As SV Scout completed its assessment phase despite having been awarded a manufacturing contract, the British Army returned to the idea of a medium weight capability.
January to March
The Major Projects Report 2014 and Equipment Plan 2014 to 2020 was published by the National Audit Office in January 2015. It noted that the Scout Specialist Vehicle project had been accelerated, leading to an increase in the budget of £1.1 Billion over the next ten years but overall costs had actually reduced by £613 million over the 30 year period to 2044. On what basis this assumption had been made or what levels of certainty for a 30-year forecast was not included in the report.
Further news from the MoD and General Dynamics showed their thinking on the modularity of SV Scout with the emergence of two configurations, Major Combat Operations (MCO) and Peace Support Operations (PSO).
The former would have a baseline fit of CTA cannon and primary sight whilst the latter would be fitted with additional armour, a self-defence weapon RWS and Electronic Countermeasures. It is perhaps easier to envisage this as the difference between the Theatre Entry Standard for Operation Herrick Warrior, or TES(H), and those used for training in the UK or Germany.
For the more jaded and cynical observer, this was simply a means of rationalising a reduced quantity of those items on the ‘optional extras’ list.
The interview covered Generic Vehicle Architecture compliance and details of an aspiration for an ATGW armed variant:
This confirmed that GVA had moved beyond the GVA that allowed Foxhound to be the first GVA compliant vehicle, and that it was therefore, no longer compliant with GVA.
Scout was as compliant as it could be, not non-compliant, as compliant as I could be.
Ukraine took delivery of the first of 55 AT-105 Saxon vehicles in February, surplus from the UK. Despite much derision and a couple of false starts, they went on to prove remarkably useful and well regarded.
General Dynamics announced a £61m contract with Kongsberg for the supply of Protector Remote weapon systems (RWS) for the Scout Specialist Vehicle Programme
Defense News reported in February that Scout Reconnaissance had passed its Critical Design Review at the end of January. The next milestone was reported to be the System Critical Design Review that would cover all the variants; Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support, Scout reconnaissance, Equipment Support Repair and Equipment Support Recovery variants.
From this point, a decision on continuing with the contract would be made.
Interestingly, the report made no mention of the £3.5 Billion manufacture order the MoD had placed with General Dynamics the year before.
Nexter demonstrated a VBCI variant equipped with the T40 two-man turret equipped with the CTA40 cannon and MMP missiles.
April to June
In parallel with Specialist Vehicles, the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme also progressed.
The Capability Sustainment Programme has 4 main components that are planned to see Warrior out to 2040;
- WFLIP (Warrior Fightability Lethality Improvement Programme)
- WMPS (Warrior Modular Protection System)
- WEEA (Warrior Enhanced Electronic Architecture)
- ABSV (Armoured Battlefield Support Vehicle)
In the earlier Warrior upgrade programme contest BAE had proposed a new turret with the CTA 40 called MTIP2, Lockheed Martin proposed an ATK Mk 44 Bushmaster 30mm in minimally modified Warrior turret and Finmeccanica with the Hitfist turret, also mounting a 30mm weapon. The Bushmaster is the same as that used by the Royal Navy in its DSM30 ASCG systems.
It is interesting to note that in BAE’s submission for WCSP they were clear that upgrading the existing Warrior turret was not the optimal route and proposed a new turret, the same turret except the turret ring interface, as their CV90 based FRES Scout. In their bid, they emphasised the logistics and training commonality advantages of such an approach.
The Lockheed Martin bid proposed upgrading the existing Warrior turret.
In 2014, Lockheed Martin came to the same conclusion as BAE, ditching the existing turret in favour of a new design from Rheinmetall.
Lockheed Martin completed live firing trials for the Warrior CSP with its new turret design.[tabs] [tab title=”Press Release”] [/tab] [tab title=”Video”]
Rolls Royce announced a €80 order from General Dynamics for the supply of 589 MTU Series 199 diesel engines for SV Scout with deliveries from 2016 to 2022.
It was reported that the MoD would consider an Economic Viability Review for Scout SV in June.
This was to consider the manufacturing strategy for Scout. Previously, it was agreed that the first 100 vehicles would be produced in Spain with final integration work completed in the UK at DSG in Donnington. The balance of the order would then be completely manufactured and integrated at DSG. The reduction in order quantity prompted General Dynamics to change their mind and switch everything back to Spain.
