General Dynamics awarded US$41 million for RG-31 MRAP upgrades


General Dynamics Land Systems announced that the US Marine Corps has awarded three contracts valued at USD$41.4 million for upgrade kits for RG-31 Mk5E vehicles previously delivered under the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle program.

The kits will enhance the survivability and operation of the RG-31 vehicles to the latest production configuration. The delivery of the kits is expected to be completed by January 2012.

The BAE Systems Land Systems OMC’s RG-31 was the first mine-resistance vehicle deployed by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Defence Industry Daily. Numerous upgrade contracts have been placed with General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) Canada, which partnered with BAE OMC of South Africa and its General Dynamics Land Systems parent in the United States. All contracts are signed through the Canadian Commercial Corporation, which is a Crown Agency of the Canadian Government (which also uses RG-31s).

On March 22 General Dynamics was awarded a US$25.2 million contract for 691 Engineering Change Proposal (ECP)/modernisation kits, which include roof armour, upgraded dash boards and automatic fire extinguishers. 45% of the work will take place in Benoni, South Africa, while another 45% will take place in Canada.

Before that contract, BAE Land Systems South Africa announced at the beginning of February it had received a R900+ million contract from GDLS Canada for RG-31 survivability and mobility upgrade kits, include improved engines, suspension and transfer cases etc. At the same time, an US$8.3 million contract for 691 modification kits for the RG-31 was ordered, with work to be done in South Africa and finishing in December this year.

The RG-31 Mk5E Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle is a versatile armoured vehicle that comes in several variants, including an armoured personnel carrier, command vehicle, ambulance, armoured utility vehicle and surveillance vehicle.

The 4×4 vehicles are equipped with a remote-controlled weapon station armed with a 7.62mm or 12.7mm machine gun. The vehicle can carry six fully equipped troops in addition to two crew members.