The Danish Ministry of Defence (MoD) has received final offers from four European manufacturers for the national army’s ageing M113 armoured personnel carriers (APC) fleet replacement contract.
BAE Systems Hagglunds has offered its CV90 Armadillo, while Flensburger Fahrzeugbau Gesellschaft (FFG) and General Dynamics European Land Systems have pitched its G5 protected mission module carrier (PMMC) and ASCOD vehicle respectively, in the tracked category, Defense News reported.
The wheeled category includes Nexter Systems’ Vehicule de Combat d’Infanterie (VBCI) and General Dynamics’ Mowag Piranha V vehicles.
The companies submitted bids in 2012 for the contract, which requires between 206 and 450 vehicles in six different configurations, and were shortlisted in February 2013.
Even though the numbers are yet to be confirmed, industry executives believe that the MoD appears to be leaning toward an initial purchase of 206 vehicles.
One French official said there was informal feedback that the wheeled vehicles outperformed the tracked units during a 17-week trial in 2013.
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During the trials, all three tracked versions reportedly replaced conventional steel with rubber band tracks, which have been used by the Danish military for operations in Afghanistan.
The MoD had indicated that the acquisition would not be split between tracked and wheeled vehicles, but industry executives believe that the policy is likely to change.
The Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) was expecting to select a contractor earlier this year, but lengthy discussions with the European Union over how the offset package for the vehicle could look under tightened regulations prevented this.
A DALO spokesman said that the new guidelines for defence sector offsets became effective in July.
Provided the procurement process stays on target, the winning contractor could be named and receive the contract by the end of May 2015.
The Royal Danish Army currently operates 632 heavily armoured M113s in different configurations, including tactical air control party carrier and fire-fighting capacities.