New contract for more armoured fighting vehicles

Category: Defence Industry

The new Specialist Vehicles will replace the Scimitar reconnaissance vehicle

A contract which will lead to the delivery of a new fleet of medium weight armoured fighting vehicles has been announced by Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth today, Monday 22 March 2010.

The first tranche of the Specialist Vehicle (SV) programme should deliver around 600 vehicles to the front line, with the possibility of further purchases in the future.

The Ministry of Defence has selected General Dynamics UK as the preferred bidder for the demonstration phase of the new SV programme.

This will include development of Scout, the principal reconnaissance vehicle that will replace the Scimitar vehicle currently deployed in Afghanistan.

The Specialist Vehicle fleet will provide improved protection against a wide range of threats and bring significant benefits to the Army, including greater firepower, longer range sensors and sighting systems and a higher level of reliability.

Under the proposed solution, around 70 per cent of the work on the vehicles would take place in the UK, which would ensure the creation or sustainment of over 10,000 British jobs within the armoured vehicle sector.

The announcement of the first of the Specialist Vehicles comes after the commitment to order an initial batch of 200 new Light Protected Patrol Vehicles (LPPVs) for Afghanistan.

The LPPVs being assessed by the MOD are at the cutting-edge of technology, providing the right balance between protection, weight and manoeuvrability required by our Armed Forces on operations in Afghanistan.

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said:

"I am pleased to announce the successful outcome of the Specialist Vehicle competition. This represents a very important milestone towards replacing the ageing CVR(T) [Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked)] and is one of the highest equipment priorities for the Army.

"In addition, the development of the Common Base Platform will enable the delivery of further vehicles to meet requirements informed by the outcome of the Strategic Defence Review.

"We are determined to provide the Armed Forces with the capabilities they require, and the Specialist Vehicle decision follows the announcement of our commitment to order an initial batch of 200 LPPVs that we will get to Afghanistan as quickly as possible."

The SV and the LPPV will add to the vast array of vehicles available to commanders which include the heavy protected vehicles such as Mastiff, medium protected vehicles such as Husky, Ridgback and Panther, and lighter vehicles like Jackal.

Chief of Defence Materiel, General Sir Kevin O'Donoghue, said:

"Today's announcement marks an important step in the Specialist Vehicle programme. The Scout is one of the Army's highest equipment priorities and will be the cornerstone of its reconnaissance capability. To have reached this point in a complex programme so soon after the assessment phase began in summer 2008 reflects highly on the Defence Equipment and Support staff involved."


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