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Giat to upgrade Leclerc tanks for UAE

posted on 19/03/2003: 2890 views

France's Giat Industries has agreed to upgrade hundreds of Leclerc tanks it has supplied to the UAE within a US$4 billion deal signed 10 years ago while the delivery of scores of recovery vehicles in the package has been delayed for modifications requested by the UAE. Giat, one of the key companies taking part in IDEX, said it had already supplied 381 of the 388 Leclerc main battle tanks to the emirates and the rest will be delivered by April. Two Driver Trainers have also been provided while only 12 of the ordered 46 recovery vehicles have been delivered as the rest will be supplied within two years.

"The delay is because the UAE has asked for modifications on those vehicles to suit its requirements and we have agreed to do such modifications," said Norbert Chevasson, sales deputy direct at Giat Industries. "Modifications will also be carried out on the main tanks...according to the contract, we will upgrade all those tanks and for this purpose we will station some of our engineers and technicians in the UAE...the modifications will be completed in 2005," he told Gulf News.

The tank package, one of the biggest arms deals in the region, is governed by the UAE's offset programme which requires the weapon supplier to invest part of the package in civilian projects in the emirates. Giat says it has honoured most of its offset commitments with the establishment of several joint ventures with UAE investors. Giat said it would maintain presence in the UAE for the years to come to provide training as well as logistic and technical support services to the armed forces as part of the Leclerc contract that was signed in 1993.

Delivery of Leclercs, part of the UAE's programme to beef up its defence capability, began with five tanks in November 1994. By end of 2002, most of them had been supplied, prompting Giat to boost its presence in the UAE to ensure post-delivery services. (The Gulf News)

Some 250 staff from Giat Industries are in the UAE to provide training and support service on the Leclerc system and more than half of them is assigned to the upgrading operations. Giat won the contract against tough competition by the U.S. and Britain. (The Gulf News)


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