Asia focuses on armored vehicles

June 27, 2011 at 8:36 AM
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LONDON, June 27 (UPI) -- Malaysian, Indonesian and South Korean officials are gathering in Singapore in October to examine the future growth of the region's armored vehicle fleets.

The discussions will take place at the 3rd annual Armored Vehicles Asia conference.

Conference organizers said confirmation of the speaker faculty at this year's event comes in the wake of the announcement earlier this month of the $559 million deal for event sponsor FNSS, a joint venture between BAE Systems and Turkey's Nurol Holding, to supply the Indonesian Armed Forces with 257 wheeled armored vehicles.

The AV-8 vehicle selected by the Malaysian military is based on the FNSS-designed PARS 8x8 multi-purpose, multi-mission, wheeled armored vehicle.

"FNSS is committed to providing the means ... to realize the goal of developing an 8x8 Wheeled Armored Vehicle Family to meet the Malaysia Armed Forces requirements," said John Kelly, vice president of exports and international business for BAE Systems' Land and Armaments sector. "This effort will not only benefit the Malaysian army but will also further develop the indigenous capability in Malaysia."

Examining Malaysia's success in selecting a contractor for the 8x8 program, the impact on Malaysia's defense industry, as well as future armored vehicle procurement and development in the country, will be Maj. Gen. Dato' Pahlawan, Dr. William R. Stevenson, director of the Malaysian Institute of Defense and Security, speaking on day one of the program.

Joining him to explore Malaysia's vehicle fleet expansion and to identify future procurement priorities and capability requirements in the Asian region, will be an expert panel of speakers from Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea including: Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander, Sri Lankan Army; Lt. Gen. Dalip Bhardwaj (ret.), the former director of the Indian Army's mechanized forces; Maj. Gen. Surasit Thanadtank, director general, Strategic Studies Center, Royal Thai Armed Forces; Brig. Gen. Junias Tobing, Chief of TNI Center for Strategic Studies, Indonesian Ministry of Defense; and Yonghwan Kim, international cooperation director, Defense Agency for Technology and Quality, South Korean Ministry of Defense.

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