Although the Ministry of Defence has signed a number of major tactical and support vehicle contracts over the past decade, the overall rate and level of tactical vehicle procurement across the British armed services has declined since 1990.

With this shift, British tactical vehicle manufacturers and those across Europe have increasingly shifted focus to the export market as the primary outlet for their military products.

Analyst D. Lockwood at Forecast International said in a report:

“The lingering effects of economic austerity measures will continue to restrain the scale of domestic tactical vehicle procurement by the U.K. Ministry of Defence. However, the MoD may make some modest modernization and procurement efforts in the coming years, extending the service life of existing vehicle stocks and bringing vehicles purchased for combat operations in Afghanistan into the Army’s peacetime force structure.

Further, the British Army’s Future Support Vehicle requirement remains a top priority for the U.K. MoD.

In the medium-vehicle market segment, the U.K. Defence Procurement Agency selected MAN ERF UK Ltd to fulfill the British Army’s FSV requirement. The British Army intends to replace its stocks of 4-, 8- and 14-tonne support inventories with the new vehicles from the FSV family. The initial contract called for the procurement of 5,165 new-build vehicles, at a cost of $1.98 billion. In 2006, the DPA exercised an option for a supplementary order of 2,000 vehicles, worth $461.3 million.”

The FSV family of vehicles consists of eight variants, in 4×4, 6×6, and 8×8 configurations. According to MAN, over half of the production work on the series occurs domestically in the U.K.

However, a significant portion of the chassis production for the series takes place at MAN facilities in Vienna, Austria.

“The cornerstone of the British light tactical vehicle market remains the renowned and ubiquitous Land Rover. Although Land Rover vehicles have faced operational challenges and criticism over their performance in the IED-laden battlefields of the 21st century, the family currently remains the backbone of the British Army’s light tactical transport inventory, with Supacat contributing a smaller, but increasingly important secondary share.”

Forecast International is a major provider of ‘Market Intelligence and Consulting in the areas of aerospace, defence, power systems and military electronics’.

You can read more here.

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John Mulley

I should imagine most of the manufacturing for these vehicles will be done in Germany/Austria – engine, gearbox, chassis etc. The so called 60% UK element will be a spanner/screwdriver operation. ERF/Foden manufacturing disappeared years ago. It looks like the British Army, in the future, will be substantially equipped with German equipment. What a sorry state of affairs.


So what do you suggest then start up Foden,Bedford,ERF again just to supply the Army.or tKe a series of trucks that have been in service decades and adapt them to our spec.


Why not? If the world’s first industrial nation can’t put together some effing trucks, we really have lost it…..

John Mulley

Your reply does not make sense. What does tKe mean? What is the point of adapting old vehicles to our spec????

Mark latchford

From the context, I would say he clearly meant to say “take”, but it went a bit wrong.


Did hit the wrong key there,they were not old trucks but an updated version built for us.
The UK truck building capacity sadly has gone so to build a factory to just supply the MOD ain’t going to happen.


I think fundamentally he was (in my opinion rightly) lamenting the fact we got into the position that we allowed so much of our industrial base and great Companies through some self inflicted British disease (whatever way you want to dissect it) disappear. I was working through the history of Napier recently and some of the amazing stuff they created before they disappeared into English Electric and never seen again. And the last vestiges of what was Vickers of course in the military vehicle sector are about to be another mere assembler of German vehicles. Just compare that to the… Read more »


Yes, the real tragedy of post-war Britain. Too many scumbag carpet-bagging profiteers, sad/weak/corrupt politicians, cheap morally bankrupt British investors, loony avaricious trade unionists and pathetic management. Followed by absurd Thatcherite policies that allowed 30% of our manufacturing capability to disappear because of an idiotic ideology. With a little more confidence and moral probity, we might now be in a better position!


Pretty much covered all areas there H, in one fell swoop, got to be post of the week for sure!


