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23 Jul 12. Taiwan is considering purchasing tanks used by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan to update its aging fleet, the defense ministry and media said July 23. Taiwan remains wary of China despite a recent improvement in relations, and military experts say the self-ruled island would deploy tanks in the event of a land invasion by its powerful neighbor. The M1 Abrams, which entered U.S. service in 1980 and replaced M60s, are a third-generation main battle tank and would bolster Taiwan’s fleet of about 1,200 tanks, mostly M60s and M48s. The island, which broke away from China in 1949 at the end of a civil war, also has dozens of Korean War and Vietnam War-vintage M41s. (Source: Defense News)
23 Jul 12. In its annual analysis “The Market for Light Tracked Vehicles,” the Forecast International Weapons Group reports that it expects the market to produce nearly 9,300 units, worth more than $19.7 billion, through 2021. The international market for light tracked vehicles remains a highly competitive and dynamic environment. Dean Lockwood, weapons systems analyst at Forecast International, notes that in terms of sheer numbers, China’s Type 90 armored personnel carrier (APC) and Type 90 mechanized infantry combat vehicle (MICV) represent the most significant light tracked vehicle production run of the forecast period. As the People’s Liberation Army standardizes its mechanized forces around the Type 90 APCand MICV, Forecast International expects that combined production of these two vehicles will account for about 41 percent of all new light tracked vehicle production worldwide, worth some 9 percent of the market, through 2021. Meanwhile, new production of the top high-end vehicle – the Igel/Puma – will account for only 10.9 percent of all production through the forecast period. Yet, Lockwood states, “We estimate this program will own 59.5 percent of the total value of the light tracked vehicle market through 2021.” Lockwood adds, “For most nations, the expense associated with the modernization and retrofit of high-end light tracked vehicles pales in comparison with the prospect of new procurement.” The ongoing U.S. Army investment in the maintenance and upgrade of the existing Bradley fleet through FY17 is now equivalent to only 5 percent of the value of all new-production light tracked vehicles scheduled to roll out worldwide through 2021. “While transparent to this market analysis, maintenance of the existing Bradley Fighting Vehicle fleet in U.S. Army service is still effectively the sixth most valuable light tracked vehicle program on the international market,” Lockwood said. Although the light tracked vehicles in service today are all products of the Cold War, Lockwood says that they are far from relics destined for the scrap heap. “Since the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) executed its ‘Thunder Run’ toBaghdadin 2003, the light tracked vehicle has soldiered on as a significant force multiplier on the modern asymmetric battlefield,” he said.
19 Jul 12. GDLS develops LAV II upgrade package. General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada (GDLS-C) has developed and tested an upgrade package for its Light Armoured Vehicle II (LAV II) armoured personnel carrier (APC), designated the LAV II Double-V Hull (DVH). The upgrade package is aimed at the export market as a number of countries operate the LAV II, and as the vehicles were supplied some time ago they will require upgrades in the future to extend their operational life. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)
24 Jul 12. Despite more than a year of delays in awarding contracts for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle’s Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase, JLTV program leaders insist that up to three 27-month EMD contracts will be