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Stryker combat vehicles getting hull, engine upgrades
by Richard Tomkins
Washington (UPI) Oct 15, 2014


ATK receives orders for non-U.S. standard ammunition
Arlington, Va. (UPI) Oct 14, 2014 - Non-U.S. standard ammunition is to be produced by ATK for U.S. allies under a contract from the Department of Defense, the company announced.

The two separate ammunition orders were received in August and September, the company said this week, and come under the company's indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity and Basic Ordering Agreement contracts with the U.S. military, which are worth a total of $203.7 million.

ATK, which manufactures ammunition, precision weapons and rocket motors, did not specify the amount of non-U.S. standard, or NSA, ammunition ordered or their calibers.

"We are honored to support our Army customer in every facet of ammunition requirements they may have, and these significant awards will continue ATK's legacy of commitment and performance to the U.S. Army NSA program," said Kent Holiday, vice president and general manager of ATK's Small Caliber Systems division.

"ATK's ability to satisfy varied munitions needs provides a strategic advantage to the United States as it supports its allies across the globe," said Mike Kahn, president of ATK's Defense Group.

Bulgarian military receiving Commando Select armored vehicles
Washington (UPI) Oct 15, 2014 - Textron Systems Marine and Land Systems is supplying 10 of its Commando Select armored vehicles to Bulgaria under a Foreign Military Sales contract.

The contract, worth more than $15.2 million, was awarded to the company by the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Warren, Mich.

The four-wheel drive vehicles -- along with related fielding hardware and technical services -- will initially be deployed in support of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

"We're pleased to be delivering an expanded armored vehicle capability to the Bulgarian military," said Tom Walmsley, Marine and Land Systems senior vice president and general manager. "Our customer values both the level of performance and protection offered by these vehicles, as well as the support and training services our team can provide throughout each vehicle's life cycle."

According to the company three variants of the Commando Select will be delivered by the end of next June: turreted vehicles with co-axially mounted 40mm Mk-19 and .50 caliber machine guns, a command-and-control variant with turret, and an ambulance variant.

The command-and-control variant will feature Textron Systems' remote video terminal technology, which will enable real-time situational awareness from unmanned systems and other sources.

The U.S. Army plans to upgrade additional flat-bottomed Stryker combat vehicles to the "Double V-Hull" configuration beginning in 2017.

The upgrade, which will involve not more than 360 existing vehicles, will give the Army a total of four out of nine Stryker Brigade Combat Teams with the strengthened hulls.

Lt. Col. Jason Toepfer, the program manager for Stryker development, said at the 2014 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition this week that the conversions would take place at facilities such as the Anniston Army Depot in Alabama and will cost about 30 percent less than purchasing new Strykers.

"I think that's pretty remarkable, the fact we are able to leverage the organic industrial base that we have at our depot, at Anniston ... and converge them to create a fully-functioning, capable vehicle, without having to start from scratch," Toepfer said.

In addition to the new hulls, the Army will upgrade the vehicles will new, more powerful engines to compensate for a loss in performance capability brought on by additional vehicle weight.

"When we built the DVH Stryker, we found a way to keep soldiers alive and protect them," Toepfer said. "But we did that at a small cost. We gave up mobility, we added more weight to that vehicle. We also had an additional power burden.

"In moving that amount of weight, plus the Army technologies that have been added on since then, we put a significant tax on the power and on the network that is on the current vehicle. So we needed to find a way to mitigate that, and buy some of that back."

A 450-HP engine, a more powerful 910-amp power generator, a chassis upgrade to handle the new engine, and improvements to the vehicle's internal network, are all part of the upgrade.

Those vehicles already converted to the DVH configuration did not receive the engine upgrades but will do so at a later date, he said.

The Double V-Hull design gives troops within the vehicle greater protection from mine and improvised explosive device blasts.

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