Bulldog will be replaced by a yet to be determined platform with procurement activity starting in 2025.

The information came to light via the response to a Parliamentary written question.

Kevan Jones, MP North Durham, asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what will replace Bulldog in the armoured role on 14 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare).”

Jeremy Quin, Minister for Defence Procurement, answered:

“The current out of service date for Bulldog is 2030. The Bulldog capability will be replaced by another platform or family of platforms, yet to be determined. The Army has assigned resources to replace Bulldog and, on current plans, procurement activity should commence in 2025.”

In an analysis of the British Army’s armoured vehicle capability, the Defence Select Committee published this report stating:

“Armoured personnel carriers (APCs), also referred to as mechanised infantry vehicles (MIVs), are more lightly armoured vehicles, designed to enable the movement of troops while providing a degree of protection from artillery fire and small arms. They are typically not intended to engage in direct combat with enemy armoured forces.

Currently the British Army’s primary mechanised infantry vehicle is the FV430 series. Some 2,500 of these vehicles were introduced to service from 1962, the most common variant being the FV432 armoured personnel carrier. This vehicle family has been the workhorse of the British Army’s mechanised units for 60 years, and repeated failures (see paragraphs 18 to 20) in procuring replacement vehicles have required their retention for much longer than originally envisaged.

In 2006 the Army signed an £85 million contract to update at least 500 of the FV430 vehicles to a modernised version (the Mk3 or ‘Bulldog’ variant, including improved armour, a new engine and upgrades to other automotive components) and these upgraded versions saw operational service in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During our inquiry we challenged the Ministry of Defence on the continued use of these obsolete vehicles.”

Lieutenant General Tickellws quoted as telling the Commitee:

“We need to replace Bulldog, no question. There is a programme called the Armoured Support Vehicle that will replace Bulldog. That will come online at the back end of this decade. In an ideal world, if I had a magic wand, would we do it sooner? Yes, but, frankly, there is continued need to prioritise.

Actually, the Bulldog is very cheap to run and delivers people to the right place at the right time, and it is therefore right that we prioritise programmes such as Challenger, Warrior, Ajax and Boxer, but we absolutely recognise that we need to get after Bulldog sooner rather than later.”

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. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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John Hartley
John Hartley
3 months ago

Something protected against IED/RPG, but light enough to deploy easily.

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

So FV432 family are in that 16-17 ton range, so the replacement should be in the 15-20 ton range. You are unlikely to get enough protection or capacity below 15 tons. Above 20 tons, transport to theatre, & then tight urban streets, narrow mountain tracks/roads & weak bridges limit movement.

Bill
Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Cannot disagree with that John. As mobile mortar carriers we should upgrade to the 120mm but we won’t. We should keep the Mastiffs and Ridgebacks which have far more protection anyway and procure a measly 500 Shiny Bulldogs for our ever shrinking infantry battalions. Even the MOD couldn’t f*** that up. Could they??

Xerxes
Xerxes
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Of course they could, did and continue to. Some years ago, talking to a senior scientist he told me about his newest pet project FRES. A clean sheet of paper, no restrictions, requirements this was to be a new system. Nearly 30 years later, what have we got (not)? Ajax. As a member of OCCAR we were early starters in the collaborative programme called Boxer Then we were half in, then half out then out and most recently back in that particular market MOD? Couldn’ t buy a chicken shed,those bastxcds said a NATO colleague. But let’s be totally fair,… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Have you seen the Bronco 3 ATV with 120mm super rapid mortar? Just right for the Royal Marines. Army recognition 22 Dec 2021

Bill
Bill
2 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I did take a look. Impressive bit of kit!

Johan
Johan
2 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Currently, they cannot order a 4 x 4 without over- specing what they need, it for. its like we need a can opener so we will spec a swiss army knife to open the world of trouble

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Hmm, sounds like a Boxer.

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago

Spent more time in 432’s than I care to remember.

Patrick
Patrick
3 months ago

More Army procurement, what could go wrong.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

Hi Patrick,

Easier to list what could right…

1) …

List complete

Cheers CR

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Have a funny.

Marked
Marked
3 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

Easier to say what could go right.

Nothing.

