The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has issued a Contract Award Notice for the Foxhound Command Variant project, with a budget allocated ranging from £10 million to £20 million.

The contract, identified via Contracts Finder, spans 15.5 months, starting on 18 December 2023 and concluding on 31 March 2025.

The primary objective of this contract is to modify up to 50 Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicles into Command Variants. This task has been assigned to General Dynamics Land Systems UK, located in Gwent. The notice states, “The Authority has identified a need to generate 50 Foxhound Command Variants.”

This project aims to upgrade the vehicles for improved command and liaison operations.

Key aspects of the vehicle conversion include the integration of advanced communication systems. “The conversion will provide enhanced VHF, HF, and UHF capability, whilst providing the users with a working environment suitable for operating BOWMAN data terminals,” as described in the notice.

The upgrade also encompasses vehicle performance enhancements like mission battery improvement and the addition of crew display systems.

General Dynamics UK, as the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Design Authority of the Foxhound Platform, was selected due to their unique qualifications. The notice explains, “As the Design Authority, and only contractor to have access to the design for the modification, General Dynamics UK is the only contractor which is able to perform the requirement, for technical reasons.” They are also the sole UK-licensed company by the US Department of Defense, under ITAR, to install BOWMAN on a new variant of Foxhound.

The awarded contract value to General Dynamics in Gwent is £9,985,030. This contract is categorized under CPV Codes 35412500 – Command and liaison vehicles and 35712000 – Tactical command, control, and communication systems.

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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
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Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
3 months ago

Makes a mockery of competition criteria I guess when choice is limited to 1 and that 1 has anything but a stellar history. But surely they can’t bugger this one up, can they.

maurice10
maurice10
3 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Would you return to a garage that buggered your vehicle? I thought for one moment these were all new units but no such luck, just warm-ups of existing models.

ChrisJ
ChrisJ
3 months ago

This task has been assigned to General Dynamics Land Systems UK…”

The same General Dynamics that can’t build an APC without deafening the soldiers it’s carrying? That General Dynamics? Why on earth are we placing MORE contracts with these clowns?

Louis
Louis
3 months ago
Reply to  ChrisJ

The contract is placed with them because it’s their vehicle. If the army wants more Foxhounds it has to go to GDUK.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Indeed

pete
pete
3 months ago
Reply to  Louis

The Former Defense Support Group now Babcock assembled the first batch of Foxhounds , no longer have manpower for this extra workload .

Louis
Louis
3 months ago
Reply to  pete

They might’ve assembled it, I think MTL made the cabs, it still isn’t Babcocks vehicle, GDUK owns the IP.

Babcock assembles Jackal, it’s still Supacats vehicle.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  ChrisJ

Ajax – Recce vehicle, not APC – but good point anyway.

IanM
IanM
3 months ago
Reply to  ChrisJ

Cos it’s like going to a Vauxhall dealer to buy a Jag. GD own the IP so that’s where a buyer has to go.

Baz
Baz
3 months ago
Reply to  ChrisJ

If you do your homework you would find it wasn’t GD fault on the hearing, and it’s not an APC either…..

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  ChrisJ

What’s wrong with Foxhound, though? Well proven MRAP selected & produced to UK spec in Wales? Wales was the original nomination for Ineos Grenadier, but that went to France. I suppose Jaguar Land Rover (now Tata) could have designed & tendered for the MRAP requirement, (if they wished, though don’t know) based upon decades of off-road i.e. since Foxhound was an ‘offshoot’ of that requirement, I understand. Plus they’d already had many years with the erstwhile Wolf version Defender in terms of military upgrades, which I believe the Army, who still appreciate it, are looking to keeping relevant as regards… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Gavin Gordon
Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Didn’t it have all sorts of reliability issues when it was first deployed, engines overheating etc. Have they all now been fixed?

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Moving beyond me, probably Daniele’s area, more due to Middle East at time?

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

This may be bit of a dit, but I need to say it. Personally, I owe a lot to Foxhound. It saved me and my team on a number of occasions. On one of my tours in Afghan. We were embedded with the Canadians, initially with a pair of Landrover WMIKs. As a weapons platform they packed a lot of punch. Carrying a 50 cal, a Gimpy and a few Javelins. Plus all the ammo to keep them in the fight for at least an hour. However, armour was pretty scarce. As they were completely open, all your kit, radios… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago

With all communication equipment including Bowman data terminals, will work on the Foxhounds include the protection of said equipment like ballistic paneling and a Faraday cage ?

