A major upgrade to a backbone vehicle of the Army’s logistic operations has reached a milestone target, say the British Army.

The British Army say that the Enhanced Pallet Load System (EPLS MK3) conversion is at the heart of a £72 million contract the MoD awarded to Babcock and MAN Truck and Bus (MTB) to upgrade a number of the Army’s current fleet of 15T Support Vehicle platforms.

“The conversion took place in Manchester, with technical and engineering expertise being undertaken by a combination of civilian and ex-military personnel who were able to bring their prior knowledge to bear in its development.

With the addition of a hook lift ‘top hamper’ to allow it to transport flatracks (FRs) and related equipment of up to 15 tonnes, EPLS can also be fitted with armour packs to protect crew from ballistic and blast threat and forms the logistic foundation of the British Army.”

A press release adds:

“A load carrier with a 15-tonne payload allowing the rapid loading and unloading of flatracks or 20ft ISO containers, the EPLS (MK3) upgrade was conceived as the most cost effective way to help bridge the capability gap, as DROPS went out of service in 2020, until a replacement capability can be procured in the future.

The requirement included the need for a versatile medium lift capability to provide the next generation of material distribution across the battlefield, and in multiple operating environments. EPLS is able to lift an ISO container, without being loaded onto a flat rack, and is also compatible with all flat rack types.”

The Army will have a total of 559 EPLS vehicles in the UK fleet, including 382 MAN HX77 EPLS MK 3 Conversions.

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Sean Crowley
Sean Crowley
6 months ago

Probably one of the most important fields for an Defense force but no comments on it , guys the General who knows his logistics situation and rationally operates on the premise he draws from it is the General that wins .

BB85
BB85
6 months ago

I think there was an issue with the page loading correctly earlier.
The logistics fleet is looking a lot healthier than it was a few years ago.
I know the trucks are MAN but am I right in thinking they are all assembled in the UK?
I think they will produce the chassis for the UKs Archer proposal.
One thing I was surprised didn’t get a bigger mention on last weeks integrated review was the MRCV purchase. I was expecting this to be signed this year for the 4×4 and 6×6 varients.

Daveyb
Daveyb
6 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Yep, BAe have shown the Archer system fitted to a Man 8×8. Possible not as cool as the Saab offering, but still just as effective. The Volvo 6×6 version has an enclosure that hides the gun for transit. Which probably means that the current 52 cal barrel can’t immediately be upgraded to a 62 cal barrel. Whereas, on the Man truck, they did away with hiding the barrel, so it’s probably less complicated to change out the barrel. The Archer fitted to the Man truck is a no brainer in my opinion. It has the same automatic handling and loading… Read more »

Lee Cook
Lee Cook
6 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Absolutely right on both points. It’s a shame things are such a mess with the combat vehicle fleets. But at least it shows good decision can be made.

AndyCee
AndyCee
6 months ago
Reply to  BB85

What’s the MRCV purchase? I’ve not seen or heard anything with those initials…

BB85
BB85
6 months ago
Reply to  AndyCee

Sorry MRVP, too many projects with initials.
JLTV was selected for the phase 1 4×4 varient 2 or 3 years ago but no order followed. GD Eagle 5 seems to be the front runner for the 6×6 varient but you would think it makes more sense to purchase the Eagle 5 to cover both 4×4 and 6×6 in that case.

Jacko
Jacko
6 months ago
Reply to  BB85

I might be wrong but I think they were built in Austria but fitted out by Marshall’s.

Ryan Brewis
Ryan Brewis
6 months ago
Reply to  BB85

I don’t think they are. As far as I can find only DAF has a manufacturing base here.

Steve
Steve
6 months ago

Good news.
Any news of associated trailers? Double the uplift without increasing the driver/operator requirement.

Dern
Dern
6 months ago

Was this ghost written by Think Defence? All that’s missing is a bridge….

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago
Reply to  Dern

And more about containers…

MarkF
MarkF
6 months ago

The only issue with this conversion, is that the fleet of 15 tonne Cargo trucks has been reduced by 382 to facilitate this conversion. With talk of the “Rapier replacement” and the 155 mm all wanting to be fitted onto the HX77 15 Tonne trucks, there aren’t going to be many Cargo variants left. The saddest things about this whole affair, is that if they had been able to find about a 1/3 of the money spent back in 2010, when the trucks were coming out of service, they could have swapped of 400 HX60 6 Tonne Trucks (some of… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 months ago

If you haven’t watched this series I suggest you do.

It gives a very good insight into the daily lives of our men and women on the frontline.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpIAok–f1o

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 months ago

More good news?

“In addition to Sweden, the countries involved are fellow BvS10 operators France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/sweden-leads-european-atv-procurement-programme