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01 Jul 03. In his opening address at the 2003 DVD Exhibition (See DVD COMES OF AGE below), Defence Procurement Minister Lord Bach, made a number of key announcements.

Firstly he officially accepted the 100-strong fleet of Alvis-Haaglunds Viking amphibious armoured vehicles. He also announced a key order for Guildford-based Automotive Technik (See AUTOMOTIVE TECHNIK WINS KEY MoD FFR VEHICLE ORDER)FOR 360 TUM FFR vehicles.

Another key development was the announcement that two major projects were being initiated:

The first OUVS, the Operational Utility Vehicle System, will replace the current fleet of TUL-TUM vehicles and those with a payload up to 4 tonnes. This requirement will be for 9000 vehicles and take in all Land Rover and Pinzgauer vehicles.

The second is Heavy Load Distribution Capability (HLDC), will replace the current fleet of 1300 Leyland and Foden DROPS vehicles

He also announced the formation of two new MoD Through Life Integrated project Teams (IPTs). From October 1st, three separate vehicle IPTs, two based at Abbey Wood and one at Andover will merge to form two new IPTs. Each will be responsible for ‘cradle to grave’ acquisition, the first, Specialist and Utility Vehicle IPT will be responsible for light and special vehicle projects and the second, General Support Vehicles IPT, will look after heavy cargo vehicles.

He also announced awards for two bomb disposal teams Wedgwood for use in UK and Zimmer for operations in Iraq.

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