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05 Mar 15. The prototype of 60 VAB Ultima Génie, vehicles for Engineer regiments, is the result of close cooperation between the company and the French Government services. Its rapid development within the Limoges factory, thanks to highly effective cooperation between the design and development office, the factory and the buyers, allowed the vehicle to be tested and presented to the French Corps of Engineers 6 months after the contract was awarded. On 5-8 January 2015, RENAULT TRUCKS Defense, together with the French Army technical unit (STAT) and the end users, approved the loading of all possible Engineer corps kits on this VAB Ultima Génie prototype. The French Army Engineers School seized this opportunity to give all its trainee officers and non-commissioned officers a presentation of their future vehicle. The VAB Ultima Génie, derived from the VAB (front line armored vehicle) family, features the latest technological advances in anti-ballistic, anti-blast and IED protection and localizing of hostile fire, to provide a fast, effective response capability. This vehicle is produced by RENAULT TRUCKS Defense in the Limoges factory, from conventional VABs. These vehicles are completely rebuilt through an industrial process that may involve several contracts. It was designed in cooperation with the French defense procurement agency (DGA) and the STAT to provide front line Engineers units with the same support capabilities as the infantry units with which they cooperate closely. It will provide crews with the capabilities that are now required for the new high-risk operations the French Army is facing. It will allow engineers to carry out all types of missions through its basic kit carrying ability, plus one of the six specific kits (urban area support, mobility support, emergency deployment support, mine clearance and pollution control, countermobility and EOD). The contract for this latest tranche of 60 VAB Ultima engineering vehicles was awarded on 27 June 2014 and is the result of a very fast and cooperative contractual process carried out with the DGA and STAT following the success of previous tranches of VAB Ultima Infanterie vehicles signed in 2009. Production is to begin in February with delivery to the French Army due to take place between the summer of 2015 and the spring of 2016. 290 VAB Ultima vehicles will eventually be in service with the French land forces.
The VAB Ultima
VOLVO GROUP GOVERNMENTAL SALES is in charge of Defense, Security activities and Emergency
services within the Volvo Group, with the following brands: RENAULT TRUCKS Defense, ACMAT Defense, PANHARD Defense, VOLVO Defense and MACK Defense. VOLVO GROUP GOVERNMENTAL SALES is a leading player in the field of wheeled military and security vehicles. RENAULT TRUCKS Defense, one of three participants in the Joint Venture (GME) which was awarded the Scorpion contract by the Minister of Defense on 5 December 2014, is to participate in the development of the French Army’s new generation of front-line vehicles Griffon and Jaguar. RENAULT TRUCKS Defense is in particular responsible for supplying the powertrains for these two vehicles, and for providing the whole supply chain for the spare parts and components of the Scorpion program.
03 Mar 15. Evidence emerges of possible DF-31 ICBM variant. Recent testimony by the commander of US Strategic Forces Command and recent images of a Chinese transporter erector launcher (TEL) point to a potential new variant of the solid-fuel DF-31 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). In testimony given before the US House of Representatives’ Armed Services Committee on 26 February, Admiral Cecil D Haney said China is “enhancing existing silo-based ICBMs, conducting flight tests of a new mobile missile and developing a follow-on mobile system capa