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06 May 15. Turkish vehicle competitions near conclusion. Turkey’s Anti-Tank Vehicle competition was one of the main focuses of the IDEF 2015 defence exhibition in Istanbul, with final bids from suppliers expected to be delivered before the end of May, various sources told IHS Jane’s . Also known as the weapons carrier programme, the Turkish Land Forces’ programme is for 260 vehicles, 184 tracked and 76 wheeled vehicles. Both vehicle types are planned to be fitted with a remote-controlled turret (RCT) armed with the Roketsan OMTAS anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). Turkish land systems firms FNSS and Otokar are going head-to-head in the competition, with both firms unveiling new vehicles for the programme at IDEF 2015. Competing for the tracked component are Otokar’s Tulpar-S weapons carrying vehicle, unveiled for the first time at IDEF 2015, and a modified version of the FNSS Kaplan vehicle unveiled at the 2013 edition of IDEF, but not present at IDEF 2015 as the company wanted to keep its offering confidential so close to the deadline for bids. FNSS did unveil its Pars 4×4 vehicle at IDEF 2015 for the wheeled weapons carrying requirement, while Otokar will be offering a modified version of its Cobra II 4×4, which was unveiled at IDEF 2013. Otokar unveiled its Tulpar-S tracked vehicle at IDEF 2015 for the Turkish tracked weapons carrier programme. It will face competition from a modified version of FNSS’s Kaplan-10 design. (Nick de Larrinaga) Speaking to IHS Jane’s at IDEF, representatives from both companies said that they would be delivering their final bids to the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) before the end of May. The downselection of one of the bids is expected before the end of the year, the companies added. Both are also competing for Turkey’s Special Purpose Tactical Wheeled Armoured Vehicle programme, which aims to buy 472 wheeled vehicles. In total the requirement calls for 121 command vehicles, 217 sensor/reconnaissance vehicles, 74 radar vehicles, and 60 chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) reconnaissance vehicles. For this requirement Otokar displayed a CBRN variant of its Arma 8×8 vehicle for the first time at IDEF 2014. FNSS will offer its Pars 8×8 as the base platform for the various versions. IHS Jane’s understands that the deadline for the companies to submit final bids has been extended until July for this project to incorporate all for changes to the requirements and to include some options for different mission systems. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
05 May 15. Israel Signs Heavy APC Deal With GDLS. Israel’s Defense Ministry announced Tuesday that it signed a US $310m contract with General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) to produce kits for its Namer (Leopard), a heavy troop carrier based on the indigenous Merkava Mk4 main battle tank. Funded through annual US military assistance, the six-year contract calls for US-based production kits, with final assembly and installation of subsystems to be performed at MoD’s Masha facility in Tel Hashomer, south of Tel Aviv. In the announcement, MoD noted that the contract with GDLS joins a $250m previously concluded contract, also funded through US military aid, for US-built Namer engines.
“The Namer is considered to be the most heavily armored carrier in the world, and has proven its capabilities in Operation Protective Edge against myriad threats,” MoD stated in reference to last summer’s war in Gaza.
During the course of that conflict, MoD credited Namers deployed with infantry operating in built-up areas for saving “many lives.” GDLS was selected in October 2010 over Textron Marine and Land Systems and BAE Systems for US-based production of Namer chassis and main components. The contract announced Tuesday follows a 2011 deal between MoD and GDLS for production t