Supacat contribution to first Boxer CRV for Australian Army

Supacat was delighted today to be represented at the ceremony handing over the first Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle to the Commonwealth at Gallipoli Barracks.

Supacat has been involved with Rheinmetall on the LAND 400 program since 2015.  To date the contribution has largely been on engineering, trials, prototyping and testing, but as the program has moved into the production element, Supacat has commenced design and build activities.

The first Boxer CRV is fitted with external racks designed by Supacat specifically to cater for the Australian Army’s requirements.  The racks were designed by the Supacat engineering team in Port Melbourne and have been delivered from Supacat’s assembly facility in Western Sydney.

In delivering these first parts, Supacat drew on the  expertise developed through its delivery of its HMT programs in Australia and New Zealand in partnership with Australian SME’s under the Supacat Team Asia Pacific banner.  These first deliveries exercised the skills of a number of Australian SMEs including Able Industries, Hoffmann Engineering and C.E. Bartlett.  Supacat’s involvement in the program clearly illustrates the benefits of the enduring capability developed as a result of Defence Industry policy.

Michael Halloran, Managing Director, Supacat, said “It’s an exciting day for all of the members of the Rheinmetall LAND400 team.  This is just the start of a long production run, and as MILVEHCOE opens in 2020 and the full production capability evolves on Australian soil, we look forward to growing our part in the program.”  Mr Halloran added, “We are also very excited to be entering the RMA stage of LAND400 Phase 3 and supporting the Rheinmetall team through that process.”

UK company pioneers autonomous hybrid vehicle for extreme off road operations

Supacat unveils `optionally manned hybrid` Demonstrator at DSEi

At DSEi 2019 the world leading Special Forces vehicle developer, Supacat, is unveiling its Technology Demonstrator for hybrid and optionally manned operations, developed to keep pace with battlefield logistical requirements on extreme terrain and unpredictable routes.

The Technology Demonstrator has been developed by UK headquartered Supacat in collaboration with the University of Exeter as part of an Innovate UK-supported Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

Electric Hybrid propulsion and autonomous technologies are two important innovations that will enhance the capabilities of users of our in service high mobility platforms.  We have focussed our efforts on designing open system architectures, allowing extensive use of commercial off the shelf (COTS) components, which we see as key to a successful and sustainable military solution in a rapidly evolving technology sector”, explains Steve Austen, Engineering Director of Supacat parent, SC Group.

It is in Supacat’s DNA to tailor its platforms and solutions to each customer’s requirements. Our approach uses a common electric drivetrain, each of which can be customised through different powering options depending on mission, range, payload and operating environment.  For example, a customer may have a mission profile with a mixture of on road and off road operations, with a need for silent operation for a percentage of time – the proportion of these components will determine whether series or parallel hybrid options are employed or if full electric propulsion is needed. As battery or fuel cell technology advances and diesel engine development responds to legislation, these options will inevitably change and we must provide vehicle architectures that can accommodate such evolution”, Austen comments.

We are exploring, developing and incorporating autonomous technologies in a way that will permit the level of collaboration and control from human to vehicle or from vehicle to vehicle to be altered depending on the complexity of the work being undertaken. Allowing vehicles to be `optionally manned` will remove users from the `dull, dirty or dangerous` tasks wherever possible and create a real operational advantage for the end user”, says Austen.

The ‘optionally manned’ demonstrator utilises:

  • a terrain detection and response system for enhanced mobility and optimised endurance,
  • an object categorisation and response system for obstacle clearance or avoidance during technical off road driving, which can be tailored to the capabilities of the vehicle, driver or a remote operator, and
  • a path planning and motion behaviour system using simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) for the navigation of lead and follow on vehicles.

 Few autonomous vehicle projects focus on highly technical off road terrain.  The challenge here is to manage and reduce the volume of data needed about the unpredictable non-linear environment around the vehicle to assure effective, safe and predictable performance without having to import and export masses of data from it”, notes Austen.

