NEW ORLEANS, March 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Textron Marine & Land Systems (TM&LS), an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, announced today a $5.5 million contract award from the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) to provide 12 armored turrets, technical support services, vehicle repairs and spare parts for the Colombian Army's (COLAR) Armored Personnel Carriers (APC). The COLAR has 39 COMMANDO(TM) Advanced APCs in operation with its Armored Cavalry units and, under a separate U.S. Foreign Military Sales case, has requested to purchase additional APCs. Since fielding its APCs in May 2010, the COLAR has employed them extensively while combating internal revolutionary forces in Colombia. These vehicles have provided the mobility, protection and firepower needed to meet all COLAR tactical armored vehicle requirements. TM&LS' APC is an extended version of the M1117 Armored Security Vehicle (ASV), combat proven over 10 years and used by the U.S. Army and other militaries in locations including Afghanistan and Iraq. The APC's additional two feet in length and six inches in internal height allow greater troop carrying capacity in areas of operations. These vehicles are part of the COMMANDO(TM) Advanced line of armored vehicles, which offer excellent on-road and off-road mobility enabling them to operate in urban, jungle, desert and mountainous terrain. Crew protection is reinforced with a V-shaped hull bottom and 360-degree protection from direct fire. "This contract is an extension of our positive working relationship with the Colombian Ministry of Defence and Army leadership, and an example of our capability as a full-spectrum armored vehicle provider," said Textron Marine & Land Systems Senior Vice President and General Manager Tom Walmsley. "Colombia's APCs are performing exceptionally well in a variety of operational roles, while offering outstanding protection to COLAR soldiers. Building on this success, we're working with Colombia to increase the number of APCs in COLAR units while sustaining its entire vehicle fleet with a coordinated program of maintenance, training and field service support," Walmsley added.