It has been revealed that the Snatch Land Rover, slated to leave service in March 2024, is to have its service life extended beyond this date.

Kevan Jones, the Labour MP for North Durham, directed an inquiry to the Ministry of Defence concerning the service life of the Snatch Land Rover vehicles.

His question was, “To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the out of service date of the British Army’s Snatch Land Rover vehicles is.”

In response, James Cartlidge, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, stated, “The Out of Service Date for the Snatch Land Rover is currently March 2024; however, an extension to this date is being sought.”

The Snatch Land Rover, developed in 1992 for use in Northern Ireland, is a protected patrol vehicle based on the Land Rover Defender 110 chassis. It was designed for general patrolling in areas with a low threat level but has been deployed in more challenging environments, such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

The vehicle’s use in these high-threat zones led to it being dubbed the “Mobile Coffin” due to concerns over its protective capabilities.

This designation led to an announcement by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in March 2010 about replacing the Snatch Land Rover with a new light patrol vehicle, later identified as the Ocelot.

Despite its controversial history, the Snatch Land Rover has been a significant part of the British Army’s fleet. With nearly a thousand units built and a unit cost exceeding £50,000 (including armour), it represents a considerable investment.

Its specifications include a weight of around 4,050 kilograms, dimensions of 4.55 meters in length, 1.79 meters in width, and 2.03 meters in height, and it is powered by a Land Rover 300 Tdi engine with 111 horsepower. The operational range of the vehicle is approximately 510 kilometers at a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour.

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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. He also previously worked for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago

£50k including the armour doesn’t sound like it has very much protection at all….

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

Now days they are only used for a general runabout, training, light recce and to be airdropped for quick mobility. You wouldn’t throw them deliberately at the enemy, the army learned that lesson in Iraq.

These are still brilliant vehicles that are super easy to drive, quick and can be maintained in the field with basic mechanical knowledge that is it’s strength.

A replacement as I put in my comment will be very expensive, won’t be bought in similar numbers and be very large due to its armour so won’t have the same speed/deployability as a bog standard land rover.

Last edited 1 month ago by FOSTERSMAN
Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Quite. Most conflicts see commercial 4x4s used to varying degrees.

George
George
1 month ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

“Brilliant vehicles”!?. They’re a lie on wheels. They’re excessively top heavy, badly designed, provides minimal protection and impossible to fight from. They suffer from Land Rover build quality, are slow, underpowered, next to useless off road and should’ve been binned when our operations got a bit more exciting than people throwing petrol bombs at us. Every single ‘plus point’ you mention can be done better with an up-armoured Land Cruiser. And most of your ‘plus points’ are jobs that you don’t need a Snatch, nor any kind of armoured vehicle for. Why are you using a 4 ton Defender as… Read more »

BobA
BobA
1 month ago
Reply to  George

Just a quick one, the Snatches we deployed with in 2008/9 had both FFR fit and ECM.

One did catch fire all by itself in the middle of Umm Qasr though, even when we took the keys out it was still running away!

DaveyB
DaveyB
29 days ago
Reply to  BobA

We had one as a run around in Iraq. It couldn’t be used outside the wire. Vehicles carrying jammers, would literally turn it off. Got really embarrassing at a Yank airbase, when some Strykers went past at a junction, we were stuck there until they left, holding up some convoy that was prepping to go outside. Had to push it off the road, which took about 10 bods to do, due to the weight.

George
George
27 days ago
Reply to  BobA

*little Britain voice*

Yeah, I know. I mean, the one in the picture has it fitted

You’re not getting that for 50 grand though.

Last edited 27 days ago by George
DaveyB
DaveyB
29 days ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

In Afghan, we swapped our two Landrover WMIKs for a pair of Foxhounds. So went from 3.5t to just over 7.5t. Put the two together, the Foxhound dwarves the WMIK massively. However, it came with really comfy seats and aircon. Plus it could take a lot of punishment not only from the terrain, but also from small arms fire. The Snatch is heavier than a WMIK due to the kevlar lined solid rear cab. They also have additional armour under the floors now. If you did away with the mine-resistant seats in the back of a Foxhound, you can carry… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

Designed for Op Banner in NI, it largely had to withstand hurled half bricks and low velocity small arms fire, and provide some protection from IEDs of the era. It was fitted with CAMAC composite armour (possibly about 600kg in weight)

It was not suitable for operations in Iraq or Afghanistan, but it went anyway, as initially we did not have more substantial PM vehs.

