Recap: Defence IQ’s Armoured Vehicle News Review

Chris Elliot, General DynamicsWith the end of 2011 rapidly approaching, the International Armoured Vehicles 2012 conference is just a matter of weeks away. Hot off the press this week is the confirmation that Major General (Ret) Chris Elliott CB MBE, Director of Doctrine and Strategic Analysis at General Dynamics, will be speaking at the event as well as being a panellist on the G6 Industry Leaders Global Strategy Debate. So, as the foremost members of the armoured vehicle community begin to gather, the team at Defence IQ wanted to bring together the other stories that have been hitting the front pages recently.

It’s been a busy few weeks for the armoured vehicle community. If you could only use one word to sum it up?

SALE. The sale of companies and the sale of vehicles.

Sale: General Dynamics bought Force Protection.
Sale: Lockheed might buy Nexter and Panhard.
Sale: The Austrian government is selling off the majority of its tanks. 

Here’s a quick introduction to some of the top stories in the IAV community over the last few weeks:

Will General Dynamics’ bold strategic move for Force Protection pay off?

General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) announced that it was set to acquire Force Protection, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRPT) for approximately $360 million (£228 million).

Speaking to Defence IQ, Rob Doolittle, Staff Vice President of Communications at General Dynamics, stated that the deal will allow the company to increase its traction in the armoured vehicle and survivability products market.

“Our plan is to leverage the combined strengths of FPI and General Dynamics Land Systems to pursue new opportunities (globally),” Doolittle explained in an email interview with Defence IQ.

Sold! Armoured vehicle mid-market set for wave of consolidation

Lockheed Martin is in discussions with French armoured vehicle manufacturers Nexter and Panhard as the companies look for ways to work together.

“We are exploring opportunities for collaboration,” Morri Leland, Lockheed’s Deputy Director for international Business Development in its Missiles & Fire Control unit told the Dubai Airshow.

Is this another sign that the armoured vehicle market is set for a wave of consolidation? The market cannot remain in limbo for much longer as there simply aren’t enough contracts to sustain the number of firms vying for them. Mid-market consolidation is inevitable.

MRO a no-go: Austria to scrap its armoured vehicles

Austria Army LeopardThe Austrian Army announced that it is purging its armoured vehicle fleet, reducing the number of tanks from 1,147 to less than 400 over the next two years. Some will be subject to a fire sale, from which the government hopes to raise $26 million (£17 million), while the rest will simply be discarded, although a few will be salvaged for spare parts.

Remember, conference tickets are available for purchase – buy them today so that you can sit in on the G6 Global Strategy Debate as well as the other sessions by top international military.  International Armoured Vehicles blog readers get a 25% discount off standard rates.  Just email by referencing the IAV-Blog.

In addition, visitor passes are free for those who sign up before 23rd December 2011 – sign up online for one at

Guest post written by Andrew Elwell, Defence IQ.

Follow me on Twitter @DefenceIQ

Andrew Elwell, Defence IQ


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