A Single Thought on MRV(P)

The British Army’s on, off, on again, well maybe off(ish) programme to replace the various UOR and protected mobility vehicles is called the Multi Role Vehicle (Protected).

One of the themes that I have seen mentioned often in online commentary is how Foxhound is too expensive, too well protected and therefore, something cheaper and less well protected must be purchased.

Hang on a cotton pickin’ minute.

Mention Black Swan to anyone in Dark Blue or Super Tucano in Light Blue and they recoil in horror; the very thought of buying something less capable or something cheaper is anathema, after all, Type 45 was forged in the fire of the South Atlantic and Typhoon needs tip top flight performance whilst dropping £100k Brimstone missiles on £10k Toyota’s because one day it might need to go up against an SU-30.

We invest in systems that provide maximum protection and performance, accepting fewer numbers in return.

So why should soldiers, arguably at greater risk and likelihood of being attacked whilst in their medium cost medium protection vehicles not enjoy the best protection our technology can produce?

Why must a sailor or a pilot be so protected but when it comes to a soldier, second best will do?

If Foxhound is so expensive because of its very high protection capabilities, so what, buy them over a longer period, buy fewer, invest in a long production run to build economies of scale, run a production competition, lots of ways of managing the cost.

If we have learned anything from pretty much continuous operations in the last forty years it is that mines and IED’s represent the most serious risk to land personnel and that vehicular protection against even high threat levels, whilst expensive, is possible.

Foxhound proves this.

If it isn’t suitable because of payload, mobility or some other reason, then fair enough.

But there is no good reason that a vehicle with lower levels of protection, because it is cheaper, is acceptable.

No good reason at all.

Ocelot Foxhound Utility Vehicle

And frankly, after operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, am amazed to hear it said.

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Hohum
Hohum
October 6, 2015 9:45 pm

I am afraid that cost always plays a part. T45 could have had more missiles, Typhoon could have been bigger, etc. Defence spending isn’t unlimited so procure,net spending can’t be either- inevitably cost constraints have to be imposed. Even the U.S. had to accept this in the JLTV programme.

Observer
Observer
October 6, 2015 10:13 pm

Unfortunately, Hohum is right on this one.

And remember, the more expensive the vehicle, the more expensive to repair after it rolls over an IED too. The cost of toughened spare parts are not cheap either.

Observer
Observer
October 6, 2015 10:18 pm

Just had a really interesting thought. The MoD really needs a course on “Economic Defence: Strategies to Ensure An Adequate Budget in a Volatile Economy”. A lot of your military equipment woes (though not all of them) seem to be monetary in nature, having some “military investment funds” as savings might tide over some of that pain if Westminster doesn’t seem to be able to deliver the needed monies.

Unfortunately, I suspect that will simply cause some politicians to cut the military budget further…

Chris
Editor
Chris
October 6, 2015 10:33 pm

Also… If we decide to buy platinum-plated 24ct gold standard best of breed protected LR replacements at £600k per, we will get very few. Unlike the RN & RAF, where reduction in platforms means consequent reduction in front-line deployed personnel, the Army will deploy whether there’s a shiny protected vehicle available or not. Really expensive protected vehicles would be splendid for the lucky ones to hitch a ride, but really bad news for those in ageing LR snatch which have to remain in service because there aren’t enough Gucci vehicles to go round.

Arguably then its better to buy enough armour for the maximum number of troops likely to be deployed in anger, to the best standard that is affordable, than buying too few really brilliant vehicles. In my opinion.

Allan
October 7, 2015 12:04 am

I wonder how much kit the Army could get if the RN only had one carrier in service and the RAF were told to go much more the cheaper UAV route rather than eye wateringly expensive fast jets. Do you even need a ‘proper pilot’ to ‘fly’ a UAV?

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 12:50 am

Allan, I do have some exposure to UAVs and I can definitely tell you that at this moment, they are *utterly* unable to replace FJs in the air defence role. Anyone who tries is in for some rather massive disappointment.

I would describe using CUAVs in the A2A role as something like using a Spitfire with an 80 year old pilot suffering from muscular dystrophy. Most UAVs have the kinematics of a WWII prop plane and have a transmission lag of a few seconds. You ever played first person shooter games? Imagine a lag of 2 seconds. That is how bad UAVs are.

Jed
Jed
October 7, 2015 1:17 am

I see what your getting at …. BUT…..

The protection level is part of the project requirements. I presume a price range is too.

So if a Hawkeye, a JLTV, a Supacat SpV400, a new Steel hulled Ocelot, a Bushmaster etc etc etc can meet the protection requirements at a lower cost, then so be it.

Personally I would like to see if the steel hulled version of Ocelot / Foxhound meets the specs / requirements, especially if a 6 x 6 version is developed.

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 1:22 am

Or we could just use a Pookie and not set off the IED in the first place. :)

But I doubt the Pookie is viable as a wheeled APC. Pity.

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
October 7, 2015 1:33 am

Foxhound sits only 4 at the back–need a larger version for a full section?

Hohum
Hohum
October 7, 2015 6:18 am

An oft forgotten (by people on the outside) part of the requirements development process is working out what is technically viable within the available budge the, it’s often something that scales back ambitions quite significantly.

Barborossa
Barborossa
October 7, 2015 6:35 am

Do those saying the Foxhound is too expensive, big, protected,etc really mean that…. Or are they really saying:

‘….grumble, grumble….., lannie long tom/ jeep/ Bedford MW/ Mk10 service wagon/ pointed stick was good enough for me…… young soldiers today don’t know they’re born, grumble, grumble…” ?

Maybe a steel bodied Ocelot will be as protected, it might be a deal slower, though….

stephen duckworth
October 7, 2015 7:43 am

Who says that the winner of the JLTV completion , the Oshkosh entry, is any less protected than the Foxhound. Just because the Foxhound uses more (keyword) composites and has our GVA rather than the US version doing the same doesn’t make it any less but spanks the Foxhound in many areas , cargo capacity as in it has some , crew carrying , integral self defence turret etc.

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 8:00 am

@stephen duckworth

The US Army says so, for one. They lowered the JLTV requirements from a vehicle around Foxhound spec to one around Husky spec.

