for the EOS turret, its adoption by
GDLS-A, or indeed any of the bid teams, would significantly en-
hance proposed Australian industry capability plans.
The Lockheed Martin 40mm turret to be installed on the British
Army’s new GDLS Scout SV tracked reconnaissance vehicle is still at
the advanced concept stage and will not enter low-rate production
for another 18-24 months, thereby very likely ruling it out of consid-
eration for the CRV should a 40mm armament was favoured.
DTR understands, however, that there is little appetite for a 40mm
turreted weapon system within the GDLS-A camp, with a 30mm
solution seen to have sufficient lethality, range and remaining oper-
ational relevance for the CRV requirement.
Turret Option A
In Service/Fitted to Desert Piranha/Piranha 5 and LAV Demonstrator
Turret Option B
Cockerill Medium Calibre Turret
In Service/Fitted to Desert Piranha/Piranha 5 (trials/demonstrations);
possibly LAV 700 for Saudi Arabia
BAE Systems Australia
BAE Systems Australia is in the enviable position of being able to
‘reach back’ to its global parent and other international subsidiaries
in a manner which opens up the options for a suitable CRV turret.
engagements via an advanced fire control system,
sensors and panoramic sighting systems.
As a Rheinmetall product, the Boxer-Lance com-
bination is a fully integrated solution, which will
no doubt simplify producing vehicles for Risk Mitigation Activities
should Boxer be invited to proceed through to that stage in the eval-
In Service/Fitted to
Piranha IIIC (Spanish Marines), Boxer
Land Systems – Australia
Very little indication of either vehicle or turret choice has been giv-
en by the General Dynamics Land Systems – Australia (GDLS-A)
camp. Despite having access to the widest range of candidate CRV
solutions out of the confirmed Land 400 bid teams, the GD group
does not produce any turrets in-house to mount onto its proposed
CRV base mobility platform.
With versions of the LAV 6.0, LAV 700 and Piranha 5 thought to
be the three vehicle options available to GDLS-A for Land 400, the
turret options are also numerous.
Unmanned solutions include the Kongsberg MCT-30 already
demonstrated on the Desert Piranha (Piranha 5) and now set to be
procured in quantity by the US Army for Stryker infantry combat
vehicles serving with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany. (For
more see the unmanned turret story in Innovations this issue.)
Approved via rapid acquisition, the Stryker contract would see the
US Army as launch customer for the MCT-30, although the Croa-
tian Army is also believed to be close to a purchase decision in fa-
vour of the MCT-30, having extensively trialled the turret on its new
Patria Armoured Modular Vehicles (AMV).
Fitted with the Mk 44 Bushmaster II 30mm cannon, a MCT-30
installed on a GDLS Stryker conducted live firing demonstrations
with the US Army at Fort Benning in early 2014. A LAV Demon-
strator fitted with the MCT-30 also carried out live firing in Norway
in mid-2014 and was in Australia for Land Forces 2014 a short time
later, where the vehicle – turret still attached – remained until earlier
DTR understands that GDLS-A is looking very closely at the
MCT-30 option. However, talk of an exclusive teaming arrangement
between GDLS-A and Kongsberg for the latter’s MCT-30 turret re-
mained just that at press time.
Based on the operationally-proven Samson Mk I, Rafael’s Samson
Mk II unmanned turret could also be a possibility, although the level
of armour protection it can accept is unknown. GD Ordnance and
Tactical Systems has teamed with Rafael to provide integration and
production of the Samson Mk II.
Few details about the deal to supply LAV 700 vehicles to Saudi
ABOVE: The two-man Lance turret on Boxer: Images: Rheinmetall.
BELOW: The Lance two-man turret is in service on a small
number of Piranha IIIC vehicles operated by the Spanish
Marines. Image: Spanish MoD
The Kongsberg MCT-30 unmanned
30mm turret on a LAV Demonstrator
undergoing a live fire demonstration
in Norway in July 2014, and fitted to a
Piranha 5 (inset). Image: Kongsberg
The Cockerill Medium Calibre Turret is seen here live firing from
a late-generation Piranha 8x8. Image: CMI Defence
Oto Melara, now freed from any partnership with Boeing Defence
Australia which had been preparing to bid the Italian Freccia VBM
8x8, may make its combat-proven HITFIST-30 two-man turret
available to other Land 400 teams, GDLS-A included. A Piranha 4
has previously been fitted with the 25mm version of the HITFIST
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