BAE wins patrol-vehicle contract

BAE Systems has won a contract to supply 16 RG32M mine-hardened patrol vehicles to the Finland Defence Force, in a deal worth more than $8.1m (£5.3m).

In addition, it has also received a $7.2m amendment to an existing contract to enhance the propulsion and mobility of Norwegian M113 vehicles.

The orders follow on from a contract received last month for the production of 48 Archer 155mm self-propelled artillery gun systems and their associated ammunition-handling systems for the Swedish and Norwegian armed forces, worth over $200m.

The RG32M order from Finland, which follows on from a contract for six similar vehicles in November 2006, will be carried out by BAE’s Land Systems business in South Africa. All the vehicles should be delivered by early 2011.

The order is for current standard production vehicles, including a suspension upgrade. The contract also includes an order for the new Series 3 variant, which provides for a higher payload, increased power and higher protection levels. There are currently 200 RG32M vehicles in service with Sweden’s armed forces, several of which are deployed in Afghanistan.

The contract modification for the Norwegian M113 vehicles will provide the 25 upgrade kits required to convert the existing M113s to the M113E3 configuration. The upgrade kits include powerpack, suspension, weld, air conditioning and hydraulic manifold. These upgrades will supplement 72 kits that the company provided to Norway between 2007 and 2009, and, as before, will be supplied by BAE Systems in the US.

BAE’s suspension upgrades enable the vehicle to use rubber-band tracks and provide passengers with a smoother ride. The company will also provide support to the Defence Logistics Organisation in Norway.

The Norwegian armed forces will install the kits and test the completed vehicle upgrades at its facilities in country. BAE’s work is anticipated to begin in early 2010 and be complete by July 2011.

While the company’s Land and Armaments business is adjusting to lower volumes in its traditionally mature markets of the US and the UK, it has a strong export portfolio with which to pursue new business opportunities in a number of other markets, including India, the Middle East and Europe.