Next question…

PragmaticScot
PragmaticScot
3 months ago

What do our allies use, is there a proven off the shelf system we can get acquire which can be brought into service rapidly and provide good value for taxpayers?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

The scary thing is it seems that merely tossing a coin over the last twenty years would probably have resulted in a better solution, sooner and cheaper than keeping so called ‘experts’ in jobs making laboured decisions or non-decisions that are ultimately overturned, delayed or just ignored. Hey that coin toss would likely have given us a modern perfectly adequate solution that troops would feel confident in years ago. Trouble is no doubt if they did decide to replace the top brass/civil servants/politicians responsible with coins it would likely still take a decade to establish who would be responsible for… Read more »

Hermes
Hermes
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Someone said french ?

We dont have any tracked APC, so the question is, the UK will keep the tracked type or not ?
If not, you are welcome to buy some Griffon and join the club of SCORPION.

Griffon or not, I think UK is better going to go for lighter motorized/armored troops as the french does.
Less costly to acquire and maintain, easier to deploy, good overall performance with a modern paltform.

Let the germans buy heavy stuff they dont use.
At worst we should make some lend contracts to use their heavy stuff when needed, hum…

John Clark
John Clark
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

“Let the germans buy heavy stuff they don’t use”

Oh, how very true Hermes, UK and France at the sharp end and the Germans making the sandwiches and coffee ….. Concentrating on ” support” I think they call it. Utterly useless allies…

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Good wheatbeer and sausages though…

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

UK MoD has decided to scrap the Infantry’s Warrior and replace by wheeled Boxer, so it would be odd to procure a tracked ‘support’ vehicle. I am sure 430s/Bulldog will be replaced by a wheeled armoured vehicle which could be Boxer in the interest of commonality.

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Decided is stretching it, they looked at their budget and they couldn’t afford them and so they were retired. It’s clear from statements from the generals that it was not a strategic decision.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Fair point. I don’t know whether the army, the MoD, the Minister or the Treasury decided to scrap Warrior upgrade (WCSP).
Point is that instead of that upgrade we are buying hundreds of brand new Boxers for the Infantry (plus all the support kit, which is not cheap) – is that really a cheaper option than WCSP?

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Kinda depends if the extra boxers actually get ordered. They might be pushing back that order as far as possible, hoping extra cash will free up.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve, I may have this wrong as the story is confusing and keeps changing. I think that there are now 3 Tranches of (various types of) Boxer purchase required: to equip (mechanised) Infantry with a Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) in a Strike role alongside Ajax; to equip those Infantry currently described as armoured infantry (and who currently operate Warrior, which is to be scrapped following cancellation of WCSP), operating alongside CR3; to replace FV430/Bulldog (the MRAV requirement). There is no scope to not order any of these tranches, to ‘save money’. Defence cuts is one reason that has got the… Read more »

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yeah not sure, not heard any stories of additional purchase post the decision to scrap warrior but might have missed it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve

What would the troops ride in when Warrior is scrapped? Got to be Boxer in the interests of commonality, hence additional purchase is required.

Bunny Burrell
Bunny Burrell
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Ajax IMHO is stuffed, reinstate the Warrior Upgrade program.
Ditch Ajax, use the money, saved to part pay for Warrior and kick off 432 replacement program.
The factory set up by GD, Gov buy out and set up as factory for the replacement.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Bunny Burrell

Great post Bunny. As an engineer but who only knows the Ajax story as regarding public open source material, I think there is every likelihood that Ajax cannot be fully fixed at low cost or in a short timeframe, if ever. I am not sure we will save much money as over £3bn of the c£5bn budget has been spent, and there is not 100% surety of getting any or all of that money back, no matter what Ben Wallace says (he is not a commercial lawyer). I was astonished that WCSP was scrapped which has to mean the MoD… Read more »

Bunny Burrell
Bunny Burrell
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If we get money back by returning Ajax as “unfit for purpose”, use the Moneys to invest in the Warrior program and kick start a design program to design a 432 and Warrior replacement.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Bunny Burrell

OK, but we would still need a CVR(T) family replacement.

