UK — £400m equipment package for troops in Afghanistan announced

A £400m pack­age of pro­tect­ed vehi­cles and Counter-Impro­vised Explo­sive Device (C‑IED) tech­nol­o­gy to fur­ther improve the pro­tec­tion of British Forces in Afghanistan has been announced by Defence Sec­re­tary Philp Ham­mond today.

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Fox­hound Light Pro­tect­ed Patrol Vehi­cle under­go­ing exten­sive tri­als and test­ing at Mill­brook Prov­ing Ground, Bed­ford, pri­or to accep­tance into ser­vice (stock image) [Pic­ture: Andrew Lin­nett, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

IEDs are the sin­gle great­est threat to our forces in Afghanistan. Improv­ing the pro­tec­tion of our troops on the front line is the military’s num­ber one pri­or­i­ty, and these invest­ments mark anoth­er major step for­ward in the bat­tle against the Tal­iban.

The pack­age includes around 100 addi­tion­al Fox­hound pro­tect­ed patrol vehi­cles. Fox­hound is at the cut­ting edge of pro­tect­ed patrol vehi­cle tech­nol­o­gy and will pro­vide unprece­dent­ed lev­els of blast pro­tec­tion for its size and weight.

Today’s announce­ment will take the total num­ber of Fox­hound vehi­cles avail­able to our Armed Forces to around 300.

The first of the 200 Fox­hounds already ordered by the MOD are due to be deliv­ered for mil­i­tary train­ing over the next month, and will be avail­able for deploy­ment to Afghanistan dur­ing 2012.

This announce­ment also includes over £200m of advanced C‑IED tech­nol­o­gy, giv­ing British Forces a major boost in the bat­tle against the insur­gency.

Defence Sec­re­tary Philip Ham­mond said:

“Suc­cess in Afghanistan is our num­ber one pri­or­i­ty and pro­tect­ing our forces from IEDs is our most urgent chal­lenge.

“Fox­hound is designed, devel­oped and built in the UK and this announce­ment demon­strates the Government’s com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing our troops with world-class pro­tec­tive equip­ment.

“The vehi­cle will pro­vide our Armed Forces with a high­ly pro­tect­ed and agile vehi­cle, and its man­u­fac­ture in this coun­try will cre­ate and sus­tain jobs across the UK.

“The C‑IED pack­age is anoth­er major step for­ward in the bat­tle against the bombers, using cut­ting edge tech­nol­o­gy to defeat their evil cam­paign and pro­tect our troops.”

The orig­i­nal £180 mil­lion con­tract to build 200 of the new Fox­hound vehi­cles was signed with FPE in Novem­ber last year. The sec­ond tranche, announced today, is sub­ject to final con­trac­tu­al nego­ti­a­tion.

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Fox­hound is at the cut­ting edge of pro­tect­ed patrol vehi­cle tech­nol­o­gy and will pro­vide unprece­dent­ed lev­els of blast pro­tec­tion for its size and weight (stock image) [Pic­ture: Andrew Lin­nett, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

Orig­i­nal­ly pro­cured as an Urgent Oper­a­tional Require­ment, Fox­hound was designed specif­i­cal­ly to pro­tect against the threats faced by troops in Afghanistan — for exam­ple, its V‑shaped hull helps it with­stand explo­sions caused by an impro­vised explo­sive device.

Its size and agili­ty allows troops to car­ry out a wide range of tasks in envi­ron­ments that may restrict larg­er, heav­ier vehi­cles. Fox­hound is ide­al for the Part­ner­ing and Men­tor­ing role required for Tran­si­tion, being able to access urban areas with increased pro­tec­tion.

The vehi­cle incor­po­rates state of the art tech­nol­o­gy from a range of areas, includ­ing from non-tra­di­tion­al defence sources such as the UK’s world-lead­ing motor­sport indus­try, draw­ing a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of SMEs from across the coun­try into the sup­ply chain.

Its engine can be removed and replaced in just 30 min­utes and it can dri­ve away on only three wheels.

The vehi­cle was designed, devel­oped, and built in the UK by FPE and Ricar­do plc, togeth­er with Team Ocelot part­ners Thales, Qine­tiQ, Formaplex, DSG and Sula. Con­struc­tion of the vehi­cles will take place through­out the UK.

Since May 2010 more than £500m has been approved for the pur­chase of pro­tect­ed vehi­cles in Afghanistan, includ­ing the new Fox­hound patrol vehi­cle.

Owing to the nature of the C‑IED pro­cure­ment, there are no oth­er details that are releasable on this pro­cure­ment that would not be in breach of its secu­ri­ty clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

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