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Further Defence Equipment Upgrade Approved By Govt

Further Defence Equipment Upgrade Approved By The Government

The Government has this week approved in principle the acquisition of 308 Light Operational Vehicles (LOVs) for the New Zealand Army, the Minister of Defence Mark Burton said.

"These vehicles will replace the army's ageing fleet of Landrovers.

"Registrations of Interest will be issued to all interested companies before Christmas. An open and transparent tendering process will identify a preferred contractor and establish definite costs."

Mark Burton said important steps have been taken to avoid a repeat of the problems encountered in an earlier, unsuccessful tender process.

"A United Kingdom consultancy company has independently assessed the New Zealand Defence Force requirement. Lessons have also been learnt from the cancelled tender, which failed to identify a compliant vehicle.

"The resulting Statement of Requirement for the vehicles is now less confusing and easier to respond to. This should encourage competition, improve transparency, and lower compliance costs.

"The UK consultants will continue to be involved throughout the evaluation process. Outside legal and financial advice will also be sought.

"We are determined to get the vehicles that best meet New Zealand's requirements, and are the best value for money," Mark Burton said.

"The purchase of light operational vehicles fits within the Government's overall defence objectives. The Defence Policy Framework identified as a priority the need to upgrade the army's mobility and communications capabilities.

"New armoured personnel carriers and radios have already been approved, with delivery of the radios to begin early next year.

"After a decade of neglect, the Government is determined to rebuild the capabilities of the New Zealand Defence Force," Mark Burton said.

Ends

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