Brian Black
Brian Black
October 7, 2015 8:14 am

You could of course turn this post around and say that those people who suggest that small ships have no place in the RN, or that light aircraft have no place in the RAF, are being just as irrational as someone deciding that every Army vehicle should either be a tank or an IFV.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 7, 2015 8:15 am

@TOC,

How does that play out? The UK Huskies were bought as tactical resupply vehicles: good mobility, good cab protection, not so much for the rear (cargo) space.
– whether that still is their role, don’t know. Some Command and ambulance conversions have been mentioned, whether they actually happened, again I don’t know

JamesF
October 7, 2015 8:19 am

@TD – I’m not sure if I understand MRV-P in this way. Are you sure that MRV-P is intended to replace UOR vehicles? I doubt it. As I understand it, what Iraq and Afghanistan taught us is that ALL in theatre troops need protection, not just the combat arms. We can no longer use landrover and pinzgauer and 4 tonners in theatre, so MRV-P is a larger programme to provide a protected vehicle to replace small softskins in theatre for mobility. Off the cuff (I might be a bit out here, but ball park), the overall requirement is for around 4,000 vehicles in liaison (around 1,500 smaller vehicles), command (around 1,200), logistics (around 800) and personnel carrier (around 600), versions, but mostly not for combat roles (there is a requirement for a battlefield ambulance too). I believe Foxhound will remain the go-to vehicle for combat units in the light protected mobility battalions, and Mastiff and Ridgeback will go to the light artillery and close support medical, logistics and engineer regiments once MIV is procured. Overall the outcome will be extending IIED and mine protection from Protected and Armoured Infantry only, across the in-theatre spectrum – HQs, Force Troops, Light Role Infantry, RAF regiment, MPs, Logistics etc.

Hohum
Hohum
October 7, 2015 8:24 am

BB,

The RN already has small ships, dedicated ASW frigates and AAW destroyers as opposed to GP destroyers as in the USN. Every service makes its compromises.

All,

At a rough estimate it should be possible to get three JLTVs for the cost of one Foxhound. My concern around MRV-P is that I am not convinced they can do everything they want on one chassis- even if part of the fleet is extended 6x6s of the same chassis. This still feels like two seperate vehicle types to me.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 7, 2015 8:27 am

I want the trailer back, too, RE
“Mastiff and Ridgeback will go to the light artillery”

http://www.flamesofwar.com/Portals/0/all_images/weapons/25-pdr-5.jpg

Obsvr
Obsvr
October 7, 2015 8:45 am

Fit for purpose is the criteria. Protected mobility vehicles have little or no place with infantry or armour in general war, roles beyond enemy line of sight are OK (which possibly means infantry mortar platoons) are OK. They do have a role with other arms and services. I realise this may be a shocking thought to some, but most of the army is not in direct fire combat units, and could well find protected vehicles useful in an environment where spetznaz types and/or stroppy locals are roaming around, not to mention hostile arty fire.

JamesF
October 7, 2015 8:46 am

here is thre MoD plan – the majority are a smaller JLTV sized LR replacement.

Hohum
Hohum
October 7, 2015 8:56 am

Yup,

It’s that troop carrier variant that may prove to be the problem. JLTV had a similar requirement initially, it seems to have been dropped. Pulling that of may require a larger chassis- something Dingo (Unimog chassis) sized perhaps.

JamesF
October 7, 2015 8:58 am

I read somewhere that a ‘basic’ Bushmaster and an Eagle variant (among others surely) will be pitched for the troop carrier.

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 8:59 am

Still not seen any clear financials on how low the Foxhound platform can go.

Oshkosh rises to $750,000 for the full serving of theatre package complete with radios, positioners, geolocaters, weapons system, jammers and other gubbins. If you’re not into clear 3:1 ratios, we’re talking Foxhound ball park already. The UK can never hit US scales of economy, even when we tag on a FMS order we still need to pay more for our additional standards and expectations.

Would it surprise you that some of those extra requirements are even sensible at times?

Remember what we’ve bought in the Foxhound UOR so far is a bespoke vehicle, constructed in a low volumes for a limited run. A supplier can arrange cheaper personnel contracts if they can guarantee work over a longer period of time. They can also negotiate favourable energy rates ahead of time. Those are the two largest cost centres for the harder parts of Foxhound: Labour and energy. The composites are not made of precious minerals, they are expensive because of the person time and large amounts of energy (mainly heat) needed to form parts.

Also remember that this is not JLTV, or the Foxhound UOR, this is MRV-P that TD is talking about:

The weight increase of the cheaper steel cell modules clipped to the “skateboard” does not matter so much to the variants we’re talking about. The C2 payload is less than the Foxhound requirement, the flatbed variant of either spec has the same payload capacity, etc.

With a proper long term commitment to a platform and sensible selection of module specification, MRV-P can come in well under the top level theatre trim Foxhound price you read about on Wiki.

Schedule the contracts correctly and by the time MRV-P completes, the first Husky’s will also need replacing allowing for even longer term supply chaining…

I also think as a matter of principle it’s worth spending twice as much as any other vehicle on an ambulance variant. Composite and whatnot the hell out of those bad boys in particular. I want our service personnel and those covering them to know that if one of them is hurt or ill we’ll be sending a well equipped, highly protected vehicle to come and get them.

Last thought for the unconvinced:

MRV-P is for around 600 vehicles.

Current budget is for £400m.

All the Foxhound prices quoted are vehicles divided by contract cost.

Even if you bought the top-end trim level for Foxhound for £1m each for every single vehicle (and we do not need top-end trim for everything, do we?) you’d only need £200m more to kit the requirement out with the best.

£200m! That’s almost (almost!) the cost difference in swapping chocolate covered digestives to ordinary digestives for the MOD for one year. This is how little money we are talking in the scheme of the budget.

Why are we not screaming for decent land vehicles for our soldiers on this basis?

Now I’m going to wave the real benefit of that 2% GDP defence budget figure: Our GDP is rising, by 2020 the conservative IMF figure pegs the UK defence budget at an additional £4b per annum in FY 2020 alone. That’s the funds conservatively estimated as available in one year alone ,

If we can regularly find £200m to integrate an exploding stick onto a helicopter or drone without needing an SDSR to back it up, and we’re receiving solid above military-inflation GDP rises (conservative) each year for the next five years which easily cover the additional £200m needed to buy a top-of-the-range Foxhound trim for every single MRV-P vehicle without doing any clever cost-saving thinking, now argue why we can’t afford the best protected ambulance for our soldiers even at the high level of bespoke Foxhound production prices?

You can’t.

The Foxhound family level of safety is what our service personnel and their families deserve for MRV-P.

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 9:04 am
Reply to  JamesF

Thanks for reposting the slide. It highlights the three vehicles on the left (CL, C2 and Flatbed) that can benefit from the cost savings of the steel cell.

The TC variant (and the ambulance) is where we should consider sticking to the full Foxhound spec composite cells to squeeze everything out of those platforms.

JamesF
October 7, 2015 9:04 am

MRV-P is more than one chassis. Troop carrier (2 plus 6) is for 621 vehicles, and will probably be bought first (if anything can be seen as a Pinzgauer Vector replacement). The rest of MRV-P is for a smaller JLTV sized vehicle – around 3,000 of those (LR replacement).