Phillip Dunne, the Defence Procurement Minister, had requested the MoD and General Dynamics ‘look again’ at this and it would be considered during the forthcoming SDSR.
A MoD spokesperson told Janes:
The wording in this was deliberate, especially regarding the term ‘assembly’
A number of sources stated that whatever future options were chosen, assembly meant just that, fabrication of the hulls would still be completed in Spain.
Vector was removed from Service, as indicated in a response to a Parliamentary Question. Other out of service dates were as per the table below.
|Vehicle Type||Planned Out Of Service Date|
|Driver Track Training Vehicle||2025|
|Challenger Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle||2040|
|Saxon||Out of service|
|Snatch Land Rover (1, 1.5, 2 and Vixen variants)||Out of service|
|Snatch Land Rover (2A and 2B variants)||2024|
|Snatch Land Rover (Vixen Plus variant)||2024|
|FV 430||Out of service|
July to September
The Government published the Major Projects Portfolio in June that described a number of changes relevant to SV Scout.
It described the Mounted Close Combat (MCC) Capability Change programme:
It went on to describe how MCC had been split into four parts.
A Parliamentary Written Question in July revealed the progress on the Economic Viability Review of the production strategy for SV Scout
General Dynamics had submitted a proposal to extend the initial existing service support, despite it not yet being in manufacture that would enable them to establish some assembly in the UK. In effect, General Dynamics offered to go back to the original concept as part of a deal on the extension of initial service support.
On the 21st of July, the Government announced the new manufacturing strategy in a written answer:
This was a return to the original concept but instead of DSG in Donnington (which had by now been sold to Babcock), the location would be a General Dynamics facility in South Wales.
The support contract extension to 2024 was for £390 million.
The Capability Design Review was completed by Lockheed Martin for Warrior in September after live firing trials in Scotland in May.
At DSEI in September, a number of key announcements were made.
The first Warrior CSP prototype was revealed.[tabs] [tab title=”Warrior CSP Image 1″]
[/tab] [tab title=”Warrior CSP Image 3″]
The plan for Warrior remained to complete the order for 245 turreted Warriors out of a total order of 380.
The 245 turreted versions would be split between FV510 Infantry Section Vehicle and FV511 Infantry Command Vehicle. Whilst the FV512 Mechanised Combat Repair Vehicle and FV513 Mechanised Recovery Vehicle (Repair) would likely be the majority of the non-turreted versions, the number of FV514 Mechanised Artillery Observation Vehicle and FV515 Battery Command Vehicle variants covered by WCSP was not published. Given many FV515’s were converted to ambulance variants for operations in Afghanistan and the possibility of some Ajax taking the role of the artillery observation roles, the final numbers were uncertain.
Plans for the Armoured Battlegroup Support Vehicle (ABSV) also remained somewhat vague and aspirational, despite BAE showing a version at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics.
The first SV Scout reconnaissance variant prototype was shown off the whole programme was now renamed Ajax.[tabs] [tab title=”Ajax Image 1″]
[/tab] [tab title=”Ajax Image 3″]
[/tab] [tab title=”Ajax Video 1″]
[/tab] [tab title=”Armed with Ajax, sorry, couldn’t resist!”]
Janes and Shepard both reported the name change and an update on variants and quantities.
Ajax would apply to both the whole family of vehicles and specifically, the vehicle formerly known as Scout Reconnaissance.
|Previous Designation||Quantity||New Designation||Quantity|
|SV SCOUT Reconnaissance and Strike||198||Ajax – Ajax Reconnaissance and Strike||198|
|SV SCOUT Joint Fire Control||23||Ajax – Ajax Joint Fire Control||23|
|SV SCOUT Ground Based Surveillance||24||Ajax –`Ajax Ground Based Surveillance||24|
|SV PMRS Armoured Personnel Carrier||59||Ajax – Ares||93|
|SV PMRS Formation Reconnaissance Overwatch||34|
|SV PMRS Command and Control||112||Ajax – Athena||112|
|SV PMRS Engineer Reconnaissance||51||Ajax – Argus||51|
|SV EQUIPMENT SUPPORT Recovery||38||Ajax – Atlas||38|
|SV EQUIPMENT SUPPORT Repair||50||Ajax – Apollo||50|
As can be seen from the above, the previously designated role of PMRS Formation Reconnaissance Overwatch had been removed and the quantity aggregated with the Ares variant. It was reported that the means of delivering this requirement were still under investigation and options being considered included a dismounted Javelin team to an RWS fitted with a single Javelin launcher.
