500 support trucks will be delivered to the British Army in 2024 to support operational activity, following a rapid procurement process, say the Ministry of Defence.

Under a £282 million contract, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles will deliver 500 multipurpose trucks that will allow personnel to load flat racks onto the platform, which can carry essential logistics such as ammunition, food, water, and support materiel, to operational locations.

The newly procured vehicles will be from the HX family, which are a range of purpose-designed military trucks equipped with a multitude of protection capabilities, keeping our most important asset safe, our people.

The vehicles will be delivered under the Rapid Acquisition Project, expediting the procurement of the trucks with efficiency and precision, meaning these advanced mobility trucks reach operational deployment swiftly, ultimately enhancing our military’s agility and responsiveness.

Minister For Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, said:

“The rapid delivery of transport capabilities to the front line is paramount to the lifeblood of British Army logistics and operations. This procurement demonstrates our commitment to equipping our Armed Forces with the best tools available, ensuring mobility, agility, and resilience in the face of evolving threats.”

Major General Darren Crook, Director of the Land Equipment Operating Centre, DE&S said:

“In an ever-changing and demanding operational landscape, it is essential that we can quickly identify what equipment our soldiers need and procure it rapidly. This project demonstrates our agility and our commitment to push the boundaries; it shows what we can achieve when we work collaboratively to deliver the equipment our Armed Forces need, when they need it. I’m delighted that together with industry that we have been able to turn around this contract from conception, through approvals to contract award and first delivery, in just seven months.”

Colonel Stuart Nassé, Assistant Head Military Capability Delivery, Army Headquarters said:

“We are delighted with this project which provides essential reinforcement to the logistic spine of the Army. As a collaborative project, it shows that the acquisition process can be responsive to user demands, and more importantly that when the user, delivery agent and industry all work together we can achieve significant outcomes quickly. We are really excited to put this important capability in the hands of the soldiers this year.”

The rapid procurement of these vehicles comes at an essential time, as in 2024 the British Army will face increased commitments through Op MOBILISE and its offer to the NATO New Force Model.

Avatar photo
George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

57 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jacko
Jacko
15 days ago

These trucks have been appearing in MOD sales before now!

Lord Baddlesmere
Lord Baddlesmere
15 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

someone needs a job or a bung!

Louis
Louis
15 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Army has only ever sold 4 EPLS and that was to New Zealand. There is a requirement for nearly 2k and only 559 in service so they aren’t selling any.

Mark F
Mark F
15 days ago
Reply to  Louis

The 4 EPLS sold to NZ were part of a buy for the GD REBS (Rapid Engineering Bridge System), back in about 2011/12 and didn’t come from UK stock. They then purchased a further batch of EPLS vehicles under the MHOV program that ran from 2013 to 2015. These were specifically built for NZ and the deal was delivered through RMMV (Australia).

Louis
Louis
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark F

You’re right the 4 to New Zealand we’re for REBS (I believe we got a few too). They did come out of UK stock though.

Last edited 14 days ago by Louis
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago

£282,000,000 divided by 500 is over £500k per truck.

I know there is a bit of hardening and armour…..comms…..NBC……and errr?

I hope the program is a success and gets the army closer to where it needs to be with AJAX and CH3 seemingly on track.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
15 days ago

I’m hopefully seeking confirmation with respect to the UK Industrial Stategy – along the lines of:- looking forward, with regard for increasing requirement, production facilities within the UK are being actively investigated. I understood that just 20 years back MAN-ERG was thought to be the solution, not least since the British Army obtain many of this vehicle class/type. But that fell foul of ‘mismanagement’, somehow (i.e. perhaps like BL)? Welcome any clarity, though. Still bears emphasising at times like these that countries that maintain their industrial base take far more cost benefit * (e.g. internal investment) under rapid acquisition projects… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago

Does that particular phenomenon ever change? Do they go out of their way to pay as much money as possible? What are the reasons? Any through life support factored in?

Jim
Jim
15 days ago

Green paint ain’t cheap 😀

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
15 days ago

Agreed. Damn, for £564 K/vehicle, should have an amphibious capability, and possibly, a flight mode. 🤔🙄

Iain
Iain
14 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I agree that it is a lot of money but if you have a look around a much smaller civilian version to move small rubbish(trash) skips using the same hook mechanism is 123,000 Euros.
For an armored, ruggedised, big brother I can see where the extra expense comes from. Also don’t forget that a lot of the cost isn’t in the tractor unit it is in the militarised pallet management system.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago

Depends how fast they want them. I’m beginning to feel that something is beginning to change in the attitude of HMG. The Chancellor is now dropping massive hints about Tax cuts not being what he hoped to deliver. They don’t give a Monkeys about what we say but after the Yanks let rip perhaps they have had to listen.

Jim
Jim
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I can guarantee you no one in Whitehall gives two craps what anyone in Washington says, uk us diplomatic relations are at there lowest ebb in decades.