Bunny Burrell
Bunny Burrell
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You’ll get no complaints here, I’m an ex CVRT crewman. Far as I’m concerned, the CVRT family should have been up graded years ago. Why they’ve fucked around for so long is lost on me.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Bunny Burrell

CVR(T) did of course get a mild upgrade a few years ago with the fitting of the diesel angine and some other tweaks. Did it get TI sights under BGTI programme?

The US/UK TRACER programme should have delivered a replacement vehicle family but we pulled out – that was not a clever move – with the US puling the strings we would have got a good vehicle for a reasonable cost.

BigH1979
BigH1979
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

A few years ago? I think we are talking at least 20. Loved CVRT but it was even ancient when i joined up!! Its all in Imperial 😩

Farouk
Farouk
3 months ago
Reply to  Hermes

Hermes wrote:
“”You are welcome to buy some Griffon “”

Oh , I like I would also throw in the Jaguar and the Missile Moyenne Portée

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 months ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

Hi PragmaticScot,

Ajax was supposed to be an off the shelf system but the army faffed around with the requirements leading to huge growth in weight and the contractor appears to have seriously dropped the ball on quality of fabrication…

It seems that if you want to seriously trash an engineering project and waste loads of money, hire the MoD / Army procurement teams – job done. Sad, nut true.

Cheers CR

Mr Mark Franks
Mr Mark Franks
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Sadly it the same story over and over again.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR, Not sure that all you say was true. Ajax start point was ASCOD Pizarro but we were never going to buy that, as is, off the shelf. Ajax was always going to be heavier than the Pizarro, if only to carry the 7-tonne mission equipment and a turret with 40mm cannon.

Paul
Paul
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Off the shelf system. They couldn’t even build a shelf !!

Marked
Marked
3 months ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

Now that would be too bloody easy and cost effective!

andy
andy
3 months ago

I remember all our 432,s being striped to bare shells environmentally cleaned and dumped in the ocean somewhere to create an artificial reef,

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  andy

You are talking about your unit’s 432s specifically? Which unit was that Andy?

andy
andy
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

was 3LI but we changed to 2LI our 432,s originally went to the first gulf war while we went to Belfast, when we came back from tour they were stripped cleaned think we did one exercise with them then they went as we got warrior from the RRF.. all down to options for change due to the wall coming down

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
3 months ago
Reply to  andy

Keep that quiet. Someone will put a bid in using hulls brought from the ocean floor. Weld on some new plate, new engine, running gear, remote weapons station. Call it multifunctional with modularity built in and the mod will buy it. It already has Seaweed camouflage

Andy
Andy
3 months ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Gave the game away now.

Ian
Ian
3 months ago

Something bought of the shelf should be the way to go…… but HMG/MOD will specify 4 inch thick armour and a 57mm cannon
Happy New Year Everyone
Ian

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian

That would make it a recon vehicle in their eyes.
Protected mobility means paper armour and a 7.62

Blue Fuzz
Blue Fuzz
3 months ago

I’m sure there’s a logical reason, but why doesn’t the Army use the Warrior fleet it would otherwise scrap to replace the 432s (i.e. keep hold of the newer vehicle type rather than the much older one)?

peter wait
peter wait
3 months ago
Reply to  Blue Fuzz

warrior costs a lot more to run than 432, that’s why they like them!

Ben Coe
Ben Coe
3 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

Why does it cist a lot more? We definitely need a good look at value engineering.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  peter wait

How much of the extra cost of maintenance is due to Warrior’s turret and RARDEN? Chop those off as an MRAV doesn’t need that and running costs might be little more than a 430/Bulldog.

Jack
Jack
3 months ago

The final two paragraphs containing the quote and the tone of the quote makes me want to punch Lieutenant General Tickell bugs the hell out of me. Procurement is *NEVER* going to improve with his kind of attitude.

Bob
Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Just reacting to the reality that the defence budget is too low for the goals set by government.

dave12
dave12
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack

I don’t think Jackski you are qualified to comment on such matters lol!!

Dern
Dern
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack

He’s right though.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack

I agree. Why does this 3* talk about prioritising Warrior – the 2021 Defence Review cancelled the WCSP upgrade and set up that vehicle fleet to decline until being scrapped. He seems to set 430/Bulldog replacement behind Challenger, Warrior(??), Ajax and Boxer programmes. Original prediction was that CR3 would not be fully in service (FOC) until 2030 (although SoS Ben Wallace wants to shave a few years off that), Ajax FOC date must be way into the future (if ever), and Boxer will probably not be at FOC until 2031 (based on looking at the reports of theThales RWS contract… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

Do the Americans still use M113s in supporting roles?

