USA Buying 169 More RG-31 Pathfinder Blast-Resistant Vehicles
General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada delivered 148 RG-31 vehicles to the U.S. Army in 2005. In October 2006, TACOM awarded General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada a contract for US$ 27.2 million to provide 60 RG-31 Mk5 mine-resistant patrol vehicles, used by EOD teams and by the 101st Airborne as patrol vehicles; the Mk5 has improved power and payload capabilities in comparison to its predecessors. In November 2006, this order was increased to 94 vehicles for an additional US$ 15.4 million, an addition that is included in DID’s order coverage. We also covered the in-theater experience of Canada’s RG-31 Nyala route proving vehicles, which have stood up to car bombs as well as IED land mines in Afghanistan, and discussed the difference between vehicle that are merely up-armored vs. blast-resistant vehicles like the RG-31 in the above photo. Blast-resistant vehicles are experiencing a wave of purchases by NATO countries for use in combat zones like Afghanistan, Iraq, et. al., largely due to the revealed weaknesses of more conventional designs.
Now the U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), in support of the Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS), has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada a US$ 76.5 million contract for 169 more RG-31 Mk5 Mine Protected Vehicles, with an option for 9 additional vehicles. The RG-31’s American designation is “RG-31 Pathfinder.”
Like previous RG-31 contracts, this one was signed through a Crown Agency of the Canadian Government, the Canadian Commercial Corporation. Under that contract, General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada will provide the program management, while BAE Land Systems OMC of South Africa will manufacture the vehicles. Deliveries will occur from January – April 2007. General Dynamics release.