BAE Systems has delivered Austria its initial BvS10 all-terrain tracked vehicles, which will serve as the country’s first combat vehicle for its mountain infantry, the company said Tuesday.

The deliveries are the first of 32 total vehicles included in a 2016 contract award for the Armored Personnel Variant of the BvS10.

BvS10 All Terrain Vehicle
Photo: BAE Systems

“The handover of these highly-capable vehicles marks a significant milestone in the BvS10 contract for Austria. We are very pleased with progress to date and the very positive feedback from the Austrian military. We expect final deliveries to conclude later this year,” Peter Nygren, BAE Systems Hägglunds’ vice president of business development, said in a statement.

Following the delivery and handover ceremonies on Feb. 21-22, Austria is now officially the fifth operator of the BvS10 joining France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the U.K.

The Austrian Armed Forces is expected to field the vehicles with its 24th Infantry Battalion, a unit tasked with providing combat support in mountainous terrain for the European Union Mountain Training Warfare Initiative.

“The ‘Hägglunds’ is the first combat vehicle for the mountain infantry, which makes possible the armored transport of soldiers in Alpine operations and off-road. We thus put renewed focus on our core task of military defense,” Mario Kunasek, Austria’s minister of defence, said in a statement.

BAE Systems in a statement said it outfitted the BvS10 for Austria with a 360-degree Observation Camera System and a Remote Controlled Weapon Station.

The company is looking to offer BvS10 as a potential replacement for the Marine Corps’ Bv206 all-terrain tracked vehicle, noting a need for a new platform to handle potential increased activity in the Arctic region (Defense Daily, Sept. 2018).

Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, has said he is interested in exploring offerings for a new all-terrain, support vehicle as his force trains for a potential fight in harsh cold-weather conditions, while noting that no funding has been dedicated to actively begin a search for a Bv206 replacement (Defense Daily, Oct. 2018).