Armor: September 7, 1999


General Dynamics and Israeli Military Systems are discussing a joint bid for the Turkish tank contract. Under the deal, IMI would withdraw its Merkava (which has little chance of winning the contract anyway) in favor of GD's M1A2. (The Turks have said they do not want depleted uranium armor, which was the only part of the tank the US was worried about exporting.) GD would then support the IMI bid to refit the Turkish M60 tank fleet (withdrawing its own offer to install M1A1 turrets on the old M60 chassis). The main competition is Germany, where there is serious political opposition to selling any weapons to Turkey because of Turkish oppression of the Kurds. The French Leclerc tank is also in the running but is not considered a strong contender.--Stephen V Cole

The Finnish Army has ordered 48 Pasi 6x6 XA-200 armored personnel carriers from Patria to outfit the Pori Readiness Brigade. (The first will arrive later this year and the last by early 2001.) These will have a one-man turret fitted with a machinegun, but variants of the vehicle can mount various turrets with guns up to 90mm. The Finns plan to acquire further XA 6x6 vehicles mounting the twin-barrel 120mm AMOS mortar. --Stephen V Cole




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