Local armoured and peacekeeping vehicle manufacturer Land Systems OMC recently secured export orders to three countries, including the US, worth about R712 million.

Local armoured and peacekeeping vehicle manufacturer Land Systems OMC recently secured export orders to three countries, including the US, worth about R712 million.

The company was recently awarded a contract to produce 30 public order vehicles, with Iveco's Defence Vehicle Division, for use by the Italian Carabinier from 2006.

In terms of its partnership with Iveco, the prime contractor in Italy, it will supply mechanical components such as engines and transfer cases, as well as in-country support for the vehicles, while Land Systems OMC will build the vehicles in South Africa.

The company is currently preparing to deliver five of the six custom-built pre-production vehicles, which form part of an overall contract for up to 200 vehicles, to Italy.

The deal is valued at R64 million and follows an order earlier this year by a Swedish procurement agency for the production of 102 specialist patrol vehicles and a US order for 148 medium mine-protected vehicles. The orders are valued at R180- and R468 million respectively, the stated.

The US order is the largest vehicle export contract ever placed with a South African defence manufacturer. The director of international marketing for Land Systems OMC, Tony Savides, said the company was experiencing increasing international demand for its armoured vehicles.

Johan Steyn, managing director of Land Systems OMC, said the Italian order was another endorsement of its position as a major supplier of armoured vehicles and an international leader in the field of vehicles for internal security and peacekeeping.

BAE Systems develops and supports advanced land, sea, air and space defence systems and has been operational in South Africa since 1994. The international company holds 75 per cent of Land Systems South Africa, while black empowerment group DGD Technologies, holds the remaining 25 per cent.

Original article from Car