20 Years of DSEI: Latest Land Warfare Developments

Out of six zones that make up the DSEI event, the Land Zone stood out with a vast array of innovative industrial advancements throughout the event

Issue: 4 / 2019By Ayushee ChaudharyPhoto(s): By DSEI
Mobile solutions on display at DSEI 2019

One of the largest and most significant arms fair in the world wrapped a successful 20th year, held from September 10 to13, 2019, in London. This biennial event under the name of Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) is a principal event that brings together governments, national armed forces, industry leaders and the global defence and security supply chain on an unrivaled scale. DSEI comprises of five zones dedicated to different branches of the armed forces, named as the Aerospace Zone, the Land Zone, the Naval Zone, the Security Zone, and the Innovation Zone featuring the innovations of the entire defense and security community.

Land Zone

Being the largest zone at DSEI, the Land Zone features the latest in vehicles, weapons, ammunition, and equipment. This year DSEI witnessed first-hand display of some of the most recent developments and innovations from exhibitors from around the world through conferences, displays, announcements and exhibition.

Land Warfare Highlights

Being one of the largest arms fair, it is no surprise that some of the major and most significant announcements of the arms companies (both big and small) are witnessed at DSEI. A few of them from this year’s DSEI include:

  • At DSEI, the Anti-UAV Defence System (AUDS) consortium revealed a revamped version of its counter-UAS (C-UAS) which has been designed to support mobility requirements in the land domain. The consortium, which includes Enterprise Control Systems (ECS); Blighter Surveillance; and Chess Dynamics, has designed a lower profile AUDS solution, called the Modular Integrated Pod System (MIPS), allows endusers to ‘rapidly configure the system for intended missions including mobile force protection; mobile short-range air defence; long-range surveillance; or ground-based air defence’.
  • Four new small-caliber ammunitions were showcased by FN Herstal (a leading firearms manufacturer) to address new threats faced by militaries as well as recent trends like environmental regulations. The FN ARIA .50 RR rounds are designed as reduced range cartridges, intended for ranges below 3.5 km. The cartridges do not require re-zeroing or converted weapons, and are intended to be used for training with .50 caliber weapons.
  • Two new payload-agnostic, modular solutions have been developed by Chess Dynamics, a principal defence and aerospace subsystem supplier, to comply with increased flexibility in military requirements and cost-efficiency in land-based surveillance and target acquisition.
  • UK’s Spectra Group exhibited its Sling-Shot communications, a lightweight system that enables existing, in-service tactical military and commercial VHF/ UHF radios to utilise commercial L-band satellite coverage (COMSATCOM). Sling-Shot provides reliable, secure communications between widely dispersed military forces and/or civilian agencies operating in austere and hostile environments, without the need for deploying additional infrastructure.
  • SIG Sauer (involved in the designing and manufacturing of firearms) announced the rewarding of a contract by the US Army to supply its complete system for the next-generation squad weapons (NGSW) programme. This entails the company’s lightweight machine gun, rifle, suppressors and the 6.8mm hybrid ammunition.
  • A new Universal Radio Group (URG)- IV wideband High Frequency (HF) communications system was officially launched at the DSEI 2019 by Collins Aerospace Systems; aimed at land and naval customers who require a cheaper alternative to SATCOM. The ground station consists of Collins’ new RT-2200A wideband HF radio and PA-2010 1kW power amplifier housed together with other equipment in a moveable package.
  • Rohde & Schwarz displayed its new WPU2000 wideband processing unit perched at the core of a next-generation electronic intelligence (ELINT) solution devised to collect, process and analyse complex radar emissions.

Display

With some of the latest vehicles on spectacle transported by collaborations from prime companies, specialist SMEs and manufacturers, the Static Display occupies the center stage in the Land Zone. Below are some of the highlights and displays from the show:

  • In the British Army Static Display area, a pod of six of MBDA’s Brimstone precision strike missile (PSM) integrated onto a Milrem Robotics THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) could be seen.
  • A new version of its Fletcher weapon system was launched by Arnold Defense. The Multiple Launch Hydra System (MLHS) was displayed installed on the Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG LTTV platform. The LTTV i.e. the Light Tactical Transport Vehicle was also launched at DSEI by Jankel. With a payload of over 3 tonnes, the LTTV has three core variants for special operations support.
  • A Fletcher rocket launcher was also on display during the event on the BAE Systems Stand, mounted on the Level Peaks M205 tripod a Capco mount plate.
  • Rafael Advanced Defense Systems exhibited the Spike family of multiplatform, multipurpose, electro-optical guided missiles, with varying ranges up to 30 km, including the fifth-generation Spike LR2.
  • Turkish company Otokar transported its latest Tulpar tracked combat vehicle in the infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) configuration, fitted with its Mizrak-30 turret armed with a stabilised Northrop Grumman Armament Systems 30mm dual-feed cannon and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun (MG).
  • Space and power electronics engineering firm, AEI Systems showcased its latest Venom Low recoil (LR) 30mm cannon, which is targeted at installation in turrets and remote weapon stations (RWSs). At DSEI, it was integrated into the Slovenian Midgard 300 Lite RWS.

DSEI comprises of five zones dedicated to different branches of the armed forces, named as the Aerospace Zone, the Land Zone, the Naval Zone, the Security Zone and the Innovation Zone featuring the innovations of the entire defense and security community

The firsts

Even in its 20th year, DSEI was not short of primary appearances of companies, instruments, vehicles, programmes, etc. Some of the first at DSEI 2019 were:

  • A British multi-faceted engineering company which is also among the leading specialists across the globe in the design and development of high mobility defence vehicles, Supacat, showcased its latest High Mobility Transporter (HMT) Extenda Mk 2, which it says “offers a step change in capacity with an enhanced suspension system enabling the gross vehicle weight to increase to 12,000 kg from 10,500 kg and increased crew seating from four to six”.
  • The BAE Systems’ Bofors Archer 155mm/52 caliber self-propelled artillery system integrated onto the rear of a Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles HX2 series (8x8) cross-country vehicle with a fully protected forward control cab is also a first.
  • The German Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) Boxer Armoured Recovery Module (ARM) also made its debut. The ARM with seating for the commander and gunner weighs about 13 tonnes and is a direct replacement for the existing mission module and adds substantial new capabilities to the Boxer.
  • Finnish company Patria also exhibited its latest Armoured Wheeled Vehicle (AWV) fitted with the 120mm Nemo turret mortar system for the first time. Featuring a high rate of fire, it can perform a multiple-round simultaneous-impact fire mission, in which five 120mm mortar bombs impact the target at the same time for maximum effect.
  • UK-based MSI-Defence Systems has made it’s first foray into the land-based weapon systems market with the launch of its MSI-DS Terrahawk remote weapon station (RWS) during DSEI.
  • In another first, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems showcased its complete all-inone Samson 30mm remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS), integrated with two Spike missiles and the Trophy Active Protections System (APS). Trophy is the only operational, safety-certified APS, providing combat-proven protection in the world against anti-armor rocket and missile threats, for light, medium and heavyweight platforms.
  • General Robotics, a company specialising in developing, manufacturing and marketing advanced robotic systems for defence and homeland security applications, unveiled its new Pitbull-3, an ultra-lightweight remotely operated weapon station for the first time. It delivers highly accurate and reliable point-and-shoot technology while providing an effective solution for detecting and tracking all types of drones during flight, and enabling their neutralisation as well as downing.
  • Canada’s INKAS Armored Vehicle Manufacturing, a large manufacturer of high-quality protective armed vehicles made its debut at DSEI.