BAE Systems has received delivery orders from the US Marine Corps Systems Command worth US$170 million to produce 32 US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Armoured Utility Vehicles (AUV) and provide major upgrades to existing vehicles. The US SOCOM AUV is one of several Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) variants based on the RG33 family of vehicles.
To date, BAE Systems has produced nearly 350 SOCOM MRAP vehicles. In total, BAE Systems has produced more than 6400 MRAP vehicles to support urgent needs in Iraq and Afghanistan and through nearly US$5 billion in contract awards for the production and service of MRAP vehicles to date.
Upgrades will be performed on nearly 250 SOCOM vehicles to incorporate new independent suspension systems and other design improvements to ensure superior mobility and performance over rocky and steep terrain. This work demonstrates how BAE Systems’ support and service capabilities are meeting the current and future requirements to protect troops during combat missions.
“Upgrading the vehicles will provide our forces with the latest vehicle enhancements,” said Ann Hoholick, vice president and general manager of New Vehicles and Amphibious Systems for BAE Systems. “We will produce 32 new vehicles with the improvements already built-in, so the entire fleet of SOCOM vehicles will be fully modernised and upgraded.”
The MRAP SOCOM vehicles are comprised of several unique features designed to meet the robust requirements of the Special Operations Command, including a remote weapon station, swing arm mount and a rear door assist.
Production preparations for the new vehicles is beginning at BAE Systems facilities in York, Pennsylvania; Fairfield, Ohio; and Aiken, South Carolina, and at Spartan Motors Chassis’ facility in Charlotte, Michigan. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in March 2011 and run through July 2011.
BAE Systems has built more than 2200 RG33 MRAP vehicles to date that incorporate eight different variants, all of which have been successfully fielded in combat zones across the globe.
Meanwhile, BAE Systems has also been awarded a $21 million order from Textron Marine and Land Systems (TM&LS) to build and deliver more than 420 armour protection kits for Armoured Security Vehicles (ASV). This is a follow-on order to a contract for ASV armour panels valued at $10.5 million that BAE Systems announced in March of this year. Through its long-standing relationship with TM&LS, BAE Systems has produced more than 2500 armour kits for the highly maneuverable, four-wheel drive ASV.
“This follow-on order underscores BAE Systems position as a leader in innovative armoring technologies,” said Don Dutton, Vice President of Platform Survivability for BAE Systems. “It’s reassuring to know that our ASV armor kits will continue to play a vital role in the protection of these mission critical vehicles which help save the lives of US troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Under the agreement, BAE Systems will produce armour panels for the M1117 ASV, which is a turreted, lightly armoured, all-wheel drive combat vehicle often used by U.S. Military Police and convoy security units. The company is also building armor kits for the M1200 Armoured Knight, which is an ASV variant equipped with a laser guided sensor package, allowing for precise laser targeting of ground and air delivered munitions. The BAE Systems’ applique armor panels will be installed at TM&LS, and then the armored ASVs will be delivered to the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM).
Work on the order will begin immediately at BAE Systems’ facilities in Phoenix, Arizona, with final deliveries expected to be completed by spring 2011.