The FV432 – ASV saga has gone on longer than Ajax I think?

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
3 months ago

There still in active service when I last checked, but I think replacements are already on the way

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

A lot of the National Guard still use M113s.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

Daniele, my own (perhaps peculiar/unique) view is that all 430s should have been replaced by a full family of Warrior vehicles from 1984 onwards.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Agree, we only bought 700 odd Warrior I recall.

The usual defence “savings”

Farouk
Farouk
3 months ago

I hear 10 Downing St has awarded the contract to a mate of a mate to supply the Army with 50 world beating wheeled Saxon APCs, which he managed to source from Nigeria of all places.

Last edited 3 months ago by Farouk
David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

You forgot to mention that the mate actually runs a seedy taxi service.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

That reminds me that we sold Saracens and Humber Pigs to Belgium in the 1960s, then had to buy them back again for Op Banner (Northern Ireland).

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
3 months ago

Surely boxer varients can cover this role for a not too expensive platform and is ready to role off the shelf.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

That was the plan in 1996 when the UK first joined the Franco-German Boxer programme (MRAV). MRAV was to replace residual 432s and Saxon APCs.

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 months ago

Does the UK still have the ability to make Alvis Stormer? At around 12-13 tons its not too heavy. An updated version of that, would be a suitable Bulldog replacement.

Paul T
Paul T
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Maybe,maybe not – a small batch of Scimitar (Mk2) were manufactured in 2010-2012,thats a decade ago, someone else might have a more definative answer.

Cripes
Cripes
3 months ago

The US Army is just introducing its M113 replacement – BAE’s Armoured Multirole Vehicle (AMV), which beat competitive US bids. It is an ideal successor to our FV-433/Bulldog and maybe BAEs could build some for us here in the UK. However, the MOD would have to firstly address and sort out its flawed concept of operations (CONOPS) for our warfighting division. BAES AMV is a tracked vehicle, because the US staffs do not believe in mixing tracked and wheeled AFVs in their heavy divisions. The DoD has resisted and seen off a proposal to equip even the ambulance units with… Read more »

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
3 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

AMPV not the AMV the latter is an 8×8 vehicle.

AMPV does look to be a good and opportune option considering that there is currently a line and supply chain hot building the things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-JXtrgCj0U&ab_channel=BAESystems%2CInc.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

Can they be fitted with a CTA 40mm turret ? 😂

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Funny you should ask…AMPV is a derivative development of the Bradley M2. Also the US Army has launched a Bradley M2 replacement programme OMFV (Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle). BAE Systems is considering submitting a turreted version of the AMPV for that.

Paul
Paul
3 months ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

Well there you go. The 40mm turrets are sunk cost. Why not AMPV to replace everything; Bulldog, Warrior, Ajax?

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Well if AMPV ends up as the basis for OMFV yes that is a valid point … why not?! The Army does appear to be digging its heals in over AJAX, personally I think it would be insane not to base the Bulldog replacement on the same platform as the Scout vehicle and IFV but such is the lack of joined up thinking in the world…to be fair AMPV was a glint in the milkman’s eye when FRES was kicked off. I am certainly not keen to throw more money at GD and the spinning bowtie extravaganza that is AJAX!

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 months ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

The AMPV looks good, but it is 34 to 36 tons. Twice the weight of the FV432 family. If we are to deploy it easily, we need something below 30 tons. Below 20 tons ideally.

James H
James H
3 months ago

Is it worth replacing them, the army will be at 50,000 by the time they come into service

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

Which is the figure that Mr Hammond (an ex SofS for Defence) mooted when he was in charge of the money as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Cripes
Cripes
3 months ago
Reply to  James H

Gawd James, don’t depress us further … 😒

For the UK’s population size and NATO /global commitments, we should never have cut the army below 105,000 – the reduced level the Conservatives inherited from Labour in 2010 – before the latter started swinging the tax-cutting axe one more time.