The total remained the same at 589 vehicles, and the total number of turreted and equipment support versions, likewise.
Reliability Growth Trials and Reliability Qualification Trials were scheduled to start in 2016 to and complete in 2018. Deliveries of the prototype vehicles were scheduled to complete by early in 2017 with the Initial Operating Capability (IOC) 1 planned for the middle of 2019. IOC 2, which will include the command and control variant was planned for the middle of 2020.
Interviews and announcements from DSEi also provided more details on the role split between Major Combat Operations (MCO) and Peace Support Operations (PSO). 220 sets of each type of armour will be purchased, role changing can be completed in the field, although with only 220 sets for a complete fleet of 589.[adrotate group=”1″]
October to December
On October 22nd, the National Audit Office published the Major Projects Report 2015 and the Equipment Plan 2015 to 2025.
It signposted a significant change in the way major projects would be reported on:
The Major Projects Summary sheets provided Parliament and the public with a historic and significant record of the various changes in major projects, going back many years.
In November, the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review was published and focussed on three key themes; Protect our People, Project our Global Influence and Promote our Prosperity.
David Cameron also described the new structure:
The two STRIKE Brigades were to be created by re-rolling one Infantry Brigade and one Armoured Infantry Brigade.
The statement from David Cameron did not detail what was the comparison for a ‘much lower logistic footprint or how a tracked vehicle could self-deploy thousands of kilometres.
A number of component and sub-contract contract announcements for Ajax from General Dynamics continued throughout the year.
January to June
In February, the MoD issued a revised requirement for the Multi Role Vehicle – Protected.
The requirement was defined for two vehicles based on a common platform, providing
- Troop Carrying Vehicle (TCV). Driver, commander and seating for 6 personnel
- Future Protected Battlefield Ambulance (FPBFA). Combination of permanent seating for 2 x Medical Attendants seated at the head of the stretcher and ability to transport 2 stretchered casualties or 1 stretchered casualty and 3 Seated Casualties and combinations thereof.
The Troop Carrying Vehicle (TCV) would also provide the base platform for a number of other role specific variants such as EOD, RMP, Engineer Support, and Gun Limber
The core requirements included:
- An in-service life of at least 25 years.
- Expected to be based on Military off the Shelf (MOTS) mature platforms of modern design
- Max width 2,500 mm, Max Height 2,650 mm (transit mode)
- No requirement for helicopter underslung transport
- Medium Mobility classification
- Ballistic threat at protection to Stanag Level 2 and blast threat protection at Stanag Level 2
The expected entry into service was 2019 and estimated value of between £170m and £200m with expected quantities being 150 TCV and 80 FPBFA.
In March, the MoD announced the official opening of the Ajax assembly facility in Wales.[tabs] [tab title=”GD Wales”]
The announcement focussed on the industrial and employment benefits:
Compare this with the announcement from only a few years earlier in 2010:
Evidently, the earlier aspirations and claims were no longer relevant.
A written question confirmed the production approach.
In June, air transport trials commenced for Ajax, or more specifically, the Ares variant. The vehicle was loaded into both A400M and C-17 loading mock-ups at the Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit (JADTEU) at RAF Brize Norton in order to develop tie down schemes.
Not, it must be added, the turreted variant.
In early April 2016, AJAX completed it’s first instrumented static live firing at Radnor Ranges in Powys, Wales.[tabs] [tab title=”Ajax First Live Fire Image”]
[/tab] [tab title=”Ares Image 1″]
Commenting on the test, Senior Requirements manager for the AJAX Program, Lt. Col. David Cathro, said;
Testing and qualification continued and in June 2016, the MoD issued a £12.9 million contract extension to CTAI for additional qualification.
This trial firing was unmanned.
Defense News reporting in June that the UK was in negotiation with the US Department of Defense for the supply of a number of Joint Light Tactical vehicles (JLTV) to meet the MRV-P requirement:
The news report also described how MRV-P would be divided into three packages:
- Package 1; smallest of the vehicles for troop carrying
- Package 2; larger vehicle for troop carrying and ambulance
- Package 3; recovery
Package 3 was reported to be on hold and Package 1 and 2 would potentially be different vehicles, the Rheinmetall Survivor-R, Thales Hawkei, General Dynamics Eagle and others were mentioned as a potential contender for Package 2.
