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08 Jul 13. Nexter and Renault deliver additional VBCI vehicle to French Army. The French Army has taken delivery of an additional vehicule de combat d’infanterie (VBCI), an eight-wheel drive infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). Delivered by a consortium of Nexter Systems and Renault Trucks Defense, the vehicle represents the 500th VBCI to have been delivered as part of a contract that includes supply of a total of 630 vehicles. Awarded by the French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), the contract features 520 infantry combat versions (VCI), and 110 command post (VPC) vehicles. Powered by a Renault 550hp turbocharged diesel engine, VCBI is a wheeled IFV designed to safeguard infantry units against a broad spectrum of ballistic threats, such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) in the battlefield. Capable of accommodating 11 soldiers wearing fantassin à equipements et liaisons intégrés (FELIN) soldier systems, and their associated kits in VCI version, the vehicle entered operational service with the French Army as a successor to the AMX10P armoured personnel carrier (APC) in 2008. Engineered to reach a top speed of 90km/h, the 30t-class vehicle features improved observation and fire-support capabilities, BIFU combat identification system, NBC detection and protection equipment, as well as a secure data and voice communications system. Armaments include Nexter Dragar single-seat turret, fully stabilised, dual-fed M811 25mm cannon and a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun for close defence and a Galix grenade launching system. The vehicle has extensively been used by the French Army during operations in Afghanistan and Lebanon in 2010, as well as in Mali since the start of this year. Shipments of VPC variants, which are fitted with EADS-built regimental information systems (SIR), was completed in May 2013, while the final vehicle under contract is set for delivery by 2015. Including development and pre-production, the total cost of the VBCI programme is expected to around €2.86bn. (Source: army-technology.com)

03 Jul 13. The South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF’s) new infantry combat vehicle was approved by Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in February, but the contract has yet to be awarded by the state acquisition agency Armscor, according to Secretary for Defence Dr Sam Gulube. Speaking to journalists at the opening of a new armoured vehicle factory, Gulube did not explain why the programme, known as Project Hoefyster (Horseshoe), had been delayed, but said he expected Armscor to award the contract shortly, without giving a more precise time frame. Similar delays have affected several projects, causing great inconvenience to the SANDF and making proper equipment planning difficult. (Source: Jane’s)

05 Jul 13. TenCate Advanced Armour supplies materials for vehicles Commando Corps. TenCate Advanced Armour supplies antiballistic materials for 50 new vehicles for the Dutch Commando Corps, the so-called Air Transportable Tactical Vehicles. Wednesday, July 3 the Defence Materiel Organization signed a contract with the Dutch company Defenture. Apart from better road capability, the new Air Transportable Tactical Vehicles
(ATTV) have more payload than the current vehicles. This is essential in view of the mandate of the Special Operations Forces. Explorations and attacks on enemy targets may need to be performed deep in enemy territory. At times there are severe geographical and climatic conditions, without logistical support from outside. Because the Commando Corps can also be dropped by helicopters, the special forces vehicles can be transported in and under Chinook transport helicopters. ATTV vehicles can be equipped with several ar

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