UK Vehicle Programs news & update

Saithan

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Post any news on UK vehicle programs here.
 

Hexciter

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For a start, Ajax is mainly an IFV, not a light tank. There’s no a prototype with a big gun.
 
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Isa Khan

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RFEL are pleased to announce their award to supply their TRAILBLAZER driver vision aid into the Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme for UK MOD.

The programme will be delivered over a 10-year period, sustaining and creating jobs in the local community and beyond.

TRAILBLAZER improves driver and crew effectiveness by extending visibility beyond the normal daylight spectrum, overcoming adverse weather and low-light conditions with enhanced thermal imagery. TRAILBLAZER is safe by design and is the chosen Driver Vision System for hatches down driving in all weather and light conditions.

The TRAILBLAZER system acts as the eyes of the MIV vehicle for the driver, commander and crew. The configuration supplied into the MIV programme will be RFEL’s latest, 3rd generation series of products, using the most modern processing technology available. Individual camera clusters distributed around the vehicle deliver a full 360° panoramic situational awareness capability. They feature high performance electro-optics covering visible and thermal spectral ranges together with RFEL’s class leading Video Fusion technology.

The software defined capability of TRAILBLAZER ensures the camera modules can be continuously updated, with product enhancements and new features developed during the operational life of the vehicle. This extends longevity of service by offering the ability to adapt to customer needs and urgent operational requirements.

TRAILBLAZER is fully compliant to the UK Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) standards. This implements a highly flexible video over Ethernet distribution supporting multiple, concurrent fields of view for driver and crew. In addition, ultra-low latency point-to-point links support a dedicated Driver’s Display. TRAILBLAZER delivers excellent coverage with ultra-wide fields of view giving unparalleled situational awareness, especially to the rear of the vehicle, where the PAX camera ensures the safety of the crew when the door is utilised.

The camera configuration for Boxer MIV has been specially designed by RFEL to the high specifications of the customer, including 2 new TRAILBLAZER products. The MIV configuration consists of newly developed models alongside RFEL’s standard models. The PAX camera gives coverage in all light conditions to ensure the safety of the crew entering or leaving the vehicle. TRAILBLAZER Cameras are compact and modular by design, enabling a plug-and-play approach to system design.

RFEL’s Vehicle Vision Business Manager, Dan Goldsmith said:

“The award of the Boxer MIV contract represents the culmination of many years of hard work from the dedicated teams at RFEL. It builds on our heritage and unique expertise in digital signal processing to deliver a world leading capability to the British Army, that we are extremely proud of.

RFEL continually evaluates and improves its products, anticipating the needs of not only the end user but the primary integrator, ensuring a flexible approach to providing a platform solution. The Boxer MIV Trailblazer solution is designed to bring those attributes of flexibility and utility to the vehicle. It sets a new benchmark for Vehicle Vison products at RFEL and positions the Trailblazer family of cameras for the next generation of fighting vehicles.”

The Boxer MIV programme will deliver over a 10-year period, creating and sustaining jobs in the local community and beyond. The peak of production for this project will see RFEL delivering 400 TRAILBLAZER units per year, with in-service support spanning 30 years.

TRAILBLAZER’s supply chain is almost exclusively UK-based; PCBs, glass and optical assembly, development and manufacture of the wiper systems, connectors, cable assemblies, machining and the Driver Display are all procured from UK suppliers.

Assembly, calibration and testing is conducted at RFEL’s headquarters on the Isle of Wight, ensuring jobs for over a decade to come. To support this expansion, RFEL opened a new production facility in late 2019, co-located with the company’s current headquarters in Newport. The new facility houses dedicated assembly and test areas as well as goods in, stores and dispatch.

Richard Streeter, RFEL’s Managing Director said:

“RFEL is proud to be supplying the TRAILBLAZER solution to the Boxer MIV programme. This highly capable solution will provide the platform Driver, Commander and Crew with unparalleled driver vision and situational awareness around this remarkable vehicle.

The Driver will benefit from dual-band daylight and IR camera modules, which when coupled with RFEL’s Fusion algorithms will provide a continuously optimised view in all weathers and light conditions. The technique is fully automatic and needs no operator intervention. The point-to-point video distribution ensures real-time imagery is delivered to the Driver display with the lowest possible latency.

For the Commander and Crew, they will have full, simultaneous access to any of the cameras, all via GVA compliant interfaces. Additionally, stitched views will give the Commander a full panoramic view of the operational space, enabling the best possible decision making and route finding.

RFEL’s TRAILBLAZER will ensure the safety of the Boxer MIV crew and will support them delivering successful operational outcomes for decades to come.”

 

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