BobA
BobA
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I think the other one Graham, is that it wasn’t suitable for how the operations panned out. However, it was deployed when we thought we’d be facing a predominantly public order operation in Basra in late 2003 / early 04 – except for a lack of aircon, it was eminently suited for that. The assumption was horribly wrong though!

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
1 month ago

£50,000 per unit is dirt cheap in today’s defence industry, the reason these are still running is because a replacement in going to cost 10-20 times more per unit. It’s a shame they cannot make a replacement land rover and have kept the production line open for these.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

Maybe Ineos would be open to developing a mil-spec version of the Grenadier.

George
George
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

You are not the first to have suggested that to Sir Jim Ratcliffe. Watch this space!

Doug S
Doug S
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Ineos are seriously looking at the military market although this will be without the BMW engine due to BMW not allowing any of its products to be associated with any militaries. But….Ineos is not going into the armoured vehicle business which means a third party after market armourer will have to work with them / MoD. The Grenadier is the perfect 4×4 for this market; non-armoured and armoured.

Andy
Andy
1 month ago
Reply to  Doug S

The Gear box’s, in the frist round of the foxhound made is out of the 2nd gen BWM x5.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

The mOD was on a big push to “get JLTV”…however that has died a death

It would be fine but …
Mass 10.27 t
Length 6.2 m
Width 2.5 m
Height 2.6 m
Cost 400k a pop!

Its a truck and you would need a HGV licence to drive it and on UK roads it would move everywhere on a low loader.

Time to buy some Hilux Pickups or Tundras.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Why do you need to move it on a low loader? Its wheeled, not tracked, is only 11 tons and speed is up to 70mph.

DaveyB
DaveyB
29 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I think our friend was taking the p**s!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
28 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Perhaps I need to improve my sense of humour!

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
1 month ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

The US Army just let a follow-on contract with AM General for the JLTV with an estimated unit cost, (depends on variant obviously) of $420,000 per unit. At one time the UK got approval for a FMS purchase of the JLTV but, for some reason, never executed a contract. Shortage of funds?

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

I think the army would struggle to justify the cost at present with priority areas like boxer and Ajax need more funding. JLTV is a great vehicle in its own merit but a giant compared to a land rover being designed to take on a different task thanks to Afghanistan, the future of the army is peer on peer now so tracks are back in fashion. We would also struggle to quickly deploy these in large numbers and supply them in the field with adequate numbers of maintainers and support vehicles and they are very thirsty vehicles needing more general… Read more »

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

UK will have very limited capacity to produce anything with an ICE. This could be a big mistake if we needed to do what we did in WW2 are use industries to produce weapons.

Jack
Jack
1 month ago

£50K per vehicle is peanuts. I’m sure the vehicle has prevented far more injuries and deaths than fatalities suffered but the media are not interested in those kind of stories.

George
George
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack

Because at the time the US was moving around in nearly 30ton MRAPs with a damn near 100% survivability record, and we were moving around in a land rover with an open topped box on the back which would be doing well to survive grenades and very small arms.

Just because something is better than nothing, doesn’t mean it is good enough.

That isn’t how it works.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
28 days ago
Reply to  George

George, Not everyone is in the Direct Fire Zone, and in need of gargantuan levels of protection.

George
George
27 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Then why have the armour at all…?

Either you need protection, and thus require sufficient armour to achieve that, or you don’t.

You have to pick one, but Snatch delivers neither.

What, dare I ask, is the ‘direct fire zone’ and how do you define ‘gargantuan levels of protection’?

And whilst you are there, I’d love to know what that has to do with the topic of the injury prevention the vehicle was designed to do, failed at, that MRAP is superior at…? The whole point *is* that “gargantuan” levels of protection were required.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
26 days ago
Reply to  George

George, during my 4 postings to BAOR. my vehicle was a Land Rover – in contrast, anything in the medium and heavy categories of armour had gargantuan levels of protection compared to my vehicle’s level. Military vehicles have always had varying levels of protection – it is not a case of nil or a huge amount. I would say it went from nil to Protected Mobility (light) to PM heavy/MRAP to medium armour to heavy armour. Snatch was fielded from 1992 to meet an Op Banner requirement (ie Northern Ireland) to replace Makrolon-protected Land Rovers as a protected patrol vehicle.… Read more »

