Hagglunds Designs New Viking

A new version of the Viking tracked armored vehicle offering enhanced protection to crews is on the drawing board at BAE System Hagglunds in a bid to beat competition from Singapore aiming to unseat the Swedish company as the supplier of all-terrain vehicles to the British military.
    A spokeswoman for the Sweden-based subsidiary of BAE said the company hopes to have a prototype Viking Mk2 running early next year with the vehicle available for delivery in the summer.
    Earlier this year, the British announced a competition for between 47 and 212 vehicles to replace earlier Hagglunds BV206s in their fleet. A contract is scheduled to be awarded at the end of next year as part of the MoD’s standard equipment procurement process.
    Singapore Technologies Kinetics’ Bronco vehicle is also a strong contender. The Singaporean and Swedish vehicles are tracked and consist of two linked armored units.
    The new Swedish vehicle would offer protection up to Stanag 2 level and have a better payload than the current Viking used by British forces in Afghanistan.
    The spokeswoman declined to give details of the development at this stage.
    The Viking has been widely used by the Royal Marines and other British forces fighting Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan since 2006. The vehicles, purchased originally by the British for use in the snow and ice of countries like Norway, have been given improved protection for operations in Afghanistan. They were purchased via the urgent operational requirements (UOR) procurement system.
    Despite that, the vulnerability of the vehicle’s underside to mine strikes has resulted in a number of fatalities.
    In addition, the MoD is in discussions with the Treasury for UOR purchases to help rectify the problem on existing vehicles, as well as purchase additional better protected vehicles.
    The Bronco is also a contender for the UOR purchase of new vehicles, industry executives said.
    The MoD said it was talking “in relation to the provision of additional vehicles to support current operations under the UOR process.”

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