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Army. A grand total of around 50 trucks were provided, with each supplier’s
product tested separately and in conditions of considerable secrecy.
At the conclusion of these trials Defence moved the trucks to the Army
School of Transport in Puckapunyal, Victoria. During this timeframe
contenders were able to train the drivers in the correct use and management
of the vehicles and their systems. Two of the primes transported drivers
to either the UK or USA to undertake advanced off road training. Back
at Puckapunyal testing occurred within the Safe Driving area – a traffic
restricted training area consisting of purpose built typical city and
suburban roads. Vehicles were also tested in the off road areas of the base
- som e of which are used by the School of Armour for it’s LAVs and M1A1
AIM Abrams tanks and then in other country areas of Victoria.
The vehicles for the next stage were driven from Puckapunyal, heading
Once in Townsville they under went testing at the High Range and were
put through an extensive list of tests to evaluate their performance and
Thinking strategically and long-term, Defence extended an invitation
to other interested DCP projects related in the land business to undertake
assessments of the LAND 121 vehicles to assist with them determining
suitability for their own projects.
vehicles in the following classes:
Medium Weight Cab Chassis (2.5 tonne)
Medium Weight Tray (5 tonne)
Medium Integrated Load Handling System (10 tonne)
Medium Recovery (10 tonne)
Heavy ILHS (16.5 tonne)
Heavy Recovery (16.5 tonne)
Medium & Heavy Truck Tractors (30 + tonnes).
Approximately 3000 trailers will also be acquired with a combination
of types and capabilities. Trailers will be acquired for each vehicle type
Heavy capability vehicle these will include, Semi trailers, Plant equipment
trailers, and Heavy plant transporters.
The variants of these trailers will carry general freight, fuel, ammunition,
stores, containerized freight, tanks, other armoured Personnel Vehicles,
engineer plant and equipment, and specialised equipment modules.
Of the four vehicles were recently put through extensive testing ultimately
three vehicles were chosen as part of the next stage of Phase 3. The three
vehicles chosen via the down select process and to undergo further
evaluation are: MAN Military Vehicles Systems Australia HX range, Thales
Utility, which is a derivative of the Bushmaster and Mercedes- Benz
Australian Pacific with their Actros and Zectros range.
MAN MILITARY VEHICLE SYSTEMS
AUSTRALIA’S HX VEHICLE SERIES
MAN Military Vehicles currently supports the Australian Army with tank
transporters for the M1A1 AS AIM Abrams Tanks. On the back of this
success they are seeking to provide a variety of highly capable vehicles.
These include MAN HX or High Mobility Truck System based upon the
MAN civilian TGA and SX Extreme Mobility Trucks. The MAN High Mobility
Vehicle or HX and Extreme Mobility SX vehicles have been designed to
have an active military service life of up 30 years. Available in 4x4, 6x6 and
8x8 versions most variants have an unprepared fording depth of 75 cm
and are capable of a prepared depth of 1.5 m. The long wheel base permits
a climbing gradient of 60% depending upon the surface and without a
Trailer, Vehicle types on offer in the Medium to Heavy range include the
HX 18.330 4x4 (HX 60), HX 26.440 6x6 (HX 58), or HX 32.440 8x8 (HX 77)
and HX 43.680 8x8 Tractor (HX 81). Extreme Mobility Vehicles include the
Armoured Cabin) (SX 45). The box str ucture frame of the SX series ensures
that it does not pass on any torsion to carried payloads. This makes these
off road all terrain vehicles highly suitable for carrying sensitive payloads.
All HX and SX vehicles have parts, mechanical and driving commonality
with the civilian TG range of MAN vehicles.
The vehicle with the highest local content is Thales Utility, formerly known
as the Cooperhead - the tray back version of the Bushmaster. Building
upon operational experience of its sibling which are already in service with
the RAAF (Air Field Defence Guards), Australian Army, in addition to Dutch
and British forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor.
Partnering with US Oshkosk Defence Thales submitted five variants
based upon the US Marine Corps Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement
(MTVR) platform for comparative testing. It is capable of carrying 15
tonnes of payload on primary and secondary designated roads and 7
tonnes off road. Technologies embraced included the TAK-4 independent
suspension and the J1939 databus self-diagnostics systems and a Central
Tire Inflation System, (CTIS)
M.A.N. Tank transporter Credit: ADF
Zetros Credit: Mercedes Benz
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