BAE lands £520m order for armoured vehicles

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The Independent Online

Bae Systems, Europe's biggest defence contractor, confirmed yesterday that it had won a €749m (£520m) contract to supply CV90 armoured vehicles to the Netherlands. This is the first order for the company's Land Systems division, formed in September from its RO Defence unit and the newly acquired Alvis.

Bae Systems, Europe's biggest defence contractor, confirmed yesterday that it had won a €749m (£520m) contract to supply CV90 armoured vehicles to the Netherlands. This is the first order for the company's Land Systems division, formed in September from its RO Defence unit and the newly acquired Alvis.

BAE will sign a contract for the delivery of 184 infantry-fighting vehicles on Monday. The deal was first signalled in a letter sent by the Dutch defence ministry to the country's Parliament on 30 October. Deliveries will take place between 2007 and 2010.

The Dutch army ordered CV90s to replace older vehicles as well as help to cut the size of its armed forces.

The order "strengthens the CV90's position as the infantry fighting vehicle for Europe," Sven Kagevall, the managing director of BAE's Land Systems Hagglunds offshoot, said. Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Finland have already chosen the CV90, taking the total ordered so far to 1,125 vehicles.

The all-steel CV90 combat vehicles are designed for high mobility and can be deployed in anti-aircraft and anti-tank movements. The CV90 is available in an infantry-fighting version, which carries a squad of seven troops, and a command-vehicle version, BAE said. Both types have three-men crews.

BAE bought Alvis, the maker of the British Challenger II tank, in August for £355m. Alvis, which employs 2,600 in the UK and Sweden, has major sites in Wolverhampton, Telford, Newcastle and Leeds. RO Defence employs 2,500 people in Birtley, Barrow, Chorley, Radway Green, Leicester and Bridgwater, with a head office at Filton.

The combined Land Systems operation is headed by Ian King, who said: "Our aim is to create a leading land systems business, consistent with BAE Systems' land sector strategy. The combined capabilities of this new business ... places us in a strong position for bidding on future programmes."

BAE shares rose 3.5p to close at 241.75p.

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