Ian M.
Ian M.
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommo

Tommo, the vehicle is the Faraday cage. It’s a metal box.

cheers

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

Cheers didn’t think of that at the time of course it is For some reason I was thinking of an EM pulse Der !!!!!

Tommo
Tommo
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommo

Not Der too you Der too me Ian

IanM
IanM
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommo

👍🤣

farouk
farouk
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

Boom, drop the mike.

IanM
IanM
3 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Clang😎😎😎

peter
peter
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

Composite pod not metal so might need metal mesh lining !

IanM
IanM
3 months ago
Reply to  peter

Good call there, I’m unaware of the construction of the “pod”, I’ll have to check.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago

Are we still operating Bowman? I thought it was going to be replaced with a system called Morpheus after the MoD lost track of where the Bowman assets actually were

Ian M.
Ian M.
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Morpheus has been canned by the MOD.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

I heard just a day or two ago that Morpheus had been canned, after £690m of the £3.2bn had been spent.

Programe was initiated in Apr 2017 but General Dynamics Mission Systems (UK) apparently failed to deliver a lab-tested design in December 2020 to allow IOC in 2025.

https://euro-sd.com/2023/12/major-news/35641/uk-mod-kills-morpheus-contract/

I wonder what went wrong and what the Plan B is.

General Dynamics…yet again fail to deliver, but get rewarded with more MoD work.

IanM
IanM
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Totally agree Graham!

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

I read about it elsewhere last week, but I don’t recall an article in UKDJ. We should have one here. It’s an important story.

IanM
IanM
3 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Speak to George? Or, write a peice yourself maybe. Interesting to hear other points of view. 👍

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Agreed. Yes, heard it’s been binned.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago

So the new plan is??? Cups with pieces of encrypted string? Self destructing carrier pigeons if they deviate from a set flight path? Gold plated iPhones?
Or upgrade bowman with new components? I don’t know enough about bowman other than it replaced clansman.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

That is pretty much my level mate! I know of other army comms systems used by the RS and their uses, but not what comes after Morpheus.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago

Surprised. I searched:
‘Rt Hon Grant Shapps announces £3bn Morpheus contract scrapped’, but found nothing.
Though s’pose could be regarded as a bit of a minus step on the ladder to Lordship. Then again, nothing seems to prevent that…

Jack
Jack
3 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

I can’t imagine that name lasting in this time of “inclusion”. Someone will have to sue for emotional distress 😂

Ben P
Ben P
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

No the MOD just threw £640m at GDUK and have now cancelled the project. But guess who has the contract to uplift the current BOWMAN system until something new can be made.

IanM
IanM
3 months ago
Reply to  Ben P

I guess the MOD and GDUK need their heads banging together!

Steve
Steve
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M.

That’s another one that GD messed up!!!

IanM
IanM
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve

No argument there!

Frank
Frank
3 months ago

I want one, It would make a perfect “Bug out Vehicle” and ideal for wild camping…

Lord Baddlesmere
Lord Baddlesmere
3 months ago

SO after messing up Bowman and Ajax; and failing totally on Morpheus after six years with nothing to show (other than a healthy GD bank balance; GD are rewarded with another contract???? Parliament, MoD trumpet ‘lessons have been learned’ Obviously not. Morpheus in Ancient Greece was the god of Dreams. Friedrich Serturner the man who discovered morphine, derived the name Morphine from the name of Morpheus. This is appropriate, MoD seem addicted to giving more & more money to GD for nothing in return. Perhaps one day MoD will look to support sovereign capability and British owned companies? Perhaps there… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
3 months ago

So, Lord B, how is Bowman “messed up”? I’m interested to hear your take. Mod have a fixed price contract with GDUK, producing AJAX vehicles at a fixed, non negotiable price. They have gone to the sole UK provider of Foxhound to have a small number of vehicles modified to C2 variant, who would you pick to do the job? Bowman is a sovereign capability ( with a smidge of ITAR).
Cheers
Ian

peter
peter
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian M

On the land rover there is a warning sticker saying do not loiter within 1.5 m of the Bowman antenna. On the CR2 an antenna is located next to commanders hatch less than 1 meter. Many Bowman earths did nit have the crimped metal ends , being only dipped in solder they split . The pressed metal springy opening limit catches on the two small Comms hatches on CR2 turret have rubbish spring opening retainers they break at 90 the degree bend or loose springy-ness. Gps and key board cable plugs flimsy.

