BAE Systems has been awarded a contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for an improved version of its BvS10 Viking armoured vehicle.
The company will deliver 24 BvS10 Viking Mark II vehicles to the MoD in early 2010 for deployment in Afghanistan in the spring of 2010.
The contract, worth up to £24m, includes fitting urgent operational requirement modifications for service in Afghanistan. Two of the vehicles will be in command vehicle configuration and 22 will be the troop-carrying variant.
Lessons learned from operations in Afghanistan are said to have resulted in several improvements including levels of protection, a larger and more powerful engine, plus a bigger alternator for more electrical power.
The steering unit has also been improved along with updated suspension and brakes.
The UK MoD has already bought 166 Vikings and approximately 50 vehicles have been used in Afghanistan by the Royal Marines and other units.
The BvS10 MkII is also a prime contender for the French VHM requirement for 129 vehicles. A contract in France is expected to be announced at the end of the year.
In separate news, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced today that it intends to seek the Attorney General’s consent to prosecute BAE Systems for alleged offences relating to overseas corruption.
This follows the investigation carried out by the SFO into business activities of BAE Systems in Africa and Eastern Europe.