Thales and Plasan partner for next-generation Australian vehicles

Plasan Sasa, the Israeli armoured vehicle company, is partnering with Thales, the French multinational defence giant with business units in South Africa and elsewhere, to develop a new Light Protected Vehicle for the Australian Army and the international market.
Under Defence project Land 121 Phase 4, the Australian Department of Defence will procure 1300 PMV-L vehicles and trailers to replace Army’s existing fleet of Landrovers, Thales says in a company statement.
“This program will procure four Protected Mobility Vehicles – Light (PMV-L) variants – Command, Liaison, Reconnaissance and Utility – all offering very high levels of protection from small arms fire, mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Deliveries are expected to begin in 2013,” the statement adds.

It further adds that Thales’s Land & Joint Systems Division has significant expertise in military and specialist vehicles including combat proven wheeled armoured vehicles, land mine protection technology, high mobility engineering vehicles and all terrain fire fighting vehicles.

Plasan specialises in the development and manufacture of armour systems for the military and commercial market using composite material technologies. The company provides a vast range of systems for military armour and commercial clients worldwide.
“The new partnership between Thales and Plasan leverages world’s best practice to provide real Australian capability on the global stage, and creates a team well-equipped to take on local and international challengers,” says Ian Irving, Thales Australia’s Land & Joint Systems Division Vice President.
“Thales and Plasan are bringing the very best design and armour technologies to the project. Plasan’s strengths, combined with our many years of experience with the successful Bushmaster program here in Australia, offer the Defence Materiel Organisation and the Australian Defence Force a strong team with unrivalled expertise.
“Plasan is adding considerable capability to the Australian project team in protection system design, rapid prototyping, and testing and evaluation for our next generation vehicle development for Australia’s Protected Mobility Vehicle – Light (PMV-L) requirement.”

Plasan VP international sales and marketing Noam Hen said: “After extensive analysis of the market, we came to a very clear conclusion that Thales was the only company able to design and manufacture world class protected mobility vehicles in Australia,” Irving adds.
“The success of the Bushmaster shows Thales can deliver effective solutions to the Australian Defence Force, and we are looking forward to incorporating our technologies and expertise into their next generation vehicle.”

Pic: A South African-designed BAE Systems RG32 light protected vehicle of the type required by Australia