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New Zealand’s Army rolls into the 21st Century

New Zealand’s Army rolls into the 21st Century

Minister of Defence Mark Burton will today officially accept the first of New Zealand’s new Light Armoured Vehicles (NZLAVs)—the next major step in modernising and re-equipping the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). The NZLAVs will replace the M113, the 1960s-era armoured personnel carriers currently used by the Army.

Mark Burton stressed that the purchase of the NZLAVs is a vital part of equipping the Army for the current global environment.

“In 2000, this government stated its goal of a modern, sustainable, well-equipped Defence Force, while also clearly defining New Zealand’s internal, regional, and global defence objectives. Meeting these objectives demands that all three Services of the NZDF be well equipped and trained for both combat and peacekeeping, with easily deployable, well-equipped and highly trained troops.

“The NZLAV is key to achieving this goal.

“The NZLAVs offer the Army the best mix of protection and mobility available in an armoured vehicle, enabling them to transport significant numbers of personnel in high-risk situations. The Army will be able to deploy and sustain up to a battalion group to participate in coalition operations or mid-level conventional conflict.

“But the NZLAV is about more than purchasing 21st century transport and fire support vehicles. Our investment in modern equipment is having direct, positive effects on the men and women of the NZDF. New, high-tech assets such as the NZLAV offer both current and prospective NZDF personnel better career opportunities. In turn, this greatly improves their professional incentives to remain and build their long-term careers in the NZDF.

“I know that the Army will excel as it takes up the challenges that the introduction of this state-of-the-art vehicle represents, just as they do when confronting the diverse challenges that arise during operational deployments.

“It is with great pleasure that I am accepting the first of our 105 NZLAVs—world-class vehicles to match the quality of our world-class Defence Force personnel.”

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