IanM
IanM
3 months ago
Reply to  peter

Hi Peter, I presume you’re responding to my question on how Bowman is “messed up”? On the Landrover (and other platforms) the stickers warn crew about the dangers of high power RF radiation from some of the radios used, not all. If an antenna is close to a hatch it will be for a low power system. As for the “springy” thing on CR2 hatches (I admit I’m not familiar with this item) how is that a Bowman issue? GPS receivers (DAGR’s) are normally US supplied so again not a Bowman issue.
Cheers
Ian

pete
pete
3 months ago
Reply to  IanM

CRARRV has a high rf power amp under side armor with antenna close to radio operator hatch will he get radiated , no warning sticker !

IanM
IanM
3 months ago
Reply to  pete

Does sound iffy!

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  pete

No, the amp is double insulated and the antenna is outside the armour. Unless there are issues with the connector leaking RF. Those inside will be fine.

Last edited 3 months ago by DaveyB
pete
pete
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

You are implying no transmitting when heads out of hatches? Min distance for 25 watt output 1 m, safe distance for 150 w 3.98 m . If the antenna has gain distance increases. Exposure is also based on duration of transmission in time period . Think Bowman transmits data without human input required.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  pete

Bowman can have an automatic rebroadcast function. It can be turned off, though it does rebroadcast by default. Ideally, yes it would not be transmitting when you stick your head out. The HSE do have a time/output wattage limit. Though most of their warnings are advisory. Very high power radios greater than 1kw can cause minor burns like sunburns if you within 30cm of the antenna. You can quite easily be safe working within 1.5m of Bowman. It doesn’t transmit at a high enough power output. You can definitely get very serious burns from RF, particularly radars. As they concentrate… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

They love their command vehicles. Quite a number out of the total for 7 LMB Bns.

pete
pete
3 months ago

They didn’t love Panther command vehicle , extra armor made it unreliable and wallowed off road making some sea sick -Blair’s folly !

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  pete

Can we really blame Blair for everything going wrong in army procurement? A PM would not get involved in such a project.

pete
pete
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

He did waste billions on futile wars !

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  pete

I think he sent us to war 5 times. Not all were futile, though. Iraq (2003 and onwards) certainly was.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  pete

So I hear. V expensive too.

pete
pete
3 months ago

To save money on Panther no snorkel was fitted originally , test vehicle wrecked engine driving through large puddle and sucking up water, also required drive belt train mods to stop them snapping. Inboard brake discs prone to overheating, ballistic window fogged up inside layers etc

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

Foxhounds just in 7 LMB Inf Bns and nowhere else? That is five light mech bns. Assuming Pl Comds have a C2 veh – that alone would account for 45 C2 Foxhounds across five bns – so that can’t be right – perhaps they have CIKs. Start again!: Rifle Coy Comds – across five bns – 15 vehs Coy 2ICs – 15 vehs Bn 2ICs – 5 vehs COs – 5 vehs. Then additionally C2 Foxhound vehs might be held by each OC & 2IC Fire Sp Coy, OC Recce Pl, OC A/Tks, OC Mor Pl. [Probably not QM, QM(T),… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Morning Graham.
I’m unsure, I’m not aware of it being used by any of the attached CS CSS or elsewhere.
Would be interesting to find out.
Think I read the RAF Reg had some?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

From armyrecognition website: “Foxhound will be used for troop movement on dismounted operations, mobile patrolling, convoy protection, quick reaction force, route protection and cordon and search operations”. 
I always considered it was solely an infantry tool – not heard about RAF Regt using them.

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

1 Royal Irish also have Foxhound in 16 Air Assault Bde. They were one of the first Bns to trial Foxhound on role out and love it to bits. Suits their Celtic flair. 1 Welsh Guard also had it when I was serving at Pirbright and they were at Elizabeth Barracks just down the road . They too did a lot of the early work developing the light Mech concept ,tactics etc and we’re great fans too – all those skills being lost when they were rotated out to take their turn on.public duties , the stupid way we do… Read more »

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

2 Scot’s did have some but they haven’t been at the motor platoon car park for a couple of months

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

I’m glad the Foxhounds have proved popular; I was involved in supplying the Mission Batteries.
Not surprising that sometimes 1WG have to do some Public Duties!

