BAE Systems signs BvS10 Viking regeneration contract
BAE Systems has confirmed that it will regenerate the Royal Marines’ fleet of BvS10 Viking all-terrain vehicles under a £38m ($61m) contract announced on 3 October. The contract, issued by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), covers the refurbishment of 99 the twin-car BvS10 go-anywhere armoured all-terrain vehicles.
Under the contract BAE Systems will bring all 99 vehicles to a common Mk2 mine-protected amphibious standard. Restoring the UK armoured amphibious capability and ability to carry out littoral operations will ensure these asset are available for disaster relief or military intervention in trouble spots.
The Viking fleet saw heavy use in Afghanistan and is a mix of standards, including earlier versions with limited mine resistance, and the latest Mk2 mine-protected variants. All but the existing Mk2 Vikings will be rebuilt around completely new front and rear car hulls featuring the latest mine-protected, v-shaped underbodies of the Mk2. The entire fleet will be given a major overhaul, brought to a common standard and certified for a 14 tonne gross weight, with suspension, braking and other modifications carried out as required.
Nineteen rear cars will be converted to a new crew-served weapon variant and nine more will allow the firing of the standard-issue BAE Systems 81mm mortar from the vehicle.
According to the company, the Viking reset is part of a planned joint MoD/BAE Systems coherent management of the fleet until its current out of service date of 2031. A mid-life improvement towards the end of the decade is also expected.
Along with Sweden, France and the Netherlands, the UK shares operational information and co-operates on support through a BAE Systems co-ordinated, multi-national user group. The UK regeneration vehicles will incorporate upgrades resulting from the group’s operational experience. Sweden announced an order for 48 BvS10 Mk2s and a support package in January this year. France bought 53 in December 2009. The Netherlands is the fourth customer.
The regeneration programme, to be carried out at BAE Systems’ new armoured vehicle production line in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
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