Armor: April 16, 2000


France has bailed out of the multi-national competition to design a new 8x8 armored car for use by mechanized infantry, saying that "the industrial accords that would have allowed for French participation were not obtained". Instead, the French Army has asked for bids on 550 wheeled 8x8 armored personnel carriers and 150 command post vehicles. The French Army had previously planned to buy 450 APCs and 50 command post vehicles. The new wheeled APCs will replace tracked AMX-10Ps in service for 25 years. Specifications require the prospective vehicle to carry 10 personnel and provide chemical-biological-nuclear protection. It must also be fitted with thermal imaging equipment. The French are willing to consider options for the armament. There is virtually no chance of a non-French company winning the bid.--Stephen V Cole


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