Multi Role Vehicle – Protected (MRV-P)

The Multi-Role Vehicle – Protected (MRV-P) is defined by the British Army as; A Category A project intended to meet the requirement for a protected deployable platform employed by all Force Elements, at all scales of effort, in a wide range of environments, and on all parts of the battlefield except for the direct fire zone. The MRV-P should bring commonality to the fleet and reduce the logistics footprint for utility vehicles by 2020. In common with the majority of British Army vehicle programmes, the Multi-Role Vehicle (Protected) has a long and complicated backstory that is worth understanding in order

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Towards the Integrated Review

The UK Government is currently (September 2020) working on the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy that will set out a plan of action for the next several years. I don’t claim any great insight or special knowledge, neither do I have a deep understanding of strategy or foreign policy theory. This is just a personal opinion of the direction I think it should take, no more, no less. Preface Before the publication of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, there are well-established rituals to be observed. First, everyone agrees it is the

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Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle

The Warrior combat vehicle is the mainstay of the British Army’s armoured infantry force, a solid and capable vehicle with a long and successful service history. Currently subject to a controversial upgrade programme, it is set to remain in service for another 15 or 20 years. The British Army describe Warrior as; The Warrior infantry fighting vehicle has the speed and performance to keep up with Challenger 2 main battle tanks over the most difficult terrain, and the firepower and armour to support infantry in the assault. The Warrior family of seven variants of armoured vehicles, which entered service in

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A UK Hospital Ship

A UK Hospital Ship has been a recurring theme in the media and over the years, accompanied by much online discussion, but it has never really gained much traction in Government. Comments from the Secretary of State for International Development (Penny Mordaunt MP) reported in the Daily Mail would seem to have improved its prospects. Tens of millions of pounds in foreign aid money could be used to build ships to provide humanitarian relief – and help the Royal Navy. International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt believes this dual role will quell concerns about Britain annual £14billion foreign aid budget. Critics

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The British Army – Transformation in an Age of Complexity

The British Army is always transforming, and there is nothing at all wrong with that. Society, politics, culture and technology change, old threats evolve and new ones emerge. Transformation, therefore, is nothing new or unusual. In 2018, the main driver of change for the British Army is the transition from counterinsurgency operations in the Middle East and South Asia to countering a resurgent threat from Russia. Bisecting this is Brexit, the emergence (or perhaps more accurately, increasing prominence) of what is often termed hybrid warfare, and the ever-increasing role of technology in modern ‘connected life’. The British Army thus finds

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Easibridge – Lightweight Tactical Bridging Innovation

EasiBridge offers the world’s first truly man-portable, long-span rescue/assault bridging system. Exploiting the inherent flexibility of the EasiBridge systems, a further eight engineer/infantry “Super-Kit” capabilities can be used. Key benefits include; Portability; weighing just 4kg/m the EasiBridge sections can be easily carried by dismounted personnel and handled without mechanical assistance, Span Length; gaps of up to 18m can be installed by a single person, with access from one side only, Low Cost; EasiBridge is significantly lower cost than comparable infantry assault bridges, Versatility; using common components a wide range of demanding requirements can be addressed. EasiBridge components are 85% lighter

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The Boxer Armoured Vehicle and the British Army

The ARTEC Boxer 8×8 armoured vehicle will meet the British Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) requirement that will equip the new Strike Brigades. Boxer and the British Army go back much further than widely known, this will be third time lucky for the British Army and Boxer. There are three broad stages of the UK’s involvement with Boxer, starting in the late eighties/early nineties and this is how I am going to structure this article, with a final section on the vehicle itself. Round 1 – The Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV) Era The international programme that delivered Boxer was called

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Winston and Nellie (the Trenching Machine)

Nellie was the nickname given a unique trenching machine produced at the insistence of Winston Churchill during the early stages of WWII. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Neville Chamberlain appointed Winston Churchill to the Cabinet as First Lord of the Admiralty. Wasting no time he immediately revisited some of his older ideas about advancing to a trench line using mechanical means. He foresaw an attack against the Siegfried Line as being an eventual necessity and to do so, an armoured vehicle would be used to cut a trench through it, other vehicles and dismounted personnel would follow behind and

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Jackal Armoured Vehicle

The Light Strike Brigade

We know that the British Army’s Strike Brigade is built around the concept of disaggregated operations across a large area where forces concentrate at points in time and space to deliver a range of meaningful effects. They are based on a collection of ‘medium weight’ tracked and wheeled vehicles, none of which can exploit the mobility advantages of support helicopters because they are too heavy. The Light Strike Brigade is therefore based on the core principles of the joint land strike concept but with much lighter vehicles that can exploit the mobility afforded by UK Support Helicopters. It is not

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Military Motorcycles

Where quad bikes are focussed on load-hauling, motorcycles tend to a focus on speed. The military motorcycle has generally lost favour in most western forces but is it time to have another look? This article from Sputnik News describes the value of motorcycles in the close urban terrain of Salma in Syria. The use of motorcycles in a military context is hardly new, German and Russian forces in WWII made extensive use of them for reconnaissance, seeking out gaps and Israel suffered at the hands of motorcycle-borne forces. Conventional motorcycles were also used for convoy marshalling and despatch rider duties

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Quad Afghanistan

Military Quad Bikes (Small ATV)

Quad bikes (or small all-terrain vehicles) are in common service with a number of military forces to provide mobility and logistics support, generally dismounted forces, light role infantry for example. In UK terminology, a quad bike is typically a four wheel ride on vehicle with a weight of less than 550kg but the definitions and regulations can depend on other factors (click here to find out  more) Background It should come as no surprise that the Quad Bike is actually a British invention we failed to exploit. The Standard Ultra Lightweight and Jungle Airborne Buggy were produced in 1944 and

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The Overburdened Infantry Soldier

Since there were first soldiers the weight they have carried has been subject to cyclical variation and much discussion. The upward trend that saw its zenith during operations in Afghanistan is now subject to a realisation that it is both unsustainable and undesirable. The Recurring Problem of Overburdened Soldiers None of this is new, the Athenian General Iphicrates was widely credited with introducing a light force (Peltasts) that enabled them to overcome the much heavier armed and armoured Spartans at the Battle of Lechaeum. Increasing the length of their weapons and reducing the weight of their armour resulted in a

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