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Non-Military Vehicles For East Timor

The Ministry of Defence has purchased 30 Holden Rodeo four-wheel drive vehicles to equip the New Zealand force on standby for possible deployment to East Timor, the Minister of Defence, Hon Max Bradford, announced today.

The 30 non-military vehicles are part of the new 423 Light Operational Vehicle (LOV) fleet being bought to replace the Army’s 567 obsolete Landrovers.

They are being purchased under the Army’s $500 million re-equipment programme.

The replacement vehicles to be purchased include 115 non-military vehicles (of which 30 have been already purchased for troops on standby for Timor), 285 standard military vehicles (36 with armoured protection), 15 shelter (armoured) variants and eight ambulances.

Mr Bradford said the 423 LOVs would supplement the102 new Infantry Mobility Vehicles and Fire Support Vehicles the Ministry is purchasing to replace the Army’s obsolete Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and retired Scorpions.

The LOVs would perform a number of vital functions in the field, including command and control, reconnaissance and surveillance, transport of weapons and crews, resupply, and the evacuation of battlefield casualties, Mr Bradford said.

"The project has potential to offer New Zealand industry work in the areas of assembly, testing, training, and on-going maintenance," he said.

Tenders for the 285 military vehicles are expected to be issued in the fourth quarter of this year, with the vehicles beginning service late next year.


ENDS


LIGHT OPERATIONAL VEHICLES (LOVs) - BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The New Zealand Army currently has a 567- vehicle fleet of Landrover V8s which will be replaced with 423 Light Operational Vehicles (LOVs) of military and non-military specifications. The Light Operational Vehicle is a generic term.

Purchasing military and non-military Landrover replacement vehicles will give the New Zealand Army flexible options when undertaking tasks such as command and control, liaison, support to reconnaissance and surveillance, mobility for support weapons and crews.

The LOVs will be used for transportation for commanders, liaison teams, control teams, small groups, aspects of forward internal replenishment and unit administration tasks.

The Landrover V8s are five years overdue for replacement. The current Army Landrovers were purchased with a "life-of-type" of twelve years, which expired in 1994.

The existing vehicle fleet is outside its design life and is expensive to maintain. The technology is dated and petrol is often not available within the area of operations. The replacement LOVs will use diesel.

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