GD MOWAG’s Duro Light Vehicle Family Racking Up Wins
General Dynamics subsidiary MOWAG GmbH has racked up a number of contracts over the last few months from Denmark, Germany, and the UK for its Duro hardened trucks and derivative light armored patrol vehicles. The orders amount to 201 Duro trucks and 85 Eagle IV Armored Patrol Vehicles in total, and some of these vehicles are either in present use on the Afghan front or are likely to accompany deploying ISAF troops there.
MOWAG’s releases noted that based on the good experience gained in missions abroad, MOWAG GmbH expects further orders from both the UK and Germany. Recent orders and configurations include:
Denmark: Eagle IV
The Danish Army Materiel Command (DAMC) signed a contract for the delivery of 85 Eagle IV 4×4 Armoured Patrol Vehicles (APV), plus a small number for training and logistic reserve. The order has a total value of close to SFR 50 million (about $38 million) and includes initial logistic support and services. The Eagle IV differs from previous models in being based on the MOWAG Duro vehicle, as opposed to AMC’s HMMWV.
In May 2005 the Danish Army Materiel Command (DAMC) had announced the procurement Program for new Danish Army Armoured Patrol Vehicles. Key requirements included the ability to carry 5 people, be fitted with an Overhead Weapon Station and provide ballistic and mine protection to the crew and engine compartment. Out of 11 companies that were selected to bid, 4 finally received an invitation to send their vehicles to undergo trials in Denmark and Germany in September and October 2005: BAE’s OMC RG-32M mine-hardened patrol vehicle in service with Sweden, the French Panhard VBR armoured reconnaissance vehicle, the American Textron Marine & Land Systems M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle (ASV), and the MOWAG Eagle IV.
The Eagle IV was the winner, and the contract is part of a larger project with a total value of DKr 420 million (about $65 million). Under that contract, the vehicles will be equipped with an Overhead Weapon Station (BAE Bofors’ LEMUR wound win in the end), Communication and Battle Management Systems, and various other equipment designed to enhance the ability of the Danish Army to participate in international operations. The threat situation in such missions specifically calls for a high level of protection for the vehicle crews against mines and ballistic weapons. The vehicles will supersede the older, HMMWV-based Mowag Eagle and some of the un-armoured Mercedes Gelandewagens in the role as patrol and scout vehicles.
Production will take place at MOWAG’s facility in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland and deliveries will commence in August 2006. Danish companies will be involved in the supply of various components and assemblies.
Germany: 100 Basic 6×6 Duro IIIP Vehicles
German Rheinmetall Landsysteme GmbH (RLS) delivered an order for 100 DURO IIIP basic vehicles. The DURO IIIP is a 6×6 multipurpose wheeled armoured vehicle in the 12 tonne weight class with protection against ballistic threats, integrated anti-landmine protection and enough space for up to 10 crewmembers. An earlier order of 31 Duro vehicles have seen service with German ISAF forces in Afghanistan.
The Duro IIIPs are intended to replace existing soft-skinned vehicles currently in service, and will be delivered from the end of 2006 until 2008. Of the 100 new vehicles, 31 will be configured for medical services, 23 for Military police and 21 for bomb disposal (EOD). The other 25 DUROs will be equipped with other mission specific modules mounted by RLS.
UK: Another 35 twelve-ton Duro III Vehicles = 66 Duro IIs, 124 Duro IIs
The UK’s Defense Procurement Agency requested 35 more Duro III 12-tonne multipurpose vehicles, in the third British Army contract within the last nine months. Of the 198 vehicles ordered or already delivered by/to the UK in the past couple of years, 124 are the smaller 9-tonne Duro IIs. Their roster includes:
- 6 vehicles for ammunition disposal (mine clearance and bomb disposal)
- 118 vehicles as carriers of communications systems
Of the 66 larger DURO III vehicles:
- 48 will also be applied as communications vehicles
- 18 will be equipped for bomb disposal. A number of these DUROs are already in operation with the British Army in Iraq for bomb disposal missions.
The June/July 2005 issue of Battlespace Magazine notes that the Duro IIs are a significant upgrade from the Duro I’s weaknesses, and notes that the Duro III also has a new on-board computer that can manage the vehicle systems, track and trace diagnostics, show any servicing requirements and manage the vehicle systems and fuel. The system can apparently be connected to the General Dynamics UK Bowman radio system to download any breakdown of servicing requirements back to base depots.
MOWAG claims to be the only off-shore (non-British) company with a long-term Option Contract with the UK’s Defence Procurement Agency.