New armoured vehicles go on parade
New South African-made armoured vehicles, intended to protect Irish troops from land mines and improvised bombs on UN missions, were put on display yesterday.
The first two of 27 RG-32m armoured vehicles from BAE OMC have been delivered to the Curragh and the rest are scheduled to follow over the next few months.
The Irish Defence Forces is the first army in the world to order the new vehicle in a €20m contract.
Its features include a V-shaped hull which helps to protect soldiers from land-mine attack.
The effect of the lack of such a vehicle was underlined in 2008 when two Irish soldiers had a lucky escape in Lebanon when their unarmoured 4X4 was caught in a roadside blast.
The new vehicles first deployment will be with the EU Nordic Battlegroup in 2011.
The nine-tonne car will be used for a variety of tasks including carrying the Javelin guided missile, surveillance, communications and target acquisition.