May 13, 2010 16:26 UTC
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France has contracted with Panhard General Defense for 187 Petits Vehicules Proteges (PVP) light protected vehicles. This is the final tranche of a total order for 933 PVPs, awarded in September 2004. Initial deliveries began in April 2008.
The 4-passenger, 5 tonne gross weight PVP is part of a larger trend toward fielding more blast-resistant vehicles. It resembles competitors like BAE’s RG-32M more than it does full-scale MRAP vehicles, however, as it’s designed to equip parachute and mountain infantry groups, as well as artillery, combat engineer, intelligence, and military police units. To date, 506 PVPs have been delivered to the French Army, and they have seen service in Lebanon and Afghanistan. Larger PVP HD and PVP XL versions are also available.
Final deliveries from Panhard’s Marolles-en-Hurepoix, Essonne and Saint-Germain-Laval, Loire plants are scheduled for 2011. The initial contract called for the delivery of 200 vehicles each year, beginning in late 2007 and continuing until late 2012, but funds spent under France’s stimulus plan expanded capacity to 300 vehicles per year, beginning in 2009. Panhard hopes that future orders might expand to 1,500 vehicles.