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BAE Systems will as usual be exhibiting at the 2012 Eurosatory defense and security exhibition in Paris June 11-15. The company plans to focus on five major products at this year’s exhibition.
M777 Lightweight Field Howitzer: BAE has made innovative use of aluminum and titanium to produce the world’s first 155mm howitzer with a weight of less than 10,000 pounds. Both the U.S. Army and Marine Corps have placed this weapon into service, beginning with an initial contract for 94 units executed in November 2002. The full requirement is for over 700 guns. It is a towed howitzer that thanks to its relatively light weight can also be sling-loaded by helicopter. It can fire two rounds per minute sustained or up to five rounds per minute for two minutes out to 24.7 kilometers (for unassisted projectiles; range increases to over 30 kilometers for rocket-assisted rounds). A trained crew can emplace the weapon in less than three minutes and displace it in less than two.
CV90 Armored Vehicle: BAE bills the CV90 as “the world’s most modern platform in the 25-40 [metric ton] class.” Originally designed for the Swedish Army, it has since been adopted by the militaries of smaller European countries including Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, and the Netherlands. Consequently, it has seen action in Afghanistan with NATO forces. Essentially a light tank in appearance, it has a number of variants to fill both tank and infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) roles.
The CV90120 fits a Rheinmetall 120 LLR L47 120mm gun. Naturally, with substantially lighter armor—it weighs about half what an M1 Abrams does—this version relies on maneuverability for battlefield survival against traditional main battle tanks.
The CV9030 is one of the IFV variants, equipped with a 30mm Bushmaster II cannon (the U.S. Bradley IFV uses a 25mm Bushmaster) and add-on armor. The CV9035 upgrades to a 35mm Bushmaster III and, like the M2A3 Bradley, has a commander’s optical sight that functions independently of the gunner’s system and can hand off targets. The CV9040, with a 40mm Bofors cannon, is Sweden’s main battle tank and includes a stabilized turret for shoot-on-the-move capability.
The CV90 Armadillo is a turretless variant employed in a number of battlefield support roles, including armored recovery vehicle, mortar carrier, ambulance, command vehicle, personnel carrier, or engineer vehicle.
RG35 4×4: The RG35 comes in both 4×4 and 6×6 variants, though it is the 4×4 version that will be appearing at Eurosatory this year. The 4×4 serves primarily in lighter roles and has been considered by the Canadian Army as its Tactical Armored Patrol Vehicle. This version can be equipped with a light or medium turret or a mortar system. When used a reconnaissance vehicle, it can be fitted with day and night cameras and sensors. As with most vehicles in this category, based on lessons learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, it provides extensive protection to the crew against mines and IEDs.
BVS10 All-Terrain Armored Vehicle: A battlefield support vehicle, the BVS10 is a tracked, articulated vehicle with a carrying capacity of six metric tons. As with most support vehicles, it can mount a modest weapon system, which in the BVS10’s case comes as a remotely-operated weapons station equipped with a 5.56mm, 7.62mm, or 12.7mm machine gun or a 40mm grenade launcher. It has a rather impressive Selex Gallileo sensor suite that incorporates LSAS day and night cameras, a DNVS4 driver’s night vision system, the Boomerang sniper detection system, and mast-mounted day and night sensors and a laser rangefinder.
Archer Self-Propelled Field Howitzer: Originally designed in response to a requirement by the Swedish Army for two battalions of self-propelled artillery, the Archer howitzer was designed by BAE subsidiary Bofors. The prototypes were completed in 2010. It mounts the FH77 BW L52 155mm howitzer on a 6×6 Volvo A30D truck chassis. With a sustained rate of fire of 75 rounds per hour and ranges of 40 kilometers with standard ammunition, it can sling the GPS-guided M982 Excalibur round out to 60 kilometers. One feature that sets the Archer apart is its use of a 20-round magazine and a fully-automatic loader.
The BAE Systems stand will be located in Hall 6, space J100 and at an outdoor display area for this year’s Eurosatory.