Home' Defence Technology Review : DTR JUL 2015 Contents PROJECTS
DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 11 | JUL 2015
The following excerpt from the DMO’s Addendum No 9 issued on 17
April is but one example of industry deeming it necessary to ask a direct
question about whether a wheeled or tracked CRV is required:
The Commonwealth must provide industry explicit direction that only 8x8
wheeled CRVs will be considered for Phase 2 of the Land 400 program.
The Commonwealth has stated consistently at Land 400 industry events
that it requires a wheeled solution. Unfortunately the Commonwealth’s
response in Addendum No. 4 has industry reconsidering offering
tracked CRV solutions given the KRM’s demanding ballistic protection
Tenderers were notified via Addendum No. 2, in response to Question
18, that the Key Requirements Matrix (KRM) does not specify a wheeled
or tracked vehicle solution for the Mounted Combat Reconnaissance
Capability, and that it is a matter for tenderers to interpret the RFT
requirements. The requirements within the KRM have been written
in function and performance terms and therefore describe the CRV’s
required mobility characteristics rather than specifying any particular
The KRM is only one part of the Description of Requirement (DOR) at
Annex A to the Acquisition Statement of Work. The DOR also contains
the Land 400 Land Combat Vehicle System (LCVS) Operational
Concept Document (OCD).
The Commonwealth expects the OCD to be read in conjunction with the
KRM in order to provide a broader contextual basis and assist tenderers
with interpreting the RFT requirements.
Section 5.2 of the OCD (Mission System Architecture) makes clear
the Commonwealth’s preference for a mixed LCVS fleet comprising a
wheeled CRV and tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), however, this
preference does not preclude a tracked CRV solution should one be
offered that cost effectively meets the Commonwealth’s requirements.
The following transcript taken from the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Legislation Committee Senate Estimates on 2 June saw an interesting
to and fro about why wheels has not been mandated over tracks for the
CRV between Deputy Opposition Leader in the Senate/Shadow Defence
Minister Stephen Conroy and DMO’s Head of Land Systems Major
General Paul McLachlan:
Senator Conroy: Do the current requirements call for the vehicles to be
tracked or wheeled, or a combination of both?
MAJGEN McLachlan: Once again, we have been very careful not to
exclude any options, so the consideration of the program has us picking
exemplars for the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle, which would
suggest, certainly from my reading of all of the requirements of the
Operational Concept Document in our discussion with industry indicate
that our preference is leaning towards a wheeled vehicle for the Combat
Reconnaissance Vehicle. Certainly, while we have been scoping the
infantry fighting vehicles, we have been very, very careful not to exclude
any option, and we are conscious of letting industry inform us about the
offerings that they may have.
Senator Conroy: So has that changed since the original requirements of
Land 400 were defined? It sounds like you have refined it.
MAJGEN McLachlan: Certainly no. That has not changed. It has always
been our intent to get the best possible capability. We are conscious
in this instance that while we do know a lot about the equipment that
we are buying, if we work closely with industry we will get a better
understanding of the best system that we can get. Consciously, we have
not sought to exclude any option that the industry might care to offer us.
Senator Conroy: You have just said that you have a preference for a
wheeled vehicle. Have you told industry that? If the purchaser told me
that they only wanted wheeled, that would probably be a de facto ‘do not
put in a tracked’ vehicle.
MAJGEN McLachlan: Certainly. There are elements in the Operational
Concept Document. There are situations in the Key Requirements Matrix,
which we have got the bidders tendering against at this point of time
which clearly would lead you to those conclusions. We have had these
specific questions raised with us in our industry engagement. We have
been seeking not to specifically list that because, once again, if industry
believes they have a better option to put forward then we would like to
hear about it. Certainly, I am under no...
Senator Conroy: Have you verbally advised bidders not to submit
MAJGEN McLachlan: No.
Senator Conroy: By your expressing a wheeled preference, have any
bidders that have previously expressed an interest in tendering for Land
400 now been ruled out because of your preference?
MAJGEN McLachlan: Not regarding wheeled versus tracked.
Senator Conroy: Does the choice of wheeled or tracked have an impact
on the potential terrain the vehicles can be used in?
MAJGEN McLachlan: Certainly: there is always a trade-off between
mobility, protection and firepower in this space. Certainly, the role that
Army has specified for the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle specifies a
high level of operational mobility and the capacity to travel long distances
in short periods of time organically. That is certainly the major element
that is leading us towards looking closely at the wheeled version.
which in turn drives down mobility.
This catch-22 will be an issue that
both the Armoured Cavalry Regiment
commanding officer and individual CRV
commanders will have to grapple with long
after the RFT is over and as soon as it starts
to rain. The Risk Mitigation Activity mobil-
ity trials should prove illuminating about
where a wheeled 33+ tonne CRV candidate
can and cannot go. If the 13 tonne ASLAV
has restrictions placed upon it in difficult
terrain during monsoon season (the East
Timor experience is of relevance here), a
wheeled CRV is certain to as well.
The ranking of mobility at priority three
in the CON list is also somewhat at odds
with Australian Army cavalry vehicle op-
erations where mobility (ability to traverse
cross-country terrain, dash speed, organic
deployability, agility, manoeuvrability) is a
key contributor to the concept of surviva-
bility. GVM affects mobility, and the CRV
will have a GVM two-and-half-times that
– Ian Bostock
KONGSBERG creates and delivers high technology
solutions for people that operate under very
challenging conditions – on the oceans, in the
deep subsea, in defence, in space.
The Land 400 Phase 2 tender timeline
has been extended by a further four
weeks, with the tender response
lodgement deadline pushed out to 3
Consequently, the completion of the
Stage 1 tender activities previously
planned for December 2015 also changes
and is currently proposed for March 2016.
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