General Dynamics European Land Systems
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Nexter Press release ( 05 February 2010)

Delivery of the first Nexter Systems ARAVIS® high protected vehicles for French Army

On January 19, 2010, the French procurement agency (Direction Générale de l’Armement - DGA) supplied the French Army with its first four ARAVIS® multipurpose heavily protected armored vehicles. In April 2009, the DGA ordered a total of 15 ARAVIS® vehicles from NEXTER Systems under a contract worth nearly €20 million, of which €15 million was funded from the national economic recovery plan. The defense element of the economic recovery plan totaled €2.4 billion in 2009, and had the effect of increasing funds earmarked for equipment by 10%.

This acquisition provides the French Army with a heavily protected armored vehicle for use in reconnaissance missions in areas where roadside explosive devices are likely. ARAVIS® vehicles will be used to equip the engineering units that use the BUFFALO and SOUVIM mine-clearing systems used to disarm improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan.

The ARAVIS® is a 4-wheel drive 12.5 metric ton air-transportable vehicle fitted with a very high level of protection against mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). It can carry up to 7 engineering unit personnel. Likely to be called upon to return fire in non-secure areas, it carries a remotely-operated turret armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun of the type used on the VAB TOP vehicles deployed in Afghanistan since the start of 2009. For reconnaissance missions, the turret-mounted cameras of the ARAVIS® are supported by 7 peripheral cameras that provide total coverage of the area immediately around the vehicle.

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