FAMOUS2 project - led by Partria.

Fast and FAMOUS: Unique European Armoured Vehicle Concept Unveiled to Boost Troop Mobility and Performance

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A new, unique multinational armoured vehicle concept was unveiled at Eurosatory 2024. Funded by the EU and nine member countries, the Patria-coordinated concept is planned to enter production by 2027.

With war still raging in Ukraine, the European Union aims to improve the mobility and performance of its member countries’ land troops. This long-term development project, European Future Highly Mobile Augmented Armoured Systems 2 (FAMOUS2), seeks to maximize synergies, standardization, and interoperability of armoured vehicles. It addresses highly demanding requirements like extreme heat or freezing conditions while introducing innovative and promising new technologies and concepts.

Major EU Funding

“We have now proceeded to the concept testing stage, and the performance of the future solution can be tested in practice,” said Mikko Karppinen, Senior Vice President, Protected Mobility and Defence Systems of Patria, at a launch event at Eurosatory 2024 in Paris. The EDF FAMOUS 2 project is financed by €95 million from the EU. A total of nine participating EU member states contribute €19 million to the project. The consortium includes a total of 35 companies (see the list at the end of the article). If needed, the armoured vehicles may be assembled in the customer’s country. Patria, the Finnish provider of defence, security, and aviation life-cycle support services, has plenty of experience in technology transfer in connection with armoured vehicle programs for example in Poland, Croatia, South Africa, Slovakia, Japan and Latvia.

Joining Forces to Challenge the Big

International joint projects such as the FAMOUS2 project coordinated by Patria have proven to be an effective way to challenge major defence market players. A recent example of this is Patria’s 6×6 CAVS program. The company is doing well with bigger vehicles, too. “In the 8×8 class, we are market leaders. No other company has sold APCs to as many countries as Patria,” mr. Karppinen said. “The fact that projects in Finland are put out to competitive tender and domestic industry does not have the role of a court supplier has made Finnish industry overall very cost-effective.”

Patria coordinates

Patria began the performance specification and design of the newly announced tracked armoured personnel carrier concept in 2019. Testing of the tracked platform started before the FAMOUS project in 2020, in collaboration with the European companies participating in the FAMOUS consortium and some external partners. Among the three alternative main configuration options for the ATV rubber roller platform, the best one was selected for further development. It is already advanced enough for Patria, as the main project coordinator, to begin surveying and selecting partners for further development. Patria’s own 6×6 vehicle solutions have been utilized in the vehicle’s upper structures. The development, prototyping, and verification testing, which started in 2022, aims to be completed by 2026, with series production starting in 2027.

Patria is primarily responsible for the design, system integration, and prototype manufacturing of the tracked vehicle for the EU’s EDF FAMOUS 2 project. The Finnish government is the managing country of the FAMOUS project and is also the main owner of Patria (50.1 percent). Norwegian Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS owns the remaining 49.9 percent of Patria’s stock. At the same time, Patria owns half of the ammunition manufacturer NAMMO, and these three together form a leading Nordic defence industry partnership, which Finland’s NATO membership will further deepen.

Multinational Development Project

The FAMOUS APC is a purebred combat vehicle project that has been designed and developed with performance requirements and purpose in mind from the start. The vehicle is specifically an APC where the speed is vital. The superior off-road mobility and top road speed of nearly 80 km/h, developed in the very demanding Finnish arctic and marshy terrains, as well as the marching endurance and driving ergonomics, are made possible by the developed structure of a single unbroken rubber roller platform and the low total weight of the vehicle of only 15 tons, coupled with a sufficiently efficient power source. Self-defence or light fire support weapon system options would primarily be unmanned light turret solutions with various weapon options, ranging from machine guns to missiles. The vehicle is also well-suited for hauling heavy mortar equipment or various other light trailers, such as maintenance or other support equipment.

Battle in Heat and Freeze

The main purpose of the configuration presented now is APC, i.e. crew transport to battle. The ATV also offers kinetic and mine protection, sufficient for the needs of a thoroughbred APC and enabling its mobility, meeting the requirement level of the STANAG K1 and STANAG M1 standard (Light APC). The concept ATV takes on a payload of 3.5 tons. It has a crew of two and the crew compartment of its APC version can accommodate 10 fighters with their full equipment. The operating range is about 600 kilometers. The trolley is capable of a 60 percent rise and it crosses 2-meter trenches. Its swimming speed is a maximum of 4 km/h. ATV is guaranteed to work flawlessly in the -46°C to +44°C temperature range.

The carriage is designed for very demanding terrain and weather conditions to provide the user with a simple workhorse: modern, reliable, field-ready, easy to maintain and repair – plus has nothing extra, but everything that is needed from an APC on today’s battlefield.

Like Patria’s 8×8 and 6×6 wheeled chassis, the new European ATV can also be developed into different modular solutions, for example with raised crew quarters for command or ambulance vehicle use, or a cargo platform at the back, for example, for exchangeable container solutions or as a weapons carrier in its own weight class.

Light Rubber Track Gives Mobility

Typically, tactical mobility is achieved with tracked vehicles and strategic mobility with wheeled vehicles. In the future, the European APC with a light rubber track platform will provide users with top-level tactical mobility while also offering operative and strategic mobility with a light, road-march-resistant, and fast vehicle that is air transportable. Now that large-scale war in Europe – and globally – has returned to the forefront of threat scenarios, the importance of life cycle cost and purchase price in the defence material market is emphasized even more. More and more equipment is needed in a threat environment where consumption and losses cannot be completely avoided. Therefore, the demand for system solutions that are optimized for their purpose, such as the FAMOUS project’s tracked vehicle, which are cost-effective, provide good mobility, and offer sufficient protection, will grow. FAMOUS is now unique in its series in Western countries, and its market prospects are promising.

This project has received funding from the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) under Grant Agreements No EDIDP-GCC-2020-058- FAMOUS and European Defence Fund (EDF) Project 101103043 — FAMOUS2.

This presentation reflects only the author’s view and that the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

EDF FAMOUS 2 Consortium

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