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 7, 2015 9:17 am

JF, thanks, so we are in the market for
– “Troop carrier (2 6) is for 621 vehicles, and will probably be bought first “, and
– around half of that number for MIVs (fitting a full squad in the back?)

I wonder if there could be more commonality (protection level packages [including weapon options], number of wheels for x-country capability etc. being the variables) between these two than with the c. 3000 “JLTVs”

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 9:18 am

There’s your supply chain contract forming already.

Chuck in the existing Husky’s and you have close to a 4,000 vehicle multi-year contract to work with.

Allow the supplier to commercialise a product royalty free over the period, that’ll get their attention too.

Again, even at £3b over ten years for 3,000 high-end trim models, the conservative GDP rises over the next few years swallow those costs handily.

Get the right vehicle platform chosen now and even our “light” brigades carry more protection than many “medium’s” out there. The long-tail is where the benefits come.

This is what we want, isn’t it? Rapid, deployable, mobile, aware, protected, survivable, supported, supplied, persistent, forces delivering effect at all levels?

Hohum
Hohum
October 7, 2015 9:24 am

TOC,

Foxhound price does not include all those extra bits though. Its the composite that makes it pricey but the vehicle is designed around the use of the composite pod. The steel pod takes about 2 tons of the payload.

As I explained in another thread, when virtually all your automotive and other driving components are off-the-shelf you have already used a lot, if not most, of the gains to be made from increased production runs.

JamesF
October 7, 2015 9:26 am

– except MIV is a front line infantry fighting vehicle and MRV-P is a general purpose ‘troop carrier’ to provide adeqaute IIED and mine protection – different requirements. I think MRV-P troop carrier doesn’t need that type of capability, and for £400 million will not get it either.

Chris
Editor
Chris
October 7, 2015 9:34 am

In case its slipped the collective mind, a significant MRV-P requirement is that the unit price of the vehicle shall be less than £250k. Small money for armour. Some of the comments above seem to assume its a simple case of upping the cost per vehicle almost fourfold – while I agree that would provide a major increase in capability/protection, it does seem a bit fantasy-fleet? If there are requirements either we discuss what might fit the requirement from a point of brutal reality, or we discuss what the requirement ought to be in an abstract theoretical money-no-object sort of way?

For example. I have avoided the MRV-P project despite having designs that would easily meet the desired roles and do them very well, because there isn’t a hope in hell they could be produced at £250k per. If by some aberration of reality the acceptable price jumped to £500k/£600k per, then my designs would be a cracking solution. Moreover I am sure there would be many manufacturers that would have no-bid the MRV-P competition (because they too could not match the demanded price) and that would be justifiably angry that those who were in the competition suddenly had a price per vehicle they could have delivered against. If then there was a major relaxation in cost restraint, expect the MRV-P programme to shut-down and restart so that manufacturers of other, higher spec vehicles could engage.

Hohum
Hohum
October 7, 2015 9:34 am

To be honest I am less than convinced that what is wanted is viable within the likely budget.

Chris
Editor
Chris
October 7, 2015 9:37 am

Hohum – on that I have to agree.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 7, 2015 9:43 am

Need to apply the weighted average formula:
– total 3-4 k units
– 621 of them procured at (say)£600k
=> the recruitment problem solved as the squaddies get to drive around in Merc G-wagens (LAPV 6x), ie. the the residual 3.000 procured off the back of the civvy market (Amoroks being the new std in the NL army, probs not much protection, though)

JamesF
October 7, 2015 9:47 am

This is the full presentation on MRV-P (May 2014) and gives a bit more clarity ..http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2014tactical/SessionIIIRafferty.pdf

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 9:59 am

The Foxhound UOR contract included all the bells and whistles, including those nifty 360 degree IR camera sets and triple screens. It was full HERRICK spec spend justification.

Completely agree on the budget level per unit for MRV-P.

Time to specify what’s needed in what volumes properly and determine how we get from here to there over what time period instead of the following the JLTV “must cost xyz dollars” contract model.

Dahedd
Dahedd
October 7, 2015 10:07 am

Was there not an image of a 6×6 Foxhound? It featured a modular bolt on back end which expanded the length. There is also a pic of a long wheelbase version floating about. Would it not work as the bigger personnel carrier?

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=foxhound+ppv&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-gb&client=safari#hl=en-gb&q=foxhound+ocelot+long+wheelbase&imgrc=AOu9Ip7vkVSzcM%3A

I think Gabriel had a big article about them on his blog b4

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 10:08 am

Overall requirement of 7,838 vehicles (of all types, understood) is a definite vehicle family, or multi-family, production line volume.

Turn over that number of vehicles over an appropriate life cycle and there’s a self-sustaining supply chain for the MOD that’s attractive to industry to maintain.

If you offered a shot at 1/5th of the JLTV contract to any of the losing bidders in that competition, they’d bite your hand off for the opportunity.

We need to think in these terms more, and Rafferty’s presentation is reassuring in that at least someone is thinking in those terms.

Good stuff!

stephen duckworth
October 7, 2015 10:12 am
Reply to  Chris


One suspects a T26 type outcome , £400m bandied about then its announced by a minister there expected to pay £12bn for a bakers dozen , double the original target price.
Reading up a bit on the JLTV winner it seems to built in a similar way to the Foxhound , no rail chassis and a separate personnel module made from ‘advanced materials’ etc. The Core1080® system as they call it (that’s 360° x 3 for all three axis x,y,z it seems i.e. all round protection :-) is quite comprehensive and meets all present MRAP levels of protection , is that good enough ?

Hohum
Hohum
October 7, 2015 10:18 am

Again, there is not much to be gained in cost by increasing production of vehicles when most of their components are already off the-shelf.

That is still two JLTV’s for every Foxhound so nowhere near ballpark.

£250k per vehicle, based on what they are looking at, is almost impossible. Thats not even JLTV base price.

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 10:27 am
Reply to  Hohum

@Hohum

I remember our discussion on the previous thread.

I want to avoid hijacking this thread with a repeat of the discussion, so if you will allow a quick redux for those who missed it, the summary of the counter arguments are:

– Steel pod weight increase does not adversely impact the variants being suggested with steel instead of composite, the extra payload of the composite pods is overkill in those particular cases;

– Composite costs can be significantly lowered with cheaper labour and energy contracts, both only possible with multi-year, guaranteed production line work, which is not possible in a limited run bespoke short-term production contract.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 7, 2015 10:40 am

Did I read the graphs right? The first 800 or so to go towards replacing
-all Pinzgauers and some LRs
+ possibly (with the quantity to be upped):
all the Hounds (Wolf & Fox) plus the more utility oriented Husky

Hohum
Hohum
October 7, 2015 10:44 am

TOC,

Actually, most of the MRV-P vehicles will need some sort of pod. The weight penalty from the steel pod is huge, apparently 1,800kg which would leave hardly any payload meaning you would be out of it very quickly and the vehicle would spend most of its life at the top end of it’s GVW which will increase vehicle wear, reduce performance and increase fuel use. All bad.

