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GDLS withdraws from Japan's Type 96 replacement programme, says ATLA

General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) has withdrawn from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force's (JGSDF's) Type 96 replacement programme, the Japan Ministry of Defense's (MoD's) Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) has confirmed to Janes . The decision leaves Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Finnish company Patria in a head-to-head competition for the contract.

A spokesperson from ATLA told Janes on 16 November that GDLS was expected to provide the agency with two examples of its Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) 6.0 by March 2021 for evaluating for the programme, which will replace the JGSDF's ageing fleet of Komatsu Type 96 8Γ—8 armoured personnel carriers (APCs).

β€œGDLS's LAV 6.0 has been removed as a candidate because it did not deliver the test vehicles by the date of the contract agreement,” the ATLA spokesperson said. β€œIt has withdrawn from the competition.”

Asked by Janes why GDLS withdrew from the bidding, the ATLA spokesperson said, β€œWe refrain to comment [because] it is related to specific contract details.”

GDLS did not respond to Janes emails and messages seeking comment.

Meanwhile, MHI is preparing to deliver its prototype Mitsubishi Armoured Vehicle, the ATLA spokesperson said, adding that Patria sent two examples of its 8Γ—8 Armoured Modular Vehicle (AMV) XP to Japan in March.

ATLA also confirmed that the two contenders' test vehicles will be put through a year-long trial before a decision is made in fiscal year 2022, with mass production scheduled to commence a year later.

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