Royal Marines get £37m Viking upgrades
03 October 2012
The Royal Navy's Viking vehicles are to be returned to their original amphibious standard as part of a £37m contract agreed with BAE Systems, the Ministry of Defence has announced.
The 99 Viking vehicles, used by the Royal Marines, were adapted to land operations in Afghanistan after first deploying there in 2006. They have since been replaced in Afghanistan by Warthog.
Over the next two years, all of the original Viking vehicles will be fitted with upgraded brakes, suspension, front and rear car hulls and a v-shaped underbody to protect against mine blasts.
Top-mounted guns will also be fitted to 19 Vikings, while nine more will be adapted to allow the firing of an 81mm mortar.
The upgrade work is expected to allow Viking to remain in service until 2031, the MoD announced.
Commandant General Royal Marines Major General Ed Davis said: "Viking is an essential asset for the Royal Marines in conducting short notice crisis response operations around the world and any modification which enhances operational effectiveness and makes life that bit safer for our personnel is always welcomed."