Labour and energy costs are both relatively fixed, a larger buy will do virtually nothing to either of them. The unit cost difference from a larger buy would be minimal.

JamesF
October 7, 2015 10:53 am

I read it that 800 plus are a new capability in the PM (protected mobility) category that will replace Pinzgauer and LR in a variety of in-theatre rear echelon roles. The table suggests that the MRV-P programme could also be used to replace the range of exisiting PM vehicles that are not going to be replaced by UV (MIV), i.e. Wolfhound, Foxhound, Husky, Panther, as well as RWMIK, Coyote and Jakal from around 2025 – but notes that this is not currently programmed – so really a suggestion, I guess.

Hohum
Hohum
October 7, 2015 10:53 am

Just for clarity: I love Foxhound, I think its an amazing piece of engineering and was the perfect solution to the Snatch-LR problem. But it is far too expensive to be procured in the thousands. Even if a sensible budget was found for MRV-P.

Lindermyer
Lindermyer
October 7, 2015 11:29 am

To my mind Foxhound is overkill for MRVP .
Foxhound is a protected patrol vehicle its designed around that task, excellent mobility and survivability. In effect its out looking for trouble

MRVP is as I understand it (or envisage it) is simply a protected utility vehicle offering protection to support elements. As such I think something more along the lines of the Renault Sherpa** is nearer the requirement than Foxhound.

** Probably not acceptable as it offers minimal IED protection

Lindermyer
Lindermyer
October 7, 2015 11:31 am

No edit function – Missing sentence after Sherpa

Or perhaps just n increased number of Huskies

AndyC
October 7, 2015 12:17 pm

To me it seems to make sense to look at three categories of vehicles for the Adaptable Infantry:

1. at the the heavier end a new MIV to replace Bulldog and Mastiff

2. at the lightest end a Land Rover and Pinzgauer replacement – maybe 4,000 MRV-P

3. in the middle Foxhound. It’s pretty new, very capable and doesn’t really need replacing much before 2030.

If the budget is £400 million then we’er just talking about an LR and Pinzgauer replacement with a vehicle costing something like £100k a piece.

JamesF
October 7, 2015 12:25 pm

I think the £400m figure is for the first batch of 621 MRV-P troop carriers (2 plus 6 vehicles). I.e. something like a very basic version of Bushmaster, LWB Ocelot/Foxhound or the Eagle V 6×6 variant.

JamesF
October 7, 2015 12:32 pm

SC Supacat said at DSEi they will be pitching a variant of the LAMV they have developed jointly with TATA http://www.business-standard.com/article/motoroctane/tata-motors-to-focus-on-customizations-for-defence-115081701334_1.html. Some info on the GD offer (Foxhound and/or Eagle V) http://www.janes.com/article/54694/dsei-2015-general-dynamics-outlines-its-proposal-for-mrv-p

The Ginge
The Ginge
October 7, 2015 3:04 pm

Guys seriously we have people suggesting that “just enough protection” or Behind the front line theirs no need for “high Levels of protection” offered by Foxhound. If we have learnt anything from Iraq and Afghanistan is that
1. The definition of the “front Line” is a little hazy these days, if your in theatre you want to be in a vehicle that at least is going to save you from IED’s and Artilery splinters/Small Arms Fire.
2. The public will not accept sending Soldiers into any Theatre of Action without the very best protection. The Government nor the Army can suffer another snatch debacle.
It has got to be the best of the best, if it’s towing 105mm Artilery arriving in a soft skinned vehicle it is suicide, you might as well not bother to deploy because within days IED’s are going to decimate your artilery support, your logistics, your liaison and communications.
This isn’t rocket science it is the MOD yet again being unrealistic on what they can get away with, with peoples lives. It is the cost of doing business in the 21st Centuary and if you don’t want to pay for it then don’t play in the first place.
Yes there is room for some Amoraks or the other LR replacement in the UK based only vehicle fleet, but go anywhere in Theatre and it is Foxhound Levels.
My own view is Foxhond and Husky are known costs, developed vehicles that could be manufactored in the UK for the next 20yrs with Gradual Upgrades. There are economies of Scales to be used and I think with some good use of these you might get the price of a Foxhound down to £500,000. If you buy cheap of the shelf 4×4 for the UK and Other duties at £50,000 a pop (Ie Toyata Hilux, VW Amorak in Standard Trim painted Green) then you might get a 1,000 properly protected vehicles.
But don’t send Troops to war in glorified Willy Jeeps its not viable anymore.

lindermyer
lindermyer
October 7, 2015 3:32 pm

But don’t send Troops to war in glorified Willy Jeeps its not viable anymore.

Except of course nobody has actually suggested anything of the sort.

What has been pointed out is that Foxhound has very high protection levels and is expensive.
MRVP needs to be a much cheaper vehicle more akin to Husky or the JLTV in protection Levels.

The vehicle has to be procured in sufficient numbers in order to be useful and that means lower cost.

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 3:41 pm

@The Gringe

Actually, that problem only surfaces when you are in a COIN campaign. “Normal” war, you don’t get that much IED problems, mainly because it is “bad form” to wear civilian clothes as a soldier of a country operating in a battlefield. Your IED problems arise when you can have a “civilian” suddenly turn into a “non-uniformed combatant” and start doing “work improvements” on your roads. In a conventional war, your enemies tend to come properly uniformed. Not to mention the concept of proper land mine usage is defensive, their job is to “Channel, Contain, Delay” in friendly territory, very, very rarely do you get offensive minefield deployments. Not to mention that annoying Ottawa treaty.

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 3:53 pm

@TG and TD

Hear, hear.

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 4:04 pm

Yup TD, but as a uniformed soldier, how often are you able to reach the enemy interior positions? The only units I know that do operate that far in are the SF units, SAS, LURPs, very rarely Commandos, and their job isn’t to do something like mining the roads.

The mechanics and conditions for “conventional” war is very, very different from a COIN campaign, you can’t simply look at equipment and say “they can mine our supply lines”. Reality is that it is very, very difficult for a uniformed combatant to take such action and remain undetected for long. The inability to distinguish a civilian from a combatant if unarmed is a very rare advantage only given to the insurgent that is embedded in a civilian population.