One political party has to take a stand and commit to reversing the foolish 2021 manpower cuts. The fact that we can now only deploy 4 field brigades is so clearly inadequate next to the contributions from the rest of NATO Europe, it is a national embarrassment.

Cripes
Cripes
3 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

By ‘latter’, I.meant ‘former’, it is the Conservatives who have cut the army by (a further) 32,000/30% in one decade.

Despite the PM pledging no further defence cuts before the election, the rogue.

James H
James H
3 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

I couldn’t agree more, the cuts have been relentless while increasing the demands on it.
Its partly because there is no direction since the cold war, if its not obvious what is needed its easy to cut.
Also it goes unnoticed until they are needed and then it’s too late

Rob
Rob
3 months ago

Just think the FV432s were produced in 1962 through to 1971. Now I know Bulldog has had an extensive rebuild but those hulls are now 50 to 60 years old. Must have been a great design!

Surely Boxer is a straight swap?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob

I agree your comment about 430 design – it was a complete family, was upgraded occasionally and is simple, highly adaptable and quite well liked. It could even carry a RARDEN turret (Berlin Infantry Brigade), although that was not without some criticism.

Warrior has been good too, except that it was never properly upgraded and it didn’t totally replace all 430s due to defence cuts.

I am sure we will get Boxer to replace 430/Bulldog in the interest of commonality.

Dern
Dern
3 months ago

Let’s be honest here, a 432 replacement is a low priority (and this is as someone whose first job in the army was working out of one). They’re cheap, they work. Is there better out there? Sure. Is it a critical hole? No.

Would I rather replace 432 or see CR3 go through?
432 replacement or AS90 lethality improvement.
It’s the army version of the OPV discussion, as much as people want 432 to be replaced, its a safe place to wait out while the budget goes to more important projects.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
3 months ago

Many are quick to say we should buy off the shelf, but moan like hell when we don’t buy British. 🤷‍♂️

Marked
Marked
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Most on here reluctantly accept that we have let our armored vehicle manufacturing capabilities go to the dogs. Realistically buying off the shelf is now unfortunately the sensible option.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Marked

We used to have 5 AFV manufacturers – good for competition. Now only one national AFV manufacturer (BAE) but they now lack experience within Britain.
Then there is the UK-based, US spin-off, General Dynamics UK – they make the wonderful Ajax!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 months ago
Reply to  Marked

Hi Marked. You are probably correct pal.

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago

What would have been wrong buying bulk CV90 MKlV?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_Vehicle_90#:~:text=The%20CV90%20Mk%20IV%20is,augmented%20reality%20system%20named%20iFighting.

I’m not a IFV bloke, so comments welcomed!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

We’re not trying to buy an IFV here – that role is currently held by Warrior and Boxer will be its replacement (debatable if a standard turretless Boxer really is an IFV), as the powers that be scrapped the Warrior upgrade (WCSP).

We are trying to buy a MRAV to replace the 432s retained in service as they were not replaced by a Warrior variant back in the day. It makes sense to go for a wheeled option like Boxer, as the Infantry main vehicle will be wheeled (Boxer).

DPerf
DPerf
3 months ago

CV90 – IFV Bofors 40mm – commonality with RN 40mm; AFV (Tank Destroyer) – 120mm Rheinmetall – commonality with Challenger; IFV Armadillo (replacement for Bulldog) – commonality with all. Proven, adaptable, doesn’t need to reinvent wheel, British owned, economies of scale. Of course the MOD would oppose it. It’s simple and uses common sense

Mike O
Mike O
3 months ago

So another project to add to the list of failed attempts to replace 432.

The thing is, 432 is quite good. Totally obsolete of course. But the solution seems simple. Build a modern 432. Metallurgy and automotive technology has improved slightly since the 1950s when this was designed. Give a couple to some modern engineers with the instruction to replicate the capability with modern components and materials. Improved driver ergonomics would be greatly appreciated 😁.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike O

Then you would have tracked support vehicles following up wheeled Infantry Boxer vehicles. Does that make sense?