Supacat launched their Landrover Discovery based LRV400 Mkk2 reconnaissance vehicle and Kembara Suci Sdn Bhd announced an upgrade package the Malaysian Army CVR(T) Scorpions. The upgrade would include a new Deutz engine and replacing the 90mm Cockerill gun with a 20mm Oerlikon automatic cannon.[tabs] [tab title=”LRV 400 Mk2 Video”]
[/tab] [tab title=”LRV 400 Mk2″]
July to December
The Bundeswehr announced all its Boxers would be upgraded to the A2 standard, a package of improvements in all areas of the vehicle’s design, from repositioning the towing cable to common displays.
A written question confirmed when the first Ajax vehicles would be delivered:
As a recognition of changing threats, the MoD announced work on active protection systems.
A manned firing trial was completed for the Ares variant and to coincide with this, General Dynamics published a new image of Ares that showed what appeared to be additional modular protection on the vehicle’s nose.
To meet MRV-P Package 3 (despite it being on hold), Supacat showed an HMT-600 based recovery vehicle.
Supacat also showed a gun limber based on the same basic, and mature, HMT600 design.
In September, Janes reported on the progress of MRV-P.
Group 1 (Package 1) would be met with and off the shelf purchase of the Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) via a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) arrangement. This surprised many given that JLTV had been rejected by the pre-cursor to MRV-P, the Operational Utility Vehicle System (OUVS)
The larger vehicle, Group 2 (Package 2) would be decided by competition in October/November. Group 2 could be met with either a 4×4 or 6×6 vehicle with the two variants as described above, the Troop Carrying Vehicle (TCV) and the Future Protected Battlefield Ambulance (FPBFA)
Manufacturers in the down-select were BAE Systems Land (UK) with a design from Penman, General Dynamics with the MOWAG Eagle 6×6, Rheinmetall with the Survivor-R, and Thales with the Thales Bushmaster.[tabs] [tab title=”Survivor-R”]
[/tab] [tab title=”MOWAG Eagle 6×6″]
[/tab] [tab title=”Bushmaster”]
[/tab] [tab title=”Penman”]
As part of Tank 100, the MoD and DSTL released updated concepts from the Future Capability Vision and described technologies that might be found on future vehicles.
Modern technologies mean that future armoured vehicles could be very different from the heavy tracked vehicles in service today. For example:
The three vehicles detailed were:
Imagery released of Land Apache and the Urban Operations Vehicle below.
In October, a number of news outlets reported that The MoD intended to purchase the Rheinmetall Boxer to meet the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle requirement without competition. Quantities were reportedly up to 800 at a cost of £4 million each.
In December, Janes reported that as part of Army 2020 Refine, main battle tank numbers would be reduced from three Regiments to two. The unit would re-role to Ajax as part of the Strike Experimentation Group.
An extract of the full statement is reproduced below:
The basic organisation of a STRIKE Brigade would, therefore, consist of;
- 1 Regiment of Ajax in the reconnaissance role
- 1 Regiment of Ajax in the ‘medium armour’ role
- 2 Battalions of mechanised infantry in the yet to be purchased Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV)
- Supporting CS/CSS
At the end of 2016, Patria showed an AMV fitted with a modified Lockheed Martin Warrior two-man turret.
Experimentation with the Strike Brigade continued throughout the year.
To demonstrate the enduring value of the CVR(T)/Stormer design, the Imperial Forces deployed one to Jedha as the TX-225 GAVw “Occupier” combat assault tank.[tabs] [tab title=”Imperial Forces”]
The first units to receive Ajax were confirmed in January:
Despite earlier indications that Rheinmetall would not offer Boxer for the MIV requirement, Rheinmetall started to build a UK industrial team for the bid, the aim was to produce 60% of the vehicle by value in the UK.
Given the weight increases in the Ajax vehicle family, a Parliamentary Question elicited a response confirmed the issues of air transportability.
Trials and development work on Ajax continued; landing craft and amphibious landing for example.
These trials were described by the MoD:
The 400th Boxer was delivered in February.
The total Boxer programme now stood at 696 with the vehicle in service, or planned to be in service, with Germany, the Netherlands and Lithuania.
Spain took delivery if its second batch of Pizarro tracked infantry fighting vehicles in March, the final batch of 36 vehicles would be recovery variants.
In March, the Latvian Army released images of Exercise Allied Spirit VI in which their CVR(T) vehicles obtained from the UK were used to great effect.
