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BAE to upgrade Royal Marines' BvS10 Viking vehicles

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The BvS10 Viking. A BAE Systems photo

LONDON (BNS): BAE Systems has been awarded a contract worth £38 million ($61 million) to refurbish the Royal Marines' fleet of BvS10 Viking armoured all-terrain vehicles.

The contract, awarded by the UK Defence Ministry, covers the upgradation of 99 BvS10 Vikings and brings them all to a common Mk2 mine-protected amphibious standard, the company said.

"The highly versatile Viking is fundamental to the Royal Marines' ability to carry out littoral operations and this cost-effective programme will sustain this vital capability," said Alan Lines, support services director at BAE Systems.

Under the upgradation programme, all the BvS10s will be rebuilt around completely new front and rear car hulls featuring the latest mine-protected, v-shaped underbodies of the advanced Mk2 Viking. The entire fleet will be given a major overhaul, brought to a common standard and certified for a 14 tonne gross weight, with suspension, braking and other modifications carried out as required, BAE said.

Nineteen rear cars will be converted to a new crew-served weapon variant and nine more will allow the firing of the standard-issue BAE Systems 81mm mortar from the vehicle.

The upgradation programme is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

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