UK — Army’s Foxhounds prepare to be unleashed in Helmand

British Army crews and com­man­ders are train­ing with the new Fox­hound vehi­cles at Camp Bas­tion before the plat­form heads out­side the wire.

Fox­hound light pro­tect­ed patrol vehi­cle [Pic­ture: Graeme Main, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge
Here you can find more infor­ma­tion about the UK Defense Sec­tor

Fox­hound, the Army’s state-of-the-art light pro­tect­ed patrol vehi­cle, arrived in Hel­mand province last month. At Camp Bas­tion, sol­diers from a vari­ety of cap badges are engaged in train­ing pro­grammes to get to grips with the beast.

The cut­ting-edge tech­nol­o­gy incor­po­rat­ed in the design means sol­diers will ben­e­fit from unprece­dent­ed blast pro­tec­tion and counter-IED (impro­vised explo­sive device) equip­ment, while the size and agili­ty of the asset will allow it to excel in urban envi­ron­ments.

The new addi­tion has impressed in a series of demand­ing tri­als and, with dri­ver-test­ing now well under­way, this dynam­ic machine is prepar­ing to flex its mus­cles for real.

For­mer ser­vice­man Ricky Haynes is the Defence School of Transport’s Fox­hound train­ing team line man­ag­er. He said the patrol vehi­cle has per­formed superbly thus far, and that British Army per­son­nel will receive a huge capa­bil­i­ty boost from its intro­duc­tion to the­atre:

“This plat­form will have a mul­ti­tude of roles but ini­tial­ly it will be used for force pro­tec­tion out on the ground,” he said.

“It is replac­ing some of the more vul­ner­a­ble vehi­cles and those that have been removed from Hel­mand province.

“It is designed for an urban envi­ron­ment and has a four-wheel steer. It is prov­ing to be very reli­able. We have done tri­als in hot weath­er and extreme con­di­tions and it has excelled.

“From what I have seen so far it is superb, and the tech­nol­o­gy it has is sen­sa­tion­al. It is nice to dri­ve and there is a lot more space in the back.”
Sig­naller Mark Lawrence
Fox­hound per­for­mance

Length: 5.32m
Height: 2.35m
Speed: 110km/h
Mobil­i­ty: improved medi­um (same as Jack­al), all-wheel steer func­tions at speeds up to 16km/h
Capac­i­ty: dri­ver, com­man­der and four sol­diers

Role: light patrol vehi­cle offer­ing high lev­els of mobil­i­ty and pro­tec­tion. Fox­hound will be used for troop move­ment on dis­mount­ed oper­a­tions, mobile patrolling, con­voy pro­tec­tion, quick reac­tion force, route pro­tec­tion and cor­don and search oper­a­tions.

“The V‑shaped hull is sim­i­lar to that of the Mas­tiff, and it offers increased pro­tec­tion as it throws the force of any blast wide of the vehi­cle.

“We brought some plat­forms out three weeks ago for light and extreme heat test­ing, as well as slow-speed tri­als to see how it reacts with the pace of foot patrols.

“The in-the­atre stan­dard has been extreme­ly high and we are very con­fi­dent it will per­form well out­side the wire.”

Fox­hound is equipped with infrared tech­nol­o­gy and ther­mal-imag­ing and has three screens inside the cab that offer a 360-degree view around the vehi­cle for high lev­els of sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness. The vehi­cle also boasts an extreme­ly effec­tive night-time capa­bil­i­ty, while its engine can be removed in the space of just 20 min­utes should any mechan­i­cal prob­lems arise. The rear com­part­ment can com­fort­ably seat up to four sol­diers and offers stor­age space for day­sacks and oth­er kit.

Sig­naller Mark Lawrence of the Roy­al Corps of Sig­nals was one of the first troops to get behind the wheel of Fox­hound dur­ing the ear­ly dri­ver-train­ing pro­grammes. He spoke in glow­ing terms about the plat­form:

“It is bril­liant! I have dri­ven Vix­en a lot and com­pared to that it is out­stand­ing,” he said.

“From what I have seen so far it is superb, and the tech­nol­o­gy it has is sen­sa­tion­al. It is nice to dri­ve and there is a lot more space in the back.

“I can’t wait to return to Kab­ul and dri­ve it out there.

“Although I won’t be going out on patrol, its per­for­mance cross-coun­try is amaz­ing and I can­not see it strug­gling.

“The sol­diers out on the ground will be extreme­ly hap­py.”

The Min­istry of Defence made an ini­tial order for 200 Fox­hound vehi­cles in Novem­ber 2010, and a fur­ther 100 were request­ed late last year as part of a £400m pack­age.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK