KONGSBERG showcased a THeMIS Combat unit with their PROTECTOR RS6, the world’s most fielded Remote Weapon System. It featured the powerful M230 LF 30mm cannon. (Image: NDR)

Eurosatory2024 Newsflash: Radars, Robots and Howizers

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Nordic Defence Review reports from Eurosatory continue even after the fair. Here are some editorial picks from the news flow, with an emphasis on vehicles.

Estonia Secures KNDS CAESAR Howitzers, Joining Long List

CAESAR in action. (Image: Public Domain/Sgt. 1st Class Mikki Sprenkle/Wikimedia Commons)

During Eurosatory 2024, Estonia signed a contract to acquire 12 CAESAR self-propelled howitzers from the French company KNDS for the Estonian Defence Forces. The first six howitzers are scheduled for delivery in 2024, with the remaining six expected in 2025. The CAESAR can fire 39/52 calibre NATO-standard shells.

According to media reports, following Eurosatory 2024, KNDS’s orders for the 6×6 chassis CAESAR-type 155 mm calibre self-propelled howitzers now exceed 600 units, valued at $3.5 billion. Among the customers are Belgium (19 units plus 9 Mk II), the Czech Republic (52 units plus 10 Mk II on Tatra 8×8 chassis), France, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia (Mercedes-Benz 6×6 chassis), Lithuania (18 Mk II units), Thailand, Morocco, and Ukraine (from France and Denmark).

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Saab Introduces Lightweight Radar Module: Giraffe 1X Compact

Saab Giraffe 1X Compact Radar Module on the move (Image: Saab)

Saab showcased its Compact Radar Module for the Giraffe 1X radar at Eurosatory 2024. The Giraffe 1X provides commanders with high-quality air defence target data, drone detection for counter-UAS operations, and simultaneous sense and warn capabilities for rockets, artillery, and mortars. The entire system weighs less than 150 kg, with a topside weight of 100 kg. The Giraffe 1X has a large search volume of 75 km, and its 3D radar covers the entire search volume every second, capable of detecting any air threat, including Low, Slow and Small (LSS) targets.

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Built for Speed with Stealth and AI

Adaptive camouflage and onboard intelligence AI: Cockerill i-X. (Image: NDR)

Eurosatory2024. This new interface ensures that operators can manage complex systems with greater efficiency and precision, enhancing overall mission performance. John Cockerill claims that the i-X, launched in 2022, is the first military vehicle to utilize stealth and AI technologies. It can reach a maximum road speed of 200 km/h and 160 km/h in desert conditions, with a maximum cruising range of 600 km, and weighs 3.5 tonnes.

The vehicle is equipped with a thermal or hybrid thermal-electric drivetrain, a light and stealthy appearance management system with adaptive camouflage, and modifications to its IR and acoustic signature. It integrates multi-sensor data fusion technology, such as a Smart Helmet, onboard intelligence AI, cameras, and sensors like LWS, acoustic gunshot detection, and localization. It can integrate a suite of effective weapons, including 25mm, 30mm, missiles, and rockets.

The ballistic protection of the vehicle meets Level 2 STANAG 4569 standards against the firing of small arms with 7.62mm API (Armour Piercing Incendiary) calibre, while its mine protection is at Level 3, able to withstand an explosive blast of 8 kg TNT under the wheels and floor of the vehicle. The turret has a traverse of 360° with an elevation range from -10° to +60°. The weapon station can be used to engage both land and aerial targets.

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RoboWars: Milrem and Shark Robotics Take Over

KONGSBERG showcased a THeMIS Combat unit with their PROTECTOR RS6, the world’s most fielded Remote Weapon System. It featured the powerful M230 LF 30mm cannon. (Image: NDR)

Unmanned combat systems and robotic vehicles were increasingly showcased all over Eurosatory this year. Most distinctively, the Estonian Milrem Robotics was present alongside its industry partners: Avalor.AI, CNIM, KNDS, and KONGSBERG. Thales Belgium has integrated the FZ602 2-tube rocket launcher on Milrem’s vehicle. According to Milrem, the THeMIS UGV is already part of robotics programmes in 18 countries worldwide. It assists Ukrainian soldiers with casualty evacuation and route clearance in the war with Russia.

The French Shark Robotics showcased its Colossus at the fair. Colossus is an uncrewed ground vehicle developed with the Paris Fire Brigade. Colossus is a tracked Uncrewed Ground System (UGV) capable of carrying a payload of up to 500 kg. Its pulling capacity is 650 kg. Colossus features a self-cooling system which enables it to operate under extreme temperatures. In 2019, Colossus gained wide recognition when it participated in extinguishing the Notre Dame de Paris fire for 10 hours.

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