George
George
26 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

As an officer in the REME, did you enjoy copy/pasting that from wikipedia? So you agree with me then? Either you need “gargantuan” levels of protection, or you don’t, but Snatch provides neither and thus should’ve been retired when the threat level exceeded “bricks, petrol bombs and small arms fire”? Because if you’re in the “direct fire zone”, then you need “gargantuan levels of protection”. And if you aren’t, then you can cut about in a GS land rover. I would change your definition though. “Direct fire” is limited by this thing called the horizon, and isn’t actually that big… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
25 days ago
Reply to  George

George, I make no apology for using Open Source material- some people just spout opinions without any underpinning background, references or links. I generally give the source and have often used Wikipedia – it is not perfect but it regularly gets updated by SME contributors. Snatch should not have been sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, but we had no MRAPs initially. As always, we deploy what we have got in time of war, even if it is not the best equipment for the task. We then sourced a suite of PM vehicles relatively quickly; Snatch should have been withdrawn from… Read more »

George
George
23 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

“George, I make no apology for using Open Source material- some people just spout opinions without any underpinning background, references or links. I generally give the source and have often used Wikipedia” You know that Wikipedia can be altered by absolutely anybody, right? You may as well use youtube for your sources. However, incident one of 4 of you completely misunderstanding what I said (a common theme throughout). It wasn’t that you used Wikipedia. It’s that you seem to understand so little about the platforms, you had to copy and paste it from elsewhere. And it happened to be data… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
22 days ago
Reply to  George

Incident 1 – Wikipedia – I know that it can be amended by anyone. I know that content can be created by anyone. If an incorrect fact is stated then there are many people who will correct it – that is good. Wiki has many cross references to primary material and detailed footnotes relating to primary material. That makes it useful. What sources do you use – and are they better? What inaccuracies did you note in my Wiki cut and paste? If none, why criticise it as a source? You think I inserted Wiki info because I know so… Read more »

George
George
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

“If none, why criticise it as a source?” Again. Because *absolutely none of it was relevant*. It reminds me of one of my joes answering a question on characteristics of the rifle by reeling off the wiki article verbatim. Cute Archoi, but entirely not what I asked. Now, let’s start again and use words like ‘magazine fed’ instead. You didn’t make any case for the competence of Snatch in its job. Nor did you make any kind of case that Snatch saved more lives than it cost, and provided evidence for such. You just puked a load of words into… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
20 days ago
Reply to  George

George, you make your points with passion, which is a good thing, and experience which is even better. I think other readers will be tired if I did another line-by-line answer, which is not necessary anyway. But my 6 months in the OVO in 2010 on short-term contract as MoD contractor was not a Requirements Manager job, it was a Programme Manager job. Theatre staff fed back critiques of the deployed vehicles with suggestions/recommendations and Army Requirements Managers in the UK then wrote the Requirements documents, not me. The time imperative required use of the UOR process. I managed the… Read more »

George
George
20 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I dunno. The readers seem to think for some reason that you know what you’re talking about, so I think they’ll be keen to find out what mental gymnastics you’re doing to simultaneously say that Snatch shouldn’t have been sent to Afghanistan and MRAPs should have, but MRAPs with “gargantuan” levels of protection also weren’t needed. All in reply about the difference between “oh, well it might have saved someone, so why hate on on” and “well, it could’ve saved everyone, that’s why it was hated on”. “The army will always have vehicles with varying levels of protection (from zilch… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
26 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

As ever, well explained mate.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Honestly why bother getting rid of them, easy to maintain cheap to run, and actually do you need an expensive vehicle with very significant Mine/IED protection as a general peace time/low threat environment run around. The army now has plenty of decent force protection vehicles for higher threat environments…what it need to concentrate its resources on are getting the combined arms elements all in-place for war fighting, challenger 3, new fires, Ajax and boxer.

Simon
Simon
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Exactly, use a general peace time/low threat environment run around

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

They are 30 years old! Most ‘B’ vehs are replaced well before that time.

Simon
Simon
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Didn’t they have a refurb in 2005, which was in effect a full rebuild ? still 18 years old

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon

Simon, I had to research this as I had not been closely following the Scnatch story. You are right. 1,000 Snatch were procured for Northern Ireland in 1992, fielded in ’93. Some were later desertised – Snatch 1.5. Most of the others were later upgraded in 2005/6 – Snatch 2. the Snatch-2 12v, LHD, the basic training variant; the Snatch-2A 24v, RHD, “Rest of World variant”; or the Snatch-2B 24v, RHD – the N. Ireland variant. The base vehicle is still 30 years old – the modified parts are 18 years old. Still very old for a B vehicle. https://www.joint-forces.com/land-rovers/18536-military-land-rovers-pt-9-cav-100-aka-snatch… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
20 days ago
Reply to  Simon

I doubt it. No mention of integral ‘light armour’ such as Snatch’s CAMAC, for the Protected Mobility role.
Looks unarmoured to me.

