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11 Nov 15. Jamaica continues receiving Bushmaster APCs. The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) later in November is to receive three more Bushmaster 4×4 armoured personnel carriers (APCs) from Thales Australia.
The vehicles are currently being shipped by sea, the company told IHS Jane’s on 11 November, and are from a batch of 12 ordered via a November 2013 contract. A first batch of three arrived in June and second in August, with final set to arrive in January 2016. The Bushmasters are replacing V150 Commando 4×4 armoured cars purchased in 1976 and 1985. Thales Australia has already delivered training, spares, and support equipment – the contract includes a five-year support package. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
12 Nov 15. Textron Systems CEO: Border Concerns Open Gulf Sales Potential. Textron Systems believes there are “hundreds” of wheeled vehicle sale opportunities in the Arabian Gulf that could be worth $400m to $500m, according to CEO Ellen Lord — the result of a growing regional focus on border security.
“We do see many governments with interest in purchasing hundreds of tactical wheeled vehicles,” Lord told Defense News Monday at the Dubai Airshow. “I think you’ll see things happen over the next 12 months.”
Lord said there is particular interest in the company’s Commando series of four-wheel-drive vehicles, which have a base model that can be configured to a number of variants, including incorporating different weapons and sensor packages.
There is also interest in the company’s series of small, tactical UAVs for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance along borders, she said.
Textron is “talking to Saudis about refurbishing some of our 30-year-old vehicles which are still working very well but want upgraded power plants and some different sensor packages … and we’re also talking to the Saudis about UAVs,” Lord said.
“We are talking to the Kuwaitis about tactical UAVs, also talking about wheeled vehicles as well. We see a lot of interest in Qatar for UAVs as well. Here in the UAE, wheeled vehicles are of interest. Iraq, we’ve been talking about vehicles as well.
“These are all hundreds of vehicles, so these are significant [potential] purchases.”
While the Gulf nations are known for wanting high-end technology, such as the latest fighters and weapons, the question of border security has been growing with the ongoing instability of the region.
Lord says the interest is being driven by nations “looking at the fact that the neighborhood is a little unstable, a little dangerous, and needing more.
“That’s the thing over the last year that has been a huge focus, and now what’s going on in Yemen, what’s going on in Syria, is causing even more of that,” she added. “But I think, really testing what’s in inventory and seeing what’s working and what doesn’t work is also influencing decisions.”
The CEO also identified China as the greatest threat to American industrial opportunities in the region, particularly in the realm of small UAVs that China can mass-produce and export more quickly than can the US. (Source: Defense News)
11 Nov 15. General Dynamics European Land Systems will deliver the initial batch of the Improved Ribbon Bridge (IRB) to Sweden in November. The IRB will undergo internal trials in winter conditions with the Swedish Army to prove interoperability with in-service floating bridge assets such as the Floating Support Bridge, transport trucks, and bridge erections boats. IRB is already in service with the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the German Army. General Dynamics European Land Systems recently signed a contract with the Australian Department of Defence for the IRB system. With these in-service customers, the IRB is one of the leading Western mobile military floating bridge systems. The combat-proven IRB system provides a brid