Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 13:58 UK

Deal 'protects' jobs and troops


Two hundred new armoured vehicles have been ordered for troops in Afghanistan.

A £74m contract to supply armoured vehicles for troops in Afghanistan has been awarded to two defence companies based in Devon.

Nearly 200 vehicles have been ordered by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

They are designed by the east Devon-based company Supacat and will be manufactured in partnership with Babcock International in Plymouth.

The MoD hopes the deal will offer better protection to troops and safeguard defence jobs in Devon.

'Increased protection'

The new vehicles are scheduled to be delivered from July, entering operational use in Afghanistan from September.

They include 110 upgraded Jackal 2 armoured cars and 70 Coyote support vehicles.

The MoD order is part of a £700m protected patrol vehicles package announced by the government following criticism that some of its vehicles did not offer troops enough protection.

Quentin Davies, minister for defence equipment and support, said: "These impressive vehicles will give our troops increased protection on frontline operations.

"We are showing our commitment to provide our service personnel with the very best equipment we possibly can."

Nick Ames, Supacat's managing director, said: "This alliance will help to ensure that our Armed Forces receive the best possible equipment within the shortest possible timescale."

Roger Gillespie, from Babcock, said: "This contract will further demonstrate that this method of design, production and delivery is the best for MoD's needs."

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