Well, at least for the demonstration phase
The demonstration phase is for 7 prototypes and a total value of £500 million.
Yes, that £500 million for 7 prototypes, it’s not a spelling mistake.
Inflation eh, the last time we tried to replace CVR(T) with something new, the TRACER programme only 8 years ago, it only cost £131 million and that was for a similar development phase but with two manufacturing consortia and two separate designs.
It will carry three crew members and have mounted both a new type of 40mm cannon and a machine gun. It will replace the Scimitar armoured fighting vehicle. Interestingly, work will continue alongside this programme to update existing armoured reconnaissance vehicles in service in Afghanistan, such as the Scimitar, to maintain their operational capabilities.
Commenting on the award, Peter Luff MP, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support said
Military commanders have stressed the importance of having a wide range of vehicles from which they can select the most appropriate for specific tasks.
“This contract is a major step towards providing an additional fleet of combat vehicles, capable of undertaking operations in the most demanding terrain and fully incorporating lessons from current conflicts.
Work on this phase of the programme will go ahead alongside the wider Strategic Defence and Security Review which will make sure that the capabilities that we are investing in are those best placed to provide the security we need for the future.”
The Chief of Defence Materiel, General Sir Kevin O’Donoghue, said:
“Today’s announcement is the result of months of hard work by a wide range of stakeholders across MOD and General Dynamics UK enabling us to reach this point, ahead of the original plan.
The work that has been done has been, and continues to be, subject to the most careful scrutiny to ensure the decision is the right one for the long-term needs of the Army.”
Master-General of the Ordnance, Major General Bill Moore, said:
“This is a very good moment for the Army. Scout will provide a much better capability to find and track the enemy, so necessary for the successful prosecution of operations in the 21st century.
Scout will also deliver improved situational awareness, increased firepower, more protection and enhanced mobility, and it will be a key capability for land operations over the next few decades.”
The project trials will start in 2013.
This is my favourite part of the release
When this phase concludes the MOD will be in a position to place a production contract.
Assuming that the vehicle performs as per the specifications that is.
At the end of the trials phase the UK will have engaged in the FFLAV, TRACER and FRES programmes, spent in excess of one billion pounds on these and past/future upgrades to CVR(T) and still not have a single production replacement for a vehicle which will by then be over 43 years old and still in service.
This must rank as the single most inept procurement programme of all time.
On the MoD’s school report….
Perhaps we shouldn’t be as grumpy, it’s progress after all.
Anyway, here are some pictures to be going on with because whilst based on the established ASCOD, FRES Scout is still a paper design.