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NZLAV – An Explosive Success

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Friday 24 October 2003
Media Release

NZLAV – An Explosive Success

Today in Waiouru, the Minister of Defence, Hon. Mark Burton, officially accepted the NZLAV (New Zealand Light Armoured Vehicle) from manufacturer General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada (GDLS-C) at an official ceremony.

At the ceremony, invited guests observed a demonstration of the NZLAV and had the opportunity to take a ride in the state-of-the-art vehicle.

John Ulrich, Senior Vice President (International Wheeled Vehicles) of GDLS-C said, ‘procuring defence equipment can be a very controversial activity. Knowing that programs like this always have their share of detractors and second-guessers, we have been watching with interest some of the criticisms’.

Mr Ulrich congratulated the Minister of Defence and Air Marshal Fergusson for staying on course and said ‘once the vehicles get into the hands of the soldiers, the criticisms and misinformation will begin to disappear’.

Mr Burton then affirmed the significance of the procurement for the New Zealand Defence Force. He said that ‘equipping our forces with the NZLAV is a fundamental part of taking an Army equipped for the 1960’s into the 21st Century’.

VIP guests at the acceptance ceremony included the Chief of Defence Force, Air Marshal Bruce Ferguson; Deputy Chief of Army, Brigadier Rick Ottaway; and Canadian Chief of Defence Staff, General Ray Henault.

The first batch of NZLAV’s arrived in New Zealand in August and have been undergoing thorough acceptance testing since then. The first New Zealand based training course commences in Waiouru on 15 November 2003.


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