Chris
Editor
Chris
October 7, 2015 4:17 pm

But Obs – surely all future wars will follow exactly the same course as the last one we fought? Just like that one was exactly the same as all the ones before… Oh – hang on a minute…

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 4:25 pm

Exactly Chris. Your last 2 “wars” were insurgency campaigns, yet to get to the insurgency campaign, you fought at least 2 “conventional” wars (GW1 and 2), and both had different goals and difficulties. You don’t hear about Iraq mining Saudi Arabia do you?

a
a
October 7, 2015 4:30 pm

“Actually, that problem only surfaces when you are in a COIN campaign. “Normal” war, you don’t get that much IED problems, mainly because it is “bad form” to wear civilian clothes as a soldier of a country operating in a battlefield.”

True. But, on the other hand, how many wars have we fought recently where the enemy was restrained by our concepts of “good form”? Falklands? (And there were plenty of landmines there…) You reckon ISIS, or the LRA, or Boko Haram, or the People’s Republic of Donetsk, or any of our other likely future opponents will be worried about good form?

JamesF
October 7, 2015 4:30 pm

I think this whole protection argument is a red herring. MRV-P requirment is minimum Stanag Level 2 (actually they are aiming for level 3 if they can get it), Foxhound is Stanag Level 2. I.e both are basic mine blast, grenades and 7.62 small arms resistant. Where is the compromise on protection? The compromise is on all the other fancy bells and whistles.

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 4:34 pm

Stanag Levels are only one measure of protection/survivability. Continuing to drive away from danger with a couple of wheels blown off would at least strike some as desirable!

JamesF
October 7, 2015 4:40 pm

@Toc – yes and the roof hung seats and the rest of it, I agree. But the idea that you could drive a Foxhound into a peer-to-peer dust up is also nonsense, and that it represents some sort of panacea compared to other MRAPS questionable. Its initial utility was its size and mobility compared to Mastiff in policing the narrow low rise streets of down town Gereshk or Sangin.

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 4:43 pm

TOC no way a 4 wheeled vehicle is going to drive away from an IED strike.

a, note the examples you gave. All but the Falklands are COIN campaigns. That is the problem. You guys got into 2 COIN wars and seem to have locked into that as the “only way to fight”. I don’t mind you guys uparmouring your B-vehicles, but to say that “you must because the enemy is always an insurgent” simply cuts out the other half of the equation, the uniformed conventional war. It might be old fashioned in thinking, but how close is it to reality, that conventional war and COIN are massively different?

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 4:57 pm

Hell, come to think of it, simply fighting in a country with tarred roads will change the IED equation. Hard to dig a hole in tarmac and way bloody obvious. And changing to off-road mines simply turns it into a direct fire equation.

JamesF
October 7, 2015 4:58 pm

Plenty of IIEDs dug into newly tarred (by DFID and USAID) roads in ‘Stan. I have the photos to prove it.

Mark
Mark
October 7, 2015 4:59 pm

Unless the foxhound hasn’t been popular I’m not sure why there’s even a competition. Buy more a lot more develop a 6 wheeled version, even buy the cheaper steel pod or different types of pods. There’s always way to make things cheaper if you get a big order.

Between shelving the inevitable multi year multi million pound competition and the significant thru life cost saving of standardising on one wheeled vehicle family I’m sure it would offset any theoretical saving made on a cheaper less protected vehicle.

JamesF
October 7, 2015 5:03 pm

@Mark because its £750,000 a pop., for a lightly armoured V hulled box. Albeit a very fancy one.

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 5:04 pm

“Plenty of IIEDs dug into newly tarred (by DFID and USAID) roads in ‘Stan. I have the photos to prove it.”

Ouch, those guys are more industrious than I gave them credit for. What did they use to dig? Pickaxes?

JamesF
October 7, 2015 5:07 pm

Who knows I wasn’t there when they put them in ;-), probably went to Travis Perkins and hired a compressor. Also many used roadside devices with remotely activated hollow charge warheads, or simply drove up in exploding taxis (which in a congested city street is suprising easy)…

JamesF
October 7, 2015 5:13 pm

Its intelligence that defeats them in the first instance – which is why ISTAR is so important. Protected vehicles and good ECM catch the ones that get through.

TED
TED
October 7, 2015 5:14 pm

I think we should keep some of our UOR vehicles and why on earth would we sell reasonable kit to buy a different set of reasonable kit.

On the other hand I see a lot of jackals and other open top vehicles driving round here. Lovely on an nice sunny Dorset day as you take a tour amongst the heather and gorse. However these same crews are looking considerably less chuffed in some of the wind and rain of late and I suspect not particularly looking forward to the winter.

Im sure they are fantastic vehicles but could someone put a roof on the thing please?

JamesF
October 7, 2015 5:19 pm

@TED – yes, you are right, they will not be sold. MRV-P is a requirement for more protected vehicles not a replacement for the ones we have, at least not until 2025 at the earliest.

Mark
Mark
October 7, 2015 5:25 pm
Reply to  JamesF

JamesF

So what we’ll do is have a competition find a cheaper lighter protected vehicle buy it off the shelf decide we’d like to add a few tweaks here or there to make it British to its bootstraps, tweak the protection a bit for its first deployment and hey presto we’ll end up with a 10 year development that turns out a cheaper less protected vehicle at £749 000 a pop and everyone will wonder why we didn’t just buy foxhound in the first place as it was designed for British army req in the first place.

How do I know this see boxer and fres for lessons learned.

JamesF
October 7, 2015 5:27 pm

@Mark. I fear you are right. But it does make sense to try and get something for £250,000.

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 5:28 pm

@James

I did mention the off-road/shaped charge mine. I put it as a “direct fire” problem because the “spear” is coming in from the side and it is acting like a projectile. As for the taxi… :(

Maybe it is the area I’m in (Malaya), but I have always thought that an insurgency is a problem for the constabulary, not the army, though the army is important to provide a shield against “direct action”. To really defeat an insurgency, you need things like S-Branch, informers, agents on the inside to totally crush them and their supply lines, not just clean up the small fry. National registry to show when someone is really, really far from his hometown, economic development to point out to the people “can they give you this?”, history lessons from places like Zimbabwe to show that the best rebels may end up as the worst leaders etc. Crush them from all sides, tear down their popularity, cause strife from within, let them self destruct.

All these are constabulary/civil service work, not military.

