£1 billion investment for UK Warrior armoured vehicles IAV 2012 news International Armoured Vehicles

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International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2012
International Defence Exhibition & Conference
FIVE, Farnborough, United Kingdom
20 - 23 February 2012
 
Press release IAV 2012
 
 
Monday, December 5, 2012, 04:21 PM
 
£1 billion investment for UK Warrior armoured vehicles.
UK forces were bolstered this month with the news that the contract for the Army’s Warrior infantry fighting vehicle upgrade has finally been sealed, which should see the service life of the fleet extended to at least 2040.
     
UK forces were bolstered this month with the news that the contract for the Army’s Warrior infantry fighting vehicle upgrade has finally been sealed, which should see the service life of the fleet extended to at least 2040
     
Peter Luff, the Defence Minister for Equipment, Support and Technology who signed the deal, divulged that the work would include a refit of over 300 of the existing vehicles, including an improved turret, a stabilised 40mm cannon for accurate fire whilst on the move, and an enhanced modular armour mounting system.

Of the total bill, it is estimated that approximately £200m will provide for the demonstration contract, and close to £642m on the build itself.

All of the upgraded units are anticipated to enter service between 2018 and 2020, and work on the programme is believed to be supporting 600 domestic jobs.

The Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP) received bids from Lockheed Martin UK and BAE Systems in November 2009. Between that time and the final decision, the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) threatened to derail the project, along with many other upgrade programmes, while ministers re-examined the defence budget.

“We made difficult decisions in the strategic spending review so we could spend money on important equipment like this,” declared Prime Minister David Cameron to a press conference at LMUK’s Ampthill facility.

"It's a £1 billion investment. 90 per cent of the jobs and the work are to be done here in the UK. That's good for the economy, it's good for our armed forces, but only possible because we made difficult decisions.

The PM went on to add that the decision showed “concrete benefits of the fundamental changes” introduced to modernise the Armed Forces and rebalance the defence budget.

"It means we are now able to ensure our soldiers have greater flexibility and firepower with these upgraded armoured vehicles.”

Luff, who will be addressing industry and military representatives at the annual International Armoured Vehicles event in the UK this February, will be relieved as much as pleased with the agreement, following a decade long run of three cancelled upgrade attempts for the Warrior.

One of the most urgent enhancements, as with all vehicles stationed to Afghanistan and other regions dealing with insurgency, will be the bespoke armour specifically needed to help counter the impact of IEDs and RPGs.

At present, Warriors must also slow to a halt in order to fire its 30mm RARDEN autocannon, leaving the vehicle exposed if caught in the middle of a live fire exchange. The new cannon should allow for much needed manoeuvrability.

Despite Warrior suffering from what some would call ‘underfunding’, the fleet have proven greatly successful in not only the recent Afghan conflict, but also in Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo.

Earlier in the year, Defence IQ reported on the UK’s National Audit Office taking the Ministry of Defence to task for losing almost 18.2 per cent of spending on armoured vehicles since 1998 to programmes that have never seen deliverance to the front line. The Warrior investment may well be seen as early evidence of the SDSR beginning to correct these past mistakes.

Alongside Peter Luff, General Sir Peter Wall, head of the British Army, will be speaking at International Armoured Vehicles 2012 to help the industry and allies understand the future of UK heavy armour.

More information can be found by visiting www.InternationalArmouredVehicles.com, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by calling +44 (0)207 368 9300.
 
 

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