Hi Herodotus
Say what you mean ……. but so true….haha ?


yep if you live in the 1980s and missed the last 20 years, Major/Blair/Brown/Cameron all did as bad,,,


Hi Johan
Doesn’t matter which party is in charge they are all cutters or they want to gap.
Australia seems to be getting it right these days
Thanks Ian


Dont Think THATCHER has been around for the past 10 + years as the EU moved production out of the UK to its poorer states. FORD TRANSIT Slovakia, Land Rover Discovery Solvakia. Leonardo closed the production of helicopters in the UK and moved to italy. Army needs to stop buying German trucks they are not MADE IN THE UK. its called assembled from a range of parts from 3rd world countries. just like minis….


Whilst I agree with some of your criticisms I certainly don’t agree with that concerning the ‘absurd Thatcherite policies’. It is all too easy to latch on to commonly held but completely wrong views promulgated by the tabloid press, trade unions etc. Industrial production fell sharply during the 70s and rose strongly during the 80s. That fact may not suit what a lot of people think but it is absolutely true. More mines closed in the 70s than did in the 80s. I haven’t looked at the figures for very recent years but industrial production almost always rises under Conservative… Read more »

Peter S

We spent $2.5 b on these. For that amount we should have insisted that they were fully made here. In future, why not order from Supacat? At some stage we should acknowledge that the 1970s problems in UK manufacturing are long past and start rebuilding our domestic capabilities. We need a new Royal Ordnance too so we can once again design and build our own weapons. Great way to start the levelling up.




There is a car plant in Swindon about to come on the market, why not encourage the Government to invest in tactical and supply vehicles, with the various UK military vehicle manufacturers? One that springs to mind is the Jackal manufacture, (can’t think of the name?) it would begin the process of building homegrown products, even if some critical components are imported. Okay, the military market is relatively small but, it would open the door to the much-needed export markets.


The SV has been a massive success both in performance and reliability although even its capacity was tested on ops once additions were made. A transformation from the Bedford/Foden families, which were borderline junk. Not convinced by the Land Rover comment – I doubt they have bought new ones for a long time? For Ops everything is protected, for UK then everything is, or is becoming, white fleet – Toyotas being far better for those tasks. The only Landies I ever see are old, it seems we only have them because we still have them and havent replaced them yet.… Read more »

John Mulley

Have you had personal experience of the so called borderline junk? What a nasty comment on British engineering


Yes, far too much. And it was.

The truth cannot be “nasty”, it is just the truth. If you can’t handle it, that isn’t my concern.

They didnt jump the politics of ordering from Germany without very good reasons.

John Mulley

What is your so called defined truth? What were you, a lorry driver in the Army or been involved in the servicing of this so called junk? Still a nasty comment and I can ensure I can handle it.

John Mulley

Without very good reason is there is now nobody else to order them from.


We still have 10k of them…


How many in storage/parked up…


Newist Landrovers I am aware off, issued around 2002 if my memory serves me right, to my Battalion. Good bit of kit for day to day UK use, exercises and the like. White fleet can’t be used around the areas, for training and off road/tactical use. Main burden was no more no less than a normal garage/workshop, white fleet no burden as contracted vehicles and contracted servicing and repair! And for ops, still not everything protected, no way near. MAN wagons good, Bedford and Foden were ok but showing their age.


Upgraded Defender 90s (no Wolf) were being issued in 2009. Daft project that illustrated MoD waste – 20+ year old vehicles with 10k spent on them, all to avoid spending 17k on new. Results were dire, rust under new paint/trim was commonly found on “in” inspections but we weren’t allowed to make a big fuss. Don’t know more recent history as my life moved on. White fleet is used all over training areas, wasn’t always the case but seems to have taken over. I’m partially living next to SPTA and convoys of minibusses heading into it is the norm. I… Read more »


White fleet have been cutting about training areas more and more for the last 20 years but only in the admin/non tac role. LR still essential for day to day training. Agreed we over maintain, certainly in the age/mileage ratio. Some 20 year LRs had less than 30k on the clock. White fleet contracts can be cheaper in the long run, but you still need a high number of green wagons for day to day use. Do we need to replace the LRs for UK training use, no I don’t think we do. At least white fleet maint gives the… Read more »


This article is completely out of date. The trucks concerned were purchased five years ago. All the FSV were built in Germany/Austria.

