At the end of July the Defense Procurement Agency in the UK signed up for the delivery of 35 multipurpose military-type DURO vehicles from MOWAG GmbH. This is the third contract with the British Army within the last nine months. In total, 101 DURO vehicles have been ordered. Following completion of production and delivery of these three contracts, 198 DURO will be in operation in the UK.
At the beginning of 2003 MOWAG GmbH took over the DURO business sector from Bucher Industries. During the past two years MOWAG has further developed the original vehicle concept and is now present in the important 12 tonne market segment with the DURO III.
Of the 198 vehicles ordered or already delivered by/to the UK, 124 are the smaller DURO II version with a maximum GVW of 9 tonnes, of which 6 vehicles are for ammunition disposal (mine clearance and bomb disposal) and 118 vehicles as carriers of communications systems.
Of the 66 larger DURO III vehicles, 48 will also be applied as communications vehicles, whereas 18 DUROs will be equipped for bomb disposal. A number of these DUROs are already in operation with the British Army in Iraq for bomb disposal missions.
Apart from the UK, in 2004 and 2005 Germany has already acquired a total of 30 of the further developed armoured DURO III P vehicles. These vehicles have proven their performance and reliability in Peace Keeping missions with the German Bundeswehr in Afghanistan. Based on the good experience gained in Peace Keeping missions abroad, MOWAG GmbH expects further orders from both the UK and Germany.
The CEO at MOWAG GmbH, Simon T. Honess, is very pleased with the close cooperation with the UK, and stated: “The three current contacts are proof of the customer's trust in the performance and reliability of the DURO, as well as the real partnership between the British procurement agencies and MOWAG GmbH.”
This trust is also reflected in the fact that MOWAG is the only off-shore (non-British) company with a long-term Option Contract with the (UK) Procurement Agency.
When asked to address the significance of these contracts for MOWAG GmbH, Honess stated: “With the further development and successful marketing of the DUROs, we have managed to establish a second independent product line in a completely different segment in parallel to the successful PIRANHA family of armoured wheeled vehicles. The creation of a second main pillar in parallel to the PIRANHA was also the strategic target when taking over the DURO segment from Bucher Industries. I am convinced that the DURO will be the source of much gratification for us in Kreuzlingen”.
A large number of suppliers in Switzerland are also profiting from the current sales success of the DURO, as more than 80% of the vehicle parts are produced in Switzerland.
MOWAG GmbH of Kreuzlingen develops, designs, and manufactures technologically advanced special vehicles for military use. Far more than 10'000 armoured wheeled vehicles of the MOWAG PIRANHA, MOWAG EAGLE, and MOWAG DURO series are fielded all over the world. Since October of 2003, MOWAG is part of the General Dynamics European Land Combat Systems group, and employs a qualified staff of more than 500 in its Kreuzlingen site.