USA Buying Up to 94 More RG-31 Charger Mine-Resistant Vehicles
Our feature about a Canadian RG-31 Nyala patrol vehicle that survived a car bomb attack in Afghanistan and limped back to base with no crew injuries drew a lot of interest. Canada isn’t the only country using these vehicles, however; RG-31s work in a narrower capacity alongside Force Protection’s larger Cougar, as a standard patrol vehicle for US Army and Marine Corps EOD(explosive ordnance disposal) anti-mine teams. The US 101st Airborne also uses them the same way the Canadians do, as proven blast-resistant patrol vehicles whose protection level, mobility and multiple firing ports make them small but formidable opponents. General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada has already delivered 148 RG-31s to the U.S. Army, and will soon be completing delivery of 75 vehicles for the Canadian Forces. The vehicles have a number of other customers, and been extensively used by NATO forces in the former Yugoslavia, as well as by the United Nations in Lebanon, Georgia, Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.
The U.S. Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) has just awarded a contract to General Dynamics Land Systems Canada for $27.2 million for 60 more RG-31 Mk5 Mine Protected Vehicles. The RG-31 Mk5 is the latest version of the “Charger,” as the Americans call it, delivering a significant increase in power and payload to meet emerging requirements. This contract also includes an option for 34 additional vehicles (which was exercised), and was signed through the Canadian Commercial Corporation (a Crown Agency of the Canadian Government). General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada will provide the program management, while BAE Land Systems OMC of South Africa will manufacture the vehicles. TACOM, meanwhile, is acting in support of the Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support (PEO CS&CSS – which includes the US military’s PM Counter-mine). Deliveries will occur from January – April 2007.