The US Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract for $601m to refurbish, repair and upgrade 606 Bradley fighting vehicles.

BAE will work with the Red River Army Depot to ‘reset’ the vehicles, which involves mitigating the effect of combat use, replacing battle-damaged vehicles and providing the military with vehicles in pre-deployment conditions.

The Bradley fulfils five critical mission roles – infantry fighting vehicle, cavalry fighting vehicle, fire support vehicle, battle command vehicle and engineer squad vehicle for the army’s heavy brigade combat teams.

HBCT Systems vice president and general manager Joe McCarthy said that the Bradley plays an integral role in the army’s heavy brigade combat teams.

“By resetting these vehicles to pre-deployment condition, we will make sure that our troops are able to continue to execute the mission,” McCarthy said.

Under this award, BAE Systems will reset 346 Bradley A3 vehicles, 141 A2 ODS vehicles and 119 A2 ODS SA vehicles.

During final assembly, the Bradley vehicles will also be equipped with upgrades including improvised explosive device armour, Bradley urban survivability kits and other engineering changes designed to improve protection for soldiers.

Work on the contract will begin immediately and BAE Systems will start to deliver complete vehicles to the military this summer, with final deliveries expected to be complete by March 2010.

The contract is managed by the army’s TACOM Life Cycle Management Command.