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By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE

DVD™ 2007 took place at Millbrook from June 27th to 28th. The growing requirement for new fleets of Mine Protected Vehicles highlighted a number of offerings from suppliers of vehicles and systems such as BAE Systems, International, Iveco, NP Aerospace, McNeillie, Force Protection, Hobsons, Mowag, Mercedes-Benz, Textron, Jenkel and others.

SUV IPT Leader Nigel Gilhead opened DVD 2007 to an accolade that DVD was now regarded as a unique opportunity for customers to see new vehicle systems and equipment in action on the unique Millbrook Test Track. DVD had now reached new levels through the addition of the ESS and SV IPTs. DVD was taking place at a challenging time for the MoD given the changes to the new DE&S. He emphasised that during a period of sustained conflict DVD was a unique venue to display the overall capability in ‘Support to Operations,‘ the theme for DVD 2007. 4000 visitors had registered for DVD 2007 and the higher level of traffic into Millbrook showed the growth in Exhibitors and Visitors. The SUV IPT and Millbrook should be congratulated for another superb show, long may it continue. The fact that DVD has grown in a DSEI year shows the continuing strength of this event.

Gilhead announced that the OUVs requirement for the new fleet of vehicles to replace the existing Land Rover, Pinzgauer and RB-44s will be officially launched with Initial Gate in September 2007. Firms offering vehicles for this requirement include Land Rover with its 6×6 offering based on the Land Rover Perentie vehicle, JCB with its new exciting High Mobility Utility Vehicle(HMUV), International with its new MXT-MVA, Lockheed Martin variants with its latest HMT variant as offered for the U.S. JLTV Requirement, Iveco with Panther variants, Mercedes with its range of Unimog and ‘G’ Wagen vehicles, Mowag with its Duro III, Ricardo, Supacat and DML with its HMT variants.

The UK MoD and BAE Systems have together delivered more than 60 modifications over the last 18 months for UK armoured vehicles as part of a battle of wits to protect British troops facing resourceful and capable adversaries. The modifications, many designed and fitted by BAE Systems in a matter of weeks to meet urgent operational requirements (UORs), include such things as new armour, external fire suppression systems and night vision systems. They cover most front-line vehicles such as the FV430 (Bulldog) APC, Warrior, Challenger 2 and the Royal Marines’ Viking. To speed deployment of the new equipment to the front line and ensure its availability for operations, BAE Systems has sent engineers to Iraq. BAE Systems personnel have been based in Basra to support the UOR work on Bulldog since its initial deployment in November 2006 and a team of field service engineers now supports the installation of UORs on Bulldog, CVR (T) and Warrior.

Ian McNeeney, business director support programmes for BAE Systems Land Systems says: “To deliver this enormous surge of activity alongside existing programmes, BAE Systems has increased its engineering and project management workforce on support programmes by more than 50 per cent, drawing on resources from across the company and industry partners.”

BAE Systems has delivered or has under development a total of 81 UOR solutions comprising in excess of 3000 individual modification kits. BAE Systems personnel are working closely with their MoD and industry counterparts to defeat new threats to our troops as they emerge. In response to specific new threats, new armour solutions have been taken from concept to delivery in a matter of weeks.

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