Honestly why would you think any British politician would listen to the US?

What could possibly be in it for them or the UK?

Jack
Jack
14 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Because that is what give them a place on the international stage.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
14 days ago
Reply to  Jim

I wouldn’t mistake the inter services level of respect and cooperation for Plastic Paddy v Sunak lack of mutual respect.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
14 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

There is also the heightened tension and the realisation that the toy box is rather empty which is embarrassing when you have cousins over for a play date?

Joking apart there is a moment when RN is asked to send warships and it can only send a couple and the continued coverage of the lack of land strike back gets quite embarrassing.

I’d say the needle on that dual has come quite close to Post Office Horizon levels in the last week or so.

Steve
Steve
14 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Those tax cuts are coming. It’s the classic two card scam. Say oh we can’t deliver the cuts promised and then deliver them and say we managed to do it because of our amazing economic recovery that we created. Aren’t we great. Even though the economy is getting worse the average voter doesn’t read the stats or details.

Jay
Jay
14 days ago

If you compare that to the equivalent civilian truck, it’s not that bad. We’ve seen way worse, put it that way.

Coll
Coll
15 days ago

Does this include spares, support, and interchangable payloads for different tasks?

Last edited 15 days ago by Coll
Simon
Simon
15 days ago

Are these replacements for the DAF and Foden DROPS fleet ?

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
14 days ago
Reply to  Simon

I thought the daf and rodent drops trucks were already replaced with man drop vehicles. These are a top up I think as the original number bought was a lot less than were in service.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
13 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Haha rodent trucks. Should be foden trucks

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago

When can we expect the MAN Archers? I see France have just ordered 109 Caesar II to replace their Mk 1s. Europe is re-arming.

Rowan
Rowan
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I feel like we are beginning to fall far behind the curve, it has recently been reported that Italy is hoping to procure over 400+ Leopard MBTs, France is going all in with new Rafaels and artillery, the Germans are getting new Typhoon EW planes and the Poles are just going absolutely crazy with everything and anything they can buy. Our future naval fleet will definitely being one of the most numerous and well armed comparatively in Europe (providing T-32 goes ahead) and we are doubling our rocket artillery numbers, but, our air-forces is looking a bit bewildered for what’s… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago
Reply to  Rowan

That’s what we all would like to know 🤔 don’t think there’s much hope with our government 🙄

Paul.P
Paul.P
14 days ago
Reply to  Rowan

It’s an election year. Any party that said it will spend extra billions on defence would open itself up to criticism on spending priorities and affordability etc. Orders are being placed for some items which must have been classified as a priorities or gaps like these MAN trucks and Jackal 3 HMTs. Seems to me most of the major programs have been decided; MLRS, CR3, Ajax, Boxer and are funded and in build, including those Boxer variants yet to be defined.

Steve
Steve
14 days ago
Reply to  Rowan

It might be that we are just ahead of the curve vs them in respect of modernisation. We already have a massive equipment purchase plan, ajax, boxer, frigates, f35b, etc etc that is well advanced. Hard to tell if Europe (outside the Eastern block) are rearming or just modernising.

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Archers should be left in Volvo chassis saves the government messing about .Has you know if it works leave well alone 😏

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Yes but it’s an entirely new vehicle / supply chain to set up and maintain for very few vehicles. New build Swedish Archers use same MAN trucks as we do.

Old Tony
Old Tony
15 days ago

A RAPID procurement ? What on earth is happening ?

Tom
Tom
15 days ago

So basically, the British Public are to be milked of £282million, to buy back these vehicles, that the GOVERNMENT handed over to private companies??

Louis
Louis
15 days ago
Reply to  Tom

4 EPLS were sold to New Zealand, that was the only sale of British EPLS.
Most MAN trucks for sale are the 6 tonne which can’t be converted to EPLS, these 500 are new build anyway.

Tom
Tom
14 days ago
Reply to  Louis

Ok… However, it still doesn’t account for the huge numbers of MOD bought and paid for vehicles, that are in the hands of private companies.

Case in point… last August, Soldier A had to drive 300+ miles, to get a replacement Land Rover, from a private companies depot!

Pacman27
Pacman27
15 days ago

If Eddie stobart was buying 500 of these it would be for 50-75k per unit, how exactly can we get to 600k per unit.

dont bother with spares, just buy 2k at a cheaper price

drops is the way to go but not at this cost

Frank
Frank
14 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

A decent Transit is £50,000 plus, but I still don’t get the near £600,000 costs.

Mark F
Mark F
12 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Eddie Stobart won’t be buying anything. The company was taken over and is now part of the Culina group.
Yes they could buy total “commercial of the shelf”, but this would only be useful supplying up to the Divisional Support Area.

Pacman27
Pacman27
15 days ago

In Australia these seem to be built in the same factory as boxer, is the same going to happen for the uk order?

