NEW ORLEANS, March 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has given Textron Marine & Land Systems a $5.5 million contract to provide armored turrets for Colombian army vehicles.
A total of 12 turrets -- plus technical support, vehicle repair and spares -- for armored personnel carriers are covered under the award, which was issued by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command under a Foreign Military Sales deal.
The Colombian army currently has 39 Commando APCs from TM&LS in operation against internal revolutionary forces. Those were procured under an earlier, separate FMS deal. Colombia has now contracted for more.
"This contract is an extension of our positive working relationship with the Colombian Ministry of Defense and Army leadership, and an example of our capability as a full-spectrum armored vehicle provider," said Textron Marine & Land Systems Senior Vice President and General Manager Tom Walmsley.
TM&LS' Commando APC is an extended version of the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle used by the U.S. Army and other militaries. It features an additional two feet in length and six inches in internal height for greater troop carrying capacity and a V-shaped hull for protection against mines and improvised explosive devices.
"Colombia's APCs are performing exceptionally well in a variety of operational roles, while offering outstanding protection to COLAR soldiers," Walmsley said. "Building on this success, we're working with Colombia to increase the number of APCs in COLAR units while sustaining its entire vehicle fleet with a coordinated program of maintenance, training and field service support."