AUSA 2018: First public appearance of SAIC 105mm Light Tank MPF programme
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American Company SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation) presents for the first time to the public its concept of 105mm light tank at AUSA 2018, the Association of United States Army Exhibition and Conference that takes place in Washington D.C., United States. This project is developed to response to the MPF (Mobile Protected Firepower) programme of U.S. Army.
SAIC project of light tank with CMI Defence Cockerill 3105 weapon station at AUSA 2018, Association of United States Army defense exhibition in Washington D.C., United States. (Picture source Army Recognition)
In November 2017, U.S. Army issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase of its Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program. To maximize competition, the Army anticipates awarding up to two contracts for the EMD (Engineering & Manufacturing Development) phase in early Fiscal Year 2019.
In September 2018, it was announced that the U.S. Army plans to build first prototypes of light tanks for the Mobile Protected Firepower in the next several years. According to Major General David Bassett, programme executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, the new light tank will be a tracked combat vehicle weighs 25–35 tonnes, offering good level of protection and fire power.
The SAIC light tank is a joint project with ST Engineering's Land Systems sector of Singapore and CMI Defence from Belgium to develop a new generation of combat vehicle that offers the U.S. Army an innovative solution that provides infantry forces access to combat environments in 21st century operations.
Based on ST Engineering's Land Systems sector Next Generation Armored Fighting Vehicle (NGAFV) chassis and CMI Defence’s Cockerill Series 3105 turret currently in production, SAIC will compete for an Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract to build prototypes that incorporate a lightweight combat vehicle design while still providing mobility and lethality for U.S. Army units.
The ST Engineering's Land Systems sector Next Generation Armored Fighting Vehicle was presented for the first time to the public during the Singapore AirShow in February 2017. The vehicle is powered by a 710 hp MTU 8V-199 TE20 diesel coupled to a Kinetics Drive Solution (KDS) HMX3000, which provides a power-to-weight ratio of 24.5 hp/tone. This enables the vehicle to achieve a maximum stated speed of 70 km/h and operating range of 500 km.
The SAIC light is fitted with a two-man turret Cockerill 3105 designed and developed by the Belgian Company CMI Defence. The turret is armed with a NATO standard Cockerill 105mm HP gun able to fire standard ammunition but also anti-tank missile. The turret is fitted an ammunition auto-loading system with 12 to 16 rounds ready to fire. The turret offers high level of ballistic protection up to Level 5 STANAG 45469. The turret has a traverse of 360° with elevation from -10° to +42°.
In its standard configuration, the Cockerill 3000 Series weapon station provides full digital weapon stabilisation and computerised fire control to deliver high precision engagements. The turret is also equipped with thermal and day sights to offer 24-hour operation whether the vehicle is static or moving.