Czech PANDURs to carry U.S. 30mm gun

April 18, 2006 at 7:54 AM
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MINNEAPOLIS, April 18 (UPI) -- The Czech Republic is spending $20 million on U.S-built 30mm guns to be mounted on its PANDUR II armored vehicles.

Alliant Techsystems (ATK) announced this week it would be supplying its proven Mk44 cannon to the Czech military for inclusion on the Remote Control Weapon System-30 (RCWS-30) that makes up the PANDUR's punch.

Built by Israel's Rafael Armament Authority, the RCWS-30 includes a 7.62mm machine gun and a launcher pod for two Rafael SPIKE LR missiles.

The RCWS-30 gives the Czechs a potent weapons system for the PANDUR II, a versatile wheeled armored vehicle that fits into a C-130 transport plane and is capable of traveling on roads, open fields and across water.

PANDUR II is built by General Dynamics as a replacement for Soviet-era armored personnel carriers and has also been adopted by other European armies. The Czech Republic earlier this year announced it would be buying 199 of the eight-wheel version of the PANDUR II between 2007 and 2012.

The selection of the Mk44 did not appear to be a great stretch by the Czechs. The weapon is in use as a land vehicle and naval gun by the United States, Britain, Singapore, Norway, Poland, Switzerland and Finland.

"The MK44 cannon is the international standard for ground and naval platforms," said ATK Vice President Jed Holzapfel. "In partnership with Rafael and others, we look forward to providing ATK's entire family of Chain Gun weapon systems to our allies around the world."

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