back to article MoD miracle-armoured-vehicle scheme still struggling

UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) plans to purchase a multibillion pound integrated combat vehicle fleet with well-nigh miraculous capabilities may be back to square one, according to reports. The Financial Times reports today that negotiations between the MoD and US weaponry leviathan General Dynamics on the so-called Future Rapid …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    An idea...

    How about the MOD create a new unit that does the invention itself, by these soldiers. These chaps know about the dangers of warfare, let them solve the problems. And when the production line is late or overruns, they can blame themselves. Additionally, any soldier caught complaining about the suitability of said equipment can instead of going to colchester, they get a nice production line job full of hard work and the opportunity to improve the items in question.

  2. Ash

    Someone should tell them...

    ... about 1313 Paste.

    Apparently it's better than anything they already have, especially against kinetic rounds. Not EM shielded, but a thin coating of chicken wire should sort that out.

  3. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Sixteen billion pounds sterling?

    This can buy LOTS of Russian armour. Cheap and tough, or is it too politically incorrect/treasonous to suggest?

  4. Pete James

    Latest introduction by thje MoD

    will be the bayonet. It may even have fixings.

    Failing that some emtpy crisp bags for the squaddies to fill with air and then explode .

    I wish I was joking.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Andy McNab

    Was on XFM this morning punting his new series. Happened to say that squaddies have never had it so good in terms of kit.

  6. Dick Lovewell

    "Real long shot"?

    "Real long shot"?

    "Really long shot", surely. We let our friends across the pond lop "ly" off various words that require one, whilst sniggering politely behind them. In the name of tolerance let's not be pedantic enough to correct them every time, but that doesn't mean it's acceptable for us to repeat the same errors, surely?

    Mine's the one with the pedant's guide in the pocket, whilst I wait for somebody to point out a few errors of my own.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I were some folks in REME

    I'd have a serious chat with some of my squadie mates recently returned from foreign sand and then consider scarfing an Old Toyota Pick up and armouring it up myself as an example to demonstrate to the FWs in MOD procurement what soldiers want. I might even consider asking a celebrity or or ex Military Parliamentarian to try and blow it up for me with an IED.

    Alternatively, I'm sure the Swedes/Germans/Belgians/Swiss/Israeli or South African/American defence forces have some troop carriers they're not using at the moment. If we rent them and then promise to pay for the ones that get damaged surely that would be better than continuing to expose our troops in the Snatch - "Mobile Coffin" Land Rovers.

    Just a couple of thoughts which I'm sure I can't have been the first to have.

  8. Dave

    Is M'Lud Drayson deceased?

    "The late defence-purchasing minister, Lord Drayson, planned to "... shome mishtake, shurely; I think "The former defence-purchasing minister, Lord Drayson, planned to " might be more accurate

    @ Dick Lovewell: 'shot' is a noun (in the context used in the article), 'long' is an adjective, 'really' is an adverb; adverbs qualify verbs, so 'real' - being another adjective - is correct in this usage. The vernacular, spoken British English is grammatically incorrect.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Its depression time folks. During depression governments try to revive the economy through infrastructure, R&D and military technology spending. So, if the depression is going to be as bad as we expect it to be, it does not really matter how bad the British FRES will be and how expensive. It will be British and it will stand in line proudly next to the Severn and London-2 Barrage projects. Let's watch this space.

    The approval of these money-wasters will be a clear indication of what does really G.B. think about the perspectives for the economy versus his lies in public.

  10. Dave

    FRES is misbegotten and hopelessly wrong

    I hope against hope that MoD have finally seen the light on this one and have the 'nads to kill it outright.

  11. amanfromMars Silver badge

    War is so Yesterday, Man. Build for Tomorrows

    Lord Drayson could consider a Fleet of Satellite Communications Vehicles for ITs Special Forces Executive Administration .... AI Loded Rolls, a Hot Bugatti, a Bulletproof Porsche, an Astute Aston..... for the Peace Corporation..... MIDivision.

    That would Create an Interesting Safe Haven for Constructive ReGenerative Investment..... with ProgramMIng led by Advanced MetaDataBase Analysis and Translation/Virtual Realisation.

    Such is the Cinderella Rocker Feller Foundation Stone........ Rolling.

    And AI Program Running ......... :-)

    One and All are Cordially Invited to Play with and in ITs Game and OURGame.

  12. Jean-Luc

    Tough dilemna

    Yeah, I don't envy the MoD folks on this one. Nor the manufacturers.

    Take the US Hummer. When designed, it was intended as a general utility vehicle to go near to, but not on, high lethality, short duration battlefields, with well demarked front lines. In that context, it was acceptable to trade armor for speed, as nothing except a tank would survive an anti-tank round. Air transport was nice, but somewhat optional, as everything would be said and done in the Fulda Gap anyway. The much less numerous tracked Bradley IFV was intended a front line weapon, and weighed 30 tons as a result. It was not intended to patrol anything.

    20 years on, because that is how long Agile Development takes for weapon manufacturing, the threat is very different. Speed is nice, but those vehicles are never really in a safe zone and they can't out speed the enemy. There are no front lines, just patrol areas. Hummers are not a happy ride, despite being really rather tough for an upscale Jeep. Air transport considerations are paramount. Not to mention that not all rickety Afghan bridges can support 30+ ton vehicles. Tracks are a liability, as they wear out quickly and tear out roads.

