Armoured Battlegroup Support Vehicle

A few bits of news and rumours from TD spies at DVD!

The Warrior conversion to the Battlegroup Support Vehicle project is moving on with various proposed numbers, 380 being the duty rumour, split across a number of variants.

The Battlegroup/Battlefield Support Vehicle is basically a surplus Warrior IFV with the turret removed and will fit into the wider sustainment project that will also see a 40mm CTA turret integrated with the IFV versions of vehicle.

One was on display at DVD, a sand painted and up armoured version of the previous vehicle shown several years earlier.

Warrior ABSV
Warrior ABSV

Earlier pictures…

Warrior BGSV 02 (Image Credit - Plain Military)
Warrior BGSV (Image Credit – Plain Military)
Warrior BGSV 02 (Image Credit - Plain Military)
Warrior BGSV (Image Credit – Plain Military)
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DomS
DomS
July 1, 2014 9:43 am

Interesting – so is a Battlegroup Support Vehicle the same as an APC…?

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
July 1, 2014 10:42 am

It’s looking like the 432’s within the armoured battle groups are getting replaced with Warrior. So the mainstay of our vehicles within the armoured formations will be Warrior based, with that in mind and considering that Terrier is based on the Warrior chassis and the FRES SV is just an improved similar era design, does any one know why Warrior 2000 was not considered for FRES SV?
Was it not even offered as an option?
And after seeing what was offered could we have not asked for it and cited commonality as the reason?

Chris
Chris
July 1, 2014 11:12 am

DN – somehow I think the colossal mountain of cash poured through FFLAV FFLAV2 TRACER & FRES studies effectively barred any Warrior or CVR(T)/Stormer or AS90 or C2 based solution because of the inevitable questions that would have been raised – if the ideal vehicle was already in service why spend billions and decades to work that out? Politically for the MOD letting any current UK vehicle pick up the FRES contract would have shown the study to have been a total farce of no value whatsoever. The FRES platform simply had to be something different.

In reality? I checked. I was told that all the FRESy electronics would probably fit Warrior and it would be able to do the job. But protection levels would be lower. And all the modernizing UK is paying for on ASCOD means the ASCOD/FRES will be a more up to date platform than Warrior. Of course if Warrior had been handed a £600m upgrade budget it too would have been shiny and new (and fat with extra armour).

oldreem
July 1, 2014 11:55 am

What is the commander’s station like – vision and armament? Hope it’s more ergonomic than that on the WR repair & recovery variants.

A Different Gareth
A Different Gareth
July 1, 2014 12:22 pm

Chris said: “In reality? I checked. I was told that all the FRESy electronics would probably fit Warrior and it would be able to do the job. But protection levels would be lower. And all the modernizing UK is paying for on ASCOD means the ASCOD/FRES will be a more up to date platform than Warrior. ”

Part of the Warrior upgrade programme is called Warrior Enhanced Electronics Architecture. This sounds a lot like the data and power network that is built into FRES SV too. Given Lockheed Martin are involved in both contracts might what you have been told be what is happening? I’m unsure what the point would be. Maybe to get a CT40 armed IFV sooner than the FRES programme could produce?

wf
wf
July 1, 2014 12:45 pm

In reality, the automotive and vehicle design of ASCOD is probably superior to Warrior, and the armour will be better from day 1 due to operational experience. Still trying to understand why we’re not using ASCOD for IFV and Battle Field support roles: remove the expensive recce gear and turret if need be, and we have a very decent production run of something that isn’t already 25 years old.

Observer
Observer
July 1, 2014 12:51 pm

I have to agree with Dom.

An APC by any other name is still an APC.

Is it a must in the armed forces these days to require a snazzy sounding project name??

Chris
Chris
July 1, 2014 1:01 pm

wf – a while back I posted a link to a FOI request on this matter – the Gov’t stated position was that reworking Warrior was more cost effective than selling/scrapping them and buying more ASCOD variants.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
July 1, 2014 1:17 pm

Warrior 2000 was an updated version entered against th CV90 for the Swedish IFV competition, so it would not be that far behind the Ascod

wf
wf
July 1, 2014 1:19 pm

: you and I both know that by the time Warrior is primped, has it’s automotive components replaced, undertakes up-armouring similar to the TES(H) models, has a new turret with an unproven gun fitted etc, that point of view is nonsense. And I’m ignoring the support costs of one vehicle family over two….

Chris
Chris
July 1, 2014 1:53 pm

wf – you know it; I suspect it to be so; the man on the Clapham Omnibus would be able to see it. But MOD with its very own universe that works in very different ways thinks that development of Warrior FLIP in parallel to very similar ASCOD/FRES is going to save money. We are evidently not intelligent enough to understand.

