AN Irish-developed armour-ed vehicle has been selected for testing by the US Marine Corps which is seeking nearly 600 new armoured personnel carriers.
The 8X8 Terrex armoured vehicle was developed in Ireland by world leaders in vehicle and suspension design, Timoney Technology of Navan, for the Singapore Technologies Kinetics company.
One of the most modern armoured vehicles in production, it has exceptional mobility and agility using a Timoney suspension system.
The vehicle, which has a V shaped hull to protect against mine blasts, can carry up to 14 troops or 11 tonnes of cargo internally.
It underwent initial trials in Ireland and the UK before being shipped to Singapore for evaluation.
It is now produced there and the Singapore Army has bought 135 vehicles, while another version is produced in Turkey by Otokar.
The vehicle is one of four that has been selected by the US Marine Corps and manufacturers have been given $3.5m (€2.6m) each to deliver a vehicle for testing which will run until August 2013.
The marines need 579 personnel carriers to fill the gap left by another vehicle – the so-called expeditionary fighting vehicle – which was cancelled after $3bn (€2.25bn) was spent in developmental funding.
The contenders in the trials are Lockheed Martin with their Finnish Patria vehicle; Bae Systems with a 24-tonne Italian Superlav; General Dynamics; and Science Applications International Corp, a US-based company which is putting forward the Terrex vehicle.
Timoney Technology has vast experience in designing armoured vehicles and suspension systems.
One of its most successful has been the Bushmaster troop carrier, with hundreds produced in Australia by a licensee.
Timoney, which designed and built armoured vehicles for the Irish Army in the Seventies, is also involved in developing the Crusher unmanned vehicle for the US military.
Last year, Singapore Technologies Engineering increased its shareholding in Timoney Holdings from 25pc to 27.4pc.