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16 Jul 13. Swiss Army to acquire new Mercedes G-class vehicles. The Swiss Army will procure G-Wagon military support vehicles from Mercedes Benz as part of a specific weapons programme. Selected against three competitors, including Jeep, the vehicle is scheduled to replace the army’s Steyr-Daimler-Puch built off-road military utility vehicle fleet, which entered operational service 20 years ago. Already operational with many armies worldwide, the vehicle proved to be the most economically viable during trials, which were conducted by the Swiss competence centre for acquisitions and technology (Armasuisse). Additional reasons that were considered during selection included use of combat-proven technology, the reduction in essential components, as well as ease of use for the operators. Powered by a standard 2.9l OM 612 turbo-diesel engine, G-Wagon is a four-wheel drive vehicle primarily used for personnel and equipment transport, and can also be configured to conduct reconnaissance missions. “The vehicle proved to be the most economically viable during trials.” The vehicle is available in three variants, which include a basic light utility vehicle with four doors and four seats, command and reconnaissance featuring a rotating gun-mount on the centre of the roof, as well as blue and red rotating lights-equipped military police vehicle. The acquisition plan is expected to be submitted to the Swiss Parliament, which will take a decision in the context of a weapons programme. Several G Wagon models are also operational within the Australian, Bulgarian, Canadian, Danish, Estonian and German armies amongst others. The Swiss Army has been operating the Mercedes Benz 230 GE model with soft top as the primary general purpose carrier, and a hardtop variant as mobile radio access point since 1985. (Source: army-technology.com)
14 Jul 13. Qatar plans to order 118 Leopard tanks from Germany over the next seven years, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper said Sunday, citing sources close to the Qatari government. The paper said the tanks will be manufactured by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall. In April, Krauss-Maffei said it had won a €1.89bn ($2.5bn) contract to supply artillery systems and 86 tanks to Qatar of which 62 would be of armoured Leopard-2 type — Germany’s main battle tank. The company said that those tanks will progressively replace Qatar’s current fleet of French and South African armoured vehicles. (Source: Defense News)
16 Jul 13. China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) has secured its first known export order for its VN4 (4×4) light armoured vehicle, with first deliveries of a batch of vehicles to the Venezuelan National Guard under way. It is understood that a total of 141 Norinco vehicles have been ordered: VN4s as well as WTC-1 water cannon and ABV-1 riot control vehicles. The VN4 is being marketed by Norinco as a multirole armoured vehicle and can carry up to eight dismounts in addition to its crew of two. It has a combat weight of around nine tonnes and its compact size makes it ideal for internal security type operations. (Source: Jane’s)
15 Jul 13. Iveco Defence Vehicles announces delivery of the first units of the “New generation vehicles” programme to the Swiss Army. Iveco Defence Vehicles announced that, on May 28th 2013, the 14 variants of the “New Generation Vehicles” programme were symbolically handed over from armasuisse to the Swiss Armed Forces Logistics Organisation (LBA).
The hand-over ceremony was held at the Arms square of the Swiss Army in Thun and was attended by military representatives and industrial partners. Undertaken as part of the ‘Armament Programme 2010’, this contract was awarded in 2010 and comprises the supply of 910 Iveco heavy tr