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.”
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