The MoD has released a few pictures and video footage of the Foxhound’s entry into Afghanistan
From the MoD’s press release
Foxhound is at the cutting edge of protected patrol vehicle technology and provides unprecedented levels of blast protection for its size and weight.
After being flown out from RAF Brize Norton in a C-17 aircraft, these patrol vehicles are currently undergoing final testing in the dusty and hot conditions of the Helmand desert before being deployed on operations later in the year.
Foxhound has been specifically designed and built in Britain to protect against the threats our troops face in Afghanistan. However, this is an agile and versatile vehicle that will be a mainstay in the Army for years to come.
The MOD is also able to confirm today that a £90m contract for an additional 100 Foxhounds has been signed. It means a total of 300 vehicles will now be delivered to the Army as part of a deal with GDLS:FPE worth £270m that is sustaining around 750 highly-skilled jobs across the UK.
Foxhound landed on the 2md of June 2012 at Camp Bastion.
Originally procured as an Urgent Operational Requirement, Foxhound was designed specifically to protect against the threats faced by troops in Afghanistan – for example, its V-shaped hull helps it withstand explosions caused by an improvised explosive device. Its size and agility allows troops to carry out a wide range of tasks in environments that may restrict larger, heavier vehicles. Foxhound is ideal for the Partnering and Mentoring role required for Transition, being able to access urban areas with increased protection.
The vehicle incorporates state of the art technology from a range of areas, including from non-traditional defence sources such as the UK’s world-leading motorsport industry, drawing a significant number of SMEs from across the country into the supply chain.
Its engine can be removed and replaced in just 30 minutes and it can drive away on only three wheels.
The vehicle was designed, developed, and built in the UK by FPE and Ricardo plc, together with Team Ocelot partners Thales, QinetiQ, Formaplex, DSG and Sula. Construction of the vehicles will take place throughout the UK.
But hold on a minute, how can it be possible that a new vehicle has no remote weapon system, surely that is putting ‘our brave boys’ at risk, wouldn’t they be better sat inside watching a TV screen?
No doubt there will be shrill cries in the media that cruel MoD penpushers and incompetent top brass have yet again failed.
The simple truth is that for the LPPV role, the situational awareness and ability to connect with the local population afforded by top cover standing up is better than being buttoned up.
It is not a weapons platform in the WMIK role but designed to provide protection whilst on patrol, a subtle but important distinction.
This might be hard for some to understand or appreciate but maybe the MoD and the users of this vehicle are right.
Given that this is a replacement for the Snatch there will no doubt be a great deal of scrutiny on this vehicle and the MoD does have a lot to answer for in that regards but there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the Snatch, in fact, many regard it as the best in its class. The problem with the Snatch was that it was the wrong vehicle for the threat environment it found itself being used in.
Anyway, Foxhound looks like a winner, as long as it lives up to expectations we should expect to see a good future for it.
We will hopefully see other variants such as the load carrier and weapons carrier be adopted.
H/T Paul G for the Ocelot weapons carrier image
Update, a few extra images and video