Two handover ceremonies took place on February 21 and 22 in the Austrian state of Tyrol and city of Salzburg and were both attended by Austrian Defence Minister Mario Kunasek. Also attending were representatives of the Swedish government and BAE Systems Hägglunds, the Sweden-based manufacturer of the BvS10. The first set of vehicles will be fielded by the Austrian Armed Forces’ 24th Infantry Battalion, a battalion of the 6th Mountain Infantry Brigade, which plays a leading role in the European Union Mountain Training Warfare Initiative (EU MTI), and the 2nd Engineer Battalion, which can provide combat support in mountainous terrain.
“The handover of these highly-capable vehicles marks a significant milestone in the BvS10 contract for Austria. We are very pleased with progress to date and the very positive feedback from the Austrian military. We expect final deliveries to conclude later this year,” said Peter Nygren, vice president of business development at BAE Systems Hägglunds.
The Austrian APC variant of the BvS10 is fitted with a number of specific features including a 360 degree Observation Camera System with six Day/Infrared cameras and displays in the front and rear of the cabin for greater situational awareness. Also featured is the latest Remote Controlled Weapon Station, which can be operated by both the Gunner and the Commander, and is foldable to allow for swift transportation in the field.
“The ‘Hägglunds’ is the first combat vehicle for the mountain infantry, which makes possible the armoured transport of soldiers in Alpine operations and off-road,” said Minister of Defence Kunasek. “We thus put renewed focus on our core task of military defence.”
The BvS10 is a highly manoeuvrable armoured vehicle with superior performance for operating in challenging terrain to deliver personnel or cargo in combat and disaster relief scenarios. It’s designed with great flexibility to accommodate changing mission requirements and is prepared for advanced battle management and command and control solutions. The vehicle’s ability to operate in mountainous terrain is of particular importance to the Austrian Armed Forces and its central role in at enhancing military effectiveness in the EU MTI.
The BvS10 has been deployed on operations to Afghanistan, Central Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East. Austria becomes the fifth operator of the BvS10, joining France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. There is significant interest from many countries in Europe and globally in acquiring this flexible and adaptable vehicle. The BvS10s are part of BAE Systems Hägglunds BV family of all-terrain vehicles, of which over 12,000 have been sold.
Photo courtesy BAE Systems