Monty
July 1, 2014 2:18 pm

It makes a lot of sense to use surplus Warriors as ABSVs to replace FV432. We should end-up with six battalions using more or less the same platform for all vehicles. Common drivetrains will simplify logistics, training and overall effectiveness.

In an ideal world, it would have made sense to use the Warrior platform for FRES SV. The problem is that Warrior has been out of production for a long time and the original jigs and moulds no longer exist. We therefore had no alternative but to buy new vehicles.

In selecting the ASCOD2, all we were looking for was a basic platform with growth potential. FRES Scout has become a very different vehicle from the original ASCOD platform. Having seen both Puma and ASCOD up close, i think ASCOD is a better choice even if it uses a torsion bar suspension system. the ASCOD2 IFV with a 40mm CTA turret could easily replace Warrior if we had the money.

A consistent theme at both DVD and Eurosatory was the ongoing relevance of tracked vehicles. The British Army firmly believes that they still have a place on the modern battlefield. But many politicians do not share that view. I just wonder whether CR2 LEP, Warrior CSP and FRES SV will all be Defence Budget casualties after the next election.

Chris
Chris
July 1, 2014 2:29 pm

Monty – an interesting point, whether tracks or wheels provide what’s needed. I seem to recall your desire for some wheels… But surely the choice between them is down to size of AOI and what forces the opposition bring to bear? Small(er) battlefield and high capability opposition – heavy tracked platforms perform better; wider or dispersed fighting environment against pop-up opportunistic opposition – faster longer-legged wheeled platforms do better – or doesn’t it work that way?

Hohum
Hohum
July 1, 2014 11:29 pm

Warrior sucks, it sucked when it was built and it still sucks, you can warm it over all you like but it was built too small with correspondingly little power. You can not make it what the FRES CBP can do. With that said, using surplus hulls for the armoured support vehicle role is eminently sensible.

Re FRES CBP, it may be an ASCOD metal box but the guts are more Puma.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 3, 2014 8:53 pm

RE “Given Lockheed Martin are involved in both contracts might what you have been told be what is happening? I’m unsure what the point would be. Maybe to get a CT40 armed IFV sooner than the FRES programme could produce?”

Chris referred to the (no very specific) FOI answer and Monty saw standardisation in different roles across the 6 most relevant bn’s as a good thing… I agree.
– I seem to remember that all of the 600 or so Warriors going through the 3-tiered upgrade prgrm (el. architecture at the bottom; turret at the top… forgetting already what was in the middle) are to come out at a weighted average cost of £1m/ unit
– obviously much more for the ones with turret and canon (the latter not in this costing) than for those without… so, much less for the others then

TD was leading us on with a £6m unit cost for the new ones (obviously to spray some petrol onto the fire already going), but the very old informed guesses were between £ 2.5 and 4m – and can only have gone up since

Chris
Chris
July 3, 2014 9:46 pm
ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 3, 2014 10:02 pm

Hi Chris, I meant that the answer you received was not very specific (or, perhaps not been updated for many years since the analysis was done), namely:
“The analysis conducted, indicated that the cost of the new Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) is between 1.4 and 2 times the cost of upgrading the existing Warrior vehicle. ”

Difficult to make this meet with the avg £ 1m for upgraded Warriors, and then times 1.4 or 2 to get the £mlns for an ASCOD… when at neither end of the equation we have an IFV!
– the SV Scout might be described as an IFV; how many out of the 320-400?
– the number of battle field support versions of Warrior now announced puts the 340 or so IFVs announced at some point (as the share of the total number to be upgraded) in doubt

That’s all I was trying to say, not criticize that you had been unclear in any way.

Chris
Chris
July 4, 2014 7:04 am

ACC – sorry; I thought you’d missed the earlier link. Not my FOI request, just something Google threw into search results – as for the vague nature of the response, RT explained a day or two back how there is a system for answering FOI requests in the least clear, least embarrassing (for HMG) way that uses a range of methods to paint raging red issues a boring shade of magnolia (I can’t recall RT’s precise list but stuff such as answering a slightly different question to that clearly asked, adding lots of guff about related issues to cover the lack of information on the question’s subject, apples equated to oranges, using big handful budget numbers without defining what’s in or out of the budgeted scope – all the tricks politicians use every day to justify their existence).

But in this case, noting the response was written a month before Quentin Davies told the Defence Committee “FRES is dead” and four months before MOD picked ASCOD to be Dead FRES, the costs of the two bids would still have been under negotiation (as would the two bids for Warrior FLIP/CSP) so the MOD probably knew no better at the time.