BAE Systems has handed over the first BvS10 all-terrain vehicles (ATV) to the Austrian Army during ceremonies held in the state of Tyrol and city of Salzburg.

The company was awarded a contract in June 2016 to produce 32 BvS10 armoured personnel carrier (APC) variants for Austria under a government-to-government arrangement with Sweden.

BAE Systems Hägglunds manufactures the BvS10 in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden.

The first four BvS10 vehicles will be deployed to the Austrian Armed Forces’ 24th Infantry Battalion, a unit of the 6th Mountain Infantry Brigade and the 2nd Engineer Battalion.

The battalions provide combat support to the European Union Mountain Training Warfare Initiative (EU MTI) and help to improve military effectiveness in mountainous terrains.

“The handover of these highly-capable vehicles marks a significant milestone in the BvS10 contract for Austria.”

BAE Systems Hägglunds business development vice-president Peter Nygren said: “The handover of these highly-capable vehicles marks a significant milestone in the BvS10 contract for Austria. We are very pleased with the progress to date and the very positive feedback from the Austrian military. We expect final deliveries to conclude later this year.”

The Austrian BvS10 APC variant can accommodate changing mission requirements and has been designed to operate in multiple terrains to deliver personnel or cargo in combat and disaster relief missions.

It is equipped with a 360° observation camera system with six day / infrared cameras and displays in the front and rear of the cabin, as well as the latest remote controlled weapon station.

Austrian Defence Minister Mario Kunasek said: “The ‘Hägglunds’ is the first combat vehicle for the mountain infantry, which makes possible the armoured transport of soldiers in Alpine operations and off-road.

“We thus put renewed focus on our core task of military defence.”

The BvS10 is also operated by France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. It has supported missions in Afghanistan, Central Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East.

To date, more than 12,000 BvS10s have been sold to several countries worldwide.