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19 Sep 11. BAE Systems recently received a $9m contract from U.S. Army TACOM to produce and deliver nine 2nd generation International Light Armored Vehicles (ILAV). The ILAV is a 4×4 v-shaped hull, mine protected vehicle used in several countries to fulfill a variety of roles. Under this foreign military sales contract, BAE Systems will provide six ILAV Explosive Ordnance Disposal variants and three ILAV Interrogator Arm variants. The company will also supply repair parts for the fleet of Interrogator Arm variants. Work on this contract began in August and is anticipated to be complete in May 2012. A significant portion of the work will be performed by Force Protection Industries, Inc. and Spartan Chassis. Work will also be performed at BAE Systems’ facilities in Aiken, S.C. and York, Pa. Since 2006, more than 700 ILAVs have been produced and delivered to U.S. and foreign allies. The ILAV has five variants which include: International Light Armored Vehicle (base vehicle), Interrogator Arm, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Joint Surrogate Vehicle and MRAP Training. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

15 Sep 11. Up-armoured vehicles are giving extra protection to the soldiers of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers, as they provide security in the Nahr-e Saraj (North) district of Helmand Province. The first of the enhanced Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) (CVR(T)) fleet are now operational and being put to good use by the Lancers, whose main task is to overwatch the battle space either side of Highways 1 and 611, the two main supply routes that run through the Task Force Helmand area of operations. BAE Systems has upgraded the armour on all five vehicles that make up the CVR(T) family – Scimitar, Spartan, Samson, Sultan and Samaritan – through an Urgent Operational Requirement process worth around £30M. CVR(T) is on display in the UK for the first time this week at DSEi. As part of the contract, the vehicles have been re-hulled to give better mine-blast protection for troops, improved armour added for enhanced resistance to blasts and ballistics, as well as new mine-blast protection seating in every position in every variant. Other enhancements include repositioned foot controls and a revamped fuel system. Scimitar Mk 2 builds on a number of upgrades that have previously been made to the CVR(T), which address the problems experienced while operating in the harsh Afghan environment. These previous upgrades have included improved power output, new gearboxes and transmissions, air conditioning, improved communications, air filters and night vision systems. The Scimitar Mk 2s are proving a hit with the troops. Sgt Matthew Pook, 31, from Hinkley, Leicestershire, has served on operations in Kosovo, Iraq and Bosnia and has seen previous versions of the vehicle in action. He said:
“Significant progress has been made with the vehicle since I first used it. It makes you feel more confident when out on the ground. The old ones needed regular maintenance and fixing, which is hard work at the end of a day.”
Trooper Ashley Doyle, 21, from Plymouth, praised the changes to the vehicle. He said: “Where we operate, it’s a lot safer to move around in vehicles because they act as a deterrent against the insurgents. This new vehicle can cope with all the terrain in the Green Zone, even irrigation ditches, because of the new suspension.”
The Lancers’ tour has been varied but they have used the CVR(T) in its classic reconnaissance role providing security in convoy support. Lieutenant Ed Aitken, aged 25, from London, is the Troop Leader of 1st Troop Formation Reconnaissance Squadron: “Our area of operation is 250 square kilometres so the mobility the CVR(T) allows us to have an affect on the area that we wouldn’t otherwise achieve. The Highway is an arterial supply route so security is essential. Wit

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