A Freedom of Information request published in March revealed further information on Army 2020 Refine.
The Royal Dragoon Guards (RDG) and Royal Lancers would be equipped with Ajax from CVR(T) as part of 1 Brigade 3 (UK) DIV. The Strike Experimentation Group (SEG) would comprise the Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) and Kings Royal Hussars (KRH), the latter re-rolling from Challenger 2. Thus, Ajax would equip four regiments (plus 4 and 5 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery and other Royal Engineer units)
The Mechanised Infantry Vehicle would also equip 4 and 5 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, 21 and 32 Engineer Regiment, 3 Medical Regiment. It would also equip 1st Battalion Scots Guard 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment and 3rd Battalion The Rifles,
Therefore, the Strike Experiment Group comprised;
- 2x Regiments equipped with Ajax (HCR and KRH)
- 2x Battalions equipped with MIV (1 SG and 4 SCOTS)
- 1x RLC Regiment (1 Regt RLC)
- 1x REME Regiment (1 CS Bn REME)
This also confirmed the outline quantities, four Ajax regiments and four infantry battalions with MIV (plus supporting units)
At the Paris Air Show, a number of news outlets reported on a series of tense conversations between the MoD and Lockheed Martin, for example:
One of the less well reported discussions at the Paris Air Show last week apparently took place between Tony Douglas, the Chief Executive of Defence Equipment & Support, and Marilyn Hewson, President and CEO of Lockheed Martin. Central to the discussion was the issue of continuing delays to the WARRIOR Capability Sustainment Programme (WCSP).
Clearly, all was not well in the Warrior CSP camp but the following month, a rather interesting counter from Lockheed Martin:
In July, the DCSA published details of the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of the Oshkosh JLTV to the UK.
This was for MRV-P Group 1 although the total quantities were much higher than previously indicated.
In response to the Australian LAND400 requirement, both the BAE/Patria AMV and Rheinmetall/Supacat Boxer continued the evaluation process after down selection.[tabs] [tab title=”Video 1″]
[/tab] [tab title=”Video 2″]
[/tab] [tab title=”Video 3″]
[/tab] [tab title=”Video 4″]
Ajax manned live firing trials commenced in September, a spokesperson from General Dynamics said:
General Dynamics offered the latest version of the ASCOD platform to the Czech Army. As can be seen from the images below, the demonstration vehicle is fitted with band tracks, from Diehl.
Future Force Concept (JCN 1/17) was released with little fanfare but was a significant document in that is looked across the range of future challenges and described means in which they might be met. For the Land Domain, and of particular relevance to STRIKE, it described the need for dispersion and concentration.
It also noted that dispersed forces are more difficult to sustain and that logistics reduction efforts must be sustained to enable this.
At the DSEI show in London in September, there were a number of British Army and Strike Brigade related announcements and equipment on show.
Although the General Dynamics Piranha V, Patria AMV and Nexter VBCI were on show, from the media output, one could be forgiven for thinking that only the Rheinmetall Boxer mattered. General Dynamics emphasised the speed of delivery for Piranha V with a comment that initial vehicles could be delivered from existing productions before transferring manufacturing to their South Wales factory. Nexter showed a non-turreted variant of VBCI fitted with an RWS armed with an HMG and MMP missile. Lockheed Martin also showed off a canister launched UAV called Outrider and the marketing materials showed one being launched from a Warrior.[tabs] [tab title=”Boxer Video”]
[/tab] [tab title=”Outrider Video”]
[/tab] [tab title=”Piranha V”]
Rheinmetall was also reportedly pursuing a two-prong industrial strategy for MIV. The first would be to enter the competition with a high degree of UK content, secondly, re-join the ARTEC consortium and procure the vehicle through a sole source arrangement that would include full IP rights.
General Dynamics showed demonstrated their Ajax Immersive Crew Turret Trainer (CTT) and the AJAX Desk Top Trainer (DTT). Elements of the training system include:
One of the key objectives for the British Army is to increase the amount of virtual training to reduce costs.
Supacat launched a new version of their HMT600 based recovery vehicle to meet the requirements of the Light Weight (Air Portable) Recovery Capability (LW(AP)RC) programme. High levels of commonality with the in-service Jackal and Coyote would be obvious advantages.