Simon
Simon
25 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

very true but I guess there loads of other equipment programs to fund. there is a link to contract notice placed by the MOD, but this site will not let me post it

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
25 days ago
Reply to  Simon

There is always insufficient money to afford what the MoD wants in total, which is known informally as ‘the equipment black hole’.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
22 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Snatch were designed for Northern Ireland where I understand they did a fair job. They would be fine for similar operations elsewhere.
But they are old now.

Jonathan
Jonathan
22 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

true but land rovers of that vintage were designed to go on for a long time and be easy to maintain…if it was decided it was more cost effective to replace with something newer and cheap that’s fine…but I suspect the army would end trying to buy some very expensive protected patrol vehicles to replace…instead of a like for like low threat utility vehicle.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
21 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Ordinary ‘bog standard’ army Landrovers were replaced and sold off at auction whilst they could still commnad a good price – I seem to recall that was about the 10-15 year point although some would be kept for longer – I recall being in a unit with an 18 year old Landy and it was frequently commented on. Specialist vehicle like Snatch is a little bit different but of course Op Banner (for which Snatch were procured) ended in July 2007. You might have expected most to have been sold soon thereafter. But a large number were kept, no doubt… Read more »

Big Andy
Big Andy
1 month ago

Poorly researched article. The Force Protection Europe Ocelot, never entered service. But the platform was developed and entered service as the General Dynamics Foxhound, a light protected patrol vehicle (LPPV).

Foxhound is a fleet solution for light forces, providing unparalleled small arms ballistic and mine protection in its class of vehicle. Rather sadly, once it got into service, the development of other variants and the base platform has been limited. This vehicle had so much potential, and yet it will be replaced by JLTV,or will it?

pete
pete
25 days ago
Reply to  Big Andy

Force protection Ocelot prototype was at ABRO Bovington for about a year, don’t think it ever left the building for meaningful testing. Came with nice promotional biscuits that a rep dished out before it left. Original steel unlike the later composite foxhounds . Building of foxhound was comedy as parts did not arrive in the right order or on time and often were fitted to meet targets and then later removed to fit other ones . Also parts were fitted on overtime again to meet targets and then workers would have no work on monday ! Rear door handle and… Read more »

Big Andy
Big Andy
25 days ago
Reply to  pete

The intention always was there for Ocelot to have a composite pod in order to keep the AUW to a minimum. The AUW, like on many projects, had a great deal of creep in it which really defined choices in the power train et al, hence the reasoning behind the Steyr engine and the ZF gearbox etc. Testing was carried out during many hours, days, weeks and months at Millbrook. All this being done as the vehicle production line was beginning to ramp up. The frustration in this case was that the prototypes on test were a number of iterations… Read more »

Me in the corner
Me in the corner
1 month ago

Cant believe this. We have 60 year old 432 bullgog APC, 37 year old Warrior. May as well start using the Landrover for another 50 years. British army is right at the bottom of the food chain….

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago

True. Only just pensioned off the 50 year old Scimitar, and the AS90 is no spring chicken.

Andy
Andy
1 month ago

Got to take it at face value. Is there a vehicle out there that’s the same sort of size with a bit of armour for some small arms and can handle and large round if it’s close. Probably not for less than 500k and there’s the problem there isn’t anyone making that a wagon you get jump in cut around rear in some kind of safety. Now with the light to medium drones off the shelf with up to 70km range. The “rear ” has grown in depth into something we haven’t faced since WWII For once I think Defence… Read more »

Andrew Munro
Andrew Munro
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy

Have you seen the price of the Inos version of LR Defender costs more than the snatch rover.

Andy
Andy
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Munro

New landy is nearly 100k Inos seems like a good deal to me

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy

I had a standard Landy in 4 postings in Germany. If the balloon had gone up I would have given anything to have rather been in a Snatch LR.

But it was for NI duties, not suited for Iraq/Afghanistan. But we had no well armoured PM vehs at first.

