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Two More Major Armored Vehicle Contracts Announced

by: Matthew Potter
October 26, 2011

Category: Business Line, Canada, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Countries, Department of Defense, development program, England, Events, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, logistics, production program, Proposal, Services, U.S. Army | RSS 2.0

Following up on Canada’s decision to award General Dynamics (GD) a contract to upgrade their existing fleet of LAV III armored vehicles two more major contracts were announced this week by the U.S. and United Kingdom related to their existing vehicle systems. While there are new armored vehicle programs in development the trend right now is to continue to procure and upgrade existing ones.

First the U.K. Ministry of Defence announced that they had awarded Lockheed Martin (LMT) a contract to upgrade their Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) personnel transports. The Warrior is similar to the M2 Bradley and did see heavy use in Iraq. The goal of the over $1.6 billion contract is to extend the life of the Warrior out beyond 2040. The work will be done in Britain at the Lockheed facilities there. The upgrade program will add armor, new weapons and improvements to the turrets.

General Dynamics in the U.S. also received a production contract for more Stryker Interim Combat Vehicles (ICV). The Stryker is a wheeled armored vehicle that comes in different versions including troop transport, mortar, ambulance and anti-tank vehicle. It was originally planned to be a bridge between the current heavy armored force of M1 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradly IFV until the new Future Combat Systems (FCS) program delivered its family of vehicles. The FCS was cancelled in 2009. The Stryker has been used in Iraq and Afghanistan and this contract worth about $350 million is for a further 177 vehicles with improved armor and double hull to provide better protection against IED and mines.

The U.S. is working on a M2 replacement called the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV). This is in the early stages of development with two EMD contracts recently awarded. Due to a protest by one of the losing bidders the program is on hold. Canada and the U.K. have decided for now to invest in upgrading the capabilities of their existing systems rather then develop a new one. The GCV and these different upgrades reflect the experience of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan with a focus on better armor, improved weapons and networked capability.

With the withdrawals from these countries there should be a decline in investment in new systems and the manufacturers will have to look to other sources for contracts. The work though upgrading and “resetting” existing systems should be available over the next 5 years or so.

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