Mike O
Mike O
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I am guessing you have seen the recent force structure. The mix of tracks and wheels is already here and will only increase. Does it make sense? It depends on doctrine. There will be brigades full of Ajax (maybe) and CR3 so a tracked support vehicle still has a role. Technology has moved on and a lighter weight vehicle with RBTs and hybrid drive is perfectly possible.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike O

Hi Mike, Yes I am familiar with the wheels/tracks mix in that the cavalry will be in tracked Ajax in recce/strike role, cavalry/RTR in CR3 – and the Infantry will be trying to keep up with very fast tanks in their Boxer (assuming there is not too much glutinous mud or snow), once Warrior has been withdrawn from service. My point is that it seems odd to me that the Infantry will be on wheels and the support vehicles will be on tracks. From memory the retained 430s are in infantry battalions as forward ambulances and mortar carriers – and… Read more »

Mike O
Mike O
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Well I do agree with your point. With the current situation a wheeled vehicle is probably more suited to the role. I assumed MRPV would of filled these roles. But we can’t pretend that the future force structure is anything but making the best of a bad situation. Wheeled support/log vehicles is normal in armoured units but the current planned mix of tracks and wheels seems down to necessity rather than desire. Equipment driving doctrine rather than doctrine being the driver for equipment. Ref cost I am certain you are right. But just as technology has shortened the mobility gap… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike O

I never saw wheeled vehicles being moved by rail flats, just the tracked vehs. You would tie up too much rail if you moved all the wheels as well as the tracks.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

“From memory the retained 430s are in infantry battalions as forward ambulances and mortar carriers – and in other arms & services, such as RSignals EW, Royal Engineers regiments, REME fitter section HQs etc.”

Correct, Graham.

Also worth bearing in mind most of the upcoming Boxer order are not infantry carriers. So some of those supporting echelons for the battalion/regiment will also be on wheels.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

Thanks Daniele,

I assume this first order for Boxer was made before the decision (in the 2021 Defence review) to scrap Warrior?

Therefore there should be a 2nd tranche of Boxers (hopefully all with a stabilised cannon) for Warrior replacement – and maybe a 3rd to replace the residual 430s.

I expect some politician or Treasury jobsworth will say that we can’t afford to buy so many Boxers (they are not cheap), thus prolonging the pain of retaining some old kit.

The army often draws the short straw, regarding funding; its not just army officers making procurement cock-ups!.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I agree Graham. I blame most army issues on politicians myself, and funding cuts.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago

Daniele,
I read an article where it was claimed that £5bn of FRES money (which was probably all of it) was switched to CV(F). If true, that explains one part of the army’s AFV procurement 20-year nightmare.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
3 months ago

I don’t think we would go far wrong by jumping in bed with the Americans for our armoured vehicles. BAE has assembly plants on both side of the pond so we can just add to their orders and tweak the variant to our need when it arrives. I would have thought it would be a lot cheaper than reinventing the wheel every 10 years or so.

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago

In the grand scheme of things the updated bulldog is better than a none updated 432, and subsequently better than feck all! The way the Army is, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, anything with tracks and a teeny weeny bit of armour is basically a place holder for a future vehicle! Lose the armour, you lose the concept, you then lose the Regiment and then you lose the finances….lighter is cheaper and therefore preferable to the bean counters and the nodding dog head sheds who should know better.

Rob N
Rob N
3 months ago

Would it not be a good idea to buy something basic that could be up armoured for more demanding threat environments, That would give more flexibility,

Marked
Marked
3 months ago

Such is my confidence in the army and MOD I’d wager in 2045 the saga of the overdue Bulldog replacement will still be rumbling on… whilst all 100 remaining army personal practice bayonet drills with penknifes taped to broom handles.

Daveyb
Daveyb
3 months ago
Reply to  Marked

They will have to be bright orange rubber penknives, due to health and safety regulations.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

FV430 was a complete family of vehicles designed in the late 1950s/early 1960s and fielded from 1962/63 onwards. All should have been replaced by a complete family of Warrior vehicles from 1984 onwards, except that the Treasury and politicians spoiled the army’s plan and did not allocate enough money for a full family, meaning hundreds (up to 1,000?) of FV430s soldiered on (and still do) – that would be like the Navy in 2021 still operating County Class destroyers or Leander class frigates or the RAF still operating Belvederes, Argosys, Gnats or Wessex. The UK joined the Franco-German GTK/PWV project… Read more »