George
George
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy

“Is there a vehicle out there that’s the same sort of size with a bit of armour for some small arms and can handle and large round if it’s close” Yes. It’s called a Toyota Land Cruiser with a B6 armour pack. “Probably not for less than 500k” You can get two of them for 500 grand. “Now with the light to medium drones off the shelf” Hate to break it to you, but Snatch is comedically unsuited to defending against drone attacks. Notwithstanding the well documented lack of ballistic protection, there’s a bloody great hole in the roof with… Read more »

Andy
Andy
1 month ago
Reply to  George

Everything is unfortunately not suitable against UAV attacks even the Israeli armed forces which have the kit to deal with (world leaders some might argue)it on there wagons are having little success.( they have up loaded the videos) they even copied the Russians with the ‘coupe cages’ with no luck but they are tamdon charge weapons. Landy course is two weeks now fully done which isn’t bad at all with the H+S attached to it. Land cruiser is a good bit of bit in urban environments it’s not as good off road as the landrover has poor SA, its hard… Read more »

George
George
27 days ago
Reply to  Andy

“it’s not as good off road as the landrover” Erm. No. A V8 L200 Land Cruiser eats a Snatch any day, any where. On and off road. “Has poor SA” Erm. No. Even an unarmoured Defender is a pain in the ass to reverse into a parking space. Make the glass thicker and the windows smaller? Its hard to maintain when you break it the problem is normally big one as they are so robust. Not the first time I’ve heard someone call the Defender ‘reliable’, but probably the most back to front way of justifying it. “Breaks constantly, which… Read more »

Andy
Andy
27 days ago
Reply to  George

Until it needs fueling. Reverse parking any AFV has a Marshall wheeled or tacked I could be unter pam and say which one as well. If fact all “green” fleet are required to have that there’s even a marshaling course its generally helpful as well as its cross platform. Landrovers are greatly unreliable but the MOD has years and years of experience and the supply chain built to handle it and the people (less and less) that are trained to fit it even in a feild. We do need a new vehicle but there’s a new for thousands of things… Read more »

George
George
23 days ago
Reply to  Andy

“Reverse parking any AFV has a Marshall wheeled or tacked I could be unter pam and say which one as well. If fact all “green” fleet are required to have that there’s even a marshaling course its generally helpful as well as its cross platform.” There is a slight difference between being mandated to have a marshaller because the Army is incredibly risk averse and needing a marshaller because you physically can’t see behind you. They are not the same. Landrovers are greatly unreliable but the MOD has years and years of experience and the supply chain built to handle… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago

Of course what is the point of replacing something that works and still has live in it… It is liaison vehicle at most but those are needed too.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Does a 30 year old vehicle have much life in it? Most B Vehs were auctioned off after much fewer years service.

pete
pete
25 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Land Rovers used to go through ABRO Bovington and later ABRO Donnington for rebuild or re-chassis , some came out with the grease buildup on chassis from universal joints nicely painted black lol

Charlie
Charlie
1 month ago

Having worked for the MOD , the utter waste of Vehicles and Equipment is mind blowing……disposal of unissued Vehicles with zero mileage , Thousands spent on upgrades…..I could go on ….thankfully out of it all now !

Darryl
Darryl
1 month ago

Cant see the modern iteration of the defender being any use whatsoever as a replacement . Land rover shot themselves in the foot with that design

Andy
Andy
1 month ago
Reply to  Darryl

It’s a Chelsea tractor at best now, still it’s brilliant off road but it’s all very tech based and not suitable for 18 year old to bondo bash around the place with the price of thing.

James McCallum
James McCallum
1 month ago

Landrover?..designed to transport a Farmer, their dog and a haybail. Humvee? A vehicle designed the for the military to transport the military.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  James McCallum

The Land Rover design was inspired by the US Army’s Jeep. Rover’s chief designer Maurice Wilks and his associates created a prototype in 1947 using Jeep chassis and components.
The army first used LRs in 1949 – Humvees were not available then!

John Clark
John Clark
29 days ago
Reply to  James McCallum

As a dyed in wool Land Rover Defender user of many years standing, my current vehicle being a 2008 110 Station Wagon, I love them, they leak, they are loud, all my mates complain when they travel in it.

They have many faults, but they are absolutely British through and through….

I’m actually thinking of having a series 3 ground up restoration next. If my mates don’t like the ‘refined’ Puma engined 110, they certainly won’t like the Series 3!

pete
pete
25 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Put a cummins diesel engine in and you get a whole new world of loud !

Martin
Martin
1 month ago

For what it was meant for its fine, its not an APC etc and should never have gone to Iraq. It light weight, fast for a reason.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
27 days ago

Yet again, another cockup and so it goes. The darn things have had thier day.