| 22 June 2012
Defence Minister Peter Luff yesterday visited Europe’s biggest Defence Vehicle Demonstration (DVD) in Millbrook, Bedfordshire, where he saw the unveiling of the British Army’s new Foxhound vehicle for the first time since its arrival in Afghanistan.
According to a source at the MoD the British Army’s newest patrol vehicle, Foxhound, is the first vehicle to enter service using an ‘open systems’ approach, adding this means the so-called off-the-shelf upgrades are easier and there will be greater uniformity with other new technologies and vehicles – future proofing the Army’s core capabilities.
Vigilance learnt that the MoD has committed £270 million for 300 Foxhound vehicles with General Dynamics Land Systems: Force Protection Europe which will sustain around 750 UK jobs.
Foxhound’s V-shaped hull helps it withstand explosions and provides unprecedented levels of blast protection for its size and weight. It is light and agile and designed to move freely through the narrow alleyways, tracks, bridges and culverts in Afghanistan.
The second tranche of this British designed and built vehicle is part of a £5.5bn investment into the Army’s core armoured vehicle programme over the next ten years. A total of £160bn will be spent on equipment and equipment support over the next decade.
Defence Minister Peter Luff said: “Foxhound is a great example of what can be achieved through the MoD and industry working closely together. I want to maximise the extent to which industry uses an open systems approach both domestically and in the global market, enabling us to buy off-the-shelf as far as possible.”
Minister Luff added: “Now that we have balanced the books, we can with confidence move forward to plan and deliver an armoured vehicle programme worth £5.5bn over the next decade, which will deliver a fleet of state of the art, high-tech and easily deployable fighting vehicles.”
Major General Carew Wilks, DirectorLand Equipment in the MOD Defence Equipment and Support organisation, said: “As well as showcasing current and future land equipment, DVD 2012 has given us a chance to work with our manufacturers and suppliers to see how we can improve our procurement processes by ensuring our equipment systems are easily connected with those of other suppliers. Such an approach allows us to quickly add, change or update sub-systems as needed.”
Major General Wilks added: “Foxhound is the first vehicle to enter service taking account of our new generic vehicle architecture standards, so I’m pleased to see it here at DVD giving visitors a tangible idea of how systems integration works.”
DVD is one of the most important events in the defence diary for those involved in the equipment and support for the UK's Land Forces and is Defence Equipment and Support's (DE&S) annual stakeholder event. It brings together the acquisition community with military personnel and industry organisations for two days of informal discussion and briefings.