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By Stefan Nitschke, M.Sc., Defence Analyst

Following the procurement of a new class of light armoured reconnaissance vehicles which were first delivered to the Army last year to eventually also function within the DACCIS open architecture C2 network, the Danish Army Materiel Command (DMAC) initiated the procurement of a series of modern armoured personnel carriers.

The DMAC has awarded MOWAG a contract for the delivery of 91 Piranha IIIC armoured personnel carriers. The contract worth DKr650million was signed on the 5 October 2004. Also involved with the production and delivery of the vehicle are two Danish companies which are HMK and Falck-Schmidt A/S worth approximately DKr150million. The overall delivery covers 22 vehicles ordered in 2003 and an additional 69 Piranhas which are now being delivered to the Army, at a rate of three vehicles per month until 2007. Beside the role as a personnel carrier, the vehicles will be delivered as armoured ambulances as well as C2 and reconnaissance vehicles carrying advanced HF, VHF, UHF, and SATCOM communications and sensor equipment.

Following the lessons learnt in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Danish Army is also about to receive 20 armoured Toyota VX 100 Land Cruisers to provide the soldiers wit a certain amount of protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and small arms fire. The vehicles will certainly go to the Danish Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan. The vehicles which will now be delivered, are equipped with GPS and combat network radios for real-time data transmission. But it is not known at this time whether this network-enabled radio equipment will be from the Danish defence electronics firm Terma A/S or from Harris Corporation which already delivered some 2,000 Falcon II SDR for use by the Danish Army’s two brigades affiliated to NATO’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC). At least 17 fully equipped vehicles will be reportedly deployed by the Danish Army in Afghanistan, while the remaining three vehicles will remain in Denmark for drivers training.

With the development of the Land Cruiser 100, Toyota created a 4WD with improved on-road performance without sacrificing its traditional off-road abilities. With double wishbone suspension and rack and pinion steering, the vehicle was designed to feel more like a passenger car than its heavy-duty predecessors. To improve riding comfort and steering stability, hydraulic vehicle height adjustment and dynamic suspension control were added as options, aiming at improved performance on paved roads. To meet these needs, such as in Australia and other rugged environments, Toyota has created a Land Cruiser 105-series with rigid coil springs in the suspension.

Meanwhile, the Danish Army acquired a first batch of armoured Mercedes-Benz G270 CDI vehicles which – in its long wheel base variant – are fully enclosed and have run-flat tyres. Four such vehicles have already been delivered to the Danish Army for deployment in Iraq in order to deal with the increasing amount of IEDs.

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