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30 Nov 11. Under an urgent operational requirement, on June 15 2011, the French defense procurement agency (DGA) ordered kits from Renault Trucks Defense for integrating the Javelin anti-tank missile system into the VAB armoured personnel carrier. Integrating Javelin into this vehicle will make the weapon system easier to use for French Army units deployed in Afghanistan. The VAB is actually the first armoured vehicle to have this missile integrated for transport in a tactical vehicle. The Javelin was ordered in 2010 to enhance the firepower of infantry units in Afghanistan. In less than six months, Renault Trucks Defense designed, developed and tested an integration kit allowing six missiles, two firing posts and two tripods to be carried inside the VAB. This integration is currently being carried out on-site by users in Eryx VABs already deployed in theatre. The ten kits were delivered from the Renault Trucks Defense Fourchambault site on October 14. The VAB is the most widely-used armoured vehicle in all the theatres in which the French Army operates, with over 500 vehicles of this type deployed in the Afghanistan theatre.
Weighing over 13 tonnes, they are capable of performing a wide range of roles, including transporting infantry, providing direct support for troops in contact, or acting as mobile command posts. Each year improvements are made to the VAB program in a partnership between the manufacturer, the DGA and the French Army Technical Department (STAT).

18 Nov 11. Guardium Mk 3 UGV close to delivery. The development of the Guardium Mk 3 unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) is nearing completion and the system is set for delivery to the Israel Defence Force (IDF) in early 2012, according to G-NIUS Chief Executive Officer Yoav Hirsh. The Mk 3 is being developed in collaboration with the Israel Ministry of Defence’s Administration for the Development of Weapons and the Technological Industry (MAFAT). (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

02 Dec 11. WFEL, the Stockport-based defence engineering group backed by mid-market private equity house Dunedin, has secured a contract to supply £57m of tactical military bridging assets to the Swiss armed forces.
The firm’s chief executive Ian Wilson signed a procurement contract with dignitaries from the Swiss government’s procurement agency armasuisse at a ceremony held in Bern on 1 December. The deal, which follows a two-year international procurement contest, will see WFEL supply its next generation bridging system, the Dry Support Bridge (DSB), between 2013 and 2015. Before, and since December 2010 when WFEL and the DSB were down selected as the company and bridge of choice, several delegations from the Swiss armed forces have inspected the firm’s advanced manufacturing facilities at its Stockport headquarters. Ian Wilson, Chief Executive of WFEL, said: “This is a landmark agreement for WFEL and one of the largest single orders in our near century of defence engineering success. “The deal follows one of the biggest global bridging procurement contests in many years where the quality of our offering – from design and build through to training and ongoing support services – has helped to once again confirm us as the world leader in this field. We’re continuing to attract interest from armed forces around the globe in our bridging systems as a result of our long term strategic sales activity and collaborative engagement with potential users.”
WFEL supplies bridges to more than 40 different armed forces worldwide and Switzerland becomes the third nation to order the DSB after the USA and Turkey, where the company completed an £8.5m order earlier this year. The DSB, the latest generation of tactical military bridge, is deployed from a launch vehicle to span gaps of up to 46 metres in less than 90 minutes by a team of eight,

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