UK signals first Viking 2 order

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  1. UK signals first Viking 2 order

    September 7th, 2009 | DSEI 2009 | Posted by Tim Mahon

    BAE Systems Global Combat Systems has received the go-ahead from the British Ministry of Defence to order long-lead time items for the procurement of 24 of it’s BvS10 Mk II all-terrain vehicles according to industry sources.

    There is no formal order for the vehicles at present, say the sources, but the finalisation of a deal to supply the BvS10 Mk II - designated the Viking 2 in British service - will mark the first sale of this latest version of the all-terrain platform.

    The move comes despite the Viking 2 losing out earlier this year to the Singapore Technologies Kinetics Bronco in an urgent operational requirement procurement to buy over 100 vehicles offering higher protection and a larger payload than the current Viking’s operated in Afghanistan by the British.

    The British version of Bronco is known as the Warthog. First deliveries from Singapore to vehicle integrator Thales UK are scheduled for later this year.

    Bronco and the Viking 2 are now competing for a significant order from the French military.

    The earlier version of the BvS10 has been in service with the British Royal Marines since 2005.

    Additional vehicles are destined for service with the Royal Artillery as support vehicles for the Watchkeeper unmanned aerial vehicle, due to enter service next year.

    The Royal Netherlands Marine Corps also has 74 of the Mk1 vehicles on order.

    The Mk II vehicle features a variety of enhancements in mobility, payload and survivability.

    “It is fairly easy to convert payload into protection and the BvS10 Mk II has been developed to meet a wide range of potential applications,” said Axel Schäring, sales director at BAE Systems in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.

    Gross vehicle weight has grown to 14.2 tonnes, with a commensurate increase in payload to 6 tonnes. Speeds of up to 65 km/h can be achieved with the 295 horsepower Cummins four-stroke diesel.

    British vehicles will have enhanced mine and blast protection in the form of additional armor.

    The version on display at DSEi 2009 will feature the ARTHUR Mod C counter-battery radar system produced by Saab Microwave Systems.

    Mobility in uncertain terrain is the key feature of the vehicle. “The Royal Marines tried to conduct some unbogging trials during the acceptance program, but were unable to find any terrain in which the vehicle could be bogged down in the first place,” said Schäring.

    BvS10s have been deployed in Afghanistan with the Royal Marines and the army since mid-2006.