Charles verrier
Charles verrier
3 months ago

There’s also a small number for RAF where they add a drinks cabinet.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

There have been examples in the past whereby the OEM/DA has not been awarded the contract for later upgrade/modification. WCSP is an example of this – Warrior OEM/DA was GKN Sankey (taken over by BAE). The contract for the revised turret went to Lockheed Martin UK, not BAE.

The real reason is the ITAR one. ITAR is a complete pain – ideally we should never buy any US kit!

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Believe ITAR issue has been ameliorated, if not eliminated, for both Australia and UK, after passage of FY 24 NDAA.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Thanks for the update. ITAR was a pain when I was serving (to Sep 2009) and then working for Abbey Wood as a civvy contractor (to 2011).
It was puzzling that a fellow 5 Eyes nation like UK was treated the same as everyone else buying US kit.
Glad to hear it has become more sensible.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Sadly you still have to be really careful with ITAR. Falling foul of the rules can still land you in the cak personally as well as for the company.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Must be more likely such ITAR amelioration will prove wise.
Linked, but different subject: AUKUS. Hearing US now planning to gift Virginia Class to Australia in shorter timeframe?
Something Serious Suspected Sooner? 🤔

pete
pete
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The fact that GKN (now BAE) produced a warrior 2 prototype with new turret, digital fire control system and 30 mm bushmaster cannon in 9 months makes LM look really bad !

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  pete

Very good point. It helps that GKN knew their own vehicle back to front!
So why did LM get the WCSP Lethality Improvement contract?

If GKN/BAE had got the contract, we would probably have had the upgraded Warrior in service some years ago, notwithstanding the fact that the actual production job required the stabilised 40mm CTAS cannon.

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
3 months ago
Reply to  pete

Thought it had a 40mm CTA?

pete
pete
3 months ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

Would have been better with 30 mm bushmaster and spike anti tank missile pod. CTA 40 expensive and required strengthened turret ring and muzzle brake due to high recoil forces which caused delays.

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago
Reply to  pete

If I remember correctly, the CTAS 40 round contains some 30% more propellant than the Bofors 40mm round. Hence its significantly higher muzzle velocity. Thus the need for a beefed up turret ring.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 months ago

I’ve read up on the cancelled Morpheus programme.
Cancelled after £630 million spent.
That’s 2 extra frigates or entire C2 fleet updated to C3 with all getting APS and some IFv boxers .
Huge waste of public money with zilch to show for it.
Anyone going to prison or losing their jobs because of this?
I ask because if I caused my employer to lose £630 million you can bet I’d be getting a knock on the door.

pete
pete
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Gd has some history of cost overruns and various lawsuits with US government, must have good lawyers .

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Sadly another huge army procurement cock up. What is the Plan B?

Ryan
Ryan
3 months ago

How many command vehicles does the Army need?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

Seemingly lots, judging by the number of C2 in the Boxer and Ajax orders vs pure infantry or recc types. Which is why I commented further up.

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
3 months ago

Yes with the increasing digitalisation of the battlefield and particularly the increasing importance of RPAS/UAS we do need a lot it’s one of the lessons we’ve learnt from Ukraine . You’ve all seen the footage Ukraine Coy/Bn Comds fighting the war from a cellar or wherever and staring intently into a sea of laptops/notepads along with their staff. I saw an interesting piece on Sky when they were still interested in Ukraine about a Ukraine tank company ( yes they call them company’s not squadrons ) who no longer fought his Coy from a tank as is tradition with us… Read more »

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
3 months ago
Reply to  Pongoglo

IMHO Foxhound is exactly the right platform for this role and it’s solely UK produced so good news all round but I I agree – would rather they were new build too – in short we simply don’t have enough.

Last edited 3 months ago by Pongoglo
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

An armoured or mechanised infantry company in an armoured brigade (BCT) will need 6 – ie. 3 for Pl Comdrs, 1 for OC and 1 for Coy 2IC and one for the REME Tiffy – although the Pl Comdrs would have a slightly less complex radio set up – and could manage with a section vehicle with extra radios as a Clip In Kit (CIK). I am generalising and not beng specific about a vehicle type. The Tiffy would also make do with a standard vehicle (ie not a bespoke command vehicle) with a CIK. There are 3 rifle companies.… Read more »