Rheinmetall and Supashock unveil cutting-edge Automated Load Handling System
Rheinmetall Defence is proud to announce the global launch of the Supashock Automated Load Handling System, a pioneering technical solution that enables efficient, automated loading and unloading of containers, modules and flat racks onto military trucks from the safety of a fully protected truck cabin in combat environments.
Designed and built in Australia by Supashock, an Adelaide-based automotive technology company that recently became part of Rheinmetall’s global corporate network, the concept revolutionises integrated load handling systems for military applications. The 17-tonne Automated Load Handling System - or ALHS 17 - significantly reduces risk by introducing the unique capability of automated loading and unloading of ISO containers, modules and STANAG-compliant flat racks weighing up to 17 tonnes from inside the highly protected truck cab.
The innovative Supashock ALHS 17, fitted to a Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles HX 8x8 truck, will be officially unveiled at Eurosatory 2018 by Australia’s Minister for Defence Industry, the Honourable Christopher Pyne MP.
Oscar Fiorinotto, Managing Director of Supashock stated, ”The Supashock team are proud to have developed a revolutionary load handling system in partnership with Rheinmetall that will simplify the distribution of military supplies in demanding battlefield environments while keeping soldiers safe within the protection provided by the integrated armoured cab of the HX 8x8 truck”.
Among other features, the ALHS 17 employs cutting-edge motion technology to create an integrated load handling solution for military applications. By eliminating manual operations through the introduction of automated technology, a single individual can operate the system. The traditional loading and unloading of containers and equipment from military logistics vehicles requires the use of multiple personnel, diverting resources away from other tasks, reducing operator situational awareness, and exposing several individuals in a potentially hostile environment.
A combat situation often mandates the transportation as well as the loading or unloading of military equipment under challenging scenarios:
- Misalignment of the vehicle and the load that is being carried by the vehicle;
- Slopes and inclines that the vehicle may have to traverse; and
- Conditions that include mud, sand and other debris, where no access to the bottom corner fittings may be possible.
The ALHS17 has several integral mechanical degrees of freedom that combine with a computer-assisted user interface, making the task of loading and unloading a container easy in all conditions. Also, the cycle time of loading and unloading ISO containers or modules with the ALHS 17 is considerably faster than current in-service load handling systems.
“Supashock has truly revolutionised the concept of integrated load handling systems for military applications,” said Michael Wittlinger, Head of Rheinmetall’s Logistic Vehicle business unit. “The ALHS 17 introduces a genuine ‘lift and go’ capability that significantly reduces the time spent by military personnel in a hostile environment, thus increasing overall safety and survivability.”
“Rheinmetall MAN’s vast experience with large in-service fleets and demanding international customers has resulted in a unique product tailored to the specific requirements of modern armies, further boosting the overall capability of Rheinmetall’s HX series of military trucks,” Mr Wittlinger said.
Rheinmetall holds a 49 percent stake in Supashock. Both companies have a proven track record of partnering in the development of trailblazing technologies.
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