Armor: Vikings Conquer Afghanistan

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January16, 2007: The British Royal Marines recently bought 108 armored, "Viking" (BvS10) all terrain combat vehicles, at a cost of $890,000 each. They are using these vehicles in combat for the first time in Afghanistan, and are satisfied with the performance, and protection, the vehicles provide.

The Royal Marines already have over 300 of the similar, but smaller and unarmored, Bv206 (which can carry 2.5 tons over any terrain. including snow and most marshland). The larger BvS10 can haul five tons. The BvS10 is actually an articulated vehicle, with a tracked trailer connected by a power transfer and steering linkage. The front part weighs 4.9 tons, the rear part 3.1 tons. Because of this trailer arrangement, the vehicle has a 47 foot turning radius. Four passengers can be carried in the front car, and eight on the rear one. The vehicle is amphibious and has a top speed in the water of five kilometers an hour (compared to 65 kilometers an hour on land.) The vehicle was designed in Sweden. The Royal Marines can also use the Viking for amphibious operations, as well as logistics and carrying troops in combat zones. The Viking is also able to move through swampy terrain, as well as snow. It's well suited for Afghanistan, where they can be lifted by a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, or a C-130 transport. Lifting the two sections of the vehicle separately, the smaller Merlin helicopter can move the vehicle.

 

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