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?20m Army vehicle tender is cancelled

A ?20m competition for a fleet of new armoured vehicles for the Army - described as a "key priority" by Defence Minister Willie O'Dea - has been cancelled, writes Don Lavery.

Up to 66 light-armoured tactical vehicles (LTAVs) for use by the Army were to have been bought by way of a tendering competition launched in February.

The vehicles are similar to US army Humvee jeeps but such vehicles have proved vulnerable to roadside bombs in Iraq. The Department of Defence said yesterday that the competition had been cancelled in July because a suitable vehicle cannot be found for the Irish Defence Forces.

A department spokesman said the cancellation had happened on foot of a recommendation from a civil/military evaluation team. Instead, the Army is looking at buying 15 more Mowag armoured personnel carriers from Switzerland at a cost of some ?20m.

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