Also at the show, a British Army green version of the Oshkosh JLTV.[tabs] [tab title=”Supacat HMT600 Recovery”]
Building on earlier technology demonstrators and against a growing RPG and ATGW threat, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) announced a contract with Leonardo for the continuing development of an Active Protection System (APS) architecture. The Technology Demonstrator Programme (TDP) is called Icarus, its objectives are to develop a UK sovereign Modular, Integrated Protection System (MIPS) Electronic Architecture (EA) that will enable best of breed systems to be integrated with a common architecture, similar to Generic vehicle Architecture.
This approach has obvious benefits, commonality across multiple vehicle types and ease of upgrade for example. It also allows the MoD to avoid technology dead ends and being locked into proprietary systems.
BAE was awarded a contract to supply two experimental STRIKE Tactical Hotspots, an innovative communication solution to support the bandwidth and communications demands of STRIKE Brigades. The equipment will be fitted into a modified Panther vehicle.
Finally, at DSEI, it was reported that the acquisition strategy for MIV would be announced by the end of the year.
Trials for MRV-P Group 2 will commence in October and finalise February 2018.
General Sir Nick Carter revealed that the STRIKE Brigade Initial Operating Capability (IOC) is planned for 2023.
On the 18th of September, General Dynamics reported that it had delivered two vehicles for formal Government Acceptance Tests (GAT) as part of the programme.
Defence Equipment and Support Director Land Equipment, Major General Robert Talbot-Rice, said:
As late as 2015, it was planned to enter service in 2017, not 2020.
General Dynamics remained optimistic:
Kevin Connell, Vice President of General Dynamics Land Systems–UK, said:
Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin, said:
The article confirmed the two vehicles submitted for acceptance testing were the Ares variant.
This period was characterised by the ongoing development of both Warrior CSP and Ajax, progress on MRV-P and the emergence of the STRIKE Brigade with its attendant requirement for the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV)
In the meantime, the British Army reduced in size, tried to bring the Afghanistan/Iraq UOR vehicles into core, worked on withdrawal from Germany and deployments in support of NATO territorial defence, all whilst progressing the defence engagement and conflict reduction stream through various deployments of the adaptable force and specialist infantry brigades.
None of these was without problems, in-service dates have slipped and anecdotally, problems remain with both Ajax and Warrior CSP.
Whilst one must not automatically equate STRIKE with FRES, they certainly have similarities.
FRES started at around 2001, STRIKE is now predicted to achieve Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in 2023, over two decades of time elapsed.
Whether STRIKE will actually come to fruition and realise the British Army’s wish to field a ‘medium weight capability’ remains to be seen.
British Army Medium Weight Capability – Table of Contents
What this document is, sources and acknowledgements, and what this document is not
Saladin and Saracen enter service, early work on their replacement commences and completes. The FV432 enters service, and the BMP-1 does likewise, work on Warrior gains pace.
CVR(T) and CVR(W) enter service, and the rapid deployment concept cuts its teeth with the C-130
CVR(T) continues to be developed and sees action in in the Falkland Islands and Warrior enters service. Oh, and Saxon.
A decade of major change; the end of the Cold War, operations in the Gulf and the Balkans. The microprocessor and communications revolution. VERDI, FFLAV, WASAD and the rise of the acronym in defence. ASCOD, CV90 and others developed. Protected mobility becomes a requirement, again, and finally, interesting materials development make an appearance in the defence vehicle world.
Three vehicle development projects that would have importance to the ongoing story of developing a medium weight capability.
Important milestones in the development of medium weight capabilities, a trip across the Sava and WWIII averted at an airport.
The Future Combat System, the UK follows suit, FRES and being a force for good.
2001 to 2004, TRACER and MRAV continue but the new kid on the block called FRES is starting to take over whilst the shadow of Iraq falls on the project.
Between 2005 and 2007 the Army experienced significant change. FRES picked up speed but operations in Iraq overshadowed the medium weight concept.
2008 to 2009, it becomes increasingly difficult to balance the needs of operations with the desire to transform and bring FRES to fruition at the same time.
2010 to 2011, putting the embarrassment of FRES UV behind it, the Army switches to FRES SV, a replacement for CVR(T)
2012 to 2014, as an end to the Afghanistan deployment drew near, Scout continued and attention turned to Warrior.
2015 to 2017, a new medium weight capability vision emerges, and this requires a new vehicle, the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV), but before that, Multi Role Vehicle (MRV).
A few thoughts and opinions.
Weights, measures, variants and roles
A revolution in medium calibre weapons, but can we afford it?
The essential glue that binds the increasing quantity of vehicle electronics