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23 Mar 05. Andrew Bucknall, Military Manager for Defence at Iveco UK, told BATTLESPACE Editor Julian Nettlefold that Iveco and BAE SYSTEMS see a strong future for the Panther FCLV vehicle, ordered by the U.K. MoD in November 2003. He confirmed that BAE SYSTEMS has recently ordered two demonstrator vehicles for its own use,. The two companies have divided up the world with regard to sales prospects with BAE having the U.K. and Middle East and some of Asia, with Iveco having Ireland, which has expressed an interest for 66 vehicles, Belgium which also has a requirement and Italy has 600 on order.

“We supply the base vehicle to BAE SYSTEMS at Newcastle where they fir the Panthers out with armament and BOWMAN radio fits,” he said. 5 vehicles are on trial at Bovingdon to fulfill the contract.

On November 6th 2003, the MoD signed the contract for the manufacture of the FCLV. The contract, worth £166m, will see Alvis Vickers Ltd manufacture an initial order of 401 vehicles, with an option for up to 400 more. Ongoing Armoured Fighting Vehicle Rationalisation will determine the final number of FCLV that will be procured. The FCLV will perform the command and liaison role and replace a number of vehicle types including the FV430 series, Saxon, Land Rover, and CVR(T). From its planned in-service date of 2006, FCLV will provide our Armed Forces with a highly mobile vehicle, which provides its crew with protection against small arms fire, and blast and anti-personnel mines. FCLV’s versatility will meet the Armed Force’s requirement for enhanced speed, reliability, flexibility and protection for a wide range of users, on exercise, in combat or on peacekeeping operations

“We are developing a series of vehicles. Based on FCLV for a variety of roles from recce, thru to engineering and special weapons fit vehicles. We are also looking at increasing the payload of the vehicle to accommodate heavier weapons fits,” Bucknall continued.

BATTLESPACE is running a further feature on Iveco’s Military products in the DVD issue. Iveco is exhibiting at DVD and BAE SYSTEMS will have a Panther vehicle on display.

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