AFV track extension for Astrum

Astrum (UK) has secured a £30m, two-year extension to a contract with the MoD to supply tracks to all armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) currently on operations in Afghanistan.

These vehicles include the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked), Warrior and Trojan.

Other track systems supplied by Astrum under this agreement include tracks for the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank, the armoured engineer vehicle Titan and the armoured personnel carrier FV430, including the up-armoured and upgraded Bulldog variant.

The deal will secure 100 jobs in the company’s County Durham-based defence design and manufacturing division.

Tracked vehicles are in contact with a larger surface area than would generally be the case with wheeled vehicles.

Consequently, the tracks exert a lower pressure on the ground, enabling tracked vehicles to be used on soft and uneven ground as they are less likely to get stuck.

Separately, BAE Systems Land Systems OMC, through its partnership with General Dynamics Land Systems Canada (GDLS-C), has been awarded a follow-on order for the supply of 250 RG31 Mk5E vehicles in support of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle programme for US forces.

All vehicles under the $140m (£93.54m) contract will be manufactured in South Africa and will be delivered to GDLS-C in 2010.