James Bussey
James Bussey
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Well, we used to win our wars when all the old equipment was in service: the older destroyer HMS Glamorgan survived being hit by a ground launched Exocet whilst supporting 45 CDO during the battle for Mount Harriet, unlike the almost brand new ships that were sunk by missile and bomb hits in that campaign. They knew how to build strong warships in earlier days – probably from the more recent WWII experience of the Royal Navy.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  James Bussey

Interesting point but HMS Glamorgan was delivered in 1966 so was 16 years old in the Falklands conflict – in army terms that would be ‘a spring chicken’ compared to nearly 60-year-old 432s, 50-year-old CVR(Ts), and over 35-year-old Warriors.

Paul bowers
Paul bowers
3 months ago

Leave it to the government and you will end up with a wet paperback on tracks overdue,over priced out of dare

Daveyb
Daveyb
3 months ago

Honestly, I was told 5 years ago that the 432’s were going to be replaced by Boxer. But I guess that’s all changed, since the Warrior enhancement program has been cancelled. I still find it hard to understand how the ASCOD won over the CV90. Especially as CV90 has been proven in actual combat, through the Dutch and Norwegians using it in Afghanistan. When I meet up with the Norwegians in Afghan and had a look around their CV90. They couldn’t praise it enough, especially the trial vehicles with the band tracks. Both the Dutch and Norwegians had used them… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Why do you think 432s won’t be replaced by Boxer due to WCSP being cancelled? I don’t see the linkage.

Your last comment interests me – we used to have a vehicle with 5 Swingfires on teh roof and another 5 reloads inside – very ‘fighty’. A real strike vehicle – and called Striker too!

Cripes
Cripes
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Boxer is much too large, heavy and expensive for the Armoured Battlefield Support Vehicle role that Bulldog fulfills. A lighter, simpler tracked vehicle is all that is needed. The fact that we are spending a shed load of money on Boxer battlefield support vehicles just signifies that the FRES school of thought is alive and well, still thinking that you can fight a peer armoured force with deep fires and hit-and-run tactics. Most countries have moved on from that but not some circles in the MOD. We need to stick these Boxers in a mechanised infantry aka Strike brigade and… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Cripes, I only suggested Bulldog as a 430 replacement in the interests of commonality and the fact that it is wheeled at a time when the Infantry is going solely wheeled (on demise of WR). But you have a good point – Boxer is very much larger and heavier than the FV430 series. I doubt any tracked vehicle is simpler than a wheeled vehicle. It would be odd if the Infantry were on wheels (Boxer) and support vehicles (430 replacement) were on tracks – that’s the opposite of what we have traditionally done. If we are planning to hit a… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We think alike! There is a lot to be said for hit-and-run tactics and then long-range fires when the opfor get within range. Wavell did similar in the Western desert, using light recon units to raid and beat up the oppos. But that was a forward screen behind which his main armoured force manoeuvred and waited. FRES thinkers saw/see no need for heavy armour, the Boxers will.just whizz into action, beat up any vulnerable detachments and promptly do a quick runner to a hiding place out of range. Fat chance of that working up against onrushing armoured formations. The debate… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Great post! Ben Wallace does trot out lame stories in the HoC about his young officer army service – he loves saying BAOR was a ‘hollowed out force’ – it didn’t feel that way to me when I served in Germany in 1976 (2SG LAD), 1982-4 (4 Armd Wksp then 21 Engr Regt Wksp) and 1991-1992 (28 Engr Regt Wksp) – we had the latest kit with few capability gaps and trained long and hard. Interesting that there is this perception amongst the public, politicians and even those senior Generals that the heavy metal doesn’t do much but I wager… Read more »

Johan
Johan
2 months ago

Until they sort out Ajax, No one should be allowed near an army Procurement process.

MPs today where Ajax is built nailing the project without realizing its built by his constituents, who will be out of work if its canceled.

I would expect the AMPV from BAEs, which is just starting delivery for the USA in 2020 if tracked.

but someone will screw the house as usual

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago
Reply to  Johan

What is your point about AMPV Johan? It looks like a M113 replacement much as we need a 430 replacement – so it’s not a substitute for Ajax if that gets canned.

Mark Levie
Mark Levie
2 months ago

The UK should adopt the CV 90. End of