New patrol vehicle further on the road to production

Plans to pro­vide troops in Afghanistan with a new gen­er­a­tion of Light Pro­tect­ed Patrol Vehi­cle (LPPV) have passed an impor­tant mile­stone with Force Pro­tec­tion Europe announced as the pre­ferred bid­der by the Min­istry of Defence.

The Force Protection Ocelot light protected patrol vehicle
The Force Pro­tec­tion Ocelot light pro­tect­ed patrol vehi­cle
Source: Andy Per­ry­man, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The selec­tion of Force Pro­tec­tion Europe as the pre­ferred bid­der means con­tract nego­ti­a­tions will now begin to pro­vide an ini­tial order of LPPVs through the Urgent Oper­a­tional Require­ments process.

The first vehi­cles are expect­ed to be avail­able to troops for train­ing in 2011. The total num­ber will be sub­ject to nego­ti­a­tion and announced in due course.

The LPPV has been designed to pro­vide unprece­dent­ed lev­els of blast pro­tec­tion for a vehi­cle of its size, and will be able to car­ry a crew of up to six peo­ple. It will add to the wide array of pro­tect­ed vehi­cles already being used on oper­a­tions in Afghanistan, includ­ing Mas­tiff and Ridg­back.

Min­is­ter for Defence Equip­ment, Sup­port and Tech­nol­o­gy, Peter Luff, said:

The assemblies of the Ocelot light protected patrol vehicle can be changed and fitted in 30 minutes to customise it for specific missions
The assem­blies of the Ocelot light pro­tect­ed patrol vehi­cle can be changed and fit­ted in 30 min­utes to cus­tomise it for spe­cif­ic mis­sions
Source: Cour­tesy of Force Pro­tec­tion Europe
Click to enlarge

“Small, agile but high­ly pro­tect­ed, the LPPV is at the fore­front of tech­nol­o­gy. It will offer troops unprece­dent­ed lev­els of blast pro­tec­tion for such a light vehi­cle, enabling them to car­ry out a wide range of tasks, whilst mov­ing with ease through nar­row alley­ways or cross­ing bridges.

“It will be a valu­able addi­tion to the vehi­cles already avail­able to com­man­ders in Afghanistan, and demon­strates the Government’s com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing our troops with the very best equip­ment on the front line.

“I’m delight­ed to announce that nego­ti­a­tions can now begin to get these vehi­cles out to the­atre as soon as pos­si­ble.”

Chief of Defence Materiel, Gen­er­al Sir Kevin O’Donoghue, said:

“A great deal of work has been done to get the pro­gramme to this stage. When it comes to vehi­cle tech­nol­o­gy, it is clear from this com­pe­ti­tion that British engi­neer­ing is lead­ing the way. Both pro­posed solu­tions reflect the sig­nif­i­cant progress made in the devel­op­ment of a new gen­er­a­tion of small yet high­ly pro­tect­ed vehi­cles.

“The LPPV will offer huge ben­e­fit to troops in Afghanistan, as well as being a valu­able asset to the Armed Forces in the future.”

Force Pro­tec­tion Europe has con­firmed that, sub­ject to the sat­is­fac­to­ry com­ple­tion of con­trac­tu­al nego­ti­a­tions with MOD, all of the vehi­cles will be built and sup­port­ed in the UK. It is esti­mat­ed that around 750 jobs will be cre­at­ed or sus­tained in the UK as a result of this pro­gramme.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter