Armoured vehicles in Afghanistan will be kept on track after the MoD extended the contract of a County Durham firm which provides the metal tracks the vehicles run on.
Astrum (UK) Ltd, based in County Durham, has secured a £30m, two-year extension to their contract with the MOD to supply tracks to all heavy, medium and light Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV) — including the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance, Warrior and Trojan are currently on operations in Afghanistan.
Other track systems supplied by Astrum under the agreement include tracks for the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank, the armoured engineer vehicle Titan and the armoured personnel carrier FV430 including the up-armoured and upgraded ‘Bulldog’ variant. The deal will secure 100 jobs in the company’s defence design and manufacturing side of the business.
During a visit to Astrum, Minister for Defence, Equipment and Support, Quentin Davies, said: “This contract will continue to ensure vehicles currently engaged on operations and those being used to train personnel have top quality tracks supported by robust and dependable supply chains.”
Astrum managing director, Phil Kite, said: “Winning this contract is a major boost for the business, and is a well deserved reward for the hard work of all our employees. Over the last few years we have continually demonstrated that we can deliver quality products, on time, at competitive prices. The award of this major contract was built on this success and the determination of the business to be the best at what we do.”
Andy McGrellis, Combat Track Group, Systems Team Leader, at MoD Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) in Bristol, said: “The award of this contract to Astrum will enable DE&S to secure the supply of AFV track and associated items for the next two years in support of both current operations and in support of Land Forces pre-deployment training and exercises.”