JamesF
October 7, 2015 7:19 pm

@Observer. Templer and Malaya have been held up as the sine qua non for CT for many decades. But the circumstances are different now. I believe the Brtish had an intimate undersatanding of Malaya – as was – and also the terrorists less confidence in their ability to defeat ‘government’ than these days (the Mujahideen ‘victory’ against the Soviets is a rallying call for all of the various militant Muslim incarnations – and also a warning to the West that one reaps what one sows). It was also a conflict that was wrapped up in the contest over who would succeed after independence – which everyone knew was coming – so we backed the side who will be friends, and – in a different sense to Vietnam – they were also more popular.

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 7:22 pm
Reply to  Observer

@Observer

Did I say IED? ;)

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 7:25 pm
Reply to  JamesF

Indeed.

What else are we going to be driving down narrow track-ways, forests and over limited capacity bridges in future?

Ajax? UV(W)?

JamesF
October 7, 2015 7:33 pm

@TOC – so to put it in perspective, a non-first line infantry platoon (30 men) – i.e not one we would use in a proper war – has transport of purchase price £6 million (2 per section, 3 section and a HQ section). Unsustainable.

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 7:54 pm

This thinking is dangerously similar to the situation that lead to us bringing woefully inadequate vehicles to the “last war”.

Non-first line? Proper war?

Have you briefed the opposition that’s how you want to play out the conflict and they’ve agreed to that?

Service life on those vehicles? OK to run with 20 years for sake of argument?

£300k p.a. amortised.

To look after our service personnel properly?

Bargain. Even if at the top-trim prices you want to use.

JamesF
October 7, 2015 8:06 pm

ToC. But they will not be anymore woefully inadequate that Foxhound – same protection requirement. Just cheaper.

Peter Elliott
October 7, 2015 8:08 pm

Do we call Foxhound over specified in some respect or even gold plated then?

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 8:10 pm

@James

I do believe you are correct, not all locations can be said to be exactly alike, but I also do believe that very, very basic human nature does not change, and that people do want things like peace, prosperity, security and very importantly pride and nationalism. I suspect some of the terrorists simply signed up because they “saw their country being occupied by foreigners” and “Islam is being oppressed”. These are areas that can be exploited. Come to think of it, some dictators are voted in because they promise the people that they can restore their pride as a nation. Iran and Germany comes to mind.

Unfortunately, the ISAF can only go about on the security front…slightly. Economic improvement isn’t really their mandate, and by improvement, I mean at a national level, not just building clinics, wells and bridges here and there. S-Branch and infiltration are usually civil level tasks, and the Coalition does not have the right to interfere in civilian affairs. Maybe a NATO viceroy might not be such a bad thing if you get the right man for the job.

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 8:18 pm

@TOC

I’d love to see how you get the manufacturers to give you another few hundred vehicles free of charge then as that is the only way you are going to get all your men mounted. Money is always the constraining factor, and like always, you have a choice. Many but cheaper and maybe less capable so that more men get protected though not “best quality”, or fewer, more expensive “best quality” vehicles and the unlucky guys that don’t get to ride protected can catch the blast with “bring your own” seat cushions.

That is the reality of “fiscal constraints”.

Rocket Banana
October 7, 2015 8:28 pm

Question aimed at Chris,

Can I have a MRV(P) that fits in a Mk5 LCVP? ~6t loaded I think.

I want space for four men, their kit and nothing much else other than a .50cal on the roof and some comms equipment. Perhaps a BV?

I assume it is a cost/materials trade off – much like most things these days?

Peter Elliott
October 7, 2015 8:31 pm

Observer – I vote for working out how many deployable, survivable modern vehicles we can afford, and then cutting the Adaptable Force back to match. No point training soldiers we can’t move, support or deploy.

Lord Jim
Lord Jim
October 7, 2015 8:33 pm

“Proper War” is becoming almost an irrelevant term. All through history attacks by both conventional and unconventional forces in an enemy’s rear area have been shown to be very effective at tying up resources. During the Cold War, the majority of the West German Territorial units were assigned to rear area protection against Soviet special forces and Spetsnaz units. Gulf Wars one and two were a wake up call to anyone thinks about fighting a Western Army. We are not simply talking about groups like ISIL but countries like Russia. They have realised that if the waters are muddied then it is very difficult for many Governments to act effectively. Simply taking any identifying badges and patches off a uniform put those combatants in a grey area for which no clear solution yet exists.

A serious argument can be made that all future wars are going to have a COIN component as the gains from such a strategy are considerable compared to the resources required to carry them out. This is an important consideration as many western nation have a shortage of manpower to protect their rear areas without reducing their front line strength. As a result I can see this being a key role for the UK’s Adaptive Force during combat operations. This is why the UK needs to ensure tis planned 3 Light Cavalry and 6 Light Protected mobility Regiments are equipped with the right vehicle, and the MRV(P) could be it. It also highlights the need to either re role the 8 Light Role Regiments or remove them from the order of battle.

Ron
Ron
October 7, 2015 8:33 pm

Anyone quoting JLTV prices is very brave. None exist and they’ll be brought to you by the very same procurement process that brought you JSF. Personally I’d be amazed if, equipped for duty, they arrive at less than a mill a pop on average.

Peter Elliott
October 7, 2015 8:41 pm

“The 8 Light role regiments”

What, FF2020, is a light role Motor Rifle Regiment for? Jungle and Mountain? Maybe we need to invest in mules…

The Other Chris
October 7, 2015 8:49 pm

I just don’t think we are in an era, nor have the mass, to define areas of the theatre in such a way that we can safely get away with calling it non-front-line, if you catch my drift?

At the moment, there’s not much in the light category, LPPV or otherwise, that outperforms the likes of Foxhound for looking after whoever’s inside it. It’s not just Stanag level, it’s the whole survival package, including welding the bits back together again and sustaining.

@Observer

Are you talking specifically about the 200 to go up to 600 plus?

In any case, the principle is to get away from consumer level, RRP style thinking and down to the cost of production: Labour, energy and materials typically in that order of cost centre with the fourth dimension being duration.

The first two, labour and energy, can be reduced by factors with production lining and purchasing your energy far enough ahead or securing supply for a sizable duration.

One of our ventures is a GT manufacturer (surprise). They’ve recently expanded to a line from their bespoke facility. That bespoke facility is still there and is the original team of engineers, now R&D and (still) a bespoke shop. One of whom can design FPGA’s, program same as well being a combustion specialist. His salary is 6x that of an entire section team on the line. You don’t want him building units, you want him facilitating the building of units.

In addition, the venture secured prices again several factors below grid prices for their kiln/ovens/spark-bins from a nearby power station purely because they secure a baseline draw for the station guaranteed for the duration of the contract.

The bespoke shop can’t do that either.

And that’s how you get a couple hundred “free” vehicles. You give the supplier the chance to hire cheaper workers and buy in cheaper energy (etc) to produce for less for much longer while still earning a healthy margin per unit.

