Ashchurch, United Kingdom. – The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has taken delivery on time of the last of 24 BvS10 Viking Mk 2 mine-protected vehicles ordered from BAE Systems in July last year. The vehicles will be deployed to Afghanistan in the near future.
The fast-moving £21m programme was a response to new threats from insurgents in Afghanistan. The original more lightly armoured go-anywhere BvS10s — known as Vikings in British service — proved extremely successful because of their ability to provide the element of surprise in carrying the fight to the enemy. Before long they came under attack from improvised explosive devices and in response they were fitted with extra armour in Afghanistan under an urgent operational requirement.
Lessons learned from this urgent response were quickly incorporated into the parallel Mk 2 development programme which resulted in a vehicle with much-improved levels of protection, a larger and more powerful engine, and a bigger alternator which gives more electrical power. The steering unit has also been improved along with uprated suspension and brakes. Despite the extra armour, the Mk 2 fulfils all the original Viking requirements, such as the ability to swim.
At the handover ceremony this morning, BAE Systems vehicles managing director Jan Söderström commented: “The speed and success of this programme shows what close co-operation between determined partners can achieve. The MoD’s Defence Equipment & Support organization, the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory, our suppliers and BAE Systems worked together as one team, pooling complementary skills.
“The Mk2s will be a part of a coherent all-terrain vehicle fleet with a full support package in place to minimise the logistic footprint. The development was carried out under BAE Systems funding but this could not have been done without a collaborative, open relationship between all involved.”
France became the second customer for the BvS10 Mk2 in December last year when it ordered 53 vehicles. Deliveries for that order have begun. With options, the total value of the contract could reach €220 million for 129 vehicles. The Dutch bought 74 of the earlier BvS10 in 2005.
About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).
Text- / Bildquelle (source): BAE Systems
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