The Ministry of Defence announced in September 2012 that 99 Viking vehicles, used extensively by the Royal Marines, would be regenerated under a new £37m contract with BAE Systems.
The revamp of the Viking Fleet has seen the vehicles fitted with new mine blast protected Hulls designed to offer additional defence should they encounter an explosive device. In addition the entire fleet has had improvements made to its braking and suspension systems.The project has been managed by the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organistion based in Bristol.
The amphibious vehicles can be launched straight from a ship and propelled through water before landing for a beach assault. Their versatility across tough terrains was put to use when deployed on operations in Afghanistan.
The forward cabin of all 99 vehicles have been fitted with a Protected Weapon Mount (PWM) which pivots 360 degrees and can be used with either a 12.7mm Browning heavy machine gun or 7.62 general purpose machine gun. Nine Viking vehicles have also been upgraded to allow the firing of an 81mm mortar from the vehicle.
The Regeneration Programme currently secures the vehicle’s service life until 2024 with an option to further extend that date until 2034.