    There are some vehicles on the market with good survivability, such as the Stryker/LAV and some South African mine-resistant vehicle I don't remember the name of. Perhaps what the MoD and the US DoD need to do is to buy a vehicle for this war, meaning cheap (so that everyone gets one), slow, well-armored against mines and IEDs, not tanks. Now, off-the-shelf.

    Rather than a super-vehicle meant for this war and the next one with the godless Chinese in 2032 ;-)

  13. lIsRT

    Silly Question

    Why would a British APC cost more than an American one of similar capability?

    Smaller production run?

    "Rip-Off Britain"?

    (Lack of) exportability?

  14. Chris G Silver badge

    1 set of wheels to rule them all!

    Bring on WW III, unless there is a world war going on the British military is stuck in a corner and told to make the most of what it's got or given some kind cheap overall equipment or strategy to cover all likelyhoods. There cannot be one vehicle to cover all eventualities just as one man on his own cannot run the government ( although he is trying to). Lewis' last paragraph about decent pay etc says it all really but don't hold your breath waiting for some-one to listen.

  15. Dave Morris

    RE: War is so Yesterday, Man. Build for Tomorrows

    amanfromMars is a hippy?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Dickly Lovewelly

    don't call me Shirley. :)

  17. Rich
    Thumb Down

    Just stop colonialism?

    If we didn't send troops off to other peoples countries to try and impose our ideas of good government, but kept them primarily for the defence of Britain, then we wouldn't need totally bombproof vehicles.

    In the event that Russian tanks were sweeping through Kent, or even across the North German plain, I think some casualties would be acceptable. It's reliving the 1890's in Mesopotamia and the Khyber Pass that isn't.

  18. Gary

    Don't laugh but----

    but a thin coating of chicken wire should sort that out

    Ash, were you perchance in Aden circa 1967, 'cos that is exactly what some of us did with Land Rovers which had had the tilts removed due to the heat.Chicken wire stretched over the hoops meant for the canvas tilts stopped any passing grenades dropping in the back! I did hear that some of the "dissies" tied fish hooks on said grenades as a counter-counter measure. I never did get to be in one that copped that though!


  19. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Israeli experience a good idea, South African probably not.

    The idea of using South African mine-proof trucks is probably a no-go for political correctness reasons. The South Africans (and the Rhodesians) came up with very effective designs to allow soldiers to survive even boosted anti-tank mines, though side IED attacks could still be fatal. But, despite being designed for the South African Army to protect against ANC landmines, the same mine-proof trucks were much used by the SA Police for apatheid crowd control and thus often seen on TV being used against unarmed, oppressed blacks. No Labout minister is going to want to stand up and order what could be seen as an unhappy reminder of apartheid, no matter how many squaddies it could save.

    The Israelis have captured lots of T-55s from their Arab neighbours, and the T-55 is a decent and reliable tank. It can be up-gunned with the respected 105mm L7 and fitted with modern thermal sights and other electrickery. But instead, the Israelis chop the turret off them and turn them into APCs with a shedload of added re-active armour. The Israelis know this is the best way to protect infantry in the their actions against similar geurilla forces to what our boys face in Iraq and Afhanistan, but even then the Israelis still expect to lose these converted APCs to really big IEDs. One small comfort is the amount of explosive required means the opposition can't make as many IEDs.

    In fact the simplest and safest way for our boys to get from A to B in Iraq and Afghanistan without the threat of IEDs and landmines is still by helicopter (especially with a Longbow Apache escort), but I wouldn't mention that in front of Lewis or he'll be off about Chinooks again....

  20. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Pork before Swine ....... with Looted Pearls and Treasure for the Connected Few ....

    .... the Pushers and Pimps of Capital Crimes for Chaos Rule/Reign/Terror

    This thread surely indicates that there is no safe vehicle if you are going to wage war in it/with it. And it appears to be a challenge/bridge too far for Intelligence to Register all War Games as the Ultimate Moronic Oxymoron with an Inherent Self-Destructive Futility.

  21. John


    The Italians are currently building a fleet of big vans for the Army (in fact lots of armies) to replace the Land Rovers. They are much bigger than them, but still smaller than a hummer. Not sure how they'd fare against RPGs, but they have a massive armour plate on the bottom.

  22. Ammok

    Designer Grunts

    Grunts smart enough to design their own vehicles.?? Your smart enough to be a grunt methinks.

    Bushmasters are what they need. Cheap, readily available and better than a landrover or lada.

    With correct armour mods also RPG proof.

  23. Michael


    Don't believe Lewis saying it's cheaper to buy american, just take the example of when the MOD tried buying 10 Reapers it was going to cost over $1 Billion

    So they probably got to the point of talking about price or since it's based on the LAV series of vechicles is could be due to Canadian LAV experiance in Afghanistan where they've been getting stuck in mud and there soliders getting killed in them from IEDs

  24. Jean-Luc

    Re. Iveco?

    "The Italians are currently building a fleet of big vans for the Army"

    Do they also have sophisticated rear-view mirrors, to keep watch on the enemy?

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