The Technology Demonstrator uses the Supacat workhorse, the All Terrain Mobility Platform (ATMP), as its base vehicle as ATMP is a mature, battle proven and relatively simple product, enabling the development programme to focus on the new technologies and capabilities and subsequently allowing rapid development. It retains the renowned mobility and class leading payload of the original vehicle (up to 1600g).

Supacat is welcoming potential users and customers to demonstrations at its Devon facility over the next six months and is actively seeking new mission challenges that enable them to benchmark the performance of the vehicle and level of autonomy achieved during continued development in conducting realistic tasks.  Use of Machine Learning, supported by Neural Networks will continue to allow the system to develop and be adapted to different off road vehicles and applications.

Supacat is exhibiting at DSEI 2019 on Stand N9-350, 10-13 March 2019

Underside of autonomous hybrid ATMP


Supacat, Rheinmetall and SCISYS partnership showcases new High Mobility Integrated Fires Capability

Supacat, Rheinmetall Defence and SCISYS have partnered to showcase a new capability for light forces, the ‘High Mobility Integrated Fires Capability’, at DSEi.  The partnership demonstrates Supacat’s 6×6 HMT platform mounted with Rheinmetall’s MWS81 mortar system in its first integration on a light vehicle.  The target acquisition and integrated fire support platform is networked with SCISYS GVA compliant platform and mission software.

Supacat’s highly mobile HMT platforms with their superior off road performance allow users to perform high tempo operations delivering indirect fire for light role forces while the MWS81 mortar capability allows for rapid ‘into action time’.  The Vingmate sight provides target acquisition and location during day and night operations, with targets being shared over the battlespace data network enabling Support Weapon effects to be directed precisely onto targets.

The SCISYS developed GVA compliant platform and mission software shares data and video around the platform to each crew member’s display and into the battlespace networks, enhancing shared situational awareness and speed of decision making.  The displays are supplied by Leonardo.

This enhanced capability is a first for light forces and offers a solution to a number of potential requirements among the green army and Special Forces”, said Phil Applegarth, Head of Supacat.

High Mobility Integrated Fires Capability is being demonstrated on the Supacat stand N9-350 on Supacat’s HMT Extenda Mk2 Special Forces vehicle, which is also making its show debut at DSEi. 

Supacat grows engineering services supporting Rheinmetall on UK and Australian defence programmes

Supacat, the UK headquartered Special Forces vehicle developer, is growing its Engineering Services, in parallel to its core OEM vehicle business, to support global primes on defence programmes.  At DSEi 2019 Supacat is highlighting its collaboration with Rheinmetall on four key programmes – the UK’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) Boxer, Challenger 2 Life Extension Programme (CR2 LEP) and the Scout SV turret and on Australia’s Land 400 Phase 2.

With UK MoD announcements expected on CR2 LEP and MIV, we are fully committed to supporting Rheinmetall wherever we can add value. We currently have engineers on placement with Rheinmetall Landsystemes at Kassel and Unterluess working on ongoing programmes”, said Phil Applegarth, Head of Supacat.

Supacat is renowned for its innovation in developing platforms such as the HMT `Jackal`, and brings this experience in delivering fully-engineered, integrated and battle-ready vehicle systems to both the UK and Australian MoD from its operations in each country.  It is distinctive in the market in offering primes a full OEM engineering capability but with the responsiveness and flexibility of an SME (Small to Medium Enterprise).

The relationship gives Rheinmetall the agility to rapidly draw on additional and specialist resources from engineering design to rapid prototyping and manufacture through to project and supply chain management”, said Thomas Zierke, Vice President Programmes at Rheinmetall Landsysteme.

Supacat is exhibiting at DSEI 2019 on Stand N9-350, 10-13 March 2019

Pictured: Mock turret for Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (CR2), manufactured by Supacat to allow validation of the internal layout and optimisation for human interface factors including evacuation.


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