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DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW | ISSUE 35 | SEP 2017
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Exhaust fix adopted for Boxer CRV
Rheinmetall retrofitted an exhaust modification to one
of its Boxer CRVs in an effort to bring down the vehicle’s
dust signature when operating in dry environments, DTR has
The modification was introduced to the vehicle prior to its
delivery for the Land 400 Phase 2 Risk Mitigation Activity
(RMA) in late 2016. This followed observations of the Boxer
CRV driving on dusty test tracks in Germany where direction
of exhaust efflux downwards creates noticeable dust clouds.
Vehicle dust signatures are not normally an issue for the
German Army operating on home soil where rainfall is higher
and the ground contains more moisture, but become tactical
considerations in drier operating environments such as
those found across Australia and elsewhere. The standard
Boxer exhaust arrangement can be seen in this image.
DTR’s own observations at Puckapunyal during late
summer this year seemed to indicate a difference between
the dust kicked up by the unmodified Boxer CRV and the
BAE Systems AMV35, its rival in the Land 400 competition.
As with any heavy vehicle operating in dry/dusty conditions,
it was noteworthy that both the Boxer CRV and AMV35
could be first detected by their dust signatures before either
could be heard or spotted against the background of the
Australian bush landscape.
Based on the German Army’s ‘desert’ exhaust kit
introduced several years ago on Boxers then operating in
BELOW: Elements of the Boxer CRV’s ‘desert’ exhaust kit
highlighted. Image: DTR
Afghanistan, the principle change to the kit on the Boxer
CRV sees the portside exhaust duct (located between the
second and third road wheels) modified to vent to the side
instead of vertically down. This has the effect of venting the
exhaust efflux away from the ground and sharply reducing
the amount of dust kicked up, thereby lowering the dust
cloud visual signature.
The other modification is to the powerpack cooling air
outlet module on the portside hull flank above the second
wheel station, with a rubber deflector attached to direct
cooling air efflux upwards and away from the ground.
However, the installation of the Rheinmetall Active Defence
System (ADS) along the hull flank covers the air outlet and
prevents the deflector being fitted, and so cooling air efflux
is still directed downward. A Boxer CRV fitted with ADS
and the sideways pointing exhaust duct participated in the
RMA. Rheinmetall will devise a permanent cooling air outlet
solution for serial production of Boxer CRV if successful in
its Phase 2 bid.
– Ian Bostock
Rubber strip deflects
cooling air efflux upwards
Duct expels exhaust
efflux out to the side
CLICK FOR VIDEO OF A BOXER CRV
FITTED WITH THE FULL MODIFIED
EXHAUST KIT, AND ANOTHER WITH
THE ACTIVE DEFENCE SYSTEM AND
ONLY PART OF THE EXHAUST KIT
ABOVE: Views of TALONS during testing from the USN patrol
boat USS Zephyr. Images: DARPA Image: ICT
ABOVE: TALONS seen elevated above the ACTUV
submarine hunter during testing last year.
DARPA demonstrates towed sensor mast
High-tech helmet jump tested
An innovative elevated sensor mast developed by the US
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has
been tested from a US Navy (USN) vessel for the first time.
The Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS) was
evaluated aboard the 53m Cyclone-class patrol boat USS
Zephyr over three days near Naval Station Mayport, Florida in
March this year.
The testing demonstrated safe and routine operation of
TALONS from the ship’s deck under a variety of sea states
and wind conditions without adversely affecting the ship’s
operational capability. In tests, the system significantly
improved the ship’s ability to detect, track and classify
contacts of interest. It also increased communications range
between the ship and remote platforms such as the USS
Zephyr’s rigid hull inflatable boats.
Using a parasail-like chute, TALONS is designed to be
towed behind surface craft and ships and persistently elevate
intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance sensors and
communications payloads of up to 68kg to altitudes between
500 (152m) and 1,500ft (457m) above sea level – many
times higher than ships’ masts. The greatly increased altitude
significantly extends the range and effectiveness of radar,
sensors and radio equipment.
For example, TALONS’ surface-track radar extended its
range by 500 per cent compared to its range at sea level.
Its electro-optical/infra-red scanner doubled its observed
discrimination range, while the range of a commercial hand-
held omni-directional radio more than tripled.
According to DARPA, testing from the USS Zephyr
exceeded expectations in both deployment and recovery of
the system. Work with the USN will continue in 2018 with the
aim of fully automating launch and recovery, thereby making
it more effective for use on both manned and unmanned
In October 2016, TALONS was successfully tested
from DARPA’s Anti-Submarine Warfare Continuous Trail
Unmanned Vessel (known as ACTUV) as part of open-
water testing off the coast of California. TALONS is part of
DARPA’s Phase 1 research for Tern, a joint program between
DARPA and the USN’s Office of Naval Research.
– Staff Reporters
The US Army continues to test leading-edge body armour
technologies, including the new Integrated Head Protection
The IHPS is one of the six components of the Soldier
Protection System (body armour), providing a larger area of
protection for the head and face, and includes a system to
measure head trauma.
Overall, the IHPS is a little lighter than the current Army
Combat Helmet and includes various features such as a
mandible, visor, night vision goggle attachment device, rails
and a modular ballistic appliqué.
Part of the testing for the IHPS by the US Army Operational
Test Command’s Airborne and Special Operations Test
Directorate (ABNSOTD) is conducting evaluations during
and following jumps by airborne paratroopers. The purpose
of the jump tests is to collect data to evaluate the suitability
and safety of the IHPS when worn during static line airborne
During the test, soldiers trained on the IHPS which
included familiarisation, fitting and suspended harness. All
this was followed by a live parachute jump from a C-17A
Globemaster III heavy airlifter at 1,250ft (381m) above
ground level over Fort Bragg’s Sicily drop zone.
According to the office of Program Manager Soldier
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