MAN closed down ERF in 2002 nearly a decade ago.

We still have a large truck manufacturer Leyland Trucks. They build all DAF LF trucks and CF and XF trucks for right hand drive markets. They built the 200,000 LF in December 2020.


Err… isn’t this article rather historic? The MAN vehicles were selected for FSV years back………


Rather have our own ,but German vehicles,Tanks ECT are well built and designed got give them that.

Jan van der Werk

Agreed, interest in the Ineos Grenadier is being shown by many militaries. Its what best for the job not where its from.

Jason Bannister

They didn’t do very well with SPV Puma or PH2000

John Mulley

The discussion is about new vehicles.


Indeed, the quote used seems to be old. The current SV fleet came into service circa 2007. I’m not sure what this article is telling me that I don’t already know?


The boxer factory in Australia seems to have a line next to it for this type of vehicle in its new factory. Surely the uk can do the same given such a large requirement. If we add all our requirements into the pot surely we can set up a centre for military vehicles facility / estate somewhere.

we can’t keep letting this always go outside of the Uk

Captain P Wash

I’m guessing these will be Electric then.

John Mulley

Still the problem of where all the electricity is going to come from! Charging points on the battlefield?

captain p wash

Ha…….. They’ll be in the Battlefield Petrol stations !

John Mulley

To combat global warming for use by both sides.


Bloody hell it doesn’t seem like 5 minutes since all the MAN wagons came into service! Shit time is flying by!!!!


Remember the days when Bedfords were out transport wagons God there were the days when we could field a big Army miss them days .


Mate we had a big army, lots of kit but much of it was absolute shite lol. But yes, great days mate greats days!


Andrew wrote:

Remember the days when Bedfords were out transport wagons God there were the days when we could field a big Army miss them days .

I learnt to drive on Bedfords at Church Crookham


I learnt to drive on a Lightweight LR with the Gurkha Loggie Regiment driving instructor when I was stationed in HK. They taught you to drive using double declutching because once you had learnt on a LR the next stop was a Bedford TK. My mate and I decided to give the first 3 weeks of the course in Sek Kong Camp which all happened in the classroom a miss when we saw that the instructor had a picture of an LR on the board , pointed at the wheel and the class called out in very broken Gurkha english”Wheel… Read more »


On my first visit to the Gulf region in 1978 I was surprised by the proliferation of Bedford 3 tonners. All courtesy of the British Army! In 10 years they had all but gone, replaced by Mercs and MAN units. Anybody spotted a Bedford of late….might be worth something?


Sadly not mate


Working in the motorsport/manufacturing industry myself, it would be interesting to know peoples thoughts on the all-new LR Defender for UK military use. Perhaps not in the role of the ‘old’ defender/wolf on the front line, taking IED hits etc, but perhaps mirroring/supplementing the role of MODs current Defender fleet as a utility/runaround vehicle.
Does the new Defenders lack of ‘proper’ chassis (with LR having opted for a unibody design, instead of a body-on-a frame) put it out of the frame for selection?


55k for a base model or 20k for a Toyota pickup. Landrover is a show pony a range rover with a land rover badge. and owned by TATA a tractor company that just moved production of Discovery to Slovakia. pish LANDROVER


As some-one who was part of the Defence & Govt Sales Dept for MAN Truck and Bus UK Ltd, all I can say it the original article is flawed and some of the comments are at best something I would expect to read in the Comments section of a “Red Top” newspaper. All the Cabs and Chassis where built at the MAN (now RMMV) factory in Vienna, using components from either MAN or suppliers such as ZF. The Cargo load beds were designed, built and assembled by Marshall Ltd at a new plant in Mildenhall, that closed once the contract… Read more »