Mark F
Mark F
14 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Australia didn’t build any trucks. All the cab and chassis come from Vienna. The latter part of the contract saw the “Tanker and Tipper” variants assembled onto the chassis in Brisbane as these were built down there. The new MILVEHCOE facility just outside Ipswich QLD, does built the Boxer, and this was all part of the deal for Australian content to ensure that the “defence dollar” was spent in country to support Aussie industry.

Pacman27
Pacman27
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark F

uk has a need for 5-7k of these or similar just to replace current fleet.

assume an annual order for 250, that’s the output of DAF trucks uk, so should be able to build a factory around this or add to one we already have, add in other vehicle requirements and we can easily do this in the UK at the right scale. It needs a stable order and large volumes of base platforms. Oh and leadership

Pacman27
Pacman27
14 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

We could even use an old base and create an industrial park if we wanted to, we’ve done it before

Louis
Louis
14 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Leyland make more than 2k trucks per month. The army and air force have a need for ~10k trucks if all fleets were rationalised to one cab. At best that’s 500 a year, given ever shrinking numbers and vehicles staying in service long past their 20th birthday, it could be as low as 300 a year, and that’s assuming all trucks could be rationalised into one chassis which might not be possible. Without export orders that only the US could fulfil, or designing commercial variants, it wouldn’t be viable. The only way Army trucks will be built here is if… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
15 days ago

Seems a bit expensive for new DROPS wagons! At the end of the day it’s still a truck, thousands of which are cutting about every road of the UK, but not for 500k per wagon!!!!!!

Coll
Coll
15 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

According to Jane, the Bundeswehr purchased batch 2 of 558 MAN HX trucks in 2017 for EUR240 million (£205,304,640.53) (including support) from Rheinmetall. Inflation-adjusted (Bank of England calculator) from 2017 to 2023 takes it to £262,588,237.53. looks like paying more for less, evidently with a £280 million for 500.

Last edited 15 days ago by Coll
maurice10
maurice10
15 days ago

Brilliant news, now let’s see a similar approach for artillery. I wonder if Boxer and Ajax deliveries could be speeded up too!

Sam
Sam
15 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Isn’t the updated version of Archer going to be mounted on these trucks?

Mike stewart
Mike stewart
14 days ago

Now, can we do it for all of our other procurement needs

Steve
Steve
14 days ago

Out of curiosity why did these need to be rapidly procured? What happened to the old ones? Rapid procurement whilst it has the advantage of speed does mean you overpay and potentially get less capability, as don’t have a proper procurement process. Although I realise the mod/government procurement processes are a mess.

Simon
Simon
14 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I think these must be replacements DAF and Foden DROPS units. There was an issue for the MOD in that the Foden’s had no manufactures support available any more.

Steve
Steve
14 days ago
Reply to  Simon

I hope they are decently armoured against small arms fire. As Russia found, Ukraine made light work of their supply trucks and continues to do so.

Simon
Simon
14 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Pretty sure I read that the UK version has an armoured cab

Marked
Marked
14 days ago

Half a million quid per truck! Someone’s gone crazy on the optional extras!

WSM
WSM
14 days ago
Reply to  Marked

Cup holders ain’t cheap 😉

Marked
Marked
14 days ago
Reply to  WSM

Probably opted for the gold plated boiling vessel as well…

Sam
Sam
14 days ago
Reply to  Marked

Found this interesting, re these trucks used as a bed for artillery:

Rheinmetall’s HX3 10×10 truck equipped with an automatic remote-controlled artillery turret conducted trials for the UK’s Mobile Fires Platform (MFP) programme in Bovington in 2023, Janes learnt at the International Armoured Vehicles (IAV) 2024 conference being held in London from 22 to 25 January.

The 52 tonne system with a 25 m turning radius conducted trials including climbing a 31° slope, traversing a 2.3 m gap, and fording in 1.5 m deepwater.

(From Janes)

Grinch
Grinch
14 days ago

Additional and not replacements! That’s a refreshing change

Steveh
Steveh
14 days ago

They MOD couldnt wait to slash ex RCT/ RLC Regiments, Squadrons and troops in mid 1990s. Just like the rest of the British Army. They had 200,000 plus seasoned soldiers from cooks to gunners to Infantry. Threw away the lot. To save nothing. Bad procurement choices soaked up millions of tax payers money. Now back peddle. After watching how in Ukraine. Its still boots on the ground win wars. But logistics gets us to victory.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago

For those who rail against the price of these low population, military special trucks, a Quadtrac tractor costs in the range £518k to £615k and you don’t even get ‘a multitude of protection capabilities’ for that money.

Phillip Russell
Phillip Russell
11 hours ago
Awaiting for approval

I heard these 500 PLS are part of a cancelled/unwanted order for the Bundeswehr. Anyone know the gen?