The venture actually earns more margin on the line per unit than the shop could generate. They just needed that contract size and length to do it.

Chris
Editor
Chris
October 7, 2015 8:58 pm

Simon – ref 6t 4-man light armour – I’d suggest its almost done now, with the likes of Foxhound and Supacat’s SPV400 (http://scgroup-global.com/sc/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/07/Supacat_SPV-400_Data-Sheet_V1.0.pdf) – yes they are marginally heavier than you want fully laden but then there are references to LCVP Mk5 carrying Viking which is listed as an 8.5t vehicle. Certainly the spec is within the realm of possibility. Whether a composite structure vehicle would be within the unit-price budget is another matter.

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 9:24 pm

@TOC

I believe Hohum has already pointed the flaw of that approach to you already. You are already working OTS, off a global production run, which means that you don’t have much leeway to go lower. I really do suspect that this is becoming a scenario of “wanting your cake” and “eating it” at the same time.

“I just don’t think we are in an era, nor have the mass, to define areas of the theatre in such a way that we can safely get away with calling it non-front-line, if you catch my drift?”

Nope. I disagree. It is just that you guys seem to stay longer than your welcome. :)
In a deployed “conventional” war, there is something called the FEBA, Forward Edge of Battle Area, or Frontline as the layman like to call it. This line is basically that, a line of responsibility, beyond that is usually the enemy’s FEBA and a no-man’s land. This FEBA is usually joined by the FEBA of the unit next to it to form a continuously monitored line, which is why any uniformed personnel will find it hard to infiltrate into the area. If they pass the minefields and the concertina wire with their skin intact. There is this thing called “Passage of Lines” which you must do to safely transit through your own FEBA, which involves the guarding unit sending someone out to guide you through the minefield and the wire.

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 9:28 pm

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/3-90/ch16.htm

This is want I mean. This organization goes on all the way through the “frontline” so that you don’t get “leakers” into your rear areas.

ChrisM
ChrisM
October 7, 2015 10:03 pm

Re the point about rear echelon forces not needing much protection.
Isn’t artillery getting longer ranged and more accurate, and every Tom, dick, and Harry Using long range MLRS now?

JamesF
October 7, 2015 10:23 pm

I think the whole idea is about giving all troops more protection – not less. A lesson learned. The issue is how and at what cost.

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 11:03 pm

@ChrisM

He is in range of you, you are in range of him. :P
They try to keep a respectful distance between them.

Observer
Observer
October 7, 2015 11:05 pm

Besides, it really isn’t that long ranged. 80km is about an hour’s drive by car.

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
October 8, 2015 3:18 am

4 dismounts vs 6 dismounts–what’s the core difference?

The Other Chris
October 8, 2015 5:30 am

If you want to believe Ocelot production is an optimised OTS line (whatever you think that definition is), feel free, libre mundo.

I know the commercial gains my organisation has made through line optimisation and why we did it that way. YMMV on your own commercial ventures. Buenos suerte.

Rocket Banana
October 8, 2015 6:56 am

Chris,

Thanks. Thought so.

I therefore agree completely with ToC (and TD) – optimise the production line. Hopefully in enough numbers there will be international orders which will allow even greater economies of scale.

Hohum
Hohum
October 8, 2015 7:03 am

As pointed out multiple times, a very large chunk of cost of a Foxhoumd already benefits from “economies of scale” as its off the shelf. The next major cost is the composite pod and there is not much cost saving that can be done there- hence the very heavy steel pod GD developed. To make Foxhound competitive you basically need to half the price (at least) extracting a bit of efficiency from a higher intensity final assembly line isn’t going to do that.

AndrewB
AndrewB
October 8, 2015 7:08 am

Trying to save money by buying cheaper and second best often doesn’t save money it costs more.

I can think of a recent “AUTHORITY” procurement that proved to be costly.

The replacement of a legacy vehicle was needed.
Instead of replacing like for like of the manufacturers latest model (model A) The decision was made to downsize the engine (Model B) saving £3k or 6%.

When it was delivered the first department to operate it discovered it’s lack of performance and ruled it not fit for purpose.
In the meantime another procurement for a lower performance vehicle was underway (model C). This was halted and model B was given to them.
The like for like replacement model A was bought in the end.

The difference between model C and model B costing £9k more or 27%.

Model A delivered a year late with the legacy model hanging on in there with increased maintenance costs.
Model B too large and more than required for the role of model C.

You have to love bean counters.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
October 11, 2015 10:12 am

‘You guys got into 2 COIN wars and seem to have locked into that as the “only way to fight”.’

Absolute rubbish. This sort of comment rears it’s head numerous times when we start discussing protected vehicles and any one who still believes in terms of the UK military, of front and rear lines etc has no understanding of any of our operations pre Telic and Herrick.

After the first GW we deployed on op Grapple with UNPROFOR in 1992 where, shock horror we started to realise that some form of protected mobility would be beneficial for situations such as sniper alley and the sporadic use of mines. Then followed ISAF with NATO which was a peace enforcement operation where we still found that protected mobility would be beneficial. ISAF changed to SFOR which was a post conflict stabilisation operation and still required some need for protected mobility to allow the heavier equipment of the peace enforcement mission to be withdrawn and still counter the problems of the left overs of war such as UXO and the legacy of sporadic unmarked mines.

During our involvement in Bosnia we sent a peace keeping mission to Angola, which was at the time one of the most mined countries in the world.

Then followed our involvement in the Kosovo mission where protected mobility would be handy to have.

Throughout the 1990’s the UK military recognised the need for some protected mobility especially after the the recent operations were seen as going to become more common after the fall of the Berlin wall and global instabilities that could follow. The 1998 SDR planned for this fact and also reinforced our will to deploy hard power on the same sort of missions, I seem to recall the statement for the review being something like ‘A force for good’ or something like that. In parallel with this thinking we started to develop theories such as 3 block war and the strategic Cpl/ The CNN effect etc. after states had noted the effectivenes of NATO tactics and equipment in the defeat of Iraq in GW1.

Iraq and Afghansitan are just a culmination of developments in conflict that have been ongoing for nearly two decades.

As an aside will historians look back on the Iraq campaign as the West’s first ‘3 block war’?

Andrew B
Andrew B
October 11, 2015 11:29 am
Reply to  Think Defence

Looks like it stood up quite well.

Andrew B
Andrew B
October 11, 2015 11:35 am

http://www.ovik-crossway.com/overlord-tactical.php

Just found this. It looks interesting, could it fit the bill?

Observer
Observer
October 11, 2015 1:34 pm

@DN

If you think conventional war and COIN are the same, might I ask you to lay out the obligations of countries regarding land mines that were stated in Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in the Geneva Convention ?

