Armed forces will find it easier to combine world-leading tactical vehicles with advanced signature management solutions thanks to a new deal between Oshkosh Defense and Saab’s Barracuda business unit. An agreement signed by the two entities in June makes Saab a preferred supplier for Oshkosh Defense’s portfolio of vehicles. Cooperation is already underway on integrating Saab’s Barracuda Mobile Camouflage System (MCS) onto the Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). The partnership is good news for armed forces who are looking to increase the level of signature management on the advanced tactical vehicles they purchase as a result of the rapidly changing geopolitical situation.
“The Saab Barracuda Mobile Camouflage System is a state-of-the-art approach to signature reduction for personnel and vehicles on the twenty-first-century battlefield. We are proud to integrate this solution, which combines leading-edge camouflage innovation with the Oshkosh JLTV – the industry’s most advanced light tactical wheeled vehicle,”says John Lazar, VP and GM of International Programs, Oshkosh Defense.
“Oshkosh and Saab’s Barracuda systems are both respected market leaders in their segments. Working together, we can provide customers with an extraordinarily powerful range of solutions that optimise their ability to engage the enemy and their chances of battlefield success. Wherever you go in the world, the battlefield is more transparent than ever been before. The number of sensors and the performance of sensors is growing exponentially,” says Niklas Ålund, Director Strategy and Business Development at Saab’s Business Unit Barracuda.
In 2015, Oshkosh Defense won the contract to supply the US Army with an initial 17,000 JLTVs. The Army is now negotiating a follow-on contract to supply an additional 15,000 vehicles, with Oshkosh a leading contender. There is also expanding interest in Oshkosh JLTVs internationally, with commitments from seven NATO and allied forces including, Belgium, Lithuania, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Brazil, and Romania. While the initial focus of cooperation is around the Barracuda MCS and Oshkosh JLTV, the agreement also has scope for Saab to provide other products for integration into Oshkosh vehicles. The Oshkosh JLTV quickly adjusts to achieve diverse transportability needs—by air (CH-47 and CH-53 helicopters’ C-130, C-5, C-17, and A400 Cargo fixed-wing aircraft), land and sea. It’s ready on arrival, giving troops the reliability and performance needed for harsh battlefield environments.
Saab’s Barracuda unique Mobile Camouflage System relies on advanced blends of pigments, coatings, and designed materials to reduce the chances of detection by as much as 90 percent. Solutions can be tailored to counter sensors looking for ultraviolet, visual, near infrared, short-wave infrared, thermal infrared, and radar signatures. Interest in MCS is growing across NATO, Europe and within the US Department of Defense. Many US allies already have the MCS system in use on their existing land vehicle platforms—expanding this offering to include the light, medium and heavy platforms of Oshkosh Defense is an exciting growth opportunity for Saab. The proven quality and range of technology in the various Saab business units paired with the Oshkosh Defense current and prospective user communities suggests there will be increased collaboration between the two companies.