September 2023 | technology report | Armoured vehicles
by Gordon Arthur
The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is moving ahead with production of the AMV 8x8 armoured vehicle from Patria, as well as lining up new Type 16 MCV 8x8 variants from Mitsubishi.
Above: Japan has signed a licensing agreement with Japan Steel Works for the AMVxp from Finnish firm Patria. (Photo: Patria)
On 31 August, Patria Group and Japan Steel Works signed a licensing agreement covering the manufacture of the former’s AMVxp 8x8 armoured vehicle in the East Asian nation.
This signing confirmed that negotiations over licensing have been concluded, with Japan set to be the AMV’s ninth user nation.
Janne Räkköläinen, senior VP of market area world at Patria, stated: ‘Patria is fully committed to delivering the JGSDF’s WAPC programme as agreed, and we are extremely satisfied to have Japan Steel Works (JSW) as our manufacturing partner in Japan.’
He continued: ‘Both companies have over 100 years of experience in providing top-of-the-line quality products for customers with the most demanding needs. JSW is a top-quality manufacturer locally, and Patria foresees that JSW is an excellent manufacturing partner and will execute projects fully up to Patria and global standards.’
Neither party has announced how many vehicles will eventually be required, nor when delivery will commence, although clues were found in the recently published Defense of Japan 2023 document. This listed requests for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on 1 April 2024, and they included 28 AMVxp vehicles to be procured for JPY20.3 billion ($138 million).
Shephard understands that the MoD plans to procure around 140 AMVs over a five-year period under the country’s recently formulated defence build-up programme. However, with 330 Type 96 WAPCs in service, more will likely be needed.
Japan issued an RfI for this new-generation WAPC programme on 29 August 2020, with the AMVxp triumphing over the Mobile Armored Vehicle (MAV) from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).
Above: MHI has developed new variants of the Type 16 MCV, with production set to be funded from next year. (Photo: Gordon Arthur)
The MAV was based on the Type 16 Manoeuvre Combat Vehicle (MCV) armed with a 105mm gun, of which the JGSDF will eventually receive around 250 examples. Some 100 have been delivered to date, and an additional 19 MCVs will be requested in the FY2024 budget for JPY17.1 billion.
The JGSDF has also been testing three MCV variants that were completed in early 2022. In June 2020, the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency awarded MHI a JPY2.35 billion contract to build three prototypes: a combat reconnaissance vehicle equipped with sensors and cameras; an infantry combat vehicle; and a 120mm manoeuvre mortar combat vehicle.
These vehicles will form a family known as the Common Tactical Wheeled Vehicle, with the MCV likely to remain the heaviest at 26t. The Defense of Japan 2023 document listed funding of JPY24.6 billion for 24 infantry combat vehicles, and JPY8.2 billion for eight mortar vehicles.
Anxious about the strategic environment – which includes an expansionist China, an unpredictable North Korea and a combative Russia – the MoD submitted a request for a record budget of $52.9 billion from the Ministry of Finance for FY2024.
Next article below > Poland continues army expansion with trio of armoured vehicle contracts
september 2023 | technology report | armoured vehicles
by Grzegorz Sobczak
The Polish Ministry of Defence has approved three new contracts for army vehicle procurement and development, covering wheeled and tracked infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and tactical 4x4s.
Above: A rendering of the new Polish heavy IFV developed by HSW on the basis of the Krab SPH's chassis. (Image: PGZ)
Earlier this week, a consortium of PGZ (Polish Armament Group) and Huta Stalowa Wola (HSW) signed a framework agreement for supply of 700 new heavy IFVs across a number of variants.
The basic version will be equipped with a ZSSW-30 remote-controlled turret, armed with a 30mm cannon. The vehicle can carry three crew members and eight assault troops.
The new IFV will be developed from the K9 Thunder chassis, which is already manufactured by HSW as the basis of the Krab self-propelled howitzer, under licence from South Korea’s Hanwha.
‘The first vehicle will be built in a relatively short time because many of the elements and systems are already manufactured by Polish companies,’ Beata Perkowska, communications manager at PGZ, told Shephard.
‘We will build a number of vehicles to perform some tests at the same time, however some trials, such as reliability, will be performed on one vehicle,’ she added.
According to a PGZ statement, the first test vehicle should be ready at the end of this year. The new heavy IFVs will be complementary to the lighter and smaller Borsuk.
The Polish Defence Minister also signed a contract on Monday for almost 400 4x4 light reconnaissance vehicles, which will be a 'Polonised' version of the KLTV manufactured by South Korea’s KIA.
These will be supplied by the Polish Rosomak company, a PGZ subsidiary and manufacturer of the eponymous wheeled IFV.
They will have a number of modifications compared to the Korean version, to fulfil specific requirements of the Polish Army. The vehicle will provide crew protection at STANAG 4596 Level I. Delivery is scheduled for 2024 to 2030.
According to a Polish Armament Agency statement, this will be the first of a number of contracts for light tactical vehicles developed in cooperation with KIA.
‘The Rosomak company will develop its manufacturing capability for the new 4x4 vehicle assembly and production,’ Perkowska said.
Manufacturing processes will be transferred from Korea to Poland in stages. According to Perkowska, vehicle body production in Poland should start in 2028.
The third agreement signed by the Polish MoD is for new wheeled Serwal IFVs from the Rosomak company. These will supplement Rosomak vehicles manufactured under licence based on the Finnish Patria AMV chassis. This licence arrangement limits Polish vehicle exports.
The new Serwal, although based on the Rosomak design, will be offered for other customers. Deliveries to the Polish Army are scheduled for 2028 to 2035.