With those obligations, what are the chances of anyone running into a land mine?

Frenchie13013
October 11, 2015 1:47 pm

I understand that the heavy loss of lives that has endured the British Army in Afghanistan, creates the necessity to have a highly protected vehicles against mines. I think that want to use the Foxhound as a patrol vehicle, observation, liaison, transport equipment, and command post is fine.
But not as troop transport, for me a APC must carry at least ten soldiers, there are troop transport vehicles not very expensive, that are very well protected and weighs 20 tonnes.
The British Army must have a new range of vehicles of intermediate weight, between the heavy and very light by the year 2020.

Chris
Editor
Chris
October 11, 2015 2:58 pm

I’ll repeat this comment I put in on Friday but which vanished – apologies if I haven’t remembered it exactly:

There is a requirement for MRV-P. It specifies similar protection criteria to Foxhound. All contenders MOD considers will be tested for compliance; some areas may be a little worse than Foxhound performance, some may be better. The requirement also lists a unit price MOD is prepared to pay, which I think is optimistic for the product specified but hey. Foxhound is an expensive vehicle; what MRV-P requires therefore is a vehicle of Foxhound levels of protection but better value for money.

From the comments above you would be forgiven for thinking that MRV-P (if it doesn’t just pay for more Foxhounds) would result in soldiers being deployed in clapped-out Austin Tillies.

All the emotional ‘only Foxhound is good enough for our boys’ comments above will be joy to the ears of the Daily Mail headline writers, as if MRV-P doesn’t buy another fleet of Foxhounds then whatever they select (no matter how good it might be) will be labelled a killer – “MOD put pound notes more important than soldiers’ lives!” shock horror exposé exclusives by the handful.

No amount of armour wrapped around a soldier guarantees protection against IED. An IED will defeat Foxhound at some point – even at three times the weight and with a considerably thicker hide, Mastiff has suffered IED fatalities. As has Warrior. There is no way to guarantee IED survival other than not being present.

I suggest then all the angst and righteous indignation is put on hold until the MRV-P contenders are identified and tested. If none of them can meet the required protection level at a price less than Foxhound then there can be a grown up discussion over how many should be bought and whether the programme budget should be increased. Until then I have an open mind.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
October 11, 2015 3:13 pm

@Observer

Your last comment just reinforced my initial statement regarding a lack of understanding of the operations carried out by the UK military pre Telic and Herrick. Mentioning the Geneva convention in regards to the placing and marking of mine fields also shows some misunderstanding of peacekeeping, peace enforcement and post conflict operations when dealing with militia’s and non professional armies.

The Other Chris
October 11, 2015 4:23 pm
Reply to  Hohum

Just restoring a salient point from a lost comment. Labour/energy reductions are targeted further down the line, more in the Tencate supply chain, than in the final vehicle assembly.

Observer
Observer
October 11, 2015 4:32 pm

@DN

And your statement reinforces my point that you are too focused on COIN at the exclusion of conventional warfare because “our last wars were like that”. Please edify for those not familiar what was the Protocol I mentioned?

Observer
Observer
October 11, 2015 4:46 pm

Not to mention I think you totally missed the original point since it was a while back, but there are a lot of rear areas that do *NOT* need IED protection. For example in Devon or Catterick? Don’t tell me those are IED risk places? So there are still places that thin skinned vehicles like Land Rovers are usable at a lower cost than a Foxhound.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
October 11, 2015 5:16 pm

@Observer

Neither Bosnia, Kosovo or Angola were COIN operations. And as to those mine fields marked in accordance to the Geneva convention.

https://youtu.be/ShrHn9P4moY

https://youtu.be/1b-eyuiZ8vY

https://youtu.be/m8BFomdivpk

Like I said no understanding of operations pre Telic and Herrick.

Mark
Mark
October 11, 2015 5:22 pm

But that must be a benefit of foxhound then. Being modular if your driving round catterick you can use a canvas pod instead of the fancy composite one. If the pod the expenive bit only buy enough to support the deployed forces and buy more if needed under uor.

Chris why on earth are we gonna spend millions having a contest to see if can buy a vehicle with similar levels of protection to foxhound to do foxhounds job. Do we think that the makers of foxhound are taking us for ride. There must someone in mod who can do a should cost target price for such a vehicle. Smart pocurement this is not.

Frenchie
Frenchie
October 11, 2015 5:41 pm

,
I did not dare to say that one can find much cheaper vehicles than Foxhound and as efficient, for fear of offend :)

Chris
Editor
Chris
October 11, 2015 5:57 pm

Mark – £250k ought to buy a perfectly reasonable if basic 7t armoured vehicle. Weapons comms and Gucci systems add to the cost. Foxhound we are told costs considerably more. It has custom driveline components I believe designed by Ricardo expressly to fit the V-shaped lower hull spine of the vehicle – they won’t be cheap – and a composite people pod, but all the same the cost seems high. MOD is (it would seem) taking the opportunity to see if normal basic armoured vehicles of Foxhound like capability are available at lower cost.

Will an MOD competition cost a lot? Well, unfortunately I guess it will. But just accepting the bill from GD may be equally (or more) expensive over the project. Accepting an unchallenged £200k premium per vehicle over the numbers in the requirement would be closing in on £1bn – there are a lot of platforms involved.

I have no idea if the ITT will raise a set of worthy contenders. I have no idea if they will meet the expectations regarding protection level, mobility and internal volume. I have no idea (assuming they come up to standard) whether they would be less expensive than Foxhound. I have no idea if MOD can hold itself back from demanding complete redesign of the COTS solution. But I do think its right to ask the question.

Frenchie – your politeness is appreciated! However most commenters here will take honest opinion without offence.

Observer
Observer
October 11, 2015 6:07 pm

The initial LR Wolf buy was an order of 8,000 in 1996 (according to wiki FWIW), using the lower end of the price quotes for Foxhound, the price is closer to the order of 7.2 billion, not 1. And this is only for the LR Wolf, I’m not sure if you guys need to replace the LR Defender and LR Snatch as well. If you do….

And remember, the entire Type-45 construction cost was about 6.8 billion only.

Replacing all the LR with Foxhounds is enough to get you a new destroyer fleet. And the QE carriers are projected to cost 6.2 billion. So in scale, the cost to replace all the LR with Foxhounds is enough to get you 2 more carriers or 6 more destroyers with some change left over.

Chris
Editor
Chris
October 11, 2015 6:10 pm

Obs – I meant the £1bn or so was the increase in programme cost of a £200k premium per vehicle – not the whole programme cost. Sorry if it wasn’t clear.

Mark