The UK Army's armoured fighting vehicles fleet is to be refreshed. This Commons Library briefing paper looks at Challenger and Warrior upgrades, Ajax and the MIV and MRV-P programmesJump to full report >>
The Army's armoured vehicles fleet is to be refreshed. A decision is pending on a new Mechanised Infantry Vehicle while the first of nearly 600 Ajax armoured vehicles will be delivered into service in the early 2020s. Both will equip the Army's new Strike BRigades. Updates to the Army's Challenger 2 main battle tank and Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles are also underway. Altogether £19.1 billion will be spent on Land Equipment over the next decade.
The Army does not have a good track record when it comes to acquiring armoured vehicles from the core budget. The last thirty years is awash with cancelled, suspended or modified programmes with programme names like FFLAV, Tracer, FRES and Scout falling by the wayside. The Defence Committee has warned any repeat of past failures will “serious impair, if not fatally undermine” the Army’s ability to deploy the warfighting division as envisaged in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review and the army’s new Strike Brigades.
The Army has over 4,000 vehicles in its inventory, most of which are protected mobility vehicles or armoured personnel carriers. The Army has 227 Challenger main battle tanks, 769 Warrior and over 200 Scimitar reconnaissance vehicles.
The Defence Equipment Plan 2016 allocated £19.1bn spending on Land Equipment over the decade to 2025/26. This includes upgrades to Warrior and Challenger 2 tanks, the new Ajax family of vehicles and the yet to be procured mechanised infantry vehicles (MIV) and multirole vehicle protected vehicles (MRV-P). The 2014 contract for 589 Ajax vehicles was the biggest single order for a UK armoured vehicle in 30 years.
Commons Briefing papers CBP-8186
Author: Louisa Brooke-Holland